Devising a new framework for Indo-Pak peace

Raza Rumi

Today the foreign ministers of Pakistan and India will meet. This major development should be welcomed. Sceptical noises of distrust in both countries have been heard and the Kashmiri leaders have issued rejectionist statements.

Subcontinental leaderships have time and again floundered peace. Sometimes it is the recklessness on the Pakistani side and at other times the Indian officialdom chants the trust-deficit mantra. But this must end. Media wisdom about the BJP and the Pakistan military making a durable peace deal has not withstood the test of history. Democracy and peace are interlinked despite the compulsions of playing to the jingoists for electoral gains. In Pakistan, martial rule is over and a BJP government is unlikely in the medium term.

It is time for the two governments to take stock of their fast changing societies and economies. Unlike the mediatised versions, Pakistan is a transformational society. The old governance structures are decaying and power is now distributed among multiple centres, not unlike India. This is why the foreign ministers should negotiate the lifting of media restrictions and let the two countries and their people understand each other.

The next 12 months are critical: an Afghanistan settlement has to take place, the water issue needs to be explored and Kashmir back channel negotiations have to be fast tracked. In spite of the hostilities, Pakistan-India trade exceeded $2 billion recently and the unofficial figure is even greater. There is a clear path ahead: keep talking and doing business for mutual gains.

The Pakistani state is battling against militancy on many fronts. The Indian state is dealing with the nightmare of Maoists and Naxalite insurgencies in addition to what it calls ‘cross-border terrorism’. Concurrently, the two democracies have to deliver public goods and fight poverty. They need to be resolute and develop a new framework for peace. Such a framework should involve the Pakistan Army. Our eastern borders are always a priority in our military mindset. India’s troop reduction will give confidence to the national security apparatus. The second plank of this new framework should build on the Kashmir CBMs increasing the flow of people and goods backed by [in]formal diplomatic engagement. The babus in New Delhi and Islamabad will continue to twist the files and shuffle the papers.

The third component should be exclusive focus on trade and economic cooperation. This would require exempting visas for bona fide business concerns. Across the borders, we have ready-made markets. This cannot happen in isolation unless the visa policy is creatively revised. Finally, more journalists from both sides should be allowed to break the hold of jihadis, Bollywood stereotypes and Wagah-ites from popular imagination. The information deficit is even stronger than the trust deficit. The overarching agreement should be to continue talking. This is not the time for point-scoring but redeeming our bitter histories.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2010.

178 Comments

Filed under India, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, strategy

178 responses to “Devising a new framework for Indo-Pak peace

  1. Ally

    Going to India actually destroyed all my stereotypes of India and Indian people. I wish i could have many of them come to Pakistan to see for themselves. Many of my colleagues there were very curious about Pakistan and had there own stereotypes.

    Even if India doesn’t make it easier for Pakistanis to go there, we should at least give them visa on arrival like Sri Lanka does.

    They are a lot less educated about us than we are about them, we have Indian media etc. in Pakistan as well as our own, they dont have Pakistani media and know very little about us – especially in the Southern states.

    It is only in our benefit if more Indians came to Pakistan – economically and socially.

  2. simply61

    Count me in for a Pak visit🙂

  3. India is always trying to postpone these talks by creating some fake excuse, I don’t think Indian minister now came here without any Indian interest, probably to get supply line to Afghanistan

  4. lal

    4 points have been given
    1)troop reduction by india
    2)kashmir CBMs
    3)trade
    4)people to people

    3 &4 will be always acceptale to the indian side i think.infact removal of trade bariers by pakistan will create an even bigger constituency for peace in india.but i believe there will be genuine fear in pakistan about being swamped by indian goods.

    kashmir CBMs is a dead start at this point,atleast in the short term.most of the indian commentators believe pakistani civil government as well as the military are not keen on the mushraff formulas.

    decreasing military presence along the border ofcos will never be a part of any talks with pakistan.it will simply be based on the assessment of the national security agencies on the threat perception from pakistan.however reasonable the demand,india is unlikely to show a peace overture of that kind,post kargil and mumbai

  5. chacha

    I 100% endorse Ally’s proposal for granting visa on arrival to Indians, without any restrictions,…..because of being a regular visitor to India I know their excitment for Pakistan, a mystery land to many of them…and if not stopped by Indian immigration we should be ready to welcome every week several thousands Indians crossing wagah border or at our airports to enter Pakistan for short visits….for shrines in Punjab and meeting near but distant relatives in Karachi and other parts of Pakistan…..
    Actually this may also become a great source of income for the tourism industry…..i suggest issuance of ‘ visa on arrival’ @ USD 10 per head…..they will spend at least USD 300/head for shopping, for hotels, for traveling during their one or two week’s stay in Pakistan; our traders and businessmen will also get more buyers, more business……..
    This action by our government will help earn many lovers and well wishers for Pakistan in India, it will be a good gesture to show Indians that Pakistanis like them and are ready to welcome…..PLEASE DO IT…..

  6. NSA

    There is an article by a Mohsin S. Khan, from the Peterson Institute for International Economics – “India-Pakistan Trade: A Roadmap for Enhancing Economic Relations”.

    He has very specific recommendations. E.g., in the short term he says:

    The specific short-term measures, mainly relating to trade facilitation, could include:

    * Easing restrictions on visas, specifically, allowing multiple- entry visas for businessmen, eliminating requirements to report arrival to the police at each place of stay, eliminating city-specific visas, and speeding up the approval processes;

    * Signing a protocol to permit Indian/Pakistani ships to lift cargo for third countries and eliminating the reciprocal requirement that ships touch a third-country port before bringing in imports. The third-country port restriction particularly affects trade of high-bulk, low-value goods, such as coal, tar, and cement, making their transportation via sea commercially unviable. Also allowing sea shipments in addition to the current Mumbai-Karachi route;

    * Eliminating the reciprocal requirement that rail wagons carrying goods across the border return empty, increasing the frequency of rail traffic, and improving the coordination between the railway authorities. Businessmen have suggested restarting the old Sindh-Rajasthan rail link;

    * Opening additional border crossings, increasing traffic frequency on the road route through the Wagah border (connecting the major cities of Amritsar and Lahore)5 and the Khokhrapar-Munabao route, and allowing increased traffic through the Srinagar-Muzzafarabad route, which is currently restricted to only four trucks from either side crossing once a week;

    * Opening additional bus routes. The Musharraf-Singh meeting in April 2005 yielded a commitment to increase the frequency of the cross-Kashmir bus service via the Srinagar-Muzzafarabad route. However, the bus service is only weekly and restricted to passengers who have relatives on the other side of the border;

    * Increasing air links between the two countries. Currently, the only air links agreed are Lahore–New Delhi, Kara- chi–New Delhi, and Karachi-Mumbai. There is no direct air link between the two capitals (Islamabad–New Delhi);

    * Increasing the number of customs posts where “sensitive” items can be cleared and eliminating requirement for 100 percent verification; and

    * Allowing branches of Indian and Pakistani banks to operate in the other country and allowing banks in one country to hold accounts in the currency of the other.

    This is just the short-term measures. There is a whole list of medium-term measures.


    Mohsin Khan concludes:

    With new governments in both India and Pakistan, there is once again a window of opportunity to improve economic ties. While the measures for reducing trade barriers proposed in this brief generally have the support of businessmen on both sides of the border, it is critical to build constituencies in each country for greater bilateral trade liberalization. The success of the “confi- dence building” short-term measures and the resulting growth in trade would give a major impetus to the creation of vested interests that would support more far-reaching liberalization of trade between the two countries. Only then will the political and bureaucratic opposition to increased India-Pakistan trade be diminished. Trade will of course not solve all the problems between the two countries, but it could be an important catalyst in the lowering of tensions. And a lowering of tensions between India and Pakistan—an inevitable benefit of strengthened economic ties—would improve the security climate for investment and economic development in both countries. It is clearly in the interest of both countries, and the world for that matter, to find a political resolution to the India-Pakistan problem, and increased trade can well be the starting point for this objective. In the case of India-Pakistan trade relations, good fences do not make good neighbors!

  7. Tilsim

    Just let the business guys on both sides get on with it with as few barriers as possible. You will find it remarkable how quickly and smoothly things move forward where money is concerned.

  8. Hayyer

    If the powers that be welcome relations any easing. Kashmir may or may not be amenable to solution but why hold up everything on that account.

  9. J.Krishnan

    Kidnapping of people is a big problem in Pakistan. Will indians visiting Pakistan be safe? Indian/hindu life is even less worth in Pakistan, especially to the kidnappers.

    Kashmir soution requires that Pakistan admits that Pakistan (even under Jinnah) introduced (on the 20th of Oct. 1947) violence into the Kashmir dispute and hence the responsibility for all the ensuing violence and hate-crimes over 63 years rests largely and primarily on Pakistan. Pakistan must also pay compensation to India for the losses incurred by India due to this. It runs into several billion dollars.

    As regards water dispute : whatever water falls on indian teritory belongs to India. Whatever water falls on pakistani territory belongs to Pakistan. There should be no eyeing what the other has. No greed, no jealousy, no coveting. Pakistan must control its population so that it can make do with the water that falls on Pakistan territory.

    The textbooks in Pakistan must be revised as per the wishes/sensitivities of the indians/hindus. The slander and vile propaganda carried out against India and hindus during the past years must be admitted openly and officially (also by the pak military) as a fundamental blunder.

    A joint history-writing commission must be instituted between Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

    Unless these minima are met no progress will have any scope.

  10. Hayyer

    “As regards water dispute : whatever water falls on indian teritory belongs to India. Whatever water falls on pakistani territory belongs to Pakistan. There should be no eyeing what the other has.”

    Right! And whatever falls in Tibet belongs to China and whatever falls in Uttaranchal belongs to Uttaranchal and to Maharashtra, Karnataka etc. Good reasoning.

  11. P. Vengaayam

    Quote from the article:
    “* Opening additional bus routes.
    * Increasing air links between the two countries.
    * Increasing the number of customs posts
    * Allowing branches of Indian and Pakistani banks to operate in the other country

    Unless Pakistani establishment improves its trust deficit with India via its actions, there is no chance for any of these initiatives, which have been attempted by India in the past, and which have turned into a potent weapon in the hands of Pakistan still inimical to India (as it is today, notwithstanding all the talk of dialogue).

    The last time India tried any of the above, it became a conduit for drugs and counterfeit money to conduct terrorism in India. Unless there is good reason in India to believe that Pakistan has given up its bleed India policy, I would think there is zero chance of any of the above happening.

    This is why shutting down terrorist groups targeted towards India for real in a verifiable manner, starting with the culprits of 26/11, will turn on the floodgates of goodwill in India. Nothing less with work. Right now, the behaviour of the Pakistani government and its dilly-dallying in bringing justice to the victims of 26/11 is seriously stopping any chance of peace and goodwill between the countries.

  12. lal

    well it ended as everybody expected.press con was a disaster.that infiltaration shud be better discussed @ d level of dgmo and critiscizing home secretary of india and comparing him to hafeez zayed…wat more can u possibly want…

  13. glynch

    These suggestions are unrealistic.

    Troop reductions – the Indian troops are there to prevent terrorists from taking over the Indian-Administered Kashmir, like they have in Pakistani-Administered Kashmir (or even like they did in Afganistan in the 1990’s). Pakistan needs to take the first step and actually stop supporting the terrorist groups..something that they (Pakistan) doesn’t want to do.

    Economic Ties – Increased trade, business and visa’s sound good in the safe world of policy discussion, but that poses an enormous security risk to India. David Headley, the London Tube Bombers, Faisal Shahzad are just some examples of a Pakistani citizens (or citizens of Pakistani origin) who assimilated in normal society, but used their freedoms to move around and plot terrorist acts. India, along with the US, Britain, Afghanistan etc cannot open up their borders to Pakistani citizens, no matter how “well to do” they seem to be.

    The main issue is Pakistan’s support of terrorist groups. The London Tube Bombing, the attempted Times Square Bombing, the Indian Parlement attack, Mumbai etc were all planned out in Pakistan. Until this military/terrorist complex is confronted and killed, no country, including India, should open their borders and avenues of trade commerce, visa’s with Pakistan.

  14. harbir singh nain

    My guess is, if the two countries liberalized visa and trade regulations, the conflict would disappear on its own.

    As far as the water issue, I suspect that the usage of indus river for irrigation and power generation needs to be optimized holistically. We need an Indus Valley Authority, sort of like the Tennessee Valley Authority, which manages the entire river system of the Tennessee Valley, with nearly 50 dams collectively managed for flood control and hydro power generation across 11 american states.

    I am fairly certain that where there a corporation tasked with similar management of the indus river waters, we would end up with huge amounts of power generation plus the best management of water resources for irrigation and flood control, and both countries would be MUCH better off than either can be independently.

  15. Pingback: Global Voices in English » India, Pakistan: Foreign Ministers Meet

  16. neel123

    The current visit of the Indian Foreign minister to Pakistan is not likely to make any visible impact.

    For any forward movement in India Pakistan relations, and a short to medium term stability, the starting point needs to be as follows :

    1. The long standing issues have to be put into the back burner, people to people contact and trade have to be encouraged.

    2. The above will only be possible if an environment of diminising hostility is created. This can be done only if the terrorist masterminds of the Mumbai killing are brought to justice. This may sound like a precondition, but this needs to be done to prevent prolonging of the seemingly useless exercise of the India Pakistan dialogue.

    3. Once there is exchanges on trade, and less restriction of movement across the Kashmir borders, mutual suspicion will be reduced gradually over time.

    4. If the above sustains for some years and if the benefits are visible, this will automatically change the mindset of people and increase the level of trust to deal with the long standing issues. However fixing any time line will not help, it has to happen naturally.

    The long term prospects in India-Pakistan relations will depend on :

    1. How the Afghan issue turns out to be in the next few years.

    2. How the US- Pakistan relations undergo changes due to the Afghan issue.

    3. To what extent China would stand behind Pakistan in the changed circumstances.

    4. How the Pakistani Army’s equations with the terrorist outfits would work out, and the prevailing situations in Pakistan at that point of time.

    5. Relative position of Pakistan vis a vis India, economically and militarily, a few decades from today.

    6. Any change in the policies of the Pakistani army towards India, based on the ground realities at that point of time.

    However, a word of caution for the Pakistani friends :

    Do not expect any strategic concessions from India as a precondition at this point of time, because India is under no compulsion, or in no rush to improve relations with Pakistan, and the Indians have already factored the worst case scenario vis a vis Pakistan in their strategy for the future.

  17. Mahalingam Khan

    Pakistani proposal of Hudna is not a permanent peace initiative. [edited]

  18. Parvez

    Breaking news: CBM’s dead on arrival….

  19. Raj

    The idea of liberalizing visa regime is absurd. How can this go hand in hand with protection from terrorism? Already with the current visa regime, ISI sleeper cells are all over the place.

    Visas should be further restricted to frail elderly.

  20. libertarian

    A blogger made the case for India opening it’s markets unilaterally. It’s a great idea. Let the Pakistani bourgeoisie feed on a giant, growing Indian market. No-one wants war then. Heck, let the (Pak) Military Inc sell their non-military stuff in India. After all they do produce milk, livestock and several other items. Once the Pak military and traders have a stake in peace, India gains the political leverage it seeks to whack the weeds of society like Hafeez Saeed, Masood Azhar, Hamid Gul, and assorted ISI psychos. India can also demand Pak open it’s markets after India has lead the way. India-Pak trade of $20B is 5 years away from that point. Remember, Sino-Indian trade is north of $50B and growing at an astounding rate. In a rational world it’s not hard to see China value $100B in trade more than an “all-weather friendship”.

    Further, India needs the equivalent of an H1-B program for Pak professionals. Let your bright folks expand their horizons in Gurgaon, Noida, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

    Forget the people-to-people, think tanks, and interminable debates. Let’s head where the money is.

  21. Ran

    Also pak econmic decline is going to accelerate.
    Liberalizing visas will lead to illegal immigration from pak.

  22. Girish

    libertarian,

    Pakistanis do get work visas in India. Currently, the only industry that recruits Pakistanis is the entertainment industry. Several Pakistani actors, musicians etc. have made India their home.

    On the one hand liberalizing non-immigrant visas (i.e. for short business trips, tourism, and family/personal visits such as for healthcare) seems attractive. There are however security concerns that need to be addressed. For instance, how do you ensure that you don’t make it easy for a Pakistani version of a David Headley to visit India, conduct recces and establish contacts with local cells? A visa on arrival is thus quite unlikely for the foreseeable future. However, there is no reason to make it hard for old people from visiting their family members or to travel to Chennai for medical treatment and so on.

  23. Girish

    The current talks have broken down in the pretty ugly spectacle that the press conference turned out to be. I don’t know what the point of these meetings is if it is held in such a hostile atmosphere.

