29 July, 2021

Kassim Called Me

Kassim Called Me
Visiting Pakistan is not the same as dropping by the US. Nobody's jaw drops nowadays if you tell them you are off to New York or even Shanghai. But Pakistan? I got two wholly disparate kinds of reactions when people found out I was flying across the border. One group was clearly anxious: "Be careful." But the second category? "Why didn't you tell us?" they demanded. "We are dying to visit the place!" No one in his right mind would reject an invitation to visit Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore, especially when the invitation came from Kassim Kasuri, son of the foreign minister of Pakistan. The Kasuris run the largest private educational system in the world. It's called the Beaconhouse School System. So a visa to travel to these principal cities (as part of a travelling educational circus celebrating the 30 years of Beaconhouse) was not going to be an issue and it wasn't.

But I was surprised at the warmth and solicitousness of immigration at Karachi's Jinnah international airport. Indians are the last...

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