Here’s one example of the much lauded people-to-people contacts
Indian Railway Customs authorities at Attari faced a piquant situation today as the 178-strong Pakistani Muslim religious jatha refused to board the train en route to Roorkee (UP) demanding release Mr Mohammed Khalid, a member of the jatha, who was detained for carrying Rs 4,000 in fake Indian currency.
The Pakistani jatha arrived this afternoon by the Samjhauta Express from Lahore to offer prayers at ‘Hazarat Khawaja Alahuddin Ali Dargah. During random checking, an alert Customs officer found that one of them was carrying fake Indian currency. He was detained for questioning which later led to major confrontation.
The leader of the jatha insisted that the detained member should be released as he had been duped by a money changer at Lahore since he was not familiar with the Indian currency notes. The customs authorities refused to relent and the jatha members sat on dharna to protest against the detention. [The Tribune]
It would have been proper for the Pakistani pilgrims to accept that one of them is guilty of a criminal act – albeit unknowingly and submit to the due course of the law. But here we have the leader of the delegation demanding the authorities release someone who was caught red-handed holding counterfeit currency. Carrying Rs 4000 in counterfeit currency would be a minor offence if things were normal; but the Pakistani ISI has for years printed and distributed counterfeit Indian currency in order to undermine the Indian economy. In such circumstances it is just as well Indian customs are on the alert; in fact they may wish be extra vigilant and do complete checks instead of random checks. The Pakistani pilgrims must realise that they need to be extra careful and on their best behaviour while visiting a foreign country.