Founding Charter

Sapan is a coalition of individuals and representatives of various organisations joining hands for a minimum common agenda: Reclaiming Southasia. 

In doing so, we reiterate our commitment to take forward the principles and ideals of peace, justice, democracy and human rights articulated by visionaries like Dr Mubashir Hasan, Nikhil Chakravartty, Asma Jahangir, Nirmala Deshpande, Kuldip Nayar, Rajni Kothari among others –  a visa-free Southasia or confederation of nations with soft borders. A region in which each nation ensures quality education, justice, and freedom of expression and religion to its own citizens as well as support and solidarity to those of the other nations.

We aim to ‘reclaim Southasia’, to quote another of our mentors and visionaries, the late I.A. Rehman

We support the objectives of SAARC, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation: 

“To promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life; to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and to provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realize their full potential; to promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia; to contribute to mutual trust, understanding and appreciation of one another’s problems; to promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields; to strengthen cooperation with other developing countries; to strengthen cooperation among themselves in international forums on matters of common interests; and to cooperate with international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes.”

The Southasia Peace Action Network therefore calls on the governments and peoples of Southasian nations to work towards:

  1. Instituting soft borders and visa-free Southasia, or visa-on-arrival, to allow freedom of trade and travel to each other’s citizens
  2. Ensure human rights and dignity for all their citizens including religious and ethnic minorities, women, children and other oppressed communities
  3. Cooperate in all areas particularly related to public health, culture and legal reform, education, environment, climate change, water issues, disarmament, de-militarisation and de-nuclearisation.

Note: Marathi, Nepali, Gujarati translations in process. Thanks to volunteers for their contributions. We welcome more translations.

To endorse the Charter and join Sapan, click this link

endorsing organisations 

  1. Aaghaz-e-Dosti
  2. Aman Ki Asha
  3. Asma Jahangir-AGHS Legal Aid Cell and VoicePk.net, Pakistan
  4. Coalition for Democratic India
  5. Pakistani Association of Greater Boston (PAGB)
  6. Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD)
  7. Boston South Asia Center
  8. South Asia Citizens Web (SACW)
  9. South Asia Partnership-Pakistan
  10. South Asia Women in Media (SAWM)
  11. The Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies, Tufts University
  12. Association of Pakistani Physicians of New England (APPNE)
  13. Resolv Education and Training Programs, USA
  14. American Sikh Forum Inc.
  15. Project Dastaan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh
  16. Centre for Peace and Secular Studies, Lahore
  17. 3 Quarks Daily
  18. Nijera Kori, Bangladesh
  19. Sangat, South Asian feminist network
  20. Karachi Press Club
  21. Openminds consulting
  22. Rotary Club of Karachi Capital Hills, Rotary International District 3271
  23. Shahid Bhagat Singh.org
  24. Nagorik Uddyog
  25. South Asia Forum for Art & Creative Heritage
  26. Himal Southasian
  27. GAIA Earth Sansad
  28. Indo Pak Book Lovers Club

(being updated)

