Published: Times of India – July 10, 2011
LUCKNOW: The diplomatic relations between two nations cannot last long if the contact between their people is hampered. It is the contact between people, cultural exchanges and mutual trust and understanding that keeps diplomatic ties intact. And this is exactly what we need to resume and strengthen between India and Pakistan, said Pakistan’s noted human rights’ activist Saeeda Diep.
She was in the city on Saturday to participate in the second UP state convention of Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy ( PIPFPD). The convention will be held on Monday. Talking about the value of promoting people to people dialogue between the nations, she said: “If we want efforts taken up at the diplomatic level to pay, we will have to mobilise people at ground level. We need to infuse in people the feeling of trust and understanding.” While on her 10-day visit to the state, she plans to be on the move. “I have got a 10 day visa and I wish to utilize the time well,” she said. The joint convention of India and Pakistan which is proposed in Allahabad in October 2011 is what people are looking forward to.
Diep will visit Allahabad and mobilise people there. The state conventions are held in different states from time to time. In UP state conventions, Diep is the only one to participate from Pakistan. The forum was constituted 14 years back and since then has been trying to increase people to people contact. “We can say that things have changed but there is still lot to be done,” she said. There are efforts made and then there is one incident of terrorism and efforts are nullified. It is like re-starting efforts each time, she added. The visa troubles are still there.
The convention will also have cultural programmes. Pakistan’s theatre group tehrik-e-niswan will stage dance and theatre performances.