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Giving Pakistanis a hard time... By Masood

31 January, 2013

A group of Pakistani academicians — two professors and three of their students from the Lahore College for Men's History and Political Science departments set out to attend the recently held literature festival at Jaipur, India. They entered India via the Wagah land border on January 24, 2013 when they were informed that the scheduled train to Jaipur had been cancelled and that they had to go to Delhi. The next morning, they took a taxi from Delhi to Jaipur. Soon after checking into a hotel, the intelligence police took them to their office. After spending six hours in their office, they were asked to go back to Delhi and get registered at a police station. When they reached Delhi, they were informed by the Delhi police that they had unnecessarily travelled to Delhi and could go back to Jaipur at any time. When they reached Jaipur on January 26, they were again greeted by intelligence police to complete paperwork, a task that took all day. On January 27, they were able to join the literature festival, which concluded on January 28.

Obviously, this was a tactic to psychologically (and financially) scare the Pakistani guests. If opposition parties had demonstrated against the participation of Pakistani writers, that would have been understandable. However, it seems to be the governmental machinery that is working on some previously chalked out strategy. This is not a very promising way to reinstate delicate relations on a public level between these two odd and insensitive neighbours.

MASOOD KHAN
Jubail, Saudi Arabia

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