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The Rediff Special/Sheela Bhatt

January 20, 2004

Are there signs that Pakistan is changing? Are there voices in this country that go beyond the demand for Kashmir? Do people want freedom, democracy and development? Are they ready for it?

These are some of the many questions Contributing Editor Sheela Bhatt asked of a group of experienced grassroots workers from the South Asia Partnership organisation in Lahore whose goal is to emancipate women and uplift the poor. Each one of them works in a Pakistani village where people constantly battle harsh social traditions, lack of water and poor education in their daily struggle for survival:

January 20: Shakil Ibrar: We have never seen changes like these in the last 50 years

January 21: Naima Malik: The elders have a softer attitude towards India

January 22: Mehmood Ahmed: People take decisions carrying the Qu'ran in their hand

January 23: Uzma Zarrin: The teachers in Pakistan are pro-jihad

The Rediff Specials

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Number of User Comments: 11

Sub: Indo Pak relations

I think if at all there can be peace between India and Pakistan that will happen if people of Pakistan rise up and realize that ...

Posted by Virender Kashyap

Sub: How does it matter !!

Its as simple as the statement in the subject. Why should we be bothering about Pakistan at all. Its a waste of our precious time. ...

Posted by Sameer

Sub: a new pakistan ? - a mirage.

All talk about a new Pakistan emerging over the past two years is all hogwash. Post 9/11, Musharraf had only 2 options-either join hands- atleast ...

Posted by dayanandnene

Sub: When will India Learn ???

Tolerance has been the policy for india through ages, but think..has it helped up. Wake up and look at the practical side. Pakistan is feeling ...

Posted by rahul

Sub: We need to zoom out a little

I have read ppl posting things like don't glorify Pakistanis or stop praising them. Frankly speaking I think we need to take a step back ...

Posted by Srinivas


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