Buy Books & Not Bullets, Pak Girl Tells Indian PM

Aqeedat Naveed, an eleven-year-old girl from second largest Pakistani city of Lahore, sent a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 13 in which she made impassioned plea for peace.
As PM Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) registered a thumping victory in provincial elections in northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, the Pakistani girl congratulated the premier, saying that the “most popular” Indian PM should work as harbinger of peace. She wrote that Prime Minister Modi could win more elections in future, if he managed to maintain “friendly” ties with arch-rival Pakistan and ensure peace in South Asia.
In her handwritten letter, Aqeedat stressed that the governments of Pakistan and India should purchase more books, and not bullets, to start a new chapter of peace between the two neighbouring countries. “Both countries should resolve that they will not buy guns, but will provide free medicines to hundreds of thousands of ailing people of both the nations,” she added.
Ahmed Naveed, Aqeedat’s father and an Assistant Professor in National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore, told the Indian media that his daughter and son Moarikh Naveed (14) wanted both Pakistan and India to maintain good relations with each other. According to Ahmed, his children strongly believe that India and Pakistan can become good friends and want world leaders to practice tolerance.
Meanwhile, Aqeedat and Moarikh sent another letter to Pakistani Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and congratulated the Chief of Army Staff for successfully launching the ‘Radd-ul-Fasaad’ operation against terrorists. They said that the move would certainly restore peace in Pakistan.
Also, the brother-sister duo urged Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take care of the “Sikh” community people living in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. They said that Sikhs are living there without basic necessities and their living condition hurts them.
The father revealed that it was Moarrikh’s idea to send letter to the Indian PM. Ahmed told the press that the current school syllabus inspired his son to write letters for peace and Aqeedat only followed her brother. The siblings also want Pakistan to host Indian tourists and vice versa. They are eager to visit New Delhi, see Taj Mahal in Agra and invite Indian children to visit Lahore and other Pakistani cities.
Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan Gautam Bambawale confirmed that PM Modi received Aqeedat and Moarikh’s letter and also sent a greeting card to them in return. Aqeedat, who had received a greeting card from 2016 Nobel peace prize winner and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, had written to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee in the past.



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