Building Bunkers.. Inside-Out

The threat Within   By Ayesha Siddiqa, Dawn Online

A few days ago I came across a letter to the editor in Dawn in which the writer had protested against the use of the word ‘Taliban’ to describe the brutal killers currently terrorising the nation. In the writer’s view, such people should be termed ‘zaliman’. I thought I would advise the writer to watch more television and read newspapers to get rid of his anger against the Taliban.

Perhaps the writer would have benefited tremendously by watching a programme aired recently on a TV channel in which three distinguished maulanas — including Jamaat-i-Islami leader Fareed Paracha — argued that the Taliban were being needlessly maligned since there was no evidence available to prove that the attacks were being carried out by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.

Furthermore, it was said that the TTP’s claiming responsibility for terrorist attacks inside Pakistan did not add up to much since anyone could make those calls just to malign the organisation of non-state militants.

The above interview came a couple of days after the army claimed to have found evidence of India’s involvement in the conflict in Waziristan. Islamabad should take the evidence to the International Court of Justice since it does not hope to get a fair hearing from anyone else in the world, certainly not the US. Since India and America are viewed as being ‘hand-in-glove’, Pakistan cannot afford to share the above information with Washington as New Delhi did in the case of the Mumbai attacks.

The evidence of India’s involvement should be sufficient to put the aforementioned letter writer’s mind at rest. Now we no longer need to search for internal sources of violence.

Since the responsibility of the conflict in the region is now the responsibility of the US followed by India, we need not even look at the fact that Pakistan witnessed about 45 terrorist attacks before 9/11 which many in this country view as the sole cause of strife and bloodshed in the entire region. We can no longer argue that 9/11 just expedited the process of bringing to the surface all those elements or networks that later caused violence in the region.

I would go further and apprise the writer of another crucial fact that technically, there are no home-grown terrorists in Pakistan since there has never been any conviction in a major case of terrorism. The significant names that are associated with extremist terrorist activities such as Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, Riaz Basra and Malik Ishaq of the Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP)/Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), Qari Saifullah Akhtar of Harkat-ul-Jihad-ul-Islami (HuJI) or Masood Azhar of Jaish-i-Mohammad (JM) and many others are foreign concoctions.

The country’s legal system is such that the onus of proving an individual or organisation’s responsibility in an act of terror lies on the state. So, if the police are unable to bring concrete evidence before the court it is difficult to convict those accused of terrorism by the law-enforcers. Moreover, the legal procedures take so long that the prosecution (being the state) is unable to hold on to witnesses. They either die, are killed or are too scared to give evidence against organisations and individuals with a particular reputation.

Technically, it is but fair to let people go if nothing can be proven against them. This was essentially the position which Pervez Musharraf took for not pursuing action against those who were swapped for the hostages of Indian Airlines flight IC 184 which was hijacked to Kandahar in 1999. Why arrest someone if even the enemy had failed to convict the people after keeping them in jail for so many years?

Hence, it is not surprising that there are hardly any convictions. In a couple of cases where this has happened, as in the case of American journalist Daniel Pearl’s murder, the death sentence has not been carried out.

We now know that Khaled Sheikh Mohammad of Al Qaeda and not Omar Saeed Sheikh committed the murder. Probably, it was in appreciation of Sheikh’s innocence that his jailers in Hyderabad allowed him access to several SIMs and mobile phones that he then used for very naughty activities, which we will not report here as acts of potential terrorism.

One might just wonder about the killings of Shias in the country, which have been going on since the mid-1980s when the SSP was reportedly established to fight the Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Fiqh-i-Jafria by the state. We hardly notice that last year there were systematic killings of Shias in Dera Ismail Khan and before that of Shia doctors in Karachi. The killing of Shias in Balochistan by the Taliban also goes unnoticed by the media and the authorities.

Surely one cannot discuss Balochistan at all where there is much more serious evidence of India’s involvement. The maulanas might argue again that sectarian violence in Balochistan is an Indian/American conspiracy.

The person who wrote the letter might decide to respond to this piece and might argue that the behaviour pattern of the Pakistani establishment and the bulk of the people remains the same. We accused the East Pakistanis of being Indian agents and said the civil war was caused by Hindu teachers in collusion with the Indian state. Any signs of India’s involvement very naturally mar our ability to look at other possibilities or threats.

In East Pakistan’s case, for instance, the internal crisis had nothing to do with the unfair treatment of the Bengalis by the West Pakistani civil and military establishment. The only truth about that era was that the Mukti Bahini was trained by Indian intelligence.

We in Pakistan are coming close to a point where we can comfortably forget that we have elements within that want to take over (perhaps not physically) the state in pursuance of their pan-Islamic agenda. The war being fought by Pakistan due to international pressure is what has caused all the violence.

I would like to refer to the golden words of Punjab’s Law Minister Rana Sanaullah in response to the allegation of south Punjab turning into a hub of extremism and terrorism.

The minister felt there was no training taking place in the region and if people were getting recruited to fight in Afghanistan or other places, how could the government stop this. After all, we live in a free country.

Under the circumstances, my only advice to the writer of the letter is that if he begins to feel unsafe vis-à-vis the presence of the ‘zaliman’ within, he/she should build additional bunkers outside the house.

48 Comments

Filed under Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism

48 responses to “Building Bunkers.. Inside-Out

  1. I think the problem lies in our Pscyche….
    The blame game on External Elements started from the very begining
    As Eve and Adam(AS) were incited by the external elements and Abdullah Ibne Saba caused problems to Khilafat….And the story goes On…
    The problem lies in our interpretations…
    We have the same problem as with Maulana Johar
    “Un ki apni Zindagi mey kisi se nai bani”
    As he in his own verse has stated
    “tauheed tou yeh hai K Khuda Hashr Mey Keh Dey
    Yeh Banda Dou Aalam Se Khafa mere Liye Hai”

  2. Milind Kher

    Talking of the killing of Shias which the author has brought up, this sectarian bias is something which people need to get out of.

    India used to witness Shia Sunni riots in Lucknow, but they are non existent now. Ayatollah Khomeini was also a very strong advocate of Shia Sunni amity.

    These are initiatives which the learned and the influential in Pakistan will have to take.

  3. karun1

    i have never seen(read) her so angry!

  4. It feels strange why some of our writers or our interior Minister are insisting not to call them Taliban or call them Zaaliman etc…We have not call them some name they chose theirselves for them….
    TTP or TTI….both have nothing different….Why are we annoyed on the monsters of our side to use the word for them…..Or we have some intentions of using this copy right protected term again in the neighbourhood….for some strategic depth adventurism
    I appreciate Dr. Aisha Siddiqa for his bold stance….
    I am amzed when some so called analysts enlighten us with our strategic importance and they use the phrase “America Need Us in Afghanistan.” After the Ghairat Brigade these people tell us that we have no objection on the role we will play in the neighbourhood, we just want better negotiations and some assurances against our Deadly(Azlee O Abdee) enemy and his role in the region….
    For the new role the sacred term should be kept away from the reach of naughty ones…..

