Terrorism, Shameless Religious Bigotry and Pakistani Mindset

We are grateful to Raza Habib Raja to have authored this post for PTH. Today’s horrific events demonstrate that the threat of terrorism and Talibanisation is real and not imagined. Raza Rumi

The Attack on Ahmedis Today

As I write these sentences, the details of the most shameful attack on the religious sites of Ahmedis in Lahore are unfolding. However, this is not new as Pakistan has been the victim of this brazen behavior repeatedly. The thirty years of state sponsored “true” Islam is showing its colors. In Pakistan all the minorities are constantly harassed and state’s protection has often proved completely ineffective when a serious attack occurs. Although the counterargument can also be made that state is not also able to protect even when Muslims are attacked.

In case of Ahmedis it is a well known fact that they have been victims of state induced discrimination also apart from being openly hated by the public. In fact even today as this most in human barbarity was unfolding I had the opportunity to actually hear people in my office saying that though terrorism is bad Ahmedis deserved it. Muslims are an extremely intolerant group and yet extremely sensitive when it comes to their own religious sensitivities. And when such minorities are under attack the state protection has often been particularly inadequate and public condemnation virtually absent. After all we all remember Gojra where the government was completely unable to provide protection to the Christians when attackers attacked their houses and literally burnt people alive. In that incidence, there was no “sudden’ attack but mob actually first assembled after being provoked by the religious clergy and then systematically executed the attack. But even much more horrific was the aftermath where instead of widespread condemnation, the public response was apologetic. That incidence was not a political failure alone. It was national shame and depicted weakness at every level of our society’s moral fabric.

What is really dangerous is the complete inability of the media as well as general public to even effectively condemn, let alone stop, horrific acts like religious violence and even general terrorism. The aftermaths of every shameless incidence of hate filled religious bigotry as well as terrorism follows more or less similar pattern. A few sporadic and weak protests are raised while the majority either calls it a grand conspiracy of the West to defame Islam or gives even more hypocritical apologetic defense. Ours is a shallow society which is ready to get enraged over cartoons and Facebook but completely impotent when something far more sinister happens. Killing of so many innocent people should draw far more condemnation and yet all we do is to knit conspiracy theories. In fact our intellectual abilities are generally geared towards knitting conspiracy theories and providing apologetic defense to monsters like Taliban.

In my opinion the failure to condemn and criticize is even more horrifying than the actual tragedy because this insensitivity provides the conducive environment for future sustenance of this hate filled behavior. Our society features rabble rousers and bigots like Zaid Hamids and Dr. Amir Liaqat as the media stars who are actually patronized by mainstream media and promoted by the corporate sector through advertisements. Such characters have openly incited hatred against the Ahmedi community and have also given apologetic defense to terrorism. In civilized countries such people are hated and in our side these are actually adulated. It is this shameless insensitivity, not the grand conspiracies of the West, which breeds terrorism and religious bigotry.

There will be people who would say that in Pakistan even the Muslims are target of terrorism and so therefore this time reference to religious bigotry should not be made. After all, the incident is likely to have been carried out by Pakistani Taliban who have also conducted suicide attacks in the Sunni majority areas. MY RESPONSE WOULD BE THAT WE ARE NOT EVEN ABLE TO CONDEMN THESE MONSTERS WHEN THEY ATTACK US. Therefore to expect that our public will condemn when they attack minorities is actually expecting too much and in fact I know that when it comes to minorities like Ahmedis and Shias, actually such incidences are not even construed as something wrong. Due to hatred against the minorities such incidence would actually find little to no condemnation.

And even when such attacks are conducted against the general public they are conveniently blamed on the grand conspiracy of USA.  THE CENTRAL ISSUE IS OF OUR MINDSET WHICH IS DELUSIONAL AND HAS BEEN NURTURED THROUGH ISLAMIC MYTHOLOGY ACCORDING TO WHICH MUSLIMS ARE SUPERIOR IN CALIBRE AS WELL AS VIRTUE AND THEREFORE CANNOT INDULGE IN ANYTHING SINISTER LIKE TERRORISM. In Pakistan, this pattern of thinking is also supplemented by a strong dose of ultra nationalism which assumes Pakistan with its nuclear arsenal to be spearheading the revival of the lost glory of Islam. Primarily this mindset is outward looking and assumes that due to Pakistan’s “supreme” importance in the above context, all the non Muslim forces are jealous and therefore trying to create a conducive environment to purge our nuclear arsenal through planting extremism. According to this delusional mindset, the key conspirator is USA which due to its Jewish appeasement and own insecurities against resurgence of glorious Islam is trying to destabilize Pakistan to find an excuse to purge its nuclear arsenal. INHERENTLY RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY IS ALSO STRONGLY IMBEDDED IN THIS MINDSET BECAUSE OF ASSUMED SUPERIORITY OF “PURE” MUSLIMS AND DEEP SUSPICION OF NON MUSLIMS. Consequently even those sects such as Ahmedis who identify themselves as Muslims are often called agents planted by the British and later on USA to wreck havoc in the Islamic world’s “unity”. Hatred against non Muslims and conspiracy theories become the main paradigm through which we see the world.

This mindset has become particularly vigorous after 9/11. Throughout the post 9/11 period, I have just listened to non sense conspiracy theories and complete irrational apologetic defense. Everything is generally blamed on USA and in this process we end up strengthening dark nihilist forces of terrorism and religious extremism. In fact I remember when these monsters attacked Islamic International University, after two day students were protesting not against Taliban but against Kerry Luger bill!

In near past, just because USA was forcing us to take a timely action against the militants, we were all against it because in our heads it was against us and our “own” people. Those delays eventually enabled the militants to have a complete foothold in places like Swat. When news regarding the Taliban atrocities started to emerge, we refused to believe them because some of the western channels were also airing them. As late as 2009, when flogging video went on air, instead of being appalled, the entire media thrust was on proving that it was a fake.   It had to be propaganda against Islam and us. The Nazam-e Adl deal was virtually endorsed by our media and a large section of sensation loving romantic nationalist urban middleclass. And when ANP successfully maneuvered the situation to expose that militants were indeed animals, almost overnight they became bad Taliban who had been created by USA. We conveniently overlooked the fact that in fact USA had been pressurizing us to take action earlier and only a few days before we were reacting violently to opposition to Nazam-e-Adl by calling it interference in our internal affairs. And not surprisingly when reality dawned about Taliban by virtue of a live speech of Sufi Muhammad, we were quick to point out to the possibility of emergence of “Bad” Taliban. In this parallel universe every fact had to be spun to be consistent with the original premise.

Our irrational and hypocritical hatred of the West which is characterized by chanting slogans against them while begging for their visas and foreign aid has now reached such gigantic proportions that even when clearer evidence is presented in front of our eyes about what creed of people Taliban are, we are completely unable to condemn them. Instead we are either calling barbarism a reaction or trying to bifurcate them into good and bad Taliban. A “strategic” asset, created by our own armed forces and defended to madness by our own media, is now believed to be partially bought over by USA. USA the devil becomes our sole point and in that hatred we completely overlook where we are heading. As blood litters our streets, rather than collectively denouncing the ideology of hate and barbarism, our sole reaction is pointing to the same premise in one way or the other. This sole reaction shows the depleted soul of the nation.

We are ready to hold rallies when a few are killed due to a drone attack but speechless when literally hundreds are killed by the Taliban monsters.  Rather than trying to fight the miserable creed of monsters we are coming up with new spins of national sovereignty, reaction to US policies, nuclear arsenal, grand conspiracy of US and God knows what else. Consequently, it is becoming exceptionally difficult for the government to muster the political will to sustain this fight which is no longer physical. The hatred is misplaced, the enemy is within, but we are totally oblivious to it and in the process strengthening the forces of extremism through appeasement, apologetic defense or outright denial

Right now it has to be understood that despite differences, at least in one critical aspect, USA’s and our interests are common: we face a common enemy. And yet just because they are saying it, we are opposing it and in the process treading on a self destructive path.  Our every new interpretation is contradictory to the previous one, but it does not matter; because irrational instincts are driving our introspection. It stretches beyond that. Anyone who opposes Taliban vehemently and does not buy these wild theories is labeled as an unpatriotic, liberal elitist or someone who is a sellout.

The effects of this mindset, if unchecked, will go beyond the current battle against Taliban. As the anti US rhetoric is whipped into frenzy and becomes a popular rallying point, the politics will no longer be an art of identifying core issues and striving to address them but merely expanding the borders of this parallel universe

220 Comments

Filed under Al Qaeda, Pakistan

220 responses to “Terrorism, Shameless Religious Bigotry and Pakistani Mindset

  1. Midfield Dynamo

    Unfortunately precious lives have been lost to gain cheap popularity, power players on both sides whether moderates or extremists are capitalizing on the situation at the plight of the innocent ahmedis. Ahmedis are resented by all, without even addressing their viewpoint, they are outcasts, untouchables and will never be accepted for their forth righteous beliefs. The government and the army have both let them down, through discriminatory policies and perhaps it is too late for any redemption.

  2. Raza

    Although I am not an Ahmedi but some of my relatives are. Sheikh Munir who was the president of Jamat in Lahore was one of the casualities.
    As a Sunni Muslim my head is down with shame. I actually heard people in my office celebrating today’s incident. I also saw Dunya Tv’s website and several Pakistanis were expressing joy over this barbaric act.
    As a nation we are morally bankrupt and have zero tolerance for minorities.
    This article is just an introspection into this sick delusional mindset.

  3. Naveed

    One of the best articles ive ever read, you cleared up a lot of things for me.

  4. Taliban are not only limited to some militant, brain washed cluster of people, but are existing in the psychology of the majority of the “True Muslims” in this country.
    This terrorist attitude with religious pride is not only commonly found in the religious fanatics but also in the “peaceful” Muslims who consider that world peace is merely possibly through the imposition of their religion. They are nothing but religious narcissists.
    Moreover, many “democratic” puppets of this country, like Imran Khan, support Talibanization
    shyly with a typical, conservative and tribal pride.

    In order to counter this vampire of Taliban completely, that was being produced by the US Imperialism against the “Kafir” state of Soviet Union, we have to counter the whole mentality clearly and without any hesitation. No matter if we even criticize the role of Religion itself.

  5. And yet I hold not a single fiber of hate against your blindfold loathe. For we as Ahmadis practice patience no matter how hard the circumstances turn. All you fundamentalists earn nothing but shame. Its a pity you brought shame to your country. Shows how little tolerance you practice, you the so called followers of the blessed and forever loved, Prophet Mohammad, who unlike you became blessing for whole humanity. Yourself stain His Holy Divine persona to disgrace internationally by doing such as this.

  6. Midfield Dynamo

    Indians have the right to laugh….

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  8. Fatima

    The attack is shameful and condemnable without bringing the conclusion”minorities r not protected in Pak”. Kindly, donot rush & avoid creating more sectarian divide in such crucial times. The reason behind is the inept government, which has failed to deliver law & order & provide security to the people on the whole & not “ONLY minorities”. No one,s excempted in this series of attacks (similar to the bombay 26/11,u know) going on in lahore since the attack on Srilankan cricket team.Those belonging to a majority sect are as vulnerable as minorities.

  9. Jay

    This is from victims of such evil ideology, be they Ahmadis, Shias, Christians, Hindus or even Sunnis themselves – to the President, Prime Minister, Chief Minister of Punjab, all the citizens of Pakistan and foremost the root cause of all this the Jamaat Islami:

    4:75. What (excuse) have you (to offer) that you would not fight in the cause of Allâh and for (the rescue of) the weak and the down-trodden men and women and the children who all say, `Our Lord! take us out of this town of which the people are tyrants, and grant us a defender who comes from You and a helper by Your Own grace.’

    [The Holy Quran – Nooruddin]

  10. Athar S.

    Excellent Written article.

    Ms. Fatima:
    I would kindly request you to re-read the article. Government security is only one side of the problem.

    Fight is no longer physical alone. Mass opinion has to shift against such menace, once for all – and, then from media to military, from common man to Government, from judiciary to law enforcement — we can then together eradicate such evil – which has brought Pakistan to it’s knees.

    Intellectual clarity is a First – and critical pre-requisite, missing which – there will not be much hope, unfortunately – notwithstanding my eternal optimism ~~~ but, even that has limits.

  11. Raza

    Ms fatima please re-read the article. I have already admitted that Government security is inadequate for everyone. However the issue is more pressing and is that of our mindset which has religous bigotry and state of denial imbedded in it.
    Moreover, most of the people have derogatory attitude towards the Ahmedis community. I have actually heard people expressing joy over yesterday’s sick events.
    In addition, we refuse to beleive that it is our created monsters. For us it is always RAW, Mosad and God knows what else. Unless we are able to come out of this outward looking alternate universe, we will never able to come out of this menace,

  12. Hindu

    “is that of our mindset which has religous bigotry and state of denial imbedded in it.”

    How can that change when your religion is based out of the Quran and Hadith? The Quran is incessant in its message that the Gods of Unbelievers are false, and that the destiny of unbelievers is hellfire, if they are not to be killed on earth. The Quran also pours scorn on those it deems hypocritical or not fully following Quranic scripture.

    It is your Islamic scripture that is the source of your bigotry. That is the painful truth that you are yet to acknowledge.

  13. shiv

    May I point out an additional factor at work apart from the points made in the article?

    Pakistan is awash with weapons. I have a cite that says 15 million small arms, including automatic weapons are in private hands in Pakistan. I don’t know if Pakistan has gun control laws, but if you don’t swallow the specious American argument that guns don’t kill people, people kill people you find that people with guns find it a lot easier to kill a lot more people more quickly than with other weapons.

    One of the fundamental demands of good government is that the government should retain the maximum coercive power (police, army, arms). Perhaps with the army in power in Pakistan it was thought that having an armed and devout population was needed as an accessory to halt the ever imminent Indian invasion?

    Darra Adam Khel should become a museum – nothing more. But the arms will still not vanish. The Pakistani army has allowed itself to become weaker relative to its own people. Their ability to control the very armed people they encouraged and nurtured has become limited.

    That is a phenomenally stupid and exceedingly dangerous predicament to get oneself into, a predicament that crept in insidiously on the assumption that armed Pakistanis would hate India alone, so allowing them to bear arms was good for Pakistan.

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  16. Bciv

    @shiv

    once again, good facts have not prevented a rather poor analysis.

    as for not knowing pak’s gun laws, that’s one of those details that i would have thought you would have acquainted yourself with before embarking upon writing 200+ pages on the country.

  17. Vandana

    Brilliant and so heartfelt….that is what this article is and thanks Raza Rumi for bringing it to us.

  18. usma

    Well written, but it does not analyze the fact how this wave of religious extremism and intolerance has extrapolated after 9/11. Although we did have attacks on our minorities pre-9/11, the current wave which the Lahoris get to witness every Friday was not there before. And the “few” casualities due to drone attacks by the West leads to a vicious circle whereby the extremists retaliate by the suicide attacks. The attack on Times Square is a case in point.
    And the attacks against our ‘own” people is a correct term. We cannot seperate them from the ordinary “normal” Pakistanis. They are innocent students or wageless workers who are enrolled in madrassas or fall into the trap of these extremists due to our own faulty education system and an extremely weak state sponsored welfare that cater to their needs. The answer lies not in an operation which would eliminate them for once and for all, but a collective effort into understanding the factors leading to the mindset of the people sending their young ones to these barbarians and taking effective steps to address that.

  19. Kris

    As an Indian living abroad for well over a decade, I have many Pakistani (both Sunni & Shia) friends, I have nothing but good things to say about them.

    Sad Article, not the writing which is Brilliant, however the contents of the same…

    Iam also going through some of the comments and exchanges and learning more about people in Pakistan. May better sense prevail (I think the previous commentator Usma, has a very valid point, that the education system has to be tackled, if people are RIGHTLY educated and employed they stop indulging in these horrific acts…

    God Bless All…

  20. shiv

    “as for not knowing pak’s gun laws, that’s one of those details that i would have thought you would have acquainted yourself with before embarking upon writing 200+ pages on the country.”

    No as a matter of fact 200 pages on Pakistan barely scratches the surface. If I get complimented for those 200 pages it shows how much Pakistan has been neglected. A single drop is spoken of as though it was a torrent. I am not intending to do a follow up edit of the book, but Pakistan was certainly not bleeding internally as it is now when I discovered almost by accident that Pakistan had so many small arms on the loose. At that time I only saw it as yet another way to kill Indians and did not even have the pleasure of imagining what Pakistanis could do to each other with those firearms. But that is my fault.

    If I had to add a chapter now, I would add what those arms are doing.

    What are Pakistan’s gun laws anyway? I recall a widely advertised move under the Musharraf regime to recover “illegal arms” and I vaguely recall that a few thousand (or maybe a few hundred thousand) weapons were turned in. Nowhere near 15 million.

    What is remarkable is that for all the analyses that people write about Pakistan, very very few people mention the fact that Pakistan is bristling with weapons, a fact that is a far cry from most places. I doubt if even India has so many small arms on the loose. In India any automatic weapon in private hands is illegal. The highest caliber allowed for private arms is 0.32.. And licences are hard to obtain.

    Could you please point me to any good links? Oh I do know that I can pick up the information by my own research, but what the heck – this site is full of Pakistanis who are supposed to know Pakistan.

    It is not true that several million arms, including automatic weapons are on the loose in Pakistan? One can apparently get a Kalashnikov copy for 5000 Pakrupees or some such trivial figure.

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  23. Tilsim

    @ Kris

    Thanks for kind words at this time of our pain and frustration. Pakistani blogsites get many posts from Indian friends, sometimes insensitive but more often reaching out. We of course appreciate the latter and wish for peace and harmony amongst all the communities of this great sub-continent. If we can break the cycles of intolerance and hatred, like Europe did, we shall surely be winners.

  24. Arshaad

    When Nizam-a-Jammat calls us for some purpose then its his resposibility to protect us.

    It was very sad full incidence.May God Bless all of them.
    lets analyze it
    1) why so many Ahmadis were present in the mosque (more than a normal routine)
    2) what was the specific reason of gathering of large number of people on both places
    3) Every body know that in going situation of country the Government of Pakistan informed that the threat is present so take precautionary measure.
    now the question arises
    1) Is the life of Ahmadis are important or the celebration of Khalifat is important (instead of 27 may, it was designed to be held at 28th may in Pakistan)
    2) If Khalifit celebrations are more important then why not Nizam-a-Jammat take precautionary measures.
    3) Why not Nizam-a-Jammat arrange extra security for the protection of Ahmadis.
    4) We all know that in our every mosque of Pakistan the armed Ahmadi Khudam are always present especially during such a events.then where those Khudam goes during this sad full incident or from few weeks the Khudam was unarmed during duties, who make Khudam Unarmed and why.
    5) If Governmental organization did not take proper security measures then why not Nizam-a-Jammat took proper measures for handling any unwanted problem.etc
    All this arguments are showing that security loops and defects were present on both sides; at the end of Governmental law enforcement departmental arrangement and as well as at the end of Nizam-a-jammat`s arrangements.
    Government of Pakistan is trying his best to giving the answers of negligence of their departments but is Nizam-a-Jammat ever think about to providing the answer of their negligence to all of us and especially to those who lost their loved ones in this sad full incidence. what Nizam-a-Jammat want to hide from media and why not media were allowed to enter in the mosques for covering the internal situation. why Nizam-a-Jammat is just trying to put all the blame on Government and Molvies etc.

    http://ahmediorg.yuku.com/topic/2953/t/Attack-on-Ahmadi-Mosques-in-Lahore-Pakistan.html?page=1

  25. Arshaad

    It was very sad full incidence.May God Bless all of them.
    lets analyze it
    1) why so many Ahmadis were present in the mosque (more than a normal routine)
    2) what was the specific reason of gathering of large number of people on both places
    3) Every body know that in going situation of country the Government of Pakistan informed that the threat is present so take precautionary measure.
    now the question arises
    1) Is the life of Ahmadis are important or the celebration of Khalifat is important (instead of 27 may, it was designed to be held at 28th may in Pakistan)
    2) If Khalifit celebrations are more important then why not Nizam-a-Jammat take precautionary measures.
    3) Why not Nizam-a-Jammat arrange extra security for the protection of Ahmadis.
    4) We all know that in our every mosque of Pakistan the armed Ahmadi Khudam are always present especially during such a events.then where those Khudam goes during this sad full incident or from few weeks the Khudam was unarmed during duties, who make Khudam Unarmed and why.
    5) If Governmental organization did not take proper security measures then why not Nizam-a-Jammat took proper measures for handling any unwanted problem.etc
    All this arguments are showing that security loops and defects were present on both sides; at the end of Governmental law enforcement departmental arrangement and as well as at the end of Nizam-a-jammat`s arrangements.
    Government of Pakistan is trying his best to giving the answers of negligence of their departments but is Nizam-a-Jammat ever think about to providing the answer of their negligence to all of us and especially to those who lost their loved ones in this sad full incidence. what Nizam-a-Jammat want to hide from media and why not media were allowed to enter in the mosques for covering the internal situation. why Nizam-a-Jammat is just trying to put all the blame on Government and Molvies etc.

    http://ahmediorg.yuku.com/topic/2953/t/Attack-on-Ahmadi-Mosques-in-Lahore-Pakistan.html?page=1

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  27. Official statement from Ahmadiyya Jamaat Paksitan.

  28. Mustafa Shaban

    I agree with PTH on this matter and this act is hurtful and shameful. At the same time let me point out the Imran Khan and Zaid Hamid condemned the act and are against using violence against innocent people. They have time and again condemned TTP as well. Zaid Hamid has looked favorably at shias a few times and IK has also mentioned how shias are and innocents are wrongly targetted and has spoken od demilitarizing all islamic groups. IK has only claimed he can understand why some elements of TTP are fighting the Pak govt. Similar to how we condemn Palestinian suicide bombings on israeli citizens yet understand the cause. So I agree with what PTH has to say but atleast get your facts on certain personalities rite.

  29. DR.ASIF

    Shameful and condemnable in every sence.
    Inna Lillah-e-wa Inna Ehla e Rajayoon.
    Islam never says to harm anyone,no muslim can even think of doing this .

  30. imran tahir

    as an ahmadi only one thing i will say God will serve his justice inshallah and we all will witness it inshallh ,inallih hi wa inhnaelahi rageoon ,

  31. Maryanne Khan

    Raza has a point when he says that Pakistan is suffering moral bankruptcy.

    In another post, I saw “Ours is a shallow society which is ready to get enraged over cartoons and Facebook but completely impotent when something far more sinister happens.”

