Justice Markandey Katju –
I have never visited Pakistan. I always wanted to visit it, as I have heard so much about the beautiful places there.
I would like to visit Lahore, where my revered grandfather Dr. KN Katju, went around 1900 as a student, and I would like to go to Rang Mahal High School and Forman Christian College where he had studied till around 1906. I would like to go to Anarkali Bazaar, of which I have heard so much. I would like to see the famous Badshahi Mosque built by the Mughal Emperors and bestowed with gifts by Maharaja Ranjit Singh ( see my blog on him on my blog Satyam Bruyat ). And of course, I would like to visit the Lahore High Court and meet my fraternity ( lawyers and Hon’ble Judges ) there.
I would like to see Murree, which I am told is a beautiful hill station. I would like to see Karachi, where many people from my state UP ( mohajirs ) live. I would particularly like to meet Dr. Khalil Chishty, for whose release from Indian custody I fought a long battle. I would like to meet the brave journalist Beena Sarwar, whom I regard as my sister since her parents were from my native city Allahabad.
Since apart from being a judge I am also associated with the media ( having been Chairman of the Press Council of India ) I would also like to meet brave journalists like Hasan Nisar, Najam Sethi, Hamid Mir, Raza Rumi, Arzu Kazmi ( whom I call Pari Chehra ), Sajjad Azhar Peerzada, etc
But I know this is just a dream, since I am persona non grata with the Pakistan authorities, and will never get a visa.
Last year in the month of Ramzan I was invited to an Iftaar dinner in Delhi by my good friend Kamal Morarka ( a Mumbai businessman who gives an Iftaar dinner every year in Delhi ).
There, among other dignitaries, I was introduced to Mr. Sohail Mahmood, then Pakistan High Commissioner to India ( and now the Pakistan Foreign Secretary ). I told him of my keen desire to visit Pakistan as I had never been there, and he said Pakistan would be honored to host a former Indian Supreme Court Judge, and he would make all arrangements. He gave me his visiting card.
However, later, whenever I tried to call him he would not take my calls, and he would not respond to my emails.
My guess is he must have contacted his superiors in Islamabad, and they must have told him to keep away from me like the plague, because I call Pakistan a farzi ( fake ), artificial country, the two-nation theory bogus, Partition a historical British swindle, and want reunification of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh under a secular govt. I believe we are really one country, sharing the same culture, and were one for centuries since Mughal times ( see indianreunificationassociation.co.in )
Although I am absolutely sure that we will reunite, that will take about 10-15 years, and I will not be around then ( since I am already 73 ). So, I doubt I will ever see Pakistan.
[Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own]