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A Tale of Two Pakistani Kids

Posted by anandrr on December 14, 2008

Almost a month ago, young Nasir Sultan, 15, was released from a jail in India and allowed to return to his hometown in Pakistan.

Nasir Sultan returns to Pakistan. © AP

Nasir Sultan returns to Pakistan. © AFP

Young Nasir was guilty of sneaking into India. He idolized Shah Rukh Khan and wished to make a career for himself in Bollywood. When found, he was put in jail, but released quickly because who among us has not been guilty of wanting to meet the King of Bollywood? Most Indians would have been sympathetic towards young Nasir, and nobody wished him anything but a safe return.

Exactly one week later, India woke up to this picture in their newspapers of another young Pakistani who had sneaked into the country.

One of the Mumbai terrorists.

One of the Mumbai terrorists.

Both pictures show us a confident, young man, dressed like any reasonably well off middle class kid in the subcontinent, and but for the weaponry virtually indistinguishable from one another. One sneaked into India because he was attracted by the glitz of Mumbai, the other, well, apparently for the same reason, but with different motives.

But here’s the kicker. In the future, expect young Nasirs when they are found to be treated with no kindness at all. After all, who’s to say? Any cop who finds an errant Pakistani kid in India will certainly make sure that the kid pays not only for his current sin of being on foreign soil without a permit, but for all the sins of his fellow-countrymen. And that’s the real tragedy. All young Pakistani boys and men suddenly moved into the enemy column. But mostly, they really just want to be Shah Rukh Khan.

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3 Responses to “A Tale of Two Pakistani Kids”

  1. prabha said

    what would have been the treatment meted out by pakistanis if the same mistake had been committed by an Indian boy. think about it.

  2. anandrr said

    Thankfully, we don’t have to think about what treatment the pakistanis would mete out. All we care about is how we act in different situations. Pakistanis might or might not be as moral/more moral as we are/wish to be, that is none of our business.

  3. varali said

    Thank you for this: “…but for all the sins of his fellow-countrymen. And that’s the real tragedy.”

    The rare sane voice.

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