I entered Jerusalem as a Pakistani Muslim

Published: December 31, 2013
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I questioned myself whether I will actually make it; would I be able pray the Friday prayers in Jerusalem? PHOTO: AFP

While I was planning a trip to Jerusalem, I knew that I was taking the risk of losing my money on hotel bookings and transport, as well as the time and effort that went into planning the trip.

I visit Pakistan quite frequently and had been to Lebanon, which Israel is technically still at war with since 1948. I planned to enter Jerusalem via Jordan so that in case Jerusalem did not work out for me, I could fall back on Plan B and start my trip to Jordan earlier than scheduled.

I set out at 7am from Madaba in central Jordan, still doubtful of whether I would actually make it. Would I be able to pray the Friday prayers in Jerusalem, as I wished?

As the taxi drove to the bridge crossing on the West bank, I began to feel butterflies in my stomach. However, looking around I felt calmer since the scenery of the hills of Mount Nebo was beautiful.

When I arrived at the crossing – which Israelis consider to be their border – and reached the first counter, I was asked some main questions:

“What is the nature of your visit?”

“How long will you be staying?”

“Which country were you born in?”

The third question raised red flags and they wanted to see my Pakistani passport along with the British one I was using to enter Israel.

I think that it was probably the first time that they ever saw our ‘green passport’ and a few of the immigration officers even took photos of the front cover with their smart-phones.

My wife and I were then whisked away to the first open door into a standing interview room, after which we were separated. The interviewer then proceeded to ask me more questions than my wife ever had before our marriage!

They asked me about the countries that I have lived in since childhood, the countries that I was visiting on that particular trip, my work, how I was financing the trip, what my parents and siblings did and about all the stamps that I had in my passport.

It was quite obvious that while the officer listened attentively to some of my answers, he was just trying to gauge my reaction to other questions. I would say that 80% of the time, the official was observing my facial expressions rather than listening to what I was saying.

The funniest question was when he asked with a worried expression,

“You have been to Lebanon?”

I just gave a small smile and said,

“Yes, I visited the touristic places there. I love to travel.”

In the meanwhile, my wife was asked the same questions separately. When asked about my work, she mentioned the position that I had held before the current one since I have changed jobs a couple of times. She later told me that the officer’s expression changed upon her answer and after seeing his expression she realised that she had given the wrong answer. She then tried harder to remember and thankfully, got it right.

After we were cleared from the initial immigration checks, we made it to the second desk where our passports were stamped with the visa. We then had to fill out a form confirming that we did not know any Palestinians.

After that, I was interviewed by someone from the interior ministry. This time they made notes of everything that I said, including the phone numbers of my siblings.

Then there was a six-hour wait, during which I spoke to a South African guy whose entry had been rejected twice but he had finally gotten a visa when he visited with his parents. Apparently, single men tend to be rejected more frequently.

By the time we arrived in Jerusalem, we had missed our Jumma (Friday) prayers. We did however see black smoke from the tear gas and other explosives that the Israeli forces had chucked into the Al-Aqsa compound in response to some boys pelting rocks at the Jews, who themselves had forcibly entered to say their prayers close to the mosque.

We were just glad that we had been allowed to enter this sacred place.

Somehow, it felt like I had broken a law by visiting Palestine and the parts which are occupied by Israel since I am a Pakistani citizen and my passport clearly states,

“This passport is valid for all the countries of the world except Israel.”

I have always wondered how Pakistan, being an Islamic republic, could restrict its citizens from visiting Al-Aqsa mosque irrespective of which country governs over Jerusalem.

If all Muslims were to wait before even attempting to visit Jerusalem until it is ‘free’, or until the peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians is signed – which is unlikely to be seen in the near future – then we will pretty much hand over the holy mosque on a silver platter to Israel  to do with it as it wishes – turn parts of it into a park or split the mosque into two like the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron, also known as the Cave of the Patriarchs. If the prayer halls were in full use continuously with visitors from Muslim countries, it is unlikely for this to happen.

The reward of praying at the Al-Aqsa mosque is immense. It is the right of every Muslim to at least make an attempt to visit regardless of the restrictions that our government imposes as these are clearly in conflict with Islamic principles and should be reviewed.

