“How has September returned? Why has September returned? There was a time when we had flowers in our courtyard in September. But no flowers now. And where are the gardeners? They too are buried under last year’s snow.

“Put us to sleep too. It is about to snow again. And it will cover everything. The spring will be a distant memory. Why has September returned? How has September returned?”

Farid wrote these lines for Mai Naziraan, the gardener’s wife in Islamabad, so many years ago. She was from Chakwal and her son, Mohammed Boota, was one of the unsung heroes of the 1965 war.

Farid was studying literature at a local college. Poetry was his passion. He often recited his poems at literary meetings at his and other colleges.

One day, Naziraan said to him: “I hear poets write about martyrs all the time. Why don’t you write about my son? He also died for this country.”

“What will you do with a poem?” Farid asked.

“I will frame it,” she said.

Farid promised to write a poem for her but forgot. She did not. And after two dozen reminders, he wrote a little poem for her. She made him read it to her again and again and then framed it.

Farid forgot all about her and the poem when he came to America. Soon he also forgot about the September 1965 war in which Naziraan’s son had died.

Living in America has its own pressures. Besides, his political views had also changed. There was a time when Farid, a Rajput from northern Punjab, was very proud of the Pakistan Army. He also hated India as much as he loved Pakistan and its army.

But two things forced him to change his views, visiting other countries and meeting Indians in America. His American passport, and the dollars he earned, allowed Farid to visit many countries in Europe and the Middle East.

During his travels, Farid noticed that all the countries that were politically, socially and economically stable had one common factor, democracy. While those that did not have democracies remained instable, and these included some oil-rich Middle East countries as well.

This forced him to reconsider his views about the Pakistani army as well. He still liked it but wished that it had not toppled so many elected governments. He also wanted the armed forces to stop interfering in the country’s political affairs.

Then the Indians he met in America also influenced his views. In a way, they made him value Pakistan even more when he saw how they loved India and always tried to promote it.

But he also realised that whatever he had learned about them in Pakistan was wrong. The Hindus did not wear dhotis and ran half-naked, as he was told. They did not worship everything they saw in the street and above all many among them did not hate Pakistan, although some did.

And whenever he needed help, the Indians were among the first to come forward, while his Muslim brothers from other nations always maintained a distance.

All this made him realise that he does not have to hate India to love Pakistan.

So when he got up on Sept. 6, he was not thinking about the 65 war or the Defence of Pakistan Day. But as he opened his Facebook account, he saw a message from an Indian friend, Samir Gupta.

“I sense that most Pakistanis on Facebook are perhaps hesitant and unsure about Sept. 6 because it is associated with the 1965 war with India,” Samir wrote.

“I have just one thing to say to you. Seeking peace with India does not mean that you cannot appreciate the bravery and supreme sacrifice of those who laid their lives for Pakistan. While wars are the worst thing that can happen to a country, it is not the fault of the soldiers who give it all up for the rest of us.

Let us join together in paying a tribute to all the soldiers who died in the various wars the two nations have fought and reinforce our commitment that the loss of lives does not happen ever again.

This little note reminded him of the ’65 war, Mai Naziraan and the poem he wrote for her.

“How has September returned? Why has September returned? There was a time when we had flowers in our courtyard in September. But no flowers now. And where are the gardeners? They too are buried under last year’s snow,” he recalled.

He posted this poem on Facebook, with a little note: “I wrote this poem many years ago, for a woman whose son was killed in the ’65 war and buried under a snow-covered hill in Kashmir. He was a simple soldier who might have become a non-commissioned officer had he lived. He could have never become a general and certainly would have had no role in toppling any government. So I do not see why I should not be proud of his sacrifice!”

Samir Gupta’s post, however, had started an interesting debate.

“Yes, let us pray for the soldiers of both the countries who lost their lives in the war. May they rest in peace and such an incident should never take place in future,” wrote Lavanya Joshi.

While remembering Naziraan’s son, Farid also posted Sahir Luadhianvi’s anti-war poem: “It is our blood or the enemy’s, the human race bleeds. Bombs hit homes or borders; they wound the urge to build.

Burned crops are ours or the enemy’s, the living starve on both sides. Tanks move forward or backward, they make the earth barren. Whether we are among the victors or losers, both have to cry over their dead. War itself is a huge problem, how can it lead to a resolution?”

“Wars have never achieved any good, ever,” wrote Waqar Uddin.

Priyanca Kaswan agreed, she wrote,

Anything that war can do, peace can do better.

Previous wars should “remind us not to allow such tragedies in future,” said Konchadi Vasanth Pai.

“Both our countries will always salute the courage of our armed forces. That does not negate friendship and neighbourly relations with the other country,” Anita Dixit responded. “Let's continue to be friends while also being proud citizens of our own countries.”

Anwar Iqbal is a correspondent for Dawn, based in Washington, DC.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (114)

Ali Naqvi
September 7, 2013 2:35 pm

To all warmongers in the world:

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

Dr. Bakshi
September 7, 2013 2:50 pm

That's what I've always maintained. I am a fiercely patriotic Indian, but I feel I do not need to prove my Indianness by criticizing Pakistan.

