Indians, Pakistanis in pursuit of peace at

Written by Press Trust of India | Updated: May 22 2009, 05:17am hrs, a platform for Indians and Pakistanis to publish, discuss and debate issues that are important to them, is still going strong 12 years after it opened its doors.

Though Chowk does not claim to solve the political or social problems of Pakistan and/or India, it has managed to provide a platform for dialogue, introspection and familiarity amongst the people to break taboos and facilitate a climate for lasting peace and understanding. In the wake of the Indian general election, writers at Chowk, who usually employ pseudonyms, are into the Jai Ho mode happy that the Congress has swept the country and that Singh is King.

The Indian voter loves to confound the pundits and pollsters alike. Against all predictions, it has returned the Sonia-Singh team to power. The results show the wisdom of the Indian voter who has endorsed the dignified way in which Dr Manmohan Singh has managed governance of the country, wrote Dost Mittar, who is based in Canada.

On the other hand, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is being described as the the villain of villains in a satire. Zardari is an enigma which has intrigued many for over a decade and nobody expects any relief anytime soon, wrote Maj Azhar. There is no dearth of quality writing either, with Pakistani author Shandana Minhas writing about the insurgency in Pakistan in the piece titled No quarter for half wits please and Beena Sarwar on Arundhati Pakistani and Patriotic Right-wingers.

Controversial topics such as the creation of Pakistan and India, or anything related to the two countries, remain all-time favourites. The latest i-log collecting hits is titled The creation of Pakistan may not have been necessary if Muslims were having unity among themselves in the undivided India.

But Chowk is not just about news. Its a haunt for many Pakistanis and Indians, for many reasons. A member called Rahul Capri has started a thread on the portal to know if fellow-members would prefer intelligence in a girl.

Most members gave a thumbs up to the third category. Another member has started a thread on Meri shaadi. Some others are there with their a/s/l-type introductions looking, waiting, hoping.