Call me an Indian Pakistani

Published: January 3, 2012

My dream is to erase the psychological borders that are etched in our minds in the shape of prejudices and hatred towards the other. PHOTO: AFP

I recently wrote a blog post titled ‘An Indian who moved to Pakistan‘. The response I got – positive and negative – is much appreciated. It inspired me to write this piece about my dream of a world without borders and wars.

Before I begin, however, I want to make clear that I do not have any desire to undermine the sovereign and political borders between India and Pakistan or between any other countries. My dream is to erase the psychological borders that are etched in our minds in the shape of prejudices and hatred towards the other.

So I’ll get to the point: to all those people who expressed sympathy over my visa issues, please don’t feel sorry for me. I feel extremely privileged to have ties to two beautiful countries, Pakistan and India.

So what if I do not have an Indian passport?

I have 24 years of precious memories sealed in my heart as an Indian, memories that can never be erased.  I am not Pakistani because of my passport alone, but because of the love and respect that I have received from numerous Pakistanis, who took no time to accept me as one of their own. I belong to both lands and a good 1.4 billion people are my fellow compatriots. How lucky am I?

I am as passionate about the happenings of  the Lokpal bill as I do about the NRO debate. Last year, at the cricket World Cup, I got to support not one, but two teams. Whenever there is an India-Pakistan match, unlike the other billion and a half who dread a bad result, I rejoice. I feel like a winner when either of them wins.

I find absolute tranquillity in the Sufi poetry of Bulleh Shah, and at the same time, I am able to drown in the depths of Kabir Dohas. Moreover, I knew what Kareem’s nalli nihari in Delhi tasted like before it began its journey abroad and ended up as Sabri’s maghaz nihari in Karachi. In addition to this, I  can put together an outfit comprising of a Kanjeevaram silk sari and a Sindhi mirror-embroidered bag. When I go out, I can flaunt both as my national handicrafts.

To those who ridiculed or criticised me, please shed the word ‘hate’ from your dictionaries and look beyond prejudice. Believe me, I am a witness to the reality that there are millions on both sides who want to live in peace with their neighbours.

We have seen first-hand how hatred leads to conflict, how conflict leads to instability, and how instability leads to massive defence expenditures. We have already wasted immeasurable revenue, which could very well have been used for the alleviation of poverty, hunger, and illiteracy – problems that exist in astronomical proportions on both sides of the border.

We share ancestors, history, geography, and the same problems. Why should we allow the problems of a few in power to affect us on a global scale? A prosperous India is in Pakistan’s best interest, and a prosperous Pakistan is in India’s best interests.

Why should a handful of bigots sabotage the road to peace we need to take to reach the goal of prosperity? We need to support and love each other – we do not have another way out.

Think about it.

ilmana.fasih

Dr Ilmana Fasih

An Indian gynaecologist, married to a Pakistani, Ilmana is a health activist, and m-Health entrepreneur, who writes on social and health issues as a passion. She dreams of a world without borders and wars.

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

  • http://pioussluts.wordpress.com EoH

    Though I agree to some points but my personal experience at Attari checkpoint proves that Pakistanis are much better than India. They showed a bit of humanity. I agree that same visa problems are faced by Indians as we Pakistanis face but India is so-called “World’s biggest democracy” so she should teach her visa officers to be polite with public at least and don’t insult them just because they want to visit their relatives!!!

    There is a lot of room to improve!Recommend

  • Khawaja Faraz

    Chchch giving lame excuses for being in love with enemy?……what this land means for us you dont know this is Allah’s Gift for us and tell me how the writer would feel if she is in love with a person who killed her mother…her father….her brother???? chchchchchch excuses and Just excusesRecommend

  • http://www.zaidzamanhamid.wordpress.com Zaid Hamid

    We will capture India and name it greater Pakistan…very soon…Recommend

  • Sanctimonius

    I don’t think people like Ilmana have any love for India. This is sheer hypocrisy. This is like a typical politician talking how he would like to serve humanity when all his intent is towards lining his pockets. These are hollow words.Recommend

  • Sikandar

    prejudices and hatred are not that easily washed away when they have been written in blood (on both sides) and a history of pulling each other’s leg for over half a century.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Arshad_Afridi Arshad Afridi

    @Zaid Hamid:
    Yes, Hazrat Zaid Hamid will control the world from his drawing room.Recommend

  • Saadia

    An enriching and beautiful expression of what it means to have a diasporic identity.So refreshing and exactly my thoughts. Both countries have so much to give yet wasting so much time in mindless conflicts which are not helpful for anyone. It is such a shame that people just can’t get out of their state of ignorance. Thank you for sharing these nice thoughts!Recommend

  • Ahmad Mirza

    @Zaid Hamid:

