Saving a drowning country needs an ideological shift

Nasima Zehra Awan’s passionate post for the Pak Tea House

You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques……..Religion is not the business of the State”.   Thus spoke Jinnah, whilst addressing the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947.

Sixty three years later, this is what our honorable Chief Justice has to say: “Parliament with Unlimited Powers can secularize state” (Source:  DAWN,Monday August 16, 2010)
Won’t that be a good thing, judge saheb!

At a time when our country is intellectually and morally bankrupt because of its moorings as a national security state built on the toxic teachings of Maududi, isn’t secularism the way to get out of this mess.  Instead of spending tens of billions to support a failed national security state, “a fortress of Islam” if you will, wouldn’t Pakistan have been better off with sustained representative governments that could have gone past the Kalabagh dam issue and built provincial consensus for half a dozen other dams that could have greatly reduced
the current catastrophe.
Unfortunately for Pakistan, this Judiciary, like most of its predecessors follows the ethos of the bureaucracy-security establishment, not the parliament or gasp, the principles of law and constitutionalism.  That would entail that
they ditch the prevailing sentiment, nay, control of Jamaat Islami at all the Bar Councils and actually allow the elected representatives of the people to draft and discuss legislation that would make Pakistan a functional state in the 21st century, not an faux Ommayad Caliphate of the 8th century!

The Judges and their media supporters and urban elite cheerleaders are obsessed with going after the elected leaders of one party and folk singers; the two actually have the same political powers in Pakistan today.  The dare not go
after Jihadi sectarian leaders who have rendered Pakistan into a wasteland.  The damages incurred by these Jihadis;  thousands of Pakistanis killed including the targeting of professionals belonging to minority sects and religions, the tens of billions of destroyed property and lost investment is incalculable.  These are the fruits that the State of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has reaped by constructing itself in the vision of Maududi and Qutb.

However, in the chauvinist and elitest debates about corruption, there is NO mention of the billions that are taken at every budget without audit, the tens of billions taken from foreign powers who are subsequently vilified by the same and the trillions that are made by using the country as a corporate and real estate business entity.  After all, how will this debate start while we continuously see ourselves not as a modern, democratic and secular state but as the
realization of the Islamist neurosis of failed ideologues who see a warped view of religion and not shared human values, as the basis for a functional society.In a theocratic construct, such debates are virtually impossible as they go against the core those who have alloted themselves the task of protecting an ideological state. Such a state cannot accept the views of secular nationalists
who vote for the ANP, PPP and BNP.  The dominant narrative of the State that has been constructed since Partition, and which has clearly served us so well since then, cannot be challenged unless Pakistan moves towards full secularism.

Today, the world is sick of our militant adventurism to the extant that it has affected their donations towards our flood relief efforts.  They are wary that their donations will end up with Islamist militias who do not have the interests of humanity at heart and who continue to kill soldiers whose countries constitute the chief donors to Pakistan.  The only way to salvage Pakistan is to ditch our legacy as a security state and invest all our resources into literally saving the country from drowning.  A crucial step towards that is an empowered parliament whose progressive legislation is not continuously being derailed by a compromised and politicized judiciary that sees itself as the reincarnation of the Qazis of Banu Abbas, Banu Ommaya and Emperor Aurangzeb.

Like it or not, Hon. Chief Justice, we need  to become a secular state and if parliament has taken the first tentative steps towards that direction in the 18th Amendment, good sense needs to prevail.  A drowning Pakistan can no longer afford the mirage of  “strategic depths” in Afghanistan and Kashmir.  What it really needs is clean water and food for the 20 million who have been rendered homeless and for non-controversial dams in the future.

214 Comments

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214 responses to “Saving a drowning country needs an ideological shift

  1. aliarqam

    A very honest and timely writeup…
    Its the time to confess that once again the state coercive narrative is hiding behind another state institution as Judiciary. The lawyers movement and the aftermaths have hence proved once again that it was a sequel to PNA(political parties with JI agend) Tehreek E Nizam E Mustafa. As both have brought the draconian mindsets to forth…who can not imagine to be a state having secular credentials as their hypocritic, hyperbolic slogans cannot be raised…State is hostage to such sick mindsets and the adventurist Generals and “Azad Mansh” judges are bringing us back to the 80’s.

  2. Ali Abbas

    @Ali Arqam, agreed. Now that the Hon. CJP has waded into ideology, I wonder what he thinks of the 2nd Amendment, Hudood Ordinance and the other Islamist clauses shoved into our constitution….

  3. nazir allahwalla

    religion and politics are not two peas in a pod. they have to be seperated. Islam is good but good in your private life. And it should be kept as such. The flag of pakistan is green and white. The green is for Islam the religion of the majority in Pakistan. The white in the Pakistani flag is its minority. Mind you the white is not marginal but a good part of the fllag. So if the CJ wants to change the constitution of the country he must also change the flag. Besides this bakwas about religion is not going to get us anywhere. Its ok to pray and love and worship your god gods or whatever. but it must be kept out of the govt.

  4. Ally

    Is there any secular Urdu press? if so you guys should contribute to that, as its only through getting thru to the masses you’ll have an effect!

  5. zinda tilismath

    quote,” Instead of spending tens of billions to support a failed national security state, “a fortress of Islam” if you will, wouldn’t Pakistan have been better off with sustained representative governments that could have gone past the Kalabagh dam issue and built provincial consensus for half a dozen other dams that could have greatly reduced the current catastrophe.”

    For once the comments on PTH are spot on.

  6. Pakistan should be run in a secular, democratic manner .. i agree completely with that gravamen of our grievance.

    No Wases , Zardas and ChoudHurries who generously looted Pakistan blue should be made to repatriate that unjust enrichment AND restitute it to National treasury. Siunce 1971 $200BILLION have been looted and money-laundered. This EXPLOIRATION must be brought to an end!

    I find statements by our leaders (in fact geedars) on bthe take vas nauseating/repulsive and sicKKKening.

  7. Israr

    I was astonished to read CJP remarks. If this is the understandingof our CJ then why to complain a madrassa mullah!

  8. YLH

    work did not accord me an opportunity to write a post… but my sentiments precisely.

    And judge sahib I am ashamed of having been part of the lawyers’ movement.

  9. aliarqam

    @YLH
    Appreciate you for your honesty, though I was expecting a piece like you have written on COAS remarks… But we can wait for that…

  10. Guest from UK

    “Today, the world is sick of our militant adventurism to the extant that it has affected their donations towards our flood relief efforts” – it is very sad but this is correct. Peoples views of Pakistan in the UK are so bad that despite massive media coverage the UK public has only donated around £10 million , the same was the case after the earthquake in Pakistan. Compare this with how generous the uk public was with Haiti or the Tsunami appeal for Indonesia.
    People go as far as saying this is divine punishment for a country that is Islamic by name only.

  11. Nasir

    Can someone please explain – are we saying the the CJ is a mullah in disguise or just terrified of upsetting them. Or have i missed the point completly?

  12. Pingback: Saving a drowing country needs an ideological shift « Secular Pakistan

  13. aliarqam

    PTH has found an apt writer, we expect more contribution from the passionate writer, Thanks Raza for discovering such a Gem…

  14. Pingback: Saving a drowing country needs an ideological shift - BlogOn.pk

  15. Tilsim

    For people’s benefit, here is the said news report from Dawn in full that Nasim Zehra Awan is referring to from 16/8/2010.

    We, in Pakistan are clearly a long way from where Bangladesh is on this issue of reversing some of the ‘Islamic’ provisions. These judges of the SC appear to want to restrict parliament.

    ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry observed on Monday that the sovereignty of parliament did not mean it enjoyed unfettered powers to introduce any amendment to the Constitution and asked “should we accept if tomorrow parliament declares secularism, and not Islam, as the state polity”.

    The CJ made the observation when Advocate Iftikhar Ahmed Mian, the counsel for the federal government, argued that parliament enjoyed unlimited powers, but later explained that the Constitution was based on Islam and that could not be altered.

    “Can we afford to follow western parliaments which have decided in favour of gay marriages,” quipped Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, a member of the 17-judge full court hearing challenges to the 18th Amendment.

    “Will it be called a rightful exercise of authority if tomorrow parliament amends Article 2 of the Constitution which states that Islam will be the state religion,” asked Justice Tariq Pervaz.

    Last week, the bench warned of a looming judicial crisis in Balochistan which may be stripped of its judges in September.

    The government informed the court on Monday that the problem would be addressed in due course of time and said that the hearing on 18th Amendment petitions should continue unhindered.

    The one-year tenure of four additional judges of the Balochistan High Court will expire on Sept 5.

    However, since the clauses in 18th Amendment relating to appointment of judges have been challenged, the government cannot set up the parliamentary committee which is to recommend the names to the judicial commission for appointment of judges.

    “Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has consulted with Law Minister Babar Awan and the law secretary on the issue, but no final decision has yet been taken,” Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq said, adding that the matter would be sorted out in due course of time.

    “The federation should have taken steps because there may be a judicial breakdown in the province after Sept 5,” the chief justice said, adding that at least the government should have started the process of how to regularise additional judges of the high courts of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

    Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, however, said that the Supreme Court had the jurisdiction to issue a judicial order on the issue.

    Advocate Shahid Hamid, the counsel for the Punjab government, argued that the old system of appointment of superior court judges was flawed and misused and this required a change.

    Citing his experience in the appointment of judges as the former Punjab governor, he said the new system envisaged in Article 175-A of the Constitution was workable, acceptable and functional.

    The counsel was asked by Justice Saqib Nisar if the Indian theory of basic structure could be used as anvil for striking down a constitutional amendment. The counsel replied in the negative and said that till now the court had exercised restraint in such matters.

  16. PMA

    The author of this article Nasima Zehra Awan has used the term……well many have uttered these two words in same combination before her. But then the question is what should Pakistan do. Should Pakistan dismantle the security structure altogether and become a purely Welfare State. And Welfare State at what cost. Or should she rest at a halfway station. And if so then what to do with the existential threats external as well as internal. How to ward off the security threats. Chances are the author is not on board to answer these questions. But if for any chance she is, would she care to address these questions.

  17. Tilsim

    I am sure that there will be absolute silence on the TV channels to the Hon. SC Justices’ remarks. Orwellian nightmare.

  18. aliarqam

    @PMA
    Its a debate and discussion, and it shall continues, the writer has some very valid points in the article, these should be further assessed and discussed. And everyone concerned as well as the writer should participate.

  19. Ali Abbas

    PMA, how about a secular democracy with provincial autonomy. With the billions that are spent on security and the billions that are the fallout of strategic depth, I don’t think welfare will be a problem…

  20. Ali Abbas

    @PTH, I think the heading has been misspelt; it should be “Drowning, not “drowing”.