  24. harbir singh nain

    “A blogger made the case for India opening it’s markets unilaterally. It’s a great idea”

    I too have opined something similar. When asked what India can do unilaterally, I think it can and should unilaterally open up to pakistani goods, services and tourism.

    There is no reason not to do so.

  25. harbir singh nain

    PS. if it leads to illegal immigration, so be it. We cannot eat our cake and have it too. We run around claiming to the be the same people and then turn around and say we don’t want them coming here to join us.

    anyway, the idea is a South Asian common market (south asia will NEVER EVER reach its potential without that), and in such a circumstance people are free to work and live where they like.

    Indian talk of “illegal immigration” is sheer jingoism, even when its holders think they are talking about protecting jobs. India has utterly failed to grasp all the opportunities it has had and continues to have to build economic prosperity, we continue to fail to do all that we can, but none the less, here we are talking about protecting our economy from illegal immigration, as if reduction of conflict with pakistan has no economic and strategic value.

    I will happily consider arguments about protecting our economy when I see that we are doing everything we can for our economy.

    In the mean time, I’d rather see india’s population grow by a few million of “illegal” immigrants if it happens as a result of economic and social cooperation.

  26. P. Vengaayam

    nahin:”anyway, the idea is a South Asian common market (south asia will NEVER EVER reach its potential without that), and in such a circumstance people are free to work and live where they like.”

    Before trade there needs to be no terrorist camps operating as an arm of Pakistani foreign policy. If people are getting killed walking to the market, there is not much of a market for markets, then, is there?

  27. Abhi

    Nainjee ,
    I presume that you are not living in India, hence such a flippant attitude towards illegal immigration and Internal Security.

    As for “we are same people” , you may be the one “running around” claiming brotherhood with West Punjabis , I as a Maharashtrian do not see anything in common with a Pashtun.

    I don’t feel there is any need to paint a doom and gloom economic scenario, we are growing at quite a respectable rate. The need of the hour is to push for administrative reforms to enable the wealth distribution amongst the teeming masses and pull them out of poverty.

  28. Raj

    Well said abhi!
    The other grave danger is these guys can blend in easier than bangladeshis because of language.
    War should be stopped before we talk about peace! First step is for paks to dismantle jihadi terrorist machinery.

  29. Mahalingam Khan

    What is South Asia ? Trying to bring poor India to compete in much developed , techonologically advanced Pakistani economy is futile exercise. Indians should look some where else before flooding Pakistani cities with illegal immigration. [edited]

  30. harbir singh nain

    Abhijee,

    Firstly, if you have nothing in common with the pakistani, then the punjabi or the bengali indian has nothing in common with you other than the circumstance of having to bow to delhi. Furthermore, your example of the example of the pashtoon dishonestly sidesteps the punjabi and the sindhi pakistani who make up the bulk of pakistan. I suppose you expect india to get filled up with hordes of pashtoons in an open borders scenario.

    Secondly, you can accuse me of flippancy after you have gotten the political masters of the democratic republic to pull their heads out of their arses and have built the transportation, energy, education, and healthcare infrastructure that is crushing the India’s ability to take the opportunities that are going by it.

    This is no trivial matter. In 1965, India’s GDP was 85% the size of China’s. Today it is 25%. In 1965, India’s economy was 1900% larger the size of south korea’s. Today it is 150% larger.

    India has failed GENERATIONS of its citizens who are now in poverty and misery because India buggered up its economy.

    You can accuse me of flippancy when you’ve convinced me that indeed illegal immigration is a significant threat to economy compared to its economic policies and the politicians responsible for them.

    India’s enemy is not the potential illegal immigrant horde, but the India itself.

  31. P. Vengaayam

    HSN:”In 1965, India’s economy was 1900% larger the size of south korea’s. Today it is 150% larger.”

    That is only because South Korea’s economy improved dramatically in those years, while India’s economy stagnated at the Socialist rate of growth. Much of it depends on what India ends up doing from now on, and India is a chaotic place, so lots of things are still to settle.

  32. Quantum_Singularity

    @ M Khan

    “Trying to bring poor India to compete in much developed , techonologically advanced Pakistani economy is futile exercise.”

    Yes, yes your level of development and advancement in IT (International Terrorism), suicide bombing, homicide bombing, gun attacks, and assasination leaves you the envy of the world!!! Pray teaches us more…

  33. harbir singh nain

    Much of it depends on what India ends up doing from now on,

    yes, and India is not building the transport, energy, education and healthcare infrastructure.

    It is difficult to convince me that potential illegal immigration from pakistan and bangladesh are remotely near the level of threats to India’s future prosperity than these failures on the part.

    Hell, this caste nonsense in the census is a bigger threat than potential illegal immigration from pakistan.

    If you want to argue that illegal immigration would be an economic threat, you need to quantify the threat and put it in perspective with other threats and also in the perspective of the benefit from reduced tensions.

  34. Raj

    M Khan
    I have to say you have the most hilarious screen
    Name. LOL
    Your posts are highly entertaining as well.
    I suspect you get blocked frequently as well.
    Good work.

  35. NSA

    India – government, people – believe the evidence provided by Daood Gilani a.k.a. David Headley who was arrested by the Americans that the ISI was involved in the Mumbai attacks, and that he was a scout for the L-e-T.

    In these circumstances of public opinion, open borders for people is simply not feasible. Instead there is a tightening of the rules for visas.

    Whether true or false, the Indian belief is that Pakistan is not as helpless as it makes itself out to be regarding these so-called non-state actors.

  36. Mahalingam Khan

    EDITED

  37. NSA

    Harbir,

    You may be happy with illegal immigrants, but, e.g., ask the Assamese. There has been tension in along the Kerala coast as Bangla illegal immigrants settle there. Only someone with no responsibility for anything can say flippantly, that illegal immigration is not a problem.

    Even entirely legal and unforbiddable internal migration within the country can and does raise problems.

    And if there are ethnic or communal tensions, economic growth will evaporate.

  38. Quantum_Singularity

    @MKhan

    “Why would a Pashtun or some one else move to poor India when there are much better oppertunities in Pakistan and where Islam is practiced to the perfection.”

    Yes there must be better opportunities: to blow oneself up that is. Of course such opportunities can only exist when you guys manage to keep the lights on lol. Don’t worry Mr. Khan the Talibs will give you plenty of opportunities to practice Islam to perfection on your next suicide run.

    “Indian influence is like poison, Pakistani should shun Indians of all types with whom they have nothing in common.”

    If only your primary export to the world: Islamic terrorists, would heed such advice we all would be singing Kumbaya…..

  39. Mahalingam Khan

    Quantum_Singularity
    What do you mean by Islamic terrorists? Islam is a religion of peace, mercy and compassion and no Muslim can ever commit terrorism. Sanctity of life is one of basic practices with life , honor and dignity of minority protected by Muslims all over the Islamic world.Muslims affirms life and abhor suicide bombing and terrorism. Its the conspiracy of kuffar to malign the final and perfect religion for mankind with Pakistan as its champion.

  40. Raj

    Why do I get an eerie feeling that HSN is not from hindoostan but from quaidistan?

    M Khan where do you stand on the nationality of HSN? I agree he desecrates the memory of The Quaid.

    Yasser is still sleeping. Once he wakes up and looks at this he will be furious.

  41. sid

    If Pakistan Army can do just this one thing, India and Pakistani people will take care of the rest:

    Stop using and supporting terrorists.

    Peace will happen automatically.

  42. harbir singh nain

    NSA,

    If the assamese and keralites are tense about foreign immigrants, well, punjabis and haryanvis are tense about the migration of biharis into their territories. so what?

    ethnic tensions have nothing to do with the pure matter of economics and whether India’s economy is at greater threat from its own incompetent politicians or from illegal immigrants.

  43. harbir singh nain

    @Mahalingam Khan,

    you said:

    I can clearly see through the conspiracy of diluting TNT of Qaid in Harbir Singh Nain’s posts . He is mixing economic issue with migration

    I am an immigrant. I am unsympathetic to people who resist immigration. In the case of India, the ONLY argument against immigration that is worth listening to is the economic one. and that argument is bogus.

    If for you immigration has aspects of interest other than economic, thats your problem, you deal with it.

  44. Quantum_Singularity

    @MKhan

    “What do you mean by Islamic terrorists?”

    Well its basically people who fly planes into buildings, put bombs on trains, launch gun attacks on minorities, blow up hotels, burn down girl’s schools, kill off policeman, hijack planes, blow up planes, attack religious shrines, attack govt buildings, randomly kill innocent people for spying, flog girls on occasion, etc. (there are many more) all the while justifying their acts based upon Islamic theology.

    “Islam is a religion of peace, mercy and compassion and no Muslim can ever commit terrorism.”

    So everyone should believe this because you say so? If say that I am super smart and super rich, and I repeat this over and over again enough times, does it make it true?

    “Sanctity of life is one of basic practices with life , honor and dignity of minority protected by Muslims all over the Islamic world.”

    Tell that to Coptic Christians who are daily discriminated in Egypt at all levels, to Bahai’s in Iran, in Saudi Arabia minorities cannot even openly express their religion, even minorities in your country cannot legally hold high public offices. So much for honor and dignity.

    “Muslims affirms life and abhor suicide bombing and terrorism. Its the conspiracy of kuffar to malign”

    The world does not need any help to see what Muslims are and are not, the world gets a bloody reminder every few weeks.

    “the final and perfect religion for mankind”

    And you know this because?

    “with Pakistan as its champion”

    Now that is downright delusional, now I am sure you are on drugs.

  45. Abhi

    HSN,

    In which world are you living dude ? Bihari-Punjabi tensions ? LoL. If not for Biharis, Punjabis would have hard time marrying because of atrocious sex ratio. Furthermore, most Punjoos do not want to to manual labour because of their comparatively high incomes.

    If not for these Biharis, there wouldn’t be any construction done in Gurgaon. In fact, I believe most Punjabis (i.e. who are not racist and parochial) *want* Biharis to be there.

    All the problems that you enunerate are genuine ones, but I frankly dont understand how they can be solved by encouraging uncontrolled immigration.

    Frankly I believe you are not from Indian diaspora and are using a fake handle. If you are, then you must be from Canada as the Indian diaspora there is not exactly pro-India.

  46. Girish

    Harbir,

    Could you please elaborate as to how the economic argument is bogus? So far all you have said is that there are other economic issues, some of them in your opinion more important than this one. But how does that make the issue a bogus one?

  47. Tilsim

    Dawn news (a voice of moderation in Pakistani media) is reporting that the Indian delegation insisted on sticking to a one point agenda around terrorism and failed to entertain Pakistan’s agenda items.

    Whilst not surprising, the failure to make obvious progress at these talks represents another own goal in the fight against terrorist forces. Pity the people of South Asia, they are stuck in their rhetoric and can’t see the big picture. Whilst we are losing hope, the terrorists are gaining in hope.

    This is heading towards catastrophe and we have our blinkers on.

  48. chacha

    I think both Pakistan and India must immediately sack their respective External/Foreign ministers…..they have miserably failed….they were not expected to confront each other on some speeches and statements and exchange harshness……as political leaders their task was to create means and ways for better relations between the two neighbors; they instead acted as mouth pieces of the bureaucrats in their ministries……..Bureaucrats are trained to maintain status quo and in point scoring games to prolong any solution……these ministers fell prey to these reactionary forces and spoiled a great opportunity which could lead the neighboring countries to a better future…..they have not acted as agents of change……these incompetents ministers have saddened millions in India and Pakistan who want to live in peace and harmony….SACK THEM….

  49. Tilsim

    @ Chacha

    I feel for your sentiment. This task seems beyond the insight, capability and vision of mere mortals.

    As a minimum, they could have avoided bickering in public, engaged more substantively on a broad agenda and at least come up with one concrete agreement that would help bring people closer or at least give a positive signal of momentum. Defeating terrorism cannot be done in the halls of mandarins and politicians. It requires the people to engage. Some agreement on enhancing people contact was vital.

    Pakistan is suffering from cataclysmic terrorism, our country’s leadership mostly failing to deal with the monster in it’s own house (let alone India’s) – and India’s approach is let’s talk about Pakistan’s failure to deal with India directed terrorism and well, just that.

    Disgusting. Own goal upon own goal.

  50. shiv

    @ chacha

    I think both Pakistan and India must immediately sack their respective External/Foreign ministers

    That may be possible in Pakistan. I don’t know. Not in India though.

    I enjoyed the public bickering. It tells me that people are telling the truth and not whispering sweet nothings to each other like a bunch of lovelorn teenagers.

    That is a step forward.

    The unfinished business of partition has to be cleared up no?

    Vajpayee looks like such a fool now for imagining that peace was going to happen after his visit to Lahore in early 1999. That was when Gen Javed Nasir of Pakistan wrote the following passage in an article in the Pakistan defence journal (feb-march 1999) just before the Kargil war

    India is so hopelessly imbalanced and has made it so tempting for Pakistan that should it decide to exploit – India within a few days would be brought to the brink of a virtual defeat to avert which the Indian leadership may be left with no option but to go for the nuclear option which obviously will spell doom for both countries. Though Kashmir would be wrested and so would be Khalistan and the Tamil Land and in the south – but all these and many more geographical zones and Pakistan would take decades to reach even the present levels of developments.

    And here is more from Javed Nasir
    I knew the Hindu mentality that he will stick on to Siachen. I had a hunch that these roads one day will turn Siachen into Waterloo for the Indians. These roads were completed in 1990 and gave Pakistan Army a tremendous psychological ascendancy. The transportation cost was brought down from an average of Rs. 200.00 per KG beyond Goma/Dansom to less than Rs. 100.00/ KG. This enabled Pakistan Army High Command to provide the best high altitude sleeping bags, boots and jackets, Vitamin heavy diet, fibre glass igloos with heating arrangements and hot water plastic thermoses.

    Ten years later why does this army want peace? What has changed?

  51. harbir singh nain

    In which world are you living dude ? Bihari-Punjabi tensions ? LoL. If not for Biharis, Punjabis would have hard time marrying because of atrocious sex ratio. Furthermore, most Punjoos do not want to to manual labour because of their comparatively high incomes.

    What are you telling me for? I haven’t argued against the migration of biharis to punjab.

  52. Raj

    Just 2 days ago Mr.Rumi was crowing that I don’t represent the popular / most widespread sentiment in India. Tried psychoanalysis on me, and pretended that I must be hindutvadi.

    Now what happened? SM Krishna, MM Singh are all hindutvadis? LOL!

    Rumi got carried away by the likes of Commie Gorki.

  53. J.Krishnan

    correction:

    I wrote: “If tibetans decide not to release water to China or India then that is their right and duty to do so.”

    corrected version:

    “If tibetans decide not to release water to China or India then that is the tibetans right and duty to act as per their own decision.”

  54. Tilsim

    @ J Krishnan and your ilk

    Have you ever thought that it’s not just a case of what is written in Pakistan’s text books that generates hate against India? That it might be comments such as the ones that you post.

  55. Tilsim

    @ Raj

    Keep adding sticks to the fire you are building, you will get the results that you are seeking.

  56. Raj

    @Tislim
    Again you continue standard pak strategy:
    1. Accuse Indians of being hindutvadi

    2. Claim Pakistanis desire peace (but no shred of evidence for it as Quershi outbursts show)

    3. Claim India’s prosperity depends on Pakistan’s prosperity

    4. Use terrorism as an instrument of state policy and as a negotiating tool.

    4.Confront India at all costs, even if you are
    going down the drain and claim Indians don’t want
    peace.

  57. harbir singh nain

    Girish,

    I say the economic argument against immigration is bogus for the simple reason that nobody has actually made a cogent argument. People only imagine a simplistic scenario wherein there are 10 million people added to the economy who will compete for jobs and housing, and they presume that this must of course be bad.

    Show me how bad. India’s population grows by about 10 million every 6 months. It isn’t sending the country into a death spiral. Show me what adding 10 or 15 million immigrants over, say, 4 years will do to the economy.

    In my view, opposition to immigration in India is primarily jingoistic. “We don’t want them here”. I don’t ever see anyone complaining about the million Nepali migrants in India. But talk about muslim immigrants and suddenly everybody remembers their economy.

    India is yet too backward a country to have sophisticated policies on immigration and regional foreign relations that serve the country’s economic best interests.

  58. J.Krishnan

    to tilsim

    My comments are a reaction to what has been (in the past 6 months, 6 years, 60 years, 600 years and 1400 years).

    Let pakistanis read my comments and think over them. (Mr Krishan first learn to debate in a civic manner without hurling profanities. Unfortunately your comments just provoke disgust rather then self introspection. Frankly you need to ponder over your own bigotry.)

  59. harbir singh nain

    immigrants who are reared in a hate-India atmosphere cannot be allowed into India, unless there is verifiable proof that such is not the case. Period. Any questions?

    That’s an impressively certain position. I don’t agree with it.