Dr. Bakshi
September 7, 2013 2:53 pm

That's what I've always maintained. I am a fiercely patriotic Indian, but I feel I do not need to prove my Indianness by criticizing Pakistan.

shayar badnam
September 7, 2013 3:08 pm

nice work

Sonal
September 7, 2013 3:17 pm

Great piece - very touching.

The part about Hindus running around half naked in dhotis and praying to anything on the streets was hilarious! Is that really in your textbooks?? Haha. I must get a copy!

When I moved abroad for the first time, a lot of my closest friends were Pakistani - out cultures, our language, our values are so similar. It was like interacting with my own people, and made me miss home much less.

It's true that Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka are culturally similar too, but there's something special about Pakistan - we listen to your music / singers, we watch your plays / dramas, we know all your cricket players, we know all your PMs / Presidents, we eat nihari and sheer korma. It's enough to form a strong bond.

Sonal
September 7, 2013 3:28 pm

Since you've talked about differing attitudes in this article: another huge difference is that in India September 6 is just another day. There is nothing special about it.

I "like" Imran Khan on Facebook so yesterday I saw that he had a Happy Defence Day post, but I didn't know what it meant until I read this article.

Not being judgmental, but I find it intriguing that Pakistan has special days - Defence Day, Youm-e-Takbir, etc, to celebrate its military might.

Khyber
September 7, 2013 3:38 pm

I agree with This One...

Rhythm Diwan
September 7, 2013 3:51 pm

Great Article. Loved it & willing to promote it.

Few people on both sides, just for their political gains, let the millions cry, starve and made them miserable.

Countries don't war, its the ego / selfishness of this small group of people wars. Put an end to these people. If war has to be their, then we majority should put a war with these inhuman elements.

Feroz
September 7, 2013 4:05 pm

Excellent article and beautifully written too. Hate will destroy, Love will unite ! My B+ blood is available to whoever needs it, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, colour or beliefs.

P.Mishra
September 7, 2013 4:24 pm

Dear Iqbal sab, It was really heart touching to read your article.. What you wrote that " a Pakistani need not have to hate India to love Pakistan" is same for Indian also. may this message of peace spread to all the citizens of this sub continent. Problem is the poison of hatred has gone deep in to the mind of our people which prevents sane thinking. We part of same history till yesterday but our way of thinking are so different now. With best regards

mateen
September 7, 2013 4:27 pm

66 years of hostility have taken a lot from people of both countries .still more than a million soldiers are at stand off on both sides of border hitherto we are not even close to resolving our disputes. in spite of spending billions of dollars annually on defense budgets of both countries, governments of both sides should listen to voices of their masses and start looking towards peace talks as writer rightly mentioned in his article.

anything war can do, peace can do better

R Patel
September 7, 2013 4:41 pm

Beautiful! Well-done Anwar Ji, this is the best part of DAWN paper I like, highlight good part of Muslim Thinking as well and just anti-India postures often found in news.

Anita Dixit has it right-a path free from all ills.

With so many problems abound and so much to do in our lands to uplift masses, youth-power must be nurtured by moving away young minds from false notion that Muslims in our lands are Arabs-which they are definitely not. Hence, the democracy factor. Since you stated democracy as common thread, as an Indian, I must remind all Pakistani young readers that Indian system of life management has always been based on democratic process and not just modern political aspects as noisy as they are. Building democratic ideas early in a youths' mindset, not violence or hatred for non-Muslims, is we need to spread across. It works for peace.

Sher Ahmed Mubejo
September 7, 2013 5:05 pm

Dear Anwar Iqbal Sahib, your article was a delight to read. I am sure one day we (India and Pakistan) will resolve all our differences and will be a shining beacon of peace and prosperity in this region.

Chaman
September 7, 2013 5:03 pm

Nice article. I can relate to Farid's experience in many ways except that I never learnt to hate any one one and or to hold grudges against any one. Both paths are self consuming and destructive. Enough evidence around to validate that. I have lived abroad for decades but I have never seen any malice towards any one because of his faith. I have friends from all over the world including Pakistan. We help and support each other. Of course, there may be some exceptions here and there but for the most part people get along with each other. The reasons for this harmony are simple. Education, good economic conditions, opportunities , democracy and and the system of government where church and state are totally seperated. And to top it all, and a system of justice that is fair to all. I wish that people who hate west just come and visit and see the realities for themselves. It will open their minds and help them overcome their ignorance. In my close neighborhood, a mosque, a church and Gurdawara are on the same road a few hundred yards from each other. Never an incident, a protest or a even a slight incident. We all claim that their is one God and we are all his children yet we have carried the sibling rivalries to such hateful levels. What a shame.

Tariq
September 7, 2013 5:28 pm

To Coexist in peace with our neighbors is a good, humane ideal to aspire for yet always placing national interests' first is not a contradiction at all! If we live in peace, our people will no doubt will prosper and in good time may be we could learn to 'love thy neighbor' too!

