Lokmat Media Hosts Indo-Pak Conclave – A Dialogue without Borders as Part of its ‘Knowledge Forum’

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Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

This Conclave was organized with an intention to stimulate debate on various issues affecting Indo-Pak relationship
Keynote speaker – His Excellency Mr. Abdul Basit, High Commissioner of Pakistan graced the occasion

Lokmat, Country’s No. 1 daily today organized a conclave on Indo-Pak relations – ‘India &Pakistan – A dialogue without borders’ via the Lokmat Knowledge Forum. The conclave was organised with an intention to energize efforts to improve bilateral ties between the two countries. It provided a platform to discuss ways to strengthen the ties between India and Pakistan and move forward towards the path of growth. It was graced by High Commissioner of Pakistan, His Excellency, Mr. Abdul Basit; Senior Diplomat and Ex-Ambassador Mr. Vivek Katju; Head of BJP Foreign Affairs Wing, Mr. Seshadri Chari; Senior Congress Spokesperson Ms. Priyanka Chaturvedi and Mr. Jatin Desai, Senior journalist.

Mr. Rishi Darda, Editorial Director, Lokmat Media Pvt. Ltd., articulating the ups and downs in the relationship between the 2 countries since independence, shared, “From Lokmat I am thankful to Mr. Abdul Basit for attending today’s event and we are privileged to host this special event. As the leading newspaper of the country, we have always voiced the opinions and concerns of our readers and today’s Lokmat Knowledge Forum is a unique platform to help our readers experience a historic debate. We promise more such thought provoking debates will form the future content of our Lokmat Knowledge Forum. I take this opportunity to thank all participants for attending this special event.”

Delivering Key Note address for the Conclave, Mr. Abdul Basit said, “I would like to thank Lokmat for organizing this event and inviting me to be a part of the Knowledge Forum. We want to strengthen our relations with India and the only way to resolve issues is by discussing them. Peace with India can wait, dialogues can be put on hold for a while, but we can’t afford any delay in restoring peace in Afghanistan which is affecting our growth and progress. Sky is the limit for India and Pakistan to coordinate and make progress, but to achieve that consistent efforts to solve the issues and political will is must. Small steps like this forum can help us improve relations. Non-discriminating market access, working towards enhancing connectivity by improving flight service, etc. can also be helpful.”

It was followed by a panel discussion among the dignitaries on the topic: ‘Dialogue without borders’. Panelists also discussed on ways to improve their neighborhood relationship by simplifying policies and trade ties that would boost economies of both the countries. The discussion centered on political challenges and issues between the countries and the need to resolve them. The members were nearly unanimous on the need to take confidence building measures and build the atmosphere of trust between both the countries.

Highlighting ways to settle down political issues Mr. Vivek Katju said that, “It is very vital to enhance the space of interest amongst the two countries is very important. Violence and war cannot provide us with any solution. Advocating talks can help us resolve issues, governments of both countries should focus on trade, connectivity and un- interrupted talks.”

Talking on the occasion Mr. Seshadri Chari highlighted that, “Disputes and issues can be resolved only by talking about them rather than stopping the dialogue. Indian delegates usually face challenge about whom to communicate in Pakistan authorities as there are changes in the authorities very often. Continuous dialogue can definitely lessen the differences, enhance economy and benefit both countries. Cultural give and take could be a key factor in enhancing relationship.”

Ms. Priyanka Chaturvedi added, “We need to move beyond talks, there’s a need of engagement and connectivity between people of both the countries. We also need to identify common grounds and analyze the opportunities that can help build strong relations between India and Pakistan.”

Providing his viewpoint, Mr. Jatin Desai said that, “There needs to be continuous dialogue, between nations like Indian and Pakistan. It is noticed that any unfortunate event disrupts the dialogue. Youth of both countries want to move ahead leaving behind the old disputes. Journalists should be allowed to report the events in both countries, no hard copy of Indian or Pakistani newspaper is received in both countries.”

This panel discussion was followed by a question and answer session with the audience. The relationship between India and Pakistan has been full of ups and downs post the independence. Divided by partition 69 years ago, people of both the nations have always wished to feel the lost warmth of camaraderie and brotherhood. This is the reason why the peace process between the two countries is most keenly watched development. This conclave organized by Lokmat provided a platform to know both the sides of the story on issues regarding the past and steps to improve their future together.

About Lokmat:

Lokmat Media Pvt. Ltd. is a leading multi-platform media company with interests in a diversified portfolio of publishing, broadcast, digital, entertainment, community and sports verticals. ‘Lokmat’ is the largest read regional language newspaper in India with 23.5 million readers (Source: Total Readership, IRS ’12 Q4) and the No. 1 Marathi newspaper in the country with 11 editions and a circulation of 1.4 million copies (Source: Audit Bureau of Circulation, July – Dec ’14). ‘Lokmat Samachar’, with 3 editions is one of the largest read Hindi daily in the country with over 1.3 million readers (Source: Total Readership, IRS ’12 Q4). ‘Lokmat Times’ has 3 editions.