FREMONT, CA, US: This is with reference to Aakar Patel’s article “Let’s do it, Pakistan” (July 29), in which the writer has suggested that Pakistan eases its visa regime and grant tourists visas to Indians on arrival at the Indo-Pakistan border. There seems to be a misperception among many Indians about Pakistan being a place filled with religious extremists, conservatives and terrorists.
I would like to relate the experience of several prominent Indian journalists and writers, who have visited Pakistan in recent years for the first time in their lives. They include Mahanth Joishy, Pankaj Mishra, Hindol Sengupta, Madhulika Sikka and Yoginder Sikand. Each of these persons reported that their visit was a true eye-opener and a thoroughly enjoyable one at that. Many of the assumptions and feelings that they had held towards Pakistan for nearly 30 years, were challenged and exposed as wrong and even ignorant outright. Should Pakistan follow up on Mr Patel’s proposal, I urge Indians to avail this opportunity and discover Pakistan for themselves.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2012.
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