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Thread: India-Pakistan brotherhood

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    Senior Member kashifraza's Avatar
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    India-Pakistan brotherhood

    People might view me as anti-Indian with my posts on Kashmir and other issues, but that is not true at all. I am starting this thread, to show our special relationship with India, hope it can be converted into a sticky thread, and everyone can contribute.

    We can fight over issues, but I think they are not as substantial if we look at the ties we enjoy with each other. So it is important to look at the overall picture. Let us build bridges, not burn them.

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  2. #2
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    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood

    This is now a sticky thread. Great initiative.
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    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by bilalhaider View Post
    This is now a sticky thread. Great initiative.
    Thanks Bilal
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    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood

    Please everyone feel free to contribute here, if it is about India-Pakistan friendship
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    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood

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    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood

    An Indian's humble effort to boost Indo-Pak relations

    Since Modi was sworn in as PM last month, there seems to be a thaw in India-Pakistan relations. Nawaz Sharif attended the swearing-in, the two Prime Ministers held talks and both sides released prisoners as a sign of goodwill. Will that translate into greater cooperation on terrorism and economics - no one knows. But despite the intentions of the two governments - the narrative continues to be dominated by cross border firing, Indian soldiers being killed at the LoC, the perception of an apathetic Pakistan government & former generals and journalists screaming at each other in news studios. There seems to be no room for 'good' news. At the same time there exists a thin line between the concept of patriotism and being anti-Pakistan, making such stories a taboo most of the time.

    But I always believe that in every country, there is a significant section of the citizenry that resists the government line or the public sphere when it seems narrow minded or reactionary. In the face of fear and anger they urge restraint and reflection. Despite, the stance of both governments, they believe that greater person to person contact between the citizens of both countries, can galvanise the cultural connections and establish strong foundations of peace. They strive to show that even in the midst of conflict and enmity - humanity - the core concepts of the constitution and faiths of both nations -can persevere and prevail.

    One such an activist is Chintan Girish Modi - the founder of Friendships Across Borders - a Mumbai based initiative campaigning for better relations between India and Pakistan. His campaign highlights stories of friendships, cross border connections and aims to tackle prejudices about Pakistan and its citizens via workshops and online campaigns. I sat down with him for a chat asking him about his mission, his drive, and how he aims to grow his campaign too boost relations between both nation.

    Q1: Why did you start the Friendships Across Borders: Aao Dosti Karein initiative?

    I felt like I needed to do something about the discomfort I experience when I encounter expressions of hostility, either by Indians towards Pakistanis, or by Pakistanis towards Indians. I wanted to present another narrative, one that highlighted stories of friendship between people from these countries in conflict.

    Q2: What is your opinion of the India-Pakistan narrative in the Indian public sphere?

    There is no singular narrative. There are multiple narratives. One comes across people who believe that being loyal to India implies being anti-Pakistan, and vice versa. One also encounters those who have family or friends across the border, or a desire to visit their ancestral homes abandoned at the time of Partition. Apart from these two kinds, there are Indians who have studied or worked closely with Pakistanis in Dubai, the US, the UK, or Nepal. They have experienced the 'other' as friend, neighbour and colleague, so their impressions are bound to be different from those who've built up ideas only on the basis of what they have read in history textbooks, heard at home, or been exposed to in the media.

    Q3: What is the nature of the work you do to boost awareness?

    The work I do as part of Friendships Across Borders: Aao Dosti Karein is of two kinds. The first involves sniffing out stories of Indians who have Pakistani friends, and Pakistanis who have Indian friends, and getting them to write these out. These stories are then shared on FAB's Facebook page. The stories talk about how these people became friends, how their friendship has deepened despite the travel restrictions between our countries, what this friendship means to them in the context of the hostile political situation, etc. Each story is professionally edited, and posted online, along with pictures. Hopefully, someday, we will be able to have these published as an anthology.

    The second aspect of this initiative involves workshops with schools, colleges, universities and other spaces that welcome the idea of cross-border friendships between Indians and Pakistanis to transform the long-standing hostility. These workshops are interactive. They typically include a mix of short films, discussion, art activities, quizzes, storytelling, etc. I draw on my own experiences of having travelled to Pakistan thrice on exchange programmes and for children's literature festivals.

    Q4: What has been the reaction to your initiative?

    I am glad about the response I have received so far. It is wonderful to see the pockets of openness around me. Many young people are eager to learn about their neighbour. I have found that students who have heard their grandparents talk about how they had to migrate in 1947 are often quite keen on knowing what things are like in Pakistan. Some of them have Facebook friends from across the border.

