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MPs may go 'around the world in eight days'
May 11, 2005 17:28 IST
An eight-day, all-expenses paid global tour in the world's 'only private Boeing 747' is what awaits our parliamentarians if the idea of an 'international peace activist' comes true.
K A Paul, founder of a charitable organisation, World Peace Initiative, was in New Delhi to hold a 'Global Peace, India Summit-2005' on Tuesday.
But instead of a peace summit, the event turned out to be an open wooing of members of Parliament to join him in touring the world to 'spread the message of peace'.
Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Rehman Khan, former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma and Telugu Desam Parliamentary Party leader Yerran Naidu were among 40-odd MPs who attended the two-hour programme.
It began with a 15-minute presentation on the humanitarian activities of World Peace Initiative, showing Paul posing with leaders like Yasser Arafat and Kofi Annan.
This was followed by a speech by Deve Gowda, who praised Paul to the hilt, also dwelling on 'current global issues threatening world peace' and how Paul could make a difference to it all.
Then Paul took over and asked the gathering, "Do you (MPs) want to join me in an all-expenses paid trip in the world's only private Boeing jet (owned by his organisation) to spread world peace? Are you ready for an 'around the world in eight days trip?"
While coaxing the MPs, Paul also told them about added attractions like live telecast of the tour thorough satellite channels and top coverage in newspapers.
He then asked the MPs 'willing to share the glory' to raise their hands.
Up went the hands of all the MPs, mostly from parties like the TDP and Janata Dal (Secular).
Yerran Naidu assured Paul of the MPs' participation for the tour and that he would convince more to join it.
Paul also did not forget to remind the MPs about the high fuel prices for aviation and how expensive such a tour would be, but that he was willing to bear it all for the sake of 'world peace'.
However, Sangma introduced an element of caution when he reminded the 'global peace activist' that the parliamentarians will have to face a lot of hurdles before the tour takes wing.
"MPs have to take the permission of the speaker and also clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs to undertake any travel abroad," he said.
However, he added with a smile, "Let's try if we can convince them."
The event came to an end with Paul presenting a memento to Gowda and declaring him 'Global Ambassador of Peace'.