Other factors important factors in overcoming centuries of hostilities in this case, including suspicions among various sections of the population, have been the political leadership and the governments' efforts to encourage people-to-people contacts through several systematic initiatives. These are:
n Systematic policy of twinning: This is more than just official banquets and platitude. It involves signboards with the other country's language and flag in the twin city, linkages between the Chambers of Commerce, colleges, schools, hospitals and even families.
"I was 14 when I went to stay with a German family for a month to learn German. My German friend came to my home the following year and learnt French," says a French diplomat. "The idea requires a low budget and results in life-long friendships."
n Public money spent on institutional youth exchanges: Each government puts in 50 % of the cost required to place youth (young professionals, say under 35 years of age) in various sectors in each other's country - doctors, lawyers, graduate students. This is, as a diplomat puts it, "a fantastic way to change mindsets and make people more accepting of each other."
n Political sustainability and continuity: These policies don't change when the governments do. The budget for the youth exchange is never questioned or amended. France and Germany even conduct joint cabinet meetings in which the Prime Minister along with three to five ministers each meet to discuss various focused issues twice a year - for example, environment, textbooks, water or other shared resources.
n Joint history textbooks: French and German historians have been working on this project for about two years now. The textbooks will not be compulsory but will serve as a resource and an alternate way of looking at things. Other countries with a history of hostilities, like Japan and Korea, have also shown an interest in this concept.
Pakistan would gain technical
capabilities and skills. India would
gain access to more human resources
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Emotional family reunions, heartwarming interactions with ordinary people
- a Pakistani and his elderly mother on the journey of a lifetime
Part II .....more
Three young people...
"Three young people in Lahore try to escape the reality of their everyday lives. They succeed in ways they least expected"... So reads t .....more
Waiting for peace
"For peace between Pakistan and India it is important to understand that at the northwestern corner of the subcontinent, lie the disputed ar .....more
A recent journey to India gives a young Pakistani woman a lot to think about
By Tanzila Khan
My heart raced with excitement as our plane from Lahore landed .....more
A Lahori's take on Delhi
Pakistani journalist, development professional and blogger Raza Rumi's first book 'Delhi By Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Travell .....more
Philanthropist and music promoter Jayesh Kotak wants the all-blind Indian orchestra Black to perform in Pakistan, where there is huge musical talent - and potential f .....more
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The News on Sunday Special Report: India Pakistan prisoners more editions
We probably didn't need to do this Special Report. Newspaper stories don't matter when it comes to Indians in Pakistani jails and vice versa. In fact, 'vice versa' sums it up. We do to them what they do to us.
Except when the two countries decide to begin talking, yet again! This time a little before the foreign secretary level talks, some Pakistani prisoners were released by India (and vice versa must have happened) and some more were release....read more
For the past 2 years the Jang Group and Geo have been working on a project of great national interest; one that we hope will help usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the country and indeed, in the region. And one that hopefully all Pakistanis can be proud of. more
The Jang Group has entered into an agreement with the Times of India Group, the largest media group of India, to campaign for peace betw