Shankar
September 7, 2013 5:51 pm

Reminded of Bob Dylan's lyrics - "How many times must the cannon balls fly before they are finally banned!"

Masood Hussain
September 7, 2013 6:39 pm

A brave and courageous expression peace and goodwill for our neighbour,who has fought three senseless wars .Sahir Ludhianvi'Poem is the most appropriate one to describe our feelings and sentiments.Well done Anwar Iqbal.

Satyameva Jayate
September 7, 2013 6:44 pm

Personal and touchy. With the message that is the only one that would survive: "Anything that war can do, peace can do better".

afia
September 7, 2013 7:17 pm

May all the innocent soldiers rest in peace,, and may the war mongers realize the importance of peace!

Enlightened
September 7, 2013 9:01 pm

Kudos to you for writing this beautiful piece of article. I was thoroughly moved and loved each word penned by you. I am a retired army officer from Indian army who saw action in 71 war but not 65 since commissioned later. Both of my parents were Pak born and had to leave everything in Chakwal but never complained. In fact my father was thankful to his neighbor a Muslim who saved his life which includes myself too. The fact of the matter which you have highlighted is the hatred element which is taught in Pak curriculum is making a huge impact on young Pakistanis against Indians. Even being a soldier I had felt no hatred against our counterparts as they were doing their job and so were we as ordered by our respective govts. However, I was highly appalled to see thousands of innocent Bengalis in BD massacred by your military. They were your own people who didn't deserved such barbarities even they rebelled being suppressed for many years. I have a poor opinion about your military who are so unprofessional and military take overs has really ruined Pakistan. Zia was the biggest culprit who exported terrorism and made it state policy. I can state with full authority that your military is fully competent to defeat terrorism in Pakistan but they are intentionally not taking any decisive action against the terrorists. They have mounted several operations and allow the militants melt away into safe havens without killing them and declare victory. The military leaves the area of operation and hand over to local militias who are no match against the TTP. This is a mockery of counter-insurgency operations which is not conducted any part of the world by any professional army. The military claims to kill thousands of militants in aerial and artillery bombardments which are completely farce since the same is never verified on ground. So, how can be militancy controlled in Pakistan which is increasing day by day. My question is why is your military not interested in eliminating militancy ?

Rajiv
September 7, 2013 9:02 pm

Well said Mr Anwar.

Orakzai
September 7, 2013 9:09 pm

"He still liked it but wished that it had not toppled so many elected governments" These same confused wannabe intellectuals applauded the egyptian army when it toppled the democratically-elected government. And if i'm not mistaken Anwar sahib did as well. These double-standards are the reason these type of folk are not taken seriously in the national discourse and will always be confined to their online bubbles.

anil
September 7, 2013 9:20 pm

Those who sit outside in USA or UK and enjoy a good security from hatred and terrorism , they can say like this . Others can't experience the same . Sovereign countries need to defend themselves and they will do whatever good for their country .Mr.Anwar , I don't buy your justifications and I negate friendship with hostile countries .

Tarun
September 7, 2013 9:23 pm

This article remind my how a nation is transforming from dictatorship to democracy. Keep it up. Stable Pakistan is in our interest. Love from Indian.

Anil
September 7, 2013 9:36 pm

"Anything that war can do, peace can do better."......how true....only if we could give peace a chance..

Prakash
September 7, 2013 9:58 pm

"Excellent"in one word.

sukhbir maggu
September 7, 2013 9:59 pm

Born in Gujranwala (Pakistan), brought up in Delhi (India) and Living in Chicago (USA), I still dream in Panjabi. This one Dream is unforgettable. I am floating amongst folks in Uniforms, I pass a Turbaned head and next I pass a Head with long beard and clean shave upper lip, head under a Kulla and Pagri. I hear drums and Bag Pipes playing a mournful dirge. Then I see Glossy Boots, Khaki Clad Legs doing a Slow March, then I see row on row of Uniformed Soldiers with Riffles in front all pointing towards ground. I hear the first volley, then the second and then the third and more and more, salute is done, Music is done, a coffin is laid in grave, a Pyre is lit. I see a gate, I float through and see two dressed in white facing each other, reaching out to touch each other's hand, fingers twine in a hand shake, a little hug and one says to the other, "why did we fight? why ? why? why? and the other says No, No, there was no need, see the land goes on an on it is endless, it goes round full circle. Other says Yes the line drawn just mars the surface of earth, it is not even deep enough to penetrate the soil. Earth below is Mother earth. Sky above is endless Sky. I fall and hit my Bed and wake up. I realize I am still asleep like all those that look at differences between us and not the roots which are same. May be one day we will all wake up to the truth and live peacefully with each other.

K Sridhar
September 7, 2013 10:03 pm

Indians and Pakistan outside borders living peacefully, They are more matured persons than the staying inside these boundaries

Aryavarta
September 7, 2013 10:21 pm

Wonderfully written..