I inquired from the Israeli officers about visiting Jerusalem on a Pakistani passport – they said that I could apply for a visa and if it was granted, I could visit. As our passport says that it is not valid for travel to Israel, they would issue a paper visa and put all the entry-exit stamps on that visa.

If I were you, I would definitely try this option since this is a sacred place for all Muslims and Pakistani Muslims should not be deprived of the experience, only because the government has deemed it wrong for us to visit Israel.

Kashan Arshad

Kashan Arshad

An IT consultant and an avid traveller who tweets as @muslimbackpackr (twitter.com/muslimbackpackr)

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

  • Rajiiiv

    “The reward of praying at the Al-Aqsa mosque is immense.”

    Strange. Why should there be any special reward or any reward for praying ? God does not have an ego. He is impersonal. So please do good deeds if you want any rewards.Recommend

  • jasmeen

    very informative, wish i can travel there too! thanks alot for writing this piece.Recommend

  • Needroos

    Nothing stops anyone from entering Israel/Palestine despite what the Pakistani passsport says. They even stamp a seperate piece of paper rather than the passport if you ask them to do so.Recommend

  • Ummm

    I don’t get it. Are you a British national or a Pakistani? You showed your British passport to gain entry right?Recommend

  • Mufasa101

    I really want to go to Jerusalem :/Recommend

  • ali

    pakistan should accept israel and move on… end of storyRecommend

  • Abdullah tariq

    Very nice article keep it upRecommend

  • Arslan

    Thanks for writing this!Recommend

  • Ali1111

    The guy needs to understand that its Illegal occupation of Palestine land today called Israel & not Al aqsa mosque banned for Pakistanis. Even Quaid e Azam was against this illegal occupation & did not accepted the state of Israel.Recommend

  • JagNathan

    No big deal. All the author must remember- when you lie dogs, you wake up with fleas. Any association with Pakistan from what i can see is nothing but toxic. Its known as guilt by association.Recommend

  • Adil Uddin

    Sir,
    I often feel that Jews are closer to Muslims than Christians due to the doctrine and concept of monotheism. As far as I guess, there’s no school or sect etc…. of Judaism that preaches Trinity.
    Moreover, I know what majority of Muslims think about Jerusalem but the ancient holy city is considered sacred by Jews and Christians too. Moreover, I had a chance to listen to lectures by Muslim modernists such as Allama Ghulam Ahmed Pervaiz and would recommend you to listen to his lecture about Waqiah-e-Miraj in order to understand and correct certain beliefs that we possess about Jerusalem.Recommend

  • rasgullah

    Jerusalem belongs to jews first. Silver platter or not, you can’t do anything about it.Recommend

  • Khalid

    i would be happy with whatever “sawab” I can get with praying in Shahi Mosque of Lahore, holy or less holy no Mosque like it in world.Recommend

  • A Peshawary

    ET should conduct a survey on the desired of Pakistanis to visit Jerusalem. It will be interesting to note the disparity and vacuum between people wishes and the thinking of democratically elected policy maker. A separate survey of the MPs both national assembly and provincial assemblies will also be very interesting. Particularly the gap between the public aspiration and their representative choices.

    A PeshawaryRecommend

  • KB

    At least the author didn,t get a strip searched for fleas- like the jagmahadevi of Switzerland.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    Actually it was given to Muslims even then. The deviants i.e. Jews just got hold of it. It really about perspective.Recommend

  • Saleem

    Dear Kashan, please share the picsRecommend

  • Mobeen Ahmed (Jeddah, KSA)

    God Almighty has mentioned through sayings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that there are many categories of reward and a particular category of reward applies if you worship in Makkah, Madinah or Jerusalem, if you pray there you get more rewards than praying in your local mosque, but it doesnt mean that your local mosque is inferior or not important. If you pray in congregation you get rewards and God Almighty is always giving his servants chances to reap rewards (by praying and by doing good deeds, being fair and equal to women and other things) and God gives chances to his servants to avoid sins (like shooting little girls in their heads – which is a major sin). About the ego of the Lord. God is indeed mighty and proud but doesnt like ego and pride in His servants because we are not like God, we are not Him and we do not give life to anything – therefore He wants us to be humble. He can reward anyone for anything its His Will and Order. But we strive to seek His pleasure.
    For further details on rewards and deeds and God’s mightiness I suggest you go to any basic Islamic site on google where with proper study our religion and our practices may not seem “strange” to you. Thank you for asking me about my religion. I wish you all the best.Recommend