  21. Parvez

    “Saving a drowing country needs an ideological shift”
    What is drowing? If it is about current deluge then it is irrelevant. This flood could have been a blessing if water could be stored for lean times. But no, our ethnic politics would not allow for that. Our liberal environmentalist have nothing to say about the dead and dying. They are still hugging delta blind dolphin.
    Why do you want foreign aid? World owes nothing to retards. There is enough food to feed the population. There is enough labor to rebuild bunds, the villages, barrages, and dams. If you are waiting for somebody else to do it for you, it is going to be a long wait.
    It is my view that those who push identity politics are the enemy of people. These floods show the unity of all Pakistani provinces. People will drown or swim together in Indus valley. That is the geographical and cultural imperative. The identity is that of Indus valley good or bad.
    Milton Friedman, the father of neo-liberal economics would be proud of Pakistan. Read his book “Free to Choose”. He assigns very little value to state except in defense and law. I would say that Pakistan has more freedom than most other countries. You are free to starve, kill, be stupid, lie, cheat, love and hate. What else you wants. You have a president who is perfect symbol of freedom. He has faith in Pakistani people’s freedom of choice and that is why he freely travels to foreign countries. I’m glad that Pakistan is going through these trials, because only through this process we gain strength and maturity. I’m remain optimistic.

  22. Imtiaz Baloch

    Interesting desires and wishes in this article. But as I say that Tomatoes does not grow on Peach Trees.
    Jinnah was a master of spreading confusions. On so many occasions he preferred Islam over secularism. With the following rhetoric he gave ammunition to Mullahs.
    On July 15, 1947 in a press conference he was asked as whether Pakistan would be a secular or theocratic state, Jinnah retorted that “You are asking me a question that is absurd. I do not know what a theocratic state means.”Then another journalist suggested that the questioner meant a state run by “maulanas”, Jinnah retorted, “What about [a] government run by Pundits in Hindustan?” When you talk of democracy, I am afraid you have not studied Islam. We learned democracy thirteen centuries ago.”
    “I want the Muslims of the Frontier Province clearly to understand that they are Muslims first and Pathans afterwards”
    (source Jinnah Papers, Zawar Zaidi (ed), Vol III, doc# VIII.2 (in Appendix VIII), p 1005, Government of Pakistan, distributed and published by OUP, Pakistan, 1997.)

  23. The Objective resolution was not passed by Madoodi and Syed Alqutab but the first and founding parliament of the country and Madoodi and Syed Al Qutab were not the member of that but Liaquat Ali Khan, Khowaja Nazim udddin, Hussain Shaheed Soherverdi and Malik Firoz Khan Noon were.
    The present Islamic constitution of Pakistan was also not made by Madodi and Syed Alqutab but Mr, Bhutto and his Pakistan Peoples Party.
    The Alcohol was also not prohibited by Madodi and Syed Alqutab but Mr, Bhutto in 1976.
    Friday was not made official national Holly day instead of Sunday by Madodi and Syed Alqutab but Mr, Bhutto in 1976.
    The Idea of Islamic Block and OIC was also not raised by Madoodi and Syed Al Qutab but by Mr, Shah Faisal, Mr. Bhutto, Mr, Qazafi and Mr, Yasir Arafat.

    Sister Naseema Zehra Awan
    Does Secularism give all the human Values ??? NO NOT AT ALL
    See India in Kashmir
    See USA in Iraq and Afghanistan
    Does secular parties don’t do violence ??? NO NOT AT ALL
    See NAP (See Mr. Bhutto’s book If I am assassinated)
    See MQM (Sherry Rehman Press Confreres after 12 May 2007)
    Do you think that just to pass an amendment, every thing will be OK and militancy and religious extremism will itself be stopped ??? NO NOT AT ALL
    let me say that any of this step will move Pakistan towards a more dangerous position, Religious parties those believe in electoral politics will also join militant and a big portion of Army and civil society may also join them. plz mercy on Pakistan.
    Do you think to declare Pakistan a secular state, Pakistan will start progressing??? NO NOT AT ALL
    Corruption and lack of the good governance is the real issue.

    Sister Naseema Zehra Awan
    Another thing is that I challenge you neither Quid-Azam nor other founding leader of Pakistan ever used the word secularism, but Ghandhi, Nahro and Serdar Patail constantly used word to describe there MOTO. Why you sort of people not quote Quid’s speech at State Bank very after 11 August, where he cleared all the doubts.I think the speech of 11 August aslo very clear because the first Islamic state at Madina was also made on the same principal. Actually the world secularism is spreading in the country by some westernize buddies in last 5 to 10 years, before this era even leftist and communist people also talk about Islamic Socialism.
    Might be you are ashamed to be Muslim but Alhamdolah I am not, I love Islam and believe that Islam is the solution of all the problems of me and Human Societies both and I challenge every one that there is not a single a thing in Islam which is against the humanity as whole.
    And don’t forget that we are not in this world for ever, we are to die, we are to back to one who send us with an objective.

  24. ایک منافقت اور یہ کہ
    چیف جسٹس کے اس جملے پر ان لوگوں کو زیادہ خوشی ہورہی ہے جو سپریم کورٹ سے حسبہ بل کو غیر آئینی قرار دئے جانے پر شادیانے بجارہے تھے۔ ویسے میں بتاتا چلوں کہ میں خود بھی حسبہ بل کے خلاف تھا۔

  25. PMA

    Ali Arqam (August 17, 2010 at 11:13 pm):

    and

    Ali Abbas (August 17, 2010 at 11:32 pm):

    The author has raised a point that:

    “to salvage Pakistan is to ditch our legacy as a security state and invest all our resources into literally saving the country from drowning”.

    My questions earlier are directed to that particular point. If either one of you gentlemen want to pick up the thread then by all means do so. And please be specific and to the point. Thanks.

  26. azhar aslam

    what a factually incorrect, hyperbole, sensationalist, myopic and shallow piece of writing ….

    ‘National security state built on teachings of maududi’… hehehe

    ‘Tens of billions on national security state.’… girl ever heard of military Keynesianism ? or that praetorian state with the largest ever military spending and largest economy… US … which US eh?

    ‘In a theocratic construct’
    …. errrrrrrrrrr ? which country ? any examples ?

    ‘Today, the world is sick of our militant adventurism to the extant that it has affected their donations towards our flood relief efforts’. …
    Really ? do you ever read world news ? press / media and u meant ‘ extent’ not extant I think..

    ‘Empowered parliament’ ..? oh that … one consisting of dastis, gillanis, sharifs, zardaris, awans, rehmans…

    ‘reincarnation of the Qazis of Banu Abbas, Banu Ommaya’……. that comment is akin to rape of history… sign of a shallow unread mind

    ‘clean water and food for the 20 million who have been rendered homeless and for non-controversial dams’
    …. by becoming secularist ? … Oh get real please………..or by simply having honest dedicated governance… ?

    and this writer is being licked by all and sundry… oh dear oh dear….

    to get rid of maududi and his ilk, we need an intellectual basis … last time I wrote about that on this very forum and mentioned Fazal Rehman… I was asked who was that ?…. I rest my effing case …..

    PS: PMA as ever, you were very relevant..

  27. Mustafa Shaban

    @Kashif, azhar aslam, PMA: Agreed with your comments, very sensible and to the point. I support your views.

  28. AZW

    Azhar Aslam:

    Though I am not a huge fan of the hyperbole by the author of this article, in your own hyperbole you seem to be overlooking a few things since they don’t seem apparent to you.

    Pakistan in its current form as a pseudo national security state is not built on the teachings of Maoudoudi. But the mindless religio-centric policies pursued by Pakistan by supporting the violent factions of Hikmatyar, Haqqani and the Talibans in Afghanistan were a continuation of the disastrous policies pursued by General Zia-ul-Haq and those who followed him for the first decade.

    This policy shift of Pakistan in the 1980s was based on a military dictator who derived his support openly from Jamaat-e-Islami. Hence the indirect disastrous influence of the religion on the state policy in large part owes to the virulent teachings of Mr. Moudoudi and his ilk. Not to mention that JI remains openly committed to the Mujahideen in Pakistan and Afghanistan today, while the state withdraws its support one by one.

    I believe this influence is what is mentioned here.

    Military Keynsianism is a rather bad construct in whatever context you were trying to use. Keynes must have turned in his grave for Mr. Azhar Aslam for using this term so thoughtlessly. First of all, the United States spends almost 4.6% of its GDP on military, a slightly higher, but definitely not the most proportion of GDP among all the countries. The GDP of the United States being so large (the next biggest world economy is half the size of the US economy), the military budget becomes a very large number. Considering the fact that US is the sole policeman state of the world (not at all times by choice), and considering the fact that the same military keynsian economy bails out chronically unstable countries like Pakistan on a regular basis by their very own tax payer dollars, I am kind of surprised that this budget does not make more sense. But then, author may have more inward looking states in mind that spend more on the basic rights for their citizens, and not necessarily the US. The author may have referred to Far Eastern countries, or Scandinivian countries, but of course in your hyperbole these references were never seriously considered.

    You mentioned:‘Empowered parliament’ ..? oh that … one consisting of dastis, gillanis, sharifs, zardaris, awans, rehmans…

    Yes the exact same ones. And they are in the office because of the popular support. And if elections are to happen tomorrow, these same gentlemen will be back in power. This is what democracy is all about. And if you don’t like them, go vote for someone else, if you decide to vote. But if you don’t like them, don’t change the rules to bring someone else through back door. We have all seen how that has turned out before.

    You mentioned: ‘clean water and food for the 20 million who have been rendered homeless and for non-controversial dams’
    …. by becoming secularist ? … Oh get real please………..or by simply having honest dedicated governance… ?

    No secularism is no panacea. But the mindless obsession with religion and the disastrous instability as one ruler after another catered to the right wing mullah on the street has contributed to the present mess that we are in. One step at a time; good governance comes before secularism. But divorcing religion from politics should definitely help as well.

    You mentioned:to get rid of maududi and his ilk, we need an intellectual basis … last time I wrote about that on this very forum and mentioned Fazal Rehman… I was asked who was that ?…. I rest my effing case …..

    This is an open forum and many people are not as learned as you are. But don’t paint all of the participants with the same brush due to one question. By the way, there is a full article on Fazl-ur-Rahman on the PTH posted today. Feel free to browse through that.

  29. aliarqam

    A lot of people have been radicalised in Pakistan not because they understand the radical philosophy of Ibn Tamiyya, Syed Qutb,and Maulana Maududi or its tactical interpretation by Maulana Shamzai, Zawahiri, bin Laden and others, but because they view religion and violence both as necessary tools to fight existing political hegemony and oppression. Under the circumstances, talking about Jinnah’s Pakistan does not make sense until the capable people (those who have resources, education, contacts and power) have the sense to take the bulk of people along and give them at least some of the opportunities they deserve.

  30. aliarqam

    The comments above are from Dr Ayesha Siddiqa article, which can be seen here.
      http://tribune.com.pk/story/39340/saving- jinnah%e2%80%99s-pakistan/?print=true  

  31. aliarqam

    @PMA
    Here is an answer to your question in the words of Khalid Ahmed while speaking at a seminar on Late Hamza Alavi.

