An Indian Muslim recounts why his visit to Pakistan was horrifying

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lcafanboy

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An Indian Muslim recounts why his visit to Pakistan was horrifying
I took the risk to visit that country and paid a price.
POLITICS
| 5-minute read | 23-03-2017

FIROZ BAKHT AHMED



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experience of Asif Nizami and Nazim Nizami — the two representatives from the shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia — who had gone to Pakistan on a tour to the Sufi shrines in that country to build bridges between the peoples and nations.

I, with my family, had undergone similarly harrowing circumstances in 2012. It was sheer good luck that we had come back safe and sound.

Nightmare

My honeymoon with Lahore — my dream city, a place of fun and frolic and home to world’s best institutions like Aitchison College and Punjab University, eateries like Salt’n Pepper Village, Food Street and Zaiqa and water parks like Sozo Water Park, Joy Land Park and Starlet shoes — ended in a nightmare.

During my second — and perhaps last visit there — from June 4 to June 13, I found myself, with wife and three children, at the Sarwar Road Police Station, Lahore Cantonment. My experience vindicated that Pakistanis loathe Indian Muslims, terming them variously as enslaved and spies.

My children who were enthusiastic about visiting Lahore — a city about which famed Urdu writer Kashmiri Lal Zakir had said, “Jinne Lahore nai vekhya/wo te jamiya hi naiee (He, who hasn’t seen Lahore/ He isn’t even born)” — are now absolutely Pakistan phobic.


My children were enthusiastic about visiting Lahore.
At about 5pm on June 9, day five of our stay in Lahore, the children wanted a joyride in Joy Land Park. While we were about to enter the park, we were threatened by ISI sleuths in civil dress who had been following us from Wagha.

Without our knowledge, they diverted our threewheeler towards the Sarwar Road Police Station in the Lahore Cantonment. In the police station, we were told that we had entered a "prohibited" area. My wife said we were tourists and there were no signposts in any case.

But our interrogators had sinister designs and began preparing papers to throw us behind the bars. Even if a tourist unknowingly goes to the amusement park, he can land into the hands of ISI rangers. During the grilling, they kept repeating that Pakistani tourists get even worst treatment at the hands of Indian agencies. My consistent denial demeaned me in their eyes.

We were staying at the prestigious 125-year-old Aitchison College from where our passports, visas, etc, were hauled in by the police. I was wondering what threat perception we posed, an enthusiastic bunch of tourists consisting of three school-going children, myself and wife.

The ISI spies had plotted impeccably to snare us — only to be later victimised as Sarabjits and Surjeets for whom neither Pakistan nor India is frankly much concerned. Our arrest documents were written and passports and other papers confiscated. Though it was a very scary and petrifying situation, we were not afraid as we had done nothing wrong.

Apology

Fortunately, college bursar Col Mehboob, a retired army man, spoke to the police assuring them of our bona fides. Even that was not enough and I had to call the editor of The Nation. It still took us five hours to get out of the dreadful and scandalous clutches of ISI officers after a written apology.

Pakistan, unfortunately, is run by ISI agents and the military. They are suspicious of all Indians. The "soft corner" for Pakistan, after this treatment, has absolutely vanished, particularly against the country’s intelligence apparatus.

Bigwigs there are double-faced and can do a U-turn at the drop of a hat, a reason why that country is on the verge of disaster. They even interviewed me at the office of Nawa-e-Waqt, an Urdu daily, to get something against India but I never uttered a word against my “watan” (country).

Aggravated, they moved the ISI sleuths after me more horridly. At the police station, I could not help but wonder: the El Dorado that Quaide-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah created as a dreamland of Muslims after thousands of sacrifices, is not even a semblance of the dream he had spun.

Pakistan’s landscape is dominated by terrorism, corruption, inflation, honour killings and sectarianism — to name just a few burning problems.

Relief

On my first day on June 4, I was faked of about 4,000 Pakistani rupees in lieu of Indian money at McLeod Road, and no amount of request or police threat worked. I thought it prudent to come out safe and sound and in one piece from his dingy underground kiosk.

On our return at the airport, I was grilled for three hours by five ISI officers, our bags were turned upside down as were cameras, children’s mobiles and wallets while external hard discs were scanned. Even medicines and shaving boxes were not spared.

I heaved a sigh of relief after crossing Attari, glad to get out of the clutches of ISI megalomaniacs.

Before leaving Pakistan, I was reminded of what my grandfather, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, told the departing co-religionists for the "promised land" in 1947:

My dear brothers, today you are leaving our country; did you ever think what will be the outcome of this? If you go away, Muslims in India will become weak. You will be divided into two sects of liberals and fundamentals. Listen to me carefully, a Hindu can differ with your religion but they can’t differ within your qaumiyat (clan), but in Pakistan you will face the difference of the clan as they’ll treat you as chattel.”

Pakistan is a hell for Indian Muslims! I took the risk to visit that country despite these prophetic words and paid a price.

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/pakistan-indian-muslims-isi-nizammudin-saints/story/1/16326.html

Writer
FIROZ BAKHT AHMED
The writer, grandnephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, is a social commentator.
 