    Pakistan as a nation must define itself, not in terms of a set of purely adversarial relations (as in the Facebook shambles in which national identity was construed as Them versus Us, plenty of unity there) but the Lahore attacks demonstrate that Pakistan espouses a form of ‘democracy’ or indeed with regard to citizenship, in which all are NOT equal. Some Pakistani citizens are apparently exempt, excluded from the obligation of the State to defend and protect them. On what basis does the State decide this?

    If the answer is on the basis of which religious sect they belong to, then there is a discourse of mutual exclusion here. You can expect the privileges of citizenship and hence, equality, ONLY if you belong to the ‘correct’ strain of Islam.

    Which Muslims, or importantly, which Citizens, are more equal? Who is a real citizen of Pakistan and which Pakistani citizens are not ‘real’ Pakistanis?

    Pakistan’s leaders cannot claim to be leading a democracy if, as George Orwell said, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”*

    Pakistan must decide ‘who’ it is and BE that. Seems to me that the National Identity is incomprehensible to outsiders (another post mentions China, India and America’s perplexities) because it has no unified definition of its Self, one in which its citizens also believe.

    *In ‘Animal Farm’, Orwell was parodying Communist societies, but the point is equally valid.

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  33. M Cope

    Many Pakistanis appear to have lost the plot. The insane attempt to solve moral and social problems by indiscriminate violence against strangers (mass murder) is not only a contradiction, it IS THE PROBLEM and not the solution. It’s not exactly rocket science, but once you have handed over your moral compass to madmen, intelligence and compassion go with it.

  34. Khullat

    Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian says:

    “Shukr lillah mil gaya hum ko wo laal-e bey-badal
    Kya huwa gar qaum ka dil sang-e khaara ho gaya”

    Translation:

    ‘Thank God that I have found that priceless gem – God.
    So what, if the hearts of my own people have turned stone-hard towards me.’

  35. Khullat

    Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian says:

    “Baad az khuda ba ishq-e Muhammad mukhammaram
    Gar kufr een bawad bakhuda sakht kaafiram”

    Translation:

    ‘Next to God, it is the love of Muhammad that inebriates me.
    If this is kufr, then by God I am a firm kafir.’

  36. zinda tilismath

    Extremely well written article. Are you really a paki? But you must be. Since you analysed the conspiracy theories behind everything. This one stand out. ” Muslims are an extremely intolerant group and yet extremely sensitive when it comes to their own religious sensitivities.” My feeling exactly. Hence the hatred that we hindus feel for muslims (and not other minorities) is from this same mindset.

  37. Raza

    Dear zinda tilismath

    I am a Pakistani and I have often been called a liberal fanatic and a sell out. Although religous fanaticism may to some extent exist in India also but they are not in a state in a state of denial. Their they are ready to acknowledge it and even work on it. Here unfortunately, people wont even admit it and when something happens it becomes a grand conspiracy of the West to defame Pakistan

  38. DesiGuru

    Problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them – Einstein

    The best way to more comprehensively understand the Islamic terror/Pakistan problem is to probe deeper into the basics of biology and human psychology other than ofcourse history.

    At the highest level science tells us that its the survival of the fittest. Maybe more specifically the fittest gene. The bottom 5-10% in gene quality will over a period of time (maybe in 1000s of years or more) be eliminated. Whether you or I agree, disagree, like or dislike this simple scientific fact.

    Islamic terror is just a more proactive way that some of these people who maybe in the bottom 5-10% in gene quality try to make sure its their genes that survive.

    All of us may disagree on everything under the Sun. But I doubt anyone would disagree that in the long term, people that follow, 7th, 14th, 19th et al century laws and methods in the 21st, 25th, 29th centuries, have zero chance of long term survival competing with the rest of humanity which will keep themselves updated with the latest methods of surviving in the long run which maybe anything from producing the highest levels of thought in science, technology, medicine, defence.

    Now terrorism, violence is very simply the last and actually the best method that the last ranked genes can use, giving them their only chance of long term survival. Ofcourse that these genes will not survive in the long term is still a given. Its just a slightly more painful and maybe a quicker way to the absolute eventuality. The absolute eventuality being that the weak genes will not survive whether we like, dislike, agree or disagree.

  39. shiv

    It would be a silly tautology to say that Pakistan has a problem in its society, but I say it in all seriousness. At least one of those problem is that Pakistanis have done something that India did not do.

    From the outset, Indians were told to be ashamed of themselves as a nation because of all the ills (particularly Hindu ills – caste, poverty/superstition) in Indian society and Indians were indoctrinated to address internal problems, alleviate caste inequality, accept religious differences and were asked to live frugally so that socialist policies of “helping the poor” could be implemented.

    But for as long as I have been reading about Pakistan and hearing statements from Pakistan (my own memories and records extend back to the early 60s) all that I have ever heard is “Our Pakistan is better. We are more wealthy. We lead better lives. We are cleaner and more egalitarian. Our meat is better. We are stronger and healthier. We are taller and fairer. You name any parameter, and Pakistan is better than India. And we are Muslims to boot. Allah has given this God’s land to us (to paraphrase Zaid Hamid – who has a place in Pakistan only to raise Pakistanis self esteem at a time when it is abysmally low a pointless rearguard action.) This is THE Pakistani mindset. No amount of deprivation or inequity in Pakistan could shake this argument. The biggest insult to a Pakistani is not that he is wallowing in crap, but that Indian crap might be better. The Pakistani is happy with crap as long as he is secure that he is better than India.

    Indians who met Pakistanis abroad in an earlier era would be told of how Pakistan is better and how the value of Pakistani currency is higher. But all through these years, it was only the wealthy elite in Pakistan who were actually getting fat, not the real Pakistani, whose life can be measured only in statistics like maternal mortality and mouths to be fed per family. This “hidden” Pakistani was told that he had to ready himself for jihad because of the coming Indian invasion, and he was allowed to bear arms and of late provide sons for the cause. It is those sons who are now asking a few questions. When you have a gun in your hand, it is easier to demand answers to your questions.

    Come on Pakistanis. Forget India. The risk of India swallowing you up is zero. You have defended your land well. You can now learn what it takes to live in dignity without handouts. Get all those armed Pakistanis to agree with each other, or at least accept that disagreements can exist, but force is of no more use in settling Pakistani disputes as it is in trying to settle disputes with India. I believe you guys have all been brought up with a feeling of superiority and strength. Fine. I am sure you can show that superiority and strength now. This is the time to put your money whe your mouth is.

  40. shiv

    @DesiGuru

    That is an interesting post. Not to take away from the central truth of your post, but I believe the word “gene” in your post should be replaced with “meme”. The people who are eliminating themselves in Pakistan, and indeed Pakistan itself, is not living on faulty genes, but a set of faulty memes that worked well 1300 years ago.

    In fact the meme self corrected in order to survive, but a set of blinkered visionaries (I know that is an oxymoron) who created Pakistan attempted to resurrect a meme that has seen its best days. The meme will correct itself over decades or centuries, but a lot of Pakistanis will die in the process.

  41. Mustafa Shaban

    @maryanne: Pakistanis are as hurt as to what happened to the Ahmadis as they are with the facebook cartoons. Nobody supports any of these things or ignores them either. Pakistanis are not cold hearted people. They fight amongst themselves and do wrong things sometimes but they are not bad.

    @Raza: In India people are willing to accept the presence of religious extremism only to a certain extent. They will not admit that it has turned into a huge problem.

    @Shiv: I understand where you are coming from when you discuss the superiority/inferiority complex in India and Pakistan. But the thing is that both countries you have 2 types of people:

    1. You have the westernised indains and pakistanis, who either already live a lavish western lifestyle or dream about doing so. They are nt proud of their countries and only think about running or staying away from their nation and distancing themselves from it. They are sometimes embarrassed of their culture and identity.

    2. Then you have patriotic and traditional Indians and Pakistanis who love their country and want to support it in many ways. They also think about how they can solve the problems of their countries and always pray for a better tomorrow.

    In India there is a mix of both types but its mostly the first type of people that are becoming more common. Indians are looking to the West as they see it superior to their culture and values and lifestyle. Ironically if you criticize India they get angry, like they got angry with Slumdog Millionaire.

    In Pakistan you also have both types, the first type is more prevalent in the rich elite class while the second type is more present in middle class especially youth.

    Also your view on Pakistanis is slightly off, we are very confident and want to have a high self confidence even if we dunt have it yet. However there is not a lot of superiority complex among Pakistanis, people like Zaid Hamid are only trying to get us to reach our potential and dream and think big and not give up.

  42. shiv

    @ Mustafa Shaban

    You say:
    “Also your view on Pakistanis is slightly off, we are very confident and want to have a high self confidence even if we dunt have it yet”

    Oh of course. Of course. I can see that. Keep up the good work. I was afraid that some Pakistanis might actually start seeing themselves as they are, but my fears have been assuaged.

  43. harish

    Desiguru,
    your funda about 5%-10% bottom quality gene is actaully a fact. I know many people disagree with this. But you have given the time line 1000 years but I say it less than 200 years.

    Shiv,

    One of your lines,

    “From the outset, Indians were told to be ashamed of themselves as a nation because of all the ills (particularly Hindu ills – caste, poverty/superstition) in Indian society and Indians were indoctrinated to address internal problems, alleviate caste inequality, accept religious differences and were asked to live frugally so that socialist policies of “helping the poor” could be implemented””

    made a point here. From childhood Indian is taught that poverty, superstion etc etc are the real enemy and he should overcome that in his lifetime. In Indian middle class, becoming a doctor, engineer, or rich, owing a home in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi is his ultimate goal of his life. We were never told that Pakistani or muslim is their enemy by our parents.

  44. @Raza
    I am a hindu who lived and worked in middle east, obviously with lots of pakis. The average paki is liberal, secular, and yes helpful with Indians. This DESPITE the hate hindu india that is leitmotif of paki politics. It is the Indian muslims, (you havent met them in India) who qualify for the notion that muslims are fanatics. Their arrogance and attitude(in muslim neighbourhoods) is seen to be believed. This destroys the average Indian hindu mentality. (Pakis are fanatics and Indian muslims are OUR people.)The worst fanatics are the kashmiri muslims (in Indian kashmir.) Leads me to believe, that hell, Jinnah was right. His words ” If both communities separate, they will live like brothers.” I plan to enter politics (when I am financially independent) on this platform. But then 26/11 destroyed everything.

  45. DesiGuru

    @shiv

    Yes using ‘meme’ also works!

    I posted maybe because I am bored and tired of everyone and their mother thinking the taliban/Islamic terrorists are bad because hey they are bad. They are ‘bad’ because the chances of our genes surviving go down if they continue to exist. So its because all of us badly want to survive as much as them that we call them ‘bad’. Though it might be obvious its important to think about it this way sometimes. They are bloody hell trying to survive and spread their genes as much as we are. That is just a much better way of looking at it and simply the first rule of nature. To get overwhelmed by the other ways of seeing this is giving too much attention to your average stupid low IQ TV anchors and newspaper columnists and jobless bloggers.

  46. Turath

    Justice Munir Ahmad Sheikh was my father`s cousin. Rest in Peace.

  47. Midfield Dynamo

    Zinda Tilismath, it is nice to hear that someone is talking of brotherhood as an end. The means to attain that end need not be separation, for you know we can live with a great degree of civility in the middle east or for that matter anywhere else in the world, USA, UK or what have you. Why not Pakistan and India? The answer is quite simple, we need to rein in our wanton desire of supremacy and reconcile ourselves to mutual respect and the other’s right to freedom, progress and opinion, much in the same way as we do when living together in international communities.

  48. shiv

    Desi Guru – I believe that if they held free and fair elections in Pakistan a Taliban-like government would come to power. It would certainly be Islamic and sharia may be implemented more diligently. The idea that this cannot happen is trash that is spouted to give the Americans the impression that Pakistan is safe with the Pakistan Army.

    But such a “Taliban” government in Pakistan would give the US a kick in the butt, and neither the US nor their prime chamchas – the Pakistani army and the elite of Pakistan would like that. I am certain India could do business with such a government just as India does business with say the Saudis or Myanmar.

    The Pakistan army actually blackmails the US saying “If you don’t arm us or pay us, the Taliban will come to power”. That is correct. Pakistanis do negotiate with a gun held to their own heads. It works well for them. That too is in keeping with evolutionary principles.

    So the Islamists of Pakistan have two major enemies, the US and the Pakistani army. The likes of retired Gen Hamid Gul and other Islamists in the army hope to reclaim the “spirit of 1965” when all of Pakistan was united in the face of “Indian aggression”. An attack from India would allow the Pakistani army off the hook and not do the job of opposing the Taliban that the US is paying the Paki army to do. And the Islamists would then (it is hoped) back the army against the kafir Indians.

    But the cowardly kafirs of India do not attack no matter how many civilians are killed by Pakistani terrorists, and the Paki army is not getting relief from America. All the blue eyed jihad boys like Hakimullah and co are getting eliminated by the national bird of Pakistan, the Predator drone and the Islamists are angry and they are protesting.

    I sincerely believe a proper democratically elected Islamic government should come to power in Pakistan. But a Taliban/Islamist government in Pakistan would certainly continue to eliminate Ahmedis and other assorted kafirs. But how would that matter? 63 years of Army rule and sham democracy in Pakistan have not done anything to stop the gradual elimination of kafirs from Pakistan. It used to be Hindus, Sikhs and Christians. Now it is Ahmedis and Shias. So what’s new?

  49. Hayyer

    Shiv:
    Is there any basis for your belief that in a free and fair election a Taliban friendly government would come to power? They didn’t in the last one, and in the one previous to that it was the secular Musharraf who helped them win in the Frontier.

  50. Adam

    There are 93.3 Muslims (Shia-Sunni), 2.3 % Ahmadis and 4 % other in Pakistan .

    I propose there should be state sponsored relocation of all these 6.3 minorities in other countries if any one wants to take it. Since being an Islamic country Pakistan should not have anyone else there or simply become secular.

  51. Bin Ismail

    @ Adam (June 1, 2010 at 2:02 am)

    “…..There are 93.3 Muslims (Shia-Sunni), 2.3 % Ahmadis and 4 % other in Pakistan .

    I propose there should be state sponsored relocation of all these 6.3 minorities in other countries if any one wants to take it. Since being an Islamic country Pakistan should not have anyone else there or simply become secular…..”

    Your supreme wisdom, if materialized, would leave this country with some new challenges:

    1. The “white” of our national flag, which signifies the non-Muslim Pakistanis, would obviously have to be removed.

    2. Your proposal will in all likelihood be followed by another similarly enlightened proposal, which would naturally be to expel from Pakistan, all “other sects” who are of course lesser Muslims and leave only “the chosen ones” to roam this land.

  52. shiv

    @Hayyer
    “Is there any basis for your belief that in a free and fair election a Taliban friendly government would come to power? They didn’t in the last one, and in the one previous to that it was the secular Musharraf who helped them win in the Frontier.”

    This is how I see it. The last really fair election in Pakistan was in 1970-71. It produced results that were disliked in West Pakistan and the outcome was disastrous for Pakistan.

    Pakistani and Western media have made it a point to say that only 12.5646789% of the electorate (or some similar cooked up figure) voted for Islamic parties. This is repeated in report after report after report almost as though people are reassuring themselves that Islamic parties have little support in Pakistan. And this statistic that has been converted into fact by repetition is subtly used to convey the impression that Pakistanis are not “fundamentalists”.

    The most hilarious thing (to me) about this little semantic trick is that “Islamic parties” in Pakistan are being equated with “fundamentalism” suggesting that if one is Islamic one is a fundamentalist. Mind you it’s not just the kafirs who say this – it is Pakistanis who insist that “Fundamentalists cannot come to power in Pakistan because “only” xyz% people voted for the Islamist parties”. What could be the reason for Pakistanis, citizens of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, to make a connection between being Islamic and being fundamentalist?

    Please tell me. Does being Islamic mean being a “fundamentalist”? Clearly 97% of Pakistanis are Islamic. Are they fundamentalist? So what is it about the Islamic parties that makes them more fundamentalist than other Pakistanis? It is because they want sharia? Is it because they hate Ahmedis? It cannot be. The same “moderate, non fundamentalist Pakistan” where the majority “do not vote for Islamist parties” has already tried to implement half-baked sharia and is unable to prevent sectarian killings. And the same “moderate, non fundamentalist Pakistan” has sold itself out to America as a hedge against the kafirs of India.

    I believe that Pakistanis, if allowed to vote freely are likely to call the bluff that claims to protect Pakistan and Islam by selling out to America. An Islamic government in Pakistan is likely to have a spine based on faith in Islam and popular dislike of America that will kick the Americans out of Pakistan. Now in this world, any Islamic group that is opposed to the US gets one of two names – either “Al Qaeda” or “Taliban”. Why are these two names so popular among a section of Pakistanis in the government and army? Forget Al Qaeda. The Taliban are just Muslims who want to live life as they think Muslims should be. So what is wrong in doing that? Especially if they live that way in Pakistan?

    What is it that makes a section of Pakistanis so supportive of US definitions and plans that they agree that the Taliban are “barbarian animals” or “fundamentalists”. The Taliban are no more barbarian animals than the US or the Pakistani army. It is astounding that the Pakistani army should choose to support the US instead of the Taliban.

    Clearly there is a significant and powerful section of Pakistanis, including the army brass who either do not have the guts to oppose the US, or are accepting money and arms from the US to fight their own people in a vastly unpopular war. It is these people who are anti-Pakistan, not the Taliban. By all accounts Islam and Islamic laws have great support in Pakistan and any group that accepts the superiority of Islam and kicks out kafir forces like the US is likely to get elected in Pakistan. Why call this “Taliban”?

    Who is preventing Islam from getting political power in Pakistan? It is the Pakistani army and their goons – the suited booted elite wealthy and powerful, who are accepting US money and arms in exchange for keeping the hugely popular political Islam down while they throw semi Islamic scraps at Pakistanis and claim that the “Taliban” are a menace and that they have little support in Pakistan. What?? Islam has no support in Pakistan? Islam is called “Taliban” only when US support is needed. That’s all. So who is fooling whom in Pakistan?

  53. Bin Ismail

    @shiv (June 1, 2010 at 6:46 am)

    “…..Please tell me. Does being Islamic mean being a “fundamentalist”?…..”

    They are called “fundamentalist” while they depart entirely from the fundamentals of Islam. This is where the irony lies.

  54. Mustafa Shaban

    @shiv: I phrased it incorrectly. What I meant to say is that the youth and public in general want to bring change to Pakistan so that it can become a much better place and so they can look at it with pride.

    The rude tone was completely unneseccary. Dont know why people get so worked up over small things and small phrases.

  55. shiv

    @Mustafa Shaban

    What rude tone? I am being honest. I am utterly bemused by what you have written and my tone was pure sarcasm.

    Everyone wants change for the better, but that change can come only when one is honest about oneself in understanding one’s own problems. Your post made me laugh and has so many holes in it (the parts about Pakistan – I will ignore the parts about India which you have clearly written with great insight and politeness in your heart)

    Pakistan is a country where the army has sold itself and the country out to America, telling its people time and time again that selling out to America is good because it gives Pakistan more strength against the real enemy India. This has gone on since 1965, and despite the fact that the US has been phenomenally stupid, they are not that stupid and are in a position to treat Pakistan either as a condom in use or a used condom. Nothing in between.

    And this army that has sold Pakistan and its sons to the US is the most admired institution of Islamic Pakistan – a part of whose motto is “Jihad fi Sabilillah”. Americans are sitting in Pakistan using its bases and bombing Pakistanis and you are talking about a Pakistan that has self confidence? Sir, you surprise me. Your country and people have been rented out by your greatly respected army to the US so as to get money and arms against another set of kafirs in India next door. You call that “self confidence”? How long do you imagine Pakistanis are going to get deluded by this sort of rubbish? You have got to be joking sir. The really smart Pakis are angry – and they are called the Taliban.

    Or do you believe these are small things that Pakistanis should not get upset about?

  56. Hayyer

    Shiv:
    I have been trying to understand the situation in Pakistan through the media, books and of course from PTH for some time- but your certainties leave me somewhat perplexed. In your two posts above you have managed to mix up so many assumptions and facts that unravelling them will take a longer piece than I can write at present. In a couple a hours I may find the time to respond.

  57. Mustafa Shaban

    @shiv: I agree with Hayyer, what u have written is complex, but there are some mistakes. First of all I dont beleive Army is bombing its own people, Army did not sell out and the TTP are not smart people but terrorists. However the elite class bowed towards foreign elites, this is true. But this is not the attitude of Pakistani people. Pakistanis are brave and want to change things. They have many shortcoming but are good at heart. The ruling class of Pakistan does not represent its people. Similarly I cannot say that a certain race or people are cowards becuase they have a cowardly and curropt leadership, elites usually differ a lot from ordinary people. Likewise it wouldnt be fair for me to say that Indian people are curropt just becuase there is massive curroption in its leadership.

  58. Hayyer

    Shiv:

    1. “Pakistani and Western media have made it a point to say that only 12.5646789% of the electorate (or some similar cooked up figure) voted for Islamic parties. This is repeated in report after report after report almost as though people are reassuring themselves that Islamic parties have little support in Pakistan. And this statistic that has been converted into fact by repetition is subtly used to convey the impression that Pakistanis are not “fundamentalists”

    Why do you say that the figure is cooked up? A distinction is usually made between Islamic and Islamist parties. From an Indian point of view the Muslim League is an Islamic party not an Islamist one, though it can be argued that there is a difference only in degree between the two terms. For our current discussion let us say that the the Islamist party is the fundamentalist one. If you agree with the distinction then it is correct to say that fundamentalist parties have little support in Pakistan because only “xyz% people voted for Islamist parties”. It is not a semantic trick. Take the term Muslim instead if you like a clearer distinction. 94% (or whatever figure) of Pakistan’s population is Muslim, but they are not all fundamentalist or Islamist though they are of the Islamic faith.

    2. “The most hilarious thing (to me) about this little semantic trick is that “Islamic parties” in Pakistan are being equated with “fundamentalism” suggesting that if one is Islamic one is a fundamentalist.”
    To repeat, the term Islamic does not have the same meaning as Islamist.

    3. “Please tell me. Does being Islamic mean being a “fundamentalist”?

    No it does not.

    4. “So what is it about the Islamic parties that makes them more fundamentalist than other Pakistanis? Is it because they want sharia? Is it because they hate Ahmedis?”

    I don’t think anyone has said that they were. Your comment begs the question as to how many Pakistanis are ‘fundamentalist’ in their views.

