Prominent women journalists from around the region have joined hands against the war hype between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan. In a joint statement of Sepember 30, 2016, they urge political leaders and their colleagues in the media to exercise restraint and work towards defusing, rather than escalating tensions.
They also urged India and Pakistan to “immediately begin the process of diplomatic engagement through dialogue” and to include Kashmir and Kashmiris in this process.
Below is the text of the statement with signatories’ names. They include well known editors, television anchors, columnists and writers like Jyoti Malhotra, Nasim Zehra, Najiba Ayubi, Bachi Karkaria, Arfa Khanum, Dilrukshi Handunnetti, Kalpana Sharma, Anuradha Bhasin and Asma Shirazi to mention a few.
JOINT STATEMENT BY SOUTH ASIAN WOMEN JOURNALISTS
We, the undersigned, members of South Asian Women in Media (SAWM), condemn the escalating war hysteria in Pakistan and India, and all kinds of violence in word and deed.
We demand the governments and political leaders of both countries to play a responsible role.
We also urge our colleagues in the media to play their role as responsible journalists and work towards de-escalating rather than fanning tensions.
We acknowledge, appreciate and support the sane voices in both countries, including our colleagues in the media who are trying to shape a sensible narrative that rejects outright war and adheres to factual reporting rather than regurgitating militarised discourse.
Last, but as crucially, we assert that the undivided state of Jammu & Kashmir is not a piece of real estate to be squabbled over, but concerns the lives and aspirations of the people who live there.
We urge upon both India and Pakistan to de escalate tensions and immediately begin the process of diplomatic engagement through dialogue to address their respective concerns. Kashmir and Kashmiris must be included in this process.
- Jyoti Malhotra, Freelance Journalist, President SAWM India, New Delhi
- Nasim Zehra, anchor Channel 24, columnist The News, Islamabad
- Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor, KashmirTimes
- Asma Shirazi, senior anchor, Aaj TV
- Bachi Karkaria, Columnist, Times of India, Mumbai
- Najiba Ayubi, Killid Group, Afghanistan
- Nirupama Subramanian, The Indian Express
- Teresa Rehman, Managing Editor, Thumbprint, Treasurer, SAWM India, Guwahati
- Marvi Sirmed, Op Ed writer, Pakistan Today
- Kalpana Sharma, independent Journalist, Mumbai
- Munizae Jahangir, Aaj TV, Islamabad
- Madhumita Datta, Ebela, Kolkata
- Muslim Jan, Editor at Media Department, University of Kashmir
- Mannika Chopra, Independent Journalist, New Delhi
- Arfa Khanum, Rajya Sabha TV, New Delhi
- Farah Zia, Editor, The News on Sunday, Pakistan
- Dr Syeda Afshana, Media Department, University of Kashmir
- Sevanti Ninan, The Hoot, New Delhi
- Dilrukshi Handunnetti, Consultant Editor, Weekend and Daily Express, Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Anita Katyal, Freelance journalist, New Delhi
- Tanzeela Mazhar, Pakistan Television
- Nivedita Jha, Freelance Journalist, Vice President, SAWM India, Patna
- Shuma Raha, Independent Journalist, New Delhi
- Ramya Kannan, The Hindu, Chennai
- Neena Gopal. Deccan Chronicle/The Asian Age. Bangalore
- Uma Sudhir, NDTV, Hyderabad
- Sarada Lahangir, Kalinga TV, Bhubaneswar, India
- Mehmal Sarfraz, independent journalist, Pakistan
- Saroj Razdan, Freelance journalist, Jammu and Kashmir
- Ammu Joseph, Independent Journalist, Bangalore
- Shruti Ganapatye, The Asian Age, Mumbai
- Saroj Nagi, Freelance Journalist, New Delhi
- Maya Mirchandani, NDTV
- Meena Menon, independent journalist, Mumbai
- Swati Bhattacharjee, Ananda Bazar Patrika, General Secretary SAWM India, Kolkata
- Beena Sarwar, Editor, Aman ki Asha, Pakistan