It is essential to allow people-to-people contact in order to fulfil the objectives of SAARC, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation which aims to “promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia” in all ways possible and to enable the peoples of the region to “live in dignity and to realise their full potential”.
A signature campaign, #MilneDo
(let us meet) initiated by Southasia Peace Action Network (Sapan)
, in collaboration with nearly 20 like-minded organisations, based on the petition initially launched by Aman Ki Asha in 2012, updated in November 2016 and January 2019.
With nearly 40,000 endorsements so far, the campaign foregrounds nurturing people-to-people contacts to build mutual trust and collaboration. It calls upon the governments of Southasian nations to ease visa restrictions and enable freedom of trade and travel across borders.
People-to-people contacts are a prerequisite for building mutual trust and genuine collaboration. This is what will enable us to break from the past and repudiate the legacy of hatred and animosity. Our people and countries can reach their full potential and truly progress when ideas and art, business and tourism, and collaboration in the fields of health, sustainability and poverty alleviation are allowed to flourish and flow.