‘India and Pakistan cannot prosper without peace’

Published: March 25, 2012

Dr Mubashir Hasan, Kuldip Nayar recognised for bringing peoples together.

LAHORE: 

Rights activists from the Institute of Peace and Secular Studies gathered at the Lahore Press Club on Saturday to acknowledge the efforts of Dr Mubashir Hasan and Kuldip Nayar to build better ties between Pakistan and India.

The two leaders were also presented a Sindhu Aman Award each for their services in bringing the two nations closer by opening a new chapter in the struggle through the inauguration of the Relax Pakistan-India Visa Campaign.

Speaking at the occasion Kuldip Nayar said, “Many talk about Bhagat Singh but rarely acknowledge the sacrifices of heroes like Ashfaqullah Khan, who was executed during the independence struggle for looting a train to fund the revolution.”

Nayar regretted that there was a lack of acknowledgement for many heroes of the independence movement from both sides of the border.

Nayar, a journalist, mentioned that a peace vigil had been held for 15 years on every August 14 on the Indian side of the Wagha Border. He said this was meant to signify the friendship between the peoples of the two countries.

He recalled the hurdles faced by the participants during these peace vigils.

“There was some resistance in the aftermath of the 1999 Kargil conflict. But the fact that even a few people showed up at these vigils reflected that there was hope,” he said.

Nayar criticised the role of the governments and the intelligence agencies and alleged that some of them fostered mistrust amongst the peoples of the two countries.

Advising Pakistanis to “cherish their cultural heritage”, Nayar said it was unfortunate that history taught in Pakistani schools was quite distorted.

He advocated greater economic and political ties between the two countries and said he hoped to see South Asia become a “common market” for the people of the region. “We have to keep in mind that India and Pakistan cannot live without peace,” he added.

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt highlighted the need for a greater exchange of artists between the two countries. He also demanded relaxation of visa policies between India and Pakistan. Bhatt advised the media to focus on “celebrating the shared culture of the region” instead of creating a “war-like” scenario.

Dr Hasan, born in Panipat, India, said he had never intended to leave the land.

He shared instances where, he said, he had tried to work with the governments of both the countries to create peaceful ties. He said despite the challenges, he was hopeful of a bright future for the region.

IA Rehman, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan general secretary said that 99 per cent of the population of India and Pakistan wanted easier visas.

Later, Rehman presented the awards to Dr Hasan and Nayar.

IPSS chairperson Saeeda Diep said she hoped that the award will be presented every year to a person each from the two countries who had worked for bridging the gulf. She said the name Sindhu signified the common origin of the people of the region. “We all belong to the Indus Valley civilisation. That is where this name comes from.”

Towards the end of the event, a petition was signed by Dr Hasan and Nayar, requesting prime minister of Pakistan to show more initiatives for peace as well as easier visas to create better opportunities for the people of the two countries to interact.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Anwar Hasan
    Mar 25, 2012 - 12:10PM

    There will never be 100% peace and there will not be war. Things will continue as they are. The point is India is moving forward and Pakistan is moving backward.

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  • Mandeep Vaid
    Mar 25, 2012 - 12:12PM

    Pacifistic consciousness is the only way towards Peace. To give inner Peace a chance, say NO to every violent thought.

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  • Mar 25, 2012 - 12:34PM

    Really? India, Pakistan cannot prosper without peace between them? Really?

    Well, I wonder from where that 8-9% growth came from all these years….

    LOL!

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  • Mar 25, 2012 - 12:42PM

    We welcone the peace talk n ee are ready to join the two nations but the condition is it should be named Pakistan…sabj hilali percham to be the flag n radio pakistan delhi ka tarana

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  • Mar 25, 2012 - 3:39PM

    @zaid hamid: why India would like to invite trouble and burden on their economy.
    In economics joining with another corporate has two words one is Merger i.e. the smaller corporate loose their entity and merges with the bigger one. Other is Amalgmation which takes place between two more or less equals and a new Name comes into effect.Please give your choice.for consideration.

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  • G. Din
    Mar 25, 2012 - 4:39PM

    @Mandeep Vaid:
    “Pacifistic consciousness is the only way towards Peace.”
    Wrong! There is an even better way – play dead!
    “To give inner Peace a chance, say NO to every violent thought.”
    Retire into Himalayas and you may have a better chance of inner peace if one perches oneself high enough in the trees, safe from the wild life roaming around!

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  • pragmatic
    Mar 25, 2012 - 7:43PM

    well india grew by almost 7% every year for last entire decade & at the same time there was no sign of peace in pak.

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  • AK546
    Mar 25, 2012 - 8:18PM

    Pakistan should not be provided with any kind of support, by trade or any other deals from India.
    India should not forget the terrorist attacks in Mumbai and loss of people.Pakistan should go and sought help from US & China , as they have done it from last few decades, as per Pakistan US & China are allies. So all the best to pakistan may god save them or give them peace at end.

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  • Drake
    Mar 26, 2012 - 3:14AM

    @AK546: Pakistan gets huge aid from USA , in return it allows USA to kill people using drone.
    I really feel bad for my Pakistan people, they are mislead by previous & current goverment.
    They tried to build a nation on hatred towards India. While India is making huge progress and aspiring to compete globally. Hope the people in pakistan see the dawn of hope soon

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  • RT45
    Mar 27, 2012 - 10:16AM

    @zaid hamid: Haaaa . In what world u r living.Wake up

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  • Faraz
    Mar 28, 2012 - 6:59PM

    @Blunt!:

    Do you really think growth is the only indicator of prosperity or did you only say that for the sake of sounding blunt? :-)

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  • bharat
    Mar 28, 2012 - 7:55PM

    India and Pakistan can never be friends, we will always be enemies. All these articles are not based on reality and facts

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