    The stories that are posted on FAB's Facebook page feed into these workshops. Students enjoy reading these, and noticing how 'normal' people on the other side are. They have lots of questions. It is a healthy curiosity. It must be encouraged. Friendships sound doable. They feel like something everyone could do. Peace seems abstract, and people sometimes do not know how to participate.

    Q5: What plans do you have to expand outreach?

    I would love to be able to work closely with interested schools and colleges keen on developing a South Asian focus for their curriculum. It is unfortunate that formal education systems in India and Pakistan do not build on our shared heritage. If we did, our children would grow up with a deep-rooted awareness of our interconnectedness. I also hope to find volunteers interested in translating the stories posted so far into other languages to be read in India and Pakistan.

    Q6: What role can other institutions play to push the campaign for better relations with Pakistan?

    Since media representations have a major influence on how people in India think about Pakistan, I feel journalists could really play an important role by covering the innumerable positive stories in Pakistan. There is a lot of good work happening there, especially in terms of education and the arts, despite the threats people face in their everyday lives.

    Q7: What message do you have for those who disagree with your initiative?

    Make a friend across the border. It will change you.

    http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/ayushman...relations.html
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    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood

    TV shows help bridge divide between India, Pakistan




    India and Pakistan's complex relationship has been marked by contrasting trends in recent weeks - a worsening of ties at the government level and an increasing interest by ordinary Indians in the ordinary lives of their counterparts across the border.

    Even as security forces exchanged fire at the Line of Control in Kashmir and leaders fueled nationalistic passions, huge numbers of people in India enjoyed Pakistani TV soap operas on cable television.

    Viewership of the Zindagi channel, which airs Pakistani soaps in India, was not affected at all by the recent escalation in violence, says the channel's business head Priyanka Dutta. Buoyed by its success and undeterred by the ongoing tensions, the four-month-old channel launched its most coveted Pakistani soap, "Humsafar," last Tuesday.

    "Humsafar," which charts the troubled course of a couple's marriage and aired in Pakistan in 2011-2012, was dubbed by India's leading newspaper, The Times of India, as the "drama which changed the history of Pakistani television industry."

    The channel which reached around 28 million people last week hopes that this "big ticket item" will help it to consolidate its position in the competitive Indian market.

    Pakistani Show Well Received in India

    Madhu Goswami, a retired government official in New Delhi, found the first episode captivating. Having followed Pakistani soaps on the Zindagi channel since its launch, she?says she is drawn to them by a mixture of curiosity about Pakistan and the better quality of programing.

    "It was a surprise to see that they used Hindi words in their day-to-day conversations and that they face the same problems in daily life as we do," said Goswami, who considers most Hindi soaps too loud.
    People around her are watching and discussing Pakistani soaps, too. "I know a lot of people whose Whatsapp IDs reflect that they are enamored by these soaps," she said.

    Unlike people in Pakistan, who are exposed to Indian popular culture through Bollywood movies and Indian entertainment channels, Indians have limited exposure to Pakistani social and cultural life. Pakistani classical musicians and poets have long enjoyed huge popularity in India. Many artists from Pakistan have recently entered the Indian film industry. However, the lack of images about Pakistani life has led to some misconceptions in India about the nation, says Delhi-based journalist and human right activist Kuldip Nayar, who was born in what is now Pakistan.

    He thinks many Indians are starting to see Pakistan "as some fundamentalist state". At the heart of such predispositions is ignorance about Pakistan, a knowledge gap that Pakistani soaps have the potential to fill.

    There is a cultural affinity among most South Asian states, that were integrated before 1947, observes S.D. Muni, professor emeritus at India's Jawaharlal Nehru University.

    Muni, who has written extensively on India's foreign policy, noted that in the last few years there has been an upward trend in interaction among people in the sub-continent.

    "As barriers are eroding and becoming irrelevant the inherent unity of the subcontinent is sort of asserting itself," he said.

    Impact on policy unknown

    Foreign policy experts are not sure whether cross border soaps can make any significant impact on the policy. However, Kuldip Nayar said that "we live in a democracy and, if there is pressure from below, the government will listen."

    On the flip side, years of rivalry and suspicion have created interest groups on both sides who are against cross-border cultural exchanges.

    Priyanka Dutta of Zindagi channel said initially they were concerned about criticism for airing Pakistani soaps. "We thought a lot about it while launching. We prepared ourselves for it but we were lucky that nothing happened," said Dutta. In order to avoid problems, Zindagi has created an elaborate system to preview the content of soaps coming from a country with which India has fought three wars.

    "Each and every soap has to go through three to five checks to ensure that Indian sensibilities are taken care of," said Dutta.

    Zindagi channel, conceived from a purely business standpoint, has been promoted as a vehicle "to unite people in India and across the world" by Zee Entertainment Enterprise Limited, parent company of Zindagi channel.

