I have never been to Pakistan. I would very much like to visit it, but I know I will be never be able to go there in my lifetime.
I read today ( 6.12.2014 ) in a centre spread article in the Hindi newspaper " Hindustan ' by a young Punjabi lady, Nikita Singla, an International Affairs Consultant, about her visit to Lahore. She was apprehensive about going there for security considerations ( being an Indian ),and was sought to be dissuaded by many friends and relatives.
However when she reached Lahore, she, and the others who accompanied her from India to attend a conference of the South Asia Peoples' Union, were simply overwhelmed by the hospitality they got there.
This is the usual experience of Indians who visit Pakistan. The Pakistani people are warm and very hospitable, particularly to Indians. Indians are warmly greeted wherever they go in Pakistan, as if a long lost brother or sister has come back. Shopkeepers give Indians special discounts, once they know that these are Indians. Indians are invited for dinners, etc everywhere.
I am a humble disciple of the great French thinker Rousseau, who believed that basically people are good by nature. So I believe that 99% Pakistanis,like 99% Indians, are good by nature, though some people try to paint them as devils.
In foreign countries it seems that the Partition of 1947 never occurred, and Indians and Pakistanis mix socially regularly.
About 30 years ago my wife and I were in Paris. We had to go somewhere by the metro, but did not know how. A young Pakistani who met us said he will help us. Although he had to travel in the opposite direction, he left his train, and accompanied us right upto our destination. On Champs Elysee, one of the main roads in Paris, two young Pakistani boys, who were selling balloons, offered us tea and coffee, and spoke to us in Hindustani. They felt as if someone from their homeland has come to them. One was from Lahore, and the other from Faisalabad. We had similar experiences in Europe and North America.
I would very much like to go to Lahore, where my grandfather, Dr. K.N. Katju went in 1900, and would like to see the Forman Christian College where he was a student. I would like to see Anarkali's tomb the Badshahi mosque, and other places of which I have only heard. At Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and other places I would lie to meet Judges and lawyers, because they belong to my legal fraternity. I would like to go the hill station Murree, about whose beauty I have heard so much. I would like to meet many eminent journalists, who have been fighting for freedom of the media, and have made great sacrifices for this.
At Karachi I would like to see Dr. Khalil Chishty, for whose freedom I fought. I would like to meet many other people whom I have met in India or heard about.
But I know this is only a dream, and will never materialize for me. This is because I have been regularly saying that Pakistan is a fake, artificial entity, and is really a part of India, to which it will be definitely be reunited one day, but i guess that day will come in about 15-20 years when I will not be in this world ( see my article ' The Truth about Pakistan ' on my blog justicekatju.blogspot.in ).
What is Pakistan ? It is Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, and NWFP. These were all part of India at least since Mughal times.
When I meet Pakistanis, I feel no different from them.We look like each other, speak the same language ( Hindustani ), have the same culture ( love for Hindustani music, Urdu literature, etc ), the same dress, food habits, etc
We were befooled by our British rulers on the basis of the bogus two nation theory, strongly and persistently advocated by their agent Jinnah, into thinking that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations, but how much longer must we remain befooled ? How much longer must blood flow between us ?
Unless we reunite two things will continue
(1) We will keep fighting each other, and thus India ( of which Pakistan is really a part ) will never be able to emerge as a modern highly industrialized giant, like China. for which we have all the potential, with our huge pool of highly competent engineers, technicians, scientists, managers, and with our immense natural resources. Unless we become a highly industrialized country, we will never be able to abolish poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, lack of healthcare, and the other socio-economic evils plaguing our country.
(2) We will have to keep spending a huge amount of our scant resources on arms purchases from foreign countries. At present India purchases arms worth over 40 billion dollars annually from foreign countries, and Pakistan also spends a lot of money on such purchases. If we reunite, much of this money could be spent instead on the welfare of our people.
Now the problem is that if I visit Pakistan, I will definitely say all this openly. I believe that the time has come when the truth must be said openly. We have been taken for a ride long enough.
But if I say all this openly, I guess my life in Pakistan will be pretty short, probably no longer than a week after I arrive there.
Although I believe that 99% Pakistanis are good people ( as I have said earlier ), there are also 1% or less fanatic miscreants, and the truth is that these miscreants have guns, while the 99% good people do not. A small armed minority will usually dominate over an unarmed crowd. The good people, although in the immense majority, are scared before the armed fanatics, and therefore choose to remain silent.
A senior Supreme Court lawyer once told me that if I am brave I should go on a lecture tour of Pakistan, and explain all these ideas to Pakistanis. i replied that though I am brave, I am not a fool. Large parts of Pakistan has become a Jurassic Park, and i have no desire to be eaten up by dinosaurs
And through the social media I can take a tour of Pakistan and give lectures there, as indeed I have been doing, without physically going there.