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These Diwali memories!
By S Mukhtar
“Uncle, Happy Diwali it was and well over!”

“O yes, dear.”

“Highlights please?”

“O good! President Zardari of Pakistan hosted a special Diwali dinner for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his delegation, at the presidency. The others were Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, acting Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay, Rajya Sabha member N K Singh, Minister for National Harmony Paul Bhatti, and some senior Pakistani officials.”

“But how come that?”

“You see Bihar Chief Minister already was on a week long visit to Pakistan to share the experiences of the functionaries of Sindh. And President Zardari chose to make it a Diwali event.”

“Something important said at the event?”

“Dear, not far from the usual. Zardari in his address advocated there was a ‘general consensus’ among the mainstream political parties of Pakistan to have good ‘friendly, cooperative and good neighbourly relations’ with India ‘for their mutual benefit’. He pleaded India and Pakistan should cooperate in fields like education, health, and community development; share our experience in eradicating poverty and unemployment; consider establishing friendship groups in our provincial assemblies similar to those we have in our national parliaments; and for that all ‘We want the peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes for lasting peace in the region.’”

“And Uncle what did Nitish Kumar say?”

“Kumar reciprocated that Indians are keen to promote good friendly relations with Pakistanis and there is real need for India and Pakistan to co-exist peacefully and work for good governance.”

“Uncle a good Diwali event…other highlights?”

“Dear, this Diwali day, as on the last Eid-ul-Fitr, at Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point on the Line of Control in Poonch again, Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged Diwali gifts, – India presented sweets and dry fruits and Pakistan presented sweets and gifts. But dear, warmth they say was missing and officers of both sides just exchanged sweets and returned.”

“And other highlights?”

“O a lowlight dear.”

“What Uncle?”

“The very Diwali midnight 13-14 November, 5 persons – 3 troopers 2 militants – got killed in a fight.”

“Uncle, no more please.”

“Have a big heart dear.”

“I have had to have a too big heart since I was born. Uncle, say what all this? Away there a special Diwali dinner, warm pronouncements, healing hopes, both ways; nearer home cold sweets, thankless, wordless, both ways; and nearer still blood stains over Diwali lights, both ways again! Uncle, are we all fools? Have our old Colonisers done and left our whole subcontinent fools political? And when may our foolishness go? When may we have really Happy Eids and Happy Diwalis? Or, God forbid, never?”
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News Updated at : Monday, November 19, 2012
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