  5. Hossp

    I completely and unequivocally agree with Ayesha on this. However, I don’t see any problem with calling the Taliban, Indian agents or Indian sponsored. This may be opportunistic but if that works and brings public support against the Taliban, then there is really no harm in using the Indian Bogey.
    Pak-India relations as they are now, will not improve or further deteriorate just because of these accusations so lets just use that. That is what Realpolitik is all about.

    Otoh, there are so many
    international agencies active and competing in FATA that Indians would just be stupid to not have a presence there.

  6. vajra

    @Hossp

    I think it’s a horrible idea.

    Real enough and politikal enough for even Metternich, but it leaves behind a residue of hatred to be added to the detritus already accumulated. We have enough to erode that, not in the interests of some sentimentalising, but in the interests of drawing down the tension between two states, and their two capable military forces and thereby releasing additional funds for development.

    Please, in the interests of some short-term rabble-rousing, don’t let’s start more unfortunate legacies for future generations to mop up. Surely there are other ways to motivate the lumpenproletariat than by imitating Herr Schicklgruber.

  7. Milind Kher

    @Hossp,

    It isn’t that Indo Pak relations will always remain static. Raising the Indian bogey could deteriorate them.

    On the contrary, since both the nations are getting increasingly aware that the terrorists are a common enemy, it would be an opportunity for them to move much closer

  8. @Hossp
    Though U claimed to be in agreement with the author…..But U didn’t get what she was complaining for….
    As raising fingers on external elements we are hiding the real issue behind it…
    U dont know or didnt understand the reference to Punjab Govt. and remarks of Law Minister
    Protesting on the word “Taliban” clearly indicates they have intended to collect the elements of their choice under this term and one flag to use them across the border…..What do U think?

  9. mohammad

    People who advocate for taliban or section of tribal mindset seem to have autistic understanding. Everyone in upper punjab knows about car jacking, heroin smuggling, deadly weapons smuggling, abduction, providing sanctuary to murderers and other acts of kindness and perpetrators are not indians but our dear brothers from FATA. They have huge intelligence network in the form of afghan rubbish collectors and nomadics. I challenge anyone to park their new car in open and then find it next morning,without getting a call from someone in bajur agency to pay third of car price, you dont have to go there to pay as someone will collect money from you. Given the efficiency of our police anyone will choose the this option. This brutal mind set with deadly fanaticm of mulla which feeds on innocent blood is leading us to destruction. Everyone in upper punjab seems on the mercy of such people. Law enforcing agencies are unable to handle them. In this scenario we the punjabis should be allowed to carry arms without licence. I am sure taliban or so called independent tribes will think twice before targeting anyone as self defence comes natural .

  10. Bloody Civilian

    hossp

    that is exactly the kind of myopia ayesha siddiqa deplores. so i don’t know how do you claim such complete agreement with her!!

    so, today, we fight the TTP funded by Indian consulates in a’stan. but what do we do when the JeM, LeT turns on us tomorrow (or sooner)? claim that they too are trained indian agents?? i’m afraid, you’re no better than those who were claiming taliban as an asset a decade ago.

    the problem is the state confusing people, under zia, into accepting a man holding a gun as long as he is holding the quran in the other hand. be it lal masjid, LeT, LeJ/SSP, JeM or al-qaeda. your suggestion is not only about treating the symptom and ignoring the disease, it is about treating one particular symptom and that too in a confined, localised area only. we’ve had almost 10 years of that… perhaps a little more. it’s tonic to the disease.

  11. Luq

    @Hossp

    Have you missed half of her message?
    Plz re-read the article.

    L

  12. Luq

    >Pakistan cannot afford to share the above
    >information with Washington as New Delhi did
    >in the case of the Mumbai attacks.
    🙂 Because if did, there will be proving themselves wrong…….. isnt that what the author is trying to say.

    Every sentence in the article is laced with sarcasm. Brilliant.

    >how could the government stop this.
    >After all, we live in a free country.

    See what I mean?
    What the author is saying is – It is undoubtedly the govt’s duty to stop this. etc

    L

  13. Milind Kher

    Conspiracy theorists, an irresponsible media and inept politicians all combine to make a cocktail that is terribly destructive.

    Very apparently, this is what is happening. The mushrooming of terrorists in Punjab is equally something that the GOP would have to worry about.

    And last but not least, terrorist acts are getting more and more violent, and will need to be checked right away.

  14. Hossp

    Apparently, I stepped on some sensibilities here. We don’t live in an ideal world. Both Pakistan and India have a problematic relationship and there is not going to be any resolution soon. So from the current situation’s perspective, there is really no need to pursue better relations with India when half the country is burning.

    Pakistan needs an edge in this war and that edge via some anti-Indian rhetoric will not hurt anything.

    Let me make this case as I have advocated it to some very important people in Pak couple of years ago. Here is a gist of it. You can pick up the pieces of the rest of the puzzle.

    In 2004-05 Pak army on the US insistence decided to move in the FATA and specifically South and North Waziristan. Soon it became apparent that the Pathan troops would not fight their brethren. There were number of defections and surrenders. In the end, that operation became an embarrassment for the Pak army and it retreated from FATA. Even the Punjabi troops were not willing to fight their Muslim Pathan brothers. People who follow the events in Pakistan would know that there were plenty of stories at that time about Pak army facing enormous resistance within its ranks over this war. The war was not only unpopular with the army but it was unpopular with the general public too.

    The Pak army was trained to fight against India and enemy for the troops was also Indians. Without making some connection, it was impossible to motivate the troops to fight this war. India provided this opportunity by attempting to develop relations with Afghanistan and set up first India military base outside of India in Central Asia. Farkhor Air Base is an Indian airbase located near the town of Farkhor in Tajikistan, 130 kilometres (80 miles) south east of the capital Dushanbe. Just two miles from the Afghan border (wiki). Pakistan started linking Taliban and some folks in Baluchistan with India in early 2007, the built up reached crescendo after the incident in Mumbai. The hostilities were out in the open and there was no hesitancy in the Pak army in painting the Taliban as Indian sponsored or more specifically Indian agents. The crude operators in Pakistan picked up the rhetoric, the stupid media was liberally used and now the army could convince its Punjabi and Pathan troops that the Taliban are playing in Indian hands and they should be treated as enemy. The mental block was removed in both the army troops and general public. The support for the war against Taliban picked momentum and the center was able to start the first offensive in Swat and now is in S. Waziristan and soon would be in North Waziristan.