    Zindagi's tagline Jode Dilon ko (Connecting hearts) was a marketing slogan but initial viewer reactions suggest that it might be true.

    "After watching these soaps it occurred to me, culturally we are so similar. Then why is there such a divide between us," Madhu Goswami said.

    http://amankiasha.com/detail_news.asp?id=1467
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    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood

    Lets hope we have one in the future.
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    Kolkata schoolboys charmed by Pakistan visit

    KOLKATA: They went to Lahore thinking that they would find the streets there full of burqa-clad women and safa-sporting men, who speak Urdu and are ignorant about the goings on in India. What they found instead were men and women with jeans and tops, who are inquisitive about art trends in India, Bollywood actors and the 'saas-bahu' serials.

    The eight La Martiniere boys have come back enriched and humbled by the surge of love and affection that the common man in Pakistan has for us and admitted that the people there have undergone a metamorphosis as far as the general impression about Pakistan is concerned.

    The boys had gone for a weeklong trip to Lahore on the invitation of Aitchison College, one of Pakistan's most reputable colleges. The occasion was a visual and performing arts competition where this team from the city was one of the three Indian participants, the other two being the teams from British Co-education High School in Patiala and Vasant Valley in New Delhi.

    From classical instrument to vocal and photography to fine arts, the city team participated in a whole range of events and won prizes and hearts alike. What amazed them was the plethora of Bollywood music that Pakistani participants were armed with, leave alone the fact that many were trained in Hindustani classical music.

    So, when Srutorshi Adhikari, a Class-IX boy from the city school, enthralled the audience with raag 'Bihag' on his violin, a Pakistani college student accepted the challenge by playing raag 'Durbar' on his sitar. Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar is a hero among the Pakistani enthusiasts and his style is followed by them, the boys found out.

    "When a participant sang Allah Ke Bande, the cynic might conclude that it was an obvious choice, but when another one sang a song from Boss and another one sang a song from Chennai Express, you knew that you were among people who are no different from you..." said an exuberant Rohin Banerjee of class XI.

    The Pakistani college students reportedly were eager to rallied behind the Indian teams trying to find out what the Indians think of their country. "They seemed to be desperate to improve their image among the Indians. Terrorism inside Pakistan is also bothering them and several films in that country revolve around the issue," said Ahon Gooptu of Class IX. The city team found cinema halls showing Bollywood films like 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' and 'Boss'.

    "Since Hindus don't have have a taboo about having beef, the hosts prepared Indian style vegetarian food for us. However, after we explained, lamb and chicken were served to us since chicken is not so popular," said Sambuddha Sengupta, who participated in the fine arts category. and was surprised to find that though Pakistan is known to be a conservative country, nude paintings are quite common these days.

    But what perhaps drove the nail home was the fact that Tagore and Gandhi are worshipped and venerated in the same way that they are in India. "They even have buildings named after Tagore. When the common belief is that religious intolerance prevails in Pakistan, we were also amazed to find the existence of a temple, mosque, church and gurdwara on the college premises that were in equal use," said art teacher of the school Romi Majumdar.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/25083661.cms
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    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood

    Pakistan: On a shoestring budget, and with no firm plans

    By Banajit Hussain, Gaurav Srivastav, Anand Taneja, Karan Singh
    Bagal, Amit Kumar Singh, Gagan, Rajnish Kumar, Sidharth Mishra,
    Madhuresh Kumar, Mitul Baruah, Iftikhar Hussain and Sudhir Kumar.
    History Department, Ramjas College (Delhi University)

    It was a trip in search of Pakistan, a country we have known
    of since childhood, but still very much unknown. January 5, and
    all 12 students of the History Department, Ramjas College,
    University of Delhi, have reached Old Delhi Railway Station by 8
    pm to board the 'Samjhauta Express' to Lahore. We've all had to
    handle anxious parents, and our own apprehensions and fears of
    travelling to a ''hostile'' country so soon after the hijacking
    of the Indian Airlines plane.

    At nine sharp the train leaves. But not before some nervous
    moments, waiting for our teacher who arrives ten minutes before
    the train leaves. We find our compartment, say our goodbyes to
    our many friends who have come to see us off on the train to
    Pakistan. For most of us, it is our first experience of seeing
    Partition up close. Our co-passengers are mostly from families
    split up and living on both sides of the border, travelling to
    relatives in the other country.

    It's 6.30 in the morning and bitterly cold and foggy. We are at
    Attari, the last station in India. The entire train empties out,
    and every passenger and piece of luggage is scrutinised by the
    immigration and customs authorities. They take an agonising nine
    hours, during which they humiliate, abuse and harass the mainly
    Muslim passengers, large numbers of whom are also poor and
    illiterate. If you are prepared to pay you can take anything
    across. If you have no contraband on you, you still pay. You pay
    for every step you take at Attari.

