One a bitter August midnight, two brothers parted ways to remain in hostility for years to come. They fought each other to nab the paradise on Earth, Kashmir. They built missiles and nuclear weapons to swank each others’ might. Basically very simple ego clashes lead to intense strife among these countries demarcated by Radcliffe line.
In 2007, the Samjauhta Express, commonly called Friend Express was bombed at the old Panipat. The land which saw of the death of Mughal, Lodhi, Hemu and Marathan soldiers also had the ill-fate to view the tragic death of innocent half a century pakistani lives.
The same year, inspite of all these, the Indo-Pakistan Express started their journey in Banglore at King Fisher Airlines Tennis Open. The Rohan Bopanna of India & Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan pair. But they bowed out in the final. They were met with excitement from all quarters. Friendship among rivals do exists, they said!
But they had to wait another 3 years for a title to their name. That was at SA Tennis Open, Johannesburg.
This win was just a few days after the fire exchange and cease fire violation across Line of Control (LoC). This naturally further estranged the far estranged relationship.
But that didn’t keep Bopanna & Qureshi away. Their friendship just grew, along with that their game improved match by match. They peaked to rank 6. Their friendship became extensively appreciated and well known by then. They became a symbol of brotherhood.
On the eve of 10th September 2010 when India & Pakistan hotly debated the death sentence verdict of Ajmal Kasab (the prime accused the Mumbai blasts), they secured all rights to dream of a US Open Grand Slam trophy as semi-final winners. But history wasn’t noted down the way they wanted. They had to settle with a runners up trophy.
Nevertheless, the world appraised them. The T-shirt they wore during one of the US Open match was thought provoking. It was a strong message by these gentlemen to their respective motherlands. They displayed a model to not just the 20% population of the world living in India & Pakistan, but also to the entire world. They once again proves that friendship is borderless! Then this Indo-Pak express cruised on conveying the ideals of friendship.
Let a day come when India and Pakistan reunite!
(They later went on to win a couple of 250 series and a master’s. In 2012, though they chose to play with dfferent partners, their friendship remained intact.)