Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Indo-Pak Peace :: Pritam K. Rohila

Lately, government officials from both sides of the Indo-Pak border have been making right kind of noises in support of peace between the two countries. We hope they really mean it, and pursue it diligently till they succeed.

Surely, it will not be an easy task. In order to accomplish this long-awaited dream of many Indians and Pakistani, they will have to be sagacious and far-sighted. They will need to look beyond their instinctive fears and anxieties, and allow greater role for their wisdom in their deliberations. They should transcend their turbulent history, and overcome mutual suspicions. Finally they better rein in the rogue elements among them, so that any misadventure does not derail the process.

Otherwise any agreement they come to will meet the same fate the Tashkent, Shimla, and Lahore agreements did.

Peace between India and Pakistan is essential not only for a better future of these nations, but also for prosperity and security of the whole South Asian region.

It is too important an issue to be left to the whims of the fickle and weak governments. It is time that the peoples of India and Pakistan assert themselves. They should make their governments heed the needs of the common man, rather than work for preservation of their own power and position.

In this context we are gratified to note that two major news organizations, the Times of India Group and the Jang Group have launched Aman Ki Asha. So far they have succeeded in bringing together intellectuals, business persons, and ex-officials from the two countries. Also they have provided a forum for common people, particularly the youth, to express their own aspirations for peace.

Organizations like Pakistan Peace Coalition, Chandigarh’s Yuva-satta, and Lahore-based Institute for Peace & Secular Studies continue to play an active role. Credit must be given to Indian organizations like the Asha Parivar, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Centre for Harmony and Peace, All India Secular Forum, and Anhad; and Pakistani groups like Faisalabad-based Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation, and Toba Tek Singh’s St. Peter’s High School, who are busy promoting harmony within their own neighborhoods and cities. Their work will provide a firmer basis for peace between India and Pakistan.

For the sake of the future of your and our children, we earnestly hope that you too will join these efforts. Won’t you, please?

Article by:
Dr. Pritam Rohila
the Executive Director of ACHA, the Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (

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