    Formalities over, the Pakistan Railways train pulls out
    of Attari with all passengers aboard. The 15 minute ride to Wagah
    is on track fenced on either side. Mounted men of the BSF,
    imposing and handsome like the horses they ride, gallop alongside
    the train. They slow down to a trot as the train approaches the
    gate which would take us through the barbed wire fencing, so
    definitively inscribing the border between India and Pakistan for
    miles on either side. The train stops. The gate takes a while to
    open, and in the silence, almost menacingly the border forces
    itself into our very beings.

    In contrast to Attari, which station is shockingly poorly
    equipped with even basic passenger amenities, like waiting rooms,
    clean toilets or even a decent cup of tea, Wagah is cleaner, the
    authorities more efficient and far more courteous. By nine we are
    back on the train, on our way to Lahore, where we arrive 25 hours
    after we left Delhi.

    Beena Sarwar, editor of the 'News on Sunday' meets us warmly at
    the station in the cold and the fog, with two other journalists.
    We feel immediately comfortable. Lahore Station and the ride to
    the Youth Hostel where we are staying, looks, feels and sounds
    like parts of Delhi. Even the cars are similar. Instead of the
    Maruti 800 and Maruti van, they call theirs Suzuki Khyber and
    Suzuki Bolan. Add on the packed dal, roti and kaleji from the
    Lahore Press Club that we have for dinner, and you begin to
    wonder whatever happened to that border, how foreign really is
    this foreign country?

    We've barely surfaced on our first morning in Lahore when
    historians Mubarak Ali and Kamran Saheb arrive to welcome us to
    their city. We're overwhelmed. They bring along Irfan Usmani, a
    most agreeable guide, and lecturer at the historic, and
    beautifully kept Government College, Lahore. Of all that we see
    of colonial Lahore, this was by far the most impressive. Its red-
    brick buildings, soaring spires, green lawns, and Roll of Honour
    make us swoon. All of us want to study here, until we discover
    the price of subsidised coffee in the college canteen -- 12
    rupees per cup, which is as much as you would pay for a daily
    newspaper unlike the CDs and cassettes which sell dirt cheap, and
    were further discounted for us on The Mall because we are from
    India.

    Irfan Usmani takes us to Jahangir's Tomb, the Jama Masjid, the
    Lahore Fort, the Masjid Wazirkhan, the Minar-e-Pakistan and the
    Data Saheb ki mazaar. We travel in ''Qing-qis'' (pronounced
    Ching-kis) which are Lahore's version of Delhi's ''phut-phutis'.
    Lahore's are manufactured by a Chinese company, hence the name.

    Jahangir's maqbara, set in well-cared-for grounds, reminds us of
    Humayun's Tomb at Delhi's Nizamuddin. We're accosted by wizened
    Shami guide, wrapped up in a giant shawl against the cold. He
    regales us with tales and eloquence for the next one hour. He
    thinks Mitul, who's Assamese, is from Japan. But when he hears
    that we are from India, he's visibly pleased. ''I am honoured.
    Everybody in India speaks very good English.''

    The Jama Masjid and the Lahore Fort are familiar too. It's the
    Masjid Wazir Khan that really takes our breaths away. This 17th
    century mosque in the heart of the Walled City is stunningly
    mosaiced and colourfully painted. The gallis outside are famous
    for delectable chana and kulcha, but we are in Lahore in the last
    days of Ramzan, and all eating places are closed. All day we
    wander the city eating nothing. We don't even notice the hunger
    pangs. But as 5 O'clock nears, our stomachs are growling. The
    enticing aromas rising in the alleyways leading out of Bhaati
    Gate through Hira Mandi into Anarkali Bazaar are driving us
    crazy. We finally break the fast at 5.15, with Irfan Usmani
    offering us dates to eat.

    Dinner is ''nihari'', mutton cooked overnight on a slow fire, at
    a tiny street restaurant in Gali Paisa Akhbaari. Its tough to be
    vegetarian in Pakistan. We eat by the light of candles. When the
    electricity comes back we pay and move on to gorge ourselves on
    ''motichoor laddoos''.

    It is the last Jumma or Friday of the fasting month. We are
    walking through Anarkali Bazaar at night. It's like walking
    through a crowded Delhi bus, except no bus could have ever been
    so much fun. Anarkali Bazaar is a ''foodies' delight'' -- kheer,
    falooda, Kashmiri tea and conversation. Everyone we chat to on
    the streets of Lahore thinks we are from Karachi. Makes us wish
    we were going to that city also. Whenever they hear we're
    from India, people get talking about relatives in India, and how
    much they want to go, and how difficult it is to get visas.

