Stories about Wagah Border

Pakistan’s soldiers: The sons of our soil

Since 1984, the Pakistan Army has been fighting a war on the highest battlefield of the world, the Siachen Glacier. Although there have been periods of temporary ceasefire, they have always been followed by severe aggression from both sides. During one such hostile period in 1987, a high altitude post of the Pakistan Army at the Siachen Glacier was commanded by my uncle who was then a captain. He had been there for five months and had no hope of being relieved in the near future because of the escalated tensions and harsh weather. One day he was sitting with his troops in ...

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The Korean borders: Another version of Wagah border?

I have always wanted to go to Imjingak, located near Seoul, in South Korea. Being a media professional, my wish was granted when I got to travel to the Freedom Bridge for a news feature I was doing for Madang Live. Having woken up to rain, we made it to Imjingak where the Freedom Bridge lies. Photography was prohibited, except where we were given explicit permission. We were not allowed to point at anyone or anything. If a North Korean waved at us, we were not allowed to wave back. Freedom Bridge, with its striking ribbons conveying the hope of millions for ...

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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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Qazi Hussain Ahmad’s memorable leadership

The sudden demise of two towering personalities, Professor Ghafoor Ahmed and Qazi Hussain Ahmad, are irreparable losses for the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI.) Both figures served on key slots in the party. I pray that the departed souls are bestowed with eternal peace and their followers and families are given enough courage to bear their demise. When I was a college student, I often heard the slogan ‘zalamo Qazi aa raha hai’ (O wicked people, Qazi is coming). It was the early 1990s and Qazi Hussain Ahmad was the Ameer of JI. The suburbs of my city were plagued by an alleged smuggler, ...

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A true patriot lost with the demise of Chacha Pakistan

A man called ‘Chacha Pakistani’ was at the flag lowering ceremony at the Wagah border every single day of the year. The flag lowering ceremony, a ceremonial thumbing of the nose by the troops of India on one side and Pakistan on the other, has taken place at the Wagah border since 1959. Even though the contempt has since been toned down, it remains a sort of civil baring of the teeth on either side, or as Michael Palin described it, a ‘carefully choreographed contempt,’ of one neighbouring country for the other. Born Mehar Din ninety years ago, Chacha Pakistani moved ...

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Love thy neighbour (India), it’s economically viable!

Pakistan and India have shared decades of a love-hate relationship under different regimes. The present government is leaning more towards love than hate and took the bold decision of granting most favoured nation (MFN) status to India, in order to open up trade between the two countries. Some critics hope that trade with India may dispel the impression that Pakistan is a land of fear ruled by the Taliban. The question is whether an enhanced trade relationship between the two countries will bring these two rivals closer. In recent talks held in Islamabad, India offered to set up a 2,000MW power ...

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