Posted on January 6, 2014 by beenasarwar
My column PERSONAL POLITICAL published in The News, TOI blogs, and Aman ki Asha
Kiran Soomro: “I want to live”.
Nitu Jiwnani: “Save Kiran”
By Beena Sarwar
“Didi, I want to live,” 16-year old Kiran Soomro in Karachi tells her friend Nitu Jiwnani in Mumbai. “I don’t want to die.”
They are talking on Skype in Sindhi as they often do, since first meeting at Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, in May 2013.
Kiran had gone there with her parents to undergo surgery for her congenital heart defect (“hole in the heart”) that should have been operated upon when she was much younger. But her father Sikandar Ali Soomro, a tall, thin matriculate who earns daily wages selling potato wafers at a Karachi roadside stall could not afford the operation. Her parents were resigned to losing Kiran, a weak and sickly child.
But she wouldn’t give up. Pulled out of school when she was in class five, Kiran studied at home. A few years ago, as a spunky teenager, she realised that without the surgery, she would die. Continue reading
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: congenital heart ailment, Dr Shetty, hole in heart, India, Kiran Soomro, Naryana Hrudalya, Pakistan, Sindh TV | 4 Comments »
Posted on December 6, 2013 by beenasarwar
Mahesh Bhatt’s forthcoming play is creating a media buzz
My article in the Aman ki Asha page of The News, Dec 4, and in the TOI blog
Play for peace: Mahesh Bhatt’s ‘Milne Do’
A behind-the-scenes look at what is driving a veteran film producer and peace activist’s fourth stage production, coming up
By Beena Sarwar
It was Google’s “Reunion” ad released on the web that pushed Delhi-based actor Imran Zahid to move on an idea that he has been thinking about for some time, creating waves in the media.
Last week Imran messaged me, asking for story ideas for a stage play “to promote Aman ki asha and the concept of ‘Milne do’ (let them meet) to be staged in various cities of India and Pakistan in association with Mahesh Bhatt Saab”. Continue reading
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: Activism, aman ki asha, Arvind Gaur, Imran Zahid, India, Mahesh Bhatt, milne do, Pakistan, Peace, theatre | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 7, 2013 by beenasarwar
Like father like son: Samir and Kshitij Gupta
My article published in The News oped, TOI blogs and Aman ki Asha on Monday, Nov 4, 2013
“Why are India and Pakistan at war?”
Some days ago I got a call from my friend Samir Gupta, on his way home after picking up his son, 14-year old Kshitij, from a Delhi train station late at night. Kshitij was returning from a school trip with some 30 other students from Delhi Public School, Ghaziabad. They’d taken an early morning train to Amritsar and watched the flag-lowering ceremony at Wagah Border.
Samir, a passionate advocate of peace and good relations between India and Pakistan, asked Kshitij about the trip. Continue reading
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: India, Pakistan, Peace activism, Samir Gupta, wagah, war | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 2, 2013 by beenasarwar
Fishing in Troubled Waters, launched in Delhi, Aug 13, 2013
Update: See ‘A half-full glass‘ on the Singh-Sharif meeting at UNGA (and the ‘dehati aurat’ brouhaha), published in the Aman ki Asha page in The News on Oct 2, and in my column at TOI blogs.
This is a long-pending post, compiling articles, video and photo links (below) following my recent, brief trip to India at a time when tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) were running high. The Programme for Social Action (PSA) and the Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) had invited me to a seminar on Aug 13, where they launched two publications. (I took the direct Karachi-Delhi PIA flight both ways, which has since then been discontinued — apparently not enough traffic because it’s so difficult to get visas; credit where credit is due – PIA is the only Southasian airline to fly to all the regional capitals and more).
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: Allahabad, Alok Rai, Bharat Bhushan, Fisherfolk, India, Jatin Desai, Karamat Ali, Lalit Joshi, loc, Loc tensions, Mani Shankar Aiyer, Pakistan, PIA regional, PIPFPD, Raja Mohan, Ramjas College, Siachen | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 15, 2013 by beenasarwar
‘Bowl out polio’: Pakistani cricketers Younis Khan and Imran Farhat give polio drops to a child at a UNICEF event in New Delhi, Jan 2013. Photo: PTI
Here’s something I wrote for Aman ki Asha recently, published in the June 5, 2013 edition:
India and Pakistan are working together against a common enemy. Pakistan’s new government must take up the baton
By Beena Sarwar
Over the past year, Pakistan has been studying how India dramatically eradicated polio, with the World Health Organisation striking it off its list of polio endemic countries in February 2012; the last case was recorded in January 2011. Continue reading
Filed under: Health, Pakistan-India | Tagged: CDC, Dr Hamid Jafari, India, Pakistan, polio, Rotary, Shahid Afridi, Ulema | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 28, 2013 by beenasarwar
Tracing a peace sign together via a giant web-cam
Here’s something I wrote about how a soft drink giant creatively connected Indians and Pakistanis with ‘the other side’, with a three-minute video that was easily the most shared link on the Aman ki Asha facebook group last week (not that it’s going to get me to start drinking Coke, or any other soda); published in the Aman ki Asha page in The News, May 22, 2013
Quenching the thirst for peace
An innovative idea connects Indians and Pakistanis with ‘the other side’
“It saddens me that we have neighbours that we can’t even go visit.”
“The perception is that they’re the bad guy. But when you actually meet them you realise they’re just like me.” Continue reading
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: coca cola, csr, India, Pakistan, Peace | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 21, 2013 by beenasarwar
My article in the weekly Aman ki Asha page in The News today.
Speaking at MIT recently, invited by an Indian colleague, a leading Pakistani academic and physicist makes the case for peace
Indian and Pakistani scientists for peace: Pervez Hoodbhoy and Subrata Ghoshroy last week at MIT
By Beena Sarwar
In the midst of ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan amplified by hyper media on both sides, an Indian scientist warmly introduces a Pakistani colleague at one of the world’s most prestigious universities – and that too for a talk on “Pakistan’s Bomb – Past, Present, and Future”.
The Indian scientist is Subrata Ghoshroy who leads the Promoting Nuclear Stability in South Asia Project at the Science, Technology and Global Security working group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Pakistani scientist is Pervez Hoodbhoy, Professor of Physics, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, an alumnus of MIT where he obtained his BS, MS, and Ph.D degrees. Continue reading
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: India, nuclear, Pakistan, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Princ, Subrata Ghoshroy, Zia Mian | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 28, 2013 by beenasarwar
Sharing here a screen grab from one of the most horrific videos of cold-blooded killings I’ve come across, that was posted by Dr. Omar Ali to his blog today. The incident probably took place about nine months ago, and those killed were probably Shia Hazaras; the video has been shared on facebook. Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Omar Ali’s post:
It took a lot of work (partition, two nation theory,Punjab holocaust, madressas, CIA, ISI) to get to this level of cold blooded hatred. And of course, the roots go back much further, all the way into our species and its biological evolution (though like Ghataprabha, I too fantasize about the goodness of the folk versus the evil of the elite, but then..)…anyhow, whatever the cause, these particular dogs are now rabid. Continue reading
Filed under: 'War on terror', Human rights | Tagged: Afghanistan, India, LEJ, Pakistan, shia killings, SSG | 3 Comments »