• Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A passage to Pakistan: 7 decades after separation, how different does the country feel from India

Discussion in 'Social & Current Events' started by N.Siddiqui, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. N.Siddiqui

    N.Siddiqui SENIOR MEMBER

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    March 3, 2018, 2:03 AM IST Amit Jain in TOI Edit Page | Edit Page, World | TOI

    It has been 70 years since Pakistan was carved out of India as a separate homeland for Muslims. And in that time the two sides have traded more fire than goods and services. Official contact remains frosty even at the best of times.

    Just how far apart the two nations have diverged is evident in the way the two are portrayed by the international media. While India is often presented as an economically dynamic democracy, Pakistan is mostly painted as a militarised Islamic state that breeds terrorism. It is routinely listed as one of the most dangerous places in the world.

    I was, however, treated with exceptional warmth from the moment i landed at the small but charming Allama Iqbal International Airport. The kind of hospitality i received is testament to the kind and generous nature of Pakistan’s people. Yes, the risk of violence exists but there is more to it than what gets passed around.
    Take the city of Lahore, for instance. It is a liveable place dotted with manicured parks and magnificent historical sites. Residents stay up late shopping and dining. The once crumbling residential block surrounding the magnificent 17th century Badshahi Mosque is now a hip arts and entertainment venue.

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    Lahore boasts a modern metro network and locals commute in clean air-conditioned public buses. The traffic is far less chaotic than Amritsar – barely 50 km to the east. The city has some excellent restaurants and shopping centres. Had Pakistan not been Pakistan, Lahore would be thronging with tourists.

    Islamabad is the country’s showpiece capital. Designed by Constantinos Doxiadis in 1960 it lies at the foot of Margalla hills and serves as a place of residence for the country’s most powerful politicians, civil servants and military officers. Islamabad’s Faisal Mosque is a design classic and looks as if its blueprint came straight out of Star Wars. A network of excellent dual carriage motorways connect all major cities in Pakistan and driving on them is a pleasure.

    But behind such modern trappings lives a deeply conservative society. Unlike India, it is rare to find dating couples strolling in city parks. Marriage between cousins is commonplace and women often cover their heads in public. There are no bars and certainly no discos (although multiplex cinemas are aplenty and they mostly show Bollywood blockbusters).

    It was not always like this. In the first few decades of independence, social norms in Pakistan were relatively relaxed. But that took a sharp conservative turn when Pakistan found itself on the ‘frontlines’ of fighting communism following the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979.

    While India experienced a wholesale shakeup of its social order in years after independence, Pakistan did not. That is perhaps because it has not gone through the kind of mass urbanisation that comes with industrialisation. With the exception of those who migrated from India, most of the elite who live in opulent villas in cities such as Lahore derive their incomes and prestige from the countryside.
    My host in Islamabad was my old friend Shahid Iqbal Sheikh, 40. Three generations of the Iqbal Sheikh family live under the same roof, typical of the elite. They are wealthy extended families that hold the levers of power and influence in the country. What sets Shahid apart, however, is the fact that he oversees sales of his family-owned glass manufacturing enterprise.

    On the evening i arrive the dinner table talk turns to politics. Mohamad Iqbal Sheikh, the British educated patriarch of the family, says frequent meddling by the army is holding back investments. His frustration is palpable. Investors hate uncertainty. Barely a few weeks earlier a little known group of fundamentalists shut down Islamabad in protest against the dilution of a rule that would have allowed the Ahmadis, a persecuted community, to take oath of office.

    The protest ultimately led to the resignation of the federal law minister. It also shuttered the family’s glass factory temporarily. The Iqbal Sheikhs believe this was orchestrated by ISI. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was forced to quit on charges of corruption and embezzlement weeks before i arrived.

    Was he becoming too powerful for the military? Such conspiracies, real or imagined, are part of the daily diet in Pakistan. Nothing sells better than a good conspiracy theory. While the rest of the world holds al-Qaida responsible for bringing down the twin towers in 2001, most Pakistanis (even the gentrified elite) continue to see a Zionist plot behind it.

    I found myself trying, in vain, to reason. It just does not work in a place like Pakistan. Anti-American feelings run deep. It all comes down to gairath (honour). Holding one’s head high in the biradari (community) is more important than even wealth or power. It has led Pakistan into seeking nuclear parity with India and may explain why fathers murder their own children if they dare to elope or marry without their consent.

