Thank you for letting me travel to Pakistan!

Published: September 11, 2012

Pakistan had always been a reality to me, unlike for some people who couldn’t believe that there was another nation carved out of the Indian subcontinent. DESIGN: ERUM SHAIKH

Pakistan had always been a reality to me, unlike for some people who couldn’t believe that there was another nation carved out of the Indian subcontinent. But for me, it was just another nation that existed before I was born. 

In 2007, I chanced upon a scholarship to finish a part of my semester in Kinnaird College, Lahore. Lahore fascinated me ever since. It was in Lahore that Sahir Ludhianvi (my favourite lyricist) spent his romantic years; where Jaun Eliya (my favourite poet) struggled through his life, and Saadat Hasan Manto (my favourite writer) passed away.

While my only fear was what the city would offer to a vegetarian, as I packed my bags to leave, my family and friends were very concerned for my physical safety.

Just days before I was to enter the alluring city, due to a spat between the heads of states of India and Pakistan, all visas (except diplomatic visas) were cancelled. That was the closest I had come to experiencing Pakistan.

Three years later, another scholarship took me to the US, to complete my studies. I had never thought that a scholarship that was funded by the governments of the US and India, would bring me closer to Pakistan.

On the University of Colorado Boulder’s beautiful, lush lawns, 25 students from across the world, who had been granted the same scholarship, gathered and spoke in hushed tones about the upcoming introductory seminars. From the corner of my eye, I caught one gentleman giving me a long, thoughtful look. From the colour of his skin, I could tell that he was from my part of the world, but his shy, almost withdrawn nature made me nervous about approaching him.

Finally, he came over and said,

“I have wanted to say hi to you for a long time. You are from India, right?”

I answered edgily,

“Yes, I am Raksha.”

I extended my hand. Under his beard was a smile and look of unmistakable intelligence.

“I am Bilal. I am from Pakistan.”

Soon, we realised that not only were we about to attend the same grad school, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, but that we would also be living in the same building!

That introduction was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and also the reason I forged many other precious friendships during my stay in the US. Bilal introduced me to Sana, a bubbly Pakistani woman whose laughter resonates long after she has left the room.

As time passed and we settled into our routines (which involved going to school, working late and spending weekends catching up on sleep), we realised that our calendars allowed for spending time together.

On most days, the three of us dined together. We visited Times Square and the Statue of Liberty, and ate tonnes and tonnes of South Asian food while chatting mostly in Hindi.

It is interesting how certain situations and places can highlight different aspects of one’s identity. In New York, Sana, Bilal and I were no longer from the two warring nations. We were students of Columbia University, who shared food, culture and language as opposed to several others from different parts of the world.

When Sana called us each evening, Bilal and I immediately knew the agenda: we would order a large pizza with jalapeno peppers and pineapple, and sit on Sana’s bed listening to stories about her childhood. We watched American and Pakistani sitcoms, and laughed well into the night.

Today, months after graduation, there is a bond between us that goes beyond all barriers, in spite of the fact that we are separated by what some call the impermeable borders between India and Pakistan.

As I now plan a visit to Pakistan to meet Bilal’s new bride and gang up with Sana for a hiking trip on the Margalla Hills, I hope someday the history will remain deeply buried and never return to haunt us.

Follow Raksha on Twitter @Raksha_Kumar 

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Raksha Kumar

Raksha Kumar

The author is a Bangalore based video journalist freelancing for the New York Times and the BBC. She graduated from the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University in May 2011 where she majored in TV news. She is a Fulbright Scholar and has worked in various media outlets in India. She tweets @Raksha_Kumar.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Nandita.