    The change would not have come without associating the Taliban with India as Indian agents. Why give that up when the army is succeeding, while the US army is faltering in Afghanistan? The US is busy in its own internal battles and the afghan front is being neglected.

    No one changes winning formula in the middle of the war just because some faint hearts and bleeding heart liberals want better relations with India. We can have better relations with India ten years down the line, after the hoopla in the FATA and Afghanistan has died down. Right now this war is more important than the relations with India. We have lived with bad relation for the last sixty years another ten years will not hurt anything.

    The US and many in Pakistan know that the war in Afghanistan is all about saving Pakistan and that is the priority.

  15. shazia

    In short, hossp provides an excellent algorithm for Pakistanis to continuing shoving their heads deep where the sun don’t shine. What could have been a worldview changing series of events, similar to the impact that the dresden bombings had on the conspiracy laden citizens of Germany becomes just another cynical ploy at the hands of the army elite and their realpolitik inspired geniuses.

  16. Hossp

    shazia,
    Yeah, like you have many choices. You want better relations with India and want to leave Pakistan for Taliban to roam around freely. There will not be any better relations with India after the Islamists take over Pak any way.

    Tackle one problem at a time. Simply, we need to take out the Taliban first and worry about
    relations with India later.

  17. Gorki

    “We have lived with bad relation (with India) for the last sixty years another ten years will not hurt anything”.
    ………………………………………………..

    Don’t you think that the above statement has anything to do with the situation that Pakistan (and the World) finds itself today in??

    Doing the same thing over and over again or something like that and expecting different……..etc. etc.😉

    Regards.

  18. vajra

    @Hossp

    I was left bereft of response after reading your post before last. It was a class act, and cannot be followed.

    Has it ever occurred to you, even as you have advocated it to some very important people in Pak couple of years ago, as you informed us in a previous post, thereby establishing your authority and direct connect with the levers of power, that the only problem with Pakistan has been its obsession with India, and with ‘fixing’ India, and that the only sensible way of getting a grip on yourselves and your destiny is the method advocated by P. M. Alvi and Y. L. Hamdani, namely, each side to look away and to make a special effort to get away from their obsessive compulsive fascination each with the other?

    The reason I raise this is because even the situation in Afghanistan today, even the Taliban menace which you propose to address with such consummate cunning and sleight of hand, stemmed from the casuistry displayed earlier. What, I wonder, will be the outcome of the casuistry sought to be displayed today? Perhaps, to you, that is not so important, and can be left as an exercise to be solved by the student by himself. What’s so special about the people to come in the next sixty years that they can’t dedicate themselves to clean up your mess, just like you did the mess created by your predecessors?

    But, as the bartender in Irma la Douce keeps reminding us, that’s another story.

  19. Gorki

    “Let me make this case as I have advocated it to some very important people in Pak couple of years ago…..”

    It would be interesting to find out what case do the ‘important people’ in Pakistan make for fighting this war.

    1. Is it America’s war? Then are they fighting it out of fear? or a favor?

    2. If not, then why is this war Pakistan’s war?

    Unless the elite in Pakistan can come up with a convincing answer to the last question for themselves they can never hope to win.

    Then again, maybe there is no answer; maybe the Pakistanis indeed see the Taliban as ‘bretheren’ in which case why carry on a charade, it may be better to honestly look everyone in the eyes and accept that truth.
    Atleast this way there will be less bloodshed and Pakistanis can get on with their lives albeit according to another vision.

    The important thing is that the moment of truth is here and now. One thing is clear, this huge credibility gap is a major weakness in this war.
    Regards.

  20. Bloody Civilian

    Hossp

    No one changes winning formula in the middle of the war just because some faint hearts and bleeding heart liberals want better relations with India.

    the criticism is not about the good or bad effect on indo-pak realtions. that is just you using it as a red herring in an attempt to divert attention from the fact that what you call a winning formual is about as successful as dr frankenstein’s. and you wanted to construct a false argument allowing you to call people faint hearts etc. destroying the real enemy (which is more a case of what than who) has nothing whatsoever to do with india or indo-pak relations.

    i don’t care if indo-pak realtions are even worse for the next 60 years, if that’d stop you using it as a strawman trying to ignore the real argument.

    Right now this war is more important than the relations with India. full stop! there is no ‘right now’ about it.

    There will not be any better relations with India after the Islamists take over Pak any way

    and if we keep differentiting between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ islamists… we can never win. it’s about teaching people to reject anyone who uses religion to raise himself above the law. or to create a state within a state, or a militia in a country with a national army. even if it is at the instigation of the national army.

    we’ve to learn to refuse any militias within our own society. creating LeT within our own society is not the same as supporting the khalistanis. just as india migt be aiding the taliban but not creating a taliban-like militia within indian society itself.

    pashtuns are more used to fighting pashtuns than any one else. whether it is intra-tribal – ie inter-clan, inter-tribe or the recent history of conflict in afghanistan or even the history of past centuries. the pashtun is the quintessential mercenary.

    their problem has been fighting people who were regular tahajjud prayers. who had raised arms in the name of islam. nifaz-e-sharia. that is why some preferred to surrender. until they saw videos and remains of their mutilated comrades.

    it was the same diseasse that allowed people to be quite unperturbed by the fact that there were arms and grenades in lal masjid – a place of worship.

    no one but the terrorists themselves and their bone-chillingly successful campaign of blood and gore is what has forced some clarity in people’s minds. this is the time to try and show people how we cannot have a state within the state or for anybody to be above the law (even if he is called ziaul haq, wearing the official pak army uniform, promising nizam-e-mustafa/nifaz-e-islam).

    hopefully, people will realise the importance of rule of law.. the best hope of evolving a democratic system. the rank and file seeing the worst of project ziaulhaq/hamid gul/aslam beg/etc., and paying the heaviest price of us all, will see much of this too. and realise that constitutionalism is the only hope, if any.

    either we can grab this opportunity and take the fight to the enemy – the real disease. or we can try and find yet another short-cut, trying to act smart, and continue to create frankensteins and fool ourselves into thinking that calling them different names will change their nature. changing the name of the disease into something we think is innocuous, or palatable, will not cure it.

    as for our india-centric strategic depth making us ignore afghanistan’s own history and dynamics, and that of our own society, for that matter, as far as creating frankensteins and nurturing the disease… vajra has already pointed that out.

  21. aliarqam

    Hossp is advocating the mindset of our
    elitist, zaid hamidist youth….
    This sort of thinking is well defined by Khaled Ehmed in his preface of Amir Mir’s book “The fluttering flag of Jihad”
    Those who oppose extremism and those who find Indian hands(yahhod O hunud) in every episode have some mixed kids….
    Opposing extremist monsters and find yahood O hunud conspiracies in it…

  22. Hossp

    Gorki
    “1. Is it America’s war? Then are they fighting it out of fear? or a favor?
    2. If not, then why is this war Pakistan’s war?”