    I want to go visit pakistan but I cannot because people like you on their side hold me as someone rears in a hate-pakistan/hate-muslims atmosphere. Like you do not trust a pakistani to not be an LeT sympathizer, they do not trust that we are not part of the RSS brigades. There is no way to break this down, except by allowing people to intermingle and find out for themselves.

    If you don’t WANT to break this down, thats your choice. I do. And as I want them to trust me and let me go there, so I am willing to trust them.

  60. P. Vengaayam

    HSN:”If you don’t WANT to break this down, thats your choice. I do. And as I want them to trust me and let me go there, so I am willing to trust them.”

    It is already broken down, and if you want them to trust you, move to Pakistan, because you won’t be seeing any Pakistanis in India any time soon.

    Pakistan committed 26/11 and now they have the audacity to pretend that “past is past” and Indians should give up on justice for the victims of 26/11?
    And Indian morons with a poor memory for past and current events have the gall to pretend that “it is time for peace”. Do you think the rest of Indians are stupid as you are to forget a terrorist attack that lasted 3 days in Mumbai? Do you have any sense of shame about your callousness for the memories of the dead? I doubt it.

  61. P. Vengaayam

    HSN:”Like you do not trust a pakistani to not be an LeT sympathizer, they do not trust that we are not part of the RSS brigades. ”

    And how many terrorist attacks have Indian groups of all kinds conducted in Pakistan? How many terrorist attacks have LeT conducted in India? Do you have any brains at all?

  62. Tilsim

    The crows are here again and crowing…Kai Kai Kai. Must be another dead body somewhere.

  63. P. Vengaayam

    Tilsim:”The crows are here again and crowing…Kai Kai Kai. Must be another dead body somewhere.”

    Yes, the dead bodies lie in Mumbai waiting for justice for 26/11 – you think denial of this is any less offensive than the Indians saying offensive things about the dead after Data Darbar?

    The past can’t just be forgotten though it might be very convenient to pakistanis if that were the case, but the past can be remedied by actions in the present — actions that Pakistan refuses to take and tries to substitute those actions with cheap words.

  64. A minor correction: it is vultures!!

  65. Raj

    Tilsim
    July 16, 2010 at 6:12 pm
    The crows are here again and crowing…Kai Kai Kai. Must be another dead body somewhere.
    ===

    There you go. Now the mask has slipped and you
    are being authentic “pakistani”.
    Congratulations!

  66. P. Vengaayam

    If stating the truth about pakistan amounts to being “evil vultures who hate pakistan and islam”, so be it.
    If Pakistanis do not want to face the truth about themselves, they will be the only ones paying for it with their own futures, and causing trouble for everyone else too. But everyone else will fix things over time, but Pakistan will not exist to fix itself if it goes down permanently.

  67. harbir singh nain

    It won’t take much more to turn P. Vengaayam rabid.

    My pakistani friends didn’t commit the bombay attacks. my hindu friends didn’t commit the 1984 attacks or the babri or the godhra incidents. My muslim friends are not radical islamists. My sikh friends are not khalistanis.

    There isn’t anything about pakistan and its attitudes towards India that you can teach me. I’ve seen it all and said it all. But I am also looking beyond that to the possibilities for what India can do for peace.

    You aren’t ready to go there, thats OK.

  68. Vengayaam: your hate speech is not acceptable. Please don’t visit PTH anymore. You are not welcome here.

  69. P. Vengaayam

    HSN:”It won’t take much more to turn P. Vengaayam rabid.”
    🙂 Nice trick. Say stupid things, and when they are pointed out, pretend the other person is insane. Anyway, do not want to waste time of everyone here with silly banter with you.

  70. P. Vengaayam

    Tilsim, Okay. Will stop posting here. Good luck with your “peace initiatives”.

  71. lal

    @tislim
    regarding the dawn news,the indian strategy came as no surprise.it released the headly tapes a few days before and then allowed its home secretary to rub salts in the wound.so just like ‘no talk ‘ till the culprits of mumbai attacks are brought to book,’calibrated talks’ was another attempt to show pakistan,that justice to mumbai is the most important CBM in indian mind.pakistan has every right to reject it,if it is against its national interests ,in ur own enlightened calculations.but it could be done with much more finesse than the crudeness that was displayed on the press meet.i dont think indian home secretary called for any jihad against pakistan,supporting balochis or watever….he was just stating an obvious fact….sometimes i feel too much 20-20 cricket has made pakistan forget how to play a test match

  72. J.Krishnan

    I asked tilsim

    “We indians live in fear in front of islamic expansionism-absolutism. Can you pakistanis not do something concrete to alleviate our justified fears?”

    Others he accuses of being crows. But he himself is ducking a crucial question.

  73. lal

    @j krishnan,
    dont say ‘we indians’.i live in democratic india and have no fear of ‘islamic expansionism-absolutism’ or ‘chinese haegemonistic communist nationalism’.will be better to say I rather than we.

  74. Tilsim

    @ Lal

    “i dont think indian home secretary called for any jihad against pakistan,supporting balochis or watever….”

    Thanks. No he did n’t and I did n’t say that he did. I think the one issue approach (the reasons for which are understandable post Mumbai) will not get India the security that it desires.

    The problem has to be solved both top down (security measures, pressure) and bottom up (working with people and anti-terror political forces in Pakistan).

    The symbolism of any efforts is tremendously important given the high levels of illiteracy in Pakistan.

    I do understand that Indian leaders have their domestic political compulsions. However the equation Pakistan/Islam = Terrorist sympathising is a deadly construct to keep fostering. It kills off any ability to convince the Pakistani public (who are continuously being told by terrorists that India is doing this) that in fact look for the problem right amongst yourselves. Pakistan’s extremists are given a get out of jail free card.

    I am beginning to think that there is no way out for either you guys or us because the narratives have their own logic and noone can see past them.

    The only key to this is for right minded people to understand each other better, work together and blunt the increasing hold that right wing extremist ideologies have over the public.

  75. ishfaq

    As a Bangladeshi, having been once a part of Pakistan and now having friends in both India and Pakistan, I believe that there is no option to closer regional cooperation. India is rising, but it can not stand on firm footing unless its neighborhood is in peace and harmony. A breakdown of state order in Afghanistan or Pakistan will surely affect the whole of South Asia. I believe that if politicians fail, it is the business people who can lead the way to regional reconciliation. It is the business people who have made the war impossible in Europe – the most violent continent in modern history. No longer can the British bombers go and bomb Germany or the other way, because who knows who owns what in which country – you don’t want to bomb your own factory, do you? The same can happen in South Asia. We need to open up travel, trade, transit and investment. It would be a win-win situation. Economic progress and prosperity could be a major weapon against extremism that thrive on poverty and backwardness. India as a major player, of course has to take the lead, but others too must step forward. The world will not wait for us.

    Ishfaq

  76. harbir singh nain

    Ishfaq, thank you

  77. Tilsim

    @ Ishfaq

    Yes, the business communities can help move things forward quite a lot and develop a permanent lobby for maintaining peace.

    For now, as evidenced by this sorry effort called a ‘peace’ process, this does not seem to be a priority.

    I think we have to prepare for and expect war. I don’t wish it and all my efforts are against this but the terrorists and other extremists will ensure this happens because they know which buttons to press.

  78. H1-B visas to India ? I have known some Pak families in europe since past few years, all of them came here 4/6/8 years ago, if they are not able to appreciate the freedom and peace this land has to offer, what is the guarantee it will lead to good relations in India.

    I was told by 3 years ago there are many (pak) IT graduates who would willingly take advantage of Indian software cos. and get a good pay in return, without having to face much language problems (but India that itself churns out lakhs of graduates each year), he said getting a work visa to India is just impossible.

    Just saw Mr. Qureshi’s joint PC, it seemed like the wagah border gate ceremony covered by BBC :

    But I do wish some thing would give ways why should we be plied with foreign terrorists when we have enough of our own social and economic issues to manage. Kashmir should be donated to Pakistan for all the money it is costing us. We cannot go and buy land in JnK like we can in all the other states. But maybe then India will ( asked) have to give Jammu too.

  79. Tilsim

    @ Girish

    It’s too late Girish. I see this fiasco as a very serious setback for public opinion in Pakistan.

  80. Raja Mohi

    Hi, Nice web blog, though I am unable to understand the attitude of my Pakistani friends. So if India does not bend to Pakistan’s wishes and insists that Pakistan stop committing terrorism in India, then it is all India’s fault that Pakistanis hate India? I mean, if India and Pakistan are to walk together, how can the likes of Hafiz Saeed also conduct their evil deeds while India and Pakistan talk of friendship? Maybe I just do not understand international politics but this makes no sense.

    As an ordinary person, I would hesitate to be the friend of someone who has no regard for the life of me or my family, so why should this be any different in the case of Pakistan, where there is public support for Hafiz Saeed (I see videos of him walking freely making speeches against India to full audiences). Please do not consider this hate mongering, because these are genuine concerns.

  81. Girish

    Also, Tilsim, you say it is too late now. What were you* doing earlier, when it was not too late? Are you saying this is new information, that it was not well known in the past?

    *”you” refers not to you personally but the entire set of liberals in Pakistan

  82. J.Krishnan

    to lal

    I mean we rational indians, concerned indian, simple no-bravado indians, self-respecting indians, indians who have recognized the might of absolutist ideologies to ruin lives.

    It is well known that “we” does not automatically mean “all of we”. I didn’t say all indians only we indians.

  83. Ishfaq: your comments are brilliant. What a breath of fresh air on this partisan debate!!

  84. stuka

    HSN: Are you not confusing Immigration and Tourism? You would like to visit Pakistan, that’s fine. We would like wealthy Pakistanis to come with their families, get a photo-op in front of the Taj Mahal and go home. All that is fine.

    But even where I concede that the Indian economy is not yet sophisticated to have a cogent and pragmatic view on immigration in general, the rational against Muslim immigration is pretty clear due to the history of partition. I think it is ludicrous political correctness that would equate immigration from Nepal / Tibet with immigration from Pakistan or Bangladesh. The rationale of partition and TNT (whatever Jinnah wanted notwithstanding) must lead to a never again approach with regard to immigration from these two countries. In so far as the present is concerned, we do not have an immigration issue with Pakistan. We do have one with Bangladesh and outside of partisan political gain for the Congress, there is no national interest being served by the inculation of a hostile minority into the country.

  85. stuka

    Ishfaq’s analysis is not relevant to Pakistan. He is applying the Bangladeshi example to Pakistan which is simply not relevant.

    In Bangladesh, the political party led government decides foreign policy. Even as good relations with India are unpopular at the street level, the Bangladeshi government has taken a pragmatic approach to economic relations and it behooves India to respond in a manner that allows the Bangladeshi government to showcase gains to the population. The biggest issue between India and Bangladesh is the balance of trade issue and India should take a liberal approach to Bangladeshi concerns. The resolution of the Teen Bigha land controversy also went a long way in smoothening relations about ten years back.

    To say that this can be replicated with Pakistan is nonsense. Pakistani foreign policy in general, and specifically with India, is run by the Army. The FO has no or minimal input. Hence, vis a vis India, the institutional interests of Pak Army take precedence over the economic interests of Pakistan. There is really no cultural / political / economic lever that can be used. Till the Pak Army is responsible for foreign relations, the two countries will pay a zero sum national security prism game.

  86. Raj

    It looks like HSN is of the ilk of Arundathi Pakistani and Kuldip Jihadiyaar.

    Internal problems in India have no place and no relevance in the discussions about pakistani terrorism in/on India. Aren’t we 2 different countries? Such pakistani claims should be summarily dismissed.

    Where are the Pakistani Hindus?

    1984, Gujarat are all blots and failures of people to uphold the constituition, only the depraved minds of the likes Arundathi Pakistani could find justification in this for spakistani terrorism inside India.

  87. stuka

    “My pakistani friends didn’t commit the bombay attacks. my hindu friends didn’t commit the 1984 attacks or the babri or the godhra incidents. My muslim friends are not radical islamists. My sikh friends are not khalistanis.”

    Your friends don’t set national policy either. But your Indian friends count in terms of influencing opinion domestically and to an extent for foreign policy as well. Your Pakistani friends have no input whatsoever unless they are serving officers in the Pak Army at General Rank.

  88. kishore

    @Tilism:
    –I think we have to prepare for and expect war. I don’t wish it and all my efforts are against this but the terrorists and other extremists will ensure this happens because they know which buttons to press.–

    OK, maybe its not possible for Pakistan to take action against Saeed NOW and maybe Kashmir should also be discussed. But how about this, can you share intelligence with the Indians of an impending terrorist attack in the future. Atleast our lousy internal security can take some precautions to prevent repeat of 26/11. I’m not sure if there’ll be war if there is another attack but surely public opinion of Pakistan will go down further.

    If this is what has been agreed between Chidambaram and Malik then it is welcoming.

  89. Tilsim

    @ Kishore

    I would 100 pct hope that Pakistan would share that info. We are not beasts.

    Right minded people are trying to change things in Pakistan and eliminate the hate mongers and terrorists. However the challenge is very serious – it penetrates our establishment. Everyday our own people are dying.

    We need help not hate. The US policy of carrot and stick has a better chance of success than India’s which fails to understand the situation in Pakistan and just is full on hostility. We have our concerns too and are trying to solve them with you but you don’t want to listen. As a result the public continues to have the ear of militants and continues to go under their spell. The moderates sound like idiots. You don’t realise this point or think it’s just double speak from us. You are wrong.

    Your hawks are in the driving seat and leading the doves to disaster for both your country and mine. I have no doubt that there will be another terrorist incident in India very soon and you will be compelled to act. That will bring further disaster on yourselves.

    You have a common interest with those in Pakistan who don’t want it to implode but your leadership can’t see that as it has also been infiltrated by extremist hawks.

  90. NAS

    Problems years in the making won’t be solved at the first foreign ministers’ meeting.

    War is not inevitable; we’ve had peace of a kind, with some explosions, but no tanks, planes, missiles type of war for about 10 years now.

    If Pakistan can keep its fledgling civilian democracy going without interruption, it will eventually become supreme and will make the military and bureaucracy subordinate to it; but even in the best of circumstances, that is years down the road.

    Keep patience, and keep talking.

  91. Girish

    Tilsim,

    I am sure you will agree that there hasn’t been just hostility coming from India’s side. Almost every single Prime Minister in India has tried seriously to pursue peace. Rajiv Gandhi tried, and there was even some hope when Benazir came to power, but the Pakistan army refused to let her take full control of policy. Narasimha Rao tried and was rebuffed. Gujral even tried a unilateral approach, of giving concessions without any explicit quid pro quo. Gowda of course slept through his term, but he did not do any damage either. Vajpayee tried unilaterally at Lahore, got stabbed in the back almost immediately but persevered even after that, leading to perhaps the most hopeful period in 3 decades. And MMS cannot be accused of not trying in spite of grave provocation. But name a year since the 1980s when Indians have not died in terrorism emanating from Pakistan. One year.

    So please, let’s not pretend as if the Pakistani people’s inability and/or unwillingness to take on the terrorist-supporting elements in their state apparatus has anything to do with India’s hostility. Until 2001, there wasn’t even any pretence to hide this support for terror, and people also largely supported the organizations that were killing innocent civilians.

    There is enough of a constituency for peace with Pakistan in India that from India’s side there will be no significant hurdles in the path to peace if there is a realistic chance for it. Of course, there is not much of a constituency, apart from a few idiots, for official peace with Pakistan without ensuring that there is peace for Indian citizens. The real hurdle in the path of peace is the Pakistan army and its vested interests. Tame it and its agencies, for your own benefit if not anything else, and everything else will fall in line.

  92. Tilsim

    @ NAS, Girish

    The thing that is different this time is that our uneasy relationship is now hostage to the militants and they are trying to seize power in Pakistan. They are goading you to attack because they need the vacuum to come into power.

  93. Tilsim

    These extremists are also cultivating domestic public opinion that sees India as interminably hostile to Pakistan. If your leadership and your public and media plays into that dynamic then it really is all becoming a self-fulfilling set of events.

  94. neel123

    @ Tilsim,

    ” GOD helps those, who help themselves”

    – this could not have been more true for Pakistan, at this moment ….. ! No one can help Pakistan, unless Pakistan wants to help itself ….. ! The massive ego of the Pakistani Army is the stumbling block …. !

  95. harbir singh nain

    the rational against Muslim immigration is pretty clear due to the history of partition.

    It is nothing of the kind. India is a secular republic and there is no way for it to be that while having immigration policy based on religious or ethnic identity. Furthermore, if the object is to keep the muslims out, then you need to also throw out the 150 million who are in India. and lastly, the TNT is the sentiment of those who consider muslims a nation apart from India. By its very essence, it cannot not apply to muslims who want to be part of India.

    but I appreciate that you frankly illustrating my point that indian attitude towards muslim immigration from is “We don’t want them here”.

    For all I know, no pakistani would migrate to India. I am not presuming that they want to migrate. but if any do, then naked bigotry is really the prime driver for not allowing it.