    “Khalid Ahmed started off by stressing that time has come to reassess as to how the state has evolved, how it began and what it has become. He said a lot of countries have done this, and gave the example of the US that has gone through the process of reassessment. Each time the assessment was done, the US state was found ‘different’. But this process depends how free of ‘ nationalism’ the person who is conducting it is. He said every country will tell you that it suffered a painful birth. If you ask the Indians, they will say their country has had a painful birth because of the British Raj. If you ask the Pakistanis they will tell you Hindus and Sikhs inflicted pain on them at the time of partition. He said nationalism designates enemy outside the boundaries so that people living inside can unite under fear, suggesting there’s somebody outside who doesn’t like them. It’s time to look back, because nationalism is no longer uniting people. He raised the question, ‘does nationalism unite the various communities in Pakistan?’ ‘But somehow we want to engage India in a dialogue or to get Kashmir, but it will not achieve unity. We have to rethink the policy of demonising India,’ he said. Discussing revisionism, Khalid Ahmed said a revisionist state has to accomplish an unfinished task or claim a territory from a neighbouring state. On the other hand a status quo state lives within its boundaries. Pakistan is a weak revisionist state challenging a much larger state, whereas India is a status quo state. He cited the example that when China annexed a certain piece of land India didn’t react, because the territory was not strategically important. Whereas we think Kashmir is our jugular. Khalid Ahmed said if the state is weak, then its army is put under pressure to challenge a much larger military state. Highlighting the difference between the strategic and the tactical, he said since it’s not possible to win against India the army was compelled to be a tactical army and not a strategic one. It came up with the idea, ‘ let’s not take India head-on and instead fight set-piece battles and demoralise India’. So it became a tactical organisation whose officers had more panache than intellect. A non-intellectual officer rises to the top, he said. Khalid Ahmed said the army has been using non-state actors as warriors since 1948 , and the irony is it has never worked. For non-state actors, he argued, you have to keep ungoverned spaces therefore such elements don’t live under any law. He said there have always been ungoverned areas in Pakistan, for instance, they wanted to preserve the pristine character of the tribal areas from the beginning and left it ungoverned. He said even Machiavelli would tell you that don’t use mercenaries, use your own army because these people will be disloyal to you. Today what we have, he said, is non-state actors living with civil society. We allowed these jihadis to live with civil society and the state always sided with the jihadis . He argued the monopoly of violence must be under the state. But we created different centres of power and our state was sharing power with these actors. Khalid Ahmed said today there is a clerical consensus that jihad is not only for the state but for everyone. Now only 60 per cent of the country is under the writ of the state. The entire Fata is not under the state’s writ, parts of Malakand are not, a lot of territory in the NWFP is not, and there is no writ in south Punjab too where people have private armies. Then organisations such as the Lashkar-i-Taiba and the Jaish-i-Mohammad are still active. He said usually people talk about three pillars of the state, but in Pakistan the army, the media and judiciary are the added three, so there are six pillars. He said the media is not as free as it’s cracked up to be. He told the audience that certain TV anchors don’t talk about the terrorists and use terms like ‘militants’ because they often receive threats. As a result they start talking about the law and order situation. Khalid Ahmed said in Pakistan law and order has been terrible for the last 30 years: it’s nothing new. He gave his own example where on one occasion he had to touch Hafiz Saeed’s feet to seek his forgiveness after writing a story. He said as long as the element of fear exists, the media will never be free. The same is the situation with the judiciary, said Khalid Ahmed, and informed the members of the audience about one of the judges who was threatened not to try a certain militant. Speaking on the topic of anti-Americanism and anti- Indianism, Mr Ahmed said it doesn’t elicit any response from the world, yet our army is being funded by the US. He rounded off his talk by saying that populism is a negative force.

  32. Tauseef

    Quote “Today, the world is sick of our militant adventurism to the extant that it has affected their donations towards our flood relief efforts. They are wary that their donations will end up with Islamist militias who do not have the interests of humanity at heart and who continue to kill soldiers whose countries constitute the chief donors to Pakistan. ”

    I totally disagree with Nasima Zehra… it seems that she is defending the corrupt elements of government by criticizing Islam as the business of state.

    In fact Islam is not yet followed at any stage and she attempted to be one of those who are always trying to criticize Islam. Islam gives a complete solution to humanity both for micro and macro levels.

    I am sure that people are not considering the factor of terrorist while escaping from donations rather they are with fear that their amount for refugees will be looted once again by corrupt elements of the government.

  33. aliarqam

    @Tauseef
    Rhetorics do not serve…as one says, “kehte hein tamam masail ka hal Islam K paas hei, par ye Islam Kis K paas hei..?

  34. Ungali

    Tauseef wrote, “Islam gives a complete solution to humanity both for micro and macro levels.”

    Solution to do what? — Reach 7th Century?

  35. Dastagir

    Islam at its core (heart) is LOVE. In the world of Love, there is no time and space. It is eternal. When one surrenders his free will to God., his creator… then his place within the Universal system is properly adjusted… then he moves with the rythym of the universe.. and that is what the Kingdom of God on Earth really means… when man is placed in the slot marked for him in this huge system…

  36. Ammar

    The aversion towards secularism is understandable by the powerful segments of our society as they have always used religion to achieve their political goals. The exploitation has lead to a trickledown effect of extremism in society where by any one feels he can use religion as tool for their violent behaviors. Unless we make attempts to sensitize of our society this turmoil will go on!

  37. Sher Zaman

    Secular principles laid down by the founder of this state should be the guideline for our present leaders; we need to develop infrastructure without discrimination, so that similar catastrophes can be avoided in the future.

  38. Tilsim

    @ Kashif Naseer

    “Might be you are ashamed to be Muslim but Alhamdolah I am not, I love Islam and believe that Islam is the solution of all the problems of me and Human Societies”

    Islam does not allow us to make false accusations. You are saying that someone might be ashamed to be a muslim because he does not agree with your point of view.

    I love Islam very much too but not this sort of Islam.

    I don’t love muslims that takes the humanity and reason out of people.

    I don’t love muslims who are full of a false superiority complex.

    I don’t love muslims who fail to analyse a situation objectively and who wrap themselves in emotion.

    I don’t love muslims who want think the society of first 4 caliphs is the beginning and end of time for muslims.

    I don’t love muslims who believe that having worldly power is more important than service to God and humanity.

    I don’t love muslims who believe in literalism and not being just or humane.

    I don’t love muslims who pray five times a day, do hajj and umrah, fast during ramadan and then still be unethical, undisciplined, unkind, lie, cheat, bribe, kill, covet, steal, not work, back bite, and promote hate against others who don’t have the title of muslim or their version of Islam.

    I don’t love so called muslims who brainwash young men to go and blow themselves and others up in the name of Jihad.

    I don’t love muslims who don’t understand how peace and progress is achieved.

    I don’t love muslims who have turned this great religion into everything it is not supposed to be. A form of religion that worships its doctrines and symbols, its worldly power more than its spirit and ethos. Its a new form of idolatory. Think about it. It is Islam turned on its head.

    No sir, this is not my Islam. It is people with these attitudes who have grabbed the state and are still not satisfied. They keep on saying that Islam is not here yet in Pakistan.

    These sentiments and attitudes are widespread in Pakistan. Well guess what, we don’t want these false and corrupt muslims anymore to hijack our society. These are the reasons why the idea of separation of religion and the state is gaining ground. Stop putting it at the feet of ‘westernised’ Pakistanis. Look inside yourself and around you and not be blinded by your love of Islam.

    May we not be misguided by our false egos. Ameen.

  39. PMA

    Ali Arqam (August 18, 2010 at 8:36 am):

    “Here is an answer to your question in the words of Khalid Ahmed while speaking at a seminar on Late Hamza Alavi”

    How about an answer to my questions in the words of Ali Arqam. Let me rephrase what I am saying:

    If we must reorient Pakistan from a position of Security State to a position of total Welfare State then how to ward off existential external as well as internal threats. Should we enter into a defence agreement/understanding with a foreign power like Japan and Germany. Or should we go the route of Persian Gulf Arab states. The examples of total Welfare States are countless. Which model is closest to Pakistan’s situation. At present Pakistan perceives India as an existential threat. Pakistan being a smaller power relative to India has a defence doctrine. It is called maintaining “Minimum Deterrent”. This doctrine has helped maintain peace in the South Asia for the last sixty years. Should Pakistan unilaterally disarm itself. In my view these are very serious questions and need serious answers. Go ahead take a stab at it if you wish.

  40. androidguy

    “..Pakistan being a smaller power relative to India has a defence doctrine. It is called maintaining “Minimum Deterrent”. This doctrine has helped maintain peace in the South Asia for the last sixty years….”

    What wonderful peace we have had! 3 wars, 1 half-war and thousand Indians killed with your NGOs obviously don’t count!

  41. NZA

    @ Azhar Aslam : Your attempt to counter me would have been more effective if you didn’t patronize me; “girl”! . Moving on, I maintain that the nationalist ideology of Pakistan and the narrative spouted by its elite today is very Maudodian in its nature. Furthermore, this influence has grown steadily from the 1950 ’s with the Ahmadi riots, to the 1960’s when IJT thugs were used to assault DSF/NSF activists and by the late 1970 ’s, Maudodi and his party enjoyed center stage as the darlings of Zia. This construct is based on the JI thought having seeped into our Constitution, our discourse and even the slogan of our most powerful institution of “Jihad Fi Sabeelillah” I found it fascinating as to how Pakistanis both here and in the US keep using selective aspects of US state policy and its socio- cultural constructs to justify their medieval and regressive agendas. I think that spending $5 billion USD/annum of non-audited funds is a terrible idea and I do not need the analogy of a military industrial complex with a far bigger economy and far smaller percentage of GDP allotment to the Defense Budget to come to that conclusion. It’s a bad idea when the largest feudal entity which also happens to be the largest corporate entity still requires this sum from our annual budget to appear to solve a problem that was created by it! I suppose you have not read the NRO judgment to grasp my reference to medieval qazis. Most commentators including I.A. Rehman, Asma Jehangir and Ali Ahmed Kurd agreed that it was completely unnecessary to use the dictator-inserted Islamist clauses to void the NRO which could have been undertaken by other less controversial clauses. I too could ask you to take your “effing” views somewhere else but your visceral response revealed so much. Keep posting here, I would love to see what you and your class are thinking. Makes my work so much easier. @Kashif Naseer, Your points are noted and I find some of your examples to be quite valid, even if lacking in context. Bhutto gave into the mullahs and that has been a disappointment to many of his voters. However, we cannot simply view this in a vaccum without apportioning some responsibility to the Islamist forces that pushed him into this and a powerful establishment that has been present with us since as early as August 11 , 1947 when attempts were made to censor Jinnah’s speech. Similarly, the 1973 Constitution was badly mangled in Zia’s time with the collusion of the Jamaat. To omit this and to ignore the role of Maudodi and the JI and their connection with our establishment since the 1950 ’s and possibly earlier has landed us in this mess. However, today, it is not our parliament but our judiciary that is working for a regressive agenda. This is a plea that not only our judiciary but also our elected representatives do not cave into those dark forces that want to drag us back. While I disagree with your conclusions, I nonetheless respect you for your open and clear stance. Furthermore, the examples provided by you help me to refine my views. Thanks

  42. PMA

    Android Guy (August 18, 2010 at 6:13 pm):

    I would characterize it as an Uneasy Peace. There has not been a war between India and Pakistan for forty years now. All near-war situations did not lead into all-out-war mainly due to the “Minimum Deterrent” doctrine of Pakistan. By now both sides have learned that war is not a solution to the bilateral disputes. There is too much at stake for both sides. But the status quo is not the answer either. The need of the hour is to convert this situation of Uneasy Peace into a situation of Permanent Peace. This will happen when India will further gain political and economical maturity and confidence. There is no other alternative to Peace.

