'Aman Ki Asha,' a joint venture
Managing Director, Pakistan International Airlines
"Removing the bottlenecks in the visa issuance process can help the national airlines of both India and Pakistan. The two airlines won't even have to worry about empty seats if that happens. In Karachi alone, there are thousands of Gujrati-speaking people who still have relatives in Indian Gujrat.
Just in this month of Muharram, PIA arranged four extra 747 flights for members of the Bohra community who went to India to see their spiritual leader. These are the sort of ties the two countries have. And there is much more. Besides the religious traffic, the whole world is visiting India. There is a lot of potential for tourist traffic from Pakistan.
PIA in its capacity as the national airline will support anyone who tries to normalise the relations between two countries. About 25,000 passengers travel across the border as pilgrims and this number could be much more.
I was in India early last year to attend an aviation conference. People there were really upset because of terrorist attacks in Mumbai and probably because of that there was not much enthusiasm amongst the airlines to come here.
But I maintain there is a lot of potential. I even suggested that let's resolve the visa issues and allow the national airlines to sponsor tourist traffic in line with the practice in Saudi Arabia during Hajj. This way, the airline will be responsible to ensure that a tourist is not slipping away. --Saad Hasan
Chairman, Ruet-e-Hilal Committee
"Until and unless the Kashmir dispute is resolved, there can't be any real 'Aman ki Aasha' between Pakistan and India. So the Jang Group and Times of India first should focus on this core issue as only when it is solved can there be long-term peace and harmony between the two nations."
Abdul Sattar Edhi
"Aman between the two countries is extremely important so that they can work in unison to combat poverty and unemployment. Whenever I am given the opportunity by our government to start my service there, I will immediately start my ambulance service in Calcutta and other cities, and would open up centres and shelter homes all over India."
Social activist and
"Peace to me is an abstract term, and I believe that there cannot be actual peace until and unless the diplomatic ties improve. This is because if relations remain hostile, they can have a negative influence on the citizens. Although I have performed in India, but would love to go again anytime to promote peace as I believe that no two humans can be enemies."
Prestige Communications/Grey Group
I think this is a wonderful initiative by the Jang group and the Times of India. To get the largest media group of India to partner this campaign is in itself an achievement. I was delighted to read the results of the survey conducted in India and Pakistan; it confirmed what we had always known - that the people of the two countries desire peace. Naturally, this peace will not be at the expense of national interest, but in fact it will be in the best national interest.
Both countries stand to benefit tremendously through the dividends of peace; the cost of not having peace has been prohibitive and both countries have suffered economically and culturally. It is also important that now that the government and the military have launched a sustained and successful action against terrorists, the world should also see this wonderful peace blitz by our media and our civil society. It is about time that we did things that will we can be proud of and which will enable us to hold our heads high in the comity of nations.
The people in both countries are fed with the 6 decade old state of hostilities and trading of accusations. They want to reap the benefits of peace. I commend both media groups for this wonderful initiative and wish them every success.
Human Rights activist
"The project is a good initiative but it needs a lot of following up for its sustainability. The step taken by the two media groups is no doubt commendable, but I suggest that the project should reach out to people from all walks of life, and not just those who are already famous. There is no other alternative apart from peace, which can bury the past, and therefore we have to make constant efforts to promote it."
Founding Director, Pakistan Human Development Fund
"When governments fail to bring peace, the responsibility falls on the civil society and the fourth estate – that is the media. There is a genuine need for peace between the two countries. Even though the process will take time, and [walking this] path is a slow process, I am optimistic about it as no one wants war and tension. And the results would be fruitful."
Minister for Youth Affairs, Sindh
"Previously, we had seen severe media bashing on both sides of the border, but now with the launch of this project, I am hopeful that the two media groups will come forth to promote peace sincerely. I congratulate the Jang Group from the bottom of my heart, and encourage them wholeheartedly as good relations would also lead to an exchange of education, culture and health."
"Media has always been more active than politicians in promoting peace. In this project, the media has to reach the common people, especially the ones living in the rural areas as we have to change the mindsets of these people. The focus should be on the common people, and not on the elite. Being a journalist, I feel that the step is a boost for the press, as the exchange of stories, especially human-interest stories, will definitely play a vital role in bridging the gap between the two countries, and promote love and harmony between the two."
Patron, Pakistan-Hindu Council
"This step is beneficial for the Hindu community, especially as, if the two media groups succeed in achieving their goals, then my Hindu brothers and sisters can visit the historical temples and houses of worship in India, and interact with our community living there, and participate in the religious festivals and congregations."
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