Admitting old generations have mental blocks in dealing with India, the Pakistan army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s brother and principal of Lawrence College in Murree Farooq H. Kayani has said young generations from both the countries were instead capable of ushering a new era of “friendship” in the sub-continent.
Kayani, who along with a 20-member delegation was in the city before leaving for Pakistan, said: “I was having mental blocks about India since my childhood. But my perceptions about India changed after I visited this country several times in the past more than a decade. The youth in Pakistan is largely not embroiled in anti-India sentiments. The Pakistani youth have their own agenda and priorities without having any biases. We need to encourage youth exchange programmes to promote friendship between two nations,” he quipped.
He advocated that free movement of students between India and Pakistan and enhanced sports and cultural contacts would ensure better bilateral ties to "extend the innings of Mohali spirit".
Kayani, accompanied by potato king of Punjab Jang Bahadur Singh Sangha, said that both the countries should allow free movement of students by relaxing visa norms and by offering scholarships, as it was the best way to strengthen the ties.
A retired Air Commodore, Kayani said that Pakistani fans would love to watch forthcoming India-Pakistan cricket and hockey teams playing against each other after such a long break.
"Pakistani fans had cheered the Indian cricket team during the World Cup final and celebrated the victory too and it is all due the spirit generated by cricket,” he quipped. "it is time to further extend the innings and the power of the youth that can change the mindset," he said.
"Even in the semi final match between India and Pakistan, a lot of euphoria was generated between the two countries and of course it is the victory of cricket,” said Kayani, adding that there was a lot of similarity between the two nations.
Seeking easy visa norms for both India and Pakistan, air commodore (retd) Farooq H Kayani, the principal of Pakistan's Lawrence College and brother of Pakistan army chief general Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, said the people of the two countries wanted peace and better relations.
“The common man of both India and Pakistan wants good relations between the countries,” said Farooq, who was in Amritsar with his wife, Sajida, and students of Lawrence College Murree, Pakistan. “I am very hopeful that someday all issues including the Kashmir issue between the two nations will be resolved.”
He said Pakistan was working on its mission to eradicate terrorism. The Pakistani delegation, which came to India to visit Lawrence School in Himachal Pradesh, went to the Brahma Kumaris ashram in Amritsar on Wednesday. “We feel that both countries must relax visa norms so that the people can visit each other regularly,” Farooq said. He said India and Pakistan must look at strengthening trade ties. “This will not only make relations cordial but also help in boosting the economies of both nations,” he said. “We need to boost the education sector as well and increase the number of student exchange programmes.”