Don't be shocked if you see profile pictures of your friends on Facebook sporting the colours of Pakistan ahead of the India-Pakistan T20 World Cup cricket match.
While India and Pakistan are gearing for the much-awaited match between the rivals on 19 March at Kolkata, a group of Facebook users from both the countries are on a peace mission. The users of the social network have launched a mission called #ProfileforPeace.
Facebook has launched a feature for T20 world cup that allows people to change their profile picture frame to support their favourite team. For #ProfileforPeace, users from both the countries are changing their profile pictures to support the other country.
Even Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg has applauded the cause. "Something very interesting is happening in India and Pakistan right now. When we designed the profile frames feature, we just wanted to help people show support for their favorite teams or a cause they believe in."
Zuckerberg added that "But this story shows that the more connected we are, the more we realize that what unites us is more important than what divides us."
Facebook user and activist Ram Subramaniam started this initiative last October. Facebook user and peace activist Samir Gupta saw his journalist friend from Pakistan Nudrrat Khawaja change his picture on 12 March and warmed up to the campaign. Gupta explained this initiative in a blog post on the website Aman Ki Aasha.
"On 12 March alone, when the initiative started 1,844,985 Indians and Pakistanis formed friendships on Facebook. Although we have started the initiative I still worry about the safety of the users as in recent past there has been incidents of extreme action against the people who have said anything in the other country's support," he wrote.
"Through these peace overtures, we are knocking holes in that wall of hatred in order to reach out and hold each other’s hand. The wall will come down once we have created a critical mass through these small holes", he said.