By Syed Akbar
"We do not see anything different in India. Everything here is like in Pakistan. People here are affectionate, friendly and God-fearing. Even in culture we do not find any difference. The land must have been divided into India and Pakistan. But our hearts continue to be one," observes internationally renowned Islamic singer Muhammad Owais Raza Quadri.
Quadri and his five-member delegation from Pakistan are currently in Hyderabad to perform at a couple of places including the MIM headquarters Darus Salam. The Pakistan delegation visited India to attend the Urs celebration of Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer. After the Urs, they came to the city on invitation from local Muslim leaders.
So moved was Quadri and his team by the hospitality they received in Hyderabad and earlier in Ajmer and Delhi that they offered a special supplication (du'a) for the progress and prosperity of India and better ties between the two neighbouring nations.
Though Quadri is visiting Hyderabad for the first time, he is quite a popular figure in Muslim homes thanks to his melodious performances on QTV, an Islamic channel telecast from London. Thousands of his audio and video cassettes are sold every month in the city. Quadri has endeared himself to the devout with his rhythmical "Allahu Allahu". He mostly sings Naat (hymns on Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad).
"I do not feel that I am outside Pakistan. It had been a week since I entered India and my interaction with people showed that borders cannot divide hearts, love and affection," Quadri pointed out.
Information Minister Muhammad Ali Shabbir hosted lunch in honour of the visiting delegation. Later, they called on Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy at his residence.
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