April 2, 2011

Peace initiatives: Pakistan & India both won the match!

By Nasira Parveen

Uncle Amirullah with his beloved son Zahid
THE other day I went to my uncle's room. He was watching TV and then suddenly a discussion started on the Pakistani players in Cricket World Cup.

"Tomorrow is the semi-final match between Pakistan and India. What do you think, uncle, who will win the match?" I asked.
“The main point is not to win or lose a match at all,” he said clearing his throat. “The first and foremost thing is that there should be peace between the two countries."

Yes. But if our military establishment realizes the value of peace. "As I review the past, there are only wars—the 1965 war, 1971 war and 1999 Kargil war. Dreadful!” He adds.

Uncle Amirullah Baig is a veteran of the 1971 war. Pakistan had lost the war to India "but we had got a huge area in Chhamb sector (Kashmir), where our commander Maj-Gen Iftikhar Janjua was martyred among solders". He still remembers the war as he was injured on December 14, 1971.

“Still our country is suffering due to those bloody wars," the exhausted soldier said. "So, peace is the main and important thing currently especially when the prime ministers of the two neighboring countries are meeting in India.''    

I agreed with uncle. So did Zahid. The main purpose should be peace not cricket cup. “Our leaders must create an atmosphere of peace in the region. The leaders of both countries should think about peace. Educate our people. Pen is mightier than sword. Always keep in mind: due to the wars many innocent children became orphans and many women became widows. Don't do that now!”

Uncle was very ill and is being treated in Rawalpindi for the last two months. He is rapidly improving. That is the big achievement in his current war for survival as many people had lost hope when he was brought here on stretchers from Hunza.

The reason for his ailment is the same. The attacks on our family! Currently my father's BP is also shooting up and he is being treated in Gilgit hospital. Readers of our blogs know how the cruel administration of the Karakoram International University Gilgit had tortured him last year. Anyway. We're fighting for our survival against all odds!

“Socially and economically we all are suffering,” uncle said. “When will we get rid of poverty and ignorance? When will India and Pakistan become developed countries? We have lost 64 years in hostility.”

He was glad that Pakistan and India were facing each other in the semi-final in a different way this time. "No matter who will win or lose, but the important thing is that both of the teams are extending the hand of friendship, and giving the message of peace to the common people on both sides of the border. That is it.”

And when Pakistan lost the match, he was not angry at all. Although, the cheerleader gunshots in our area had stopped in gloom or traditional sense of shame!    

Today who wins the final match. India or Sri Lanka? It's trivial. The important thing is peace initiative in South Asia. People on both sides of the border feel as both won the match.

As a student of economics, I wonder: if we reduce our defense budgets and spend the money on education, sports and cultural activities, it would be the end of wars. War is so expensive than peace for both poverty-stricken Pakistan and India.   
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