Pakistani parliamentarians discover a ‘Pakistan’ – in India

Published: September 10, 2012
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A village named Pakistan on the Bihar-Bengal border surprises visiting lawmakers.

A village named Pakistan on the Bihar-Bengal border surprises visiting lawmakers.

ISLAMABAD: 

On a friendly visit to India, parliamentarians from this side of the border discovered another Pakistan.

Tucked away between the border of Bihar and Bengal, Pakistan is a remote village that has survived 65 years of bitter relations that have dominated South Asian history.

It was in the hope that their Muslim friends, who fled during the partition to then-East Pakistan, will return one day that Sikhs and Hindus named their village Pakistan. Finding ‘Pakistan’ in the Indian state of Bihar overwhelmed the parliamentarians.

“If people of a remote village can hope their old friends will return home one day … why can’t we as nations think of peace as the driving force behind our relations?” said Senator Haji Adeel Ahmed, one of the parliamentary delegates from the Awami National Party (ANP).

He added that a people-to-people contact improve ties between India and Pakistan.

“Don’t leave everything on the state and its agency. They have their own self-centred agenda. Let people take the lead and their collective wisdom will guide to the ultimate good,” he said.

Furthermore, the parliamentarians proclaimed that they were ‘pleasantly surprised’ to see how a majority of Indians supported peace between nuclear-armed neighbours.

Even though certain factions on both sides of the border have tried to break down ties between the two nation states, the people of the village still hold on to the hope of seeing their friends.

“This reflects the true feelings of public on both sides. While certain groups have been trying to ignite the flames of hatred here and there, these innocent villagers kept their hopes alive,” said Ahmed.

The villagers say they have sent a message of peace and harmony in naming their village Pakistan.

Even though their migrated friends never returned, the villagers still haven’t given up. Today, their third generation still remembers the occupants of the pre-partition houses which are now in ruins.

Likewise, diplomats remain hopeful. ‘Good things’ are in the pipeline, said one of the top Pakistani diplomats who is aware of the process between the regional giants.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Bengal as Bangladesh. The error is regretted.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (44)

  • IceSoul
    Sep 10, 2012 - 10:58AM

    Well, this is certainly a pleasant surprise! Maybe one the India and Pakistan will finally be friends…

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  • Karachiwala
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:01AM

    So touching, wish to see the day when travelling between two neighbours would be as easy as travelling between Canada/USA

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  • amalgam
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:04AM

    greatness of india \m/ live and let others live peacefully, its better than claiming yourself PURE and PEACEFUL .

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  • kehkishan Syed
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:05AM

    every body in the world is looking for PEACE…se as we are

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  • Muhammad
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:12AM

    I long for the day when I can transcend red tap and just drive down in my own car with my kids and show them where their grand parents were born and brought up. I hope and pray that happens sooner than later.

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  • Hassan
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:21AM

    No peace with india at any cost unless all disputes are settled, a formal apology is offered with respect than we may think india’s sincerity towards peace otherwise it’s an other drama

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  • sanjay
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:21AM

    No offence but this story lacks basic knowledge of Indian geography.Village cannot be on Bihar-Bangladesh border as Bihar does not share borders with B’desh. I think it should be Bihar-West Bengal.

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  • Diogenes
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:23AM

    “Border between Bihar and Bangladesh” is like saying “border between Punjab and Iran”. Rudimentary fact-checking has not happened. BIHAR HAS NO BORDER WITH BANGLADESH.

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  • Raw is War
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:27AM

    Of course, Pakistan belonged to Hindustan for a very long time.

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  • Sep 10, 2012 - 11:29AM

    Bihar is separated from Bangladesh by the Indian state of Paschim Banga, formerly known as West Bengal.

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  • BlackJack
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:32AM

    I am surprised too, did not know that there is a common border between Bihar and Bangladesh. I guess the village is so remote that they did not hear of the four wars that their erstwhile friends started.

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  • Naveed Javed
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:40AM

    No wonder; we are all same, Long Live India; Long Live Pakistan!

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  • Amit
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:42AM

    Small Correction: There is no border between Bihar and Bangladesh. I think you mean Bengal

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  • G Pingle
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:46AM

    “between the border of Bihar and Bangladesh”…since when had these entities a common border!

