Is it really India?

By Pervez Hoodbhoy      Dawn, 28 Nov, 2009

FOREIGN Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says that Pakistan is “compiling hard evidence of India’s involvement” in terrorist attacks on Pakistan’s public and its armed forces.

If he and the interior minister are correct then we must conclude that the Indians are psychotics possessed with a death wish, or are perhaps plain stupid. While India’s assistance for Baloch insurgents could conceivably make strategic sense, helping the jihadists simply does not.

As Pakistan staggers from one bombing to the other, some Indians must be secretly pleased. Indeed, there are occasional verbalisations: is this not sweet revenge for the horrors of Mumbai (allegedly) perpetrated by Lashkar-i-Taiba? Shouldn’t India feel satisfaction as Pakistan reels from the stinging poison of its domestically reared snakes?

But most Indians are probably less than enthusiastic in stoking fires across the border. In fact, the majority would like to forget that Pakistan exists. With a six per cent growth rate, booming hi-tech exports and expectations of a semi-superpower status, they feel that India has no need to engage a struggling Pakistan with its endless litany of problems.

Of course, some would like to hurt Pakistan. Extremists in India ask: shouldn’t one increase the pain of a country — with which India has fought three bloody wars — by aiding its enemies? Perhaps do another Bangladesh on Pakistan someday?

These fringe elements, fortunately, are inconsequential today. Rational self-interest demands that India not aid jihadists. Imagine the consequences if central authority in Pakistan disappears or is sharply weakened. Splintered into a hundred jihadist lashkars, each with its own agenda and tactics, Pakistan’s territory would become India’s eternal nightmare. When Mumbai-II occurs — as it surely would in such circumstances — India’s options in dealing with nuclear Pakistan would be severely limited.

The Indian army would be powerless. As the Americans have discovered at great cost, the mightiest war machines on earth cannot prevent holy warriors from crossing borders. Internal collaborators, recruited from a domestic Muslim population that feels itself alienated from Hindu-India, would connive with jihadists. Subsequently, as Indian forces retaliate against Muslims — innocent and otherwise — the action-reaction cycle would rip the country apart.

So, how can India protect itself from invaders across its western border and grave injury? Just as importantly, how can we in Pakistan assure that the fight against fanatics is not lost?

Let me make an apparently outrageous proposition: in the coming years, India’s best protection is likely to come from its traditional enemy, the Pakistan Army. Therefore, India ought to now help, not fight, against it.

This may sound preposterous. After all, the two countries have fought three and a half wars over six decades. During periods of excessive tension, they have growled at each other while meaningfully pointing towards their respective nuclear arsenals. And yet, the imperative of mutual survival makes a common defence inevitable. Given the rapidly rising threat within Pakistan, the day for joint actions may not be very far away.

Today Pakistan is bearing the brunt. Its people, government and armed forces are under unrelenting attack. South Waziristan, a war of necessity rather than of choice, will certainly not be the last one. A victory here will not end terrorism, although a stalemate will embolden jihadists in south Punjab, including Lashkar-i-Taiba and Jaish-i-Mohammad. The cancer of religious militancy has spread across Pakistan, and it will take decades to defeat.

This militancy does not merely exist because America occupies Afghanistan. A US withdrawal, while welcome, will not end Pakistan’s problems. As an ideological movement, the jihadists want to transform society as part of their wider agenda. They ride on the backs of their partners, the mainstream religious political parties like the Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat-i-Ulema-Pakistan. None of these have condemned the suicide bombings of Pakistani universities, schools, markets, mosques, police and army facilities.

Pakistan’s political leadership and army must not muddy the waters, especially now that public sanction has finally been obtained for fighting extremism in Swat and Waziristan. Self-deception weakens and enormously increases vulnerability. Wars can only be won if nations have a clear rallying slogan. Therefore the battle against religious extremism will require identifying it — by name — as the enemy.

India should derive no satisfaction from Pakistan’s predicament. Although religious extremists see ordinary Muslims as munafiqs (hypocrites) — and therefore free to be blown up in bazaars and mosques — they hate Hindus even more. In their calculus, hurting India would buy even more tickets for heaven than hurting Pakistan. They dream of ripping apart both societies, or starting a war — preferably nuclear — between Pakistan and India.

A common threat needs a common defence. But this is difficult unless the Pakistan-India conflict is reduced in intensity. In fact the extremist groups that threaten both countries today are an unintended consequence of Pakistan’s frustrations at Indian obduracy in Kashmir.

