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With message to Shiv Sena, Dunkin Donuts Pakistan extends olive branch to India

With message to Shiv Sena, Dunkin Donuts Pakistan extends olive branch to India

After a Pakistani family was denied accommodation in Mumbai, Dunkin Donuts offered free meals to visiting Indians
Updated 19 Oct, 2015

LAHORE: On October 16, news channels in Pakistan reported that the family of Karachi-based Inayat Ali was denied accommodation in the hotels of the Bhendi Bazaar area of Mumbai.

The family visited 40 hotels, but none of them welcomed them because the family did not possess the draconian Form C.

The news may have sparked suitable outrage among the public, but one man decided to take a stand.

Iqbal Latif, who runs 26 franchises of international food outlet Dunkin Donut in Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar, took a step to show how Pakistanis welcome their neighbours, which also emulates Gandhi's teachings.

In the next few hours, the food outlets had banners with an announcement offering free meals to any Indians visiting Pakistan on a short-term visa. The banner was inscribed with Indian and Pakistani flags as well. The offer went into effect from Friday last week.

“I felt bad when I saw this that family had to spend [a] part of [the] night [on a] footpath near a police station and another part at a pavement at the railway station,” shared Latif.

“It’s not a big deal, but an effort to invoke the teachings of Gandhi Ji who preached love and coexistence all his life,” Mr Latif told Dawn by phone from London.

Dunkin Donuts franchise owner Iqbal Latif believes that his goodwill gesture exemplifies Gandhi's teachings of love
Dunkin Donuts franchise owner Iqbal Latif believes that his goodwill gesture exemplifies Gandhi's teachings of love

The response to Latif's initiative was overwhelmingly positive.

“We served 2,432 people in Peshawar, Islamabad and Lahore. They all loved it,” Latif revealed.

Sales went up by 30 per cent since the day the offer went into effect.

On the first day of the offer, 17 meals were served to Indians in a Dunkin Donut outlet in the Diplomatic Enclave of Islamabad.

“This is the place where US State Secretary John Kerry took breakfast last year. But we feel great honour [in hosting our] Indian friends,” said Mr Latif.

Elsewhere in Lahore and Peshawar, no Indian visited to avail a free meal.

The Dunkin Donuts in the Diplomatic Enclave of Islamabad welcomed 17 Indian visitors, but branches in Lahore and Peshawar received none
The Dunkin Donuts in the Diplomatic Enclave of Islamabad welcomed 17 Indian visitors, but branches in Lahore and Peshawar received none

“We’re waiting to treat Indians with a big heart and a big smile,” said Tehmina, who works at the Liberty Market outlet in Lahore. She shared that a couple of passersby glanced at the poster and waved a high five at the staff.

Mr Latif is elated by the response to the offer, and sees it as vital for promoting love among the people of Pakistan and India. He says he was slightly apprehensive about the reaction in Peshawar to the display of the Indian flag, but visitors and passersby waved at the staff, a sign of approval.

“Where is the hate and stone throwing of Shiv Sena? Only a degenerated mind does it. We need to tell Shiv to grow up. Love conquers all,” he added.

Though the Pakistani and Indian public are more willing to be friends, states and armies on either side don't see eye to eye and often hit the headlines for trading shells and accusations at borders and international forums.

On Saturday, intelligence reports were in the media that India intelligence RAW could target Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Jamaatud Dawa head Hafiz Saeed.

Earlier last week, former foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri was the target of threats from hardliner Shiv Sena activists on October 12 in Mumbai ahead his book launch, while the host, Sudhera Kulkarni, was painted black.

And Shiv Sena hurled threats, which resulted in the cancellation of the planned performance of Ghazal legend Ghulam Ali in Mumbai on October 8.

Vajee Vee, an Indian commentator, says it is the scar that was left by "Kasab and ISI post-Mumbai serial blasts".

Latif, however, says his pro-peace and amity initiative has not met with any interference by any Pakistani intelligence agency.

“No ISI, no intelligence came to us to ask about the display of the Indian flag,” he said. He added that some of his friends in the army even called him to appreciate his gesture.

He says Pakistan has shown its love for Indians.