  • deep

    As a true muslim there is no comment about visiting anything other than a muslim place of worship – you are like our vegetarian gujjus who will travel the world and eat only gujju food everywhere – how do you broaden your mind if all you want to see is a confirmation of what you already know?Recommend

  • Talha Farooq

    The reward is not necessarily the one which could only be cashed in the afterlife, but also the spiritual and mental growth which comes from traveling (pilgrimage) to Holy Places with the intention of searching for God.

    If you don’t search for God then you won’t find him even if He is closer to you than your jugular vein.Recommend

  • Michael Piston

    I think the Israelis showed remarkable flexibility in admitting a Pakistani within its borders at all. Would an Israeli receive similar consideration in Pakistan? Probably a moot point, since no Israeli in his right mind would seek admission to Pakistan to begin with. I note that writer did not express any concern about being kidnapped or murdered by Jewish extremists while he was in Israel. Just as one should not hesitate criticizing Israel when it is out of line, so it also deserve praise for its willingness to accept visitors from a country which has well earned the designation as the most dangerous country in the world. Hats off to Israel.Recommend

  • Nowsherwan

    What bullshit…. we stand by Palestinians for an unlawful occupancy of their land…… Instead of criticizing Israel… the writer is criticizing Pakistan government…. shame on such fools..Recommend

  • anon

    keep telling yourself that. One wonders why Israel has still managed to get a bunch of rock pelting impoverished rag tags under control for the past 65 years. You can be as economically and millitarily powerful and advanced as you want, but there really is no way to erase history or the reality of the crime that you have committed. Jerusalem is coming back to Palentine one way or the other. Palestinians already have lost alot already so they dont have much at stake to lose. Hence the longer the return gets delayed the more painful that process will be..Recommend

  • Faisal

    @Rajiiv You would not understand why the reward is immense bec unlike the million gods u follow ours is one, & it is easy to please him. 2ndly this place has a history behind, history of struggle, foot prints, how it came into being, how it had served the people of region, not that God needs any prayers, or he feeds on any but only to reward us for following the practice of people which were dear to him… God finds ways to bless you in simple ways, the experience man had was of life time, the man enjoyed, the man traveled, the man eat & lived, smiled & laughed.. he enjoyed it all but still got the reward .. there was no punishment nor compulsion, or forced charity, it was action of free will .. So kindly stop trolling over posts just for the sake of finding holes which your mind perceives as mistakes.. Go & first fix your understanding of God, abt its existence & what not, bec at the end you will die alone, so better collect some good deeds for your self then finding irregularities in others… ! care for your ‘Akhira’ (life after death) only. !Recommend

  • anon

    not everyone is spineless like you. If they were there would be no such thing is Palestine or even Pakistan in the first place. Israel would have taken the whole pie and Pakistan would still be inside India. Both nations had to fight for their place and rights. It wasn’t handed over because we asked nicelyRecommend

  • anon

    If your religious value and beliefs are different that doesnt mean you casually pass remarks on that of others and make assumptions. Unless you want to turn this debate into sour back and forth personal petty ethno-religious debate, where I can pass remarks on you but really whats the point if it does not contribute constructive or healthy in the end. Learn to accept or atleast respect differences which you may not agree with or may not even understand. Thats the least you can do as a fellow human being right? Or is this also some sort of petty point scoring match for you?Recommend

  • tein

    Please correct the misleading title – you entered Israel as a’BRITISH’ muslim!Recommend

