Peace hankies + trade + business = reduce hostilities

Happy Home School students display their Aman ki Asha 'peace hankies'. Photo: Naqeebur Rehman

Another Aman ki Asha event in the offing -‘Partners in peace and progress‘, the trade and investment meeting between top Indian and Pakistani business executives, taking place in Delhi May 18-19, 2010. This is the latest in the chain of events since the initiative was launched on Jan 1, 2010, by two media giants of Pakistan and India. Since then, there have been several events in both countries – literary festivals, music concerts, mushaira, editors and anchors’ meeting, a seminar on strategic issues, the ongoing peace hankies campaign, and now this major economic conference. The coverage of these events in the media, especially the sponsoring media groups Jang, News, Times of India and Geo TV, has created a buzz around peace. Crucially, it has helped to create ‘an enabling environment’, as Geo TV President Imran Aslam terms it, that may well have contributed to the thaw in India Pakistan relations. (For more peace hankies photos see my Flickr site). For those cynics and the critics – yes we all know peace is not going to happen overnight, but when the critical mass of people is clearly for it, it might not be so far away as it once had seemed.

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