    This was a good read. On this subject, We think alike Ms Raksha.Recommend

  • Rahim ALi

    i agree with u ….i got some indian frnds in sydney and i love to visit then in india .. being a pakistani i love my country but being a travller i love to visit my negihbour !!!Recommend

  • Adnan Farooqui

    Ms Rakhsa lets talk straight reality its ordinary educated new generation people who can change the fortune of our sub-continent. Our both indian and pakistani ancestors have suffered alot to get this independence and come out of slavery who were also extremist or terrorist being freedom fighters. We got this independence on sacrifice of god knows how many millions life on both side of borders. Are we the same nations? Today i dont see the pont or justification of those struggles and i think they just simply wasted their lifes and wasted their blood. We never deserved freedom on first place. Our countries are worst then ever we forgot our past we are still slaves. We both countries have no proper leadership. Our systems are full of corruption.Moat of our nation is still poor. We are still full of hatered against each other. We spend most of money on buying arms and ammunition to destroy each other. We are the most selfish corrupt nation on earth. Our corrupt politicians and richest industrialists are ripping off us. After more then 60 years we have not learned a single lesson so what is the hope for future? Also it is very eady for any other nation to use us against each other all they need is to give aid or call centres and they dont need to do anything more. We have actually already sold the future of our coming generations who would be either corrupt or slave as they wont have third option. Recommend

  • Parvez

    You’re a writer, a thinker, well educated, have been exposed to the world at large, so the way you view things will be in conformity with your developed mind-set and I am sure that when you come to visit you will not be disappointed because you will look for the good that exists and not the bad. Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Rahim ALi:
    @Parvez:

    Good to see such lovely heartwarming comments from Pakistanis.Recommend

  • sid

    Just wait………….They will start again Kashmir!Kashmir! Water! Water!
    we are not involved our non state actors are involved……………..Remember this is South Asia not US…………So don’t pass sweaping judgements……I bet nothing will change they are not shouting much because they passing through a weak phase……..Recommend

  • Golden horde

    Welcome to pakistan…and have a great time :)Recommend

  • Waqas

    Good read…….but felt the writer meant urdu instead of hindi in the sentence “We visited Times Square and the Statue of Liberty, and ate tonnes and tonnes of South Asian food while chatting mostly in Hindi.”Recommend

  • Indi-Pop

    @author- Great read! Kudos!Recommend

  • nitish

    @Waqas: Waqas do you know ,we indian some time feel difficult to understand Urdu.I can tell you before i started visiting this site,I was unaware of the meaning of word pakistan.For me it was some arabic word.Hindi accent and language is completely different from urdu.though your urdu is derivative of hindi.Recommend

  • Ahsan Ikhlas

    yes urdu derives from hindi and not the other way roundRecommend

  • Jawani

    ET! that light green region is DISPUTED TERRITORY, change it to a neutral colour instead of any colour associated to the flags of Pakistan and India .. please be sensitive!Recommend

  • aizaz

    nice
    i would love to visit all the lovely places in india peciallyshimla mumbai and dehli .Recommend

  • bharat

    Pakistan is a lovely country, i am keen to visit Pakistan and meet the people

    I hope if Pakistanis come here ,they have a good time.

    India also has much to offer

    A 6000 km coast line , mountains and so much

    I would personally like to host Pakistani peopleRecommend

  • Sindh Voice

    It was really a nice feeling reading your article.
    Whenever we are abroad, people ask at first instant are you Indian, thats coz our same shapes and cultures etc. Recommend

  • T Shah

    I dont understand why the Indians dont join Pakistan and solve the Kashmir problem, seems it is hurting Indians as much as Pakistan.

    Why not decide to sit down and thrash out a solution acceptable to all three sides and not get out of the room until it has been decided?

    After all if the partition of India into 2 parts could have been worked out, why cant we settle the Kashmir issue because only then can people like myself truly feel sincerely friendly towards Indians.

    I am held back from being more proactive and friendly with Indians because of the lingering thought of our Kashmiri brethern suffering and dying to be free. In such a situation, only extremism will breed, it will gve the forces of hatred a free hand, it allows the unemployed youth to fall prey to the hands of the religious brigades.