    Sir with Due Respect i think you should stop dreaming of captuing india and start building Pakistan. If we are weak from the inside how do you suggest of taking on India? Dont we have enough problems already? We are still being taxed for the 1961 floods of Bangladesh (East Pakistan)Recommend

  • http://shemrez.wordpress.com Shemrez Nauman Afzal

    @Khawaja Faraz: Please look at what intolerance and self-righteousness (i.e. elements that your comment is overflowing with) has done to this Gift from Allah that we call Pakistan – we are the most corrupt country in the world, not because our President has faced allegations of corruption for approximately twenty years, but because we are all corrupt in our self-righteousness and in being adamant that we will not change or improve.
    We profess to be an Islamic Republic but innocent children are raped and sold on a daily basis.
    We profess to be lovers and followers of the Holy Prophet PBUH but we lie, cheat and steal when we are supposed to work hard and earn a living.
    We do not care about our society, our environment and our community, but when the problem comes to our own home and our own doorstep, we raise the obvious hue and cry about nobody caring for us.
    We remember that cleanliness is half of our faith, but we denigrate those people who perform sanitary functions for us and for public places by calling them ‘chooras’.
    And on your very point: we Pakistanis DO love people who kill our mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers and children and other relatives – we love and praise religious extremists because we think that the size of their beard reflects how pious and close to Allah they are, regardless of the hate and intolerance they preach in the name of Islam (which is a religion of peace, love and brotherhood) – we idolize militants and rebels because we believe that they are more Islamic than our state, which is an Islamic Republic with Islamic laws that are misused and manipulated on a daily basis.
    Are these excuses excuses and just excuses? Or is this the reality of what we have done to Allah’s Gift, which we Pakistanis should not only celebrate as Glorious Bounty of Freedom and Sovereignty from Heaven, but something that we Pakistanis are all responsible for as per the Huqooq-ul-Ibad?
    Peace with India does not compromise Pakistan’s national security; it offers Pakistan the chance to compete with Indian in the economic and social sphere, where competition is not a deadly or zero-sum game. Please STOP being afraid of India.
    So when you start pointing fingers, please realize you are pointing three fingers of the same hand at your own self.Recommend

  • Baqar

    @ Zaid Hamid

    yeah yeah we know….One day you ll hoist Pkaistani flag on the white house Recommend

  • Milestogo

    First make peace with yourself and Taliban, indians are waiting.Recommend

  • Irshad Khan

    Very good article and very good thinking from a nice and civilised human being. Just ignore remarks of Zaaid Hamid for sake of having a good taste.Recommend

  • Shiraz Hassan

    Ilmana, You have a brave heart and brave enough to express your feelings so boldly! Salute!Recommend

  • Maria

    I remember reading your last article in which you spoke of moving to Canada where you have joined the large South Asian diaspora there. Now you can celebrate being Indian in Canada too since the number one source of immigrants to Canada these days is India and China. I liked your article but since you live in the West now, you should widen your view. Why limit yourself to South Asia when you can say that all humans and nations share a common history, culture and so on. We are all human beings and you should celebrate being part of a greater community now. I live in North America and respect my adopted land but I also love my ancestral home in Pakistan. Likewise you can still enjoy your Indian background but be a Canadian. Recommend

  • ashok sai

    @ Author

    You know few fellows without a visa from your current home came to your old home on 26/11 and killed numerous innocent old inmates of yours, also your current inmates are cherishing the person who organised this crime. You stay there in your current home and don’t ever bother to think about your old home, again stressing you, your old inmates are well off without these relationship you are preaching for.

    An Inmate from your old home.Recommend

  • Raja

    Doctor,

    Thank you for your ‘straight from your heart’ blog. Nobody and no country is perfect but it takes a open mind and an open heart to avoid judging others too harshly.Recommend

  • Ahmad Mirza

    @ashok sai:

    And Al-Qaeda was behind 9/11 . . . believe what you like Ashok but have some faith in your Intelligence Agencies because “ours” might have committed much much more in the name of National Securtiy but it is at least ” not killing its own People in a Hotel “Recommend

  • narayana murthy

    @Ahmed Mirza who says “And Al-Qaeda was behind 9/11 . . . believe what you like Ashok but have some faith in your Intelligence Agencies because “ours” might have committed much much more in the name of National Securtiy but it is at least ” not killing its own People in a Hotel “”

    Well, it did actually. Don’t you remember Marriot attacks?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • M. Salim

    I, along with teaming millions of Pakistanis and Indians desire peace and prosperity. We dream of border crossings being opened up at places like Ferozepur, Kasur, Sialkot, Bahawalnagar, Sindh and Kashmir. This will boost cross border trade and people to people contacts. Whether it will happen in my lifetime or it will be a future Sub-continent “spring awakening”? – can pray for it at Ajmer Sharif provided the elusive Visa is issued. Likewise for travelers from India!Recommend

