No alternative to peace with India

Raza Rumi

Once again, the fragile peace process between India and Pakistan has commenced. It is too early to say whether it will lead to an amicable settlement of seemingly intractable issues. What is clear is that the peoples of the two countries want peace, security and progress. The elites, which agreed on the messy Partition and raised nation-states and huge militaries, have surely flourished at the expense of people. A causal look at India’s poverty and Pakistan’s social indicators proves this point.

As a confidence building measure, a group of Pakistani journalists visited Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore to meet their counterparts, think tanks and selected top-level officials. This was a timely and fruitful visit and reminded us that there is a formidable peace constituency in India. After the Indian home minister it is the turn of the Indian foreign minister to visit Islamabad from today for a three-day tour. Regardless of the outcome, sensible neighbours must continue to talk.

Evidently, the Mumbai terror attacks were the greatest stumbling block in resuming dialogue. Discussions at Sharm el Sheikh were a major breakthrough. Dr Manmohan Singh overcame tough public opinion after the joint declaration. This year’s dialogue at the Saarc Summit in Bhutan catalysed the peace process. After the 18th amendment to the Pakistani Constitution, the Indian side has noted the power shift within Pakistan as it strives to reclaim the democratic path.

Pakistani media persons, including me, could not help notice the centrality of the Mumbai attacks factor, which continues to inform public opinion in India. A majority of Indians hold Pakistan fully responsible for the event. The caveat here is that they often forget that Pakistan is also a victim of terrorism. But there is growing awareness in India about the internal challenges within Pakistan. This is why the Indian leadership has delinked dialogue from terrorism.

To facilitate the peace process, Pakistan should demonstrate its resolve to pursue proper investigation into the alleged Mumbai conspiracy hatchers. The Indian home minister left Pakistan in June somewhat assured of the efforts being made here. Our foreign minister should also reassure his Indian counterpart.

It is clear that regional stability is a foremost priority for India given its focus on achieving a 10 per cent growth rate. Pakistan should benefit from this dynamic by expanding trade with India. Mutual trade will be a win-win situation and give a much-needed boost to our economy.

Public opinion in Pakistan has to be strengthened against militancy and extremism. The out-of-control militant groups are a nightmare for Pakistan and cast a dark shadow over its future. Furthermore, media and telecommunication restrictions need to be lifted on both sides. It is fashionable to deride the vigil brigade for being unrealistic but there is no alternative to people-to-people contacts. Indians, thanks to the global media, view Pakistan as a country full of ‘terrorists’. We must change this and not let the hawks on the Indian side to misrepresent us.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2010.

380 Comments

Filed under Pakistan

380 responses to “No alternative to peace with India

  1. Gaurav

    Thats right.We need peace and security.Many people still live in inhuman condition in both countries.Instead of fighting,both nations should work towards progress & benefit of their poor people.If we can’t exist as friend, atleast donot live as enemies.

  2. Gaurav: many thanks for the comment. Indeed, we have to think beyond tanks, egos and bombs. Otherwise, history will not forgive us.

  3. Sahal

    Do what Jinnah intended the Pak-India relation to be, one of good friends who work side by side.

    Peace between India, China and Pakistan will truly initiate the Asian century and thrust the region to an economic and military powerhouse of the world.

  4. Voldemort

    Peace between India, China and Pakistan will truly initiate the Asian century and thrust the region to an economic and military powerhouse of the world.

    Even with so much violence in and around, India has managed to grow at 9% over the last decade and a half. If there is peace, this will only accelerate. Pakistan risks being left behind if it continued to flirt with terrorists.

  5. AA Khalid

    But Pakistan has great potential as it has shown in recent years when in 2005, the World Bank named Pakistan the top reformer in its region and in the top 10 reformers globally.

    So there is hope….

  6. karun1

    @Raza.

    Why is your narrative in collective? As far as i know India is doing quite well with or without Pakistan. Whether you want to be friends or enemy is solely your choice. As far as i understand the question of pakistan is avery small space on the Indian consicousness and believe me i am not saying all thses things to look down upon the olive branch you have extended. But till your army generals think otherwise, or the credibility of your civialian leaders increase all this talks of peace and friendship sound incredulous and frankly there is nothing in it for India.

  7. Voldemort

    Karun,

    Exactly. As well intentioned as Raza sahib is, the fact is that India is the second fastest growing economy in the world despite so much violence in the region, much of it perpetrated by Pakistan and its proxies – the LeT and other such outfits. Pakistan has great potential, but to reach it, first, it must stop using non-state actors to achieve its military objectives and secondly, the Pakistani army must be put out of the business of running the country. Only then will things will start looking up for the country.

  8. Karun: Following your logic, there was no need for your Home Minister to come here last month; and for the Indian Foreign Minister to visit today.
    I think you are missing the point here. It is not about importance of Pakistan or otherwise, it is about making the subcontinent a stable, peaceful and prosperous region. This is not achievable without the two countries settling their issues.
    What a shame that there are hawks like you everywhere. I am sure that India-bashers in Pakistan will love your comment above.
    You may wish to address your views to the Indian leaders who are talking about peace.

  9. Voldemort

    It is not about importance of Pakistan or otherwise, it is about making the subcontinent a stable, peaceful and prosperous region.

    Raza sahib, why would India think along those lines? India’s sole interest is in trying to ensure that Pakistan ceases to be a nuisance for it, so that it can grow unhindered. In the process, if the region becomes stable and peaceful in the process, so be it. If otherwise, it is still fine as long as the violence can be confined to as small a region as possible so that the rest of the country remains unaffected (this is a bit difficult if not impossible). And if even this cannot be achieved, at least no one can blame us for not trying.

    Diplomacy is all about the art of ensuring your country’s self-interest. There is no place for altruism here. Any country doing that is on course to self-destruction. Pakistan has forever tried to claim leadership of the Ummah, snapping diplomatic ties (and straining ties with others) with many countries over the Palestine issue – India has done the same too in the past, with the NAM nonsense. Did it make things better for its citizens back home? No.

  10. P. Vengaayam

    “But Pakistan has great potential as it has shown in recent years when in 2005, the World Bank named Pakistan the top reformer in its region and in the top 10 reformers globally”

    That is because of an art known as “cooking the books” — pakistani bureaucrats and politicians have forever conjured up numbers to make claims of “economic reform” which are later proven to be false. So the above incident is not any indicator of Pakistan’s economic future.

    Instead of all this worthless peace-friendship drama, all Pakistan has to do is handle the investigations of the Mumbai terrorist attacks on 26/11 properly and indict the guilty, who are known to all governments in the world right now, after David Headley’s revelations. Doing such a thing would automatically improve chances of Indo-Pakistan engagement, but then Pakistan’s present polity is only keen on theaterics of “peace” with India, while working inimically to India in all ways.

    The truth is that this charade of “peace between India and Pakistan” is going on at a time when terrorist groups like Laskhar-e-toiba are operating with impunity in the ground, and they are blamed for 26/11.

  11. P. Vengaayam

    Raza:” It is not about importance of Pakistan or otherwise, it is about making the subcontinent a stable, peaceful and prosperous region.”

    To add to voldemort, Pakistan cannot live at peace with itself, let alone with its neighbours, and has every intention of even cutting off its own head to spite India. In this situation, why would it be in India’s interest to see a Pakistan that is stable and able to continue its evil deeds in India?

  12. P Vengaayam: Your comments are typically simplistic – trying to box a complex issue under various labels and posturing. I am not sure why are you bothering to visit and write here if your hatred for Pakistan is so extreme.

    About your wise line at the end: “why would it be in India’s interest to see a Pakistan that is stable and able to continue its evil deeds in India?”

    Please read the statements of Indian leaders and writers – they all negate your assessment.

  13. AA Khalid

    Spare me your petty point scoring Vengayaam, that recognition was conducted and assessed by a body independent of the Pakistan state…

    Get a grip, stop your petty prejudice from clouding the real issues…

    Pakistan’s economic future if there is political stability is great, currently in terms of GDP per capita both Pakistan and India are in the same categeory.

    In the 2009 UN Human Development Index, both Pakistan and India were classified as ”Medium human development”.

    Furthermore, India has the highest fiscal deficit in the world. Also Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) has predicted a slowdown and a downturn in the Indian economy (though is expected to bounce back in time).

    Furthermore, more people live in poverty in India than in Africa, even though the two places have the same number of people (More people are mired in poverty in eight Indian states than in the 26 poorest African countries, according to a new UN-backed measure of poverty). [Multidimensional Poverty Index]

    In the 2010 Ease of Doing Business Index, Pakistan was massively better than India, ranked some 40-50 places better than India.

    So in terms of raw economic growth India has done much better than Pakistan in recent years no question about it. But in terms of development, social mobility, poverty, education and other business related issues like corruption India is doing worse on most of these counts.

    Perhaps our Indian friends sometimes get ahead of themselves too quickly…..

  14. AA Khalid

    ”doing worse on most of these counts.”

    Should read doing worse, or the same on most of these counts.

  15. AA Khalid

    May I also mention the current Maoist tragedies in India, which have caused great anguish in that country?

    From the BBC:

    ”’April 2010 saw rebels ambush paramilitary troops in the dense jungles of central Chhattisgarh state, killing at least 75 soldiers. Correspondents say it was the worst-ever Maoist attack on Indian security forces.

    In 2007, also in Chhattisgarh, Maoist rebels killed 55 policemen in an attack on a remote police outpost.

    Almost every week, Maoist rebels are blamed for minor skirmishes and incidents across India’s north-east – common tactics include blowing up railway tracks and attacking police stations.

    But the Maoists are now facing India’s biggest ever anti-Maoist offensive.

    Nearly 50,000 federal paramilitary troops and tens of thousands of policemen are taking part in the operation across several states.

    Rebels have vowed to intensify their attacks unless the government halts its offensive against them.””’

    Peace is in the interest of India, and I think its time to check the egos of some of our Indian friends who are getting ahead of themselves.

    Reading reports from Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, and the UN on poverty, social depravation, human rights abuses, discrimination of both Pakistan and India I have to say there is very little separating the two……….

    Both make equally disturbing reads, and both show and exhibit the same sort of problems.

    Its perhaps unfortunate some Indians blame all their problems on Pakistan, and some Pakistanis blame all their problems on India. Both views are wrong.

  16. Ally

    An article calling for peace and look at how the bickering starts!

    I wonder if there will ever be peace!

  17. Ally

    Raza Sahib,

    Do you also write for the Urdu press? It would be more beneficial to the Pakistani people if you wrote in Urdu to communicate with the masses and make your point to them, otherwise they are left to the Zaid Hamids and that nasty online man on Geo tv.

  18. AA Khalid

    Peace will only come from the civilian leadership in Pakistan and India, the armies of both nations seem hellbent on war, here is a depresseing snippet from the article ”A Path for Peace in South Asia” (type into google for full article) :

    ””””””General Deepak Kapoor, India’s army chief and chairman of its chiefs of staff, revealed at the end of December 2009 that the military has been working on a new doctrine and seeks major new capabilities. India’s armed forces, he said, want to be able to mobilize and deploy for war very quickly, and to be able to fight a two-front war (against Pakistan and China). India also wants to be able to project military power from the Persian Gulf to the Malacca Strait (which connects the Indian Ocean to the Pacific) and seeks, among other things, to have ballistic missile defenses and space-based capabilities.

    The doctrine isn’t all wishful thinking. The Indian military has been developing and wargaming for the past five years a strategy it calls “Cold Start.” This massive conventional attack on Pakistan would be so sudden and decisive that international intervention could not come soon enough to stop the conflict. India’s armed forces would even be prepared to keep fighting if an adversary uses nuclear weapons on the battlefield. According to an Indian commander, the goal was to be able to “dismember a not-so-friendly nation effectively and at the shortest possible time.”

    This kind of war-making capability is expensive, but India has started to put real money behind it. In January, India’s Defense Ministry announced that it plans to spend over $10 billion this coming year on acquiring new weapons. This was made possible by a staggering 34 percent increase in India’s military budget for 2009-2010.

    General Kapoor’s remarks made Pakistan’s generals bristle. Speaking to senior military officers at Pakistan’s General Headquarters, the Chief of Army Staff General Parvez Kayani said that “proponents of conventional application of military forces, in a nuclear overhang, are chartering an adventurous and dangerous path, the consequences of which could be both unintended and uncontrollable.” In other words, Pakistan was threatening to use nuclear weapons if India tried to carry out the kind of conventional attack it has been rehearsing.

    Pakistan has been building new facilities that will allow it to significantly increase the size of its nuclear arsenal. It has been working on two new nuclear reactors to make plutonium for weapons, one of which may begin operating in 2010. It has also been constructing facilities to make fuel for these reactors and to separate the plutonium that will be produced in the new reactors. The cost of these facilities, along with rest of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, is unknown.

    Pakistan also has been building up its own conventional forces. At the end of December, Pakistan received the first of four Swedish-made airborne early warning aircraft. Media reports say the planes, bought at a cost of almost $900 million, are intended to let the Pakistan Air Force “detect all aircraft taking off from and landing at all forward Indian airbases adjacent to Pakistan and also to identify the type of aircraft, their weapons systems, vector and altitude.” Pakistan also has a deal with China for four early warning planes at a cost of over $250 million. To extend the operating range of its aircraft, the Air Force has been buying mid-air refueling tankers from Ukraine, with three tankers expected to be delivered this year, to add to the one that arrived last month.”””””””””””””””’

    Both the mentality of the Pakistan and Indian armies is shocking, and the brainwashing which takes place in these institutions spills over into the public sphere and distorts the genuine goodwill present on both sides of the border.

  19. Girish

    It is true that many of the problems are similar in India and Pakistan, and yet there are some big differences as well.

    The current generation of the young in India has grown up in the shadow of terrorism, much of it unfortunately linked to Pakistan. So it is natural that this will be top of the agenda from the Indian side. The Mumbai incidents had a very deep effect on many Indians, perhaps not fully understood by Pakistanis. It wasn’t just that the 10 killers were Pakistanis. It is the belief that the state and its agents were directly involved in it that generates the animosity. It also makes the issue that Pakistan sees almost daily bomb attacks irrelevant, since the organizations that attack Pakistan are not the same as the ones that attack India. The LeT is the primary anti-India organization, and it has never been involved in any incident inside Pakistan.

    If the Pakistani Government takes concrete steps to punish those responsible, and starts dismantling the organizations such as LeT that are currently protected by the state and its agencies, the atmosphere can become positive very rapidly. I remember the goodwill that existed for Pakistan immediately after Vajpayee’s visit to Lahore. Or even more recently, after the entente during the middle of Musharraf’s regime. So it is possible.

    I recognize that there are grievances on the Pakistani side as well. Perhaps laying out concrete things that the Indian government can do to facilitate a positive atmosphere would be a useful addition to the discussion.

  20. AA Khalid

    The remarks of that Indian general and remarks from some Pakistan army personalities really does frighten me.

    But there is hope, from the article in Times of India
    (People-to-people verdict: Peace is the answer):

    ”About two-thirds of those polled in India and almost three-fourths of those in Pakistan said they desire a peaceful relationship between the two countries. Only a tiny minority, 17% in India and 8% in Pakistan, are opposed to the idea of consigning hostility to the dustbin of history. ”

    ”About two-thirds of those polled in India (66%) and almost three-fourths of those in Pakistan (72%) said they desire a peaceful relationship between the two countries. It’s not as if the rest were opposed to the idea of harmony. A sizeable chunk in both countries — 17% in India and 20% in Pakistan — neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement that ”“I want peaceful and friendly relations to prevail between India and Pakistan”. ”””””’

    Perhaps our efforts should be spent on convincing this undecided chunk in Pakistan and India (20 and 17% respectively) to consider peace as a real option?

  21. Girish

    Khalid,

    The Indian army’s views are irrelevant. The Pakistani army’s views are, by contrast, perhaps the most relevant thing on the Pakistani side.

  22. AA Khalid

    ””””’The Indian army’s views are irrelevant. The Pakistani army’s views are, by contrast, perhaps the most relevant thing on the Pakistani side.”””””

    Yes to a certain extent, but public statements like the one made by the Indian general does have some effect in the discussion within the public sphere.

    Of course the difference between the Indian army and Pakistan army is great in terms of meddling in politics, but to paint the Indian army as saints is reprehensible considering the violent and agressive ideology they teach behind closed doors.

    The Pakistani army does this in the open, the Indian army does this behind closed doors, to my mind both acts are equally disastrous.

    The Indian army with its rhetoric can still act as a source for provacation.

  23. Tilsim

    Challenge to all the bright sparks posting on this board:

    Can we please all come up with a consensus around 5 points that India and Pakistan must do to achieve lasting peace?

    This game only has one rule: Everyone just post their top 5 for each of Pakistan and India. Then let’s reflect on what the result is and only then start the discussion.

  24. Mustafa Shaban

    @Tilism: Good point, instead of bickering we can think of solutions.

    I will post 5 points later, for now let me just say peace is possible. But it takes 2 hands to clap , and they need to do it together. Both governments and ruling elites need to change and decide to bring peace otherwise it wont work.

  25. AA Khalid

    @ Tilsim

    Good idea.

    Before I start lasting peace will only be acheived if the liberals, progressives and pro-peace forces in Pakistan and India work within their own societies to challenge their own bigots and prejudices.

    Hence for India:

    1) Disarm fanatical Hindu right wing nationalism, and other extremism in India which prevent peace.

    2) Accept a third party for mediating peace between the two sides especially in the Kashmir Issue. (Also stop human rights abuses in Kashmir, and in India).

    3) Increase economic and political cooperation such as the gas pipeline which India withdrew from.

    4). Accept the notion that Pakistan exists, is not an abberration and learn to accept its neighbour, diffuse anti-Muslim and anti- Islam sentiment.

    5). Open channels of communication, commerce, culture and exchange between Indian and Pakistani citizens. Continue the expansion of the Indian middle class and encourage social mobility, a determinant for pragmatic politics.

    Pakistan:

    1). Develop a liberal political theology, elaborating a concept of religious liberalism, focusing on pluralism, human rights and tolerance.

    2). Combat extremism and radicalism, overhauling the madrassas and focus on a comprehensive paradigm of education.

    3). Stop human rights abuses in Kashmir and Pakistan.

    4). Open channels of communication, commerce, culture and exchange between Indian and Pakistani citizens.

    5). Continue expansion of Pakistani middle class, and encourage social mobility, one of the great determinants of a democratic culture and pragmatic politics.

    As you can see Pakistan and India have similar issues and problems, and hence my suggestions for both are virtually the same. Both have similar faults and both as I have shown in terms of development, social and economic issues are in similar positions.

    Hence the challenges they face are the same, so for my final suggestion, the key to lasting peace is to reduce the trust deficit and encourage cooperation because we face similar problems.

  26. Tilism: thanks for adding value to this post. Otherwise we were going to fall into the gutters of jingoism and acrimony!!
    Sent from my BlackBerry® Smartphone. Typos are regretted

  27. AA khalid

    Apart from raw economic growth, both India and Pakistan have similar sort of statistics in social issues such as the UN Development Index, and in the past Pakistan has shown it can grow in terms of GDP growth, spurred by gains in the industrial and service sectors, in the 6-8% range in 2004-06.

    Also in terms their gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita, the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year divided by the average (or mid-year) population for the same year, Pakistan and India are pretty similar.

  28. A A Khalid: as a Pakistani I have no hesitation that Indian economy is doing very well. It has shown solid results over the last decade and its future looks promising. In fact, India’s priorities are right. If anything we should learn from our neighbour, do more trade and use this growth boom to our advantage. All of this requires trust and a peaceful environment.

  29. AA khalid

    ””””””as a Pakistani I have no hesitation that Indian economy is doing very well. It has shown solid results over the last decade and its future looks promising. In fact, India’s priorities are right. If anything we should learn from our neighbour, do more trade and use this growth boom to our advantage. All of this requires trust and a peaceful environment”””””””

    Absolutely, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) report I cited makes this exact prediction.

    But Indian and Pakistan problems to do with development and infrastructure are quiet similar. So in terms of raw economic growth India is doing miles better than Pakistan, and has sustained its growth for longer, but in terms of development and social infrastructure its about at the same level as Pakistan.

    The two are different.

  30. AA khalid

    If I can suggest a great book by arguably one of the leading Indian intellectuals today which dispel the myth of predestined war by people of different identities, please read ”Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny” by Amartya Sen.

    Sen is one of the most admirable Indian thinkers and intellectuals around with his work on issues such as on famine and hunger, human development theory, welfare economics, the underlying mechanisms of poverty, liberalism and gender discrimination.

    A wonderful thinker who uses his reason for social upliftement and progress, and an example. From the article in the Times of India (Amartya Sen for active cultivation of peace):

    ””””’Nobel Prize winning Indian economist Amartya Sen suggests an active cultivation of peace with an understanding of the underlying causes of conflict to move away from the polarising nationalistic or ideological identities that often end in bloodshed.

    “Knowledge and understanding are extremely important to fight against singular polarisation,” said Sen in an online discussion Monday, on his latest book, “Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny”. ”””””’

  31. shiv

    Indian generals are fully subservient to the civilian leadership. If Gen Deepak Kapoor says something it is fully mooted by the civilian administration and is deliberately designed to have some effect somewhere.

    For various reasons it is possible for Indians in power to play games with Pakistan by saying and doing certain things at certain times. All stories of Indian leaders being cunning double dealing crooks are probably true. There is not a single innocent soul among Indian political leaders.

    How can Pakistanis trust Indian leaders? There is no better way to foster trust than by clear actions on the ground, visible to all. Whether one side gets a short straw and the other the longer one is completely dependent on geopolitical clout. Goodwill has very little role to play. There are too many players with too many stakes for goodwill.

    Goodwill can only come at an individual level.

  32. Sahal

    After reading these comments, all I can say is that.

    Screw these Indians, I do not want peace with them.

  33. P. Vengaayam

    Raza:”Your comments are typically simplistic – trying to box a complex issue under various labels and posturing. I am not sure why are you bothering to visit and write here if your hatred for Pakistan is so extreme.”

    You can call me a simplistic fool, but there is nothing complex about arresting internationally wanted criminals who are freely roaming about in Pakistani territory. It is not a matter of hating or loving pakistan, but trying to help pakistanis to do the right thing, especially during such critical time in Pakistan’s history. Pakistan seems to be trying to go down the path of retaining terrorists who are “assets against India” and remove those who are “liabilities against Pakistan” — that is not a workable plan, at it is time Pakistanis faced up to this singular fact.

  34. P. Vengaayam

    “Knowledge and understanding are extremely important to fight against singular polarisation,” said Amartya Sen

    That is a wonderfully general statement to make along the lines of “peace and goodwill are important for the future of all humanity”. The devil is in the details. “knowledge” and “understanding” of exactly what, Dr. Sen?

  35. AA khalid

    ””””” The devil is in the details. “knowledge” and “understanding” of exactly what, Dr. Sen?””””’

    Give him an email, instead of asking pointless questions you know you are not going to get answer from on this forum from the person in question……..

    Or do yourself a favour and actually read what people say and read his book and then come back on this forum commenting on his views……

    Jeez…….

  36. P. Vengaayam

    AA Khalid,

    I wrote: “…knowedge of exactly what Dr. Sen?”

    Sir, that is what is known as a rhetorical question.

  37. AA khalid

    ””’Sir, that is what is known as a rhetorical question”””

    What was the point? Are you ever going to tackle the substance of a debate seriously or make crass analogues and ask disparaging rhetorical questions.

    Here I have done you a good favour, I will post a small essay from Sen’s book which I found on the net.

  38. AA khalid

    QUOTED from What Clash of Civilizations?
    Why religious identity isn’t destiny (type in google to reach original source at Slate).

    PS: should read ”crass analogies”

    A big read but very revelent and worthwhile, enjoy:

    **************************************************

    That some barbed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed could generate turmoil in so many countries tells us some rather important things about the contemporary world. Among other issues, it points up the intense sensitivity of many Muslims about representation and derision of the prophet in the Western press (and the ridiculing of Muslim religious beliefs that is taken to go with it) and the evident power of determined agitators to generate the kind of anger that leads immediately to violence. But stereotyped representations of this kind do another sort of damage as well, by making huge groups of people in the world to look peculiarly narrow and unreal.

    The portrayal of the prophet with a bomb in the form of a hat is obviously a figment of imagination and cannot be judged literally, and the relevance of that representation cannot be dissociated from the way the followers of the prophet may be seen. What we ought to take very seriously is the way Islamic identity, in this sort of depiction, is assumed to drown, if only implicitly, all other affiliations, priorities, and pursuits that a Muslim person may have. A person belongs to many different groups, of which a religious affiliation is only one. To see, for example, a mathematician who happens to be a Muslim by religion mainly in terms of Islamic identity would be to hide more than it reveals. Even today, when a modern mathematician at, say, MIT or Princeton invokes an “algorithm” to solve a difficult computational problem, he or she helps to commemorate the contributions of the ninth-century Muslim mathematician Al-Khwarizmi, from whose name the term algorithm is derived (the term “algebra” comes from the title of his Arabic mathematical treatise “Al Jabr wa-al-Muqabilah”). To concentrate only on Al-Khwarizmi’s Islamic identity over his identity as a mathematician would be extremely misleading, and yet he clearly was also a Muslim. Similarly, to give an automatic priority to the Islamic identity of a Muslim person in order to understand his or her role in the civil society, or in the literary world, or in creative work in arts and science, can result in profound misunderstanding.

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    The increasing tendency to overlook the many identities that any human being has and to try to classify individuals according to a single allegedly pre-eminent religious identity is an intellectual confusion that can animate dangerous divisiveness. An Islamist instigator of violence against infidels may want Muslims to forget that they have any identity other than being Islamic. What is surprising is that those who would like to quell that violence promote, in effect, the same intellectual disorientation by seeing Muslims primarily as members of an Islamic world. The world is made much more incendiary by the advocacy and popularity of single-dimensional categorization of human beings, which combines haziness of vision with increased scope for the exploitation of that haze by the champions of violence.

    A remarkable use of imagined singularity can be found in Samuel Huntington’s influential 1998 book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order. The difficulty with Huntington’s approach begins with his system of unique categorization, well before the issue of a clash—or not—is even raised. Indeed, the thesis of a civilizational clash is conceptually parasitic on the commanding power of a unique categorization along so-called civilizational lines, which closely follow religious divisions to which singular attention is paid. Huntington contrasts Western civilization with “Islamic civilization,” “Hindu civilization,” “Buddhist civilization,” and so on. The alleged confrontations of religious differences are incorporated into a sharply carpentered vision of hardened divisiveness.

    In fact, of course, the people of the world can be classified according to many other partitions, each of which has some—often far-reaching—relevance in our lives: nationalities, locations, classes, occupations, social status, languages, politics, and many others. While religious categories have received much airing in recent years, they cannot be presumed to obliterate other distinctions, and even less can they be seen as the only relevant system of classifying people across the globe. In partitioning the population of the world into those belonging to “the Islamic world,” “the Western world,” “the Hindu world,” “the Buddhist world,” the divisive power of classificatory priority is implicitly used to place people firmly inside a unique set of rigid boxes. Other divisions (say, between the rich and the poor, between members of different classes and occupations, between people of different politics, between distinct nationalities and residential locations, between language groups, etc.) are all submerged by this allegedly primal way of seeing the differences between people.

    The difficulty with the clash of civilizations thesis begins with the presumption of the unique relevance of a singular classification. Indeed, the question “Do civilizations clash?” is founded on the presumption that humanity can be pre-eminently classified into distinct and discrete civilizations, and that the relations between different human beings can somehow be seen, without serious loss of understanding, in terms of relations between different civilizations.

    This reductionist view is typically combined, I am afraid, with a rather foggy perception of world history that overlooks, first, the extent of internal diversities within these civilizational categories, and second, the reach and influence of interactions—intellectual as well as material—that go right across the regional borders of so-called civilizations. And its power to befuddle can trap not only those who would like to support the thesis of a clash (varying from Western chauvinists to Islamic fundamentalists), but also those who would like to dispute it and yet try to respond within the straitjacket of its prespecified terms of reference.

    The limitations of such civilization-based thinking can prove just as treacherous for programs of “dialogue among civilizations” (much in vogue these days) as they are for theories of a clash of civilizations. The noble and elevating search for amity among people seen as amity between civilizations speedily reduces many-sided human beings to one dimension each and muzzles the variety of involvements that have provided rich and diverse grounds for cross-border interactions over many centuries, including the arts, literature, science, mathematics, games, trade, politics, and other arenas of shared human interest. Well-meaning attempts at pursuing global peace can have very counterproductive consequences when these attempts are founded on a fundamentally illusory understanding of the world of human beings.

    Increasing reliance on religion-based classification of the people of the world also tends to make the Western response to global terrorism and conflict peculiarly ham-handed. Respect for “other people” is shown by praising their religious books, rather than by taking note of the many-sided involvements and achievements, in nonreligious as well as religious fields, of different people in a globally interactive world. In confronting what is called “Islamic terrorism” in the muddled vocabulary of contemporary global politics, the intellectual force of Western policy is aimed quite substantially at trying to define—or redefine—Islam.

    To focus just on the grand religious classification is not only to miss other significant concerns and ideas that move people. It also has the effect of generally magnifying the voice of religious authority. The Muslim clerics, for example, are then treated as the ex officio spokesmen for the so-called Islamic world, even though a great many people who happen to be Muslim by religion have profound differences with what is proposed by one mullah or another. Despite our diverse diversities, the world is suddenly seen not as a collection of people, but as a federation of religions and civilizations. In Britain, a confounded view of what a multiethnic society must do has led to encouraging the development of state-financed Muslim schools, Hindu schools, Sikh schools, etc., to supplement pre-existing state-supported Christian schools. Under this system, young children are placed in the domain of singular affiliations well before they have the ability to reason about different systems of identification that may compete for their attention. Earlier on, state-run denominational schools in Northern Ireland had fed the political distancing of Catholics and Protestants along one line of divisive categorization assigned at infancy. Now the same predetermination of “discovered” identities is now being allowed and, in effect encouraged, to sow even more alienation among a different part of the British population.

    Religious or civilizational classification can be a source of belligerent distortion as well. It can, for example, take the form of crude beliefs well exemplified by U.S. Lt. Gen. William Boykin’s blaring—and by now well-known—remark describing his battle against Muslims with disarming coarseness: “I knew that my God was bigger than his,” and that the Christian God “was a real God, and [the Muslim’s] was an idol.” The idiocy of such bigotry is easy to diagnose, so there is comparatively limited danger in the uncouth hurling of such unguided missiles. There is, in contrast, a much more serious problem in the use in Western public policy of intellectual “guided missiles” that present a superficially nobler vision to woo Muslim activists away from opposition through the apparently benign strategy of defining Islam appropriately. They try to wrench Islamic terrorists from violence by insisting that Islam is a religion of peace, and that a “true Muslim” must be a tolerant individual (“so come off it and be peaceful”). The rejection of a confrontational view of Islam is certainly appropriate and extremely important at this time, but we must ask whether it is necessary or useful, or even possible, to try to define in largely political terms what a “true Muslim” must be like.

    ******

    A person’s religion need not be his or her all-encompassing and exclusive identity. Islam, as a religion, does not obliterate responsible choice for Muslims in many spheres of life. Indeed, it is possible for one Muslim to take a confrontational view and another to be thoroughly tolerant of heterodoxy without either of them ceasing to be a Muslim for that reason alone.

    The response to Islamic fundamentalism and to the terrorism linked with it also becomes particularly confused when there is a general failure to distinguish between Islamic history and the history of Muslim people. Muslims, like all other people in the world, have many different pursuits, and not all their priorities and values need be placed within their singular identity of being Islamic. It is, of course, not surprising at all that the champions of Islamic fundamentalism would like to suppress all other identities of Muslims in favor of being only Islamic. But it is extremely odd that those who want to overcome the tensions and conflicts linked with Islamic fundamentalism also seem unable to see Muslim people in any form other than their being just Islamic.

    People see themselves—and have reason to see themselves—in many different ways. For example, a Bangladeshi Muslim is not only a Muslim but also a Bengali and a Bangladeshi, typically quite proud of the Bengali language, literature, and music, not to mention the other identities he or she may have connected with class, gender, occupation, politics, aesthetic taste, and so on. Bangladesh’s separation from Pakistan was not based on religion at all, since a Muslim identity was shared by the bulk of the population in the two wings of undivided Pakistan. The separatist issues related to language, literature, and politics.

    Similarly, there is no empirical reason at all why champions of the Muslim past, or for that matter of the Arab heritage, have to concentrate specifically on religious beliefs only and not also on science and mathematics, to which Arab and Muslim societies have contributed so much, and which can also be part of a Muslim or an Arab identity. Despite the importance of this heritage, crude classifications have tended to put science and mathematics in the basket of “Western science,” leaving other people to mine their pride in religious depths. If the disaffected Arab activist today can take pride only in the purity of Islam, rather than in the many-sided richness of Arab history, the unique prioritization of religion, shared by warriors on both sides, plays a major part in incarcerating people within the enclosure of a singular identity.

    Even the frantic Western search for “the moderate Muslim” confounds moderation in political beliefs with moderateness of religious faith. A person can have strong religious faith—Islamic or any other—along with tolerant politics. Emperor Saladin, who fought valiantly for Islam in the Crusades in the 12th century, could offer, without any contradiction, an honored place in his Egyptian royal court to Maimonides as that distinguished Jewish philosopher fled an intolerant Europe. When, at the turn of the 16th century, the heretic Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in Campo dei Fiori in Rome, the Great Mughal emperor Akbar (who was born a Muslim and died a Muslim) had just finished, in Agra, his large project of legally codifying minority rights, including religious freedom for all.

    The point that needs particular attention is that while Akbar was free to pursue his liberal politics without ceasing to be a Muslim, that liberality was in no way ordained—nor of course prohibited—by Islam. Another Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, could deny minority rights and persecute non-Muslims without, for that reason, failing to be a Muslim, in exactly the same way that Akbar did not terminate being a Muslim because of his tolerantly pluralist politics.

    The insistence, if only implicitly, on a choiceless singularity of human identity not only diminishes us all, it also makes the world much more flammable. The alternative to the divisiveness of one pre-eminent categorization is not any unreal claim that we are all much the same. Rather, the main hope of harmony in our troubled world lies in the plurality of our identities, which cut across each other and work against sharp divisions around one single hardened line of vehement division that allegedly cannot be resisted. Our shared humanity gets savagely challenged when our differences are narrowed into one devised system of uniquely powerful categorization.

    Perhaps the worst impairment comes from the neglect—and denial—of the roles of reasoning and choice, which follow from the recognition of our plural identities. The illusion of unique identity is much more divisive than the universe of plural and diverse classifications that characterize the world in which we actually live. The descriptive weakness of choiceless singularity has the effect of momentously impoverishing the power and reach of our social and political reasoning. The illusion of destiny exacts a remarkably heavy price.

    *****************************************************

  39. Quantum_Singularity

    @ AA Khalid

    “ Spare me your petty point scoring Vengayaam”

    Ironic that you do the same here, now I feel obliged to respond : ). Verbal sparring is quite fun actually.

    “that recognition was conducted and assessed by a body independent of the Pakistan state…”

    Except that the World Bank’s information is based upon statistics gathered by the individual countries. Furthermore being a “top reformer” does not indicate a fast moving country. For example Rwanda, Liberia, and Tajikistan have been proclaimed this year’s “top reformers”

    “Pakistan’s economic future if there is political stability is great”

    Pretty big if, especially since political stability has never been present in Pakistan.

    “ currently in terms of GDP per capita both Pakistan and India are in the same categeory”

    Pakistan’s GNP per capita is $2600 while India’s is $3100. This is of course assuming Pakistan is not cooking the books.
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2004rank.html?countryName=Pakistan&countryCode=pk&regionCode=sas&rank=170#pk

    “In the 2009 UN Human Development Index, both Pakistan and India were classified as ”Medium human development”. “

    Medium Human Development encompasses a vast range.

    “Furthermore, India has the highest fiscal deficit in the world.”

    India’s projected fiscal deficit is around 4.5-5.0% of GDP this year, which is quite low. Especially when compared with Pakistan’s projected fiscal deficit of 6.5-7.0%. It was true that India’s fiscal deficit was higher last year but this was a result of the stimulus package to counter the global recession.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704518904575366180024662938.html
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=250380

  40. Quantum_Singularity

    @AA Khalid

    “Also Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) has predicted a slowdown and a downturn in the Indian economy (though is expected to bounce back in time.”

    This was during the depths of the global recession, however, India is projected to grow at 9.5% this year. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/markets-gainearnings-hope-growth-forecast/100915/on

    “Furthermore, more people live in poverty in India than in Africa, even though the two places have the same number of people (More people are mired in poverty in eight Indian states than in the 26 poorest African countries, according to a new UN-backed measure of poverty). [Multidimensional Poverty Index]”

    The first claim is not what the MPI stated rather it compared the poorest Indian States to the poorest African states. Development being so uneven among the various Indian states this is not suprising.

    “So in terms of raw economic growth India has done much better than Pakistan in recent years no question about it. But in terms of development, social mobility, poverty, education and other business related issues like corruption India is doing worse on most of these counts.”

    Funny that that India’s HDI (which is an amalgam of all these factors) is still better than Pakistan’s.

  41. Quantum_Singularity

    @ Sahal

    “After reading these comments, all I can say is that.
    Screw these Indians, I do not want peace with them.”

    How long do you not want peace, the next 5 min, the next hour?

  42. Raza

    I fully agree with Raza Rumi here. I think the area where all of us lack is development of rational self interest. Rational interest demands that we move forward and try to seek peace for economic reasons.
    Agreed that India has some genuine complains but it should not forget that today Pakistan is also a victim of terrorism. Mumbai attack inflicted a regressive impact on the peace talks but lets not forget that they were done by non state actors.
    Peaceful existence between the two countries is possible and in the longer run there are so many advantages.
    India and Pakistan can learn from France and England who were at war for centuries and yet today are co existing peacefully.

  43. P. Vengaayam

    AA Khalid:” Are you ever going to tackle the substance of a debate seriously or make crass analogues and ask disparaging rhetorical questions?”

    That would remain in the realm of a hypothetical question given the larger issues/questions about the lack of existence of any substance in the so-called debate.

    As for my rhetorical question, the point is that anyone can make very general statements that are of no use to solving real world problems, and academics are typically prone to such a disease.

    Yes, we all know “knowledge and information” are all very good for the soul, but the larger problem is the growing tendency among well-armed Pakistani groups to challenge the authority of the Pakistani state, and these people challenging the system like to believe themselves as very pure followers of the Islamic faith. Pakistan’s destiny clearly lies in Pakistanis figuring out the right priorities for their myriad problems.

    Re-interpreting Islam via hermeneutics for a kinder, gentler Islam is all a laudable goal and maybe of priority at some future point, but will remain largely irrelevant as long as school and university textbooks (and material used by young pakistani students today) countinue to preach lies and hatred.

    On second thought, this may even be irrelevant considering that most of the poor pakistani public depends on the religious clergy who have already misinterpreted Islam for their educational needs. Without fixing the basics such as these, Pakistan is not going to be fixing any of its current problems.

  44. P. Vengaayam

    Raza:”National interest demands that we move forward and try to seek peace for economic reasons.”

    Nice words, but remember that Pakistan cannot speak peace and continue proxy war against India simultaneously. That will not stand.

  45. Tilsim

    Ok, as for the little challenge I posted, thank you for AA Khalid’s contribution and Mustafa Shaban’s promise and Raza Rumi’s acknowledgement.

    Here are my 2 cents worth:

    Pakistan

    1. Have courage (to face the blowback) and take the decisive step to move against the militants who attack India, including those active in Kashmir. If our laws need to be changed to make it easier to secure convictions of terrorists, let’s do it. Terrorists cannot be allowed to dictate or subterfuge State policy.

    2. Let’s pick up from where Musharraf left it on Kashmir: however this time also build a domestic consensus in the establishment and the public for the acceptance of a compromise on Kashmir. Compromise is not a defeat. Work with India and Kashmiris to shape that compromise.

    3. Remove restrictions and hindrances for Indians in travel to Pakistan and take steps to encourage Indians to come over. Promote academic, business, political and cultural exchanges.

    4. Revise the textbooks to exclude anti-India or anti-Hindu rhetoric.

    5. Promote maximum trade between India and Pakistan.

    India

    1. Work out a pragmatic political solution for Kashmir with Pakistan and the Kashmiris. The status quo is against India’s interest and fuelling violence.