    5. “ The same moderate, non fundamentalist Pakistan” where the majority “do not vote for Islamist parties” has already tried to implement half-baked sharia and is unable to prevent sectarian killings. And the same “moderate, non fundamentalist Pakistan” has sold itself out to America as a hedge against the kafirs of India”.

    Permit me to say that at this point you have abandoned the attempt to answer my question opting instead for a free running commentary that does not hang together. Whatever the failings of the PPP your comments do not explain why in a free and fair election fundamentalists will ride to power.

    6. “I believe that Pakistanis, if allowed to vote freely are likely to call the bluff that claims to protect Pakistan and Islam by selling out to America. An Islamic government in Pakistan is likely to have a spine based on faith in Islam and popular dislike of America that will kick the Americans out of Pakistan. Now in this world, any Islamic group that is opposed to the US gets one of two names – either “Al Qaeda” or “Taliban”. Why are these two names so popular among a section of Pakistanis in the government and army? Forget Al Qaeda. The Taliban are just Muslims who want to live life as they think Muslims should be. So what is wrong in doing that? Especially if they live that way in Pakistan?”

    Not only does not the above not hang together it sounds like a rant. Having decided that Pakistan will elect an Islamist government you have also adumbrated its future course of action. This is futurology not an answer to my question. Devout Muslims I am sure want to live as Muslims but what that means is a matter of great debate within the Muslim world. While Muslim scholars still argue about it you seem to have come to the conclusion that it means living life as fundamentalists.

    7. “Clearly there is a significant and powerful section of Pakistanis, including the army brass who either do not have the guts to oppose the US, or are accepting money and arms from the US to fight their own people in a vastly unpopular war. It is these people who are anti-Pakistan, not the Taliban.”

    I am not sure whether you are hoping or recommending that the Pakistani establishment should oppose the US. Do you suggest that ‘this establishment which is anti Pakistan’ should join hands with the Taliban, who you seem to say are not ‘anti Pakistan’. I don’t know how many Indians, let alone Pakistanis will agree with this view.

    8 “By all accounts Islam and Islamic laws have great support in Pakistan and any group that accepts the superiority of Islam and kicks out kafir forces like the US is likely to get elected in Pakistan. Why call this “Taliban”?”
    When Islamist parties seeking votes in the name of the Shariah succeed in obtaining the public’s mandate your views will stand vindicated. For the present it is just an opinion.

    9.”Who is preventing Islam from getting political power in Pakistan? It is the Pakistani army and their goons – the suited booted elite wealthy and powerful, who are accepting US money and arms in exchange for keeping the hugely popular political Islam down while they throw semi Islamic scraps at Pakistanis and claim that the “Taliban” are a menace and that they have little support in Pakistan. What?? Islam has no support in Pakistan? Islam is called “Taliban” only when US support is needed. That’s all. So who is fooling whom in Pakistan?”

    Your argument above seems to be that a corrupt establishment is using America to enrich itself while fending off the public with seemingly Islamic gestures, and that it is real Islamism that voters want, which the establishment equates with the Taliban only to frighten the US.
    Again, no evidence. Musharraf supported the MMA and held off the PPA (a flawed secular party, considering what Bhutto did with the Ahmadis and alcohol). The army and the establishment have actually been allied to the fundamentalists for quite a while-at least from the time of the Army crackdown in East Pakistan. The Taliban were an instrument of the PA, even now it is not clear if they have abandoned their creation altogether. The murky world of the ISI and its links can only be imagined; even the Americans do not seem to have exact knowledge-but all this is rather far afield from my question to you.

  59. shiv

    @Hayyer
    Quote:
    “Your argument above seems to be that a corrupt establishment is using America to enrich itself while fending off the public with seemingly Islamic gestures, and that it is real Islamism that voters want, which the establishment equates with the Taliban only to frighten the US.”

    Mostly correct. I have only one quibble with this statement i.e the expression “real Islamism”. I don’t know what “real Islamism” means and cannot claim that Pakistanis “want” it. However, I am inclined to believe that Islamism is the word that is used when Muslims wantonly eliminate rivals by violent force while quoting the Quran and Hadiths as justification. There is plenty of evidence that Pakistanis are doing this and do not believe that there could be anything wrong in doing this. No need to blame the Taliban alone for this. Pakistanis are as Islamist as they come. Was it the Taliban that reduced the population of non Muslims in Pakistan top the current 3%. Was it the Taliban who wiped out Ahmedis in their mosque a few days ago?

    The Pakistani establishment is clearly aligning with America for the handouts it gets, while a majority of Pakistanis are reported in opinion polls as being anti American. Of course this will not classify as “evidence”

    Quote
    ” I am not sure whether you are hoping or recommending that the Pakistani establishment should oppose the US. Do you suggest that ‘this establishment which is anti Pakistan’ should join hands with the Taliban, who you seem to say are not ‘anti Pakistan’. I don’t know how many Indians, let alone Pakistanis will agree with this view.”

    I believe you have pointed out the dilemma that Pakistan finds itself in now – a dilemma that I find greatly amusing.

    The Pakistani establishment loves US money and the arms that the US has supplied for use against India, but the establishment has to put up a show to Pakistanis that they are handling all enemies including the biggest enemy India. The Pakistani army (and a whole lot of others in Pakistan) are now saying that the extremist Taliban are part of an Indian and/or Israeli conspiracy to destabilize Pakistan. That is certainly a good excuse to kill fellow Pakistanis. I support this excuse.

    There is a real irony here. If the Taliban are an Indian conspiracy, surely India and Indians would support them. Why do you believe that Indians would not support a Taliban take over? No group in Pakistan is as dangerous to India as the Pakistani army and India can certainly handle the Pakistani army in a straight military face off. If the Taliban take over – so much the better – they will never ever reach the military capability of the Pakistani army because the US will not give them the handouts that the Pakistani army is getting.

    As far as I can tell, a Taliban takeover of Pakistan meets all the requirements of the Pakistani people
    1) They are anti India
    2) They are anti US
    3) They are wholly Islamic
    This is why I believe they will be voted into power in a real free and fair election (if they don’t win by force). That was my answer to your question.

    As far as India is concerned
    1) The Taliban are no more anti India than the Pakistani establishment and army
    2) Their Islamic credentials are no worse than other Pakistanis
    3) They will not get US aid

    It is the Pakistani establishment and the US that would suffer the most from a Taliban takeover. For the Pakistani establishment a Taliban takeover means
    1) Loss of power and influence
    2) No more US handouts

    For the US it would mean loss of control over Pakistan and defeat in their “war on terror”

    Naturally it is the US and the Pakistani establishment that have the greatest reason to cooperate in defeating the Taliban.

    Now you know what that means. It means that the Pakistani establishment has fight fellow Pakistanis who are actually more enthusiastic and devout Muslims than they are. Wouldn’t you at least admit that this situation would give an Indian a great deal of joy?

    I am neither hoping nor recommending that the establishment opposes the US. They cannot and will not do that. They are in a fix that they will try to wriggle out of by various means.

    The means that the Pakistani establishment and army use to wriggle out of the fix are:
    1) Cite an Indian threat – no soldiers to spare to fight the Taliban. Try and provoke war or border tension with India
    2) Go as slowly as possible in fighting the Taliban
    3) Make peace deals with the Taliban as a delaying tactic
    4) Warn the Taliban of an impending attack and allow them time to escape and later claim dozens of kills.
    5) Catch a series of Al Qaeda number 3s to be handed to the US as sacrificial goats.

    It is the stupid gringo US that is beginning to catch on to this game. For India the happiest things are as follows
    1) If the US gets out of Pakistan because the Paki army did not help them, military aid will be cut off. India benefits.
    2) if the US remains in Pakistan they will force the Pakistan army to do their work in fighting Pakistanis labeled as “Taliban”. As long as Pakis fight Pakis, India benefits.

  60. Midfield Dynamo

    Your Banyan attitude is counterproductive to India’s interests, so watch out before your pride is humbled. This predicament that you suppose grips Pakistan is mainly a reaction to Indian hegemony and aggression towards Pakistan, in Pakistan it is considered an opportunity to bottle up India’s expansionist designs and force upon it favorable terms of coexistence. The numerical superiority of the Indian defense forces that you boast of has been adequately fixed by the high technology and nuclear parity that Pakistan has the ability to invoke and should things were to come to such a head that Pakistan were to become Taliban, then too history will repeat itself and marauders from the west will conquer your lands, take away your wealth and impose an Islamic order.
    So if you know what is good for you, instead of tabulating this abracadabra try and diffuse the situation, make it palatable for the general good of the region.

  61. Hayyer

    Shiv:
    Your analysis, if it can be called that, assumes facts not in evidence. That all Pakistanis want war with India and that all Pakistanis are fundamentalists and so will vote in fundamentalists in a free and fair election.
    This site, run by the other kind of Pakistani shows that there are plenty of liberals around, even if all of them are not India friendly. Perhaps your intention is to put Pakistani liberals permanently off India, and to discourage them, to the extent that you are able from building a new consensus in their country-why else would you be writing on a liberal site-a hate India site would seem a more natural environment to propagate your views. Is is possible that the mere possibility of a liberal Pakistan, one that would disprove your world view, is so unpalatable that you feel compelled to undermine any such notion?
    By the way, I suppose you have considered in your analysis of a post Taliban Pakistan the possibility of Taliban control of nuclear weapons and their eagerness to indulge in nuclear exchanges with India. Also, the need to gainfully employ all those hundreds of thousands of TTP types against India.

  62. Prasad

    While Shiv has taken an extreme (in a way cynical) view, it is fair to assume that extremism in Pakistani society has exceeded ‘peripheral minuscule’ % levels ie. the proportion of population which can cause enough havoc and damage to the society and repeatedly at that…this is of great concern

    One cannot ignore below facts –
    a) ease of availability of arms
    b) levels of indoctrination amongst youth that Islam is under attack( from kasab to faisal – economic background is insignifcant strangely)
    c) Enormous influence wielded by the clerics
    d)sympathizers (again have exceeded ‘minuscule’ limits) within the pakistani establishment without whom terrorists could not have struck at will on mosques and hospital and with such impunity.

    I dont see any reason for USA to remain involved in South Asia if they have achieved high level of security internally against terror attacks. Yes any new attack on US could certainly extend their deployment…..Not sure where this is headed

  63. @Midfield Dynamo – South Asia’s trade with Central Asia 1000-1800 AD included a constant import of horses into South Asia. Clearly whomever controlled that trade and trade route had a military advantage – that has permanently evaporated ever since the Polish cavalry futilely charged the Nazi tanks.

    Likewise, Europe-Asia trade was controlled by whomever had physical possession of the trade routes; the economic power started evaporating once the Europeans opened sea routes. That economic power advantage has also thus permanently vanished.

    Contrary to public belief, Islamic power did not decline because Muslims became less faithful. It declined because the military and economic basis of that power vanished with changes like those I mentioned above (I’ve mentioned only two of several cataclysmic changes.)

    History does repeat itself, but only when it can.

  64. shiv

    @Hayyer
    “Perhaps your intention is to put Pakistani liberals permanently off India, and to discourage them, to the extent that you are able from building a new consensus in their country-why else would you be writing on a liberal site-a hate India site would seem a more natural environment to propagate your views.”

    It’s like this. What I write is the kind of reputation that Pakistanis have developed among a significant percentage of Indians, and I am merely indicating the kind of skepticism that Pakistani liberals will face.

    I have been reading, archiving, comparing and analysing Pakistani writing and Pakistani news and events for a long time now.

    There was a time in the 1960s when South Indians were not exposed to Pakistan and Pakistanis, when they were not prone to taking the kind of views of Pakistan that were held by the North and West Indians who had borne the brunt of Partition. Indians really did feel that “Pakistanis are just like us”.

    But Pakistanis never did feel that way, or if they did they did not show it unless it was needed for their personal safety. The degree to which India was made “the enemy” in Pakistan was unknown to Indians till the 1990s. All through those years no Pakistani that I met or whose writing I read ever believed that Indians felt anything other than hate towards Pakistanis. This is patently untrue. A huge number of Indians did believe that Pakistanis were just other Indians who were happy to live separate lives. Why Indians think in this “liberal” manner is another issue – it is not a Kafir Hindu characteristic, Indian Muslims in India talk and think like other Indians.

    But Pakistan just stretched it a bit too far. The period from 1990 to 2008 really turned the tide of Indian public opinion from benign neglect to active loathing. Pakistanis, even on this board make stereotyped statements about India and Indians that I have been attacking viciously.

    Indians, who started off with liberal views met absolutely no liberal views from Pakistan. Where have Pakistani liberals been all these decades? Has there been a Pakistani who has not been so cocky and full of himself, conceited and convinced of his superiority that he could actually look at India without jaundiced eyes? Show me his writings if he was literate enough to write.

    It is only after Pakistan (and consequently Pakistanis) started getting butt-kicked on an international scale that mainstream media in Pakistan started adopting a tone of liberalism.

    In the long term Pakistan has no option other than to bandwagon with India. Not the US. Sorry if this seems like an irritating statement – but this is what will happen. The only question in my mind is how many Pakistanis will die before that happens. If Pakistanis can be clever double-crossing ba$tards, Indians are exactly like that. They do not give a rats ass for a Pakistan that tries to claim what it does not and cannot control.

    Can there be nuclear war. Yes, it is possible. Do I want nuclear war? My response to that is conditional.

    If I think I am talking to a rational person I would say. “No, I don’t want nuclear war.” But typically if I know I am addressing a Pakistani my response is based on the feeling that the Pakistani thinks he is superior to all Indians and will imagine that a man who does not want nuclear war is a weakling. So I say “Bring on the nukes. India will respond with 3 times the number”

    What can well meaning Pakistani liberals do? First is to understand that I do not represent all of India or all Indian opinions. If terrorism in India from Pakistan drops to zero, Pakistan will drop out of Indians’ radar. But I realise that Pakistani liberals on this board are not responsible for terrorism although I might assign them with vicarious guilt. (“If you are Pakistani, you are a terrorist”)

    Pakistan has reached a very advanced state of hate and denial. It is one thing to hate kafir Indians, but it is another thing to start killing Pakistanis wantonly. I believe many of you have the right ideas on this forum but I have my own views on Pakistan which I state frankly, even if they cause irritation.

    What is happening in Pakistan is a class war. It is largely the deprived, uneducated rural or small town Pakistani who is willing to blow himself up. I do not see any mainstream Pakistani admission that a poor deprived rural class actually exist and the huge numbers of them that exist. Pakistanis always talk of how Pakistanis are wealthier and better than Indians. and act as if Pakistan is a highly developed nation with some minor problems in some faraway provinces. Wealthy Pakistanis are deluding themselves. They are always ready with self comforting statistics about India – but hey Indians are actually measuring and taking note of those statistics.

    I have described the people of this forum and other English speaking Pakistanis as the “RAPE” class – the Rich Anglophone Pakistani Elite. I believe the denial and blindness of the RAPE class have contributed to Pakistan’s ills. You have been so insistent on “evidence” from me. Sir, if you can provide me with hard data on the actual educational status, infant mortality and maternal mortality of Pakistanis and when was the last census (individual headcount) conducted to assess this you may begin to understand what Pakistanis have denied. Pakistan is slipping into deep doodoo and not even a census can be conducted to figure out what is going on. Bailouts from the world bank will only go so far.

    Even if it irritates you, try and read my e-book that is available free online – it is a book called “Pakistan-Failed State”. It is written to inform Indians. You might be able to see where I am coming from when I speak of Pakistan. If nothing else read chapter 1 and the last chapter.

  65. Tilsim

    @ Shiv
    “There is a real irony here. If the Taliban are an Indian conspiracy, surely India and Indians would support them. Why do you believe that Indians would not support a Taliban take over? No group in Pakistan is as dangerous to India as the Pakistani army and India can certainly handle the Pakistani army in a straight military face off. If the Taliban take over – so much the better – they will never ever reach the military capability of the Pakistani army because the US will not give them the handouts that the Pakistani army is getting.”

    I read your views carefully. Whilst I agree with several of the points you made, it struck me that you are now suffering from pretty extreme anti-Pakistan sentiment. In particular, you seem to think that for India it’s better if the Taliban et al take over in Pakistan. I think that sort of statement is manna from heaven for the significant deluded lobby in Pakistan in the populace and the establishment that blames India for every act of violence. Sir, you are doing your country no favours. If the state of hostility of mainstream Indians has got to your level, then we may as well all pack up our bags.

    Of course, that is not actual circumstances and I believe this current phase of anger and hostility in India will eventually pass as Pakistanis do what they should do (and the army is doing more and more) and that is take on the terrorists and the idealogy that feeds it.

  66. shiv

    @ Arun Gupta
    “Shiv will believe in a liberal Pakistan when liberal ideals form the basis of a mass movement in Pakistan. Till then, it seems like military/establishment camouflage; part of the facade put on to keep up the inflow of American goodies.

    Shiv is no more or less worried by the nuclear weapons in the hands of the Taliban than he is by them in the hands of the Pakistani Army.”

    You have stated my views, which are known to you, clearly.

    In fact I welcome the idea of the Taliban getting nuclear weapons. The idea really tickles me.

    Why?

    It’s simple. Pakistani nuclear weapons were designed to be used against India alone. Even the US looked the other way when China transferred enriched Uranium to Pakistan. There are official documents from the US and statements from Abdul Qadeer Khan himself that testify to this.

    But if Pakistani nuclear weapons fall into the hands of the so called Taliban, at least a few of those weapons will be reserved for the US and other Western countries and perhaps Israel, reducing the number of weapons aimed at India. That, as far as I am concerned, is a good thing. All in all the Taliban are a great development. Pakistanis get their pure Islam. All kafirs are uniformly hated. The Americans are shown the door.

    How to prevent this? Take American aid and enslave Pakistanis to the hilt. Complain that India is the main threat. Get more weapons and money from America and try and keep the Taliban under control by treaties and pretence, hoping the US will go away. And let development go to hell because there is a civil war going on.

    Is there a better alternative? Not until the Pakistani army is taught what is right and what is wrong by Pakistanis. The only Pakistanis who are keen on doing that now are the Taliban. But Pakistanis still have not figured out what went wrong.

  67. Tilsim

    @ Shiv

    “In fact I welcome the idea of the Taliban getting nuclear weapons. The idea really tickles me.”

    You are as dangerous as the Taliban are to your country and mine. I was trying to find the humour in your style but I must say that your views disgust me.

  68. Luq

    >But if Pakistani nuclear weapons fall into the
    >hands of the so called Taliban, at least a few of
    >those weapons will be reserved for the US and
    >other Western

    This must be the most insane thing one could get to read….. and what nerve – to call it humor.

    Nukes are not grenades that you chuck two there and three here.

    Luq

  69. Unknown Indian

    Adam
    June 1, 2010 at 2:02 am

    There are 93.3 Muslims (Shia-Sunni), 2.3 % Ahmadis and 4 % other in Pakistan .

    I propose there should be state sponsored relocation of all these 6.3 minorities in other countries if any one wants to take it. Since being an Islamic country Pakistan should not have anyone else there or simply become secular…..

    How about relocating all the pakis who live in secular countries, a good majority lives of the lillah (read benefits) the kaffirs give in his hands.

  70. abdul

    Some Pakistani commentators:

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=239533

    What we also know for sure is that for the past 30 years our public schools have been preaching – not teaching – lessons of hate, animosity, hostility, bigotry and intolerance.

    The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad. Email: farrukh15@hotmail.com

    Attendances in mosques have grown, but corruption has risen much faster. Recourse to the burqa appears pervasive, but so too the extent of prostitution. The economic meltdown may account for some of the latter; however, the popularity of locally made pornography points in a different direction.
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=242373

    The writer is a former ambassador. Email: charles123it@hotmail.com

    Interestingly, no other Muslim country has taken a similar measure, indicating that Pakistanis are more easily upset by any hint of blasphemy than our brethren elsewhere. And yet, according to Google, the popular search engine, the word ‘sex’ is typed in more often by Pakistanis than by Internet users in any other country. Clearly, we are not entirely consistent in our attachment to religious edicts.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/columnists/irfan-husain-faceoff-with-facebook-650

  71. shiv

    @Tilsim
    “You are as dangerous as the Taliban are to your country and mine. ”

    Given what I have been saying I cannot dispute your views.

    Moderation is a state of mind that needs to be nurtured carefully. When it is gone, retrieval is subject to blackmail from all sorts of lunatics (including those who speak like I do) whose voices should have been diluted by right thinking people right from the outset. If those right thinking people did not exist or were deluded, the maniacs get center stage.

    I am not kidding when I say that the Taliban are more dangerous to Pakistan and the US than to India. Pakistan has already become as dangerous as it can get for India, with establishment figures having held out nuclear threats. The only thing that was left was for Pakistan to get dangerous to others. Pakistanis did not see the sharp end of the Taliban spear until it started pointing at Pakistan. Until then the Taliban were “students”, devout freedom fighters, men of God, almost.

    The Pakistan army, despite the contemptuous tone I have used about it, is a professional and competent army at the junior levels at least. But there was a distinct class system by which the officer cadre (used to?) come from a different social class. An English speaking, educated class. It was this latter class that made alliances with the US that required the loyal Pakistani army foot-soldier to be used for geopolitical games. Pakistani soldiers have fought shoulder to shoulder with mujahids in Afghanistan and Kashmir, with their afsars guiding them. The Pakistani army officer cadre is beholden to the US in many ways apart from money and arms. The famous “Kunduz airlift” shortly after the US started attacking Afghanistan allowed the evacuation of Pakistani advisers and men from Afghnistan before the US decimated the “Taliban army”

    But where do the foot soldiers of the Pakistan army come from? They come mostly from the villages and towns of Punjab and the former NWFP (now called Pakhtunkhwa IIRC). Guess where the Taliban have established support for themselves?

    I find it difficult to believe that the officer cadre of the Pakistan army, who make deals with the US can actually ask their men, recruited from the Punjab and NWFP, to take on the “Taliban” from these areas – especially when the same Taliban were allies and fellow soldiers of Islam. Oh of course the Pakistan soldier is loyal and disciplined and he will do as he is ordered. But how far can the officers push it? I can dig up a dozen news reports and commentaries that show how the Pakistan army leadership is trying to wiggle past this difficulty. This is not a situation that ay army should find itself facing.

    This is why the Pakistani army are themselves murmuring that there is no military solution to the Taliban. The US is not buying any of that. The US is saying “We are paying you to support us. You promised support against the Taliban. Now show us the money”

    There is no military solution to the Taliban crisis. The separation of east Pakistan in 1971 was the last time the Pakistani army attempted a military solution to a popular political movement. This time the Taliban are a religio-political force that the army themselves have set up.

