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Aman ki Asha

Pulling strings of peace

TNN, 26 June 2010, Times of India

Between the two gates, they shook hands and tied a knot of friendship linking the strings of hankies from Pakistan and India. For fleeting seconds , it was like nations forged together, borders made irrelevant. As an onlooker said, "It was goosebumps time." Then one row of kids pulled one string into India while the other string made its passage of peace into Pakistan. At the end, the atmosphere was electric with both sides having a string of India-Pakistan messages. Their kerchiefs fluttered in the wind but their feet were dug deep into the ground as they waved. The event may have taken all of 10 minutes but it marked a historic first where children cheered their conviction that peace can, and will, find a way.



Beyond Borders: The Road Not Yet Taken

by Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali, 24 Jun 2010, Times of India

The Indian government was willing to accept Hindu and Sikh refugees from Pakistan, but did not want north Indian Muslim refugees to return to India and claim Indian citizenship. By September 1948, the Pakistani government had imposed a parallel permit system, in large part to prevent Muslims in India from coming to West Pakistan. The excruciating passport and visa system for Indian and Pakistani passport holders - visas issued only for specific cities and requiring invitations, endorsements and police reporting - are remnants of the permit system.


Culture Currency: Cash in on shared love for music & Movies

20May 2010, Tmes of India.

Media has to be the critical navigator to chart a new India-Pakistan course,said GEO TV president Imran Aslam in what was easily the most eloquent speech on Tuesday morning.It is only the media that has the power - constructive and destructive that can set an agenda,disseminate new ideas,list the soundness of these concepts and reach the critical mass that has eluded us.It is this media that can change mindsets.


Lasting peace will flow through the energy corridor

19 May 2010, Times of India

Pakistan's potential of becoming an energy corridor between India, West and Central Asia besides the Caspian region provides the most robust basis for co-operation and peace between New Delhi and Islamabad. This single initiative has the economic and social underpinnings to catapult Pakistan from an energy transit state to a window of development for the entire South Asia, including itself and India.


Step out of the old and into the new: FM

19 May 2010, Times of India.

South Asia is the least integrated region compared to East Asia, Latin America, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa or sub-Saharan Africa. Other successful regional cooperation and integration initiatives have demonstrated that regional cooperation is a win-win and positive-sum situation that is beneficial to the entire region.

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