    2. Don’t try to surprise or outflank Pakistan in Afghanistan. Recognise that Pakistan is insecure about it’s borders with Afghanistan and the idea of Pakhtunistan. Work with Afghanistan and Pakistan to remove mutual distrust.

    3. Remove restrictions and hindrances for Pakistanis to travel to India and take steps to encourage Pakistanis to come over. Promote academic, political, business, sport and cultural exchanges.

    4. Address Pakistan’s concerns around the sharing of waters.

    5. Be sensitive to Pakistan’s identity and leadership crisis and the terrorism it faces. Don’t add fuel to fire. Don’t come across as if you are.

  46. AA Khalid

    ”””This was during the depths of the global recession, however, India is projected to grow at 9.5% this year”””’

    Already said Indian economy was going to bounce back.

    ””Funny that that India’s HDI (which is an amalgam of all these factors) is still better than Pakistan’s”

    By how much? The difference is miniscule, only seven places and they are in the same category, meaning their progress is roughly the same bar the difference in a few decimal points.

    India is at 0.612, while Pakistan is at 0.572, hardly the astronomical difference some of our Indian friends were referring to. Indeed because of the miniscule difference the two nations are considered at the same stage of development.

    If you go the Human Development Index website you will find detailed country profiles of Pakistan and India, and you will find that in some indicators Pakistan is doing better than India and in some indicators India is doing better than Pakistan but there is a similarity. Overall both countries belong to a the same ”bloc” of development and India is doing marginally better within this collective bloc of countries than Pakistan.

    As for the poverty issue, my claim still stands, in terms of sheer numbers though under different calculations the percentage proportion changes and then the claim can be challenged.

  47. AA Khalid

    @ Vengayaam:

    ”””””’ Without fixing the basics such as these, Pakistan is not going to be fixing any of its current problems.””””””””

    On this I fully concur!

  48. NSA

    India says it was not “non-state actors”

    As Foreign Minister S M Krishna leaves for Pakistan to talk peace, the government has said it has fresh evidence — based on the interrogation of 26/11 accused David Headley — to show that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Hafiz Saeed played a “much more significant” role in planning and executing the terrorist attack on Mumbai than was earlier known.

    In the first official statement on the interrogation of Headley — a US citizen of Pakistani origin who was arrested by US authorities in Chicago last year and questioned by a team from India in May — Home Secretary G K Pillai said it was now clear that both the ISI and Saeed were involved in the Mumbai attacks from the beginning till the end. Headley made several visits to India and is accused of scouting targets for the attacks.

    “The real sense that has come out from Headley’s interrogation is that the ISI has had a much more significant role to play (in the Mumbai attacks, than was earlier thought). It was not just a peripheral role. They (ISI) were literally controlling and coordinating it (the attacks) from the beginning till the end,” Pillai said at Idea Exchange, an interaction with The Indian Express journalists here.

    “The same goes for Hafiz Saeed. He was also not a peripheral player. He knew everything,” Pillai said.

  49. AA Khalid

    ”””Except that the World Bank’s information is based upon statistics gathered by the individual countries. ”””’

    But the information is scrutinised so no dice, I like how Pakistanis can cook the books, but honest clean as whistle Indian bureacrats can’t. Remember corruption is a massive problem in India aswell. Your Prime Minister is bravely and admirably trying to tackle this demon, which is more than one can say about our leaders:

    Indian PM:

    ””””’The pervasive corruption in our country tarnishes our image [and it] discourages investors who expect fair treatment and transparent dealings with public authorities,” ”””””””

    The Refomer award is based on economic and structural reforms, so yes its an indicator of how well a country’s economy is doing. Its not a definitive award about raw economic growth its about progress and development which was what the debate was premised upon.

    Medium Human Development is vast yes, but the difference between India and Pakistan is 7 places (134 and 141 respectively), is not.

    The Fiscal deficit is a long term problem for India (and indeed it is a problem for Pakistan), read from India’s fiscal deficit to be highest in the world Goldman (type into google):

    ”””””India’s fiscal deficit, including the Centre and states, would be among the highest in the world and likely to be 10.3 per cent of GDP in the current fiscal and 10 per cent in the next fiscal, financial services firm Goldman Sachs said on Friday.

    The deficit would not come down substantially over the next few years due to increase in spending, especially on higher wages and unemployment benefits as well as a large increase in the government’s interest burden, it said in a research report
    ””””””””””””’

    Standard and Poor’s rates Indian economy’s local currency rating at “BBB – minus”, or the lowest investment-grade level, with a stable outlook (Pakistan is included in the same category of B- to BBB+, aswell).

    Quiet similar.

  50. P. Vengaayam

    “Be sensitive to Pakistan’s identity and leadership crisis and the terrorism it faces. Don’t add fuel to fire. Don’t come across as if you are.”

    Huh, what? Why should India “be sensitive” to Pakistan not going after the culprits of 26/11?

    I Pakistanis want to pretend that there is a country called Pakistan, then prove it by exerting control over your territories from producing terrorism.

    If the current Pakistani establishment cannot achieve that simple thing, what exactly is the use for India to dialogue with such a bunch of people. These same people who are supposedly the “Pakistani establishment” but who cannot really wield any control over Pakistani territory used for terrorism against India.

    These people are supposed to be Pakistan’s so-called Law and Order and Justice system are willfully and deliberately allowing known terrorists to wander freely with a wink and a nod from the Pakistani courts. Why should India be sensitive to such devious people?

  51. AA Khalid

    The crux of the challenge for India is to try and equally distribute wealth, it has got the issue of wealth generation sorted. For Pakistan the issue of wealth generation is the problem, and as for infrastructure it suffers the same problems as India.

    That is the difference, India has acheived raw economic success while Pakistan has not in a sustainable fashion. After that the stories are familiarly similar.

    For many years the Pakistani economy performed better than India, the real turn began at the start of the new millenium in the year 2000, after that India has acheived quiet clearly greater economic success than Pakistan, while Pakistan has lost some of its early momentum.

  52. P. Vengaayam

    Pakistan needs to view its problems on their own, ignoring India’s status on similar problems. That is the beginning of how Pakistan will resolve its problems, or not (if Pakistanis continue to get distracted by India while trying to fix pakistan’s problems).

  53. AA Khalid

    ”””””””Pakistan needs to view its problems on their own, ignoring India’s status on similar problems. ”””””””

    Then why do you post on Pakistani issues on PTH? Practice what you preach………

  54. AA Khalid

    @ Vengayaam

    No one is denying Pakistan’s chronic and severe problems, but put Pakistan’s problems in economics in context with the rest of the region and its neighbours and the story is not as bad as we first think.

    Furthermore, Pakistanis have a right to analyse Indian problems and concerns just as much as you do in coming on this forum and posting on Pakistani issues…..

    You have to be fair.

    Its still awful but its not exceptional for countries of this region. We face similar challenges, so peace is needed to confront these challenges.

  55. Girish

    Tilsim,

    Those seem like a reasonable set of first steps that can lead to peace and friendship. I would add to that list for both sides a set of steps that greatly enhance and simplify trade and business links between the two countries. No treaty can replace the creation of a set of coinciding self-interests that trade enables.

  56. AA Khalid

    @ Vengayaam

    I too can also say stop worrying about Pakistan and focus on your own social issues such as the caste system.

    But I believe in intellectual empathy and dialogue and realise we have common concerns…..

  57. PMA

    Dear Raza Rumi,

    While I agree with the gist of your article, could you please point out the commodities that Pakistan and India can trade with each other? Other than raw material what else Pakistan can export to its eastern neighbor? And would India be interested in importing value-added finish-products from Pakistan? Other than trade do you advocate trade protection laws in Pakistan vis-a-vis India. Please throw some light on the subject. Thanks.

  58. lal

    I totally agree with the title of the post.and there is no alternative to peace with pakistan either if u r an indian.any clash with pakistan will be a drain on our economy which we can ill afford for the next umpteen years.

    “”Pakistani media persons, including me, could not help notice the centrality of the Mumbai attacks factor, which continues to inform public opinion in India. A majority of Indians hold Pakistan fully responsible for the event”‘

    you hit the nail on the head when u wrote this statement.as u can see even in the response to such a pacifist post ,people are still quoting mumbai after almost 18 months.Kargil was an episode like this ,but vajpayee had the statesmanship to try for peace one more time with mushraff.
    whereas nothing is a precondition to talks,it will be nice if well meaning pakistani public also understand that exemplary punishment to a group of people who committed a heinous crime in mumbai will be in the interest of whole south asia.i dont understand what strategic interest pakistan is preserving by hiding behind ambiguous explanations like lack of evidence,independence of court etc..
    unfortunately the ‘we are also victim of terrorism’ line also gets little public sympathy from india.there may be an element of schadenfreude but it reflects also the growing frustration about the inability of the state to move against people whom they still value as strategic assets.
    hope the talks will be a start.next to terrorism,a point that is routinely discussed in indian media is whether pakistani army is on board.we know the famous incident where mushraff refused to salute vajpayee during the waga border crossing.it will be nice to know the pakistani army view point on these peace talks.

  59. Parvez

    Bharti Foreign Minister S M Krishna opening statement using Headley a DEA agent to build his case against Pakistan says it all. Paki peace-nicks should get their examined before saying any more about peace.

  60. PMA

    Tilsim (July 14, 2010 at 9:10 pm):

    If I may add for India. At present 75% of India’s armed forces including missiles, naval vessels, and air force are stationed along Pakistan’s borders posing real and clear threat to the security and stability of Pakistan. Any peace negotiations between the two must address this issue as well. And India needs to explain to Pakistan regarding her military bases in Pakistan’s neighbor Tajikistan.

  61. J.Krishnan

    This talk about Pakistan having had a better economy than India in earlier decades….

    Consider:

    Pakistan always received far more money from foreign countries both in per capita and absolute terms than India over 40 years. Today this gap has become wider with Pakistan literally holding the begging bowl in front of everyone, even in front of the much-slandered-and-hated USA, Europeans, non-muslims and jews. Pakistan received free oil from Saudi Arabia for many years. If saudis and muslims had been a fair-minded people then they should have given 8 times that oil freely also to India.

  62. libertarian

    The out-of-control militant groups are a nightmare for Pakistan and cast a dark shadow over its future.

    As you sow, so shall you reap. The hardworking Pak military still hasn’t stopped sowing. Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.

    Furthermore, media and telecommunication restrictions need to be lifted on both sides.

    Agree completely.

    It is fashionable to deride the vigil brigade for being unrealistic but there is no alternative to people-to-people contacts.

    Really? Why so? The people have no problem with each other on a personal basis. All the bhai-bhai stuff is not going to get the states to move their butts – they having viscerally opposed worldviews. Candle-kissers at Wagah did not bring the Indian government to the table – US carrots and sticks did.

    Indians, thanks to the global media, view Pakistan as a country full of ‘terrorists’. We must change this and not let the hawks on the Indian side to misrepresent us.

    Interesting. So focus on the 99% of peace-loving people? For a country where Osama has a 36% popularity rating, where children are taught (government curriculum, not madrassa crap) how the crusaders have oppressed them for 300 years, and that kuffar Hindus in India worship in small dark temples filled with rats, where anyone not feudal/Sunni/Punjabi/fauji lives under a perpetual threat, how is it misrepresentation? When there is the same outrage against against the Ahmadi atrocity as there was against Data Durbar, this reader will be convinced that Pakistani society is past it’s “Zia years”.

  63. lal

    i think pma has a good suggetion.we must put 75 % in our border with nepal,bhutan,bangladesh and srilanka and leave the 25 % for china and pakistan

  64. Raj

    I posted this response to Mr.Rumi at the Express Tribune too. Saying Pakistan also is a victim of terrorism is sheer hypocrisy which gives credence to the suggestion all 170 million paks are terrorists.

    If some terrorists from India came to a train station in Lahore or Karachi, that would be equivalent. Otherwise how is India responsible for something you yourself created and nurtured.

    Many of pak posts here reiterate the same fantasy India’s progress is predicated on Pakistani progress. India’s ecoomic trajectory started going upward exactly since Kashmir jihad was launched.

    Listen, if you want to live peacefully, prosper with the current land and borders you have India has no problem. There is not even a shred of evidence that this is the case.

    Same confrontational mindset, hosting terrorists and trying to use terrorism as a nrgotiating tool. Same supremacist mindset has taken you to be the basket terrorist state being kept alive by US aid money. You aren’t willing to shed it.

  65. Raj

    PMA
    If I may add for India. At present 75% of India’s armed forces including missiles, naval vessels, and air force are stationed along Pakistan’s borders posing real and clear threat to the security and stability of Pakistan

    This is realistic after you dismantle jihadi terrorist enterprise!

    You have some demands and we have some demands. I don’t expect you to yield to our demands. Rational thinking will make you ineligible to be a “Pakistani”.

  66. P. Vengaayam

    AAKhalid:”Pakistan’s problems in economics in context with the rest of the region and its neighbours and the story is not as bad as we first think.”

    Seriously? You say this with a straight face when Pakistan has less than 20 Billion US$ in the bank, where most of that money is on loan, and KSE activity is way down. As my Geography teacher used to tell me “Denial is a river in Egypt”.

  67. An Ahmadi Muslim

    An interesting interchange like a fight between two teenage siblings … Chalo muaf karo aik dosare ko jaldi se aur hath milao ):

    Both sides, try to open up your minds and hearts towards tolerance, forgiveness and for the betterment of our huddled masses. There are more good-willed people on both sides than the hate mongers. Allow the good to prevail.

    The salvation of the two countries lies but in peace!

  68. Raj

    Both sides, try to open up your minds and hearts towards tolerance, forgiveness and for the betterment of our huddled masses.
    ==

    This is like a true hypocrite has spoken!

    Indians have always only reacted to Pakistani aggression.

    1971 came after Pakistan launched 2 wars, 1965 barely within 3 years of Chinese invasion. Since 1980s relentless terrorist campaign in India supported by pak “liberals”.

    Now you are tasting your bitter medicine. You are reaping what you sowed and falling apart. What has India anything to do with this?

  69. Mahmood

    ””””Indians have always only reacted to Pakistani aggression. ”””””””’

    You must be joking, any sane rational observer knows that India is the bigger country with a greater population and hence its not in Pakistan’s interest to wage war.

    Who is going to buy that a country of about 170 million threatens a country with over a billion people? Its like David bullying Goliath!

  70. Raj

    Mahmood “You must be joking”

    Really?!! That’s why rational thinking and being a “pakistani” are incompatible. Each and every single war was launched by Pakistan including 1999.

    When Bengali genocide was in full swing in 1971 India was faced with refugee crisis, still rational thinking didn’t come for paks. Despite pleadings to stop genocide by international community, Operation Chengiz Khan (LOL!) was launched by your army with the assumption US and China will come to help you.

  71. An Ahmadi Muslim

    @ Raj
    A hypocrite, by definition, only seeks to create disorder, hate and mayhem. I and several others on both sides of the border seek peace.

    From personal experience, I have learned that rage, anger, and the desire for revenge eats at the very core of one’s being. It makes one devoid of humanity. I have thus decided to choose the path of forgiveness to bring peace to my own selfish self. In doing so, I have also realized that the same principle must also apply for all humans collectively. I have never found any inconsistency in the laws of nature.

    l therefore sincerely urge for a collective effort for peace for all humanity. God bless!

  72. kishore

    When A’s dog does nature’s call in his neighbor B’s house. What options does B have?

    Isn’t it A’s responsibility to train and tie the dog. Why can’t Pak liberals accept this?

    Instead A says,

    – don’t worry the dog does same thing in my house
    – you vacate the land you are occupying then I won’t need a dog.
    – you kill your dog then I’ll kill mine
    – your dog might come inside my house some day and do its job so I’m preparing my dog for that

    Seriously what options does B have?

    – going to HOA doesn’t work
    – telling A to tie his dog doesn’t work
    – telling A that land disputes and what the dog does are 2 different thing doesn’t work
    – killing A’s dog won’t work because they can breed more dogs
    – raising a dog to do the same in A’s house or for that matter any tit for tat is counter productive on the long run
    – relocation is out of the question
    – giving into A’s demands is out of the question because they’ll keep on demanding more

    Is there a solution for this?

  73. Raj

    l therefore sincerely urge for a collective effort for peace for all humanity. God bless!

    Looks like you insist on being a hypocrite! What can I say?

    Suppose you see two guys in the street. One is repeatedly stabbing each other and you tell both of them should stop “fighting”. That’s how your hypocrisy is!

    We never understood your TNT, we moved way beyond partition, but paks haven’t! India has only tried to live looking inward trying to build instituitions and focused on development. You have existed only for war mongering, militarism, and terrorism. How does your advice make sense? Not to me.

  74. Raj

    stabbing each other

    meant to say stabbing the other..I know this is going to be used against what I tried to say.

  75. Tilsim

    I find a lot of Indians here caught in the trap of their narrative. Just disdain and suspicion towards those Pakistanis who are trying to change the way things are. I don’t necessarily blame Indians – Mumbai was indeed horrific and there exists a continuing threat from terrorists. The bitterness is understandable but we have to some trust with some of usPakistanis at least if we are to move forwards and develop a peace lobby which also deals with the mutual grievances. I am not hearing any real voices of hope from the Indian side which shows that we are not going to be able to move into dialogue. I am not attributing blame. It just is what it is. Very sad.

  76. Tilsim

    @ Girish

    Excuse my generalisation in the above comment, but you of course voiced agreement about resolving the issues that I listed for both countries.

  77. An Ahmadi Muslim

    @ Raj ..

    You have judged and handed me your verdict of a hypocrite. Any further dialogue is pointless.

    Adios amigo!

  78. P. Vengaayam

    “A hypocrite, by definition, only seeks to create disorder, hate and mayhem. I and several others on both sides of the border seek peace.”

    This is not true. A hypocrite can be a law-abiding citizen who does no harm to anyone else.

    The dictionary defines a hypocrite as:

    “1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
    2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings”

    I would say, definition 2 applies, wouldn’t you?

    Especially considering that Pakistan says it wants peace with India and yet the official Pakistani establishment will not bring justice to the people of Mumbai — the culprits are wandering free in Pakistan and this is an open secret. The Pakistani courts adjourn or make unreasonable demands on India in order to proceed.

    The military still rules and the military controls the ISI and the ISI control the terrorist groups that hurt India. This is where “Indo-Pakistan Relations” stands today.

  79. Gorki

    Dear Tilsim:

    “I am not hearing any real voices of hope from the Indian side which shows that we are not going to be able to move into dialogue. I am not attributing blame. It just is what it is. Very sad”

    Raza Sahib has generously written a very provocative piece that needs a thoughtful response. I am busy in the office all day but will try to respond later. Please don’t despair so soon.

    Regards.

  80. Raj

    An Ahmadi Muslim
    July 15, 2010 at 12:45 am
    @ Raj ..

    You have judged and handed me your verdict of a hypocrite
    —-

    Sadly, you still want to pose to be virtuous and that the part is disgusting.

    At least those amongst you who openly admit to hatred and support for terrorism are at least honest.

    You are free to peddle your duplicity.

  81. Mahalingam Khan

    The simple truth is peace is not possible or desired between these 2 nations. Indians are practicing kuffar and Pakistan is a momin nation . Following the example of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), the wordly matters like education, economic growth, equality and friendship between momins and idolaters etc are irrelevant . Pray tell me what does Pakistan gain by being friend with India while loosing its soul , passion for Ghajwa, Jannat and extraction of Jaziya. Indians will soon learn their lesson. Pakistan will be much better if become part of Middle East and make EU kind arrenagement with GULF or other oil rich countries. Pakistan , the natural leader of Ummha , most powereful, most islamic nation must not limit itself to present regional issues but strive to become Islamic super power and whole world will be asking for friendhip and blessings of its people. Victory is guarranteed , forget and ignore India .Look Westward where Muslims are looking for leadership and guidance . Destiny beckons, question is Will Pakistan take the chance gather the whole Ummah under its wing.

  82. Raj

    Commie Gorki is busy, he will be back when he has “free time” and post pro-terroristani advice.

    Let’s see how long this post will survive and when I’m going to get blocked.

  83. Gorki ji: I am not dismayed at all. I just came back after a long visit to your country and I find the comments here quite disconnected from what is being said/thought there.

  84. Mahalingam – that was good satire. Please note that it is Ghazwa and not “Ghajwa”. You are churning out the cliched right wing stuff that keeps the hawks alive on both the sides.

  85. Raj

    I find the comments here quite disconnected from what is being said/thought there.
    ==
    India has 1.1 billion population, obviously those who invited Pakistanis are likely to be nice when meeting in person. If I meet you in person, I know I would find it to rude to tell the home truths.

    Let me assure you any sympathy for pakistan has shrunk quite a bit post Mumbai.
    Hope you met people other than Arundathi Pakistani, Kuldeeep Jihadi.

    To give credit to you, you haven’t indulged in the usual pakistani bait of any one who is criticizing Pakistan is a “hindutvadi”.

  86. libertarian

    Mumbai was indeed horrific …

    @Tilsim: it’s not Mumbai. Mumbai we got over a while back. It’s just a stick to beat Pakistan without fear – the issue is black-and-white. The real issue is Kashmir – more specifically, water in Kashmir.

    Just disdain and suspicion towards those Pakistanis who are trying to change the way things are.

    Look at the track record. Doesn’t bode well for home-grown positive change. Triumph of hope over reason is great. But it’s repeated failure leads to fatigue of the idea, no?

    Most rational Indians would love to trust civilian Pakistanis wanting to bring about change. The issue is, can Pakistani civil society deliver? Or are we deluding ourselves? The stakeholders in the state have fragmented to the point that any Indian thrust must include the civilian government, the armed forces, AND the (now relatively freelance) jihadi establishment to guarantee implementation. Best of luck getting everyone on board.

  87. Dear Raj
    Do you live in India? This is not a confrontational question and you need not answer for reasons of privacy.
    The reason I ask this is simple. I have lived in various parts of the world and observed the peculiar non-resident-Southasian syndrome. A lot of comments from the Indian patriots remind me of such stuff.
    This is not a personal attack…

  88. Parvez

    Rumi,
    Why don’t you share what is being said said/thought there.
    Let me predict for you the outcome. All the talk is just diversion, the Bhartis want free access to Pakistani markets and you will see something on it. If Bhartis want trade, why don’t they start buying Pakistani products. There is clear example of Bangladesh, exporting $80 million and importing over $2 billion. This is what you want?

  89. Turkarakala

    Birader Khalid has come up with a good list of things. Here is my list:

    For India to do:

    1) India should stop calling itself India. India was made by the Mughals and Jinnah was called the foremost Indian nationalist. Then how Jinnah’s country can be called Pakistan? Pakistani lawyers should launch a petition in International court to make India stop using the India name if India doesn’t agree. This will solve several problems: Kashmir, which was acceded to India by Hari Shing, will belong in its rightful place, and Pakistan will inherit, rightfully, the India brand name which will immediately make it have a much better image in the world.

    2) After India becomes something else (maybe “Goamata” for example, since they like cows), and Kashmir is transfered west to the new India, Goamata should discuss the transfer of Assam and East Punjab to India as this is what Jinnah wanted and he was the most secular progressive person in India, much more than Nheru.

    3) Goamata should also transfer 60 million Hindus and Sikhs to India (i.e, present day Pakistan) so that Goamata can be kept in check in its treatment of Muslims who are left over there. Further, Goamata should agree to replenish Hindus and Sikhs every 10 years to make up for losses from conversion to Islam.

    4) Goamata should disband its army and navy and air force so as to not threaten India.

    5) Goamata should stop worshipping Ghandi as this hurts the sensibilities of Indians (i.e, present Pakistanis), and should undo the propaganda about him as some “Mohutma”.

    For Pakistan to do (before it becomes India):

    1) Pakistan agrees to maintain the list above and add things as necessary, and tick off the items upon successful implementation by India.

    2) Pakistan agrees to work diligently with America and China to ensure that India lives up to its commitments.

    3) Pakistan agrees to maintain vigil and be prepared in case India backtracks on any of the above, and to also keep track of India’s capabilities until action item 4 on India’s list is ticked off.

    4) Pakistan agrees that it will provide timely reports on India’s nefarious activities in Pakistan.

    5) Pakistan agrees to take on the responsibility of a benevolent “conscience” keeper for other unfortunate minorities left in Goamata like shoodars, tamils, bangalis, bodos , christians, parsees, jains, buddhists, in addition to the muslims, and give them moral and diplomatic support as they fight the oppression from baniya and brumhan.

    So I welcome our Indian friends to shed aside their bigotry and work for peace.

  90. Raj

    Turkarakala:

    LOL!
    You and your ilk have talked like that for 63 years, which has taken your “country” to present stage…begging and crawling at the feet of goras…climbing on failed states index.

    If gora aid money is stopped your under wear and foot ball export economy will collapse in no time.

    We get neither intimidated nor upset…keep it up!

  91. Parvez ji: I will write in detail. Its late in Pakistan.
    The flooding of markets is an imagined threat. China sells more stuff to India and US and has it colonised them? No. Economic theory is clear on international trade – it leads to increased gains and efficiencies. More later. RR

  92. One more thing: Pakistan will have a bigger market (200 million plus) than the Bhartis, if there is free trade.

  93. Raj

    Rumi:
    A lot of comments from the Indian patriots remind me of such stuff.
    This is not a personal attack…

    =
    Unfortunately (but not surprisingly, no offense), instead of addressing the issues in my comments you have chosen to do psychoanalysis….

    I know you are a decent guy and I’ve read your columns before. I take exception to your statement to the effect, Indians should keep in mind Pakistan is a victim of terrorism, when we discuss Pakistani terrorism inside India.

    This is simply another attempt to use terrorism as a negotiating tool. Pervez Hoodwinkingboy, Irfan Hussain also writes columns like that. If India wants to avoid future attacks India should do this and that!

    Unfortunately, if there is another Mumbai, not responding is simply not an option for India. This is where we stand.

    Meanwhile you host jihadi terrorist enterprise and write nice sounding columns full of platitudes…the people who you met in India will be ready with candles if there is next attack.

  94. Mahalingam Khan

    Raj,
    Turkakala is right. It is the Indian refusal to submit to Pakistani interests and putting roadblocks in its path to achieve global glory that is hurting every peace chance and such proposals by Pakistan. But not so long as human evolution cannot be beholden to Indian dogamtic adherence. One of these day Indians will see enlightenment and make concession to all of Pakistani resonable ,humanistic ,logical demands. I say , the food for 50Million Indian guests in Pakistan must come out of the pocket of kaffir people. After all, How much moral, intellectual and spiritual burden can Pakistan take for the sake of Indians’ wellbeing!!

  95. Raj – I have nothing against you as a person and I did not want to indulge in any form of psychoanalysis. But then Non-resident discourse is so peculiar that you can’t help notice it…

    I wonder if you hate Pakistan so much why do you bother to visit this site? You should boycott it!

    Thank God you don’t represent the Indian government nor the people. This is what your FM had to say – none of your grand stuff:

    “ISLAMABAD: Indian Minister for External Affairs S M Krishna upon his arrival here on Wednesday said the aim of his current visit to Pakistan is to convey a message of peace and friendship.

    “I am here with a message of peace and friendship,” Krishna told reporters at the airport immediately after his arrival in Pakistan along with a 15-member delegation including Indian foreign secretary Nirupama Rao. A 35-member team of journalists also accompanied him.

    The Indian External Affairs Minister expressed hope that his present visit to Pakistan will bring about positive outcome, saying ‘India wants to resolve all the issues with Pakistan through a process of dialogue’. Krishna added that his country wishes to see Pakistan as a ‘peaceful and prosperous’ nation.”

    Better send hate mails to his staff – actually get the RSS cadres mobilised for this major sell-out!

  96. Raj

    You are indulging in more psychoanalysis!

    You wrote “actually get the RSS cadres mobilised for this major sell-out!”

    LOL! Congratulations for holding off for so long.

    What is your source of cut and paste? Dawn? Daily Times?

    Consider an alternate cut and paste:

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/Foreign-Minister-SM-Krishna-to-nail-Pak-using-David-Headley/H1-Article1-572321.aspx

    Foreign Minister SM Krishna to nail Pak using David Headley
    Pramit Pal Chaudhuri , Hindustan Times

    Islamabad, July 14, 2010

    As soon as he landed in Islamabad, Krishna said he expected to discuss “our core concern of terrorism” during his meetings with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi, “in the context of the interrogation of David Coleman .”

    In case Islamabad didn’t get the message, Krishna invoked Headley again at the hotel he next travelled to. “When such irrefutable evidence,” he said, referring to Headley’s statement, “is presented to any government, that government would have to act.”

    “India expects some response to the interrogation (of Headley). I am here to see what it is,” he added.

  97. Quantum_Singularity

    @AA Khalid

    “As for the poverty issue, my claim still stands, in terms of sheer numbers though under different calculations the percentage proportion changes and then the claim can be challenged.”

    I never argued against the claim on an absolute number basis rather it was on a % of population basis. India has a very large population so this is not surprising.

    “But the information is scrutinized so no dice, I like how Pakistanis can cook the books, but honest clean as whistle Indian bureaucrats can’t. Remember corruption is a massive problem in India as well. Your Prime Minister is bravely and admirably trying to tackle this demon, which is more than one, can say about our leaders”

    That is a presumption on how and if WB checks the statistics it receives. Furthermore I don’t doubt that India has corrupt bureacrats. But I doubt that bureacrats like care that much in a manipulating statistics as it does not fill their pockets. And as far as I know Singh’s administration has never been question about its numbers.

    “The Fiscal deficit is a long term problem for India (and indeed it is a problem for Pakistan), read from India’s fiscal deficit to be highest in the world Goldman (type into google):”

    That was from an article in early 2009 that predicted a 10.3% fiscal deficit, the actual number for the fiscal year 2009 came out to 6.3%. Furthermore the same article predicted a 10% fiscal deficit for 2010, however, that prediction is now down to 5%.

    “The crux of the challenge for India is to try and equally distribute wealth, it has got the issue of wealth generation sorted. For Pakistan the issue of wealth generation is the problem, and as for infrastructure it suffers the same problems as India. “

    That can only happen if the poor have the drive and desire to gain skills needed to make money. Govt based redistribution efforts are often ineffective.

  98. Quantum_Singularity

    “Pakistan , the natural leader of Ummha , most powereful, most islamic nation must not limit itself to present regional issues but strive to become Islamic super power and whole world will be asking for friendhip and blessings of its people.”

    Is this some kind of schtick or is this man on drugs? I seriously can’t tell.

  99. Moosa

    Lol Quantum, sounds to me like somebody’s been reading too much Maududi…

  100. An Ahmadi Muslim

    Looking at the bickering and pettiness, I am a sorry to say the illiterates would do better than this enlightened lot.
    It is no secret that both India and Pakistan have tons of internal issues. Both India and Pakistan meddle in each others affairs on a regular basis. Both India and Pakistan loose with the constant fighting.

    One has to take a first step to try to get any where. For God’s sake at least try to find the will to act like humans.

  101. Quantum_Singularity

    @ Ahmadi Muslim

    “For God’s sake at least try to find the will to act like humans.”

    Seriously take a chill pill. People often unleash their daily frustrations on blogs (including me). The relatively limited bickering here is tame compared to other issues I have seen. Fortunately 99.9% of people would never behave this way in real life as it lacks the anonymity of the internet. You can either feel miserable or be oblivious to the cyberwarriors.

    “Looking at the bickering and pettiness, I am a sorry to say the illiterates would do better than this enlightened lot.”

    Bickering and pettiness?? Welcome to male psyche, we hope you had a pleasant stay.

    “Both India and Pakistan loose with the constant fighting.”

    Who exactly doesn’t lose by constant fighting? But man has been doing it for tens of thousands of years.

    “One has to take a first step to try to get anywhere.”

    First step to get where?

  102. Naeem Sahibzada

    Friends, i am all for peace and friendly co existence in the region if nothing else for the human factor development of the poverty stricken masses on both sides of the divide who have been badly neglected for six decades.
    We all know fully well that despite all juggling of the figures, in reality absolute poverty is only ten minutes drive from every model urban center.

    But it should only be peace with conviction, trust and dignity where both sides genuinely understand each others real difficulties and problems and are equally forthcoming.

    There is absolutely no point perusing it if there is any trust deficit and one side has serious reservations and apprehensions.
    I feel that Pakistan must stop insisting on it if India does not want peace for any reason.

    Geographically and in reality both countries are equally viable and does not need the other to survive. In real terms Pakistan has far less problems to grow at an amazing pace like we demonstrated in the sixties. The nation only needs to take stock of the situation on the lines we have now started and get our act together by ruthlessly taking care of only a handful of extremist and terrorist elements which over the decades and in totally false premise of religion have been by design planted amongst our midst by forces and powers who harbor ill will and wish to destabilize us for their vested interests. Religion comes second to Pakistan.
    There is already a realization, it is doable and God willing we shall over come.
    So it is high time India realizes this and stops the propaganda against Pakistan being a terrorist state and playing hard to get. It should instead look inwards as it has far greater extremist and terrorist element amongst their midst.

    Cheers !!!!!

  103. Moosa

    “Who exactly doesn’t lose by constant fighting?”

    There’s a theory that fighting is actually an excellent motivation for human progress. Great scientific advancements are often made during wartime. For instance, the Haber process was developed extensively by Germany during World War II to produce gunpowder. That same Haber process now produces fertiliser for crops which sustain about a third of the world’s population.

  104. Moosa

    Naeem Sahibzada,

    “Cheers !!!!” is something British people say before drinking an alcoholic beverage. May I ask what you’ve been drinking?

  105. Quantum_Singularity

    @Tilsim

    “I find a lot of Indians here caught in the trap of their narrative. Just disdain and suspicion towards those Pakistanis who are trying to change the way things are.”

    Not really. I doubt there is any real disdain to Pakistanis trying to change things. It is more of an antagonism to anti-Indian religious fruitcakes (there are many of them), rightwingers, militants, and terrorists (in other words those epitomize the bleed India crowd back in the late 80s and early 90s).You are just the unfortunate receptacle.

    “ I don’t necessarily blame Indians – Mumbai was indeed horrific and there exists a continuing threat from terrorists. The bitterness is understandable but we have to some trust with some of usPakistanis at least if we are to move forwards and develop a peace lobby which also deals with the mutual grievances.”

    Not to sound cynical, but I think our problems can only be solved by hard nosed Realpolitik and gauging national self interest rather than a schmaltzy love in.

    “ I am not hearing any real voices of hope from the Indian side which shows that we are not going to be able to move into dialogue. I am not attributing blame. It just is what it is. Very sad.”

    What would said voices do exactly?

  106. Azad

    I am from Pakistan and I think instead of appealing to Indians for better relations or even before insisting on some bipartisan approach, Pakistanis must first put pressure on their own Elite that have created conditions of animosity between the two countries.

    Pakistanis must demand that the elite in Pakistan must stop supporting the terrorist and mujahid and stop sending them to the neighbor countries and stop considering them the strategic depth that Pakistan needs to “fight” its neighbors.

    I think that is the only way for Pakistani to convince the other side that the people of Pakistan do want better relations not only with India but with all neighbors.

    We need to convince our own leaders about peace and friendship with neighbors before asking Indians to reciprocate.

  107. Quantum_Singularity

    @ Naeem Shaibzada

    “But it should only be peace with conviction, trust and dignity where both sides genuinely understand each others real difficulties and problems and are equally forthcoming.”

    The problem is not that we have difficulty understanding one another it is that we irreconcilable differences over what terms of peace must be. You say peace should be with conviction, trust and dignity, these are largely meaningless terms as we each have our own perception of what they entail.

    “There is absolutely no point perusing it if there is any trust deficit and one side has serious reservations and apprehensions. I feel that Pakistan must stop insisting on it if India does not want peace for any reason.”

    Pakistan insists on peace because a prolonged confrontation with India is more inimical to it. India is a larger country/economy therefore it can afford to continue the confrontation while still growing at a decent rate, Pakistan cannot without sacrificing its development.

    “Geographically and in reality both countries are equally viable and does not need the other to survive.”

    There is a difference between existing and prospering. You may be satisfied the former, I can only live with the latter.

    “In real terms Pakistan has far less problems to grow at an amazing pace like we demonstrated in the sixties.”

    You mean when Pakistan was not religiofied and getting gobs of money from the US for merely supplying airbases? I would agree that if Pakistan was not overly religious and if it was getting loads of money from the US with no requirement to fight the GWOT it could prosper. But that is a lot of ifs.

    “The nation only needs to take stock of the situation on the lines we have now started and get our act together by ruthlessly taking care of only a handful of extremist and terrorist elements which over the decades and in totally false premise of religion have been by design planted amongst our midst by forces and powers who harbor ill will and wish to destabilize us for their vested interests.”

    Let us not be coy here the people wanted hyper-religousness there was nothing false about it. Said forces were giving the people what they want, even if it was stupid.

    “Religion comes second to Pakistan.”

    Certainly not for the vast majority of Pakistanis. I guess Marx was right on one thing, religion is the Opiate of the masses.

    “Most [young Pakistani’s] see themselves as Muslim first and Pakistani second……While most do not trust their government, [young Pakistani’s] attach their loyalty to religion. Three-quarters identified themselves primarily as Muslim, with just one in seven identifying themselves as Pakistani.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/world/asia/22pstan.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=pakistan%20youth&st=cse

    “So it is high time India realizes this and stops the propaganda against Pakistan being a terrorist state and playing hard to get.”

    India plays hard to get because it can live with the status quo.

    “It should instead look inwards as it has far greater extremist and terrorist element amongst their midst.”

    If you say so.

  108. Quantum_Singularity

    @ Naeem Shaibzada

    “But it should only be peace with conviction, trust and dignity where both sides genuinely understand each others real difficulties and problems and are equally forthcoming.”

    The problem is not that we have difficulty understanding one another it is that we irreconcilable differences over what terms of peace must be. You say peace should be with conviction, trust and dignity, these are largely meaningless terms as we each have our own perception of what they entail.

    “There is absolutely no point perusing it if there is any trust deficit and one side has serious reservations and apprehensions. I feel that Pakistan must stop insisting on it if India does not want peace for any reason.”

    Pakistan insists on peace because a prolonged confrontation with India is more inimical to it. India is a larger country/economy therefore it can afford to continue the confrontation while still growing at a decent rate, Pakistan cannot without sacrificing its development.

    “Geographically and in reality both countries are equally viable and does not need the other to survive.”

    There is a difference between existing and prospering. You may be satisfied the former, I can only live with the latter.

    “In real terms Pakistan has far less problems to grow at an amazing pace like we demonstrated in the sixties.”

    You mean when Pakistan was not religiofied and getting gobs of money from the US for merely supplying airbases? I would agree that if Pakistan was not overly religious and if it was getting loads of money from the US with no requirement to fight the GWOT it could prosper. But that is a lot of ifs.

    “The nation only needs to take stock of the situation on the lines we have now started and get our act together by ruthlessly taking care of only a handful of extremist and terrorist elements which over the decades and in totally false premise of religion have been by design planted amongst our midst by forces and powers who harbor ill will and wish to destabilize us for their vested interests.”

    Let us not be coy here the people wanted hyper-religousness there was nothing false about it. Said forces were giving the people what they want, even if it was stupid.

  109. Quantum_Singularity

    @ Naeem Shaibzada

    Continued…

    “Religion comes second to Pakistan.”

    Certainly not for the vast majority of Pakistanis. I guess Marx was right on one thing, religion is the Opiate of the masses.

    “Most [young Pakistani’s] see themselves as Muslim first and Pakistani second……While most do not trust their government, [young Pakistani’s] attach their loyalty to religion. Three-quarters identified themselves primarily as Muslim, with just one in seven identifying themselves as Pakistani.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/world/asia/22pstan.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=pakistan%20youth&st=cse

    “So it is high time India realizes this and stops the propaganda against Pakistan being a terrorist state and playing hard to get.”

    India plays hard to get because it can live with the status quo.

    “It should instead look inwards as it has far greater extremist and terrorist element amongst their midst.”

    If you say so.

  110. Quantum_Singularity

    @Mossa

    “There’s a theory that fighting is actually an excellent motivation for human progress. Great scientific advancements are often made during wartime. For instance, the Haber process was developed extensively by Germany during World War II to produce gunpowder. ”

    I have a great interest in military history (esp. WWII, Cold War, etc.), your statement is only true regarding the West, on the other hand South Asians (as well as Arabs, Africans, etc.) fight like retards. One side wins because the other side is more inept than it is. Is it any wonder how tiny Israel was able to beat the sh*t out of the combined armies of the Arab world in six days??

  111. Raza Raja

    I will repeat again that countries need to act rationally. At our part of the world our patriotism is irrational and is based on instincts. This holds true for the entire sub continent. Western countries on the hand act in rational self interest and are ready to mend fences.