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  • Indian Wisdom
    Sep 10, 2012 - 12:05PM

    @G Pingle:
    The district of Kishangunj in Bihar is very close to Bangladesh border , hardly 20 km away. Only a very thin strip of West Bengal separates them. You can safely say that it is very close to the Bangladesh border. Besides it is one of the two districts in Bihar where the Muslim population is in majority (more than 50%) and more than 80% of population of the district is Muslim.

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  • Swapnil Joshi
    Sep 10, 2012 - 12:14PM

    Pingle,

    Since 1971 (and since 1947 wid East Pakistan).. In fact till jharkhand was carved out, they shared a reasonably long border..

    Be human Indians

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  • Genius
    Sep 10, 2012 - 12:23PM

    @ Karachiwala
    “Easy travelling between Canada/USA ?
    The fact is that travelling from the USA into Canada may not be so difficult BUT travelling from Canada to the USA is a nightmare?
    We travelled from Canada to the USA recently by night bus when there was hardly any other traffic except a couple of dozen people on our bus.
    Everyone coming into the USA from Canada on that night bus, even the US citizens was given a hard time.
    What more, I have heard the same from a Canadian citizen, a resident of St Catherines Ont. near Niagara Falls way back in 1968.
    So dear Karachiwala get your facts right.

    How very right is Senator Hajee Adeel Ahmed in saying
    “Don’t leave everything on the state and its agency. They have their own self-centred agenda. Let people take the lead and their collective wisdom will guide to the ultimate good,” .

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  • Muhammad Hassan
    Sep 10, 2012 - 12:38PM

    @Hassan
    @Raw is War:

    Its people like you who derail the peace process every time.

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  • Analyzer
    Sep 10, 2012 - 12:40PM

    Of course Hindustan belonged to the Muslims (Mughals) for a very long time.

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  • Nasir Mahmood
    Sep 10, 2012 - 12:52PM

    Shows love of Muslims of India with Pakistan.

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  • IZ
    Sep 10, 2012 - 1:03PM

    “‘Good things’ are in the pipeline, said one of the top Pakistani diplomats who is aware of the process between the regional giants.”

    Lets hope so. Its well past time that our two great nations bury the hatchet.

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  • Sep 10, 2012 - 1:36PM

    The article was a nice reading till I came across a huge bolder like line by the reporter saying “‘pleasantly surprised’ to see how a majority of Indians supported peace between nuclear-armed neighbours.” I always wander as to why the reporters in Pakistan have to always say some thing like “two arch enemies” or “nuclear armed neighbors” I never see some thing like this in Indian reporters. Why?

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  • moonjely sony
    Sep 10, 2012 - 1:36PM

    now you can put a claim for that.Recommend

  • Faiz
    Sep 10, 2012 - 3:27PM

    @VINOD:
    because they say even worse things than “arch rivals”.

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  • Feroz
    Sep 10, 2012 - 3:52PM

    @Nasir Mahmood:
    Please, Hindus and Sikhs of the Bihar village renamed their village Pakistan after their Muslim neighbors migrated to now Bangladesh in 1947. Muslims of India or Pakistan were not involved in the renaming.

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  • Gajodhar Bhaiya
    Sep 10, 2012 - 6:09PM

    My father who comes from UP once said that while you will find the most abject haters of muslims coming from UP the state will also have some of most tolerant and convivial hindus towards muslims in the state of UP – you know reading this I will now believe him finally. The amount of hatred I read on the indian new sites etc about the muslims (you don’t need to be one by the way, you just need to have a muslim sounding name) never gave me the impression that there could ever be people like the ones they have found in this village. Bring on the peace and hopefully we can all move forward. I for one would love to go and meet my uncles and aunties on my Dad side…it’s about time!!!

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  • Singh
    Sep 10, 2012 - 6:30PM

    @Hassan: Apology for remaining half. You are living in dream Land.

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  • amalgam
    Sep 10, 2012 - 7:16PM

    @Nasir Mahmood

    I Hope You Will READ this
    _

    Since partition in 1947 the village no longer has any Muslim inhabitants; the inhabitants of the village are Hindus.

