Pakistan is here to stay


By Yasser Latif Hamdani
It is not uncommon for those afflicted with the “India shining” ailment to speculate from time to time on the demise of Pakistan. Sadly this has been going on for more than 60 years and we in Pakistan are now used to it. Kapil Komireddi’s article “Pakistan’s Demise is Inevitable”  therefore is at best an amusing read and more seriously an insight into an Indian mind obsessed with Pakistan to the point of wishful thinking.

Was it really divisive logic that created Pakistan? Revisionist scholarship in the west now holds otherwise. Pakistan’s founding father, Jinnah , in any event was a man who had dedicated his entire life to keeping India united (He was the only Indian leader to be called “The Best Ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity”). So what led to the creation of Pakistan? While almost completely and homogenous white and protestant America in 1789 chose to vest residuary powers in the states, Indian National Congress which claimed to represent the multinational, multiethnic and mutli-religious peoples of India refused to consider this in India. Had Congress in 1931 agreed to the proposal that residuary powers be vested in provinces, like in the United States of America, there would have been no partition of India. There might still have no partition of India, had Congress accepted League’s demand for a confederation or a British cabinet proposal for a watered down three tiered federation in 1946. So the creation of Pakistan was not based on divisive logic but in the time-tested principle of unity in diversity and Congress’ failure to appreciate it.
Whether one agrees with the assertion that Bangladesh in 1971 constituted the largest genocide of Muslims ( Sharmila Bose of Harvard University certainly has given everyone enough reason to question this as a statistical exaggeration) but no one can deny that West Pakistan was unfair to East Pakistan. Yet Pakistan could have been kept united by constitution. In 1965, the Bengalis, including Shaikh Mujeebur Rahman’s party, still voted enmasse for Fatima Jinnah – Jinnah’s sister- in presidential election and had she been allowed to win, Pakistan might well have stayed united. The separation of East Pakistan was not a failure of the Pakistan idea. It was the failure of Pakistan’s military establishment to fully appreciate the genesis of Pakistan. Bengalis did not separate because they did not believe in Pakistan but because they saw in the military establishment’s behavior a betrayal of the idealism that created Pakistan.

Finally, India’s religious diversity does not affect Pakistan- which is itself a religious, ethnically and linguistically a very diverse country. The benefits India itself has derived from partition are well known to all, including Nehru who admitted it, whereby a Hindu majority informs India’s political and social life- without an overriding cultural majority keeping India united would have been impossible. But I am not sure if Kapil Komireddi was trying to make a case for Pakistan’s demise or inform the world of his country’s diversity. Pakistan will not die and will not whittle away as Mr. Komireddi wishes so badly.

This is not to say that we don’t have problems, but foremost is that we have abandoned Mr. Jinnah’s vision of inclusive, secular and pluralistic state in Pakistan. However recent victories of the Pakistan Army against the Taliban will no doubt sour the glee that some of our neighbors across the border have been expressing at the wet dreams of the demise of Pakistan. My response thus is: keep wishing but Pakistan is here to stay.


Filed under Pakistan

127 responses to “Pakistan is here to stay

  1. Naeem Sahibzada

    Pakistan’s woes are due to our own deliberate follies and succession of bad choices and policies mainly due to a complete absence of a worthwhile national leadership. Rest assure the country is a natural and historical union and here to stay forever.
    I would be much more worried about our over anxious neighbor which is already tearing at the seams since long and shall break apart in due course of time primarily because of the growing social inequalities there between the haves and have nots . Lets just wait and see !!!!!

  2. hayyer48

    I went through Kapil Komireddy’s article after reading your post above.
    Undoubtedly Komireddy’s piece is premised upon Indian presets including secular generals and all that vis a vis a communal Pakistan. It is not entirely wrong on the billions of dollars that are solicited and spent without making a difference to the Pakistani economy, and surely Pakistani commentators will succeed someday in getting an explanation from their government if not their army.
    I can also believe that killings of Bangla Deshi civilians in 1971 by Pak troops may be exaggerated.
    There is however an interesting passage in YLH’s article above that needs elaboration.
    “The separation of East Pakistan was not a failure of the idea of Pakistan. It was the failure of Pakistan’s military establishment to fully appreciate the genesis of Pakistan.Bengalis did not separate because they did not believe in Pakistan but because they saw in the military establishment’s behaviour a betrayal of the idea of Pakistan.”
    Is the idea of Pakistan not based on the TNT? Is that theory true? Was Jinnah making a sacrifice of the theory when he strove to maintain an Indian Union with Muslim political rights safeguarded? Or was it only a bargaining chip?
    Within Pakistan how true is TNT now? In other words are the Hindus, Christians and Sikhs of Pakistan of the same nation as the Muslims there?
    Afghan refugees in Pakistan have settled down in Pakistan and made it their home and may even have acquired Pakistani citizenship, legally or otherwise. But the Biharis who thought of themselves as Pakistani and fought with the Pak Army against the Bengalis are still living in squalor in the camps of Dacca, after Pakistan turned its back on them. Does the Pakistan idea encompass their existence? What is the view from Pakistan of Muslims living in India? Are they the same nation as Hindus of India.
    These are not just rhetorical questions. These issues lurk at the back of Komireddy’s article.
    The idea of Pakistan, apart from the verities of the Pakistani state is still not clear. Books have written on the ideas of India and Pakistan respectively. To what end. Abstract ideas do not nations make, yet it would be hard to imagine India surviving without being a secular democracy no matter how flawed. In Pakistan’s case it is either the TNT or the Indus Saga, both contestable ideas.

  3. neel123

    As long as the American are prepared to keep Pakistan afloat by pouring in billions of dollars and as long as the Saudis are prepared to provide free oil ( presently 100,000 barrels a day ), Pakistan will not see its demise.

    However, it is for the Pakistanis to figure out, how long this arrangement is going to be available to them.

    It is no use only blaming the military for the Bangladesh tragedy, why did not the people of west Pakistan protest against atrocities committed on the fellow muslims in Bangladesh ?

    India centric existance is not the right recipe for Pakistanis to evolve as a viable nation, and past 60 years of wrong policies have proven that. Acting as a stooge of the Chinese and the Americans, and competing against a much larger enemy would only compound Pakistan’s fight for existance.

  4. Karim Khan

    Its so hard for patriotic Pakis to accept that pakistan is on the fast track of collapse.

    Today Pakistani economy is totally dependant of aid from US and IMF.
    According tyo a recent BBC survey, Pak Govt controls only 30% of NWFP.
    Baloch freedom fighters are gaining grounds, civil war is unavoidable in Karachi, Sindhis have started shouting “Jiye Sindh” against Pashtuns refugees and uncontrollable Islamic militant movement has taken pace in south Punjab.

  5. Octavian

    People (read, Indians) have been writing off Pakistan since 1947. It gets old. First, it was economically nonviable, then hopelessly undemocratic, and, as of late, apparently composed of 170 million terrorists.

    Underlying most of these feverish dreams of Pakistani destruction is a large festering inferiority complex, rooted in the eternal question “why did fellow ‘Indians’ separate from the udders of Mother India in ’47?”.

    Disgusting intellectual harlots like Koreddi may cackle at Pakistan’s misery today, but remember ‘shining’ India is not exactly all that lustrous either – whats your excuse? There are more people in India who can’t shit with dignity compared to the entire Pakistani nation put together.

    The fundamental principles our nation was founded on are strong, powerful and viable – a secular republic where all are to be equal. We do not need to apologize for separating from India, nor do we need to explain to anyone on this Earth our reasons for doing so. We won the case for Pakistan in 1947, without equivocation. Crack open a real history book if you are still nursing daddy issues.

    Indian predictions of Pakistan’s imminent collapse are to be frank hackneyed. I would put more stock in the astrological mumbo jumbo of their Star TV Pandits then the stale, unoriginal analysis of the rabid anti-Pakistan brigade.

    Frankly, let me make a prediction “India’s intellectual demise is inevitable” if lemmings like Koreddi are the best anlaysis that can be mustered to the current crisis in Pakistan.

  6. bonobashi


    As you have correctly stated, even if your shirt is torn, it is made all right by pointing out that the other man’s fly is open. Unanswerable logic. Mends the shirt quickly too.

  7. swapnavasavdutta

    This is ridiculous, Pakistanis jumping up and down every time some tom/dick/harry from India or somewhere writes about imminent demise of Pakistan.
    Why do you care so much what an Indian thinks
    whether Pakistan will survive or not?

  8. karun


    provoke yourself on your own, do some india bashing, get all sorts of people to join in to foist ur patriotic flag…

    as if the only break from the bombing miseries is to bash india….

    what naive schoolboy essay!

    India and indians could care less

    the relationship is already de-hypenated…wake up!

  9. yasserlatifhamdani


    “provoke yourself on your own”

    Oh so in other words I am secretly Kapil Komireddy and I wrote the original article in question to provoke myself.

    “bash India”

    Point out exactly where in this “naive schoolboy essay” have I “bashed” India? If you can’t you are a liar and a crook. That will be a factual position!

    An Indian is writing about the greatness of India under the title “Pakistan’s demise is inevitable” and you are on a Pakistani website telling us that Indians are not obsessed with Pakistan. Clearly you are a joke. A bad one at that.


    What India-centric vision? I am afraid it the Indians who are obsessed with Pakistan. Mian we don’t give a damn about you. Stephen Cohen – a scholar not known for any love towards Pakistan- wrote of Indian fantasy that it is American aid that is keeping afloat. He has dealt with this lie very well.

    Karim mian,

    Mian keep deluding yourself. Indians like you have been whining in this manner for a while. The so called American Aid does not even amount to a small fraction of our GDP. Our losses alone during this war on terror have been greater than the American AID over the next 10 years combined. If the world insists that we do their bidding in the war on terror – as they expected us to do their bidding against an expansionist Soviet Union… the so called “Aid” is simply restitution for the losses and that too barely.

    So your fantastic logic… sadly is just a soundbyte.

  10. yasserlatifhamdani


    I’ve been explaining to you the idea of Pakistan and the two nation theory for a while… but seems you insist on repeating your own Indian nationalists myths about two nation theory, idea of Pakistan and other issues. Two Nation Theory and Pakistan idea are not mutually dependent nor are either of these ideas in conflict with the idea of modern nation state or equality of citizenship regardless of religion caste or creed. I accept that Indian distortion (which mirrors the distortion that Mullahs have propagated) is however completely incompatible.

    The Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and whoever else who is born a citizen of Pakistan is a Pakistani. And this conception of Pakistaniat is in no way a contradiction to either the idea of Pakistan or the Two Nation Theory you love to demonize. You are welcome to revisit some of my writings or you are welcome to apply your mind to this paragraph again:

    While almost completely and homogenous white and protestant America in 1789 chose to vest residuary powers in the states, Indian National Congress which claimed to represent the multinational, multiethnic and mutli-religious peoples of India refused to consider this in India. Had Congress in 1931 agreed to the proposal that residuary powers be vested in provinces, like in the United States of America, there would have been no partition of India. There might still have no partition of India, had Congress accepted League’s demand for a confederation or a British cabinet proposal for a watered down three tiered federation in 1946. So the creation of Pakistan was not based on divisive logic but in the time-tested principle of unity in diversity and Congress’ failure to appreciate it.

    The ideas / issues that lurk in Komireddy’s idiotic hogwash are borne out of ignorance, arrogance and a deep seated inferiority complex that some Indians have – contradictions no doubt- towards Pakistan.


  11. yasserlatifhamdani

    My own experience is that the only Indians who behave badly when one writes an article such as above, which does not contain any derogatory reference to India but is merely defending Pakistan, are those who are actually troubled by the prospect that their wet dreams about Pakistan might not be true at all.