    Fortunately we got visas on the first try. In September, we
    decided to visit Pakistan on our annual History Society
    excursion. Our teacher, ''Mukul Sir'', wrote off a letter to the
    Pakistan High Commission. The whole college was amazed at our
    plan. The news spread like wild fire. We wanted no sponsors, and
    had only about Rs 2,500 each that we normally spend on our 10-day
    trips to different historic places in the country. At the first
    meeting where the idea was floated, 40 hands had shot up in
    support of the Pakistan plan. When it came to applying for
    passports, there were only some 20 students, mainly because many
    parents and guardians had absolutely refused permission. ''Jaan
    bhoojh kar maut ke mooh me jaa rahe ho'' was the most common
    reaction.

    On Oct. 12 when the army seized power in Pakistan we thought that
    was the end of our Pakistan dream. But in early December, the
    Pakistan High Commission wrote saying that visas would be granted
    us within 24 hours of our applying, and that we would be exempted
    from reporting to the police at every place we travelled to.
    Passports were quickly put in order, and plans made to celebrate
    the new millennium in Lahore.

    But then Indian Airlines' IC-814 from Kathmandu to Delhi was
    hijacked. Again there was a great deal of fear about what might
    happen to us in Pakistan. More students dropped out. But those
    apprehensions just vanished when we reached Lahore. In fact
    everywhere we went we felt comfortable and fearless, except on
    arrival at Peshawar, in the northwest and close to Afghanistan.
    It was as if crossing the river Indus at Attock enroute to
    Peshawar, we had actually left the subcontinent. The Indus is
    greenish-blue and beautiful as it meets up with the Dariya-e-
    Kabul just below Attock Fort. We couldn't believe that we were
    actually where we were!

    Peshawar city feels foreign: the language, Pashtu, and the
    people's bearing are very different to what we experience in
    Islamabad, Lahore, Taxila or for that matter, Delhi, Patna,
    Majuli, Kochi, Kargil, some of the places we are from in India.

    We come across the most brilliantly painted-up vehicles, strung
    with ornaments, on our journey from Islamabad to Peshawar. The
    Frontiersmen take pride in decking up their buses and trucks.
    We're nearly in Peshawar before our driver, who later buys us
    chai, realises we're Indians. He asks how many of us are Hindus.
    ''What do you know about Hindus?'' we ask back. ''That they don't
    have beards.''

    We aren't laughing though when Gaurav, tired of standing in a
    crowded bus, sits down next to a purdah-clad woman. The woman
    bolts. ''You're extremely uncultured,'' somebody shouts in the
    general pandemonium that erupts in the bus. ''Where are you
    from?'' the driver wants to know. ''India.'' The driver hastily
    does, ''Tauba, tauba.'' We're taken aback. ''Why, shouldn't we
    have come?'' Driver: ''Yes, you made a big mistake''. Welcome to
    Peshawar!

    We have only one day, and so much to see. At first sight, the
    city seems forbidding -- huge, bearded Pathans all over the
    place, and only the occasional woman in purdah on the streets. At
    the hotel where we've stored our luggage, the proprietor tells us
    not to advertise the fact that we are Indian. ''There are lots
    of uneducated, foolish people here,'' he says. All of us are
    feeling scared.

    But not scared enough to start bargaining in Chitrali Bazaar.
    Even though the famed Chitrali topis are fairly cheap, we try to
    beat down the prices. Slowly Pathan hospitality gets the better
    of our fears, and we're confident enough to announce that we're
    from India. That makes for even more hospitality. Another round
    of tea is called for from the tea-shop across the narrow street.

    We eat at Namak Mandi, and how Banajit and Anand can eat. Between
    them they polish off five huge 'khamiri' rotis, seven skewers
    of beef kebab, half a kadhai of 'kadhai gosht' and two
    milkshakes each. The Pathans still think they eat too little.

    What none of us venture to try are their ''red eggs''. First they
    boil them, then they paint them, then they sell them.

    We are invited by Afrasiab Khattak, chairman of the Human Rights
    Commission of Pakistan, to have tea with him and Khwaja Mohammad
    Wasim of the Peshawar chapter of the Pakistan India People's
    Forum. Khattak Saheb tells us about the porous Pakistan-
    Afghanistan border. During Zia-ul-Haq's military rule, he had
    walked to Afghanistan, 30 miles away, to escape persecution. He
    came back nine years later, when democracy returned to Pakistan.

    He tells us stories of Kissa Khawani Bazaar (literally the bazaar
    of story tellers), the oldest market in Peshawar, where we had
    spent most of our day. It was once the place where caravans of
    traders and travellers from Central Asia and the subcontinent met
    and exchanged merchandise and tales. We dream of the Khyber Pass.

