“Why are India and Pakistan at war?” asks 14-year old Kshitij…

Like father like son: Samir and Kshitij Gupta

Like father like son: Samir and Kshitij Gupta

My article published in The News oped, TOI blogs and Aman ki Asha on Monday, Nov 4, 2013 

“Why are India and Pakistan at war?”

Beena Sarwar

Some days ago I got a call from my friend Samir Gupta, on his way home after picking up his son, 14-year old Kshitij, from a Delhi train station late at night. Kshitij was returning from a school trip with some 30 other students from Delhi Public School, Ghaziabad. They’d taken an early morning train to Amritsar and watched the flag-lowering ceremony at Wagah Border.

Samir, a passionate advocate of peace and good relations between India and Pakistan, asked Kshitij about the trip. Continue reading

Pakistani pilot writes after 46 years to daughter of Indian pilot he shot down

Better late than never: Ex-PAF pilot Qais Hussain in Lahore, 2011. Photo by Naveed Riaz

Below: A report I did based on an email that Naveed Riaz in Lahore forwarded me, published on the front page of The News this morning with the Aman ki Asha logo. There has been a phenomenal response to this report, with most people lauding Qais Hussain’s courage in speaking out after all these years and writing what must have been a difficult letter. Here’s the link to my interview on PRI about it.

Pakistani pilot writes after 46 years to daughter of Indian pilot he shot down

By Beena Sarwar

Nearly half a century after shooting down an Indian civil aircraft under orders during the 1965 war with India, a Pakistan Air Force pilot has sent a condolence message to the daughter of the pilot of the aircraft he downed.

Qais Hussain, a rookie Flying Officer during the 1965 war, made this moving and humane gesture via email, expressing his condolences and providing details of the circumstances under which he shot down the Indian aircraft. The email is addressed to Farida Singh, daughter of the Indian Air Force pilot Jahangir “Jangoo” Engineer, one of the three famous Engineer brothers in the Indian Air Force. Continue reading

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