Jammed in Delhi

My first time in the enemy capital as a journo – Part One

Twenty-four hours before my departure to the enemy lands, I still had not received my visa. This time my rushed, jam-packed travel to India was a bit of an identity switch. From a development professional, a Sufi devotee and a culture-vulture, I was now a journalist representing none other than The Friday Times. Accordingly, I sat on a plane with pockets full of visitors cards and little idea of what this junket was all about.

Indeed, the peace industry across the globe is an unbroken series of junkets, high-sounding statements and admittedly a lot of fun. I was travelling with ten other Pakistani media persons: from Urdu, English, electronic and print varieties. Luckily, I knew Cyril Almeida of DAWN, our Shaukat Piracha (who also works for AAJ) and Asim Awan of Express-Tribune – there was little awkwardness in getting familiar with the group.

Between the two high profile visits of the Indian Home and Foreign Ministers this was a visit to give Pakistani media representatives access to the Indian mood and where it stood. Perhaps, an effort to forge a better understanding of what Indians were thinking and to hear of the Pakistani concerns from the non-state side. A tacit and slightly belated acknowledgement that the Pakistani media has arrived (perhaps nowhere) and has entered the power-game. Continue reading “Jammed in Delhi”