India and Pakistan: Sharing one soul

Though the partition divided the subcontinent, India and Pakistan are like two bodies sharing one soul.

Zahid Gishkori January 10, 2012
Recently, I was in India to attend a course on environmental journalism hosted by a renowned New Delhi-based NGO. One day, I was at one of Delhi’s social clubs and ran into a retired Indian general, Maj-Gen Ashok K Mehta, to be precise.

We ended up having quite an interesting conversation. He said that he was in the Indian Army during the 1971 Pakistan-India war and that he had been in contact with several Pakistani prisoners of war.

One of them, he said, was a senior officer, who on the day the Pakistani forces surrendered to the Indians, wrote in his notebook, “One day, we will take revenge”. Gen Mehta said what he saw that day is still etched on his mind, and so he asked me what, as a young Pakistani, I thought needed to be done to bring the two countries closer. Since I had been across the border for some weeks interacting with young Indians, I said:
“Though the (1947) partition divided the subcontinent, we’re like two bodies sharing one soul.”

Then I asked him for his views, specifically on what was preventing the two neighbours from establishing lasting peace between them. He said the basic hurdle to this goal was the militaries in both countries, which didn’t want their nations to be friends. As a result, people in both countries have suffered, and continue to suffer.

During my stay in India, I met many Indians who said that the two countries needed to promote trade and business, which would, in turn, help improve their bilateral ties. I also met many ordinary Indians who, when they found out that I was from Pakistan, warmed up and displayed much hospitality. While my experiences were too varied and enriching for me to describe fully in such a limited space, one thing is important: Pakistanis and Indians need to visit each other’s country because doing so will dispel many misperceptions.
Zahid Gishkori
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


stenson | 12 years ago | Reply All human beings share one soul- we are all part of the human race. As far as differences go, Pakistanis and Indians are as different as any other two nations. There can never be peace until people stop this nonsense of saying both are the same; It create tension. Better to say we are different but we should be friends like all countries of the world. Pakistanis, especially Pashtuns, Baluch and North Pakistanis find it offensive to be compared to Indians and similarly, South Indians hate being labelled as Pakistanis since they have more in common with Sri Lanka. UK people look more like Bangladeshi peoples etc. The only Indians who are somewhat Pakistani looking are Indian Sikhs or Indian Punjabis. The rest are different in race, culture, look etc.
Ali Tanoli | 12 years ago | Reply @Tilopa indiano southo, I think u are wrong if that was a case then why islam is reliegen of five hundred millions peoples of indian sub continenet and by the way most of indians peoples accepted islam by sufias. christianty is spread it by more on metrialism and sikhism is bond to small percentage of punjab peoples with lockheads.
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