How journalists can promote enduring peace'
Except for Fawzan Hussain and myself, the other 20 journalists in our delegation were first-time visitors to Pakistan. There was great excitement amongst them - only natural given our shared history of thousands of years. I think the visit helped the Mumbai journalists to understand Pakistani society better and how common people think about the socio-economic-political scenario prevailing in their society and region. The common people are clearly for enduring peace.
This visit was unique in many ways. It will help Mumbai journalists in future when write about regional issues and Pakistan. It helped sensitise them. We need to use moderate language and such visits contribute towards this. We are expecting a delegation from the Karachi Press Club to visit Mumbai in March. We need to see how journalists can promote enduring peace between India and Pakistan.
- Jatin Desai, freelance journalist,
coordinator of The Mumbai Press Club visit
To Karachi with love
I am completely overwhelmed by the love and affection shown to me by the people of Pakistan, a country that does not look or feel any different from my own. Throughout my weeklong stint in Karachi, I felt that I could well be in any Indian city.
Your country is so close to mine, and yet it feels so far away. The flight from Mumbai to Karachi took just over an hour. That's less than the time it takes to fly from Mumbai to Delhi. And yet I felt as if I were traversing many mountains to reach a far-away land.
On reaching Pakistan, I never felt that I was in a foreign country. You look the way we do. You dress the way we do. And you speak the same language as us. Except that we call it Hindi and you call it Urdu.
Having grown up hearing about Pakistan being the "enemy country'' I was completely bowled over by the mehman nawazi (hospitality) shown to me by Pakistanis. Landing in Karachi I was moved to tears by the warmth with which our delegation of visiting Indian journalists was received at the airport. We were garlanded with rose petals and welcomed with a huge banner held up by half a dozen people.
I never knew how much the common man on the streets of Karachi loves India. While shopping for clothes at Saddar Bazaar, a middle-aged chaat wallah overheard us say we were Indians and insisted on giving us free cold-drinks "because we were guests" in his country. A branded showroom gave me a discount on a kurta because I was Indian.
I will always cherish these very special memories of a very special place that feels so much like home.
- Anahita Mukherji
Special Correspondent, The Times of India
'People are connected already'
The first reaction that I got after announcing that I'm actually going to Pakistan was in extremes: "Aray waah, Pakistan..!'' and "Aray baap re, Pakistan?''
But for someone who spent his teenage years with Ali Haider's Purani Jeans aur Guitar, this call from his land was something I could not afford to miss.
As a broadcast journalist, I have always had great respect for my Pakistani colleagues. In India, it's relatively easy for us to pursue investigative stories. But the situation in Pakistan demands more than courage to do an investigative story. I remember post 26/11, how Geo News went all the way to Kasab's village, spoke to the villagers and did a story on Kasab's origin. At a time when the world was watching, this TV channel dared to do something that could invite the wrath of their establishment and system and also the people at large. Journalistic principles don't get better than this. So for me it was always "aray waah, Pakistan''.
The first day at Karachi Press Club, entering the gate, I heard "Kem Chho''. I turned back curiously... two gentlemen talking in Gujrati. Around 10 per cent of Karachi's population speaks Gujrati. And you have two full-fledged Gujrati newspapers Watan and Milan, the former started by none other than Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah himself. As a part of the erstwhile Bombay Province, Karachi had around 25,000 Marathi families, reduced now to 117 families.
Seventy per cent of the people I met had an India story to tell... born in Mumbai's Sabu Siddiqui hospital, patang and maanja in Bhindi Bazar, coming to Karachi on the Jal Durga Ship. We didn't encounter any animosity towards Indians. In fact, people go out of their way to be hospitable. Everywhere they spoke of increasing people to people contact, but I feel people are connected already. It's for both the establishments now to take corrective steps. As I said at a programme hosted by Sharmila Farooqui, a beautiful young politician and media advisor to CM of Sindh, the next generation is rebellious, they will ask for Peace and Love as their RIGHT... And mind you, they will not only question the political class, they will seek answers from us as journalists, what did we do for their right? And if we don't have an answer, there couldn't be anything shameful than that.
- Kamlesh Sutar, Special Correspondent, Headlines Today, Aaj Tak TV
Winds of change
Besides the common man, the business community in Pakistan seems to be enthusiastic over the possibility of reestablishing trade relations with India. Many merchants and industry captain we met say that the politicians from both sides are playing vote bank politics by raising Kashmir and other issues. "Let us leave politics to politicians," they say, urging the media to play a positive, constructive role in ensuring that India and Pakistan live in peace and contribute to each other's prosperity.
Pakistan has good coal reserves that can help us set up joint venture power plants on the borders; India and Pakistan could share the electricity produced. Shaan is a huge masala brand in Pakistan, but the irony is that it's made from spices imported from India. Similarly Pakistan textiles, linen in particular, are of a high quality and linen is very expensive in India. We can do wonders if we collaborate.
- B N Kumar, CEO, Concept PR
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Page 189 of 178
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