Pak responds to friendship gesture with more letters
Times of India - 11 April 2006
Several thousand friendship letters and the Golden Bridge of Friendship is how Pakistan responded to India's overtures of friendship.
About 11,000 letters of friendship and a gigantic love letter measuring 120 m by 80 m had been taken to Pakistan in the last week of March by volunteers of Friends Without Border.
The volunteers retraced their steps across the Wagah border on Monday armed with the replies — and some more letters to unknown "friends". The yellow borders of the love letter, signed by thousands of Pakistani children, were laid across the border to form the bridge.
"This is just the beginning," said John Silliphant whose idea of carrying an armload of letters from Indian to Pakistani children, first planned in February 2005, assumed much greater proportions than even his wildest dreams.
"The infrastructure is now in place to keep this movement expanding. As more schools throughout both countries participate, the world will gradually become a safer and friendlier home. Every letter brings us closer," he added.
In two weeks since the movement first reached Pakistan, it has acquired a large team of volunteers (a network is already in place in India) who are now working with the goal of collecting one lakh friendship letters over the next couple of months.
Said Aamir Rafique, a Pakistani volunteer, "The Pakistani children are equally excited at the prospect of friendship with Indian children. With a little help from us adults, we can make it happen in both countries. As we all say — it might just work."