  112. Moosa

    @ Quantum

    I was referring to a global phenomenon, war and conflict generally lead to some sort of scientific progress throughout the world. For instance, the Pakistan/India conflict has led both nations to develop nuclear technology, which is no mean feat, it’s actually highly advanced. That doesn’t mean it’s a sensible or reasonable development, but there is development nonetheless. In times of peace, people generally get lazy. It’s competition (between individuals but also between nations) which drives evolution. Survival of the fittest.

  113. libertarian

    Moosa, read this to see how outsiders see the India-Pakistan tango. Pretty hilarious.

  114. dude40000

    Raza Raja
    July 15, 2010 at 9:26 am
    “I will repeat again that countries need to act rationally. At our part of the world our patriotism is irrational and is based on instincts. This holds true for the entire sub continent. Western countries on the hand act in rational self interest and are ready to mend fences.”

    I agree. US should start negotiations with Al qaeda and India should start peace talks with Pakistan. We should act in self interest and follow the way western counties do. US negotiating with AQ after 9/11 == India negotiating with Pakistan after 26/11.

  115. Girish

    The conflict has not given India or Pakistan significant technological benefits.

    In the case of Pakistan, most of the technological development has been off the shelf acquisition (e.g. missile technology from China/NK or the technology for the bomb from China) or outright theft (uranium enrichment from a Dutch company), which has perhaps given jobs to a few hundred or at most a few thousand people but not much more. One other benefit was perhaps in the establishment of a good educational institution, but again, its impact has been marginal.

    In the case of India, the military technology has not had significant civilian spillovers. Rather, the pursuit of civilian technology has had military spillovers. For instance, the missile program is a spillover from the space program – the Agni missile for instance is derived from the SLV-3 satellite launcher, and came a full 10 years after it. The nuclear bomb is a spillover from the civilian nuclear energy program – there was an established civilian nuclear establishment a good 20 years before the go ahead for the bomb was given. 90% of India’s nuclear technologists have never had any connection, direct or indirect with the military side of things. A majority of rocket scientists/technologists have never had any connection with the military program.

    Thus, I would say that technological benefits of the conflict are almost non-existent. Further, it has taken enormous resources, which could arguably have been invested in developing and acquiring other technologies or in institutions in other sectors. For instance, there is immense potential for technological upgradation in agriculture and in agriculture-related industries. These could greatly enhance productivity and significantly raise the standards of living of millions of people within a generation. But it does not quite get the resources and attention it deserves.

  116. Gorki

    ‘Mujhse Maar ke bhi na Jayegee Watan ki Arajoo
    Ke meri khaq se bhee khusboo Watan ki Aayegee’
    (Even death will not eradicate my love for my land
    Because even my ashes will carry its perfume)

    The above lines were penned in 1931 by a 23 year old boy shortly before his death but it is a safe bet that not many nationalist here (either Indian or Pakistani) would have read them in the original language they were written in. The reason is because they were written in Urdu; a language spoken by the majority in Pakistan but the boy in question; Bhagat Singh, a national hero in India is not that well known in Pakistan or even Lahore, the city where he willingly made the supreme sacrifice.
    So which Watan did he die for?

    Witan translated in English is a land or a nation.
    Today Indian-Pakistani discourse is thick with nationalistic fervor but which definition of a nation are we talking about?

    One that says a nation is people of the same race sharing a common homeland, a common language and culture?
    Or one made up of people with shared struggles and histories and common martyrs like Bhagat Singh?
    Perhaps the one described by Benedict Anderson which is imagined communities because no nation is composed of homogenously minded individuals who are related to each other.
    And then there is the ‘Two Nation Theory’; but more about it later.

    The problem with above logic is that once we accept any definition of nationhood then the first idiot at the microphone from that group is assumed to speak for the entire ‘nation.’

    Tilsim can then be forgiven if he despairs of people like Raj seeming to speak for India. But does a Raj on the PTH represent India?

    Does he speak for the Naga rebel or the Kashmiri?
    For the Naxalite who wants armed revolution?
    For the family of the debt ridden farmer who committed suicide because the much touted ‘Indian economic miracle’ missed his little mudhut?
    Does he speak for the family of the army officer who died under an avalance defending the godforsaken icy hell at Saichen?

    Indians scream with glee about ‘Pakistan getting a taste of its own medicine’ and point to the terrorist handlers roaming free on its streets but again which Pakistanis are they talking about?

    The ones murdered at Data Durbar or the Ahmadis massacred routinely? The women raped as a part of tribal justice or the Rickshaw puller who killed his family before killing himself as the only way out of crushing poverty?

    You see there are many millions of ‘Indias’ and equal number of ‘Pakistans’ who don’t speak up or are not in a position to speak up; and they are in a majority. That a few million Indians may feel smug at the BRIC labels do not change the reality that five Indian states contain more millions of poorest of the poor than 26 of the poorest African countries combined! Pakistan is not much better either.

    People bragging about double digit growth rates must understand how far we have to go. But even a few decimal points of growth lost due to hostilities means that several tens of million more lost to poverty for another generation. They should go first ask any one of those millions living in poverty today if it is OK for them to forgo prosperity for their families for another generation so that some of us can smugly taunt Pakistan.

    Idle boast on such forums solve nothing but may potentially do a lot of harm. No matter how many creatively and sarcastic posts the Indians may post here, the Pakistani General on the take on each arms deal is never going to fall to his knees and repent. If he has to choose between the ‘national interest’ and his own then he probably made that choice a long time ago when he opened a secret Swiss account.

    Similarly for the Pakistanis complaining about the Indian attitude, do you sincerely expect a Thakaray or a Varun Gandhi to suddenly start respecting Muslim sentiments? If so, then don’t hold your breath; the Thakarays and such are already running out of people they can practice their demagoguery against; they are already reaching for the fellow Hindus from Bihar to rail against; for such guys any tensions with Pakistan are Godsend!

    The more I read such acrimonious exchanges the more I feel that actually the joke is on us; the so called ‘liberal nationalists’ who go blue in the face yelling out the same tired old lines that are happily exploited by the vested interests on the opposite side.

    I started visiting the blogsphere after my country was attacked on 26/11. I then realized what we were up against. Ten suicidal assassins cannot be raised and trained in a vacuum; for that to happen there has to be a malicious ideologues operating in a fertile soil of sympathetic population that had been thoroughly brainwashed. I also realized that if a crazed Mullah like Hafeez Saeed wanted to wage a war on my country, we all must do our part to oppose him but do so intelligently. Hanging a few assassins already committed to self destruction will not accomplish anything. Hateful agenda like his can only be opposed successfully if his nexus with a willing population is attacked and destroyed. War is waged; and won (or lost) in many ways. In the heady early days of the Iraq war George Bush uttered his infamous words: “Bring them on…” and gifted the equivalent of a couple of divisions to the Al Qaeda.
    Words indeed are powerful tools and words have powerful effects.

    Now read what Raza Sahib has written in his article:

    “Public opinion in Pakistan has to be strengthened against militancy and extremism. The out-of-control militant groups are a nightmare for Pakistan and cast a dark shadow over its future. Furthermore, media and telecommunication restrictions need to be lifted on both sides. It is fashionable to deride the vigil brigade for being unrealistic but there is no alternative to people-to-people contacts….”

    Anyone who writes like Raza Bhai does; shares my goals for my country, and therefore is my natural ally.

    Conversely anyone from India who writes silly nonsense mocking Islam, Pakistan and such hands a potential recruit to the enemies of my country.

    Two millennia ago Chanakya wrote the four tenets of weakening one’s enemies; Saam (reasoning) Daam (bribery) Dand (fear) Bhed (divisions).
    I want to divide my nation’s enemies and anything and anyone who divides my nation’s enemies is good enough for me.

    So coming back to the question of nationhood; what is my nation and who do I bear loyalty to?

    The young revolutionary mentioned in the opening paragraph wrote a definition which is good enough for me.

    ‘I am a man’ he wrote, and thus ‘any injustice that happens to mankind concerns me’.

    Therefore my nation consists of all those who care for my people; the people of South Asia. Be they the two FMs or the PMs of India and Pakistan; or the peaceniks holding candles at Wagah. Be they the journalists writing liberal columns in Pakistan or blogs calling for sanity and dialogue.

    My opponents too are well defined; they are all those who incite hate for my people in the name of ideologies, be they the Mullahs of Pakistan who use religion or the chicken hawks on this blog who use hyper-nationalism; it makes no difference; they both serve the same masters, the corrupt and self centered elite with vested interest in perpetuating tensions in either country.
    This is my version of the TNT.

    Following the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh and his two associates, many Hindu, Muslim and Sikh young men in Punjab; came out on the streets of Lahore to sing:
    ‘Bhagat Singh ke Khoon ka Asaar Dekh Lena,
    Mitta denge Zalim ka Ghar dekh Lena”
    (Watch for the effect of Bhagat Singh’s sacrifice, it will wipe away the hold of the Zaalim)

    Today it is time to stand up and be counted; each one can decide which side he wants to be today, on the side of the popular sentiment rising in the name of a martyr’s blood or those vested interests who stand for status quo; and obscurity.

    Regards.

  117. karun1

    Gorki and Raza

    Just one question: do you believe that Hafiz Saeed is innocent?(just like some people earlier believed that the ten terrorists were not pakistanis)

    Dont you think that Pakistani people and Nation would have earned immense goodwill and trust if they had decided to prosecute him or hand him over to India?

    Do you really believe that the evidence against him is insufficient or ‘the law must followits course’ is just a hogwash?

    Dont you ever grow impatient my friend?

    With what face you ask for peace, Raza? Did you ask for forgiveness for the millions killed in hundreds of mumbais in the last two decades perpetrated by pakistanis

    please if u want the hand of peace to be extended i suggest you start a public campaign to arrest Hafeez Saeed. Nothing less than that will do.

  118. karun1

    @Raza

    you thourougly underestimate the hurt and wounds of two decades of terrorism sponsored by your state.

    You forget its your onus to prove your innocence now and earn my hand of friendships. If you are sincere enough, may be even i will forget my backstabbing wounds which are so difficult to forget and i will hope you dont backstab me again.

  119. karun1

    @ all good natured pakistani friends

    what if the following is true: should we still strive for peace?
    ***********************************************
    Though, Mr Krishna avoided specifying what new aspect of Headley interrogation he was particularly interested in raising, Delhi’s intentions were made clear in an interview given by its Home Secretary G. K. Pillai. In the interview he accused ISI of overseeing 26/11 Mumbai strikes.

    He said the agency’s involvement was disclosed during Headley’s interrogation by Indian investigators in the US.

    “The real sense that has come out from Headley’s interrogation is that the ISI has had a much more significant role to play. It was not just a peripheral role. They (the ISI) were literally controlling and coordinating it from the beginning till the end,” Pillai was quoted as having said.
    **********************************************

    Raza if this is true, shall we still strive fr peace?

  120. You guys are now repeating yourselves. Stay away from this debate. Engagement can take place with open-minded rational people not war mongers.

  121. Parvez

    “Did you ask for forgiveness for the millions killed in hundreds of mumbais in the last two decades perpetrated by pakistanis”
    karun1, What are you smoking?

  122. Prasad

    Gorki’s post is again highly sensible. Very valid.

    Karun: We have all experienced the trauma of 26/11 and it agitates us no end when we come across venomous speeches by Hafeez’s of Pakistan and its warm reception by the concerned audience. However you should also understand there is a very tiny minority in Pakistan which is committed to education, GDP growth, seperation of religion from state etc and this minority needs all the support not just from their peers in Pakistan but us across the border as well

    I guess supporting Raza and that band of passionate minority which wants to rid its country from all the unwarranted chaos is the first step towards eradicating Terror. May take decades but a good beginning nonetheless

  123. Abhi

    @Raza

    So you believe that those who are demanding justice for the memory of the martyrs of 26/11 are “war mongers” ?

    That the likes of Saeed will vanish from Indian public’s memory, just because you want to sweep them under the rug ?

    This is how our “pakistani liberal” friends wish to achieve “Peace” ?

  124. Prasad: Your comment is a positive one and I welcome it. However, let me correct you the ‘tiny minority’ you mention is actually the silent majority – Pakistanis reject Islamists in every election and the religious parties have never bagged more than 3-4% of the popular vote.
    Most Pakistanis do not support lunatic groups and want a responsive, responsible state which is at peace with its neighbours. This is why all political parties now share the policy goal of effecting peace with India.
    The irrational comments here only prove how such discussions are hijacked and all appeals for identifying issues and finding constructive solutions go unheard. This is why I am allergic to hawks and those who beat war drums.

  125. Abhi: you are once again indulging in rhetoric. No sane Pakistani supports Mumbai attacks and we all were shocked and extremely unhappy at the carnage. Look at the posts on this forum – we have always demanded investigations and crackdown on terrorists.
    No one is brushing that under the carpet but the hate-filled tone of some commentators is unfortunate. Thank God that they are not the policy makers in India and happen to be anonymous, blog surfers who want to avenge Pakistan through their smart comments on blogs such as PTH.

  126. Abhi

    Raza sahib, I have often heard this same argument from many Pakistani intellectuals who want to prove how moderate the Pakistani masses are . The fact is what is considered “liberal” in Pakistan will be considered loony hardline Hidutva in India. So its all relative.

    For instance,
    How many mainstream “liberal” parties dispute the fact that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic ?

    What steps have been taken by these “liberal” political parties to de-Islamize the constitution ?

  127. J.Krishnan

    Pakistan consists of many pakistans. (Not big P and small p).

    Army, ISI, parties, judges, lawyers, hate-india crowd, bleed-india crowd, islamofascists, history-falsifiers, china’s bootlickers, arabs’ bootlickers, ethnic groups, sub-ethnic groups, pseudo-liberals, liberals, ex-muslims hiding themselves, non-muslims, battered women, rich-and-careless, trainers of suicide killers and so on.

    In this labyrinth of violent contradictions we really do not know who is the viable peace-partner. We only hear declarations of islam being a religion of peace and justice – but reality and past experiences force us not to trust them.

    The trustworthy in Pakistan are so few and so powerless and themselves so endangered that we (Indians, hindus) have now lost hope about them. We are only worried about to protect ourselves against the next pakistani attack. Attacking, bleeding and humiliating India (especially because it is, supposedly, a hindu nation) has advanced to a sacred national tryst in the Pakistani mind in all social levels. It is the holy grail of pakistan ideology.

  128. Gorki

    Dear Karun
    I am not sure you read my posts; perhaps it was too long. Please read my reference to hafeez Saeed. I am in the blog sphere exactly due to people like him. I am committed to do my little bit to destroy his kind, the only difference is that I want to fight him with weapons of my choosing; my words and hopefully hit him where it hurts; that is destroy his credibility and allure. Nothing would give me more satisfaction than seeing his kind answer for their crimes in a Nuremberg trial. I hope this answers your question.
    Regards

  129. Abhi

    Gorki Sahib,
    Yes you have. But what about our Pakistani friends.
    They love to tell us how they hate The Terrorists. But never do they go far from generalities. Specifically who, according to them, are these terrorists?

    Hafiz Saeed?
    Maulana Masood Azhar?
    “Pir Sayed” Salahuddin ?

    You know the devil is in the details.

  130. karun1

    Thank God that they are not the policy makers in India and happen to be anonymous, blog surfers who want to avenge Pakistan through their smart comments on blogs such as PTH.

    u mean the Home secretary is a nobody. are u out of your mind?

  131. AA Khalid

    According to sociological and political scholars right wing discourses in both Pakistan and India are gaining great ground.

    Right wing xenophobic and fanatical Hindu nationalism is steadily growing over the last few decades, while in Pakistan there has been a great rise in right wing discourse in ther last 2 decades especially.

    I find that is mostly Indian intellectuals living abroad away from India who can be fully candid about the situation in their homeland. Intellectuals such as Sen and others can freely criticise and debate the sensitive issues of caste, right wing nationalism and intolerance in India. (in certain terms not vague wishy washy excuses).

    Initiatives by Indian intellectuals abroad to try and foster a discourse of genuine liberalism in India has been admirably tried.

    One of the most thought-provoking texts on the amorphous and sometimes contradictory nature of secularism in India I have read was:

    ”Modern Myths, Locked Minds: Secularism and Fundamentalism in India ”(Duke University, USA)

    It was a collection of 20 essays by leading Indian political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists and of many other disciplnes from literature to the arts. It was a frank and open discussion about the failings of establishing a secular order in India. One hopes that such inquiry can become common place within India.

    I think Pakistanis should look to and learn from such voices in India who have maintained some sort of capacity for self-introspection and deep enquiry rather than fear-mongers and those who have faint grasp of the issues at stake. They do seem to dwindling in light of the increasing tide of extreme nationalism and hate mongering…..

    Amartya Sen wrote his great book ”The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity ”.

    Perhaps we need more Argumentative Indians in Sen’s tradition who questions some Indian traditions of repression, intolerance, caste and backward nationalism?

    And if Pakistanis can do the same on this side of the border by conquering our demons, we can marginalise the preachers of hate, whether they be Hindu, Muslim or whatever creed..

  132. AA Khalid

    The candid presentations of oppression and intolerance by both Pakistani and Indian intellectuals in both their countries is needed to diffuse the myth that one nation is infinitely superior to the other.

    This is just not the case, both nations are struggling with domestic issues and both nations (read reports from Amnesty, the UN, HRW and other organizations) have shocking human rights records.

    Pakistan refuses to make amendments to its constitution for minorities and India still refuses to discuss the caste system at the UN as a form of discrimination. These are just a few examples, one can also talk about the abuse of women and women’s rights in India and Pakistan.

    Intelletuals are meant to the source of a critical conscience in a nation, its time such a discourse be thoroughly established in Pakistan and India.

  133. J.Krishnan

    In India we have pseudo-secularism – not real secularism.
    The indian pseudo-secularist is scared of islam and the violence, political clout, international grip and money of the muslims. So he is full of praise and protection towards islam and full of ridicule and scoff towards hindus. This pseudo-secularist controls media, journalism, bollywood, education, justice system etc. in India. The indian pseudo-secularist indirectly admits that he fears islam’s and muslims’ violence and fascism more than hindus’ violence and fascism. So he plays it safe by never criticizing islam.

    India has remained backward because it has Pakistan and Bangladesh as its neighbours. Pakistan and Bangladesh have remained backward because of their religion imported from the west.

  134. AA Khalid

    Unfortunately for you Krishnan many Indian intellectuals, thinkers and scholars would laugh at the rubbish you just typed.

    Good to know the world’s largest democracy still has voices of reasons even if there are a few loonies in the mix…..

  135. J.Krishnan

    They can laugh, but cannot disprove what I have written. That they laugh does not mean they are right. Reality will decide.

  136. Khalid: many thanks for your interventions. Never mind the uninformed discourse, empty rhetoric and abusive comments. Stay the course at PTH!

    Krishnan: Whilst you write well, let me tell you that your conception of pseudo-secularism and the fear of the Muslims/Islam, is at the end of the day, extremely jaundiced. Bangladesh and Pakistan practice different types of Islam. Islam is not a monolith and you cannot simplify complex phenomena through use of clever words.
    http://www.razarumi.com/2010/02/09/muslimness-shifting-boundaries/

    Try and broaden your horizons and deal with Islam and Muslims in India. Though I am not sure whether you live there??

  137. Tilsim

    @ Gorki @ Prasad

    Thank you. Your comments lifted my spirits. In the absence of people to people contact, it does feel at times on the blogosphere as if there is no one to talk to on the Indian side to make the sort of common cause against insanity that you speak of. Your comments are very welcome.

    The actual diversity of views in India may be different but the blogosphere seems to give a very one-sided impression at times and there is of course the dominant narrative of the media etc. I suppose the vested interests like to minimise the people to people contact and that helps foster fatalism.

    I have heard that ancient Hindu/Buddhist sages have mentioned two driving forces for our drives and our compulsions: one is love and the other fear (in a broad sense).

    When Raza Rumi talks about peace, he talks about promoting ‘love’ as our main discourse; what came back here was scorched earth.

    In my little game, I wanted to see if we even could agree amongst ourselves as to what the 5 concrete priorities should be for peace. I was hoping that there would be some coalescing of views or even some trends. I am disappointed that there was no real will amongst the otherwise intelligent people here to engage.

    Voices of sanity have to keep shouting louder (to change things) and planting more seeds. However, I am now sceptical whether the conditions are there for even the most basic peace dialogue. I wish the sincere elements on both sides well in these current peace talks and quietly hope that negotiations end on a more positive rather than a negative note.

  138. poke

    Raza , its very easy and simple to accuse others of islamophobia and its common among muslims to do . But the reason why non muslims have this view is because islamic hatred for any thing no muslim cuts across borders , forget islamic countries i can tell you that it is difficult if not impossible for non muslims to live in muslim majority areas in India…..
    Individually muslims are good or like any body else but the moment they are in sizebale nos. they are a nuissance…
    Readings shall not help , they need to display the qualities many of you apologetics profess about islam and u’ll see the change

  139. J.Krishnan

    Raza, moosa, khalid – all with good-intentions no doubt about that – but islam is a house violently divided against itself. We non-muslims stand in front of a hopeless “partnershaft”. We can no more believe that liberal muslims can pull off the feat leading to peace and honesty.

    Go to the schools and colleges in Pakistan and distribute to children, youth, teachers and professors pamphlets saying all that is taught in Pakistan about history, religions, hindus, India etc. is (largely and mostly) a lie, just a program towards a shameless self-glorification (of muslims) and hate, slander and anger (against non-muslims).

    So long islam does not renounce and denounce its absolutims and finalism, I see no hope. An absolutist finalist ideology will always bring forth war, violence and lies. If muslim liberals do not realize this then they are not genuine liberals.

  140. Tilsim

    @ J Krishnan

    Do you think the FMs of India/Pakistan should include in their peace talks an agenda item that says: Islam ‘renounce and denounce it’s absolutims and finalism’?

  141. AA Khalid

    @Krishnan

    Tolerance is predicated on the notion that one can maintain his or her convictions whilst at the same time accept the right for others to disagree with them. All people have convictions and beliefs of some sort, but the key is to make sure that such beliefs and convictions are predicated on freedom of conscience and liberty, and not coercion.

    James Madison one of the founding American fathers said that:

    ”Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offence against God, not against man: To God, therefore, not to man, must an account of it be rendered”

    I can fully have religious convictions but still recognize the need for religious liberty. Religious faith is predicated on liberty, without liberty religious faith is practically inauthentic and false.

    Coercion is the very antithesis of deep and meaningful religious belief as it is stated in the Quran (2:256).

  142. AA Khalid

    Toleration is predicated on respect, dialogue and mutual interest rather than abandoning our convictions.

    Krishnan makes the classic mistake of confusing quiet horribly skepticism and tolerance. The two are completely different and there is no definitive causal link between the two.

  143. AA Khalid

    The Muslim academic Abdullahi An Naim writes in the article Thomas Jefferson, Islam and the State:

    **************************************************
    ”’As Jefferson wrote in 1802, “religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”

    Jefferson could have been paraphrasing chapter and verse of the Qur’an, like 6:94 and 164, 7:39, 17:15, 18:35, 19:95, 35:18, and many others which all emphatically confirm the individual personal responsibility of every Muslim for what she or he does or fail to do.

    All founding scholars of Islam agree that no act has any religious value unless done freely and without any coercion. ””’
    ***********************************************

  144. AA Khalid

    The problem with people like Krishnan is that they have a faint if any tangible grasp of intellectual history and all their knowledge about these sorts of affairs is a crude amalgamations from the writings of Indian demagogues and extreme nationalists.

    This poison of fanatacism, whether of a religious flavour in Pakistan or of a nationalist flavour in India (Indian textbooks have also be found with disgusting material) has to be countered.

  145. AA Khalid

    The problem with the likes of Krishnan and other such characters is that no matter how many times you point them to the direction of scholarly debate and literature documenting in a nuanced fashion history, legal traditions and cultures they will keep repeating their prejudices.

    What is enlightened about that?

  146. P. Vengaayam

    Gorki:”Indians scream with glee about ‘Pakistan getting a taste of its own medicine’ and point to the terrorist handlers roaming free on its streets but again which Pakistanis are they talking about?”

    The same Pakistanis who are now giving excuses for why anti-India terrorist camps cannot be shut down and India needs to provide “more information” before all these anti-India terrorist groups are shut down. These pakistanis are getting a taste of what these anti-India terrorist do in India like on 26/11 — there is no room for this sort of bare-faced hypocrisy from the Pakistani establishment, such as it is.

    The culprits of the 26/11 terrorist attacks are deliberately allowed to roam as free men in Pakistan with the support of the courts and the “justice system” of Pakistan, and Indians are supposed to buy this granny’s tale that Pakistan is interested in peace with India while it behaves in the most inimical fashion towards India. Seriously, how is this tenable?

  147. P. Vengaayam

    Khalid:”This poison of fanatacism, whether of a religious flavour in Pakistan or of a nationalist flavour in India (Indian textbooks have also be found with disgusting material) has to be countered.”

    This is the kind of stupid and worthless attitude that I was referring to earlier re: Pakistani attitude towards Pakistan’s problem. India’s textbooks are India’s problems (and they do not preach hate, just pick up one of the NCERT books and read them for yourself) — the hate in Pakistan’s textbooks is real is pakistan’s problem.

    India does not get hurt by the hate in Pakistan’s textbooks, Pakistan does, so just pulling in India randomly when you are talking about a serious Pakistan problem is so stupid that it defies belief.

  148. AA Khalid

    ”’ The fact is what is considered “liberal” in Pakistan will be considered loony hardline Hidutva in India. So its all relative””””’

    This delusion of ”Indian exceptionalism” is a joke. Indian liberalism has had a very tough time in recent years, with the increase in xenophobic nationalism and the increasing hold of the caste system.

    See the shocking Channel 4 documentary on Dispatches (The Indian Miracle? type into google) on the nature of Indian society, here is the abstract:

    The new India has a high-tech, highly-skilled economy. The country’s universities are churning out thousands of highly qualified science and computer graduates working in software, biotechnology and engineering firms in metropolitan India.

    But in rural India, where more than three-quarters of the population live, Guru-Murthy discovers the story could not be more different. He meets some of the thousands of widows of farmers who have committed suicide after being driven to despair by debt. More than seven hundred million people depend on farming to make a living but the cost of buying tractors, fertilisers and irrigation pumps for small farmers has left some in debt and with no way out.

    “I don’t know what we are going to eat now. When my father was alive – he used to provide for us. Now I don’t know what we will do,” says the 10-year-old son of a farmer from Punjab. His father killed himself by dousing himself in kerosene and setting himself alight. And as India’s economic boom powers ahead, farmers’ land on the edge of the expanding metropolises is being seized to make way for yet more factories. Unskilled farmers are finding themselves without land and without a hope of working in the new factories in what’s becoming a hidden disaster of epic proportions

    MS Swaminathan, the founder of India’s original green revolution in the 1960′s fears a different kind of revolution if the problems of rural India are not tackled. “Any society which transgresses from the principle of social equity beyond a point then you have an explosive situation,” says Swaminathan. “If you want a country of 500 million landless labourers – then the country will be completely ruined. It will be social chaos of unimaginable dimensions.”

    In Mumbai, India’s financial capital, Guru-Murthy investigates the renewed support for Hindu nationalism which many argue is resulting in widespread discrimination against India’s 150 million-strong Muslim minority. He finds discrimination is excluding Muslims from the new prosperity as they struggle to find employment and buy property. Going undercover in one housing complex in Mumbai, Guru-Murthy is told by security guards that Muslims are not allowed to buy or rent property there. “I feel insulted. I feel humiliated”, says Muslim businessman Salim who has spent the last four years being refused the opportunity to buy property in the complex.

    In Delhi, the country’s capital, Guru-Murthy examines the way in which Indian society also discriminates against huge swathes of the majority Hindu population via the caste system. The Indian government is supposedly trying to tackle this age-old social stratification system which defines the jobs people do through a programme of affirmative action policies in education and employment. The notion of ‘untouchability’ – which defines those at the bottom of the caste system who carry out the most menial jobs and have no physical contact with upper-caste Hindus – was meant to be banned 60 years ago.

    But Guru-Murthy discovers that the caste system is still alive and well and forces those at the bottom of the ladder, dalits, to do jobs like clearing up human excrement. Satish Kumar belongs to the low caste Valmiki community, his job is to clean sewers and toilets, he says: “When my children ask me why I do this and tell me it is dirty, I tell them I do it to feed them. If I don’t they will die of hunger.”

    India’s economy is powering ahead, growing at an incredible nine per-cent a year. But Guru-Murthy argues it is merely widening the gap between the rich and the poor. The ultra rich are now able to live behind electrified fences in entire self-contained cities away from the degradation, poverty and despair of the rest of India.”

    While Indians at home are too timid to tackle the complexities of their society, thank God Indian intellectuals, journalists and scholars abroad have the courage to open the eyes of their fellow countrymen to the impending social travesties and tragedies occuring in their nation.

    To my mind in this respect India still suffers, and progress though is being made (which cannot be said for Pakistan in the same respect) is extremely slow and not effective in the legislative arena.

    Since 1996 the Government of India has also argued that caste falls outside the scope of the International Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). Still they insist upon this and its shocking. India still refuses to acknowledge the inherent discriminatory and racist aspects of the caste system hence their refusal to discuss the issue at the UN.

    There is still no discernable discourse of truly egalitarian Indian liberalism. Read the very sad and tragic piece, ”Land of My Dreams
    Islamic liberalism under fire in India (type into google)”, where Martha Nussbaum uncovers the hideous rise of the Hindu right.

    Another thought provoking piece by Ramachandra Guha, ”The Absent Liberal” (type into google).

    His conclusion is worrying:

    ”””Still, an open-minded enquiry cannot ignore the threat to liberalism from either side. For Indian liberals have been steadily squeezed out by the identity politics of the left as well as right. The decline of this once dominant tendency has already affected the quality and temper of public debate. The long-term consequences are worrying. The disappearance of liberal values will mean an erosion of the institutions of civil society, a shrinking of the space for dissent, and a rise in the politics of retribution and revenge. No just means, and certainly no just society either.”””

    It seems Indian liberals are slowly dying out, which is a great tragedy in the world’s largest democracy. India’s democracy may decline into a brutish majoritarian democracy if its liberals do not stand up once again and revive Indian liberalism .

    The Indian political elite has been moving to the right for a long time many scholars such as William Darlymple have noticed this in their writings (in the Guardian and New Statesman).

    Welcome back to the reality of the sub-continent my Indian friends…….

  149. AA Khalid

    Please Vengayaam you are very quick to point out Pakistan’s problems (rightly so) but when Pakistanis point out the hypocrisies and problems in your country you have a problem.

    Why do you suffer from this ”Indian exceptionalism”? If you think every person should deal with their own problems then why the heck do you post on Pak Tea House? Practice what you preach….

    Hindu right wing nationalists teach distortions of Indian history in respect to Muslims and Islam, this much is well known, so accept this fact. History in many parts of India is written in the Hindutva way.

    Many scholars of Indian history in European and American universities are well aware of this fact, and so are many Indian intellectuals and historians both within India and abroad.

    The Hindutva rendering of history has caused much hostility in the minds of the Indian youth, and created a false victim mentality. Get out of this mentality.

  150. AA Khalid

    The fact of the matter is that arrogance is preventing many Indians and Pakistanis to come to the table of dialogue.

    Both parties pretend there are absolutely no problems at home, I have seen so many Indians on this forum guilty of doing this and I have had to uncover great amounts of scholarly literature, reports, stats, articles and so on to prove this is just not the case.

    I have had to introduce Indians to some outspoken Indian intellectuals who are brave to point our their own problems and accept self criticism. Learn from these thinkers and intellectuals (a lesson for all I would have thought).

    Indian exceptionalism or Pakistani exceptionalism is both wrong. Exceptionalism in both cases is mistaken.

    There are deep deep seated problems in both countries, acknowledge this much at the very least, instead of putting on some unwarranted machismo style bravado.

  151. Well said Khalid. These guys have a license to leave their uninformed, ignorant media-fed opinions on this site but get visibly perturbed when you question the obvious about India. My post was to promote peace and trust but our internet activists (brainwashed by nebulous indian nationalism) are hellbent on creating discord. I bet very few of them are based in India. Herein lies the irony.
    Sent from my BlackBerry® Smartphone. Typos are regretted

  152. AA Khalid

    Our goal is to question injustice whenever we happen to see it, read about it, hear about it or listen about it. I have never shied away from tackling the gross injustices in Pakistan but I also never for a second back away from pointing out the obvious across the border.

    If we can have some Indian posters reciprocate this spirit of critical inquiry and maintaining a critical distance to injustice no matter where it comes from it could be very refreshing.

    That’s the point of having human conscience otherwise its a pathetic waste of human capacity and reason.

  153. lal

    completely agree with u gorki on almost every point.the haynes alloy used in indigenous heart valves developed in srichitra had its origin in the titanium used for space vehicles,ofcos not exactly military research.just a matter of detail,agree with u on context
    continue with saam🙂

  154. Tilsim

    Yes, I am too thoroughly fed up with many voices here that just hijack any efforts to constructively and peacefully discuss common problems and issues that face us and how best to address them.

    For every sane voice, there are 3 to 4 ugly ones.

    These discussions don’t go anywhere – just polemics and some sort of ego massaging. These people don’t understand the first thing of what it takes to undertake a dialogue.

    The comments are overarching, unbalanced, at times venomous and therefore not at all persuasive. I also think it shows that Pakistan’s own peace faces a huge threat from the what appear to be highly motivated and sizeable numbers of hyper-nationalists in India. It puts me on guard about these folks as much as our own variety.

  155. Hayyer

    PTH seems to attract a kind of fundamentalist right wing anti Muslim troll from India. On a thread advocating peace between India and Pakistan we see once again the Hindutva jeer/boor brigade. There is no helping it.

    The five suggestions can be reduced to two.

    1. Put Kashmir in cold store for the present.
    2. Open up trade, travel and media exchanges.

    Nothing else is required for peace to break out.

    PMA asked what could Pakistan export to India. It is a valid question but makes no difference to the concept. If you are importing stuff anyway then importing it from India (if it is cheaper) is to your advantage. Many trades go through Dubai with the Dubai middleman taking a commission. That could be avoided and cross border trade would create jobs on both sides.

    India has an adverse balance of trade with China as RR pointed out, but if things are cheaper from China why would India buy expensive stuff else where, or even if made within India as long as there is no dumping.

    I’ve heard talk of what a bad cultural influence India is on Pakistan. It may well be, if you are the kind that blushes when Bollywood starlets expose themselves, but does not the internet risk Pakistani morals anyway. There are Pakistani women participating in beauty contests and fashion shows aren’t there. Besides, controlling female sexuality while indulging the male version is retrograde. God won’t judge men by how thickly they clad their women folk; rather, it may be by how well they controlled their own desires.

    There is an enormous reservoir of goodwill waiting to burst its banks, on both sides. We should give it a chance.

    General Kapoor was not talking of attacking Pakistan and China simultaneously; only of defending against both at the same time. President Zardari on his China visit said Pakistani could be China’s force multiplier. It already is that, against India. He wasn’t talking about being a force multiplier against the US. Fifty five years ago Ayub Khan offered the Pak Army to the US for its purpose.
    Has anything changed? Does a head of state have to refer to his nation in such mercenary terms?

    Finally, if there is a vested interest in stoking the fire how can any peace initiative succeed.

  156. Tilsim

    “Finally, if there is a vested interest in stoking the fire how can any peace initiative succeed.”

    Vested interests have dominated this debate since independence. We don’t have peace. We never will until we face them down in our own countries. However we can’t achieve this unless there is a groundswell of support for peace. I am very sad to witness the apathy of liberals displayed in few posts and the hyperactivity of bigots and trolls. The distinct impression I am getting is that hardly anyone (including liberals) wants to actively do the leg work to achieve peace through peaceful means. The first step is to learn the art of dialogue as well as rational informed and balanced debate.

  157. @aa khalid
    what you wrote is right, and as an indian; i agree with it…. India is indeed a land of contradictions….its is 1st, 2nd 3rd and even 4th world combined. We do not deny it…… lower castes are discriminated , socially , yes. Is it being changed – yes, In india as per law if you insult lower caste hindu dalit and shudra, or whatever name you give, you can be arrested and no bail is granted for those offence. Uttar Pradesh, largest province in india is run by Mayavati (woman from lower caste hindu). In india we have 27% reservation policy to bring economic uplitment to these communities. Can this caste be discussed in UN,—- “No”. (India is trying to get rid of evil on its own and we do not need external assistance) The question of dalits in india is same as question of blacks in USA, till 1960 there was legal discrimination in USA and now they have black president…….With dalits, as soon as India got independence, we tried to solve the issue…..its social problem and will take years to resolve….

    Now on this blog i don’t understand why are we discussing social structure of either Pakistan or India. (its interanl issue)

    The question is how can we achieve peace between India and Pakistan. Yes, there are diffrences, thats the reason why we are discussing peace here.

    Now lets try to understand each others point of view, and may be we can find common grounds on which to talk peace…….

    Pakistani point of view is that CORE issue between India and Pakistan is Kasmir, because it has muslim majority so as per two nation theory, it rightly belongs to Pakistan; if indians give Kasmir to Pakistan then we can have friend ship.

    As an Indian, i understand your point of view now, if you can rationally and without prejudice listen to Indian point of view…….

    1) Indians do not accept 2 nation theory because India has more muslims than Pakistan itself, solely on religious basis Indians will never give you Kasmir.

    2) India has 170 million muslims scattered through india, ( Muslims of India have rightly or wrongly shared the guilty burden of partition) in Kashmir valley; only you have muslim majority, if we put the criteria of 2 nation theory and give Kasmir on that basis then few years down the line every town, city or village, where you have muslim majority can use the above thing as precedence……and demand independence ;Now this is what scares Indians; wounds of partition has healed in India, by giving Kasmir on religious basis, we would be reigniting the terrible memories of partition.

    3) Idea of India; as multireligious, culturally diverse country is sarconsanct to normal Indians and they accepted partition in 1947; as one off thing; and partion of India again on religious ground will never be accepted.

    The present turmoil in Kashmir, started in 1989….. so between 1947 to 1989 there was peace. Now lets not go into why, and how it started. Let us see the big picture……

    Maximum India can give Pakistan and kashmiris is visa free travel and equal economic rights like EU……

    I beleive, that Pakistani people are not able to comprehend the impact of Mumbai attack of physche of Indian mass opinion…. To liberal Pakistanis who want to understand the impact just read few Indian newspapers on mumbai and they will get some idea……

    Ok…..so what should pakistan do to get over mumbai attack…….”Hafeez saeed, LET”, arrest them, ban them, and it should be credible and not eye wash.

  158. NSA

    Hayyer wrote:

    The five suggestions can be reduced to two.
    1. Put Kashmir in cold store for the present.
    2. Open up trade, travel and media exchanges.

    There is a background assumption that is needed, namely that is the Indian public believes that the civilian government of Pakistan is doing its best to curb ISI/LeT attacks on India. It almost doesn’t matter what the reality is, but rather what the public opinion is.

  159. AA Khalid

    @thoughts

    The issue of caste is a concern because India refuses to adopt the UN framework which most countries adopt. Yes India has made some token gestures but is there anything of real substance? No, and you are right about the diversity of India and how it will take years to change social attitudes even if some token gestures in politics are being made.

    I personally believe the UN charter of Human Rights, and believe the Kashmiris should be allowed to choose for themselves. Self determination is the right for any people, so why deprive Kashmiris of the right of self determination.

    For years both Pakistan and India put up barriers, if both want peace, allow the Kashmiris to decided for themselves. This is their future we are talking about, and they must have the final say.

    However, I have to say to date, the Government of India has refused to reconsider the possibility of holding a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.

    Without, however, holding a plebiscite or referendum it is impossible to determine exactly what proportion of the people support which option.

    At least gauge popular public opinion. If one is truly concerned about the liberty of these people we should put aside nationalist agendas and condier a plebiscite or referendum.

    There is a lack of unanimity among the inhabitants of that part of the world, if ever the issue were to be resolved by a plebiscite or referendum, a fairer solution might be to hold the plebiscite on a regional basis.

    Indians and indeed some Pakistanis may be apprehensive about the results, but this seems to be the fairest course of action.

  160. Tilsim

    @ Hayyer
    “2. Open up trade, travel and media exchanges.

    Nothing else is required for peace to break out.”

    Yes, when I was doing my version of the list I too wondered whether this should be priority number one.

