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    You look like a Pakistani/You look like an Indian

    Thought you will like this news report.....Thanks

    Pak fans cross Wagha, root for better ties

    Satinder Bains

    WAGHA, MARCH 31: Ifthikar Anjum Butt breaks into
    tears. The India-Pakistan cricket match is tomorrow but
    that's not exactly on his mind right now. He carries a placard:
    Akhian dee lali dasdi hai, roye tusin vee see, roye assin
    vee see
    . (Red eyes tell the tale, that we both had wept).

    Tariq Azeej, 35, of Lahore, crosses the border at Wagha,
    touches the soil and recalls: ``My mother told me, they lived
    happily with sardar families in a house in front of Darbar
    Sahib.'' He says he wants to visit the Golden Temple. But
    then visas have been granted only for Chandigarh, for Butt
    and Azeej and the 1,000 Pak fans who crossed over from
    here on their way to SAS Nagar for the match.

    Welcomed by the Border Security Force and district
    authorities, for these visitors, it's the language of friendship
    which seems so natural. Mehlish, a second-year student from
    Lahore, blames the education system of both the countries for
    infusing hatred in young minds. She said: ``Our school books
    paint India as a big enemy, who attacked us in 1965. The
    Indian books reflect the same feelings for Pakistan for the
    attack in 1971.'' Let the new generation decide for
    themselves about the future, she said.

    Faraz Fahim, a young doctor from Lahore, who came to
    India for the first time, said that ``progressive youths'' wanted
    the present Indo-Pak spring to continue. With the initiative
    taken by Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee, he said, many
    misconceptions have been removed, he said.

    Hazi Habib Rehman from Sahiwal in Pakistan embraced a
    Sikh, who incidentally belonged to his father's native village,
    Khanpur, in Hoshiarpur district. He posed for photographs
    with the locals, who had come to Wagha to welcome the

    Shafiq and Liayaqat Ali urged the Indian Prime Minister to
    extend their visa that had presently been granted for three
    days. ``We wanted to see Punjab, as we have the same
    culture,'' they said adding that a liberal visa policy will shrink
    the distance between the two peoples.

    Akram Khan of Lahore, who is married to an Indian, Kauser
    Parveen, from Saharanpur, pulls his wife's leg: ``It's been 20
    years since we got married, but she is still very loyal to India.''
    He went on: Khandi Pakistan da te gandi(sings) India da (Lives
    in Pakistan but loves India).

    Arshad Khan, vice-president of the Lahore City Cricket
    Association (West zone), also a first time visitor, who was
    born in Hoshiarpur, wanted to know how popular was the
    game in Amritsar. He was very keen that cricket matches be
    played between the Lahore and the Amritsar teams. ``We
    can easily leave in the morning and reach back home in the
    evening, after playing a full day match in Lahore or in

    The emotional exchange reached a peak, when a Pakistani
    businessman embraced a local journalist, saying, ``You look
    like a Pakistani.'' The journalist replied: ``But you look like an

    [This message has been edited by ChannMahi (edited March 31, 1999).]

    It was truly a nice gesture from India to relax visa rules for cricket fans across the border.

    More than nine hundred cricket fans have crossed the border from Pakistan to India to watch a one day match between the two countries in Chandigarh.

    The Indian government relaxed its visa rules to allow the Pakistani supporters into the country, and a temporary immigration office was set up at the Lahore cricket ground to speed up the process.

    The move follows the introduction of a regular bus link between Delhi and Lahore two weeks ago - the first for more than fifty years.


      About time the two countries woke up to the realities of the upcoming 21st century. What amazaes me the most that the two countries gained independence about the same time Japan and Germany were annihilated in the 2nd World War. Look where are those two countries today and where our two brother countries are.

      It is a shame. The Satluj (Setlug)/Yemena valley, also known as the Indus Valley or more commonly East+West Punjab can probably feed most of Asia. What we have here is two beggar nations eating American handouts.

      Did any of the politicians ever put a toll on four border wars they have fought? What is the result, BanglaDesh, the world's poorest country. Eleven nuclear explosions, big deal. Prithavi and Gauri missiles - big deal - sounds like phuljharies. How many stomachs the money that was spent on this foolishness would have filled? How far it would have advanced the two countries?

      It seems like that they finally seeen the light. Today a bus route, easing of the visa restrictions may be tomorrow a billion dollar trade, a day later economic cooperation, two days later a joint satellite, three days later an unprotected border, rejuvenating the cultural links, rejoining of the lost relatives, tourism........It is a far cry I know. But it is possible.

      Better late than never.

      Rab Rakha


        Yar Channa,

        Ustad, why did you have to write this??? Did you really mean to upset poor 'Panidoos' like myself, or was it not your intention? You should be ashamed of yourself for making your brother get emotional reading what you wrote. When I see you, "Tayri Khabar LawaN Ga" (I will get your news).

        Chann Yar, there has never been a division of hearts. Only artificial political borders.

        I totally agree with the sentiments of Jat and Sarwar. Things will change. It will only get better.