  96. kishore

    @Tilism:

    Assuming that we help Pak moderates in establishment by talking about Kashmir then what next. Are the fundamentalists in the establishment going to stop at that? Next they’ll say include water in the talks. Then Siachen and so on. That is nothing but blackmailing.

    The only way Pak moderates can become stronger is by themselves making an effort. External help will never work.

  97. Tilsim

    @ Neel123

    The irony is that India needs to work with the Pakistan Army just like the US is doing and the Pakistani politicians are doing.

  98. Girish

    Neel:

    Much more than the ego of the Pakistan army is at stake. There are huge vested interests, and they often involve large sums of money.

    The Bangladeshi experience of how the civilians tamed the military is an interesting case study (though not applicable to Pakistan, at least at this time). The single biggest reason for the docility of the Bangladeshi military, apart from some exceptions, is the creation of vested interests for peace for the Bangladeshi soldier. Not the general, but the ordinary soldier.

    How did Bangladesh achieve it? By contributing a large proportion of its army to UN missions, making it one of the biggest contributors to UN missions. The ordinary soldier got an enormous pay hike whenever he worked on a UN mission. The Generals and senior officers could of course make more money when they had political control over the army, but the ordinary soldier gained nothing under military rule. Given the economic benefits of going on a UN mission, there is a grassroots level pressure to continue sending Bangladeshi soldiers on UN duty. The Generals cannot really oppose that without seeming to be against the interests of their soldiers. This allowed greater flexibility for the civilian government to reassert control after many years of military rule.

    Couple with this the fact that the Bangladeshi society is inherently democratic. In a chaotic sense like in India. But democratic nevertheless. And there are enough people willing to speak out against evil in their midst, unlike in Pakistan. There is a true liberal side to Bangladeshi society, which is all but absent in Pakistan, making it much more difficult and also risky there.

    Pakistani liberals have to devise their own strategy of taming the army, if they want to do it that is. They cannot copy the Bangladeshi experience, since the situation is radically different. However, they must work towards addressing the economic interests involved. Undercut those incentives by creating new vested interests for peace and from within the army. All other solutions will fail since the gun is in the military’s hands.

  99. harbir singh nain

    Internal problems in India have no place and no relevance in the discussions about pakistani terrorism in/on India.

    The discussion is “Devising a new framework for Indo-Pak peace”. You want to talk pakistani terrorism, carry right on, but you don’t get to interpret the boundaries of the topic for other people.


    1984, Gujarat are all blots and failures of people to uphold the constituition, only the depraved minds of the likes Arundathi Pakistani could find justification in this for spakistani terrorism inside India.

    I mentioned those incidents to point out that people are not responsible for what others have done. If you have made the leap from that to justification of terrorism, you’re either not paying attention or you’re intellectually dishonest.

  100. Tilsim

    @ Kishore

    “The only way Pak moderates can become stronger is by themselves making an effort. External help will never work.”

    The help that Pak moderates need is that India’s moderates recognise the commonality of interests. They should do their utmost to rein in the hawks. Period.

  101. lal

    @tilsim
    agree with u on many fronts.
    when we talk of dialogue of deaf,there can never be a more classical example than an indo – pakistan blog.each of us stands true to the topics that we hold dear,refusing to give in an inch.
    but still the usefulness of these forums are unquestionable.though we may never be able to agree,we can open our eyes to the others views.
    i hope u wud have noticed by this tym that indians are hostage to a single issue,mumbai.frankly i dont kno y people attach more importance to mumbai more than ,say an issue like kargil.both were considered stabs in the back by indian national psyche.
    a)24 hr news channels may be a big reason.though kargil was considered as the first televised war,news channels were still in their infancy
    b)in the indian version of kargil,we unequivocally truimphed over the evil allaince.so there was no more egos to sooth.
    c)it was an armed attack on the civilians,and that through in the centre of india.an attack in the border against army,though unacceptable,is understandable.
    d)for many middle class indians who was not even concerned about pakistan before 26/11 this was an eye opener.it was a war on our economy,and the way we lived our life.

    i cud go on inventing reasons,but the moot point,ask any indian ,however sensible he is,talks will eventually come to mumbai. and u must give credit to the indian political establishment about the maturity with which it handled mumbai.by quickly dismissing the talk of war,the incumbent government took a huge political risk.they assured the nation that they can bring justice using diplomacy.they were voted back to power again.the nation holds them to that promise.
    it wil be nice if in this blog,some body like girish/hayyer/gorki write about y justice to the victims of mumbi is the most essential CBM before any ‘meaningful’ dialogue to take place and some body from pakistani side give a rebuttal on y we have to go post mumbai.although we may bicker on even there…one can easily imagine the first two posts…A:”We had hundreds of mumbai”. B :’Did we send terrorists in a boat.u get a taste of ur own medicine”
    In the indian hawkish view,there is hardly any carrots that we can give before a proper solution to mumbai.Pakistan had already agreed that they will find all the culprits behind mumbai.doing that is not a favour to india.it is just honouring an agreement,or multiple public pronouncements from president downwards.Using it as a bargaining chip to gain any leverage will be anathema to the indian establishment,because it will set a dangerous pattern.noobody is going to war with pakistan,watever happens.the reason has more than to do with pakistan having nuclear weapons.when indians and pakistan talk about indian economy in this blog,we almost get a picture of the two indias.both the india shining and india shitting stories have truth in them.but the chance we have is, for the first time in 250 years ,if we use our resources properly for next 10-15 years ,we can shine even the shit.it will be an absolute waste if we loose all that for a war with u.we can fight u may be after 15 years🙂.but if the takehome message to pakistan is every time,they want a concession,they can send some body to attack india,and get away with it,we reach nowhere.so an exemplary punishment for mumbai vl not only calm the nerves of indian public,it will show the pakistani strategic thinkers that ,they might be risking a bit too much ,if they proceed with this sort of strategy.

  102. neel123

    @Tilism,

    If India works with the Pakistani army and Pakistan eventually manages to overcome the challenges, what will India get at the end of the day …… ?

    Please put yourself in the shoes of the Pakistani army before you answer my question ……… !

  103. @ Tilsim
    July 17, 2010 at 1:49 am

    @ Kishore
    “The only way Pak moderates can become stronger is by themselves making an effort. External help will never work.”

    The help that Pak moderates need is that India’s moderates recognise the commonality of interests. They should do their utmost to rein in the hawks. Period.

    Tried. Failed. Trying again, new tack.

  104. Raj

    harbir singh nain
    but you don’t get to interpret the boundaries of the topic for other people

    ==
    How moronic! You have serious comprehension problems as well. I didn’t say you cannot discuss it at this site, but they cannot be used in counter arguments wen someone critisizes pakistani terrorism in India.

  105. Raja Mohi

    Tilsim:”Your hawks are in the driving seat and leading the doves to disaster for both your country and mine. I have no doubt that there will be another terrorist incident in India very soon and you will be compelled to act. That will bring further disaster on yourselves.”

    Tilsim Sir,

    Maybe I am mistaken, but that sounds like the refrain “talk to us or brace for more terrorist attacks from Pakistan”. If the Pakistani moderates cannot rein in their hawks from committing terrorism, why should Indian moderates rein in Indian hawks from speaking out against terrorism in India? Isn’t that wishful thinking
    Is the thinking in Pakistan that after Indian hawks are reined in, Pakistan can negotiate with Indian moderates and doves? That makes no sense.

    Frankly, after I read recently that Pakistan has rubbished the back-channel Kashmir deal India made with Musharraf, what is the point in signing agreements with anyone in Pakistan, if the next General in charge revokes all the agreements made by the previous generals?

  106. Raja Mohi

    lal:”it wil be nice if in this blog,some body like girish/hayyer/gorki write about y justice to the victims of mumbi is the most essential CBM before any ‘meaningful’ dialogue to take place and some body from pakistani side give a rebuttal on y we have to go post mumbai.”

    lal,
    You are asking this question after Headley’s revelations that the Pakistani ISI conducted 9/11? Do you know that when the official establishment of one country wages war (even proxy war) on a neighbouring country using proxies, and India has proof of the same from third-party sources no less. Countries have gone to war for far less provocations. So it is to India’s credit that they did not choose war and chose to allow Pakistan to take responsibility for the actions of Pakistanis creating terror in India.

    Except Pakistan has no intention of doing so because it wants to portray that it is under perennial threat from India, so that it can avoid fighting the US’s war after taking all the payments from the USA to fight their war.

    That seems to be the reason here Pakistanis here are saying that Pakistan is going to create more terrorist attacks in India, because then India’s response gives pakistan the excuse to pretend it cannot spare any more troops for the USA’s war in Pakistan. This seems like the ideal strategy for the Pakistani army to ensure that it can conjure up an “India Threat” if India does not bend over and accept Pakistan’s terms for stopping terror in India. I can see how much confidence Pakistan is going to build in the minds of Indians with such an attitude.

  107. NSA

    Pakistani moderates’ best ally is the 50% of Pakistan that is female. The burden, the whip of fundamentalism falls most heavily on women.

    Yes, women too can be fundamentalist. But because of the role society has given them, they are often more realistic than the men.

  108. harbir singh nain

    How moronic! You have serious comprehension problems as well. I didn’t say you cannot discuss it at this site, but they cannot be used in counter arguments wen someone critisizes pakistani terrorism in India.”

    and who made you god to dictate what I can say or why I say it?

    You said that I “find justification in this for spakistani terrorism inside India”. I do not. I mentioned 1984 etc to make the point of not condemning the innocent by association. That seems to really chap your ass. Get over it.

  109. Gorki

    ‘Lead, follow, or get out of the way’
    Thomas Paine.

    The discussion here is dominated by the Indians and I believe all of them are angry about Mumbai. Some like Lal, HSN, Girish, and Hayyer (Vajra is too put off for the moment) have made extremely good points while others continue to indulge in angry but empty rhetoric but have no new suggestions of their own. It is a good example of a cross section of the Indian opinion; the anguished educated middle class opinion anyway.
    To some extent, the anger is justified. Mumbai captured the Indian imagination and united us for three harrowing days like no other action by any Pakistan based terror network. However there is notion taking a hold here among some people that anyone who does not ask for an immediate and an unconditional surrender of Hafeez Saeed as a quid pro quo in return for dialogue with Pakistan is a dove.
    I believe that notion is mistaken.

    Life is not black and white. Even for the Jihadists and their handlers, Mumbai produced some intended results but some unintended ones. A simple psychoanalytic view would be that the terrorists wanted attention; well they got it. Beyond that, I would venture to say that it was actually a failure for them.

    From the Jihadist standpoint, Mumbai was also intended to heighten India Pakistan tensions, weaken their own civilian Govt. and perhaps start a limited war (in part to take the pressure off the beleaguered brethren in the West) but the MMS Govt. acted smart and refused to take the bait.
    Then there were other unintended consequences as well. Kasab and Headley were not supposed to be caught. Unfortunately for them, they were, and they spill the beans in excruciating detail (and snatched away any fig leaf of plausible deniability from the Pakistani establishment). In the popular World opinion Pakistan became firmly associated with terror while India got to play the restrained victim. For those in Pakistan forever craving parity with India in world forums, the discomfiture was palpable; for one briefly moment India sat on a saintly pedestal while they were in a dog house. That people like Zaid Hamid started peddling conspiracy theories linking India in a nexus with USA and the Jews was an icing on the cake because it further solidified the image of delusional Pakistanis in the western media and other circles that mattered.

    So the apart from the horrible loss of life and the immediate economic impact apart, India came out ahead. But India lost too. Its inept and outgunned security forces were exposed for the entire world to see. Above all the human toll of lives lost, was beyond any measure.

    The crime of Mumbai was indeed outrageous in its sheer callousness and so I believe that our anger is justified.
    Yet Indians must seek justice but not revenge. For that, our options are limited.

    Those here who say Pakistan should do this or that for India to respond in kind don’t seem to know squat about Pakistan.
    The reality is two fold.

    It may be a cliché that while other countries have armies, Pakistani Army has a country but it is not far from the truth. The PA, first and foremost is loyal to itself. Thanks to the nukes the PA is less afraid of India than it is of genuinely losing power to the civilian control. To maintain it’s patently illegal hold on overt and covert power inside Pakistan it needs an Indian bogeyman without which it must fall one day. As long as the Indians continue to indulge in anti Pakistan rhetoric, the PA is safe.

    The other is that current troubles in Pakistan have caused a siege mentality for the man on the street. In his bewilderment the traditional enemies, India and Hindus comes in handy as suspects. Any one even talking of rapprochement with India is seen as an instant suspect is more likely to be lynched than heard. All this means that liberals even those who privately seek justice currently have zero leverage in this regard.

    It is this twin reality that is shielding Hafeez Saeed. Even if the liberals in Pakistan and its government ever wanted to punish him, they remain weak and helpless in the current circumstances. Ironically every angry and harsh word from India strengthens the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ around him.

    I am not unaware of the fact that it is quite possible that even with the liberals with complete freedom of action he may escape justice but it is certain that without it he will most certainly do so.

    Threatening retaliation or even a limited war (Cold start or whatever) against Pakistan will still not bring justice; moreover it will be an act of revenge, against the innocents. Hafeez Saeed as well as his sympathizers in the ISI will most certainly still escape unscathed; and will become more powerful than ever inside Pakistan after the war.

    War will also slow down our economy. That is exactly what they want us to do. That it will also destroy Pakistani economy and all sense of orderly life in it is of no consequence to them because they are not any less callous about the fellow Pakistanis. They secretly admire those who strap young boys with suicide vests and blow up other poor Pakistanis.

    So what can India do if murders are hiding behind a brainwashed nation of 170 million?

    Well here is what it should not do. War is out of question and idle threats only strengthen our enemy therefore we must work on weakening the forces protecting the murderers.

    It is a little complex but can be done. In another but similar context Yitzak Rabin advised his countrymen that they should pursue war (against the murderers of his people) as if there was no peace and pursue peace (with the rest) as if there was no war.
    I think that is a good advice for Indians as well.

    India should highlight the murderers hiding in Pakistan at every opportunity in world forums, seek to isolate them, identify the rogue ISI officers who sympathize with them and then seek to limit their secret accounts and travel in the West. If another attack occurs it should be ready to abort the attack efficiently but respond exactly as it did before.

    At the same time it should strive to open up dialogue with the liberal elements in Pakistan and its trade, media and government circles that are untainted but similarly affected by terrorism. It should actively seek to penetrate Pakistani media space and make its side of the argument directly to the People. It should reassure the Pakistanis that it has no designs on their territory. It should thus seek to weaken the PA’s hold on the country by lowering the threat perception among the ordinary Pakistanis even as it remains vigilant in its own land.

    Like Raza Sahib suggested, Indian and like minded Pakistanis should work to delink trade and other channels of communication from seeking justice for the Mumbai victims. I believe that only by striving for this one goal can we achieve the other of justice for Mumbai.

    Besides, as PMA Sahib suggested, Pakistan has more to fear from this opening of channels than does India. During the cold war the USA fought the USSR doggedly by beaming its radio signals across the iron curtain even as the USSR fearfully tried to isolate its citizens from it.
    India too has nothing to fear and nothing to hide.
    It can afford to tell the truth to the Pakistanis brought up to hate us. If we can do all this, the biggest losers will be people like Hafeez Saeed who will over time lose their appeal and the resultant protection.

    Then maybe one day they too will be brought to stand trial like Slobodan Milosevic.

    Regards.

  110. Dastagir

    Things fall apart, the centre does not hold !
    But what is the centre., and where ???

    – Yeats.

    Yassir Latif Hamdani : I like your line of thought. It is positive and perceptive. Its detached and tries to reflect rationally.

    I saw the ongoing Indo-Pak talks on TV. As expected, the show was thoroughly dis-appointing. Talks are held between “equals”. Unfortunately, let me be blunt and say : India and Pakistan are not equal today. The dis-parity is too large and needs no further explanation.

    But what about the merits of the case ? You may argue. Well… the blunt answer is : “Jiski Laathi Uski Bhayns”. And the lathi is of various types : Soft and Hard. Soft Power and Hard Power. Economic Laathi., Science & Technology Laathi., Communications Network Laathi., Academia Laathi., Infrastructure Laathi., Music Laathi, Films Laathi, PR laathi and so on.

    Pakistan is weak both on the “soft power” and the “hard power”. For how long will an “ARMY” manage a country ? For how long., will the olive uniform inspire “confidence” in its populace !

    Aur bhee gham hain zamaane mein muhabbat ke siva… Lekin.. kya koi aur “affirming aur securing” presence hai Pakistan mein., Pakistani army ke sivaa… ?

    J&K : issue is dead. If not fully dead, it will die in the next 35 years. India will kill J&K movement with the silent hand of time (and military presence). I am aware of the human tragedy in J&K : 100,000 extra-judicial deaths., 85,000 rapes., and so on. These are heart-wrenching statistics… but… at the national level of strategic thinking., the idea seems to buy time., consolidate position (in 65 yrs., india couldnt win the hearts and minds… but maybe in the next 35 yrs… who knows…); and allow the movement to die a natural death.