    Pakistan really is a poor country. More than 50% actually live below the poverty line. Another 20% fluctuate above and below the poverty line depending on the season. Female literacy is linked to birth rate. The higher the literacy, the lower the birth rate. Check the rates in Pakistan and compare with the rest of the world. Pakistanis do not need control of Kashmir. They do not need control of Afghanistan. They need healthcare, education and jobs to employ the educated. That means schools, colleges, teachers, hospitals, industries. Not AK 47s and control over territory in neighboring countries. Every country in the world will rape Pakistan if they allow themselves to be raped. The US has taken the idiot Pakistanis for a ride because the willingly submitted to its demands. And many Indians no longer give a damn although a huge number of Indians still care.

    What the f8ck has the Pakistani leadership been doing all these decades? The uniformed suited booted Pakistani leadership with their handsome sons and stunningly beautiful daughters have been living lives as if they were Akbar or Aurangzeb revisited. Any half wit Pakistani is able to reel off all the bullshit that India has. Ask him about his own country and he goes into stonewalling denial. And he is not even lying – Pakistanis have not actually bothered to record how badly their nation has been doing. so busy has the nation been protecting Islam which was doing fine until Pakistan started its brainless protection racket.

    Forgive me for feeling that Pakistani liberalism is like one nostril of a drowning man bobbing up in stormy waters.

  72. Raza

    @shiv
    “Given what I have been saying I cannot dispute your views.

    Moderation is a state of mind that needs to be nurtured carefully. When it is gone, retrieval is subject to blackmail from all sorts of lunatics (including those who speak like I do) whose voices should have been diluted by right thinking people right from the outset. If those right thinking people did not exist or were deluded, the maniacs get center stage.

    That was brilliant and shows a lot of understanding of the evolution of democratic culture and tolerance.

    Ubfortunately moderation does not have instinctive appeal. it has to carefully nurtured and may require thinking against the instincts.

  73. @Arun Gupta

    You took the wind out of my sails. I was just about to write that Shiv was getting to be more and more like a Peter Sellers’ parody of the Brigadier of Modest Proposal fame – funny but sinister.

    @Tilsim

    Please, don’t take this at face value. Shiv is a perfectly normal and civilised person who doesn’t hesitate to use shock tactics to put his point across. Abominable shock tactics at times, I have to say.

    In fairness to him, you really ought to know that while those of us who hope for good things to happen look at this forum and its like as straws at which to clutch, the majority of Indians perceive only an unrelenting hatred tipped with nuclear teeth when they look across the border. Not all such people can articulate their thoughts and write in here, but if they could, unfortunately they would sound like Shiv does, they probably feel what Shiv pretends to feel.

    @Luq

    I agree, that was Shiv at his savage worst. Sometimes he overdoes it. If you read his various postings, he comes across as Cassandra as much as Genghis Khan; I’d prefer to concentrate on the Cassandra.

    @Raza

    You will have understood better than most of us that the passage that you cited represents an intellect always watching itself and observing itself. Not the behaviour of a lunatic, but the behaviour of one curious to know about the operations of a lunatic’s mind.

  74. D_a_n

    @ shiv…

    My God man….just where are you getting this stuff from:

    ‘But there was a distinct class system by which the officer cadre (used to?) come from a different social class.’

    what you have written qualifies much, much more if not totally for the PAF and not the PA. Not that an ‘expert’ with ‘a book’ like you would know the difference between the PAF and the PA if the PAF dropped a durandal on your head …

    PS: please look up what a Durandal is supposed to do. The reference to your head is intentional🙂

  75. D_a_n

    addendum:

    ‘A book’ written by Shiv should now be referred to as ‘The book’….

  76. D_a_n

    @ shiv (again)….

    Good Lord man. This just keeps getting better and better :

    you produced the following nugget:

    ‘This is why the Pakistani army are themselves murmuring that there is no military solution to the Taliban. The US is not buying any of that.’

    Of course the US is not buying any of it…………… that is why it is telling Messers Patraeus, McCrysthal, Eikenberry and etc. etc. (you get the picture dont you?) to say that there HAS to be a political solution. Is there really no end to your thickness?

    I would remind you of a Mr. Von Clausewitz who has said; war is politics by other means.

    How old are you again? 12?

    PS: If the only thing you can bowl are half volley’s then best toss the cherry to the big boys eh?

  77. shiv

    @D_a_n
    How old are you again? 12?

    PS: If the only thing you can bowl are half volley’s then best toss the cherry to the big boys eh?

    That is a nice try sir, but not good enough.

    The need to get personal suggests irritation that cannot be removed because of lack credible information to counter what I said beyond asking me if “I get the picture..” No I don’t get the picture and I think you are in denial.

    Anyhow – I note that putting urls make my posts await moderation so
    1)BBC, 13 Dec 1009: The regional US commander, David Petraeus, has urged Pakistan to step up pressure on the Afghan Taliban.

    2) reuters 21 Jan 2010: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates met Pakistani leaders on Thursday to urge them to begin hunting down Afghan Taliban on their border, but signaled the United States would not push the pace of operations.

    3) New York Times May 8th 2010: The American military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, met with the Pakistani military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, at his headquarters here on Friday and urged Pakistan to move more quickly in beginning a military offensive against the Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in North Waziristan

    4) The Nation: May 10:But “we want more, we expect more,” Clinton said. “We’ve made it very clear that if, heaven forbid, an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences.”

    Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, gave a similar message Friday during a meeting with Pakistani Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani. On Saturday, the administration delivered a formal request to Pakistan for assistance in investigating the suspect’s ties with militants in Pakistan’s tribal regions.

    Sir, in this day and age, it is the young people who are more adept at using the internet and uncle Google. I suppose you could have paused to think for a millisecond before shooting off your virtual mouth, because a simple Google search for the words “US urges Pakistan to fight Taliban” turns up a plethora of links

    I am sure you as aPakistani with a UK education, possibly living in the UK must know do an internet search for “US urges talks with the Taliban” and check the results.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to tell you how to search for information outside of one’s imagination.

  78. Tilsim

    @ Vajra

    Shiv is most certainly a shock jock and there are many like him on the internet who need to use this tactic to be heard. Personally I don’t care for the style.

    However, the reasons for the many failures of Pakistan and it’s establishment are already well known – specially to Pakistanis. So ad nauseam repetition of the same diatribe in Shiv’s style is not really adding anything towards achieving the ideal of peaceful, harmonious co-existence between our two nations. Personally I am switching off when I hear this sort of commentary.

    Listening to Shiv, it would appear that those who say that India does have a hand in nurturing the Taliban against Pakistan, really might have something to say. Previously I dismissed it, now I am beginning to wonder. Shiv articulates a sort of twisted logic which can’t be dismissed out of hand for a mind that has been overtaken by hate and fear – many Pakistanis suffer from this and it seems there is now a good number of Indians too. You state that the majority of Indians feel similarily to Shiv. That worries me a lot.

    Just as much as the correct accusation is that right thinking people in Pakistan have steadily vacated the centre stage, I worry that the same is beginning to hold true in India – specially after the spate of terrorist attacks. I hope those in India that share a vision of the two countries as close friends rather than mortal enemies can make their voices heard more loudly than voices such as Shiv. Otherwise, the terrorists achieved their aim and you were fools for letting them do so.

  79. D_a_n

    @ Shiv…

    shiv……..shiv, shiv m’boy……

    you have taken selected bits of information and posted them here. They are out of context and do not take into account the rather complex scenario of the US’s extrication process from our West…

    shows how pitifully little you know of this particular issue that does not fit into your pathetic little file cabinet of a brain marked:

    ‘Pakistan Bad….Must….Not…Understand’

    (the cabinet hasn’t been opened in so long all the files are out of date)

    you want to google? sure.

    here you go old chap:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122515124350674269.html

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/11-us-involved-in-secret-talks-with-senior-taliban–il–06?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dawn%2Fnews%2Fpakistan+%28DAWN.COM+-+Pakistan+News%29

    So you see my dear, they are already talking. Please note the name of one David Petraeus at the top of the first article. If you had been following this particular issue with any intelligence you’d have not only seen which way it’s going you would could even READ it later as confirmation.

    Now you may choose to ignore this like other things you chose to ignore about Pakistan but if you have taken it upon yourself to dumb yourself down then I cannot help you ………

    but will recommend a good therapist who possibly can.

    Again, I will point you back to your friend Mr. Von Clausewitz. Please give him a read to give yourself a primer on how and why these things mostly go they way they are going now.

    I would also point you back to any successful conclusion for ANY COIN operation: it’s always political bud! always.

    I’m only posting two links here. It should be enough to prove my point and if not then too bad. It is not my ‘theka’ to rid you of your self inflicted ignorance born out of a singular refusal to see things for what they are. Not how you want them to seem.

    PS: as with other things Pakistani, your minor assessment about me is wrong as well.
    Not in the UK.
    Not educated in the UK.

  80. Midfield Dynamo

    You will cast a slur at me, I will throw it back with greater vehemence….cause for infinite escalation, all that the Hindus are doing here is adding fuel to the fire, not realizing that it is this fire which might engulf them along with their elitists illogical diplomacy.

  81. D_a_n

    @ Shiv…

    my response to your post is in moderation due to urls. but in the meantime; I would like to draw the folks attention to further turds masquerading as pearls. Here we go🙂 :

    >>>>>>>>>>>
    Do I want nuclear war? My response to that is conditional.

    If I think I am talking to a rational person I would say. “No, I don’t want nuclear war.” But typically if I know I am addressing a Pakistani my response is based on the feeling that the Pakistani thinks he is superior to all Indians and will imagine that a man who does not want nuclear war is a weakling. So I say “Bring on the nukes. India will respond with 3 times the number”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Typical response for a chicken hawk who will never see battle.
    As for your rationale for why you would like such unimaginable outcome; that is even more amazing and employes school yard fight logic.

    Take a Bow Shiv sb! Take. A. Bow!

    but wait. There’s more:

    you spake:

    ‘This is how I see it. The last really fair election in Pakistan was in 1970-71.’

    maybe you were sleeping through all of 2008 but there was little election held in feb of 2008 that is widely recognized to as free and fair as possible and no one voted in the Mullahs.

    but your feeble comeback was: This is how I see it?

    Good sir, do the facts have to physically jump up and bite in the back side before you will acknowledge them?

  82. D_a_n

    @ Shiv..

    you can put any of this in the 2nd edition of ‘THE book’ titled:

    ‘How I learned to stop worrying and love Pakistan’
    🙂

  83. D_a_n

    @ shiv…

    Keeping a straight face in the face of your onslaught is by far the toughest part of this…

    just what in the world were you smoking when you wrote this:

    ‘Is there a better alternative? Not until the Pakistani army is taught what is right and what is wrong by Pakistanis.

    …The only Pakistanis who are keen on doing that now are the Taliban.’

    All aboard the H.M.S BONKERS!

  84. Tilsim

    @ Midfield Dynamo

    I agree it’s quite a disturbing mindset on display here by several of the Indians posting. Bits of information, experience and analysis of Pakistan seem to have become the basis for constructing the entire narrative regarding this country. Whilst there is truth in some of the analysis, it’s presenting a picture which does nothing to help nurture a constituency dedicated to peace and friendship – or at least detente. The most absurd thing I have read is that it may be in India’s interest to have a Taliban takeover of Pakistan; that there is no difference between a Pakistan run by the Pakistan Army and one run by the Taliban and that the nuclear threat from the Taliban to India may actually be less. It pains me to see the extent to which the narrative of hate and fear eats away at rational and reasonable minds on both sides of the border. We need more people to people contact to break this down. Terrorism is messing up all our minds and they will win unless we recognise what is happening and collectively act to preserve the middle ground.

  85. Luq

    >I agree, that was Shiv at his savage worst.
    >Sometimes he overdoes it. If you read his various

    The nukes are safest with the PA. Responsible people (unlike the paranoid armchair analysts and self appointed rakshaks) know that the nukes will never be used. Nukes are deterrents and just that.

    The chances of those being used become real as soon as they get into the hands of the taliban loonies. Now only if the loonies on both sides could understand this simple fact…..

    Luq

  86. PMA

    shiv’s hatred for Pakistan and Pakistanis is phenomenal. He is a disgusting bastard. But my dear fellow Pakistanis, aside from his hatred for Pakistan, please read what he says in his June 2, 2010 at 8:30 pm post:

    “What is happening in Pakistan is a class war. It is largely the deprived, uneducated rural or small town Pakistani who is willing to blow himself up. I do not see any mainstream Pakistani admission that a poor deprived rural class actually exist and the huge numbers of them that exist…….”

    I will not divert his attention by pointing out to the bastard the ongoing class-war of the ‘Maoist Movement’ in twenty of the twenty-eight Indian states. He can do it all by himself. But do hear what he says:

    “I have described the people of this forum and other English speaking Pakistanis as the “RAPE” class – the Rich Anglophone Pakistani Elite. I believe the denial and blindness of the RAPE class have contributed to Pakistan’s ills…….”

    Again the bastard talks about the miseries of Pakistanis but he never mentions the miseries of eight-hundred thousand wretched Indians living in conditions worst than of slaves. He is blinded by his hatred. Why the miseries of my neighbor be any comfort of mine? Not unless I hate my neighbor. But please do introspect a little and listen to what he says about RAPE. Are we not responsible for our own problems?

  87. Hayyer

    Shiv:

    Before I read your other posts I would like to respond specifically to your post of 2nd June at 8:30 pm.

    I had hoped you would give some reason for your belief that all Pakistanis are fundamentalists and will vote in Islamist parties-but you haven’t. So we must ascribe views to mere prejudice.

    Nor have you explained the need for your extended diatribes on a liberal site which preaches liberal reform for Pakistan. Are you mocking them then? That’s pretty much like those Indians trolls who visit here only to boast about India and run down Pakistan. If that is not your intention what is. Surely not to preach to the converted?

    You mentioned the North -South Indian divide in attitudes to Pakistan. If North Indians were hostile to Pakistan because of the Partition experience so were Pakistanis to Indians; they could not have distinguished between North and South Indians on the relative sentiment. This seems to have come as a shock to you. Why?

    If Pakistanis think they are not like Indians what of it? Most reject their Indian past because they feel they need to create an identity unalloyed by the Indian connection. I was surprised myself at the depth of this sentiment. But you have to understand the reasons, not berate Pakistanis for it. No reason to behave like jilted lovers. What difference does it make to the possibility of friendly relations between the two countries

    “The degree to which India was made “the enemy” in Pakistan was unknown to Indians till the 1990s. All through those years no Pakistani that I met or whose writing I read ever believed that Indians felt anything other than hate towards Pakistanis. This is patently untrue. A huge number of Indians did believe that Pakistanis were just other Indians who were happy to live separate lives.”

    It seems that you are somewhat disingenuous here. Right across the North, East and West of India, in fact everywhere the Sangh Parivar had some presence, Indians in general reciprocated Pakistani sentiment. If you are located in the balmy southern shores you may have escaped being scorched by these hot northerly breezes but they have blown freely across the borders since 1947.

    “Indians, who started off with liberal views met absolutely no liberal views from Pakistan. Where have Pakistani liberals been all these decades?”

    That is simply untrue. Perhaps our definitions of liberal differ.

    “Has there been a Pakistani who has not been so cocky and full of himself, conceited and convinced of his superiority that he could actually look at India without jaundiced eyes?”

    I have met some.

    “Show me his writings if he was literate enough to write.”

    For a start I can think of, on this site, Bciv, AZW, Aliarqam, bin Ismail, Tilsim, Dan and a host of others-Among established writers the names of Ayesha Siddiqa, Ayesha Jalal, Arif Hussain, Farzana Sheikh, even Tariq Ali in a sense, showman though he is. You cannot match this with an Indian list I am sure. Not unless there are more Jaswant Singhs.

    The rest of your post under reference is just a reiteration of your opinions which are a summary of Chapter 1 and 15 of your book, which I did read for my pains.

    It did seem at one stage in the post that you were going to come to the point when you asked….”What can well meaning Pakistani liberals do?”….but then you shied away as usual because your answer was
    “First is to understand that I do not represent all of India or all Indian opinions. If terrorism in India from Pakistan drops to zero, Pakistan will drop out of Indians’ radar. But I realise that Pakistani liberals on this board are not responsible for terrorism although I might assign them with vicarious guilt. (“If you are Pakistani, you are a terrorist”)”

    I was taken puzzled for a moment-but then I realized that if you wont answer your own question you will hardly answer mine.

  88. Girish

    Tilism,

    I don’t quite understand your logic. One the one hand, you seem to think that “there is truth in some of the analysis” presented here, yet you think that it is not helpful in building the atmosphere necessary for peace and friendship. Are you asking for a departure from the truth as a means to build detente? If such departure from the truth were harmless, it would be one thing. What concerns Indians is that this very departure from the truth has contributed to the sustained killings of several tens of thousands of Indian civilians at the hands of the Pakistani state and terrorist elements encouraged and controlled by it since early 1980s – first in Punjab, then in Kashmir and all over India since the early 1990s.

    If the Pakistani state (and more specifically the military) ends its support of terrorism directed at Indians and permanently dismantles the infrastructure of terror that it has built and nurtured over the years, we can all sing praises of the detente such a move would automatically cause and the peace and friendship that may result. Or more likely, spend our time on inane pursuits such as following the catfight between the latest Bollywood heartthrob and the ex-heartthrob she dethroned rather than writing long and complicated posts on this blog.

  89. Girish

    PMA,

    I will not speak for Shiv. But I don’t quite understand the logic of your post. Specifically, you refer to problems in India merely because he mentioned the problems in Pakistan. And more importantly, you are angry that he does not mention the problems in India in the same breath as he mentions the problems in Pakistan.

    First, this is a post about religious bigotry and the Pakistani mindset. Where India’s problems come into the picture is beyond me.

    Second, India’s problems are in the open for everybody to see. Mostly written about and exposed to the world by Indians themselves. This has been true from the beginning and continues to be true today. Most of the writings about India in the international media until very recent times was largely about negative things. Yet, there was no attempt to hide the facts or to be in denial about them, either from the Government or civil society. It is only in the very recent past that the perceptions about India have changed somewhat for the better. That acknowledge the progress alongside the challenges. That look at the hope along with the worries. However, even so, India’s muck is very much in the open, often “in your face”.

    The issue in Pakistan has been the incredible level of denial that has existed for a long time. And the responsibility for that lies with the class of people Shiv refers to as the RAPE. Almost in every instance, there has been acknowledgement of reality only when there was no other option. This does not mean that there is no heterogeneity within this class of people. Clearly there is. There were people who were speaking out even before the proverbial $hit hit the fan. However, the class of people as a whole have made it a habit to lie if they can in order to look good and stifle the few voices that might be speaking out.

  90. Tilsim

    Ok, my anger is beginning to subside a little. Shiv is just another regular right wing dood – we have many of them too. Clash of values, nothing else.

    @PMA
    “But please do introspect a little and listen to what he says about RAPE. Are we not responsible for our own problems?”

    I agree that thought leadership was handed over to Maududi et al and other arabisers. Elites were too busy having a good time and making money in the new land of Pakistan – they also had no societal framework to cling onto other than their status. PPP, ANP and civil society in general were not up to the challenge.

    MQM did manage to rest back some of the secular ground from under JI’s feet in urban Sindh. So it’s possible to achieve elsewhere too. Note the recent denunciation of the MQM as agents for Jews and Indians by Taliban central.

    The ANP’s success versus the MMA in Pakhtoonkhwa can be seen in this light but it’s not a perfect example.

    Punjab still needs to go back to being laid back, secular and optimistic. We need some leadership in Punjab in this regard. It’s there tentatively but needs to gain momentum. This revolt against a suffocating version of Islam, violence and extremism will come from the ordinary man but the elites will have to provide the framework. It will be a tough struggle because extremists and conservative forces have made their way into all and the highest branches of the establishment. They won’t be dislodged easily. Look at what’s happened to the PML. At least some of us are now awake to the need for action.

  91. PMA

    “Most reject their Indian past because they feel they need to create an identity unalloyed by the Indian connection. I was surprised myself at the depth of this sentiment. But you have to understand the reasons, not berate Pakistanis for it.”

    Hayyer (June 3, 2010 at 7:31 pm). You and I have come a long way. Have we not. That reminds me. Whatever happened to your comrade whom I called ‘DashtNaward’. Seems like ‘Vajra’ has taken over his place. And while we are at it. Is there any treatment for Shiva’s ailment. Should I start sending him all the negative news about his country India. That might balance out his perspective. What do you think.

  92. @Tilsim

    Shiv is most certainly a shock jock and there are many like him on the internet who need to use this tactic to be heard. Personally I don’t care for the style.

    I have no further comment on this; you can see for yourself what my views were, and to me, at least, there is no need to add anything to the word ‘abominable’.

    However, the reasons for the many failures of Pakistan and it’s establishment are already well known – specially to Pakistanis. So ad nauseam repetition of the same diatribe in Shiv’s style is not really adding anything towards achieving the ideal of peaceful, harmonious co-existence between our two nations. Personally I am switching off when I hear this sort of commentary.

    This is what I have been saying for some time: to others I have put things bluntly, even at times harshly, to Shiv, I have been measured. That is the difference. What I have sought to bring home to trolls like Ganpat Ram and Tathagata Mukherjee was precisely this: that speaking rudely to precisely that segment in Pakistan that was interested in introspection, in cleansing their body political of the scar tissue of six decades of military rule, was perverse.

    Listening to Shiv, it would appear that those who say that India does have a hand in nurturing the Taliban against Pakistan, really might have something to say.

    Oh, please, Tilsim. You’ve made your point; don’t dwell on it with every ounce of displeasure.

    Previously I dismissed it, now I am beginning to wonder. Shiv articulates a sort of twisted logic which can’t be dismissed out of hand for a mind that has been overtaken by hate and fear – many Pakistanis suffer from this and it seems there is now a good number of Indians too. You state that the majority of Indians feel similarily to Shiv. That worries me a lot.

    Again, don’t push me into a box and categorise me, but there are a couple of points which you should remember.

    1. There were a good number of Indians whose minds were in uproar earlier, not now. I wish people had paid attention to this phenomenon earlier, when we were muttering in our beards (metaphorical ones); why is it that when we said the same thing in even, measured tones, no one thought it worth noticing?

    2. Secondly, it is worrying not that a large number of Indians don’t like the thought of being blown up or gunned down by people from a neighbouring country who hate them, but that the reasonable, civilised segment of that neighbouring country completely failed to sense this fear and growing hatred. Did everyone think that only what happened in Pakistan mattered? Did anyone stop to think that the deaths of hundreds of Indians had no impact in India, and did anyone stop to think for a moment that this was one of the urgent reasons to take a grip on things, and not just leave it to the Army and the ISI?

