Time To Reflect
14th and 15th of August the nations of India and Pakistan
will mark their 55th year of independence. The past twelve
months have seen the two countries close to war a number of
area is home to residents with close ties to both nations.
The Messenger recently spoke to leading figures in both communities,
Mohammed Ali, chair person of the Pakistan Muslim Centre and
Surinder Singh Dhillion from the Sikh Temple.
For Mr Dhillion
the last year has been a very sad time, as friendly relationships
between peoples from the two countries have been adversely
affected by political developments. Mr Dhillion still has
fond memories from the 1950’s and early 1960’s
when people were free to cross each others boarders.
Mohammed Ali felt
that differences between the two nations had to be resolved
diplomatically. Locally, in Sheffield, the PMC had taken the
lead in organising a number of cross-faith meetings following
Sept 11th and hoped the Centre would continue to be a focal
point for all communities.
As for Independence
Day there will be mixed emotions for Mr Dhillion as he recalls
the sacrifices that the Sikhs in particular made to gain independence
and the hardship people suffered during partition. In particular
in the Punjab some important Sikh Gurudwaras (Temples) were
left in Pakistan. The main focus of celebration for him will
be on Jan 26th to mark Indian Republic Day.
For Mohammed the
14th of August will be time to celebrate and the PMC will
be holding a special event on Tuesday 29th of August at 6
pm, to mark the day. Mohammed also feels that it is also important
to educate the younger members of both communities of their