    I just dont get it why India refuses to discuss, they don’t have to enter talks with any pre conceived agenda to browbeat Pakistan, just have a single agenda that is to settle this issue which is acceptable to all three sides, for this all three will have to give up something but what each one will gain will be a thousand fold, the dividends of peace will be beyond anyones imagination as goodwill flourishes amongst a billion and a half people and we start to visit, vacation, do business, enter into commerce, from one end of Pakistan all the way to Bengal and Sri Lanka via India.

    You cannot imagine the benefits, everyone in the region can improve their lives, we can say good bye to poverty as trade and tourism lifts people out of poverty everywhere in the region.

    Just have to have the sincere desire to solve the Kashmir issue.

    Pakistan should get rid of Nukes, or at least downgrade them, we could also stop competing with India in the arms race and spend that money wisely on our people, else we are going to fall over the precipice and end up destroying the entire region as it will take a single Pakistani general to decide Pakistan is going down because of some Indian conspiracy and decides to turn all of India into a green glowing nuclear radiating land.Recommend

  • http://mahwishmukhtar.blogspot.com/ mahwish mukhtar

    just a single line…. sarhadain insaanon k liay hain, tum nain n main nain kia paya insaan ho kay…:) same features, almost same language yet far apart sad but true….!Recommend

  • http://isharearena.com M.Aswad Mehatb

    Finally After Weeks something interesting and good to read on ET !! Recommend

  • sohaib

    A very nice read indeed..Recommend

  • nitish

    @T Shah: Why your uneducated citizen should fall prey into hand of extremist?be kind enough to tell us.why you guys always choose the path of terrorism to solve internal matter?isn’t Kashmir is a state affair.if you like to go according to two nation theory ,How about we thrust 20 crore sizable indian muslim population into pak and BD.R you ready for that?You can not even think of getting territory from the grip of country like India.
    “as it will take a single Pakistani general to decide Pakistan is going down because of some Indian conspiracy and decides to turn all of India into a green glowing nuclear radiating land”.
    Keep dreaming buddy.I will suggest you better dont believe in conspiracy theory.India is vast and too large to survive even after your nuclear attack.But I believe aftermath ,no one will identify pakistan on the world map…thats for sure.So chug up copious amount of water and chill down.Recommend

  • Vigilant

    Welcome to my city……Definitely you will enjoy hiking at Margalla hills…specially in cloudy weather or light rain & they are full of monkeys & will remind you of India :) Recommend

  • Shabbir

    I think Kaalchakra, Lalajee, Anatanu …. and few of the other commentators who have a negative view of India need to visit the country. I am sure some of the Indian commentators here would be more than eager to host them!

    And maybe the blackJack, John b, gp65, nitish, Vickrams etc who have a negative view of Pakistan need to visit this country … …Recommend

  • Khalid Aziz

    Excellent article- and I wish you a happy n joyful visit to Pakistan.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Shabbir: “And maybe the blackJack, John b, gp65, nitish, Vickrams etc who have a negative view of Pakistan need to visit this country”

    Speaking for myself, I do not have a negative view of aam Pakistanis. I do have a negative view of Pakistan’s revisionist policies and some specific hate mongers such as Hafiz Saeed, Hamid Gul, Zaid HAmid etc. -there is a difference. I also believe that ET provides a good forum to get information and give information and so when I come across factual inaccuracies that maybe the result of incorrect textbooks or just flat out lies that were told to you by your establishment, I provide additional information. I however do not see myself as some guru giving gyaan. I am also here to learn. There are many Pakistanis whose posts I read with great interest because they provide information and a different perspective. This includes people like Lala Gee, Falcon and elementary with whose views I do not always agree with but who provide logic and thought process to back their opinions and who have been good enough to discuss issues in a civil manner with me (moderators permitting ofcourse).

    Also having read the posts of some of the others to whom you refer, I would imagine that they probably have a similar approach and no outright dushmani with Pakistan.