  43. PMA

    NZA (August 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm):

    I am pleased that you have come aboard to answer some of the comments to your passionate article. I agree that “girl” was uncalled for. I also prefer that Pakistan did not spend a single penny on defence and used all of her resources towards public welfare. Do you suggest that Pakistan should unilaterally dismantle its defence forces and do away with this cost item. What do you suggest Pakistan should do about her defence needs. Or do you think Pakistan has no defence needs. Please tell us how much is not too much. Waiting for your kind response. Regards. PMA.

  44. aliarqam

    @PMA
    Its not as simple as it can be described in words to transform Pakistan into a welfare state, the doctrine of minimum deterrent is seen in ZAB remarks of “eating grass and making bombs”, which is actually happening nowadays as we have bombs and missiles but we are asking the world to help us with their generous donation to cope with the devastating floods.
    I dont the breeding of militancy and terrorist outfist for the strategic goals are also part of your said doctrine. The human bombs which are exploding at our mosques, shrines, markets, Security agencies offices are part of our military doctrine of minimum deterrent. Imposing the monsters on the neighbourhood and then protecting them at our urban centres is also part of such farcial security doctrines, look man!
    Oppressing peoples, abducting political activists, murdering political leadership in Balochistan has some security importance….
    Man! We are f****d up by such rhetorics and doctrines.

  45. If Islam is restricticted to just the individual lives then what is the meaning of following Ayaat of the Holly Quran
    یا ایھا الذین امنو ا اطیعو اللہ و اطیعو ا الرسول واولی الامر منکم، فان تنازعتم فی شیئ فردوہ الی اللہ والرسول
    النسا:59

    الَّذِينَ إِن مَّكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ

    وامر ھم شوری بینہم

    I have qouted just some, there are countless verses of Quran that only give us direction and instraction about collective lives …

    plz have a look on it, this is a exellent discussion of two great Scolars of Islam

  46. shiv

    @PMA
    I would characterize it as an Uneasy Peace. There has not been a war between India and Pakistan for forty years now. All near-war situations did not lead into all-out-war mainly due to the “Minimum Deterrent” doctrine of Pakistan.
    .snip..
    This will happen when India will further gain political and economical maturity and confidence.

    Actually Pakistan is peaceful because of Pakistan’s deterrent and India is not attacking. However Indians see Pakistan sponsored terrorism and infiltration across the border as war and not peace. From an Indian viewpoint there is an undeclared war and India will extract a price from the Pakistani establishment and nation for that undeclared war by terrorism.

    So any Pakistani who believes there is peace and that peaceful reactions and “maturity” are expected from India is deluding himself.

    Yes there will be peace for Pakistan as long as the human and political cost of Pakistani terrorism in India is assessed as being smaller than the cost of war. But that can change rapidly. And it is precisely for that reason that India is arming herself continuously and ensuring that a whole lot of drooling nations are making money from India’s reserves . In order to maintain this “peace on Pakistani terms with terrorism in India as desired” the Pakistani army has to keep on playing catch up with India.

    Unlike your theory – if Pakistan depended totally on it nuclear arsenal there would be no need for Pakistan to try and keep up with Indian conventional weapons – so the idea that nuclear weapons are keeping India away may be right but they are not enough to stop India from achieving overwhelming conventional superiority and pushing Pakistan into a position where Pakistanis will have to use those nukes against India. That will be an interesting thing for the world even if I am killed in such a conflict.

    So there will be no real peace until terrorism from Pakistan stops. India, prevented from attacking Pakistan because of nukes will carry or arming itself to levels where it would be dangerous for Pakistanis to fall behind and when there is war – Pakistan will have to use those nukes if your generals have the guts. India’s doctrine is “no first use”.

    Another possibility that you have missed out is that the Pakistani army is seeking a way out of overspending on arms by saying “OK we have nukes. Now we are strong enough. We will spend less on conventional arms and more on nukes”. They may well be doing that (as per recent reports) – but they will have to be willing to use them sooner or later because India will definitely strike Pakistan sooner or later if terrorism continues. Even at the risk of nuclear war. After all it is Pakistan that has to blink first and use the nukes.

    A lot depends on what cost Pakistan is willing to absorb as Pakistanis live out all their bad dreams of India killing Muslims, revenge for 1971, revenge for causing floods in 2010, revenge for Kashmir, revenge for “Gujrat” , Revenge for Babri Masjid, revenge for partition etc.

    Remember that in nuclear war – the Pakistani general who launches nukes will not survive to see what he has wrought, nor his family, friends and colleagues. If he survives in a nuclear resistant bunker – all that was dear to him will have gone when he comes out. I think your generals know that well – for all their bravado.

    Guess where the maturity has to come from?

  47. bciv

    @PMA

    If we must reorient Pakistan from a position of Security State to a position of total Welfare State then how to ward off existential external as well as internal threats.

    the instinct to survive kind of existence is one thing, but we need to decide how we wish to live (‘exist’) and how such a decision can legitimately be arrived at. that, essentially, is what the article is about. the author, NZA, and aliarqam are asking for a serious rethink and course-correction because the security state neurosis has

    1) skewed, damaged or destroyed how we wanted to exist when we first came into existence

    2) has made it next to impossible to question the way of existence imposed upon us

    3) the control-freak security state has been used to try and justify illegitimate and unaccountable power, and

    4) ..only one, but the worst, predictable result of that all-wise and unaccountable power is that it itself has been the cause of much of the internal existential threat we face and are at war with today.

    NZA has already answered your question about the welfare state. she refers to the august 11 speech which gives a sufficient view of the welfare state’s primacy and centrality, in other words, the state-citizen contract as recognised in the civilised world. if that’s not there, what is it that we are so prepared to defend with our lives?

    btw, what do you mean when you say “total welfare state”?

  48. The reason for putting Khaled Ahmed words in comments was to address the point raised by PMA, with the existential threat, as he was not negating the concept, though he was just asking for the way to handle this. I believe that even the whole concept is wrong. As Khaled Ahmed has answered as Nations can not be built or united with the external threats.

  49. Octavian

    Whereas I am no fan of turning Pakistan into an Islamic caliphate, and whereas it is without a question true that, recently, fundo types have brought Pakistan to its knees – I wonder if we are being disingenuous by not acknowledging the fact that the morass of filth and degradation in which the Pakistani race finds itself today is a byproduct of biblical failures of ALL sectors of society, and I mean everyone.

    Our great Socialist Humanist Democrat, Zulfi Bhutto for example had no qualms about colluding with a boozing general to divest us of half of Jinnah’s Pakistan. Can’t really blame the Mullah’s for that can we?

    At the end of the day, it is misuse of power, and the twisting of whatever ideology is in vogue at the time (development in the early days of Pakistan, Islam nowadays) which can lead to disaster.

    Now what is to be done? Everyone one of us, who in some form identify with our dear Pakistan should raise hell whenever we can, oppose the obscurantists wherever they appear (be they crazy religious goons, or plundering ‘democrats’ who are anything but democratic).

    I think the PTH exhibits many of these qualities. What is needed for it to become “main stream” I suppose

  50. Tilsim

    @ PMA

    “At present Pakistan perceives India as an existential threat. ”

    True, the security policy makers do think that. Can you please break this down so that we understand the specific practical concerns that make up that perception of an existential threat.

    -I can think of the Kashmir dispute as central.

    -Water insecurity.

    -Historically it may have been the akhund bharat fear. Is that real?

    – Support to Baluchistan separatists. Is that a reaction to Kashmir or is it a deliberate desire to break up Pakistan?

    – the rise of aggressive Hindu nationalism?

    It would be good to understand the components of this existential threat fear.

  51. Hayyer

    PMA:

    It was an interesting thread till India came into it as it was bound to, and as we know from experience nothing gets solved once that happens.

    NZA’s thesis was provocative. You invited discussion on its implications eventually responding with the two following takes.

    At present Pakistan perceives India as an existential threat. Pakistan being a smaller power relative to India has a defence doctrine. It is called maintaining “Minimum Deterrent”. This doctrine has helped maintain peace in the South Asia for the last sixty years. Should Pakistan unilaterally disarm itself. In my view these are very serious questions and need serious answers. Go ahead take a stab at it if you wish.

    I don’t suppose you would ever admit the possibility that the perception is erroneous, and NZA entirely correct.

    There has not been a war between India and Pakistan for forty years now.

    There was one in 1999, soon after the minimum deterrent was displayed in 1998. The fact that the war was fought entirely in Indian territory does not make it any less an open war.

    All near-war situations did not lead into all-out-war mainly due to the “Minimum Deterrent” doctrine of Pakistan. By now both sides have learned that war is not a solution to the bilateral disputes.

    It may be your personal view that the MD allows Pakistan to risk “all out war”. India thinks it is a damned dangerous way to run state policy. India has never resorted to war as a solution. Your side never ceases to experiment with it. These days we hear that the river waters issue is a good enough casus belli.

    There is too much at stake for both sides. But the status quo is not the answer either. The need of the hour is to convert this situation of Uneasy Peace into a situation of Permanent Peace. This will happen when India will further gain political and economical maturity and confidence. There is no other alternative to Peace.

    I think one can never have enough political and economic maturity and confidence. What are your solutions for converting uneasy peace to permanent peace-without the MD that is. Why do you think that NZA’s thesis is wrong. What if India were not a threat, only an excuse for military domination?

  52. Hayyer

    I was experimenting with tags above and they seem to have gone wrong. Sorry.
    Here is a fresh try.

    There has not been a war between India and Pakistan for forty years now.

    There was one in 1999, soon after the minimum deterrent was displayed in 1998. The fact that the war was fought entirely in Indian territory does not make it any less an open war.

    All near-war situations did not lead into all-out-war mainly due to the “Minimum Deterrent” doctrine of Pakistan. By now both sides have learned that war is not a solution to the bilateral disputes.

    It may be your personal view that the MD allows Pakistan to risk “all out war”. India thinks it is a damned dangerous way to run state policy. India has never resorted to war as a solution. Your side never ceases to experiment with it. These days we hear that the river waters issue is a good enough casus belli.

    There is too much at stake for both sides. But the status quo is not the answer either. The need of the hour is to convert this situation of Uneasy Peace into a situation of Permanent Peace. This will happen when India will further gain political and economical maturity and confidence. There is no other alternative to Peace.

    I think one can never have enough political and economic maturity and confidence. What are your solutions for converting uneasy peace to permanent peace-without the MD that is. Why do you think that NZA’s thesis is wrong. What if India were not a threat, only an excuse for military domination?

    I hope this one is ok.

  53. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib:

    “Pakistan being a smaller power relative to India has a defense doctrine…”

    Even if one uncritically accepts your argument that India is a hostile power with an intention to harm Pakistan, does Pakistan have no choice other than its ‘doctrine’?