To create a future working alliance with Pakistan, and in deference to basic democratic principles, India must be seen as genuinely working towards some kind of resolution of the Kashmir issue. Over the past two decades India has been morally isolated from Kashmiri Muslims and continues to incur the very considerable costs of an occupying power in the Valley. Indian soldiers continue to needlessly die — and to oppress and kill Kashmiri innocents.

It is time for India to fuzz the Line of Control, make it highly permeable and demilitarise it up to some mutually negotiated depth on both sides. Without peace in Kashmir the forces of cross-border jihad, and its hate-filled holy warriors, will continue to receive unnecessary succour.

India also needs to allay Pakistan’s fears on Balochistan. Although Pakistan’s current federal structure is the cause of the problem — a fact which the government is now finally addressing through the newly announced Balochistan package — it is nevertheless possible that India is aiding some insurgent groups. Statements have been made in India that Balochistan provides New Delhi with a handle to exert pressure on Pakistan. This is unacceptable.

While there is no magic wand, confidence-building measures (CBMs) continue to be important for managing the Pakistan-India conflict and bringing down the decibel level of mutual rhetoric. To be sure, CBMs can be easily disparaged as palliatives that do not address the underlying causes of a conflict. Nevertheless, looking at those initiated over the years shows that they have held up even in adverse circumstances. More are needed.

The reason for India to want rapprochement with Pakistan, and thus end decades of hostility, has nothing to do with feelings of friendship or goodwill. It has only to do with survival. For us in Pakistan, this is even truer.

27 Comments

Filed under India, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism

27 responses to “Is it really India?

  1. ved

    Friend, you are right. India should not muddle in the internal affairs of Pakistan

    But is it really true? If it is true, then I agree with you, It is never wise move to support the militants who favours aggressive brand of Islam. After all their next target would be India.

    But in the name of strategic depth, Are Pakistan is not supporting Kashmiri militants?Calling them freedom fighter, knowing well that India will never like it. May be India is also doing that. And if so, it will have to prepare for its repercussions.
    There are trust deficit at galore, as you used “alleged LeT” in context of Mumbai attack of whom we are sure, our probes had firmly indicated its role. Proceedings, going on, on your court only buttress its role on Mumbai carnage.

    The killing of innocent Pakistanis gives no strategic advantage to India, whatsoever you may think. And we deeply feel sorry for what is going on their. As I hope you also felt sorry whenever India is struck by these terrorists. Terrorism as tool will never benefit to any one.

    As I know, India will never be able to accept any alteration on LOC between India and Pakistan. Political compulsions will never allow it to happen. But I fully support your solution…. the border should be made porous and people must be allowed to go freely to any parts of Kashmir.

    As on your point to support Pakistani army in its fight against militants!!!!! Have you ever imagined what will be the reaction of your army on taking support of (enemy) India. They do everything even jeopardize your security but to help of India. It will loose its relevance in the eyes of Pakistani people.
    It will also show it on poor light, on its incapability of fighting terrorism on its own.

    But I support your point on fighting these fundamentalist jointly. As I also think… a vibrant, modern, progressive thinking Pakistan will always be better for India instead of regressive, orthodox and poor, which all are the good ingredient for making it a breeding and recruiting ground for fundamentalist.
    I sincerely hope, one day India and Pakistan will fight jointly a common enemy. Not following policy of “enemy’s enemy my friend”.

  2. Milind Kher

    Yes, there may be some warped minds in India that gloat at what is happening in Pakistan.

    However, no right thinking Indian would do that. And no Indian government would like to participate in a process where militants defeat a democratically elected government.

    The whole idea of India supporting the jihadists is so ridiculous. However, the conspiracy theorists are not dumb. They are misdirecting, or rather attempting to misdirect the populace away from the real danger posed by the terrorists, and creating an Indian bogey.

  3. ravinder

    Most Indians, have a rather karmic understanding for such situations. I categorise myself as a centre of right nationalist, and in the ordinary course would have loved the idea of tormenting the tormentor but Indian involvement in NW Pakistan is rather hard to believe. Considering the map of opium cultivation+floating weapons+politics+crime logistics, looks like Pakistanis are getting their share of karmic phal/fruit. Though as one Indian journo recently said that some Indians have an – I told you so attitude. There is certainly a lot of truth in that especially with right of centrist, but taking pleasure……nah.
    I loved what the french did to your wheeling dealing generals. I think the rightist can easily love a harder version of the same on your mil top brass. But then again in this country of unprecedented diversity, rightists even if absolutely correct are only another minority.

