Karachi: While the melodious Aman Ki Asha anthem played in the background on Sunday at Park Towers, several people penned down their messages of friendship with and peace between India and Pakistan.
This colourful event commemorated the initiative taken by the two largest media groups of Pakistan and India - the Jang Group and The Times of India - to call for peace between the two countries.
Shahrukh Hasan, Group Managing Director of the Jang Group, said that Aman Ki Asha was the first media-led civil society initiative taken to bridge the gap between Pakistan and India. "A majority of the people in both countries want peace. Through the peace process, we are also focusing on major disputes such as Kashmir, the water issue and others which are creating obstacles. Therefore Aman Ki Asha is facilitating an environment which will remove hostility among the masses," he said.
A number of activities were held on the occasion: children had their face painted with hearts and the Aman Ki Asha slogan; and tried their hand at miniature golf. Older ones filled a banner with their messages such as "Pakistan-India Zindabad" (Long live Pakistan and India). Disc jockeys entertained the public, while people sang friendship songs.
While writing their message, a group of students demanded that peace between the two countries was imperative. "No one likes war; we all hope that there is peace. India is very much ahead of us in terms of education and health; we can benefit a lot from them," said Tooba Akhtar.
Fizzah Masood, another visitor, was also in favour of cordial relations between the two countries. She said that it was high time that bitter relations should end. "We have a long history together, and share the same culture, languages and food. It is quite sad that today, the people are so far away from one another, when in reality we are all one," she said.
Shadma, an Indian woman who married a Pakistani man, hoped that the peace process will help waive visa restrictions. "When I was getting married some 11 years ago, I had no idea that it in the future, it would become so difficult to travel across the border. Today, the visa process takes almost three months; and when I get the visa, it just permits to go to one city only. I miss my parents a lot, and wish I could meet them more frequently," she said.
Monday, March 01, 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