Deepak Nathani
September 7, 2013 10:31 pm

@Mr.Anwar iqbal

What do you want to convey the readers of Pakistan by saying this "The Hindus did not wear dhotis and ran half-naked, as he was told. They did not worship everything they saw in the street and above all many among them did not hate Pakistan, although some did" . Yes , our father of nation used to wear a dhoti and ran half necked and we are proud of it. What's wrong with that ? Do you want us to wear a long white gown which covers head to toe with a rope wrapped around head or a black gown which covers the whole body . It's not our culture and we don't believe in imported culture . We couldn't have accepted our father of nation to be dressed in western attire and a cigar on mouth when millions were suffering from poverty . Now whole world admires that guy . Yes, we use to worship whatever we see on streets .It's our faith . These faith and attire has nothing to do with mentality ,maturity and development of a community and nation as a whole . I think the people whom you are sending these message must have understood these things till now. And you already have given a burning example "While those that did not have democracies remained instable, and these included some oil-rich Middle East countries as well." . If at all you want to make your people understand the facts by citing such examples , then I can only say "God bless you ."

manomoni
September 7, 2013 10:43 pm

Salute to you Mr.Anwar bhai..certainly few more similar blogs can bring the neighbours together.."he does not have to hate India to love Pakistan." great words of wisdom... Allah bless you bhai...

Samir
September 7, 2013 10:56 pm

Although the author has fictionalised some parts of the conversation, the conversation and the issues raised in the conversation are all real. The endemic poverty in both nations is real. The billions of dollars being spent on the war machine are real. The blood that is spilt on the border is real. The misery of the widows and the children of the soldiers on both sides of the border are real. Some one said that war is the failure of the politicians. That is unreal. War is the failure of real people to live in the real world. We think war is a video game in which the soldiers uphold our ghairat. That is the source of our problems that are real. War is easy and seductive. Peace takes maturity and common sense

Indicus
September 7, 2013 11:15 pm

Good article Mr. Anwar Iqbal

Yasser Shabbir
September 8, 2013 12:11 am

Simply Amazin

indian
September 8, 2013 12:14 am

In US pakistanis identify themselves as south asians or even indians and not pakistanis.Are you ashamed of your identity?

trueCritic
September 8, 2013 12:22 am

very well written...!!!

JAY K RAMAN
September 8, 2013 12:32 am

Beautifully written. As an Indian Army doctor, I have operated on many injured Pakistani and Indian soldiers.They were exactly the same, both physically and also psychologically. There was no way I could distinguish between the two.Unfortunately these brotheres have already spilled enough blood. Now is the time to stop it forever.

Avi
September 8, 2013 12:41 am

Beautiful!!

Javed
September 8, 2013 2:09 am

Show your script to Hafiz Saeed and Hamid Gul. We are the ones who are sending conflicting messages. What have we done to stop these was mongers from rattling in Pakistan? Stop talking peace when you cannot stop such elements.

krishnan
September 8, 2013 2:33 am

Thoughtful.

prabu gopalsamy
September 8, 2013 2:43 am

excellent Dawn. hopeeveryone understand we r humans first than religion

Mustafa
September 8, 2013 3:43 am

Few like war but many like what war provides. When you say you want peace tell me how much bone of contention are you willing to give up for it. You can come up with cheap catchy phrases but what about Kashmir?

If the comments here represent the Indian populace at large, why is BJP doing so well in elections?

suresh
September 8, 2013 5:46 am

Thank you Anwar for bringing out such beautiful writings of so many people. We all are proud of the sacrifices by our soldiers and should always treat them with dignity and respect, where ever they are.

Saifur Rahman
September 8, 2013 5:47 am

Excellent article. No body ever wins a war--it is always a lose-lose situation and hence intelligent nations should always avoid this by all means. Nothing should ever trigger a war especially when both opponents are armed with nuclear weapons. Generally reason behind a war is extremely minor and most of the time it “ego-driven” rather than logically guided. This is what Leo Tolstoy mentions about the reasons of war “The misfortunes of, and preparations for, war do not correspond with the reasons given for it. The true reasons are usually so miniscule that they are not even worth discussion, and they are completely unknown to those who die”.

Even though Pakistan and India had several wars in the past, there is no reason why they can’t be great friends again. Great Britain and France were at war for hundreds of years but they are now very good friends. Every year people from different part of the world meet at Gallipoli in remembrance of the solders that were buried there during 1st world war. Different nationalities pray together for all (past enemies and friends), forgetting all those old contentions--this is called spirit of civilization, spirit of humanity!!

NITIN
September 8, 2013 6:58 am

'Rani Ke Sikke' ke neeche sab sahi hein bhai. Hamein raj nahi karna aata.

bns
September 8, 2013 7:58 am

agree 100 percent. hope we have courage and resolve to do something.

Pau Singh
September 8, 2013 8:25 am

Iqbal Ji, Thanks for the wonderful message. I wish there were more people with your beliefs. Your blog took me back to a couple of old Rafi songs: 1. Tu hindu banega na musalman banega. Insaan ki aulaad hai insaan banega. 2. Ganga meri maan ka naam baap ka naam. Bas tumhi yeh fainsla kar lo main kis subeh waala.

