20 October, 2020

Friendly Overtures

Beneath the surface antagonism and official rhetoric, Indians and Pakistanis share a rare warmth

Friendly Overtures

REGARDLESS of the worsening inter-government relations, on a personal level, Indians and Pakistanis have always displayed exceptional warmth towards each other, both at home and abroad. Army officers too have had memorable encounters of a different kind with the "enemy".

Major (Retd) Vikram Sengupta, who served in the Indian Army during the 1965 and 1971 wars, recalls: "After the ceasefire in 1965, we often went across the border and had lassi with our counterparts, and they came over for drinks, alcohol being prohibited in their camp."

The young armymen "mostly talked about women and stuff" and got along so well that, at one point, they stopped and asked themselves: "if the fighting resumed, could we shoot at each other again?"

A shared culture and language make for easy bonding. Just as Hindi movies are popular in Pakistan, so are Pakistani teleplays in India. Pakistani actor Usman Peerzada, who played an Indian Army colonel in Nishan-e-Haider, found himself having coffee and cake with his real-life counterpart and his...



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