Young children in Pakistan are taught to hate India, says a group of Pakistani students at a workshop conducted by the Sociology Department of Mumbai University. Their visit to the Indian city on a mission of promoting the practice of harmony and bonding among the youngsters of both nations is a positive move which should be appreciated.
“Once hating India was seen as true patriotism. We were trained to hate India but now we feel that there is an urgent need to stress on peace,” Sitara Jabeen, an MPhil student in Peace and Conflicts Studies at the National Defence University, Islamabad told DNA in Mumbai. “There is a group in Pakistan that is involved in terrorism, but the rest of us feel the same pain when India or any other country is attacked,” she said. “Pakistan is as much a victim of violence at the hands of terror outfits as India,” says Sidra Tariq who pursues MPhil in International Relations at the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad.
Arshi Saleem Hashmi, a professor from the same university, said “stereotypes are kept alive by a lack of understanding between groups of people. One way to shatter them,” she added, “is by engaging the youth of both the countries. The bonding of the youth can break that deadlock.”
Lahore based architect and youth activist, Hina Anwar Ali mentioned the cultural and demographical similarities of Pakistan and India and he pointed out how the youth can work as a centre of peace process between the two countries.
On the other hand, it is not a new allegation against Pakistan’s education system. Jabeen’s statement points out the fact that empowerment of terror in Pakistan have not just quickly taken place. According to a recent study by U.S. government had exposed how Pakistani schools cultivate discrimination and intolerance of other religions. The report stated that the very perception of non-Muslims is as ‘enemies of Islam,’ and nearly all teachers have the same view.
There are so many arguments on the growth of terrorism in Pakistan. Many arguments on what Pakistan schools teach their children reveal that the official textbooks prop up hatred against India, especially Hindus. The text books on Pakistan studies and social studies are the main controversial teachings where the history has been misrepresented and turn to corrupt the harmony with India.