  • Wateva

    Please get a life. You have 541 comments on this website most of them petty and unpleasantly judgmental. Why are you Indian trolls so obsessed with this Pakistani newspaper website where you do nothing but pass cheap degrading sarcastic comments on each and every article. Dont you have anything better to do or problems in your country, or newspaper articles in your country to comment on? Unless this is some sort of lame government paid job based in a run-down shady call center, where the only purpose of your existence is to write nasty comments on each and every article on a Pakistan newspaper website JUST BECAUSE its Pakistani. Seriously get a life, you only make your country and yourself look bad through dumb comments nothing else.Recommend

  • Kashif

    Rajiiiv, We believe certain places to be sacred and carry a special reward for visiting. This is what the author meant by “immense”Recommend

  • Asif

    Off course by that he means that it gives us immense satisfaction. There is nothing about Gods Ego. Dont make baseless issues even after understanding.Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    You are setting a good example with your positive views. May your tribe increase.Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    “I inquired from the Israeli officers about visiting Jerusalem on a Pakistani passport – they said that I could apply for a visa and if it was granted, I could visit. As our passport says that it is not valid for travel to Israel, they would issue a paper visa and put all the entry-exit stamps on that visa.”

    That’s what they could do, but it’s EXTREMELY unlikely that they would grant a visa to a Pakistani or a citizen from any Muslim country, even American-Muslims have a tough time entering Israel.Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    No, we should not, because it Israel’s occupation of Palestine is illegal and if we do recognize Israel, all the other Muslim countries would side with India on the Kashmir dispute.Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    It may belong to “Jews”, but not Khazar descendants.Recommend

  • Needroos

    Didnt stop ISI and Mossad running Operation Cyclone in the 1980s.Recommend

  • Jahanzeb Khan

    Looks like a made-up story otherwise after visiting the Al-Aqsa mosque, the writer should have known that this gold temple is not the Al-Aqsa mosque.Recommend

  • Proletarian

    Israel is a reality in the middle east. The Jews are now back as an essential part in the fabric of the middle east. They are not going away.
    But what can be done is to do away with the term Jewish state or a state where Jews are priviledged citizens over an oppressed muslim minority.
    And in parallel ‘muslim’ and ‘arab’ states must also be abolished. All countries must treat their citizens equally regardless of race and relgion or sect and there should be no oppressed underclass in any state.
    If the Jews and muslims put aside their superstitions and tribalisms the middle east can become a paradise.Recommend

  • Ateeq

    The image on top is not Al aqsa mosque. The mosque is right next to this oneRecommend

  • JagNathan

    There is no illegal occupation of Palestinian land. Does it matter what Quaid e Azam was for or against. The enterprise he founded is today floundering on the rocks to be smashed apart any day. The nation Ben Grunion established is flourishing produces some of the best engineers,doctors and Nobel Laureates. A nation with a population of 16 million holds at bay a population of Muslims and Arabs numbering in about 150 million. Today, Saudi Arabia, UAE and most Arab nation seeks Israel’s Nuclear Umbrella and the prowess of her Air Force as a bulwark against the threats from Iran. Israel produces some of the best technologies, some of which presently sits inside the F16s guarding your skies. Can you say anything like that about Quaid e Azam’s enterprise?Recommend

  • 19ErumShaikh87

    Dear Faran,

    Thank you for pointing out the mistake. The error is regretted and has now been rectified.

    Kind Regards,
    The Express Tribune Blogs desk.Recommend

  • Sceptic

    Name a Muslim country which currently sides with Pakistan, against India, on Kashmir? The Israel-Palestine issue has nothing to do with Pakistan. We should learn to mind our own business and look after our national interests.Recommend

  • Rajiiiv

    This is my reply to the comments following my original comment. My comment was not particular to any religion. Every religion, among its followers, including Hinduism, has places of pilgrimage and which people think are special and praying there gets special rewards. My comments apply to Hindus as well who may think so. Regarding the comment about Hindus having many Gods , is born out of fatal misunderstanding of Hinduism. This is how God is defined in Hinduism. He cannot be defined. He is neither this nor that. The entire universe is part of him. He is incomprehensible, is infinite and any effort to define him is to limit him and is so futile. The various Gods that you see in Hinduism are the devotees imagination of how that undefined God may be and I am free to imagine him in any shape or form I want , if that helps him in meditating on him. Also in Hinduism, that supreme power called God is impersonal. He has no special rewards for people who worship and believe in him nor any punishment for those who may not beleive in him. Its your actions that determine your fate here and here-after. However, if your act of praying inspires you to do good deeds then the byproduct of your praying is good and you will get good rewards as per the natural laws laid down by the supreme enrgy that encompasses the universe.Recommend

  • genesis

    possession is nine points in lawRecommend

  • Umm…What?

