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UMT organizes seminar on role of media for stable and prosperous South Asia
December 9, 2011
The time has come for India and Pakistan to take bold actions to make the South Asian region stable and prosperous: free media of both of the countries can play a vital role in making this possible, opined speakers of the seminar on “Role of media for stable and prosperous South Asia” organized in connection with the 26th Anniversary of SAARC by the Media and Communication Department, University of Management and Technology (UMT). Rahmatullah Javed, former Secretary General SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was the chief guest. Prof Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad, Rector UMT, presided over the seminar while Prof Dr Mujahid Mansoori, Chairman Department of Media and Communication, Prof Mian Muhammad Asif, renowned political scholar of Canada and Pakistan, and a large number of media students were present in the seminar.

Addressing on the occasion, Rahmatullah Javed, briefed students about the history of SAARC, its objectives and functioning. He said that ties based on mutual trust between India and Pakistan were crucial to utilize maximum potential of the SAARC member states for the collective wellbeing of the people of the South Asian region. “Unfortunately the value of distrust increases at once even after a firework blast in India or Pakistan. The media can play a greater role in this regards to promote people-to-people contacts and trade ventures among SAARC countries,” he said.  He added that if Germany, France and other countries who fought against one another in the Second World War  could come close and form exemplary ties in the European Union, why not Pakistan and India whose people had a history of living together for 800 years.

Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad, said that Pakistan and India need to learn some lessons from other regional blocks and associations like the European Union, NAFTA, ASEAN, Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) and Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), etc. He said that Pakistan must cash its geopolitical position and work as an active member in all regional and international level organizations and also by getting Observer Status in other regional association in order to get maximum advantages from the upcoming developments. He advised the media students to think out of the box and become creators of events rather than just reporting them.
Expressing his views, Prof Dr Mujahid Mansoori said that unfortunately SAARC is not very successful but it has a very favorable environment to promote regional stability and transform it into the prosperity of the member states. “Our needs are common and we have tremendous potential and capacity to cater to the trader and other mutual needs but the only problem is unfriendly ties of India and Pakistan.” Dr Mansoori added that we are living in an era that is defined by internationalism. The media is not merely a propaganda tool but is also playing its new role as peace maker.

Prof Dr Mian Muhammad Asif presented a comparative study of SAARC and the European Union. He said that European nations have set an example of supranational union and have gone beyond traditional concepts of sovereignty and borders to improve the values and life of their people.  He said that Pakistan and India must realize the problems of their people and strengthen the SAARC forum in the greater interest of the people of South Asia.
Daily Business Recorder (10.12.2011)
The News (11.12.2011)
Daily Express (10.12.2011)
The Express Tribune (11.12.2011)
Daily Times (11.12.2011)
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