"Pakistan Paindabad has set others a model of what a blog/site should be."
Late Khalid Hasan, US correspondent for the Lahore-based Daily Times and The Friday Times
GO STRAIGHT TO MORE STORIES
Author Khushwant Singh's home is always open to Pakistanis.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The celebrated Delhi-based author Khushwant Singh loves Pakistan, a nation often looked at with suspicion, and sometimes even with hatred, by a majority of Indians.
One winter evening in 2009 at a rare public appearance, the 94-year-old novelist, facing a select audience that included the Indian prime minister’s wife, said, “I wish more Indians realise that most Pakistanis are nice people.”
Mr Singh’s views and preferences matter. Born in what is now Pakistan, he had migrated to India after the Indian Partition. His first novel, Train to Pakistan, is considered a masterpiece among the several books dealing with that part of the subcontinent's history. He has served as editor of some of India’s most prestigious newspapers and journals. He was close to prime ministers and presidents. Even at this ripe age, he writes a weekly column that is very popular.
A former member of the Indian parliament, Mr Singh lives in Sujan Singh Park, an old money neighbourhood in south Delhi. He has a board outside his drawing room door that famously says, “Don’t ring the bell unless expected.” The rule applies to all, including the VIPs, including the ‘self-important’ visitors from the West who send in chits saying “I’m so-and-so from the University of Chicago or Harvard.” No one is welcomed without a prior appointment, not even the President of India. However, Pakistanis - important people or not - are an exception. “For them, my doors are always open,” Mr Singh said, rather emotionally. “They never need an appointment to meet me. After all, Pakistan is the land I come from.” God bless the old man.
Khushwant Singh said it at this rare public appearance in New Delhi