  • R.V.S.Sharma

    @Shemrez Nauman Afzal:
    Thank you for your thoughtful rejoinder.
    We love and admire Pakistanis who are hard working clever and tolerant. As for the bigoted lot we have no remedy but outright disdain . I hope educated Pakistanis too adopt such a simple attitude towards us. We agree with Sahir Ludhianvi – Chodo kalki baathen , kalki bath purani ! Recommend

  • Reality Check

    Ilmana, a great piece; could not agree more with the idea that both India and Pakistan need to stop being foes.
    However, in my opinion, a more apt title of the piece would have been: Call me an Canadian Indian Pakistani since you have bid farewell to both India and Pakistan now :)
    I wait for the time when you will come up with a piece asking various immigrant communities of Canada to shed hatred and accept canadian culture in their lives… or something of that sort ;)Recommend

  • Su 30MKI

    well, I admire your compassion for a peaceful india and pakistan. But let me speak very realistically…I certainly agree, that we can become good friends and live peacefully.

    Lets take example of korean peninsula or earlier german or formet Czechoslovakia . in all these continents, either they reunited or they peacefully seperated , in caes of korea , south want to reunite with north as one korean peninsula.

    I knew very well, that you are not asking for unifification and become one hindustan. but in all these cases, the problem is political and not ethnic or religious seperateion.

    The point is, fortunately or unfortunately, Indian subcontinent is one of the worlds most diverse community interms of ethnics, religious wise, and linguistically. Even sometimes i feel, india itself as a country is very complex society, despite there are two off springs gone in their own way. Just imagine, if we still remainded as one hindustan, we would have been in lot more mess..Recommend

  • Jahanzeb Khan

    @ Ashok Sai
    Why don’t we visually compare this event of 26/11 with Operation Blue Star and compare the Terror? How are you going to Justify what Your Tanks did in the middle of a Populated city and the most sacred Religious Place of somebody? Can you see the degree of terrorism committed by your State Terrorist Organ who spared no one including children and women? By the way, It’s your assumption that 26/11 was done by Pakistan. Almost everyone on Pakistani side of the border believes it’s your own drama with the Help of some outside Intelligence agencies. Otherwise, Terrorist attacks are not carried out is such manner anywhere in the world. You have no evidence to prove it because there is none. Recommend

  • Vijay K

    I think the way forward is to follow the European model and have a common currency and open borders. That way, the Kashmir problem would get solved overnight, and we would save millions which are being spent on weapons and armies. The common people would come out as winners on both sides. Let us not play in the hands of the superpowers who sell arms to both sides and laugh at our stupidity.Recommend

  • haider

    we cannot be same …may be in sum other country and in sum other place. bt nt in while we stand for da green flag ……Recommend

  • Amar

    @author – I loved your article. Cheers.Recommend

  • Vineeth

    @ Author

    Please do not bother. All your nicely written things will not happen any time soon. There are poeple in your new country that are always plotting killing people in India. Some of those that did that are roaming freely and planning for more. If possible try to stop these things and then start your day dreams.

    We do not know how lucky or unlucky you are with your new situation. But we can definetly say we are lucky to have born this side of the border.Recommend

  • Allah Rukha

    @ashok sai:
    On 18/02/07 a train named Samjhauta Express was blasted, burning alive citizens from author’s current home while the train was in author’s past home. How come you forgot those? Recommend

  • Geetali

    Haters will hate. Ignore them, Ilmana. You have a beautiful vision of peace, and I pray it comes true in your and my lifetime.
    As Sardar Jafri once said:
    Woh din aaye ke aansoo ho ke nafrat dil se bah jaaye;
    Woh din aaye ye sarhad bosa-e lab ban ke rah jaaye……

    More power to your pen, dear Ilmana, Recommend

  • Ayesha Ilyas

    nice read.
    though i’m a bit disappointed to see the illogical comments uponRecommend

  • ProudPaki

    First of all welcome Home.

    Well written and obviously constructive. However the only way to help the cause is to make sure your people (on both side of the divide) get justice, education and their shot at economic progress. Pick one and do something concrete about it. Otherwise words and fantasies are no different. All it takes is one person. Good luck!Recommend

  • Raja Islam

    Why stop here. It would make perfect sense to have a confederacy consisting of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Burma. Something along the lines of the European Union with open borders and common currency would work.