    When Pakistan becomes safe for travel, I would like to visit it since I have already been to Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and China (our other neighbours).
    In fact on the parallel blog where the other lady suggested she wanted to visit India – I just said Welcome. Recommend

  • RK Singh

    I extended my hand. Under his beard was a smile and look of unmistakable intelligence.

    how idiotic. Then AL-zawahiri should also be very intelligent.Recommend

  • http://DAWN.COM DEEPU

    T Shah

    Pakistan should get rid of Nukes, or at least downgrade them, we could also stop competing with India in the arms race and spend that money wisely on our people, else we are going to fall over the precipice and end up destroying the entire region as it will take a single Pakistani general to decide Pakistan is going down because of some Indian conspiracy and decides to turn all of India into a green glowing nuclear radiating land.

    WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN INDIA WILL RETALIATE BACK .?????????Recommend

  • http://DAWN.COM DEEPU

    Shabbir
    I think Kaalchakra, Lalajee, Anatanu …. and few of the other commentators who have a negative view of India need to visit the country. I am sure some of the Indian commentators here would be more than eager to host them!

    And maybe the blackJack, John b, gp65, nitish, Vickrams etc who have a negative view of Pakistan need to visit this country … …

    PLEASE BE SAFE IN YOUR COUNTY FIRST , BEFORE INVITING TOURIST.Recommend

  • http://none mikek

    @Ahsan Ikhlas:

    Urdu language is known as “Lashkari Language”. It is not derived from hindi. Urdu has words from hindi, persian, arabic. When arabs and persians invaded india, their army mingles with the locals. The language created with the mix of these languages is called Urdu. The official language of Persian in India during the muslim rule has also an impact on urdu. Dakhani urdu has some influence on Urdu. So please dont say that Urdu is derived from Hindi. I hope some Urdu literture scholar would enlighten us on this subject.Recommend

  • Sab33N

    @RK Singh:
    Dude seriously? you seem to be having a lot of time in your hands to review each ET blog and then spew your hateful venom almost every other day .. Can you just stop doing that via our websites though?

    @ET management:

    Media independence and freedom of expression is all welcome and dandy but you guys need to understand that the Indians are using this opportunity to distort our already damaged image in the world community .. Understand and try to do something about it instead of just allowing the hate to spread about Pakistan centre, left and right! Dont become Indian weapons againt your own country unknowingly!Recommend

  • M.Ahmer Ali

    People-to-people contacts between Pakistan-India in amicable atmosphere shall improve the ways of resolving all the conflicts/issues between Pakistan-India much more effectively and augustly,Keep it up…..Recommend

  • ethicalman

    @mikek

    even Urdu was born in India..cause like everything else even your language is borrowed from India..only thing you added after 70’s was more arabic words to Urdu…so like Khuda Hafiz become Allah hafiz etc..Recommend

  • ashok

    @T Shah:
    First you give independence to Balochistan and get back the part of kashmir which you gave to china…….Recommend

  • vickram

    @Shabbir:
    To put the record straight, I have nothing against Pakistanis or Pakistan. I’d love to visit Pakistan some day and go on some nice treks in one of those beautiful mountain ranges there.

    When I was in Dubai, I had made many Pakistani friends and we are in touch even now. I was even amazed to see some Pakistanis speak fluent Tamil in one mobile shop in Bur Dubai. When asked, the guy said, many of my room mates speak Tamil and I picked up from them. Another time, I met a cabbie from Nowshera who had a room mate from Chennai and thus had some fascination for tamil songs. It was really eye opening experience.

    But, what I am really dismayed about Pakistani is their ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Often, I find this warped completely. What is universally held as right does not seem to be so in Pakistan. I don’t know how many of you think is this is a serious malady of a society, but in my book, this is a huge one.

    Another thing that comes as a wall between our countries is the complete lack of empathy from Pakistan. We all know 26/11 happened in front of TV cameras. I don’t care if Pakistanis arrest or punish the perpetrators of the attack, but, at least, I want them not to deny it, saying this a RAW conspiracy or Bollywood production. Please acknowledge it and if possible, shed a tear for those killed, When you deny saying such things (often portraying yourself as a victim), it makes us think you are not only insensitive but also heartless.