    In my view, I don’t think one can put Kashmir into cold storage (as intractable a problem as it seems). It drives much of the terrorism against India and provides the fuel to our extremists and nationalists. It’s also distorting the national psyche of both our countries – hugely in Pakistan. We need strong political will on all sides to explore realistic political solutions. The blowback of this sore has fallen disastrously on Afghanistan too.

  161. AA Khalid

    I think what some Indians fear more than a solution where Kashmir joins Pakistan, is an independent Kashmir, and perhaps the same can be said of some Pakistanis.

    For many Pakistanis and Indians, the issue of Kashmir isn’t about the condition of the people living there, its about national pride. This clouds the issue of self determination which the Kashmiris have a right to.

    But if we open our eyes, we perhaps can see that an independent Kashmir Valley (or any other scenario of an independent Kashmir) would have the advantage of ending the dispute in a fair manner.

  162. Tilsim

    @ thoughtsoflost soul

    “Ok…..so what should pakistan do to get over mumbai attack…….”Hafeez saeed, LET”, arrest them, ban them, and it should be credible and not eye wash.”

    Yes, as a Pakistani I say definitely him and many others like him. We are not at odds. Even though I am a liberal, I say that if the laws need to be changed in Pakistan to lower the burden of proof in terrorism cases, we should do it. We are at war for our own survival (regardless of what India does or thinks).

  163. Tilsim

    @ AA Khalid

    I think a another possible plebiscite would be one where a new political construct for Kashmir agreed between the leaders of Pakistan,India and the Kashmiris is put before the public to accept or reject.

  164. Tilsim

    @ AA Khalid

    I think another possible plebiscite could be one where a new political construct for Kashmir once agreed between the leaders of Pakistan, India and the Kashmiris is put before the public to accept or reject.

    It’s not a winner take all situation. Some solution around the valley seems to be the pivot point.

  165. NSA

    AA Khalid :

    I think what India fears most is a reopening of Constitutional questions that are supposed to have been closed and settled for years, as far as India is concerned. Notice the turmoil that Pakistan is in precisely because the consensus around constitutional matters is largely broken.

    If you can come up with a solution to the J&K problem that does not involve constitutional amendments, then it just might be feasible.

  166. Hayyer

    I mentioned two simple conditions and as we see we cannot agree on the first one. So what hope peace.

    From India’s point of view it is neither possible to make Kashmir independent, nor to allow it to join Pakistan.

    India exists as a whole with all its diversities. That is what it lives by. Kashmir is not a special case by itself for independence. There are plenty of claimants. Every state can theoretically seek independence. We are not like Canada where just Quebec can be allowed to secede, or the UK where there will always be an England even if Scotland and Wales quit. There is no India except the way it is. An independent Kashmir may satisfy Pakistan, it does nothing for India.

    The right of self determination is not a fundamental right for any Indian or Pakistani state. It was a special condition that Mountbatten inserted in the instrument of accession. The Maharaja had not offered conditional accession. Nehru mistakenly took the case to the UN where the Brits were in a particularly nasty state against India. Read Das Gupta on that. Mountbatten again furthering British interests rather than Indian persuaded Nehur to go to the UN. Odd that the same Mountbatten should be accused of the Gurdaspur conspiracy.

    Even so it is commonly believed that under Sheikh Abdullah a plebiscite could well have gone in favour of India, certainly in the valley of Kashmir, but even including the areas now with Pakistan. Had Pakistan followed the UN resolution and withdrawn its troops a plebiscite could have been held. It is impossible now. Besides the plebiscite resolution was a non binding one and some years back the Secretary General of the UN acknowledged it.

    Kashmir’s choice was India or Pakistan. The tribal invasion messed up the choice and that is where we still are now.

    For peace to break out Pakistan will need to accept something on the lines that Musharraf suggested a few years ago and which India was stupid enough to cold shoulder.

    Or we can cold storage it.

    As a live issue, a national cause, a jugular vein, an excuse for the Pakistan army, it will always be a casus belli.

    Musharaff said soon after he took over, in 2000 I think that even with a Kashmir solution India and Pakistan could not be friends. That is the real problem. India needs an army against China. Why would Pakistan need one, unless it intended to fight Afghanistan or Iran?

  167. @AA Khalid

    I understand your suggestion for plebicite, exactly what Canada did with its french population of Quebec province…….. 1) But; normal Indians assume that if India had been Islamic republic, then, there would have been no issue of Kashmir.

    2) Indians beleive that Kasmir trouble erupted as soon as USSR withdrew from Afghanistan In 1989, and there was mass Jihadist euphoria that, if they can defeat super power, they can wrest Kasmir on the basis on gun from India. So if India buckles under the pressure of these Jihadist on Kashmir, then after Kasmir they will raise another issue and another…..because these Jihadist aim at global caliphate.

    3) Indians see Kasmir issue as just another seccession movement borne out of parochial regionalism mixed with religion…… and over a period of time, it can be resolved in the same way Khalistan movement was resolved in India.

    3)In india there is predominant beleif that if Pakistan does not give armed assistance and does not inject Afghan Jihadis in kashmir, then issue can be solved.

    4) JKLF was main Kasmiri group with kashmiri people in it….. this group is almost sidlined by ISI in 1995, because it asked for Kashmiri independence from both India and Pakistan. According to Indians 90 % of the present millitants in Kasmir are Afghanis or pakistanis and not Kasmiris themselves.

    Now, Indians can hold plebicite only when they are sure that there is no global jihadi organisation functioning in Kashmir and the plebicite can bring true Kashmiri public opinion.

    So, as long as LET, jaish, harkat and assorted terror organisation function from Pakistan for wresting Kasmir from India, no Indian govt or liberal can ask for plebicite.

    Plebicite is only possible when India feels it is not being held, hostage at gun point.

  168. Tilsim

    “Musharaff said soon after he took over, in 2000 I think that even with a Kashmir solution India and Pakistan could not be friends. That is the real problem. India needs an army against China. Why would Pakistan need one, unless it intended to fight Afghanistan or Iran?”

    Good old South Asian fatalism.

  169. Abhi

    Khalid Mian,

    It feels fine to be riding on a moral high horse doesn’t it ?

    Shall we talk about the rampant caste system that exists in Pakistani society? Oh yeah .. there is no caste system in Pakistan coz its society is based on egalatarian Islam .. LOL.

    I don’t even understand why you are unnecessarily dragging Caste System in a discussion about resolution of Indo-Pak disputes …

    And about UN resolutions .. Have you even read them.. Plebicite was conditional in 1948 on the removal of Pakistani troops and “non-state actors” from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Did that ever happen ? Presently the ethnic fabric of Kashmir has completely changed due to Punjabification of POK on hand and ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pundits on this side . So plebicite is no longer feasable. I am sure a knowledable person knows all this, then why are you repeating the same ol’ refrain?

    Anyways, what’s up with calling Hindutva Nationalist to anyone who is sceptical about Pakistani intensions ( based on historical facts!) .

  170. Hayyer

    thoughtoflostsoul:

    India had the chance of solving Kashmir but chose instead to aggravate its problems right upto 1989. From 47 onwards India had 40 years to sort out matters and it chose to progressively ruin them.

    Again after Kashmir cooled down in 1995-96 India had a huge window to sort things out. It sat tight. Remember Narasimha saying that India would accept anything short of Azadi and Devegowda saying the sky is the limit. Yet when the National Conference government presented its Autonomy Report in 1999 the GoI threw it in the dustbin.

    While Pakistan likes to keep the pot boiling India is by no means blameless.

  171. Abhi

    @thoughts of soul

    Even then, the plebicite is not possible because of the reasons detailed above. Also it will setup a dangerouse precedence.

    If liberals want peace, they have to create a public opinion in Pakistan so that Kashmir ceases to be the obsession and “crore issue” of the Pakistanis.

  172. PMA

    Hayyer (July 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm):

    Thanks for picking up on the questions I have posed to my friend Raza Rumi flushed with his recent long trip to India. You Indians really know how to win hearts. Even your Foreign Minister’s statement of peace and harmony between the two nations at the Islamabad airport is so heart warming.

    India has for long desired free and open trade with Pakistan; a transit route to Afghanistan and Central Asia; cultural exchange and travel. Indian ambitions in this regard are understandable. But what is in it for Pakistan is not clear to this simple man. Your answer that ‘if you are importing anyway then why not from India’ gives an insight to Indian reasoning, but does not provide answers to my questions put to Mr. Rumi, the author of this article.

    Should Pakistan move from being an exporter of raw material and importer of finished goods to an exporter of value-added products? That is a billion dollar question and from Pakistan’s perspective any trade with a much bigger and overwhelming India should be centered on that. Otherwise Pakistan will be a secondary producer of raw material for the Indian international market and a dumping ground for Indian products. Bangladesh is an example for what could happen to Pakistan. We have already seen this happened in the death case of Pakistan film industry. The same process is being repeated in the chemical, steel, pharmaceutical and medical industries led by the multinational firms active in the Sub-continent. Remember the reasons why our fathers and grandfathers opted out of the Empire at the first place. I will indulge you on the other two issues as we go.

    Regards. Pervaiz Munir Alvi.

  173. Abhi

    Hayyerjee I think there is a lesson in the way in which insurgencies were sorted out in Mizoram and Punjab . While the process will be a painful but short term one, it will be not be festering would like Kashmir.

    Incidentilly both these states are presently absolutely peaceful with highest HDIs amongst the states of the Indian Union .

  174. Tilsim

    @PMA

    You could also look at it as an opportunity to generate inward investment into Pakistan and an influx of ideas and much needed management expertise that will raise our game so that we are able to compete better globally. Pakistani businessmen will have access to a much larger market in India. Market access is an issue for us. Of course, if the fear is about competition, that can be addressed through a competition commission which prevents market concentration.

  175. Quantum_Singularity

    @AA Khalid

    “I think what some Indians fear more than a solution where Kashmir joins Pakistan, is an independent Kashmir, and perhaps the same can be said of some Pakistanis.”

    Not really. I would say they don’t differentiate the two by much, since both would lead to a loss of sovereignty.

    “For many Pakistanis and Indians, the issue of Kashmir isn’t about the condition of the people living there, its about national pride.”

    Correct. However, it is not like virtually every other country on the planet thinks the same way about disgorging its territory.

    “This clouds the issue of self determination which the Kashmiris have a right to. “

    How exactly do you argue that self-determination is a right in this case? If ethnicity/minority status was the basis of self-determination then the world would be in Anarchy and the concept of a nation state would be meaningless.

    “But if we open our eyes, we perhaps can see that an independent Kashmir Valley (or any other scenario of an independent Kashmir) would have the advantage of ending the dispute in a fair manner.”

    I cannot speak for Pakistan, however, no Indian government could survive 2 hours even remotely suggesting such a thing. I think the most that one can hope for is some level of autonomy.

    See the following incisive analysis by veteran Western diplomat/ambassador to South Asia:

    http://brookingspress.typepad.com/files/india-abroad-interview-schaffer.pdf

  176. Hayyer

    Abhi:

    You have stated the stock GoI responses. It solves nothing. It is called eyes wide shut. The problem of Mizoram is quite different from the problem of Punjab which is quite different from the problem of J&K. GoI doesn’tsolve problems; instead it hopes they will go away if nothing is done for long enough. The alternative is ofcourse the security forces. Did not the Army chief say that the forces have done what they could in J&K but the politicians don’t build on it.

  177. @A A Khalid
    @Raza Rumi
    @Tilsim

    I write this with some bitterness.

    Raza says “My post was to promote peace and trust but our internet activists (brainwashed by nebulous indian nationalism) are hellbent on creating discord.”

    Fine, Raza, what did you do about it? Watched the fun from the sidelines? Some of us tried to hold the gates against these yobs; did you help? Do you need reminding about the number of times when there were appeals to you to stop the worst of a bad lot from leaving their droppings here, and vitiating the atmosphere? If I may say on behalf of myself alone, there were those Indians seeking a middle ground, and trying to get over their national predilections and propensities; you basically threw them to the wolves.

    And now you let us have these cynical little snorts of high-energy homily from your Blackberry. Please give me a few minutes to curl up and die of shame, for some of my fellow-Indians having behaved as they were predicted to behave, and thus presumably proving your point.

    If you wanted to act, you could have. You didn’t. Would you mind very much shutting up and not being sanctimonious about it?


    AA Khalid
    July 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    The fact of the matter is that arrogance is preventing many Indians and Pakistanis to come to the table of dialogue.

    Ignorance, if you don’t mind, A A Khalid. Ignorance far more than arrogance. What you did, digging up references, authorities and citations was exactly right. It will be like that; getting rid of emotion, prejudice and set bigotry is not easy, and will never be easy. What you – and others – are doing is the right way; if you tire and fall away, we leave the ground to the bigots. Do you want someone to tell you there’s a silver bullet? There isn’t one.

    Both parties pretend there are absolutely no problems at home, I have seen so many Indians on this forum guilty of doing this and I have had to uncover great amounts of scholarly literature, reports, stats, articles and so on to prove this is just not the case.

    I have had to introduce Indians to some outspoken Indian intellectuals who are brave to point our their own problems and accept self criticism. Learn from these thinkers and intellectuals (a lesson for all I would have thought).

    Indian exceptionalism or Pakistani exceptionalism is both wrong. Exceptionalism in both cases is mistaken.

    There are deep deep seated problems in both countries, acknowledge this much at the very least, instead of putting on some unwarranted machismo style bravado.

    As far as this last is concerned, the solutions are in the hands of those who have a hand in deciding what shall appear and what shall not.

    I submit to you, for reasons of argument and not for reasons of practical application, for which miracle I have lost hope, that excluding persistent offenders is a good thing. They will not change; allowing their views to stand, or to appear in the first place, will add no value; they neither are refreshing or original themselves by themselves, nor in comparison to others.

    Raza Rumi
    July 15, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Well said Khalid. These guys have a license to leave their uninformed, ignorant media-fed opinions on this site but get visibly perturbed when you question the obvious about India. My post was to promote peace and trust but our internet activists (brainwashed by nebulous indian nationalism) are hellbent on creating discord. I bet very few of them are based in India. Herein lies the irony.

    Ironic. Very.

    Gorki is not based in India either. Part of the time, neither is Hayyer. So?

    Of the trolls, there were a number of conspicuous offenders who were India-based. The details, in terms of IP addresses of the contributors, must be available with you for you to judge matter; see for yourself. Mine is circumstantial evidence, after all.

    AA Khalid
    July 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm
    but I also never for a second back away from pointing out the obvious across the border.

    If we can have some Indian posters reciprocate this spirit of critical inquiry and maintaining a critical distance to injustice no matter where it comes from it could be very refreshing.

    That’s the point of having human conscience otherwise its a pathetic waste of human capacity and reason.

    Personally, I believe that this is utopian. May I recommend an alternative?

    It is that Pakistanis should criticise Pakistan, Indians should criticise India, but never the other way around. Indians DO NOT know enough about India to comment with accuracy; Pakistanis RARELY know enough about India to comment with accuracy. There are exceptions, but this is a reasonably sound and workable proposition. You may like to think about it.

    Tilsim
    July 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm
    I am very sad to witness the apathy of liberals displayed in few posts and the hyperactivity of bigots and trolls. The distinct impression I am getting is that hardly anyone (including liberals) wants to actively do the leg work to achieve peace through peaceful means. The first step is to learn the art of dialogue as well as rational informed and balanced debate.

    I disagree, kind Sir. Liberals are sick and tired and fed up of an unchecked flood of filth which is not regulated or contained in any way, and reduces everything to the lowest common denominator. There are many liberals watching these posts, some of an astonishing breadth of vision and even of active participation (in other places) in Pakistan-India confidence building and mutual dialogue. They have begun to see this blog as beginning to approach Chowk in its worst manifestations.
    Tilsim
    July 15, 2010 at 5:34 pm
    Yes, I am too thoroughly fed up with many voices here that just hijack any efforts to constructively and peacefully discuss common problems and issues that face us and how best to address them.

    For every sane voice, there are 3 to 4 ugly ones.

    These discussions don’t go anywhere – just polemics and some sort of ego massaging. These people don’t understand the first thing of what it takes to undertake a dialogue.

    The comments are overarching, unbalanced, at times venomous and therefore not at all persuasive. I also think it shows that Pakistan’s own peace faces a huge threat from the what appear to be highly motivated and sizeable numbers of hyper-nationalists in India. It puts me on guard about these folks as much as our own variety.

    Quelle surprise!

    Hayyer
    July 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm
    PTH seems to attract a kind of fundamentalist right wing anti Muslim troll from India. On a thread advocating peace between India and Pakistan we see once again the Hindutva jeer/boor brigade.

    Our own bloody fault.

    First, there used to be strenuous and stressful individual combats between the moderator Yasser Hamdani and a succession of trolls. This gave YLH a reputation for bad temper and inability to control himself in the face of opposition that has now become a debating position with those who have no better wares on offer.

    Next, there was a phase when some of us voluntarily took up the task of fending off these nuisances. We found, quickly enough, why YLH used to lose his temper so frequently and comprehensively. Each successive genius thinks that he is making original points for the first time ever. He approaches the subject, whichever subject, wrapped in a quilt of impenetrable self-assurance and rightness about his stance; whatever the subject, the stance is one of two:

    1. that India rejects the Two Nation Theory, that the partition of British India, a deep conspiracy by the Muslims against the will of the vast majority, was led by that arch-conspirator Mohammed Ali Jinnah, that a despairing Nehru and Patel accepted partition as the only way out in a mood of black despair, and that Gandhi was heart-broken by the development;

    (b) further, that India is a perfect state, as indicated by its buoyant economy and its frequent mention in phoreign journals and magazines, even by indubitable phoreigners themselves speaking in phoreignese on Indian soil, and that the caste problem is a non-problem, an internal matter only, the Kashmir problem doesn’t exist, the Sikh problem doesn’t exist, the Naga problem doesn’t exist, the forest tribes’ problems don’t exist and never mind the Maoists, that Muslims are treated as equal citizens by other citizens, quite apart from the obvious protection given by the laws of the land, and there are no distortions in society expressed in the form of honour killings.

    This is a consistent and coherent point of view.

    2. The same as 1(b); the preliminaries are different.

    The preliminary section states: that India welcomes the Two Nation Theory, that the partition of British India was the best thing that could have happened, that now that the vast septic mass of the Muslim population has been physically shifted to Pakistan, we can live in peace with the confidence-shattered remnants, with the occasional regrettable but necessary and salutary disciplining procedure to remind them of what awaits them in case of turbulence, and that all other problems are due to Pakistani interference, without which there would really be no problems.

    If you examine the comments of our lunatic fringe from India, there is no variation.

    During these two phases, there was also an active policy of moderation, that ‘took down’ the worst examples of trouble-making by banning them, short-term or long-term or permanently. This, in some circles, has been used as a weapon to claim that the genuine arguments of opponents of the views expressed are being suppressed. Bullshit. These ‘genuine’ arguments fall so tightly within the two sets of arguments outlined (note that these are outlines), that there is no reason to repeat them under a new nickname every month.

    The reason why it is our own fault is that in spite of entreaties, pleas and submissions a-plenty, that policy of screening, after allowing ample opportunities for the culprits to redeem themselves with a single redeeming argument, has fallen into disuse. Part of this seems to be due to the extremely heavy work-burdens that some of the moderators seem to be subjected to, but that frankly isn’t a good enough reason. Surely, between you, Nusrat Pasha, Bin Ismail, Moosa and others, there are enough good people to supplement these lone rangers.

    I am afraid the matter lies with Raza Rumi, and I am also afraid that he is venting an increasing impatience with India and Indians by allowing this kind of loose screw freedom of operation; it shows up Indians as a peculiarly distorted, self-important, puffed-up breed of idiots, particularly those of them that have achieved some financial success or professional success abroad, or otherwise choose to do their rites of passage through super-nationalist contributions to blogs such as this. I don’t think he’ll change his stand; things will go on as before.

    As a result, every troll ranges these columns, with complete liberty to do so. And that is why with my increasing ill-health, I will now emulate PMA, and read a book of suitable portent and worth five lines in a day, rather than engage in this Sisyphean nightmare.

  178. AA Khalid

    ””I don’t even understand why you are unnecessarily dragging Caste System in a discussion about resolution of Indo-Pak disputes …””’

    I was responding to the condescending Indian exceptionalism on this forum, I see have touched nerve with you too…

    On the issue of the plebscite, the Kashmir issue was taken to the UN by India in January, 1948 and remained active in the UN Security Council till the late fifties The Indian complaint was filed under Chapter VI of the UN Charter and not under Chapter VII, which requires mandatory enforcement of the UN Security Council’s decisions. Chapter VI suggestions are advisory, hence the UN never authoratively passed any such legally binding responsibility to Pakistan or to India in the matter of plebiscite.

    Hence no party was under any legal obligations from the UN, due to the nature of the resolution.

    Since there were no legal obligations, the Kashmiris right for self determination was ignored by both Pakistan and India. This is a collective failure with the UN included.

  179. AA Khalid

    The UN has failed indeed, due to the excuse and sanctity of ”honour” in South Asian culture and national pride we have not been ready to allow a neutral third party or body to mediate the conflict.

    India seems especially adverse to this, indeed India’s position is to make sure no impartial third party gets involved.

    To me just and equitable peace can only be done with the presence of neutral third party, perhaps re-engagement with the UN is necessary.

    A third party perspective is needed to put such intractable conflicts in a new perspective.

  180. J.Krishnan

    To tilsim{EDITED}.

  181. Tilsim

    @ Raza Rumi

    I think Vajra has a point. The sapplings you sow can see no future if their water is rapidly poisoned each time. This forum should be a forum where new ideas and information sharing can grow amongst people who share some common threads -it’s not for those who are hell bent on subterfuge and spewing venom. Lots of places on the blogosphere for the trolls where they can meet other trolls. One needs quiet for thought and reflection, not high blood pressure and a frown. I hope that you will consider his plea.

  182. PMA

    Vajra (July 15, 2010 at 7:58 pm):

    Aren’t you exaggerating a bit. If I was such a slow reader then how could I possibly read your lengthy posts here at PTH at one glance. Hope you feel better, soon. But if you leave PTH then who will discipline the kids. YLH?

  183. Hayyer

    PMA:
    You quite mistake my argument. If Pakistan is to build up its economy using what is called the infant industry argument, which other nations have used including India good luck. But that is not the point here.

    If you Indian material via Dubai you might as well import it direct from India. It is cheaper and more efficient.

    On the other hand if you want to protect your native industry the protection needs to be not just against ndia but every other country. Such protection takes the form of tariff or non tariff barriers. What Pakistan may be doing is protecting only against India. That is inefficient and costly for Pakistan.

    You mention Bollywood films. There was a ban from 1965 to just recently on Indian films. Video came in only around 1980. For 15 clear years between 65 and 80 Pakistan had the opportunity that it did not use to create its film industry, so you should not blame it on India. Besides for some obscure reason the Bollywood bilge appeals to vast swathes of humans across the globe. I don’t know why. Some Europeans and Americans have become fans too. Why blame the ordinary Pakistani. Afghans, Tajiks and others in Africa seem to like the stuff.

    India may want to trade with central Asia but those are not huge markets. Besides it cannot compete with China in manufactured goods. Blocking Indian trade does nothing for Pakistan but little harm to India.

  184. lol…….Now i understand, what bureaucrats on both sides face, its a logjam.
    India will not give Kashmir
    and Pakistan will not sit quiete without Kashmir…….

    Narrative of both nation are diffrent, and i don’t see common ground.

    As far as i see, India and Pakistan will continue to bleed each other for next 3 to 4 generation more; and then will come to realise futility of hatred and then may be we may have EU sort of thing, hopefully before this 3 or 4 generation comes, we do not blow each other up….that would be pity!!!… Anyways as Churchill said jaw jaw is better than war war, hopefully Indian and Pakistanis can have more of jaw jaw….. but i don’t know whether i am right or wrong; but going through Pakistani blogs and newspapers i have a feeling that even liberal Pakistanis try to interpret and show liberalism and secularism through islamic angle. One more thing; I never understood why “Junaid Jamshed” (he got such a beautiful voice) left music and said its haram; because according to me; music is the soul of man. I take junaid as idicator of middle class thinking in Pakistan, and the amount of conspiracy theory in Pakistani news papers is simply amazing; if you just ask few very simple and rational question the whole edifice of conspiracy would fall. For eg America wants to destroy pakistan and take its nuclear weapons; i simply laugh at it, the day america decides to do it, no one can stop it…..on the contrary it America which has invested billions of dollars in sustaining Pakistani economy. Even India, for its own interest want stable Pakistan, because at least present govt is better than taliban types who may gain control.
    Anyways it was nice to read through this blog and I hope on this planet earth we have more rational people like the ones making atleast an effort towards honest dialogue…..jaw jaw…..better than war war…… Moreover all of us here are no more than cyber junkies whose opinion hardly matters in their respective countries….lol; so may be liberal indian and liberal pakistanis can be friends and let the fundamentalist of both the countries fight amongst themselves 🙂

  185. shiv

    @Sahal

    After reading these comments, all I can say is that.

    Screw these Indians, I do not want peace with them.

    This in fact is one way forward. It also happens to be what has been happening for 63 years.

    Everyone wants peace on his terms. Who is going to “give” and who is going to “take”?

    When neither side agrees the problem will go on and on and on till one side or the other cannot take it any more and will have to back out. Or bust.

    I think that leaders of nations have to ask themselves exactly what they have got their nation into. In the case of hostility between India and Pakistan, you know Pakistan is spending 20% of its budget on the armed forces. India is spending less than 5% and that amount is almost equal to Pakistan’s national budget.

    It’s a perfectly comfortable amount for Indians to feel secure, just as I am sure Pakistanis want to feel secure by what is being spent in Pakistan. And if war is necessary, war will have to be fought.

    What’s in it for India to spend less? You are aware of the history and you are aware of realities. You are aware of what India believes the Pakistani armed forces and establishment have been up to.

    Pakistan is now fighting a two and a half front war. I am sure Pakistan could do with spending even more on defence. It would help if India appeared less aggressive so Pakistan can make peace. But what does India get in return for being less aggressive?

    “Mujahideen” in the heights of Kargil – whose bodies carry identity cards of the Northern Light Infantry?

    RSS gunning down people in Mumbai hotels, after getting trained by the Lashkar e Toiba in Pakistan?

    All Indian lies to smear Pakistan. But what’s going to stop those liars? More hatred and more aggression from Pakistan is welcome. Indians are accustomed to that. Indians are also accustomed to hearing of the victories won by the Ghazis who are defending Pakistan against its main threat, India.

    If something new comes from Pakistan – that would be a shocker.

  186. @thoughtsoflostsoul

    Andyouandyourpostwereaprimeexampleofthekindoffilthanddirtthatclogsupanygooddiscussion.

    lol and🙂 to indicate human parentage; that seems to be your only proof, so it’s good enough for me.

  187. J.Krishnan

    {EIDTED}

    All who claim to be pakistani liberals must go to Pakistani school and colleges and protest against what is being taught there against India and hindus. Any other beginning will be a tomfoolery against the indians.

    {EDITED}

  188. Girish

    If Vajra stops fulminating against others and actually contributes (which he has shown capability for once in a while), there would actually be some benefit to all.

    On the Kashmir issue, I think Hayyer’s suggestion of putting it in cold storage is unrealistic, given that one party has no interest in that (the other would of course love it). It was precisely an attempt to pull it out of cold storage that prompted Pakistan to fuel the insurgency in the first place. Politics in the state was the typical mundane stuff before that, with political parties fighting with each other over trivialities, allegations of ballot stuffing (common throughout most of north India until the early 1990s) and everybody plumbing the depths in terms of corruption and ineptitude. It was in this situation that the insurgency began.

    There is also no sense in discussing any solution that will alter borders. Whatever the moral right or wrong, it is not going to happen. So why waste time over it.

    The only feasible solution, in my view is the following

    a. Freezing of the current status quo and converting the line of control into a border, perhaps formalizing it (even that will take time)

    b. Maximum autonomy to the state, with some political arrangements between the governments in the two parts of Kashmir.

    c. Opening of the borders to allow for people to move easily across the two halves, trade with each other and so on. This would be a prelude to the gradual opening of borders not just in Kashmir but elsewhere as well (through easy visas for personal and business travel)

    d. Confinement of the armed forces in J&K to the barracks and their gradual drawdown as violence reduces, such that finally only the minimum required for maintenance of the border would remain. This would involve a plan to train and equip the J&K police to fully handle law and order on its own.

    e. Verifiable dismantling of the entire infrastructure of terrorism that Pakistan has built over the last three decades. This would involve winding down the branches of the ISI that have been involved in terrorism in India and elsewhere, closing down and prosecuting terror organizations and individuals, and irreversibly dismantling the entire support infrastructure for it. Since the actions themselves cannot be expected to be verifiable, verifiability has to be in terms of certain agreed outcomes.

  189. Tilsim

    @ Raza Rumi

    For example, what is the point of keeping J Krishnan’s comments on this blog? If he were a Muslim talking such nonsense about Hinduism, I am sure there would be a strong desire to shut him down. I don’t like censorship but as this is a private blog, some moderation would be most welcome.

  190. NotVajra

    E.g., I have a proposal to build confidence between the armed forces of the two countries, namely, that officers of each side be assigned and stationed for 6 months duration at a time as liason to an equivalent unit on the other side. Obviously, a lot of concerns to be addressed, but I believe they can.

    I don’t think as J. Krishnan does that e.g., addressing the issue of how dhimmis are treated in an Islamic dispensation is appropriate to this thread, or for the issue of how to get to “not fighting” and “are trading” for instance.

    Let us also not get into meta-issues about whether peace is desirable, etc. (e.g., is it really in India’s best interests to ….); let us assume it is desirable and see what can be constructed that brings about peace.

    Call it an elaborate “what if” exercise (or “rethink possible” to steal a trademark).

  191. Tilism: I don’t want to censor stuff. I will edit anything offensive to our faith for sure. However, it is people like him who should be exposed for their bigotry and deeply ingrained prejudices. Its a good job that Indian electorate rejected such Muslim haters in the last two elections. But I also understand where they are coming from – they are victims of their myopia!!

  192. Hayyer

    Girish:

    If you won’t put it into cold storage then you must solve it and if you can’t solve it then you must keep fighting over it, which is about what we are doing.

    Think of the poor Kashmiris under the AFSPA for two decades nearly. While you sit there comfortably talking about it and making up your mind whether to make up your mind or not.

    The problem is partly Pakistan’s creation, but the blame is largely India’s. They had their chances but they like pretending there is no problem, unless that of Pak sponsored terrorists. They are there as a problem certainly certainly, but what about the original problem?

  193. Girish

    Hayyer:

    You are assuming that not putting it in cold storage means retaining the current status quo. I didn’t suggest that.

  194. Girish

    And could you please tell me how you are going to convince Pakistan that Kashmir should be put in cold storage? By Pakistan, I mean all relevant decision makers, not just the token civilian Government.

  195. Tilsim

    @ Raza Rumi

    I understand and feel for your point of view. However, so many of these guys are posting here that it is coming across as the predominant view. I keep on saying to myself is this the true level of bigotry. You have fortunately been to India and can assess facts for yourself and get a nuanced perspective. The vast majority of Pakistanis have not been there and given all our own fears and prejudices, these guys are just confirming the worst. It depends on what you want this website to be and what purpose it best serves. My two cents.

  196. J.Krishnan

    to tilsim

    I criticize hinduism too – but not on a pakistani blog. In Pakistan hindus are a dying, dwindling, vilified, terrorized mini-minority.

    As of dhimmis – I was only responding to AA Khalid not knowing (or pretending not to know) about the totally ineradicable 6-caste system inherent in islam (momin, ahl al kitab, dhimmi, munafik, kafir, murtad). The murtad is of course wajib ul katl and ceases to exist even before you spell out the word murtad. So only 5 castes (only 5 non-empty(?) sets).

    Respected Raza Rumi

    Give no quarter to the censor men. They are hypocrites in their own fashion. That too with a huge holier than thou conceit.

    Start by going to pakistani children and youth and tell them that what they learn about history, India, hindus, muslim self-glorification etc. is poisonous or humbug. That will make India a safer place for us hindus.

  197. Hayyer

    Girish:

    It is not for me to convince whoever matters in Pakistan.

    I made the suggestion as elicited on this thread if you remember-Five suggestions? I offered two.

    It is a free for all. You can make your own set of five, or less.

  198. Tilsim

    @ J Krishnan
    “As of dhimmis – I was only responding to AA Khalid not knowing (or pretending not to know) about the totally ineradicable 6-caste system inherent in islam (momin, ahl al kitab, dhimmi, munafik, kafir, murtad). ”

    I have to admit that I found imposing that classification on us Muslims quite novel and amusing. However I still think you are seriously misguided, on a mission and get your kicks out of trouble making. I hope one day you use your intelligence to build bridges rather than help to strengthen the walls.

  199. PMA

    Hayyer (July 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm):

    I am aware of the ‘third party trade’ between India and Pakistan. Not just through the Gulf but also through the Far East as well including Banglaland. In fact that is what the multinational firms are doing right now. I have mentioned some of the related industries involved in this sort of trade. Also there is a smugglers’ route.

    But I am not for the blind protectionism. Competition is good for the business as long as it is fair. Indian goods clandestinely landing in Pakistani market have a sort of tariff on them; the profit mark-up by the middlemen which are also Indian nationals. At present Pakistani market is full of cheap Chines consumer products. The indirect Indian imports are not able to compete with China which due to political reasons has free access to Pakistani market. You yourself have said that India “cannot compete with China in manufactured goods”.

    But China is a friend and India is not. If India wants to enter Pakistani market uninhibited then she has to offer Pakistan something more than what China does. India has to enter into a peace agreement with Pakistan for all times to come.

    You say let us put Kashmir in cold storage. Alright. What about moving on other fronts. What about moving back the war like Indian military buildup from Pakistan land and marine borders. What about removing missiles from Pakistani borders. What about water issue. What about stop opposing Pakistan at diplomatic levels. The non-Kashmir list of peace initiatives that India could take vis-a-vis Pakistan is very long. She could start at any one point. Are Indians ready for that?

    About film industry. Actually Pakistan did very well after its ban on Indian films. But it died under the crushing weight of Indian on-slot via video. India has advantage of volume and numbers. Pakistan government failed to help its film makers to balance the deficit. Also the popularity of Indian films is often due to its vulgarity component which Pakistan film industry can not produce due to social conservative norms. Indian films are close to soft porns feeding the needs of sex starved masses.

    About Indian desire for access to Afghanistan, Tajikistan and beyond. Trade is not the only motive, just one. Again it comes back to the same point. Make a peace offer to Pakistan. Let Pakistan come back with a counter offer. As the man said: “There is no alternative to peace.”

  200. Tilsim

    @ PMA
    Actually I recall my parents advising us not to watch Pakistani movies in the 1970s because they were considered more cheap and vulgar than the Indian ones. They certainly cater to a different taste -specially some of the Punjabi and Pathan numbers.

  201. Girish

    On moderation, one suggestion is to place posts that are likely to generate heated debate into automatic moderation. This does two things. First, posts that are abusive, or off-topic will never make it, thereby preventing response and counter-response and so on. Second, much of the heat is generated through a quick response cycle – one person posts something contentious, another posts a response which might in turn also be contentious and then things rapidly spiral out of control. In such situation, automatic moderation slows down the response cycle.

    Posts that are not generating contentious comments can be left unmoderated unless there are specific complaints.

    It does add to the moderation burden, but it is a compromise between a complete free for all, and heavy across-the-board moderation.

  202. lal

    @PMA
    a) moving the armies- not going to be the first step in CBM anyway.it will entirely be dependent on indian security assessment
    b) water – both u and hayyer are experts on that.i think hayyer has given the indian stand in a previous post
    c ) not opposing pakistan in international meets-entirely acceptable.i dont exactly kno wat r we talking about.but it shud be accepted.infact so far,there has not been a single public statement from the indian establishment on pakistani nuclear deal with china,though it was discuused for days by the media.i hope u wud have noticed that.
    d)putting kashmir in cold storage- i go with girish.indias dream and pakistans nightmare.not going to be agreed from pakistani side
    e)sir creek,siachen-practically solvable.probably waiting for the right moment.
    f)trade-mutually beneficial.for india it will be good business.for pakistan it will give more leverage as well as create a constituency in india that is more supportive of peace than the usual peacenicks.being swamped by indian goods,i understand is no more a concern,bcos any way it is run by chinese.but if it is like u give us kashmir,we will open the markets,it vl hardly work.dont really think business with pakistan is going to boom like that.enhancing trade under the auspices of saarc and having a south asian economic community will be gr8 for everybody concerned,could be the start of a gr8 new era,but will require statesmanship from all sides,and shud be considered as a stand alone isuue and given equal importance or more than kashmir and terrorism
    g)giving a corridor for india to reach afghanistan/central asia-i dont think pakistan is any way going to do it,certainly not in the short-medium term.even if pakistan considers such a proposal ,ensuring security for such a trade route will be a night mare.but whoever in this post actually came up with thta idea is a genius.always used to hear about the oil line from central asia/iran through pakistan.never read about the possibility of a trade route through pakistan for india.but actually the suggestion is gr8 for pakistan.wen and if india becomes a gr8 economy (assuming we will continue to grow like this for the next 10 years) ,as hayyer said central asia wont be a huge market for india,but the trade route through pakistan can bring it a real economic boost.

    i can go on..but we r nt reaching anywhere….so let me put my suggestion.i once suggested omar abdullah shud be made the prime minister of india to solve the kashmir issue in one of the posts in PTH and bonoboshi ridiculed me to all ends.he told i must be realistic and stop this childish game of selecting prime ministers.with due apologies,i vl play the same game again,but this time i will pick a PM for pakistan.Select an economist as ur prime minister.stop having islam or even nationalism as ur driving features and concentrate just on the economic upliftment of pakistan.all the problems vl b over….childish…ergh

  203. Parvez

    PMA,
    I was thinking on same lines as you. Let me add that big corporations are very destructive in the long run.

  204. Quantum_Singularity

    @AA Khalid

    “I think what some Indians fear more than a solution where Kashmir joins Pakistan, is an independent Kashmir, and perhaps the same can be said of some Pakistanis.”

    Not really. I would say they don’t differentiate the two by much, since both would lead to a loss of sovereignty.

    “For many Pakistanis and Indians, the issue of Kashmir isn’t about the condition of the people living there, its about national pride.”

    Correct. However, it is not like virtually every other country on the planet thinks the same way about disgorging its territory.

    “This clouds the issue of self determination which the Kashmiris have a right to. “

    How exactly do you argue that self-determination is a right in this case? If ethnicity/minority status was the basis of self-determination then the world would be in Anarchy and the concept of a nation state would be meaningless.

  205. Quantum_Singularity

    @AA Khalid

    “But if we open our eyes, we perhaps can see that an independent Kashmir Valley (or any other scenario of an independent Kashmir) would have the advantage of ending the dispute in a fair manner.”

    I cannot speak for Pakistan, however, no Indian government could survive 2 hours even remotely suggesting such a thing. I think the most that one can hope for is some level of autonomy.

    See the following incisive analysis by veteran

    Western diplomat/ambassador to South Asia:
    http://brookingspress.typepad.com/files/india-abroad-interview-schaffer.pdf

  206. Hayyer

    PMA:

    I was very pleased to read your response. Fair trade is what it is all about. If Indian or Pakistani businessmen are exploiting the Pakistani consumer with a tariff equating price whose fault is it?

    Are all those fellows Indian? Hard to believe that your own Pakistanis are not part of the racket.

    “At present Pakistani market is full of cheap Chines consumer products. The indirect Indian imports are not able to compete with China which due to political reasons has free access to Pakistani market. You yourself have said that India “cannot compete with China in manufactured goods.”

    If Indian goods cannot compete they cannot compete; friendship has nothing to do with it, unless governments are buying from each other as they sometimes do, buying inferior defence equipment.

    “But China is a friend and India is not. If India wants to enter Pakistani market uninhibited then she has to offer Pakistan something more than what China does. India has to enter into a peace agreement with Pakistan for all times to come.”

    Friendship has nothing to do with it. If Chinese goods are cheaper they will always outsell Indian goods. No consumer will buy an expensive Indian torch compared to a cheaper and probably better Chinese product only because we are friends. Individuals unlike governments make economic choices out of self interest not larger policy.

    “You say let us put Kashmir in cold storage. Alright. What about moving on other fronts. What about moving back the war like Indian military buildup from Pakistan land and marine borders. What about removing missiles from Pakistani borders. What about water issue. What about stop opposing Pakistan at diplomatic levels. The non-Kashmir list of peace initiatives that India could take vis-a-vis Pakistan is very long. She could start at any one point. Are Indians ready for that?”

