In a hopeful and encouraging sign, an Indian government minister has been greeted in Pakistan.
The chief minister of Indian Punjab was greeted by thousands of people waving Indian and Pakistani flags as he was driven along the 20-kilometer (12-mile) road from the border to Lahore Monday morning.
Chief Minister Amrinder Singh and his delegation are on a three-day visit to Pakistan.
They were greeted at the Wagah border crossing — the only road connection between the nuclear neighbors — by Chief Minister of Pakistani Punjab Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, Pakistani Federal Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar and other officials.
As they drove toward Lahore, more than 20,000 people lined both sides of the road shouting slogans of Pakistan-India friendship and carrying Pakistani and Indian flags. This was the first time that people have carried Indian flags on Pakistani roads.
After the fall of the British Empire, post WWII, Indian, Bangledesh, and Pakistan were all one country. The Bangledeshis and Pakistanis are muslim and the Indians are hindu. The people did not get along and the muslims rebelled.
The country was then divided into the present group of countries, and India and Pakistan have been bitter enemies ever since. The countries have particularly disputed the Kashmir region, both claiming the same land with citizens of both countries spread throughout.
As a boy growing up in the Middle East, it was quite humorous to have very good friends from both countries. They would not come over at the same time.