Gohar
September 8, 2013 8:36 am

In general, Pakistani's are more open minded and tolerant. In America, I have found indians to be very hostile and often very rude. While I think this attitude is on both sides, it seems to be 10 fold moreso for indians who's media and propoganda machine have poisoned them. They have a very strong complex and hatred for Pakistan. Why couldnt we have normal neighboors!

Rao
September 8, 2013 9:46 am

Outstanding piece of writing.....Lets be citizens of India & Pakistan, without hating each other.

amit
September 8, 2013 10:23 am

well said I think we should work for peace and war is the worst thing for the common man in both the sides. Let it be luxury for countries like America. Even they economy suffer but they have power to recover by showing us power and selling weapons to countries like us. We do not have that luxury. I think life is gud doing job watching movies have fun...living in peace. If we do not go for war and democracy remain we will grow and have good standard of living and more and more people will come to this category. And generally speaking hating people only produce terrorist . So lets peace be irrevocable. But now days for every thing condition applies.

nitish
September 8, 2013 10:57 am

You created war,Then your soldiers were killed pretending to save your nation..India had no desire what so ever to occupy, Pakistan neither it will do in future..

Sergiou
September 8, 2013 11:18 am

“Let's continue to be friends while also being proud citizens of our own countries.” This statement is so ridiculously contradicting. When you are proud of your citizens, your country, you are actually proud of yourself being part of that country or place. Which in turn gives birth to different kinds of rivalries and some of these feelings can be of animosity. You will be boastful about something from your country which others might find it inciting, provocative and all. I have lived extensively in both India and Pakistan. I have friends from both places. Unfortunately what I have come across India is disturbing. Entire conversations and debates could be summed up and won by whoever is the loudest anti-Pakistan. I have seen this on the tv. I must say that in Pakistan it is more of Zia-ul-Haq and his remains are more keen on spreading hatred towards India. But I haven't seen Pakistanis actively dissing India to gain any popularity points among peers. Anyways, my point being a neutral person here is that these governments and borders are just a figment of imagination of some people. If I was not born in former Yugoslavia but maybe in Sri Lanka, I would have been Sri Lankan. So I can't be proud of the landscapes or the tall trees or anything of which I had no contribution to. Birth is not by choice and henceforth these man-made lines are illegal. I wonder if this comment will be published.

sachin
September 8, 2013 11:37 am

Good one !!! Thanks ...

Arun
September 8, 2013 12:55 pm

Exallent article

Arun
September 8, 2013 12:53 pm

Excellent article

Arun
September 8, 2013 12:54 pm

This is an excellent article and should be read by all Indians and Pakistanis. War never solved any problem let us give peace a chance.

Khan
September 8, 2013 1:33 pm

Nothing unusual from this gentleman.You see this is the result of what we eat as food.In Pakistan, dead animal meat is sold and people buy and eat,In US they eat pork and mostly dead animal meat because it is official. Hope we learn to sell halal and eat Halal AND THEN WE SHOULD EXPECT OUR GENERATIONS TO PROSPER RATHER THAN DEGENERATE.

Sonal
September 8, 2013 1:52 pm

Great piece - very touching.

The part about Hindus running around half naked in dhotis and praying to anything on the streets was hilarious! Is that really in your textbooks?? Haha. I must get a copy!

When I moved abroad for the first time, a lot of my closest friends were Pakistani - out cultures, our language, our values are so similar. It was like interacting with my own people, and made me miss home much less.

It's true that Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka are culturally similar too, but there's something special about Pakistan - we listen to your music / singers, we watch your plays / dramas, we know all your cricket players, we know all your PMs / Presidents, we eat nihari and sheer korma. It's enough to form a strong bond.

V. C. Bhutani
September 8, 2013 2:52 pm

Here is someone singing paeans of praise to peace – rightly and admirably – and someone else at a rally spitting venom at the other country. War does not solve any problem. At the end of a war, whoever wins, the two sides still have to sit down to talk. So, why not talk before fighting a war? May be a war shall not be needed. But if somebody is determined to spread hatred for the other country, we should not expect goodwill to arise. And you, Mr Editor, rarely edited your news reports to appear in neutral tone when it was possible to do so. In fact, you have no patience with any view point except your own. Your news reports about the other country are written in words that seem to show that it is important for you as a newspaper to hate the other country – to establish that you love your own country. You need to read this article more than anyone else. May be, you will learn to be upright – to some extent. V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, 8 Sep 2013, 1520 IST

Tristan
September 8, 2013 3:34 pm

Absolutely brilliant article - please keep it up , Dawn , and help achieve the dream of friendship and brotherly relations between all the South Asian nations

khanm
September 8, 2013 3:52 pm

Absolutely right we fought three wars what was the out come? Let us work for ever lasting peace for Peace is the only battle worth waging for. Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it. Peace will only prevail; when the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace….