  12. Naeem Sahibzada

    Mr Dutta,

    History bears testimony that present day India is not a natural Union hence the multiple under currents of separatism and injustice since its inception. It is a natural omen that it will fall apart like USSR in less than twenty years from within. Mark my words.
    Lets be rational. If we glance back in history, we shall note that India was always constituent of more than a dozen or so kingdoms at least. Even the mightiest of rulers were never able to put it under one flag because of obvious differences in nomenclature, language, culture and most important of all thought.
    Anyone will notice that there is nothing common between the northern and southern India. Similarly immense natural built in social inequalities and differences between the various classes socially and in religion further compounds the issue and violates the universally established norms between the ruling and the ruled.
    When will Dalits and Harijans exercise their natural democratic right to rule being the unquestioned majority. We all know that shining India in reality is not so shining after all and has its fair share of problems and pitfalls which it is bound to face sooner or later.

  13. Milind

    Pakistan is a like a patient kept alive on life support. On it’s own it would crumble anytime. This is a result of a singularly unidirectional policy of creating trouble for India. The military powers never thought about the consequences. Your own creations are out to finish you. They will not fully succeed, however they have enough power to destabilize the country.

    This is not wishful thinking. I as an Indian have no interest in your demise. And Pakistan will survive because of the powers that have been using Pakistan and have a vested interest in keeping is alive. But unless there is a change of course in the policy ,it will not be able to achieve it’s true potential.

  14. yasserlatifhamdani


    When people like you make such ridiculous and idiotic statements, do you realize that you betray your own inner emotions, wishes etc and not the reality of the situation.

    Have you ever been to Pakistan? Pakistan is NOT on life support. What life support exactly? The American Aid does not even cover half the losses we have sustained financially as a result of the war on terror. Since when did restitution become “life support”.

    It is time that thinking Indians – not those who are so closed minded and narrow as to believe the crap that you do- come to a realization that the reason why Pakistan hasn’t whittled away is not because of some grand global conspiracy against India but because Pakistan is an inherently strong country. Infact … Pakistan’s economic problems are caused by external not internal factors. Any economist will tell you that. These external factors have to do with our foreign policy.

  15. karun

    If you can’t you are a liar and a crook

    Clearly you are a joke. A bad one at that.

    thanks for the compliments…so sweet of you

  16. yasserlatifhamdani

    I take it then that you couldn’t find the part where I allegedly “bashed” India… and are now resigned to accepting your role as a dishonest crook?

  17. karun

    there is something called a ‘credit rating’ of sovereign debt. check it out for pakistan….if u are in mood u can check it for India and other countries for comparision.

    GDP is so passe’ now a days, not that it is not important….

  18. karun

    i think some zen master said:

    i cannot be defeated because i do not want to win.

  19. karun

    if i am not mistaken pakistan sovereign debt falls under junk bond category

  20. Milind

    YLF , I can understand your frustration. You should understand that not everyone will agree with your views and one should be open for disagreement.

    Where did I say that financial support to Pakistan is a part of global conspiracy against India. That comes from you fertile brain. And I don\’t know what Pakistan would have been without the billions of dollars it receives as AID from the DONOR countries.

    I really don\’t want to see the demise. In fact I would love to see the country stabilize and prosper.
    But I would not twist any facts just to earn your goodwill.

  21. yasserlatifhamdani

    Milind mian..

    That is simply more ridiculous unsubstantiated nonsense. What is the total of those “billions of dollars” in Aid that Pakistan receives from the “donor” countries. Once you’ve given me a figure, you’ll be well advised to look up Pakistan’s oil imports alone which Pakistan has been meeting without these “billions of dollars”.

    So keep deluding yourself. You haven’t got a clue.
    You Indians are so full of yourself always. Pakistan would survive even without this Aid… it would be more or less exactly where it is.. given that most of the Aid we’ve received either ends up in the Armed forces or in the pockets of corrupt officials.

    Read Hayyer’s comment:

    It is not entirely wrong on the billions of dollars that are solicited and spent without making a difference to the Pakistani economy

    Most people know that the foreign Aid is nothing but a small fraction of the amount we’ve sustained as economic loss.
    But even that foreign aid hasn’t gotten to Pakistani people or the economy.

    Therefore it is a rather stupid and idiotic statement that Pakistan would be no where without this Aid.

  22. Pingback: bd history | Pakistan is here to stay « Pak Tea House

  23. Subramanyam K.V.

    It’s foolishness to wish a nation’s demise.More foolish if we wish our neighbour’s demise. Wahts more foolish is to write off a nation as a failed state. No nation is a failed state as long as the people in the country are willing to work hard and build the country.

    Few people have commented about India breaking up and Pakistan breaking up . I donot know much about the situations in Pakistan but as far as India is concerned .The North South divide is becoming obscure day by day you get see people speaking hindi everywhere even in the important South Indian cities.

    Speaking of the inequalities in the society .
    Inequalities are of two types
    1. Financial status. these inequalities are there every where in the globe. Show me one country which does not have such inequalites.The Governments are working to bridge the gap between the have’s and havenots.

    2.Social Status :
    The inequalities are more to do with caste , as Naeem was mentioning about Harijans, I am just trying to answer it . The Speaker of our Lok Sabha (the most powerful constitutional body ) happens to be a women and a Dalit .Her Deputy is a leader who also happens to fall in tribal category.

    3. The president of the single largest party in our parliament happens to be a Christian, Our president is Hindu ,Our Vice President is a Muslim and our Prime Minister is a Sikh .

    We are trying to balance out all the religions in the country and are trying to include every one in the mainstream.Yes there are problems and problems are there every where in the world .

    I go by old adage which says if you want a good corn harvest , it’s not enough that you plant good seeds and take good care of your crop.You need to ensure that even neighbours and their crops are good.

    India and Pakistan have their own sets of problems we need to fight them and emerge victorious .But while doing so we are also fighting each other which is increasing these problems .I feel the educated youth of both the countries should not become jingoistic but should look at the problems from an objective perspective and try finding solutions for them.

    I wish Pakistan good luck in fighting it’s problems and expect the Pakistani friends to reciprocate the same for India. For nobody ever became great without being a good neightbour.

  24. hayyer48

    Milind and Karun:
    What we do not need to do is run down Pakistan to make ourselves feel better. Komireddy’s article is full of the usual Indian presumptions and prejudices, and is more a piece of propaganda than an informative article .
    The failed state idea came out of western academia. Western strategist fear the prospect of Pakistan failing but Indian chauvinists hope it is does. This is the same sort of thinking Pakistani chauvinists have about India with their expectation of raising the Pakistani flag atop the Red Fort.
    Western academia created an academic discipline out of ‘After Nehru who’ and predicted the collapse of India. Fears about Pakistan are similarly unfounded I am sure.

  25. Ravi

    Naeem Sahibzada writes:

    “”It is a natural omen that it will fall apart like USSR in less than twenty years from within. Mark my words.””

    That was first said in 1947. Rest as they say is history.

    Keep dreaming abt it. No tax on that.

    Also u should NOT FORGET that Pakistan is actually a “mini India” with a highly religious twist.

    All the negative factors that u and ur folks raise abt India… also present in Pakistan IN EVEN MORE DANGEROUS LEVELS……..

    Worry more abt that.

  26. Bloody Civilian


    Thank you. Please do visit again.. and often.

  27. PMA

    Hamadani: Why do you care? There are hundreds and may be thousands of articles in the print and electronic media and countless books on the shelves prophesying the ‘demise’ of Pakistan. This been going on since 1947. Even that peter-pan Prime Minister of India said and hoped for it sixty years ago. Since American invasion of Afghanistan a whole cottage industry has sprung up on this subject. Many journalists, including Ahmad Rashid, a Pakistani, have built their career on it. Indians have a wish list vis-a-vis Pakistan. We all know that. They will attack the very foundation of Pakistan anytime. They do it here at Pak Tea House every day. There is a cadre of Indians dedicated to this task in the media on regular basis. But that is what an enemy does. Why should Pakistanis care about that? The need of the time is not what the enemies of Pakistan say. What is paramount that Pakistanis themselve must build a fair and just society for all of its citizens regardless of their religious believes, ethnicity and station in life. The best way to shut up the critics and ill-wishers is to put ones own house in order. All other will fall in place. Pakistan is the best thing happened for us in centuries. It is a symbol of our cultural, political and economic revival. It is here to stay and God willing it will.

  28. PMA

    Subramanyam K.V:

    What took you so long?

  29. Gorki


    Your Question on the TNT is valid but so is YLH’s exasperation at having to go over the same thing (as he sees it) over and over again.
    Moreover you both are not alone; the question you ask is not clear to most yet it is at the heart of the debate for the soul of Pakistan. I will write a larger post in the next two three days on this but consider the following:

    1. TNT and the emergence of Pakistan are two different things. People who think that since by accepting Pakistan under TNT, MAJ affirmed the concept of TNT then by accepting the CMP he must have been repudiating it; but that is not true.

    MAJ understood that the word nation is separate from a nation state; culturally speaking.
    More than one nation can exist in a state; it is not dishonest to the people or a disloyalty to the state to simply state that fact.
    MAJ was clear in the cultural definition (sole spokesman) but was open to discussion about the political one.

    2. Let me explain. The word nation came into vogue after the French revolution.
    The term Nation has two distinct meanings:

    a)The political nation used in the domains of international law and politics and exerts the political sovereignty of a democratic state.

    b)The cultural nation is a sociological or ideological concept, which is more subjective and ambiguous in its meaning than the political nation, more as a political term.

    3. The concept of cultural nation poses a major problem since there is no consensus how to define it.
    4. Depending on who is defining it, there may be far more differences within the people of nation itself than among that of different nations; a concept which in strictly statistical terms would abrogate the classification. But it would still be OK from a cultural definition POV.

    5. For example if you and I along with YLH share the same political views (liberal tendencies) and speak the same language (English) the modern liberal definition would define us as a nation of three, in a cultural sense. That we may live in India, Pakistan or US is immaterial to that definition.
    Another definition of a nation; that of the romantic school of thought is that of people sharing language, culture, folklore etc. They don’t have to live in the same country or even have a country. Examples of this definition are the Gypsy nation or a Kurd nation.

    4. In the cultural sense of the word, initially the French revolutionaries were fired by the ideals of enlightenment and defined themselves by a more liberal definition based on shared ideals of equality, rationalism and justice.

    5. Later on Napoleon’s aggressive tendencies and a clear attempt at imposing the French culture on the rest of Europe evoked a strong reaction and the shared ideals became secondary to a more conservative definition by language, ethnicity and even religion.

    6. All these are a relatively new concept in South Asia (and the World) . The pendulum of nationhood in the cultural sense is again swinging towards a more liberal concept with the dominance of the World by American ideas, itself a nation defined by the first definition of cultural nationhood.
    7. With increasing communications and mobility, shared threats (global warming, terrorism) the idea of several ‘cultural nations’ living in the same state is more likely to become a norm.

  30. Ravi


    You have written:
    “What took you so long?”

    How long it took DOES NOT MATTER.

    The process of affirmative action has STARTED AND WILL BE STRENGTHENED in coming years .

    For example ,all central universities have 50 % RESERVATION IN SEATS for backward classes.

    Just to add up to Subramanyam K.V.

    1> ENGLISH LANGUAGE is the glue for entire india

    2>Social inequalities are EQUALLY SPREAD throughout the country.

    3>30-35 crore middle class in all parts of India are increasingly getting westernized.Hence becoming “SIMILAR”.

    4>Re-rise of the MIDDLE WAY- the congress way.
    Neither left nor right suits India.
    A strong national party like congress which has presence everywhere in India is just what we NEED TO KEEP SUB-NATIONALISM in check.

    All in all…..India is heading in the right direction.

  31. PMA

    Ravi: You misunderstood me. What I am saying is that why it took so long for a person of balance thinking like Subra to appear on this board. He clearly understands the geopolitical importance and significance of Pakistan and is not here just to question and ridicule his neighbor; some thing unfortunately very common among Indians.

  32. Naeem Sahibzada

    Mr Sabramanyam writes:
    “The president of the single largest party in our parliament happens to be a Christian, Our president is Hindu ,Our Vice President is a Muslim and our Prime Minister is a Sikh .”

