In a region where historically the media of both nations has been seen to play a negative role vis-a-vis each other, the Aman ki Asha initiative is a game changer which can have a significant impact on the mindset of both populations and steer decision-makers on both sides in a positive direction. Currently, regional trade as a percentage of the total trade of both countries is nominal despite the immense potential across most sectors. Collaboration and not confrontation is the way forward for both India and Pakistan if we are to succeed in our economic and commercial ventures, competing against the most robust regional trading blocks that so many economies across the world are currently leveraging to their benefit. Our competitive advantage lies in forging a trading block that can help us weather the volatility of the new global economy.
The textile sector on both sides of the border is extremely vibrant and can play a lead role in kick-starting this whole process since it encompasses large portions of the population, from the farmers who grow the cotton to fashion icons and designers who bring glamour to this field. Through collaboration, the textile sectors on both sides will obtain access to each otherís raw materials, markets, land routes and human capital which will give a further thrust to an already vibrant sector. Marketing our capacities towards each other will also take out excess capacities from the world textile chain, creating further global demand and raising our export prices and resulting in higher value addition per unit exported.
The soft side of textiles will appeal to all levels of civil society, be it through fashion shows, design competitions, or even just local retailing opportunities on both sides, culturally bridging the gap which has started to appear in both countries. Fashion also plays a large part in the entertainment industry both countries. Indiaís huge film industry or Pakistanís talented music industry have huge fan followings across borders, and there are many stars the youth look up to who could help promote the softer side of both cultures.
This initiative faces major challenges and obstacles on both sides. However, some say the greater the challenge, the greater the opportunity. I sincerely wish both sides the best of luck and lend all my support to this landmark initiative.
Bashir Ali Mohammed is Director Gul Ahmed Textile Mills Ltd.and a receipient of Sitara-e-Imtiaz. He is a member of Aman ki Asha's Textiles Committee.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Page 176 of 175
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