    Not only willing, we own the copy right. Try us-with the condition that you don’t ask your NGOs to continue policy by other means.

    “About film industry. Actually Pakistan did very well after its ban on Indian films. But it died under the crushing weight of Indian on-slot via video. India has advantage of volume and numbers. Pakistan government failed to help its film makers to balance the deficit.”

    Bollywood lost a lot when Pakistan separated. Poets, scriptwriters and even singers. Some stayed some left but the new influx was never of the same quality. Now I am not talking of Pakistanis, but Muslims who left Bombay for Lahore. Some established actors and poets and musicians stayed
    BW lost a lot but it stumbled and recovered. The poetry is gone, forever I think. BW lost some of the passion when the Muslims who were there gradually exited.

    “Also the popularity of Indian films is often due to its vulgarity component which Pakistan film industry can not produce due to social conservative norms. Indian films are close to soft porns feeding the needs of sex starved masses.”

    I don’t watch them if I can help it, not that I am a prude. That so called soft porn stuff is a big yawn as far as I am concerned. Some of the 50/60s closeups are much more enticing.

    “About Indian desire for access to Afghanistan, Tajikistan and beond. Trade is not the only motive, just one. Again it comes back to the same point. Make a peace offer to Pakistan. Let Pakistan come back with a counter offer. As the man said: “There is no alternative to peace.”

    Without getting into politics all I can say is that Pakistan would gain a lot, as much as India if it gave India access. This is pure econospeak.

  207. Quantum_Singularity

    @AA Khalid

    “But if we open our eyes, we perhaps can see that an independent Kashmir Valley (or any other scenario of an independent Kashmir) would have the advantage of ending the dispute in a fair manner.”

    I cannot speak for Pakistan, however, no Indian government could survive 2 hours even remotely suggesting such a thing. I think the most that one can hope for is some level of autonomy.

    See the following incisive analysis by veteran

    Western diplomat/ambassador to South Asia:

    google: howard schaffer india abroad

    and click the first link

  208. Tilsim

    @ Raza Rumi

    Thank you very much for taking on board the particular concern.

  209. Girish
    What an excellent suggestion. Thanks for the input.

  210. Girish

    PMA,

    Since you have brought up Bangladesh many times, I would like to comment on it. It is of relevance to trade between India and Pakistan, because it would remove some preconceived notions. It is true as you said that Bangladesh imports far more from India than it exports to India. The numbers you quoted are from 2004, since when the balance has shifted a little towards Bangladesh, but the substance of your comment remains the same today.

    One might think then that it is a case of the bigger Indian players swamping the Bangladeshi market and forcing the local players out. However, the picture is much more complex than that. Sure, there might have been some less efficient Bangladeshi firms that were forced out by more efficient Indian firms. But that would be true of any other more efficient firm, from China or anywhere else. Furthermore, Indian imports into Bangladesh do not enjoy preferential tariff terms, while Bangladeshi imports into India have a much lower tariff than imports out of other countries due to SAPTA.

    What will complete the picture is that imports from India fall into 3-4 major buckets.

    1. Bulk commodities, particularly those it has no access to locally, such as coal, iron/steel etc. If they get these commodities cheaper from India than importing from elsewhere, Bangladeshis are better off.

    2. Inputs to their export industries – Bangladesh has a large garment export sector, which requires inputs such as cotton, polyester, etc. A big chunk of these materials, which are not locally available get imported from India. Once again, it is a win-win situation.

    3. Machinery and capital goods – nobody can really argue against imports of such products, which produce economic output and thereby wealth. Once again, these might be imported from elsewhere and if in a competitive market, Indian products sometimes win, that can only be for the benefit of Bangladesh.

    4. Consumer products, such as cars & pharmaceuticals – these products are again imported from India rather than elsewhere due to lower prices and/or greater fit of the products (e.g. cars and autorickshaws and motorcycles from India are more closely aligned to the needs of Bangladesh due to similar road conditions, economic considerations etc.)

    Now, Bangladesh has several opportunities to greatly enhance exports to India, and convert a trade deficit into a trade surplus. For a variety of reasons, local politics has prevented them from using these opportunities. For instance, a few years ago, large gas reserves were discovered in Bangladeshi coastal waters. India is a hugely energy hungry market and they could make a lot of money selling the gas to India. Transit is another opportunity. India’s north-east is connected by a narrow strip of land to the rest of India and this greatly hampers transportation of goods between these regions. Bangladesh is a natural route of transit, and the country could earn large amounts of money in transit fees and associated services. It is now starting to get exploited, but it has potential for explosive growth in the future. The Tatas offered to invest three billion dollars in Bangladesh to set up a large industrial complex consisting of an integrated steel plant, a fertilizer plant and a power plant, much of whose output would be exported (including to India). Once again, because of local politics, this investment was stalled. The point I am making is that if politics did not interfere, Bangladesh could even have a trade surplus with India. And even the current situation is to Bangladesh’s benefit.

    To sum up, it is a fundamental truth of economics (Ricardian idea of comparative advantage) that trade benefits both parties, provided it is fair and is based on the idea of free entry and competition. I cannot imagine why there is anything about the India-Pakistan situation that invalidates this fundamental principle of trade.

  211. AA Khalid

    @Quantum Singularity

    That link you posted indeed was insightful and very sensitive, it was a refreshing read.

    The argument for an independent Kashmir finds some support among Kashmiris themselves, and if they cite the UN Charter for Human Rights and cite the many human rights abuses committed by both Pakistan and India, what type of response can we give which is morally acceptable?

    Both Pakistan and India cannot claim the moral high ground in the Kashmir issue. Amnesty, HRW and the UN with their reports on the issue have made this abundantly clear.

    The aim must be to try and demilitarise Kashmir which will be extremely difficult in both India and Pakistan (though one suspects Pakistan may have it tougher with the history of the army entering into public life).

    Autonomy indeed may be the final pragmatic solution, though the link made it clear that it seems Kashmiris unfortunately will have little choice in determining their political and social destinies. However, the fact that the link said that the US should broker Indian interest over Pakistani undermines the idea of an impartial mediator.

    If I can give a thought provoking link in an article by Robert Grenier (Losing Kashmir – on Al Jazeera):
    Type into google

  212. @PMA
    July 15, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Vajra (July 15, 2010 at 7:58 pm):

    Aren’t you exaggerating a bit. If I was such a slow reader then how could I possibly read your lengthy posts here at PTH at one glance. Hope you feel better, soon. But if you leave PTH then who will discipline the kids. YLH?

    (Ulp)

    I hadn’t noticed that you’d taken a break and were looking out at the playground.

    If you are reading my posts, you must be the last reader I have left; nobody else is, that’s for sure. I am not leaving reading PTH; just writing on it, because my troubles seem to be ever-increasing. Just now, I just don’t feel up to rolling that damn’ rock all the way up to the top again. You might call it being under the top.

    YLH has changed careers in mid-life and become a lawyer; from evidence brought to my notice, a delightfully competent and literate one, although for reasons that baffle all his seniors, cases fought by one M. A. Jinnah seem to figure prominently in all his precedents. Must be some arcane reason behind it, but everyone is asking everyone else what it could possibly mean.

    That leaves you and Hayyer, Sir jee.

  213. androidguy

    @lal,

    PLEASE use proper punctuation before writing your posts…others are doing it, so can you, I presume.

  214. PMA

    Hayyer (July 15, 2010 at 10:52 pm):

    Let me take one more crack at it and then I will get off this subject. I will use one simple case. Pakistan produces very little silk but is a significant consumer of it. It used to import silk yarn and textile from India, Japan, Hong Kong and England. India occupied lower rung of the trade both in quality and price. After 1965 war India lost Pakistan market and for a while Japan was her largest exporter. Today it is mostly China. For apples to apples under normal circumstances Indian silk should be cheaper and readily available in Pakistani bazaars. But it is not. Because Pakistan grants favorable trade status to China and Indian silk is banned in Pakistan. Pakistan does so because China and Pakistan are strategic allies and, India and Pakistan are not. It all has to do with Pakistan having outstanding issues with India which India refuses to resolve. In international arena trade and politics are interlinked. Consumers enter much later in the picture.

  215. PMA

    Girish (July 16, 2010 at 12:43 am):

    I am not against trade between neighbors nor do I advocate protectionism. But at the same time I will not like to see my country washed with cheap Indian products. As I have said before, India has a built-in advantage of size and number vis-a-vis her neighbors. Her economy is bigger than all other SAARC members combined. Any trade with India must be sanctioned by keeping in view that such trade does not kill native economy. Bangladesh politicians used to complain about West Pakistan economic domination. Unfortunately all they have done is just change the masters. It is hard to believe that there are no value added products that Bangladesh can not export to India. Obviously India is the total beneficiary of the India-Bangladesh economic and political arrangement. I will not like to see my country Pakistan fall into same trap. I would be very very careful in opening up Pakistani market to Indian products. Pakistan must not become a secondary market to India or any other neighbor. Plus there is nothing that India could produce and Pakistan can not. Our economies are very similar. Only difference is the size and volume. And Pakistan must protect herself against that one Indian built-in advantage.

  216. libertarian

    @A A Khalid: I personally believe the UN charter of Human Rights, and believe the Kashmiris should be allowed to choose for themselves. Self determination is the right for any people, so why deprive Kashmiris of the right of self determination.

    Just like in Pak-administered Kashmir? Get a grip Khalid bhai. Also realpolitik prevents it. The rivers that sustain all of Pakistan and much of Northern India flow through the Kashmir Valley. There are 4M people in the Valley. There are 500M people (in India and Pakistan) who depend on that water. There is no way that either India or Pakistan can allow an independent Kashmir. Further, everyone forgets that Jammu and Ladakh want nothing to do with this azaadi thing. And Neelum Valley is a little pinata for Rawalpindi without any representation so it does not matter.

  217. NotVajra

    Further from that paper:

    These apparently very limited possibilities for Bangladesh to find substantial export markets in India under an FTA for its present major exportables, suggest the best prospects may be in industries and products which are still to be developed, for example natural gas itself or products such as power, fertilizers, chemicals, steel etc based on natural gas or coal inputs and/or other resources. This kind of development could be accelerated and distribution and marketing in India facilitated by direct investment including joint ventures on the part of Indian firms.

  218. Quantum_Singularity

    @AA Khalid

    “The argument for an independent Kashmir finds some support among Kashmiris themselves”

    From an international perspective that is really not a basis for secession. If it was then every ethnic/religious minority could theoretically break away, creating anarchy throughout world. Could Muslim majority neighborhoods in the US and India breakaway? Can Balochistan break away from Pakistan on the basis of ethnicity? I mean the separatist movement is pretty popular there.

    “and if they cite the UN Charter for Human Rights and cite the many human rights abuses committed by both Pakistan and India, what type of response can we give which is morally acceptable? “

    Is that not putting the cart before the horse? I mean violence is not what caused the separatist movement, it was the separatist movement that caused the violence (IHK prior to the late 80s was pretty peaceful). The only time extreme human rights abuses have been used as a justification for secession has been in the case of genocide (when I say genocide I mean real genocide as was the case in Bosnia and Kosovo).

    If we were to accept your argument, then the only thing any separatist group would have to do win is start a brutal insurgency to invite an equivalent response by the state when it tries to preserve its sovereignty. This argument, however, is largely not accepted by the international community. I mean the Tamils (via the Tamil Tigers) tried it and it failed miserably.

    “The aim must be to try and demilitarise Kashmir which will be extremely difficult in both India and Pakistan (though one suspects Pakistan may have it tougher with the history of the army entering into public life). “

    India probably would be happy to remove its forces from Kashmiri towns and cities (not sure about the border) if there was some assurance (either by elimination of militant groups or better border defenses) that militants would not infiltrate into Kashmir and that separatists would not challenge the writ of the state. Human rights abuses (e.g. the recent deaths of protestors) occur primarily because the ineptness of Indian security forces which like typical third world military forces do not understand discretionary police tactics, and as a result respond with the only thing they know: violence.

    “Autonomy indeed may be the final pragmatic solution, though the link made it clear that it seems Kashmiris unfortunately will have little choice in determining their political and social destinies.”

    The village my family came from had little choice in determining their political and social destiny when it became part of modern India. I am sure the same could be said for many villages in Pakistan. The real question is whether all of us have some kind of god given right to determine our political and social destiny at will, realistically we do not, else the result would be worldwide anarchy. Our situations are often accidents of history.

    “However, the fact that the link said that the US should broker Indian interest over Pakistani undermines the idea of an impartial mediator. “

    I presume he was saying that as means to pitch it to an Indian audience. At the end of the day you need a politically powerful country to offer incentives for concessions.

    “If I can give a thought provoking link in an article by Robert Grenier (Losing Kashmir – on Al Jazeera)”

    Thanks for the read. Grenier’s argument, that we should look at solving disputes that cause terrorism as opposed focusing on terrorism itself has been actually argued before numerous times. The usual response is that such arguments merely reward the most violent of extremists and presumes said greiveances are legitimate.

  219. harbir singh nain

    plus there is nothing that India could produce and Pakistan can not

    good! so produce it. and sell it in the Indian market. Force the indian producers to compete with the imported product.

    Either they’ll make it better or cheaper, or they’ll figure out they can’t compete and they’ll make something else that pakistan doesn’t.

    Protection and isolation work only to prevent sudden shock and turmoil, but they are bankrupt policies in the long run because they prevent the economy from competing and developing.

  220. Hayyer

    PMA:

    You were talking of Pakistan’s decision not to give India Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status under the international agreements on trade. India has given Pakistan that status long ago. Pakistan won’t reciprocate because of arguments such as the one you make-concede on Kashmir.

    Now both countries know it has not worked. India is not interested in doing a Kashmir deal only to help Indian exporters in Pakistan. And as we know there are plenty who manage to sell there anyway.

    This thread elicited five suggestions. I gave two and both have been shot down by Pakistanis, which should tell us a lot about the prospects for peace between our two countries. I think they are about zero.

    India is like a lumbering elephant and Pakistan is like a mangy wolf that keeps attacking it in the hope of bringing the beast down. It is not an impossible hope but on the face of it unlikely.

  221. Prasad

    Hayyer: Good read. To the point as always. Both Vajra and Not vajra are trying to outsmart each other by producing ( or should I say reproducing ) epic quantum of paragraphs only they would enjoy reading

    Hayyer: May I add one more to the two suggestions you produced –

    Indo – pak synergy in the IT sector. I read somewhere, IT spend in the US is expected to increase by 2% this year which converted into around USD 10 billion of surplus offshore business. Think about the synergy that will create enormous job opportunities to Pakistani youth and thereby diminish Terrorism. This is one way in which middle class pakistani society can break the mullah-poverty-army nexus

    Raza – any take?

  222. Prasad

    Raza/PMA – There is nothing wrong in doing business with India so long as prosperity is created. Havent we parked Arunachal Pradesh aside while we trade with China? and not to forget the Tibetan brothers living in India and our support to their cause…Trade continues with China and will only grow manifold going forward.

    No point dragging Kashmir as the epicenter of all discussions between India and Pakistan. The detrimental effects are only tilting more the pakistani way every passing year. Yes few Hafeez’s here and there would churn up propoganda and have a blast on the other side of the border once in a while. The counter reactions thats produced due to such brazen acts will only affect Hafeez’s land and nobody else

    Please do churn up public opinion to open trade with India and see the results ( jobs/offshore business et al)

  223. Tilsim

    ….which should tell us a lot about the prospects for peace between our two countries. I think they are about zero.

    I am feeling pretty bad about the recent talks. I think you may be right. If that is the case, we have to prepare for what inevitably is going to follow. The terrorists have removed the luxury of leaving it in a stalemate situation or an uneasy peace/ low level war of attrition that India/Pakistan of yore faced.

    The powers that be could not even agree on promoting travel between people.

  224. NSA

    Shanti/aman hum layenge!
    Kaise?
    Rumi, Vajra, aur do-char dost
    Yahaan per kuch likhenge.
    Phir,
    Sau crore Hindustanion ko aur
    satrah crore Pakistanion ko
    Manayenge!
    Kaise?
    Bolonge, humnay subh problems solve kar liye
    Archives mein dekho, ya chupp raho!

    Ek internet site ko nahin chalaa sakte hum
    Per shanti/aman hum layenge!

  225. lal

    @android guy
    .,/-`”_=+)(*&:$%^&*
    sorry bro.choose watever u want and place it wherever i missed🙂

  226. shiv

    @ Notvajra
    Perhaps the Indian posters here can discuss what India can do for peace; and the Pakistani posters can discuss what Pakistan can do for peace. Maybe there will be some common ground found that way.

    No need for beating about the bush.

    International relations work with “What can you give me?” rather than “what can I give you”.

    India looks at what Pakistan will give. Pakistan looks for what India will give.

    India will not give Kashmir. India will not give territory. India demands the stoppage of terrorism and indoctrination.

    Pakistan has thus far not given in to accepting blame for the terror issue. Pakistan demands certain concessions from India.

    India will not give those concessions unless terror is checked.

    So we are going to have peace, or we are not going to have peace. And that peace will hinge on terrorism and the infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan.

    If we get past that, anything is possible.

  227. NSA

    Shiv,
    If the point was to open up a non-acrimonious dialog between people on a blog, then I think my method works. In any case, no one here really has anything to give or to take.


    To the owners of this blog – you have a huge and stupefying long list of links on the right-hand side column. Have you ever considered writing up a few position papers and linking them prominently so that any new visitor to the blog will see them or can be referred to them? Instead, you expect that every new visitor here will magically know what you’re all about because they’d have dived through some yards of archive links. Then you get Vajra’s complaints. You want people to be informed – you have to make the information easy to find.

  228. J.Krishnan

    To Quantum and Khalid

    Quote: “Grenier’s argument, that we should look at solving disputes that cause terrorism as opposed focusing on terrorism itself has been actually argued before numerous times. The usual response is that such arguments merely reward the most violent of extremists and presumes said greiveances are legitimate.”

    furthermore :
    it actually encourages the terrorists to try again with a new issue.

    Even if hindus give Kashmir to the muslims on a golden platter, muslim terrorism will find new reasons to devilize and kill hindus and plan and carry out new encroaches upon hindu lands. For a muslim the very existence of a hindu is an insult to his Arabic allah.

    An independent Kashmir with Pakistan to be west and China to the east is like Poland 1939 with Hitler to the west and Stalin to the east. Many muslim Kashmiris are too foolish to realize this because of their embittered islamic indoctrination. And Pakistan means the rule of sunni fascism. Then not only all hindus and buddhists will have to flee from Kashmir but also all the shia and many sunnis.

    Pakistanis shed crocodile tears over Kashmir and its autonomy – but are totally silent about Tibet and the Kurds (in Turkey) or the christians in Egypt and Sudan etc.

    ————————————-

    Tilsim wrote:
    “I have to admit that I found imposing that (6 caste) classification on us Muslims quite novel and amusing.”

    The kafirs and murtads don’t find it amusing at all. Even the dhimmis and munafiks won’t find it amusing.

    As regards building bridges – I want bridges that are sturdy and not fakes that collapse when the first real vehicle rolls upon it. Here we have a bridge built by the british in 1890 and it is still strong (takes lorries much heavier than in earlier days). We hindus built a few bridges recently and many collapsed. A crucial bridge in Pune had to be declared off-bounds for buses and trucks after just 6 months.

    Peace YES, Trade YES, War NO.

    Censor NO. (Thanks to Raza Rumi)

  229. NSA

    People-people dialog will have exactly the same outcome as government-government dialog if the same rules are followed in both dialogs.

    Think of how a bazaar is set up. The first thing you need is vendors. Then you need customers. Then customers and vendors haggle over the price. Here it is totally opposite. We are starting with the haggling. We don’t even know what the vendors can offer.

    In the bazaar, the vendor will display the most tempting items, trying to make a sale. In international relations, just what you can offer is supposed to be concealed, this is negotiation strategy.

    All I’m really saying is that if you do things, even on this blog, in the same way, then you will get the same results. It is insanity to expect different.

    If I bring many good things to the table, there are prices attached to them, of course, but they are good, at least people will crowd around my table, even if they feel they can’t afford them right now.

    But perhaps we have nothing to put up as offers, such is our poverty…..

  230. NSA

    Prasad,

    One side says look at the bad effects on Bangladesh of trade with India.

    Other side says, the problem is with Bangladesh really, and what it has to export.

    First side says, no, no. There is no trust that other side is correctly stating the problem.

    How to break the logjam? Bring in and cite an outside authority, presumably unbiased. Is there any other way to break down the wall?

    If this blog is meant to be a small clique of people feeling self-congratulatory because they can come to some meaningless agreement among themselves and see how bad, how neech, how uncivilized the 117 crore other people are, constantly arguing, never listening to their betters, and oh, we peacemakers are so persecuted – then it is a different matter altogether. Just put that goal up in the blog banner, aur hum sabh chaley jayenge.

  231. Tilsim

    Mere humsaye dost, you are all caught in your rhetoric. The initiative is with terror. You don’t understand the conditions on the ground in Pakistan so you make one dimensional demands. You need to find partners for peace in Pakistan, without those you are failing to stop terror. Many people in Pakistan are fighting terror too (and mostly failing) and your country’s non-holistic approach is making our tasks so much harder.

    Please continue in your approach. You will take yourself and us both down with it.

    After a predictably awful start, the couple of articles on India/Pakistan peace posted on Pak Tea House by Raza started to generate more substantive dialogue type points. However, I have to accept that this sort of dialogue is an illusion at present.

  232. Raj (the other one)

    @AA Khalid

    Re: Indians mind being told about their internal problems

    The fact is India doesn’t give a damn about Pakistan’s internal problems, and no Indian talks about the problems in Pakistani society, at least not to a Pakistani audience, even though we are aware of them.

    As far as our internal problems are concerned, we DO deal with them. Otherwise India would not have been there where we are today. It is work in progress, and we are moving forward in the right direction and that too at a fast pace.

    As far as Pakistan’s internal problems are concerned, you DON’T deal with them, and that is why Pakistan is there where it is today. But to be honest, that doesn’t concern the Indians. Deal with your problems if you want to or don’t deal with them.

    I don’t see any reason why Indians should be talking about Pakistan’s internal problems, and why Pakistanis need to tell Indians about our internal problems.

    All Indians want, is for Pakistan to deal with the problems that it causes to the REST OF THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY TO INDIA. Nothing more than that but also nothing less than that.

  233. Raj (the other one)

    @shiv

    Thanks for your comments.

    Usually our discussions take place on other forums.😉

  234. J.Krishnan

    to raj and shiv

    There is a “peace” constituency in Pakistan. But that is islamic peace. That is where islam (the islamic narrative) has the upper hand. That is the muslim understanding of “peace” – peace with or under islamic dominance.

    Words like “peace, brotherhood, justice, scientific thinking, honesty etc.” don’t have the same meaning for the muslims as for the non-muslims. So beware. This is so not only for muslims in Pakistan but also in our India – so doubly beware.

    The ones are going to stab us hindus in the face and the other in the back – with China watching in glee.

  235. Raj (the other one)

    @J.Krishnan

    I don’t mind open hearts, but eyes should also remain open, always!

    The Pakistanis should know that liprhi-chuprhi bateyn and japhi-pappi are good for introductions, etc., but they are no cover for their activities, nor compensations for any misdeeds!

  236. PMA

    Hayyer (July 16, 2010 at 8:16 am):

    As suggested by you I am also of the opinion to put Kashmir aside in the current round of the so called peace talks. Let us move on other issues also essential for the peace; some of these issues I have already listed above. Let us create peaceful environment between the two countries. This will help lower the tension. Pakistan’s demand for the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue could be picked up on a later date. Similarly India’s desire for access to Pakistan market, transit to all points west, and cultural exchange and travel to Pakistan could be brought on table at a later stage. There, in my opinion each request by India can be considered by Pakistan on case by case basis. But certainly no card blanche. That will be suicidal for Pakistan. Bangladesh’s sad case is very different than Pakistan. Pakistan has and can continue to have a prosper economy without any input from India. The argument that it could be even better if she traded with India has limited appeal. The peace between the two must be negotiated for the general principal of peaceful coexistence. Trade is a byproduct of that environment. You make peace with your enemies and trade with your friends.

  237. Naeem Sahibzada

    @Quantum
    Dear Friend,
    Sorry for the delay.
    First of all i am not a peacenik. I spoke out only for giving a fair chance without biases for the development of this region in general terms.
    Status Quo is most likely to continue and seeing the distrust on both sides i feel it must.
    1. Conviction, Trust and dignity are not meaningless terms if both sides have the right intentions and the will and resolve to a come to a solution. If intentions are not right, yes in that case they become meaningless.
    2. If India is bigger it also has much bigger problems and responsibilities. End of the day based on ground realities Pakistan has much lessor problems given by nature and its geography. People here eat three square meals a day, are not born or housed on railway platforms or live in cardboard or tin box shanties in filthy garbage slums.Pakistan is blessed with all what is required and can easily surpass all predictions in growth even without aid if it can get rid of corruption,corrupt leadership and put systems in place. You shall see that somebody will do that very soon. Unfortunately India Cannot.
    3. I disagree with you on status quo issue. You shall see that status quo suits Pakistan better in all ways and god willing that is what it shall be. Friendship with biases and hatred always ends in a disaster.
    4. Gobs of monies in aid are only filling the pockets of the corrupt, NGO’s and the corrupt element in the government. Nothing is going to the people or in national development.
    In reality Pakistan does not need any aid. Not even an iota. Actually we have seen that we prosper much more even under the worst sanctions. Mind You, we have lived through some of the worst sanctions ever imposed anywhere.

    Now coming to the rentals for the GWOT. Actually the fools are only asking for not even peanuts. Reason:Bad Government Policy and unpatriotic and corrupt leadership. Considering our Geo strategic location in this turmoil , the kind of price we are paying in blood and chaos and the fix America and its allies have end of the landed themselves in, we should be extracting a hundred times more. Believe me they shall have no choice but to pay that. And it is time we do just that.

    5. I feel that seeing the disproportionate publicity of the terrorists, bomb blasts and fundamentalists on TV and papers you think that we are too religious. Believe me 90 percent of Pakistanis are followers of Sufism. They are more than moderate Muslims with very large and pure hearts.
    The Mullahs and their followers do not even account for even two percent of our population.
    They too shall meet their waterloo very soon. Do not forget that we have have been part or the site of two global tussles for the last three decades ever since the invasion of Afghanistan by Soviets and since 2001 the GWOT. Having more than stupid leadership at the helm at these junctures, there had to be a price and we are paying that already.

    Cheers !!!!!!

  238. YLH

    Gentlemen,

    With all due respect… we are all wasting our time. Our rulers are not interested in anything but their posturing at a given point of time.

    Another meeting… more hoo haa… khoda pahar nikla chuha.

    Let’s just enjoy the evening and forget aboud id.

  239. @NSA
    July 16, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Shiv,
    If the point was to open up a non-acrimonious dialog between people on a blog, then I think my method works. In any case, no one here really has anything to give or to take.


    To the owners of this blog – you have a huge and stupefying long list of links on the right-hand side column. Have you ever considered writing up a few position papers and linking them prominently so that any new visitor to the blog will see them or can be referred to them? Instead, you expect that every new visitor here will magically know what you’re all about because they’d have dived through some yards of archive links. Then you get Vajra’s complaints. You want people to be informed – you have to make the information easy to find.

    Mea culpa.

    It is under preparation. It will take a long time, another six weeks, I think. Sorry. Until it is ready, I shall concentrate exclusively on that.

  240. Naeem Sahibzada

    @Moosa

    Dear Moosa,

    Cheers is a salutation for being cheerful. Yes it is used in alcoholic beverage toasts but it does not mean that it is restricted to them.
    In my case i would prefer Scotch on the rocks.

  241. Mahalingam Khan

    J Krishnan,
    There is nothing wrong to live under the domination of Islam which mean peace. One thing is very clear that no one in the world, Hindus , Jews, Christians.Sikhs and others has ever accused Islam of not protecting the minority. Dhimmi enjoy full rights in Islam. When Islam conquer the land it establish peace on first priority basis. TNT theory can be pretty much translated as demarkation between peace and violence and Islam abhors violence and provide justice to innocents.

  242. hindu militant

    Pakistan has a rivalry with India. Agreed. But why is this rivalry not in the field of economic growth and development? We will make pakistan more economiclly strong and developed than India. Instead of this the rivalry in the Paki mindset is military superiority. We are martial race, and you hindus are lalas. This is the reason there is no peace. The paki attitude is…” hum to doobe hai sanam; tujhko bhi le doobenge.”

  243. J.Krishnan

    to M Khan
    . (Edited)

  244. AA khalid

    @QS

    Thanks for the response. I would say that ignoring the pleas for Kashmiris for self determination and presenting them as anarchism is conflating issues and concepts. Kashmiris desire justice for the suffering they have had at the hands of Pakistan and India human rights abuses and conflicts. This is a perfectly sensible position, nothing anarchistic about it.

    Furthermore I would add that grievances of the Kashmiris are perfectly legitamate but the means to express them are misguided. The grievances driving separatist groups are perfectly rational but the means they wish to pursue them are hopelessly irrational. There is a difference, and empathy is needed.

    That is the root of the problem India perhaps has of not being able to distinguish between legitamate grievances that a significant section of the population may have and militants and radicals who hijack these perfectly viable grievances. The former has validity, the latter is not valid in a legal or moral sense.

    @Raj (the other one):

    Please all I did was respond to Indian exceptionalism to some of the Indian posters who had little idea about the nature of political discourse in their own country, with its social and ethical dilemmas whilst jumping at every opportunity to say whatever they wanted about Pakistani affairs.

    Your exceptionalism reeks of a type of supremacy complex by saying comparisons between Indian hawks and Pakistani hawks is not right. Of course it is, hawks wherever they maybe are of the same substance, same ilk their form differs but in a substanial matter they are the same.

    I am tired of hearing there is no peace constituency in India or Pakistan (because there obviously is, as the links I posted to the poll and study of Pakistani and Indian society shows that most want peace).

    Again I repeat to Indians and Pakistanis, drop this mentality of exceptionalism to one another, and drop the victim mentality aswell.

    As for your assertion India is moving at a fast pace on the human rights issue, that’s blatantly wrong as Amnesty, the UN, independent documentaries from reputable news organizations and statistics will show you. That is besides the point and I do agree internal problems should be left to those living within that society. I was merely responding not instigating.

  245. Raj (the other one)

    @AA khalid:
    Your exceptionalism reeks of a type of supremacy complex by saying comparisons between Indian hawks and Pakistani hawks is not right. Of course it is, hawks wherever they maybe are of the same substance, same ilk their form differs but in a substanial matter they are the same.

    The misconception is that everything there is in Pakistan is ultimately also mirrored in India. Let’s us not hide behind convenient labels.
    1) Do you see demonstrations in India saying ‘Azad Kashmir’ & ‘Northern Areas’ India banenge, and Death to all Pakistanis?! In Pakistan, it is a daily feature, to see similar demonstrations for Kashmir. At the most anti-Pakistan demonstrations one would see right after some terror attack!

    2) Do you see Indians going into Pakistan and blowing up all sorts of places and people? No! But you say in India there are hawks.

    Don’t hide behind ‘hawk’ label. Tell me, how do these Indian hawks look like? Who are they? What have they done to Pakistan? What do they want?

    If you say hawks are those, who do not want peace with Pakistan, then you will not find a single hawk in India. If you say hawks are those that want Pakistan to stop terrorism before relations are fully normalized, then 99% of Indians would be hawks.

    In Pakistan, the Army gets around 30% of the budget. This I know from Pakistani media. Which country needs such a huge cut just for defense from a country which hasn’t attacked you once? In Pakistan it pays to be a hawk? How does it pay in India to be a hawk? Where is the profit in that? In India there are no crore commanders, or Army run businesses.

    If the aim of the discussions here is to have chai biscuit with some Kuldip Nayars, Praful Bidwais, Arundhati Roys, then I don’t spoil the party. But if you want a discussion with the majority of Indians, who think straight, and tell the others what their limits are, then you need to reevaluate your very comfortable comparisons between so called ‘Indian hawks’ and Pakistani hawks.

    I am tired of hearing there is no peace constituency in India or Pakistan (because there obviously is, as the links I posted to the poll and study of Pakistani and Indian society shows that most want peace).

    There is definitely a peace constituency in India, and I am sure there would be those in Pakistan, who even though may be having Islam for breakfast, lunch and supper, would still have some intuitive common sense, that it is better to have peace.

    So the problem is not that there is no peace constituency, but rather that in India we have a peace constituency that demands peace for peace, and in Pakistan the peace constituency has no power to deliver the peace. As such peace is not possible.

    Again I repeat to Indians and Pakistanis, drop this mentality of exceptionalism to one another, and drop the victim mentality as well.

    This is exactly the reason why there would be no peace. You like to abuse the intelligence of ordinary Indians. Pakistan supported Khalistani terrorists and many died in Punjab, Pakistan stokes the fires every now and then in Kashmir, and many die, Pakistan sends its Kasabs to mow down Mumbaikars and many die. And you have the nerve to say, that is all victim mentality!

    Why should an Indian even excuse you a single death, let alone the deaths of thousands? If the Pakistanis, who call themselves, the peace constituency, disparage our dead, and call it all the figment of our minds, a victim mentality, why should we even believe, that there is a real peace constituency in Pakistan?

    We, Indians and Pakistanis are NOT in the same boat! We Indians don’t feel the need to say, we are better than the Papua New-Guineans, or Africans or Aborigines or Pakistanis or anybody else. Our actions and behavior should speak for themselves. But we also don’t see any reason for comparisons. Everybody is different and that is OK.

    If there is a peace constituency in Pakistan, then they should start with the following:
    1) Don’t comment on internal affairs of India, and we don’t comment on Pakistani internal affairs
    2) Stop putting down Indians by calling them hawks, just because they think, that Pakistanis should also deliver peace if they want peace.
    3) Stop abusing our dead, by calling it victim mentality

    And those are just some warts on the so called Pakistani peace constituency.

  246. Quantum_Singularity

    @ AA Khalid

    “Thanks for the response.”

    Your welcome.

    “I would say that ignoring the pleas for Kashmiris for self determination and presenting them as anarchism is conflating issues and concepts.”

    How so? If we were to act upon the pleas of self-determination for Kashmiris, why stop there? Are not the pleas for self-determination from Balochis not worthy of our attention? What if the former NWFP wanted to at sometime in the future to breakaway and join their Afghan brothers? How about Tibet vis a vis China (perhaps the most non-violent separatist movement on the planet)? Or are you arguing for some kind of Kashmiri exceptionalism?

    One can see where this is going. If we accept balkanization of states on the basis of ethnic/minority separatism, then the idea of a nation state is finished.

    “Kashmiris desire justice for the suffering they have had at the hands of Pakistan and India human rights abuses and conflicts. This is a perfectly sensible position, nothing anarchistic about it.”

    It is a bit difficult to answer these statements when you use ambiguous terms such as “justice”. Do you mean better accountability from security forces or separatism?

    “Furthermore I would add that grievances of the Kashmiris are perfectly legitimate but the means to express them are misguided. The grievances driving separatist groups are perfectly rational but the means they wish to pursue them are hopelessly irrational. There is a difference, and empathy is needed. “

    The reality of course is that such misguided and often violent means of redress often delegitimizes the movement in front of the world community. Think about Sri Lanka. The Tamils actually had legitimate grievances against the Sri Lankan govt (namely they were heavily discriminated in all levels of society), but lost all favor with the World when certain Tamil groups resorted to terror. It is the same with Kashmir.

    “That is the root of the problem India perhaps has of not being able to distinguish between legitimate grievances that a significant section of the population may have and militants and radicals who hijack these perfectly viable grievances. The former has validity, the latter is not valid in a legal or moral sense. “

    If you arguing the grievance of accountability from security forces I would agree. If the grievance is separatism, I do not regard that as legitimate.

  247. Dastagir

    India and Pakistan are estranged cousins. A case of 99% emotion and 1% rational thinking. There is no leader in Pakistan to take this bull by its horns. (Same goes for India). The country(ies) are run by hawkish bureaucrats. Change in Government due to elections hardly changes the POLITY. Its the Bureaucrats who call the shots. You do not have political leadership of a certain stature in India today who will set polity. Same for Pakistan.

    Benazir Bhutto and Rajiv Gandhi were the last hope(s). Where will all of this lead to ? To where America wants it to ! As simple as that. If the Mullah is not checked he will destroy of what remains of Pakistan… within the next 10 years. If the RSS is not checked and defeated politically (ideologically / the vision thing); it will destroy India completely., in the next 10 years.

    The fact of the matter is that hate 24×7 for the past many decades have produced populations whose hearts beat to the tune of the Mullah and the RSS (in Pakistan and India, respectively). To overcome this reality, there needs to be intellectual investment.

    Curriculum Building. Secular Education. So that in the next 30 years., we have citizens who are mentally tuned or wired on a different world view. If need be, outlaw supra-constitutional schools (be they madrasas in Pakistan; or the 100,000 Saraswati Vidya Mandirs run by RSS thruout India !). Who has seen what is taught inside these Madrasas and Mandirs ? Nothing but unadulterated hatred for the “other”. But is there an alternate ? Will Govt. admit these kids (who are hate missiles) into Govt. Schools ?

    The answer is NO. Why ? No resources. So let things go on… as they are… until one fine day… you have a shock !

    Taliban and RSS will see to it that the whole of SE Asia, turns into a rubble. Look at what they did in Afghanistan. Bamiyaan.. Babri Masjid.. these barbarians sure know how to play with the psyche of Indo-Pak populations.

    If Arundhati Roy comes to give a speech., there are 100 people in the hall. If Praveen Togadia arrives to address a gathering., there are 10 lakh people waiting to listen to his hateful sermon. This 100 versus 10 lakh sums up the reality.

  248. AA Khalid

    Raj (the other one) a victim mentality is a mentality which holds an individual within the bonds of prejudice because of a particular thinking that ”our” suffering is more worthy of comment than the suffering of others. If you conflate issues and get confused easily might I suggest some classes in logic and critical thinking. I advise you to read the ”Critical Reasoning for Beginners” course at the Oxford university which has free audio lecutres. Grieving for your dead is different from the victim mentality you hold, you just like to confuse the two.

    It may dampen down your exceptionalism. Until you are prepared to accept that prejudice is the same whether in the US, Pakistan or India then there is no hope for you. Prejudice is prejudice, you cannot excuse it.

    There are Indian hawks of course, you are just not prepared to admit this, (I posted an article about the great increase in Indian military spending, as a proportion of the budget in recent years) and your dear Commander’s quiet sensationalist rhetoric. If you are claiming that there is no right wing nationalism in India which puts up barriers against peace then you are deluded and have bought the utopian argument of Indian exceptionalism.

    Anyway enjoy what doing……….whatever it is that you do…..

  249. AA Khalid

    ””””’If we were to act upon the pleas of self-determination for Kashmiris, why stop there? Are not the pleas for self-determination from Balochis not worthy of our attention?”””””’

    Your concerns are legitamate. But one has to ask if India has ever really seriously (and for that matter Pakistan) investigated the Kashmiri please for self determination. And who are we to suspend the UN Charter of Human Rights based on political interest?

    The idea of the nation state itself is based on some sort of grounds for separatism, throughout Europe and South America, these two continents share so much culture and history yet there are numerous nation states. Self determination as a plea by Kashmiris isn’t made for the sake of provacation, its a legitamate concern after years of abuse at the hands of Indian and Pakistani interest. The nation state is based on some sort of idea for ethnic,cultural and religious homogenity (the great democracy theorist Robert A Dahl makes this clear in his work ”On Democracy”.)

    The driving motivation for movements of self determination are disillusionment and a sense of injustice. Clearly many Kashmiris express these sentiments in regard to Pakistan and India. How do you answer this? There is disillusionment among Kashmiris in regards to Pakistan and India this much is known.

    Furthermore, how can negotiations take place if one does not know the public mood of the Kashmiris via some sort of referendum?

    I don’t think comparing other political hotspots to Kashmir is valid, partly because all these political crises have different contexts and are borne out of very different sets of events.

    I am not saying that independence for Kashmir is an inevitable solution per se, but I do say the longer India tries to maintain the status quo, there will never be an incentive to deliver justice for the Kashmiris based on human rights and economic and political prosperity. The problem of the status quo crushes any sort of incentive and rationale for pursuing alternative paradigms.