Kshatriya87

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Doesn't matter. Only a handful will read this article and only a few percentage of that handful will agree or even bother to care. Affinity of Indian muslims towards pakistan will still be the same.
 

acetophenol

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Doesn't matter. Only a handful will read this article and only a few percentage of that handful will agree or even bother to care. Affinity of Indian muslims towards pakistan will still be the same.
Do not generalize that all Indian muslims has an affinity towards Pakistan.
 

A chauhan

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Why do the Indian Muslims consider Pakistan a place to visit and enjoy ? Why do they consider Lahore (a city populated and settled by Hindus) a tourist location ?

Why can't they keep their religion aside and consider an enemy an enemy ?
 

Cutting Edge 2

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Lahore — my dream city, a place of fun and frolic and home to world’s best institutions
El Dorado that Quaide-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah created as a dreamland of Muslims after thousands of sacrifices
And we are suppose to take this guy seriously?
 

COLDHEARTED AVIATOR

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As our economy is doing good and the Pakistanis are getting screwed.....


Our minorities are becoming more loyal.
 

square

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intresting that few still consider pakistan a place to visit as a tourist....
the best way probably to enjoy a visit to pakistan is the way ajit dowel did !!!
 

acetophenol

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Why do the Indian Muslims consider Pakistan a place to visit and enjoy ? Why do they consider Lahore (a city populated and settled by Hindus) a tourist location ?

Why can't they keep their religion aside and consider an enemy an enemy ?
Could please elaborate on how you reached the conclusion that "Indian Muslims" consider Pakistan a place to visit and enjoy?

Sent from my HTC One X9 dual sim using Tapatalk
 

Bornubus

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Could please elaborate on how you reached the conclusion that "Indian Muslims" consider Pakistan a place to visit and enjoy?

Sent from my HTC One X9 dual sim using Tapatalk

Pls don't take it personally. I know you are a Hindustani Musalman and your views about Pakis when i was on Paki forum.
 

A chauhan

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Could please elaborate on how you reached the conclusion that "Indian Muslims" consider Pakistan a place to visit and enjoy?

Sent from my HTC One X9 dual sim using Tapatalk
Well, I was talking about Indian Muslims who wish to visit there and not about all Indian Muslims, I know many who have visited there and wish to visit there.
 

OneGrimPilgrim

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Could please elaborate on how you reached the conclusion that "Indian Muslims" consider Pakistan a place to visit and enjoy?
i used to wonder why many-a-muslim-locality would celebrate napak's win in an India-napakistan match...nevertheless, napak features as a rather regular travel destination for seemingly quite a few muslims from UP; some have relatives there, some for some other reasons.
 
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Indibomber

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Muslims have afinuty towards Islam first. In case of a war, pakistan describes it as war between Hindus and Muslims. All muslims side with their religion and not their country.
Fact during my school days i visited home of a muslim in Chandni Chowk area of Delhi..I went with my cosuin to repair a computer that he has sold. While my cousin was repairing the comp I spotted a cute little kid around 3/4 year old looking at us curiously. I approached him to play with me while my brother worked. This kid pointed to my Raksha sootra and said aap hindu ho..Aap ko pakistan le ja kar maar denge..It was a deja vu movement for me..
 

ezsasa

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Fact during my school days i visited home of a muslim in Chandni Chowk area of Delhi..I went with my cosuin to repair a computer that he has sold. While my cousin was repairing the comp I spotted a cute little kid around 3/4 year old looking at us curiously. I approached him to play with me while my brother worked. This kid pointed to my Raksha sootra and said aap hindu ho..Aap ko pakistan le ja kar maar denge..It was a deja vu movement for me..
Maybe you went there during ram temple days 92 or godhra days 2002?
 

A chauhan

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i used to wonder why many-a-muslim-locality would celebrate napak's win in an India-napakistan match...nevertheless, napak features as a rather regular travel destination for seemingly quite a few muslims from UP; some have relatives there, some for some other reasons.
Every major Indian city has atleast one area where you will see people celebrating the defeat of Indian team while playing with Pakistan. They dream of visiting pakistan. They should be prosecuted and deported.
 

OneGrimPilgrim

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Every major Indian city has atleast one area where you will see people celebrating the defeat of Indian team while playing with Pakistan. They dream of visiting pakistan. They should be prosecuted and deported.
i know. be it ahmedabad or nagpur or hyderabad or.........thats why, this:
no point writing such articles in english, they have to be written in urdu to reach the targeted audience.

or, probably what tarek fatah says, even if in jest, ki alag mulk ke liye pahle to UP-CP-Bihar-Madras sab ne milke 80-90% ne voting kar di, fir baad mein aadhe idhar hi baith gaye apne sagon ko ye bolke, ki bhai aap jao wahaan, hum yahaan ka ghar aur property dekhte hain.
 

acetophenol

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Muslims have afinuty towards Islam first. In case of a war, pakistan describes it as war between Hindus and Muslims. All muslims side with their religion and not their country.
Again, do not generalize. Does all hindus have an affinity towards hinduism first and their nation second? Does all christians have an affinity towards christianity first and their nation second?

There are lot of religious muslims, or even hardcore muslims, just like there are hardcore hindus and christians. But that doesn't mean they'll give up their patriotism.

Pakistan can call themselves whatever they want. But I'll say its not fair for you to generalize and say that "all muslims" will side with their religion and not their country.
 
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