“Across the border, there is no hate. We all love India. 1.4 billion people love each other. We are only marginalised by a few hate mongers on both sides. I propose such initiatives on the people-to-people level [to] help make bridges,” he said, adding that both Pakistan and India are nuclear countries that cannot afford strained relations.

“I suggest that Indian food chains put this (offer) on display in India, and see if [their] business goes up or drops.”

Comments

1000 Characters
Pak1 Oct 19, 2015 01:18pm
Hats off to you sir! a slap on the face of those who portray themselves as "mamu"of the world.
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Jaggy Oct 19, 2015 01:41pm
People to people response is always positive. Most medical visitors get a welcome and extra care, when visiting India for treatment. The pak Establishment's use of non state actors' has slowly built up the anger, and radicalised a section of the Indian society against Pak . This is sad, and secular Indians are appalled by such actions.
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a Oct 19, 2015 01:50pm
@Pak1 Slap on the face of all those who hate India out of bias and jealousy. Right wing parties are part of every big nation, and they don't represent the overwhelming majority of India.
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mhw Oct 19, 2015 02:03pm
not both side only India is doing hate Speech on daily basis we seen lots of news from India about Pakistan. We Pakistani Always welcome and care Indians .We have humanity and Peace.
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Aziz Oct 19, 2015 02:04pm
This is how we have been taught by our elders to treat our guests. Mr. Latif has done absolutely the right thing. And a personal note to him. I never liked Dunkin Donut before reading this news report. But next time I will take my family there.
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An Oct 19, 2015 02:22pm
Thanks you and shame on Shiv Sena. Shiv Sena, BJP, RSS, VHP do not represent me. Pakistani friends are welcome to India,
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Farooq Oct 19, 2015 02:23pm
Hats off to IQBAL LATIF. You made us proud of being Pakistanis.
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KHADAGG CHAUDARY Oct 19, 2015 02:46pm
GREAT NEWS. KEEP IT UP .
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Saad(DXB) Oct 19, 2015 03:07pm
There is no way this can be done in India. Indians are hate mongerers. I have seen this while living and working outside Pakistan. They just can't accept Pakistan as an Independent country and sub-consciously, still think of Pakistan as 'The one that got away'.
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Sandhu Oct 19, 2015 03:15pm
This is Pakistan for you. I never saw such hospitable people like Pakistanis. But people from other side of border was bigotry and will remain bigotry.
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Mirza Faisal Hussain Oct 19, 2015 03:28pm
Great Work Mr. Iqbal Latif
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NoFame Oct 19, 2015 03:51pm
what can i say?
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MHamza Oct 19, 2015 03:55pm
This is the Pakistan... Indians u don't even remember the teachings of Mr.Gandi and got blind in the hatred created by ur Govt's and Army
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usman Oct 19, 2015 04:00pm
@Jaggy Pak establishment busy in tackling Raw at baluchistan. No one is cleam but also Inidan media causing huge chaos against Pakistan which is not a reality.Sometime Indian news channels everything which even indian intelligence does not know..... wow .. indian army should have indian media as their intelligence.
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dudenator Oct 19, 2015 04:02pm
Please stop wasting your time on people like the Shiv Sena. They claim to represent the people of Maharashtra and I as a resident of Mumbai am sick of their hate filled rants. It embarrasses me to think that these bunch of thugs have hijacked the most amazing city in the world - Bombay!!!
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PAK1 Oct 19, 2015 04:39pm
India being "Moodi- fied". Oh, I love this new term
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Madhav Das Oct 19, 2015 04:39pm
Mr Latif a Pakistani has for once not responded with a holier than thou dig at Indians. Make this a habit and not a one off gesture and we could both think about sitting together at a table.
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Raj Oct 19, 2015 04:54pm
Actually this is not fault of Hotels , this is rule n they have to follow it. If visa require police reporting , or any form an visitors do not posses . he has to suffer,
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Kishore Oct 19, 2015 04:59pm
Dear Pakistani friends, In India we say athithi devo bavaha [treat a guest as God]..That is how we have lived for centuries.. The Shiv Sena and other right wing organisations do not represent the majority here. I open my house to any Pakistani visiting my city Bangalore, and can assure you - you will be treated to hospitality like you never experienced. We have hundreds of Pakistani patients visiting Bangalore everyday for heart related treatments at our world class hospitals...Please ask them how India is. Peace. Kishore
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Ga Oct 19, 2015 05:08pm
