Posted on January 14, 2013 by beenasarwar
Jan 8, 2013: A grieving mother mourns her son… Lance Naik Mohammad Alam.
My article in The News on Sunday, Jan 13, 2013
Need facts, not hype
News about the death of two Indian soldiers at the Line of Control in Kashmir on Jan 8 triggered anger in India. Yes, a Pakistani soldier had been killed just two days earlier. But his body had not been mutilated. He had not been beheaded. For that is what Indian reports said, creating hysteria and leading to the beating of war drums: the bodies of their jawans had been mutilated, one of their heads was missing, and Pakistan was responsible (small mercy, authorities asked Indian journalists not to use the word ‘beheaded’ but ‘decapitation’).
India seemed to erupt in a storm of anger, outrage, and indignation, betrayal and hurt, and calls for retaliation against Pakistan. Understandable. Imagine the reaction in Pakistan had it been the other way around. (more…)
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Barkha Dutt, India, Kashmir, loc, Pakistan, Praveen Swami, shivam vij, soldier beheaded | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 29, 2011 by beenasarwar
PIPFPD 7th Joint Convention, New Delhi 2005: Pakistani ghazal queen Farida Khanum with then Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran at a reception at Hyderabad House. Photo: Beena Sarwar
My curtain raiser on the Eighth Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) Joint Convention being held in Allahabad, India, Dec 29, 2011-Jan 1, 2012 (slightly shorter version published as an op-ed in The News). When the name was being decided, the Indians insisted that Pakistan should (more…)
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: Allahabad, de-militarisation, democratic governance, Environment, India, indo pak peace efforts, Kashmir, nuclear, Pakistan, Peace, people-to-people, PIPFPD, religious intolerance | 3 Comments »
Posted on September 13, 2010 by beenasarwar
In a press note released today, prominent Indian citizens have condemned violence in Kashmir on Eid Day and demanded an inquiry. Received from People’s Initiative on Jammu & Kashmir (c/o Confederation of Voluntary Associations, COVA, 20-4-10, Charminar Hyderabad, A.P. India; Ph:+91-40-24572984; Email: email@example.com
Violence in Kashmir on Eid Day: Condemnation and Demand for Enquiry
SEPT 13: We condemn strongly and unequivocally the incidences of violence and arson in Srinagar on the day of Eid by some miscreants. (more…)
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Admiral L. Ramdas, eid violence kashmir, hurriyat, Jatin Desai, Kashmir, Mazher Hussain, mir waiz, Mohd. Shafi, Mohini Giri, Pandit P.V.Rajagopal, Swami Agnivesh, violence | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 12, 2010 by beenasarwar
I forgot to upload the last few Conversations published in The News on Sunday, Aman ki Asha page in Political Economy. The entire archives are also up at the Aman ki Asha website
A grounding for reconciliation
Dilip D’Souza and Beena Sarwar continue their email discussion, questioning state versions of history and politics
May 20, 2010
So here you go – on my wife’s birthday I am taking a couple of hours off to write this to you. Please send whatever brownie points I’m eligible for to various powers that be in our countries.
Facetiousness aside, I’m once more in the hills as I write, this time in the south. Such a clean, quiet, beautiful spot. So peaceful, in fact, given our discussions for several weeks now, I cannot help wondering if such peace is the exception in our part of the world, rather than the rule; and if so, will that ever change? Is it meant only for an incredibly lucky few? (more…)
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: india pakistan peace, Jinnah, joint memorial, Kashmir, partition, textbook revision | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 11, 2010 by beenasarwar
May 6 2010
I am heartened too by our PMs meeting in Thimphu. But let me say that I also have hope from such events as your Aman ki Asha seminar, where there’s discussion between folks from both sides who have less political pressures on them than ministers.
Still, while I don’t mean to second-guess what happened at the seminar, I wonder about the urge to build a “consensus” in discussions like these. Is that always necessary or useful, what do you think? I wonder if we end up watering down our own emotions and concerns in the search for consensus, and thus leave them essentially un-addressed. If that’s at all true, it’s not a good prescription for peace. (more…)
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: condescension, fundamentalism, Kasab, Kashmir, nationalism, perceptions, terrorism, Thimphu, water | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 25, 2010 by beenasarwar
Aman ki Asha panel on 'A Common Destiny', April 23, 2010, Lahore
Back in Karachi after an eventful visit to Lahore for the Aman ki Asha ‘A Common Destiny’ conference that started on April 22, with a closed door discussion between distinguished Indians and Pakistanis deliberating on issues of strategic importance and the need for peace between the two countries. They agreed on this joint statement at the end of the day.