    Whenever there is an attack due to islamic extremism, in India or elsewhere, please come out to streets in big numbers in support of those families of victims. Then the whole world will appreciate you and your goodwill will go up. Then we all will be queuing up to visit your country to say how much we value you and how much we want you in our midst.

    Till that happens, whether you like it or not, we will keep you showing the mirror in these forums !!Recommend

  • mK

    @ethicalman

    “khuda” is a Persian (Farsi) word. Even Iranians say Khuda Hafiz.Recommend

  • Hanif Shah

    Good one, we need more of this school of thoughtRecommend

  • Aaa

    Yes visit Pakistan but beware of one MAYA KHANRecommend

  • aizaz

    i feel pity for people like you who come out of nowhere to spread same things every where . just get out of that phase and try to broaden your vision .you just watch indian tv’s with no credibility and start speaking every where .believe me reason behind all that fuss is your media .who works to ignite the fire not to present reality .and sad thing is that you people believe them ..
    so just get out of that negative and narrow thinking and enjoy what author is trying to say .Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Shabbir:
    ….And maybe the BlackJack, John b, gp65, nitish, Vickrams etc who have a negative view of Pakistan need to visit this country.
    Thank you – I think you mean well, and would frankly be delighted to visit Pakistan. I have worked with Pakistanis in the Middle East and in Hong Kong, and interacted with some exchange students from LUMS, and saw them all without exception to be friendly, simple people who find it very easy to get along with us Indians and most often do. This automatically begs the question, then why not at state-to-state level – and why are the grist mills in Pakistan still working over time to paint India as the aggressor when we are quite happy to ignore your existence if you can just promise to do the same. We have a negative view of Pakistan’s policies towards India because of bitter experiences that were largely not of our making, but there is an inherent similarity between us that makes this ineffable antagonism all the more fascinating. I visit ET to find an answer to this question, and to others that occur to me with the increased exposure and information that I receive from people like you – and to share my thoughts. There are many ETizens from Pakistan like Ejaaz, Mirza, LoneLiberal PK (not an exhaustive list), who are capable of a high degree of rational thought, and exiting this forum would find me the net loser.Recommend

  • T Shah

    @nitish:
    Mr Nitesh I dont want to get into an ugly conversation with you because the topic is so pleasant, but let me remind you, if you read Indias history, its size never prevented much smaller nations and armies from conquering it over and over again, may I remind you, that almost every invading army came from the west of India, and the last time Muslims decided to attack and take over India, they faced overwhelming odds, but they succeeded, sometimes the first time, sometimes it took 1 tries, but you are speaking just like the Hindu Generals used to boast, when Mohammed Bin Qasim, or Babur were heading towards them, the Hindu Generals used to laugh and boast at the size of India and the invading armies, but you know what happened, I dont have to write it for you.

    Where Nukes are concerned, area and mass mean nothing, a few well placed Nukes will make the entire country a wasteland for 50,000 years, there will be no tourisim, no trade, no foreign investment, it will be utter chaos, nothing will grow, there will be black rain, millions upon millions will die, there wont be enough survivors to bury the dead so disease and afflictions will rise, people will run away from ground zeros, causing traffic nightmares and bottle necks, every edible item becomes poison, Pakistan my friend has nothing to lose in comparison, we are a small country, most of it is rural, and we have mountains, then there are fellow Muslim countries that will take in people. Where will you emigrate? China?
    Please wake up before its too late, you sound like the old loser Indian generals who under stimated the opposition.Recommend

