WRITTEN BY: Atif Yaqub
If you have seen the whole world and could not visit the two great nations of India and Pakistan you have certainly missed something very special.
India and Pakistan share a common border of nearly 1800 miles between them. Despite the recent conflicts and three wars between the two nations over the issue of Kashmir, constant efforts are being made in order to maintain the peace between both nations especially by the people of both sides.
Generally, people of Pakistan are very friendly towards their Indian brothers and sisters. Each year a large number of Sikhs and Hindu yatris pay visit to Pakistan in order to perform their religious duties, as they have many holy and sacred places in Pakistan, despite of the political tensions. There has not been any change in the relations among people, instead they are making their bond stronger than ever before.
The resplendent countenance of visitors especially while entering into Pakistan from Wagah border are worth noticing. Pakistan is a very friendly country and it is particularly hospitable host towards individuals from India, because India and Pakistan both enjoy a somewhat similar culture. Local residents of Lahore Sheikhupura , Taxila, Hassanabadal and some other cities where Indians pay frequent visits are eagerly waiting to host them in their respective cities and homes this good gesture imparts a positive message.
As the media grows rapidly in Pakistan, one of the most amazing initiative taken by Indo-Pak was “AMAN KE AASHA” (Hope For Peace). Together with the corroboration of local news papers on both sides and a private Geo television channel from Pakistan, this initiative proved to be successful making the cultural exchange program take off, while also paving the path for artists of Pakistan to go to India and offer their talents. Many Indian natives and media widely appreciated our artists by spreading red carpets for them.
In the past, artists from Pakistan did have this privilege to go to India, however all of them were well established and recognized internationally; but now singers like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Atif Aslam, Ali Zaffer and many more are warmly welcomed by Indian media and people.
Bollywood and Indian t.v channels have always found a special place among Pakistanis. Many Pakistanis are a fan of numerous Bollywood actors/actresses, singers and dramas, including: Amitab Buchan, Sharhrukh khan, Kumar Sanu, Muhammad Rafi , Kishore Kumar Lata Mangeshkar and the list goes on. These people have won the hearts of Pakistanis by their impeccable talent. There is no city, village and street of Pakistan where the performances of these legends have not reached and been appreciated.
Pakistan, being an agricultural country, heavily relies on its exports. India is Pakistan’s most significant importing partner. Even under the existing curtailed and restrictive trading conditions, it is clear that India plays an important role in Pakistan’s trade. However, if trade between both countries were to be normalized and barriers and restrictions done away with, India and Pakistan might begin to enjoy better trade terms.
Pakistan has been progressing in its education sector by leaps and bound, with many engineering institutes being opened up all over the country. Students are encouraged to study the books of Indian authors, especially regarding information technology ,computer sciences and engineering subjects.
With all the other sectors making it possible for friendly relations between both countries non government organizations (NGOS) are playing their roles as well. INSAR BURNEY TRUST, headed by the ex-minister of Pakistan, Mr.Insar Burney, has been one of the organizations leaving no stone un-turned to better relationships between the two great nations. Burney freed Kashmir Singh, an ex-Indian police man jailed in Pakistani prison for more then 20 years. Moreover, he paid a huge amount to Somali pirate to free six Indian sailors held with them for almost 10 months .This gesture was widely appreciated around the world with the message being imparted that humanity is important to Pakistanis.
All these efforts send a strong message to politicians of both Indo-Pak that people from both sides want to work with each other, want to live in peace and friendship. It is time for politicians to stop themselves being dictated by external powers who do not want peace in the region because they benefit from the instability.
“Dear Indians, we love you a lot because once we were one and most importantly our descendents were from you. God has written the partition of land but not the partition of heart because God loves all human beings irrespective of creed, cast and colour. Let us love each other and make this region a symbol of peace and love.”