Balwant (Bill) Bhaneja is author of six books on arts, politics and science. He is a former Canadian diplomat who studied International Relations at Carleton University and holds a PhD from the University of Manchester. .
In 1947, the countries of India and Pakistan were born out of the partition of British India. Millions of people scrambled between the countries, fleeing ethnic and religious violence. Many Muslims fled to Pakistan, while Hindus and Sikhs fled to India. Referred to as Partition, to date, it is the largest migration of humans.
On December 18th members of Ottawa's Pakistani community gathered in front of City Hall to pay their respects to the victims of the attack on the Army Public School for Boys in Peshawar in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Over 140 lives were lost, most of them children.
On March 23rd, the Canada-Pakistan Association (CPA) held their annual Jeeway Pakistan (Long Live Pakistan) Mela in honour of Pakistan Day. Pakistan Day is held on March 23rdto commemorate the Lahore Resolution of 1940 by the All-India Muslim League, whose leader at the time was Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Jinnah is sometimes referred to by Pakistanis' as Quaid-i-Azam (Great Leader). The Resolution established the boundaries of the state which would become Pakistan after British India gained independence from Britain in 1947.