The following day, at a televised panel discussion, conducted by Iftikhar Ahmad of Geo TV, former foreign minister Khursheed Kasuri elaborated on something he has hinted at before – that Pakistan and India had been a hair’s breadth away from a settlement on Kashmir. What stymied the agreement was instability within Pakistan and Musharraf’s ouster of the Chief Justice which led to a nation-wide movement. Following the panel discussion, he talked in more detail to some of the journalists present, including the Times of India’s senior editor Ranjan Roy, and Babar Dogar of The News. Their detailed stories, merged and published the following day with a joint byline, are available at this link. In brief: (more…)
Filed under: Kashmir | Tagged: agreement, India Pakistan Kashmir settlement, Kashmir, Khurshid Kasuri, settlement | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 25, 2010 by beenasarwar
LAHORE, Apr 22: Prominent academics, writers and analysts from India and Pakistan met today at a closed-door seminar titled “A Common Destiny”, the first of Aman ki Asha’s series of discussions on issues of strategic importance.
Delegates at the first of Aman ki Asha’s series of discussions on issues of strategic importance to India and Pakistan, titled “A Common Destiny”, agreed on the need for peace between the two countries, and the importance of a sustained dialogue to resolve bilateral issues including Jammu & Kashmir, terrorism, water-sharing, trade and investment. (more…)
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: Admiral (Retd) K. Nayyer, Admiral (Retd) Ramdas, Amin Hashwani, Amitabh Mattoo, Chairperson Emeritus of the Pakistan-India People's Forum for Peace and Democracy, Dr Mubashir Hasan, Gen Mahmud Ali Durrani, I.A. Rehman, Jammu & Kashmir, Kashmir, Khaled Ahmed, Prem Shankar Jha, Salman Haidar, Shafqat Mahmood, South Asian University, terrorism, trade and investment, water-sharing | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 20, 2010 by beenasarwar
Dilip and my ongoing weekly email exchange (archives at the Aman ki Asha website, published in The News on Sunday Political Economy section, Aman ki Asha page on April 18, 2010:
April 15 2009
Rejuvenated by a few days tramping in the hills, I return to our fray, if that’s the word. (more…)
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: agencies, Asma Jahangir, Kashmir, nuclear, pakistan india peace talks, Pervez Hoodbhoy, terrorist attacks, water issue pakistan india, Zia Mian | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 16, 2010 by beenasarwar
I’m really behind on my postings. Below, Dilip & my Conversations (7th installment), published in The News on Sunday’s Aman ki Asha page in the Political Economy Section on April 4, 2010
April 1 2010
OK, so perhaps we are agreed that we should find a way to take forward the idea of a joint war memorial and/or peace parks on the borders. We should ask about your view that a serving soldier cannot openly support such an idea. I cannot imagine that doing so would be equated to refusing to serve and being called a conscientious objector. Perhaps we can write a letter to senior officers in both our countries, suggesting such memorials, and see where it goes. I’ll draft one and let’s discuss it. (more…)
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: conversations, Kashmir, pakistan india relations, peace parks | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 23, 2010 by beenasarwar
Published in The News on Sunday Aman ki Asha page, Political Economy section, on March 14, 2010
Conversations 4: It’s about time
Dilip D’Souza and Beena Sarwar continue their correspondence, attempting to share thoughts honestly, without fear and hostility, exploring what divides our countries, and seeking ways to bridge the divide
March 11, 2010
Again, so much to address! But since I asked what annoys you about Indians, and since you answered so frankly, let me make that the theme for this installment of our exchange, and in two ways.
First, your beef is with “the hard-nosed nationalism and sense of superiority of many Indians, the refusal to introspect and see flaws within their own society.” Personally, I’m bothered too by this reluctance to see flaws, by the sense of almost manifest destiny and even entitlement that a lot of us Indians nurse. (more…)
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: Aziz Siddiqui, conversations, dilip d'souza, Jinnah, Kashmir, nationalism, Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, people-to-people, PIPFPD | 1 Comment »