  • T Shah

    @Sindh Voice:
    Sindhis are mostly hindu anyways.Recommend

  • Anwar

    I live in Texas and most of my friends from North India and Nepal. For last 33 years, we have seen our children grow up, get married and have their own families. They don’t harbor any hate for each other. How it happened? They had the chance to grow up in a society where, diversity is accepted and hate is condemend. When will sub continent learn?Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Shabbir:
    ….And maybe the BlackJack, John b, gp65, nitish, Vickrams etc who have a negative view of Pakistan need to visit this country.
    Thank you – I think you mean well, and would frankly be delighted to visit Pakistan. I have worked with Pakistanis in the Middle East and in Hong Kong, and interacted with some exchange students from LUMS, and saw them all without exception to be friendly, simple people who find it very easy to get along with us Indians and most often do. This automatically begs the question, then why not at state-to-state level – and why are the grist mills in Pakistan still working overtime to paint India as the aggressor when we are quite happy to ignore your existence if you can just promise to do the same. We have a negative view of Pakistan’s policies towards India because of bitter experiences that were largely not of our making, but there is an inherent similarity between us that makes this ineffable antagonism all the more fascinating. I visit ET to find an answer to this question, and to others that occur to me with the increased exposure and information that I receive from people like you – and to share my thoughts. There are many ETizens from Pakistan like Ejaaz, Mirza, LoneLiberal PK (not an exhaustive list), who are capable of a high degree of rational thought, and exiting this forum would find me the net loser.
    @ET – there is nothing objectionable in this post.Recommend

  • Vikas, Mumbai

    @Anwar
    Sir, diversity is in the blood of Indians. Pakistan lost it somewhere.
    Nonetheless, I liked the article and would like to visit Pakistan of Manto, NF Paracha and the likes. Thanks.Recommend

  • Vikas, Mumbai

    @Anwar
    Sir, diversity is in the blood of Indians. Pakistan lost it somewhere.
    Nonetheless, I liked the article and would like to visit Pakistan of Manto, NF Paracha, Kamran Shafi and the likes. Only wish that this tribe of PAKISTANIS should not extinct. Thanks.Recommend

  • T Shah

    @vickram:
    in the same vein, I don’t see non Muslim Indians shedding any tears for 60,000 dead Kashmir’s by your military and police, at least 26/11 was done by non state actors and killed just a few. When are you Indians going to shed tears for the Gujarat massacre victims, you people think you are so clean and Pakistan is terrible, wake up mister, you dont exactly smell like roses yourself. First apologize for killing Kashmiris and Muslims in Gujarat etc and then I will be glad to say sorry for 26/11.Recommend

  • Fizza

    Excellent read, I enjoyed it greatly and we Pakistanis welcome you with open hearts
    Don’t worry about security, dear. A number of my family members visit us from India and none of them ever complained for security issues. Every year, thousands of Sikhs visit the country and there is no big incidence till now. And you know what, there are many vegan in here as well, but you’d have to bear seeing the meat shops here and there. I am looking forward to hear your views after your visit to Pakistan. Recommend

  • J.K

    I loved it! Nice to know that you will be coming to Pakistan. Visit Karachi first as it is a city that has alot to offer and that is where I am from! We hope you will love our country and view the positive things and neglect the things you find offensive. Waiting to read about your journey in Pakistan.Recommend

  • https://www.facebook.com/No.Cruncher.1?ref=tn_tnmn Haris Javed

    we eagerly welcome you with open arms __/Recommend

  • nitish

    @T Shah:So your ideal is Babur and Bin quasim who enslaved your mother and sister and forced them to convert from hindu to muslim.But mind you mister ,after all those difficult time ,we survived with our religion and ethnicity.We r still hindu with the culture of our land.we were able to free you slaves from the hand of mughals and Britishers.We have learnt our lesson.But it seems that after spending long period of time under slavery,you guys became addicted to that.Now u r slave under US.Next is china .
    what you r giving the lecture on the devastating impact of nuclear attack.We all know that.where did the japanese ran away?No where.They were there to face it .and they faced it.now japan is one of the developed nation.like wise we r here to face. we will stand united to face the difficult time.The cowardliness which you depicted in your comment that you ran away during nuclear attack ,that is the reason why your country is in such a mess.you guys can never face difficult time. that is why every country is throwing out pakistani citizen.You can never build your nation.
    You people r inpatient and intolerant animal who only knows solution of everything is terrorism.Nevertheless we r not worried about your GIDAR BHABKI. Kashmir is not only the issue for us else we we have lot to do in our life.Recommend