    Pakistan is not the only smaller nation in the world that exists close to a bigger hostile neighbor; there are other examples. Singapore is city state situated on the tip of a peninsula and feared a take over from Malaysia of trouble from Indonesia. Cuba lives even today, in the shadow of a hostile super power. In the last century, Switzerland kept its neutrality and its independence in the face of a Nazi onslaught against the rest of Europe. There are many other such examples yet none of these countries have a defense doctrine based on using irregular terror groups to keep needling the larger neighbor. None of these countries ever felt the need to develop a ‘strategic depth’ into another weaker neighbor’s backyard.
    Heck none of these even have the Nukes!
    Above all, none of these countries feel or ever felt the need to compromise the welfare of its citizens for the sake of security.

    Why do you think Pakistan is so unique that it has to not only develop a defensive strategy but also needlessly keep poking the neighbor in the eye from time to time?

    How was operation Gibraltar a defensive strategy?
    How was Kargil?
    How did Mumbai massacre make Pakistan any safer?

    It is easy enough for both the Indian and the Pakistani hawks to sit in the safety of their homes and talk of this or that ‘doctrine’ but how many of these same hawks will want the LET types to practice their skills while living in their own neighborhoods or to recruit their cadres from the schools their own children and grandchildren go to?

    It is worth pondering over this last question because it is only in the answer to it that one can realize why after 63 years of its existence, a state has not become a nation in the true sense.

    Regards.

  54. bciv

    @kashif naseer

    this is a exellent discussion of two great Scolars of Islam

    … with diametrically opposed views. as far as jinnah’s august 11 speech is concerned, one of these scholars agrees entirely with what the author says about it in this article.

  55. PMA

    Ali Arqam (August 18, 2010 at 8:39 pm):

    I will try to stick to the original point raised by the author as much as I can. She has pointed out to us that Pakistan spends $ five billion per annum on defence while public welfare is being ignored. It is a valid point. The question is if five billion is too much then how much is not too much. How much should Pakistan spend on her defence. Should Pakistan do away with defence forces altogether or is there any halfway point. Now my dear friend Ali Arqam, if you have any answer to this question please do share with us.

  56. Ali Abbas

    @PMA,

    Where has Nasima advocated for a welfare state? She is simply stating what an increasing number of Pakistanis are stating and that is the end of the security state and a transition towards a secular democracy. This obsession with India is not helping us when 20 million of our Pakistanis are shelterless, starving and on the verge of contracting water borne diseases.

  57. PMA

    Hayyer (August 18, 2010 at 10:00 pm):

    There is a misconception that the doctrine of Minimum Deterrent was invented in the Bhutto era or with the development of nuclear weapons. This doctrine was put into place right after the 1948 Kashmir war. Once the two forces clashed in the mountain state both sides took a stock of each other. Keeping in view that India is not going to vacate the Valley any time soon, Pakistan government under Liaqat Ali Khan seek to increase its military capabilities to the level where India can not roll its tank to the other side unchallenged. From that day on Pakistan has tried to maintain that balance of military inequality. The field of defence weaponry is very broad and goes beyond Weapons of Mass Destruction. India did use force to breakup Pakistan in 1971 although her efforts on the western front have not been so successful. I do not say that NZA is right or wrong. In fact she has said nothing new.

  58. NZA

    @PMA,

    why don’t you do the math. Everyone is congizant of the budget, foreign military aid and corporate and feudal interests, control and assets. Similarly, why don’t you and everyone in Pakistan start questioning the doctrine of strategic depth and see what its fallout has been in terms of lives, material loss and standing in the global community! Do the same for how our state views itself as the “Un- India” on the imperatives of those who dictate security and how much this has cost us. There is no mention of the word “welfare state” in my article but yes, do the math and I am sure you can come up with a few hundred billion dollars that could have been saved and spent better and provided enough welfare for a few lifetimes!

  59. PMA

    Gorki (August 18, 2010 at 10:41 pm):

    Sir your examples of Singapore or Switzerland do not fit. You need to look some more. Pakistan’s doctrine of Minimum Deterrent is not my invention. It was born out of 1948 India-Pakistan conflict and put in place in the light of Indian belligerence.

  60. NSA

    You need to look some more. Pakistan’s doctrine of Minimum Deterrent is not my invention. It was born out of 1948 India-Pakistan conflict and put in place in the light of Indian belligerence.

    Doesn’t explain 1965.

  61. PMA

    NZA (August 19, 2010 at 12:15 am):

    Respectfully Madam. The five billion figure is introduced by you. Now you are asking me to “do the math”. I do not have the foggiest idea what should or should not be the defence budget of Pakistan. All I know is that in the face of Indian military threat Pakistan has a doctrine of Minimum Deterrent in place and this doctrine has help maintain peace in the region. If you think that Pakistan should scrap this doctrine and replace it with something else then please share your ideas with us.

    Since you have brought up the “strategic depth”. It is not a physical depth. It is a policy of Pakistan government to maintain friendly relations with all of her neighbors. One component of the same policy is to not to allow hostile forces along its borders. Pakistan for her own security can not afford hostile forces at her open and porous western border. Last time I looked, Pakistan was not “un-India”. It was still Pakistan. Thanks for the response. Hope to hear more of you.

  62. Since you are dealing all this discussion with much amusement, that is why passing some very funny remarks, as your definition of strategic depth here, where the hell have you found this definition, friendly relations with the neighbours. It means Pakistan relations with China, Iran etc are also under the umbrella of strategic depth.
    As for as your question regarding the military spending is concerned, Just review the indices of economic development, human resources development and all, look at the indices where Pakistan stands then compare it with Pakistan size of the Army and military expenditures, I think you will find the answer, but for this you should come out of the bunker of Indian threat etc. etc. As at this time we have the internal threats bigger than the external ones, and for these own threat we are milking billions of dollars from US and allies.

  63. Since you have the bad habit of overlooking the comments which do not match your procrastination, but comments from the indian friends have some valid points, you war doctrine from Mutalia Pakistan has some serious questions breeding and nourishing terrorist outfits, and let them infiltrate the neighbourhoods as Afghanistan, India, China, Iran and central Asian countries, as all are protesting our potential of exporting homegrown terrorists and those escaped from their respective countries.
    Your military doctrines and funny notion of defining strategic depth in your own way has some serious questions as why terrorists from Xingjiang, Chechnya, Tajakistan, Gulf and even the Untied states are traced here and targeted on the land having minimum deterrent and strategic depth aka friendly relations with the neighbours, by coercion, blackmailing or by imposed terrorists regimes to have peace with the neighbours

  64. PMA

    Ali Arqam (August 19, 2010 at 1:33 am):

    Sir none of my remarks are tend to be funny. Defence of a country and needs for Public Welfare are very serious subjects. Yes Pakistan’s friendly relations with neighbors like China, Iran and even the Gulf States fall under the umbrella of strategic depth. Please look up the definition of strategic depth. I agree with you that Pakistan’s indices of economic development and human resources development are very poor. I also agree with you that the Pakistan’s military expenditures are proportionally high. But the uncomfortable question still remain: Should Pakistan disband its Defence Forces? If defence budget needs to be cut then by how much? Ten percent, fifty percent, eighty percent? How much?

  65. PMA

    Dear Ali Arqam: Let me bring you back to the start of our discussion. I had said that the author has raised a point. She said that:

    “to salvage Pakistan is to ditch our legacy as a security state and invest all our resources into literally saving the country from drowning”.

    I have concentrated on the “Security State” part of her article. Armed Forces of a country are the main component of a Security State. My direct question is that what should Pakistan do with her Armed Forces. Reduce it by half? Eliminate it altogether? Any suggestions?

  66. NSA

    PMA,

    This “cut the military budget” or “cut the armed forces” is utterly missing the point.

    1. Cut jihadi funding to zero. Keep jihadis from being able to raise funds (“ushr”, etc., levied in Punjab, for instance).

    With no jihadis the world will see no threat emanating from Pakistan and the threat to Pakistan will also reduce.

    2. Attend to the problems outlined in Ayesha Siddiqa’s “Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy”.

    The “security state” is because of a military-industrial complex that distorts all economic priorities, and not simply because of existence of Armed Forces.

    I’m sure there is more, but the above two alone are hard enough problems.

  67. NSA

    Here is an excerpt from a November 2007 review of Ayesha Siddiqa’s book:

    How did Pakistan’s armed forces end up dominating the economy? Awarding land grants to soldiers dates back to the aftermath of the 1857 mutiny against British colonial rule. After 1947, when Britain departed and Pakistan separated bloodily from India, the perceived external threat from India, and the dispute over the province of Kashmir (left unresolved by the British), kept the military front and center in Pakistan.

    Distrustful military men sought to ensure their institution’s financial autonomy, Ms. Siddiqa argues; then they sought direct control over policy making. In the bargain, they enriched themselves.

    Post-independence expansion of Milbus occurred most prominently via welfare foundations, under the guise of providing for the needs of the troops and their families, whether with bakeries or beauty parlors. In addition, land grants, pensions five times the civilian level and post-retirement jobs — “the most significant group involved in Milbus are retired personnel” — were designed to make service attractive. But Ms. Siddiqa writes that “out of the 46 housing schemes directly built by the armed forces, none is for ordinary soldiers.” Milbus acts like an upward funnel.

    Milbus justifies its commercial empire by disparaging civilians as incompetent and corrupt and insisting that the military alone promote national development. Just such a developmental apology for Pakistan’s military rule was echoed in American academic and policy circles throughout the cold war.

    To refute these claims, which endure among Pakistan’s officer corps, Ms. Siddiqa tallies the bailouts for military-run businesses. When Milbus earns profits, Ms. Siddiqa writes, they often derive from insider access to resources and contracts. A number of top military companies, she shows, were granted outright monopolies, which wiped out competitive civilian companies. Milbus displays all the inefficiencies of crony capitalism, worsened by the military hierarchy.

    Economic predation by the Pakistani military, she writes, finds an enabler in the nation’s alliance with Washington, lately in the name of the war on terror. But she directs her deepest ire at Pakistan’s civilian politicians, many of whom, she writes, have colluded in Milbus, profiting politically and commercially.

  68. NSA

    Shorter version, from the same review:

    “….Ms. Siddiqa has dared to illuminate Pakistan’s military as an oppressive holding company possessing not just security-related businesses, but also hotels, shopping malls, insurance companies, banks, farms and an airline. “

  69. MAHALINGAM KHAN

    {EDITED FOR IRRELEVANCE}

  70. AZW

    PMA:

    I will try to stick to the original point raised by the author as much as I can. She has pointed out to us that Pakistan spends $ five billion per annum on defence while public welfare is being ignored. It is a valid point. The question is if five billion is too much then how much is not too much. How much should Pakistan spend on her defence. Should Pakistan do away with defence forces altogether or is there any halfway point. Now my dear friend Ali Arqam, if you have any answer to this question please do share with us.

    1948 was 62 years back. A lot of water has passed under the bridge. In 1948, Pakistan had valid concerns for its viability. The partition of India was considered by many in India as well as around the world to be temporary. Indian actions in Kashmir and Hyderabad were heavy handed and Pakistan’s defence policies were engineered to counter the threat from India.

    However, the subsequent events were rather a stark reminder that the perceived threat from India never materialized. Except for Runn of Kuch war in 1965, in none of the conflicts (1948 tribal invasion of Kashmir, 1965 Operation Gibralter, 1999 Kargil), India can be called the initiator of the war, or to invade and annex Pakistan. 1971 war was a result of a state hell bent upon keeping its one arm aggrieved to an extent that the Operation Search Light was launched in March 1971, where the unfortunate General and Commander in Chief of ours was quoted as saying “kill 3 million of these Bengalis and the rest will come eat out of our hands” (Robert Payne Feb 22, 1971).