    There is no leadership in India & Pak today., to take their population(s) into confidence. There is no solution at all. The best thing is for Pak to develop the Kashmir in its possession and for India to do the same. Let Kashmiri people (from both sides) grow and prosper and meet each other without much fuss.

    But even before 26/11., Indo-Pak talks were always stalled. Even before the Mumbai attacks, they never agreed to a fixed agenda. They always agreed to meet., have tea and disperse.

    India wants to engage with Pakistan from a position of strength (thats why the Home Secretary came with a very rude comment while the Foreign Minister was travelling ! The timing of the statement exposed it all). I think Pakistan must accept ground realities., and go for an all-out patch up with Pakistan, before its too late.

    Nuclear weapons do not feed or save a country. We have seen USSR crumble for economic reasons. Indo-Pak tensions are a USD 28 billion business (annually). US will not appreciate if the 2 countries come in a tighter embrace.

    There might be another Mumbai 26/11; because 70% of American economy rests on its war machines and weapons export.

    Pakistan today must accept reality and make very very harsh choices. I think it must go for a friendship treaty with India immediately (on India’s terms). This will serve Pakistan well (in the long term). 24×7 Enimity with India will destroy Pakistan from within. Enemity for Pakistan 24×7 will destroy India from within (RSS mindset). To crush the Mullah and RSS, saner minds have to join in., otherwise these right-wing forces will see to it that SE Asia turns into rubble.

    US / UK / Euro / China.. no one gives a damn if the whole of SE Asia is destroyed ! Pakistan must not fire from China’s shoulder. What if China & India become friends tomorrow (India accepts all the chinese positions., settles border issue., and becomes friends with china., accepting No. 2 position)… then what ? Infact India’s thought is working on those lines. If India & China can be gr8 friends (on China’s terms)., then we can short-circuit Pakistan… So before such an eventuality, Pakistan must bend backwards (keeping aside the ego factor) and grab India’s hand and consolidate that friendship.

    If India wants “Terrorism” to be Item No. 1., that should be fine. Settle it., do something about it., and show results., and meet next year. Show the results on the TV. Build public opinion. Once you have done that you are on a high moral pedestal. You Pakistanis can also say : “See we have done this with our terrorists… Now show us what you have done with your RSS Terrorists who killed our citizens on Samjhauta Express ?”.

    Then talk about water, J&K., etc. etc.. Nothing will come out of it… but thats how relations will improve. It will be a very slow walk., but one who grabs the initiative will win…. in the longer term. Must not fall into the trap of 30-second sound-byte diplomacy. It doesnt work. You have to break the hawk-mindset of the Indian Bureaucracy., as that would be a true victory. Its quite a challenge…. but worth it.

  111. Bade Miyan

    Gorki,
    Very well rounded post, though apropos to the following lines:
    “India should highlight the murderers hiding in Pakistan at every opportunity in world forums, seek to isolate them, identify the rogue ISI officers who sympathize with them and then seek to limit their secret accounts and travel ”

    Aren’t those Indians perceived as hawks? I guess our Pakistani friends should realize that MS government is an elected government and has its constraints. I mean, is it so hard to do even token gestures such as locking up these guys on some flimsy charge and throwing away the key. For god’s sake just lock up that Saeed on charge of being too fat. If there is an intent, I am sure it can be done. It would give the government some courage to move forward. How on earth could someone compare Pillai with Hafiz Saeed beats me. It almost seems like Alice in Wonderland. If they can’t talk something meaningful, I’ll rather have them talk about food served at these meetings. Such idiots!

    And, for my loud countrymen(Indians), this site is not a place to unload your bile. Let’s talk(even if in angry tones.) If you get too angry, there is an Let website, or so I have heard.

  112. lal

    @ raja mahi
    i dont get wat s new about headly revelations.wen u get tym,go through the archives of PTH in november- jan of 08/09.almost all the indians who were here at that time reasonably argued that such a mammoth operation cannot take place without the knowledge if not the active assistance of the state.pranab mukherjee,during one of those days,clearly told pakistani state agencies was behind the mumbai attacks ,and he was decried as a hawk .indian intelligence agencies establishment and general public at large were always clear that some form of assistance from ISI was there.We choose to ignore that,cos there is no way we can convince pakistan to take action against its own intellience apparatus.The ‘non-state’ actors refrain was bought by all in this context.probably the reason why india is harping back on ISI theme is becos pakistan failed to live up to its post mumbai commitments.we have to wait and see if this strategy produce any dividends.

    as almost every body else has suggested it is time to douse the fire.alvida

  113. Hayyer

    Let me try and present a rational Indian perspective shorn as far as is possible, from subjective biases. A new framework means abandoning the old framework when dealing with the old issues.

    What are the old issues? Well, obviously the substantive ones of Kashmir, Sir creek, Siachen etc comprising one set of issues, but there is also a second set comprising hate, fear and mistrust.

    A new framework would be one where hate, fear and mistrust do not affect negotiations over the first set, which is why a new framework is proving difficult to engineer. It was the whole point of CBMs.

    It is not just Mumbai, though Mumbai was easily the most egregious compared to the bomb blasts that caused havoc in various parts of India. It is said that India is responsible for causing bomb blasts in Pakistan too. Possibly, though it is very unlikely that India is behind the suicide bombers, or the Sri Lanka cricket team attack.

    The use of terror as an adjunct to foreign policy is undeniably a Pakistani innovation. Whether it is Indian Muslims like Dawood Ibrahim starting with Mumbai in 1993 after Ayodhya and then seeking shelter in Pakistan, or terrorist groups cultivated by the ISI the initiative came from Pakistan. This is usually denied but it is a fact. A friend of mine, now a political figure but earlier a militant told me how he had sparred in the boxing ring with Tiger Memon in Pakistan while both were living off the ISI in a camp.

    Whatever the reasons for choosing terror as a weapon of choice in pressurizing the adversary or as a response from India , a new framework can have no place for it. This is the stumbling block for India and Pakistan. India insists that Pakistan renounce terror before it talks seriously on the substantive issues. This means India will not negotiate under a threat of violence, either of the direct kind as waged by armies, or as waged through terror. Mumbai has become a kind of test case along with the LeT of Pakistan’s intentions in this regard.

    India believes that Pakistan intends to keep the terror weapon alive as an active and real threat. Whether this is the policy of the Pakistan army or of the civilian establishment makes no difference from India’s point of view. Fear and mistrust are the key factors that have to be removed in the negotiation (Hate will take its own course).

    Pakistan’s argument that India is creating red herrings because Pakistan faces a much greater terror does not wash with Indians. It believes both threats were created by Pakistan to serve its strategic interests only one of which has backfired on itself. Pakistan it believes is interested only in quelling the internal threat that has backfired not the external one to India. India does not agree that both countries face a common threat even though they are both Islamist in origin.

    Mistrust is the key word of Indian hawks. They believe nothing can change in Pakistan and it is futile to concede anything. They are essentially conservative, some would call them realists. Pakistani hawks by contrast are pro-active. They believe in needling India and continued provocations like in Mumbai. Indian hawks unlike Pakistani hawks are primarily defensive.

    The new framework must be one therefore where India is convinced that it can trust Pakistan and not fear talking to it. At present, and as we saw, Pakistan is not prepared even to acknowledge that it has this hidden terror weapon.

    Mr Qureshi is mistaken in believing that India will be rushed into setting a 6 month time limit for settlement. What happens if Kashmir is not solved in 6 months-back to war or more Mumbai attacks? Manmohan Singh is keen to talk as Vajpayee was and for a solution, but he cannot risk the political future of his party by taking the sort of risk that Vajpayee did and failing.

  114. Karun

    I agree with Dastgir although my solution is sans the gloves.

    India should avoid such peace-talks because they give the notion that you are engaging with an equal. India should treat pakistan the way China treats pakistan. A nuisance at best.

    India must focus on its anti-terrorism and security apparatus. That will take care of state and non-state actors of pakistan and should there be need as vajpayee suggested : ‘aar paar ki ladaai’

    gorki i am sorry you are too much of a douce pacifist. you should learn a thing or two from Isreal.

  115. Abhi

    Hayyer Sir,

    Thank you for articulating Indian persepective so succintly .

  116. Tilsim

    @ Hayyer

    “Indian hawks unlike Pakistani hawks are primarily defensive. ”

    I don’t believe that anymore. In any case, it’s beside the point what I believe. All this back and forth is stuck in the usual paradigms and goes nowhere. As I said earlier (and I think Gorki is echoing) the terror groups have the initiative and it’s out of the hands of the blinkered leadership and public of India and Pakistan. I am no longer optimistic that the situation is retrievable – more and extreme violence is our collective fate.

  117. Tilsim

    To my Indian friends who think that it’s very easy for PA to bring this situation under control.

    Can I remind them of the following:

    1) There were several attempts on the life of General Musharraf whilst in office in Rawalpindi.

    2) There were attempts on the life of PM Shaukat Aziz

    3) They killed Benazir Bhutto.

    4) They have blown up ISI offices in Lahore and other cities. They have killed ISI personnel.

    5) They have killed Generals of the PA outside Rawalpindi.

    6) They have launched attacks against army facilities in Lahore and Rawalpindi killing hundreds.

    Other than that of course thousands of Pakistani soldiers have lost their lives in operations.

  118. Tilsim

    And yes, there is no separation between those threatening India, Afghanistan or Pakistan.

  119. lal

    @tislim
    from an indian perpective,there was no attacks post mumbai,till the pune blasts happened.if another attack had happened b4 elections,a war myt (and it myt not have for all ikno) have been the result.that was the aim of the terrorists.it is impossible to believe that indian security apparatus imediately got its act together in the few months post mumbai.there were still many soft targets.the lack of attack during that tym (despite terrorists wanting to create a war) might signify some control….am i being simplicistic

    ‘And yes, there is no separation between those threatening India, Afghanistan or Pakistan’

    unfortunately we can simply hope that u act against them

    ”I am no longer optimistic that the situation is retrievable – more and extreme violence is our collective fate.”
    dont agree with that at all.thankfully indian leadership is a bit more sensible than its public.

  120. P. Vengaayam

    Gorki:”However there is notion taking a hold here among some people that anyone who does not ask for an immediate and an unconditional surrender of Hafeez Saeed as a quid pro quo in return for dialogue with Pakistan is a dove.I believe that notion is mistaken.”

    That is incorrect, Mr. Gorki. It is only pakistanis talking of Indian Hawks, there are no Indians dumping on Indian doves. Here is the problem with looking past 26/11:

    Let us say we all agree “past is past” for 26/11.

    1. Pakistanis talk trade and other confidence building measures.
    2. Another terrorist attack 26/11+1 happens in India via “pakistani non state actors”
    3. India calls off talks with Pakistan again.

    We are back to where we are now. This has only happened a dozen times before.

  121. P. Vengaayam

    Tilsim:”And yes, there is no separation between those threatening India, Afghanistan or Pakistan.”

    Tilsim Sir,

    That is not true, as there are clearly Pakistani terrorist groups meant only for India. LeT operates only against Indian and Afghan targets, not Pakistani targets. I am sure the Pakistani authorities would not be allowing him to wander free had Hafiz Saeed’s LeT attacked Pakistani assets.

  122. Tilsim

    “might signify some control….am i being simplicistic”

    We used to have lulls. You have had them too between the attack on the Indian Parliament and then Mumbai in terms of the size and significance of the attack. There is probably some equilibrium but my guess is that the Pune attack was a salvo ahead of these peace talks. It helped to strengthen the stance for India’s hawks.

    Neither India nor Pakistan’s hawks understand that these terrorists cannot be controlled by anyone. I don’t think they are capable of understanding. It goes with a particular set of mindset. The Pakistani hawks might try to control them to use just against India but that is just a barbaric illusion. When India’s government comes over and bombastically says you are not dealing with the Mumbai situation to a Pakistani establishment that is trying to deal with it’s own hawks and under existential attack, do you think it will produce the desired result? Arresting, prosecuting and killing Hafiz Saeed is stirring a vile hornet’s nest. It requires careful deliberation at the best of times let alone when you have the cancer of extremism making inroads within the establishment. The Pakistani establishment might publically say that we will wait until India is ready for dialogue but the Pakistani public gleans from India’s stance that it does not want to resolve any of our issues under the pretext of Mumbai. That it is not sensitive to our horrendous suffering. They will hear the refrain that actually it’s India that is behind Data Darbar as a retaliation for Mumbai or leading Baluchistan to succession. Who will they turn to? An establishment that is unable to control the situation or the extremists and hawks?

  123. neel123

    @ Tilsim,

    If there is genuine concerns in Pakistan about the terrorists being out of control, then why has there not been a single conviction in Pakistan for the Mumbai terrorist attack …. ?

    Why does Pakistan needs clinching proof to be supplied by India, when the criminals are sitting in Pakistan, and the Pakistani intelligence is busy cover up and destroying evidence ….. !?

    David Hadley ( aka Daud Gilani), is talking like parror, has even named the ISI officers, recognized them through voice samples. Why are they being shielded by the Pak Army ….. ?

    This selective approach, that suites you Pakistanis will not help the situation.

    Lastly , if India works with the Pakistani army and Pakistan eventually manages to overcome the challenges, what will India get at the end of the day , more state sponsored terrorism and more ” bleed India with thousand cuts ” …… ?

  124. Hayyer

    Tilsim:

    ‘ “Indian hawks unlike Pakistani hawks are primarily defensive. ”

    I don’t believe that anymore. In any case, it’s beside the point what I believe. All this back and forth is stuck in the usual paradigms and goes nowhere.’

    Indian hawks do not advocate attacking Pakistan. I am not referring to whatever the Indian agencies might be up to in Balochistan. The theory that the Americans along with the Jews and the Hindus plan to break Pakistan up is a bit far fetched.

    The Indian definition of a Pakistani hawk is one who even if not responsible for promoting terrorism, is tolerant of it vis a vis India. It doesn’t mean just those in the Pakistani establishment hostile to India. Indian hawks by our definition are those fellows who do not think that Pakistan will ever give up terrorism and therefore India should maintain an inflexible anti Pakistan profile. It is a defensive reaction. I do not know if the Pakistani definition of an Indian hawk is similar or has other connotations. If it is different let us have the differences and discuss them.

    There are Indians hawks concerning Kashmir, mind you, mainly from the Hindu right wing. They are against J&K’s special status and want no concessions of any sort to Pakistan over Kashmir. These are our internal hawks, in the sense that they would rather turn their backs upon Pakistan and hold tight on matters concerning Kashmir.

    “Neither India nor Pakistan’s hawks understand that these terrorists cannot be controlled by anyone.”

    I daresay that you are right and Pakistan risks civil war if it goes beyond a point. Indians would have had some sympathy for Pakistan’s difficulty in this aspect if your government were to seem a little more cooperative in the matter of prosecution.

    When Pakistan based terrorists attack the US and China your government cooperates with those governments to locate the culprits and even hands them over on demand. In similar cases India gets stonewalled and told they will never be handed over. The impression created here is that Pakistan is hiding something. It may be an illusion as you say but that is the impression created.

    “Arresting, prosecuting and killing Hafiz Saeed is stirring a vile hornet’s nest. It requires careful deliberation at the best of times let alone when you have the cancer of extremism making inroads within the establishment…….. the Pakistani public gleans from India’s stance that it does not want to resolve any of our issues under the pretext of Mumbai. That it is not sensitive to our horrendous suffering”

    The Jamaat ud Dawa enjoyed state patronage for years and Hafiz Sayeed was a hero. He is the cancer that made inroads into the establishment. Your suffering is truly horrendous. Some Indians may get a feeling of satisfaction at Pakistan’s internal troubles, but I don’t know any Indian who has expressed pleasure at their occurrence. And it is not something that India can cure.

    Pakistan has many issues but India does not think it is responsible for them, least of all the issue of internal terrorism. India feels it was the sole intended victim till the terror infrastructure turned upon itself. Kashmir as an issue is of long standing. Till Zia’s advent and his involvement in that wretched Afghan adventure Pakistan managed to be hostile to India over Kashmir, or on principle, without tearing itself apart. What is India’s special contribution to the issues that are tearing Pakistan apart today? I daresay none, except for the continuation of its policy of the last 60 years and more, of not discussing Kashmir. That cannot be enough reason for Pakistan to suffer the way it is doing now and Indians cannot be blamed for thinking that it is not their fault but Pakistan’s own.

    “They will hear the refrain that actually it’s India that is behind Data Darbar as a retaliation for Mumbai or leading Baluchistan to succession. Who will they turn to? An establishment that is unable to control the situation or the extremists and hawks?”