    Just as much as the correct accusation is that right thinking people in Pakistan have steadily vacated the centre stage, I worry that the same is beginning to hold true in India – specially after the spate of terrorist attacks. I hope those in India that share a vision of the two countries as close friends rather than mortal enemies can make their voices heard more loudly than voices such as Shiv.

    I suppose that it was inevitable that this statement should be made, sooner or later. But it is sad that it is made, whatever the time frame.

    We have tried, as moderates, to hold back tempers and shut up all but the voices of the most reasonable, but it has been difficult, believe me. It has been difficult not because the terrorists have been gaining ground, not because extremists have been gaining ground, but because every time moderates quelled the uproar and the calls for intemperate vengeance, and sought the cooperation of the government and administrative establishment of Pakistan, we were made to look like idiots by people like the Pakistani Home Minister (Minister for the Interior), the Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister.

    We never expected anything from the military; we are not absolute idiots nor absolutely located in La La Land; but we did hope for some shamed response from those who knew very well what was going on. When they hesitated, we said, they are fearful about the fate of their new-found democracy, they don’t want to offend the Pakistan Army, let’s give them more time. It is not clear what that got us, other than the Pakistani Foreign Secretary’s sneering description of all the evidence gathered as ‘literature’.

    Even today, as we speak, this triumvirate is in the forefront of the denial movement, of complete denial of any responsibility of Pakistani terrorist movements in Indian civilian deaths, or in attacks on Indian institutions, or in a sustained waging of war against India.

    Are you then surprised that people don’t listen to the voices of moderation any longer? That Manmohan Singh has slowly lost credibility in the eyes of Indian people, and that his transparent desire for peace, coupled with the facile seizing of every opportunity by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan to project that as a sign of Indian weakness, and of implicit Indian involvement in the troubles, has brought him no credit in Indian eyes?

    Otherwise, the terrorists achieved their aim and you were fools for letting them do so.

    This is precisely Shiv’s argument. He thinks that it is the Indian moderates who were responsible for the terrorists having got where they have, and if we had stepped out of the way earlier, they would have been stopped in their tracks earlier.

    I am glad to see that at least on one matter, you and Shiv are in agreement. Even at the cost of being abused by both, Indian moderates will no doubt applaud at least this agreement, since others are not apparent or possible at this moment.

  93. Tilsim

    @ Girish

    I think you misunderstood. I am not advocating a departure from truth as a means to build detente. He lost the plot in my view when he started to express his views about the Taliban and nuclear weapons. He acknowledged my complaint when he said “Given what I have been saying I cannot dispute your views.” There can be no reconciliation between right minded people when views such as these are expressed. It’s not possible to have a dialogue when people hold extreme positions. That is true about any zealot. Shiv seems to be fooling around but he is also deadly serious if you take him at face value. We have to acknowledge the truth but if we want to build consensus and a constituency for peace, we need to use reason and graciousness. Gandhi’s examples come to mind.

  94. @PMA

    bonobashi went back to his forests. I use this name nowadays because of attracting unfavourable comment from some intimates who felt that I was spending far too much time on this effort. After reading Tilsim’s very painful remarks, it appears that they may have been right after all.

  95. PMA

    Tilsim (June 3, 2010 at 8:04 pm):

    I agree with you on some points, but not all. Political parties can not be looked upon for the moral and social leadership. The leadership comes from the Middle Classes. In case of Pakistan this class has failed us. Islamists on their part have simply filled in the vacuum created by the absence of the RAPE. But I am no fan of MQM or ANP. Both are ethnic outfits. Ethnic-Nationalism is just as bad as Sectarianism. ANP is a family franchise and MQM is a gangster enterprise.

  96. @Shiv

    It’s not PTH; completely different. You can even quote from it. He agrees with you; Liberalism doesn’t exist in Pakistan. Now you can sleep peacefully.

    http://fiverupees.blogspot.com/2010/06/blaming-victims-my-response-to.html

  97. Raza

    @PMA

    I fully agree about middleclass. It is a failure beyond comprehension

  98. Tilsim

    @Vajra

    I did n’t want at all to upset you. Not sure how I have done that – this medium of communication can make one come across as autistic but perhaps there is something specific that I said that you strongly disagree with.

    I thoroughly enjoy your posts and appreciate your response to my last post. I am not proud of the convulted stances our political leadership took over the horrific events in Mumbai. The problem is that in the absence of people to people contact, they are the only view that you are getting from this side. Believe me that event pained me immensely and I did recognise that it was a 9/11 moment for Indians. You will recognise from this and other Pakistani blogs that there are many many of us who think the same way and feel utter disgust that such an act can be done in the name of this country or Islam. It is absolutely condemnable, shameful and yes we as a nation have allowed things to come to such a pass. We are to right to be blamed for that. I believe that a will and a fragile consensus now exists in Pakistan to take these forces on. However, all that effort will come to nothing without patience and cooperation from our biggest neighbour, India.

    I do not want to lose your sane voice on this blog. We will be the losers for it.

  99. Tilsim

    “MQM is a gangster enterprise”

    Whilst there remains an unsavoury dark and violent side to this party, bit of a one-sided generalisation don’t you think? There are other more positive aspects to this party. It’s also trying hard to break into Punjab and the other provinces – away from it’s ethnic origins. It is avowedly secular, middle class and speaks out for their interests.

  100. Hayyer

    PMA:

    In those early days when I was new to PTH I understood less about Pakistan than I do now. I knew less too. I did not know that there was a fair sprinkling of people like Raza Rumi in your country.
    With knowledge comes understanding, usually, unless one is bigoted, which I hope I am not.
    However understanding does not mean agreeing.
    It is entirely possible for us to be friendly with Pakistanis, even as they reject any Indian reference in their identity, because it is not a necessary condition for friendship. We don’t have to insist upon common memes and genes to get along. Friends should ignore matters they disagree upon.

    As to Shiva, I cannot say. The bad news about India is on all our front pages. There is a bit of la vie en rose about many Indians when it comes to their own country and about themselves. For example Arun Gupta wrote,

    ” Shiva will believe in a liberal Pakistan when liberal ideals form the basis of a mass movement in Pakistan”.

    As if liberal ideals arose as a mass movement in India.

    Someone wrote above that this site is about Pakistan’s problems and therefore there is no need to refer to India’s problems. That is a nice game to play. I take potshots at you because you let me.

  101. @Tilsim

    I am NOT upset, least of all upset at you. Pained by what you’ve said, distressed by the views expressed and emotions displayed, beginning to wonder if there is a rational resolution of the problems that beset our two countries, by themselves and vis-a-vis each other, but not upset by any person, not in the sense of being agitated and pondering action.

    Not at all.

  102. Tilsim

    @ Hayyer

    Yes, some of us in Pakistan feel uncomfortable with our common Indian heritage and take great pains to stress our separate identity. Of course Jinnah articulated that as a reason for a separate State in his 2 nation theory but in reality partition was the political failure to establish a new social/political contract between Hindus and Muslims in post partition India. However now an iron curtain is between us and I find it hard to imagine that Jinnah would have wanted that. We have too much in common. Some might consider it a trite example but I had a dream a few nights ago that my house was next to an electric fence in a closely built city that was divided like Jerusalem. Except this time,the other side of the city in was India. I could see my neighbours each day and exchange pleasantries by shouting but the electric fence separated us. Something happened then, and it felt like the Berlin wall falling; suddenly this Indian boy climbed over the electric fence. I shouted to her to stop (the fence was electrified!). But luckily we were having one of those regular power cuts🙂 and he managed to clamber over. We sat together, laughed and drunk chai and shared that human bond that comes from being neighbours. Soon I looked over the balcony and saw that there was now a gap in the wall and down the road cars were crossing from one side to the other.

    Yes there is all the politics to sort out between us but let’s not forget the human side.

  103. Hayyer

    Tilsim:
    Jinnah said that Hindus and Muslims were two separate nations. He did not say that there was nothing Indian about Pakistan.
    It is important to distinguish between India and Hindu because it is possible that many Pakistanis equate the two.
    I am saying that the mere disavowal of Indianness by Pakistanis is not enough reason for Indians to feel upset, or to make its admission a condition of friendship..

  104. Tilsim

    @ Hayyer

    Fair point.

  105. Midfield Dynamo

    RAW has its connections in Pakistan, amongst the so called extremists too. At the time of Mumbai attacks, our government was new, there was political instability…a good opportunity for the Indians to push Pakistan closer to the brink. Every reason for India to instigate the Mumbai carnage … a self inflicted wound, an excuse to create turmoil in the upper echelons of Pakistan’s establishment, to accrue for itself favor in Afghanistan and the coalition against terror.
    It was a partial success, lack of coordination between the executive and the army was made fun of internationally, suspicion arose between the army and the political ministers about hidden agendas. As time passed the political government and the army realized the source of conspiracy was obscured behind many layers of compartmentalized religious militants, that could have been sponsored from either side of the border, if the Islamic extremist were interested in destabilizing democratic forces in Pakistan, Hindu fundamentalists were even more enthusiastic to make political capital of the situation, and one cannot disregard Muslims resisting Hindu nationalism in India as possible perpetrators.
    Forcing false conspiracy theories down the gullets of naïve media hogs has been a favorite ploy of the Hindus, they achieve some near term successes and gloat in their ability to fool the world, but in the long run they are only fooling themselves. There whole psyche is based on intangible conjecture, that is what their religion teaches them. Thanks to the British system of education that has given them this economic progress, otherwise beneath this veneer they are stuck in antiquated dogmas as a lifestyle.

  106. Bin Ismail

    @ Tilsim (June 3, 2010 at 10:46 pm)

    “…..some of us in Pakistan feel uncomfortable with our common Indian heritage and take great pains to stress our separate identity. Of course Jinnah articulated that as a reason for a separate State in his 2 nation theory…..”

    It is irrational in its own right to feel uncomfortable with one’s birthmark. The heritage of a nation is like its birthmark. It is an unchangeable feature that has roots in the past, defines our present and influences our future. We should cherish it and relish it and make the most out of it.

    In my opinion, when you examine the issue in its historical perspective, and in its entirety, you cannot help noticing that the 2-nation theory was not a “Hindu vs Muslim” concept. It was more of a “Hindu-majority states & Muslim-majority states” equation.

  107. Tilsim

    @ Bin Ismail

    Agreed. However there is a mindset amongst many in Pakistan that is totally inimical to this idea. It comes from propaganda.

  108. @Tilsim

    Fortunately for my sanity, you have your own version of Shiv. Look, for instance, at Zaid Hamid, who contributes here regularly as Midfield Dynamo.

  109. bciv

    @vajra

    “We have tried, as moderates, to hold back tempers and shut up all but the voices of the most reasonable, but it has been difficult, believe me.”

    and you have always had democracy. we had boots on our necks, not pressing down fully on certain conditions only. we could have dealt with all that. and we did. we could even have dealt with the beards, even as the boots let them ride piggyback. but then 1979 came along and they started to give the beards guns! the world, it seemed to us, set about creating ‘beards int’l’ with guns and bombs. some of us either got killed by this armed mullah – who had never really had any hope of us causing us to cower before – or emigrated.. or were cowered into silence. and then small men and mediocrity was able to rule the day.

  110. Tilsim

    @ Vajra

    “Fortunately for my sanity, you have your own version of Shiv. Yes, no shortage of that sort of produce all round. ”

    I was reflecting on what you said more and trying not to get depressed. Such is the height of feelings that if one of these hate mongers succeed in their next terrorist mission, I fear we will go into an irretrievable and violent dynamic between the two countries. We nearly came to blows last time round. They are pushing for this hard. Not sure what can be done other than to not fall into their trap. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has the right instincts on this one even though he may be losing credibility with Indians as you say. I don’t believe Pakistan’s leadership don’t know the absolute danger but clearly with the situation as it is in Pakistan, they are not fully in control. There is a certain inevitability about how this might all pan out. We have to hope for the best and continue to build bridges.

  111. Girish

    Tilism:

    It is all too well to award labels (right-winger, extremist etc.) to somebody posting here and self-congratulate each other as moderates, within a small cozy group. It will do nothing to build that atmosphere of peace and friendship that you want to build. There was always the group of Wagah candle-holders on both sides, even during the worst phases of the relationship between the two countries (much worse than it is today). Yet, what did it achieve? Zilch, as far as I can see.

    The atmosphere for peace and friendship can only be built when there is trust. And trust cannot result unless there is a genuine understanding of each other’s concerns. And that in turn cannot happen unless there is an unvarnished airing of the concerns, perceptions and expectations on the two sides. Sweeping of issues under the carpet or pretending that merely singing songs of peace together will resolve them is naive.

    —————–
    Hayyer:

    Since you are likely referring to my comment to PMA when you write the “potshots” comment, I would only say that I have always welcomed anybody taking potshots at me, when I am being discussed. When I am discussing you, it is not a rational argument to tell me that you can take potshots at me too. Discuss the issues involved. There are other issues – discuss those where they are relevant.

  112. Girish

    Tilism:

    In another post, you seek patience and cooperation from India. I am surprised that you are asking for it, given that this is exactly what Pakistan has got all along despite grave provocation. Let me recount the history of the last almost 20 years if it will be of any help.

    March 1993 – one of the biggest terrorist incidents until then takes place in Mumbai, when bombs go off in various locations in the city. There is conclusive evidence that the materials for this bombing came from Pakistan and significant evidence that it was planned and aided by parts of the state apparatus of the country. The perpetrators flee first to Dubai and then when the UAE pushes them out, they go to live in Karachi. Pakistani newspapers point to how the main perpetrator lives openly in Pakistan’s largest city. No action is taken and has since been taken.

    Yet, there are continued attempts at peace from the Indian side. The Gujral doctrine is adopted, and even the limited offensive capability against terrorist organizations that the Indian security agencies had built up is wound up by Gujral. Some would argue that this was a big mistake. Yet, it went ahead.

    Not long after that comes 1998. There is much sabre rattling after the nuclear tests. Yet, in 1999, Vajpayee travels to Pakistan, proclaims as loudly as any Indian leader can (at the Pakistan monument in Lahore, no less) about India’s aspirations for peace with Pakistan, starts the most focussed discussion ever for resolution of issues between the countries and builds an overall atmosphere of goodwill. What happens? Within two months, war is imposed entirely by the Pakistani side. By the end of the year, an Indian airliner is hijacked by Pakistanis with support of the state apparatus again. At the end of the hijacking, the hijackers easily enter Pakistan and continue to operate from there with impunity. One of the prisoners exchanged as ransom sets up a big Jihadi outfit openly (and continues to operate freely). Another also openly operates and is only arrested after over two years, under US pressure when he goes and kills an American journalist. Since then, he has vanished from public sight, though he is ostensibly awaiting trial.

    Yet, within less than a year after the Kargil war, and six months after the Kandahar hijacking, moves have started in India to build detente with Pakistan. Within a year after that, i.e. in the summer of 2001, Musharraf is invited to India for talks. All he can do is grand stand before the media. Talks continue.

    Skip ahead to the fall of 2001. Deadly attacks take place all over India. To top it all, there are attacks on a legislative assembly and on Parliament itself. Response from Pakistan – denial once again. More terror attacks on civilians. More denials.

    Once again, in 2004, Vajpayee takes a unilateral initiative to build an atmosphere of peace. Goes to Islamabad and signs the Islamabad declaration.

    What happens? It is again seen as a sign of weakness. Attacks continue every year in India and more evidence emerges of state support for these attacks. The final straw is that of the Mumbai attacks of 2008. The key difference this time versus the attacks in 1993 is the sustained nature of the attacks and the live television coverage. And the fact that one of the attackers gets captured alive for the first time.

    What does the Indian Government do? Send dossiers of evidence, all of which are met with scorn on the other side. First denial of any Pakistani involvement. Then, when the evidence becomes overbearing, stalling tactics.

    Yet, there are renewed efforts to build detente. Manmohan Singh signs the Sharm-el-Sheikh declaration and continues efforts for peace till date.

    To any rational observer, it would seem like the Indian Government has been incredibly patient for a long period of time. Despite great pressures on it from the political sphere and from public opinion. I doubt that there are many such examples of patience in comparable situations.

  113. @BCiv

    In a melancholy sense, that is the point: for far too long, democratic moderation on one side has been kicked in the pants by a military dictatorship.

    If you read the comments of Mosharraf Zaidi made to Ahsan of FiveRupees, and Ahsan’s comments on Zaidi’s original piece, and if you read Girish’s little contribution to the conflagration, it sounds rather definite: in a democracy, a handful of liberals is able to leverage a lot more influence and direction in public affairs, in spite of the contradictory situation that extremists may outnumber them. This probably happens because the silent majority tends to repose faith in liberalism.

    In a military dictatorship, the silent majority isn’t the constituency any longer. It is the venal and corrupt men in uniform (which does not include the soldiers and the junior officers who fight and die) who are the decision-makers, and they decide what suits them and what doesn’t.

    Another argument for democracy, urgently, for Pakistan. But who is going to tell the Army?

    @Tilsim

    I agree that things are gloomy today, when Shiv tells us things that we really don’t want to hear, and Tilsim misquotes poor old Vajra, adding sensible bits as an entire additional sentence to his original self-pitying little burble. And it doesn’t help to have someone with a sanctimonious whine reciting all the things that have gone wrong.

    But on the other hand, nobody said that it would be an easy struggle. It hasn’t come to bloodshed yet, although threats have been made both to Pakistani and Indian correspondents here. It’s too early. At this stage, we simply can’t give up. There’s a point when everything seems to be breaking down; surely that is a point at which to take things forward.

    Cheer up; it can’t get much worse.

  114. Bciv

    @Vajra: under dictatorship, the majority is not silent, it is muted. there is no forum available to speak. no voice and no means of finding one. the people are truly and totally irrelevant. and that is exactly how one feels… and then many come to believe that it is exactly what they deserve. they are robbed of their voice and end up both losing and, in some cases, abandoning their dignity. this mindset does not and cannot change overnight. healing takes time. none of this is all that unique to pakistan.

    but i can see how it is natural to be concerned with one’s own pain before another’s. pain is pain, one cannot be compared with another… except in retrospect, perhaps. but that is the time to move on, not dwell on what’s over.

  115. @BCiv

    I am sorry, I worded that badly, your subtle correction is quite correct, it is normally the case that under a dictator, the silent majority is not silent of its own volition, it is muted, made silent by coercive force. Your very feeling passage about the loss of dignity and the consequent loss of self-confidence was very moving. If I could pray, I would pray that such a day would never come to my country, but then I would remember that it kind of in a half-baked and embarrassed kind of way did. After the emergency was declared, my father came back grim-faced and assembled the family, and outlined a plan to fly the country, one or two at a time, the women first, through Nepal and then somewhere, anywhere, we didn’t have the money or the high-powered connections to run very far, but he was desperate. And he was the seniormost policeman under the legal architect of the emergency. The haunted look on his face will remain in my mind for ever. I can only imagine how much worse it must be once the glove is off, and only the iron fist is visible.

    As you said, with your usual balanced wisdom, let us move on, not dwell on what is past.

  116. Hayyer

    Arun Gupta:

    Gandhi introduced the so called mass movement-a slogan that continues to blight India, used by Mamta Banerjee no less than with L K Advani and every other third rate politician with no other weapon but the masses. His first mass movement was the communal Khilafat agitation. His second mass movement was the salt march and the third was the Quit India movement. The first played up communal sentiment, the second upon an economic exploitation of the salt monopoly and the third simply upon a weakness of the British.
    Liberalism was not anywhere in the agenda. Right wing Hindus such as Patel and Prasad (and Gandhi if you can believe it) coexisted with left wing socialists like Jai Prakash Narayan and Ram Manohar Lohia. Even the fascist minded S C Bose found a place in the Congress which was in those days an apron hiding Hindu Arya Samajis, Sikh Akalis, Muslim fundamental Deobandi types and what not.
    As long as the grievance was only local it was co-opted in the pan Indian struggle against foreign rule. Sound strategy certainly but has the word liberalism been been mentioned anywhere. In the 30s liberalism was unmentionable in Congress circles because the Liberals in UK were pretty much on the wane.
    We should be indebted to Nehru for making democracy, secularism and even the liberal outlook an indistinguishable part of the Indian mind set, despite the fact that he was wooing Labour politicians in the UK in the 30s. After 47 he certainly did force a liberal discourse down Indian throats- Even born again Sati worshippers in Rajasthan and the Khap Panchayats of Haryana struggle against it in vain. But, and this is important-liberalism was not a mass movement. It was imposed top down.

    “The Independence Movement of the Indian National Congress was based on a promise of secularism, universal adult-franchise, land reforms, and socialism (but not communism).”

    The Congress began as a secular movement much before Gandhi injected religion into politics in the name of involving the masses and diluted the concept. Adult franchise was no innovation. Land reform is socialism not liberalism. The mass movements were only the wind some of us are still swaying to.

    “The Congress started practical programs attacking poverty, alcoholism, caste discrimination, illiteracy, women’s rights and such.”

    What does that have to do with liberalism?

    “Now, I’d agree that perhaps many of the people attracted to the movement had no idea what all those ideas meant; they may have been more attracted to the persona of Gandhi. But it was a mass movement with liberal credentials, and it delivered, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially”.

    Right; they had no idea what their leaders meant. They were following religiously the ideas of a Mahatma. Mass movement yes, but liberal? Surely you mean inclusive-how can fundamentalist Deobandis and kattar Arya Samajis be called liberal? It was inclusive.
    “…not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially”! That sounds like Nehru at midnight. Do you know where you’re coming from.

  117. Girish

    Hayyer:

    Please understand the context in which “liberalism” is being discussed here and the meaning of the word in the context. In the context of the Indian sub-continent at least, the meaning of the word refers to inclusive, more than anything else. Of fighting for the rights of everybody, particularly the downtrodden. Of eschewing discrimination of all kinds. Of trying to build understanding and accommodation with people across various divides. Of eschewing superstition and irrational practices of the past.

    The liberalism as defined in the British context of the 1930s or even today is totally irrelevant to this discussion. This is not unique to liberalism or India for that matter. Note for instance how different the meanings of the word “conservative” is in the US and the UK. The conservative movement in these countries would hardly think of themselves as being close in ideology to their respective counterparts across the pond.

    I also note with interest that your narrative of the Indian freedom struggle seems to be almost an exact restatement of the narrative that has been manufactured by the state of Pakistan and to some extent by the the proponents of the Nazria-e-Pakistan.