  4. Majumdar

    What Phoodboy sahib is suggesting is a curious reversal of the Iqbal proposal. The original proposal was that the brave and warlike Pakistani Muslim would be the defender of Hindoo India against aggression from the North West. Now looks like the Hindoo too will have to pitch in to defend Pakistan from the (even more braver and warlike inhabitants of) North West.

    Regards

  5. vajra

    @Majumdar

    Dada, you are an internationally renowned iconoclast and a licensed cynic with a known reputation for coining names that amuse, titillate and pierce to the core of a personality.

    Could you make an exception, run the risk of your reputation of droll wit and stinging repartee dulling a shade, and avoid your coinage of Phoodboy?

    It is just plain obnoxious, particularly if you are a Punjabi.

    Knowing you, you have planned it that way, but I was just tentatively wondering if an appeal to your amour propre might help. We are all aware that nothing else will.

  6. Sardar Khan

    What a blaw blaw is written.Do you really think that all the indians are very good people espacially the top brass of indian leaders?
    Is indian cheif deepak is a right minded man to suggest,that india could win a limited atomic war with Pakistan hands down?If you think thats right then I will sugest to you go and re-read indian Chankia’s war game plans.
    God help us if we Pakistanis take indians as our friends,with every wrong done to us by them.We don’t need any enemy from outside,while we got advisers like Mr.Hohay.

  7. Sudarshan

    A country that is equated with Afghanistan, depend on hand outs of infidel americans are in no position to dictate what india should do.

    Control your Islamic terrorists because someday they might do something so outrageous that will start a N-war and 90% of Pak’s population lives within 100 KM of Indian Border.

    As Clinton opined, should that happen, Pakistan will cease to exist and India will loose some 400 million people.

    So Miyans- be serious and stop these terrorists for your own good.

  8. bushra naqi

    I agree that the conspiracy theorists are disseminating fallacies with a profusion. This blame game played to implicate the Indians and allege their complicity with the militants is not going to get us anywhere, but will pave the way for disaster. Realistically we should be now focussing on identifying and eliminating our real adversary..Al-Quaeda and Taliban. Such recriminations are firstly, a shallow subterfuge meant to defend ourselves and secondly to distract and divert people’s attention from the real culprits..the terrorists and extremists.

    For the same reasons anti-American and anti-Israeli conspiracy theories are churned out continuously. Ironically for once the Indians and Pak’s are on board together and our interests converge…combating militancy.

    It is detrimental to both if we keep accusing one another and use allegations as scapegoats to cover our own sins.

  9. Vijay Goel

    My 2 cents.Forget Religion Forget our armies, Forget our Politicians,Forget our Media,Forget Terrorists.They are there.Let us enjoy Sports Music Dance Culture Meeting and maybe marrying each other when we meet more often.

  10. Milind Kher

    @Bushra,

    You are exceptionally perspicacious, and your observations are heartwarming.

    I like the way you think. May your tribe increase.

  11. I totally agree to the gist of the article that we should expend our energies, for now, on fighting the insurgency within. Pointing fingers elsewhere without any proofs is only futile and shows how stupid our officials are.

    However, the idealistic situation created by Mr. Hoodbhoy has been cited as an argument by many as to why India won’t meddle in the current crisis within Pakistan. While I agree that so far, no proof has been cited to substantiate the claims made by the notorious Malik, the possibility can’ be ruled out. Some years back, intellectual like Mr. Hoodbhoy certainly would have considered the creation of Taliban a blunder – and to him and the likes, the future of such a blunder would’ve been quite clear, at least clearer than the government that was creating them. Yet the government didn’t give the project up. Same goes for the Indian position right now. Although intellectual may believe it’d be a very terrible mistake if India does indeed intervene in the land, a mistake for it’s own future, Indian authorities and politicians holding the parliament may be thinking else.

    However, the bottom line is – as long as there is no proof except the bullshit statements by Rehman Malik to cover up for his government’s inability to counter Taliban, he should really shut up and let the army concentrate against the real foe which’s really at home for now.

  12. vajra

    @Salman Latif

    I can promise you this: if at any stage it should turn up that the Government or any appendage has been responsible for bloodshed, a not insignificant section of the citizenry will want blood to flow.

    We will not be deceived and our resources used for inflicting terror on another country’s citizens.

    I speak with complete assurance that Indian civil society will demand an accounting for such crimes.

  13. @vajra
    I am glad then that such is that state of affairs at that side of the border🙂

  14. Milind Kher

    Barring Hindutva bigots, nobody in India would take kindly to its government abetting terrorism in any other country.