    All countries including Pakistan would be net gainers as this would open up trade channels, reduce unnecessary tensions and reduce defense expenditure.Recommend

  • mavoorian

    @Zaid Hamid:
    Before u come to capture india,please make sure baloochistan remain in pakistan.Recommend

  • Syed Fasihuddin

    Good article Ilmana,we should not waste our time in discussing the politics and the past history we should come forward and live like a good neighboring countries.We should follow the way Abdul Sattar Edhi of Pakistan and Mother Treesa of India showed us by their work, behavior, attitude and humanitarian work.God bless you.Recommend

  • intizar zaidi

    @ Zaid Hamid you and people who follow you have made Pakistan :Islamic Republic of Nonsence”. Just stop your BS and let people live.Recommend

  • Ashish

    Both Indians and Pakistanis eat Jalebis, Kulches , Gulab Jamun , Halwa , Malpue etc. When they are happy. This is similar and common between both of them . So be happy and eat all the above items.Recommend

  • intizar zaidi

    @Shemrez Nauman Afzal Bravo Recommend

  • http://India The Hindu

    @Jahanzeb Khan:
    I am amazed at how incredulous Pakistanis can be.
    Firstly, there was a Pakistani caught live in the 26/11 carnage. Secondly, your government accepted that Pakistanis (non state actors as they said) were involved. Thirdly, the fact that Pakistan refuses to give voice samples of the rascals whose communication was recorded during the attack points to complicity.
    I don’t also think that the Indians have to skills to do something like this. Also, this is not Pakistan where the agencies can do something like this and be absolved of all crimes.
    You say terrorist acts are not carried out in this manner. If you believe terrorists have manners, it shows how degraded Pakistanis can be. India and Pakistan have had conflicts before. But they were all military in nature. This was the culture of this sub continent. For the first time, Pakistanis degraded themselves to the level of animals and changed the nature of this conflict. They attacked from the rear. This was an act of cowardice and animal behaviour.
    As for the attack on the Golden temple, sad that it may have been, Pakistan sponsored terrorists (visit youtube and you will find knowledgeable Pakistanis talking about it) had occupied it. If they were brave, they should have come out in the open and fought, and not tried to blackmail the country.
    I would also like to remind you that much worse than this happened in Mecca some years back, when a so called Mahdi had occupied it. The Saudis asked the French special services to do the job (this when non Muslims are not allowed in Mecca), and no one from the Muslim world mad any noise. How about that?
    So don’t be a whimp! Recommend

  • RajX

    @Zaid Hamid: Why greater Pakistan? Nothing is greater than Pakistan in this universe. Call it lesser Pakistan.Recommend

  • RajX

    @Ahmad Mirza: Yes. I know. Kasabs real name is ‘Amar Singh” and he is NOT from Punjab at all. and Hafeez zaeed is another Indian guy whose real name is banta Singh. His beard is a stick on. And there is one more thing. There is no person called Osama bin laden. There is a person called Tom Osman who is a Hollywood actor whose character is called Osama bin laden. You are just wonderful and imaginative. Pakistan is the greatest.Recommend

  • Balma

    Syed FAsihuddin,
    Mother Terresa was Albanian!Recommend

  • let there be peace

    People do crazy things in love…some become potential terrorists.Recommend

  • saad aziz

    he is not real zaid hamid,open it,its a funny blog adn as a hater of zaid hamid,you eill like it,just click on his [email protected] Mirza: Recommend

  • Babloo

    Jinnah did not create Pakistan to have Indian Pakistani. Recommend

  • Abbas, ZA

    @EoH:
    Yes-is that why entire nation called Pakistan is infested with militants that is threatening its surivival. Being nice is not what is needed but building a democratic legacy that included minorities is needed.

    The author mentions bigots!!! please explain who are bigots???? The ones who raise religious militants for strategic benefits??? Or the ones that teach school children how to hate other religions??? Comparing Indian democracy to Pakistan is the ultimate insult to any Indian.
    Yes-we want Pakistan to be a great nation but is it similar to India-NO! Will it ever be? Never!
    Call it arrogance-who cares!Recommend

  • G. Din

    @The Hindu: to Jahanzeb Khan
    “I would also like to remind you that much worse than this happened in Mecca some years back, when a so called Mahdi had occupied it. “
    And, did any one of that heavily armed group of Iranian Shia which occupied the shrine in Mecca escape? How could they have been killed without attacking the shrine militarily?Recommend

  • Naeem

    As you can see from the Comments on this Article.

    There are Good Pakistanies, and Good Indians,
    We also have Bad Indians, and Bad Pakistanies,

    They all will be there always, and, we the Good
    ones will have to live along with these Bad Guys.

    Lets try to be Very Strong Good Guys, so as to
    never let the Bad Guys get over us. Isn’t it ?Recommend

  • Ali

    I think the good doctor has nothing tp do these days.

    Peace, prosperity through common dialogue we all know about and dont disagree with, yes.

    You did not gain two countires, you literally became a man (or a woman) without a country.

    We sit and watch the india/pak cricket games together with our Indian friends, and the pain, the joy, the ecstacy, the disappointment, we and the indian friends we own it, we love it, and we live it.