  118. Hayyer

    Girish:

    The term liberal in its literal sense can be applied in any number of ways. But it is a stretch applying it to Gandhi any which way. We can discuss that if you like, but I would suggest that you are confusing the terms liberal and Gandhian.
    The present Indian discourse is decidedly liberal-Not so the Pakistani, excepting in places like PTH. But that is not to say pre-47 history must be falsified to suit the rosy narratives prevalent in India. It would do you no harm to read Jaswant Singh even if you do not read Ayesha Jalal. If you have read both and still believe that it is all about liberal Indians and fundamentalist Pakistanis then you need more help than mere knowledge can provide.

  119. Hayyer

    Arun Gupta:

    Your last para confirms that once the glue that held all these disparate illiberal groups together dissolved they went their separate ways; now wooed only for their votes.
    Arya Samajis, Deobandis, Khalistanis all find nurture in the bosom of the Congress still. They are not anymore liberal now than they were sixty years ago.
    We do not have to invent new meanings of the term liberal to justify ourselves . Let us stick to the traditional ones-and most of all let us not confuse liberal with our own attitudes. We can’t afford the luxury.

  120. Hayyer

    I omitted to refer to your definitions of liberalism. I did study some political science in college and some history later on. Wikipedia is good for reference.
    It is a large field of study and should be particularly useful to Gandhians.

  121. @Girish

    It is interesting to see that every nice-sounding word in the political lexicon has to be pressed into service and forced to serve the cause of the elevation of Gandhi to demi-god status, whether it fits or not. To assert that these words undergo a sea-change once they come into what was aptly termed the Continent of Circe is a piece of intellectual dishonesty of major proportions.

    You have not been alone in noting the narratives of others with interest. You have mentioned that uniquely in South Asia liberalism meant inclusive. Certainly a new departure, and what a hypocritical departure it is to be sure. We are instructed that this is liberal, because it is fighting for the rights of the downtrodden; of eschewing discrimination of all kinds; of trying to build understanding and accommodation with people across various divides. No doubt this was why we find that the untouchables were firmly informed that they had no role other than as Hindus, no liberation other than as caste Hindus granted them that. No doubt liberalism included the fierce opposition to Ambedkar, including hunger strikes and fasts unto death, and other “liberal” instruments of political movement.

    It is laughable to even write these words in a column originated in a country with whose original inhabitants, and with whose co-religionists there was not only no accommodation, there was a deep and almost irreparable damage to the fabric of tolerance that had been carefully formed over centuries, due to an ill-advised religion-centric move to flatter their egos and pander to the idiosyncrasies of their worst muses, their own priesthood. All because our arch-liberal saw everything through the lens of religion. No doubt the final betrayal of the idea of consensus and living together in a confederation was also due to the politics of inclusion: evidently, we had not been warned by you, ‘inclusion’ too is defined differently by Circeans.

    It is noted with great interest that, like any competent script-writer, you left the greatest irony for the last. We are shown the noble vision of the eschewing of superstition and the irrational practices of the past, and carefully shielded, as children and the immature should be, from the irrational practices of various experiments with truth.

    There is no point in even gracing your claptrap about the differences in conservatism in its usage across the Atlantic with any serious notice. What a feeble afterthought, what a weak reed on which to seek support for such a firm and magisterial ukase such as you issued.

    It must have been from the habit of commanding obedience from an unwilling audience of children and the immature that you were deluded into browbeating a poster, before finally trying to justify your egregious intervention by resorting to blackmail of a particularly low and despicable sort. I refer to the blackmail of accusing Hayyer of being anti-national, because his views, to you, being unacceptable, resemble the views of the enemy that you have assumed is a constant for every loyal Indian.

    This is wholly unacceptable.

    You have apparently internalised the conventional and unchallenged partisan account of a single political party that habitually seeks to arrogate complete responsibility for the independence of India to itself. It may not have occurred to you that other classes of people exist who might have serious differences of opinion on these points with that party’s views.

    It will come as an astonishing (and no doubt noteworthy) matter of interest to you that there are loyal and patriotic Indians who do not accept whatever has been handed down written in stone on two tablets of divine sanction, but actually have the temerity to investigate further, and to seek the truth in primary sources of the time, and the research of contemporary historians, removed in spirit from the partisan politics that you have displayed in ample measure. Hayyer has not parachuted into this discussion and started flinging around personal opinions like shuriken, he has actually participated in over two years of detailed and elaborate discussions, with no lack of evidence marshalled on either side, which has led some of us, on both sides of the border, to conclude that some of what is conventional wisdom needs revision.

    He displayed an intellectual independence and a willingness to listen, as well as mounting a strong argument against explanations which seemed shallow and unfounded in fact or evidence on the ground, which others, you above all, would do well to emulate. It is disgraceful that you come here and accuse him of disloyalty, based on your own lack of knowledge and your own intellectual shortcomings, including a total misreading of the origins and foundations of the Nazaria-e-Pakistan. The originators of those are as far removed from liberals as it is possible to imagine, as far removed, in fact, as you have proved yourself to be, and their gibberish has no support among the liberals in Pakistan. The very existence of the Nazaria-e-Pakistan, if you had cared to examine the matter before rushing to express your opinion, was due to the weakness and infirmity of the original case for Pakistan were the liberal and secular democratic case to be abandoned, as the mullahs and the generals sought to do.

    In your enthusiasm to discredit an independent and balanced observer, you have yourself jeopardised your own position, in venturing into such polluted places such as PTH. This could get you into the kind of trouble with which you have threatened Hayyer.

    You should be aware that our ever-vigilant, Argus-eyed guardians of our intellect and our moral boundaries track correspondents in these forums. Before you are irretrievably stigmatised, and subjected to what can only be an embarrassing experience for both sides, a brain scan, do consider, very seriously, making yourself scarce and returning to Chowk or Bharat-Rakshak, or wherever you have killed your thousands. This is not a forum for rascals and blackmailers.

  122. Prasad

    correction: phew! Vajra

  123. Girish

    Hayyer,

    If you choose to put words into my mouth, we cannot really have any discussion. Please point out where in my posts I have referred to Gandhi at all, or to all Indians being liberal and all Pakistanis being fundamentalist.

    Vajra,

    It is interesting to see you get off the high horse that you like to ride and cover yourself with muck and worse with that inane rant. Enjoy your new stint in the sewers. Just don’t expect me to join you there.

  124. @Arun Gupta

    Thank you for your condescending explanation.

    One of the causes of depression among those of us who are subjected to parachute interventions is that there is a serious unwillingness on the part of parachutists to see what has happened already, what has gone before. Please have the goodness of going through the archives of this forum before letting us partake of the bountiful knowledge and wisdom that you have with you.

    It was argued months before that both Ambedkar’s position and the centralised character of Indian administration were the results of politicians in the Congress who opposed Gandhi. This goes to the credit of these politicians, who took these measures in spite of themselves having been groomed as his successor and having been his protege for decades.

    The role of these personalities before independence and their role after independence was most elaborately discussed. The discussions led to certain conclusions being formed, and where there was no agreement, that was identified and both sides agreed to disagree.

    The point being that these seeming contradictions were held up to detailed examination, evidence produced on both sides, and arguments based on that evidence were presented for consideration.

    For the rest, you have divided your answer into sections: as far as liberalism demanding inclusion is concerned, while I agree with you in principle, I refer you to the dilemma faced by Lamartine and his political faction: all of us have to remember that as a salutary lesson on the limits of liberal inclusionism, and some dangers attendant on it. The chances are that we will probably choose to continue to be inclusive, but it is as well to be warned of the effects.

    I take comfort, perhaps wrongly, from your recognition of the asymmetry that liberalism implies inclusion, inclusion does not imply liberalism. Perhaps when you are not trouncing the pesky Pakistani and bringing him to an understanding of his inferior standing, you might find the time to recognise that Gandhi stood squarely for inclusion without liberalism. You write: So there pointing to Congress’ inclusiveness does not prove its liberalness. Indeed. Then what are we quarreling about? That was surely precisely the point that was being made.

    Since you are bored by the rest, I take it that no separate response is called for as far as your further observations are concerned. Please do not hesitate to say so if you think otherwise.

    @Prasad

    Did you find anything illogical or incorrect in what I stated? Or was your reply merely a liturgical response?😀

  125. @Girish

    I would be very thankful if you refuse to join me anywhere, most particularly in the columns of PTH. A man is known by the enemies he keeps. I am happy to have encountered you, however briefly. It allows me to proclaim clearly what is abhorrent and foul to me. To quote Lady Macbeth, Stand not upon the order of thy going, but go!

  126. Bin Ismail

    Going back to the original topic “Terrorism, shameless religious bigotry and pakistani mindset”, participants may like to note that yesterday night, a heavily armed young man, in possession of large quantities of ammunition, was overpowered by local Ahmadi citizens in Rabwah, and handed over to the Police.

    This simply is not random terrorism. Whoever is the brain of all this is target-specific and focused.

  127. Girish

    Oh, I am not going away anywhere, Vajra. I find this a pretty nice forum overall, and other than exceptions like your last rant, people are generally polite.

    However, when you choose to cover yourself with $hit like you just did, I will let you enjoy that pleasure by yourself.

  128. @Girish

    What a surprise! And equally, what a surprise that you chose not to emulate their general politeness, and brought your guttersnipe ways in. Which of the contributors did you find blackmailing and insinuating disloyalty of the others? By doing so yourself, did you think that you covered yourself in ambrosia?

    But then, I forget: while the rest of the world recognises shit for what it is, there is a class of supercilious, condescending superman who thinks that his excrement is halwa.

    Wallow in your halwa, so long as you expect nobody else to join you in there.

  129. Girish

    I have no idea what Hayyer’s nationality is, so I don’t know what these repeated references to disloyalty are. And what is this blabbering you are constantly doing about blackmailing? Who sir, is blackmailing anybody here? I can only conclude, based on your recent posts, that you have gone mad.

  130. @Girish

    You may conclude whatever you please, provided that you do conclude. Unfortunately, there is no sign of that; you are only holding up the discussion with your whining. If you ask around, you will find that generally all of us would rather return to the discussion, which Bin Ismail has vainly sought to put back on the rails.

  131. skview

    Pakistan is an innocent nation. No nation has been as innocent in the history of mankind as is Pakistan. The greatest and best human beings on the earth live in Pakistan. Pakistan’s founder was the most intelligent angel sent by god himself. Pakistan’s ideology is the best creation of the human mind. The religion of Pakistan will go from victory to victory till nothing remains to be conquered. There will be huge queues of people wanting to enter Pakistan soon – on the pakistani borders and at the embassies. Pakistanis must do something to protect themselves from these wretched masses entering their wonderful land. God himself is surprised at how Pakistan has become far better than what he ever imagined and programmed into the genes of mankind.

  132. Tilsim

    @ Vajra

    I am very sorry I inadvertantly misquoted you. In my haste to close up shop on the strict instructions of a patient but by then a thoroughly irate wife, I did n’t check where the inverted commas were etc.

    @Girish

    “The atmosphere for peace and friendship can only be built when there is trust. And trust cannot result unless there is a genuine understanding of each other’s concerns. And that in turn cannot happen unless there is an unvarnished airing of the concerns, perceptions and expectations on the two sides. Sweeping of issues under the carpet or pretending that merely singing songs of peace together will resolve them is naive.”

    I totally agree with your view above but please reread my comment above as to why I became angry with Shiv. He also took particular joy at stating how good it was to see Pakistanis killing Pakistanis. Difficult to have too much of a dialogue when alongside some interesting observations he is making these sort of comments. We are living in absolute terror in Pakistan with these almost daily terror strikes and atrocities. At the moment our focus is on how best to control our local monsters and to bring sections of our country out of denial mode as to the causes. Shiv provided cannon fodder to India haters. I am also not naive to think that there will not be some people in India who think it reasonable to turn Shiv’s words into actions. We are from similar stock afterall. The last thing we need right now is for certain sections in India to make our lives even more difficult. As I said to Vajra, there is a real possibility that another terrorist strike similar to Mumbai will result in war between our countries. It’s like the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand that was the spark for the first world war. Through our 63 years of mutual political failures, the conditions probably exist for such a disastrous outcome. In the past, only the leadership of India and Pakistan decided whether we went to war. Now there is a third element, the Taliban and their allies and in my view they are trying hard to spark this.

    India has certainly been very patient. It needs to continue to be so but I fear the worst and hope for the best.

    Many Pakistanis want peace with India but we keep on talking past each other – principally, in my view, because we are misunderstanding each other through lack of normal everyday contact. A lot of the information we have about each other is second hand rather than through shared experiences. If I could change one thing to reduce the threat of war, I would allow our relations and contact to build on a broad front.

  133. Prasad

    Vajra Sir, you remind me of cane juicers on the streets…wind and wind.wind and wind..thud thud thud and then some juice flowing in between. all my time is lost in tracing the juice.

    I will manage sir. you please carry on

  134. Raza

    @Tilsim

    “At the moment our focus is on how best to control our local monsters and to bring sections of our country out of denial mode as to the causes”

    Yes that should be the focus and I wrote this article for the same purpose. We have to come out and shake this state of denial.

  135. D_a_n

    @Prasad…

    most people are actually quite fond of cane juice…and by extension cane juicers..

  136. Tilsim

    @ Raza
    ” Yes that should be the focus and I wrote this article for the same purpose. We have to come out and shake this state of denial.”

    You absolutely did. I am sorry that between us all we have veered somewhat off many of the great points that you made in your post into side alleys. However, we also gained many new insights from some of the excellent comments and humourous put downs. Chai mazay ki bani is bar!

  137. Raza

    ha ha it was funny the way discussion went on. Since I have written extensively for chowk as well, I am amazed at the difference and similarities as well.
    Pak tea house is some what more intellectually heavy compared to chowk and people are generally more civic in their discussions.
    However, chowk’s site’s interface is some what easy to eye as you can see a large number of articles at one look.
    I think Pak Tea House is a very great site. However the interface needs to be changed somewhat. Just my opinion.
    Its good that we are at least debating on these critical issues. My other article is on the need for reintrepretation of religon and I think we need A LOT OF DEBATE THERE AS WELL.

    Yaseer’s excellent article on second amendment should also be debated a lot because it is a very presing issue.

  138. @Raza

    I am not used to threatening people with bodily harm, but am making an exception in your case.

    If you spell the word as ‘religon’ just one more time, the consequences are entirely on your own head.

    Apart from this orthographically necessary threat, I rather enjoyed your article. However, could you please leave behind the rag-tag and bobtail that you have managed to introduce to PTH back at the door? You can take them back as you leave.

    @Prasad
    @D_a_n

    I can’t do much if the cane isn’t juicy to begin with. Also, Prasad, just concentrate on the glass that is handed to you; leave the rest to the juicer. And try to keep from getting into the machinery.😀

  139. Raza

    @ Vajra

    haha That was a witty reply!

  140. @Raza

    Glad you were amused. Nice to find someone with a sense of humour. Thanks again for the great article and your detailed responses.

    What’s your next article?

  141. Raza

    Well I have written something on marriage!!!!But I am not sure whether a political site like Pak tea House is the right place for that.
    May be chowk perhaps or cafe pyala.
    Lets see. i think Pak tea House dominant theme is political and therfore such a topic will be misplaced here

  142. Hayyer

    Thanks for the defence Vajra.

    Girish and Arun Gupta:

    My argument with Shiv began with my questioning him why he felt all Pakistanis were fundamentalists who would vote in Islamist parties, and why he mocked liberal Pakistanis on a liberal site. To neither of these questions did he volunteer a coherent answer.

    The argument with you gentlemen seems to have started because I questioned Arun Gupta’s view that liberalism in India is an outcome of a mass movements of the Congress. I brought Gandhi into it because he began the mass movements.

    Whatever the success of the salt march,(and one may give it a liberal tint because it protested an unfair monopoly) the Khilafat movement, the non-cooperation movement and the quit India movement ended disastrously. None of them was ‘liberal’ in any way. The Khilafat movement ended with a huge setback to Hindu Muslim relations. The quit India movement worked in favour of the fascist powers and Jinnah and the Muslim league leading to partition.

    India is a liberal country generally but not always and not in all parts of it. The masses, who live in the villages are not liberal at all. Gandhi’s idealized village existed only in his imagination. Ambedkar was right when he called them dens of superstition. Gandhi having never lived in a village knew little about them. In 1947 over 85% of Indians were in the villages and 70% still are. These folk are untouched by liberalism even now. So much for it being a mass movement. As for a republic of villages, Gawd help us! It is rapid urbanization and the consequent spread of modern thought we need if ignorance and poverty are to be removed.

    I have had similar arguments with right wing Indians before including a friend who heads a state unit of the BJP and been accused of giving comfort to the enemy. I’ve countered these blinkered views earlier in people holding high office and been called anti-national for my pains so Girish’s comment doesn’t bother me. It takes a peculiar neural pathway to associate truth with treason.

  143. Androidguy

    @Hayyer,

    Its a pleasure reading your posts. I find your writing lucid, coherent, logical and very insightful. Keep posting!

  144. PMA

    Hayyer (June 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm):

    In case you are wondering. With a speed of two-pages-a-day I have crossed the half-way mark. The book is due at the end of June. If this damn Vajra ever stops writing his posts I may get to finishing it.

  145. Hayyer

    Can one ask what you are writing about.

  146. bciv

    @vajra

    your father could see about the menace of authoritarianism what some who ought to know better still, even today, debate in pakistan. actually, good policemen understand it better than some others.

  147. PMA

    Hayyer (June 4, 2010 at 8:51 pm):

    I am not writing anythings except these ramblings. I was referring to the book of Aitzaz Ahsan; the one you and I talked about couple of months ago. I have to return it to the library by the end of this month.

  148. Prasad

    D_A_N: Me too. I like the brief posts from you and others. Atleast there is something to munch on and not just some vocabulary rigmarole

    Vajra Sir: Sure I dare not get into the machine cause if I did, not sure I would every get out of the abracadabrabracadabra in addition to the juiceless garbage that gets out!

  149. @Prasad

    That’s precisely right, although you mayn’t have noticed or intended it that way: if you did get in the machinery, juiceless garbage is more or less guaranteed. Now run away and play.

  150. Prasad

    ‘this damn vajra’ Sir:: thank gawd for small mercies. you were brief in this post. why write so much inane rhapsody?

    Just for instance one of your paras from above //It must have been from the habit of commanding obedience from an unwilling audience of children and the immature that you were deluded into browbeating a poster, before finally trying to justify your egregious intervention by resorting to blackmail of a particularly low and despicable sort. I refer to the blackmail of accusing Hayyer of being anti-national, because his views, to you, being unacceptable, resemble the views of the enemy that you have assumed is a constant for every loyal Indian.

    This is wholly unacceptable. blah blah blah //

    ???? I agree. This is wholly unacceptable !!

  151. @Prasad

    You’re pushing your luck. I don’t know who appointed you guardian of prose style, but if you don’t stop picking on me, I’ll hand you your head soon enough.

    To answer your question, in an earlier post, the poster in question said:

    I also note with interest that your narrative of the Indian freedom struggle seems to be almost an exact restatement of the narrative that has been manufactured by the state of Pakistan and to some extent by the the proponents of the Nazria-e-Pakistan.

    You don’t write this to someone whom you assume to be a Pakistani citizen. There wouldn’t be any point. It’s a no-brainer to expect the restatement of the ‘official’ narrative, except that this forum has always opposed the official narrative on both sides. But a new-comer, whose statements repeatedly show that he is not aware of any difference in stance between the liberals blogging here and the establishment in general, doesn’t know that. At least, unless he is being disingenuous, and what he has said on record is totally phony, intended to incite trouble, he doesn’t know that.

    Conclusion: you know the person you are addressing is an Indian and you want to ‘get’ him by saying that he’s aligning himself with the official Pakistani narrative.

    Now, two reasons why that is truly offensive. The first is the integrity and dispassionate analysis that is a hallmark of Hayyer’s writing; the second is the utter bankruptcy of the person who resorts to making insinuations of disloyalty in order to strengthen his own case. In a later post, he states that he is not aware of the nationality of the poster he is describing; for the reasons that I have mentioned, that is patently untrue, and it was a cheap shot, which misfired because everybody on this site knows that the targeted person is really above all that.

    That, to be precise, is why it is unacceptable.

    Now I need to hear from you why you found my response unacceptable.

  152. Hayyer:

    You may want to look up modern panchayati raj in Indian villages.

    The political trajectories of India and Pakistan were and are very different – account for it however it suits your ideology. The main purpose of history should be to tell one how one reached this place, and (if it is not a good place) what were the mistakes that are to be avoided. (Keeping on doing the same thing over again expecting different results is insanity.)

    As is likely you will not see this comment, because it is liable to deletion on this “liberal” site. E.g., my comment showing that Iran’s purported ban of music may be false news was deleted.

    Good luck, you’re going to need it!

  153. @Arun Gupta

    As long as your comment remains undiluted, might one respond to it?

  154. @Arun Gupta

    As long as your comment remains undeleted, might one respond to it?

  155. Majumdar

    Thank God I am neither a liberal nor a follower of Gandhi!!!

    Regards

  156. @Majumdar

    Now please behave yourself. If you continue to have fun at everybody’s expense, there will be no alternative to declaring you a liberal, and then standing back deftly to keep out of the way of the mob rushing in to get a piece out of you.

  157. Hayyer

    Arun Gupta:

    I spend a fair part of the year living within spitting distance of two villages and am well acquainted with the village environment, political and social.

    I don’t quite understand why you mentioned Panchayats. If you refer to them as an example of liberalism you would be quite mistaken. We can discuss that if you like but I don’t think PTH is the forum.

    “The political trajectories of India and Pakistan were and are very different – account for it however it suits your ideology. The main purpose of history should be to tell one how one reached this place, and (if it is not a good place) what were the mistakes that are to be avoided. (Keeping on doing the same thing over again expecting different results is insanity.)”

    You are so right! But I have not given any account, ever, on PTH of the trajectory of Pakistan. I don’t know enough about Pakistan to risk an opinion on a Pakistani web site. And you can’t have missed the fact that the liberals who run PTH have been shouting themselves hoarse over the mistakes made in Pakistan and the need for reform. My question to Shiv was why do you fellows mock them? I am still waiting for an answer

    I have no ideology to speak of. I believe I am a liberal sort of person who is willing to adjust his views if the facts so warrant.

    “Good luck, you’re going to need it!”

    Every one needs good luck. Thank you. Good luck to you too-but why do you think that I am in special need of it?

