One of Dr Chishty's daughters wrote to Aman ki Asha seeking to bring about his return. Aman ki Asha approached Justice Markandey Katju, the same Indian Supreme Court judge in response to whose appeal Pakistan had freed Indian prisoner Gopal Das who had spent two decades in jail. The judge set in motion the legal effort for Dr Chishty's release. The appeal by prominent Indians who have taken up the case with zeal is a follow-up and continuation of this effort. They have sent a letter to the Indian president urging the release of the aged prisoner. It is signed by veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar, film-maker Mahesh Bhatt, journalist Jatin Das, retired Indian naval chief Admiral L. Ramdas, and Kavita Srivastava of the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties, an NGO that has been trying to help Dr Chishty over the past many years. It is hoped that the Indian media too will highlight the case and press for an old man to return home "alive" as his daughter put it. The case of Dr Chishty had once received wide attention. Through the years he has essentially been forgotten, in his own country as well as in India. The campaign now launched brings the case into the limelight once more. This is the first stage in securing the release of the doctor. Humanity demands that he be set free. No purpose can be served by holding a sick man in a foreign jail. It must be hoped also that the recent thaw in ties between Pakistan and India can work in favour of Dr Chishty, as it did in the case of Gopal Das. He has been convicted by a lower court and a higher court may overturn the sentence. The one thing Dr Chishty does not have, as his daughter said, is time. We hope that the Indian courts will order his release on humanitarian grounds. The effort being made for the release of Dr Chishty points to the immense importance of groups and people coming together for a cause. We believe such initiatives can make a big difference in the lives of individuals when they inspire people to work to mitigate the plight of their fellow human beings. And if it is true of individuals - and if initiatives like Aman ki Asha are owned and embraced by civil society and political leaders - there is every reason to believe that the two great nations of the subcontinent will benefit immensely from a more collective and social expression of the basic humanity we share with each other.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
If there was a theme that dominated the first day of the Indo-Pak business conference, was the four-letter word: visa. Speakers from both sides .....more
LAHORE: Can fast-tracking trade relations between India and Pakistan and acceler .....more
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The News on Sunday Special Report: India Pakistan prisoners more editions
We probably didn't need to do this Special Report. Newspaper stories don't matter when it comes to Indians in Pakistani jails and vice versa. In fact, 'vice versa' sums it up. We do to them what they do to us.
Except when the two countries decide to begin talking, yet again! This time a little before the foreign secretary level talks, some Pakistani prisoners were released by India (and vice versa must have happened) and some more were release....read more
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