    A commendable achievement but everyone knows they happen to be faces without real power to shape real events. Even though they have been inducted in these places for political purposes and building a certain image, it is still not a mean achievement.
    I agree with Mr. Subramanyam’s basic theme and wish India and the Indians well but its unity will greatly depend on ridding itself from the interest groups who have a stranglehold over power and whose survival depends on causing fissures and divisions amongst its peoples on various pretexts including the class, caste, hate and religious factors.

    A lot can also be achieved between India and Pakistan as well if we are ever able to break the stranglehold of the same interest groups on both sides who have been quite successful in creating the prevalent continuous animosity between two peoples since the inception of these nations and even before. It has always been one step forward and two steps back as though it is by design.
    Just have a look, anywhere outside India and Pakistan the two people coexist in great harmony as pals with mutual respect and feelings till incited to jingoistic behavior. After all we are the same people with common history and belong to the same culture and civilization, facing more or less the same difficulties in corruption, poverty, education and basic uplift of our masses held hostage since inception for one reason or the other. The two people have more in common than the purpose induced differences and whenever they get a chance to interact independently, they are great friends.

    In Pakistan, our foolish self induced and short sighted dictators and their political clones in fulfillment of someone else’s agenda induced religious extremism as a factor and look at the price the Pakistani nation is paying today. It shall bear exactly the same results in India if ever it is given an opportunity to flourish.It is only our good fortune that at last the ordinary people of Pakistan have arisen to curb this trend and fight this menace and God willing they shall succeed.
    Pakistan has much fewer God given problems and can recover quite quickly if it is blessed with a leadership who can really feel for its own people and who can adopt and implement lasting systems for its people based on harmony, equal opportunity and justice. As eleven years of severe sanctions in the nineties proved that it does not need any aid to survive very respectably. Aid only effects certain pockets and not the masses or its survival. It is a God gifted country with a manageable size, immense human resource, hard working and intelligent people and more than sufficient food and resources to feed and look after its people.




  33. yasserlatifhamdani


    That is a very clear exposition point of view. Perhaps I would state it as a difference between citizenship and cultural nation (the latter being something I don’t really am too bothered with). Infact MAJ was quite clear that there was no room for any bars or discrimination on any grounds in the former.

    The latter -group nationalism – is borne out of some historic facts (in India it was really the gap between the Hindus and Muslims in terms of bourgeoisie .. and this ofcourse had to do with the fact that British played Hindus against Muslims through out the 19th century by empowering the former economically and then played Muslims against Hindus starting 1905). In the process they formed two national bourgeoisie classes organized paradoxically on Hindu and Muslim lines.

    Jinnah’s attempt through out his life was to wrest the Muslim bourgeoise and bring it closer to the Hindu bourgeoisie but he was so disappointed by the latter in 1929 and in 1937 that he went about organizing muslims as a voting bloc.

    An aside:
    Interestingly a visiting American professor from University of North Carolina spoke at the University of the Punjab yesterday on a seminar on partition and he is supposed to have said that had Muslims been united, Jinnah would not have needed to raise the demand for a Muslim homeland for the foremost thing he did was unify Muslims from Hindu majority provinces with Muslims from Muslim majority provinces…who had till then worked cross purposes.

  34. hayyer48

    I am trying to understand this identity thing. If you YLH and I are liberal secularists who believe in womens rights, gay marriage, appreciate Ghalib, like Raag Maru Bihag and can talk on the same wave length in Punjabi or Urdu are we a nation? We would be on this eastern side of the border, even without speaking a common language or preferring Hindustani music to Kannada or even without a common stand on gays and women. Looking across Wagah’s ridiculous goose march exhibitions we are not. PMA feels we should just get on with our lives forgetting that we were once together. It is a practical suggestion. He would rather develop ties with Iran and other middle eastern countries ignoring the east. I can have nothing to say on that except that Pakistan has been trying that course for the last 60 years. But it does seem that we are about to resume peace talks and if they succeed then it is only a step away from open borders and all that. So it is not really wise to cut each other out of our lives.
    Hence my original inquiries-In the context of breakaway Bangladesh-and the idea of Pakistan. There must be an answer lurking in the collected writings of YLH on this site, but I am a late comer and have not read all that he has written.
    Which is why I spoke of just two things, secularism and democracy holding India together without any overriding idea-except, if you want to say it is the idea of being Hindu that holds India together, and that I would contest. As we know Sarat Bose and Suhrawardy were prepared in 1947 to have a joint nation outside India despite being Hindu and Muslim, just on their basis of their shared Bengali identity. Of-course if India were not largely one faith it may have had problems sticking together only on the strength of secularism and democracy-I can’t say. But faith alone does not nations make.
    There is no reason why the state of Pakistan cannot exist as a largely Muslim nation on the same basis of democracy and secularism. That was not my point at all.
    The Bengalis separated out according to YLH not because they did not believe in the idea of Pakistan but because they did not like the way the army was interpreting it.
    Now the army went in at the prompting of Bhutto, whose West Pakistani victory was eclipsed by the Awami League. And it was Jinnah who gave short shrift to Bengali at the very start of Pakistan. So it must have been more than just those loutish generals that drove the Bangladeshis away.
    Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan were not religious fundamentalists. After the riots of 1953 it was Bhutto who took the first steps on that slippery slope.
    Again how can Hindu Bengal remain a part of India (despite the brief Amra Bangali movement of the late 60s) and Muslim Bengal breakaway from Pakistan. If it is not secularism and democracy that can hold Pakistan together what other idea can? So I asked what the idea of Pakistan is. Jinnah and the TNT keep coming in the way of a detached discussion but in my view TNT is not a theory discredited in Pakistan or accepted in India even now. My other questions followed from that.
    Racial stereotyping may have played a part in the breakup of Bangladesh. It is all to common in the sub-continent.

  35. PMA

    hayyer48 (June 17, 2009 at 10:07 pm):

    Mr. H48: As I have said before, I am no scholar of the Independence Movement and thus have no ability to bring all those minute intricate historic points that you and YLH do. But post after post you are hell bent on trashing the fundamentals of Pakistan, to the point of irritation. Obviously the Two-Nation Theory (TNT) bothers you a lot. Well my friend, right or wrong, the TNT emerges as a direct answer to the bogus Hindu-Indian claim of One-Nation Theory (ONT). As long as Hindus of India will maintain their ONT, Pakistanis will maintain their TNT. It is as simple as that. The reality is that based on the modern day concepts of a nation, the Sub-continent is neither One- nor Two- but a Multi-Nation land. All South Asians know it. You and I know it, but you keep on bringing it up as if it is some sort of gospel. The fact is that the Muslims of Bengal are not same as the Muslims of Pakistan; the Hindus of North India are not same as the Hindus of South India and; the Hindus of Punjab are not same as the Muslims of Punjab. Just as the pie could be cut in different ways, nations could be forged by any common denominator. If there was one-thousand mile territory of Pakistan between North India and South India, present day India would have been two separate countries by now. So big are the cultural and racial gaps between the two. But just like India is held together by one sort of glue, Pakistan is held together by another sort of glue. The trick is to find what works for each. What I am trying to impress upon this PTH ‘club’ is that now that we have two separate Hindu-majority and the Muslim-majority countries of India and Pakistan respectively, lets concentrate on our respective problems and get off of each others back. There is a strong need for disengagement here. And that is more so for the H48s of India than any one else. My personal observation is that the Indians of the Ganges Valley are more obsessed with the ‘lost’ territory of the Indus Valley than any other ethnic group of Indians. The bottom line is that Pakistanis are happy in their own home. They do not want to live with Indians. Get over with it boys.

  36. Naeem Sahibzada

    Ravi writes:
    “That was first said in 1947. Rest as they say is history.”

    Ravi, i agree but unfortunately it is still on the roll. An odd sixty plus years is just a blink. The dust has yet to settle on this chapter. Lets hope for the best .

  37. karun


    waste of time…

    get onto something new.

    hayyer (superdaddy)please keep your advice to yourself…..bloody patronizing advice… if i care….

    if i dont care 2 figs about what the moron YLh speaks why shd i care abt what u say

  38. Gorki

    Hayyer :

    “If you YLH and I are liberal secularists who believe in womens rights, gay marriage, appreciate Ghalib, like Raag Maru Bihag and can talk on the same wave length in Punjabi or Urdu are we a nation?”

    Yes; according to one classification, a cultural one based on the ideals of enlightenment. However, as I mentioned this does not require that we three live in one geographic area; a nation-state.

    Similarly we may have another person, who hates gays, women rights, wants to ban music and valentine day celebrations; he would also be a national of another culture; one that wants to burn girl schools, ban music, sexual orientation etc. By the above classification that too will be one nation.

    The nation state they live in is another matter. One nation-state may allow all of the above to live in it unless the break any laws; (USA, Canada, W. Europe) another may send them to re education camps (China? )

    Confused? Me too. But don’t shoot the messenger. This is why I feel the whole ‘nation state should also be a nation’ is so artificial and will one day become obselete as more people become more cosmopolitian; people all over the World are using the internet, read same stories, form opinions around similar thought leaders. .

    We would be on this eastern side of the border, even without speaking a common language or preferring Hindustani music to Kannada or even without a common stand on gays and women.

    This is true for the nation-state but a nation? depending on which criteria one uses; may yes may be not.
    Incidently your own recent essay on this topic was wonderful.

    For those who would like to see in this fact a weakness of the Indian state; I would argue quite the contrary; US of A has people who can be described as multiple nations yet the state is stronger than ever.
    In the ancient times one superpower state; Rome survived for more than a 1000 years without bothering to try to assimilate any one by force; thus it had multiple nationalities (per the cultural definition above) and yet collapsed not when people were trying to get out but were trying to force their way in to become, what else;

    Here is a lesson for all of those who are bent on trying to impose homogenity within their borders.

    Sorry Hindutvas parivar guys.

  39. Bloody Civilian


    Ayub khan brought the mullahs down a peg or three. he had less use for them under the ’62 constitution and ‘basic democracy’ (and EBDO for the first few years of his rule).

    yahya was more than happy to use the mullahs against the two big parties.

    bhutto could hardly influence the army in to 25 march 1971. although it did him absolutely no harm, and indeed he did ‘celebrate’ the day observing it from his hotel window in dhaka.

    jinnah declared urdu as the country’s national language. he did not ban or in any way censure bengali. indeed, by 1956, bengali was the natioanl language along with urdu appearing on bank notes and all. there were a few boos at jinnah’s announcement, but the incident was blown out of all proportion only as a result of what happened oct 55 and afterwards i.e. the one-unit and bureaucrats’ rule, followed by military rule… instead of representative govt. it hardly qualifies as giving any one “short shrift”. as YLH has already asked: why did jinnah vote for fatima jinnah despite marital laws and military crackdowns up and down east pak?

    ayub, bhutto and yahya made no secret of their belief in racial stereotyping.


    there is no reason why two or more separate nation states can have a shared culture. just like there is no reason why different cultures can share the same nation state, except for the kind of undemocratic behaviour that the INC displayed right up till partition. so, i agree, entirely, with your ONT argument.

    if i can share culture with iran, i can share 10x more with india. if i have nothing to share with india, then i must have everything to share with mexico. both tagore and sa’adi speak to me. as do nanak and khusrau. not to speak of hundreds of other indian names, places and ideas.

    war (i.e. hostilities) is something else. yes it creates problems. it makes sharing difficult. i won’t be a bad thing if iranian cinema became popular in pakistan. they have produced some high quality stuff. i’m sure you don’t watch bollywood.. but how many of your neighbours, other than me (btw), share that particular passion with you?

  40. Bloody Civilian

    “states can have a shared culture” = states can NOT have a shared culture (aargh!)

  41. Bloody Civilian

    “cultures can share the same nation state” = can NOT share… (aargh x 10!)

  42. Bloody Civilian

    “why did jinnah vote for fatima jinnah” = why did bengalis…

  43. sam

    One Nation theory Vs Two Nation Theory

    I have some questions..

