Gurgaon: Indian friends of a Pakistani came together here on Wednesday to mourn his passing away in the best example of people-to-people friendship between the two countries.
It was a friendship born in the Lahore stadium during the path-breaking Indian cricket team`s tour of Pakistan in 2004. Some Indian and Pakistani fans got to know each other while cheering their respective teams and became friends for ever.
Former Pakistan Air Force pilot, Khalid Bandey`s son, Taimur met a group of Indians in the stadium. That started a cross-border friendship in which more and more Indians and Pakistanis were drawn in.
The Indians travelled to Lahore every year since and the hospitable Bandey`s hosted them in their house at Lahore cantonment. The Pakistanis made return visits to India, staying with their Indian friends.
Khalid Bandey,66, passed away in October last. His wife Zakia, Taimur and some other family members are now in Gurgaon on a short visit, staying with their Indian friends, who organised a memorial meeting.
The Indians recalled the warmth and the hospitality extended to them by Khalid Bandey. During one of his dinners for visiting Indian friends, he had hoisted the Indian tricolour atop his residence along side the Pakistani flag.
Khalid Bandey was a great votary of Indo-Pak friendship and spoke publicly in favour of people-to-people contact between the two countries. He was a great human being whose humane and affable nature endeared him to everybody, his Indian friends said.