    As for your concern about violence and your comments on them I totally agree with you, but that is no excuse to forgo legitamate concerns which predate the rise of such militant and violent organizations. That is the crux of the matter.

    Your concerns about separatism and India’s memory of partition are valid and I do empathise with them, however focus on the sitution at hand with the plight of Kashmiris.

    The problem with Pakistan and India discussions on Kashmir that is not Kashmiri-centric discussions. Which is perhaps why the Kashmiris should have some sort of representation at negotiations.

    Justice perhaps should be our aim rather than raw political interest which may mean the problems of Kashmir may continue in the long term. A quick fix solution to these problems never works.

    Furthermore most nation states come into existence through some sort of democratic contestation or struggle projecting the political aspirations of a people. Why deny this to the Kashmiris?

    Until Pakistanis and Indians see the Kashmiris as a partner for peace rather than some sort of lab experiment to play around with and to poke at, peace cannot be acheived. Adequate representation from those who suffer is needed for peace.

  250. Raj

    Your concerns are legitamate. But one has to ask if India has ever really seriously (and for that matter Pakistan) investigated the Kashmiri please for self determination. And who are we to suspend the UN Charter of Human Rights based on political interest?

    What about Baluchistan then ?

    The difference is between this basic thought process towards the concept of nationhood. in India its Inclusiveness ..and Pakistan is based on exclusiveness ( Hindu’s and Muslim can’t live together ).
    For so call sense Injustice is communal in nature ..
    Its Jammu and Kashmir and not just Kashmir .. how about Kashmiri Pandits ?

    Kashmir is not a political issue .. its a religion and civilization issue , it is a communal issue

  251. Raj

    There is a very interesting story of Gandhi Ji
    Once Baa (Kasturba) came to Bapu and requested him to tell their elder son to control over his craving for sugar . He is eating too much sugar and thats not good for his health she said .
    Bapu Asked her to come after a month .it was very strange for Baa to understand why he needs one month to tell his son to control . but she didn’t bother him much .
    after a month Gandhi ji called Baa and told her that today I told Harilal to control his sugar eating habit . but why did u take one month Baa Asked .. Gandhi Ji smiled and said because it took me one month to quit my own sugar eating habit …

  252. NSA

    You’ll find this on the BBC website:

    The Bangladeshi government has ordered mosques and libraries across the country to remove all books written by a controversial Islamic scholar.

    The chief of the government-funded Islamic Foundation told the BBC that the books by Syed Abul Ala Maududi encouraged “militancy and terrorism”.

    Mr Maududi – who died in 1979 – is the founder of the Jamaat-e-Islami party.

    His works are essential reading for supporters of the Jamaat-e-Islami party in the region.

    Born in India, the Pakistani scholar is considered the most prominent theorist of radical Islam in modern South Asian history.

    But Bangladeshi officials say Mr Maududi’s writings promote radicalism and his ideological goal was to capture power in the name of Islam.

    “His writings are against the peaceful ideology of Islam. So, it is not correct to keep books of Mr Maududi in mosques,” Islamic Foundation Director-General Shamim Mohammad Afjal told the BBC.

    The government has now ordered nearly 24,000 libraries attached to mosques to remove his books immediately. Some have already started to do so.

    A senior official from Jamaat-e-Islami, ATM Azharul Islam, described the move as an attack on Islam.

    “Mr Maududi’s books are being published in many countries and there have been no complaints against his writings so far,” he said.

    The decision by the Awami League-led government is widely seen as part of its efforts to curb the activities of Jamaat-e-Islami, accused by many Bangladeshis of collaborating with the Pakistani army during the 1971 war of independence.

    Five senior leaders of the party were arrested recently on charges of committing mass murder during the war. The party denies the accusations.

  253. Raj (the other one)

    @AA Khalid

    a victim mentality is a mentality which holds an individual within the bonds of prejudice because of a particular thinking that ”our” suffering is more worthy of comment than the suffering of others. Grieving for your dead is different from the victim mentality you hold, you just like to confuse the two.

    Tell me something:
    Does India go to Pakistan, when somebody gets killed in the Naxal violence, or some communal flare-ups? Why not? Don’t we have victims? If we have victim mentality, shouldn’t we be commenting about them as well, and telling you, that our victims of Naxal violence are so much more worthy of comment than your Pakistani victims due to Talibanism, wagerah, wagerah! But to our big surprise, no Indian talks to Pakistanis about all those deaths.

    There must be some other reason, why talk with Pakistanis about the deaths in Mumbai on 26/11, and many more. There are thousands, and thousands! There must be some reason, and that reason is because it’s the Pakistanis who killed them, and not because it is victim mentality.

    The day Pakistanis start dying because Indians come over and start shooting down Pakistanis, on that day, we can talk about that the suffering of your victims is just as worthy of comment as that of our victims.

    So the reason we bring up the question of justice for those Indians killed by Pakistanis is not because of victim mentality, but because Pakistanis were the perpetrators.

    At a humanistic level, loss of live is always regretful, but at the level of bilateral discourse, can you give a reason, why Indians should care a damn about the dead in Pakistan because of terrorism or some other reason. We don’t demand that Pakistanis should care about all those who die in India for whatever reasons other than if Pakistan is behind the atrocity.

    So yes the suffering of the Indian victims of Pakistan-originating terrorism is indeed more worthy of comment in discourse with Pakistanis than Pakistani victims of terror in Pakistan, but not because of victim mentality but because of demand for justice.

    You insist on calling this victim mentality, rather than recognizing our justified demand for justice. If you deny this, than what separate you from those who support the killers? How can you be a peace constituency?

    If you conflate issues and get confused easily might I suggest some classes in logic and critical thinking. I advise you to read the ”Critical Reasoning for Beginners” course at the Oxford university which has free audio lecutres.

    Khalid,
    cut out the cheap shots! Indian school girls can take better shots than that!

    It may dampen down your exceptionalism. Until you are prepared to accept that prejudice is the same whether in the US, Pakistan or India then there is no hope for you. Prejudice is prejudice, you cannot excuse it.

    Now what has prejudice to do with anything, unless you are claiming that Indians show prejudice towards Pakistanis. Do you mean may be that due to the violent activities of a few Pakistanis, all of you, peace loving Pakistanis get painted with the same brush of terrorism?

    Well I think, in principle you’re right! One should not make generalizations about a whole community. I think, Indians too should discriminate between violent extremists and peace-loving Pakistanis. But the comments I have seen here, do not give me the confidence, that that distinction can be made. The only distinction I see is that the Pakistani hardliners don’t want India to forget that they can hit India as and when they want, while the Pakistani ‘peace constituency’ wants Indians to forget every time we get hit by the Pakistanis.

    If the Pakistani peace constituency wants to be taken seriously, they will have to a bit more than simply trying to put some Obliviate Charm on the Indians.

    There are Indian hawks of course, you are just not prepared to admit this, (I posted an article about the great increase in Indian military spending, as a proportion of the budget in recent years)

    I don’t remember anybody in India going crazy over Pakistan’s military spending. Indians don’t care. Do with your budget, what you want to do, and let us do what we want to do! India has got her own destiny in the world, and would upgrade her military capability accordingly. As the Pakistani ‘peace constituency’, at least you should not share the paranoia of the Pakistani hardliners. When has India ever attacked Pakistan unprovoked?

    and your dear Commander’s quiet sensationalist rhetoric.

    Well I will be very concerned if my Commander were not a Hawk! If asked to show Hawks, if a military commander is the best one can do, well … I meant show me the hawks in the Indian Civil Society who are clamoring for war with Pakistan!

    If you are claiming that there is no right wing nationalism in India which puts up barriers against peace then you are deluded and have bought the utopian argument of Indian exceptionalism.

    I’ll tell you what Indian right-wing nationalism is. They are the ones, who call for ending the exceptionalism (I think you like this word) for the Muslims that is provided in the Indian Constitution. They want Indian Muslims to be treated like all other citizens. They want to have one Uniform Civil Code for all citizens, and not a separate code for Muslims. They want to abrogate Article 370 giving J&K special status. They want J&K to be integrated into India and be a part of India like every other region. They want to regain back the historical Hindu temples over which mosques were built after the destruction of temples. For that they are willing to accept scientific historical-archeological certification! Yes that is the right-wing! This is just for your information, in case you’re interested.

    They are not going on the streets, calling for death to this and that, like we see often from the streets of Pakistan. Anyway they can speak for themselves, and you can research it if you want.

    The point is, that they would ask for retribution against Pakistan if Pakistan attacks India, conventionally or through terror. In fact most Indians would want retribution. That is not the exclusive domain of the Indian right-wing. But I can assure you, that none is sitting in his office or house thinking about attacking Pakistan for no reason whatsoever. All of them, the Indian right-wing including, are willing to reach peace with Pakistan, if Pakistan stops the terror, closes the terrorist networks and end anti-India and anti-Hindu hate campaigns and propaganda.

    So I am advising you, to go look for hawks in Indian civil society, those who want war with Pakistan, without any provocation.

    Another advice is, you should try to stop using these over-abused clichés like ‘hawks’, ‘victim mentality’, wagerah! This is a rhetoric, which some use to misrepresent the reality, but these catch-phrases are breaking at the seams, because the intellect of the users has their limits, and reality takes precedence over rhetoric.

    I don’t understand, why do you feel the urge to call yourself a peace activist. Just call yourself a normal Pakistani. Please, don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mean to be rude. I am just trying to understand!

    You misrepresent Indian horror at the terror attacks by Pakistan as victim mentality. You misrepresent Indian position of peace in lieu of peace as being hawkish. You favor that we forgive & forget the terror attacks, rather than demand justice. You share the paranoia of the hardliners regarding Indian military despite the historically acknowledged restraint on the part of India. You feel the need to focus on India’s shortcomings regarding HDI in the hope of needling us, a very common trait among the Pakistanis, who don’t define themselves as peaceniks.

    Last but not least, the Pakistani hardliners do not want to have peace, and the Pakistani peace lobby cannot deliver peace. So India cannot get peace from any quarter in Pakistan.

    So what is this exceptionalism known as the Pakistani “peace constituency”! If you neither act as peace activists nor you can deliver peace, why call yourselves “peace constituency” at all!

    … Any why complain about prejudice then?

  254. Suvrat

    I am totally for peace between the two countries and I believe that normalizing trade relations will be the first step to it. But I find some arguments given by Khalid really stupefying. What he means is that why would Pakistan trade with India instead of China because China is a friend and India is not. Also according to him Bangladesh is worse off trading with India.

    If this logic is used then India and US should never trade with China because they are having huge trade deficits and China is a rival to both and is in fact tilting the trade balance by keeping its currency artificially low.Has India become de-industrialized because of exports from China. By not giving India MFN status because of other issues Pakistan is defaulting on its obligations under WTO treaty.

    Every country has a comparative advantage and it produces what best it can and imports other things. Bangladesh for example is reaping benefits of cheap and abundant labour and is beating China in some labour intensive jobs. It has become 3rd biggest exporter of clothing after China and Turkey.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/17/business/global/17textile.html?ref=world

    In fact Bangladesh’s turn towards moderation, strong Self Help Group movement led by Grameen Bank and its policies will lead it out of poverty and it has the potential to become a bigger economy than Pakistan and lifts its masses out of poverty if it taps into regional economy by working with both China and India and benefiting from free trade.

  255. AA Khalid

    @Raj

    If you think advise to get some knowledge from one of them most reputable universities in the world is a cheap shot then I fear that intellectual inquiry is not something you cherish…..

    Your apology for the Indian right is disturbing, many analysts and scholars analyzing the Indian right would disagree that there is some egalitarian intent within this movement.

    As for the Indian reaction, news outlets such as the BBC document great crowds shouting Death to Pakistan so please do not pretend Indians were calm and rational, because there was an irrational frenzy. Many Indian intellectuals are despairing about the rise of the right in India and rightly so and it is these Indians that have the rational capacity to point out the deep seated prejudices, bigotry within their societies.

    The problem about India and Pakistan is the lack of knowledge and analysis. Indians and Pakistanis usually get their information about the conflict from biased and populist sources. A great primer I feel that you should read and other Pakistanis and Indians is The India-Pakistan Conflict An Enduring Rivalry Edited by T. V. Paul from McGill University, Montréal (unless you have an aversion to reading).

    A collection of essays from Indian, Pakistani and other international scholars detailing with some scholarship the causes of the conflict. You protesting as if India is a saint prancing around holding a halo is practical nonsense and a myth.

    The truth is much more complex than what we are taught and this is true of the sub-continent. If you are trying to tell me that there is not a constituency in India which wishes to weaken and smash Pakistan then you are living in a dream. Wake up and smell the coffee in your country, there is great hostility. Many Indian commentators (liberals) are crying and warning about the rising populism and right wing nationalism in India which is hostile to peace.

    In Indian society Hindu nationalists protest at films which try and give a balanced view point, or if an Indian public personality gives support to Pakistani civil society such as cricket players they are threatened with violence. Or if an Indian scholar writes a book on history they are expelled from their party. Amnesty and HRW note the issue of press freedom in regards to Indian attitudes to Pakistan issues. If an Indian writes or says something which is inclined towards reconcilliation they are shouted down.

    The problem is that it seems that it is Indian intellectuals in the diaspora who can truly speak out against the hypocrisy and irrationality of the Indian response to the Pakistan.

    Neel Mukherjee writes in the Guardian ”Banning Pakistani writers is hypocrisyAs a response to the Mumbai terror attacks, this smacks of hysteria and has disturbing ramifications in the longer term” (google and you will find it).

    Furthermore a report by the New Statseman ”Minority report”, where Indian Muslims are targeted by the Hindu far right as they are equivocated with Pakistan.

    See also Darlymple’s insightful piece ”Spiritual Awakening” on the New Statesman about the rising tide of Hindu right wing nationalism which does not have an interest in peace and is now growing in number in the public sphere. I quote from the article:

    ”The modernisation of the RSS is certainly one of the more worrying trends in Indian religiosity, as is the organisation’s increasing respectability in the eyes of the urban Indian middle class. For, like the Phalange in Lebanon, the RSS was founded in direct imitation of European fascist movements. Like its 1930s models, it still makes much of daily parading in khaki drill and the giving of militaristic salutes (the RSS salute differs from that of the Nazis only in the angle of the forearm, which is held horizontally over the chest). The idea is to create a corps of dedicated paramilitary zealots who will bring about a revival of what the RSS sees as the lost Hindu golden age of national strength and purity.”

    Disturbing……..

    Furthermore see a more positive article ” The India that is not and never was ” where a prominent Indian academic:

    ””There has been an erosion of the liberal ethos in the Indian elite,” says Sunil Khilnani, director of the South Asia Studies Programme at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. “Twenty to 25 years ago secularism was healthier in some ways.”””

    I have never called myself anything so your rather futile projections in giving me a label is useless.

    Also see the comment of British Asian writer Tariq Ali:

    ”’The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has insisted that the terrorists were based outside the country. The Indian media has echoed this line of argument with Pakistan (via the Lashkar-e-Taiba) and al-Qaeda listed as the usual suspects.

    But this is a meditated edifice of official India’s political imagination. Its function is to deny that the terrorists could be a homegrown variety, a product of the radicalisation of young Indian Muslims who have finally given up on the indigenous political system. To accept this view would imply that the country’s political physicians need to heal themselves.

    Al Qaeda, as the CIA recently made clear, is a group on the decline. It has never come close to repeating anything vaguely resembling the hits of 9/11.

    Its principal leader Osama bin Laden may well be dead (he certainly did not make his trademark video intervention in this year’s Presidential election in the United States) and his deputy has fallen back on threats and bravado.

    What of Pakistan? The country’s military is heavily involved in actions on its Northwest frontier where the spillage from the Afghan war has destabilised the region. The politicians currently in power are making repeated overtures to India. The Lashkar-e-Taiba, not usually shy of claiming its hits, has strongly denied any involvement with the Mumbai attacks.
    ””’

    See also Arundhati Roy’s insightful piece on the Hindu nationalist confrontational rhetoric and war mongering in ”The monster in the mirror”.
    Roy notes bravely the hysteria within Indian society:

    ””’Dangerous, stupid television flashcards like the Police are Good Politicians are Bad/Chief Executives are Good Chief Ministers are Bad/Army is Good Government is Bad/ India is Good Pakistan is Bad are being bandied about by TV channels that have already whipped their viewers into a state of almost uncontrollable hysteria.

    Tragically, this regression into intellectual infancy comes at a time when people in India were beginning to see that in the business of terrorism, victims and perpetrators sometimes exchange roles. It’s an understanding that the people of Kashmir, given their dreadful experiences of the last 20 years, have honed to an exquisite art. On the mainland we’re still learning. (If Kashmir won’t willingly integrate into India, it’s beginning to look as though India will integrate/disintegrate into Kashmir.)””””

    She also notes the quashing of dissent in India:

    ”While the Sangh Parivar does not seem to have come to a final decision over whether or not it is anti-national and suicidal to question the police, Arnab Goswami, anchorperson of Times Now television, has stepped up to the plate. He has taken to naming, demonising and openly heckling people who have dared to question the integrity of the police and armed forces. My name and the name of the well-known lawyer Prashant Bhushan have come up several times. At one point, while interviewing a former police officer, Arnab Goswami turned to camera: “Arundhati Roy and Prashant Bhushan,” he said, “I hope you are watching this. We think you are disgusting.” For a TV anchor to do this in an atmosphere as charged and as frenzied as the one that prevails today, amounts to incitement as well as threat, and would probably in different circumstances have cost a journalist his or her job.”””””””

    I have always said that Indian liberals are perhaps one of the bravest and most articulate political and social activists in the world. Battling against right wing xenophobia and hatred for the ”Other” on a daily basis is an emotionally and intellectually draining job. But Indian liberals though shrinking have admirably carried on with this job of critique of war mongering Hindu nationalists.

    Long may it continue……

  256. AA Khalid

    See also:

    ”’India’s problems lie within”’ (google and its on the Guardian) by Indian journalist Suhail Haleem.

  257. AA Khalid

    Raj it is perhaps Indians at home are insulated from Hindu nationalism or feel defensive when talking about Hindu right wing nationalism that as a knee jerk defence of a deformed and shameful act of patriotism you say there is no one in India asking for war or violence against Pakistan or Muslims (Hindu right wing nationalists interchange one another, and use the latter as meaning the former).

    But I have found it refreshing that Indian intellectuals and thinkers (some in India but mostly abroad) have the neccessary intellectual freedom and space for critical introspection to point out frankly the prejudice and bigotry of the war mongering sections of Indian society. Perhaps you may want to learn from your fellow countrymen and countrywomen?

  258. Suvrat

    @AA Khalid

    I am all for India Pakistan peace and I believe trade is a very vital thing in bringing about this.

    However I find some of the concerns regarding trade very amusing. It is argued India should not be given access to Pakistani market while China should be because China is a friend and India is not and Indian goods will wipe out Pakistani industry. If Chinese goods have already swamped Pakistani market and they are cheaper than their Indian counterparts how will trade with India make Pakistani Industry weaker. If we follow the enemy-friend policy then US and India should never trade with China because China is a rival country and they have huge trade deficits with China. But they don’t because free trade benefits all countries. It seems to me that Pakistan is not giving MFN status to India despite it being obligatory under WTO rules just because of hatred of its elites towards India than any economic logic or concern for welfare of its industries.

    Take an example: India does not have installed capacity for power plant equipment and it will take years to build it. It has two options : face power shortages and lower productivity and keep Chinese companies out because “China is not a friend” or get it from China and move on. International trade is not a zero sum game.

    Another example: India has opened a new trade post at Poonch-Rawalkote border in my home state of J&K. Moong Dal was available at 36/kg in Pakistan while it was available at nearly 100/kg in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. While traders in Pakistan got better prices, traders in Jammu made handsome profits.

    Bangladesh is not worse off trading with India even though it runs a deficit. Its strength is labour intensive industries and in fact it is giving China a run for its money in garment exports(see today’s NYT story). It is the 3rd largest exporter of garments in the world after China and Turkey. To grow its industry it needs heavy machinery which India can supply.

    In fact I believe that Bangladesh’s relatively stable political atmosphere, its turns towards moderation, strong grassroots self help groups and its smart relations with both China and India will allow it to sustain a good growth rate and raise its millions out of poverty.

    Pakistan can also tap into the regional growth economy corridor if it changes its policy of promoting terrorism and engages in constructive nation building. Unfortunately people calling shots at ISI and army never allow it to happen. Every peace initiative is followed by some subterfuge be it Kargil following Nawaz-Vajpayee bus visit, Mumbai after peace initiative by Zardari.

    I believe that if Pakistan shuts down the terror infrastructure and prosecutes Mumbai perpetrators India will be wiling to take bold steps forward like it has done with Bangladesh.

  259. AA Khalid

    @ Raj

    I am now quoting directly from ”Political Ideologies Today” by Ian Adams one of the most widely used texts by students of political theory and political science.

    On Hindu fundamentalism he writes:

    ”Aggressive nationalism is also characteristic of India’s Hindu fundametnalists whose growth has been one of the most significant developments in India in recent years.”

    Furthermore:

    ”An aggresively nationalistic India threatens the stability of the region and beyond”.

    Also:

    ”India constitutional commitment to the maintenance of a secular state has been undermined by Hindu nationalism”.

    Pg 274-275

    What lies were you talking about? Any sane minded person knows that Hindu nationalism is war mongering and unstable.

    Furthermore I quote from another widely used text ”Political Ideologies – An Introduction”:

    ”The more radical World Hindu Council preaches ”India for Hindus”, while its parent body, the RSS aims to create a ”Greater India” stretching from Burma to Iraq and to establish India’s geopolitical dominance across central Asia.”

    pg 304 (4th Edition).

    There you have it, analyses from two influential and widely used texts used to study political theory and ideology.

  260. AA Khalid

    Also on how Hindu fundamentalists re-write history to innoculate hate, see the extremely brave work of Sumit Sarkar:

    Beyond Nationalist Frames: Postmodernism, Hindu Fundamentalism, History.

    The BJP in the past has banned and censored Sarkar.

    Also on the nature of fundamentalism in India see Holy Warriors: A Journey into the Heart of Indian Fundamentalism by Edna Fernandes. In the book there is a harrowing account where she watches 60 khaki-clad quasi-military RSS men go through their gymnastic manoeuvres at dawn, singing, “Break Pakistan so all India is reunited”.

  261. AA Khalid

    Raj you may hide behind the rhetoric of Indian exceptionalism, but where will you escape under the scrutiny of intelletual inquiry and the brave attempts of Indian intellectuals and other academics and scholars when they point out the factions of hate and violence who preach against peace with Pakistan?

  262. AA Khalid

    The use of censorship by some Indian parties to stop intellectuals, academics and scholars from speaking out against Hindu fundamentalism and right wing nationalism cannot go on indefinitely, for these brave thinkers still get their work out whether among the liberal constituency in India or by fleeing from these forces and working abroad.

  263. Raja Mohi

    ” when they point out the factions of hate and violence who preach against peace with Pakistan?”

    I think once terrorist camps running in Pakistani territory right now are shut down, then it will be clear Pakistan wants peace for real. It appears that the mainstream Indian opinion is largely convinced that Pakistan is insincere about handling 26/11, if you see all the polls in the various news sites, so it looks like the Indian public is in no mood for vacuous sweet talk from the Pakistani establishment. If Pakistan wants to retain the anti-India terror camps to hurt the Indians, why insist that Indians be sympathetic to reining back a civil war in Pakistan? Makes no sense to me.

  264. lal

    “As for the Indian reaction, news outlets such as the BBC document great crowds shouting Death to Pakistan”

    can u please give me the link.i have already googled.looked up in you tube too,where i got death to india,and a death to pakistan by balochi protestors.

  265. AA Khalid

    Search the BBC website archives.

  266. AA Khalid

    yes I agree that the military establishment in Pakistan is at great fault (never denied or contested this) and its stance towards militant and terrorist groups is morally reprehensible, however as the poll I showed indicating Pakistani attitudes many in the public sphere in Pakistan in terms of civil society and general society believe and want peace.

  267. Raj (the other one)

    @Khaled

    I do not share RSS political ideology, but I can say one thing.

    Mohammed Ali Jinnah came up with the theory that Muslims are a separate Nation, and he even got a state. Mohammed Ali Jinnah is most secular person of some standing, Pakistan can boast of.

    RSS’s ideology is still more liberal than that of Jinnah. If you don’t believe me, make a table of ideas and actions by both and compare the two. I think you will have a hard job finding out a single idea or action of RSS which could be more hardline than those of Jinnah!

    Now if you don’t have anything against Pakistan, a Muslim Nation, indeed an Islamic Republic, why are you worried about a Hindu Nation.

    If at all, Indian Muslims may feel apprehensive about Sangh Parivar, but those are Indian Muslims’ worries, and surely in Indian democracy, they will find, as they already do, their representation. Their basic contention is that Indian Muslims’ first loyalty should be with India and not Mecca. Their second contention is that Indian Muslims should not turn their backs on the culture they had before they became Muslims. They think, that they need to increase the level of awareness of the Indians about their rich cultural and religious heritage.

    Now just because 20 hysterical writers start saying Mickey Mouse is the devil and Harry Potter encourages Satanic cults, and create a whole study discipline around it, it doesn’t make it so. RSS’s chief ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was a self-described atheist.

    The self-described liberals are in love with thinking up some creative labels and sticking them on everybody left and right. These liberals are some of the most prejudiced people in that regard.

    All books you cited are books from people who make their job to give their opinions about others, about people who matter or mattered. Why not read their works directly?! Why go through all these filters of selective foci, ideology and agenda? Read the real thing!

  268. AA Khalid

    @ Raj

    Your reaction is predictable one of denial and excuses. Its okay I knew that was going to happen, I just wanted to prove a point that even if one shows evidence, texts, reports and literature to right wing nationalists, (or their sympathisers like yourself) you will still be resistant and spout nonsense.

    In that case I think I have said enough on the matter, giving five to six posts of extensive research and all you could come up with was some sort of crude amalgamation of blabbering buffonery. Its okay, I knew that was going to happen but I persevered.

    Its just a lesson to the bystanders watching my efforts that those caught in the vicious circle of fanatical nationalism are stuck, unable to reason or think critically.

  269. AA Khalid

    ”””’Their basic contention is that Indian Muslims’ first loyalty should be with India and not Mecca. ”””””’

    That’s the similar nonsense and bigotry shown by some American right wing nationalists at the height of the persecution against Catholics in the USA, that alliance should be to Washington rather than to Rome.

    That was fear mongering and a similar sort of fear mongering is happening in India………

  270. AA Khalid

    @ Raj

    Don’t be disingenious, atheism as in the non-existence of a supreme and prime and has been an historically accepted and propounded view point in Hindu philosophy. Savarkar was still a religious man, but not in the sense of classical theism, his definition of religion was different from the classical paradigm. Examples such as astika atheism, nastika atheism. Sarvarkar described himself as an ”Hindu-atheist”, with an over-zealous emphasis on the ”Hindu”.

    We cannot compare such a demagogue to the great Indian liberal intellectual Amartya Sen who is also an atheist.

    Sen himself writes:

    In some ways people had got used to the idea that India was spiritual and religion-oriented. That gave a leg up to the religious interpretation of India, despite the fact that Sanskrit had a larger atheistic literature than what exists in any other classical language. Madhava Acharya, the remarkable 14th century philosopher, wrote this rather great book called Sarvadarshansamgraha, which discussed all the religious schools of thought within the Hindu structure. The first chapter is “Atheism” – a very strong presentation of the argument in favor of atheism and materialism”

    From an interview in the California Magazine July-August 2006 edition.

  271. Raj (the other one)

    “right wing nationalists”
    “their sympathisers like yourself”
    “fanatical nationalism”

    Labels and more labels! You don’t seem to be able to think outside labels, can you!

    “crude amalgamation of blabbering buffoonery”
    “you will spout nonsense.”

    And then I also have the privilege to be acquainted with your choicest vocabulary!

    Khaled,
    If you want to encourage peace between India and Pakistan, do it. It is a good mission.

    I don’t know, why you are taking interest in Indian issues, where you yourself said, we should not comment on the internal affairs of the other’s countries, if it does not have a direct bearing on one’s country.

    RSS is an Indian issue, and they are not sending terrorists to Pakistan, so why do you care about them.

    But I have a serious question for the Pakistani ‘peace constituency’?

    What does the Pakistani ‘peace constituency’ want from India?
    1) People-to-people contacts are allowed and encouraged
    2) India is keeping to its end of the bargain with Indus Water Treaty
    3) There is regular train and bus service.
    4) India has accorded MFN Status to Pakistan.
    5) Suspended cricket matches would start some time soon.
    6) Pakistanis enjoy Bollywood films without paying a cent to the industry.

    Kashmir of course is frozen so no point going there. I think, Pakistanis can live and breath without Kashmir also, just like India too has learned to live without India’s historical territories to its West.
    India’s defense budget has to consider China, so no point going there.

    Indians know what they want from Pakistan – to stop murdering us. I want to know, what more do the Pakistanis want from India.

    What more would you wish in terms of peace. The Indian State is already providing the Pakistanis full peace. So why this clamor?

  272. Raj (the other one)

    @Khaled,

    why was I disingenious. Did I compare him with Amartya Sen? Did I say, they have similar beliefs?

  273. Tilsim

    @ AA Khalid

    Enjoyed reading your perspective. Do you think Indian society is succombing to the challenge posed by the far right or are there similarities with Pakistan in this regard? From afar, it feels as if the political center has been moving to the right for some time but it’s such a huge country.

  274. Raj (the other one)

    Sarvarkar described himself as an ”Hindu-atheist”, with an over-zealous emphasis on the ”Hindu”.

    This like saying Jinnah described himself as Shia-Muslim, with an overemphasis on Muslim!

    So what is so sensational about it? Nothing! So why use the word “Hindu”, with such emphasis & contempt! If there is so much contempt, whom are the Pakistani “peace activists” going to make peace with?

  275. AA Khalid

    I think as far my engagement with Raj goes it has reached critical mass, after I did most of the work citing literature, reports, articles and academics and scholars and all he did was……….well he did nothing of any substance or note………

    Oh well, I tried.

    Now tilsim:

    ”’@ AA Khalid

    Enjoyed reading your perspective. Do you think Indian society is succombing to the challenge posed by the far right or are there similarities with Pakistan in this regard? From afar, it feels as if the political center has been moving to the right for some time but it’s such a huge country.
    ”””””

    India is a hugely complex society, though I will say that the whole of the third world or developing world is facing the challenge of overcoming forces resistant to notions of civic values, tolerance and modern ideals of equality and liberalism. Not just India, we see this in Malaysia, Indonesia and we this in South America. The ambivalence towards modernity in these societies and the xenophobic nationalism which is constructed as a response to the rising uncertainties in a new and globalised world is a common phenonmenon in such societies.

    I have noticed in such societies competing social narratives and discourses from liberal intellectuals and social activists, to large organizations with ethno-cultural and religious motivations working on a grass roots level to capture some sense of long lost ”purity” and ”authenticity”.

    In this respect India and Pakistan along with the rest of the developing world where there is an intelligible form of democracy face similar problems and challenges.

    It is also happening in Europe with the rise of right, in elections in France and Holland will testify to this, which is slightly interesting (from an academic perspective) since these are post-industrial and liberal societies.

  276. AA Khalid

    Raj you said:

    ””So I am advising you, to go look for hawks in Indian civil society, those who want war with Pakistan, without any provocation.””’

    And I did that quiet substantially for a good solid five to six posts giving multiple and copious amounts of references.

    Then at the end of that you said:

    ””I don’t know, why you are taking interest in Indian issues”””””

    I gave quiet detailed amount of knowledge and information about right wing Hindu nationalism and extreme political ideologies and organizations in India operating constructing narratives of hate and prejudice against the ”Other”.

  277. AA Khalid

    The fact of the matter is all developing world societies face the challenge of reconciling tradition and modernity, a certain psychological mindset about tolerance and governance with an old way of thinking rooted in traditionalism and religious understandings and narratives.

    All developing societies have to reconcile shifting identities in a globalized world. All societies in the modern world respond to the challenges posed to their traditional archetypes of governance, faith, education, culture and societal structures.

    Radicals and extremists resort to innoculating hatred and fear mongering (with the use of violent imagery selectively appropiated from the social and cultural-religious traditions of a society, hence in the process distorting the existing canon of traditionalism in each society). Liberals and progressives will attempt a genuine synthesis and mediation in the process creating new narratives about faith, nationalism (liberal civic nationalism for instance), society and culture.

    The former is a destructive and insular (in-looking) process which yields mistrust and hatred while the latter is an act of creative reformism.

    Add to that the sense of victim-hood, persecution and suffering constructed by such insular and radical forces which construct false and superficial binaries of opposition in order to defend some sort of ”authenticity” and ”purity” (both Hindu nationalists and certain religious groups in Pakistan lose these terms or imply of their integral importance).

  278. AA Khalid

    The obstacles to critical enquiry and the associative goal for peace in the sub-continent has always been difficult if not downright impossible.

    Read Tavleen Singh’s delightfully rabid peace ”the real enemies”, where he takes aim at Indian writers and intellectuals who dissent and question, who call for critical analysis and who call for calm. Singh’s article is a microcosm in the difficulties of operating a critique within one’s own societies in the sub-continent. Singh went as for as calling for sedition trials in his piece!

    The problem is that the population to India and Pakistan (without any fault of their own) are subjected to this sort of hysteria and nonsense on a daily basis. There are few other alternative intellectual outlets where one can get some knowledge and information bar these populist and dangerous sources.

    The key to peace is knowledge, knowledge about the ”other”, and freedom, the freedom to criticise and the freedom to think independently using one’s own rational autonomy. Knowledge and freedom are two pre-requisites for a substantial peace between the two countries.

    Hence why in the diaspora (one can research on as its a a fascinating subject), Pakistanis and Indians have very good relations. See for instance the Indo-Pak friendship forum in the UK, and the British Asian Trust which from the website:

    ””The British Asian Trust aims to serve as a ‘social fund’ in support of high impact charities within the areas of education, enterprise and health in South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka) and the UK”””’

    Outside the rather inhospitable conditions for social and intellecutal enquiry of the sub-continent Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans (indeed all south asians) get on amicably without a fuss, without rioting or prejudice. This alone is proof that peace is the natural way for our peoples to exist.

  279. AAK: extremely well put!
    Sent from my BlackBerry® Smartphone. Typos are regretted

  280. Raj (the other one)

    Khalid,

    I asked you to look for Indian hawks, who WANT WAR WITH PAKISTAN, not as a response to a Pakistani Attack, but just for the heck of it!

    And instead you give me a bunch of links of books written by few prejudicial liberals about a few loony Indian right-wingers, who want to do some ideological preaching in India, and a few Hindu word redefinitions.

    The Akhand Bharat Bull$hit is simply a token call harking back to old habits from the ’40s and ’50s. Nobody takes this seriously any more.

    Now use some common sense? Why would India want an Akhand Bharat with another 400 million (Pakistan + Bangladesh) Muslims in an India where power comes from the ballot. Why would somebody in India want 170 million Pakistanis in India, whose mentality has diverged from mainstream Indian thinking since the last 63 years to something totally incompatible? Why would one want hordes and hordes of rabid Mullahs and Taliban on Indian streets? Why would India want to pay the salaries and pensions of all those Pakistani soldiers? Where is India going to find the jobs for all the ‘impressionable’ youth of Pakistan?

    You may not believe it, but our love for Pakistanis does not go that far! Everybody in India knows that we have huge challenges fighting poverty. Nobody in India wants more problems. There is simply no way to integrate Pakistan into India.

    Conquering land from Pakistan would require so many resources on our part, that it is not worth it, and holding to that piece of land, would be even more difficult considering the world opinion, and Pakistani guerilla attacks, etc.

    Akhand Bharat is a dream of Indians who are long dead. And out of respect for the dead some on the right fringe repeat it per forma.

    So all Indians with common sense know that – From the liberals, to the Indian Army, from the Indian middle class to the politicians. Those ‘Indian right-wing’ people know this just as well, if not better.

    Pakistan is lost for good! And whole India has come to accept it.

    So I don’t know who are the hawks you looked up, who want war with Pakistan? But you will also find few who do not want justice for what happened on 26/11.

  281. Gorki

    Dear AA Khalid
    Your posts are very well reasoned and thought provoking. The following words are especially generous and very appreciated:

    “I have always said that Indian liberals are perhaps one of the bravest and most articulate…… Long may it continue”
    Thank you.

    India is a democracy but still a far cry from an ideal when it comes to providing social and political for all, especially the minorities. The problems in Kashmir and in the Maoist infested areas are in part a symptom of this failure of our state and the unfinished task of nation building that we face. However please note India is a very large country with unbelievable number of fringe elements.
    1. As you pointed out, while one can find people protesting against those talking of fairness to Pakistani cricketers or writers talking peace but remember that they also protest movies like Jodha Akbar or Bihari Hindu migrants in Mumbai. Such groups are but a lunatic fringe.
    2. Also people like Ms. Arundhati Roy (of the latest Maoists are Gandhians with guns fame!) are so far out that they give a bad name to serious liberals and are best left out. Similarly the Dalrymple’s article on religious revival while depressing to me as a rational secularist, is a commentary on religious revival in entire South Asia (including Pakistan and BD) and by no means an isolated event in India alone; as the same article itself points out. If I may add, a similar religious undercurrent is visible in the US as well; (only in Europe is it on the wane) it does not threten me if it remains confined and does not spill into aggression against other religions.
    3. Similarly while the role of Hindutva devotees and the Sangh Parivar in inciting post Babri Masjid frenzy and Gujarat Riots is despicable, Raj is right on this one; there is almost no constituency in India for reuniting Pakistan, with it, militarily or otherwise. BJP’s appeal to religious sentiments as a poll plank seems to have peaked as demonstrated by the recent election results in which they continue to do poorly.
    4. The RSS of today is not another extremist organization like the LET; it is more disciplined and committed to a rule of law and democracy (at least in principle). Even this RSS is on a back foot, as noted in this report below. I thought I should point it out for the sake of balance.
    Hope you find it useful; and encouraging. 😉

    “By TwoCircles.net Staff Writer,
    New Delhi: Feeling the heat growing around and sensing the noose getting tightened round the neck of some of its leaders for their alleged involvement in terrorist activities, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has turned into self-correction mode, and approached Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its political front, for help. RSS is believed to be tightening up its gates to stop fringe elements from getting in “as it feels its matrix is weakening and it’s screening system, the shakhas, were being bypassed,” says an NDTV report. RSS connection with Hindutva terror came to light with the arrest of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur in the Malegaon blast case. Thakur had both RSS and BJP connection as in one photo published in the media soon after her arrest in the Malegaon case in 2008 she was seen sitting with the then BJP president Rajnath Thakur. However, RSS denied its connection with terror activities, rather some of its leaders and BJP openly supported Sadhvi. With days and months going and as honesty prevailed in some terror probes, some more people with RSS connection were arrested in such cases. But RSS continued to remain in denial mode. But when some months back RSS pracharaks Devendra Gupta and Lokesh Sharma were arrested in Rajasthan in connection with the Ajmer Dargah blast of 2007, the RSS decided not to protect them in any way. What has worried RSS much now is the latest revelation and development in the Mecca Masjid blast case. CBI has told the Hyderabad court that the same Hindutva terror module involved in the Ajmer Dargah blast was behind the Mecca Masjid blast during Juma prayers in 2007. What has now forced RSS into self-correction mode is questioning by CBI of some RSS leaders in UP in connection with the case. According to media reports, two senior RSS functionaries from Uttar Pradesh — Ashok Beri and Ashok Varshney – have been interrogated by the federal investigation agency. Beri is ‘kshetriya pracharak’ in charge of the RSS operations in half of Uttar Pradesh. He is a member of the Sangh’s central committee. Varshney is a senior ‘prant pracharak’ based in Kanpur, where on August 25, 2008 two Bajrang Dal activists were killed when a bomb went off accidentally while they were engaged in bomb-making. As corrective measures, RSS is now conducting careful internal audits to identify men who could have a terror connect. Some pracharaks in four states have been reportedly relieved of their duties….”

    Regards.

  282. Gorki

    social and political for all= social and political justice for all

  283. Hayyer

    Tavleen Singh is a she not a he. She writes a weekly column for the Indian Express on Sundays.
    Tavleen Singh is the mother of Atish Taseer who claims that the Governor of Pakistan’s Punjab is his father.
    Tavleen Singh therefore is representative of the
    the first generation of urban Indian women who considered themselves ‘liberated’. Another was that actress Nina Gupta in the 70’s who claimed to have fathered a child with a West Indian cricketer out of wedlock.
    Whether liberated also means liberal is another matter. Tavleen is by no means an intellectual. Her liberalism consists of berating those not liberated like herself, Hindu and Muslim.
    I am surprised thought that of all the fine liberal columnists that the Indian Express has on its roll it should be Tavleen who gets quoted as representative of Indian opinion.

