‘We are all for peace’

“The enmity is all governments and media. We, the people love each other and why shouldn’t we? We have shared the same lands for centuries. A mere line doesn’t warrant hatred. Of course there are a few key problem areas that need to be addressed properly. I personally am quite concerned about the water issue and how dams are being built on rivers upstream in Kashmir, drying up the farmlands downstream in Pakistan. But war is not a solution. Bringing both sides to the table is the only way to reach a fair agreement on sharing these crucial resources.

Many in my village hold strong grudges towards India. Naturally I grew up with those grudges too. Five years of driving a cab in Saudi Arabia opened me up. I now have friends from all over India including a few close ones from Kerala. And they are true friends. Friends are tested at need and in my case a mere acquaintance, Dr. Niresh, a regular passenger of mine, was the one who helped me. He went out of the way to treat me and guide me through my appendix crisis. He said simply that as a Pakistani he considered me as one of his people. The same clan.

Many accuse Pathans of having extremist mindsets and aggression, but I can honestly say for myself and for my people that we are all for peace – with India, with the rest of the world, and within our country.

Shahid Rahman Khattak
Kohat, Khyber Pathkunhwa”

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