Ahmed
September 8, 2013 4:06 pm

All my life I have never hated indians even tho I'm a Pakistani and a Muslim and lived in Pakistan for most of my life.That is until I actually met indians (about 250 of them and from all parts of india) and spent the past three years living with them. I have lived in 3 countries of the world including the west. Now, I can say with conviction and authority that indians are the most brain-washed people on planet earth. They are the lowest in character and worst human being I have ever met. While living with them I understood why my countrymen hate them, that hate I initially felt has now turned to pity.

Murthy
September 8, 2013 4:33 pm

A very nice article. Only soldiers are trained to hunt and fight like hounds and it is their job to protect their motherland. But, why should civilians imitate the soldiers' war cry and simmer in discontent and hatred? There is always a problem when the military controls the administration of a country. The author has rightly observed the benefits of democracy on people, which, unfortunately are not available yet to the people of Pakistan.

Saifur Rahman
September 8, 2013 4:41 pm

Excellent article. No body ever wins a war--it is always a lose-lose situation and hence intelligent nations should always avoid it. Nothing should ever trigger a war especially when both opponents are armed with nuclear weapons. Generally reason behind a war is extremely minor and most of the time it is “ego-driven” rather than logically guided. This is what Leo Tolstoy mentions about the reasons of war “The misfortunes of, and preparations for, war do not correspond with the reasons given for it. The true reasons are usually so miniscule that they are not even worth discussion, and they are completely unknown to those who die”.

Even though Pakistan and India had several wars in the past, there is no reason why they can’t be great friends again. Great Britain and France were at war for hundreds of years but they are now very good friends. Every year people from different part of the world meet at Gallipoli in remembrance of the solders that were buried there during 1st world war. Different nationalities pray together for all (past enemies and friends), forgetting all those old contentions--this is spirit of civilization, spirit of humanity.

azmat
September 8, 2013 4:48 pm

The day will come when the majority in Pakistan start seeing 6th Sept as any other day. It will be the sign of our nation coming of age.

Khan
September 8, 2013 5:21 pm

I am sure Mr Iqbal is a well informed man,I wonder if this news item from Indian Express(8 Sep 2013) drew his attention as it is very much related to what he is trying to learn from his Indian friends. "Uneasy calm prevails in Muzaffarnagar as death toll reaches 12"

george
September 8, 2013 5:22 pm

@prabu gopalsamy:

Try saying that to an average Muslim on the street and he will be very angry.

george
September 8, 2013 5:24 pm

@Sonal:

They are very keen to show their military might even though they have to beg the Americans for the money to buy aeroplanes.

george
September 8, 2013 5:28 pm

@Sonal:

This Imran Khan is a soft version of that lal topi zaid hamid.

VINOD
September 8, 2013 5:26 pm

I am a soldier. Your article brings tears in my eyes. pray ... one day we will understand. Regards

BISWAJIT ROY
September 8, 2013 5:51 pm

@Saifur Rahman: No you are wrong big nations can wage war on small nations and look into history there are many instances.

Agarwal
September 8, 2013 7:11 pm

@Khan:

Since you're trying to insinuate the muslims are being ill-treated in India by bringing up these recent Muzzafarnagar incidents - it may also be worthwhile for you to know that the perpetrators of these riots are, in fact, muslims.

This of course, is not to suggest that Muslims have not been at the worse end of riots before.

Indian
September 8, 2013 7:21 pm

@Ahmed: And why precisely do you hate Indians? Perhaps you can give specifics?

Riaz Khoso
September 8, 2013 7:46 pm

well said. War, a problem itself, can never be a solution to any problem.

Ahmer
September 8, 2013 7:51 pm

The soldiers from both sides died in vain. Neither side accomplished anything.

Aamir Akram
September 8, 2013 8:14 pm

The point is well made. Creating enmity between the two people serves policitcal ends both sides of the border and it is necessary to take a step back from all the hyperbole to see the idiocy of the hateful rhetoric. In my personal and professional life I have had a lot of interaction (and help) from Indians, Hindu's and Sikh's, and I am proud to number many as my friends. Being able to respect them and their approach to life does not diminish my feelings for Pakistan in anyway. The sad truth is that the ruling classes (civilian and military) in Pakistan know that if they toned down the India bashing then Pakistani's focus turns to Pakistan, and unfortuntately that highlights years of mis-management and decay, easier to keep the focus on the people across the border then face the truth at home!

surya
September 8, 2013 9:30 pm

@Sonal: google some combination of words like- text books, distortion, history, pakistan etc. Some Pakistani scholars have written papers and articles on gross distortions in the school curricula that most Pakistanis have no idea what hindus and India are. They demanded corrections and depiction of true history, nothing changed..Im not kidding.

ajiko
September 8, 2013 10:11 pm

Mr Anwar, thanks to you for this article and also to Dawn for allowing good writing. politics and politicians have drawn borders for their ego and ambitions.Since desires, ambitions and egos have not changed, hence wars will keep happening.only education will change this state. and that is why, politicians dont want people to get educated. so egg/chicken storey will remain. one preacher in India said - buddhaa bada chalak hota hai, bacche maare jaate hain aur buddha takht par pahunch jaata hai. So ultimately the young have to say yes for education and no to wars.

