Time ripe for people-to-people contact, says Shujauddin Qureshi of the Pakistan Institute of Labour and Research

Three social activists from Pakistan have called for lifting visa restrictions on cross-border travel so as to build people-to-people contact and pave the way to improving relations with India.

Addressing a meeting organised by the Sundarayya Vignana Kendram and Awaaz, an NGO, on Sunday, the co-manager of Pakistan Institute of Labour and Research Shujauddin Qureshi said citizens of Pakistan had become sensitive to the problems of the Hindu and Christian minorities in that country. On the other hand, a number of Indians were also keen to visit their relatives in Pakistan. Hence, this was the right time to aid people-to-people contact.

A theatre artiste from Pakistan, Nafees Ashraf, said Pakistanis were as pained at terror attacks in India as in their country. She added that the media was partly to blame for the strained relations between the two nations.

Saima Jan from Lahore said 90 per cent Pakistanis were in favour of a strong relationship with Indians, though misconceptions persisted among some.

Anand Raj Verma, a teacher here, narrated his experiences during his two visits to Pakistan. The meeting was presided over by Osmania University professor Chenna Basavaiah.

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