Thursday, February 26, 2009

India- Pakistan Peace Process should be strengthened

India- Pakistan Peace Process should be strengthened
Syed Ali Mujtaba

Chennai: The key to achieving peace in South Asian region lay in the resolving of the India-Pakistan imbroglio, says Professor Ishtiaq Ahmed, Pakistan born, Swedish National, delivering a talk on “Making South Asia a Region of Peace and Prosperity: What Needs to be Done?”

The event was organized by the Chennai Chapter of the East West Center Alumni Association in association with the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies and the Department of English and Foreign Languages of the University of Madras and the Stella Maris College, Chennai, at the Hotel GRT Grand, Chennai on February 20, 2009.

Professor Ahmed said India and Pakistan should identify aspects of commonality to promote the idea of peace.Both the countries should make efforts to play down the areas of differences and play up on the areas of commonalities. Similarly, there could be more of collaborations in the areas of trade and commerce, permitting free travel and exchange of ideas for better bonding of the ties between these countries.

Professor Ishtiaq Ahmed is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow, South Asian Studies Programme of the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University, Singapore.

Mr. Fred Kaplan, Consul Public Affairs of the American Consulate General Chennai, presided over the function. He focused on the role played by Dr. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi in bringing the non-violent movement to the centre stage of socio-political activities of the USA and India. He also talked about how their achievements could inspire the present day efforts to bring about peace in South Asia. Mr. Fred Kaplan stressed the need for countries of the region to enhance trade relations among themselves, as that would increase the prospects for improved relations.

Mr. P. M. Belliappa, the President of the EWCA Chennai Chapter welcomed the guest speakers, the alumni of EWCA Chennai Chapter, the distinguished academia and the gathering of other friends. He stressed on the relevance of the topic of the talk and said it matches the objectives of the EWC to promote better understanding and goodwill between the peoples of the world.

The programme was well attended by the students, alumni, academics and other invitees. Each of them keenly participated in the discussions that followed the talks. Several questions fielded by the participants aand the learned speakers ably answered them all.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Mr. P. Subramaniyam, Vice - President of the EWCA Chennai Chapter. The event was followed by a sumptuous lunch.

Syed Ali Mujtaba is working journalist based in Chennai. He is also an alumni of East West Center. Hawaii. He can be contacted at

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