    Recommend

  • Pakistani in US

    Preaching to a crowd of blood thirsty animals on both sides. Somedays I wish I was never born on this continent. Recommend

  • Hassan sangrami

    I am with u they are makeing us fool in the name of religious Hassan sangramiRecommend

  • Ibn-e-Maryam

    Great article. I travel to India every year and would love to travel even more frequently. I want my friends and relatives in India to visit Pakistan many times a year. We enjoy each other’s company and would like the visa rules to be relaxed and people to have more opportunities to visit the entire Indian sub-continent.Recommend

  • Gabriel Khan

    I live in Australia and watched the cricket world cup semi final with an indian friend of mine and after the match he took me to an indian restaurant for a treat………….lovely to see others who feel the same way about thier neighbours…….keep the spirit up, one day both the countries will stop military race and start a race against poverty, unemployment and lack of infrastructure for development. Recommend

  • Mumbaikar

    I do think there is more to what meets the eye in case of “kasab”. As an indian, i can tell you the entire story didn’t pass my smell test, specially his drugged interview in the hospital. In most likelihood, there was a false flag operation from the indian side conducted in conjunction with the actual attack sponsored by non-state pakistani actors. The point is ordinary lives are lost between the power games played by powerful people to satisfy their egos and religious and nationalistic beliefs. As an aside, Pakistan seems to be have been hijacked by the islamic forces once again. Islamic theology does need reform. Sub continent has done it in form of sufism and ahmediyas, just need to prop them up instead of the middle eastern islam if people really want islam. Recommend

  • Mumbaikar

    Also, the author grew up in delhi, similar to me. Greetings and best wishes. I personally feel that Delhi is shaping up to be quite a nice place to live and hopefully in the next 10-20 years will rival any other international city for the quality, security, anonymity, interestingness and variety of an urban lifestyle. Recommend

  • kuku

    this guy is not Zaid Hamid pls do not take him seriously! he is just making fun of him by using his nameRecommend

  • Saana

    @Zaid Hamid: Looks like a fifth grader wrote it :DRecommend

  • Aninda Chowdhury

    Amazing article Ilmana. The hatred from both sides of the border will turn to love one day for sure. Hatred and jealousy is the root cause of downfall.

    However, regarding economic point of view, those individuals who are dreaming of something similar on the lines of EU, forget about it. It is not in India’s best interest to fully integrate its economy with states like Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, et al. In fact I believe India should introduce economic reforms and strategic partnerships through the already existing SAARC council. If those are properly implemented, it will be more than enough.

    India should be more integrated to nations like Japan, Singapore, US and Australia. All being vibrant democracies will enable Indian to earn enormous profits. That should be a priority. Recommend

  • GAM

    She talks about Kanjivaram sarees! Does she have the guts to wear one and move through the streets of Peshawar?
    Sheer hypocrisy.Recommend

  • Mehr

    Ms Fasih,

    It’s rare to find a person who is at peace with their decision be they good or bad. You celebrate your birth country as well as your adopted one. And with your hope for peace are a credit to both. Ignore your detractors from both side of the border. Maybe it’s a difficult concept for many to understand but Pakistanis and Indians can be civil to each other. If Americans and Japanese can get along after Hiroshima where is it written that we have to be at each others throats all the time. Bashing each other online does not prove your loyalty to your country.Recommend

  • sudhir

    @Arshad Afridi:
    good oneRecommend

  • https://twitter.com/#!/zaeemj1 Lord

    Nice One Spread love hate hoaxes.Recommend

  • Amit

    @Zaid Hamid:
    And, we will support Baloch tribals to make them separte country Balochistan as we did in 1971.
    Then we will capture POK (Pak Occupied Kashimir) and make it Bigger Kashmir (Part of India).
    And finally, support minorities (Hindus and Christians) in Sindh to make seperate country for them (Sindh).
    Once it is over, Pakistan would be trapped between Afganistan and Balochistan (from west), Sindh (from South), India (from East) and Bigger Kashmir (from North).

    Hahahahahah………..Recommend

  • http://tribune.com.pk faisal

    I think that we will meet all the people of Pakistani and Indian in future…that’s batter of both country side.Recommend

  • Susan Marie Public Relations

    “We need to support and love each other – we do not have another way out.

    Think about it.”

    Shanti and Salam Ilmana Recommend

  • Shoaib Mir

    Ilmana, this piece yet again confirms what defines the image I have of you in my mind: liberal, secular, creative. Even if you may not exactly agree with this, let me make just two points.

    1. With a few exceptions most of the readers’ comments that I have read range from rhetorically complimentary to idiotically nasty. It’s proof enough that the seemingly and inexplicably complex Pak-India relations\issues have more to do with just the lack of will on the part of successive governments on either side or to their political agendas. Sadly I am referring to the millions of indoctrinated citizens, educated or uneducated whom we commonly refer to as the people. To neutralize their imagined demons that have taken the form of collective vendetta, xenophobia, we have to go through a catharsis on a national level. In Punjabi we say: jehrian ganddan hathan naal lae’an hon oh dan’daan naal kholnian paindian nay. Knots tied with your hands can only be untied with own teeth.

