They were anxious because they thought they’d see Hindu extremists stalking the streets of New Delhi. They had expected to hear the drums beating a call to war and see eyes flashing with hatred as they stepped off the Samjhauta Express. But the humdrum of poverty, chaos and general apathy which surrounded the New Delhi railway station, or more specifically the Rail Yatri Niwas, proved to be curiously reassuring, even though tensions are running high between the governing elite of both India and Pakistan.
Zaeema Saga, a primary school-teacher and one of the 97 Pakistanis in Delhi en route to Bangalore to attend the fifth convention of the Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, says breathily: "It’s just the same in Pakistan. We see people on the streets suffering in both countries. Nobody wants war and nobody wants the nuclear bomb and everybody has been so nice to us here."