    In 1971, when India took over East Pakistan, why did it not absorb into India ?

    If India believed so much in one-nation theory, they should have done it .

    I want to find out some behind the scenes or real discussion about this.

    There are people still living, who could have contributed to that decision one way or the other.

    Are there any articles about this ?

    I always wondered, if Congress was against Partition of Bengal Province in 1905 and India in 1946, they had a chance to revert back and become one…

    What factors decided against it ? (assuming it was even considered)

  44. Bloody Civilian


    congress was for the partition of bengal in 1947; and both Bengalis and congress were for it in 1971. the two indian cabinet members resigning in protest against the liaquat-nehru pact were both bengali gentlemen.


    the stronger the hope of justice from the state, stronger the (diverse) citizens’ loyalty to it (and vice versa). over time, it encourages both ‘liberalism/modernity/openness/flexibility’ and a greater sharing and coming together in not just way of thinking, worldview and values but also relevant parts of culture as well. and of course, the state is not an entity separate from the people. unless it’s an anti-people, anti-democratic – and almost by definition – unjust state. a just state tends to be democratic and, therefore, shaped by the people. hopefully, all the different peoples/cultures have a say in shaping the state, if it is to be democratic and reasonably just. the INC, up to partition, if not even until some years later, did not believe so.

  45. sam

    Congress was for a united Bengal in 1905.

    Once TNT was accepted, they wanted to partition Punjab and Bengal.

    Again my primary question is,

    why did India not absorb East Pakistan (Bengal) in 1971 ?

  46. Bloody Civilian


    the sarat bose plan was turned down by gandhi/congress, not AIML. interestingly, gandhi’s reply to bose’s plan was “There is nothing in the draft stipulating that nothing will be done by mere majority. Every act of the Government must carry with it the cooperation of at least 2/3rd of the hindu minority in the Executive and the Legislature.” remember, united bengal had a muslim:hindu(caste+dalit) pop ratio of 55:45.


    “vice versa” i.e. the more unjust the state….

  47. STUKA

    “The separation of East Pakistan was not a failure of the Pakistan idea. It was the failure of Pakistan’s military establishment to fully appreciate the genesis of Pakistan. Bengalis did not separate because they did not believe in Pakistan but because they saw in the military establishment’s behavior a betrayal of the idealism that created Pakistan.”

    True dat. But tomorrow IF Pakistan fails (a big If no doubt) it would again be the failure of the “establishment” to appreciate the genesis of Pakistan as well.

    Ofcourse, Bangladesh was also able to secede because two distant wings with a hostile country in the middle is not exactly a recipe for stability. The present day Pakistan has a much better chance of never disintegrating simply due to geography alone. But the inherent causative nature of the establishment’s shortsightedness that existed in 1970 exists even now as well.

    The glimmer of hope I see is the first time effort by a political opposition to reconcile being in opposition rather than make a grab for power. The cessation of the lawyer’s movement after the reappointment of the CJ was a big step. If the CJ does not screw it up by trying to kick out Zardari, we will see Pakistani democracy stabilize for the forseeable future.

  48. sam

    My primary question is :

    Why did India not absorb East Pakistan (Bengal) in 1971 ?

    (I am not familiar with details of United Bengal, so please excuse me on that subject.)

  49. Bloody Civilian


    1. int’l law

    2. even if there could have been a ‘plebiscite’ to somehow legitimise it, there was no chance of india winning any votes. let alone the precedent that would set, afresh (after junagarh), for kashmir.

    3. it was no longer the congress of 1947. a lot of water had gone under the bridge.

    4. would the west bengalis have accepted becoming a part of a muslim majority (no matter how small) state, again? esp, after the history of ethnic tensions, riots and all.

    5. would the two halves have been easy to keep separate if they were part of india?

    6. it was impractical in the extremem. my answers above are only as ridicolous as your question.. but i thought i’d reply since:

    a. you asked
    b. i had 10 minutes to kill 🙂

  50. STUKA

    PMA wrote a good post btw. I also am interested in observing the interaction of India and Pakistan as two independent states rather than go over partition minutae.

  51. STUKA

    one more thing – please look at Indian articles through the late 70s to the 90s and you will find nothing about Pak breaking up. Americans started publishing this thesis and Indians are enjoying it..nothing wring..saamney nangi ladki naachegi tau tharki muth tau marega hee.

  52. Bloody Civilian

    the correct term, in my view, would be OPT (One Party Theory), and not ONT. that OPT was more than likely to lead to a majoritiarianism is where the term ONT, not entirely directly, comes in.

  53. STUKA

    “Why did India not absorb East Pakistan (Bengal) in 1971 ?”

    Because Indians thought we have enough of these bloody Bangladeshis in any case..even without absorbing East Pakistan.

  54. Bloody Civilian


    re. no. 2. the precedent that would have been set was, actually, carrying out a plebiscite in a muslim majority state, instead of merely promising one.

  55. sam

    I hope we can find some articles or interviews from the key people involved about “why india did not absorb East Pakistan”.

    Until then we can keep guessing and it could be very well be right.

  56. sam

    Was plebiscite really required if india and east pakistan became one country in 1971 ?

    Does international law require it?

  57. Bloody Civilian

    int’l law: hostilities do not justify indefinite occupation, nor colonisation… inter alia.

  58. sam

    US army is in Germany, Japan, Korea for almost about 60+ years..

    There could be a some clause or some way to keep it absorbed…

  59. Bloody Civilian

    under int’l law, east pakistan remained east pakistan. ‘just and reasonable’ is something else.

  60. Bloody Civilian

    US Army is there on the invitation of the said countries or with their agreement of their sovereign govts, albeit as part of a surrender agreement. hostilities don’t change sovereignty, or legal entitlement. ‘might is right’ is something else.

  61. Gorki

    My question to you; why should they have (Indians absorb BD in 1971) ?

    Second question: Given the modern, increasingly interconnected world; what can be achieved by the individual members of a nation-state that absorbs a smaller neighbor that can not be enjoyed if they remain two entities seperate entities?

    If you can not find a good answer; don’t feel bad. Neither can I. The best case to reunion in the world is for Canada and the US but no one talks about it since for all practical purposes there is no significant change in the lives of individuals is a US flag flies in Ottawa or a Canadian in Washington DC.

    Incidently this should address PMA’s concern also. May be the Indians who write hateful posts on the PTH are a selected sample of a few people but for a vast majority (yours truly included) the only interest we have in Pakistan is that a hateful anti India ideology does not go on creating more 26/11 like massacres. (I don’t blame the Pakistani people at large for this, only the few who hate; yet if they are kept under control I doubt many will poke their noses in another country is they are nor welcome) Certainly no one I know yearns for a geographic reunion.

  62. Gorki

    PS. Excuse the typos. Like BC I am in a hurry.

  63. bonobashi


    I don’t agree with you that PMA wrote a good post.

    I think he wrote a brilliant one.

    I am really not sure why some people, Indians mainly, including one hiding out in a ranchette in north California, keep bombarding us with this proposition of ‘and they all lived happily ever after.’ They didn’t, and we won’t either.

    And thank you by the way for your kind comments about Bangladeshis and Bengalis. Is there any way we can hope and pray that all you Hindi speakers and Urdu speakers will some day get together and relieve the rest of us of your presence?

    @Bloody Civilian

    I note that you and Sam have taken over. Can you please pin up our duty rosters on the green board, so the rest of us know what to do each day? Your little thrust of the poniard to Sam,…” re. no. 2. the precedent that would have been set was, actually, carrying out a plebiscite in a muslim majority state, instead of merely promising one”, has been noted, and the note sent in septuplicate to the appropriate section for processing and further action. OK, kiddo, you asked for it. Wait’ll I get to you.


    I can’t get the drift of your question, but by the way, you sound like H + S. Hope you aren’t.

    What makes you think that the Bangladeshi, having fought and won his freedom at a huge cost of lives, was going to get absorbed just like that? Or do you think they had nothing to do with the military outcome of 71? Why would anybody concerned want this outcome? Except maybe Pakistan, to teach us a lesson.

  64. stuka

    “I am really not sure why some people, Indians mainly, including one hiding out in a ranchette in north California, keep bombarding us with this proposition of ‘and they all lived happily ever after.’ They didn’t, and we won’t either.”

    Who is the dude in a ranchette in Nor Cal? I live in Nor Cal as well, actually…

    “And thank you by the way for your kind comments about Bangladeshis and Bengalis. Is there any way we can hope and pray that all you Hindi speakers and Urdu speakers will some day get together and relieve the rest of us of your presence?”

    Arrey, my comments were not meant to be insulting. 🙂 Besides, I am a Punjabi speaker by way of Pothwar

  65. Bloody Civilian


    that was merely completing the contrast with junagarh. as for you coming to get me, why do i feel like a rabbit in the headlights? 😉

  66. Gorki

    ‘and they all lived happily ever after.’ They didn’t, and we won’t either.

    What did I do this time? 😉

    I was nowhere near that comment!!

    (Anyway that is my story and I am sticking to it.)

  67. Gorki

    More like rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. 😉

    (Sorry could not resist that one; you left the door wide open.)

    Stuka: About North California;
    Don’t listen to him.
    we need to exchange addresses.

  68. Bloody Civilian


    ‘geodraphical (re-)union’, at some future date… why not? the principle we’ve accepted is free will. so why say never?

    and, now, to return to the frozen state, staring in to the headlights

  69. Gorki

    why do i feel like a rabbit in the headlights.

    More like rabbit in Alice in wonderland.

    (Sorry it was too hard to resist; you left the door wide open)

  70. Gorki

    Correction (with an apology):

    More like rabbit in Alice in wonderland. 😉

    (Sorry it was too hard to resist; you left the door wide open) 😉

  71. Bloody Civilian

    ‘oh dear! oh dear! it’s too late’

  72. Gorki

    (re-)union’, at some future date… why not? the principle we’ve accepted is free will. so why say never?


    That is up to the next generation. (or till when we have converted PMA. 😉 to the cause. )

    Seriously, IMHO in a hundred or so years, the world will be run very differently and it is quite possible that the entire Eurasian mass will look politically like EU; one could perhaps drive from the Malaysian rainforests to Scottish moors in the same car, using one currency listening to many different FM stations on the way.

  73. Bloody Civilian

    ….it might well happen if you drive down a magical rabbit hole 😉

    no. i see the general idea. as i did kinda agree with you in my post of 2:54am.

  74. Gorki

    BC, Bonobashi;

    This is murder!!
    I am literally in tears with laughter.
    have to take comments of line.

    Stuka, I live near Sacramento, would love to make an acquaintance if you are so inclined.

  75. bonobashi


    (if I can get a word in edgewise through BC and Gorki Carrolling away).

    Hindi-speaker, Urdu-speaker, Punjabi-speaker; what’s the difference? It’s you guys oppressing SDREs like yours truly.

    You don’t have to insult a Bong for a Bong to get insulted. It’s a natural state of being for us, and we feel vaguely incomplete if there’s nobody insulting us to be taken care of. Nothing personal, you understand, it’s just that somebody has to stand up and accept that they have insulted us, and only outright war can resolve things. So where’s Potohar exactly on the map? Need to know where to send the declaration.

    About the rich citizen in the ranchette, he has to stand up and raise his hand; can’t let him down. But he’s reading this, guaranteed.

    @Bloody Civilian

    So now Sam’s vanished and it’s you and Gorki with your stand-up comic turn. Where’ve you buried the body? If there’s space next to it, I might find the information useful. Separately sending you long personal mail I just wrote to a common friend strongly supporting PMA.


    Freewill is fine, but if we could have a short interval of 150 years in between with nobody, NOBODY talking of reunification, it would help. Otherwise, so help me Natural Dispensation Amounting To Transcendental Supernatural Presence, I’ll burn everybody advocating reunion at the stake.

    Enough already.

