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No one can change history - we are the same people, says Pakistani author

Pakistani author Reema Abbasi at the Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur on Thursday. Photo: Rohit Jain Paras  

"Lack of harmony impacts everyone, including the people in India and Pakistan," says Pakistani journalist-cum-author Reema Abbasi.

To drive home the point, she cites the examples of the dreaded December 16, 2012 Nirbhaya incident in New Delhi prompting women's groups in pakistan to raise their voice, and the militant attack on an Army school in Peshawar on December 16 last year, when Indians stood up to condemn it.

The author of 'Historic Temples in Pakistan: a Call to Conscience,' Reema is here to promote her book at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival. The book is, perhaps, one of its kind endeavour to document the remaining historical temples and shrines in Pakistan. The photographs have been captured by Madhia Aijai. It is yet to be formally launched but copies are available in a leading book store in Lahore.

``Everybody seems to talk about the book here. I went to lecture in a school today and was surprised by the amazing questions the students asked,'' Reema told The Hindu during an interaction.

Even the media in India was very warm, she said. ``Indian media and public were in for a kind of a surprise by this kind of a work, though I feel my book was a confirmation of what they always felt about the ancient pluralistic Pakistan which was once part of the sub-continent.''

Talking about the changing scenario in Pakistan, Reema admitted that hardliner elements were coming to the fore but added that there was also a huge gap between the perception and the real people of Pakistan. ``My book tries to bridge this by focussing on common elements of pluralism, humanity and heritage.''

``No one can change history but ultimately we are the same people, is the message that i have tried to convey,'' said Reema. People in Pakistan do go to these ancient Hindu places as `bhakts' which only goes on to show that pluralism is not alien to Pakistan.

The book travels through Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh detailing their landscape, local population and temples and caretakers.

``There were no synchronised attacks on Hindu temples though terror attacks were aimed at religion unlike in Kashmir (Indian) which make the two situations different,'' she explained.

Reema's work of passion and research was received well by the regular newspapers – English dailies and television-- but hardly by the vernacular media.

A frequent visitor to India to meet her family from both her parents' sides, Reema loves Bollywood and Amitabh Bachchan.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 4:13:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-authors/no-one-can-change-history-we-are-the-same-people-says-pakistani-author/article6812059.ece

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