Great gesture. Indians are bitter because of Mumbai due to some non- state actors like Kasab. Indian state itself dismembered Pakistan in 1971. Who should be more bitter?
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KaKa Oct 19, 2015 05:20pm
What Happened to that family???????...This is the main concern.
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Kanishk Oct 19, 2015 05:25pm
Feeling ashamed that such a reception was meted out to the visiting Pakistani citizens. I wish I could have hosted them at my place. Sorry on behalf of India.
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motiram lalwani Oct 19, 2015 05:38pm
this is the way to live and love thy neighbour
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Hulagu Oct 19, 2015 05:59pm
Hats off to Mr. Latif. And thanks to common Pakistani for supporting this brave gesture by increasing sales 30%. With all my respect and love from across the border to you all. The fact that Indians crowdfunded a Pakistani girl's surgery in Mumbai last week should also get noticed in Dawn.
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Jason Oct 19, 2015 06:02pm
Way to go. You make us all proud. Thank you.
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Steven Oct 19, 2015 06:26pm
Dear Pakistanis Don't fool yourself here, Indians can't and will never love Pakistanis. I have served both in India and Pakistan The problem in Pakistan the people are innocent and in India people are smart/shrewd Forget that Indians will show even a good gesture to you ; they are made to hate you.
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lafanga Oct 19, 2015 06:47pm
Hey Indians ... let us teach you how it is done in the civilised world. Please learn from it.
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Satt Oct 19, 2015 07:00pm
For Indians,Pakistan today is now just a source of resources.Earlier there was some romanticism that OK we are same,just divided by lines but after certain incidents happened in between that delusion of "SAMENESS" also shattered and now it is just impossible to make Pakistan any place in hearts of Indians.As I have said earlier that Indians today views Pakistan just as a sources of certain resources and there are two resources Pakistan produce,one is singers and others are actors and singing source in also drying up and actor source is for some directors who like different tastes gives chance to Pakistani actors.
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Hindustani Oct 19, 2015 07:10pm
If only we could become one again.
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Gurpreet Singh Sabharwal (USA) Oct 19, 2015 07:26pm
Commendable job by Mr. Latif. And please don't expect Shiv Sena to change. They don't do things out of hatred, they do it it survive & stay relevant.
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Saad M. Arshad Oct 19, 2015 07:33pm
Though I appreciate the offer but it would have been even much better if the offer goes valid for those Pakistanis as well who cant afford a meal from DD otherwise or atleast those Children who out of their fate are forced to eat from Garbage and living in slums. And a good gesture should always be appreciated but I dont see any love between the people of Pakistan and India. If there had been any love between Billions of people of sub-continent, there wasn't any need of partition then neither the people had let that happened.
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Ashutosh Mishra Oct 19, 2015 07:54pm
Now thats the correct way to shame the guilty, and this time it is us. Everyone knows what Gandhiji was and what Shiv Sena is!!!
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mehul jain Oct 19, 2015 07:59pm
HAHAHA. Well done. Good wishes to dunkin donuts pakistan!
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Indian Oct 19, 2015 08:02pm
As an Indian my sincere apologies to the family. It is really sad that such a thing happened. It is just the red tapism and should not be shown as attitude of Indians. An ordinary Indian is quite humane and understands what this family had to undergo. I personally convey my apologies on behalf of my countrymen.
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kunal Oct 19, 2015 08:50pm
lovely gesture, our heads bow in shame.....but bheendi bazar is pretty anti shiv sena.....40 guest houses turning them away must have been not wanting to get on the wrong end of the law.
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prateek Oct 19, 2015 09:17pm
Atleast one positive news.
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Abdullah Oct 19, 2015 09:50pm
@Steven I don't know why you made this blanket statement. I have worked with Indians and in India; I have had great experience in general. However, the recent incidents in India are alarming and if not checked now can be beginning of a intolerant and theological society. I would always blame Pakistanis as being intolerant and they are blamed as such by almost everyone. It is a good sign that they are trying to embrace peace with their neighbor - but India is not forthcoming as a bigger country would do. We do not need a middle east in this sub-continent. Pakistan and India should behave responsibly and take care of the incidences like this politically and socially.
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Asif Jamil Oct 19, 2015 09:52pm
Iqbal Latif has spoken for all of us. Forget about the hatemongers on both sides.
