Speakers at this and at other events held during the week urged the governments to make the visa process easier, re-establish consulates in Karachi and Mumbai and increase the number of journalists allowed to work across the border. At present, only two journalists each from India and Pakistan are stationed at Islamabad and New Delhi respectively. A suggestion was also made to re-start ferry services between Mumbai and Karachi to enable people to travel more affordably, particularly families and small businessmen. Last November, the Press Clubs of Mumbai and Karachi established sisterly relations after a delegation organised by the Press Club of Mumbai visited Pakistan, co-hosted by the Karachi Press Club and the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER).
These reciprocal goodwill visits are part of the Press Clubs' joint initiative to improve people-topeople contacts, reduce stereotypes and contribute towards lasting peace in the region. "We have talked enough about building peaceful relationships between the countries, now let us concentrate on the real issues affecting the people of both the countries" said speakers at a media conclave held in Navi Mumbai at the end of a week-long visit by the 14- member Pakistani media delegation. "Increasing tension between India and Pakistan, piling up of arms worth billions of dollars helps only arms merchants of the US and other countries; it is not at all in the interests of poverty-stricken India and Pakistan," said Pakistan delegation leader Tahir Hasan Khan, president of Karachi Press Club and Special Correspondent of The News International. "We have seen homeless people sleeping on the pavements of Mumbai.
We see this in Karachi and other cities of Pakistan too."
The governments should spend more on poverty alleviation and creating jobs rather than mindless spending on purchase of arms that helps only the western powers "at the cost of our own people," he said. Journalists from Mumbai threw pointed questions at their Pakistan colleagues, seeking their opinion and role as the US used Pakistan as its base and helped in arms build-up. Sagar Naik, the young Navi Mumbai Mayor who was Chief Guest at the media conclave held on May 26, 2012, said he was pained that both India and Pakistan were busy "erecting high walls of defence while our homes are becoming hollow." "It is just not Pakistan, the US has been successfully fooling even India only to suit its arms manufacturers," said Karamat Ali, Executive Director of PILER. He reminded the audience of how America kept Pakistan hanging for years in an F- 16 bomber deal and finally delivered the planes only to save 5,000 workers of its defence manufacturers. And when India protested against this, the US it offered F-18 planes.
"Thus, you can see it was the US that benefited by keeping India and Pakistan at loggerheads". "Let us leave the knotty issues of Kashmir and Siachen to be tackled at the government levels. As people we must together concentrate in handling common problems of roti, kapra and makaan (food, clothing and shelter)," he said drawing loud applause. Journalist Jatin Desai, who has been active in Indo-Pak peace issues, said it was high time that media from both countries addressed the real issues affecting the neighbours. The discussions focused on increased media cooperation to build lasting peace in the region and improved trade relations which will help create jobs in both the countries. During their visit, the Pakistan delegation had a hectic schedule in Mumbai. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Home Minister R. R. Patil, and Public Works Minister Chagan Bhujbal hosted lunches and dinners for them. There were seminars and discussions hosted by the Press Club, Mumbai Marathi Paytrakar Sangh and Vidhi Mandal Patrakar Sangh, and visits to landmarks like the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Gateway of India - and a chat with Bollywood star Aamir Khan. Maharashtra Home Minister R. R. Patil promised to actively take up the issue of easing the visa regime between the neighbouring countries. He said the media has a major role to play in the Indo-Pak peace process, as government efforts alone would not suffice. He also promised to join an Indian media delegation when they visit Pakistan next. His personal interest in the Pakistani journalists'' visit ensured that their visit went flawlessly. At the BSE, which has an ongoing collaboration with the Karachi Stock Exchange, BSE acting CEO Ashish Chauhan offered courses conducted by BSE to the Pakistan journalists to further their knowledge. The Mumbai and Karachi Press Clubs are setting up a joint media working group to work out ways to exchange information and increase media collaborations. They have also agreed to set up an Information Exchange on their web sites. -aka
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Page 191 of 174
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