Sonipat (Haryana), April 22 IANS | 6 months ago

Partition was not necessarily the best solution for India and Pakistan as it only led to confrontation between the two neighbours that led to wars with disastrous consequences for development and democracy. This was among the views expressed at a day-long India-Pakistan youth dialogue here.

Ishtiaq Ahmed, Professor Emeritus at Stockholm University and Visiting Professor at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan, said in his inaugural address at the event that the so-called Hindu-Muslim problem was not really solved by the partition of the Indian subcontinent. It simply converted it into an India-Pakistan confrontation with wars that resulted in disastrous consequences for democracy, development and pluralism.

Addressing the youth dialogue on Monday on the campus of O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), Ahmed also said that India and Pakistan need to build a welcoming network, for which both sides should facilitate cultural exchanges.

"Efforts need to be made to facilitate education exchanges, relaxation in the visa regime, cooperation on water resources, free movement of people and resolving the Kashmir issue amicably," he said.

"Demonization and dehumanization of the other must cease in media representations," he added.

The youth dialogue was organized by the Jindal School of International Affairs in collaboration with LUMS. Twenty-five visiting students from LUMS and Indian students of JGU participated in activities ranging from seminars on the legacy of the partition of India and the way ahead to improve bilateral relations. This dialogue was conducted under the aegis of an academic collaboration agreement between both universities, a press release said.

Professor Sreeram Chaulia, Dean, Jindal School of International Affairs, said both sides need to "think about commonalities between the two nations as a result of globalisation, which places similar challenges before the youth of both India and Pakistan in terms of economic security and personal freedom".

Professor C. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor, O.P. Jindal Global University said the aim of the conclave ws to build a network of academics with a view to improve bilateral understanding.

(Posted on 22-04-2014)

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