With a clarion call to end the use of hate language like "traditional rivals" while reporting events related to India and Pakistan, a media conclave on Tuesday called for creating an environment for improving relations between the two neighbours.
The Press Club Mumbai, celebrating Karachi Week on the occasion of the visit of a Pakistani media delegation to Mumbai, hosted the conclave on the "Role of Media in Indo-Pak Relations", said a press release issued by the press club.
Karamat Ali, executive director, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), pointed out that journalists covering cricket matches between the two countries always described them as traditional rivals. "Even in Pakistan, the Urdu media refers to them as Azli Dushman, which means eternal rivals as if we have been enemies right from the creation of the world," he said and urged journalists to make a beginning to end the language of hatred between India and Pakistan.
Ali said both the governments should allow "visa on arrival" on the lines of the travel facility that they have with Nepal and Sri Lanka. Easing the movement of people between the two countries would go a long way in establishing regional peace, he added.
Tahir Hasan Khan, president of the Karachi Press Club, pointed out that the journalists were not part of the armies of both nations and should avoid the language of hatred. "We are the people and we report to the people. We the media persons, hence, should report on people related developments and contribute to maintaining peace and harmony between our nations," he said.Khan also made a strong plea for liberalising the visa regime between India and Pakistan.
Gurbir Singh, president of the Press Club Mumbai, likened the barriers between India and Pakistan to the great "Berlin Wall" and said "this has to be demolished".
Pointing out that the media had a major role to play in improving the relations between the neighbouring nations, Singh said The Press Club Mumbai had initiated the exchange of media visits and this movement would gain momentum in future. "We hope to have visits from other press clubs to various Pakistan cities and vice versa," he said.
Jatin Desai, journalist and Indo-Pak peace activist, regretted that the governments of both India and Pakistan allowed just two journalists to represent in each other's countries. "This obviously limits the scope of reporting by media," he said.
B N Kumar, Executive Director of Concept PR, suggested setting up an "Information Exchange" on the websites of the Mumbai and Karachi press clubs, as well as starting the process of sharing information and news between media persons.
The process of the governments allowing media reporting could take their own time, but media organisations from India and Pakistan should take the initiative and make use of the information technology, he added.
Journalists from Mumbai and Pakistan had informal talks and exchanged views. The Pakistan delegates evinced a great interest in knowing about the media in India.
The visiting delegates, along with a team from The Press Club Mumbai, attended an informal dinner hosted by Maharashtra Public Works Minister Chagan Bhujbal on Monday night.
The Pakistan delegation is representing leading newspapers and channels, including The News, Daily Jang, Geo News, Dawn, and ARY News, and the delegates are members of either the Karachi Press Club or the Hyderabad Press Club. Most of them are visiting India for the first time.
They have been invited by The Press Club Mumbai as a reciprocal arrangement under which the Karachi Press Club and the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research jointly hosted a Mumbai media delegation in November last year.
Both Mumbai and Karachi press clubs have established a sisterly relationship.
The media representatives will have interaction with leaders of various political parties, industry leaders, journalists, social activists and common people.
They are also scheduled to visit Prithviraj Chavan, the chief minister of Maharashtra, and Home Minister R R Patil. They will also visit the BSE as well as a couple of newspapers and news channels' offices.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
By Bilal Zub .....more
our common humanity and quest for peace
From: Siraj Khan
Sent: Wed, .....more
As we sat in the function room at .....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