A dog fight aboard the Samjhauta Express: India and Pakistan trade strays
THE brains trust running the India-Pakistan border are waging war with stray dogs. The exchange programme began when a stray Indian dog “accidentally” took a train ride aboard the Samjhauta Express (aka the Friendship Express”) at Attari station in Amritsar. The beast ended up in Lahore.
The Pakistanis thought it best to load the train with 50 stray dogs for its return tip to India.
This story was first produced by a new Pakistani organ called The Spokesman. It tells us:
At a minimum, hundreds and thousands of dogs might get killed—or lose their nationality in the process.
You can see where the paper’s sensibilities lie:
…stray dogs.. do not have the same rights that the enemy dogs have in the democratic India. It’s because of the constant army rule here in Pakistan that dogs are treated as, again, dogs. Since it was a question of national honour so the dogs were gathered, kept hungry for 24 hours so that they would bark more at the Indians when they disembarked at Attari.
The mission was accomplished. Now there is complete silence on the Indian side, which a diplomatic source compared to the Soviet disquiet when their submarine (Hunt for) Red October defected to the US. Is it a Cuban missile situation or that India is finding it difficult to be ‘undogly’ in a dog-woshipping society.
The paper then writes an editorial:
Kishwar Naheed, one of Pakistan’s literary celebrities, shakes her head resignedly. “I am really not surprised to hear this tale of dogs from both countries and how it is being seen as a slight to national pride. After all, the two countries were born on the basis of ‘hate’, and this plays a large role in the lives of both nations. Have you seen how hate infiltrates elementary textbooks that students on both sides study at a very early age?” she asks.
Rajeev Sharma then writes on the FirstPost:
However, Indian diplomatic sources told this writer that the Indian government has decided to keep a stiff upper lip over the incident and not even raise it with Pakistan through diplomatic channels. “We don’t wish to play up a non-issue by dignifying it with a comment.”
No comment is still a comment.
“Let it be left where it is. We have no desire to enter a competition on who wins more brownie points over the most stupid things,” a senior official said on condition of anonymity.
The incident demonstrates the anti-India mindset of Pakistan. More importantly, it shows that Pakistan government continues to be micro-managed by Pakistan Army as it was the General Headquarters (GHQ), Rawalpindi, which vetoed the foreign office plea for exercising restraint.
Meanwhile, know that a bomb ripped through the Samjhauta Express On February 18, 2007. Sixty-eight people died. Swami Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Kamal Chauhan, Lokesh Sharma, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Rajender Chaudhary are facing trial in the CBI special court at Panchkula.
Those dogs have arrived just in time to remind the word about that atrocity.