1. Sachi Bhutani
2. Karan Raghav
3. Tanima Narang
4. Bhavya Mahajan
Indian students share views about their recent visit to Pakistan as part of the Rotary-Aman ki Asha exchange programme
Visiting Pakistan was a very enriching and learning experience for me. The visit really helped me to form an extremely positive image of the country and helped me realise how similar the two countries are and that should absolutely live in harmony like they deserve to. Prejudices really have no place in today's world.
The people I met were incredibly warm and welcoming and I'm really glad that I was able to visit Pakistan, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a perfect experience and I will carry the sweet memories with me forever. It was really hard to say goodbye after such a wonderful experience. Loved it.
I have been extremely fortunate to visit one of the most beautiful and hospitable countries of the world. These were the most fascinating days of my life. Every single person that I met was very optimistic about India and Indians. I am indebted to my Pakistani friends for telling me the real story of Pakistan.
I have realised how similar our neighbours are to us. Honestly speaking I felt more at home than I may find myself in my own country. I can never forget how loving my hosts were to me; not just the affluent ones but also the ordinary people on the streets. Karachi has been a great city; clean, spacious and lively.
Thank you Pakistan, and thank you Rotary for gifting me this lifetime opportunity.
I said on my first day in Pakistan, I am an ambassador of love and peace from India. I came here to understand why the differences between the two countries existed even though people from both sides have wanted to establish peace for the last 60 years or so. After meeting many people, attending many meetings, we came to know a lot about this country that we didn't know before.
And the people were so amazingly sweet; we were always welcomed very warmly. They didn't let me feel uncomfortable at all. I stayed with four different host families, and found new family with each of them. They treated me just like their own daughter. I found many similarities between the two countries. The people, the history, the language, the food, the homes and many other things were common. I made many friends here, and as far as we're concerned, there are no borders or barriers for us.
I've gained a great experience from this trip. I am now back in India and am trying to change any perspectives of people that don't match the truth about Pakistan and am urging them too to visit this country with proof of my first-hand experience. It was one of my best trips ever, and the friends I've made will remain for life.
Karachi did feel a little different from New Delhi, because of less traffic, the way people dress and the beach. People whom I was a little scared to meet are now a part of my life and I consider them as a part of my family. My parents were a little afraid to send me to Pakistan because of the security issues but I guess no parent needs to worry now as I am back in Delhi without even a scratch on my body. People will continue to say whatever they want to without experiencing it for themselves.
According to me every one should drop whatever misconceptions they have and draw their own picture, no matter what others say or think. People back in Karachi treated us like family and never even gave us a minute to think that we didn't belong to Pakistan.
Physically, I am back in New Delhi but my mind is still in Karachi. I wish I could have stay for a little longer. But never mind, I'll be back soon, not to attend a million Rotary meetings but to meet and stay with the family I have there. Loved Karachi and its people.
My cousins have visited Pakistan several times, my buddies in India have all visited Pakistan (Lawrence school, Sanawar routinely organizes trips to Lawrence College in Murree, Pakistan, and Lawrence College students routinely visit Sanawar).
It is without doubt that Pakistani Punjabis are very hospitable people, and it is the natural Punjabi spirit and "openness" which gets both sides embracing each other in these people-to-people visits. This bonhomie is on a personal human level and cannot be compared on a politico-societal level, where there is much bitterness and a sense of victimization which has been drilled into the brains of all Pakistanis.
This is not to say that India does not have its share of the same; with many folks on this side blaming Pakistanis for almost the exact same reasons they blame us (such as differing narratives on who started the bloodshed during partition); but the difference between us and them is that the hate on our side is not institutionalized, where else on the Pakistani side, that hate is spread by schools, government and is a strong part of their national character.
After reading the article, I am still trying to figure out the main objective of yours. Is it to charm rest of the Indians by making these students as a mouthpiece of yours? We, who know the real face of Pakistanis have a different opinion about your country as you might have read in this forum in different posts. I have traveled around the world and before that have lived in over twelve states of my motherland called "BHARATVARSH" and found people equally hospitable as well. When ever, I meet people from different parts of the world in Canada they are very helpful and excellent hosts as well. Does it mean the institutions of a nation (Pakistan ) have the same view about India? If that was the case why have they launched attack on our soil several times and they have violated eight times the ceasefire between two nations.
I would ask you AJTR to take the same students in to Liyari area of Karachi and those terrorist training camps after which they can do another write up on other side of your nation. Let me tell you this attempt of your is not going to change the mind of majority of Indians towards Pakistan untill and unless your Army and ISI hand over all the criminals wanted by our authorities and till we push back enemy forces from our land, I am talking about illegally occupied Kashmir.
Our difference of opinion is between the Governments and it percolates downwards into the minds of people of the respective nations.
As long as your Government and private institutions keep injecting the poison of hatred based on religion till than no goodwill can be built regardless of the propaganda of this article. I hope you get my message.
It is good that these folks had a nice time and were treated to delightful doses of Papp-Jhappi. However, I did note that in their mush filled bleeding heart romantic travelogue, there was no mention of what type of discussions they had in Pakistan. Did they discuss contemporary issues with their hosts?
These wer a bunch of wet between the years, urban Delhiites who went on an all expenses paid trip to the Pakhanaland. By what stretch of imgination they consider themselves "Ambassadors of peace from India"
If you think India has genuine grievances with pak on terrorism, asymmetric Guerrilla warfare etc then pakistani too have genuine grievances with india over the same coz it was india who first deployed its irregular mukti bahini against pakistan.