  158. Prasad

    Vajra: Your last post addressed to me was precise to say the least. This is desired all the time. Every article and subsequent posts thereafter is like a tightly scripted movie. Precise connect becomes very important to carry back the message. Had you written an article with your existing style, my choice would have been very simple – Just skip. However, at this instance, since you connect to somebody’s view point we may not be able to avoid and hence precision in communication is desired

    At no given point I have questioned your intention/thoughtprocess. Please dont misunderstand

  159. @Prasad

    The point is this: I do not need you telling me how to write, and how to achieve a particular effect. It is an act of effrontery on your part to sit and question my style, my way of dealing with a topic, or my retorts to an opponent, and I do not appreciate it, particularly when your own contributions are so bland and undistinguished by any remarkable feature.

    For the future, when I write, do just what you recommended for yourself – just skip. I am not writing for you or the kind of audience you represent. I do not wish to connect with you. Be under no such misapprehension.

    If ever you repeat this error, I shall make it a mission to track every contribution of yours, wherever I can track you, and point out every single defect in pitiless detail.

    Try to understand what I am saying, and try to take this in the spirit that it is conveyed. Or else be responsible for the consequences.

  160. Moosa

    I have always thought we should give more importance to substance over form. Some people write or speak very elegantly but the substance of their message is without merit. Others do not possess the gift of well-formed communication but their communication has real substance and power. I prefer the latter over the former. Of course, best of all is speech such as mine, which excels both in form and substance…

  161. Moosa

    PS my last sentence was a joke, please take it with a pinch of salt😉

  162. Moosa

    regarding form and substance… can I please ask: how on earth did pakistanis elect a leader like zardari? it’s ridiculous. i mean, even if you look at his photographs, the corruption in his face is palpable. i simply shake my head. truly Allah has said that He will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. then is zardari a reflection or a personification of the nation of pakistan?

  163. masroor

    i think pakistan govenment can’t do any thing for people security because they just doing politice.it’s sham for us when people killed in lahore.it’s govenment duty to provide security for our nation.

  164. @powerless

    This is unhistorical rubbish and displays a vast and gaping ignorance, of proportions which make it impossible to reply within the columns of a blog site.

    Please stop blathering or give concrete examples of the elimination of minorities in Muslim-dominated or Muslim-majority countries since 628 AD.

    I am not particularly enamoured of Islam, but I can’t stand this tendentious and ill-informed nonsense. At least on this aspect, Islam has far less to hide than Christianity, and much in which to take pride. Hinduism, for what it’s worth, was a tolerant and accommodating religion, albeit severely exclusive, until recent years and current distortions.

  165. Bin Ismail

    Vajra:

    All religions, at the stage of their inception were inclusive, benevolent and accommodative. The switch came only when the clergies of these faiths took over the affairs and became the self-appointed custodians.

    Religion and religious clergy are two separate entities – and poles apart.

  166. @Bin Ismail

    You may be right. I don’t dispute your analysis. As a materialist, it seems better for me to avoid theological issues, even extending this aversion to an avoidance of theological history, otherwise fascinating to a student, in order to concentrate on other matters.

    In this case, I am unhappy that such sweeping statements were made by powerless in the teeth of the evidence. This is sheer distortion of the facts.

    Just to clarify, I made the remark about Hinduism to avoid an impression that the matter was between Islam and Christianity. On reading the post again, it seems that I have inadvertently singled out the religion of my forefathers for special distinction. That was not my intention.

    My view is bleak, the mirror image of yours, it is that all religions are in the ultimate analysis wicked institutions, exclusive, malevolent and intolerant, because all religions are finally delivered over to their clergy, even to a clergy not envisaged by the founding fathers.

  167. Bin Ismail

    @ powerless

    Essentially you’ve raised three issues. Let’s examine them one by one:

    1. Jinnah’s perception was that among the states of undivided India, the Muslim-majority states lagged behind the Hindu-majority ones – and this lag was on several planes. If a formula was not devised to ensure that this lag is lessened, and that the Muslim-majority states are awarded enough leg-room to at least try to catch-up, Jinnah believed that these states were bound to be left out and economically subdued by the relatively better established and more prosperous Hindu-majority states. This lag would have been even greater, had it not been for the relentless efforts of Sir Syed to promote and secularize the education of Muslims.

    Jinnah’s first choice was to achieve this goal within an undivided India, but this was a concession that he was not going to get from the Congress leadership. He also began to increasingly feel that there had been a subtle drift within the Congress, towards desecularization, and that the initial standards of secular politics were being tacitly compromised. Still, when the Cabinet Mission Plan was placed on the table, which was the last hope of keeping India undivided, it was Jinnah who endorsed it forthwith and unconditionally. Nehru’s remarks on the other hand rendered the Congress’ commitment dubious. The Congress leadership were able to make an exit. There was no other plan on the table and Jinnah moved on.

    Pakistan, as conceived by him, and as depicted by him, in his historical 11th August 1947 speech, was unquestionably a secular state. What you see now, has nothing to do with Jinnah, his perceptions or his sagacity. The present situation owes its existence to deviating away from, rather rebelling against Jinnah’s vision. And the nation is paying its price.

    2. The perception that non-Muslim minorities have always, throughout history, been persecuted in Muslim countries is a novel one, in that even the most venomous of anti-Islam orientalists have not contended so. In fact, what did happen was that politicized clerics, representing the rulers’ denomination, have had a record of persecuting members of minority Muslim-sects, in order to fortify their own political strength.

    I would humbly suggest that when the history of religious persecution, at the hands of autocratic rulers is being examined, the study should not be confined to Muslim rulers and the politicized clergies of their times. Atrocities, in the name of religion have been committed by rulers of all religious affiliations. Religion is exploited merely as a tool. But we should also be fair enough to recognize that religion is not the only tool that has been exploited for political gains. Hitler and Stalin committed horrific atrocities, without even mentioning religion.

    3. The perceived contradictions in the Quran reflect only the conflict that arises when the Quran is interpreted by politicized clerics. Why? Because their objective is not the attainment of insight into the Word of God, but to use the Book to sanctify their own doings.

  168. Bin Ismail

    @ Vajra

    If the priceless sonnets of Shakespeare, were to land tragically in the hands of an imbecile, bent upon drawing from them,the most vulgar and preposterous interpretations, we would not for even a moment, imagine to destroy the beautiful works of Shakespeare, we would shun the moron.

  169. bciv

    @bin ismail

    what does historical data, mixed as it may be, say about the risk vs benefit equation? does it balance? what are the benefits? real benefits, objectively defined? provided there are such benefits, can nothing else provide these or similar benefits, ie an alternative with lower risk of such habitual and devastating misuse attached to it?

    is not turning shakespeare into a religion and still get the benefit of his works a viable alternative?

  170. Bin Ismail

    @ Vajra

    Keep the misuser out. Shun the moron. In short – hold the clergy at bay.

  171. @Bin Ismail

    Now the waters are getting deeper, and I am clearly out of my depth.

    I get what you are saying, and it is wise counsel. Certainly, we must not neglect keeping a jaundiced and self-serving clergy at bay. It is only the clergy-less religions or sects, then, that can be trusted. Which are those? Do they exist? Perhaps the least harmful are the Anglican clergy, or the believers’ leaders in prayer that the Brahmo Samajis have. But even they are sometimes, rarely, given to judgements and to theological dialectic that confuses and misleads their flocks.

    May I put others, another wise man and a very good woman, to argue for me?

    Like Bciv, I would rather take the works of the world, of man and infuse them with a higher morality, and make them do the work of scripture.

    Removing religion from the centre of our existence does not remove a spirit of amity towards living beings or of seeking harmony with the universe. Is that not enough? As for the consequent removal of the reward and punishment system is concerned, what of it? It is said that Rabia al-Basri was found running down the streets with a bucket of water in one hand and a torch in the other. When they asked her what she thought she was doing, she replied that the bucket of water was to put out the flames of hell, and the torch was to set fire to the walls of Paradise.

    If we do good without the fear of Another, does that cease to be good?

  172. Moosa

    Vajra, of course it is possible to behave ethically and morally without following a religion and even without believing in God. However, with all due respect, I don’t think that is the correct perspective.

    The question is: Does God exist? If God exists, then God’s creation must worship Him. The reason is described in the following quotation:

    “From this perspective, it is evident that the worship of God is the natural condition of humankind, as we observe that the natural condition of a fish is that it should swim downstream. God says, “And I have not created the jinn and the men but that they may worship Me” [Qur’ān 51.57]. Those with atheistic tendencies take great exception to the idea that they are created only for the worship of God. This is because the depth of God’s claim is not duly appreciated by them. A person who is gifted with insight will observe that the purpose of any created object is derived by specificity and by sublimity. For example, the purpose of a pen is to write, and this is for two reasons. Firstly, because other created objects do not write and the pen does write, and this is its specificity. Secondly, because the highest function which the pen can perform is to write, and in this resides the sublimity of the pen. It is certainly possible that one should employ a pen for all sorts of other objectives, but its natural purpose is known by specificity and sublimity. Similarly, a human may engage in diverse activities which are performed by other animal species. It is known that chimpanzees possess cognitive skills and the ability to make simple tools. Dolphins have a highly developed cortex, and demonstrate advanced intellectual capabilities such as self-awareness, language, and creativity. Admittedly, humankind is blessed with intellectual faculties of a higher order; but we do not find specificity and sublimity to the fullest extent in these faculties. On the contrary, those who have worshiped God as He should be worshiped testify that experience of the Divine is the loftiest function of humankind. Perhaps the Atheists misunderstand what is the meaning of the Arabic word ’ibādah (worship, self-enslavement, love). This means that the lover devotes himself in such a way that he loses his own identity in the Beloved, and discovers thereby something within himself which is higher than his self. ’Ibādah is as if a musician picks up an instrument, a painter takes hold of a brush, a poet writes his first sonnet; but more so. For God is that Creator for Whom the musician, the painter and the poet yearn, and they turn to music, painting and poetry but as a thwarted lover turns to others than his Beloved. Alas, their error was this, that they sought to hear God and see God and write God, as if God were a sound or a picture or a composition of their own fancy. Let the Atheists know this, that God is the Creator, and He cannot be attained by the efforts of a created object. How may a finite object perceive an Infinity? Rather, it is God’s Graciousness that He reveals Himself to the heart of the believer, for a finite object abides ever within the ambit of Infinity. That is to say, “He is the Incomprehensible, the All-Aware” [Qur’ān 6.104].”
    The Flower of Faith, pp.39-40

  173. @Moosa

    As I already found, I was slipping out of my depth, and now find myself completely out of it, in deep waters.

    Your arguments, the quotation in particular, is moving; no doubt about that. Being moved and being sure, being convinced are not the same.

    When years ago, I walked away from the faith of my ancestors, it was not for lack of opportunity to approach divinity in the way that you have mentioned. Those precise sentiments, those precise feelings and possession by adoration of the holy are known and honoured among specific sections, in fact prominently so in the sect to which I was born. I could not find that chord in myself.

    My honest position at this moment is that in the absence of inner conviction, it is better to act in accordance with my values, without losing sight of their artificial boundaries and impulsions, and as it allows me peace of mind. To be anything else at this moment would be hypocrisy, and a greater sin, if there is such a thing as sin, than lack of belief.

    At this moment, this lame and halting explanation is all that I can summon to my aid. The epiphany that you have described may yet occur.

  174. @Moosa

    I beg your pardon: that should have read,”Your argument, the quotation in particular, is moving”, not as printed earlier.

  175. Prasad

    Moosa: //I have always thought we should give more importance to substance over form. Some people write or speak very elegantly but the substance of their message is without merit.//

    Agree 100% !

  176. Bin Ismail

    @ Vajra

    “…..I could not find that chord in myself…..”

    Admirable. To acknowledge one’s shortcoming is the primary prerequisite for spiritual progress. I believe it is for man to submit and God will find that chord in you.

  177. powerless

    to d-vajra

    Muslims exterminating non-muslims is clear to see. The word “exterminate” does not only mean through bloodshed. Terminate means to bring to an end. How else did areas where there were no muslims earlier become 90+x % muslim areas?

    My question was about Jinnah in the 1930’s and 40’s. How could a lawyer have neglected the evidence that islam has exterminated non-muslims in various places? (I don’t have to mention names the place or region – no one on this forum is so naive or ignorant I hope)

  178. powerless

    to bin ismail

    why did the muslims lag behind? they were the rulers (in pre-british India) for 600 years. they claimed that their book was final word of god.

    May be that was exactly the reason why they lagged behind? As rulers they became arrogant and complacent, and as possessors of the supposedly final book they were handicapped into closed-and-narrow-minded-ness.

    This implies that muslims should avoid becoming rulers and get rid of this idea that there is a final word or book of god. Anything that leads to arrogance, complacency, suppression of criticism or to closed-and-narrow-minded-ness etc. is poison for the human soceity. Is the islamic faith itself such a poison? See what has been done to the ahmediya in Pakistan through islam.

    So I repeat the last sentence in my previous post. Namely: Honesty is missing among muslims in such discussions. The title of the article on which we are commenting also avoids this honesty by not naming islam.

    “Terrorism, Shameless Religious Bigotry and Pakistani Mindset”

    Is there any (mentionably dangerous) hindu or christian religious “terrorism, bigotry or mindset” in Pakistan? So why fail to name islam?
    Are martians doing this? Or is it the muslims who are doing it?

  179. powerless

    to Moosa

    you wrote: “The question is: Does God exist? If God exists, then God’s creation must worship Him.”

    Why this MUST?

    Heard the following?:

    A man goes on the street and the devil and his naive companion c follow him. The man finds something and is overjoyed. The devil tells his c. “he has found the truth”. The c. says: “Then you as a devil must be very unhappy about it”.

    “Oh no, not at all”, says the devil, “soon he will start organizing it and enforcing it upon others with sweet words or instruments of authority and power and then I will be the big guy in the game again”.

  180. D_a_n

    @powerless…

    so good of you to come back. Reading people such as yourself, while revolting and an intellectual violation in the extreme does produce a thankfulness towards small mercies that one did not end up as terminally stupid as you.
    So I’ll throw up a Hallelujah just for that.

    Now, as to your comment:
    ‘Is there any (mentionably dangerous) hindu or christian religious “terrorism, bigotry or mindset” in Pakistan?’

    Apparently none that I have noticed. but to flip your asinie question as follows:

    ‘Is there any (mentionably dangerous) hindu or xxxxxx religious “terrorism, bigotry or mindset” in India?’

    Unfortunately, Yes. Roma locuta causa finita as far as your worthless bigotry is concerned.

    PS: If the brain was a phallus you’d have been diagnosed with a severe case of erectile dysfunction by now. This goes for all you RSS chaddi walas!

  181. powerless

    to d_a_n

    Your using filthy language means you are admiting that I was right.

    There is hindu fascism and terrorism is India. But it is far less harmful-powerful-gripping than the islamic one in Pakistan and also in India and even in the rest of the world. Presently India is having to contend with maoist insurgency imported from China in the 1970’s. Who will join up with whom?

  182. @powerless

    1. “clear to see” is not an argument nor production of evidence, it is an expression of your opinion.

    2. “The word “exterminate” does not only mean through bloodshed. Terminate means to bring to an end.”

    I realised you had problems, I hadn’t realised that you have major problems.

    “Exterminate” specifically relates to killing; presumably that involves bloodshed, unless you are postulating some novel procedure.

    Please consult a dictionary and reassure yourself.

    To be precise:

    Main Entry: ex·ter·mi·nate
    Pronunciation: \ik-ˈstər-mə-ˌnāt\
    Function: transitive verb
    Inflected Form(s): ex·ter·mi·nat·ed; ex·ter·mi·nat·ing
    Etymology: Latin exterminatus, past participle of exterminare, from ex- + terminus boundary — more at term
    Date: 1591

    : to get rid of completely usually by killing off

    — ex·ter·mi·na·tion \-ˌstər-mə-ˈnā-shən\ noun

    — ex·ter·mi·na·tor \-ˈstər-mə-ˌnā-tər\ noun

    Not much room for doubt there, is there?

    3. “How else did areas where there were no muslims earlier become 90+x % muslim areas?”

    Do you even recall your original posting? For your ready reference:

    If we examine the histories of muslim-dominated or muslim-majority areas (since 628 AD) then almost everywhere the minorities and non-muslims have been hounded out or squeezed by various overt or covert methods.

    I had asked for evidence, in case my earlier wording was not clear enough, that minorities and non-muslims have been hounded out or squeezed by various overt or covert methods. You have not either specified which countries you have in mind, or which acts, overt or covert, you are referring to.

    You say with a breezy self-confidence which is remarkable “I don’t have to mention names the place or region – no one on this forum is so naive or ignorant I hope”.

    It is not about naivete or ignorance of those reading you, it is about your own naivete and ignorance. I say this with a formal background in history, including, among other subjects, the interaction of Islam with Europe and with India. There are others on this forum who have far greater knowledge of the specific history of these matters, including the history of Iran and Central Asia, than I have. It is clear that you have rushed to a brash and incorrect statement and will find it hard to justify it. Making offhand remarks about the clear truth of what you have said, the obvious nature of what you have said and so on doesn’t really mean much.

    Let me take the liberty of stating my objections to your wild-eyed exaggerations in one simple statement: There is ample evidence that Islam spread through large parts of the world, including parts of India, through the conviction of people that it was a better religion; there are also examples of forced conquest at the point of a sword. The sum total of evidence is that neither one method nor the other was overwhelmingly greater in scope than the other.

    Please, one last time, could you consult the books and get back with concrete facts? Instead of making unsubstantiable remarks based on your personal prejudices?

  183. D_a_n

    @ Powerless….

    ‘But it is far less harmful-powerful-gripping than the islamic one in Pakistan’

    How about asking the poor buggers who have been at the receiving end of it?

    F**k off now..I dont even let people like you wash my car!

  184. PMA

    powerless (June 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm):

    “to bin ismail: why did the muslims lag behind? they were the rulers (in pre-british India) for 600 years. they claimed that their book was final word of god.”

    “Muslims of India” did not rule India. India was ruled for eight hundred years by the Central Asian Turks, Persians, Afghans and Arabs and their descendants that happened to be Muslims. “Muslims of India” within the British-Indian context is a very broad term. In different geographical areas of the British Indian Empire and even within a certain geographical area not all Muslims belonged to one broad socio-economic class. Therefore not all Muslims lagged behind even though majority of them did. One has to closely look at the make up of the Muslim community(s) of the pre-independence Sub-continent to have a better understanding of the issue. The ‘book’ and ‘god’ of Muslims of India have very little to do with their socio-economic conditions at that time.

  185. Midfield Dynamo

    I am hanging out on the corner with doubt, however, there are conclusive indicators in this universal order which suggest that there is or must be powers behind this elaborate system and intricate nature of life therein. Now, whether there is a conglomerate controlling this vast expanse, with areas of responsibility designated to respective companies/organizations or there are multiple gods, like the surya polo club yesterday was boasting of sunshine in the middle of a rainy season in the UK for their match perhaps because they are named after the sun god. It could also be monotheistic, where all attributes are attached to a single entity, making it infinitely simple to understand and follow, all along precluding room for its misuse and abuse by opportunistic bullies, who would extract personal advantages from the innocent through religious complexity and hypnosis thereof.
    Should one believe in multiple god system or a monotheistic system, the purpose would be to have a more fruitful life on this planet. As someone pointed out that religion may not be necessary to attain that end. Well if it works for you, boogey! And if it does not and you must satisfy the logic of your observation and comfort your fears and consider it necessary to create a god that should be fine too.
    Our concern is what religion can do for us, will it give us a good life and take us to heaven when we die, or should our concern be extended to others as well, in that one should take on the responsibility for everyone in this world to have a good life and go to heaven when they die. It is indeed a noble thought, but what if the recipient is not interested in your benevolence, would you still force it down their throat, heck, no. You tell them once what you think might be beneficial for them and then let them make their own choices, free advice only comes from salespersons who have a self interest in the sale.
    It is understandable that one would want to resist bad influences upon their values, so the easy way out would be to get on the offensive and convert and suppress contradiction and preserve the culture of choice. That would certainly bring to a grinding halt evolution of the human intellect, leading to stagnation and destruction. After all today we are able to boast of our intellectual achievements to process of evolution, for we must remember that it is seemingly unreasonable and illogical thoughts that lay the foundation for major breakthroughs, take the example of Galileo. One can make the argument that some thoughts are truly ridiculous and deserve to be discarded, well the people discarding them should have the intellectual excellence to merit such an action and it is this excellence which should overwhelm the weak ideology on the basis of acceptance and merit.

  186. Moosa

    powerless… you cite historical events but your conclusions are not rational.🙂

    jesus said, “turn the other cheek” to ur enemies, he brought a religion of absolute love and forgiveness. then after one thousand years, some christians slaughtered the jews and muslims of jerusalem so that (reportedly) the streets of jerusalem were streaming with blood. but can any person rationally blame the man or the religion which taught “turn the other cheek”?

    if you are going to argue that egyptians, turks, iranians, afghanis murdered people because they were muslim, then rationally you have to prove from the islamic scripture that muslims are supposed to murder people or expand the empire of islam by means of forcible arms. i eagerly await ur efforts to prove this.

    regarding the holy prophet muhammad (saw), how grossly you twist the truth by what you say in his regard. in an age when conquering armies habitually raped and pillaged cities, he was a man who forgave the entire population of makkah when he won victory over it, after that population persecuted him for years and caused the death of his beloved wife and tortured many of his closest friends. you do not possess even one thousandth of his loving and forgiving nature, you are not even a drop in his ocean of compassion. the historical truth about the jews (acknowledged even by western orientalists) is that they had a treaty with the holy prophet (saw) that the jews and the muslims would together defend madinah against the makkan aggressors, but the jews broke this treaty and intrigued against the muslims, which was an act of treason according to military law and could have led to the massacre of the entire muslim population. even then, the holy prophet (saw) allowed the jews to choose who should punish them: himself or one of the tribal arab leaders of madina. the jewish tribe had friendly historical ties with that tribe so they foolishly declined the punishment of the holy prophet (saw) and opted for the punishment decided by the tribal leader; he decided that they should all be killed. if you wish to engage in further dispute regarding the holy character of our master muhammad mustafa (saw), then myself and every ahmadi muslim will defend him against your mischief, and furthermore we will examine your hindu scriptures such as the bhagavad gita where krishna spends the entire gita persuading arjuna to go to war for a just cause.

    look forward to hearing more from you.🙂

  187. Tilsim

    @ Bin Ismail

    “All religions, at the stage of their inception were inclusive, benevolent and accommodative. The switch came only when the clergies of these faiths took over the affairs and became the self-appointed custodians.

    Religion and religious clergy are two separate entities – and poles apart.”