    Even as hawkers in India were busy hustling Santa masks in December, Christmas celebration was conspicuous in Pakistan by its absence. Christians here marked the day with quiet prayers huddled inside churches protected by armed guards, high walls and barbed wire. This is where Pakistan stands in sharp contrast with India. For most part otherwise, it looks and feels very much the same.

    DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.

    https://blogs.timesofindia.indiatim...w-different-does-the-country-feel-from-india/
     
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  2. Taimoor Khan

    Taimoor Khan SENIOR MEMBER

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    Pakistan was not "carved out" of India but the lands were reclaimed by its inhabitants from the foreign occupiers. The entity which was "British Raj of India" before 14th August 1947 was created by United kingdom, and when they left, for us, it died. If the current entity called India which itself came into being on 15th August 1947 , carried on the name, it does not carry the history of British raj over. So where this nonsense of Pakistan being carved out of India is coming from?
     
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  3. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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    I think Lahore got developed because of Pakistan... foreign tourists are not our priority and they never should be... We should develop our cities for our own people like the west does and tourism just comes as a by product.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  4. N.Siddiqui

    N.Siddiqui SENIOR MEMBER

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    As another Indian visitor to Pakistan was pleasantly surprised and said 'Pakistan is not what we got to hear in the Indian media'...perception can be different from reality, if that was a created false perception.
     
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  5. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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    That's how they slip their venomous propaganda woven into the silk.. Thus a reader should be watchful and should not let it pass under the radar unnoticed. I don't know if the author is doing deliberately or he is so brainwashed that it comes naturally to him.
     
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  6. N.Siddiqui

    N.Siddiqui SENIOR MEMBER

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    Here is the full article in Herald, DAWN, separate from this one.

    https://herald.dawn.com/news/1153706
     
  7. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer PROFESSIONAL

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    It was literally carved out of India. Read the India Independence Act.
     
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  8. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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    No mate, read it again...the article is filled with venom and false propaganda... we should not let Gangadeshi into Pakistan...we don't need their jealous souls wandering on our land.

    More crap from the author.
    and here is the real news from Gangadesh
    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com...-dalit-watch-her-die/articleshow/63133096.cms

    The social shake up of India has turned it into a hindutva complex where all the minorities are being subjugated to the majority's rule with the generous options to become Hindu, leave India or stay and behave like as slaves.
    Dalit are worse off than Muslim and British times, Sikhs get persecuted, women get raped, Christians get burned alive, Muslim face genocide on top of the mob lynching.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
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  9. Taimoor Khan

    Taimoor Khan SENIOR MEMBER

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    The British Raj, not the India who you are citizen of.
     
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  10. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer PROFESSIONAL

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    Again, you are making a mistake. This India is a direct heir of the British Raj. Please, once again, a sincere request: read the act. And please also remember that from 1947 to 1950, as the Dominion of India, we continued to be ruled by the Government of India Act, 1935; the same Act, the same laws, the same constitution that governed British India.
     
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  11. Kambojaric

    Kambojaric SENIOR MEMBER

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    The Act uses both terms "India" and "British India" (see below). The former's implications are nevertheless clear and understood as British India giving weight to the argument brought forward by @Taimoor Khan . The below subsection states that the territory of the new dominion of India will be all territories of "British India" except those territories that are to be part "of Pakistan".

    Whilst this point may seem petty for citizens of modern day India, it is of great importance for Pakistanis, as accepting it implies India possesses territorial claims over Pakistan as the "mother country". The equivalent here in Northern Europe would be Sweden declaring itself as Scandinavia. I can bet you anything the Danes or Norwegians would not be too happy about that.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1947/30/pdfs/ukpga_19470030_en.pdf
     
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  12. lastofthepatriots

    lastofthepatriots SENIOR MEMBER

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    Typical Lahoris kissed the Indian Guy's ***. This is why everyone in Pakistan hates these dangarkhors.
     
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  13. Kambojaric

    Kambojaric SENIOR MEMBER

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    Is hospitality a crime now? It is a token of people throughout Pakistan, even ingrained in the tribal code of KPK/Fata.
     
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  14. lastofthepatriots

    lastofthepatriots SENIOR MEMBER

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    Lahoris don't treat Pakistanis from other areas of Pakistan with this hospitality, but there seems to be a particular bonhomie with bhartis.
     
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  15. Talwar e Pakistan

    Talwar e Pakistan SENIOR MEMBER

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    So,

    Was Myanmar, Yemen and the UAE parts of India as well? Since they were a part of the British Raj?
     
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