    2. Having said that, with whatever little I independently know of our shared history and culture over and above the textbooks, and despite not being fortunate to have married an Indian (lol…) I have no hesitation in calling myself a Pakistani Indian who would readily endorse what you have written given whatever the ground realities are.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Enjoying Cricket matches, enjoying the exotic locations in Pakistan are fine, but culturally there is nothing in Pakistan which is good and doesn’t exist in India already.

    Almost most of the Indians enjoy the Cultural exchanges from Pakistan when their artists come and perform here. They come here because their artists can make a healthy living when they do come and partly Indians enjoy Music and Dance. Sufi Music exists in India too, but along with dozens of flavours of Music the attention gets divided a little bit. In Pakistan, they think only of Sufi Music as theirs, a Muslim Music, if you will.

    When you look at all this, the real conflict boils down to the ideas of Pakistan and India. To be frank the idea of India- A Plural, Secular, Democratic Society which has socialism as one of its aims and look at Pakistan- An Islamic Republic, a Country for minorities of India where the minorities have reduced to 3% since partition. Not that Muslims are much safe either. In 1971, Muslims turned and killed their own brothers and sisters. A Ahmadi Muslim is barred by the Constitution from even calling himself a Muslim. If he greets another Muslim in the traditional way that Muslims do, he can go to jail.

    The entire structure, idea and being of India and Pakistan are so different, now.

    You can be both Indian and Pakistani only if you are ignorant of the above facts. Why just be an Indian Pakistani or vice versa; be a Human Being transcending all man made borders.

    Again, who ever your are and whatever nationality you adopt, the ideas are what separates a man from a beast. I have an intense dislike for the idea of Pakistan. Dont you?Recommend

  • Noor

    A Nation who doesn’t learn lessons from history, can never progress.

    We can never forget atrocities to our elders, aunts, grandmas, etc while they were migrating towards Pakistan.

    Eye witnesses say that the color of river changed to red due to bloodshed.

    People hid themselves in heaps of dead bodies to save themselves from Hindu brutalities.

    Even today India never leaves a chance to defame & weaken Pakistan; even water has become scarce due to Indian hegemony and subsequently there will be reduced farming.
    Whenever got a chance India joined US tom threaten or allege Pakistan.

    I have sympathy with such writers who don’t keep historical perspective while writing.Recommend

  • Khurram Asif

    @Zaid Hamid: your mentalty is sad and is whats causing the downfall of PakistanRecommend

  • http://www.thelifebridge.us G

    As a fellow Indian in Pakistan, I agree with all of your sentiments. :) Articles nicely written. Recommend

  • G. Din

    @Anoop:
    “…the idea of India- A Plural, Secular, Democratic Society which has socialism as one of its aims”
    “socialism as one of its (India’s) aims”? We buried that (red) herring (socialism) in 1990’s, my friend, never again to be exhumed, thankfully. Where have you been snoozing, Rip Van Winkle?Recommend

  • yousaf

    @Zaid Hamid:– Must be a very good fiction film,when are you going to release it?,it sure will be a must-watch,me-thinksRecommend

  • Adnan mukhtar

    Europe has free borders. Despite having seen centuries of warfare and deep animosity among varying nations today they are strengthening and consolidating their European union and single currency concept. with all this unification process, French are still French, British are still British, Italians are as proud and independent as any other european and Germans are proud and independent too. Every European country retains its identity and sovereignty despite free visa, common currency and even defence. Pakistan and India would eventually have to come down to some understanding where trade and tourism, at least, are strongly encouraged, which would subsequently help remove or overcome barriers for other serious issues.

    Similar culture, like in Europe, provides propitious environment in South Asia for developing dynamic economic activities which can result in businesses worth billions supporting millions of lives. Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli,

    @The Hindu,
    Golden temple fighters were sikhs and they might trains ISI but most of those were indians and sikhs and incident in Mecca by iranians backed Mehdis tried to accopy kaaba and many
    saudis police officers were killed by those peoples and they didnot do any thing because its a
    quranic law and also from the top its was not allow to react then police chief went to shah fahd for approvel he gave him green signal then first there was some anti terror specialist i think form U.S.A was staying in jeddah hotel when he heard he contacted by authority but then problem was he is non muslim and they not allow to enter in holy place so he asked to
    read a kalima he said ok so this was a whole story but real job was done by pakistan army
    later and some soldiers died too that time and after that iran and saudis relation got to low.Recommend

  • Hasan Ansari

    Stop the hate. If England and Germany can be friends so can we. Stop the HATE ! Recommend

  • Gullible Nomore

    A compelling read for all the ghairatmand Pakistanis above!
    http://tinyurl.com/8xzx6vhRecommend

  • Adbdul Mubeen

    Nice piece, would that every one follow this thinking. we were same, we are same, and we will remain same, becouse we are not English, Chinese , Africans and not Arabic, We ARE Asians thats it, Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    The author appears have good intentions – as far as we can tell – but she is going about it the wrong way.