  76. hayyer48

    PMA: I keep having to clarify my position with you. Once again therefore;
    I am not a believer in the one nation theory. I believe India is multi ethnic. multi cultural, multi lingual, multi religious, multi coloured, multi to the nth degree nation.
    I am not a Ganges valley Indian. I am an Indus valley Indian.
    I do not believe that Pakistan is about to collapse. I have no wish for it to collapse.
    My country is a neighbour of yours however, and as a neighbour I wish to have friendly relations with yours. Interest in that up in North India is more than it is in other parts, but Bengalis have an equal interest in opening up with Bangla Desh, without pining for a re-union. The same is true of people like me re Pakistan.
    I was asking questions about the idea of Pakistan in the context of what YLH wrote. And I was suggesting sotto voce that it is enough to be a secular democratic republic without having an overarching dominant idea of what the nation is.
    You are absolutely right that if the two parts of India were a 1000 miles apart it would have great problems sticking together. The two parts of your country broke apart however not because of the spatial discordance but because of other failures. I could suggest that even a genuine Islamic democracy could have kept the two halves together without being secular, but I wont because I dont believe in religion based governance. There is no reason why Pakistan cannot be one though. The question still is-Is that what YLH had in mind?
    As for your desire to ignore India completely, I don’t think it can be done. Between Pakistan and Iran lie Afghanistan and ofcourse the Baluch desert and wastelands on both sides of your common border. As BC said you are far nearer North India culturally than you are to Iran and central Asia or Arabia. Sure we dont want to talk to us, but that state of affairs is not likely to persist for always.

  77. Gorki

    I can say in complete honesty that I have never had this much pun sorry fun in my entire life. 😉

  78. hayyer48

    Sorry about my latest last line. Please read “Sure you dont” … for “Sure we dont”.

  79. Majumdar

    Well, India’s leaders were predicting Pakistan’s death in 1947. Now these leaders are all dead, Pakistan is still around. Somehow I have a feeling that 50 years later our grandchildren will still be on PTH/chowk and discussing the imminent collapse of Pakistan.

    Btw, Yasser mian, who is this Komireddi dude and why did you think that you had to write a PTH article to rebut what this chap has written?


  80. bonobashi


    Thank you for asking what needed to have been asked years ago. I hope you have read the silly, jejune piece in the Guardian that provoked all this. It is extremely annoying that serious thought and effort is being spent on the effusions of an extremely inept analysis, frankly, one which would get a schoolboy a bad grade from his teacher for immaturity and badly thought through points. I have posted a couple of times myself, and regret having done it; it elevates the original to respectability, worthy of being read and of deserving attention.

    I sincerely believe that the most that the article deserved is the least – the least amount of attention, the least amount of serious consideration.

    If Pakistan faces problems for the future, and I do not agree that it does, stating this only for the sake of argument, then it faces subtle problems, not the kind of stuff that might be brought up by a blogger who luckily manages to break into the pages of a major newspaper.

  81. PMA

    hayyer48 (June 18, 2009 at 5:43 am)

    H48: I have pretty much said what I had to say. But you keep coming back for more. So that you don’t think that I am ignoring you, let me response to your comments one more time.

    The Sub-continent not only contains people of multiple religions, ethnicity, cultures, languages, races etc. etc., considering modern standards as prevalent all over the world it is a land consisting of many Nations as well. Congress for reasons of her own came up with this cacophony theory that the entire Sub-continent was a One-Nation. The Muslim League counter argued that no there are Two-Nations equally occupying this land. Now some one said that why two or more nations can not share the same country. Yes they can. One example being French-Canadians and British-Canadians. But in order for that to take place there has to be a fair and equitable power sharing formula in-place. You will agree with me that in the case of British India the two sides failed to come together on any such formula, so the Empire had to be divided up between the two claimants. My plea to people like you is that accept the division and allow us to get on with the hard task of nation building. In other words ‘get off my back and allow me to concentrate on my own internal problems’. I will come back with the task of nation building at the end. Please stay with me.

    You say “I am an Indus valley Indian.” Well in case you have not heard it yet, Indus Valley is now called Pakistan. You ‘Indus Valley Indians’ either come back to the Indus Valley and take an allegiance to the State of Pakistan or get yourself absorbed within India. Take a pity on yourself and get yourself out of your misery. You know what happened to the man who tried to ride in two boats. I respect your desire for India and Pakistan to have friendly relations. So do I. But that will happen only when it is a mutually beneficial arrangement. Remember nations do not have friendships, they only have interests.

    Your comment on a desert being between Iran and Pakistan is a silly one. I do not advocate that Pakistan should ignore India as you have alluded to. But my outlook is Pakistan-centric and not India-centric. For Pakistan to be an integrated society which it must, Pakistanis located east of Indus must get out of the Indian mindset and look westward as Pakistanis do not share their culture with East Punjab or Ganges Vally alone. They share their culture with Iran and Afghanistan as well. The twenty six million Pashtuns of Pakistan share their culture with the fourteen million Pashtuns of Afghanistan. The ten million Balochs of Pakistan share their culture with four million Balochs of Afghanistan and Iran. The two million Tajiks of Pakistan share their culture with ten millions Tajiks of Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Unless and until Pakistanis located east of Indus include those Pakistanis located west of Indus into the mainstream of Pakistan there will be no national cohesion. And for that to happen, Pakistan must look westward. Pakistan must cultivate greater cultural, economical and political ties with its western neighbors. On their part Indians must leave us alone and stop questioning the basis of Pakistan. They must stop pulling us back into the Indian Matrix.

  82. sam

    So any more guesses or possibilities on why India did not absorb East Pakistan in 1971 ?

    Indian army was present in most of the country and could have stayed there for long time and controlled in some way or other ?

    Why this path was not taken ?

  83. Bloody Civilian


    Why didn’t/couldn’t pak develop better relations with iran/afghanistan? in afghanistan’s case, first we were more interested in giving as good as we were getting, if not beter, instead of rising above all that and relying on and having confidence in not only the shared culture but the real interests afghanistan had tied in with pak, and vice versa.

    post-79, something called ‘strategic depth’ came in. we didn’t care how much it pissed off iran. so a country born with a huge hostile neighbour, made sure that its other neighbours also became hostile.

    nothing to do with culture, or how much of it howm many of us shared with one neighbour or the other.. or with all three. but if you want to have a ‘security state’ with the relevant institution dominating all…

  84. hayyer48

    PMA: All of the Indus valley is not called Pakistan. The Indus valley starts along the geographical line between Nahan in Himachal Pradesh and running down through Haryana in a South Westerly direction.
    My original questions were not directed to you. They arose out of YLH’s piece. You need not have responded to them, so I can hardly be accused of pursuing you.
    I am sure that no one from India is ‘pulling’ you into its cultural matrix. If you feel the pull of India it is a consequence of your past, and the force is generated autonomously. And certainly Pakistan has been cultivating the western
    foundations of its civilization for some decades. Please do not feel impeded by any inconsequential things that Homo Sapien Gangeticus may say on the subject.

  85. PMA

    Bloody Civilian (June 18, 2009 at 3:48 pm)

    BC, you have raised a very important question. A question directly related to the security and stability of Pakistan. There are many reasons why it did not take place in the last sixty years.

    First and most. Pre-1971 Pakistan saw itself as a ‘Sub-continental’ state. Most of her energies were spent at the East wing-West wing integration efforts. Those who grew up in Pakistan of fifties and sixties will remember that.

    Second. The early ruling elites of Pakistan like LAK and company came out of India and had an India-focus mindset. It is only after Ayub Khan’s take over that that particular group was pushed off the center stage; and for which they never forgave him. You may like to know that even Iskandar Mirza was an ethnic Bihari. You yourself have pointed out some of the reasons why Pakistan failed to cultivate relations with Afghanistan and Iran.

    In post-1971 Pakistan the Punjabi and Sindhi elites (which I call East-bankers) took over the helms of the state and totally ignored the needs and ambitions of the West-bankers. They failed to transform the nation from a ‘Sub-continental’ country to a South Central Asian country; which Pakistan is considering its geographic location. While our East-bank belongs to the South Asia, our West-bank belongs to Persia and the Central Asia. A fact to which most East-bankers are ignorant.

    Ayub/ZAB had an international vision beyond India. In sixties Pakistan strengthened her strategic ties with China, entered into RCD and took active part in OIC. But our social, economic and cultural decline starts with Zia era. Instead of cultivating strategic relations with Afghanistan and Central Asian republics, we sought ‘strategic depth’ with Afghanistan as if it was some sort of colony. Zia’s religious zeal took us away from from our neighbor Iran into the lap of Saudis. Pakistan’s ethnic makeup requires cultural, political and economic ties with her western neighbors. There is tremendous reservoir of good will between people of Pakistan and people of Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. We share the same Islamic and regional culture. We need to get out of Indian Matrix which culturally, economically and politically will always be dominated by India and place our-self in the Greater Middle East. All we need is a vision and a will to put that vision into practice.

  86. yasserlatifhamdani


    Fascinating analysis.

    However I don’t think it is about regional matrices or that our membership of Persian-central asian cultural matrix is necessarily mutually exclusive to our Subcontinental heritage.

    Pakistan is Pakistan and not India, Iran or Afghanistan because it is – as you’ve put it- a mixture of the three to oversimplify. The early elite- if you look at them closely – saw themselves as the democratized and modernized heirs of the Mughal Empire just as Iran was of the Safavid Empire though they were ruled by Pahlavis and the Republic of Turkey was the modern heir of the Ottoman Empire. It was this mindset that created the disconnect with our Eastern Wing which for the most part could care less about the Mughal Empire and whose struggle for Pakistan informed by peasant nationalism and class struggle.

    Ayub changed the orientation of the state only in terms of priorities and not culture. He decisively broke with British traditions and made us part of the American sphere of influence. Infact Pakistan went through a kind of Americanization and de-Anglicization in terms of its institutions.

    Bhutto’s rise was in part fuelled by the left which believed in revolution and was closer to Arab causes in the middle east. To this left Persia, pro-West Turkey and indeed pro-American Pakistan’s “Mughal” elite represented the old world order in collaboration with neo-American imperialism.

    Bhutto and his politics was thus influenced by Arab world, Palestine, the global left and Pan-Islamic unity which the left supported because it saw the cause of third world unity getting boost through Islam.

    The Arabicization of Pakistan started with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto…but this consisted of revolutionary Arabs like Yasser Arafat and Col Qaddhafi. Even the monarch closest to Bhutto was Faisal who was ambitiously anti-American to an extent.

    By 79 the position had changed. Pakistan’s constant move towards the Arab world continued but now this was backed by the US and Pakistan’s closest friends were no longer the revolutionary Arabs but rather Emirs of UAE and the pro-American rulers of the Saudi Kingdom. Afghan war further cemented this. Now we see the Persian Khuda hafiz being replaced with the more puritan Allah Hafiz.

  87. PMA

    YLH: I am not saying that we should exclude any one of our three heritages. What I do say however is that we need to strike a balance here. We owe to our West-bankers a fair share in our national life. This must be done by broadening our regional outlook and opening up our-self to our western neighbors. There must be a continuous cultural and intellectual exchange between us and all points west. Such policies will go long way in the process of our national integration. Iranian and Turkish cinema is much more sophisticated than the vulgar Bollywood garbage!

    About the Arabization of Pakistan. It is for sure due to the shortsightedness of our present ruling junta fueled by their personal greed. They are forever ready to sell the nation for the few crumbs thrown at them by the filthy Arab Shaikhs. Arab money has done more harm than good to us. Our sectarian strives could be directly traced to the Arab support to the Arabic religious schools in our country. It is time to change the course.

    BTW. I admire you for speaking up for our beloved Pakistan. You have done more in a short time than most do in all their life. Keep it up. We are with you.

  88. Gorki

    “I admire you for speaking up for our beloved Pakistan. You have done more in a short time than most do in all their life. Keep it up. We are with you.”

    Those words are telling. People may throw big statistics like GNP or growth rates or big words like ‘failed this or that’ in an effort to malign Pakistan but at the end of the day what defines a nation is not these words but its people; first and last, period.

