“We shared and laughed together at the criticism on our friendship”: Story of Dawood Abbasi (Pakistan) and Pratyush Pandey (India)
As part of our call to share about their friend(s) beyond the Indopak Border, Dawood Abbasi from Rahim Yar Khan, Pakistan shared the story of his friendship with Pratyush Pandey of Lucknow, India:
I am from Rahim Yar Khan city in Punjab province of Pakistan. I was born in Paris but lived most my life in Pakistan. My friend Pratyush Pandey originates from Lucknow in India but currently resides in Hyderabad (India). We met in 2009 and studied BBA (3 years) in Paris School of Business. Today, I am considered like a family member by his family.
We celebrated all religious events together. He use to fast every Tuesday and to respect that I wouldn’t drink nor eat during all our time together. Well that’s all mutual respect. Multiple times he visited mosque and I visited Temple with him. We wholeheartedly respected each other traditions and norms which can be concluded by saying that “we taught and learned from each other”.
We both faced stereotypes in our own inner circle like his friends from India and my Pakistani friends would question my friendship and we use to tackle those with strong condemnation and later would laugh discussing those discussions.
During our 3 years tenure, India-Pakistan played few matches and every time we use to invite our friends and watch it all together or planning night outs. Our friendship did managed to bring our other Indian Pakistani friends closer as well. Together we made trip to Amsterdam, organized university events on Eiffel tower and roamed around Paris like it must be toured.
I think it’s all about the environment in our respective country. Indians and Pakistanis who have traveled abroad have no complain meeting and even working with each other. Middle East is the biggest example where millions of Indian and Pakistani mostly work, share apartments and even dine together. It seems so unfair when same people living in their own country criticize/blame the neighbor country for any on-going event. All Indians and Pakistanis must be given chance to travel and have some experience in order to actually understand the true meaning of humanity by staying humble as we share same culture, language and interests. I feel sorry for people who have spent whole life around their own countrymen, community and accordingly they developed the hatred engulfed through the environment, political system. Europe has seen world wars yet it’s countries managed to put all past behind by demolishing borders and united to develop economically, socially and culturally by allowing flow of people traveling to other countries even though most countries have different languages. Why can’t India and Pakistan follow Europe and set aside the past as both countries faces same issues of poverty, terrorism and development of rural areas. Both countries are wasting billions of dollars on military upgrades which seems useless since both countries are nuclear states. Ultimately it’s the civilian paying the real price at the hands of politicians who secretly maintain healthy relation (Modi-Nawaz Nepal meeting, Modi attending Nawaz’s granddaughter wedding) but on front tend to ignore dialogues which can least pave way for stability in both countries.
We as nations are the main culprits for the unstable neighbor relation allowing our selfish policy makers to keep stretching the border line. Relationship between both countries can only develop when each individual of both countries show some optimism and humbleness towards each other. Follow your own heart instead of news.
Do you have a friend(s) across the border, share your story with us. Send us your story along with photographs at firstname.lastname@example.org