Raj
September 8, 2013 10:48 pm

@Ahmed: Dare to elaborate?

A Shah
September 9, 2013 12:34 am

I work with Indians everyday and to be honest they really dont care about Pakistan apart from the prism of terrorism. They dont need or want anything to do with us. While here Pakistan is obsessed with our enemy India!

Mustafa
September 9, 2013 1:10 am

To paraphrase an Urdu proverb, they equate their donkeys to our horses and we think it is friendship. We produce Allama Iqbal and they produce Tagore, these two are completely different mindsets.

gul
September 9, 2013 1:11 am

i only want to say u that plz dont ruin the thoughts of current and future generations...though overseas indians are loyal to their country i expect the same thing from u too...if u have keen observation then u ll definitely know how india has presented to us his regimes. burning issue is voilation of water treaty..how u ll justify it...so if u are not sincere to this country then plz keep ur mouth shut because pakistan was gained with much sacrifices and being youngster i still love my country a lot..

Ahmed
September 9, 2013 1:35 am

@Rao: agreed with your statement, but now please tell your media to stop brainwashing you all against Pakistan. Our media doesnt do any such thing, neither do we preach hatred towards india in our homes, so please stop preaching it in yours. Of the 200 odd indians i knew while living abroad (as recently as Jan, 2013) nearly all of them told me (after becoming friends) that before they left india they were told by their parents/elders not to trust or talk to Pakistanis as they are very bad people. Funnily enough none of those parents/elders had ever met a Pakistani in real life. Please stop this hatred towards Pakistan.

Saifur Rahman
September 9, 2013 2:17 am

@BISWAJIT ROY: When powerful nations attack weak countries to impose economic or military control (for example China’s control on Tibet, or Great Britain’s rule over India) then that is not war—that situation has different names such as imperialism or colonialism. Here I am refer to wars waged between equal parties—real wars.

saad
September 9, 2013 2:35 am

Dude your feelings and understanding of events have slow been eradicated in Washington D.C. LIKE A FROG IN A SLOW BLOWING WATER NOT KNOW WHATS HAPPENING TO HIM.....So be quite let the events unfold Allah has his plans...... he has to give glory to ISLAM!!!!!!

Dahir
September 9, 2013 3:12 am

@Sonal: What is nihari and sheer korma please.the latter sounds like a tasty beef dish.i live in Bihar which is close to Nepal and Bangladesh border so haven't had a chance to know about these

Sonal
September 9, 2013 3:26 am

It's clear from your article that Pakistanis were / are taught to hate India. Why and how then do Pakistanis like the one mentioned in this article find it ok to make friends with Indians when they're abroad? I would love to know. Surely it's in conflict with the values they are taught?

Dahir
September 9, 2013 3:37 am

@Sonal: We Pakistanis like the fact that you know all our cricket players and eat nihari and sheer korma.welcome to dawn.

Amit
September 9, 2013 3:54 am

The only winners in the war are arm dealers!

Jay
September 9, 2013 5:51 am

Very beautifully written but looks like dream. When eyes open, reality changes.

raza
September 9, 2013 6:38 am

Problem with Pakistan is most of its citizens never love the Pakistan. they talk about Ummah as one country. They forget the existence of Pakistan and think All the gulf Countries are theirs. This is same Problem in Indian Muslim Community. Unless you love your country keeping aside your religion you cannot win any thing

Achin Sharma
September 9, 2013 7:53 am

We kill people we know,for a god that we have never seen.

shyam
September 9, 2013 9:41 am

Forget about love and friendship. I will be happy if we just act as normal people , mind our own business and just get on with life.

K G Surendran
September 9, 2013 10:38 am

Fantastic article and congratulations to Dawn for publishing this. May the likes of this tribe grow in the subcontinent so that along with peace we can have prosperity to feed the millions on both sides of the border.

P.Mishra
September 9, 2013 12:34 pm

@Mustafa:What do you mean by BJP is doing well? If BJP is doing well why then they are out of power. for last 10 years. Where ever they are, it is due to the performance of the local leaders. In the election exactly after the demolition of Babri masjid they lost all the four important states. You should know facts.

Komal S
September 9, 2013 12:47 pm

@Gohar : Good pat yourself on the back.

Sonal
September 9, 2013 1:28 pm

@Dahir:

You're Pakistani and live in Bihar? And Bihar is close to Nepal and Bangladesh border?
I learn new things everyday :)

You cannot be Pakistani if you don't know nihari - my God!!!

Sheer korma is not a tasty beef dish - it's a tasty milk dish. Similar to kheer or rice pudding, but popularly made on Eid?

Ahsan Mushtaq
September 9, 2013 1:51 pm

What an article.....I wish all of us think like this and live peacefully because that is something which both countries need for the prosperity of people:)

Suraj
September 9, 2013 2:37 pm

I really amused to know that "the Hindus wearing Dhoti and worshiping God in their faith" is taught to hate them in Pakistan? How religious intolerance is that....

