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Plane to Pakistan

My father fled Lahore as a child. I returned with him to find Indo-Pak rapprochement in full swing. But Pakistan's internal politics is fragile, and the country plays a dual role in the war on terror

By Parag Khanna   September 2005

History’s most tragic events often find their eternal voice in fiction. Khushwant Singh’s Train to Pakistan quickly became the definitive novel of India’s 1947 partition, during which rioting and communal violence led to the deaths of at least half a million people. Singh’s story portrays life in the sleepy Indian border village of Mano Majra, a multi-religious microcosm of the subcontinent. Until partition, villagers used to set their clocks by the arrival of the morning Delhi to Lahore train and its evening return. But when trainloads of mutilated corpses started to pass through in both directions, they began to grasp…

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