KARACHI - The media in Pakistan and India should promote peace pressing for the people-to-people contacts between the two neighbouring countries instead of highlighting the negative aspects.

These were the views expressed by speakers at a seminar on ‘Pakistan-India Relations - What Can Media Do?” here on Sunday. The event, organised by the Karachi Press Club at its premises, was attended by the visiting 14-memebr delegation of media persons of Mumbai Press Club, besides journalists of the city in large number.

Karachi Press Club (KPC) President Muhammad Imtiaz Khan Faran and Mumbai Press Club President (MPC) Gurbir Singh jointly chaired the seminar.

MPC President Gurbir Singh in his speech thanked the Karachi Press Club for its warm welcome and hospitality.

He said press clubs of Karachi and Mumbai had taken an initiative for exchange of media delegations, which needed to be continued with hosting seminars and events to discuss the issues faced by the two countries and advocating the peace building process.

Mr Gurbir opined that media especially electronic media of both sides should come out of the rating phobia by airing talk shows against each other which could affect negatively the future peace prospects between the two permanent neighbors.

He suggested that journalists of both countries should meet with the interior ministers in delegations to put pressure to allow the hard copies of the newspapers, magazines and books to each other side, besides allowing the journalists to work in both countries.

Citing the arrests of the fishermen by sea police, he said there was no boundary for fish-catching, the only source of earning for the fishermen of two countries, “So we should not build the imaginary boundaries in sea,” he was of the view.

MPC president further said that the USA, acting as international policeman, was a common enemy for both sides, and added that it was not honoring even the international law by continuing drone attacks on the sovereign land of the Pakistan.

He added that people of both the countries were being watched by the USA through its National Security Agency (NSA), and termed it an act of bullying to the world.

The NSA had spied on 18 billion emails in the world, of which 6 billion were from India, Mr Gurbir cited the report, unveiling that India was the most watched country by USA.

Karachi Press Club President Imtiaz Khan Faran said two neighbouring countries shared same values, culture and challenges of poverty, which needed to be highlighted by the media of both sides.

Amir Zia, Editor of a local English daily, said he was feeling a change in thoughts at both sides as political parties in Pakistan were also supporting the resolution of controversial issues through dialogue.

Pakistan and India relations were held hostage by the non-state actors, he opined.

Journalist Jatin Babu Desai said boats and fishermen of both sides were under custody which should immediately be released on humanitarian grounds.

He further said that being permanent neighbouring countries, trade volume must be increased with opening more avenues and doors with Wagha Border in Punjab to Monabao-Khokhrapar in Sindh province.

Freelance journalist Ms. Jyoti Punwani Sakrikar from Mumbai, Karachi Press Club Secretary Amir Latif, PFUJ’s Secretary General Khurshid Abbasi and others also shared their views at the seminar. Later, the press club shields and Sindhi Ajraks, depicting the civilization of Moenjo Daro, were presented to the visiting journalists by Karachi Press Club.