    Umm this comment is a joke right? You come from a country where every God is personal, every temple is personal. Why does have Ganges have so much sacred status? By your own logic, is lavishing gold and other things in temples a sign of egotistical Gods? Please don’t make such contradictory arguments. Every religion has its own sacred symbols, places and ways of worshiping. Like someone said on this forum, please go get a life because you seem to have a sad bitter one right now. Please make it a resolution to be more accepting open minded and pleasant in 2014 because if you dont believe in my God, I am pretty sure your God will not approve of your behavior towards others.Recommend

  • Aftab

    last time I heard an Indian ambassador was strip searched for fleas at a us airport..!!Recommend

  • lymnaea

    So did I and was a state guest. I refused to use my other citizenship and felt like a very proud Pakistani to travel across the country.Recommend

  • jamshed_kharian_pak

    Jerusalem-Baitulmouqdas is Islamic Holy city it must be under Islamic Rule but Open to all Religions of one Allah, God, it was written & signed by all parties under Great Sultan Salaudine Aubi copy is in Vatican in Rome! Islamic Republic Of Pakistan citizens are not authorised to go over there & use Pakistani Passeport Ir Pakistan not recognised other then Palestine as Occupied territory Pak citizens must also respect what is written in our Pakistani Passeport: this passeport is valid for all countries of the world Except israel, if you use some other nationality no matter, Doctors of Islam of 62-Muslim countries & Organisation of Islamic Countries must authorised under the light of Islamic Shariat Laws to recognised or not it’s not a personnel matter, there are some uncivilised countries who recognised but Palestine is under Occupation. thanksRecommend

  • shah

    God wants to be worshipped by those who are also good people.Recommend

  • rasgullah

    Looking the conditions b of your countries, I usually ROFL as peity and patriotism are the last refuge of scoundrels. Recommend

  • rahul

    @Faisal
    Our gods gets pleased if we do good things instead of just visiting places or blowing up polio workersRecommend

  • rasgullah

    Nothing was given. It was taken and will be taken back.Recommend

  • rasgullah

    It was the entire Arab armies that got defeated multiple times which proves that quality matters more than quantity. Recommend

  • rasgullah

    Pakistan’s birth was similar to Israel’s. So you can’t compare Palestine to Pakistan as Pakistanis were invaders. Recommend

  • rasgullah

    If you don’t want others poating on a site in Internet, then pull it out if it. Internet was not invented by your Arab masters to be used only by you. Recommend

  • saania

    excuse me you need to do your homework before you indians decide to troll a news that has nothign to do with you… Saudi Arabia, UAE and most Arab nations seek Pakistan’s nuclear umbrella support through agreements. Iran is a fellow muslim country. Go and provide toilets in your country before you talk crap.Recommend

  • Indian Troll got burnt badly. Owch. “Unless this is some sort of lame government paid job based in a run-down shady call center”….. DammnnnRecommend

  • gp65

    If one eats vegetarian all around the world, it does not mean one simply ate Gujarati food. Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Mexican, Italian, Greek and Lebanese food to just give you some examples have vegetarian options. Furthermore, when one travels, there is more than food that constitutes the experience. The museums, historical places, clothes, modes of travel, dealing wit people of different races and nationalities are all part of the experience.Recommend

  • Jijaji00

    Somebody is crying ,eh? tsk tsk…hahahaRecommend

  • muhammed

    exactly..completely wrong title.. it should be /// i entered jerusalem as a british muslim… entering one a british passport and then asking em what would happen if i would have come with my green passport does not mean one entered as a pakistani muslimRecommend

