THE HIGH Commissioner for Pakistan, Abdul Basit, has advocated increased interaction and communication between the youth of India and Pakistan to do away with the enmity and discord between the two nations.
Basit was the chief guest at an interactive session at St. Stephen’s School. Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the function, the High Commissioner said, “Such interactions should be expanded to other cities and should not be restricted to the bigger ones alone. It is essential to target as much youth as we can. Also, it is essential to keep politics away from all these progressive activities and make sure that these are personal endeavours of the schools and institutions.”
Addressing the students, Basit said, “The youth of both countries are a ray of hope. Their courage, curiosity and spontaneity, if channelised in the right direction, will surely bring a change. The young people on both sides are realising the importance of a peaceful environment and are mindful of their actions. If we continue to work together, the shared ideals of peace and prosperity will soon be a reality for both countries.”
Earlier, Basit addressed the students on topics of peace and harmony, which he believes, are prerequisites for development. The event was presided over by Mayor Arun Sood.
The High Commissioner, along with his wife Summiya Basit, were earlier welcomed by Harold Carver, director and principal, St. Stephen’s School, with his Scouts and Guides students. He also planted an amaltas tree sapling, a tree native to both India and Pakistan, and known to have exemplary healing properties.
Encouraging and applauding the communicative efforts undertaken by both the countries, Basit said, “This continuity in contact is essential for a better understanding and a mutual removal of misgivings. The differences must be celebrated rather than making them the grounds for arguments. The two countries have shared thousands of years of history and tradition of love and togetherness. But unfortunately, only the hostility and bloodshed of the past six decades is being remembered. Communication can bridge all these disparities and a lot more is appreciated from the youth of both the countries.”
Carver said the school had been an active participant in conducting communicative sessions amongst India and Pakistan. “The students have been sharing letters and Skype sessions with the students overseas, breaking the barrier of mistrust and lack of communication,” he added.
Mokshha, a student member of the school council, said, “Such events lead us to have a better understanding of Pakistani culture which is very similar to ours. The people are welcoming and familial bonds are their priority.”
Mayor Sood said, “It is essential to capitalise the increasing opportunities that globalisation offers to both nations. Sovereign equality with mutual respect is the first step to lay the premise for a new, harmonious beginning.”