    Who is it that will lead such a refrain? If the establishment is unable to control the situation then Pakistan is already in a state of anarchy. It is no good saying that the government has lost control; the reason for any government’s existence is to maintain law and order. Why is the army standing aside? The army is an instrument of the state. The primary instrument in this case because the police cannot cope.

    It caused me some distress to read your latest posts because it seems that India must negotiate with Pakistan if only to prevent Pakistan damaging itself further-that Indian leaders must risk their standing with voters to rescue an extremely hostile neighbour that freely threatens the first use of nuclear weapons.

    The trouble is, you may be right.

    I am about as pessimistic about a happy outcome of our engagement. The main problem between India and Pakistan is fear, distrust and hate. Trust has to be established to overcome fear. You must convince us that you do not intend to attack us or use your terror groups against us, or to force us into making concessions even if we concede nothing over Kashmir. We must convince you that we have no intention to attack you or dismember you. In due course Kashmir may get resolved.

  125. Raj

    There are Indians hawks concerning Kashmir, mind you, mainly from the Hindu right wing. They are against J&K’s special status and want no concessions of any sort to Pakistan over Kashmir.

    ===

    I am literally flabbergasted whenever I read this! This shows the chasm between Paks and Indians. When I e-mail some of the pak columnists, I get similar responses.

    There is unanimity of opinion in India when it comes to Kashmir- Congress to BJP to Communists to Regional parties. If you want to fantasize otherwise feel free. May be it helps you cope with reality. Are Nehru, Indira, Narasimha Rao, MM Singh are all right wing?

    There is unanimity of opinion across the length and breadth of India, cutting across party , religion, caste, language and ethnic lines against Pakistani terrorism inside India.

    For political reasons, the party leaders indulge in rhetoric and posturing, paks get carried away by this and think there is difference of opinion.

    When Indians came to know about some Pakistani troops occupied some mountain slopes in May 1999 and when some Pakistanis came to train station in Mumbai with AK-47 rifles in Nov 2008, all Indians were in one camp.

  126. Raj

    There may be difference of opinion on Article 370, special status, but not on Pakistan. Besides JK always has had special status, how is this of relevance to Pakistan?

  127. Hayyer

    Raj:

    Were the posts directed at me? There are two and they say different things. Please clarify.

  128. Tilsim

    @ Hayyer

    “The main problem between India and Pakistan is fear, distrust and hate. Trust has to be established to overcome fear. ”

    This is the main problem. For decades we made Kashmir, war and now terrorism as the things that defined our relationship. The public on both sides have been fed on rhetoric and no attention was paid at developing common interests. We have been busy building iron curtains since partition. We have not had leadership that can transcend this paradigm and see the benefit of our common heritage, humanity, culture and mutual economic interests. It’s narrow hate stuff – plenty of which is visible on this website. The same sort of diatribe spews forth on other websites. Everyday I protect myself from hatred, I know the common culture so I let it pass but there is no counter-dialogue (other than perhaps Bollywood, at times, which shows the power of economic interest) that would negate the hatred of the ordinary person. If again this is all Pakistan’s fault, our conversation is getting shorter and shorter.

    You said that you are pessimistic. I was n’t in the past because that I thought that the Indian secular and democratic leadership might have more foresight to think differently and develop a new framework in its own interests. However I have now seen how difficult it is to have dialogue and when the stakes are so high the ‘peace conference’ speaks for itself. We are both pessimistic. Let’s leave it at that. The dogs of war are barking, I think the Indian public might be in denial. It’s a matter of time.

  129. Bade Miyan

    Tilsim,
    I guess a good way of looking at the things is to imagine what Pakistan would have done had it been in India’s place. We all want peace but not at the threat of more violence. There has to be a line drawn somewhere. Bombay was the straw that broke the camel’s back; that our security agencies behaved like Keystone cops makes it even more humiliating. I find it hard to believe that it is so difficult to curtail Hafeez and his cohorts’ movements. If, on the other hand, he is so popular that the whole country is going to break apart because he is arrested, then it is a bigger cause for concern. I have been following Pakistani newspapers since Kargil because even at that time, when I was fairly young, it seemed such an astounding thing to do. I can say that apart from a few columnists, there was a widespread support for the “brave” mujahideen. Even Ayaz Amir, who is liberal by any standards went into rhapsodies singing paeans about the indomitable mujahideen. It has taken 10 years for his conversion. Just a few months ago, there was a column here saying that Indo-Pak relationship should be seen through the prism of 1971 war, which is correct. He went on to mention that a lot of middle class Pakistani felt quiet satisfaction at the bombing of Indian consulate in Kabul; they felt that India deserved it. So long as terror is used as an instrument of state policy, there can be no peace, and even as I desire peace and bonhomie, I don’t want my government to discuss peace under those terms. That is not peace, it’s surrender to the worst elements.

    “The dogs of war are barking, I think the Indian public might be in denial. It’s a matter of time.”

    That again implies that if we don’t solve Kashmir in 6 months, there are going to be more terrorists attacks and, therefore, a war. I am just saddened by such statements. We can only go as far.

  130. Bade Miyan

    Tilsim,
    “I was n’t in the past because that I thought that the Indian secular and democratic leadership might have more foresight to think differently and develop a new framework in its own interests. ”

    That is a little too much to expect from any government, let alone ours. It takes two to tango.

  131. Tilsim

    “That again implies that if we don’t solve Kashmir in 6 months, there are going to be more terrorists attacks and, therefore, a war.”

    I never implied any time line. That is the problem with you guys, you are applying collective blame to the whole nation.

    My consistent plea has been that we need people to people contact to get out of this ridiculous loop of misunderstanding to counteract the anger/bitterness/hate rhetoric. Pakistan and India had it as an agenda item for the talks. They could n’t get base one.

    Please.

  132. Gorki

    The discussion between Bade Miyan and Tilsim
    is an example of how a conversation shorn of rhetoric and emotion can take place between Indian and Pakistani viewpoints provided both sides are sincere.
    It is commendable for its restaint despite strong difference of positions.

    Bade Miyan:

    “Even Ayaz Amir, who is liberal by any standards went into rhapsodies singing paeans about the indomitable mujahideen. It has taken 10 years for his conversion.”
    “He went on to mention that a lot of middle class Pakistani felt quiet satisfaction at the bombing of Indian consulate in Kabul; they felt that India deserved it.”

    Good points. All the more reason why India should not baulk at opening dialogue not only through official channels with Pakistan but use all methods; media, people to people contacts, NGOs etc. to reach the people of Pakistan with our message: ‘We are not the enemy; those who want to make you believe so are..’

    “So long as terror is used as an instrument of state policy, there can be no peace, and even as I desire peace and bonhomie, I don’t want my government to discuss peace under those terms. That is not peace, it’s surrender to the worst elements”

    Agree with the first part of the statement and not the second. Talking to Pakistan is not surrender, it is taking on the worst demagogues from those hiding midst Pakistan.
    They will always be afraid of an honest dialogue and so will try to sabotage all talks; but that is exactly why we should go on, to show them that we will not be coerced into restraining the use of soft power; be it in Afghanistan or in Pakistan itself.

    Regards.

  133. Tilsim

    Let us take a minute amongst all our quarrels to pray for aman (peace) between India and Pakistan

    Raat yun dil me teri
    Khoi hui yaad ayee,
    Jaise veeranay me chupke say
    bahar aa jaye

    Jaise sahra me chalay holay say
    bade e naseem

    Jaise beemar ko bay vajah qarar aa jaye

  134. @Raj

    I am literally flabbergasted whenever I read this! This shows the chasm between Paks and Indians. When I e-mail some of the pak columnists, I get similar responses.

    There is unanimity of opinion in India when it comes to Kashmir- Congress to BJP to Communists to Regional parties. If you want to fantasize otherwise feel free. May be it helps you cope with reality. Are Nehru, Indira, Narasimha Rao, MM Singh are all right wing?

    Just whom are you convincing with this rubbish? Do you want it deconstructed one sentence at a time, or do you have the grace to stay away if you cannot manage anything beyond total bulbul like this?

    Your call, and be prepared to be told in detail what was wrong with your post, your assumptions and your conclusions.

    @Modra

    After reading this blog I get the impression that the “liberal Pakistani” is finding it hard to be liberal when it comes to India. While some Indian posters have been extremely generous in their desire for peace and support of Pakistani liberals, I haven’t read a single Pakistani liberal who accepts ISI’s culpability in killing innocent Indian citizens.

    Several things:

    how long have you been reading PTH? This is not a rhetorical question; it is to find out if you really have given yourself an opportunity to find out what ‘Pakistani liberals’ think.

    2. When did the proof of ISI involvement in killing innocent Indian citizens appear? Can you cite your sources?

    I will respond in detail once you have furnished these two pieces of information.

  135. @Tilsim

    One of my favourites. How well suited to present conditions it appears! Was Faiz thinking metaphorically then too, do you think?

  136. Gorki

    Tilsim.

    Thank you for the poem.
    On a similar note:

    …Kab nazar main aaey ge
    baidagh sabzey ki bahar;
    Khoon ke dhabbey dhulain gay
    kitni barsaatoon ke baad….

    Regards.

  137. neel123

    @ Raj,

    You could not be more correct in your statement :

    Quote ” There is unanimity of opinion in India when it comes to Kashmir- Congress to BJP to Communists to Regional parties. If you want to fantasize otherwise feel free. May be it helps you cope with reality. Are Nehru, Indira, Narasimha Rao, MM Singh are all right wing?” Unquote.

    Do not let yourself be ruffled by the senile outburst of some self-deluding individuals, posing as know-all, and calling it rubbish …… !

  138. NSA

    2. When did the proof of ISI involvement in killing innocent Indian citizens appear? Can you cite your sources?


    David Headley.

    ————

    Regarding Hafiz Saeed, agreed it is one thing to arrest and convict him. But why should Pakistanis stand on the same platform with him?

    This is from Dawn, June 14:

    LAHORE: Hafiz Saeed stood alongside several top leaders of the mainstream religious parties on Sunday as his Jamaatud Dawa held a march from Nasser Bagh to Charing Cross, on The Mall, to express solidarity with Palestinians and condemn Israeli atrocities.

    Syed Munawar Hasan, the Amir of Jamaat-i-Islami, Senator Sajid Mir of Jamiat Ahl-i-Hadith, Hafiz Husain Ahmed of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and Hameed Gul, a former chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence, were also present.

  139. NSA

    Sorry, I just got it.

    When Vajra asks :

    “When did the proof of ISI involvement in killing innocent Indian citizens appear? Can you cite your sources?”

    he means to say that there is no such thing as an innocent Indian citizen.

  140. jtmhh

    It was fascinating to watch political talk shows from both sides.

    Regarding Vajra’s comments about links that show ISI’s involvement in Mumbai, the leading anchors on “Policy Matters” show on Duniya today or Moeed Pirzada’s show etc were upset not that ISI was involved but that info was made public. The view was that it should have been presented and discussed in private (which I gather Indian HM did when he met with Rehman Malik earlier ). Similarly the common refrain for the past year has been India just wants the suspects to be quickly tried and hung, when the issue has not been that. Yes India wants the trial, but these are lowest tier folks. What India has been interested is help in identifying and prosecuting masterminds of Mumbai terror. For instance, India has provided voice samples of those who were guiding the gunmen hour by hour. Pakistan has not taken a single action on it. Haedley definitively id’ed these voices during his interview, and that has caused all this latest heartburn.

    So, India is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t. If it presents proof in private then pakistani public says that there is no proof. Similarly when mention is made in the press so that general public knows, it is made out that Indians are dealing in bad faith.
    Don’t know the solution to this problem except time. Just like now people are admitting that in the 80s and 90s pakistan funded terror, we have to wait for 2 or more decade for public acceptance of Mumbai, Indian parliament terror etc.

    I had an “ahah” moment many, many months ago watching a program on GEO TV by one of the salient journalist whom I respect – Jawab Deyh with Iftikhar Ahmad. He was interviewing someone from Musharraf’s govt who had been involved in track 2 diplomacy and the diplomat was making a case that we need to let go of the jihadi paradigm. At the end of the interview, Iftikhar Ahmad made a single comment – “agar hum in jihadi tanzeemon ko band kar denge to bharat se apni baat kaise manvayenge” (If we let go of these jihadi orgs, how will we compel India to agree to our views). This was the moment of truth. This one sentence cut to the heart of the matter.

    We can all argue till cows come home about Pakistan’s use of terror as an instrument of state policy. General Pakistani public will not accept it and even if they accept it, will not admit it. It is human psyche – pure and simple. We would do the same too if we were in their shoes. Emotions take over and what one’s psyche cannot absorb, it denies.

    India should forget about Pakistan and look towards building its own future. We can absorb the cost of their terror attacks. Stronger we are, less damage will be caused by their attacks. It is Pakistan that will continue looking like a pariah state and sink in a hole of its own making.

  141. NSA

    ““agar hum in jihadi tanzeemon ko band kar denge to bharat se apni baat kaise manvayenge” (If we let go of these jihadi orgs, how will we compel India to agree to our views).”

    — Come to the negotiations with something positive. Removal of a jihadi threat is not something positive, it is a removal of a negative.

    Does Pakistan have things India wants? Yes it does. E.g., transit trade with Afghanistan; gas pipeline to Iran.

  142. sid

    @Vajra

    Just whom are you convincing with this rubbish? Do you want it deconstructed one sentence at a time, or do you have the grace to stay away if you cannot manage anything beyond total bulbul like this?

    Please deconstruct and enlighten us! I am an Indian and completely agree with Raj’s statement.

  143. jtmhh

    Tilsim

    I think you are painting Pakistani establishment more impotent against terror than it is. Yes, the terror snake is biting its master, but in terms of India, it is still dancing to the tune of its master. If you say that the Civil Govt is impotent than I will agree. But if you say that establishment is impotent against its own members who want to perpetuate and increase India hate, I humbly disagree.

    The power of establishment is visible everyday on pakistani talkshows as the public intercourse is shaped. Establishment has no problems marshalling public opinion against its civilian government, US or India when it so desires.Once public opinion is shaped, taking actions becomes easy.

    ……

    Forget about curbing its own folks from engaging in India directed attacks. It is busy stoking fires against India by memes such as “India is stealing our waters…India is stealing our waters, we will use nuclear weapons to destroy India if it does not stop” even when sane, expert opinion tries to bring some sanity into the debate. I cringed when I saw how Pakistani water commissioner was humiliated in show after show by people extremely high on establishment rhetoric, hatred for India and low on facts or knowledge. For a while there, I thought there would be public lynching of him and that water war was imminent.

    Same with terror attacks within Pakistan. Establishment is not only NOT going to act to prevent attacks against India, but it is going to throw blame India’s way for attacks by Taliban in FATA or NWFP or Punjab. This attitude is doing more harm to Pakistan than India.

    If establishment’s hands are indeed tied against jihadis, but good intentions of peace are in its heart, then it would not be engaged in hate-stoking as it has been.

  144. Hayyer

    Since that last bit was about what I said I must interject again.

    Raj said two contradictory things.

    At 7:24 yesterday he said this-:

    “I am literally flabbergasted whenever I read this! This shows the chasm between Paks and Indians. When I e-mail some of the pak columnists, I get similar responses.

    There is unanimity of opinion in India when it comes to Kashmir- Congress to BJP to Communists to Regional parties. If you want to fantasize otherwise feel free. May be it helps you cope with reality. Are Nehru, Indira, Narasimha Rao, MM Singh are all right wing?

    There is unanimity of opinion across the length and breadth of India, cutting across party , religion, caste, language and ethnic lines against Pakistani terrorism inside India.”

    And at 7:26, this-:

    “There may be difference of opinion on Article 370, special status, but not on Pakistan. Besides JK always has had special status, how is this of relevance to Pakistan?”

    I don’t know about you Neel, but Raj either did not understand what I had said, or he didn’t understand what he was saying, which is why I asked him to clarify. He never did. As you have taken up the theme let me therefore respond to you.

    First, the quote “There may be difference of opinion on Article 370, special status, but not on Pakistan. Besides JK always has had special status, how is this of relevance to Pakistan?” India accepted the Maharaja’s offer of accession confined to three subjects, on the condition that the people’s will would be ascertained over accession. The Maharaja did not accede conditionally; it was India through Mountbatten’s acceptance that imposed the condition.

    When our Constitution was framed J&K presented a problem because it was not applicable there except to the three subjects which the accession instrument covered i.e. Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications. Article 370 was meant to cover the interim period in which J&K drafted its own constitution covering the other subjects.

    In 1952 August Nehru signed what is called the Delhi agreement with Sheikh Abdullah. This agreement provided that no central laws of any sort would be imposed on J&K pending the framing of J&K’s constitution.

    In 1953 Sheikh Abdullah was arrested, and Bakshi’s puppet regime inserted in his place. Thereafter through a series of legally questionable Presidential orders the special status was eroded. After the rigged 1957 elections the J&K Assembly under Bakshi’s leadership passed a series of laws extending Indian laws into J&K. The rigging continued in 1962, 67 and even to an extent to 1972. The Indian press played ball and did not report what was happening in J&K under Bakshi.

