NATIONAL

More cooperation with Pakistan urged

FREE BIRDS WE ARE: Pakistani students and a faculty member from the Lahore University of Management Science at the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, on Saturday. — Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup  

FREE BIRDS WE ARE: Pakistani students and a faculty member from the Lahore University of Management Science at the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, on Saturday. — Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

KOZHIKODE, AUG. 21. More regional-level cooperation between India and Pakistan will help reduce the conflict between the two countries, according to a team from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

The team, comprising five students and a teacher, is on a visit to the Indian Institute of Management-Kozhikode (IIM-K) as part of their visit to the country.

They felt that frequent exchanges of students between the two countries would help reduce tension.

`Not real picture'

According to them, though Pakistanis were more exposed to the Indian reality as they get to see a lot of Indian television channels there, Indians did not have the same facility.

"They get to know Pakistan through the (state-controlled) PTV, which does not depict a real picture of Pakistan. Hence, people here think that Pakistani women do not enjoy any freedom in their country. However, there is no gender discrimination in Pakistan. This is evident in LUMS itself, where girl students are free to take any discipline and also engage in debates on all issues," they point out.

Ayesha Nadir Ali, a faculty member of the LUMS, said that the students in the team were very enthusiastic about their Indian visit.

"My family members were first sceptical about the trip as they thought continuous reporting at police stations, and so on, in India will be more of a harassment. But we had a non-reporting visa and we did not face any kind of harassment at all."

Meeting with idols

The team came to India in response to an official invitation to LUMS from institutes in India. The students, Saleha Siddique, Kehkashan Beenish Khan, Ahson Faiz, Ayesha Nawaz and Amber Rahman, were thrilled to meet Bollywood idols Hrithik Roshan and Amitabh Bachchan during their visit to Mumbai. Their parents were ardent fans of yesteryear heroes/heroines of Bollywood as much as they are fascinated by the new generation stars.

"My father wanted me to visit former Hindi film actor, Dilip Kumar. I could not make it but I saluted the home of this great actor as I passed by that city," said Ms. Ayesha.

The students said that South India was very different from North India. "We did not feel any difference between our city and the cities in North India. However, down south, it is very different," they say in unison.

Working in India

They were also looking forward to studying MBA here. Some would even like to work in India. "Like working abroad, even Pakistanis could work in India, for example, in Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India," one of them said.

The team, which has been in India for the last three weeks, would be around for a couple of days more before returning home. Impressed by the scenic beauty of the IIM-K campus, atop a hillock in Kunnamangalam, one of them commented to an IIMK student: "Are yaar, you should be writing poetry here."