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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pakistan Visit (Part 8)

The following is the text of the letter that I wrote to the editors of several prominent Indian and Pakistani newspapers , upon my return, and which was published by one Indian and two Pakistani newspapers:

I have been a part of the Indian Sikh pilgrim 'Jatha' that travelled to Pakistan recently. We stayed at Hasan Abdal (Punja Sahib), Nankana Sahib and at Lahore (Dera Sahib Gurdwara). We also took short trips to Chuharkhana Mandi (Sucha Sauda), Eimanabad (Chakki Sahib, Bhai Lalo di Khuhi), Rodi Sahib, Kartarpur, etc.

I am 30 years old and this was my first visit to Pakistan.

I would like to thank the Government of Pakistan for granting visa and the Government of the Pakistani State of Punjab for making adequate administrative arrangements. I would also like to thank Pakistan Railways for running special 'Sikh Pilgrim Special' trains and the West Punjab Police for making adequate security and assistance arrangements. The staff of Pakistan Railways and the Punjab Police were courteous and helpful and cared well for us while we were in Pakistan.

Also, the work being done by Pakistani Waqf Board and the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee towards the upkeep of Sikh Gurdwaras that lie within Pakistan deserves to be appreciated.

And finally, I would like to thank the people of the West Punjab who were very hospitable and helped make our stay in Pakistan very pleasant. I made some friends and exchanged addresses and telephone numbers but unfortunately I could not exchange contact details with some boys, who were off-duty Punjab Policemen and whom we had met at the Nankana Sahib railway station. My brother, father and I talked to them for quite a while before our train started moving out of the station.

I sincerely hope that all pending issues between India and Pakistan would be resolved soon so that no brave son of India or Pakistan shall die fighting his brethern on the other side of the border, at any point of time in the future. I dream of a day when India and Pakistan shall share a relationship akin to that among the states of the European Union where trade and movement of people across borders shall be free. I am sure there are many others in both countries, especially in the Punjab (in India as well as Pakistan), who share my dream.

To quote from the song 'Imagine' by John Lennon, "You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one."

1 comment:

Sidhusaaheb said...

Read all 8 yesterday/today … had bookmarked them.

What an account!!! Needs to be compiled into an e-book.
zakintosh | 11.11.08 – 5:32 am | #