  • Iee Jay

    Kindly read the history and then commentRecommend

  • Gratgy

    Heard they found a Pakistani ambassador in her hairRecommend

  • Gratgy

    Why does God get pleased if you say good things about Him?Recommend

  • Gratgy

    A master needs something done he pays his servant to do it for him. Hence a master and servant both need each other. It is a mutually beneficial relationship. By calling yourself his servant, are you not trivialising Him by implying that God needs you as much as you need him.Recommend

  • hehe

    hehe while this might be historically correct, it is also a fact that the jews were banished from having a land of their own…I think its in their own book, which, by the way, in its true form is a part of muslim faith !..so whats next ?Recommend

  • JagNathan

    You may want to check with the Saudis and Emiratis on that one. Don’t be so cocksure on their depending on a Paki Nuke umbrella when it comes to defending their nation against Iran.Recommend

  • Mushahid Hussain

    lol, you have no idea how desperate Saudia Arab and its allied Arab nations are to destroy Syria and Iran ? Doesn’t matter if they are Muslims
    Plus are we forgetting the fact on how poorly the Palestinian refugees have been treated by Arab states ? Even their great great grand children don’t have nationalities of the country’s they are refuges in just to keep the Palestinian agenda alive and henceforth they live like 2nd class citizens without any rights or the means to achieve their goals.
    If these Arab countries had their way, they would be as bad as Israel because if you look back at the history, West Bank was occupied by Jordon and Gaza was occupied by Egypt even before the 1967 war.Just like there was never an Israel, there was never a Palestine.(correct me if I’m wrong here)
    Don’t think me wrong here that I’m supporting Israel and it’s blood shedding policies but as long as other nations keep interfering in this matter there will never be peace.At the same time even the Palestinians are slightly divided due to two different regimes in Gaza and the West Bank.(I’m not up to date with the progress of the peace talks between the two so sorry if its outdated information)Considering that Israel exists now, it’s going to stay that way and destroying it is not a solution.
    On the issue of Jerusalem, it doesn’t belong to anyone, it belongs to everyone and hence I’ll support any government which adheres to this whether it be Jewish or Muslim.It’s a city that should be open for all.Recommend

  • Mushahid Hussain

    oh and just before you come up with a reply and allegedly declare me an Indian or some agent or whatever with an agenda.I was born in Karachi and have lived my entire life here.Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    Correction, you entered Jerusalem as a British Pakistani Muslim. Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    Actually almost every Muslim majority country in the world supports Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir dispute, Turkey,Qatar,Malaysia,Saudi Arabia to name a few.

    Azerbaijan also supports Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute because Pakistan doesn’t recognize Armenia(their #1 rival).Recommend

  • Maharaja Kashan Arshad

    I hold dual citizenship, however, that doesn’t change my nationality which is still Pakistani. I showed both my passports at the crossing.Recommend

  • Maharaja Kashan Arshad

    I hold dual citizenship, but my nationality is still Pakistani.Recommend

  • Maharaja Kashan Arshad

    I don’t fully understand your comment. I was critical of Pakistani government policies that prevent Pakistanis from visiting Jerusalem – I never criticized any policy of Pakistan towards Palestinians. By not confronting the issue, Pakistan is pretty much on the sidelines.Recommend

  • Maharaja Kashan Arshad

    You’re welcome.Recommend

  • Wateva

    wow your amazing comment completely transformed my perspective and completely made me see things from a new perspective. You’re right float by all means, its kind of a weird sorta compliment on how obsessed you are with us Pakistanis and coming all the way to this website to comment on each and every article like some sort of a pilgrimage one makes to pay homage to someone they revere. It’s called stalkerish behavior, You wont find any of us floating about on your newspaper website. You know why because we can’t be as to what you think about us. You’re like this jilted stalker who just can’t let go and feels the need to keep coming.
    Oh yea really funny comment about our so called Arab master’s, At least they are better looking and richer and looking at simple statistics there are more of you working under Arab masters in the Gulf than us. Get a reality check also before commenting.
    Recommend

  • anon

    Irony much? This comment is coming from someone whose sole life purpose seems to be patriotically litter pathetic sad comments all over this place. As scoundrels we atleast live valiantly and at largess. You seem to have sad lonely and a classic case of Forever AloneRecommend

