NEW DELHI: It’s Independence Weekend, with Pakistan celebrating Independence Day on Friday, 14th August and India celebrating it on Saturday, 15th August. Politically, there is a chill in relations between the two countries, marked by cross-border firing, and attacks in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir where India has pointed a finger at Pakistan. Things took another dip when Pakistan decided to not invite the Jammu and Kashmir assembly speaker to a conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, with India responding by deciding to boycott the meet to be held in Islamabad from 30th September 30 to 8th October.

Despite the tensions, or in fact as evinced by them, the two nations share much in common.

The Citizen believes as an editorial policy that there is no alternative to peace between India and Pakistan, and hence in South Asia. And that it is a question of looking at the glass of peace as half full or half empty. Those who look upon the glass as half empty look to war as a solution. Those who see it as half full realise the importance of work on peace as an ideology, and filling the rest of the glass drop by drop.

Here is a look at ten things that the people of the two countries share.

1. India and Pakistan share the same religion

Young boys playing cricket in India

Young boys playing cricket in Pakistan

2. India and Pakistan are perhaps two of the most beautiful countries in the world

The Kanchenjunga in India

Nanga Parbat in Pakistan

Andaman & Nicobar islands, India

Thar desert, India and Pakistan

3. India and Pakistan share a magnificent history

The Taj Mahal, Agra, India from the Mughal empire era, commissioned in 1632.

The Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, Pakistan from the Mughal empire era, commissioned in 1671.

Ruins from the Harappa civilization that extended from Balochistan to Gujarat and from the east of the river Jhelum to Rupar. The Harappa or Indus Valley civilization is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, dating to the Bronze Age (3300-1300 BCE).

4. We look the same

Indian or Pakistani?

5. The FOOD

Kebabs being prepared at Karim's Restaurant, Delhi, India

Kebabs being prepared at Waheed Kebab House, Karachi

6. The Music

Qawali at Dargah Salim Chisti at Fatehpur Sikri, India

Qawali at Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya, Multan, Pakistan

7. India and Pakistan share the same passion

Posters for Pakistani film “Khuda Kay Liye” at a movie theatre in Delhi, India

Posters at a movie theatre in Peshawar, Pakistan

8. Indians and Pakistanis truly understand the meaning of chaos, and noise, and crowds, and disorder, and … you get the drift.

A traffic jam in India

A traffic jam in Karachi, Pakistan

9. The clothes

A group of women dressed in traditional wear in Haryana, India

Pakistani women in traditional wear

10. Despite the political rhetoric (and the fact that this need not apply to India-Pakistan cricket matches), the people of the two countries share the same want.

Friends forever, indeed.