2014-10-11 17:34:00

Delhi Archbishop hopes Nobel Prize winners inspire peace between India and Pakistan

(Vatican Radio) Friday's announcement of Nobel Peace Prize winners Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India was hailed by many as a clear message of support for the education rights of children and a rejection of extremism.

A notable aspect is that the Norwegian committee chose their winners from India and Pakistan, two countries currently fighting over Kashmir. Tensions have flared with both exchanging artillery and mortar fire in the disputed region.

Vatican Radio spoke with Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto of Delhi, who praised the Nobel Prize committee’s selection of Yousafzai and Satyarthi.

Listen to the Archbishop:  

“We are so glad that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee has decided to award the Peace Prize to these two,” Archbishop Couto said. “One standing for the rights of the children in India […] and the other standing for the rights of children in Pakistan. This is exactly what we’re looking for.”

Indian military officials confirmed that 17 civilians have died in the latest outbreak of fighting, risking an already shaky truce between the countries. The area has been the cause of three wars between the countries.

Archbishop Couto believes the nomination of an Indian and a Pakistani brings the current conflict into the spotlight and will hopefully inspire peace between the two nations.

“We do not want any war and we do not want that any countries should be controlled by extremists and by terrorist,” he said. “It is so easy that certain fanatic fundamentalists can take over the entire politics of a country.”

With the rise of extremism in the Middle East, particularly in Pakistan, the Archbishop of Delhi is concerned that such a mentality will cross over to India.

“We are afraid that it may also happen in India and we do not want it to happen. Therefore, we are glad this this Peace Prize was has been awarded to these two,” he said.

The Nobel Prize, which is also awarded for literature, medicine, physics and chemistry will be awarded on December 10th, the 118th anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death. 

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