  • Wateva

    Yes I am crying tears of gratitude, at the sheer amount of stalker level of love the likes of you put on over here each and everything Pakistani related. Most of us can’t be half mad over what you think of us, but apparently our existence is really important to you. Get over us and move on. We dumped you like 65 years ago!Recommend

  • Wateva

    Yes and the call centre comment was actually only a polite description. Their description was very accurately captured in Slumdog Millionaire, a movie which showed the entire country as a giant brown pile of you know what. Infact the very opening scene of the movie (the Amitabh Bachan part) was such a humiliating degrading crass scenic description of the country and its people, keeping in mind that this movie was not even made by a Pakistani. It was made by a Westerner, and televised as some sort of reality slum like description internationally, and yet these guys keep obsessing over us, when there are other’s insulting them and portraying them in even more demeaning light.Recommend

  • Wateva

    I understand what you are trying to get across and thank you for explaining your beliefs in more detail. But you need to respect those of others including those of other Hindus even if you disagree or differentiate. That’s the only way people will learnt to respect your point of view. It’s basic manners, if you sour the debate with petty judgmental comments like you have been on most of the articles you will get equally petty and crass comments in reply. It doesn’t add any value to the overall debate. Instead of turning this into a nationalistic competition, its better to leave something informative. I think this was the purpose of the article that is to shed light on his experience, the way we look at things from our perspective and its meaning to us in faith. The purpose is to allow others to learn and similar share perspectives from their personal experiences. Your second comment is more informative and constructive then the first judgemental one line remark. Isn’t it more healthy when you address things more civilly and politely instead of the crass-festival that most of the ppl from your country like to partake on this forum? I really dont know what the purpose of that is, except for giving us an excuse to be equally crass petty and abusive in return. Hope I read better comments from you from now onwards.Recommend

  • Lookie

    You guys are treated like human waste in the Gulf and hold some of the most demeaning jobs in the Middle East. Pray tell what kind of an association is that? A self loathing one, where other countries take advantage of the massive levels of poverty in your country to treat you as sub-humans? Stop praising Israel so much, they can’t stand anything brown skinned, they are keeping Ethiopians in cages and have the same racially degrading opinion of Asians and Indians as well.Recommend

  • Wateva

    Please get your own house in order before you come and lecture us, You are giving us advice as if you, yourself live in a problem-free Scandinavian country. From the bitterness in your comment, I can only assume it was written by someone sitting with a fly-swatter under a coconut tree in Goa, which btw comparatively is still one of the far better places in India to exist in.Recommend

  • anon

    This is coming from someone who lived under the subservience of Mughal for 1000 years, infact some of biggest monuments in India are created by Mughals. From Princess Diana to Bono, everyone wants a selfie infront of the Taj Mahal, and is heavily promoted by your own government and is the only reason that tourists even come to India. Mughal conquerors did you a huge favour mate. If they didnt conquer you, you be still squatting into the ground Like you said quality matters. HAHAHA what a joke you are seriously!Recommend

  • haha

    You are absolutely right. Invaders gave you the taj mahal which brings millions of tourists. Be grateful for that otherwise you had nothing of your own to offer.Recommend

  • rasgullah

    Its anyday better than having drone as your national bird.Recommend

  • rasgullah

    Being fellow muslims didn’t prevent your masters Saudi Arabiafrom supporting war against Iraq and didn’t prevent them from calling for attacks against Iran and Syria. Fellow muslim Afghanistan and Iran are closer to India than Pskistan and no one supports Pakistan publicly on Kashmir issue anymore. Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    Aren’t you always saying that Pakistanis had converted from Hindus then why change in your thinking? Next you’ll be asking us to vacate our country like the troll Indra. by the way you have no stake in Jerusalem so how about you shut up and mind your own business.Recommend

  • rasgullah

    Better than havivg the drone ss national bird.Recommend

  • x

    LOL. Not all Indians here are trolls but yeah, some of them seem to belong to some professional organization devoted exclusively to the purpose of trolling.Recommend

