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Paks have been cultivating basmati on 250 acres of Indian land all these years!

India is unique, absolutely.

Only in India, with its sleepy administrators, mindless politicians and miles of red tape, could such a thing happen -- and go unnoticed for half a century!

Folks, guess what officials in Daoke, a sleepy village on the Indo-Pak border in Amritsar, found when they bothered to look up their records? That 250 acres of fertile agricultural Indian land has all these years been under Pakistan's control!

Unbelievable anywhere else, but not in India where documents are for filing and, once filed, forgetting.

The 'discovery' came thanks to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's direction to identify surplus benami government property in border villages.

The records showed the land as marked central government property. "The pre-Partition records clearly mention the land belonged to Daoke village," senior revenue officials who have finally woken up to Independence say, "At Partition, the village became part of India. So the land automatically stands transferred to us."

True, all that. Only, no one bothered to take note of it till now.

"At Partition time, only trees and shrubs grew there. And it was government property," says Puran Singh, an elderly villager, "But all these years, we thought it belonged to Pakistan. Had we known it was ours, we would not have allowed it to be handed back after the 1965 war."

"The area is very fertile, ideal for basmati cultivation," Sahib Singh, another elder, adds, "It is being cultivated by the presidents of Manila and Bhaini Jatta villages, just across the border."

Interestingly, the matter had missed the eyes of even the Border Security Force officials, who, biannually, holds meeting with Pak Rangers to review the position of border pillars.

But then, India -- and Indians -- are unique... absolutely!

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