The team of twelve will be tackling a twenty mile hike through the mountainous Jehlum Valley - 10,000 feet above sea level. The hike will take them close to the Line of Control, which divides territories administered by India and Pakistan. This dividing line is contested by Indian and Pakistani militaries, and communities in this area often experience heavy artillery and shelling. This hike is only possible now because of a ceasefire.
Long-time partner of Conciliation Resources’ Muhammad Arif Urfi, is leading the expedition:
We are a group of environmental journalists and peace activists who work directly in a conflict zone and face the challenges of survival during artillery shelling, as well as loss of lives and assets. We are taking part in this challenge to raise awareness of our work and peacebuilding in the area.
Members of the group have been working on a community-based eco-tourism project near the Line of Control, with communities affected by military activity in the region. During the walk they will be distributing flyers to raise awareness of environmental issues and climate change challenges, as well as the dangers of mines, clusters and toy bombs.
The expedition is part of Conciliation Resources’ Steps to Peace challenge, which aims to raise vital flexible funding for peacebuilders to adapt when crisis strikes. You can sponsor Muhammad Arif Urfi and the team through their Just Giving page.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Jammu and Kashmir. Conciliation Resources and our partners work to increase collaboration across the Line of Control, and build opportunities for Kashmiris, including youth and women, to participate in economic and public life.