    This issue is settled now. There is no ambiguity that this is a war that Pakistan has to fight within its own borders. You can read my article pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2008/11/10/the-taliban-and-our-national-interest/ read the comments too as the article was poorly formatted and missed two paragraphs. Sure, there was some ambiguity even at the top in Pakistan but I don’t see that any more.

    Bloody Civilian,
    I can’t figure out what you are trying to say. Read my first post on this article and I have clearly said that the current position that Pakistan has taken-using Indian bogey- is an opportunistic position but at this time this approach is bringing the results that we could not see earlier. I explained that in details in my next post. As I said earlier and I would say it again; taking the idealist position is a game that faint hearts play. We need to reconcile with the ground reality and the reality is that there was no way for the army to motivate its troops to fight in FATA except to somehow portray the Taliban as Indian agents. I just don’t see any problem with that as Pakistan’s friendship or better relations with India cannot or will not have an immediate impact on this war.

    Aliarqam
    What you wrote is just ridiculous. You don’t have a clue about what is discussed here. Relations with India are not of prime importance for Pakistan. Though I am all for better relations with neighbors and all that but let me repeat that again… primary concern for Pakistan is and should remain the insurgency in FATA as the ambitions in that area are directly related with Pakistan’s survival

  23. Milind Kher

    @Hossp,

    I see a lot of people saying that Pakistan has united well against the Taliban.

    However, the ease with which terrorist activities are carried out, and the success with which they are done leads one to wonder whether so much can be done without anybody’s connivance and collusion.

    The Pak army will have to fight them withan iron will, the way Sri Lanka did. Let them show the zeal the Islamic armies showed at Nahrawan and wipe out these modern day Khawarij.

  24. shazia

    @aliarqam
    you are totally correct. zaid hamid represents the last ditch effort of pakistani elite who don’t want to lose their role as protectors against india and all the benefits that that gives them. hossp’s thinking is totally in line with that.

  25. Hayyer

    Hossp:
    Your comments are unusually perceptive most of the time and I admire your sharp insights, expressed without mincing words.
    The realpolitik of using the Indian bogey however raises two sorts of questions in my mind. The first set are articulated pretty well in the comments above. I would only add that this realpolitik will compound the original problem and confirm the national myth-cherchez le Indien. If TTP, LeT and JM were created to counter India and they can only be controlled by ascribing their creation to India then the Indians are screwed anyway. Your school textbooks will begin teaching children this; not in a hundred years will any patriotic Pakistani believe that it was Pakistan’s own doing. The straw man feeds the straw man argument and it can never end.
    My other point concerns the perceptions of the Pakistani establishment and your soldiery. How deeply embedded is the idea that India and enemy are the same thing! If your soldiers wont fight unless they fight India what chance of peace ever? It is this self reinforcing myth that your realpolitik promotes. That the real business of Pakistan is to confront the enemy, India, and anything else is merely a diversion from the good fight, from the national cause, from confronting the real enemy, from saving Pakistan.
    Even 1971 which saw the division of the country was not as grave a crisis as that which faces Pakistan today. Yet all one senses in the statements of your establishment is eagerness to return to the old hostile postures on the eastern front, and resumption of a confrontation that is unproductive at best, but risks the destruction of both countries.

  26. Bloody Civilian

    Hossp

    I can’t figure out what you are trying to say

    your pragmatic opportunism means that militant religious fanatics will not be resisted as long as they’re suitably anti-India.

    i’m saying that this is a real opportunity to make people understand that militants of any kind will not be accepted. especially not of the religious variety. the mullah who picks up the gun will not be tolerated, no matter what his message is, until he puts down the gun first.

    the suicide bombings, all by themselves, are bringing that kind of clarity to people’s minds. all we need you and your friends in the establishment to do is to kindly not confuse people once again. what’s pragmatic to you is bonkers to me. what’s faint-hearted idealism to you is the stark reality to me. let me add that in my stark reality india is as irrelevant as it is in yours. except you’re prepared to use it as a tool to confuse. i’m not.

  27. vajra

    @Bloody Civilian

    Painful but perceptive, truly perceptive.

  28. rexminor

    The title of ayesha siddiqa’s article attracted my attention but its contents very much disappointed me. I guess the style is very foreign to me. All this talk about violence and involvement of political parties is not comprehensible. My analysis of the situation is that pakistan misery is of its own doing and no different than many other countries such as the usa, uk, france, germany and italy. It is not easy to integrate a large number of migrants from other countries into the established domestic domain, particularly when they speak a different language and are unwilling to integrate within the local societies. Pakistan now badly needs reforms within schools, universities, legal institutions, administations structure, police and the military. To continue with the civil and military inherited from the Brits. is no longer valid. You cannot bomb Pushtoons like the Brits did and then expect to live safely with or without bunkers. The incompetent civil govts. and military rule over a large period of time have earned you the title of a failed state and the most dangerous country in the world. The wealth of youth in the country has never been exploited, most of them including skilled and with higher education seek employment in the middle eastern or other countries. PA is not a national army and like mr Parwez Musharaf, the indian born ex army genreral said on cnn some time ago that pakistan army takes orders from the top and carries it out. Question; do the officer or soldiers know the difference between a legal and illegal order? How can the fighter pilot drop bombs on the residential area in swat and waziristan without knowing if there were old, women and children sleeping there. The israeli army claimed to have dropped leaflets in Gaza asking residents to vacate. What did the PA did? Did they also drop or distribute by post leaflets written in pushto language that the residents could understand. Did the Indian military undertook aerial bombing in kashmir? I am not aware of such accusations. Question; What would PA military do If India was to provide assistance to pushtoons like they did to bengalis?
    The criminals are normally dealt with law and order machinery not the military. There is no need to glorify maulvis or others who preach violance. Nor the years of indoctrinating children and the youth about animosity with the neighbouring India has brought any dividends for the country. I am aware that the army in their training need a fictitious enemy! why not use the people living in amazon as the army opponents, atleast then the the exercise would look genuine. PA could cause destruction in the sub-continent but cannot defeat the Indian military. Everyone is aware of this fact. The only people who have defended the boundry lines, have defeated the us and nato armies are being bombarded by the PA. What a farce!!

  29. Milind Kher

    @rexminor,

    I fully appreciate your points. Before blaming any external enemy, a thorough introspection needs to be done.

    Before partition, India and Pakistan were one nation. Thereafter, if India has made rapid strides, why not Paksitan? It is here that Pakistan needs to introspect.

