It turns out that the new prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, was born in 1932 in the town of Gah, now in Pakistan. And the president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, was born in 1943 in New Delhi, the capital of India. According to the Associated Press, "Singh, 71, was 14 when he left with his family, and he has not been back. Musharraf, the 60-year-old general-turned-president of Pakistan, left New Delhi when he was 4 and did not revisit the ancestral home until three years ago."
This symmetry is seen by some as a sign of hope for reducing tensions between the two states: Sher Mazan, a senior Pakistani Foreign Office official from Gah, says that "Manmohan Singh belongs to this area, so there will be different considerations about Pakistan. Definitely, it will make a difference that he was born here. In our part of the world, we always take care of the place we were born." Of course, it could work the other way too, with each leader all the more resolute and entrenched because of his place of origins. That possibility is hinted at this evidence from that same Associated Press article by Patrick McDowell:
The house where Singh lived with his family - wealthy Sikh landlords who also ran a dried fruit business - is now only a pile of stones near a well, overlooking terraced wheat fields. The Hindu and Sikh owners of the neighboring homes fled to India decades ago and the Muslims moved in. … Villagers recall Muslim outsiders massacring two dozen Hindus after hearing Hindus somewhere were killing Muslims. Refugee Muslims were later settled here with government land grants, but they soon sold out and moved to the city
Comment: This parallel brings to mind a sixteenth-century analogue, when the Ottoman sultan, who ruled over a Turkish-dominated realm, wrote Persian poetry and the Safavid shah ruling Iran wrote Turkish poetry. This mutuality did not improve their relations. (May 31, 2004)