DROPLETS of light rising from candles are gradually taking effect at Wagah. They are a metaphor for a future that must be explored and discovered, a vindication for the activists who are so often blamed for taking Pak-India peace as little more than a holiday trip. The light as a people’s collective offers a mild, soothing contrast to the thunderous war theatrics the border between Pakistan and India is famous for. The two have learnt to coexist. In fact, the battle routine the soldiers so proudly display each evening at the lowering of the Pakistani and Indian flags amid nationalist chants by the crowd gathered there is undergoing modifications. A dialogue has been opened to rid the drill of some of its more offensive gestures. Soldiers are talking, enabled by the new mood the peace activists have helped shape.

Gathering on either side of Wagah each year for a joint celebration of the Independence Day, peace activists have themselves come some distance. They were berated and threatened with isolation when they first decided to hold the border candle vigil some years ago. Today, the trends have changed sufficiently enough for the media to give a positive spin to the talks that have in recent past been held to make the border drill less aggressive, and to not miss the ceremonial exchange of sweets between the soldiers of the two countries. It appears, and appears so vividly on the television screen, that the old prediction about peace having a market in the subcontinent has also been vindicated. Tensions sell, too, and it is not that the issues have been resolved and a friendship bond established forever. There will always be some matters pending — even if the alternative route to resolution is lit up for more and more people to see and traverse.

Updated Aug 17, 2012 02:05am

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Comments (5) (Closed)

Gerry D'Cunha
Aug 17, 2012 03:01pm
We need to be watchful for enemies within both country, who do not want healthy relationship to flourish between the two country. Remember the Mumbay terror attack when both country were at their best relationship.
Iftikhar Husain
Aug 17, 2012 11:42am
This is a breath of fresh air we all welcome this.
Aug 17, 2012 08:16am
It is good indeed that for now both nations want a healthy relation to eachother. The prolong hater and continuous sappings of energy and finance have produced zero results. It is time now to have dialogues because rightly said by someone that dialogue is the best way to resolve inevitable and endless hostile problems. Thanks to media persons who are playing their part to end this hostility between the two.
M. Asghar
Aug 17, 2012 08:49am
This candle light should be extended along the border to different places to make it a social place for mutual understanding and cooperation.
Asif Ansari
Aug 18, 2012 12:53am
Yes, less aggressive is a practical work between both of these countries. We all see the soilder's practice on our television at the day of Independance at Wagah, the both countries soilders do well, but in the shape of aggressiveness. Lit a candle is the past practice. This is 21st century, Pakistan and India resolve its problem by the help of table talk, both countires start at huge level of bussiness, gives many more visa to their country people, this time issuing of visa quantity is too short, and open others channal which create trust both side. Fighting wars, expand billion of rupees on weapons especially on nuclear weapons is past doing, this is the century of Education, health, technology and other civic-work. Indian Prime Minister told on Media, the India also send their astronomical machinery on Mars. So these all are the red signal for Pakistan. This is the time of thinking, so start thinking, after-all Pakistan has a nucelar country.