    Instead of trying to compete with India militarily, why not do it on the platform of science and technology?

  30. vajra

    @Hossp

    Please reflect on the reception that your views got on this forum for a moment. You are aware that your views are usually received with the greatest of respect, and that there is usually not much opposition to them, if at all there is any. This is different, wouldn’t you agree?

    It is true that the nature and composition of a social elite makes other sections of society unimportant compared to the elite, and other opinions unimportant compared to the opinion of the elite. On these grounds, it may be possible to set aside whatever has been said here with contempt, and to continue to pursue the line proposed by you. It is also possible to argue that in fact your projection of the situation, synthetic and purpose-built for the occasion though they may be, are in fact more consistent with the views of the mass of society than the views of the small handful, the minor percentage of the population which finds expression here. In fact, it is possible to argue that this is the elite, small and self-contained, and the masses have different beliefs and value systems.

    You have to decide if you wish to promote a line which seems fraught with danger, going forward, or you wish to take a more difficult line, and seek for the country an authentic expression of its national identity.

    For sixty-two years and some, the ruling sections, together, acting in concert with elements which have a vested interest in dislodging the existing pattern of constituted government, have cynically promoted an adversarial role for the country. It has produced a lop-sided polity, which exists half the time, and half the time hands over power to another political party which is the only one legally permitted to bear arms, bought at the expense of the state, and declare war, which it has done no less than four times so far, typically in collusion with sections of the country which it has armed and equipped for the same purpose but in a less recognisable manner.

    This policy has been a failure and has resulted, when it was sought to be replicated elsewhere, in a blowback which now threatens the state itself. And yet even now, with a bland disregard of facts, of history, of the bare and stark reality staring the country in the face, it is thought that taking that failed and bankrupted policy forward will continue to yield results – results that were never, ever forthcoming in the past. ‘Having lost sight of our objectives, we redoubled our efforts.’

    Well-meaning foreigners can only watch. Some with sinking hearts, some with faith and confidence in the legendary ability of this country to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, some with hope that in time of dire trouble and in the face of a threat to the very existence of the state, all sections that are still not lost to good sense will unite. But all they can do, all I can do, is to watch and hope.

    It is for you to act. And you will be judged, not by your countrymen, not by your contemporaries, but by posterity, by history. Think well before you spring into ill-considered action.

  31. Hayyer

    Rexminor:
    I am not Pakistani but even I have problems with your definitions. Foreign born means in your context Indian born. Pakistan was surely meant for all Muslims, including the so called Mohajirs. After all till the second world war brought in the Punjabi crowd it was the poor Indian Muslim who thought he was building a future for himself by supporting the AIML. Punjabis came on board later and Pakhtuns at the very end, if they came on board at all. Some of your most prominent patriotic Pakistanis have been former Indians. They built up Pakistan in the initial years. Do you recommend proscribing them from public life as second class citizens. All of them are above sixty anyway. What sign of disloyalty have they shown except for the occasional comment of the MQM leadership.
    Were not Mirza Aslam Beg and Zia ul Haq also foreign born. Musharraf was a tricky customer no doubt, but was he trickier than Zia?
    Civilians have been bombed in Pakistan before this latest episode. Isn’t that how Tikka Khan earned his title. On the frontier at least the old British imperial administrative style was always in play.

  32. rexminor

    @Hayyer
    I have no specific definitions- may be that my deliberations are different to those of others, I observe events , analyse them and say what I sincerely think and remain myself. I have noticed that you guys are very sensitive and sometimes even emotional but I do not have the slightest intention to upset anyone. With regard to your analogy, Pakistan was not meant for all muslims! The muslim league indeed wanted a separate homeland for the muslims. If the majority in the Pushtoon province had not voted for muslim league i.e., in favour of Pakistan, there would have been no Pakistan today. Did any muslim leader imagine at the time about the vast migration which followed after the partition? I am sorry I have no knowledge of this piece of history. Every history student knows the events after the partition in that part of the world. Unfortunately the punjabis did not bring the whole of their province to Pakistan and the kashmiri leaders had no interest to affiliate with Pakistan. Whatever rag tag army was allocated to Pakistan, they were unable to protect the territory. The pushtoon tribesmen from Dir and Swat right down to waziristan were then asked to defend the kashmiri border against the indian forces. You are ofcourse right that the muslim leaders who migrated from India made sacrifices and built up the country in the initial years. I have not noticed anyone making anyone a second class citizen in Pakistan. However, I have heard urdu/english speaking elite in Pakistan follow the habit of anglo saxons calling anyone an illetrate if he cannot speak urdu or english language. This did not earn them a lot of good will in former east pakistan and current baluchi and sindh provinces, according to serveral local newspapers.The old imperial administrative style play will normally receive the waziri style reaction. I personally would not even wish that for my enemy. With regard to your reference to former military leaders, there is a saying here, ” let the dead have rest and lie in peace”. The history is scattered with such personalities, infact there was one who even ruled afghanistan for some days and during this time he was able to introduce the leather currency. Have a nice day.

  33. rexminor

    @MilindKher,
    Good Lord, your proposal: there were two muslims who came from an indian village, both of them were gifted scientests and were able to construct atomic weaponry. one of them worked in india and the other one migrated to Pakistan. The Indian was made the head of the state and the Pakistani was put under house arrest. I gather if you let these countries become one or cooperate technically with each other, the world will not be safer for us. Let them keep the rivalry and competition simply to slow down their destructive potential.

  34. Hossp

    Hayyer and Bloody Civilian,

    I do understand what you are saying and I see some long term implications but I also assume that you are familiar with the history of off and on – mostly off- relationship between the two countries. That to me means not to revisit the context in depth. It should be all clear to you that the Pak army from the very beginning was geared to fight India. There was no other reason for building up a huge army. Pakistan’s forays in to multiple military alliances with the US were justified on the same basis. With that in mind, why would you even come close to thinking that the internal training within the army is not designed to fight one enemy and that was India? We can argue the merits or the demerits of this focused training but it is there for the last 60 years and ingrained in the troops mind. With such a long history of animosity, and based on the absence of any critical thinking in the army, couple of generations of the army officers and the troops have developed a certain mindset that is hard to change in just a few years.

    Now we have a situation that a new enemy has emerged on the western borders from the society that army troops belong to. These troops are familiar with them and that familiarity makes it harder for the army troops to fight them. You cannot suddenly change gears in situations like this. You need to build up a situation where you create doubts in the minds of the troops and then you use the ensuing confusion to use these troops against the insurgents. We know that the previous attempts to fight the insurgents in FATA were failures just because there was no commitment from the troops to fight their brothers.

    Leaving aside some of your well argued points; you need to concentrate on the situation at hand.