  284. NSA

    “Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans (indeed all south asians) get on amicably without a fuss, without rioting or prejudice. This alone is proof that peace is the natural way for our peoples to exist.”

    — Logically speaking, all it is is proof of is that when when we all are small minorities and a third party is responsible for keeping the peace, then we are peaceful.

  285. Bin Ismail

    Dear Raza Rumi,

    “…..sensible neighbours must continue to talk…..”

    Very well said. That summarises about everything. To begin with let’s learn to be sensible.

    Regards.

  286. bumblebee

    Peace is not a cake which can be baked and eaten.Peace has to come from within and then it radiates outside.If everybody understood this reality,we would not be in the state we are in today.
    Talking helps in so far as keeping the americans happy.Till then we have Aman ki Asha,and an occasional bomb blast.If another Mumbai happens however,there won’t be any one talking for a long long time to come.Pakistan surely is a victim of the snake that it has been feeding for so long.India and pakistan do not really converge at any point .We think differently,our psyches have undergone totally different experiences,and we are two different entities with different destinations.If we can learn to be indifferent neighbours and accept our international borders and move on with the business of life,perhaps peace has a chance.

  287. AA Khalid

    @Gorki

    Thank you for your post.

    I still do not agree with you on the RSS, I have read alot of literature about this organiztion and can conclude they are fundamentally anti-modern, whose vision of democracy is a brutish majoritarian one. International opinion is still set against this organization and I have no reason to change my mind. All rational enquiries into their activities like the book about fundamentalism in India I mentioned indicate the hatred and prejudice present in the RSS. I am prepared to accept there may be well meaning people trapped in this organization lured and brainwashed.

    I have always maintained the notion of the irreducible complexity of Indian society, as such I appreciate there are numerous fringe elements. Arundhati Roy on the other hand is a brave intellectual, with the courage to point out the obvious inconsistencies in her country when it comes to matter of peace and reconcilliation. She is not extreme in any sense of the word.

    Of course Darlymple’s article is symptomatic of S.Asia itself, and that was the point of my posts, that India faces some similar challenges characteristic as a whole of the sub-continent.

  288. AA Khalid

    ”””””And instead you give me a bunch of links of books written by few prejudicial liberals about a few loony Indian right-wingers, who want to do some ideological preaching in India, and a few Hindu word redefinitions.”””””””

    Exhibit A, exhibit A above shows denial, prejudice and a deformed act of patriotism, where any research or literature provided to show that India has nasty elements within its society (like any other) is derided as ”written by a few prejudicial liberals”.

    Hilarious!

  289. PMA

    Raj (the other one) 0n July 18, 2010 at 3:48 am says:

    “So all Indians with common sense – from the liberals to the Indian Army; from the Indian middle class to the politicians; and those ‘Indian right-wing’ people – all know this well that ‘Pakistan is lost for good!’ And whole India has come to accept it.”

    Very encouraging indeed. Now only if their Pakistani counterpart also knew that “India was lost for good.”

    We should also listen what ‘bumblebee’
    (July 18, 2010 at 12:26 pm) has to say:

    “India and Pakistan do not really converge at any point. We think differently. Our psyches have undergone totally different experiences. We are two different entities with different destinations. If we can learn to be indifferent neighbours and accept our international borders and move on with the business of life, perhaps peace has a chance.”

    My advise exactly. The border between Pakistan and India is not only an international border, it is an ‘inter-civilizational’ border as well. The sooner we realize it, the better off we would be. There must be an honorable peace between the countries because it is the right thing to do. And then if the two wish to trade with each other so be it as long as it is a fair and balanced trade and not built on exploitation.

  290. Abhi

    Janaab Khalid,

    Jeez you know more about India than us poor brainwashed Indians. Kudos for that. Incidentally the “studies” that you have quoted are subjective opinions of individuals . Can you please tell us any anti-minority and anti-shoodar measures adapted by the Indian Parliament because of this alarming rise of Hindutva hawks.

    And why Pakistan has not gotten rid of blasphemy, anti-minority and anti-Ahmadi laws in last 20 years, half of which you spent under the governance of a “enlightened moderate” dictator and another under various “moderate” democratic goverments ( None of which were headed by MMA, as most of the Pakistani awaam is secular and liberal and doesnt vote such hawks, no ? )

  291. Raj (the other one)

    @Khalid,

    almost all schools of thought try to take a moral high ground and try to paint the other side with as black as possible. Liberals are in this way no different.

    True, they are in some ways better than the right-wingers as liberals do not resort to violence, but what liberals often do, is they take sides. They condemn the activities on one side, often highlighting the violence of a conservative group and disparage their positive contributions, as either non-existing or having sinister motives, while keeping their silence on the minority extremist group. This is selective perception and ideologically motivated.

    This is something one can understand. All groups do that, but the moral high ground loses some of its height.

    There is however something far more dangerous that they do. The media in general is controlled by Western interests, and the liberals in India are given prominent access through this media. So the case that they are somehow heroes trying to get their voice through is just myth making, and not true. There are many other voices, besides these of these liberals, which do not get through; and about those voices, there is no hullabaloo.

    Now why would the Western media give so much prominence to these liberals. For one, West is indeed interested that all other world views in the world get buried. If the Western world view dominates, then the West controls the people of the world. Islam is one impediment to this domination, and it has proven its resistance to manipulation. Hindu Renaissance is another huge challenge, in fact a bigger challenge, because Dharma also preaches the values of tolerance, plurality, non-violence, stuff the West developed far far later on in their evolution.

    The Indian liberals are groomed and encouraged to malign this challenge as much as they can, because they fear that once India does become an economic giant, it would be hard for them (read Evangelists) to even keep their flock in check and withstand the appeal of Dharmic thought.

    The effort is to rear a society which is secular and non-Hindu atheist, and fully devoid of their Hindu heritage, even though a Hindu renaissance does NOT threaten the plurality of the Indian State, as plurality sits at the core of Hinduism.

    M. K. Gandhi himself was often impressed by the work of RSS in fighting untouchability and casteism in India. That is plurality. When the RSS says that a Muslim’s first loyalty should lie with India and not to Mecca, then there is a reason.

    Reason 1: In the name of Islam, the country has already been divided. That is a fact! You’re evidence of that.

    Reason 2: Unlike where America tells the Catholics that their first loyalty should be to America and not to Rome, there is a difference wrt Islam. Rome has long stopped being a political force in this world, trying to expand politically. Mecca, i.e. Saudi Arabia on the other hand, is very much a political player. One has seen how Saudi money can change the complexion of society.

    Reason 3: In Islam, a political system and a system of laws lies at its core. This is different in Catholicism, or Christianity in general. In Hinduism also there is demand for a certain political system or a system of laws. So RSS wants that the Muslims in India should not give those demands precedence over the Indian State, trying to subvert it.

    So there is a justified reason why RSS makes such a demand of the Muslims. What they do not do, is to recommend any type of punishment to the Muslims should they not do it. In fact RSS, openly invites Muslims to be part of it, provided they promise their loyalty to India and respect the Hindu cultural heritage of the land.

    RSS does not demand the Muslims to leave their religion, but have minimal demands on their outlook.

    In this, I hardly think one can compare RSS to the Islamic extremists who promise a beheading if you leave Islam, wagerah, wagerah!

    So, in India the manifesto of the liberals is to criticize Hindu renaissance. In Pakistan the liberals criticize the Muslim extremists. But in India, one would hardly see liberals criticizing Muslim extremists, even though there are enough of them here also.

    For example, Arundhati Roy has openly stated that Taslima Nasrin has said stupid things about Islam.

    In fact, the liberals in India are protective of the Muslim extremists in India.

    That is the reason, there is little respect for the western-supported Indian liberals in India.

    As India rises, Indians will start looking at the world from their traditional outlook, which would be just as tolerant and pluralistic but may have a different narrative and vocabulary. Colonialism would then come to an end.

    The morality liberals want to prolong this colonialism of the mind, by working for their Western patrons, from whom they get their awards, etc.

    I am very much for free-speech especially when it concerns justified criticism of religion. Certain groups within the Sangh Parivar are still touchy on this, so I do not identify myself with the Sangh Parivar.

    But just because I am a convinced of the need of Free Speech, and Freedom of the Individual, Tolerance of all religions which also show tolerance, Plurality in all its forms; what I would not do is to identify myself with a bunch of Western-supported liberals, like Arundhati Roys.

    I do think, that there is a lot that India can still do in terms of freedom of speech, and each should in his way try to contribute to it, but one shouldn’t allow oneself to be a captive of the Western narrative on liberalism.

    India too has a long tradition in liberalism, and in my opinion that needs to be nurtured, which explains to some extent my aversion to accept everything the Western agencies dish out, be they be the likes of William Darlymple or Amnesty International or HRW. One has to learn to question their focus, their motives, their drivers. They can however give some hints to our shortcomings.

    Another thing I notice in this dialog between the Pakistani and Indian liberals is this need to find this mirror imaging of Pakistan society within Indian society, a mirror imaging of Islamic society withing Hindus, a one-to-one mapping. And if one says both are different, then one is derided as an “Exceptionalist”! Are the brains of liberals so small that they have a problem accepting a bigger complexity than can be expressed through this one-to-one mapping!

    Pakistani HDI Indian HDI
    Pakistani Hawks Indian Hawks
    Pakistani Liberals Indian Liberals
    Pakistani Terror Victims Indian Terror Victims
    Islamic Extremism Hindu Extremism
    Lashkar-e-Toyba Bajrang Dal

    This is such a perversion of reality to fit one’s own ideology, and the agenda of Western interests. If this one-to-one mapping is the working assumption, of course everything would seem complex. Consider the model of Earth as the center of universe, and how all the orbits of planets and stars needed to be drawn. That was complex. The complexity that arises in the so-called liberal minds is a product of warped thinking.

    Free your mind first. Find the fulcrum of your values first. Study the complexity of the world first and then start to build some world model around it. What you are doing is picking an ideology and trying to understand the world through this lens. That makes the challenge difficult!

    I commend the sentiments behind peace between India and Pakistan. All I recommend is that one should not be a run-of-the-mill South-Asian liberal working for Western interests, and as a peace activist not try to build parallel imagery between India and Pakistan. A peace between 5 Pakistani liberals and 3 Indian liberals is a nice tea-drinking chatroom but hardly the basis of peace between India and Pakistan.

  292. Raj (the other one)

    I have seen some admiration for Arundhati Roy here on this forum.

    Suzanne Arundhati Roy has zero credibility in India, though she has a small fan club, who keeps on cheering her. Everybody knows she hates Hindus, and is actually a product of Evangelists schooling.

    The reason these so-called Indian liberals feel they are under siege, is simply because nobody in India is willing to buy their codswallop anymore, constantly denigrating the Hindus, and then crying foul when someone reacts negatively (not necessarily physically)!

  293. AA Khalid

    @Abhi

    Thoroughout my posts I have constantly operated a double critique of both India and Pakistan, so your post in application to me is null and void since I oppose the injustices and rife human rights abuses in Pakistan too.

    @Raj

    Your attitude is symptomatic of all South Asians who feel threatened when their societies are criticised, blame it on the ”brown orientalists” and ”colonialists”. Just blame colonialism for all your problems!

    Bar your distorted historiography which professional historians would say is frighteningly simplistic (a great study on partition released by Cambridge University with the collaboration of Pakistan, Indian and international scholars has just been released called. The garbage that Indian and Pakistani right wing and traditionalist scholars have written is being challenged.

    See The Partition of India (New Approaches to Asian History), by Ian Talbot and Gurharpal Singh (editors). Great new study which dismantle myths built up by Indian and Pakistani right wing idiots.

    Your paranoia about the ”West” is xenophobic and characteristic of all South Asian fear mongerers and is part of the victim mentality evident in India and Pakistan. Grow up….

    You offer excuses for Hindu right wing nationalism which is an insult to the brave attempts of Indian liberals fighting against extremism of ALL forms in India. Your paranoia and conspiracy theories about the evil ”West” using Indian liberals is shocking.

    Roy was right, there is an incredible amount of hysteria in India (and in Pakistan aswell), whenever someone asks difficult and critical questions.

  294. AA Khalid

    ””””Everybody knows she hates Hindus””’

    Can you provide some explicit evidence or a statement saying to the effect:

    ”I hate all Hindus”

    Some evidence to back up your rabid accusations would be nice…..

  295. AA Khalid

    Arundhati Roy is an example of a true intellectual with a social conscience operating in the difficult and trecherous conditions of the sub-continent.

  296. AA Khalid

    In Raj’s cooky world any Indian who is a critical intellectual and thinker who points out the inconsistencies of Indian society regarding issues of peace and reconcilliation must be a ”Western” agent.

  297. Abhi

    Khalid,

    Yes but you, while equating the societies, you conviniantly ignore the fact that atrocities in India are aberrations rather than general trend, if not why don’t we see the influence of Hindutva in the Indian laws; but on the other hand, in Pakistani context all the atrocities have constitutional sanctity.

    There is really no comparison between the two, dear sir.

  298. AA Khalid

    ”””””societies, you conviniantly ignore the fact that atrocities in India are aberrations rather than general trend, if not why don’t we see the influence of Hindutva in the Indian laws; but on the other hand, in Pakistani context all the atrocities have constitutional sanctity”””””’

    No suicide bombing is not a sanction by the the constitution of Pakistan, neither is wanton destruction.

    I give credit to the Indian judiciary and the constitutional efforts of early liberal Indian leaders who had the foresight to counter the Hindutva movement. The Hindutva movement knows that in the field of legislation it has no real clout, instead if focuses on manipulating socio-cultural forces, as the two books on political theory I quoted from make clear.

    The fact that India’s founder outlined a solid constitution and Pakistan’s founder tragically died very early and could not outline a similar constitutional vision is the crux of the matter.

    But in the social and cultural sphere of Indian societies scholars note the acidic influence of Hindutva.

    Nevertheless the best critical study of the Indian constitution I have come across is by Professor Bhargav, who is a first class Indian liberal political theorist, who defends the sphere of constitutioanl interpretation against the onslaught of Hindu majoritarian fundamentalism.

    Credit indeed should be given to the brave drafters of the Indian constitution who had great vision.

    The fact that Pakistan lost its founder early on, and there has never been anyone to truly guide and nurture a similar movement of constitutional secularism is tragic.

    Abhi please stop denying India is different from Pakistan otherwise I may have to post up some difficult reading for you on the issue of human rights abuses and the marginlization of minorities in India from reports of the Human Rights Watch, UN and Amnesty and other sources…..

  299. To some of my Indian friends: On the one hand you guys don’t want us to comment on you internal issues and on the other you make ill-informed and hateful comments on Pakistan with impunity. These double standards are quite glaring. Sorry you can’t set the agenda here and define the rules (or lack thereof) of the game. I am glad that the extremist, bigoted voices are in no way representative of the majority in India. Otherwise, war and mutually assured destruction is the logical result of such hatred. Pakistanis do not hate India but they do resent the arrogance, ignorance and lack of grace displayed by some of the fervent Indian nationalists here. Yet, we and many others will strive for peace as we believe that a peaceful region in our national interest! Your pathetic discourse laced with religious bigotry and rehashing of RSS versions of history will NOT deter us. Nor will the jihadis in our midst stop us. Quest for peace shall continue.

  300. Dastagir

    Now let me get to the root of the matter and put it in blunt terms, devoid of diplomatic jargon !

    26/11 : 10 dossiers sent. The last one is the ultimate truth and precedes the earlier ones. So the final truth is coming in instalments and is a “monthly thing”. The recent addition to the dossiers is a statement given by one Headley presently lodged in the US., where Indian interrogators had access to him. He has sung like a myna. AND his word is the fullest and the final truth and the new bible for India.

    Fine. Based on Mr. Headley’s statement, certainly Pakistan Govt. must take some action. NO doubt about it., and come out with the fullest truth as to what this is all about ! Afterall if ISI is throwing money., there must be someone who is giving ISI the money… or are the ISI officers so charged with theological fervour that they are indulging in “covert operations budget” from their salaries !

    Fact is : India and Pakistani MINDS and HEARTS have been hijacked. This did not happen in 1 day. .It has taken atleast 45+ years (immediately after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru i.e.) to ingrain in the indian psyche that Pakistan is the eternal enemy., the dirty, the filthy, the crooked, the evil ! In Pakistan too., hatred FOR the other was necessary to keep the public mind “occupied” and engaged. But when i look at the capability for evil., when i compare the RSS., with its “institutionalised riot systems” with the Mullah and Taliban., the Taliban and the Mullah come out as minor Anda-Chor and Murgi-Chor., whereas RSS is a world-class gang of criminals that can rob a Bank (Heist). You cannot compare the two. (Though i hate both the RSS and the Mullah with equal fervour). The world spotlight is not on RSS yet., but i am sure., 20-25 years from now., RSS (hatred) will show its ugly face and the outside world (US/UK/EU) will begin to assess this. The world’s largest terrorist organisation that lay dormant and hidden, just because its dirty activities were limited to its borders !

    Pakistani State cannot take actions against some hardliners., for the simple reason that such action would lead to riots., killings and law and order problems. It could lead to unleashing of riots. Luckily these hardliners are not in power (they never were., except for a few years under Musharraf in NWFP). In India too., we know the criminals and perpetrators of riots. Its the RSS. And RSS is in power in 8 provinces / states ! We cannot arrest Bal Thackerey ! We cannot arrest Narendra Modi (He is an elected official., elected by the people., and people’s voice is God’s voice). We cannot even arrest Babu Bajrangi., inspite of a confessional. He is a free man, and is planning more killings !!!

    What to do ? This will be a very long process. To walk out of the “hate mode” into a positive mode. The withdrawal has to be slow., very slow. Pakistanis wont start loving India in 24 hours. They would need to be intellectually altered to a different world view. In India too., a lot of emotional capital would need to be spent to bring positivity and humane-ness and to change the world view from “sadistic” to positive and humane. As of now., if you ask a boy from age 4 to a man aged 84., about Pakistan., sorry to say., 95% of the remarks would be downright sadistic., not to use stronger language.

    How did this happen ? There is more hatred in India today (for pakistan) than there was in 1947 ! This happened because RSS injected hate 24×7 for the past 80+ years (1926-2010., and still in progress).

    This RSS cancer., if left unchecked would undo the Union of India., destroy the Indian state., Indian soceity and cause irreparable damage to Hindu Dharma (Sanatana Dharma) itself. The Mullah cancer will do the same for Pakistan. Destruction of the state and society and cause damage to eclectic Islam. Theological detail will eat into the HEART of Islam.

    Oh ! What a loss… What a civilisational loss.. And we cannot do a thing about it., as it is people like Babu Bajrangi and Beitullah Mahsud who will write the destiny of India and Pakistan, respectively…. as decent, well meaning people watch silently… and close doors and windows… when they hear a loud noise on the street(s).

  301. AA Khalid

    atrocities in India are unfortunately not an abberation, they are for many people in India.

    Read this brave article by Pankah Mishra: Violence runs through this ‘stable’ India, built on poverty and injustice. (google and you will find it).

    A snippet of this brave Indian writer’s brilliant article:

    ””””’In 2006 a commission appointed by the government revealed that Muslims in India are worse educated and less likely to find employment than low-caste Hindus. Muslim isolation and despair is compounded by what B Raman, a hawkish security analyst, was moved after the most recent attacks to describe as the “inherent unfairness of the Indian criminal justice system”.

    To take one example, the names of the politicians, businessmen, officials and policemen who colluded in the anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat in 2002 are widely known. Some of them were caught on video, in a sting carried out last year by the weekly magazine Tehelka, proudly recalling how they murdered and raped Muslims. But, as Amnesty International pointed out in a recent report, justice continues to evade most victims and survivors of the violence. Tens of thousands still languish in refugee camps, too afraid to return to their homes.

    In an article I wrote for the New York Times in 2003 I underlined the likely perils if the depressed and alienated minority of Muslims were to abandon their much-tested faith in the Indian political and legal system. Predictably Hindu nationalists, most of them resident in the UK and US, inundated my email inbox, accusing me of showing India in a bad light
    ”””””””””””””””

    I repeat India has done a great deed in drafting an admirable constitution but the challenges it faces are characteristic of the whole of the sub-continent.

  302. AA Khalid

    India is in a precarious situation, its constitution is the bedrock of its democracy and secularism which is threatened in the socio-cultural sphere by nationalists and right wing prejudiced bigots.

    For Pakistan, the ineptitude of political leaders and the political establishment in pursuing a programme of constitutional liberalism and fostering a genuine democratic culture has left a vacuum in Pakistani society.

  303. Raj (the other one)

    Khalid,

    First of all, Suzanne Arundhati Roy is not a Hindu. She is a Christian. She is a Christian adamant about criticizing Hindus. Her support base were the Keralite Christians. Now what is her locus standi in criticizing Hindus. She had a Hindu father and a Christian mother. They separated, and since then she is on a mission against Hindus.

    She can do what she wants and she can say what she wants. All I am saying is she has little credibility.

    Hindus have no problems against self-criticism, but the criticism should come from the own rank and file, from the Hindus themselves, something where Hinduism also differs from Islam. Only if it is from within, is criticism respected. By the way, Hinduism is neither a way of life, which either excommunicates anybody for thinking differently or criticizing it, nor is one hanged for blasphemy. But the constructive criticism should be from within.

    Secondly I don’t feel threatened. Western values of secularism, plurality, tolerance are all at home in India. In fact they are Indian values, Hindu values. I have grown up in the secular thought and still adhere to it.

    What I said is that there is a concerted attempt to show that these values have Western origin, as if these have no origin in Hindu thought. So Hindus who abide by these values are being led to believe, that their value system is foreign in origin, so as to turn them away from Hindu traditions.

    If there is anything simplistic, then it is your tendency to use labels, like “xenophobic”. Why am I xenophobic? Just because, I believe that the Hindus do not need to think that their liberal thinking is a gift of the West.

    Even for you, it is like this. For anything to be of credibility it has to be from the West. Only Westerners are professionals. Just shows more of your Pakistani inferiority complex, justified to the extent that everything is concocted from economic indicators to census figures. That is another difference.

    In India we do not have to rely only on foreign sources to understand ourselves. There is sufficient intellectual and academic depth in India. And also a lot of honesty and respect for the truth. India’s motto is “Satyamev Jayate”, Truth prevails.

    This is another one of your attempts to do a one-to-one mapping between India and Pakistan!!! There are no professionals within the country, so only sources from abroad can be trusted!

  304. AA Khalid

    From Pankaj Mishra’s article on the Guardian: Violence runs through this ‘stable’ India, built on poverty and injustice

    ”””’The Indian elite’s obsession with the “foreign hand” obscures the fact that the roots of some of the violence lie in the previous two decades of traumatic political and economic change, particularly the rise of Hindu nationalism, and the related growth of ruthlessness towards those left behind by India’s expanding economy””””””

  305. AA Khalid

    Raj:

    ”’since then she is on a mission against Hindus””

    Prove it.

    ””For anything to be of credibility it has to be from the West. Only Westerners are professionals. Just shows more of your Pakistani inferiority complex, justified to the extent that everything is concocted from economic indicators to census figures. That is another difference”””

    Victim mentality, the big bad mean ”West” is out to get poor little India. Grow up Raj.

    You have no response to any of my points so you continue your hapless and hopeless rants, you are trapped by this irrational alleigance to some fictious image and myth of traditional ”purity”.

    I leave you with a great saying of the 8th Century Muslim rationalist philosopher Al Kindi:

    ‘’We must not be ashamed to admire the truth or to acquire it, from wherever it comes. Even if it should come from far-flung nations and foreign peoples, there is for the student of truth nothing more important than the truth, nor is the truth demeaned or diminished by the one who states or conveys it; no one is demeaned by the truth, rather all are ennobled by it.’’

  306. AA Khalid

    ””””There is sufficient intellectual and academic depth in India. ””””’

    In the latest 2008 Education Index conducted by the UN India was given a ranking of 142nd and Pakistan a 137th out of 176 rankings, (absolutely nothing for Pakistanis to be proud of since it shows the epic challenge of fostering a culture of intellectual enquiry in the sub-continent). In some studies Pakistani and Indian universities rank outside the top 200 universities in the world….

  307. AA Khalid

    If any Pakistani/Indian right wing idiot or xenophobic and bigoted nationalist wants to continue to argue a case for exceptionalism and utopianism for their respective nation, I have got plenty more statistics, studies, reports and literature to cite from, which will burst your fanciful dreams and illusions and bring you right down back to planet Earth.

    Fervent and over-zealous nationalism is an obstacle to peace and an obstacle to knowledge.

  308. Abhi

    Khalid,

    I asked you a simple question and you give me some abstract studies and deliberately twist my words.

    “No suicide bombing is not a sanction by the the constitution of Pakistan, neither is wanton destruction.”

    When did I write this? I don’t know why you are willfully being obtuse. I will repeat once again, on what liberal values are blasphemy, anti-Ahmadi laws are based. Are these not atrocities in your view ?

    Constitution in some sacred document that can’t change with time. It is the reflection of the will and ethos of the people. All the judicial activism will be not prevent its amendment if there was a rising influence of “Hindutva” that you claim. Similiarly in Pakistani context, the discriminatory laws and articles would have been removed if there was support for such measures amongst the society. That they still exist, is a sad commentary on the state of affairs.

    “Abhi please stop denying India is different from Pakistan otherwise I may have to post up some difficult reading for you on the issue of human rights abuses and the marginlization of minorities in India from reports of the Human Rights Watch, UN and Amnesty and other sources…..”

    I can similiarly post links to hundredes of books and articles which highlight the racial discrimination that exists in US against the minorities. But, while US is not a utopia, it would be intellectually dishonest on my part to compare it with India, especially in the context of criminal-justice system.

    Nobody is claiming that India doesn’t have any problems. But the fact is minorities have been given adequate legal protection. But these are because of the flaws in the administrative system. While in case of Pakistan the Constitution approves such discrimination . And the moderate awaam does nothing to change it.

    There is really no comparison my friend.

  309. AA Khalid

    ”””’India’s motto is “Satyamev Jayate”, Truth prevails””””

    In your interpretation and in your case Raj, only if the truth is convenient, self-fulfilling and pleasent its prevails.

    If the truth is harsh and inconvenient and forces you to ask some serious questions, then its ignored.

  310. Abhi

    erratum “is *not* some sacred document”

  311. AA Khalid

    ”””” will repeat once again, on what liberal values are blasphemy, anti-Ahmadi laws are based. Are these not atrocities in your view ?””’

    I agree these are brutal atrocities, but examples of non-constitutional social marginalisation of minorities exist in India aswell, and traditional structurs of social control and manipulative bigotry (i.e. caste system).

    ””I can similiarly post links to hundredes of books and articles which highlight the racial discrimination that exists in US against the minorities””””’

    That is changing the subject, statistical analysis in these matters show India and Pakistan have similarities.

  312. Raj (the other one)

    Khalid,

    you will remain a captive of labels. I hope you free your mind some day. Till yet, all you have shown me, is that your whole persona consists of jumbling 50 labels!

    Secondly if your world-view is based on one-to-one mapping between India and Pakistan, it would always remain under strain.

    Thirdly, you love to misrepresent the Indians. Admiration for Hindu thought == Xenophobic!
    I like the West, I love the West but I am not AWED by the West!

    Basically you have no answer to the single question I posed to you:
    Where are the Indian Hawks baying for the destruction of Pakistan?

    You could not find any and gave links to an inner-Indian discourse on secularism and freedom of speech!

    You are NOT a peace activist for peace between India and Pakistan! You love to hear and tell how bad the conditions in India are, so as to somehow feel better being a Pakistani! You want to be convinced that the situation of critics of Hinduism is just as bad as that of your lot, the Pakistani liberals. It is NOT!

    If you were a peace activist, you would be going on Pakistani Streets, demanding from your govt. to stop its policy of terrorism against India.

    If you were a peace activist, you would be telling the world about it and asking Pakistanis for reforms of your India-hate filled education curriculum.

    If you were a peace activist, you will be telling people in Pakistan, that there is nothing to fear from India, and Pakistani budget is better used elsewhere! That is in Pakistani interest, not necessarily in Indian interest.

    No you too are one of those who looking for a ticket-out, to avoid being eaten by the Piranhas on the doorstep (the Taliban) or you are one of those, who want to sing praises of the West to endear to them so they give you a pat on back, and if possible a job!

    Khalid, I wish you well in life!

    There are Pakistanis much worse than you for India.

  313. Hayyer

    Dastgir:

    “The world spotlight is not on RSS yet., but i am sure., 20-25 years from now., RSS (hatred) will show its ugly face and the outside world (US/UK/EU) will begin to assess this. The world’s largest terrorist organisation that lay dormant and hidden, just because its dirty activities were limited to its borders !”

    You are obviously not a fan of Steve Spielberg and his Indiana Jones. The second of the series had a character played by Amrish Puri spouting RSS stuff by the bucket. This was 25 years ago I think.

    A A Khalid:

    While there is much in what you say, quoting Pankaj Mishra weakens your argument. The secret of that impostor’s essays is a contrived sympathy carefully tailored to professional left liberalism in New York literary circles. He is I reckon a less intelligent version of Arundhati Roy, about as bogus but definitely less cerebral.

  314. AA Khalid

    Oh well Raj continue denying things which are inconvenient for you to hear, perhaps you will rise from your insular right wing nationalism one day. You have shown me nothing of substance, I leave you with a plethora of writings from brave Indian intellectuals.

    Listen to them Raj, they represent the true traditions of Indian thought, questioning, dissenting and critical analysis. Listen to your fellow Indian liberals.

    Hayyer:

    I find it strange that as soon as we have an Indian intellectual or writer who asks and writes difficult questions and thought provoking critical analyses you question their patriotism, their identity. Is this normal?

    I personally find Mishra’s brave and insightful commentary refreshing and thought provoking. Why is there so much hysteria directed against Indian liberals?

  315. Hayyer

    Just in passing, I have to say that PTH has begun attracting more than the usual number of Indian trolls. As recently as three months ago their numbers were manageable. Now the clones attack in platoon strength.
    RR is right. You don’t come across such vicious nihilism towards Pakistanis among ordinary Indians. This present batch of visitors from India seem to be swarming off a base.
    When I first came to PTH it was a pleasant surprise to discover a liberal Pakistan (our knowledge of each other is necessarily limited because media exchange and travel is difficult). Many Indians now visiting seem to resent the existence of liberal Pakistani opinion, and sound as if they are determined to fight off the idea.

  316. Hayyer ji: you are absolutely right. The sad part is that given the lack of information, the fascists’ point of view would be considered as the Indian mainstream opinion. Though it is not. Similarly, the Islamist discourse has no public support. If that was the case, they would be on power by now like several other Muslim countries. But those who have closed minds, we only wish that they get some enlightenment. Hatred is self-defeating.

    Sent from my BlackBerry® Smartphone. Typos are regretted

  317. Hayyer

    AA Khalid:

    I understand your position. You don’t live in India and naturally you perspective of liberal Indian writers is from a distance.

    There are many liberal Indian writers and there are many who write criticizing Hindu right wing perspectives. It is just that Pankaj Mishra is not on the list of writers who write on Indians for Indians. I have read his occasional pieces starting with the New York Review of books under the tutelage of its now deceased founder editor (I forget her name) and in the New Yorker magazine. I also bought his rather stupidly named book-what was it- Being modern in India? Pankaj Mishra does not do analysis with an eye to ameliorate conditions. His agenda is not to cure, it is to earn a living through the revelations of his sensitive soul. He reminds me in some ways of Naipaul with his synthetic sympathies in ‘Among the Believers’. He is after all a journalist.

    Arundhati Roy is a fake but a clever one. She shot of that one masterpiece and is now a professional pamphleteer, not a serious intellectual. Much as I dislike the word intellectual, there is such a class and Ms. Roy while surely qualified to be one is actually satisfied wasting her abilities in being a gadfly.

  318. Abhi

    RR,

    “Similarly, the Islamist discourse has no public support”

    I hate to sound like a stuck record but nobody here is giving a reasonable explantion . If there is no support for Islamist discourse, then why the blatantly discriminatory laws have not been repealed in last 20 years.

    Thank You.

  319. Abhi: my knee jerk reaction after reading snippets of hate speech (not you in particular) should be: please don’t talk about our internal matters. Having said that let me assure you that General Musharraf repealed a few sections of the discriminatory laws and also brought in a few legal/procedural changes. There is a vicious cycle here: every hostile indian statement makes the work of islamists easier telling the public that India will attack us. Paradoxically, secular India is also responsible for the rise of extreme views here. Have you ever visited Pakistan? Discriminatory laws are there but their application is limited and everyone know how they are a bad legacy of zia to justify his dictatorship. If Pakistanis were to listen to the islamists Benazir Bhutto would never be the PM twice and other women in high places would not be in their offices. We are a transitional society and our changing polity is least understood by the outside world fed on the global media and its strategic alignment with the war industry!

  320. Bade Miyan

    Khalid,
    Have you ever been to India and seen things for yourself. I am sure there are many statistics saying how things are so bad. That is not the moot point. The central issue is the direction that we are taking, which though far from perfect, is a good one. Incidentally, before the liberalization and the current spate of economic progress, no matter how skewed it is, we used to hear daily reports of how India was backward due to its socialist policies, “Hindu” rate of growth, blah blah blah. Now that we have turned a corner, we hear breathless reports of how Indian democracy has failed, how the fruits of economic success are not well distributed. Such reports make it sound so simple, as if redistributing economic success is a child’s play. It’s been less than 20 years since we liberalized. Don’t worry, things are changing and changing quite fast.

    As for your unsubstantiated claims about hate filled Indian books, do get a copy of NCERT books. They are among the best written books.

  321. Gorki

    Dear Khalid

    While no one is questioning the fact that we have a colossal task on our hands today trying to build a nation out of the imperfect state that we have in India, using words of writers like Arundhati Roy to support any argument weakens it considerably.

    You asked if she has made any anti Hindu statements on the record. Of course not, she is too sophisticated for that but her biased statements become very apparent to even a very cursory observer if one takes only a few minutes for research.

    For the sake of objectivity let us take her views on the Sri Lanka war; an issue that is removed from India or the India-Pakistan discussion.

    This below is what she wrote about the war when the LTTE was cornered by the SLA and still refused to lay down arms and held on to thousands of hostages trying to avoid defeat.

    “Meanwhile, there are official reports that several ‘‘welfare villages’’ have been established to house displaced Tamils in Vavuniya and Mannar districts. According to a report in The Daily Telegraph (Feb 14, 2009), these villages ‘‘will be compulsory holding centres for all civilians fleeing the fighting’’.
    Is this a euphemism for concentration camps? ….

    AND

    “Several of us including myself, who should have spoken out much earlier, have not done so, simply because of a lack of information about the war. So while the killing continues, while tens of thousands of people are being barricaded into concentration camps, while more than 200,000 face starvation, and a genocide waits to happen, there is dead silence from this great country………”

    In other words, at that stage in the war, while she assumed that holding displaced civilians in welfare villages was a euphemism for concentration camps, there was no word about the LTTE itself holding civilians as human shields.

    Read further.

    While she suddenly laments the ‘dead silence’ of others in support of the LTTE, she had her own dead silence to any of its atrocities of the past decades.
    Still, I tried to do a quick search of the net to try to find a single statement by Ms. Roy against the activities of the LTTE, its use of terror, its indoctrination techniques, its fascist ideology, its use of suicide bombers, of child soldiers, and the answer was…
    you guessed it; one big silence!

    Her words of sham sorrow remind me of writings by some holocaust deniers who dig up historical references of German suffering in the closing days of WW II without a single word about the suffering of everyone else brought upon by the Nazis who begun the war.

    I will however keep an open mind. If you can give references of Ms. Roy calling a similar World attention to the atrocities committed by the LTTE, I will not contest your using her as a source.

    Regards.

  322. Bade Miyan

    Gorki,
    Let’s not even talk about her stance on the Taliban before they went on the current mayhem. The problem with the left in our country is that it has been hijacked by half baked intellectuals like Arundhati, etc. She should stick to fiction.

    Raza,
    “Paradoxically, secular India is also responsible for the rise of extreme views here.”

    That was quite revealing. A lot of commentators in our country say that the anti-muslim feeling in India is correlated with the terrorists attack from across the border. Christians and other minorities rarely suffer the kind of vitriol that Muslims face.

  323. Abhi

    RR,

    “Having said that let me assure you that General Musharraf repealed a few sections of the discriminatory laws and also brought in a few legal/procedural changes”
    🙂
    Ironic isn’t it. A polity in which there is no place for Islamist discourse needed a military dictator to repeal that horrible and barbaric hudood ordinance after 25 years and even Mrs. Benazeer Bhutto was helpless against it. I also don’t need to tell you that she actually actively/passively supported the rise of Taliban in Afghanistan.

    ” please don’t talk about our internal matters”
    I won’t. But liberal Pakistanis should also stop living in the phantasy that both societies have similiar problems . You have your problems, we have our own .

  324. Raja Mohi

    Mr. Raza Rumi:” Though it is not. Similarly, the Islamist discourse has no public support. If that was the case, they would be on power [in pakistan] by now like several other Muslim countries. ”

    The Army controls Pakistan and they use these Islamists to remain in Power. As long as Pakistan is not a real democracy, and a paper democracy that is a front for the Army, I am afraid, the Pakistani public has no real voice. This is a very real problem for Pakistanis to talk about and fix — notice how the internet is being censored nowadays with the connivance of the Courts. Unfortunately, liberal Pakistanis do not seem to be a nationwide phenomenon though their presence in the largely English Web Media is formidable indeed, as exemplified by this blog.

  325. Raja Mohi

    ” Pakistanis do not hate India but they do resent the arrogance, ignorance and lack of grace displayed by some of the fervent Indian nationalists here. ”

    It is pretty graceless to pretend that justice for the victims of 26/11 does not matter, as the Pakistani Minister did during the Press Conference. To ask for justice for poor Indians who cannot seek justice by themselves is resented by Pakistanis? Indians need to ignore their dead as if their lives have no value? And this dishonesty is to be the first step of a honest relationship between India and Pakistan? That may be too optimistic in my view. In any case, India and Pakistan need to talk more and at least work towards building a bridge of words for starters.

  326. Karaya

    Hayyer,

    I am surprised thought that of all the fine liberal columnists that the Indian Express has on its roll it should be Tavleen who gets quoted as representative of Indian opinion.

    Ha! I’m surprised that the Indian Express, which has a nice line-up of columnists–second only to the Hindu, I’d say—still keeps her. That paper is so much better on weekdays.

    Raza,

    Congratulations on the number of idiots commenting on your (fine) website—looks like PTH’s popularity has really taken off.

  327. Raj (the other one)

    Abhi,

    The policy of not commenting on the internal problems of the others, was a tool I gave the gentlemen here.

    Indian say to Pakistanis, “stop murdering and terrorizing our innocent”, Pakistanis say, “Look you have casteism”.

    Indians say to Pakistanis, “give us justice. Hand us those responsible for terror acts”, Pakistanis say, “Look at your poverty”!

    Indians say to Pakistanis, “stop preaching hatred towards Indians”, Pakistanis say, “You have no freedom of speech!”

    Such are the Peace Activists! They love to talk about what is wrong with India. They want to convince themselves that if the situation in India is similar to the situation in Pakistan, and everything in Pakistan mirrors everything that is in India, then the destinies of both the countries is the same.

    The Pakistani Hawks say “hum doobenge, to tumko leke doobenge”! The Pakistani Liberals say “hum to doob rahe hain, lekin tum bhi to doob rahe ho! The Pakistani Hawks want to sink Indians using the sword, and the Pakistani liberals want to sink India using words.

    The Pakistani Hawks hate Hindus, and say the kafirs are wajib ul-qatal. The Pakistani Liberals hate Hindus and say they are wajib ul-defamation as fundamentalist right-wingers. The only friends the Pakistani Liberals can find amongst Indians are those who have completely eschewed Hinduism and have become atheists, or are Marxists. The Pakistani Liberals want no dialog with Hindus, who form more than 80% of the population of India but they like to call themselves peace activists.

    The Pakistani Hawk always want the Indian to not forget, that he can terrorize and hit Indians anytime anywhere. The Pakistani Liberal always want the Indian to forgive and forget all the terror acts till date using the lipri-chupri Obliviate Charm. But none will take any actions to really stop terror.

