We have always had a tricky relationship with India. The country is like that neighbor who you love to hate and find fault with for every damn thing. Make no mistake, they haven’t shown to be any less aggressive toward Pakistan, either. Sadly, this very mentality is what has brought the two countries to two full fledged wars and several major stand-offs, along with “escalation of tensions” as the conventional media loves to harp about, like recent escalation in tensions after Pulwama Attack.
Here are the instances when the people of Pakistan and India have shown how gestures of kindness are what our religions, parents and humanity teach us:
1. The time when Prime Minister Sharif sent the best Pakistani mangoes to his Indian counterpart
This past July when Indian border forces opened fire on the Pakistani side, the response from Pakistan was tremendously laudable. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sent mangoes from Pakistan, that we all know are the best in the world, to Indian PM Narendra Modi.
As they say, “eeinth ka jawab, aam ki paiti se”
2. When India sent a love letter to Pakistan
In March 2006, the group Friends Without Borders, traveled across the Wagah border carrying 11,000 letters from Indians to Pakistan, including a giant love letter measuring 120 m by 80 m. In return Pakistani people sent them back with an equally big batch of letters and replies to their new “friends” across the border.
3. A taxi in India was bedecked in the art by a Pakistani artist
As part of a project by Taxi Fabric, a design company that does makeovers of, well, taxis in Mumbai by providing them new fabric with designer prints. This year, on Pakistan’s independence day, they collaborated with the Pakistani designer Samia Arif to overhaul a taxi with the young designer’s amazing artwork.
4. A Pakistani liver patient’s life was saved by Indian students’ blood
Pakistani Aman Lal Makhija, was in treatment in Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital for liver failure when an urgent need for blood led to his friend, Dilshad Ali who had accompanied him to India, to paste flyers around the hospital asking for donations. 12 Indian students came forward and donated blood, saving Makhija’s live and humanity, at the same time.
5. When two of the biggest media houses in the region came together for ‘Aman ki Asha’
Jang Group from Pakistan and Times of India from India, two of the biggest and respected media houses from the South Asia came together for a peace initiative – Aman ki Asha, to promote cross-cultural exchange and promote friendship, harmony and love among the people of the two countries.
Sadly, while the initiative was ridiculed for being initiated with “covert aims”, by detractors on both sides, people of the two countries loved the exchange and couldn’t have been happier.
6. When these Indians sang “happy birthday” to Pakistan on August 14
7. When Indian leaders volunteered to host Ghulam Ali’s concert
After threats from Shiv Sena, the ghazal legend Ghulam Ali’s concerts in Mumbai and Pune were cancelled recently. Soon after, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she was willing to host one in her state’s capital of Kolkatta. Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, also volunteered to host the concert in Delhi where, he said, his party AAP’s ‘army’ will secure the venue.
Time will tell if that concert in Delhi actually happens, since it is in limbo right now.
8. People from Pakistan and India came together to fight hunger by feeding the homeless
In the spirit of unity and peace, a bunch of young people in the two countries have come together as, Robin Hood Army, a united mission to feed the homeless and less fortunate as a practical solution to hunger that plagues more than 200 million people in India and Pakistan, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. These people are doing this without concern for race, religion, cast or creed of those who are hungry.
Fight poverty, rather than each other. That’s the way to go!
9. When Khurshid Kasuri’s book launch happened in India despite the disrespectful protest by Shiv Sena
Sudheendra Kulkarni, an Indian activist, hosted the book launch of former foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri’s new book, in India. As a sign of protest Shiv Sena buffoons blackened his face by throwing ink. Despite this public humiliation, Kulkarni not only went ahead and continued with the launch, he was showered with rose petals by people yesterday to show how he is appreciated for his act of promoting peace between the two traditional rivals.
10. The time when Mumbai’s residents saved the life of a Pakistani girl
Saba, a 15 year old girl from Pakistan was taken to Mumbai for treatment of Wilson’s disease, an autosomal recessive genetic disorder in which copper accumulates in tissues. Her mother could not gather the required PKR 7,00,000/- for the treatment so her plight was published in an Indian newspaper. Within days they collected the requisite amount with donations pouring in from residents of Mumbai as soon as the news report was published.
11. When Dunkin’ Donuts in Pakistan showed India, and the world, how hospitable, kind and generous we are
After recent reports of a Pakistani family having to spend a night on Mumbai’s footpaths after no hotel would allow them accommodation everyone on social media went crazy, criticizing and badmouthing India. Iqbal Latif, owner of 26 Dunkin’ Donuts outlets in Pakistan, schooled everyone in how to respond to such news. He has launched an intiative in his outlets in Lahore, Peshawar and Islamabad to feed any Indian visitors for free!
— Danish Zaidi (@syedmdz) October 17, 2015
12. When these Pakistanis and Indians sang each others’ national anthems as a display of respect
13. When Sidhu paa jee hugged General Bajwa
Poor guy has gotten banned recently from his TV show because of his positive views about Pakistan but still.
Now, that is how it’s done, world.
Idiots are found in abundance on both sides of the borders, so are those whose livelihoods depend on the animosity of the two traditional rivals. However, there are many, many people on both sides of the LoC who realize that pettiness over ‘I’m the best, no I’m the best’ is better left behind when you graduate out of elementary school.
Cover image via: thenation.com.pk