    Surely, people should be friends, individually, if they can. But India and Pakistan are two contradictory nations – just as Islam and Indic systems of thought provide two contradictory worldviews. You cannot be a Stalinist Democrat, a Maoist-Liberal, a Fieryl-Ice, except in some very unstable states, can you? To take these things as realities and not simply as chimera would be imprudent.

    You can be an Indian-Sindhi, an Indian-Punjabi, an Indian-Bengali etc, There is simply no thing as an Indian-Pakistani.Recommend

  • IlmanaFasih

    Thank you again for all your feedback–good or bad. However, one comment needs a special commending:
    “If Americans and Japanese can get along after Hiroshima where is it written that we have to be at each others throats all the time. Bashing each other online does not prove your loyalty to your country.”
    Mehr, whoever or wherever you are, your words have given my dream and that of many others like me a strength many fold.Kudos for that. Yes, no matter what ‘haters’ may believe in, I know “peaqce shall prevail, it’s just a matter of time.”Recommend

  • bitterTrue

    @Author..

    I don’t know whether u will believe me or not . Here many Kids in India ,those are in class 9 or 8 , they don’t know about a country named Pakistan and its relation with India . May be due to the curriculum which has been designed to concentrate on science and math . They know about the newly discovered planet 1 yr ago , which I don’t know , but they don’t know India-pak relations . I think after 2 generations , they will completely forget pak and behave with pak like all neighbour . Only Lasvegas and NY are in their mind . It is fact , society has moved forward and so do we .Recommend

  • Mumbaikar

    @IlmanaFasih
    Read Kaalchakra’s message. As long as pakistani and indian leadership is in the grip of opposing ideologies, there will not be any friendship. Look at north korea and south korea, same people but differing ideologies. That is what political islam is, communism/marxism wearing religious clothes. Recommend

  • Amjad

    I think you should focus on being Canadian now and forget about South Asia. India and Pakistan are neighbours but there is no such thing as an Indian Pakistani or German French or Italian Greek. We are all different and you should learn to respect that Pakistanis resent being called Indian. In your case you are an Indian who happened to marry a Pakistani and now you have moved to Canada which makes you Canadian. When your children marry people of other backgrounds, they will just be Canadians and humans. Period.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Very well written and your thoughts and sentiment are appreciable, almost poetic.
    This vision works on a person to person basis, humanity transcends all. Recommend

  • http://thediaryofaliar.blogspot.com Javed

    The barriers are not psychological, they are real. Simply because author in question shares a blend of indian and pakistani taste doesnt change the history of last 60 years and more.
    The article reminded of a saying I once read from a well known author, that ‘we can fool ourselves so much we can do it for a living.’Recommend

  • Omaidus

    A very very good article, may India Pakistan live like two brothers and be a peaceful land, prosperous, where no one die of hunger… @ zaid hamid and all those zaid hamid’s from both sides of the borders, time will come either your lot or because of you these two countries will extinguish. We seriously need to end this religion of violence and enmity.Recommend

  • http://Lahore Panga

    @Amit:
    Hahahaha… Looks Like you are a great dreamer. Keep dreaming since it costs nothing. As far as Balochistan is concerned, I am glad that you have accepted that your Hindu terrorist State is involved in Terrorism there Just like you did the same terrorism in Bangladesh in 1971. I am glad that Hindu is accepting itself and his state as Terrorist State. Let’s add to your State sponsored terrorism list the Tamil Tigers as well who terrorized Sri Lanka for 30 long years. The whole region is convinced that India is a terrorist state. I am glad you and your countrymen have started accepting it now. As far as your dreams about Pakistan is concerned , then let me remind you it was With the help of Pakistan that Sri Lanka defeated the Tamil Tigers. It’s a pity that in 1971 we were not a Nuclear Power , however any adventure of that kind will be enough to send you into stone age. I personally think You very much like that age to be at. I can only think that only a fool can take such steps you mentioned above.But Hey.. You can try.. Recommend

  • Rakib

    @G. Din:
    We buried that (red) herring (socialism) in 1990′s, my friend, never again to be exhumed, thankfully

    While Socialism as a Party-ideology has been almost given up by those that once espoused it the most-Congress-Indian Constitution continues to call the country Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic (with additions made in 1972). The ideology is dead, the idea lives on, even if anemically.