    India’s troubles now in Kashmir are a direct result of its meddling with the laws and breaking its own promises. The Indian public does not know all this because the Indian press never reports it.

    Nehru knew he was doing wrong which is why he released Sheikh Abdullah in 1964 and sent him to Pakistan to meet Ayub Khan for some sort of workable compromise. Indira Gandhi too found that the Indian position in Kashmir was at a legal dead end and once again released Sheik Abdullah and came to an agreement with him. The agreement was that J&K would review all the central laws that had been extended to J&K and recommend which ones would be withdrawn for Presidential approval. Unfortunately first because of the emergency and then the Janta government uncertainty no progress could be made. The Sheikh himself was getting on in years and eventually not fully in charge at the end.
    After his death in 82 Delhi felt it need not make amends anymore and overthrew Farooq Abdullah’s government through Jagmohan. That is the start of Indian troubles which continue till today. Once again in 1995 Narasimha Rao realizing that the only way forward was to make restitution and asked the National Conference to take part in elections promising Farooq Abdullah ‘the sky is the limit’ for concessions to restore J&K’s legal rights. After him Devegowda the Prime Minister spoke of granting anything short of Azadi.

    Now therefore if there is anything that Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Narasimha Rao and Devegowda agreed upon it was the need to restore to the people of J&K their legal rights and privileges taken away by fraudulent legal processes. It is India’s failure to push through with what it promises that is the repeated cause of its problems in that state. MM Singh is a good politician. No one knows what he wants. Generally speaking, he can accept any position that suits him.

    The regional parties such as the DMK and the Akali Dal have considerable sympathy for the stance of the National Conference. The Communists have privately urged the central government repeatedly to show flexibility.

    The hawks believe that no ground should be conceded in Kashmir to our own people. They want a genuine political demand crushed with armed power. The army though, as General VK Singh said recently cannot be a substitute for political processes.

  145. Hayyer

    My piece above is addressed to Neel 123 at 5:59.

  146. Vijay Goel

    I doubt if any one else knows what Respected Hayyer has said. I am sure there are many in India and Kashmir (Arundhati Roy included)who would have advocated for this line to be taken and there would be many who would be aware of these issues. It is quite astonishing that these matters have never been discussed by any side Pakistan included,

  147. Bade Miyan

    Vijay Goel Ji,

    Arundhati Roy is a troll, an articulate bimbo. In case you forgot, she was once giving justification for Taliban, etc. She is strangely quiet about all that nowadays.

    Gorki,
    I was not for stopping the talks but only for not agreeing to anything under threat of violence. That’s all.

    Tilsim yaar,

    “That is the problem with you guys, you are applying collective blame to the whole nation. ”

    I was not doing that. If that was the case, I wouldn’t be here trying to talk to you guys. Only an idiot would think that 180 million Pakistanis want our death and destruction. I am all for people to people contact, even if there is no reciprocation from the other side. In fact, I would want our government to invite the likes of Hamid Gul and Zaid Hamid so that they could at least talk to the people they aim to destroy and conquer. I hope it changes some views, at least. By the way, I think both sides have to get over the trauma of Partition. I think it’s one of the biggest cause for the virulent distrust we are experiencing now. We haven’t had an opportunity to mourn that bloody chapter in our history and it seems like an open wound that is affecting Pakistan more than India. India because of its bigger size could still localize that trauma. In Pakistan, those horror stories have affected a bigger percentage of the population.

    And, thanks for the poem by Faiz.🙂 I am not sure if he meant something deeper that Vajra was referring to, but his poem “Kuch isq kiya, kuch kam kiya….” definitely had a much greater meaning than appears at the first glance. It describes our subcontinent mentality so well. We are masters at doing thing half-heartedly.

  148. lal

    @ hayyer

    can u please give us some more history lessons🙂

    a)our instrument of accession with majority of the the princely states were based on the idea that India will have rights only on defence ,external affairs and communication,not just with Kashmir.It was only after independence and merger that we signed the second instrument of accesion.Why did we fail to get a similar sort of agreement with Kashmir later.

    b)It was a commitment of Government of India, through the Mountbattens letter, that,the Instrument of Accession signed with Hari singh ,will be subject to the will of people, to be assessed later by a plebscite.Why did we give such a commitment?Was there any such commitments to any other princely states.Were we taking a moral high ground or justifying the accession of junagarh?We did conduct referendum in Junagarh , Sikkim and French occupied areas,but not in hyderabad and goa.Why so many different standards?Is it because Hyderabad and Goa was annexed by a war unlike other areas.And in your view ,should we conduct the plebscite as weD id with few princely states,or should we not, as we did the majority.Or has later treaties completely nullified the initial situations and plebscite is no more a legal requirement.

    c)Why was Sheikh Abdullah governemnt dismissed.i have heard the ‘no majority in cabinet ‘argument.What were the real reasons at that point of time?

    d)Often hears the argument that Kashmir is culturally different from other states of india .Other than being a muslim majority province,what is the difference?It was ruled by the Mughals,then the Sikhs,then the Rajas.Isn’t the difference of Kashmiris to other part of India the same us the difference between a Tamilian,Bengali,Punjabi,Marathi and Malayalee.

  149. Vijay Goel

    Bade Miyanji, With ref to Ms Roy (While not connected with the matters in this post). We have to admire her guts to speak her mind against the whole world. And our constitution allows everyone freedom. Even Kasab is being represented. ‘Ekla Chalo Re’. And Arundhati Roy whatever her views is an acknowledged writer. Otherwise I fully agree with your views on this post.

  150. Hayyer

    Lal:

    You can read up VP Menon on the integration of the Indian states. Why it did not happen in Kashmir is obvious enough. It was a Muslim majority state that was expected to go with Pakistan had it been a province of British India. Being a princely state the Maharaja had a legal right to go either way and he was forced into applying to India for integration when his independence play didn’t work. India made it a condition that it would determine the wishes of the people. India went to the UN. There was a UN recommended plebiscite. So don’t let us have any confusions please. The four step integration as with the rest of the princely states was never ever a possibility. The constituent assembly was in session in those years. It specifically provided Art 370 for Kashmir in 1949. Now there are Indians who care two hoots for the constitution. These practitioners of real politik include the late Indira Gandhi as evidenced during the emergency, and there are others who believe that in the national cause (as Indira pretended in 1975) Kashmir’s constitutional rights should be ignored. I have even heard a senior civil servant (later Lt. Governor of Delhi) say that the courts can be persuaded to ignore the constitution. All, I can say to such folk is ‘shame on you’. Now we know Nehru began subverting the constitution within two years of its promulgation by the infamous Schedule 9. Not surprising what he did with Kashmir later.

    Jaisalmer and Jodhpur both negotiated with Jinnah for joining Pakistan before backing out. So I have no time for the argument that India acted in bad faith when it accepted J&K’s accession. On the other hand India has acted in bad faith with the people of Kashmir, and no amount of real politik can manage the consequences of that bad faith.

    Your other questions, interesting in themselves would take too long to answer, and I don’t think this thread is concerned with them, or that they are of general interest to the hosts of the site.

  151. @NSA
    July 18, 2010 at 9:30 am


    2. When did the proof of ISI involvement in killing innocent Indian citizens appear? Can you cite your sources?


    David Headley.

    @NSA
    July 18, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Sorry, I just got it.

    When Vajra asks :

    “When did the proof of ISI involvement in killing innocent Indian citizens appear? Can you cite your sources?”

    he means to say that there is no such thing as an innocent Indian citizen.

    No.

    Typically, you haven’t got it. When you are busy playing to the gallery, this sort of thing does tend to happen.

    When is related to time, not to author. When did the Pakistanis get to hear that David Headley had reported that the ISI were involved?

  152. @sid
    July 18, 2010 at 9:54 am

    @Vajra

    Just whom are you convincing with this rubbish? Do you want it deconstructed one sentence at a time, or do you have the grace to stay away if you cannot manage anything beyond total bulbul like this?

    Please deconstruct and enlighten us! I am an Indian and completely agree with Raj’s statement.

    Sorry, beaten to the punch, by the master himself. See

    Hayyer
    July 18, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Incidentally, in spite of my ferocious disagreement with some of the tripe being dealt with, I make it a practice in Kali Yuga never to deconstruct anyone any more. All that sort of thing stopped in Dwapar, when I was Ravana’s son. Now I confine myself to staid things like deconstructing sentences. This was necessary because people like NSA and you have lively senses of grammatical necessity.

  153. sid

    @Vajra

    “””Sorry, beaten to the punch, by the master himself. See…

    Incidentally, in spite of my ferocious disagreement with some of the tripe being dealt with, I make it a practice in Kali Yuga never to deconstruct anyone any more. All that sort of thing stopped in Dwapar, when I was Ravana’s son. Now I confine myself to staid things like deconstructing sentences. This was necessary because people like NSA and you have lively senses of grammatical necessity.”””

    This is what you offered @Raj:

    “””Vajra
    July 18, 2010 at 4:42 am

    @Raj

    I am literally flabbergasted whenever I read this! This shows the chasm between Paks and Indians. When I e-mail some of the pak columnists, I get similar responses.

    There is unanimity of opinion in India when it comes to Kashmir- Congress to BJP to Communists to Regional parties. If you want to fantasize otherwise feel free. May be it helps you cope with reality. Are Nehru, Indira, Narasimha Rao, MM Singh are all right wing?

    Just whom are you convincing with this rubbish? Do you want it deconstructed one sentence at a time, or do you have the grace to stay away if you cannot manage anything beyond total bulbul like this?

    Your call, and be prepared to be told in detail what was wrong with your post, your assumptions and your conclusions.”””

    Now you have to answer two things: Where is the link between the two? and You still need to deconstruct-and-enlighten-us Raj’s statement.

  154. NSA

    Vajra: There has been proof for quite some time. Could spell it out but I take it that using purely Indian sources is suspect and not to be done on this board. So we need third-party certification. The most recent with such certification is 26/11 and the Pune blasts with David Headley. Hence his mention.

    We know the bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul was done with ISI involvement – the Americans said that too, and that was months ago. You certainly know that. But then of course, they cannot be innocent, right?

    Hence my second comment.

    So let’s just certify that there is no amount of proof that will ever be sufficient, and be done with it. Even if the ISI happens to have put down something in writing, and any such archives are opened and made public and it is all clear there, it will still not be true.

    August 30, 1947, Geoffrey Prior sent a telegram from Ziarat, to M.A. Jinnah in Karachi, informing him of conditions in Balochistan. “Total number of bodies recovered to date in Quetta is 147 and total for the whole province is 330. Important fruit trade has been completely dislocated and public are finding they cannot kill Hindus and still do business with them.” (emphasis added).

    Change Prior’s “Hindus” to “Indians” and reflect on it and write when it has fully sunk in.

  155. stuka

    “India is a secular republic and there is no way for it to be that while having immigration policy based on religious or ethnic identity.”

    Actually, existing OCI and PIO government policy is specific in the sense that it exempts Pakistan and Bangladesh. So, whereas religion is not specified, it is implied in government policy today.

    “Furthermore, if the object is to keep the muslims out, then you need to also throw out the 150 million who are in India.”

    Really? The US does not allow TB and AIDS sufferers as immigrants. That means we must deport all American Aids and TB sufferers? What kind of logical fallacy equates immigration criteria with how citizens are treated.

    “and lastly, the TNT is the sentiment of those who consider muslims a nation apart from India. By its very essence, it cannot not apply to muslims who want to be part of India.”

    Pakistanis and Bangladeshis had the option of being part of India and they chose not to be. We are under no obligation to fufill the economic demands of those who culturally and nationally choose not to be part of India.

    “but I appreciate that you frankly illustrating my point that indian attitude towards muslim immigration from is “We don’t want them here”.

    Fair enough. We need to do whatever it takes. Indian history of 1947 should be a permanent lesson to us.

    “For all I know, no pakistani would migrate to India.”

    For the most part, I think Pakistanis have enough of a sense of honor to not do so. There are some film actors / singers etc. including those whose family background is from the national security background that still presume to come to India. Whereas I am all for attracting talent, a formal repudiation of Pakistan / TNT and Partition should be the basis of allowing a Pakistani to immigrate. In essence, a formal burning of bridges and ideological cleansing.

    “I am not presuming that they want to migrate. but if any do, then naked bigotry is really the prime driver for not allowing it.”

    You may choose to paint survival instinct as bigotry, that is your choice.

  156. @NSA

    My point is with reference to not finding Pakistani liberals who will criticise the ISI involvement with terror. There were two aspects that I had in mind, when asking that pointed question, not to disprove that general statement but to make a materially different one. Think over that until I return in three hours.

    There has been proof for quite some time. Could spell it out but I take it that using purely Indian sources is suspect and not to be done on this board. So we need third-party certification. The most recent with such certification is 26/11 and the Pune blasts with David Headley. Hence his mention.

    We know the bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul was done with ISI involvement – the Americans said that too, and that was months ago. You certainly know that. But then of course, they cannot be innocent, right?

    I am not interested in proving or in disproving it. I am interested in dating the certain knowledge in Pakistan that this involvement in 26/11 happened and was provable. This is one of the two aspects that i referred to above. i still don’t have an answer. What is not needed is smarty-pants analysis, just give the information if you have it, or let us ask the Pakistanis themselves.

  157. Modra

    @vajra

    I did reply to your post but it seems to be awaiting moderation for some reason.

  158. shiv

    @ Tilsim
    Neither India nor Pakistan’s hawks understand that these terrorists cannot be controlled by anyone. I don’t think they are capable of understanding. It goes with a particular set of mindset. The Pakistani hawks might try to control them to use just against India but that is just a barbaric illusion. When India’s government comes over and bombastically says you are not dealing with the Mumbai situation to a Pakistani establishment that is trying to deal with it’s own hawks and under existential attack, do you think it will produce the desired result? Arresting, prosecuting and killing Hafiz Saeed is stirring a vile hornet’s nest. It requires careful deliberation at the best of times let alone when you have the cancer of extremism making inroads within the establishment.

    Pakistanis terrorist are operating in Pakistan.

    Pakistani terrorists operate in India when they can get in. India has shot thousands of armed Pakistanis at the border or when they get into India.

    These are of course dubbed as “Indians killing Muslims”. But hey India is now seeing far less terrorism than Pakistan. Does that mean that killing Muslims helps? Or does it mean that killing armed non state actors from Pakistan helps?

    How come the Pakistani security forces are not killing armed Pakistanis in Pakistan? How come I am not hearing of “cordon and search” operations where illegal automatic weapons and explosives are located and sequestered by the security services for safekeeping?

    Clearly the job that needs to be done in Pakistan is not being done and Pakistani people in general are too scared to point out that the army is not doing what it should be doing.

    What has India got to do with all this? Other than the fundamental fact that armed Pakistani terrorists were initially fostered by the Pakistani army as proxies for war where conventional war failed. How can they kill their brothers in arms?

    Blaming “Indian hawks” is denial at best. Or sophistry.

  159. @Modra

    You may have included a URL; the pleas of a section of the readers for conditional moderation of some trouble-makers have not found favour. You might try, if you are interested to take that extra effort, to write to the URL in my nick.

  160. Shah Rukh Kahn

    Excerpt: “There is an article by a Mohsin S. Khan, from the Peterson Institute for International Economics – “India-Pakistan Trade: A Roadmap for Enhancing Economic Relations”.

    The specific short-term measures, mainly relating to trade facilitation, could include:

    * Easing restrictions on visas, specifically, allowing multiple- entry visas for businessmen, eliminating requirements to report arrival to the police at each place of stay, eliminating city-specific visas, and speeding up the approval processes…”

    Lots of caffeine in this TeaHouse. What Mr. Khan is suggesting is unfettered access and entry into India of Pakistani “non-state actors.” Unfortunately, the western media (and think tanks) swallow these sorts of sophistry line, hook, and sinker! Next, Mr. Khan may raise the bar and blame the lack of visa issuance to Pakistanis by India as the root cause for Pakistanis becoming terrorists.

    And in all of Mr. Khan’s suggestion, I would have like d to see an India-Afghanistan land transit route through Pakistan. Alas! He can fool Peterson whatever, but scratch Mr. Khan’s idea; it is a non-starter!

  161. NSA

    SRK,

    There are positive things that can be done; but no doubt some of them can be done only after some of the negative things are removed. Such as the use of Pakistani NSAs.

    If improving relations between the two countries is only about removing the negatives, there will not be much impetus. There should be positive benefits to the two. At least they can be outlined on this blog.

  162. Raja Mohi

    Gorki,

    “A simple psychoanalytic view would be that the terrorists wanted attention; well they got it. Beyond that, I would venture to say that it was actually a failure for them.”