    _

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistan,_India

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  • Mirza
    Sep 10, 2012 - 8:40PM

    Apart from where this village is and who lives there, the fact remains that there is not much hatred against Pakistan and they have kept this name despite several wars. Can a village in Pakistan still exist if it were named India? I have never been more excited than to look forward to my future visits to India. People have to visit each other’s country before making tall claims of hatred. Of course there are hardliners and rightwing extremists on both sides of the border but let the peace takeover the hatred and separation. Those hate the other country are most who have never left their own little cocoon and have limited vision.

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  • Ahmad Mirza
    Sep 10, 2012 - 8:50PM

    Yes, the maoists populated area (where the local police has no control) is also referred by the local police as Pakistan because police cannot go there.

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  • dasmir
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:14AM

    Also there is Islampur,Islamabad,Paigambarpur in Bihar!

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  • Agnivesh
    Sep 11, 2012 - 7:56AM

    They would also find millions of Pakistanis everywhere along with Pakistan. We all saw them recently in Mumbai trying to mimick Karachi.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Sep 11, 2012 - 9:35AM

    Yes there are many Pakistan in India and their condition is almost similar to Pakistan in terms of economy , literacy rate , crime, religious orthodoxy , helgth and higine etc . But the same will not remain intact . Most of the people from these areas are now looking their surroundings and condition of most of the so called Islamic countries on TV screen and are bound to realize the benifits of living in a secular state . The pace of change will further increase if forces from outside do not motivate them for status quo .

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  • S K Afridi
    Sep 11, 2012 - 5:03PM

    Whatever it is and where ever it is, PAKISTAN ZINDABAD.

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  • zeal
    Sep 11, 2012 - 6:22PM

    Just sharing some information on a related note – New Delhi, the capital city where I live has areas named Gujranwala Town, Derawal Nagar, Bhera Enclave, Kohat Enclave, Mianwali Nagar and several more commemorating home towns of refugees who came from west Punjab in 1947 – also in several Punjab and Haryana cities and Delhi there are shops named as shops in Lahore would be ‘Peshawariyan di Hatti’, ‘Sargodha Cloth House’ etc. etc.Recommend

  • Balma
    Sep 11, 2012 - 7:35PM

    I once read about ‘Pakistan’ in Surat, Gujrat. This is a neighborhood populated by refugees from Sindh.

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  • M
    Sep 11, 2012 - 7:55PM

    @Hassan:
    You must be living in a fools paradise to think Pakistan is in a position to dictate terms to any country in the world, let alone India.

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  • Pungi
    Sep 11, 2012 - 8:22PM

    See the greatness of Pakistan..!!
    even the people of India love Pakistan unlike their Politicians…Recommend

  • Sep 11, 2012 - 10:46PM

    thinking about kashmir has landed you in the present state of economic and political chaos …………kashmir also made you lose bangladesh……forget kashmir or you might loose baluchistan and NW frontier soon…………

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  • ravi
    Sep 13, 2012 - 2:12AM

    Of course the culture and language will be the same. We both existed as one country till about 60 years ago. Its amusing that people are surprised. For people who claim that Muslims in India are selectively persecuted, there are more Muslims in India than the whole population of Pakistan. On a fun note, do you think any of them would want to migrate and live in Pakistan given a chance? Hindus don’t want to live there, Christians don’t want to live there, many sects of Muslims don’t want to live there. Forget about Jews and zorastrians. who actually would Want to live there willingly if the situation continue to disintegrate like this?

    Brothers and sisters of Pakistan, open your eyes. Don’t fall for the promises of a kaliphat or pure Islamic state. That concept existed 1300 years ago. it doesn’t apply to current time. You will fall back to the stone age like Afghanistan unfortunately did under the rule of the talibans, where its a crime to slap your hands together. Imagine living in a state with ridiculous rules like this.

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  • upendra awasthi
    Sep 16, 2012 - 5:04PM

    @dasmir: There is Allapur at Allahabad.

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  • upendra awasthi
    Sep 16, 2012 - 5:08PM

    @Pungi: Love in people of India shows their better character..

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  • Irfan
    Sep 25, 2012 - 2:20AM

    @Hassan:
    How about same remarks are given for Pakistan as well. Whyw e always think that only we are victoms why not have big heart and oppologise first to india.

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  • Irfan
    Sep 25, 2012 - 2:22AM

    @Raw is War:
    How about same remarks are given for India then. Why we always think that only we are victoms why not have big heart and oppologiseto each other first.

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