"Hope for Peace" at UT Dallas. Photo: Raja Zahid Khanzada

The cost of conflict in South Asia

The South Asia Democracy Watch in association with the Asia Center, University of Texas, Dallas, held a seminar last weekend titled ‘Aman ki Asha and the Cost of Conflict in South Asia’.

All four panelists stressed the need to ease visa restrictions and allow people to travel and trade for the betterment of the region.

Dr Nyla Khan who teaches at the University of Oklahoma and is a granddaughter of Sheikh Abdullah stressed the importance of pluralism, accountability for human rights violations, and a sustained, uninterrupted democratic political process.

Houston-based Rotarian Sunil Sharma talked about the importance of devoting all possible resources towards peace building. Medical practitioner Pritpal Singh of SADW highlighted the importance of trade and the need to change attitudes. Editor Aman ki Asha, Jang Group Beena Sarwar outlined the ideas behind the initiative and the response it has generated.

The presentations were followed by a lively question-answer session and reception.

“A dream come true”

On the KBC set: Ali Zafar with superstar Bachchan. Photo: Publicity

On the KBC set: Ali Zafar with superstar Bachchan. Photo: Publicity

Pakistani heartthrob Ali Zafar wowed Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan on the Big B’s popular Kaun Banega Crorepati show which he participated in to promote his new film, Yash Raj Bollywood movie Kill Dil along with fellow actors Parineeti Chopra, Ranveer Singh and veteran Govinda. The audience went wild when Ali entered the set.

“I grew up watching his films and songs,” said Zafar, who also draws and had gifted Bachcan a sketch he did at age 13. “He adored it and asked me to draw him ‘live,’ even as the episode was going on. It was a dream come true”.

The versatile young actor/singer also did an impromptu performance, strumming an acoustic guitar. He sang a medley of Bachchan’s old hits including ‘Chookar mere mann ko,’ ‘My name is Anthony Gonsalves,’ ‘Angrezi mein kehte hai,’ ‘Jaha teri yeh nazar hai,’ and ‘Yeh dosti’.

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