LAHORE, Aug 26: Indian Parliament member and noted peace activist Nirmala Deshpande said on Sunday acts of terrorism in Pakistan and India were aimed at derailing the peace process between the two countries, but their friendship loving people would foil all such attempts.

She was talking to reporters after arriving at the Wagah Border along with a 50-member delegation which later went to Kasur to attend the 250th annual Urs of Sufi poet Baba Bulleh Shah.

The delegation, comprising five parliamentarians, two former ministers, academics, writers and journalists, has come to attend the Urs on the invitation of Bulleh Shah International Forum President Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmad, an MNA. Known journalist Kuldip Nayar is among the delegates.

Replying to a question on the bomb blasts in Indian Hyderabad, Ms Nirmala said both the countries had been facing terrorism, but their people now knew who was behind them. They had decided that they would continue to march towards peace, aborting all attempts to derail it, she reiterated.

Ms Nirmala, who is also chairperson of the Indian chapter of the Indo-Pak Forum of Parliamentarians, said the peace process between the two countries was continuing but its pace was slow on both the sides. “We want the pace to pick up. And as it happens, we will reach the destination,” she said.

She said Baba Bulleh Shah preached peace and love and his message was more relevant today than it was in the past. “The message of poets is always for the entire humanity. They do not belong to a province, a country or a religion. Instead they are the asset of the humanity,” she said.

Chaudhry Manzoor said the message of Baba Bulleh Shah was universal and his poetry was part and parcel of the subcontinent’s culture. The delegation had come to attend his annual Urs because the Sufi poet gave the message of universal love and affection.

The delegation, he said, was going directly to Kasur where its members would lay chaddars at the shrine of Hazrat Baba Bulleh Shah. They would attend a seminar, a reception by the Kasur district nazim and a music programme in the evening.

Intellectuals and writers from both sides would read out papers at the seminar, he said, adding that artists like Indian singer Hans Raj would perform in the music programme.

Most of the delegates are due to leave for India on Aug 28 (Tuesday). —Staff Reporter

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