Allow India-Pak varsities to interact: Hameed Haroon

Pakistan’s Dawn Media Group CEO Hameed Haroon today said universities of India should be allowed to interact with those in Pakistan in order to foster better people to people contact between both the countries.

“Till now no government has allowed this to happen,” Haroon said.

He was speaking at the launch of the Karachi Mumbai Friendship Forum and the Sindh Research Project, in collaboration with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) here this evening.

“Berlin walls must come down because there are no limits to the human spirits. We need to know each other’s legacies,” he said.

“You need to respect human life. That means there is no scope for 26/11 like incidents,” Haroon said, adding “Governments have been preventing a deep understanding of each other.”

“It’s not (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee or (Pervez) Musharraf’s fault. But there are inbuilt hindrances to opening of our borders. We have become victims of inertia and bad governance,” he said.

Haroon said he never received anything other than “love and generosity in Mumbai. “It pains me to see it being suffocated.”

Governance has failed us, he said, asking, “Why must south Asian relationship consist of so much pain and lack of confidence?”

“Even Africa seems to be moving forward and we seem to be moving backward as far as human feelings are concerned,” he said, referring to the shared heritage of the two nations which he said dated back to thousands of years.

“Textbooks in Pakistan still tell students that Pakistan was created in 712 AD,” Haroon said, adding that “the notion of a south east family should be never overcome by the separatist tendencies”.

“Both India and Pakistan have been exploiting Kashmiris,” he said, adding that “governments of India and Pakistan have to speak to people across the border”.

Explaining the ‘Sindh Research Project’, he said the material obtained from Maharashtra Archives will be studied.

“Social media in both India and Pakistan are prone to penetration by government,” he said, replying to a query from the audience.

“I have complained to authorities about Dawn journalists being under physical threats on social media. Islam does not give people right to kill. No religion sanctions right to kill unlawfully,” he added.