    BC wrote, “this is a real opportunity to make people understand that militants of any kind will not be accepted. especially not of the religious variety. the mullah who picks up the gun will not be tolerated, no matter what his message is, until he puts down the gun first.”

    Looks pretty impressive on paper but how much time do you have to implement this policy when the defeat is staring at you now? The violence from FATA has turned into a full blown insurgency where they are targeting the government installations, fixed army positions and constantly attacking the law enforcement in Pakistan. We are at a point where only resort is to use the same army that in the first instance created this monster. Instead of sitting down with troops and taking years to teach them what BC wants them to learn, a quick action was required and if that quick action for some idealist folks is unacceptable than they should continue to strive for the long term education. Just remember the more time you take, the costlier the solution would be.

    We had one US admin that was supposed to coordinate this issue in the last eight years but it never did. The new admin in DC is fighting a battle of leaks with the US army and Pentagon. Unfortunately, the war has now become a totally Pakistan war as for as the Pakistani borders are concerned and the US is just a secondary player. Pakistan needs to get control of the area which is supposedly still governed by Pakistan. The unwillingness of the US public, and rightly so, may take the US out of this war sooner than expected. Pakistan needs to secure its borders and if that means Pak has to paint some Taliban as the Indian agents, I have no problem whatsoever with that.

    Now lets have a look at the Indo-Pak relations briefly. The subcontinent psyche which is shared by all of us usually means anger and screams first and then a session of cool analysis for some reasonable solution. Pakistan India relations are an exact replica of our natural behavior. We have had bad relations and at times it appeared we were headed in to making some right decisions. This profile provides a good opportunity to many interested parties to use the switch. That switch may be active for anger and screams now but looking at our internal mechanism, can be switched to better relations later. There is enough good will between the people despite many years of acrimony that if both governments decide to change the scene they can do it within a short period of time. (The last comment is NOT meant to open another round of discussion!)

  35. Hossp

    Vajra
    November 15, 2009 at 12:10 am
    I apologize for missing our post earlier. I concur with you and if there is some sure shot way to improve Pakistan-India relations, I am all for it. Btw, every generation leaves some mess for the next generation to clear. That is how history develops.

    Rexminor
    November 15, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    I agree with you that the Pak army is not a National army and it is very hard for minority nationalities in Pakistan to reconcile with this and the army’s behavior has been at the roots of many problems in Pakistan. I also agree that the generation that came to Pakistan in 1947 got its political initiation in the Khalifat movement and their desire to re-establish Khalifat in Pakistan paved the way for multiple dictators. However, despite such a perceptive understanding of the Pak politics, you seem to advocate a really narrow political view point. Let say this: the Taliban are disproportionately Pathan but the Pathan are not disproportionately Taliban. We simply cannot blame all Pathan for the political woes some Taliban have brought us. Similarly, we cannot blame the whole group of immigrants for the political views some of them advocate.

  36. vajra

    @Hossp
    @rexminor

    I need a little time to think about what you have, each of you, in different ways, written. These points of view, it is easy to recognise, are points of view that have been thought through, and it may be a good moment to withdraw and think about the implications and ramifications of these arguments. Perhaps in a few days I may have something cogent and worthwhile to add to your statements. Please bear with me.

  37. Milind Kher

    @rexminor,

    I am not suggesting for a minute that the nations become one. The only thing is that if they compete with each other in development, the spending on defense will be reduced.

  38. Gorki

    I agree with Vajra, perhaps taking a step back to re-think is OK at times.

    Hossp has made his argument assuming that the blame India strategy would:
    1. Leave Pakistan, its society and its institutions unaffected or better than before.
    2. India and its establishment will remain passive.

    The second may very well be true but can we seriously believe that the sullen and paranoid Pakistani nation that will emerge from this will not be worse for its own sake than it is now?

    Food for thought.

    Regards.

  39. rexminor

    @Milland Kher
    O’h yes, I agree, they could cooperate in many projects, but this would require a visionary Indian leader which I do not see at present. The Indian leader has to take the initiative to heal the wounds of its neighbour which it caused during the armed conflicts. Not many people realise that both of the countries are still at war and there are forces within who would even risk the first nuclear strike to conclude the matter. I believe that India should stand tall above its ego and end the occupation of Kashmir and let it become independent if the majority of the kashmiris so wish it. The whole episode has been nothing but an accident which the Indian congress and the muslim league parties could have avoided by clarifying the process of independence for the muslim majority with the colonialist administration before the partition.Leaving it to the individual state authorities on the assumption that the formality will be concluded amicably and in line with the agreed formula has since been proven a major political disaster. Both countries have spent immense resources on the military establishment which could have been spent on the welfare of the people. Every student of history knows that the sub-continent civilisation is the oldest and yet the richest multi-cultured society in the world. One does not need to cosult any religious book to know about the values that people in your continent care for, respect and practice. Despite this unique feature it is the western countries leaders who take pride and talk about defending the values and human rights, they believe come from their societies. Yes, western values!! I was completely shocked to hear the apology this week, offered by the prime ministers of the UK and Australia for the forced migration of poor family children against their parents’ consent from the UK to Rhodesia and Australia. These children as it is now known to all of us were treated as second class citizens and abused, physically, psychologically and sexually! I am sorry this is not directly related to the discussion, but i fully agree with your comments.
    is

  40. rex minor

    @Hossp
    I agree with your commentry on talaban and pushtoons! Normally I have always taken a different approach about the current events for better and for worse. I recognise Pushtoons but do not know who the current talabans are? Did they take the name themselves or was given to them? Hillary Clinton says there are good talabans and there are bad talabans. You are saying there are talabans within the pushtoon community. Mr Karzai says to the international Press that he is offering dialogue to the talabans. If I would be present during the Press conference I would asked him what sort of nonsense you are talking about.Talaban means students, if you mean Mullah Omar then why do’nt you say so. I am lost!! I guess he would answer that it is easier for the foreigners to understand the word”talaban”.Why does’nt he call say their real names? The CNN has a wikepedia now of all the names of bad talabans, not very bad talabans and ofcourse good talabans. There have been several students initiatives in many parts of the world and similarly the religious students in Afghanistan started a campaign within their country simply to stop the warring tribes internal feuds. They were successful, received support and guidence from the Pakistani and Saudi establishments and then screwed it all up. This was not quite the same but somewhat similar to the military rule in Pakistan. The citizens commiting petty crimes were being flogged publicly like wild animals. I saw on the television a similar scene in Swat province and this was promptly followed by Pakistan Army aerial and artillery bombardment destroying buildings and displacing millions of civilians. Why did’nt the Pakistan Army take similar action against their own chief Mr Zia…….? Sorry, perhaps they did in the end? . Now for heaven’s sake why do people continue to use the words such as talabans, terrorists, extremists, radicals, muslims, Islam and so on……Is it easier to explain the story.