    The idea as set in the oxymoronic but evocative phrase “Socialist Democracy” (with its emphasis on strictly democratic means to achieve social justice & equality) is in Indian context and rather different from “Socialism” of Soviets & PRC. This “Indian” slant to western words is similar to the special inclusivist meaning imparted to the word “Secular”-a meaning in India which is distinct from the original European definition involving separation of State from the Church or something anti-Faith or ‘irreligious’ (la-deeniyat) as believed to be elsewhere.. Recommend

  • Abbas, ZA

    @Jahanzeb Khan: you say this after YOUR president accepted that Pakistanis did it!! After your media showed Kasab parents in Pakistan. Seriously ???? Recommend

  • Samir

    Great article. The sooner we Pakistanis can get rid of our anti-India stance and our hatred. Pakistan might dump it’s flabby and generally useless military and ISI and focus on education, infrastructure, and all sorts of positive things.Recommend

  • http://n/a Saif

    Dr Ilmana the fact reflects from your inspiring article, that is true but one other fact exiting here the illiterate political ground that make people even worst than before in both countries. The point is how come we get out from this ground, when we will come independent. All multinational companies used our best brain across the world and what we will get, poverty, unsecured future.
    why? Recommend

  • GAM

    @Ali Tanoli,:
    Don’t agree: For Muslims it is the what you call ‘Ummah’, so you can’t talk about this in terms of a country. So if there was an attack on the Mecca masjid, all muslims are responsible.
    Another example which you will agree with : What about Lal Masjid? Worse than Golden Temple.Recommend

  • Ali Kazmi

    Lovely article save the bit about you having tasted maghaz nihari :/Recommend

  • Syed Hussein El-Edroos

    “Why should a handful of bigots sabotage the road to peace we need to take to reach the goal of prosperity? We need to support and love each other – we do not have another way out.

    Think about it.”

    Agree entirely. Lets hope like the Europeans,.Indians and Pakistanis after bashing each other, will learn to live in peace. AmeenRecommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    A nice and hopeful article. Want to apologize to the author if it’s a bit off topic, but this needed correcting

    @Ali Tanoli,:
    @G. Din:

    Think it’s a little futile going back and forth with The Hindu on the scale of past bloody historical crackdowns and each other’s hand in it (though he is totally correct that it’s only a sign of derangement to deny the Pakistani Kasab and Pakistani links to the terrorist acts in Mumbai), and see little reason to connect it with the siege in Mecca.

    However like to correct the Meccan insurgent group in 1979 were not led nor sponsored by Iranian Shiites or it’s earlier revolution (though Iran’s state media would exploit it for anti-American propaganda and sentiment by broadcasting and falsely claiming that the insurgents were US invaders, which led to an attack on the US embassy in Pakistan by easily manipulated enraged Pakistani protesters).

    They were led by local Saudis who were educated in the Hanbali school of thought, but later form their own cult and one of whom who even proclaimed himself as ‘Mahdi’. Many of the militants were both locals and other Arab and African expatriates, many of whom were students from the Islamic university in Medina.Recommend

  • Sunny Borah

    @Zaid Hamid:
    Don’t overdosed dude.Recommend

  • Anureet Kaur

    One of the most interesting pieces I’ve ever read! Way to goo! BRAVE woman! =D Recommend

  • Bombay dude

    @Mumbaikar: You are a mumbaikar who grew up in Delhi. Please enlighten us how you call yourself mumbaikar ? If your “smell” theory is believed then I guess Indian intelligence agency capabilities has surpassed even the brightest and best in the world cause they were able to even make our prime minister and leaders accept that kasab was Pakistani. So either Pakistani ellite is also involved in this grand scheme by India to accept kasab as Pakistani or your sensory of smell is as rotten as your other senses and your common sense. Recommend

  • Bombay dude

    @Noor: All eye witness who moved to Pakistan to see river turn red were on seriously fine quality dope. Something which I would love to get my hands on. Are you aware things like LSD gives a really wonderful hallucination. I bet your ancestors knew more than you do. Also get your education from real school so you could seriously understand the effect of dam on rivers. Better you should visit a dam and if you do please come back here and blog what did you observe ? Is dam used to “STOP” water flow ? You are one of those useless street crap who got to learn some english and ample of time to sit online thanks to jihadi funded netwrok connection for anti India commenting. Grow up. The author here is suggesting something really good, Appreciate it. If you can;t then keep quite and dont spoil the general positive mood.
    @Author : great article and beautiful idea. It is a wonderful wish to see India and Pakistan resolving their issue and it’s citizens co exist peacefully.Recommend

  • Sri Lankan

    @Panga: hahahahahahahaha…..come again??? With help of Pakistan Sri Lanka defeated Tamil Tigers ???? You are original dude. You certainly are Hamid Zaid’s successor. Good luck!Recommend

  • sid

    @Allah Rukha: agree and the guys who did it are in jail…arrested by Indian investigative agency..while those who attacked India are protected by yours…thats the difference between us and you Recommend

  • Mumbaikar

    @Bombay dude

    Bombay Dude, chill. I can be whoever I want to be. Also, this is my opinion – that there is much more to what meets the eye in case of Kasab and some other stuff going on around that time like karkare. It is not a clear and shut case – my opinion. Recommend