    Sorry to parachute into this interesting exchange with Vajra. The concept that attracted me about Islam was that one can have a personal relationship with God; one does n’t need a Mullah. However, what is confusing me currently is that given that politicised and institutionalised religion is fact of life, what is the best way to approach one’s own religion? Does one engage in battle with the Mullahs by forming counter religious institutions that can provide answers to their misrepresentation. It’s sort of exchanging one religious leadership with another. If so, then where is the room for that personal connection if it’s to be replaced by a new orthodoxy. The idea of a guide or a teacher is also attractive. Clearly leaving the religious leadership to Mullahs is a disastrous course. Not sure where the answer lies. Perhaps this struggle is part of the struggle of faith and the process of inner growth. Waiting for an epiphany.

  188. Tilsim

    Or with due respects to our Ahmedi friends, waiting for the Mahdi.

  189. Bin Ismail

    @ Tilsim

    Ahmadis consider themselves fortunate to have found that epiphany in the person of the Mahdi. For those who continue to wait, it may be wise to wait alone, without the mullah by your side, the mullah regarding whom you have so rightly testified, “Clearly leaving the religious leadership to Mullahs is a disastrous course”. Therefore for those who crave guidance and await epiphany, it may be wise to do so sans the mullah. Otherwise even if the Lord Himself descends from His Throne, to appear before His longing servant, the Mullah will do his utmost to eclipse the Ultimate Beauty or at least blindfold the eager beholder.

  190. Midfield Dynamo

    The concept of prophet hood in Ahmediyat, correct me if I am wrong, is a degree of spiritual elevation, attainable by anyone willing to strive. In view of which the process of Mahdism is evolutionary in nature and mankind would not have hit a sealed door. We would thus not be waiting in anticipation but progressing and evolving in continuum. We would not be creating demigods but would be referring to them as mere mortal human beings and would not have fatwa’s decreed in case of dissention, debate or difference of opinion.
    In this case where precious innocent lives of Ahmedis were lost to a brazen attack by extremist militants, the perpetrators will have to pay the price for their actions, either directly or through some round about manner, through forces of nature, in which case retribution is usually far more severe then worldly punishments. This action must happen, it is the law of nature, like the universe’s heavenly bodies are held in perfect balance, centrifugal forces, weight , mass, gravity etc. all play their role in holding it all together. Well so are human relationships, whether it is on individual basis, racial, religious, national or any other, human species as whole will come to rest when all forces like happiness, kindness, benevolence, love, affection, anger, intrigue, falsehood, tyranny, bloodshed, coercion, acting upon it will achieve a net balance.

  191. Bin Ismail

    @ Vajra (June 7, 2010 at 4:00 am)

    “…..It is only the clergy-less religions or sects, then, that can be trusted…..”

    Whether a denomination is clergy-less or clergy-infested, the clergy, in my humble opinion, must be kept away from two spheres, at any cost:

    1. The business of the state
    2. Decision making at public level

    Failing to do so, will just make us live and relive the ordeal we confront today.

  192. Bin Ismail

    @ Midfield Dynamo

    Ahmadis understand prophethood as the highest attainable spiritual status. The founder of the Ahmadiyya Community defined prophethood as “abundance of Divine Discourse”. Ahmadis believe that subsequent to the advent of Muhammad, access to all true spiritual heights, including prophethood, has been rechannelized through the medium of Muhammad. According to the Ahmadiyya interpretation, Muhammad the Holy Prophet will forever remain the Khaatam-un Nabiyyeen in both senses of the words – as the “Attestative Seal of the prophets” and as the “Ring [signifying the ornament] of the prophets”. As the “Attestative Seal of the prophets”, his certification, whether by testimony or prophecy would certify someone as a prophet. As the “Ornament of the prophets”, it is his spiritual beauty that is mirrored by the assembly of prophets.

    Retribution too, is an attribute of God. Among His many names is “Muntaqim” meaning the Avenger. God does indeed avenge His servants, specially when they are innocent and have been wronged solely because they submitted to His will.

  193. Moosa

    @

    “The concept of prophet hood in Ahmediyat, correct me if I am wrong, is a degree of spiritual elevation, attainable by anyone willing to strive.”

    A small correction. Ghulam Ahmad (as) explained that a person cannot attain prophethood merely by his own strivings. Ultimately, prophethood is the gift of Allah (swt), and in the Holy Qur’an it is described as part of His continuing rahmat.

    “the perpetrators will have to pay the price for their actions, either directly or through some round about manner, through forces of nature…”

    I think that the Ahmadi interpretation of Islam, particularly Ghulam Ahmad (as)’s immensely profound understanding of the nature of heaven and hell, would agree with the general trend of your statement. Allah (swt) has created a system where heaven is the natural consequence of goodness and hell is the natural consequence of evil, and (rationally) this was unavoidable from the moment that Allah (swt) fashioned a creation which was capable of having a spiritual relationship with Himself.

  194. Moosa

    @ Vajra

    Your problem (and it is a problem shared by orthodox muslims) is this: you have terminated the rahmat of God.

    Let me explain briefly what I mean. Religion and spirituality is a cycle with various stages: 1) Complete disorder and corruption, 2) God’s rahmat/guidance manifested by His prophet, 3) In an atmosphere of general corruption, only a few pious hearts accept the prophet, but the majority reject him, 4) A battle ensues between the pious few and the corrupt majority, 5) Eventually, whether in 20 years or a few hundred years, the new prophet’s message triumphs, 6) A religious clergy develops, initially based on the prophet’s teaching and upholding it, 7) Society over centuries tends again to drift towards corruption, often under the influence of an increasingly corrupt clergy…. Back to stage 1).

    The problem of the orthodox muslims is that they are in stage 1) and they have themselves decided to reject the possibility of stage 2), therefore they will forever remain in stage 1). Never in the history of religious evolution has the religious clergy managed to take a society out of stage 1), this has always been done by the prophets under direct Divine guidance, because to transform a society from Total corruption is not something small, it is not something that can be achieved without a manifestation of the Divine Power.

  195. Tilsim

    @ Bin Ismail

    “For those who continue to wait, it may be wise to wait alone, without the mullah by your side,”

    Can’t agree more. There is beauty, wisdom and love in all sorts of places. If we only recognised these qualities when we saw them in others and better understood the whole narrative – what it means to be human (regardless of race, sex, creed). A mullah’s religion will never touch on any of that. Bulleh Shah, the Punjabi sufi poet summed it up beautifully, in so much. Here is just one of his works:

    You have learnt so much
    And read a thousand books.
    Have you ever read your Self?
    You have gone to mosque and temple.
    Have you ever visited your soul?
    You are busy fighting Satan.
    Have you ever fought your
    Ill intentions?
    You have reached into the skies,
    But you have failed to reach
    What’s in your heart!

  196. Vajra

    @Moosa

    Faced with such a charge-sheet, what choice do I have but to go underground?😀

    Sorry, couldn’t resist it. I know I will fry for it, but what the – dare I say it? – heck!

  197. Bin Ismail

    @ Tilsim (June 8, 2010 at 3:11 am)

    “…..what it means to be human…..”

    The value attached to “what it means to be human”, by God, can be appreciated by the following facts:

    1. The first commandment of the Quran begins with the following words: “Yaa ayyuhannaas…” (Quran 2:21) meaning “O Humankind!..”. The first – very first – commandment of the Quran addresses not the Muslims, neither the faithful, but “humans” – plain old humans.

    2. The very last word of the Quran is “an-naas” (Quran 114:6) meaning “Humankind”.

    The quote from Bulle Shah was enchanting.

  198. PMA

    Tilsim (June 8, 2010 at 3:11 am):
    Bin Ismail (June 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm):

    Bulleh Shah, Waras Shah and countless other old poets were product of a multicultural hetero-religious society. Their poetry and thought process is reflective of their times. The post-independence Pakistan culturally, politically, socially is a very very different place when compared to its pre-independence period. With 97% or perhaps 99% of its population being Muslim, Pakistan for all practical purposes is a mono-religious society. The challenges facing Pakistan today are Ethnic-Nationalism and Sectarianism. We don’t need new prophets or religious men. We need new poets who can promote sectarian tolerance and harmony. Mullah, of all sects, by its very definition is a sectarian being. He can not be looked upon for promotion of a non-sectarian society. It is job of poets, philosophers and thinkers.

  199. Bin Ismail

    PMA (June 8, 2010 at 6:27 pm)

    1. The beauty of the poetry of our sufis, such as Bulleh Shah, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Khwaja Ghulam Farid and Rehman Baba is their “timelessness”. Mystic poetry is bound neither by time nor space. It emanates from the love of God, which in turn renders it timeless and universally acceptable.

    2. The challenges facing Pakistan today are Mullahism, corruption, nepotism, self-obsession, denial, incompetence and then of course ethnic-nationalism and sectarianism.

    3. Prophets are a reality, old and new, whether we acknowledge our need for them or not. Their entity is far above and beyond their acceptability to the people of Pakistan, or for that matter any country.

    4. As for poets, in my humble opinion, the great heritage we have in the form of the sufi poets should be cherished and honoured. Pakistani poets such as Faiz, Faraz, Qasmi, Munir and Aleem have a lot to offer to the thought currents of Pakistanis.

    5. Good literature and good art needs to be patronized. Great Pakistani novelists like Bapsi Sidhwa ought to be promoted.

    6. Until the mullah is not kept at bay, neither art nor literature will flourish in Pakistan. Until the mullah is not harnessed, poets, philosophers and thinkers will not be able to make their input.

    7. We cannot and must not ignore the unfathomable and priceless heritage that dates back to the pre-independence days – a heritage that belongs as much to us as to India.

  200. Tilsim

    @PMA

    I agree with you that poets, philosophers and thinkers play a critical role in shaping the character of a society. However I also feel that what Bulleh Shah and others of his ilk said is timeless, powerful and strikes a chord because it point to some basic truths that get downplayed by the human ego. If we learned to control our ego (an essential message of Islam and other religions), we would become better human beings, differentiate people on the basis of their ethics (not their ethnic or sectarian affiliation) and our communities would have more peace.

  201. PMA

    Bin Ismail (June 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm):

    Tilsim (June 8, 2010 at 10:36 pm):

    Gentlemen I will not dispute, but our present situation demands a new narrative – tailored to our time; a new national narrative that will help us rise above ethnic-nationalism and sectarianism. A new prophet or a religious leader will further add yet another sect to our already fractionalized society.

  202. Midfield Dynamo

    7. We cannot and must not ignore the unfathomable and priceless heritage that dates back to the pre-independence days – a heritage that belongs as much to us as to India.
    I agree, absolutely. Unfortunately though when it comes to the fundamental tenets of Islam, the tradition could be Salafi or wahabi, anything else would be extraneous.
    We have to decide, are we going to live and let live, or impose, like the middle eastern monarchies. In which case the sham of democracy should be wiped off the board, let Zardari be king, let him create a royal lineage, with herams and princes and princesses. Impose wahabi edicts, stifle free speech, let there be flogging, stoning and beheading in the public.
    If not every citizen must have equal rights, any slander or loose talk must be dealt with by law, religious sermons must be monitored for content, anyone inciting their group against another should be brought to the mat, whether he is from the political class, army, intelligence agency, police or for that matter Aalim/Mullah.

  203. Tilsim

    @ PMA

    You are correct. However religion/ spirituality is a huge part of our psyche. It would be strange and alien to exclude this from any narrative. It is the ideas that take us away from bigotry, hatred, hubris, fascist thinking etc which are important, not so much the source or labels attached to them.

  204. skyview

    to moosa

    Mankind does not need prophets at all. Prophets have been a major source and cause of war, imperialism, arrogance, ethnic cleansings etc. this whole concept of prophet or messenger of god is a fraud perpetrated by psychos and those who know how to use it later for their own glory and power. We need rational, honest, peace-loving, courageous men and women who do not bring god and holiness into the picture, who admit their own frailties, faults and ignorances, who do not try to be heroic etc., who do not organize any street gangs, who do not regard women as weaklings to be “protected” or reproduction machines and pleasure-givers for the male organ.

  205. Bin Ismail

    @PMA

    “…..our present situation demands a new narrative – tailored to our time; a new national narrative that will help us rise above ethnic-nationalism and sectarianism. A new prophet or a religious leader will further add yet another sect to our already fractionalized society…..”

    Before proceeding to even consider your point, I believe it is imperative to define clearly who you refer to by “our” – “We, the citizens of Pakistan” or “We, the state-certified Muslim citizens of Pakistan”.

    Pakistan is not a monolithic religious community. It’s a nation, consisting of people with diverse religious, ethnic, linguistic and cultural affiliations. All these denominations, alongwith their inclinations, as long as they are peaceful Pakistanis, will have to be respected. The issue of “new prophets”, “old prophets” or “no prophets” should have nothing to do with the business of the State of Pakistan.

  206. bciv

    new narrative – tailored to our time;(PMA)

    identity is not a neat little package that can be picked up off the shelf. narratives come from and belong to the people. the state’s job is to represent, understand and respect them all. accommodate all with perfect fairness to all and to shun and remove all inequality. but, for the most part, it’s best for the state to leave identity well alone, unless it wishes to court trouble and disaster.

    any narrative of identity has to have a basis in history. an artificial identity attempts to manufacture its own historical basis. but, in the real world, history cannot be tailored to any time through some deliberate effort. any ‘tailoring’ of history into relevant and irrelevant is done by time itself.. or, in other words, by history itself.

  207. Bin Ismail

    @skyview (June 9, 2010 at 12:46 pm)

    “…..Mankind does not need prophets at all. Prophets have been a major source and cause of war, imperialism, arrogance, ethnic cleansings…..”

    War, imperialism, arrogance, ethnic cleansing – can indeed be attributed to the following “prophets”:

    1. British imperialism can be attributed to British “prophets”, French imperialism to French “prophets”, Spanish imperialism to Spanish “prophets”, Portuguese imperialism to Portuguese “prophets”, Dutch imperialism to Dutch “prophets”, more recently, American imperialism to “prophet” Bush.

    2. The Second World War, the best example of “war”, should be attributed to the “prophets” Hitler, Hirohito, Mussolini, Stalin, Churchill and of course Truman.

    3. Ethnic Cleansing can be attributed to “prophets” such as Stalin, for cleansing Russia of certain unwanted communities, Hitler for cleansing Germany of Jews, Truman for cleansing Japan of Japanese (the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), and lately Milosivec for ethnic cleansing of Muslim Bosnians.

  208. Amaar

    @Bin Ismail

    Cant agree more. The ‘prophets’ of the world- mullahs, politicians, dictators and philosophers- and the prophets from on high are poles apart.

  209. PMA

    Tilsim (June 9, 2010 at 1:24 am):

    First of all religion and spirituality are not one and the same. Spirituality comes from within. It is a personal phenomenon and is not part of the discussion here. So let us leave it alone. Religion on the other hand is a human need and if allowed it may enter into one’s psyche. Please allow me to keep the subject of religion within Pakistani context so that we don’t get confused. My contention is that within Pakistan the issue is not religions but only one religion – Islam. But since not all Pakistanis agree to one version of Islam, religion or no-religion must be a personal and not a national decision. Under that principle on the issue of religion I say that the Pakistani Nation needs a new ‘national narrative’ that rises above sectarianism. “bigotry, hatred, hubris, fascist thinking” are all product of human mind which can not be controlled in a free and fair society. It is the acting upon these thoughts that must be punishable under law. Not the thought but the action. And that could be achieved by developing a new ‘national narrative’ of Pakistan.

    Bin Ismail (June 9, 2010 at 6:50 pm):

    In fact for all practical purposes Pakistan is a mono-religious country. Almost 99% of the population professes to be Muslim. In Pakistan the issue is not Islam. The issue is ‘sects of Islam’. As long as adherents of various sects of Islam continue to claim their version of Islam as the only true Islam, Sectarianism will continue to plague the society.

    bciv (June 9, 2010 at 7:14 pm):

    I am afraid you are I are talking apples and oranges. The discussion, at least from my perspective, is about Ethnic-Nationalism and Sectarianism – the two curses of Pakistan. But I agree with you. The narrative comes from and belongs to the people. Pakistani Nation needs a new comprehensive narrative representing all people within the geographical boundaries of Pakistan as ‘one nation’ and not as ‘multiple nations within one country’. The trick is to literally collect all the elements common throughout the width and breadth of Pakistan and out of these elements develop a new national narrative of Modern Pakistani Nation. A narrative that rises above Ethnic-Nationalism and Sectarianism.

  210. bciv

    @PMA

    i do not consider it to be about this narrative or that. it is about being able to see that you are treated as an equal and having a realistic expectation of justice being done if and when required. that is what engenders shared onwership or, the other side of the same coin, loyalty. it starts with participating in economic activity and sharing economic progress and wellbeing. and that has to be there throughout. but this economic participation cannot be achieved without equality and justice. you cannot value something that you do not feel an equal part of.

    the state’s job is to provide equality and justice, not narratives. equality and justice for all is what we should all be striving for. the rest will take care of itself.

  211. Hayyer

    PMA:

    “The narrative comes from and belongs to the people. Pakistani Nation needs a new comprehensive narrative representing all people within the geographical boundaries of Pakistan as ‘one nation’ and not as ‘multiple nations within one country’. The trick is to literally collect all the elements common throughout the width and breadth of Pakistan and out of these elements develop a new national narrative of Modern Pakistani Nation. A narrative that rises above Ethnic-Nationalism and Sectarianism.”

    That is about as cogent a validation of Benedict Anderson as can be imagined. You called it a trick, but more likely a chimera. So far the only common element is Islam, but that isn’t enough, or we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
    A possible narrative fit is expounded in the book you need to finish this month and as you know it isn’t one that Pakistan’s founder used to create the nation.

  212. Bin Ismail

    @ skyview (June 9, 2010 at 11:14 pm)

    1. “…..The word prophet is very confusing…..”

    The word “prophet” is applied to someone to whom God speaks abundantly, by means of revelation, and to whom He discloses secrets of the realm of the unseen.

    2. “…..God should long ago have recognized the futility of “sending” prophets…..”

    Well, it appears that somehow God and you don’t see eye to eye on this. He evidently does not consider futile His sending of prophets. Through His prophets, He has always manifested His Glory. Through His prophets, He has shown to the world the lofty levels of moral excellence that are attainable by the human soul. Through His prophets He has revealed to man the paths that lead to Him. Then He left it to man’s free will and choice to accept or deny His guidance.

    3. “…..But why should god want to set into motion a concept that can be misused so badly?…..”

    God created the atom – a fundamental building block of matter. Man chose to misuse even the atom. Man has been gifted with the ability to choose between good use and misuse, for which he is accountable.

    4. “…..We need honest peace-loving human beings and concerned citizens – no prophets….”

    Prophets are sent to help people in becoming “honest peace-loving human beings and concerned citizens”.

    5. “…..God never did the mistake of sending any so-called prophets…..”

    God never made any mistake, nor can He. He is Holy. Indeed, He did not send any “so-called prophets” – He sent His prophets.

  213. Bin Ismail

    @ PMA (June 10, 2010 at 2:25 am)

    “…..In Pakistan the issue is not Islam. The issue is ‘sects of Islam’…..”

    In my opinion, in Pakistan, the issue is the dragging in of Islam into the business of the state. By doing so, we have allowed an entity, susceptible to 73 interpretations, to flow through the arteries of statecraft.

    It is amusing to note that in 1953, during the proceedings of the Munir-Kayani Inquiry Commission, when Justice Munir placed the simple task of defining “Muslim” before the ulema, no two definitions tallied mutually. Then finally in 1974, when the Ahmadiyya case was being debated in the National Assembly of Pakistan, a new definition dawned upon our enlightened law-makers. They agreed to define the term “Muslim” henceforth as “someone who was not the follower of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian”.

    @ bciv (June 10, 2010 at 3:42 am)

    “…..it is about being able to see that you are treated as an equal and having a realistic expectation of justice being done if and when required. that is what engenders shared ownership or, the other side of the same coin, loyalty…..”

    Agreed. Now isn’t it commendable of the Ahmadi citizens of Pakistan to maintain their unwavering loyalty to their country despite not being “treated as equal” and despite not “having a realistic expectation of justice being done if and when required”.

  214. PMA

    bciv (June 10, 2010 at 3:42 am):

    You and I are in agreement except for one. Justice, equality etc. etc. all of your points are valid ones. But why do you think that developing a common national narrative is a state’s or government’s job? As you have said earlier, it is people’s job. It could be done both inside the national institutions and outside. Jinnah, Iqbal and countless other leaders helped us develop a national narrative in the pre-independence colonial period without any state or governmental apparatus. As a result we achieved a country of our own. Now that we have a country, we need to develop and build a nation. Our people have to come to an agreement on who we are and where must we head. A national consensus, a common national narrative. You seem to think that there is no need of it; if everything else was right it will happen all by itself. I disagree.

  215. PMA

    Hayyer (June 10, 2010 at 4:07 am):

    You are totally wrong on one point. Islam is not the only thing common for us. We have everything at our disposal that is required to be a nation. But you are right on second point. We need to mobilize all that is available. Iqbal and Jinnah gave us a narrative necessary and suitable for the twentieth century colonial period. Now with a country of our own underneath us our present situation demands a new national narrative suitable of our present needs and times. Aitzaz Ahsan’s effort is one such narrative in that direction. Jinnah fought for the Muslims. He helped us to transform from Muslims to Pakistanis. Now Pakistanis must transform into a nation. And this will be done by rising above Ethnic-Nationalism and Sectarianism. Call it “chimera” as your sarcastic self. But we will get there one day.

  216. Hayyer

    bciv:

    On the other hand if the state can have a national bird as India does, a national flag, a national song, a national language(s) the state can also think up a national narrative.
    The trouble with narratives imposed by the state is that a clever craftsman can manufacture any number of artifacts from available materials. The trick lies in crafting one that doesn’t easily breakdown. In that sense India and Pakistan both have national narratives concerning the freedom struggle. Our present narrative is the Indian constitution. That is all we have but it is adequate when we abide by it.

  217. bciv

    PMA

    apologies for the v late reply. you are right, i misunderstood you for no good reason. you never said for any narrative to come from the state.

    Hayyer

    Our present narrative is the Indian constitution. That is all we have but it is adequate when we abide by it.

    my point exactly. that the indian constitution is a fair and just law that has withstood the test of time and not a narrative that changes with the turning breeze. this is what pakistan has lacked.

    here one manufactured narrative after another has been allowed to defile the constitution. and when it was still considered an inconvenience, the constitution was merrily trampled upon, by the boots. the gun is not fair and just law, whatever the narrative you try and write with it.

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