  41. Milind Kher

    @Rexminor,

    India has an excellent Prime Minister in Manmohan Singh. However, he is more of an economist than a leader. A very potential upcoming leader is Rahul Gandhi, who can positively take India to the next level.

    If Zardari is able to combat and subdue the Taliban, then he too could set the stage for a new leader to surface in Pakistan.

    Yes, both the above will take a few years and we will need to be patient. Yet, as they say, WE SHALL OVERCOME

  42. rex minor

    @miland kher
    sorry but I have not read anything promising about the congressman Rahul Gandhi and the current president of Pakistan. Mr Rahul is very young and appears to be erratic probably due to inheriting fifty percent italian chromosols. He does not project the imression to become a leader of the great Indian Nation. He is more similar in his rhetoric to Barlusconi, the Italian Prime minister. Mr Zardari on the other hand is more or less an accident. Ofcouse, both of these personalites are having a ride because of their family names.

  43. vajra

    @rexminor

    I believe that India should stand tall above its ego and end the occupation of Kashmir and let it become independent if the majority of the kashmiris so wish it.

    And if not? This issue has been discussed before here, in some depth. A quick reference to the archives might result in a somewhat broader point of view.

    It is nice to be so assured of the immutable truth of one’s views and sentiments, but that lasts only until the first contact with reality.

  44. rex minor

    @vajra,
    The reality is that Kashmir is an occupied territory! In democracies you do not use military to suppress the people of the land. This has caused a division in Europe and today despite the enimosities of the past and language and cultural barriers we are experiencing and feeling the freedom across Europe. The borders of the twenty six nations have almost become meaningless for the inhabitants. Why should this process be difficult for India with an older civilisation than that of Europe? I am sure with good leadership everyone in the sub-continent would agree to the first article of the human rights.

  45. Vajra

    @rexminor

    The problem is that you have started with an idee fixe, and insist that the observations be brought to fit the reality. I am awestruck at your discovery of some fundamental concepts which can be used by India to guide itself out of its messes and enable it to become a decent neighbour, worthy of respect and freedom from deserved armed attack.

    In democracies you do not use military to suppress the people of the land.

    Hmm. A thought-provoking idea. In fact, a profound idea. We really ought to strive for this ideal, and become like you Dutchmen (you did mention you were Dutch, did you not?). With so many neighbours to emulate, it should be no difficult task at all.

    This has caused a division in Europe and today despite the enimosities of the past and language and cultural barriers we are experiencing and feeling the freedom across Europe. The borders of the twenty six nations have almost become meaningless for the inhabitants.

    By my careful study of the English language and my deep knowledge of Dutch, and a judicious use of translation tools, I have come to the conclusion that what you wish to say is as follows:
    * The use of military force against the native population by some nations, and the fact that other nations did not use military force, caused divisions in Europe in the past.
    * Today, however, these divisions have ceased to exist; you have not assigned reasons, but from your previous writings, we can come to certain conclusions:
    + Countries using force against their population stopped using force against their population; OR
    + Countries not using force against their population began using force; OR
    + The Afghans using their unmatched knowledge of guerrilla warfare hung on to the wings of planes taking back defeated European forces from Afghanistan and, establishing a base at Schiphol Airport, swept over the continent of Europe in an irresistible tidal wave of conquest and unified everyone into a peaceful empire. The continent is now ruled by the Popalzai, as is customary in all well-regulated lands.

    Using a mixture of historical methods and investigative journalism, and with some hints given by scholars who shall remain unnamed, we have concluded that the second and third possibilities remain speculative, though probable, and the first is what has happened. This is subject to confirmation.

    The borders of the twenty six nations have almost become meaningless for the inhabitants.

    At first glance, the injustice, the unfairness of this accusation stung like the nettle. Then it was understood in its full spirit, and the accusation stung like an adder.

    First, it seemed unfair, because between the five nations of Afghanistan, Balochistan, Bakistan, Kashmir and remaining Indian-occupied India aka Bantihuistan, there is free travel and the borders of these nations have almost become meaningless for the inhabitants. Ask Ilyas Kashmir, or Mrs. Karkare. So why are we being rebuked? We have done the right thing, we have fought the good fight.

    As happens to the burdened of spirit and the clouded of vision, soon truth flung away the shroud of spiritual darkness and the Raybans of clouded vision, and reality was made real: they dimmed the lights in the hall.

    Idiots that we were! We were not counting properly! How could five equal twentysix? Obviously the answer is to add to the glorious nations mentioned first the nineteen provinces of Bantihuistan, the land of Bangalistan, Nepalistan and Lankastan. That makes up the number for the proper arrangement of affairs in the sub-continent.

    Now to work on this pesky ‘sub’ business……

    Why should this process be difficult for India with an older civilisation than that of Europe?

    No, sir, do not be so unkind. Please remember, India does not have an older civilisation than Europe. Indian civilisation started in 632 AD, as is well known to all except a few ignorant and misguided illiterates. This and its population cannot be relied upon to compete with the glorious features, character and heritage of the European civilisation. We must look for a stronger model, one worthier of emulation.

    Ta Daaaaaaaaaaa!

    Enter the Indus Man!

    Dear Sir, you have missed your mark by a few hundred kilometres. You should have said,”Why should this process be difficult for Pakistan with an older civilisation than that of Europe?”

    Now it reads well.

    I am sure with good leadership everyone in the sub-continent would agree to the first article of the human rights.

    I agree whole-heartedly.

    Since we have failed in such dismal fashion, do you Dutchmen step forward and show us the way.