  • x

    This was not an attack on Hinduism. You’re entitled to your beliefs and I respect the view that God is infinity, indefinable, too great and magnificent to be fully comprehended by us and we all struggle to understand, to have faith, to pray, think, rationalize and follow what seems right to us. Also, the different gods in Hinduism are generally considered by Hindus to be manifestations of the same one God just like we have a hundred names for our God because he is too great to be defined by one word or one attribute. As we have ‘al-Rahim the most Merciful’ or the Most Benevolent or Most Just, etc etc you have Lakshmi for the most prosperous, etc etc. One God, so many different ways. Peace.Recommend

  • x

    Very well said.Recommend

  • Majid Ur Rehman

    Many Pakistani Muslims visit Israel for many reasons. Question is, did you visit Israel on your Pakistani passport or foreign passport? If you entered Israel on foreign passport, than that is being done on almost daily basis on Israeli border by Pakistan born foreign nationals.Recommend

  • gp65

    In my opinion, any belief system (including my own of course) should be open to questioning. Such questioning does not amount to any disrespect. Human progress depends upon questioning the prevailing beliefs (not all the beliefs maybe religious in nature please note). Evolution, the fact that the earth is round and revolves around the sun are examples of widely believed knowledge okay which required questioning the prevailing beliefs of the time.

    What is however important is that all believers should have the right to live their lives according to their belief system as long as they are not harming others in the process.

    @Rajiiv was not rude in the question he posed nor did he question the author’s right to pray wherever he chose to. Under the circumstance there was nothing inappropriate about his post.Recommend

  • gp65

    Though I am not Rajiiv, it seems that his comment is a serious one and not a joke nor is it directed just to those who practice Islam. He is not questioning the desire for people to pray at special places but rather the notion that doing so brings special reward. The idea he is forwarding is that praying per se does not earn rewards but good deeds earns rewards. It is possible that you disagree with him. It is possible that many in India including many Hindus disagree with him but there is nothing inherently ludicrous about his point of view. In fact in my opinion people who worship at special places but in their day o day lives their actions are bad are hypocritical and should not get rewards. Asaram Bapu and the erstwhile smuggler Haji Mastaan come to mind here. You will note that the examples chosen by me are both Indians – so this is not something negative about Pakistan. Also while one person is Muslim, the other is a Hindu so it is not about any particular religion.Recommend

  • gp65

    Agree with you here.Recommend

  • gp65

    Which Indian ambassador was strip searched at a US airport? Please provide credible reference?Recommend

  • gp65

    The reference to toilets in India was irrelevant. While India does have that problem, India is working on it. Pakistanis however tunting Indians on this issue on the net are quite unaware of the fact that Pakistan too has similar problems. http://www.nation.com.pk/karachi/20-Nov-2013/44pc-people-yet-to-find-toiletsRecommend

  • gp65

    So what does that show? Despite the hate for Israel made evident on the Pakistani passport, they chose not to reciprocate the hate.Recommend

  • gp65

    I appreciate your response which makes a lot of sense to me. I also appreciate that rather than assuming a malafide motive to the questioning, you took it at face value and responded accordingly.Recommend

  • gp65

    Did you consider the possibility that this may actually be a serious comment and not a sarcastic one. Also the possibility that it may not even be directed to Muslims per se as his explanation later clearly indicates? It is unclear what is it about his comment which can be considered anti-Pakistani.

    It is one thing if you disagree with his opinion. It is possible that many Indian Hindus may also disagree with his opinion. You could have provided a rebuttal based on your beliefs and opinions. But the ad nominee attack was in poor taste. Recommend

  • Lookie

    This is coming from someone whose purpose is to launch ad hominem attacks on every article on ET website. The commenter said it was made in context to all the other comments written on the website by him and the likes of him which are always petty below the belt unrelated to the topic cheap shots. Why is that always the case with Indian commenters? I’m starting to thinking some of the commenters on this website are correct, this either seems to be a well-organised collective sport, or if not then an entire petty mindset exists at a petty level. This is why most comments are being replied back to with equal pettiness because of the sheer quality of the bitter self loathing comments left behind by most Indian commenters on this website.Recommend

  • gp65

    Mughals did not rule India for 1000 years. History clearly is not your strong suit. Please read a proper history ooh instead of relying on Zaid Hamid.Recommend