    The title of the article was Pakistan is here to stay.
    One has only to read the insightful comments by all of you to see how true those words are.
    A nation that continues to produce such people as YLH, BC and PMA is a nation on the move.
    Not only is it going to stay, it is going to thrive and its best days are still ahead of it.

    Keep it up all of you.
    From a proud neighbor.

  89. Bloody Civilian

    Thanks Gorki 🙂 the hope is even more true of you and your country.. so double the mutual pride.

    PMA, I agree with you, now that you ahve made it clear that the ‘sharing’ is and need not be “mutually exclusive”. for the worst pak can do is to insist ‘friends’ choose between india and pak. and the best way to avoid that would be to choose to have friendly relations with india, if and as far as possible, for the same reasons that pak’s friends won’t appreciate being made to choose between india and pak.

    the left awakening, for a short while in the late 60’s, was of course true from chitagong to herat. our indian friends can elnlighten us about the indian part.

    i’m waiting for our resident historian to enlighten us about all variety of ‘west-bankers’ in lands as far east as bengal, if not beyond. the west-bankers have a thousand years of history attached to india too.

  90. bonobashi


    If you are referring to me, let me tell you frankly that I wish you hadn’t interrupted one of the finest exchanges of thoughts and some of the finest writing it has been my pleasure to read for a long, long time. If you and Gorki had held still for a while more, who knows what more might have emerged? This was a good moment to have kept dead silence. Now it is too late.

    I have seldom read such a lucid outline of a national programme and the idea of a nation. I still can’t believe that I saw it take place.

    PMA, I don’t know about you and your background, but I do know that I am reading a genuine scholar, one who is infused with the light of true knowledge and a truly cosmopolitan spirit. Please accept my sincere respects.

    I already know YLH for a precociously young thought-leader who sometimes scares me with his abilities. His contribution, it is tempting to say, was not surprising. Then I read the passages again, and realise that is so wrong.

    I have nothing to say on this at the moment. Perhaps later, when it has all sunk in. This is so pleasing and uplifting to read, it demands its own space and its own time. Forgive me, but this is not a time when I can contribute in any way. Just now, I just wish to be left alone to ponder over what has been written.

  91. bonobashi


    I am sorry I cut your original communication short. It was maladroit and I shall make amends by doing as you ask, but not just yet, if you don’t mind. Many apologies for the rude and abrupt behaviour.

  92. Bloody Civilian


    not at all. i read the passages you mentioned once again. i completely agree with your post of 12:29am.

  93. Gorki

    If you and Gorki had held still for a while more, who knows what more might have emerged? This was a good moment to have kept dead silence. Now it is too late.


    not at all. i read the passages you mentioned once again. i completely agree with your post of 12:29am.

    Bonobashi, BC:

    It is OK; I can take a hint ;-). The comment was actually directed at me and other Indians to hold our trap shut. ;-).

    Now that I have held my silence long enough and it appears that YLH and PMA are done for a while I will cautiously crawl out and make the following comments.

    I agree with Bonobashi that this above was a singularly exceptional exchange. YLH always has good thoughts but PMA’s ideas; as explained here are one of the few original comments that I have read on the net recently on this topic and are light years ahead of the rehash that people like Komireddy have been doing in these troubled times. Goes on to show how much latent intellectual talent exists.

    (Note to Kapil: Duniya mein Sikandar aur bhi hain…;-)..)

    Originally PMA appeared almost cold when he kept on asking Hayyer and other Indians to ‘get off his back’ but after reading his expanded views I can understand his POV and can agree with him that the way forward for all of us may be as he outlines; two countries should focus on their own problems rather than stay locked endlessly in the same hopeless love-hate relationship with each other for another 60 years.

    As an Indian interested in peace and hoping that the 26/11 kind of tragedies are not repeated, one can not ask for more at this point.

    The Indus west bank comment was profound and I can actually appreciate a value in this even for the Gangetic plain people in the long run in terms of a broader awareness of the surrounding countries.

    Perhaps PMA (or both YLH and PMA) will care to write a more elaborate essay explaining his much more sophisticated and rational views as a counterpoint to thinly disguised gloating recycled in the articles such one written by Komireddy.

    Lastly I hope someone from our side; (I vote for Hayyer48, Majumdar or Bonobashi) can write a similarly thoughtful position paper (for grown ups) outlining what India’s priorities should me.


  94. bonobashi


    My profuse apologies for the unnecessarily admonitory tone of my response to BC; yes, I was at that time upset that there was an interruption, as it seemed that the dialogue was truly outstanding, and each was inspiring greater lucidity and insight in the other. Nobody appointed me a monitor in these proceedings; it was thoughtless and rude of me, I have already apologised to Bloody Civilian, and have no hesitation in apologising to you either.

    Having said that, in the spirit of what was said in that most illuminating exchange, it is time to get off our friends’ backs in certain significant respects. My remarks which follow are unfortunately also the sort of remarks which need to be shunned in future, and they are made with a self-conscious awareness of their awkward placement and positioning. These remarks are made in a spirit of sincere admiration and regard, and with no wish to interfere, and that must serve as their halting defense.

    First, our Pakistani friends are in no way obliged to react; in other words, their point of view is not dependent on refuting somebody else’s, it is their point of view, existing on its own, without the need to refer to some trash printed elsewhere. My sincere suggestion is that bad articles written in sensationalist publications – what else would you call The Guardian but a left-wing sensationalist publication? – by authors of doubtful provenance do not require a mature republic’s scholars’ serious consideration. Dogs bark but the caravan passes on.

    By that token, they don’t need our approbation either.

    Second, they are their own best talent scouts, and don’t need us discovering them, thereafter approving of them. That to me sounds condescending, and I cannot blame them for asking why they need to submit their writings to us for praise or censure. I am uneasily aware that some of us tend to slip into a pleasantly exhortatory mood at the slightest provocation, which may chafe the recipients more than a bit.

    Third, I do appreciate your point about the need for elaborating on these pithy, sparse but enormously significant formulations. Perhaps these matters are best left to the natural flow of events and the natural interaction between two outstanding intellects. It is not clear to me that the process needs our midwifery.

    Fourth, I thought we were fortunate already in possessing a clearly-defined ‘Idea of the Nation’ already. I will explain some other time, in some other place, but to get back to the present, even if we were not, I am not sure that articulating a vision for India in the columns of PakTeaHouse will play well either in Pathankot or in Peshawar. Perhaps the time has come to go in deputation to Raza Rumi and ask him to make for us a common venue, where we can all of us speak freely of ourselves and of each other and of the way in which the world ought to be ruled, without overburdening the internal discussions and annals of a neighbour.

    I have said some things which may seem caustic, but it is important in my opinion for the sake of creating a dialogue among equals that we approach such a dialogue with open minds and a spirit of mutual acceptance of what we are at the moment, and no faint air of condescension or delighted surprise at hearing English being spoken in unexpected places. My criticising my own past interventions may kindly serve as mitigation for these words here.

  95. bonobashi

    Two uses of ‘already’ in the same sentence; yes, the words of Samuel begin to apply to me. Oh, well, tell it not in Gath, and the rest of it. Perhaps, in BC’s words, it is time to stop trying my luck in English.

  96. Raj

    YLH is regurgitating the old lies. First of all YLH, what is your religion? Are you considered an equal citizen to a sunni muslim “pakistani”, under the constitution? can you become President of Pakistan? just curious.

    Aren’t you hiding behind delusional fantasies that Indians are obsessed with pakis etc. No WE ARE NOT. We have NO USE for you (1) if you stop terrorism and (2) pathetic anti-India mindset, and hostility.

    KOMIREDDY has written a powerful article. Perhaps “Truth alone triumphs” –satyameva jayate–is true and the whole world including some paks are finally accepting the truth .i.e the truth that castle of “Pakistan” was built on lies.

    Lies that were uttered more than 70 years ago by Jinnah and company. When their lies are exposed, Pak ideologues desperatly regurgitate more of their old (exposed) lies. Jinnah & the elite who created Pakistan were not leaders of the masses as were Gandhi and Nehru. They sold the lies to the British and the British willingly went along with this mostly as a punishment to Gandhi& co and payback for their Indian nationalistic freedom movement.

    It is amusing to read Pakis claiming India has not accepted partition and that’s why there are problems. India cannot accept the ideology behind partition and still be India as it is. If paks had managed to create a country with the territory they got India is done with them. Alas, the 2 nation theorists have not produced a country after 62 years because the castle stood on lies.

    There is a fundamental problem if you create a country based on the sole claim if you practice a different religion, you cannot coexist with your neighbours and brothers who speak the same language, eat the same food.After achieving this Jinnah lied, and pretended and made statements to the effect Pakistan will be a tolerant state. The bogus claim was Pakistan was created to help muslims escapte the deceit, lies and oppression of Hindus.

    The hilarious aspect of this falsehood is it was muslims who were ruling Hindus until the British came. It was Aurangazeb a muslim emperor who let elephants to trample the Hindus of Delhi when they protested against Islamic jiziya tax.

    Paks desperately cling to caste riots, religious violence in India to see justifications for their ideology. The truth is Gandhi and Nehru and the overwhelming majority of Indians cherish the idea of citizenship of India that is not based on any other identity. This includes even large sections of moderate BJP. Islamic heritage is part and parcel of India as are million other things that constitute the mosaic of India.

    Where do we go from here? It is impossible to convince TNT ideologues of anything and Indians don’t have to.

    India should focus on economic development. However, pakis will continue to sponsor terrorism such as Mumbai attack, fighting it is only a subtext to our larger successful story.

  97. swapnavasavdutta


    What Pakistanis fail to distinguish is, Indians
    have accepted Pakistan but Indians will never
    accept the priniciple behind Pakistan, TNT,
    unless Indians have a leader like Jinnah
    (god forbid there is another Jinnah in Inida,
    we had one Jinnah wannabe already, Advani).

  98. Sharmishtha

    Raj, Swapnavasavdutta: Schadenfreude is a very fine wine. It is best enjoyed in silence.

  99. Archaeo


    Just curious, but wouldn’t a few chosen words in a Haryanvi dialect be more the speed of the gentlemen that you have chosen to address?


    First, let me acknowledge that you are right on target with your robust assertion that Indians are not obsessed with Pakistanis. It is not very clear to their undoubtedly feeble intellects that our proud aloof characters are in no way compromised by the trivial circumstance of our conducting this discussion on that famous pan-Indian institution the PakTeaHouse.

    On the contrary, you have done us proud by demonstrating that until smacked in the face by a fact, any fact, about Pakistan, we can display complete ignorance of it. For instance, by insinuating that YLH is a second-class Muslim, probably from that shadowy category that is not Sunni, and further building on this damning circumstance (never mind that it hasn’t been answered) by questioning his ability to become President of Pakistan, ever. That allows us to react with the outraged dignity of a camel when its testicles are tweaked (without its permission) when those treacherous scuts pretend to look befuddled and point to their present president.

    We come to Komireddy and points South. That indication of poor quality is not unintended; his article is so childish that I was taken aback, and let me confess, more than a little disturbed that YLH should have dignified it with an answer. I thought, apparently correctly, as is my wont, that nobody with any sense would subscribe to those half-baked ideas and totally untenable views. How do you define powerful? Does it equate merely to the pejorative content, or is any sprinkling of common sense, credibility or competence a necessary part of the recipe?

    But it appears that Komireddy is not really on your agenda. If I might surmise from a quick scrutiny of your subsequent paragraphs, your agenda is as follows:

    1. A quick proof that none of the Muslims on the sub-continent existed in the 40s, or if they did, they existed as the elite, thereby proving that the British were truly perfidious, to cast away from themselves a fine nation with such a large elite. This is easily proved; it is clear by definition that Jinnah could not have been a mass leader, because there can be only one mass leader at a time: as we all know, or at any rate, Sharmishtha probably does, Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuehrer! So the League winning landslide victories in Muslim majority regions is in no way any kind of qualification of them as mass leaders. What kind of mass leader speaks English, for heavens’ sakes, with the high-falutin’ accent that Mr. Jinnah did his? If he was a genuine mass leader, he should have spoken in Gujarati. Instead, in a demonstration of his elitism, and unfitness to be a mass leader, he is reported by (Hindu) associates as speaking an excellent variety of the Porbandari dialect.

