No harmony during my time in India and Pakistan
I WAS disappointed to learn from Saros Kavina (Soapbox, December 26) that some people from India and Pakistan have suffered racism in this country.
Racism in any form is disgraceful and has no place in our society. However, such behaviour is not confined to this country.
Throughout my 44 years in the Merchant Navy travelling to both India and Pakistan, I witnessed some dreadful examples of intolerance, some memories of which I have pushed to the darkest recesses of my mind.
However, other memories border on farce.
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For many years I was captain of a container ship running between India and Pakistan to Australia and New Zealand.
In Karachi, officers from the secret police would board to obtain information on naval vessels in India. In Mumbai, officers from naval intelligence would board to obtain information on naval vessels in Pakistan.
On my first voyage, I refused to co-operate with either but, after my ship was fined and delayed for spurious reasons, I gave them both what they wanted.
The information I gave them was absolute rubbish but the officers dutifully wrote every word down.
As both countries now have nuclear weapons, I hope they can live together in peace and harmony.
Perhaps Saros Kavina could return to his own country and teach them what he has learned in his many years working in race relations in this country? Or perhaps his own countrymen would not be so forgiving as we are to being lectured so often on this subject?
Peter J Newton