• The words Aman ki Asha mean ‘hope for peace’. Aman is an Urdu word, meaning peace. Asha is a Hindi word, meaning hope. The combination of the two languages reflects the collaborative spirit of this initiative.
• The objective of Aman ki Asha is to create an enabling environment to facilitate dialogue between the governments, encourage people-to-people contacts and thus contribute to bringing about peace between India and Pakistan.
• The two leading media groups of the two countries decided to launch this initiative
• An honest and exhaustive debate on all contentious issues between the two countries, such as Kashmir, water, terrorism, Siachin, Sir Creek etc
• Actively encourage and facilitate people-to-people contacts across the broadest possible spectrum.
• Initiate seminars, official and unofficial contacts, dialogues and meetings between Indians and Pakistanis, with a view to creating an enabling environment for both governments to dialogue on all outstanding issues.
• As the largest media groups in India and Pakistan respectively, Times of India Group and the Jang Group commit to using their print and electronic media to aggressively promote the benefits of peace in terms of economic development, uniting families, tourism, developing trade, and removing the obstacles to peace. We invite all other media to support this initiative in any and every way they can.
The initiative was launched on Jan 1, 2010.
Are any foreign governments or agencies involved in Aman ki Asha?
No. This is a Jang Group and Times of India Group initiative. These are the only two organisations running the Aman ki Asha initiative. In line with the Aman ki Asha philosophy we have taken on board all relevant stakeholders including governments, political parties and civil society.
How is Aman ki Asha funded?
So far, all expenses have been borne by the Jang Group and the Times of India Group. Some events may be sponsored by commercial organisations.
How long will the project last?
Aman ki Asha does not have an end date. It will continue as long as it is needed.
Does the launch of Aman ki Asha mean that the two media groups will soften their editorial policies vis-a-vis the other country?
Aman ki Asha is a specific campaign with a particular goal; its objectives will be achieved through the events and dialogues outlined above. Aman ki Asha has nothing to do with the editorial policies of either group. News coverage is determined and driven by actual on the ground events.
However, we hope that Aman ki Asha will also result in media on both sides presenting a more complete and empathetic picture of ‘the other side’ – and also of injustices and inequities within their own countries.
What has Aman ki Asha done so far?
Major events organised by Aman ki Asha include:
- Literary festival across India
- A music festival in several cities of India
- Indo-Pak Mushaira in Karachi
- ‘Let’s Talk’, a senior editors and television anchors conference in
- ‘A Common Destiny’ Strategic Seminar in Lahore
- ‘Partners for Peace and Progress’, Trade and Investment Conference in
- Peace Hankies Chain –hankies signed by thousands of schoolchildren in
Perhaps more importantly, the two media groups have joined hands to create awareness and give space to each other’s points of view on contentious issues, including:
- The Kashmir dispute
- The water dispute
- Visa difficulties
- Prisoner’s woes
- Economic collaboration
It is important to mention that Aman ki Asha was launched on Jan 1, 2010 with a front page joint editorial in The Times of India and Jang Group publications (the first time ever in history); an identical independent survey of public opinion in India and Pakistan (again, the first time ever); a peace anthem written by the renowned Indian poet Gulzar and sung by Pakistan’s Rahat Fateh Ali and India’s Shankar Mahadevan; the iconic superstar Amitabh Bacchan recited it.