    That being said, an insurgency of the magnitude of that in Waziristan is very visible, and hence it is very difficult for the Indian government to coordinate.

  15. Bloody Civilian

    @Vajra

    although we knew and would have expected no less, many thanks for the reassuring promise. kindly allow me to use your own words, slightly altered as necessary, to promise in return:

    if at any stage it should turn up that the democratic Government or any appendage has been responsible for bloodshed, a not insignificant section of the citizenry will want blood to flow.

    We will not be deceived by a democratic government, or crushed by a dictatorship without us resisting and opposing it single-mindedly, and our resources used for inflicting terror on another country’s citizens.

    I speak with complete assurance that Pakistani civil society will demand an accounting for such crimes.

  16. BINOY

    Pervez, your article I hope represents the pak majority view.. its very encouraging to note your macro projection of our common state of affairs..

    Indians would have more views & thoughts on pak than the no: of its populace.. However its pace of economy, oppurtunity of prosperity & general
    lack of interest in history drives young minds to more secular & productive areas & govts will have no option but to pursue in this direction…

    we all wish to live in a prosperous neighbourhood & its our wish that pak too joins the party sooner…i do not belive tdys Indian Gov has anything to do with Paks internal disturbances.. hypotetically even if it has I am sure it will exit the space completely as their mandate is to carry forward the growth & prosperty agenda.

  17. Bumblebee

    It is indeed a strange twist of fate,that imminent pakistanis,now look to india for “joint action”.Can the so called foe become a saviour?Is it morally acceptable to the concept of pakistan?what about beating the drum of hatred for the sake of justifying the creation of Pakistan?while saner voices are now beginning to understand,what the sane understood even before 1947 happened,it is rather too late to reverse the events post 1947.The ethnic cleansing of pakistan has left it open to jihadists and extremists.The ideology of religion as a reason to co-exist has failed miserably.These fanatics are in the business of propogating fanaticism,and have nothing to do with any supreme god.The suggestion given by the author,is again a bitter pill sugar coated.India needs to do this for survival etc.Does pakistan need India’s intervention?If yes,why does it not ask for help from India?Where everything else fails,humanity works.But egos have to be set aside.False theories have to be thrown out of the window.Can that be done?

  18. Archaeo

    @bumblebee

    What an extraordinary post!

    It is indeed a strange twist of fate,that imminent pakistanis,now look to india for “joint action”.

    Who, or what, is an ‘imminent’ Pakistani? I thought the whole lot of them was on us already; are you implying any more Pakistanis on the way, over and above the projected birth-rate, or, a grander prognostication, some more Pakistans? I am devoured with curiousity; do tell.

    Can the so called foe become a saviour?

    “So-called” seems to imply room for a few millimetres of dissent. It would appear from your construction, bumblebee, that you have left some space for manoeuvre after all, for which let us all be duly thankful.

    I note that you have selected your nickname with the same apparent care and judicious choice as you have selected your arguments, and I am grateful for the insights thus offered.

    Is it morally acceptable to the concept of pakistan?

    You are driving me into a homosexual refuge in the arms of the good Dr. Dodgson. “Curiouser and curiouser”.

    Was there some moral taboo, a moral deadline against seeking help? Some help with citations and sources perhaps, as a post-prandial bon-bon, after the rich feast for the intellect that has been offered?

    what about beating the drum of hatred for the sake of justifying the creation of Pakistan?

    Yes? Yes? What about it? Do continue; you fascinate me strangely.

    while saner voices are now beginning to understand,what the sane understood even before 1947 happened,it is rather too late to reverse the events post 1947.

    Dear Sir, what are you referring to?

    What is it that happened in 1947 that you consider insane, to be reversed by current attacks of sanity?

    The voluminous correspondence in these columns, showing that the Congress found it impossible to accept any role other than sole authority over the Indian people in all their diversified identities, found it impossible to compromise their vision of a tightly-centralised authority with the contrasting Muslim League proposition of a decentralised apparatus of state, and finally rejected the proposal for a creation of two homelands for Muslims, with constitutional, legal and administrative safeguards for Muslims to lead their lives with their cultural, religious and political positions protected.

    In these circumstances, whom do you consider insane, for driving the situation over the brink, and insisting on partition? And who is today the party of the sane? The insane converted, or those who displayed sanity and humanity even then?

    The ethnic cleansing of pakistan has left it open to jihadists and extremists.The ideology of religion as a reason to co-exist has failed miserably.These fanatics are in the business of propogating fanaticism,and have nothing to do with any supreme god.

