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The Hindu

Published Date: Mar 14, 2014

Highlight stories of Partition-era saviours

Speakers at a meeting with a visiting Indian delegation
said stories of lives saved during Partition by different communities —
rather than hate-filled stories of violence — should be highlighted. The
programme was organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute
(SDPI).

Ahmad Saleem, writer, said the SDPI had
conducted studies on common history and events of 1947 and 1971. He had
done over 180 interviews. He found that stories of saviours did not find
place in textbooks. Only stories of atrocities in India and Pakistan
were highlighted. There was thus more propaganda on those killed and the
violence.

Satyapaul Arora, secretary general of the
South Asian Fraternity, said both countries shared a common history,
adding that there was need for more initiatives in Pakistan like
Soldiers for Peace in India. The visa regime should be liberalised to
enable the free movement of doctors, lawyers, traders and media persons
across the border, which could do a lot to dispel stereotypes, he said.

Mr.
Shafqat Kakakhel, Chairman, Board of Governors, SDPI, said Pakistanis
across the board wanted peace with India. There was a need to work
towards discouraging extremism in both countries. The movement of people
across borders was important for this, he added.

The
delegation comprising Mr. Arora, Bhawani Shankar Kusum from Gram
Bharati Samiti, Jaipur, Mr. Khairati Lal Bhola, chairperson, Patita
Sudhar Sabha, and S. Ranjit Singh, will also visit Bhagat Singh’s
birthplace in Faisalabad.