Indo-Pak talks should happen at grassroots level: Delegation

Indo-Pak talks should happen at grassroots level: Delegation

There is a need for more dialogue and exchanges between India and Pakistan, more so at the level of common people from both countries rather than its elite.

These sentiments were shared by members of a delegation of school educators and representatives of environmental groups from Pakistan, while interacting with educationists from the City at St Aloysius Degree College here on Monday.

“In the past 10 to 20 years I have seen a number of interactions among movie stars and media. However, there is a need for such initiative even between the common people of the two countries to strengthen relations,” said Adnan Mobin, Deputy Director, Sindh Education Foundation, Karachi.

While acknowledging the diversity and cultural differences between the two countries, Beena Manzar, senior education committee member and academic coordinator, Sanjan Nagar School, Lahore, highlighted the need to ‘transcend boundaries’ and for the people of both the countries to participate in the effort. 

“Both countries have a common interest and therefore have their future tied together. People at the grassroots in both countries are the ones who need to be more engaged in this effort instead of its elite,” said Beena.

The interaction is part of the joint initiative of the Centre for Dialogue and Resolution (CDR), Mumbai, along with Lahore University of Management Sciences with the theme ‘Common Interests and a Common Future: exploring India and Pakistan partnership’. It aims at creating a process of dialogue and a network of educationists, environmental experts and other professionals between the two countries. Representatives from the four cities of Karachi, Mumbai, Lahore and Amritsar have been chosen for the initiative. 

The project will involve three round table dialogues to be held in Mumbai, Lahore and Amritsar. The 21-member delegation visited the City after a three-day consultation programme in Mumbai.

The round table dialogues will mainly focus on two themes – education and urban environment protection. The discussions will focus on teaching strategies, internet and education, wetland conservation and pollution of water resources and solid waster management among other issues.

“There are two main areas of concern that was put forward in the meeting. One to bring forth more eco- friendly schools and create a sense of awareness about our activities. Secondly, to create mutual understanding and strengthening the thread of communication between schools, teachers, students and parents of both countries and thereby, enhance relations,” according to Kaukab Malik, senior teacher at LACAS school system, Lahore.

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