    There are again columns here giving a very detailed accounting for numbers. When you use phrases like ethnic cleansing, please use them responsibly. Please do your homework.

    I agree with you that there has been enormous pressure on religious minorities in Pakistan. To toss a phrase at this situation is a very serious matter.

    The ideology of religion as a reason to co-exist can be interpreted, and has been interpreted in two distinct and hugely different ways. Please be aware of these differences before breaking into print. I am deliberately not going to summarise these views for you; the very least courtesy you should extend to those who have teased out facts and figures from historical records and spent their time in validating and testing them is to spend a small amount of time on educating yourself, without taking recourse to using the language and the outlook of a lower-level apparatchik addressing the working mothers of the revolution.

    Regarding the role of fanatics promoting fanaticism, you happen to be preaching to the choir.

    The suggestion given by the author,is again a bitter pill sugar coated.India needs to do this for survival etc.Does pakistan need India’s intervention?If yes,why does it not ask for help from India?Where everything else fails,humanity works.But egos have to be set aside.False theories have to be thrown out of the window.Can that be done?

    Fascinating. It would appear from your tone and your choice of words that you are absolutely certain on every point. If it should happen that you have a moment of uncertainty, do consider, as some other Indians have, that we may need to intervene on our own initiative, without waiting for the Pakistanis to come to us and supplicate us on bended knee for help.

    The general idea, that we should wait with lips primly pursed until there are signs of genuine remorse and repentance among the sinners of yesteryear, is utterly ridiculous. For starters, they actually stand in the position of having been driven out of India by an intransigent Congress, contrary to the myths that have been built around the event and assiduously propagated since partition. To go on, they have as much right to ask us to approach them on bended knee for a reconciliation.

    But the crowning argument should surely be that when my neighbour’s house is on fire, and sparks are falling thick and fast on my own thatched roof, and small fires have already broken out on it, it is hardly the time to take up the matter of their failure to invite us to the engagement ceremony of their niece.

    Grow up, man, and stop imposing a plot-line from a TV serial on international relations.

  19. Milind Kher

    I do not believe that Indian intervention is required. However, what is required is a few steps that will make things easier.

    The most important thing is an acknowledgement that Pakistan is taking the matter seriously, and is tackling the matter head on, as in Waziristan. Also, it would be helpful if the message could across to Pakistan that it has nothing to fear on its eastern border and can continue tackling the terrorists.

    However, it has clearly been demonstrated that terrorists are becoming very strong in Punjab. Something needs to be done to tackle that else Rawalpindi and Lahore will always be vulnerable.

  20. Bumblebee

    @Archaeo
    I do not argue ,i post my opinions and do not wish to convince anybody about my thoughts.Thanks for taking the time to dissect my post.

  21. Archaeo

    @Bumblebee

    Ah, all is clear now! No argument please, just get along and implement things.

    It is noted that inconvenient facts that do not fit your opinions must be discarded; there is no option. This is similar to the line adopted that matters of religion cannot be adjudicated or deliberated with the support of logic, because those were matters of faith and not subject to the laws of logic.

    In the case of religion, it is sometimes termed bigotry to argue like this, against logic; in the case of politics, it is usually termed fascism.

    Dissecting your post did not take much time, as it split into segments on its own. Understanding the psychology behind it did; I am still pondering over it, with considerable dismay and deep concern.

    Thanks for broadcasting your opinions unfounded on facts with such generosity. Thanks also for choosing a Pakistani forum for venting your clear antipathy to Pakistan and to Pakistanis.

    Allow me to assure you that you are very well understood.

  22. Bumblebee

    @archaeo
    what is bugging you so much about my post?I didn’t propose anything?Mr.Hoodbhoy did.Comment on his article if you have any opinion at all.I was rambling my thoughts,however disjointed and they seem to have rattled you enough to start writing pages.Why could not Mr.Hoodbhoy’s article bring about the same effect,i wonder?Your personal attacks on my id,then my psychology and so called understanding about me,and your jingoism vis-a -vis this forum is endearing,but unnecessary.I suggest you end this personal war of words and stick to the topic.Again,if i seem to show antipathy,forgive me,but i am human.

  23. goglobaltechie

    @ Archaeo

    Phew !!!! That was really so nice of you to take out time and point out such a lot of mistakes from Mr.Bumblebee. I am pretty sure this would be giving Mr Hoodboy nightmares coz if you can pick so much from Mr. Bee, Pervez better be dead.