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Mehboob boghani Oct 19, 2015 10:20pm
Amazing work. Feeling v proud that ppl like you in Pakistan. Feeling proud of being Pakistani today. Lots of blessings for you n your family.
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raghu Oct 19, 2015 10:27pm
can I order them home ? for a charge any way good move raghu
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a Oct 19, 2015 10:46pm
I will kill myself the day Shiv Sena types rule India. Fortunately that aint happening EVER !! So good boys and girls on the other side of the border, accept our apologies for their behaviour, and ignore the rowdies.
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Ali Oct 19, 2015 11:20pm
Pakistani have big hearts.
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Sameer Khalid Oct 19, 2015 11:53pm
Lovely gesture. Such acts revive the spirit of life.
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mashman Oct 20, 2015 12:06am
For peace to take hold we need more people like Mr. Latif to take center stage.
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Gurpreet Singh Sabharwal (USA) Oct 20, 2015 12:09am
@lafanga : With all due respect, I don't think Pakistanis or Indians can teach each other anything about tolerance. We can indulge in childish point scoring & taunt each other whenever some embarrassing news about the other comes out but in reality, either has any moral high ground over the other.
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shobee Oct 20, 2015 12:29am
@Kishore .we love you kishore.
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Ganesh Oct 20, 2015 02:24am
The Shiv Sena and their likes are ruining the country's reputation. There is a telling comment at the end of the article when Mr. Latif asks businesses in India to do something similar. The fact is, if any restaurant in Mumbai puts up a sign welcoming Pakistanis, SS goons would reach there in a matter of hours and vandalise the place. Shame on us for tolerating such cretins.
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Harisingh Oct 20, 2015 02:27am
Responding to aggression with aggression is not going to lead to any peace. Let me start by saying that we (Indians) love you Pakistanis even if though we both have our fair share of mentally challenged citizens. The world WILL become a better place with time. There will come a day (maybe decades in the future) when we will be living next to each other like the countries of European Union.
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Worth_Commenting Oct 20, 2015 02:44am
@Steven I am interested to know more about your experiences in both countries. I am from Pakistan and really want to know why you make these kind of comments. Is there any way to reach you?
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nadeem Oct 20, 2015 05:11am
just watch indians news website or news channel you will only see negative news and comments about pakistan..but if u go to pak sites like dawn theres no negativity at high level of hatred as indian site.
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Khan Oct 20, 2015 06:46am
It is a good gesture, but remember the family was refused stay in all the hotels; it's not just the few. As long as the Indian visitors are peaceful people I have no issues.
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kkk Oct 20, 2015 08:13am
@Saad(DXB) good or bad people exist every where and India is also not exceptionally many family from Pakistan had got good Hospitality's and treatment for medical and commen man from India had not any ill will for Pakistan in this case hates off to this food chain owner as almost we are prefect when came tovtheory but fail in practical and this gentleman prove that point in practical that hate cannot expel hate only love can expel hate
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Jay Oct 20, 2015 09:00am
@Kishore while I appreciate your gesture and goodwill for Pakistanis, the number of Pakistanis going for treatment to Indian hospitals could not be in hundreds every day (as you claim) as India does not issue visa easily even on humanitarian grounds and "Indian tier one" hospitals and clininics are not as cheap . Well to do prefer to go to Thailand, thier first choice which price wise are compatitive and better care...
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Ravi Oct 20, 2015 09:11pm
What a gesture. We are touched. This reminded me of Gautam Buddha's saying - Hatred can only be conquered by love.
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Jay Oct 21, 2015 02:11am
@Kanishk Thankyou very much but people like us have little or no say when stage is set from the top by policy makers. Common citizens specially the crimnals do the rest. the mob mentality rules thge street in subcontinent both in India and Pakistan.
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Smithb682 Oct 23, 2015 06:23am
When choosing the colours for you office, there are a few basic points to consider. gekgcdcaeecccdag
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Muhsen Ali Oct 23, 2015 09:24pm
@Kishore May you live long
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kalakhan awan Oct 25, 2015 09:28pm
now we Pakistani should understand what Indians are what mentality they have. we should understand who is behind AMMEN KI ASHA.who is behind unrest in Pakistan.
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