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'I Want to See More of India,' A Pakistani Vlogger's Memorable Journey to Delhi

In November 2023, I came to Delhi for a week during the annual Urs (festival) at the tomb of Hazrat Nizamuddin.

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Producer :Maaz Hasan
Video Editor :Mohd. Irshad Alam
Graphic Designer :Chetan Bhakuni

Politically strained relationships between India and Pakistan have made it tough for the people living on either side of the border to visit and experience each other's country. But as a Pakistani, I am fortunate to have visited India and experienced our shared culture and history.

In November 2023, I came to Delhi for a week during the annual Urs (festival) at the tomb of Hazrat Nizamuddin.

I reached India via the Wagah-Attari border in the Punjab provinces of India and Pakistan.

(Photo Credit: Ehtesham Hasan)

In November 2023, I came to Delhi for a week during the annual Urs (festival) at the tomb of Hazrat Nizamuddin. Our Pakistani delegation came to India by road from Lahore via the Wagah-Atari border to New Delhi.

In November 2023, I came to Delhi for a week during the annual Urs (festival) at the tomb of Hazrat Nizamuddin.

At the tomb of Hazrat Nizamuddin in Delhi during annual Urs (festival)

(Photo Credit: Ehtesham Hasan)

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We have heard and read a lot about Delhi in our books, on tv and even from our teachers. But witnessing Delhi in person by visiting the city was very special.  I visited the Jama Masjid, Lal Quila (Red Fort), Connaught Place, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Qutub Minar, National Museum, and National Rail Museum.

In November 2023, I came to Delhi for a week during the annual Urs (festival) at the tomb of Hazrat Nizamuddin.

At the iconic India Gate in Delhi.

(Photo Credit: Ehtesham Hasan)

In November 2023, I came to Delhi for a week during the annual Urs (festival) at the tomb of Hazrat Nizamuddin.

I relived the shared history of India and Pakistan at Jama Masjid in New Delhi.

(Photo Credit: Ehtesham Hasan)

Delhi's Communal Harmony - 'A Delightful Experience'

The religious diversity of Delhi was exciting for me. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians lived together. We don't get to see this syncretic secular culture in Pakistan since it is a Muslim-majority country with around 96-97% Muslims. For me, as a Pakistani, it was unusual to see this kind of religious amity.  

In November 2023, I came to Delhi for a week during the annual Urs (festival) at the tomb of Hazrat Nizamuddin.

The Qutub Minar, standing tall, gave me glimpses of our historical past.

(Photo Credit: Ehtesham Hasan)

'Wading Through Crowded Streets Of Paharganj - A Challenge'

My hotel was in Paharganj and you know it's very crowded. The area was packed with people and very loud. So, my experience of the locality wasn't that great. Pakistan is also very populated, but none of its cities are as populated as Delhi.

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'Watching Cricket World Cup - An Opportunity Of A Lifetime'

It was a privilege for me to watch the cricket World Cup match in Delhi. The league match was played between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

In November 2023, I came to Delhi for a week during the annual Urs (festival) at the tomb of Hazrat Nizamuddin.

I watched Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Cricket World Cup group stage match at the Firoz Shah Kotla Stadium.

(Photo Credit: Ehtesham Hasan)

I saw the match at Firoz Shah Kotla Stadium. Every Pakistani Cricket fan knows of Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. We have seen so many of our cricketing superstars who played here.

It was a treat to watch the match in Delhi.

The quality of the stadium was way better than that of those in Pakistan. We need to learn that from India.
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'An Emotional Meet With Pakistani Migrants'

Dera Ismail Khan is my hometown and when I reached Delhi, I also met families who migrated from my hometown during partition. It was a very special and emotional moment for me. This was the top moment for me during the visit.

In November 2023, I came to Delhi for a week during the annual Urs (festival) at the tomb of Hazrat Nizamuddin.

At the home of an elderly couple who migrated from Pakistan during the partition.

(Photo Credit: Ehtesham Hasan)

Bainsar Bai, an Indian who migrated from Pakistan, recalls her days in Pakistan, "People used to come from Dera Ismail Khan to my hometown, Darya Khan. Those people used to stay on rent."

"At that time, the rent was only 50 paise per month, and that, too, people couldn't afford it," said Bainsar who was very nostalgic about her hometown.

In our conversation, she further told me about Kotla Jam, a town in Pakistan where she got married. Her father and uncles used to live in Darya Khan. "We had to leave Darya Khan. But even today, I remember everything," Bainsar added.

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'I Want to See More Of India'

I feel that 90% of people from India and Pakistan don't hate each other. The reality is that we are similar, and we love each other. I hope the political leaders of our countries wake up and break the wall of hatred that they have created.

Millions of Indians want to see Pakistan, and millions of Pakistanis want to see India.

I want to see more of India. I want to see Jaipur, Kolkata, Kerala. I hope this will be true one day.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Producer :Maaz Hasan
Video Editor :Mohd. Irshad Alam
Graphic Designer :Chetan Bhakuni
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