    So guys better be a little more careful when you articulate your thoughts. People like Archeo are out here to correct you but there is nothing to get angry about.
    Going on I really dont think we need to fret about what happened in 1947 anymore. People have come a long way. Sixty years hence India and Pakistan has really changed. Why have a fight between “who did what ?
    But I do agree with you Mr Achaeo, India should keep its nose out of Pakistan’s Business.
    Why ?

    1-> None of India’s concern as of now.
    2-> Every comment will strengthen Jihadi’s Cause of India bashing.
    3-> Better things to do at home like :-
    Save yourself from being another Pakistan ( Set your house straight. Strive I emphasise STRIVE to make sure that EVERYONE in India says, thank god !! my ancestors didnt cross the border in 1947. ( India is not perfect but who is ?, but yes we can make changes. After all we adore SRK and Abdul Kalam, why not make sure all are of the same level ??)
    4-> Take a cue from Archeo’s metaphor, build a strong fireproof house and then say to the hell with neighbor !!!

    And to your question whether there is any problem with asking for help ? … no no definitly not ! After all thats what Pakistan has mastered all these years ( Second only to terrorism, is its fine art of Begging … Friends Of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China, Take loan from US and then Blame them for everything … list goes on and on …)

    And just completing this post … only people see boundaries … technology doesn’t. So it really doesn’t matter whether this forum was created by a Pakistani, As long as it is available elsewhere people can make comments and write about it.
    So better learn to live with it.

  24. Archaeo

    @goglobaltechie

    It can’t be denied that your post made sense, some bits more than the others, especially those where you said nice things about – well, never mind, let’s just stick to your post made sense in some bits.

    The bits where it didn’t were the smart-alecky bits. Let’s get some things clear, before you get clobbered (it’s always nice to know why you’re getting clobbered).

    1. This was not one of the good professor’s best pieces. He’s been one of the most sane and rational voices on either side of the Radcliffe Line, for decades now, and in the teeth of massive criticism from fellow-Pakistanis earlier. So I cut him some slack. So sue me.

    But when you do, better still, just before you do, try to think of doing what he’s done for years, and try and see what you and I and other smart-alecky types who are tigers and lions in the safety and the anonymity of the Internet have done next to that. You’ll get why I’m not going for him the same way I do others.

    I’d like you to give it a serious thought. If you think that’s fair, I’d like you to write in and say so.

    2. Talking of 47 is not to try and do futile things like prove one side right and another wrong. I don’t know about you; I suspect I know about bumblebee, but there’s only a couple of posts to go by, and it could be that he/she thinks different, but this is all the evidence there is, and it isn’t pretty.

    Talking of 47 is not about who was right and who was wrong, but about who did what, and who didn’t do what. The stuff that came out was astonishing; every Indian should read it, over and over again. We have more freedom than Pakistan does, that’s our claim; if you can keep the Sangh Parivar from banning it, like they did Jaswant Singh’s book, it’s worth reading. We don’t need to make mistakes like that any more, and we need to understand that Pakistan didn’t start the way we thought it did.

    Which puts things in a different light, a hugely different one. Try to read up what came out, or read Jaswant’s book (it’s overlapping; there are bits in JS’ book which could be interpreted differently) and sit back and think what it does for our relations with our neighbours to east and west.

    Give it a shot. It can’t hurt you. I think.

    3. Maybe it’d be a friendly thing if you didn’t make your points saying,”Like Archaeo said….” and then putting your words in. It was amusing, and it’ll be even more amusing to watch (not this post: lunch was pretty good) how I tear your arm off and beat your fool head in with it, but maybe you need one more chance – lunch was very good, actually, and it’s time I helped an old lady across the street or something like that, so you get a pass. Just don’t do it again.

    What I actually said had nothing to do with interfering with Pakistan or not interfering with Pakistan. Let me quote the bits, so that you are not led into temptation:

    we may need to intervene on our own initiative, without waiting for the Pakistanis to come to us and supplicate us on bended knee for help

    and again

    Thanks also for choosing a Pakistani forum for venting your clear antipathy to Pakistan and to Pakistanis

    Are you dyslexic? Doesn’t it look like you’re reading the wrong way? Or was it just what your debating coach taught you to do?

    Doesn’t matter; just don’t kick sand in my face again; be nice to me, OK?

    As you can see, contrary to the impression you sought to convey, I was saying we need to get involved (not interfere, funny how words make things look different) without asking people to beg for our help. I also said don’t insult a man in his own house. He might return the favour.

