Some feedback about the Aman ki Asha Indo-Pak Economic Meet last week, and suggestions about taking forward the peace agenda
Fantastic meeting! I do hope that we stop living under the influence of foreign powers! Stop playing the blame game and becoming a testing ground and a marketplace for weapons. It is time to put contentious issues to the back burner for the next five years, deploy a portion of our defence budget on alleviation of poverty, and for growth and development. After five years, we would certainly find an amicable solution to our problems, when we have financial stakes in each other’s economy, and our populations have developed a good understanding!
…Reality is, that people of Pakistan are friendly and full of warmth, and we should not let radical groups shadow the future of 1.4 billion people of India and Pakistan. Together, India and Pakistan can bring a new dimension to politics of South Asia.
… Also, would like to push with our policy makers the idea of India helping Pakistan by building 3-4 tertiary care hospitals and a joint telemedicine network as a starting point in Healthcare collaboration. Through this (AKA – Aman ki Asha) efforts, we have started a journey, and we need to build on a plan to move ahead with speed.”
- Rajendra Pratap Gupta
Director & Advisor to Retail & Healthcare companies, Mumbai, posted to the Aman ki Asha facebook page http://www.facebook.com/amankiasha.destinationpeace
The 2nd AKA Indo-Pak Economic Conference was unique in several respects. Never have so many outstanding business, civil society and political leaders of India and Pakistan assembled on a single platform; the business conglomerates represented had a turnover considerably higher than the GDP of several countries. Never have political leaders from all mainstream political parties assembled on one platform and rallied behind a single cause: the Prime Minister and the charismatic Foreign Minister representing the government and the largest political party, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, twice elected PM and leader of the second largest party, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, Imran Khan – to some the PM-in-waiting – agreed on the inevitability if peace and trade with India and vowed to push the envelope.
On the business front, this was the biggest and most powerful gathering of iconic entrepreneurs and corporate heads. Close to 100 businessmen and CEOs from India and some 300 from Pakistan. The
quality of speakers was absolutely fantastic. Most importantly, the passion and fervour for peace
and economic collaboration was electric.
Let’s now take this forward. We cannot remain hostage to the baggage of the past. For the prosperity not just of India and Pakistan but of the entire region, Pakistan and India must equitably resolve disputes, trade with each other and allow our people to meet freely. Only then can we bequeath a legacy of peace and prosperity to our future generations.”
- Shahrukh Hasan
Group Managing Director, Jang Group, Pakistan,
in response to Rajendra Pratap Gupta, on the Aman ki Asha facebook page
I have seen a sea change in the mindsets amongst businessmen on both sides and look forward to the strengthening of business relations between India and Pakistan. I believe the 2nd Aman ki Asha Indo-Pak Economic Conference was a great platform to exchange views, hearing the positive initiatives being made by the Government of Pakistan, which is clearly being reciprocated by the Government of India.
I believe the easing of visa norms for businessmen will lead to people-to-people contact between the two countries. Also the Pakistan government’s commitment to do away with the negative list by end 2012 as well as removal of non-trade barriers on both sides, will lead to enhanced trade between our two countries.”
- Rakesh Bharti Mittal
Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Bharti Enterprises, New Delhi, email to Amin Hashwani of the Aman ki Asha
Right from the time we stepped in Lahore there was a wave of exceptional hospitality at every step and at every stage to make us feel at home and that really made us realize that we had come to our own ‘ERSTWHILE HOME’ – the stories of which were always resounding in our ears through the tales of fond memories of our parents.
The short interaction of two days has been so warm and close that we do feel that we have now our brethren separated by a border but much closer through our heart.
…I also take the opportunity to extend to you an open and warm invitation to plan a visit to India and give us an opportunity to host your visit. We are sure that this will open a great window for our long-term friendship and relationship.
- Dr Yash Paul Bhatia
Chairman & Managing Director, ASTRON Group, Founder & President, Indian Healthcare Quality Forum, Delhi, Kolkatta, Ahmedabad, email to Shahrukh Hasan