    You must meet Khattak Saheb, we had been told both in Lahore and
    Islamabad. We arrive in Pakistan's capital city on the evening of
    Eid, Jan 9, having travelled from Lahore on the new motorway
    which makes the 370 km journey, a pleasurable 4 and a half hour
    bus ride.

    Pakistan's inter- and intra-city bus services are a pleasant
    surprise, after what we are used to at home. But these are
    privately-run, and motorists have to pay to use the motorway.

    The truth is the majority of people, who live off the land,
    neither have the means nor the chance to leave their villages.
    The motorway cuts through the countryside. The few villages we
    got to see from our speeding bus windows, both on the motorway,
    and our journey to Taxila and later to Peshawar, appeared very
    backward. Just one or two big houses in the middle of the
    village, surrounded by many many small, mud houses. Pakistan's
    landscape tells us that it is dominated by incredibly large land
    owners. We hardly saw big industry. But then we didn't go to
    Karachi, in southern Pakistan, or to the cotton mills which have
    grown enormously in number over the last 50 years, according to
    Mubashir Hasan, former finance minister of Pakistan, and now an
    active member of the Pakistan-India People's Forum who hosted us
    to Iftar in Lahore one evening.

    Afrasiab Saheb explains that the lack of industry in the northern
    parts of the country is because of the highly lucrative smuggling
    through the North West Frontier Province. There is little scope
    for industries to sink roots, and grow in this situation.

    Islamabad is startlingly different to the rest of Pakistan.
    Pakistanis joke that Islamabad is in fact 10 minutes away from
    Pakistan. We have our first and only brush with the police here.
    We are on our way to the house of Amit Baruah, The Hindu's
    Pakistan correspondent who is an ex-Ramjas student, in fact
    having also studied History. The police, heavily armed, stop our
    pick-up van because it is over-crowded, and proceed to
    systematically first frisk us, and then compare our faces with
    our passport photos. We are asked: ''Kiss bag mein mashkook
    samaan hai?'' Satisfied that we are indeed only students
    from India, they are very apologetic. ''Aap hamare mehmaan hai.
    Umeed hai ki takleef maaf karenge.''

    After a ''debauched'' night at a most luxurious guest house,
    which Amit paid for, for old times sake, we leave for Taxila,
    with its stupas, monasteries and the ruins of the two cities of
    Sirkap and Sirsuk. Taxila lies beautifully spread out, in the
    NWFP. The moment we leave Punjab province, makeshift stalls
    selling mountains of tempting, bright-orange maltas appear on
    both sides of the road. They are very juicy and sweet, and we'd
    never get to taste the same anywhere else, our Pathan driver
    boasts. He's right.

    The Buddhist ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage site. What struck
    us is that Pakistan should so lovingly protect these ruins,
    although it is not sure whether the teaching of its own history
    should go back to even as far as the 8th century AD.

    By late afternoon we are back in Islamabad, in time to catch the
    tail end of the tense India-Pakistan cricket match in Australia.
    We are in the home of one of Pakistan's well-known nuclear
    physicists, Dr A.H. Nayyar who teaches at the Qaid-e-Azam
    University here. His colleague Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy is also
    present. Both are committed democrats and anti-nuclear activists.
    The cricket match dominates the conversation. With each ball the
    excitement in the room increases. Seeing our excitement, Dr

    Nayyar's two sons say -- ''India will win, Prasad is bowling.''
    It was probably one of the few India-Pakistan cricket matches
    watched by both Indians and Pakistanis sitting in the same room
    on the subcontinent!

    That evening we are invited to tea at the residence of India's
    (acting) high commissioner, Sudhir Vyas. We're pleased he's made
    time for us. We like talking to him and his wife. Over hot
    pakodas and burfis, he recounts his experiences in Algeria, and
    chats about birds and many other things. He speaks so graphically
    about Balochistan, Swat and Chitraal, that we imagine that he has
    been to these regions in Pakistan.

    Our Islamabad evening does not end here. We're joined for dinner
    by a lawyer, Anees Jillani, and a journalist, Nadeem Iqbal of
    'The News'. Later they drive us around the city. Its beautiful
    but it lacks the life and colour of Lahore.

    Anand is right. ''I don't think any of us has ever enjoyed
    our Indian identity as much'' as we did in Lahore. One evening we
    were honoured guests of the Pakistan India People's Forum.
    Another evening it was the All Pakistan Women's Association and
    historians from Punjab University. It's somewhat embarrassing
    being made much of by newspaper editors, retired ministers,
    university teachers et al just because you're from India.