    Now, I ask you: if that is not elitist, what is? And did you get the treacherous underhand implications of his choice of dialect? That he was born in those parts is no defence; he was obviously trying to undermine the Mahatma’s mass leadership qualification by dark hints and insinuations about his parenthood and provenance. Typical Muslim slander.

    2. The second point being a rebuff of the Pakistani canard that India cannot accept Partition, and the consequences of Partition, and keeps harping on re-unification to an unwilling 170 million distressed objects of wooing (you need to meet a character called aiims2009 to understand what unwanted wooing really is). This is so not true; we do so accept partition. It’s just the IDEA behind partition that we don’t accept, if you get what I think we mean.

    Well, anyway, let’s not go into that definitional crap; this isn’t a courtroom. It isn’t about logic; never was. We KNOW we’re right, and you’re wrong, and when we know it that hard, you’d give in and accept it as true if you were decent human beings, and if you weren’t an unemotional, cold-hearted bunch of grave-robbers, you wouldn’t keep tripping us up on sneaky stuff out of British-Muslim collaboration textbooks.

    You sorry shower just need to make a country, any country, with the territory you got (you didn’t get Junagadh and you didn’t get Hyderabad, so nyaah, nyaah).

    Now, if only you’d get your country going, with a flag and a government, and a court and people in that court, and an army and an airforce and a navy and a foreign service and membership of the UNO and the World Bank (useful to borrow from, trust us), and passports, and – oh, simple things, like a cricket team, for instance, one that wins something once in a way, you know the kind we mean, or even – forgetting poofy elite games that nobody except Lalit Mody really cares for anyway – hockey, a really manly game for the masses. I mean, where are all these signs of nationhood, you jerks? Ever thought of getting a good national anthem organised? We’ve got two. And that’s all we need to accept partition and sip our Riesling – could you make mine Johannisberger please? It’s amazing how some people can’t get the simplest things, even if it’s S-P-E-L-T out to them.

    3. What else? Can I do the rest in a separate post? I’m laughing too hard, and spilling my wine. Sharmishtha, don’t go away; there’s a special bit all for you.

  100. Gorki

    YLH: You don’t need to dignify the two posts above with an answer.
    Raj and swapnavasavdutta: Kindly try to understand the following with an open mind.

    YLH wrote a rebuttal to an article written by Kommireddy; the kind of which has become a favorite pastime of some lazy authors who write in the western press to polish their resume. First of all, the value of the information provided in this article is essentially zero. For example if for the sake of argument one were to believe everything that Kommireddy wrote is true, it is hard to find anything original in his article that has not been said before by others and that can not be researched on the web in a few hours.
    Next, his prediction: “Within the next 20 years, Pakistan as we know it today will probably not exist.”
    Here, he provides absolutely nothing; information or analysis wise to back his assertion.

    So in summary; his article is a kind of term paper a high school student would write (My apologies to high school students) if he was pressed for time and googled shamelessly to come up with some barely coherent gibberish to avoid an F. In this Kommireddy has done a good job; perhaps he deserves a C minus.

    Now check the facts. Kapil writes “…a struggle founded upon the premise that Muslims and Hindus cannot co-exist in one nation”.

    I request that you both to spend maybe half an hour on the PTH partition series to read the evidence presented and I can tell you that even if you were not entirely convinced, you will develop enough doubts about the above statement to say that is bogus. That MAJ argued TNT (two nation theory) is not the same as he said Hindus and Muslims could not live in one country. He did not say that till the failure of CMP. It is a big difference.

    Then Kapil says “Pakistan cannot justify its existence as long as India accommodates religious diversity.” Now this is the statement that truly upsets me. If one were to read the writings of many Pakistani intellectuals (including that of the young man who wrote the above; YLH) no one can claim there are no secular elements in Pakistan. That there voice has been suppressed is another thing. It is akin to saying that if the RRS protégé BJP had won the elections then all Indians would become believers in the TNT. This kind of generalization is one of the most harmful that we Indians can do.
    Suffice to say that we too have enough of the Baitullah Mehsud kind of fanatics in the saffron brigade. No one country has a higher moral ground; the fight against darkness and obscurity is an ongoing battle. Let people like YLH fight their battles while we fight our own.

    Now last think as an Indian, and tell me truly what you would want Pakistanis to do?
    Remain locked in the anti-India posture of the last 60 years (which is likely to continue if Indians keep needling it with useless analysis such as the one predicting its demise) or try something different for both our sakes?

    Specifically tell me how does it hurt India if Pakistanis start to rediscover that MAJ was a secular person and wanted a nation built on secular principles?
    Also try to figure out how does it hurt Indian interests if Pakistan (like YLH and PMA have argued) reinvents itself as a separate nation; not hyphenated with India but as a nation confident of its roots which lie equally in India, Iran and Afghanistan and starts looking westwards.
    Finally how is it bad for us if this nation of 170 million stands on its feet and then develops into a vibrant successful and prosperous neighbor rather than a sullen enemy?

    The very last question I want you (and all other Indians) to ask themselves; how does all this gloating helpful to Indian interests?


  101. Gorki

    gloating helpful to = gloating help further

  102. bonobashi

    Hear! Hear!

  103. PMA

    Archaeo (June 20, 2009 at 12:15 am):

    After reading the eloquence of Messrs. Raj, Swapna Vasav Dutta, and Shar Mishtha I was just going to sit back and enjoy my ‘very fine wine of Schadenfreude’ in silence. But then you come along. I too have laughed so hard that I almost fell off my chair spilling my fine wine all over the floor. Damn it. Now I need a refill.

  104. swapnavasavdutta

    “Now last think as an Indian, and tell me truly what you would want Pakistanis to do?”

    Get off the obsession of Kashmir, stop calling it as
    IOC, stop calling terrorists as FF and mostly, accept LOC
    as IB and move on, do not keep harping it as unfinished
    business of partition.

    Stop sending anti-India terrorists to India and stop
    harboring anti-India terrorist organizations, bascially
    curtail/discourage those organization that keep dreaming
    of breaking down India and furling green flag on Delhi,
    something like that, basically Islamo fascists, who
    are not necessarily beards.

    That is all. After that, they can do whatever they want to
    fulfil the reason Pakistan was created (what ever that was
    I really could care less). It does not
    bother me if India and Hindus are not part of this
    endeavour, all the power to them.

    IMHO, it is best if Pakistanis look west and north
    and do not even look east.

  105. Raj

    >>>> Gorki writes “Here, he provides absolutely nothing; information or analysis wise to back his assertion”.

    #1. Actually his whole article gives a coherent summary of reasons behind his assertion and prediction. Simply because reality contradicts your fanatasies about your country, you are calling him names, calling his writing school term paper, etc. Attacking the person, questioning his intellect, ridculing him do not constitute valid rebuttals.

    >>>Gorki asks “Now last think as an Indian, and tell me truly what you would want Pakistanis to do?”

    #2. Phew. I hope you really didn’t mean to ask this question. If you really asked this question, I’ll have to characterize you as dishonest.

    Stop terrorism, stop speaking on behalf of people living in India. We have no interest in you and your terrorist Kasab country. I stopped interacting with paki bloggers for the past few years until Ajmal Amir Kasab motivated me again, you know what I mean.

    >>>Gorki asks “Specifically tell me how does it hurt India if Pakistanis start to rediscover that MAJ was a secular person and wanted a nation built on secular principles?”

    #3. No, it doesn’t hurt. Read above. We grew up and lived with Muslims, and studied with Muslims at school. We’ll never understand MAJ’s perverted logic. If you don’t send in more Kasabs, dismantle Kasab training schools who cares if you worship MAJ?

    >>>>Gorki says “Finally how is it bad for us if this nation of 170 million stands on its feet and then develops into a vibrant successful and prosperous neighbor rather than a sullen enemy? ”

    The only brief time “Pakistan” was not able to hurt ir undermine India was in the brief interlude after surrender of its army to Indian army in 1971 and 1980. And then now in 2008, the only thing it is able to do is send in Kasabs. Correctly, India has escalated the cost paki has to pay for terrorism.

    Fighting Paki terror is only a smaller subtext to our larger success story.

    If you are wondering what makes Indians gloat, oh come on, it cannot be that hard to understand. Did you see the pictures of blood flowing on the platforms of Mumbai train station?

  106. yasserlatifhamdani

    Thank you Gorki.

    It upsets me, only slightly, to see otherwise reasonable Indians comparing a majoritarian fascist like Advani to someone who was once known as the best Ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity and someone who was a minority leader.

    I wonder if these people have even bothered to come out of their nationalist shells and tried to consider the fact that TNT might have meant something completely different.

    It goes back to the discussion we had in California. While we know where we went wrong – ie Zia’s islamic spin on TNT as an incontrovertible ideological principle…do Indians know where they did?

    I don’t understand why or how nationhood – a linguistic complication and as benedict anderson said “imagined identity”- has become such a contentious issue and how it is confused with the idea of citizenship. It is all terribly depressing.

    I don’t expect anyone to believe in the Two Nation Theory. I don’t think it is any more valid or invalid than one nation theory, multi-nation theory or no-nation theory.

    How a group nationalism ie minoritarian muslim nationalism developed and what were its landmarks have all been discussed on these boards. I think it was well argued and a good counter-point which was needed and Jinnah therefore adopted it. Beyond re-hashing the idea of community as nation and therefore opening the door for a consociationalist solution to India’s future as a diverse country, he had little use or interest for it. And he used the term nation to describe different things at different times as we all do.

    So I don’t know where Indians get this idea that we are out to make them admit the truth of the two nation theory…truth be told – and if you think long and hard about it- Two nation theory is the institutionalized part of Indian polity and not Pakistan. Musalmans of Pakistan don’t form one nation because there is no Hindu majority to unite them. Two Nation Theory thus is irrelevant to Pakistan.

    In India however communal considerations run deep and indian Musalmans are a qaum- you bet.Precisely why you find politicians like Varun Gandhi saying what they say and LK Advani doing what they do.

    And the sad bit is that the two nation theory that is operationalized and institutionalized in modern secular India of all places is not based on the progressive Muslim identity that Jinnah once inspired and which sidelined the Mullahs. The Indian variety of TNT is Congress’ tool to keep beating the drum of “secularism”. Congress hasn’t learnt from the past…it continues to sideline secular Muslims – as Gandhi sidelined Jinnah in the 1920s- and makes alliances with Deoband ceding to them the “leadership” of the Musalman “qaum”.

    So those like the fellow above who spoke about Indians never accepting TNT …should know that Pakistanis don’t want you to accept anything least of all something that has no application or relevance in Pakistan …and that in India it is already ingrained in the system and championed by the very force that has made a career out of abusing it.

    I feel sorry for people like Raj and komireddi who are unable to grow up and grow out of their petty prejudices and warped notions.

    On the aside about presidents and their faith etc…the current president of Pakistan is a Shia Muslim. And Jinnah was a were iskandar mirza, yahya, Bhutto, Benazir etc.

    But I suppose the real issue was whether a non-muslim can become the president and the answer is sadly in the present scheme of things no. and I would like to see this changed.

    However a non-muslim can become a prime minister and given that the constitutional scheme ultimately envisages a parliamentary system, it is the PM that should matter. The present importance of the president is temporary and shall pass with the repeal of 57 2 B. And I am sure Pakistanis will see the advantage of having a man like justice Rana Bhagwandas as the President of Pakistan. Inshallah. That day will come in my life time I am sure.

    Yet it is as irrelevant a question for an Indian to ask and gloat as it would be if a question was put to citizen of great Britain -white, black, muslim, christian or hindu- “can you become the Queen of England and Wales and the British monarch”.

