Sunday, July 04, 2010

Let us make friends, not enemies; peace, not war

According to recent reports, in Pakistan, there are influential media barons, military and government officials, and political leaders, who consider nuclear weapons their ‘crown jewels’. They would like to start a nuclear war against India, even if a couple of their own cities are also destroyed in the process. They regard peacemakers as conspiring to turn Pakistan into ‘slaves of Hindus’. I am sure there are people like that in India as well.

In both countries, there are individuals, who profit from the disproportionate military expenditure and from the illegal and third-country trade between India and Pakistan. There are those who thrive on propagation of hate against people across the border and would like to keep the old wounds open.

They do not care if their own people suffer in the process. It does not matter to them if many are deprived of two meals a day, clean drinking water, decent education, primary healthcare and other basic amenities. They could care less, if the very security and integrity of their own nation are at risk, due to their misguided notions.

If you believe in the importance of peace for peace and security of Pakistan as well as India, you have to assert yourself to counter the self-destructive efforts of hawks and hate-mongers.

You must actively work to ensure success of Aman ki Asha, a unique peace initiative launched on January 1, 2010, by Times of India ( and the Jang Group (

Also you should help persuading the governments of India and Pakistan to make it easier for people to travel across their common border. More people of the two countries meet each other, the easier it would be for them to overcome mutual suspicions, and bridge their trust-gap.

In this context, you might consider signing the petition of the Association for Communal Harmony in Asia ( to the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan to “Make it Easier for People from India and Pakistan to Travel and Meet Each Other.” It is now available for your signatures online at

We have wasted more than six decades being enemies. In the process, we have hurt ourselves at least as much, as we might have hurt the other side. It is time we change our ways, and give up the old habits.

Let us make friends, not enemies; peace, not war.

Dr. Pritam K. Rohila
He is the Executive Director of the Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (

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