Founder members 

  1. Amartya Sen, economist
  2. Aabida Ali, researcher, feminist, Karachi
  3. Aekta Kapoor, editor, eShe magazine, Delhi
  4. Aliya Rab, architect, healer, New Jersey, Balochistan
  5. Aliya Salahuddin, journalist, writer, Pakistan/Italy
  6. Ammu Joseph, journalist, Bangalore
  7. Anis Haroon, human rights, peace and women’s rights activist, Karachi
  8. Anish Gawande, director, Dara Shikoh Fellowship, Mumbai/Oxford
  9. Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal, editor, activist
  10. A.S. Paneerselvan, reader’s editor, The Hindu, Chennai
  11. Asad Palijo, Harvard South Asia Engagement Group
  12. Asmi Jamil Sadiq, paediatrician, New York
  13. Atiqa Shahid, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, Lahore/Sweden
  14. Baela Raza Jamil, educationist
  15. Beena Sarwar, journalist, Karachi/Boston
  16. Bishop Dr. J Ravikumar Stephen, episcopal bishop, management consultant, Tamil Nadu
  17. Devang Shah, lawyer, India
  18. Evita Das, urban researcher, PIPFPD
  19. Farooq Tariq, activist, General Secretary, Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee (PKRC), Lahore
  20. Dr. Fauzia Deeba, physician, ex-HRCP, PIPFPD, Quetta/New Jersey
  21. Gauhar Raza, social activist, India
  22. Gurmehar Kaur, social-media activist
  23. Hardip Mann, South Asia Center, Boston
  24. Dr. Haroon Ahmed Syed, president, Pakistan Association of Mental Health
  25. Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizens Wire (SACW)
  26. Husnain Jamil, student activist, journalist, Lahore
  27. Jatin Desai, PIPFPD, Mumbai
  28. Jaspal Singh, South Asia Center, Boston
  29. Kalpana Sharma, journalist, Mumbai
  30. Kanak Mani Dixit, The Southasia Trust
  31. Karamat Ali, Pakistan Institute of Labour, Education and Research (PILER), Karachi
  32. Kavita Srivastava, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Jaipur
  33. Khawar Mumtaz, women’s rights activist, Karachi
  34. Khushi Kabir, Nijera Kori, Dhaka
  35. Lalita Ramdas, activist, Alibag, India
  36. Laxmi Murthy, archivist, Bangalore
  37. Lubna Panjwani, educationist, Rotarian, Karachi
  38. Mahnaz Rehman, Aurat Foundation
  39. Mandira Nayar, journalist, Delhi
  40. Marvi Sirmed, activist, columnist
  41. Mazher Hussain, Confederation of Voluntary Associations (COVA)
  42. Milind Champanerkar, writer, researcher, Pune
  43. Mini Nair, poet, India
  44. Mira Hashmi, assistant professor in film studies, Lahore School of Economics
  45. Mitu Verma, journalist, Delhi
  46. M.M. Naazim, activist, Bangalore
  47. Monica Wahi, children’s film curator, Bombay
  48. Mukta Lall, writer
  49. Munizae Jahangir, VoicePk.net
  50. M. Tahseen, South Asia Partnership, SAP-Pk, Lahore
  51. Nadia Rahman, former co-chair, Harvard South Asia Engagement Group, Lahore
  52. Nadra Huma Quraishi, director, English Language Centre, University of Central Punjab
  53. Neel Kamal, journalist, India
  54. Nighat Said Khan, Women’s Action Forum, Lahore
  55. Noman Quadri, lawyer, banker, Karachi
  56. Omer Azhar Bhatti, student activist, Lahore
  57. Pir Ebrahim Shah, rotarian, activist, Houston
  58. Prabodh Jamwal, journalist, Jammu
  59. Priyanka Singh, researcher, Delhi
  60. Rafiq Kathwari, poet, Kashmir/New York
  61. Rajeshri Dasgupta, PIPFPD, Kolkata
  62. Rahul Mukerji, management consultant
  63. Admiral Ramu Ramdas, former Indian Navy chief, Magsaysay awardee, Alibag, India
  64. Ramnik Mohan, translator, India
  65. Ravi Nitesh, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, India
  66. Raza Khan, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, Lahore/Sweden
  67. Raza Rumi, editor, Naya Daur
  68. Rita Manchanda, SAHFR, India
  69. Rubina Saigol, psychologist, activist, Lahore
  70. Saeed Ahmed Rid, professor of politics, international relations and peace studies, Islamabad
  71. Salima Hashmi, artist, Lahore
  72. Samina Rehman, Women’s Action Forum, Lahore
  73. Samir Gupta, IT, activist, Delhi
  74. Dr. Sandeep Panday, activist, Magsaysay awardee
  75. Sanjoy Hazarika, SAMDEN, India
  76. Shabnam Hashmi, social activist, India
  77. Shahram Azhar, economist, musician, Rawalpindi/Pennsylvania
  78. Shailaja Rao, educationalist, Dhanak for Humanity
  79. Sheema Kermani, Tehrik-e-Niswan, Karachi
  80. Shuja Uddin, screenwriter, Karachi/Austin
  81. Siraj Khan, president, Pakistani Association of Greater Boston (PAGB)
  82. Sneha Jha, activist, researcher, Bihar/London
  83. Sushil Khanna, PIPFPD, Kolkata
  84. Swati Sharan, peace activist, Toronto
  85. Syed A. Rizvi, past president, Federation of Aligarh Alumni Associations of North America
  86. Dr. Syeda Hameed, educationist, writer, former member of the Planning Commission of India
  87. Tapan Bose, PIPFPD, SAHFR, Delhi
  88. Umaima Ahmed, journalist, Lahore
  89. Urvashi Butalia, writer, Delhi
  90. Vijayan M.J., PIPFPD, Delhi
  91. Vishal Sharma, researcher, Shimla
  92. Waqas Nasir, agrarian and researcher, Lahore
  93. Yousaf Shaikh, president, APPNE, Boston
  94. Zakia Sarwar, educator, founder, Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT), Karachi/Boston