    4. Regarding your §1, 2, 3 and 4: Aah, don’t look now, but it doesn’t work like that any more.
    >> It’s hugely India’s concern now;
    >> Every negative comment will strengthen Jihadi’s cause of India bashing. Anyone pointing a gun at your head and forcing you to look at positive things and talk them down? I’d like to suggest a fool idea; try telling it like it is. No, not the way you want it to be, the way it really is. If you stop conning yourself, it’ll be easier.
    >> Hey, I like this one (your pt. 3). Heck, I love it. Go for it.
    >> No fireproof house. It’s like building an idiot proof blog; look what happened to it. Bumblebee and you came alone. There’s always a better idiot; there’s always a better fire. OTOH, we help each other when there’s trouble, there’s always more people than when we mind our own business.

    Conditions apply. We can’t charge in, without being invited. We can’t leave our house in bad shape, ready to catch fire. We can’t leave our house open to some guy with a warped sense of humour and a matchbox.

    The bit in your post I thought was mean was the bit about begging for help. Let it pass, OK? There was a time… but I just said let it pass. Try not to display this sick bit. Just a request, OK?

    You are absolutely right in your concluding remarks, such as they are. Technology has no boundaries. Anyway can build a blog and anyone can write to it. Very true.

    Neither does good manners have boundaries. Nor education.

    These teach us (oh, a number of us, the rest can be like me, an uncivilised and uneducated moron) that we can intervene in a foreign blog without being crude, coarse and mongrel cur in our behaviour. If we behave like yobs, people don’t know that we are just pretending, showing off, they think we really are yobs. Being decent and polite like well-mannered and educated people can get us entry into more places than even technology.

    But that’s OK; you have time to learn all that.

  25. goglobaltechie

    Hmm… I can see that my little blog has stirred you up, Archeo!! I would like to clear a few things for you.
    Blogs are exactly ment for people who stay away from warfront. It’s a means to express their concern, their anxiety and their thoughts. So there is nothing wrong in that.
    BUT a Blog is not the place where you just go out and threaten others. It’s not where you show of your skills in sarcasm and sick jokes. You speak out your ideas and respond in a polite way to others, AND THEN EVERYONE WILL BE NICE TO YOU.
    If you have a difference of opinion attack the idea not the person (anyway all you can do in a blog is speak nothing more … personal slander will do you no good)
    Well regarding 1947, and Jaswant Singh’s book what I wanted to say was that it doesn’t matter where we started anymore.
    ” In what direction that we are moving?” that’s what matters.
    There is no harm in reading and understanding history but it will be more rewarding if you fret about the future, Something like ” where do you see yourself in another 50 years ?”, ” what could be the major issues and so on…
    Coming to my points:-
    1-> It is not India’s concern now because
    I believe Pakistan still has the capability to counter the turmoil that they are facing now. There is strong intellectual elite. Though it seems that they were sleeping for some years now they have stirred up. They need to rise up. No one can thrust upon a social reform on any country or region it has to come from within. Slowly but surely people will realize that best way forward is to keep peace with neighbor.
    There is a lot at stake in Pakistan. The world community will simply not allow it to become another Afghanistan or Somalia.
    2-> When Pakistan’s reformers and moderates come out, the last thing that they want is to be labelled as pro Indian. So that’s why I thinking keeping quite is a good Idea on India’s part.
    3-> you are happy with it.
    4-> Again the fireproof house was a metaphor.
    I can give you an example:-
    The difference between intelligence agencies across the world is that the access that they get in differnet sphere of activity.
    If you see the rise of technology it is aimed at pin pointing a particular person in a huge crowd. Each mail that you send, each call that you make everything is logged. It’s just that Indian intelligence doesn’t have access to these or didn’t have capability to process them in a holistic way to make sense out of it.
    Try to invest in those and work proactively. We pay our taxes to make sure that we can travel in India without any worry and not to teach Pakistan what is right and wrong. When the west is really concerned about safety of Pakistan’s society why bother and waste you money? Instead plug the loopholes from your side.
    Also invest massively in technology, the yields are great!!!!
    I must also mention that everything what I have mentioned is in the current context. Priorities can change in the future.
    So now if you have anything more to add about the ideas please go ahead.

  26. Milind Kher

    It is very clear that ultimately Pakistan’s problems will have to be solved by Pakistan itself. Those from India can play the part of well wishers, maybe sometimes advisors (although they should also realize that their advice may be rejected).

    At the end of the day, the blog is Pakistani and the real concern is Pakistani too. Primacy to the Pakistani POV should be respected.

