Stories about pak-india

My visit to the Taj Mahal

After returning from an action-packed trip to India – with a wedding, a family reunion and a tour of a country rich in culture and tradition – there is so much I want to share! This trip was truly incredible and we are still in a state of wonder and awe. Our trip began in Delhi and, believe me, landing in Delhi was like arriving in Lahore. The similarities were unbelievable – the people, the roads, the buildings, the architecture and the food all reminded us of things back home. I would not be exaggerating if I said that ...

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This Independence Day I long for peace with India

“Panchee, nadiya, pawan kay jhokay, Koi sarhad na inhay rokay, Sarhad insaanon kay liye hai, Socho tum nay aur mainay kya paya insan hokay ” – Javed Akhtar (Birds, streams, the flowing breeze No border can stop them Borders were made for mankind Just think,  what did you and I get for being human?) Monday, 5:45am, December 7, 2012: I am at the India-Pakistan bus terminal in Lahore. It’s bitterly cold and yet the throng of well-wishers outside the gate is ever growing. Some are waving goodbye to their relatives about to embark on the bus for Delhi. Others are crying into their shawls or trying to put on a stoic face ...

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Eight reasons why the IPL is popular in Pakistan

The first edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) kicked off in April 2008 and took the world by storm. Cricket fans from all over the globe enjoyed this T20 spectacle as Shane Warne led a spirited Rajasthan Royals side to an unexpected victory. The best part about it, from a Pakistan perspective, was that the leading wicket taker of the inaugural tournament was a left-arm Pakistani swing bowler Sohail Tanvir. Since then, the IPL has become an annual cricket festival that is followed thoroughly by cricket lovers. The sad part though, is that Pakistani players have not appeared in ...

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When Pakistanis can love Indians and vice versa

The India-Pakistan conflict has spanned decades, keeping the news channels on tenterhooks with every turn of events. However, while years of struggling to keep each other at bay have taught the two political arch-rivals strategies to abate tension wherever possible, the media in both countries has largely refrained from employing any peacemaking tactics. Newsmakers on either side jump at the prospect of magnifying any hint of strain in relations. Harping on how evil the other side has proved to be one of the most effective methods of attracting new audiences. On either side, reports are one dimensional, biased and indifferent to the ...

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‘Dosti’ between Pakistan and India

If Taylor Swift was a political analyst, she would be telling us right now,  “India and Pakistan are never, ever getting back together!” By cancelling concerts by Pakistani artists, not issuing visas and letting our women’s cricket team camp at a stadium during their tour, India has given us the proverbial lannat. The Pakistani government has responded with some serious passive-aggressive silent treatment much like an angry boyfriend. At times like these, hearing about the 50th anniversary of the Elysee treaty signed between France and Germany which ended an era of animosity, wars, bloodshed and bitterness between the two countries comes as a ...

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A Pakistani in India

History, unfortunately, has given Indian and Pakistan varying reasons for hostility. It is sad to see two nations with so much in common distrust and, in general, hate each other. The media rampant with messages of anger against the ‘other’ and thus, choosing the path of friendship or normalisation is a mission of passion. Travelling from Islamabad to New Delhi, however, has changed my perspective to a great extent. During a recent month-long stay in India’s capital, I found myself feeling as if I were a local, thanks to the similarities in language, culture and ethnicity. I fit in like a hand in ...

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Can SAARC become a vibrant regional organisation?

I tried to find the answer to a question at a South Asian Association Regional Cooperation (SAARC) conference recently held in Islamabad. After meeting representatives of Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and the Maldives, I can say that yes, SAARC can be an effective regional organisation. But its bright future depends upon good relations between the two nuclear neighbours – India and Pakistan. In my opinion, if Pakistan and India pursue good ties, keeping in view long-standing trade relations, then SAARC can turn into a mega platform for seeking solutions to regional problems. Being a representative of Pakistan at the SAARC ...

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Will China-India relations dent Pak-China relations?

China and Pakistan historically have enjoyed long standing, versatile and cordial relations. From the very beginning, in 1955, when the then Prime Minister Chaudary Muhammad Ali and his Chinese counterpart Zhou Enlai consolidated their support on mutual understanding, the relationship between the two countries have remained ‘tested by adversity’. Pakistan was a key ally for China throughout the Cold War period in coping with India and the Soviet Union until the Gorbachev and Beijing reached and acceded to certain demands. However, many advantages were also accrued to Pakistan as a result of its alliance with a more culturally diverse,  communist country like China. It furthered Pakistan’s security, ...

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Nothing real can come out of the Indo-Pak visa regime

‘People-to-people contact’ is a buzzword when it comes to improving Pakistan-India relations. Emphasised so much over the years, it has become a cliché. The two countries have recently signed a new visa regime, which was endorsed by the federal cabinet last week. Under the new regime, the two countries have made an effort to ease what most people consider bottlenecks in increasing people-to-people contact such as the strict visa policies pursued by the two South Asian neighbours. It will be premature to comment if the initiative will bring expected results, since we have been seeing ‘exchanges’ at different levels for the ...

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Thank you for inviting us, India

It’s official: the most exciting cricket series of the year will kick off on December 25, when arch-rivals Pakistan and India meet in a Twenty20 International match in Bangalore. Promptly, and almost expectedly, chief of Shiv Sena, India’s equivalent of Pakistan’s assorted anti-India groups, Bal Thackeray came out with an asinine statement calling the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s invitation to the Pakistan cricket team a matter of “national shame”. For me, his statement has done little more than set the stage for a series I have craved since Pak-India ties came to an abrupt halt in 2007. But my ...

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