Kanishk
September 9, 2013 3:01 pm

One wonders how much the preconceived notions change once you really get to have people to people interaction. That debunks so many myths. If there is peace between India and Pakistan, a no. of problems which both the countries are facing would be solved on their own. And most importantly, the both the countries would be able to effectively utilize their money and resources for the betterment of their own countries rather than on the military and defense deployed on the borders.

James
September 9, 2013 5:35 pm

@Sergiou: On this same page there is an article on Hafiz Saeed leading a rally Read the article and then say if it compares with a private debate in India on Pakistan.Or listen to Zaid Hamid whose diatribes against India is well known.No one in India says in public that we should march to Pakistan and plant the Indian flag in Islamabad.Most Indians are fed up of Pakistan sponsoring terror in Kashmir.We just want our govt to pay Pakistan back in the same coin

dada
September 9, 2013 10:30 pm

It seems it is Sonal's Dawn. Sonal wanna be phorren Bomabaywali can care something closer. She lives in Mumabi but still calls it Anglo Bombay. She might like herself to be called SonyDarLing. But she need to be reminded that angloes have left India though their proxy New East India Company is ruling India presently.

About the writeup: author has very chikane plasticky thoughts about peace and war, in line with Aman Ki Asha. What is the meaning of aman? Does one has to drop "man" the mind to have Asha of Shanti? why not just talk in Anglo angreji and say Hope for peace?

Pankaj Patel(USA)
September 9, 2013 10:45 pm

Yes sounds good,but the problem is in India we see terrorist attacks coming only from Pakistan and all the time denials from Pakistani not only government but from general public.It was the last one on my home city Mumbai that led me to this news paper to know from where this hate comes from.Now I know that it is not from this English media but Urdu media and schools.In India we all know that Pakistan matters only when terror or war visits so the reaction is obvious.For most Indians Pakistan is on very fringe and do not hate,while for most Pakistani India and a Hindu is on top of a long hate list.Unless this changes nothing is possible.Pakistan is full of hate mongers and they are given free media time unlike India.

Pak
September 9, 2013 11:10 pm

@raza : Islam is way of life "Deen" not religion Creator's law comes first Not country

Dahir
September 10, 2013 12:13 am

@Sonal: Bihar has a long border with Nepal and is quite close to Bangladesh border. You can speak for yourself but we have a special bond with these two as they are closeby.we Pakistanis...... was a satire to say that knowing the names of Pakistani cricketers is the norm for Indians and was hardly worth mentioning.

fiic
September 10, 2013 12:41 am

Anwar is right. Sad part is that changes will not come about easily. The big money involved in defence sector will not let minor things like peace to interfere in their nefarious activities.

Radhika
September 10, 2013 12:59 am

@A Shah: You are right we Indians do not give importance to anybody or anything and mind our own business.That is why Indians are in top jobs in any country around the world.

Dahir
September 10, 2013 1:58 am

@raza : With due respect,this is not a problem in indian Muslim community; a fact known to everybody

BARRY
September 10, 2013 4:03 am

There are people who talk about peace only when they get desperate

Farhan
September 10, 2013 8:09 am

@James: wake up, where are you living? go ahead and see what shiv sena and others have been saying for so many years against Pakistan. Read what Tamil Tigers had done in Sri Lanka. India has never provided any evidance against Hafiz Saeed except for a few papers or documents, which meant absolutely nothing. We do blame India for what's been going on in Baluchistan province, as India has a number of consulates in Afghanistan and the involvement of RAW, but we won't speak up until we have a solid evidence about their involvement. Who invaded the pitch in the 1999 Delhi Test match? we still went on to play the test at the same venue despite life threats to our players. In the recently concluded Women's world cup, our Women had to stay in the cricket stadium as shiv sena had given threats and none of your hotels would accept our women as guests. Our women still played the world cup despite the threats and despite of the fact that they had to stay in the stadium throughout the tour. We've done everything we could to promote peace but this the kind of response we get. I can write plenty more, but I think this should do for now

Omair
September 10, 2013 9:33 am

The people who posted on your page are the enlightened few. On public facebook discussions or any other public forum you will only see hate comments.

Samir Gupta
September 10, 2013 11:02 am

The comments on this article show the kind of confusion we have in our relationship with peace. People yearn for peace and yet want to hold on to comfortable stereotypes about each other. Hate is easy and seductive, peace needs common sense and maturity

Jassi
September 10, 2013 1:54 pm

@Mustafa: You didnt produce Allama Iqbal. Allama Iqbal was of pre-Independence India who wrote "Saare jahan se achcha Hindustan hamara". And if you didnt know his grandfather was a Hindu brahmin just like Tagore's.

miri
September 10, 2013 3:41 pm

Anwar Iqbal 's latest piece leaves me speechless.

I have run out of words to describe the way he weaves his readers' collective capture into his mosaic tales. I must create some new words for his future works.

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