    But we're also startled by the anti-India slogans on street
    walls. Iftikhar reads out from a poster in Urdu: ''Maulana Al-
    Masood Azhar ki rihai mubarak ho''. We are careful to remain at
    all times restrained while talking to strangers and keep a check
    on each other's tongues in public places.

    Yet, in Lahore on the morning of Eid, when Irfan Usmani, our
    lecturer-turned-guide brings us ''sewai'' from his home, a two
    hour journey from where we are staying, no place felt more like
    home.

    The previous night had been special. We were at the home of Raza
    Kazim, a dear friend of the late Eqbal Ahmed. It was Eqbal Saheb
    who had come to Ramjas College, and talked to us about Pakistan
    in January 1999, insisting that more and more young people should
    cross the boundaries between our two countries.

    Raza, who has grown-up sons, holds forth on subjects as
    varied as the 19th century Bengali intellectual revolution,
    Gandhi's role in the Indian National Movement and Che Guevera.
    Everybody listens enthralled. ''The bonds of slavery, like the
    bonds of love, are very hard to break,'' he declaims.

    Raza has been an activist, and is also an artist. He has invented
    a musical instrument, the Saagar Veena a.k.a the Raza Been, which
    he has been working on for 31 years. We go up to his music room.
    There, and very prominently placed, is a foot high stone statue
    of Saraswati. It is chand raat, the night before Eid. We plunge
    into the heart of Lakshmi Chowk, which is teeming with Lahoris,
    eating, shopping and strolling into the night.

    Our last evening in Lahore is at the home of a Kathak dancer,
    where we also meet a rock band. They call themselves, Traveller -
    - and lament the fact that they cannot freely perform in
    Pakistan. It's ironic, what happens in our two countries. In ours
    the freedom of expression is greater, and yet rock is dead,
    buried under Indi-pop and dance tracks. In Pakistan even Naheed
    Siddiqui, our host, has to advertise her dance shows as ''variety
    programmes''. And their girls and women, they nearly always wear
    salwar kameez, not the jeans, saris, skirts and salwars worn at
    home. This is what we missed the most in Pakistan.

    We are sad to part with Irfan Usmani at Lahore Station on Jan.
    13. We arrived knowing only Beena. We were leaving with rich
    associations, and memories of many people who had spontaneously
    reached out to us, and made our short trip on a shoestring budget
    and with no firm plans, so special. The train back to Delhi
    starts at 7 am. In half an hour we're at Wagah. Customs is a
    major shock: they seize all our films, saying they have no idea
    if we have taken ''sensitive'' pictures. Hours of negotiations
    follow. We have almost lost all hope when the intelligence
    authorities return the rolls, saying they want us to take back
    ''sweet memories'' of Pakistan. Gentle name-dropping has probably
    done the trick, as it normally does in India.

    One O'Clock, Jan. 14 we arrive at Attari. We feel happy to be
    back in our own land, though we hardly felt alien across the
    border in Pakistan.

    http://www.sacw.net/peace/ramjasstudents.html
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  14. #14
    Senior Member kashifraza's Avatar
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    Pakistan Pakistan

    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood


  15. #15
    Member Bubbles's Avatar
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    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood

    I agree we need to concentrate on the positives and work to harmony for both peoples benfit
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    Elite Member T-123456's Avatar
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    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood

    Negative posts on this thread should be banned,its about brotherhood and nothing else.
    Either post something positive or dont post at all. [MENTION=10]bilalhaider[/MENTION] bro posts 16 17 both bs. [MENTION=6294]kashifraza[/MENTION] good thread thank you. [MENTION=8506]Goku[/MENTION] would you mind if we move your thread about Indians and Pakistani's talking to each other on the phone(couldnt find the thread) to this thread?
    It would be a good addition.
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  17. #17
    Member Goku's Avatar
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    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood

    calm down!! Don't spoil a good thread and a great initiative...
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  18. #18
    Member Goku's Avatar
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    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by T-123456 View Post
    Negative posts on this thread should be banned,its about brotherhood and nothing else.
    Either post something positive or dont post at all. [MENTION=10]bilalhaider[/MENTION] bro post 17 is bs. [MENTION=6294]kashifraza[/MENTION] good thread thank you. [MENTION=8506]Goku[/MENTION] would you mind if we move your thread about Indians and Pakistani's talking to each other on the phone(couldnt find the thread) to this thread?
    It would be a good addition.
    Not at all dude!! Actually,it will be worthful to contribute something at this fantabulous thread...
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  19. #19
    Member Goku's Avatar
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    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by kashifraza View Post
    TV shows help bridge divide between India, Pakistan




    India and Pakistan's complex relationship has been marked by contrasting trends in recent weeks - a worsening of ties at the government level and an increasing interest by ordinary Indians in the ordinary lives of their counterparts across the border.