    True to his word, according to our very own Justice Humoodur Rahman, 26,000 civilians were killed by the Pakistan Army. A truly astounding number, sobered by the fact that every third party has put the death toll at a lot lot higher.

    But no worries, India remains our enemy number one. Deter we shall, we reason, even if we have to eat grass (and that is happening too). To make sure that damn India does not pressure us from our western borders (even though the last polls showed a massive 2% approval rating for Pakistan among the Kabul civilians), we ought to make sure that Afghanistan does not go awry against Pakistan.

    I would like to propose a five point schedule for Pakistan to move away from the India-centric policy that has done nothing but kept the nation occupied with a bogey that had long ceased to be a threat. There is no need to starve the army of any funds. Army is an important insitution for Pakistan and no one is advocating dissolving the army. We are throwing money at a security, where the underlying security threat was long misidentified. We haven’t got the priorities straightened out. The shift has come from recognizing and changing the priorities, and earnestly implementing them one after another:

    1) First step, Pakistan takes away support from all proxy militias that are using Pakistani soil to plan resistance or attacks anywhere, whether it is Afghanistan, India or Iran. There are no exceptions. And for their brutish leaders like Jalaluddin Haqqanis, Hikmatyaars, Masood Azhars, Haafiz Saeeds, law must make sure that they cannot get away with murders anywhere.

    From now on Pakistan will cease to be a sanctuary for any Taliban or Arab group that uses it as a base to plan attacks anywhere.

    2) Pakistan Army must stop meddling in the democratic affairs of the political environment. There are no exceptions here again. It is astounding that ISI managed a political cell for three decades, officially. But a fledgeling democracy cannot afford another “right-the-ship” righteous crowd from the army getting involved and abetting one horse after another.

    3) There are four basis responsibilities of any government: a) protection of individual life b) protection of an individual’s property and dignity, c) protection of free speech as long as it doesn’t violate the first two rights, and d) providing free education and healthcare to its citizens. There is nothing more to that. Pakistan must start diverting funds gradually away from its military expenditures to start putting them into the rule of law institutions, the police, judicial system and public administration. This is what my idea of a welfare state is about. It is not a nanny state that has a cradle to grave guarantee for its citizens. But the state is at the forefront of providing the best resources for its citizens to protect them, educate them and give them all the protection they need to go out and pursue their dreams.

    4) I do not expect the Pakistani security to be jeopardized by any of its measures. If 63 years have shown us something, it is that our biggest tragedies have nothing to do with any of our enemies. All of our existential threats have emanated from us focusing on external, not internal shortcomings. All things equal, Indian threat goes down when there are no militias planning attacks on their capital and their financial centers. A democratic Afghanistan where its resistance has no support from across the border lessens our threat from the west, does not increase it.

    5) As Pakistan starts allocating more of its resources towards the basic four pillars of a stable society, it must start dealing with its confused identity crisis that breeds young and old men thinking that the world is out to get the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, or that the giant to the East is also living with us in the 1948 mindset and has not moved on. It would be nice if mindless obsession with religion in the name of religion is discontinued. For a starter I recommend that Jinnah’s Aug 11 speech and the concluding remarks of Justice Munir-Kiyani Report be made part of the senior school curriculum, and the young generation be given a full picture of the independence movement where minority rights were the main issue for the Muslim nationalists (I believe this is what the author of this post referred to as well).

    That way, at least the next generation will learn to respect its own minorities, rather than suppressing them, killing them in thousands and blaming India for the ensuing massive tragedies.

    To conclude I am attaching three links in this comment. The first two are my articles that were published at PTH two weeks back and talk about making Pakistan a more inward looking, responsible towards its own citizens state that no longer obsesses India and keeps on devoting 22% of its budget towards defense directly, and suffers indirectly due to a faltering economy in a perennially unstable security conscious state. The last link is something that Brigadier Shaukat Qadeer wrote about Operation Gibraltor and how President Ayub likely launched that ill planned invasion in Kashmir due to his faltering political picture back in Islamabad.

    https://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/a-vicious-circle/

    https://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/what-constitutes-a-stable-society/

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_29-9-2003_pg3_5

  71. Hayyer

    PMA:

    “Pakistan’s doctrine of Minimum Deterrent is not my invention. It was born out of 1948 India-Pakistan conflict and put in place in the light of Indian belligerence.”

    In what way India a belligerent in 1948. You may recall that it was Pakistani or Pakistan inspired forces that invaded Kashmir. India went in to defend Kashmir on a request from the Maharaja.

    What is a minimum deterrent? It is commonly accepted that the PA as a result of its anti communist alliances was superior to the IA through the 50s and early 60s. India began building up only after the ’62 China war. Your deterrent was built up on the pretext of countering China and Russia not India. Except for acquiring a few planes for the Air Force India did nothing at all for its military through the fifties and early sixties.

    Even in the Rann of Kutch conflict where Pakistan is said to have bested India the provocation was from Pakistan.

    Bangladesh need not have happened if you had not forced 10 million refugees on us. The proxy war in Kashmir and the Kargil war are not of India’s initiative. Your thesis doesn’t hold up. India needs that deterrent not Pakistan.

  72. @Hayyer
    I totally agree, as it were our founding fathers who offered the US to be a frontline state, signed all the treaties against Soviet, Offered ten year lease to US of badabair to monitor Soviets. But one thing to mention is that the price for all this was to get help against India, as our founding fathers have called it Hindu imperialism.

  73. Tilsim

    Whatever the past considerations for our security policy, it does need some updating. I don’t believe that any nation can completely let down it’s guard either but the nature of threats do change in their intensity. The priorities can be revised depending on these changes.

    To be fair also to the PA, during Musharraf’s time, I did detect a willingness to change Pakistan’s security policy.

  74. bciv

    @Tilsim

    whatever bold ideas he might have initiated about kashmir, didn’t he say that MD would remain, with or wihtout kashmir being an issue?

    @PMA

    pakistan spends the same percentage of her GDP as US on defence. is this equivalence really justifiable?

    then we have all the obstructions that the security state creates in the way of increasing our GDP, the military interrupting and interfering with democracy being the worst of them all. either we can increase our GDP by having more defence housing societies and producing even more fuaji cornflakes, or we can do it the more normal way.

    it would be nice to have civilian rather than military plant, but more pertinently, what is required is civilian control of either and for the military to concentrate on being soldiers. does a security state mean we must have thousands of military personnel, serving and retired, in the ‘civilian’ bureaucracy?

    the only thing india has been belligrent about, and guilty of initiating it as well, are words. but did we have to turn a’stan into an enemy because the pakistani security state was unable to see our western neighbour as anything other than a tool to counter the eastern ‘enemy’? did the security state have to push iran away with the same blinkers on?

    would the security state not have been complete without the JI coming to the security establishment’s ideological aid in 1965, then actually military participation in 1971 and being part and parcel of the military regime in the 1980s?

    just how are outfits like LeT part of MD? i’ve heard of inanities like aggressive defense, but not self-destructive defense! the security state made sure that not only did we have LeT collection boxes on many shop counters but also in some public sector offices (e.g. PIA’s Lahore HQ) through the 1990s.

    so, it’s not about the defense budget being at a sensible level, given a country’s GDP and level of development. it is about not losing all sense of logic and sanity, who we are and how we want to live and about not surrendering and running roughshod over our own freedom and dignity in order to defend it!

  75. Ammar

    Very pertinent points, at the end of the day it is individual that lost his/her, however it is tragic when such a tragedy is undermined by propaganda, it has been nine years and more than 25 thousand civilians lost their lives in the war against terror. Yet after so much bloodshed we find people who have nerve to question the legitimacy of this war. This is war of our survival which coincides with the global agenda; if our allies abandon us today we would still be fighting this war as this is not an imposed war rather this battle will determine our path towards either modernity or destruction.

  76. Tilsim

    @ bciv

    “whatever bold ideas he might have initiated about kashmir, didn’t he say that MD would remain, with or wihtout kashmir being an issue?”

    From what I understand MD is based on the concept that any aggressor will have sufficient damage inflicted upon it that it will act as a deterrent to aggression. This does not necessarily imply taking part in an arms race. Capabilities have to be updated to keep the doctrine relevant but an arms race is something different.

    Pakistan cannot afford an arms race but probably can’t afford to abandon minimum deterrence in this neighbourhood.

    It’s an interesting question whether that minimum deterrence is in fact an arms race.

  77. Nusrat Pasha

    Dear worthy author:

    “…..At a time when our country is intellectually and morally bankrupt because of its moorings as a national security state built on the toxic teachings of Maududi, isn’t secularism the way to get out of this mess…..”

    Good insight. With reference to being “intellectually and morally bankrupt”, the following link, may well add to your insight:

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/40435/the-politics-of-relief-aliens-in-their-own-land/

    Best Regards.

  78. Pingback: Saving a drowing country needs an ideological shift « Therearenosunglasses’s Weblog

  79. shiv

    Regarding the PakTribune story posted by Nusrat Pasha, let me point out one of Pakistan’s contradictions.

    The laws of Pakistan clearly give preference to Muslims over non Muslims. As Ahmedis are considered non Muslim why worry if discrimination is shown? After all people are still following the laws of the land in these troubled times. Imagine if people started breaking laws. Imagine if a Muslim died because a non Muslim was being fed. Surely causing the death of one Muslim is like causing the death of all Muslims.

    So what exactly is wrong with the discrimination being shown? After all the world is showing discrimination against Pakistan. Pakistan should return the compliment to non Muslims, no?

    Such idiotic questions should have been answered long before they became true.

  80. PMA

    AZW (August 19, 2010 at 7:35 am):

    I for one appreciate you taking time and effort to meaningfully participate in this discussion. Defence is about “intentions” as well as about “capabilities”. You have come to conclusion that Indian intentions towards her neighbors have changed and existential threat from India has come to pass. Obama administration has also made same suggestion to Pakistan. But the facts on ground do not prove that. India is rapidly increasing its military capabilities around Asian theater (you can easily google that) but has not taken her second biggest neighbor into confidence. Furthermore India is in no mood of resolving outstanding disputes with Pakistan. What do you make of it?

    A shift from the position of Security State to a position of Welfare State for a poor country like Pakistan requires a drastic reduction in military expenditures. Under the present India-Pakistan situation I do not see it happening. India has never eased her military, diplomatic, or political pressure on Pakistan. Even if your remarkable “five point schedule” is fully implemented the defence budget of Pakistan would not change. You yourself are saying that “There is no need to starve the army of any funds. Army is an important institution for Pakistan and no one is advocating dissolving the army.”

  81. PMA

    Hayyer (August 19, 2010 at 9:03 am):

    What is a minimum deterrent you say. Tilsim in his August 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm post has said this:

    “From what I understand MD is based on the concept that any aggressor will have sufficient damage inflicted upon it that it will act as a deterrent to aggression. This does not necessarily imply taking part in an arms race. Capabilities have to be updated to keep the doctrine relevant but an arms race is something different.”

