Let's celebrate Independence Day together Every year on Aug 14 and 15, 2012 groups of Indians and Pakistanis around the world join hands to celebrate Independence Day together, including groups that light candles at Wagah border. This year, various groups are coordinating to make the commemoration of 2012 more visible, utilising social media tools and the connections that have been developed over the recent past. A facebook event hosted by several organisations and individuals, 'Pakistanis, Indians celebrate Independence Day together' (Pakistanis, Indians celebrate Independence Days together | Facebook) says "Please join in where ever you are. Please feel free post to information about relevant events." One of the organisations behind this move is the Pakistan Youth Alliance, which recently launched its Karachi chapter and plans to celebrate 14th August with a parade. At 12 midnight, PYA wants to "wish India happy Independence day," says PYA Karachi coordinator Shumail Zaidi, who approached Aman ki Asha. "I want our voice to go across the border as a gesture of love and peace." Students in Mumbai and Lahore are also getting involved. Last year, students from IIT Mumbai led by Ronnie Philip initiated a Peace-Diary campaign titled Ummeed-e-Milaap in which two diaries travelled through different schools and universities, with students adding comments on them. "The diaries were exchanged and put on display at our respective universities," says Hassaan Zafar, a student at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). "We received an overwhelming response. Furthering this idea we can record video messages in different schools and universities on both sides of the border and can share them on social media for August 14th and 15th." Another host organisation is the online group Pray for Peace Between India and Pakistan. Initiated by Toronto-based writer and activist Swati Sharan, Pray for Peace Day was observed around the world on the randomly chosen day of Dec 18, last year, with thousands of people at various ashrams and in homes and parks joining in. "We had at least 200 000 people praying last year for this," says Sharan. "One of my guru's senior meditators could actually gauge the energy level coming from the prayer on Pray for Peace Day because of their heightened abilities." We say, never doubt the power of collective prayer. Watch this space for more information on how Indians and Pakistanis are celebrating Aug 14-15, 2012. - aka Visa-free 400 metres at Pak-India border In a significant move that could show the way for putting in place a liberal visa regime between them, India and Pakistan have agreed to do away with requirement of a visa to cross the border on both sides within a radius of 400 metres at the Attari-Wagah point in Punjab for Customs and other related border officials, reports Indian media on Monday. According to The Hindu it was agreed that officials monitoring and administrating trade would be issued "special permits'' to work within the 400-metre radius. At present, such permits are issued to drivers and workers to drive in and out of the border carrying goods and unloading them. Now this special facility will be extended to certain officials, including Customs, on both sides to enable proper scrutiny, inspection and early clearance of goods coming through trucks. However, this limited access is unlikely to be available to the BSF or Pakistan Rangers.