Hope and prayers for Siachen martyrs
News of the avalanche early Saturday morning that buried alive 150 Pakistani soldiers at a base camp at Siachen led to fervent prayers for the safety of the men, on both sides of the border. Many Indians on twitter sent their prayers and best wishes and urged their government to offer to help - which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did, during his meeting with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari the next day. The tragedy also catalysed calls to de-militarise the world's highest battlefield (6,700 metres or 22,000 feet above sea level, with temperatures plunging to a bone-chilling minus 60 degrees C). The contentious area is only 900 square miles (2,300 km2) and is uninhabitable. Over 2,000 Pakistani and 4,000 Indian soldiers have died due to the Siachen conflict - most casualties and injuries brought on by the harsh weather conditions rather than combat. Official figures for maintaining these outposts are estimated at $300 million for India and $200 million for Pakistan, annually.
Dr. Stephen Cohen, the well known Washington-based South Asia analyst, has called the Siachen conflict "a fight between two bald men over a comb". As he says: "Siachen... is not militarily important... They (Indian and Pakistani armies) are there for purely psychological reasons, testing each other's 'will'." It's time to put this considerable will to use for the good of the people of the region.
Naseeruddin Shah: "Zinda Bhaag"
Well known Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah is completing work on his Pakistani-Punjabi debut "Zinda Bhaag", a bilingual feature film co-directed by an Indian and Pakistani, Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi, and produced by Mazhar Zaidi. The film is based on the subject of illegal immigration, Shah told the media. "This is a big problem in Pakistan and India because overpopulation and lack of opportunities makes people desperate to flee to supposedly greener pastures."
"It is a low budget film that seeks to break the Pakistani film stereotype," according to Mazhar Zaidi. "We would like to release it simultaneously in Pakistan and India."
Bulbul-e-Kashmir sings for peace
Famed Mumbai-based singer Seema Anil Sehgal was in Lahore last weekend at the invitation of the Faiz Foundation. 'I sing for the peace and harmony of all communities'. My only purpose is to establish peace and communal harmony in India through my music," says the petite singer, who was in Pakistan with her husband Sqd Ldr Anil Sehgal and their son Kartikey, an actor, writer and music composer.
Shahs visit Faiz Ghar
While in Lahore, Naseeruddin Shah and his wife Ratna Pathak Shah visited Faiz Ghar, a non-profit organisation run by the poet's family and participated in a music class and a ghazal sing-along session led by Ustaad Basharat Butt.
Naseeruddin Shah talked about his love for Faiz's inspiring work and said he would love to work for the cause of Faiz which includes Pak-India harmony.
"People are easily driven by passions and when we move forward two steps, we have to take a step back which is painful at times," he said, commenting on India-Pakistan relations. "What we have got is hope that one day things will be improved. To make people understand it is important to make economic progress. We are suffering in poverty at both ends and until we solve the basic issues, giving emotional stability at both ends is next to impossible."
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
ISLAMABAD: The ongoing water contentions between India and Pakistan in the context of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 (IWT) place before us four dif .....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