  82. androidguy

    PMA,

    What is your response to AZW’s first point a few posts above?
    Btw, does PMA stand of Pakistan Military Academy by any chance?🙂

  83. Hayyer

    PMA:

    I shall, if I may, first respond to another quote from you;

    “India has never eased her military, diplomatic, or political pressure on Pakistan.”

    From 1947 to 1971, yes even till then, for a whole generation, the military, diplomatic and political pressure was always from Pakistan.
    There was the constant discussion in the Security Council. India was constantly falling back on its sole ally, the USSR with its veto, against Pakistan’s allies the US, UK and France who always voted for Pakistan along with Taiwan.
    The pressure continued into the 60s, even after India’s China war when your western allies made India go through three rounds of talks.
    Your military pressure was tried after that in 1965, which we discussed earlier, and excluding the aberration of 1971 resumed in 1988. After the Soviets quit Afghanistan your country sought to repeat the experience in Kashmir, and finally staged Kargil. The military and the diplomatic pressure was all from Pakistan-till the Americans and their sidekick Nato came into Afghanistan, and even then diplomatic pressure to concede something to Pakistan did not go away.
    India’s pressure for what it is worth is to have it conveyed to you to leave us alone.
    We are arming certainly. Can you blame us? Earlier Pakistan offered its army to the US against China and the USSR to put pressure on India; now Pakistan offers its army to China against India (Zardari offered China Pakistan’s army as a force multiplier). We have every reason to be worried about your intentions.

    “From what I understand MD is based on the concept that any aggressor will have sufficient damage inflicted upon it that it will act as a deterrent to aggression.”

    Dear PMA, that is an argument in India’s favour not Pakistan’s.

  84. PMA

    Android Guy (August 19, 2010 at 9:17 pm):

    Yup. You got it.

  85. Girish

    androidguy,

    You will not get a straight answer to the point 1 that you seek from those who are so closely aligned to the Pakistan army’s worldview.

    For the Pakistan military, the terrorist groups are merely an extended arm. This is not a recent development – irregulars were first used in Kashmir in 1947 within 2 months after the Pakistan army emerged as a separate entity. In 1965, regular soldiers posing as irregulars were infiltrated into Kashmir as part of Operation Gibraltar. In 1971, the Al Badr and Al Shams terrorists were used to conduct many of the dirty tasks for the PA in East Pakistan. In the 1980s, first the Punjab terror organizations were used to spread mayhem in Punjab and the rest of India and then since 1989, they have been used in Kashmir and all over India. In 1993, Dawood Ibrahim and his gang was used by the Pakistan army to cause destruction in Bombay. In 1999, once again regulars posing as irregulars were used to take possession of the Kargil heights, triggering a full scale war there like in 1965.

    The same story can be seen in Afghanistan as well, where proxies including the Taliban, the Haqqanis and the Al Qaeda were and in many cases are still being used by the Pakistan army to project power where regular forces cannot. The distinction between regular and irregular forces has been vague there as well – the Taliban’s military forces even after 911 continued to be led by serving PA officers for instance.

    Through its history, the Pakistan army has considered terrorists and other irregulars as providing it asymmetric capability and deniability. It is unlikely to give up this assiduously built capability easily, unless it is forced to.

  86. PMA

    Hayyer (August 19, 2010 at 9:59 pm):

    Poor poor India her millions tin soldiers
    How my heart bleeds for her aberrations
    Retrofitted carriers and secondhand subs
    Roaming eyes in the sky and toy planes
    Mounted fake missiles empty warheads
    Yeah tanks are few on the border but…..
    Believe me they are only for decorations

  87. rationalistic

    To PMA

    And the mighty pak army is scared of such an ill-equipped indian army?

    So all this talk about India threatening Pakistan is again exposed to be a bluff by PMA (Pakistan Military Academy).

  88. androidguy

    PMA,

    You artfully duck a few pointed questions, eh? Nice poem, actually it buttresses Hayyer’s points even more. If tin soldiers and retrofitted ships is all India’s got, why is still an existential threat to you? Thinking clearly is obviously something not taught at Kakul or you slept through that class.

  89. Tilsim

    @ PMA

    I think both Hayyer and you may be talking of an India of yore, defensive posture and all that. For, the new India is making a new tryst with destiny and it’s military power is going to be a new reflection of this.

    Extract from NYT: “In a speech in Parliament in 2008, a rising political star spoke of a change in civilian thinking that helped explain the change in military strategy.

    “What is important,” said Rahul Gandhi, the heir to the family dynasty that controls the governing Congress Party, “is that we stop worrying about how the world will impact us, we stop being scared about how the world will impact us, and we step out and worry about how we will impact the world.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/22/world/asia/22iht-power.1.16364183.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

    The quicker India and Pakistan solve their issues, the sooner they can realise their goals (which don’t have to be mutually exclusive).

  90. Tilsim

    “whatever bold ideas he might have initiated about kashmir, didn’t he say that MD would remain, with or wihtout kashmir being an issue?”

    Kashmir is a big part of Pakistan’s posture, good and bad towards India and Afghanistan. The conflict’s resolution does need bold ideas and vision. How can this come about before the out of control terrorists set the agenda? India and Pakistan’s interests should theoretically be aligned to enable flexibility and solve this vital issue but as I said earlier in Oz speak, a few kangaroos loose in the paddock in both countries establishments. Pakistanis and Indians need to develop a consensus independent of their establishments. Combined, we have much cultural power already and potential for economic power.

    People to people contact ki Jai!

  91. Girish

    Tilsim,

    I read the article. An interesting one because it raises big issues, but not very accurate or perceptive. For instance, its main evidence for India’s power projection overseas is the purchase of C-130J aircraft. It presents these aircraft as a staple of long range conflict, and not needed against Pakistan. This demonstrates that the author knows nothing about military aircraft. Little does he realize, for instance, that the C-130J is merely an uprated version of the C-130 Hercules, an aircraft the Pakistan Air Force has operated since the 1960s! The one way ferry range of this turbo prop aircraft is about 5000kms, giving it a round trip range of 2500kms. Hardly useful even against China, let alone far away from India’s shores. The C-130J is designated for transporting special forces quickly in the case of terrorist attacks (this is due to the criticism of the time it took the National Security Guards team to reach Mumbai after the start of the 26/11 attacks). It is a transporter, widely used across the world. A good, reliable aircraft, but nothing special.

    All the other examples of military purchases in the article show a defensive mindset, rather than any buildup of offensive capabilities.

    To put things in perspective, the last artillery gun India purchased was in 1986, and due to the scandal generated by the purchase (the Bofors gun), even the planned follow on order of 1500 guns after the 300 guns initially ordered was cancelled. The air force is smaller today than it was in the late 1980s and the sanctioned number of squadrons in the Air Force is unlikely to be achieved before 2030, if at all. The navy will have a smaller submarine fleet now than in the 1990s, and arguably less capable than the Pakistan Navy’s submarine fleet for some more years to come. India had two operating aircraft carriers in the 80s and 90s, it has one now and even that is well beyond its lifespan. India has fewer nuclear weapons and fewer operational strategic missiles than Pakistan as per most reports. It spends less than half Pakistan’s military budget on a per capita basis and is at the lower end of the scale for most countries on this measure. Through the 1980s, India spent 3.5% of its GDP on its military, it spends 2.5% now and the trend has continuously been downwards over the last two decades.

    All the evidence points to India’s military being defensively oriented. The concept of defence perhaps now includes cooperating with other navies in keeping the sea lanes clear of pirates in the Persian gulf, the Red Sea and in South East Asian waters. But that is only good for the entire world and threatens nobody.

  92. Tilsim

    @ Girish

    An assessment from Stephen Cohen that’s worth a read and pondering over:

    http://www.brookings.edu/speeches/2009/0409_pakistan_cohen.aspx

    “As for India, it (Pakistan) is both part of the problem and part of the solution, but I know that if it does not act in a positive and creative fashion its hopes of becoming a comprehensively great power cannot be achieved. There may be some gratification in seeing your major enemy and rival go up in flames, but not if your house catches fire.”

  93. androidguy

    Tilsim,

    “..How can this come about before the out of control terrorists set the agenda…”

    The terrorists are firmly in control and GHQ knows precisely where they are. Go to any of the bigger mosques in Lahore on a Jumma day and you will find many preaching to people like you and me from the pulpit. Tilsim, you are one of the most perceptive, understanding, reasonable and good hearted poster amongst PTH, you shouldn’t be this disingenuous!

  94. Tilsim

    @ androidguy

    If only life were so simple. I think whilst ordinary Pakistanis have their blindspots about India, ordinary Indians unfortunately also have their blindspots.

    As I have said in earlier posts several weeks ago, I feel that there is a barbaric illusion amongst some members of Pakistan’s security establishment that these terrorists can be controlled. They can’t be. I suspect that the same people in the establishment who think they can control them actually want to usher in an Islamist state in Pakistan. These elements have their own agenda which is at odds with the PA’s core calculations. They are collaborating with the same groups that the PA is fighting against. The terrorism that they have unleashed against the PA and ISI itself should provide ample proof to anyone who is closely watching developments in Pakistan. Again, I have listed in previous posts several of the attacks against the PA.

    I keep on saying, keep a close eye on what is going on in Pakistan. The existential threat is from Islamists. The old thinking is not so relevant anymore. Pakistanis are confused/ or in denial about this so I don’t blame the Indians for also not seeing what’s actually happening.

    I have no unique insight. I think many other people are saying the same thing. Washington is saying the same thing. Whilst the floods are devestating, UK and USA are helping because they know they need to choke off the oxygen of these groups. India should realise the same.

  95. Tilsim

    These groups now wield immense power within the state and society. It’s not so easy to dislodge them without an all out civil war. It’s an internal war of a thousand cuts. It will take time to reverse them ideologically, economically, the law and militarily. There is no choice but to fight them. However the terrorists and their sympathisers are also fighting back through bombs and intimidation, the media, the courts, and political alliances.

    The problematic militants are not confined to one or two mosques or groups unfortunately.

    Do you know that there are big slabs of concrete on major roads in Lahore to slow traffic and prevent these suicide bombers quickly getting to their targets?

  96. PMA

    rationalistic (August 19, 2010 at 11:31 pm):

    The poem is named “Hayyer’s Song” and written to reflect his line of argument. You are so thick you did not even get it.

  97. androidguy

    Tilsim,

    Btw, thanks for the link of Stephen Cohen. Good read.

  98. Girish

    Tilsim,

    That might well be. But the groups that the Pakistan Army has used to target India are not the ones attacking Pakistan. There is not a single incident inside Pakistan where the LeT has been held responsible. Forget actions, it has not even said a word against Pakistan’s military rulers. They act in the open and with full patronage of the military. The Pakistan military might have its own terrorist problem that it cannot fully control, but it simultaneously controls the anti-India and anti-Afghanistan/anti-US organizations fully or at least quite substantially. And the fact is that it has not done what is within its power to weaken these entities, if not dismantle them completely.

