Indian, Pakistani students participate in "Exchange for Change"
"Exchange for Change", a project launched with the aim of bridging the gap between India and Pakistan through oral histories exchanged among school children, entered its final leg last Thursday with children from Pakistan visiting the friends they made in India over the course of the programme.
Organised by Indian NGO Routes to Roots in collaboration with Pakistani NGO Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP), the 16-month-long programme was executed in three stages: first, children from both countries wrote letters addressed to "My friend" across the border; second, they sent scrapbooks of drawings depicting different aspects of their lives; finally, they exchanged pictures of their families and surroundings using cameras provided by the NGO. The children, in their interaction with a "friend across the border" realised that the similarity in both cultures.
Pakistani students who participated in the programme visited India for a week. They met their Indian friends at St. Paul's School on Thursday and attended the assembly. The St. Paul students recited a poem, enacted a skit and introduced their friend from Pakistan to yoga and dance.
"The 'Exchange for Change' programme has tried to inculcate the values and cultures of both countries in these students. With this final step we have tried to strengthen the friendship that already exists between these students," said Routes to Roots director Rakesh Gupta.
"Observing the environment and witnessing historical monuments and religion will give these children a clearer picture of our values."
The itinerary of the Pakistani students included visits to B. R. Mehta School and Sanskriti School, local markets and malls, historical monuments like the India Gate, Taj Mahal, Red Fort, and Lotus Temple, and religious sites like Akshardham Temple, Sisganj Gurdwara and Jama Masjid. The aim was also to provide them with glimpses of the religions and cultures of Delhi.
"When we launched this project, we believed that this was one small step towards enabling our next generation to build bridges with India," said Swaleha Alam Shahzada, a CAP governing board member. "Once we crossed Wagha, we knew that we have made a giant leap in our shared history. Our stories are the same - we just need to share them."
- 'The Hindu'
India, Pakistan doctors perform
joint liver transplant in Lahore
A team of Indian and Pakistani surgeons jointly performed a complicated liver transplant procedure at Lahore's Shiekh Zayed Hospital on Feb 10, the first time such a procedure was conducted in Pakistan.
Living donor liver transplantations (LDLT) are "highly sensitive and complicated" surgical procedures as two lives - the donor and recipient- are at risk, doctors said.
The joint operations were done by Indian surgeon Subash Gupta, a senior transplant doctor of Apollo Hospital, Delhi, along three of his colleagues and a three-member Pakistani team comprising Tariq Bangash, Khawar Shahzad and Umer Ali.
"The joint venture of leading Indian and Pakistani transplant surgeons has made history by opening a new era of living-relative liver transplants in Pakistan," Dr Bangish said.
The first liver transplant was performed on Khanum Maula with the liver donated by his relative Irshad Bibi. The second surgery was conducted on 45-year-old Abida Parveen with the liver donated by her 19-year-old son. Both recipients were brought to Shaikh Zayed Hospital with complete liver failures.
It took 12 hours for the surgeons to complete each sensitive procedure. The Pakistani surgeons had requested the Indian doctors to come to Pakistan to perform the transplants. Surgeons at Shaikh Zayed Hospital finalised arrangements for the operations, preparing the donors and recipients before the arrival of the Indian doctors.
India, Pakistan agree to dismantle trade barriers
India and Pakistan are committed to dismantling all non-tariff barriers to boost bilateral trade and strengthen business and economic relations, commerce ministers of the two countries said on Monday. India's Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, who on Monday started a four-day visit to Pakistan, said the government of India was committed to strengthening bilateral business and economic relations with Pakistan.
"All barriers of trade will be dismantled," Sharma said in a joint media briefing with his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Amin Fahim after entering Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah road border crossing.
Sharma is leading to Pakistan the largest Indian business delegation comprising chief executives of over 100 companies.
"There is an expressed wish and commitment from both the governments and among us to act and you will see during the course of this visit there will be new bonds of understanding to strengthen the relationship," Sharma, who also holds ministry of textiles portfolio, said. Pakistan's Commerce Minister Fahim said his government was acting fast to remove non-tariff barriers.
"We are moving fast and we will reach our targets," Fahim said. The Indian minister, accompanied by a large delegation of government officials, media persons and business leaders, is on a reciprocal visit to Pakistan at the invitation of his Pakistani counterpart.
Fahim visited India with an 80-member business delegation in September 2011. During that visit, the two ministers agreed to increase bilateral trade to $6 billion in three years from the $2.7 billion mark recorded in 2010-11. Both ministers said they were hopeful to achieve the targets of increasing the bilateral trade.
- IBN Live
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Maleeha Lodhi stresses free but fair mutual trade; Shahid Malik wants political harmony for sustainable peace process; Sharat Sabh .....more
Designs of enemies of peace must be frustrated: PM
Babar Dogar & Faizan Bangash
Terms improved ties with India a cherished goal; calls .....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