  27. Archaeo

    @goglobaltechie
    I haven’t had such fun in weeks.
    You may have noticed that I intervene but rarely. It is almost unheard of me to have stuck around and exchanged such long passages. However, you have raised some interesting points.
    You appear to disapprove of differentiating in treatment those who live through a bad experience and blog about it, and those who heckle the first category without personal experience or the loss of life and limb. So giving Pervez Hoodbhoy a degree of latitude but bearing down hard on Bee, Mr. Bumble, is not on in your book, because it is Bee’s experience that is authentic, or rather statistically more prevalent. People come to talk learnedly about all those things that they haven’t heard about or read about, never faced.
    The point was not that. While it is perfectly reasonable that Bumblebee should have come in and commented, it is in our response to the comment that there is a material difference. His right to comment is not in question. It is the nature of the response to his comment that is in question. And my stand was not that Bumblebee should not say anything at all, rather it was that the response to him might legitimately differ from our response to the Professor.
    Second, I liked your little homily about how to behave on blogs and how to be popular.
    May I hope that you have brought the breadth of your experience and undoubted accomplishments into this brief note to the newcomer?
    Be very clear that blogs are not a place where I come to speak out my ideas in a polite way for EVERYONE TO BE NICE TO ME. I really don’t care about persons being nice to me, I do care about cant and hypocrisy and the meretricious ways in which people abandon their original positions and slide around looking for refuge. It’s so much easier to admit that they are wrong, and live to fight another day, but No! they are all little village schoolteachers:
    The love he bore to learning was in fault.
    The village all declared how much he knew;
    [snip]
    In arguing, too, the parson own’d his skill,
    For even though vanquish’d, he could argue still;
    While words of learned length and thundering sound
    Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around;

    So that takes care of the personal slander. Now that I have insulted you, we can go on to other things.
    Your retort to why 47 is important was unfortunately quite wrong.
    Deciding not to look at the record is fine; it’s your choice. Deciding not to look at it without knowing what you are deciding is wrong. That makes it a matter of expediency; you don’t have cogent reasons, just convenient reasons, if you get the difference.
    You cannot possibly determine the direction in which we are moving unless you have two sets of information: the physical information, which techies revel in, and the psychological information, which leaves techies cold and untouched. History is not a spoon of Chyavanprash to be taken in the evenings to feel virtuous; it instructs a people and a society, it guides them, it enlightens them, far beyond the two-dimensional training in techniques does. It is difficult – I will avoid dogmatism and not say impossible – to determine directions of travel, or even where one sees oneself in 50 years, without accounting for the data lying within the annals of the historian. That is the biggest mistake that technical views of the world – the way economists and bankers looked at recent events, just to cite a boringly obvious incident – make, to imagine that the entire relevant data is contained within technical views. Please understand the point: history or a study of history would not have averted the international banking crisis; it certainly would have opened the doors to information that countervailed and balanced the figures that showed optimistic futures.
    A brief word about ‘your points’ before we look at them closely. You have to look at what you write together, because people will look at them together. There is little hope of arguing that your last post supersedes all previous ones; we are entitled to look at them in totality. On looking at them in totality, we have to acknowledge disappointment. Your points from your second post are at variance with your points from your first post. Be aware that as we go forward, this will find mention. Be aware also that this practice, if repeated, leads to suspicions.
    #1 Your kindness about the capability of Pakistan and its residents to withstand the shock of the terror campaign being waged against it, your faith in its intellectual elite, your expression of your belief that a desire for peace with its eastern neighbour will slowly and surely become a realization for people, as a necessity for choosing the best way forward, are most gratifying. They are also most misleading.
    These sentiments are far from your original tone and the tenor of your remarks.
    Just think about it, without forcing me to force feed you the information.
    #2 Here we go again; it definitely is part of your MO. In your original post, it’s “strengthen Jihadi’s cause of India bashing”. In your latest, it’s “the last thing that (Pakistan’s reformers and moderates) they want is to be labeled as pro Indian.”
    There’s no difference?
    #3
    #4 The ‘fireproof’ house is a metaphor??
    Gee, here was me worryin’ me pretty little head thinkin’ you meant a simile? And all along, you were actually a nice guy who meant a metaphor!
    WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?
    This is an utterly bankrupt statement, almost as clueless as you can get.
    There is NO WAY that we can insulate India from the following:
    • Internal dissension
    • Trouble fomented by political fascists who hope that they can take advantage of communal turmoil
    • Attacks by random international terrorists (Pakistani, Sri Lankan Tamizh, Bangladeshi)
    • Funding of de-stabilising activities (like the reconversion of tribals from Christianity to Hinduism).
    Technology can support, it can’t play an initiating role in this situation.