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South Asia: Peace Now and Forever - some events on the ground

Sunday 30 July 2017, by siawi3


Peace Now and Forever - some events on the ground

Beena Sarwar
Cambridge, MA

30 juil. 2017 — As Pakistan and India commemorate 70 years of their existence as independent nation states, what is striking is the people’s desire for peace and how those who govern them continue to thwart these aspirations. As media highlight the tensions what goes largely unreported is people on the ground continuing their efforts for peace.
This update shares a few on-the-ground happenings that express the desire for normal relations at the very least.
Art for Peace, Hyderabad, India, 29 July 2017: Day-long Art for Peace event featuring expressions of love for peace and rejection of war in various forms of art and culture — music, theatre, poetry including a Kavi Sammelan and Mushaira, music, documentary films, and panel discussions. Part of the Peace Now and Forever Campaign between Pakistan and India, ongoing in both countries until 15 August 2017, in different cities and towns of. The groups that organised the event included Aman Vedika, Caring Citizens’ Collective, Chindu, COVA, Hyderabad Literary Festival, Sutradhar and The Little Theatre. Members of The Little Theatre Hyderabad read Sadat Hasan Manto’s Titwal Ka Kutta, W.H. Auden’s poem on the Radcliffe Line, and excerpts from Urvashi Butalia’s Partition Stories, concluding Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s classic poem Subh-e-Azadi. The event concluded with Siyah Haashiye, a play based on stories by Sadat Hasan Manto, presented by Vinay Verma and his team from Sutradhar.

Pakistan Ambassador’s Farewell Talk, Delhi, 29 July: The South Asia Forum for Art and Creative Heritage organised a panel discussion with outgoing Pakistan envoy to India, Abdul Basit at the India International Centre. Panelists included prominent journalists Jyoti Malhotra, Vinod Sharma and Nirupama Subramaniam, along with eminent social activist Harsh Mander.
The event, organised just two days earlier after Mr Basit announced his early retirement, drew an enthusiastic and warm response from the audience with many turning up despite the short notice.
The panelists stressed the need for India and Pakistan to normalise relations. “One of the main issues between the two countries is the J&K dispute and then there are other issues linked with it like the Siachen and Sir Creek,” Basit said. He emphasised the importance of dialogue, stressing that both countries must commit to an uninterrupted dialogue process as was done in Sharm el Sheikh, where the nuclear neighbours had taken the decision to separate talks from terrorism.
“We will have a new Pakistan PM by next week and there will be no change in Pakistan government,” said Basit. He noted that while talks might not produce immediate results, engagement is necessary.

UPCOMING - two events in Karachi:
Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy is holding two events in connection with ongoing Peace Now And Forever Campaign:

1. Feminism and Regional Peace
Speakers: Anis Haroon, Rubina Saigol and Abira Ashfaque
Date: 3 August 2017. Time: 11 am.
Venue: Jinnah Medical and Dental College Auditorium, Shaheed-e-Millat Road Karachi.

2. Indo-Pak Relations and Role of Media
Speakers: Wussat Ullah Khan, Zaheda Hina, Mazhar Abbas
Date: 4 August 2017. Time: 4 pm
Venue: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan office, Karachi

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