India /Pakistan – That elusive visa: You can’t just ‘Google it’

My article in The News’ weekly Aman ki Asha page today (also on the website and TOI blog)

“Ye mein, ye Yusuf”… That’s me, that’s Yusuf… Still from Google’s “Reunion” ad

Google’s tearjerker “Reunion” ad released on the web has tapped into a rising groundswell for peace between the people of India and Pakistan

By Beena Sarwar

The internet search engine Google’s moving, beautifully made little video “Reunion”, released on November 13 has gone viral. In less than a week, the ad on Youtube has been played over four million times, and shared endlessly on facebook, twitter and blogs, and posted on other video sharing portals like Vimeo (over 70,000 views). Continue reading

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Eye Opener: An Indian-American Visits Pakistan


Nice share on the Aman ki Asha facebook group:
Eye Opener: An Indian-American Visits Pakistan – by Mahanth S. Joishy, Editor of usindiamonitor.com – extract: “…But even these problems can be overcome by bringing Pakistan deeper into the community of nations, and further integrating Pakistan into world markets.  India and the United States for their part can do more to help bring this about.  I am convinced that instead of the delicate dance the three nations have done around each other since 1947, it is time for all to become closer friends and drop the pretexts for moving backward instead of forward.  What I saw in Pakistan more than the perils, is great potential. I plan to do my part, and this piece is only the first step.”

Trade winds for peace: In the air, a hope song

A political push and removal of barriers will see a rise in trade, and peace, between India and Pakistan...

This article was originally published in The News and The Times of India last week

Trade winds for peace

By Beena Sarwar

“Trade for peace” is the new catchphrase defining the emerging relationship between India and Pakistan – a relationship historically so troubled that, when not actually at war, they have been engaged in a virtual cold war. But the winds of change are now blowing in a more positive phase, heralded by recent breakthroughs on the trade front. Continue reading

Pakistani-Americans Await Changes to India’s Discriminatory Visa Rules

New York-based Indo-Pak couple Ibrahim and Pramilla Malick: People connect in a heartwarming way but both countries try their best to keep us apart.

My report for IPS published on Feb 16, 2012; it’s not on the website anymore due to technical changes so I’m posting the unedited piece below:

Pakistani-Americans await changes to India’s discriminatory visa rules

By Beena Sarwar

BOSTON: India and Pakistan have agreed to ease visa restrictions on each other’s citizens – but until that actually happens, American citizens with dual Pakistani nationality will continue to face what they allege is discrimination by the Indian visa authorities. Continue reading

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