    I mean what exactly is the role of an Indian president anyway. When was the last time we saw that fine freedom fighter lady president in public last? I feel that maybe the president of India is not even the symbol of Indian federation that he/she is proposed to be.

  107. yasserlatifhamdani

    Raj mian, you are a joke.

    Keep your word. Show your success story by nnot obsessing over Pakistan and writing on this website.

    Gorki is Indian btw …

  108. Raj

    >>I feel sorry for people like Raj and komireddi who are unable to grow up and grow out of their petty prejudices and warped notions<<

    Sure, how can we EVER grow up like you or your prophet MAJ (PBUH)?

    Your prejudices are not petty and your notion are not warped. Please enlighten me more.

  109. Raj

    >>>Keep your word. Show your success story by nnot obsessing over Pakistan and writing on this website<<

    You enjoy second class citizenship in your country delivered by MAJ(PBUH), I would enjoy third class non-citizenship in your country as a Hindu.

    If you are proud of such a country, imagine how much proud we could be about India. Is that MAJ (pbuh) style to attack the individuals (or their religion) and not the arguments?

  110. yasserlatifhamdani

    Raj mian,

    Several abusive posts (now deleted).

    Suffice to say – whatever is wrong with my country, I live in it and Komireddi types don’t live in theirs.

    That is a searing indictment whether you like it or not.

  111. yasserlatifhamdani

    Further to Raj:

    “Third class Hindu non-citizen”

    While prominent citizens of Karachi’s elite who are of Hindu faith might disagree with that assessment And I am sure Rana Bhagwandas – our former Chief Justice of the Supreme court would have a thing or two to say about that but since when did it bother you?

    After all many many many Hindu first class citizens of the great Republic Of India are clamouring to become Non-citizens of fifth class in Saudi Arabia and UAE.

    Did they give you first class citizenship in Japan yet?

  112. swapnavasavdutta

    This is not good, calling names (e.g. you are a joke)
    and spilling personal details, just because of some one
    does not conform/agree with your notions and ideas.

    This is what is lacking in Pakistanis in general and that
    is why democracy has not germinated well in Pakistan.

    This is not professionalism. And now I prepare myself
    to be called names or this post deleted or may be banned.
    Why is this person extolled, I have no idea.

  113. D_a_n

    @ Raj/Swapnavasavdutta…

    just a question…is the chowk website down for some reason? sure you wont be more comfortable there?

    @ YLH..

    And I am sure Pakistanis will see the advantage of having a man like justice Rana Bhagwandas as the President of Pakistan. Inshallah. That day will come in my life time I am sure.


    Amen to that brother. Amen.

  114. PMA

    YLH: If I may add few words. The ‘One-Nation’ claim of Congress and the ‘Two-Nation’ counter claim of Muslim League only existed in the colonial British India context. Once the Empire was divided in 1947 between the two claimants the TNT expired. The two nations could have lived side by side in one country but the other side did not want it that way. In fact the other side did not want to hear any of it. So that is the how you got three countries out of one Empire. Now inside Pakistan we don’t talk about TNT. We have no need or use of it anymore. But both India and Pakistan still have their respective ongoing internal problems on the issue of nationhood in various part of the country. Hopefully India will find a solution to her problems as we struggle with ours. So all those Indians who are on this board let me say this much. There is no need for you to worry about the TNT vis-a-vis Pakistan any more. It is a done deal. The subject is closed as for as Pakistan is concerned. We Pakistanis only open it when you Indians ridiculously question about our existence as a nation-state.

    YLH. How about if you write your next article on something other that India-Pakistan. It is getting old you see.

  115. Gorki

    PMA Sahib:
    I hear you. Let me briefly post my answers to the direct question directed at me and then I will get off the thread.

    The writing was brilliant and timeless. This is the kind of writing that entertains each time one reads it no matter how many times it has been read before. Sadly, though I suspect, the sarcasm is completely wasted on the objects of your attention. 😉

    Raj and swapnavasavdutta you wrote:
    >>>Gorki asks “Now last think as an Indian, and tell me truly what you would want Pakistanis to do?”
    #2. Phew. I hope you really didn’t mean to ask this question. If you really asked this question, I’ll have to characterize you as dishonest.

    Oh boy, where do I start and why do I even try?

    Guys; you have it all wrong. While you are tripping over each other trying to be the first one with an answer kindly pause long enough to consider that may be, just may be; it is a question asked in a rhetorical sense only. (If you still don’t understand, ask Bonobashi or maybe Hayyer48 to elaborate. As for myself, I have had a long day and am tired.)

    The point of my post was exactly what you both are saying. The terrorism from Pakistan has to stop. Yet this childish Pakistan bashing does nothing to prevent the 26/11 kind of massacres; it only gives more ammunition to those who are bent on perpetuating the kind of madness in the first place.

    Let me spell it out. If you both carefully read what YLH, BC and PMA have argued above, it can be summarized as follows: Their country has no use for the TNT and if anything, they are long over the partition and its causes.
    They also have no interest in encouraging any hostile acts towards India and are in fact calling upon their countrymen to look westwards and inwards, to solve their own problems rather than focus on India.
    They do not need a Komireddi or any other Reddy to tell them what they need to do.
    They know it.

    Anytime any condescending nincompoop opens his mouth; it makes the task of moderate leaders in Pakistan so much harder!!

    While they did not say this but it should be obvious to anyone reading the newspaper that terrorism is not a bathroom faucet that can be turned on or off at will. If Pakistan could tackle it as easily as most people naively think it can then it would not be taking casualties on a daily basis.

    While there is no denying that Pakistani establishment at one time created a monster in trying to create unconventional counterbalance to Indian military forces it is clear that many in Pakistan feel that this was an unsound policy.

    As things stand, terrorism is a global problem and both our countries have suffered from it.

    I leave you both with the following thought; when your neighbor’s house is on fire, it is not very helpful to gloat or even debate as to who lit the match; that can be done later.
    The fire threatens your own house just as much. It is important to first try to put out the fire, or at the very least; stop fanning the flames.


  116. Sharmishtha

    Sigh! Archaeo, PMA: I guess I should have written, “Schadenfreude (if that’s what you’re having) is a very fine wine. Go away and drink it in silence.” Would have lost its subtle bite, but perhaps you might have understood better. And here I thought I was doing my bit to drive away heapers of vitriol (and assaulters of grammar) and that I was keeping a space open for interested Indian readers of this webzine, readers like myself who see no merit in TNT, whether based in secularism or in religion, but who are nonetheless interested in following the debate ( I have commented on this before). I think I shall now take up my own recommendation of silence, etc.

  117. swapnavasavdutta


    Take it easy man, you give too much imporatance
    to what gets written here. Everybody is passing
    a gas, so no point in getting outraged.

    Just like Pakistanis give so much importance to
    merit a response everytime some Indian writes
    something negative about Pakistan.

    None of us are makers and shakers.

  118. Archaeo


    Sigh indeed!

    Your motives were perfectly well understood, at least here: please look up the last time I wrote something, in response to the expression of malice who went around calling himself Neo.

    I am sorry my fly-by accolade was misunderstood. On re-reading it, I agree, it does seem ambiguous. Apologies.

  119. Archaeo


    Sigh indeed!

    Your motives were perfectly well understood, at least here: please look up the last time I wrote something, in response to the expression of malice who went around calling himself Neo. Remembering your earlier expressions calling for restraint makes your attitude perfectly clear.

    I am sorry my fly-by accolade was misunderstood. On re-reading it, I agree, it does seem ambiguous and sinister in intent. Apologies.


    Some feedback: please listen to what is being said (not my words):
    “swapna dutta is hopeless. he has read it all. keeps visiting. keeps repeating the same beliefs. never gives any facts. never refutes any facts.”

    Is this what you want to be remembered for? Please make an effort and put in something of yourself.

    However, I agree with you there was too much importance given to that journeyman peddler of letters who set off this present storm in a tea-cup.

  120. yasserlatifhamdani


    Don’t lecture me on name-calling. Raj’s posts and my posts are there. I think people can see who is rational and irrational.

    Honestly ifa “democracy” creates bigots like Raj or people like you who are unable to criticize your own kind, I’d rather not live in such a democracy.

    And no as you can see no one has deleted you …just like no one has deleted Raj’s main posts. If he abuses people because of their national origin, he will certainly be deleted.


    That is very succinctly put. ONT and TNT existed in British India…and the latter proved the former wrong in a very substantial way. Wherever a majority will try and impose its own idea of nationalism, a TNT (or a MNT) will emerge as a liberation-ist ideal.

    Therefore we must solve our own issues by emphasizing constitutionalism above nationalism, citizenship over nation.

  121. bonobashi

    Will some kind soul, Pakistani, Indian or Bantu, I don’t care, please explain to me why most Indians spend most of our time on PTH assaulting, aggravating and bad-mouthing those closest to us in ideology and thinking within Pakistan? Those who, just like us, want to leave behind the baggage of the past, work on our respective problems for the present, and look to the future when citizens of independent and self-reliant nations meet without any shrill, hysterical bad-temper clouding the interaction?

    What is this, some kind of endurance test?

    Is the intense academic curiousity about certain historical events and processes expressed over several very fulfilling discussions being mistaken with disastrous consequences for some kind of yearning for the past? These are such different things, how can they be confused?

    Perhaps we should leave this whole thing alone for several moons, although personally I shall be a big-time loser and regret it deeply if that is done. Anything for peace and quiet.

  122. PMA

    hayyer48, bonobashi, Gorki, Subramanyam K.V, Archaeo:

    Thank you for your input and kind words. Your understanding of the events of the past will help in the quest for peace in the future. The need of the time is that the respective leaderships of these two mutually antagonising countries sit down together and resolve their outstanding disputes. The two owe it to the world. As someone said, “None of us [on this board] are makers [movers] and shakers”. That is true. But at the same time we do not exit in vacuum either. My hope is that those who are convinced about the need of peace between these two countries will go out in their real lives and try to convince their fellow countrymen for the same. It hurts me to see millions and millions of South Asians particularly in India and Bangladesh living in slums in utter misery in sub-human conditions. We few who are fortunate enough to chit-chat and some time argue on these Internet sites, we owe to those millions the same human dignity and fair chance in life that we enjoy. That will only happen if we resolve our bilateral disputes and move forward. Our respective countries have great challenges ahead of us. We need to disengage for a while and concentrate on our internal problems. And for me, I am going to take my own advise and get off this board for a while, shut up and just listen. You Dasht Naward; you sly man, you too need a break. And Mahatma, chill it. And Archaeo; your piece was excellent. Hope to read more of your writings. Let me raise my ‘Jam-e-Saffal’ and salute to all you gentlemen and to my dear friend Raza Rumi. Cheers.

  123. bonobashi

    I too shall take this excellent advice.

  124. Hayyer 48

    PMA: I took your advice two days ago. The Mahatma has been silent for 40 posts despite the temptation to join in a good cause.

  125. Subrmanyam K.V.

    PMA: Nice to hear your concern about the suffering the masses of South Asia.Lets hope we all live to the day to see a peaceful ,well developed South Asia.A South Asia where we can see India ,Pakistan ,Bangladesh not just as developed countries but as good and mutually respecting neighbors.

  126. awaam

    ahaa, its been a while and seems i ve missed some good discussions…

    ” oh, simple things, like a cricket team, for instance, one that wins something once in a way, you know the kind we mean, or …”

    r u watching indians…. he he he…. 22nd june 09… 20/20 champions… pakistan

    amazingly i would have wished india to win if they were playing any non south asian team…. when will they learn…..

    greatness comes generous hearts and humble minds…. not from being big in numbers or size…

    azhar aslam

  127. Archaeo


    I was being sarcastic, you twit, like the rest of the post. It was already clear that India were out, well out, and Pakistan were on a roll. The next line should say it clearly. And then the abrupt change of subject to hockey. Oh, never mind. I can see that you have a subtle, perceptive mind.

    Anyway, enjoy yourselves for another 364 days or less ;-)> we’re coming for you. And remember: size does matter.