    Even as security forces exchanged fire at the Line of Control in Kashmir and leaders fueled nationalistic passions, huge numbers of people in India enjoyed Pakistani TV soap operas on cable television.

    Viewership of the Zindagi channel, which airs Pakistani soaps in India, was not affected at all by the recent escalation in violence, says the channel's business head Priyanka Dutta. Buoyed by its success and undeterred by the ongoing tensions, the four-month-old channel launched its most coveted Pakistani soap, "Humsafar," last Tuesday.

    "Humsafar," which charts the troubled course of a couple's marriage and aired in Pakistan in 2011-2012, was dubbed by India's leading newspaper, The Times of India, as the "drama which changed the history of Pakistani television industry."

    The channel which reached around 28 million people last week hopes that this "big ticket item" will help it to consolidate its position in the competitive Indian market.

    Pakistani Show Well Received in India

    Madhu Goswami, a retired government official in New Delhi, found the first episode captivating. Having followed Pakistani soaps on the Zindagi channel since its launch, she?says she is drawn to them by a mixture of curiosity about Pakistan and the better quality of programing.

    "It was a surprise to see that they used Hindi words in their day-to-day conversations and that they face the same problems in daily life as we do," said Goswami, who considers most Hindi soaps too loud.
    People around her are watching and discussing Pakistani soaps, too. "I know a lot of people whose Whatsapp IDs reflect that they are enamored by these soaps," she said.

    Unlike people in Pakistan, who are exposed to Indian popular culture through Bollywood movies and Indian entertainment channels, Indians have limited exposure to Pakistani social and cultural life. Pakistani classical musicians and poets have long enjoyed huge popularity in India. Many artists from Pakistan have recently entered the Indian film industry. However, the lack of images about Pakistani life has led to some misconceptions in India about the nation, says Delhi-based journalist and human right activist Kuldip Nayar, who was born in what is now Pakistan.

    He thinks many Indians are starting to see Pakistan "as some fundamentalist state". At the heart of such predispositions is ignorance about Pakistan, a knowledge gap that Pakistani soaps have the potential to fill.

    There is a cultural affinity among most South Asian states, that were integrated before 1947, observes S.D. Muni, professor emeritus at India's Jawaharlal Nehru University.

    Muni, who has written extensively on India's foreign policy, noted that in the last few years there has been an upward trend in interaction among people in the sub-continent.

    "As barriers are eroding and becoming irrelevant the inherent unity of the subcontinent is sort of asserting itself," he said.

    Impact on policy unknown

    Foreign policy experts are not sure whether cross border soaps can make any significant impact on the policy. However, Kuldip Nayar said that "we live in a democracy and, if there is pressure from below, the government will listen."

    On the flip side, years of rivalry and suspicion have created interest groups on both sides who are against cross-border cultural exchanges.

    Priyanka Dutta of Zindagi channel said initially they were concerned about criticism for airing Pakistani soaps. "We thought a lot about it while launching. We prepared ourselves for it but we were lucky that nothing happened," said Dutta. In order to avoid problems, Zindagi has created an elaborate system to preview the content of soaps coming from a country with which India has fought three wars.

    "Each and every soap has to go through three to five checks to ensure that Indian sensibilities are taken care of," said Dutta.

    Zindagi channel, conceived from a purely business standpoint, has been promoted as a vehicle "to unite people in India and across the world" by Zee Entertainment Enterprise Limited, parent company of Zindagi channel.

    Zindagi's tagline Jode Dilon ko (Connecting hearts) was a marketing slogan but initial viewer reactions suggest that it might be true.

    "After watching these soaps it occurred to me, culturally we are so similar. Then why is there such a divide between us," Madhu Goswami said.

    http://amankiasha.com/detail_news.asp?id=1467
    I don't know about others but it has definitely changed my opinion towards pakistan.Earlier,I used to think that perhaps there are no better actor in pakistan and they are not good in making Tv shows,even worst than Indian daily soaps but after watching 'ZGH',my opinion has changed from downstream to upstream.I have become a big fan of 'fawad khan', 'sanam saeed' and Maya Ali(from aunn-zara).Not only this but also I realized that we are quite same,have almost same culture,have good and generous people like us and personally I loved to get even the single glimpse of pakistan.....and it was awesome..
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Amjad Hussain's Avatar
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    Re: India-Pakistan brotherhood

    Pakistan and India have too many things in common to be raging with anger and annoyance. I don't wish anything bad to anyone across the border. They don't bleed and hurt any different. Patriotism and passion seems sometimes to run away on certain posts but tolerance is without doubt the way forward.

    Peace
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