  46. rex minor

    Vajra,
    First of all I am not a dutch man! The dutch have such a small land but they are very hard working people. I have some friends there and they call themselves the “chinese of Europe”. Now returning to the debate I believe you got yourself all mixed up. Once again like most politicians you have bundled up many subjects into one. This can never resolve things. You will agree that the mankind needs a break to survive. We have open borders in Europe now and this also means increase in crime. The Mafia is now operating from Russia right down to Italy. Equally the national Govts. over here are no better than yours. The rightists have all along argued against the nomalisation, for somewhat similar arguments to that of yours. The left and the centrists eventually overcame the opposition from several opposing countries. The turmoil in your neighbourhood in my view is no fault of India or any other outsider. The mess is of their own doing but this not justify military intervention directly or indirectly in sovreign countries by the US or any other and the bombing of civilians which include old, women and children. The logic of using terror against terror has never never worked before. In the large democracy the task of overcoming the criminals is equally difficult if not impossible. I reckon the Indian sevurity forces are upto tackling the suicide missions of insurgents and have so far confronted several intrusions without declaring a military law in the country. Both the Indian and Pakistan armies presence in the kashmir territory is unfortunate. Somehow, it is the kashmiris who have to decide their future. The amnesty international is reporting crimes against humanity are being commited and have been exerting pressure on th US administration to take up this issue with Mr Manmohan Singh. By the way I just heard Mr Manmohan Singh speaking on CNN about the possibility of an open border between the Indian and Pakistan held Kashmir. Well, you see there is some movement of thought in this direction. Quite frankly I did not expect from the current Indian or Pakistani leaders to cool down and try to move beyond the Kashmir issue. My hope is that only democratically elected leaders are in position to make visionary decisions from the position of stregnth. I was not at all trying to blame India for the impasse. Is it realistic to expect from the Pakistan Govt. which I am not sure will be the same in 2010. Finally, every one has been violating human rights throughout the world. It has become almost like overspeeding on the motorway. Neither the Dutch nor other colonialists could tell any one how human rights are observed. Every human being is entitled to be treated with dignity. Thats all! Afterall it was the Indian leader whose hall mark was passive resistance. I personally do not believe in that and I am not sure if you are either. But it was the Indian personality who practiced it. If you want to experience the European civilisation then please come over and see Verdun in France and other battlefields, which in total has taken the life of over 30,000,000 people.

  47. vajra

    First of all I am not a dutch man!

    It seems that your sarcasm detectors were switched off.

    It is not clear what point of view you represent and what it is that you are advocating from time to time. Frankly, I am confused by your arguments, which is not the case with the arguments of others.

    The dutch have such a small land but they are very hard working people. I have some friends there and they call themselves the “chinese of Europe”.

    Ah, now that explains the tenor and tone of some of your observations and thought processes.

    Now returning to the debate I believe you got yourself all mixed up. Once again like most politicians you have bundled up many subjects into one.

    This might be due to the fact that I was responding to your mail. Have you counted the number of issues which you ran into one another yourself, to start with?

    This can never resolve things.

    Very good, O sage. Tell me what will. Accepting whatever you decide is best for us at a given point of time?

    You will agree that the mankind needs a break to survive.

    Yes.

    We have open borders in Europe now and this also means increase in crime. The Mafia is now operating from Russia right down to Italy. Equally the national Govts. over here are no better than yours. The rightists have all along argued against the nomalisation, for somewhat similar arguments to that of yours. The left and the centrists eventually overcame the opposition from several opposing countries.

    Now please explain to me what is the connection between the unification of Europe and your axiom that mankind needs a break to survive.

    The turmoil in your neighbourhood in my view is no fault of India or any other outsider. The mess is of their own doing but this not justify military intervention directly or indirectly in sovreign countries by the US or any other and the bombing of civilians which include old, women and children. The logic of using terror against terror has never never worked before.

    I take it that you are not of that school of thought that XXXIII Corps has left Siliguri and is sitting in Helmand directing operations. I am grateful; there is a lot of that going around, and it is difficult to know who thinks what today.

    I still cannot link up with the axiom.

    In the large democracy the task of overcoming the criminals is equally difficult if not impossible.

    True. I must introduce you to my father, a former policeman of forty years’ service. You and he will find much in common, if this is a sample of your criminological views.

    The axiom?

    I reckon the Indian sevurity forces are upto tackling the suicide missions of insurgents and have so far confronted several intrusions without declaring a military law in the country.

    The axiom?

    Both the Indian and Pakistan armies presence in the kashmir territory is unfortunate. Somehow, it is the kashmiris who have to decide their future.

    Sorry, this is not the arrangement made, and if you wish to propose this, the same will apply with equal force to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, etc., etc. And this is just on one side of the Radcliffe Line. Please read the constitutional arrangements which were the conditions under which the British withdrew from their rulership of India.

    The amnesty international is reporting crimes against humanity are being commited and have been exerting pressure on th US administration to take up this issue with Mr Manmohan Singh.

    The axiom? And what gives you the impression that it needs Amnesty to tell Indian citizens where their duty lies? Have the kindness not to use on us the yardsticks that might apply to the neighbourhood. We have made bloody mistakes, and have made corrections to rectify those mistakes.

    By the way I just heard Mr Manmohan Singh speaking on CNN about the possibility of an open border between the Indian and Pakistan held Kashmir. Well, you see there is some movement of thought in this direction. Quite frankly I did not expect from the current Indian or Pakistani leaders to cool down and try to move beyond the Kashmir issue. My hope is that only democratically elected leaders are in position to make visionary decisions from the position of stregnth. I was not at all trying to blame India for the impasse. Is it realistic to expect from the Pakistan Govt. which I am not sure will be the same in 2010.

    With the greatest possible respect, this is truly confusing. On the one hand, Dr. Manmohan Singh is cited, and that is evidence of movement of thought. In the next sentence, you do not expect from the current Indian or Pakistani leaders that they cool down. Your hope is that democratically elected leaders will be in a position to make visionary decisions from a position of strength.

    Fair enough.

    Just give us a little time to throw out that wretched Sikh dictator and his Italian cabal, and get back to democracy, and we shall play our humble role in the script that you have so ably fashioned. It shall be our dearest wish and desire to catch up with the advances in governance in the vicinity.

    As for the Pakistani government, Pakistani electors must speak for them.

    A question, good Sir: is Rex minor a single person or a committee, each member allowed its own say, and each with a mind of his or her own, few of them in agreement with each other? Of course, there is no conceivable objection to your gestalt status, and it adds colour to the entire discussion. It is just that enquiring spirits wish to know.

    Finally, every one has been violating human rights throughout the world. It has become almost like overspeeding on the motorway. Neither the Dutch nor other colonialists could tell any one how human rights are observed. Every human being is entitled to be treated with dignity. Thats all!

    Ah, the axiom, at last.

    Afterall it was the Indian leader whose hall mark was passive resistance. I personally do not believe in that and I am not sure if you are either. But it was the Indian personality who practiced it.

    So what is your point, dear Sir? I don’t believe in it, you think, you don’t believe in it, but someone ought to. Is that it? And it was Indian, so it behoves us to practise his ways and uphold his tenets.

    Quite true, as far as it goes. So was Aurangzeb an Indian personality, and we might then consider not only his ways, but also the extent of his empire and review our options. Examples could be multiplied.

    Let me make it clear that I am not objecting to the philosophy that Gandhi preached, only to the tenuous connection to this whole argument.

    If you want to experience the European civilisation then please come over and see Verdun in France and other battlefields, which in total has taken the life of over 30,000,000 people.

    I am grateful for this insight into European history.

  48. rex minor

    @Vajra,
    I guess that we are at different wave legnths. My commentry was not intended in anyway to confuse you or upset you.
    Ignosce mihi! Bonom Noctum.