Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru: “My name is Abdul Basit and I am not a Terrorist”, said Pakistan high commissioner while speaking at Mount Carmel College in Bengaluru. Avoiding any controversial issues he emphasized on the role of education and how people have a wrong image of Pakistan in their minds.
He talked about the struggle of Pakistan after 1979 and how it has done a remarkable job since then. And how it is still struggling because of the geographical disadvantage. “Democracy is gradually but steadily making roots in the country”. He laughed saying, “Democracy in the time of elections is in itself a struggle”.
Not focusing much on Indo-Pak relations, he took a diplomatic route and talked about Education and youth of both the countries. “My generation has failed to bring the two nations together. Youth of both the countries can do this. They are better placed to see things and easily dispense their subjectivity.” He said if the youth of both countries change their mind set and look at the bigger picture, they can pressurize the government from both sides to resolve the issues and work in peace.
Talking about his meet with Chief Minister of Karnataka, he said we talked about the possibility to create education linkages within the two nations for interactions among youth, a common man from both the countries can make a difference.
Ending his short speech he said , “Frankly I don’t know what to talk about” he continued with two messages to the crowd, “societies have become materialistic. We are losing our cultural ethos in our blind emulation of western culture. If we are uprooted from our roots, development is not worth it. Take pride in your language, your culture and values.” He asked the students to be open minded about Pakistan. It’s like any other country and not to believe everything media shows.
The question and answer session which followed had a wide range of questions. The questions ranged from Indo-Pak relations since Modi coming to power to the relations of Pakistan with other countries. Questions were raised about the trade between two countries, how they might help, the aman ki aassha initiative, his comments on Shiv Sena’s role in Maharastra and the most conflicting one being, does Pakistan believe that India is funding separatist movement in Baluchistan.? To which he did not give a straight answer.
– Khushboo Aneja