The huge Sheikh Rashid Auditorium in Dubai looked too small for the 2,500 or so personally invited guests from South Asian countries who had gathered to attend the event. Even more unusually all of them, and even the chief guest, stayed till the very end.
The event: a Hindo Pak Aalmi Mushaira and Kavi Sammelan organised by the non-profit organisation Hamari Association in collaboration with Aman ki Asha, a peace initiative of the Jang Group of Pakistan and The Times of India Group.
This was the second such mushaira to be held in Dubai organised byHamari Association and the first collaborative effort between Aman ki Asha and Hamari Assocation. Hamari Association aims to facilitate peace and mutual understanding through the universal platform of arts and spreading Indian culture. Aman ki Asha aims to promote cultural exchanges, people-to-people contacts and dialogue between the two countries.
Dubai, where this event took place, is itself a marvellous example of harmony, a place where Pakistanis and Indians live and work together peacefully, as Shazia Qidvai of Hamari Association noted, thanking the United Arab Emirates governments for providing a space where "we, the people of Pakistan and India live together and share our happiness,"
"That is why the poets of Pakistan and India have come here to make this event a memorable one. Our effort, and Aman ki Asha, can unite any people and can remove distances," she added.
The mushaira highlighted the shared cultural and literary background of the two countries. The applause and traditional 'daad' were just another indication of the level of interest in this programme, participated in by several acclaimed poets from Pakistan and India.
The stage was beautifully decorated. The event was presided over by the great poet Dr. Rahat Andori, and Consul General of India Sanjay Varma was the chief guest.
Businessman Jaan Rizvi, who conducted the evening, welcomed the poets and presented them with bouquets. He also presented a shield to the chief guest. Participating poets included Usman Meenai, Parmoot Tawari, Khalid Masood, Dr. Majid Deobandi, Dr. Anjum Barabankoi, Dr. Kamar Vishvash, Abbas Tabish, Ejaz Rehmani, Manzar Ayubi, Dr. Tahir Faraz, Prof. Inayat Ali Khan, Hasan Kamal and Dr. Rahat Andori.
"We are with Jang Group and Times of India in their journey to attain peace. We want to spread the message of Aman ki Asha to the people of India and Pakistan," said Shazia Qidvai. "Our members have also worked hard and sent relief items to Pakistan for the flood victims."
"All the languages of the world have some connection," said the Indian Consul General Sanjay Varma in his moving speech. "They remind us of our streets and land. I dream in English but I cry in my own language. Urdu and Hindi have the power to make me cry. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is my favourite singer. It doesn't take long to unite India and Pakistan through his songs. We have heard wonderful poetry at this event... This event shows that if to divide is our history then union is our future. Please take Aman ki Asha from this evening and share it with your kids, friends and family members."
"Hindi and Urdu poetry are my family," commented the poet Dr. Kumar Vishvash. "We are still paying the price for Partition.Instead of food we buy guns and ammunition. I pray that Allah would change all the gun barrels into flutes. This Aman ki Asha is not just a hope but a dream that The Times of India and the Jang Group have shown us, which will be a reality."
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
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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