DAILY TIMES – Campaign launched to relax Pakistan-India visa regime

DAILY TIMES – Campaign launched to relax Pakistan-India visa regime

Published: Daily Times, March 25, 2012

Staff Report 

LAHORE: The Institute of Peace and Secular Studies (IPSS) organised a programme at the Lahore Press Club to acknowledge the life long struggle of Kuldip Nayar and Dr Mubashar Hassan for peace between Pakistan and India.

The programme was attended by a delegation from India, peace activists, dignitaries, students, civil society representatives, traders and journalists. Following the introduction of Relaxed Visa Regime Campaign aiming to collect 100,000 signatures to be presented to the Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, there was a panel discussion on the significance of a Relaxed Pakistan-India Visa Regime with Mahesh Bhatt and Jatin Desai from India and Hussain Naqi and Madiha Gohar from Pakistan. Speakers iterated how a people-to-people peace process was sustainable while acknowledging the work done by their senior colleagues and committing to follow in their footsteps.

Nayar and Dr Hassan were then welcomed on the stage to a standing ovation. They shared the experiences of their struggle, of the necessity of both neighbours to have peace for the benefit of their people and of the basic human rights of every Pakistani and Indian citizen to meet each other across the border.

IA Rehman presented them the Sindhu Aman Award. The programme concluded with Kuldip Nayar and Dr Mubashar Hassan inaugurating the Relax Pakistan-India Visa Regime Campaign to open a new chapter in the struggle for peace.

IPSS Director Saeeda Diep, sharing the concept behind Sindhu Aman Award, stated that it was meant to acknowledge the struggle of activists who had stayed true to their ideals and goals for the sake of peace in the region and the world. Sindhu Peace Award, given for the first time, signified their contribution towards peace for the people of Sindhu, the river which gave life to the ancient civilisation of this land that was shared by all people of the region.