Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pakistan and India: Toward a Reconciliation

Forgiveness is essential before India and Pakistan can move toward reconciliation and abiding peace. Noni, who runs the OpinionatedPakistani channel on youtube has a wonderful video just up that I thought I would blog immediately. This is Black History Month in the US and Canada, and Noni talks about the Martin Luther King Memorial that began construction in Washington DC in December 2009. The memorial will be made from granite blocks shipped from China, and the statue of Martin Luther King will be designed by a Chinese sculptor.
it will be bigger than the 19-foot statue of Jefferson in the Jefferson Memorial, the 19-foot 6-inch statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial and the 19-foot 6-inch statue of Freedom on the U.S. Capitol dome.

Noni also mentions this letter in the Washington Post:
The site of the memorial is flanked by cherry trees, gifts from Japan, the archenemy of China in the 1930s and '40s and the United States in the '40s.

Noni points out that if China, Japan and the US, who were each others' arch-enemies in the 1930s and 40s (China and Japan); 1930s and 40s (Japan and the US); 1950s and 60s (China and the US), could thus cooperate in the making of the Martin Luther King memorial, then surely India and Pakistan can also put the past behind, forgive each other for what they each did in the past 60 years, and move ahead in peace and reconciliation? She also asks us to remember how far race relations have come in the US in the past 50 years. Yet, she asks, India and Pakistan still seem stuck in the past. Why?