India: In the third of his four-part series that gives a Pakistani perspective on India’s politics, society and economy, Amir Mateen recalls an Indian Sikh’s lament, “Why does Pakistan not allow us to visit Kartarpur Sahib? It’s like Medina to us, the holiest of holy places; how would you feel if Muslims are not allowed to visit Medina or Christians stopped from visiting Jerusalem or the Vatican?”
Don’t miss Part I: ‘Indian morality is not threatened by what women wear’
Part II: Lahore, Amritsar: Once sisters, now strangers
A visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar is always a spiritual experience.
The Pakistani contingent of parliamentarians on a visit to Amritsar was lucky to have arrived on the solemn occasion of the Guru Granth Sahib’s birthday.
The Golden Temple looked like a diamond temple because of the lights and fireworks.
Thousands of devotees had come from all over India’s Punjab, perhaps the world, to pay their respects.
People stood in the queue, the prasad of halwa on leaves in their hands, for hours.
The Pakistani contingent was extended the special privilege of darshan inside the Harminder Sahib.
Men, women, old and young, stood calmly in a very long queue in the suffocating, humid weather, something that member of the National Assembly Rasheed Godel acknowledged, given the near-Nazi standard of discipline in his party, the Muttahida Quami Movement.
Everybody gave way, breaking the line, when our hosts whispered, “Pakistani guests.”
And always with a smile, as if they knew us.