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.

2 Responses

  1. […] This cup of tea was served by: Journeys to democracy […]


  2. Excuse me, this ‘Aman ki Asha’ campaign though undoubtedly a very desirable objective is unlikely to take off due to absence of any catalytic agent to create trust among the two nations.

    It recalls to me an aunt of mine who administered ‘tahweez’ as a peer. I often made a fun of her tahweez-baazi, but one event did impress me. A young woman who had a lot of complaints against her husband’s behavior and fidelity had come to her to get a corrective tahweez. My aunt gave her a tahweez to be administered to the wayward husband in milk for fifteen days. But with it she gave a long list of does and donts the complainant had to observe otherwise the tahweez will have a reverse action. In a nut-shell these instructions implied the best behaviour one would expect of a wife, like, inter alia, welcoming her husband with a smile even if he comes home late by spending his time with another woman, as she suspected.

    After fifteen days that woman came to report happily that the tahweez had a wonderful effect and that her husband had changed altogether. My aunt said to me,” What would you say about the efficacy of my tahweez now”. I said, “No aunty, it is not the doing of you tahweez but of your instructions for its use which accompanied it”. She said,”Do you think she would have complied with those instructions if she did not have trust in my tahweez”. This made me speechless before my aunt, whom I used to call ‘intelectual aunt’.

    I feel similarly in respect of ‘Aman ki Asha’ among nations. We need a ‘tahweez’, a catalytic agent, which the two nations need to create hope of revival of peace and friendship among them which even a great peer like Mahatma Gandhi had failed to provide. I do not see any of it except that we should revive the concept of a sub-continental ‘Mother India’, whose sons we are all independent nations as Pakistan, Bharat, Bangladesh, etc..


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