Stimson Center and Bloggers in India and Pakistan Launch Website to Encourage Cross-Border Dialogue
WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2013 / PRNewswire / – Working with bloggers in India and Pakistan, the Stimson Center today launched a website called South Asian Voices: Generation Why to stimulate a cross-border dialogue on security issues and promote normal and cooperative relations between the two nations, Stimson President and CEO Ellen Laipson announced.
The address of the new site is www.southasianvoices.org
“This new website is designed to serve a new generation of young analysts in India and Pakistan to enable them to find common ground and communicate directly with each other on security issues that now divide their nations,” Laipson said. “The site will encourage analysts to seek out pragmatic solutions to disputes involving nuclear weapons, conventional forces, water disputes, migration, trade and other contentious issues.”
Two Indian and two Pakistani security bloggers writing for the new website will be selected each year as visiting fellows at the Stimson Center in Washington. The visiting fellows will work on research projects and meet with executive branch officials, visit Capitol Hill and interact with think tanks, said Stimson Co-founder Michael Krepon, who is director of the Center’s South Asia Project.
The fellowships and the new website are being funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.
“We’re calling this a website for Generation Why because talented young analysts in India and Pakistan are questioning why relations remain so strained between their countries,” Krepon said. “They deserve a say in their region’s future and Stimson intends to help them find their voices.”
Prominent Indian and Pakistani scholars welcomed the launch of South Asian Voices: Generation Why.
D. Suba Chandran, director of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi, said: “The Stimson Center has always been a pioneer in building confidence between India and Pakistan through innovative, but concrete measures. Its new idea to build an online bridge between the two countries is innovative and practical, given the slow official progress in breaking the visa barrier. It is imperative that the two communities have a lively debate to understand each other’s concerns and interpretations. This should become a good first step to conceive a joint future.”
Syed Rifaat Hussain – a professor of security studies in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at National Defence University in Islamabad and a former professor and chairman of the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad â€” said: “I would like to congratulate the Stimson Center for launching its website South Asian Voices, which offers young minds from Pakistan and India a unique opportunity to engage in an exchange of ideas to promote the cause of peace in the region. This forum has the promise to become the most vibrant site for generating innovative and unorthodox ideas to cope with the complex security challenges facing South Asia.”
Stimson will host the server and website for South Asian Voices and is seeking a broad range of blog posts and comments from Indians and Pakistanis on security issues, broadly defined.
“Posts to the website will be about current research projects and papers, topical issues and whatever seems important to say that is relevant to security on the subcontinent,” said Stimson Research Associate Julia Thompson, who will manage the site. “In addition to serious and substantive blog posts, we invite informal and light-hearted commentary.”
All blog posts on the website will be in English. Blog posts and comments can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Stimson Center is a nonprofit and nonpartisan think tank that conducts research and offers pragmatic policy ideas on some of the most important peace and security challenges around the world. Stimson was recently honored with a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.