  • Junooni

    hello raksha,

    wonderfull piece. welcome to pakistan, you will have fun.

    we have more in common than we can imagine. we share languages, culture, food, cricket……..my best friends includes indians who are sikhs, gujratis, punjabis, bengalis from calcutta, and bangalore. i have lived in the usa for more than 17 yrs maybe thats why its easy to relate and connect
    i wish the press, governments, and political and religious party stop the hate mongering. let this generation have peace and prosperity together. Recommend

  • johny london

    Indians have already sold future of sub continent to their western gods. They are these days flying too high up in the air because of few temporary call centres thrownaway to them they are not more then lap dogs to gora s. I feel don’t take their comments they are too encouraged these days. It’s their genetic fault which is traditional slavery mentality and copying west and flattering gora all over the world. They live in the imaginary world of bollywood where they pretend London is Mumbai and they also pretend the who world think the same!

    Still the poorest nation on earth pretends fastest growing economy in world just make them feel they are the some kind of top nation in world. It makes me laugh! On the otherwise I see how they live in west and are they same looking as they show on bollywood and star plus, is it the same colour, fashion, age on grand mother hhhhhhhhhhh. Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @T Shah:
    This is not in connection with your verbal duel with @nitish, but with certain interesting points that emerge from your post. I assume that you got found anecdote of the Hindu Generals with the quirky sense of humor from your local mullah’s Ghazwa-e-Hind DIY manual – otherwise, I don’t think anyone finds the concept of an invasion funny. Arab barbarians defeated armies across a large swathe of land, just as Persian and Greek armies did before them. The rulers were small in size and weak in preparedness, and paid the price with their lives and honor. Muhammad bin Qasim did not invade India, he invaded Sindh. Ghazni invaded W. Punjab and set up base in Multan. Ghori set up base in Lahore and then defeated Delhi. Clearly if the erstwhile rulers of the area comprising Pakistan weren’t so weak, the rest of India would not have suffered.
    Now coming to the nukes, I find your assertions laughable. You somehow think that India of 3.3 million sq km will be destroyed by a few well placed nukes, while you guys will have the time to casually wind up and migrate to Arab countries that wouldn’t touch you even today with a 10ft barge pole. A few more of you and Pakistan doesn’t need external enemies any more.Recommend

  • Raw is War

    hello Raksha.

    are you really an Indian women? How can you associate with an article which shows Kashmir as part of Pakistan? This is really anti-national activity. People from media are generally anti-national . But you take the cake. It is people like you who weaken our nation. Making friends with un-desirable. Just look at the fate of US ambassador to Libya. Is this a freak incident? No. It is the general mentality of these people. They make friends with you to cheat you and deceive you.Recommend

  • bharat

    I would be happy to visit Pakistan and i do have a feeling that people are generally open to Indians also

    It would be interesting to know Pakistani people’s opinion, how would they treat Indians who come to Pakistan ?Recommend

  • Sane

    @Ahsan Ikhlas:

    yes Urdu derives from Hindi and not the other way round

    Urdu itself is a Turkish word means ‘Lashkar’. Urdu is a mixture of many languages like Persian, Arabic, English, Sanskrit, French etc. etc. It is never driven from Hindi. Hindi is basically driven from Urdu blended with more Sanskrit. Please refer any good encyclopedia to know more about ‘Urdu’. Before it was called ‘Urdu’ it was named as ‘Lashkari Zaban’.Recommend

  • Sane

    @bharat:

    People who come from India are treated well with respect here in Pakistan. Not only Indians we welcome and respect everyone from any part of the globe. Seeing is believing.Recommend

  • bharat

    @Sane:

    I would definitely love to visit Pakistan soon.