Further Endorsements 

  1. Dr. Adil Najam, Dean, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University
  2. Dr. Ayesha Jalal, Mary Richardson Professor of History/Director, Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies, Tufts University
  3. Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Department of History, Harvard University
  4. Tahir Ali, author “Muslim Vote Counts” – PR (PAGB, APPNE)
  5. Dr. Shahidul Alam, photographer, Drik, Bangladesh 
  6. Dr. Azra Raza, oncologist, author, New York
  7. Jean Dreze, economist, Ranchi, India
  8. Arif Hasan, town planner and architect, Karachi
  9. Kishwar Naheed, poet, Islamabad
  10. Kamla Bhasin, poet and activist, New Delhi
  11. Swarna Rajagopalan, researcher and peace educator
  12. Hina Jilani, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Dastak (DCT) Center for Access to Justice
  13. Rukhshanda Naz, Women’s Regional Network, Peshawar
  14. Najam Sethi, journalist, Pakistan
  15. Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena, lawyer, Sri Lanka
  16. Vasanth Pai, activist, Aman Ki Asha, Bengaluru
  17. Aisha Gazdar, documentary filmmaker, Karachi
  18. Hamid S. Jafari, infectious diseases expert, Jordan
  19. Xari Jalil, journalist, Lahore
  20. Inderjeet Singh, academician, India
  21. Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, Water and Environment Forum (WEForum), Islamabad
  22. Munir Ahmed, DevCom, Pakistan
  23. Shabnam Rashid, South Asia Partnership, Lahore
  24. Ajmal Qureshi, associate, Harvard University Asia Center
  25. Krishna Kumari Upadhayaya, academician, Kathmandu University
  26. Sarita Bartaula, youth activist, Nepal
  27. T.M. Krishna, musician and author, Chennai
  28. Chandraguptha Thenuwara, professor/artist/activist, Colombo
  29. Daanish Mustafa, professor, King’s College, London
  30. Yasmeen Kazi, physician, Karachi
  31. Khalid Hussain, editor, The Law Today, Islamabad
  32. Kaleem Durrani, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
  33. Rohit Valecha, filmmaker & activist, founder at Roobaroo, Pune
  34. Sangeeta Thapa, founder director Siddhartha Art Gallery |Siddhartha Arts Foundation and chair of the Kathmandu Triennale
  35. Shahid Nadeem, director, Ajoka Theatre, Lahore
  36. Dr. Anil Kumar Mishra, teacher, Jaipur
  37. Ghazala Alam, physician, Karachi/Boston
  38. Shazman Shariff, writer, teacher, Bangalore
  39. Shabbir Hussain Imam, journalist, Peshawar
  40. Meenakshi Chhabra, professor, Boston/Delhi
  41. M. V. Ramana, professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  42. Diep, activist, Centre for Peace and Secular Studies, Lahore
  43. Arvinder Singh, dentist, New York
  44. Gaddamashok, peace ambassador, Hyderabad, India
  45. Manta Jaitly, activist, Jaipur
  46. Priyadarshi Chowdhury, professional, Gurgaon
  47. Abha Bhaiya, women’s rights activist, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
  48. Roop Chand Makhnotra, retired, Jammu Tawi
  49. Suraj Budathoki, activist, New Hampshire/Bhutan
  50. Asiya Sadiq, architect/urbanist/academic, Brussels
  51. Mange Ram Adhana, agriculture, Association For Promotion Sustainable Development
  52. Anwar Hasan, media specialist, London
  53. Hamid Nehal Ansari, entrepreneur, Mumbai
  54. Sara Suleri Goodyear, writer, Boston MA
  55. Sughra Raza, physician, Boston
  56. Syed Abbas Raza, Editor 3 Quarks Daily, Italy
  57. Shakil Chaudhary, journalist/author/youtuber, Islamabad
  58. Puneet Mathur, Delhi
  59. Thomas Alias K, journalist, Kerala
  60. Dr. Ramu Kharel, emergency medicine, Providence RI / HAPSA Nepal
  61. Fazil Jamili, president, Karachi Press Club
  62. Ruchhita Kazaria, branding professional, Kolkata
  63. Shalini Singh, journalist, co-founder of People’s Archive of Rural India, Delhi