    That assumes that the terrorists were self-motivated, but they got training from Pakistani Intelligence/Military. Either Pakistan is a “fledgling democracy” and it can therefore ask the culprits to surrender for justice, or Pakistan is actually still a military dictatorship and it is not in their interest to actually do anything about Mumbai. If we go by the response of the Pakistani establishment like that happened during the disaster of a meeting between India and Pakistan. Hopefully the next official meeting between India and Pakistan will be more productive and useful.

  163. Shah Rukh Kahn

    @ NSA
    July 15, 2010 at 6:38 pm post on Mr. Mohsin S. Khan of the Peterson Institute for International Economics – “India-Pakistan Trade: A Roadmap for Enhancing Economic Relations.”

    I may have posted my thoughts earlier a bit too prematurely perhaps. I have had a chance to review Mr. Mohsin’s recommendations since then and have come to the conclusion that perhaps he is barking up the wrong tree.

    Instead of India, Mr. Mohsin should focus on enhancing economic relations with the USA, rather than India, to strike at the root cause of poverty facing Pakistan today. Due to the misfortune of its strategic location, Pakistanis – correctly so – see themselves as unwitting and unwilling participants in Great Game fight. Left to themselves, Pakistanis would much rather prefer leading peaceful, normal lives practicing and focusing on their religion, farm and families. An entire generation of Pakistanis have been lost in this cycle of vicious brinkmanship without compensation in terms of monetary assistance or economic access granted by some of Pakistan’s most steadfast friends – USA, China and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – to lift itself out of poverty. I agree entirely with the Pakistani politicians who want “trade, not aid,” from these friends.

    Given that perspective, an India-Pakistan economic roadmap to address sub-continental tensions and economic problem is an unwise step offered by Mr. Mohsin. For all the hype Indians have generated about their economic miracle in the global media, more than half of its population still lives under $1 a day.

    Pakistanis certainly do not wish to get caught in India’s countless insurgencies, caste-wars, religious-wars, and a very corrupt bureaucracy to boot. Most importantly, given that Indian business is operated and run by the unholy alliance by the untrustworthy baniyas, how can Pakistan ever expect fairness in dealing with Indians? In fact, I will posit that the real losers in India-Pakistan economic relations will be the poor Pakistanis since Indian businessman (just like they do in India) will simply bribe and buy out the Pakistani elites to rig and exploit Pakistan at will. I personally will stay away from India and completely fortify my eastern flank with Pakistan army. You give the Indias some leeway in transit in Pakistan and the next they will demand is an unrestricted land transit route connecting Afghanistan with India. This Pakistan must never allow!

    On the other hand, Mr. Mohsin should be straightforward and honestly address Pakistan economic woes with its three steadfast friends.

    Instead of asking Indian concession in terms of “easing restrictions on visas, specifically, allowing multiple- entry visas for businessmen, eliminating requirements to report arrival to the police at each place of stay, eliminating city-specific visas, and speeding up the approval processes;” why not demand that from the USA, China and KSA instead?

    The Americans, Chinese and the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia should allow Pakistan free trade with free movements of goods, services and PEOPLE in all these three countries. It is clear that what it would take generations to accomplish with India could be achieved within a short span of a decade interacting economically with the these three countries.

    Let us not forget that these these three countries have unmatched GDP and market capacity to buy Pakistani products which India can never ever offer. Given Pakistan’s immense contribution to securing peace in the AfPak region, the least America and others can do is to allow Pakistanis the same prescription Mr. Mohsin offers for India.

    Similarly, Pakistani aircrafts, ships should be allowed expedited and unrestricted clearance entry into the USA, China and KSA. Pakistani banks should be given special incentives to open branches in these countries. After all, what better way than to allow muzzle and dry up flow of illegal hawala money than to allow for Pakistani banks to open up branches in these three countries.

    Imagine, visa upon arrival for Pakistani citizens in all these countries. Imagine, priority for hiring Pakistani citizens in these countries. Imagine, China allows Pakistani imams to open up religious schools in Beijing, Shanghai etc. Imagine, where, in addition to free movement of Pakistani people into America, if the USA would also fast-track Pakistanis for rewarding them with Green Cards for all what Pakistan had done during the past sixty years. That’s what friends do! Not the ingratiate Indians. They will use the ruse of econmic enhancement to back-stab Pakistan! Remember the story told by Al-Rahim centuries ago of the Scorpion and the Frog. The Scorpion (India) will always sting the Frog (Pakistan), no matter how much the Frog extends its hand of friendship.

    Unfortunately, Pakistani army and its civilian leadership have always undersold Pakistan short. Even during the last US visit, Kiyani had gone with a military hardware list. I wish the PA had carried an Economic GSP Free trade list instead (goods, services, people).

    In summary, focus on enhancing free trade and movement of goods, services and people from Pakistan to the USA, China and KSA, rather than a messy India whose future seems tenuous at best. In the meantime, complete blockade of trade with India for the next decade when Pakistan builds up its economic strength. By that time, Indians would be cowering to do trade with Pakistan and India would be ripe for plucking. Just my thoughts!

    Mr. Mohsin should take up this issue with his benefactors at the Washington, D. C. based Peterson Institute of International Economics.

  164. @Stuka

    Whereas I am all for attracting talent, a formal repudiation of Pakistan / TNT and Partition should be the basis of allowing a Pakistani to immigrate. In essence, a formal burning of bridges and ideological cleansing.

    What an extraordinary and utterly repulsive suggestion!

    Since when has opposing the TNT and hostility to Partition become national policy in India? BJP policy, perhaps, Sangh Parivar, perhaps, We, the People of India, never.

    What’s not in the constitution can’t be introduced as national policy.

    I strongly deprecate your suggestion.

  165. Abhi

    Vajra Babu,

    Not that I endorse stuka’s suggestion, but I thought the Congress was TNT’s fiercest opponest.

    Except for some communalists, nobody agrees with TNT. Accept Pakistan: yes, TNT: no.

  166. Bin Ismail

    The two of us have tried our luck on the battlefield. Men of valour, on both sides, fell to prove that honour demands sacrifice. Both of us realize that. Let us also realize that there is nothing more honourable than peace.

  167. Raj (the other one)

    given that Indian business is operated and run by the unholy alliance by the untrustworthy baniyas, how can Pakistan ever expect fairness in dealing with Indians

    That made my day!😉

    Thank you, Shah Rukh Kahn

  168. Tilsim

    @ JTMH

    “I think you are painting Pakistani establishment more impotent against terror than it is. ”

    I am not painting. The facts speak for themselves (some of which I mentioned in a comment above regarding their inability to resist dozens and dozens of direct attacks on themselves). People should understand that there is a clear insurrection underway to change the order in Pakistan and establish an Islamist dictatorship.

    From the pattern of attacks, a concerted effort is being made to eliminate more democratically minded and/or secular elements within the establishment.

    These people are so scared that people like Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, made a direct plea to the Taliban to spare them.

    That is not to say that the PA is not fighting back, such as in Swat and North Waziristan. However, it is proceeding very cautiously elsewhere e.g Southern Punjab. Even in Swat, it did n’t act forcefully until the Taliban were 8 miles from Islamabad.

    To be successful, it requires the population to be behind it. Otherwise the Islamist militants and their sympathisers are convincing the public that the PA high command is just acting on the orders of foreign masters and therefore it’s leadership becomes a target itself.

    There are powerful elements within the establishment who are successfully using propaganda, tangential arguments via the TV channels to continuously undermine the current setup (incompetent and corrupt as it may be). The legal system is also being used to further their cause. Violence has become a huge feature of society and noone has any faith in the ability of the government or the State to protect them. That is our shame.

    The CD market and shops in Lahore are being targetted for some time now with low intensity bombs. An Art festival at Lahore’s Alhamra center was similarly targetted last year. My own aunt is a Principal of an English medium school in Lahore in a posh neighbourhood and she has received threats to shut it down. Her school is not the only one. The police, shamefully themselves have advised her that they cannot give her the required protection. Young children in her class are taught what to do in case a bomb goes off. The establishment’s kids study there. There are huge barricades in front of the major hotels in the city.

    Islamabad is another story altogether. There are roadblocks and security checks everywhere.

    Yet, in typical South Asian fashion life goes on and everyone adapts to the new reality because Pakistanis are living it. It’s harder for outsiders to understand.

  169. Tilsim

    I meant to say South Waziristan.

  170. I think we have had enough of this debate. I am appalled at the level of discourse here. May I request the Indian nationalists to please stop commenting on this post. There is repetition and crass stuff that is not commensurate with our policy here.
    Thanks and no more posts from the RSS wallas will be allowed anymore.

  171. Raj (the other one)

    Talsim,

    I found your description of the situation in Pakistan very illuminating and frankly speaking I was not aware that the fear is so wide-spread.

    Let’s say the Pakistani situation is complex, and cannot deliver on the demands of justice that Indians expect regarding Mumbai 26/11.

    There is however nothing, at least nothing that comes to my mind, what India can do to change the situation in Pakistan.

    I would even say, that on the contrary, India is a positive factor, since the tension with India, allows the Pakistani Army to have a big budget, more resources, using which it must be easier for them to face up to the Taliban threat.

  172. kishore

    @Tilism:
    –The help that Pak moderates need is that India’s moderates recognise the commonality of interests. They should do their utmost to rein in the hawks. —

    This hawk/dove are nothing but cock & bull stories. When it comes to foreign policies, there is nothing but national interests. Whether it is BJP or Congress or any party.

  173. @Abhi
    July 19, 2010 at 2:29 am

    Vajra Babu,

    Not that I endorse stuka’s suggestion, but I thought the Congress was TNT’s fiercest opponest.

    Except for some communalists, nobody agrees with TNT. Accept Pakistan: yes, TNT: no.

    On reflection, I agree with your more appropriate formulation. That is exactly so. Thank you for your correction.

    With regard to the TNT – the rest is a hobbyhorse ride, please refrain from reading if you have delicate digestion – there are flaws in its basic assumptions. Rather than abjure it altogether, which INC did to its own harm, we need to examine it, identify the flaws in thinking, and rebuild it to suit our purposes. Pakistan will surely see the benefits if this is done and the new paradigm seen to be working in practice, or they might themselves undertake the process and get to the same point on their own.

    This re-examination could start with the admission that there is not one, but several aspects to human identity. Religious, ethnic, linguistic and other aspects might run in parallel, and be exposed at different times to different extents. We need to understand that we have these differences, that these differences can flare up into discontentment, and that this discontentment might lurch through a bloody progression of its own before emerging as full-fledged insurrection.

    How many such must we face until the Congress – for that matter, the BJP as well – realises that this blind refusal to accept human differences leads only to tears.

    @Bin Ismail
    July 19, 2010 at 2:39 am

    The two of us have tried our luck on the battlefield. Men of valour, on both sides, fell to prove that honour demands sacrifice. Both of us realize that. Let us also realize that there is nothing more honourable than peace.

    This is now rapidly becoming an urgent goal. There are too many immature and ignorant voices on both sides to be ignored and set aside any longer.

    Raj (the other one)
    July 19, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Talsim,

    I found your description of the situation in Pakistan very illuminating and frankly speaking I was not aware that the fear is so wide-spread.

    Let’s say the Pakistani situation is complex, and cannot deliver on the demands of justice that Indians expect regarding Mumbai 26/11.

    There is however nothing, at least nothing that comes to my mind, what India can do to change the situation in Pakistan.

    I would even say, that on the contrary, India is a positive factor, since the tension with India, allows the Pakistani Army to have a big budget, more resources, using which it must be easier for them to face up to the Taliban threat.

    If you really think this, welcome to the club. It has been difficult to hold out the view that all the good that India and Indians can do in this situation is to set right our own situation, and give our friends sympathy and support – from a distance, with no element of condescension or superciliousness – in their own efforts. Only Pakistan can heal Pakistan; only Pakistanis can discipline Pakistanis.

    This is why you will see a beleaguered band of Indians refraining from offering silver-bullet solutions, most of which are grotesque in their detachment from reality, and hateful in their basic premise that the only hope for Pakistan is mass conversion back to Hinduism – or Buddhism, presumably, in some more enlightened versions of this bigotry – an abandonment of their independent state, and supplication at the gates of Parliament to be let back into India.

    They advocate these, directly or indirectly, in attacking formations like waves; as one wave is shot down, another takes its place. As a result, while there is no material difference in the situation, there is an intangible difference: Pakistani liberal opinion is slowly, against its better judgement, turning hostile to Indians, all Indians, the dimwits and lunatic fringe along with those who sought to bridge the gap.

    The Pakistani lunatic fringe refuses to engage its opposite numbers on the Indian lunatic fringe, and spends its time deciding which sect to slaughter next. Much of this speculation on paper is terrifying, because we find its reflection in RDX soon enough, in the newspaper headlines.

    I hope, when I return two weeks later, you are still of this opinion.

  174. jtmhh

    Tilsim – You wrote “…..To be successful, Pakistan establishment” requires the population to be behind it. Otherwise the Islamist militants and their sympathisers are convincing the public that the PA high command is just acting on the orders of foreign masters and therefore it’s leadership becomes a target itself. ….”

    This is what I do not understand. How is Pakistan’s establishment helping its cause against Islamist terror infrastructure (especially the mindset, sympathizers etc) when it is actively engaged in poisoning the public opinion when it states that terror attacks are being conducted by India….that TTP is being funded by India. In almost all discussions that take place after some incident or another, major politicians, or ex army /ISI including likes of Aslam Baig say all of the attacks are being done by India. This message is repeated again and again such that the general public thinks that indeed, USA/India/Isreal are behind all these attacks.

    If the society is indeed under the pressure of Islamists (and I believe it is becoming more and more so everyday), should not moves be made by the establishment to inoculate the society against this growing islamist threat?

    Is the establishment helping inoculate the society by playing games like pointing the finger at India whenever there is a TTP threat? By pointing finger at India, all it is doing is giving permission to the public to look away, seeding space to the Islamists ideology , enabling it to thrive and grow further.

    Perhaps there has been a cost/benefit assessment done and the establishment believes that the threat to them is not too great right now (or it is within a bearable limit), while their benefit potential in Afghanistan/India is big.

    Either way, future is indeed bleak for all of us.
    If the threat is not too big right now, then the games being played by Pak Army will only strengthen their hands more and they will indeed become a force-to-be-reckoned with. They will demand a seat at the power-table.
    If it is indeed big enough presently to hold Pak Army and public captive to it, then in not too distant future we will see them come to power, by bloodshed if be.

  175. YLH

    The irony of those who view history with a limited nationalist prism is that they claim Congress was opposed to the Two Nation Theory and yet defend Congress’ blatant, opportunistic and cynically communal use of the Two Nation Theory in a far more vicious form to carve up Punjab and Bengal. These are undeniable facts of history. Mr. Jinnah was telling Mountbatten a Punjabi and a Bengali was a Punjabi and a Bengali before he was a Muslim or a Hindu… Congress was pushing for partitioning Punjab and Bengal on the basis of a warped and distorted interpretation of the same two nation theory it rejected… but then that was what Gandhi and Nehru were good at doing… warping and distorting… their behavior on the issue of para 15 of the Cabinet Mission Plan shows that they never intended to compromise with anyone who challenged their ridiculous claim to be the single power in India.

    People should try and read history with an open mind before they comment on history… two nation theory was a counter-point to even more pernicious one-nation theory (which was nothing more than Congress’ undemocratic claim to speak for all people of India- many of whom consistently rejected the Congress’ claim) and not be all end all. On our end Pakistan lost the plot when it gave up Jinnah’s 11th August pronouncement and tried to ossify itself on the TNT… I have written several articles on TNT… I suggest Indians get off their high horse… which is really little more than a mule… and read these.

  176. YLH. Even though the debate is closed, I welcome your comment.🙂
    Sent from my BlackBerry® Smartphone. Typos are regretted

  177. jtmhh

    PS: This game has been played by India too, to very tragic end. Indira Gandhi was expert at it and she created the monster called Sant Bhindrawale to fight against Akalis in Punjab. The modus operandi of Khalistanis was no different than TTP. I was at a convent school and for a while our school was under great pressure to make girls wear salwar-kameez instead of skirt/blouse. The school authorities even toyed with the idea. Thank God they rejected it.

    The politicians let the monster grow so big that it became a threat to state of India. Indira could not put it off any longer and had to pay the price. Only this is price was much, much higher than it would have been if the politicians had not ceeded space to it. Not only did she loose her life at the end but these games caused untold havoc and pain in Punjab and other parts of India during the riots of 84.

    The ordinary sikh society and its intellectuals did not help themselves by looking away or secretly sympathizing with the cause.

    Having grown up in this period, Pakistan’s situation speaks to me.

  178. satwa gunam

    Hi

    who said india does not know about pakistan. it is learning continously by the terrorist attack all over india. Further it is re-vitalized by the cross border terrorism in kashmir.

    I can bet with the attitude of pakistan military nothing is going to happen for another decade.