    I am also keen to meet the people there.

    Hope you can visit India too, i would recommend a coastal town known as Ganpatipule to you

    Its about 9 hours drive from Mumbai but it has stunning beaches, its quite awesomeRecommend

  • Sane

    @bharat:

    I have been in India twice 1981 and 1987. I met wonderful people including Hindus and Sikhs. They were cooperative and humble. I enjoyed the time in India, seeing places, meeting people. Look my dear, good and people are every where. Bad and ugly side, even at scarce is always highlighted more than the plenty good and bright side. Pakistan is full of good and nice people. Handful of bad people must not be scared of. We Pakistanis welcome you.Recommend

  • Sane

    @Raw is War:

    A large population in the world is already in distress or fear for one reason or the other. This is the time to propagate harmony and peace not hate.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    Wonderful read,
    I live the same experience everyday. I am a Pakistani and I have many friends from all the parts of India. We share some of the best moments that the weekend has to offer togather.

    I live in Europe… The Union consisting of countries who waged war against each other for centuries spilling blood of millions. It’s a humbling experience to see how they’ve learnt to respect their differences and to work towards a future that holds promises for every country in Europe… I wish we could learn a lesson or two from them as well…

    We’ve got far more to share then to differ… And what ever differences we have only adds to the tapistry of diversity…Recommend

  • Mohsin

    @Ahsan Ikhlas:
    No actually Urdu is a beautiful blend of Arabic, Persian and Hindi.
    What I found in UAE, majority of Hindi speakers from India speak Urdu but call it Hindi. I think Hindi has many words which differ from Urdu in terms of vocabulary. As majority of our vocabulary is from Persian and Arabic.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Mohsin:
    You are correct – the Hindi that is spoken in India is the same Urdu that was spoken pre-Independence (which is why you find most of our Hindi movies perfectly intelligible), although some sanskritization has taken place, especially for Hindi spoken in the Gangetic belt. Official communication in both our countries uses far more words Sanskrit origin for Hindi (Persian/ Arabic origin for Urdu) than is regularly used in conversation. However, I have seen Pakistanis in talk shows use a Hindi (sanskrit origin) word inadvertently and then track back to replace it with a more acceptable Persian derivative, which I sometimes cannot understand. As time progresses, Indians may find it more difficult to understand Pakistanis (on many counts, including language).Recommend

  • Shahzad Ali Channa

    Educated class thinks alike on the either side of the border. wish more and more education will establish better and unchanging understanding between the people of both these countries. I enjoyed reading article above. Recommend

  • Bisma

    Enjoyed reading the artical!Recommend

  • AbdulRashid Behlim

    Hey why the Language issue? this article sends the message just be friend and human Recommend

  • Paki Existentialist

    A refreshing piece to read.Voice of our heart. Although some people are still hate-mongering from both sides.But that’s their choice. Visit Lahore and you would never forget this visit I assure u. One day I’ll go to India. I’ll visit Punjab that is my love and then Chandni Chowk delhi to find out why is it so famous.Definitely one cannot miss “Ballimaraan Gali Qasim Jan Ghalib ki Haveli”.Recommend

  • Ducky

    @ashok:
    Please learn not to meddle in our affairs. I’m not very judgemental, but I’ve been compelled to assume that Indians in general like to poke their noses into other’s business. That’s not something to be proud of.Recommend

  • ashok

    @Ducky:
    You are mistaken friend, it is your country which Meddle in others affairs. I like to remind you about what you did in Kashmir and Afghanistan. World Know how you poked your nose into theirs business and made the people’s life a hell by encouraging terrorists to commit violence by the name of Jihad over there. If you are so serious about Kashmir then why don’t you ask china to return part of Kashmir which they occupied. China seems to be good friend to you, then why don’t you ask your friend to return the part of Kashmir which occupied by them, or else is that you sold your so called liberating Kashmir idea in return for Chinese favors. Recommend