    The Pakistani Hawk will always denigrate the Indians, the Hindus, calling them bhangis and telling them that India is a $hithole. The Pakistani Liberal will start quoting western sources to prove to the Indian, that the Indian is living in a Shithole.

    The Pakistani Hawk will not stop terror and give you peace. The Pakistani Liberal cannot stop terror and give you peace.

    So neither the Pakistani Hawk nor the Pakistani Liberal really forms the “peace constituency” for India.

    We will have to see, whether the next generation of Pakistanis is ready for peace with India. This generation, I am afraid is intellectually barren.

  328. CoolBreeze

    Don’t mean to jar you all awake from your fantasies, but schools run by RSS place a very, very high priority on science and math.

    Almost *ALL* RSS run schools demand a very high standard to be adhered to and reward high achievements in science and math. Trust me, none of the very competitive enterance exams to colleges in India require the students to be tested in either History, Philosophy or Religion. What is required are the following:

    1. English
    2. Physics
    3. Chemistry
    4. Mathematics
    5. Biology

    Therefore, RSS schools do not push the line — just rote learning the Bhagwat Gita or some such so called “Religious Text” is sufficient. They actually work hard to teach the kids to compete in the real world.

    Sorry for the interruptions, you may now go back to your favorite RSS hate fantasies.

  329. Bade Miyan

    CoolBreeze,
    Thanks for the breath of stale air. What you failed to mention was that RSS also indoctrinates kids with bogus history and extols Hedgewar, among others, who was a grade ‘A’ a*shole….

  330. Raj (the other one)

    @Bade Miyan

    Well Hedgewar was the founder of RSS, so that would be natural, that to some extent every organization would extol the teachings of its founder!

    Mind sharing what you find objectionable! Just curious!

    Thank you

  331. @ CoolBreeze
    July 19, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Don’t mean to jar you all awake from your fantasies, but schools run by RSS place a very, very high priority on science and math.

    Almost *ALL* RSS run schools demand a very high standard to be adhered to and reward high achievements in science and math. Trust me, none of the very competitive enterance exams to colleges in India require the students to be tested in either History, Philosophy or Religion. What is required are the following:

    1. English
    2. Physics
    3. Chemistry
    4. Mathematics
    5. Biology

    Therefore, RSS schools do not push the line — just rote learning the Bhagwat Gita or some such so called “Religious Text” is sufficient. They actually work hard to teach the kids to compete in the real world.

    Sorry for the interruptions, you may now go back to your favorite RSS hate fantasies.

    Thank you for replenishing the stock of ammunition.

    Gorki, do you see what I meant? This is precisely the point. I have said before, and I will say again, that with exceptions like you (on one extreme end) and Shiv (on the other extreme end), professionals tend to be the easiest cannon-fodder for extremist recruiters. The two of you are the exceptions that prove the rule.

    In most of their schooldays, as the example above illustrates with pitiless and entirely unintended candour, there is a dearth of humanistic teaching to these unfortunate inhabitants of the Stulag. English is taught as a tool, with which to get along, with which to project one’s views, however those views may have grown or been injected, like spores into a culture. Never as a literature; no literature, no history, nothing that smacks of the humanities, or can cause any moments of deviation from the immutable power of the digit (which in its human physiognomic form constitutes my salute to the author of this piece and his heroes).

    The result is that these glassy-eyed products of the RSS educational facility come out with vacuums in their minds, which are ready to be filled with recreations of history through TV, through comics and through the tracts of the Parivar. These TV recreations require a separate series of doctoral studies, but comprise of treating the myths as absolute facts, the fables and fantasies of their gifted creators as real-life happenings, the protagonists as human beings who strode this earth – in some cases, as divine beings who show themselves with a considerable exuberance and stunning frequency to mortals – and did wonderful things in battle with arrows bent in the shape of an old and retired hickory-wood putter. If these TV soaps had been around in the 9th and 10th centuries, the slaves of the Ghurids would have reached Cape Comorin in a matter of weeks, not centuries.

    There is appalling damage done to the reasoning power and the capacity to think of the students concerned – or does one coin a different phrase for the products of a facility? The natural sciences, the way they are taught, allow for no questioning; the hapless output from these facilities are taught not to question, not to speculate, but to absorb obediently, or be cast aside on the rubbish-heap of society. Questioning and speculation, as ‘Cool Breeze’ profusely illustrates, in his unwitting and hapless efforts to hold the saffron flag high, are to be punished; they are taught this in school, and the lessons are used to good purpose later.

    Do you Pakistanis think you are the only ones with a problem? We have one six times as large. Ours, in short, is bigger than yours.

  332. @Bade Miyan

    Sorry to have interrupted a promising opening salvo, but you and Chote Miyan – or Chote Miyan and you, whichever currently grips your fancy – might find this a richer lode to mine. It goes well beyond the seams you had in mind, and has much more yellow stuff. I leave you to your explorations, and hope to find you rich and famous when I return in two weeks’ time.

  333. CoolBreeze

    It is areligious — that is devoid of religion — not “a religious” as mentioned in the above post.

  334. Amna Zaman

    No comments on this yet? Strange. Peace between Pak and India is a very important factor in war against terror. We must put aside the differences and work on unity.

  335. Dastagir

    AB AAYA OONT, PAHAAD KE NEECHEY.

    The debate has reached a critical point. The most crucial, if you ask me (though it may not look glamorous on point-scoring front!). In the RSS-managed schools (There are 700 D.A.V. Schools, these are top schools, DAV=Dayanand Anglo Vedic. Dayanand = Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Founder of Arya Samaj. Arya Samaj : originated in Lahore. Lala Hardayal, Pandit Tirath Ram (Swami Ram Tirath), Lala Lajpat Rai was an Arya Samajist… and SHUDDHI-SANGATHAN was launched in Punjab… I am sure Pakistani intellectuals know of Justice Duleep Singh… his controversial judgement.. the book.. and the riots in Lahore ! Dainik Milaap Jalandhar(Yuddhvir), Tej, Lahore; this group…….. then there are 70 Chinmaya Vidyalayas, again top schools, estd. by Swami Chinmayananda. In these schools, there is a Sloka of the Gita / Upanishads., every morning in the school. So in 12 years… 240×12= a student learns : 2880 slokas ! Faculty/Student ratio in these schools : Muslims are not found in these schools (neither students nor staff). Now let me come downfurther and further : There are Arya Kanya Vidyalayas (hundreds of them); there is Keshav Memorial High Schools (named after Keshav Baliram Hegdewar Founder of RSS); there are 100,000 Saraswati Vidya Mandirs., there are 95,000 Single-Teacher Shishu Mandir HINDU Schools managed by RSS throughout India). I write from memory., and i do not recall all of them, but the list is incredibly long.

    Summary : What is taught in these schools ? A distorted history.,hatred for the other (in this case : Muslims & Islam). So RSS starts injecting hatred at the Kindergarten Stage itself. Students come out of these schools (into the practical world) with a world-view that has been LAID at tender age. Now these students become administrators, lawyers/jurists, police officers, journalists, academicians etc.

    Can Indian Govt. close these institutions as they are nothing but ‘CHANNELS OF HATRED’ (for the other) ? The answer is NO. It cant. (Most of these were established with the active help of the Govt’s of the day !). Actually, Muslim-sensitivity is too trivial a collateral damage., in India’s quest and march towards development. Its a price, India is willing to pay. This basic thought is embedded in the Hindu consciousness. No matter how sophisticated, this resides in the hindu mind.

    Now the Indian Muslim is left to his / her own destiny, and Allah.

    As regards Pakistan : A muslim-dominated society. Land reforms need to be taken up and the land taken from the Jagirdars/Zamindars (who have a family member each in every single political party, bureaucracy and army) and distributed to the Tenant/Tiller.

    Jis khet se dah-qaan ko mayassar na ho roti,
    Us khet ke har gosha-e-gandum ko jalaa do..
    Kaaq-o-umraa ke darr-o-deewaar giraa do., Garmaao ghulaamon ka lahoo, soz-e-jigar se.

    (Iqbal).

    It is not possible to do that. However romantic a thought may it be. Land reforms and distribution of land to the tenant/tiller ARE not possible. The Zamindars dont care if Pakistan collapses in the bargain !

    2. Universal Secular Education. Who will bell the cat ? Building of schools + staff salaries ? at a time when Talibani criminals are blowing up schools in Pakistan ! (Their Indian cousins are doing the same in Jharkhand and Bihar… but thats another story… and it is in a totally different “setting”).

    Without Land Reforms + Universal School Education., Pakistan has NO future. No matter how wonderful a make-up artiste., fact of the matter is., that one’s skin should be good., and thats possible when one’s general health is good.

    MUST and SHOULD will not work. Pakistan had a chance., but Gen. Musharraf (9.5 yrs) failed it. He destroyed what little (of beauty) that had remained in Pakistan. Aakhri poonji udaa dee Musharraf ne ! Ignorant uneducated man !

    I always advise my Pakistani friends : who are Middle Class., or Upper Middle Class : Please change your world-view. Your world-view (it applies to us too., at a civilisational level) is flawed. Think beyond being an adult, marrying, procreatring, and dying after becoming a NANA-DADA. There is a world beyond the Nana-Dada scenario. We have to do SOMETHING macro., and something is better than nothing. Each according to his/her own level of intellect/resources/talent/drive.

    Pakistani friends must open Private Schools in Pakistan. I would like Raza someday to update me / educate me, on a few schools in Pakistan (top, mid-level, poor)…the curriculum… the teachers… the position of teachers who teach Math and Physics (Chemistry, Biology etc). A nation is built / manufactured in its schools. I would like to educate myself as regards the SCHOOLS SCENARIO in Pakistan… This is crucial and very close to my heart.

  336. Dastagir

    Addendum to Para 1 above : Main to bhool hee gaya : 370 Bhartiya Vidya Bhavans (High Shcools K-12) thru-out India. 370 or is it 380…

    (Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan : Estd. by Kanhaiyyalal Maneklal Munshi and his wife Lilavati Munshi, from Gujarat., India. No muslim students/staff in Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan)

  337. Bade Miyan

    Dastagir,
    Since when did DAVs become RSS managed? I think you are mixing the two. RSS’s schools are dwarfed by other public schools and Govt. Schools. 100,000 Shishu Mandirs mean around 2000 schools in every state. If that was the case, we wouldn’t be facing shortage of primary schools.

    “As on 2010 there are about 17,000 schools spread across all states of Bharat.”

    This is from wikipedia, which is not hard to access if you had a little patience. Not all of them are bad. As cool breeze says, their math and science education is of top quality. Regrettably, along with good things like Yoga, they also feed a lot of drivel.

    And, in future, if you decide to open a school, do let me know. I’ll send my kids(there may be some around) to your school.

    Raj(the other one)

    I don’t like their oversized chaddis. It makes them look ridiculous with their spindly legs.

    Cool Breeze,
    Cool down. Nothing wrong with Science and math, but there are other subjects too that are equally important. Plus, it’s not that we are producing top class scientists. All we are doing is churning out code monkeys.

  338. Bade Miyan

    Dastagir,
    You would find a lot of Madrassas and Christian run schools, where there are few Hindu staff, if any. DAV schools are pretty good. I have quite a few friends from there and they would be shocked to learn that they studied at a “fundamentalist” institution.

  339. Raj (the other one)

    Bade Miyan,

    I don’t like their oversized chaddis. It makes them look ridiculous with their spindly legs.

    LOL,
    Good one!

    Considering their numbers, you could make a fortune giving them fashion tips and providing them with alternative uniforms!😉

  340. Dastagir

    Bade Miyan : There may be “Angelic/Heavenly Schools” according to your perception/viewpoint (that I respect). But for us., it is the “forbidden fruit”. Our access to DAV / Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan / Chinmaya Vidyalaya (I paint with a broad brush, but i grasp the heart of the case., with a very firm grip) is similar to the poor man’s access to the Ritz Hotel ! He can watch it from outside and admire it… and technically…he can enter it too.. but… It stops there !

    I dont need Wikipedia for verification and authentication. My life-experiences are enough to pull me thru the remaining years i guess. I have been dried / baked in direct sun-light., so superficialities dont register on my mind. They melt.

    I could go on and on. It is not a lamentation. It is reality. I laid the broad contours. IITs… IIMs… UPSC… NDA… BITS (Pilani)… VIT… NLS-B, NALSAR., NLUs Kolkata/Bhopal… in all of these wonderful institutions… we can only watch/admire them from outside… aur bas.

    Aur bas… Yehi satya hai. Go deep and research… and you will find CRASS discrimination in its ugliest / shadiest form “on display”.

    This was on education. Should i shift to Administration : The local police chouki.. The Revenue Department Tahsildar’s Office… The Collectorate… The Secretariat… The DGP’s Office… The Municipal Office… The Electricity Board… The Civil Supplies Dept… etc…

    All <1%.

    I had an argument with a Private School OWNER who sells Application Forms for L. KG Admission priced at Rs. 500-. Forms are sold to all irrespective of caste/creeed/religion… but when it comes to admission… Muslim kids are NOT admitted. They dont have MERIT… What is the merit needed… how is it evaluated.. for a 4 yr old kid ? I want to be enlightened… convinced… but lies can only camoflouge… Truth shines in its own light…

  341. Tilsim

    @ Dastagir
    “I would like Raza someday to update me / educate me, on a few schools in Pakistan (top, mid-level, poor)…the curriculum… the teachers… the position of teachers who teach Math and Physics (Chemistry, Biology etc). ”

    This thread has gone way off topic but nevertheless interesting.

    As my contribution, may I suggest you google The Citizens Foundation, a private educational charity in Pakistan founded in the late 1990s to address some of the problem as far as the poor are concerned.

    I am sure Raza or others will tell you about the other groups in the private and charitable sector (non-madrassa).

    On the whole the standards of teaching and education are appalling at all levels though.

  342. Dastagir

    read a post written by Shashikala Bhide : I paste the same here:

    Quote :

    Ultimately it would be Babu Bajrangi v/s. Some Mullah.

    Submitted by Shashikala Bhide, 18 July 2010 – 3:28pm.

    I read the column by Amulya Ganguly 4 times., and it took me 5 hours to arrange my thoughts and write ! (Today is a Sunday, hence the luxury of time).

    LeT and some other mullahs are Indeed Strategic Assets to be used against India., as and when needed. Very true.

    But one must not forget that during the war of 1965, Lal Bahadur Shastri had enlisted the Support of the R.S.S. to maintain the Law and Order INSIDE India. Infact RSS volunteers were policing India., and assisting Police and Military INSIDE India.

    So in the event of a final showdown or war., it is natural that Pakistan would use every single weapon in its disposal. The Army in uniform., and the Afghan battle-hardened Taliban against the enemy. And why not ?

    The Pakistanis perceive a threat of war from India 24×7. They are rightly justified. Gen. Sundarji (during Rajiv Gandhi’s time); disobeyed political leadership and almost took India to the brink of war. Again during Atal Behari Vajpayee’s time., the Parliament Attack (was it the work of RAW/IB, ISI/Mullah., or a combination of the 2 ?)., because it benefited both parties ! BJP became a hero., Musharraf got promoted from CEO to President ! A few hundred soldiers died on both sides, after a 11 month eye-ball to eye-ball context on the borders ! The adhesive stickers on the cars used for the attack on Indian Parliament were taken out from the MP quota stationery of Mr. L.K. Advani ! Everyone knows it ! So did Advani stage that attack on Parliament ?

    BJP is very good in staging attacks., be it Parliament or Godhra and again Post-Godhra. Even in the case of 26/11 Mumbai, it is possible, that Indian Intelligence Agencies had a hand in it. Or was it Shivsena / Narendra Modi / Togadia along with some Mullah / terrorist outfit / unemployed Pakis (Outsourcing of riots)., who did the dirty job ! The mastermind of Mumbai 26/11 could well be an Indian. COuld well be Narendra Modi or Togadia ! Why not…. this incident took place before the Assembly Elections in Maharashtra !

    If the new terrorist module is : BJP/RSS (Financier/Mastermind) + Mullah (supplying terrorists/ who are ready to die); then how can this be stopped ? Another Mumbai 26/11 can happen anytime ! Few Pakistanis will come., and kill and die (The current rate is Rs. 20 lakhs). Then there will be Paki-bashing on TV., and what is the max India can do ? Go for war !

    So in case of war., we in India will entrust our Local Law and Order to RSS (Read Bajrangi, Aseemanand, Kalasangra; and other free DOVES); while Pakistan will do the same to its Mullahs., and utilise LeT and other Jihadi elements on the front along with its army ! This is the mindset., and this issue has to be addressed at the core.

    There is no guarantee that another Mumbai 26/11 will not happen. It might happen today, tomorrow. If Narendra Modi / Togadia finance a blast(s), and there are enough men / bombers ready to die @ Rs. 20 lakh each., then in a 2-3 crore operation., there can be a blast anytime RSS feels it is POLITICALLY right timing ! This is the real danger., and the Govt. of the day cannot do a thing about it. IB/RAW Officers owe their allegiance more to RSS than the GOI, Prime Minister and the Constitution of India.

    Pakistan will act against its Mullahs and LeT, when THAT fear of a war by India is removed. And India cannot remove that fear, because we have no leadership of the level of Nehru to take the public by its side. To explain to the public the advantages of peace.

    As of now., 99% of Indians (if you interview them on the street) are full of hatred for every Pakistani man woman and child. When your nation has this much of hate., then options are extremely limited. India will have to reduce hatred for Pakistan first engaging with its own public. No Indian Govt. can check RSS. No Pakistan Govt. can check Mullahs/LeT. This is the reality.

    Only a leader of very high stature can rise above the normal., and take the average public into confidence. Travel thru-out India and speak in a 100 public meetings., and prepare the GROUND. Without public support, which Govt. can take a firm step.

    And lets suppose such a leader comes on stage (thru a divine act., though i dont see a leader of that stature); RSS can put him in his place and subvert the entire exercise by spending Rs. 2-3 crores., and having another 26/11 Mumbai., somewhere in India.

    So the ball is not in the hands of the Govts of India and Pakistan. The real movers and shakers of the game are RSS and LeT. This is the reality.

    Unquote :

    PS : What a wonderful analysis. What perceptive thinking. Thinking out of the box., i.e. I shrudder to think about this “Outsourcing Scenario” ! Indian Mastermind & Financier (Togadia/Modi/Advani) and the Unemployed Youth Suicide Bomber ! This lethal combination can destroy peace in the Sub-continent as and when politically expedient ! Dangerous…

  343. Mahesh B.

    I read all the posts of Shashikala Bhide in twocircles.

    The best part was where she says, “The Muslims are Holding India together as a BINDING holds a book together.” :-O

  344. Dastagir: “No muslim students/staff in Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan)”

    It took me less than a minute to find a Muslim who had studied in BVB😉

    New Delhi based syed parent invite a proposal for their son. Age 32 yrs, height 5’10”. He is the only son and he is good looking, qualified, Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing and Advertising from Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Delhi .

  345. Dastagir

    BVB = Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan High School (K-12). The BVB you have mentioned is a college that teaches “Mass Communications / Diplomas” etc. Even you know the difference between the two, (there is a sea of difference between the two); but you threw a fast ball (a googly). I am rock-solid on my evidence. I dont indulge in loose talk. And i dont lose a case., cuz i bang the nail OF TRUTH straight into the head of falsehood.

    Krishnan : give me the air-fare(s)., wherever the lead takes me to., so that i investigate about Ms. Shashikala Bhide. Who she is., who she is married to ! Why do you presume she converted. She could be a Hindu and yet speak the truth ! What Shashikala has written is absolutely alarming, and worthy of a very sincere and honest debate. Shashikala has stirred a bees hornet. Krishnan : Your abuse and camaflouge will not be enough to bury lies… and hide the SUN of truth., which shines on its own and is self-powered. Do not try to cover the sun with your hands. You cant do it. Learn to face the truth. Halt and ponder .. think.. read.. research.. and then open your mouth. Loose talk doesnt take you far.. but then its RSS culture to indulge in loose talk and plain bland lies.

    “Itihaas saakshi hai”… and then go on adding any lie ! Advani Style !

  346. CoolBreeze

    Nothing wrong with Science and math, but there are other subjects too that are equally important.

    Agreed. However, excelling in science and math is salvation. That is *top priority*. All other stuff is for the birds. Scientific training also allows you to keep an open mind and analyze situations objectively. When there is a need to gain knowledge in other areas, like religion and history for example, you will do it the right way.

    Plus, it’s not that we are producing top class scientists. All we are doing is churning out code monkeys.

    Again agreed. However, producing “Code Monkeys” is the first step. You make it sound as if computer programming and IT work is dishonorable. I certainly do not think so. You can easily fall into the trap laid by Americans who lose their jobs, calling Indian IT shops “sweat shops”. Please do not do that. To Indians that is a heaven sent opportunity to make a lot of money. Again, based on first hand evidence, if you empower one generation to succeed, the next generation will do much better than the previous one.

  347. Abhi

    LoL Dastagir,

    You are very funny. Thanks for the laughs🙂

  348. NSA

    “The term code monkey generally refers to a computer programmer or other person who writes computer code for a living. More specifically, it refers to people who only grind out code, rather than performing the more intellectually complex tasks of software architecture, analysis, and design. The term is thus considered mildly insulting, and is often applied to the most junior people on a programming team.”

    a. By definition, whomever is just out of college is the most junior on a team; so universities can turn out only code monkeys.

    b. If anyone thinks Indians are not deeply involved in architecture, analysis and design, then they are sadly mistaken.

  349. NSA

    “But one must not forget that during the war of 1965, Lal Bahadur Shastri had enlisted the Support of the R.S.S. to maintain the Law and Order INSIDE India. Infact RSS volunteers were policing India., and assisting Police and Military INSIDE India. ”

    — This is rubbish.

  350. Dastagir: BVB = Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan High School (K-12).

    No Problem :))

    Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan Public School.

    Toppers in Class XII
    TAHNIYATH FATIMA
    2nd Rank 86.8%

    I have posted the link in my Name.

  351. CoolBreeze

    So I guess all the Muslim classmates, roommates and teachers I have had in India are all a mirage.

    Dude, Dastgir, has it ever occurred to you to stop playing the victim card and see what you can achieve?

  352. CoolBreeze

    I think this dude Dastagir needs to open his mind and face up to the fact that he may just not be smart enough to compete and get into IIM,IIT etc. Not many Hindus do either😉

    Although, I can understand his point about 4 year olds, still gaining admission to a shishu vihar is not the end all or be all of life. I would find it hard to believe nobody admitted his kid to a KG or pre-school because he was a muslim. This is utter crap.

  353. Dastagir

    Sakhi ! Deshbhakti imaan kaa hissa.
    Bharitya Muslim to jaan hee dey dey
    Aaj tak jitne “spies” pakde gaye
    Un mein ek bhee muslim naa tha !

    Sakhi ! Deshbhakti imaan kaa hissa
    RSS daayin khaaye jaat hai !!!

  354. Raj (the other one)

    @Sardar Khan

    Yes we need peace,but it is not Pakistan who needs it.India also needs it.

    Sardar Khan ji,
    I never really get an answer, when I ask Pakistanis why does India need peace with Pakistan?
    a) Pakistanis reject the claim, that they are controlling the violence in Kashmir. Fine. But if we had peace, you wouldn’t be able to help us there then.
    b) Pakistanis say it is non-state actors committing all the terrorist attacks in India and they cannot do anything. Fine. So the terror attacks will go on in spite of any peace treaty.

    So please tell me, what does India get from peace?

    Until indians do not accept the ground realities,that bombay card has lost its credibility,till that,they won’t be serious in making peace with Pakistan.
    I’m sorry. The Mumbai 26/11 Terror Attacks killed at least 173 people and wounded at least 308. Some of it was seen by people around the world on TV. The terrorists attacked some of India’s prime cultural monuments. Justice needs to be done!

    These are no cards. India brought 173 people to the shamshaan ghat that week. Those deaths need to be accounted for.

    It was Pakistan, that was insisting on resumption of talks. I wonder why?

  355. Tilsim

    Ok, some light relief time. Here is a piece posted on the hilarious blog Overrated Outcast on 24 June.

    “The India-Pak OMGLOLPalooza!
    So I wrote this post when India and Pakistan had started bilateral talks last year, for the first time after so many months! Anyways, this got lost in the ‘drafts’ section, and since both countries are back to talking again (because as they say 538061844791849173583629172491312 time is the charm), this is relevant. So you could read it both ways, as something that happened in the past, or something that will happen in the future. Whatever works for ya, guvnor!

    Note: Some dialog may have been changed to reflect recent developments. Also, watch out for the clichés.

    After three false restarts, India and Pakistan are ready to finally start the dialogue-to-plan-start-of-dialogue. Yes, welcome to Season 4 of So you think you can hold a bilateral dialogue? Even though PM Singh has had a few bilateral meetings with both President Zardari and PM Geelani, everyone’s pretending that didn’t happen, and this is the first time they’re meeting, after thousands of years of sending rude superpokes to each other through facebook.

    And since there is no definite name for the summit/meeting/whatevs, we have helpfully named it OMGLOLPalooza, because, why not?

    So the stage was set for Nirupama ‘I got a fancy new hairdo just for this’ Rao, who was representing the Indian government, and Salman ‘Made in China’ Bashir, who was representing the civilian government of Pakistan, the Pakistani army, Bilawal Bhutto, Pervez Mussharaf’s bad-ass moustache, Jeebus, let’s just keep it as a TBD.

    Anyways, with the rest of the world watching (Not really. The Europeans are busy trying to save their economies while getting their ass kicked in football, the Americans are busy praying, sexting and blaming Obama for their hernia. the people in the continent of Africa are alternatively starving and killing each other, the South Koreans are occupied with playing video games, the Japanese spend their time having sex with female robots, the Australians are planning to spend the summer punching and kicking anyone they can get their hands on, meanwhile Israel and Iran are scheduled to spend the rest of the year trying to cockblock each other. Also, the whole world has seen this movie before and knows how it ends.) both these nuclear ‘powers’ on the brink of ‘war’ to finally set aside their differences and finish negotiating the divorce settlement they started negotiating more than six decades ago!

    So here is the conversation that happened during their super-secret meeting:

    SB: Hi . . .
    NR: Oh hai, I can haz Hafiz Sayed?
    SB: LOL! No! Strategic Asset FTW!
    NR: Sadface
    SB: I can haz Cashmere?
    NR: R U Crazy?
    NR: Can’t even handle territory you actually have! Amirite?
    SB: True dat! LMAO!
    SB: But I can haz Cashmere?
    NR: *facepalm*
    SB: Is that a yes?
    NR: No, no, a thousand times no! From our cold dead hands! Also!
    NR: Which reminds me, stop trying to kill us all the time!
    SB: Non-state actors, we can’t control them, trolls etc. You know the drill . . .
    NR: Yeah, pretty much.
    NR: Okay, so here are some new dossiers. New evidence against old & new people.
    SB: Ummmmm, yeah, sure, we’re going to “read” this and take it “seriously”. *snigger*
    NR: Umm, yeah. I’m sure about that!
    SB: So can we talk about Cashmere, then?
    NR: On two conditions. . .
    SB: Which are . . . ?
    NR: First, stop pronouncing it as “Cashmere”, it’s a place, not a sweater. K-A-S-H-M-I-R.
    NR: Second, are you fucking kidding me?
    SB: Fair enough.
    NR: Now that we’ve got that out of the way, what’s with spying through our embassy staff?
    SB: Well, I can’t speak for the ISI, because I’m not even allowed near their offices and if they ever see me there they might shoot me . . . but they must be doing that just to piss off Arnab Goswami.
    SB: If they wanted real intelligence about your country, they would just ask the Chinese to send it over, in PDF format!
    NR: Well, the Chinese are efficient, to say the least.
    SB: Yes, yes they are.
    SB: Have you seen their phones? They can do anything! Anything! Even talk dirty to my wife, while I watch my favourite TV show, The Secret Adventures of Agent Rana! It’s the #1 show, in Pakistan.
    NR: Dude, calm down! And really, that was way serious TMI!
    SB: Well, I was promised that we could talk about anything we want . . .
    NR: Anyways . . .
    SB: Sorry to interrupt, but before I forget . . . . something something Indus Water Treaty
    NR: Huh?
    SB: Just needed to mention that too!
    SB: Which completes my checklist.
    SB: Now I can go on teevee and proclaim that all issues important to Pakistan were discussed.
    NR: You’re a sneaky basted!
    SB: Guilty as charged! LOL!
    NR: *rolls eyes*
    NR: Okay, now can we get back to talking about terrorism?
    SB: Yeah, sure.
    SB: We want you to stop terrorizing us . . .
    NR: O RLY?
    SB: . . . with Mahesh Bhatt movies!
    NR: To tell you the truth, he is one of our secret weapons.The other one is Himesh Reshamiya.
    NR: Collectively, they are known as the Weapons of Mass Irritation.
    SB: I see your Himesh, and raise you an Atif Aslam.
    NR: Oh, that’s a good move. A bloody good move.
    SB: Want to play a game of Poker?
    SB: Whoever wins gets Cashmere!
    NR: Jebus Hussien Christ! You’re an idiot!
    SB: Well, you’re starting to sound like my wife!
    SB: It makes me horny.
    NR: I can’t do this right now. I have a headache.
    SB: That’s what she says! Hahahaha!
    NR: …….
    NR: ……..
    NR: This meeting is over.
    SB: See you again . . . . in a few months time?
    NR: *Sigh*. Yeah, I guess.
    SB: You bring the food, I’ll bring the wine. *Wink*
    NR: *Mumbling to herself* The only thing I’ll be bringing is a frikin pepper spray.
    NR: *Exits*

  356. Raj (the other one)

    @Tilsim

    interesting piece there.

    In India we are used to something similar, only with Musharraf and Armitage instead!

  357. Tilsim

    @ Raj (the other one)

    Recommend the blog highly. There is another piece in there about Pakistanis pretending to be Indians these days in the US. Too funny.

  358. Bade Miyan

    Dastagir,

    “BJP is very good in staging attacks., be it Parliament or Godhra and again Post-Godhra. Even in the case of 26/11 Mumbai, it is possible, that Indian Intelligence Agencies had a hand in it. Or was it Shivsena / Narendra Modi / Togadia along with some Mullah / terrorist outfit / unemployed Pakis (Outsourcing of riots)., who did the dirty job !”

    If you are looking for reasons for your failures, you don’t need to look further. These lines are an ample proof of your (lack of)mental balance.
    I guess, if you had put your mind to serious study rather than reading or imagining such hack stories, you would have been at IIM or IIT or other institutions of higher learning. Don’t characterize your own failures as the reflection of the entire community. By the way, the IAS topper this year is a Muslim, no? Oh, well, that may be due to our desire to show the world that the minorities are not faring bad in our country. Grow up and stop making excuses. In our country there is discrimination of all kinds. You are not the only one.

  359. PMA

    Vajra (July 19, 2010 at 9:16 am):

    “Do you Pakistanis think you are the only ones with a problem? We have one six times as large. Ours, in short, is bigger than yours.”

    Typically Indian. Always bragging and exaggerating. What is next? I have more gods than you do?

  360. Raj (the other one)

    @PMA

    Typically Indian. Always bragging and exaggerating. What is next? I have more gods than you do?

    That should read, “I have more ways to God than you do!” That is Hinduism! You are mixing up deities with God.

    Islam too has deities – various angels, jinns, etc.

  361. Bin Ismail

    @ PMA (July 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm)

    “…..Typically Indian. Always bragging and exaggerating. What is next? I have more gods than you do?…..”

    To be honest and factual, our neighbours do indeed have more on their hands than we do. Even if they admitted their concerns and daunting challenges, with ultimate humility, we perhaps, would still habitually be tempted to imagine them as the bragging ones. In my opinion, this particular post by Vajra, if anything, exhibits candid introspection and admission to the difficulties India faces today. Hardly any bragging.

    We have our problems and our neighbours have theirs. I believe what we have to struggle to achieve is to stop becoming each other’s problem.

    @ Raj (the other one) (July 20, 2010 at 9:01 pm)

    “…..Islam too has deities – various angels, jinns, etc……”

    Islam offers another angle to this issue. In Islam, God is not only a deity, but the only deity. The words “laa ilaaha illallaah” can be translated as “there is none worthy of worship except Allah”. Angels, in Islam are revered simply for the fact that they are obedient servants of Allah, and believing in their existence is an article of faith. They are neither adored, nor besought for help. As for jinns, they too are neither worshiped nor called for help. In Islam, Allah alone is considered worthy of being worshiped, and thus the only deity.

    Regards.

  362. androidguy

    “Angels, in Islam are revered simply for the fact that they are obedient servants of Allah, and believing in their existence is an article of faith. They are neither adored, nor besought for help. As for jinns, they too are neither worshiped nor called for help”

    Yes, but in 1965 they decided to “help” the army of the believers to “defeat” the Indians, didn’t they…

  363. PMA

    Bin Ismail (July 21, 2010 at 5:58 pm):

    Vajra is a dear old PTH fixture and I was just having fun with him. Please don’t take everything so seriously. On the subject of problems. I heard New Delhi in preparation for the Commonwealth Games is going to really clean up the city. Of its hundreds of thousands beggars, street sleepers and slum dwellers, the ‘outsiders’ are being shipped back to their native states. West Bengal on its part has refused to add on to its own beggars and homeless population stating that the Bengali beggars of Delhi are in fact Bangladeshis. During the games the indigenous Delhi beggars and others will be temporarily housed along the city skirts. The thousands and thousands of stray dogs, cats, cows, snakes and rats will also be picked up from the city streets and temporarily relocated till all the foreign visitors have left at the spanking new air terminal. Now only if Lahore could follow the Delhi initiative.

  364. Bin Ismail

    @androidguy (July 21, 2010 at 6:30 pm)

    “…..Yes, but in 1965 they decided to “help” the army of the believers to “defeat” the Indians, didn’t they…..”

    …which would imply that in 1971, they switched sides.

    @PMA (July 21, 2010 at 6:54 pm)

    “…..Now only if Lahore could follow the Delhi initiative…..”

    In Delhi, the shrines of Muslim saints have never been bombed. Yes, perhaps Lahore could follow Delhi.

  365. bciv

    … in delhi, nobody is worried about calling a mosque a mosque either.

  366. PMA

    Bin Ismail (July 22, 2010 at 1:47 am):

    bciv (July 22, 2010 at 2:33 am):

    Gentlemen. Gentlemen. You will never find me defending bad behavior of any one. Particularly of those who deny others right to worship the way they choose. Or of those who blow up and demolish mosques, temples or shrines. Or of those who kill in the name of religion. And that goes for the offenders anywhere and everywhere. Rest easy my friends.

  367. Hi,

    Pakistan military establishment would not like to have peace with india as it will downgrade their importance in the country. Further it will bring out many of their loots to public place.

    India and pakistan can continuously talk but nothing great is going to be achieved as india will agree to talk about kashmir and pakistan will not talk without kashmir.

    So continue the royal talk for eternity.

  368. Aliloveall

    Hi!
    Fact remains that there will never be peace in the region. Non of the two countries are responsible. God is the creator of all problems here, I think. He made India bigger in size. But the best brains he gave to Pakistanis, so they have the best education(Pakistan Institute of Engg. and Applied Sciences, National University of Sciences & Technology are some of the world class universities and plenty more according to the Western websites), the more beauty to Pakistanis), better artists and filmmakers(Atif Aslam, Shoaib Mansoor compared to Lata,Karan Johar), better sportsmen(Aisam Quereshi is far better than Bopanna, Imran was better than Kapil), Science(A.Q.Khan is modern day Einstein).
    India just have beggars. But being bigger in size they will never accept Pakistan’s superiority.

    So in terms of peace…. I expect zero results.
    Good thing for me, I can actually see an improvement in my typing speed by still engaging here.😀

  369. androidguy

    Aliloveall, you are sooooo right…..such insightful take on the Indo-Pak rivalry that it takes the breath away….

  370. Hayyer

    Aliloveall:

    Imran was not only better than Kapil Dev. He was handsomer than Kapil Dev. It is a deadly combination that you have over there, brains and beauty.

  371. Tilsim

    @It is a deadly combination that you have over there, brains and beauty.

    Indeed, deadly.

  372. PMA

    Hayyer (July 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm):

    Leaving Mr. Loveall aside. You have to admit. Pakistanis are good-looking people.

  373. Hayyer

    PMA:

    You are risking the sin of Lucifer sir. Excessive pride hath a fall.

    More seriously though, as winners of Mr. Adonis and Ms. Venus prizes Pakistanis are about the best bets in an international competition.
    However, I maintain that this is confined to your urban elites and to your feudocracy. Your working classes and your peasants look like the rest of us poor darkies.
    Further, I maintain that your urban/ feudal good looks are all Indian inspired, because pulchritude begins to peter out westwards of the Durand Line, being confined to points south and west of it. Tajiks, Uzbeks and even Iranians don’t compare.

    I was talking of general average beauty. As standouts India does very well. Madhubala, I maintain was Indian. Madhuri Dixit ran her close. For a sensitive good looking portrait Pakistan can never match Vidya Balan. But for supreme beauty there is nothing like Suchitra Sen. Not ever can anything come close.

    As for the male standard, well, Imran Khan’s sort of handsomeness goes well in blue films. He cannot however compare with Dilip Kumar or Yusuf Khan; but this young fellow in Hindi movies, Arjun Rampal, is better than your best. Remember we are not talking just of fair skin and light eyes.

  374. Hayyer

    points south and east of it. Sorry.

  375. PMA

    Being myself a grandson of a working class peasant I resent your description of my people. I know Indians are very conscience of color, caste and creed, as any ‘matrimonial ads’ will show, but I was talking of Pakistan and not of India.

    True in India fair skin is considered as mark of beauty, perhaps due to her centuries old Ayrian-Dravidian divide, but beauty neither starts with a fair skin nor ends with it. If that was true then tan-skin South American girls would not routinely beat out pale-skin Scandinavians in international competitions!

    My claim to Pakistanis being a good-looking people is based on the looks of our every-day man and women all across the country and not just some movie star. But I could see why you have produced Indian movie stars to support your counter claim. Remember what they say about Indians: “All good-looking Indians are in the movies”. As a youngster I used to read Indian tabloid ‘Filmfare’. The contrast between on-screen and off-screen faces was phenomenal.

    But if you want to compare Indians with Pakistanis, which I don’t, then pound for pound I say that Pakistani people in general are taller, healthier, better fed and more handsome than Indians. An outside neutral observer would agree with me.

  376. Tilsim

    @Hayyer

    Vidya Balan was enchanting in Parineeta.

  377. Androidguy

    @NAS,

    Don’t say that. Pakistanis are taller, fairer, handsomer and whatnot. They are also 10 times more braver. And their english has better accent than the Indians, and hence they would have done better than Indians in call center work, if only the Hindus & Jews along with the American imperialists not conspired to hoodwink the Taliban to blast themselves all over Lahore.

    Just don’t tell this to the 6ft 2 inch truck drivers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

  378. Hayyer

    Sir,
    I conceded at the very start that Pakistanis are on the average much better looking. I also said that the outstanding Indians in looks tend to exceed the Pakistanis.
    Just pulling your leg Sir.
    I am glad you agree with me on skin colour which by the way is a prejudice in both countries I think. The Mughals used to import women from Kashmir to marry and have fair children.Walter Lawrence (was it?) who said that this was the reason perhaps there were few good looking women left in Kashmir.
    Many good looking youngsters want to become film stars, but not all. There are more outstandingly good looking people outside Bollywood than in it. Bollywood has a bias for family rather than pure pulchritude. Many beautiful persons have not succeeded there, and average ones have.

  379. Aliloveall

    Oye I thought Pakistanis were losing the battle here in terms of abusing the Indians… tried my level best to bring out the patriotism in you guys… what a waste of my 30 minutes of typing-practise!!😦

    So come on …don lose the bus this time… I begin here…

    Who the hell is Suchitra Sen? (bdw itz a real qs too…)

  380. HassanAli

    We are not only taller, stronger & fairer, but we are also braver. We won all the wars with India. In 1971, we lost intentionally because it gave us a reason to divide those bengali bhangees. In Kargil, US precedent Bill Clinton request NAwaz SHarif to pull troops otherwise our fauj was only 100 miles off Delhi. Our cricketers are also prave, they take dollars and pounds without any fear. Our politicians are also prave, look at Zardari sahab, he has no fear of taking 10% commishion. We are very prave quam, Indians are cowards & short, dark and ugly. We are true superpower of the world, but it is the conspiracy of America, Hindu & Jew that we are not superpower but we will soon become very super power in world. Inshallah