  64. Asif Saad, management consultant, Karachi
  65. Fukunaga Masaaki, sociologist of South Asian society, Tokyo
  66. Bilal Farooqi, news editor, The Express Tribune, Karachi
  67. Dilip Simeon, writer, teacher, New Delhi
  68. Sahar Ali, project manager, writer-editor, Karachi/Austin
  69. Ziyad Ali Shah, journalist, Islamabad
  70. Asma Jamil Sadiq, MD, New Jersey
  71. Jagmohan Singh, retired professor, chairman Shaheed Bhagat Singh Centenary Foundation, Punjab
  72. Nandini Sundar, sociologist, Delhi
  73. Fatima Ijaz, poet, educator, Karachi
  74. Zakir Hossain, chief executive, Nagorik Uddyog, Dhaka
  75. Neeti Nair, associate professor of history, University of Virginia
  76. Aruni John, development specialist, Colombo
  77. Harsh Narayan, filmmaker, creative entrepreneur, New Delhi
  78. Kausar S. Khan, Indus Health Network, Karachi
  79. Kunda Dixit, publisher, Kathmandu
  80. Pragya Narang, communications consultant, New Delhi
  81. Amin Hashwani, business, Karachi
  82. Muhammad Faiz Kidwai, director 2022-24, Rotary International, CEO CG Global Pvt. Ltd., Karachi
  83. Sarita Kumari Ghanerao, director, Ghanerao Hotels and Ghanerao Organic Foundation, District Pali, Rajasthan
  84. Atiya Zaidi, educationist, Delhi
  85. Sanjay Rajoura, writer, satirist, Delhi
  86. Sharda Ugra, journalist, Bangalore
  87. Bushra Gohar, former member of parliament, Peshawar
  88. Khushal Khan, human rights activist, member National Democratic Movement, Islamabad
  89. Shubhanga Pandey, chief editor, Himal Southasian, Kathmandu/Colombo
  90. Chandra Vikash, convenor, GAIA Earth Sansad, Ghaziabad
  91. Homi Bhabha, professor, Cambridge MA
  92. Tak Bahadur Tamang, social activist, Kathmandu
  93. Haris Gazdar, social science researcher, Karachi
  94. Satyajit Singh, political scientist, New Delhi/Santa Barbara
  95. Arieb Azhar, musician/curator/producer, Islamabad
  96. Ali Cheema, political economist, Lahore
  97. Sudha Reddy, social activist and researcher, Bangalore
  98. Marty Chen, activist academic, Boston MA
  99. Col. Pavan Nair, retired Indian Army veteran, Pune
  100. Sheeba Aslam Fehmi, journalist, New Delhi
  101. Shakil Ahmed, retired PMS officer from government of Punjab, Lahore
  102. Geet Chainani, healthcare administrator, Bombay, NYC
  103. M Naazir, educationist, Karachi
  104. Raj Kumar, peace activist, New York City
  105. Sumedh Naik, probationary officer, Mumbai
  106. Rajdeep Sardesai, senior journalist and author, New Delhi
  107. Payoshni Mitra, CEO Global Observatory for Gender Equality and Sport, Kolkata/Laussane
  108. Radhika Coomaraswamy, chairperson International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo
  109. Rumana Husain, writer, artist, educator, Karachi
  110. Mohsin Tejani, founder and executive director of The School of Writing, Karachi
  111. Bimal Sharma, consultant and social activist, Kolkata
  112. Pratyush B, professor, Boston
  113. Nalaka Gunawardene, science writer and media analyst, Colombo
  114. Nandita Roy, assistant professor at Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
  115. Anup Subedee, physician, Kathmandu
  116. Massoud Ansari, businessman, New Jersey; former journalist, Karachi
  117. Sadaf Aijaz, housewife, Lahore
  118. Badri Raina, writer, poet, retired professor, Delhi
  119. Sushmita Preetha, journalist, Dhaka
  120. Lara Jesani , advocate, Mumbai
  121. Tanay Agrawal, consultant, Mumbai
  122. Bhanwar Lal Kumawat, social worker, Jaipur, Rajasthan
  123. Komal Srivastava, people’s science movement and education, Jaipur
  124. Poornima Meena, law student, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan
  125. Khushi Verma, student, Jaipur

(being updated)