    Does anybody believe that there is no evidence that can be found against Hafiz Saeed? Does anybody for a moment believe that the ISI did not know where Omar Sheikh was until he supposedly magically surrendered to an ISI officer after the Daniel Pearl murder? Does anybody believe that the real perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks will ever be brought to justice. Does anybody here honestly believe that the whereabouts of another mass murderer – Dawood Ibrahim – are unknown to the ISI?

    Please don’t insult our intelligence by pointing to blindspots we have. We have blindspots, I am sure, but some of what I have stated would be visible to a bat, blind as it may be!

  99. androidguy

    “..The problematic militants are not confined to one or two mosques or groups unfortunately…”

    In an India-Pakistan context, the problematic militants are confined to one or two groups only, and you know who I am referring to.

  100. Tilsim

    @ Girish

    The Pakistan establishment is divided.

  101. androidguy

    I think I will stop posting, since Girish makes my point so eloquently🙂

    poor Tilsim, has to fend off two indignant Indians simultaneously!

  102. PMA

    Android Guy (August 19, 2010 at 11:38 pm):

    The poem is all about Hayyer and his excuses for Indian military build up. Otherwise Indian military is only third in the world. Her capabilities are enormous and intentions clear. Google her bases in Tajikistan and Command and Control Center in Andaman Sea off the cost of Myanmar. She is the new ‘master’ of the Indian Ocean.

  103. azhar aslam

    @ AZW

    ” Yes the exact same ones……..are to happen tomorrow, these same gentlemen will be back in power. This is what democracy is all about…….. don’t change the rules to bring someone else through back door….

    two things sir:

    a. you equate democracy with voter support….. you really need to carefully reflect on your position…

    b. I have never and will never support army rule… in fact I am positively against authoritarian rule of any kind… I have written about that on this very forum and elsewhere… I believe it was ‘Pakistan failure of Intellectuals’ on this forum and you may read defining pakistan on the following link… and if you can help us in that please please get in touch…

    http://awaam.wordpress.com/defining-pakistan/

  104. no-communal

    “These elements have their own agenda which is at odds with the PA’s core calculations. They are collaborating with the same groups that the PA is fighting against. The terrorism that they have unleashed against the PA and ISI itself should provide ample proof to anyone who is closely watching developments in Pakistan.”

    Many in India are watching developments in Pakistan. Are you really claiming that LeT
    is one of these groups PA and ISI are fighting against?

    Not to be critical, but this line of answer from even well-meaning Pakistanis baffles many Indians. India did not urge Pakistan to act against TTP and the assorted ones on your Afghan border (though we recognise that it’s a good thing that you are acting at all). Pakistani Taliban has close alliance with Afghan Taliban and may be PA will act against them too. You have already allowed drones where you do not want to go on foot for now. NATO and US should be enthusiastic about it.

    India’s worry is, however, South Panjab, where,

    “The chief minister of Punjab has allocated funds of Rs 86 million to the suspected terror nursery of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) in Muridke..”,

    Daily Times, Saturday, June 26, 2010.

  105. no-communal

    Sorry, I did not wish to barrage Tilsim with the same question that Girish has already asked.

  106. Girish

    I don’t mean to barrage anybody, least of all Tilsim with questions. I know he is a well-meaning person and some of my questions are really for the Pakistani military rather than to him. No offense meant to anybody.

  107. bciv

    @Tilsim

    “This does not necessarily imply taking part in an arms race”

    it is taking part in a race. however, instead of being about getting ahead, it is about staying behind at never more than the fixed distance determined by MD. justifiable or not, that’s still an arms race to me.

  108. no-communal

    I think Tilsim will agree that it’s a fair question from an Indian. What I meant by barraging was that I did not want to ask the same question again.

  109. Tilsim

    @ Girish @ No-communal

    I am not denying that LET has state patronage at a certain level. I am saying that the Pakistani establishment is divided about what to do with it which is a confusion at the heart of the state. The blowback from supporting these terrorists is intense. The LET is linked with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The LET is linked to ISI. If the Pakistani establishment goes against LET, the LET will turn it’s guns along with taliban and al qaeda on Pakistan. The state is already reeling from the war on terror. Do you have any idea what is going on in Karachi? There is a concerted effort to reduce MQM’s hold on the city. The city was shut for 3 days when they killed one of their prominent MPAs. The situation there is very tense.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LH05Df01.html

    Those who are against the LET know that they cannot fight this battle on all fronts across Pakistan. This is going to take time and the outcome is uncertain.

    Very easy to sit in drawing rooms and not see the calculations needed. There is also no denying that there is also a problem of will and a problem of Islamists in the establishment derailing efforts to create a will. It’s a bloody mess.

  110. no-communal

    Saw the article. Informative piece. Thanks.
    Knew about the frequent ANP-MQM clashes. Didn’t know that AQ was behind it or exploiting it.

    I for one want to see a stable and prosperous Pakistan. I think most here do. In fact, the majority in India does. Not condescendingly, but in a genuine, heartfelt, way. True, we want to see the India-obsessed terrorists brought to task. But we also want Pakistan to succeed.

    Our thoughts will be with Karachi…

  111. Tilsim

    @ no-c0mmunal

    Thank you for your sympathetic comments. I really appreciate them. Many many Pakistanis want the India obsessed terrorists brought to task too and to see the ideology that spawns such groups and it’s hate totally defeated. Many many good Pakistanis (and Indians) are dying in this fight.

    The people of Pakistan and India can help weaken the power of the sirens of hate by connecting again and by waking up to see what is actually going on around us.

    We have a common cause yet many powerful obstacles. We should seek twenty first century ways to prevail against obscurantism and extremism. The old certainties and ways of thinking are not going to work anymore. That paradigm kept an uneasy war like situation since 1947. It’s high time it’s discarded.

  112. NSA

    tilsim1,

    It is very hard to understand the mindset of those that continue with the cycle of violence in Karachi even in the face of a national calamity.

    May they come to their senses or else may you be rid of them!

  113. Gorki

    Interesting use of poetic skills; PMA Sahib.

    Anyway, it is good to see you and Hayyer indulge in a frank discussion and openly articulating the compulsions and the respective military doctrines of both sides.

    It has been said by some on the Indian side, that since the Pakistani military calls the shots anyway, any India Pak talks will be meaningless unless the PA is directly involved.

    You seem to be very knowledgeable regarding the mindset of the Pakistani (and perhaps even the Indian) military strategists so I want to ask you a direct and a frank question; what does the Pakistani army want from India?

    More specifically, what will it take for the Pakistani army to stop using armed militiamen against the Indian civilians?

    It is a sincere question; a frank answer will be very highly appreciated.

    Thank you.

  114. Hayyer

    PMA:

    An earlier set of verses by you on memories of a lost romance was better than ‘Hayyers Song’. It doesn’t answer any of the points I made, and, pardon me for saying this, even I can versify better than that.

    Poor poor Pakistan her half million tin soldiers
    How my heart bleeds for her sufferings
    Counterfeited missiles and Nuclear bombs
    Roaming Swedish eyes in the sky and Chinese J-17s
    Determined to blow herself up and all of us
    Yeah, unless Kashmir should be surrendered to her…..
    Believe me, India had better watch out

    Now, does that make any sense?

  115. shiv

    @ PMA/Tilsim
    MD is based on the concept that any aggressor will have sufficient damage inflicted upon it that it will act as a deterrent to aggression. This does not necessarily imply taking part in an arms race.

    The assumption here is that the wielder of the minimal deterrent can forego conventional arms build up using the excuse that he will use his nukes if threatened.

    In the Indian-Pakistan context, it should mean that no matter how much India arms herself conventionally, Pakistan need not match that, but could depend on the “minimal deterrent” to thwart an Indian aggression.

    In practice this can be tested very easily. If India spends a lot on conventional arms, Pakistani generals should begin to forego an expensive conventional build up and concentrate on a nuclear build up because it will be the nuclear deterrent that thwarts India. It would also mean that Pakistani generals have made up their minds to use their nuclear weapons sooner, rather than later, given the conventional imbalance.

    So far this has not occurred, While Pakistan is reported to be rapidly increasing her nuclear arsenal, there are reactive changes in the Pakistan army formations and deployments to oppose and cope with conventional doctrinal changes made by the Indian armed forces.

    That means that the Pakistani generals could possibly be caught in the dilemma of spending more on conventional weapons versus using nuclear bombs early in a war. The onus of using nuclear bombs first is on Pakistan which has a stated first use policy against India. Pakistani generals need to blink first. Indian nuclear retaliation will be in response to the Pakistani general’s attack.

    If Pakistani generals want to reduce conventional arms and instead of that, increase the possibility of nuclear war – that is up to them – but the signs are easily recognizable from satellite photos and open source intelligence information of Pakistan’s conventional preparedness.

    This behavior has been gamed by strategists and the only question is how far Pakistani generals are willing to go in threatening nuclear war before they actually use their nukes. As long as threats are used, and those threats are believed, Pakistan and those generals will exist. Once the threat is carried out, those generals, and Pakistan will have lost their last line of offence and defence.

    Any nation that threatens to start nuclear war is taken very seriously. If such a nation is let off lightly – it will be a signal to every uniformed madman to take that as an example and use nukes.

    That only means that the Pakistani deterrent will go only so far. It works only as much as Pakistani generals can indulge in brinkmanship. If they use them, they and Pakistan will be finished. So what is required from Pakistan is a suicidal army brass for the “minimal deterrent” to really work.

    If the Pakistani army is suicidal – they deserve to be destroyed. Their desire for death should be granted, like it is granted cheerfully for all fidayeen. If they are not suicidal, they will either have to arm themselves to face India conventionally, or sue for peace.

    The US (and China) was willing to see a Pakistan that had nukes aimed at India, but even Uncle Sam, and your tarrel than mountain fliend China get jittery when those nukes can be stolen by the lovable Talibunnies. Naturally, as an Indian, I would not mind seeing nukes in Taliban hands. That way – Pakistan’s nukes will be aimed at the US and Israel, apart from India. So much fun from a “minimal deterrent”no?

    The choice is with Pakistan.

  116. Nusrat Pasha

    @ shiv (August 19, 2010 at 7:44 pm)

    “…..Regarding the PakTribune story posted by Nusrat Pasha, let me point out one of Pakistan’s contradictions…..”

    Thank you for responding. A kind advice from a kind neighbour is always welcome. However, the purpose of my posting that link was to allow my own fellow-Pakistanis to take a more serious glance at the more serious threat from within – the mullah.

    This threat, from within, has far greater existential potentials than that from the East.

  117. Bin Ismail

    @ shiv (August 20, 2010 at 9:39 am)

    “…..Naturally, as an Indian, I would not mind seeing nukes in Taliban hands. That way – Pakistan’s nukes will be aimed at the US and Israel, apart from India…..”

    Naturally, as an Indian, you would not mind seeing nukes in Taliban hands. That way – Pakistan’s nukes will most surely be aimed at Pakistan itself.

  118. PMA

    Hayyer (August 20, 2010 at 8:54 am):

    The satirical poem “Hayyer’s Song” is a parody inspired your earlier post. It was composed ‘on the back of a napkin’ so to speak but it does catch your ‘whining’ about India not being a military power…….Nevertheless, no comments on your ‘work’.

  119. Raju Bhai

    Bin Ismail wrote:
    Naturally, as an Indian, you would not mind seeing nukes in Taliban hands. That way – Pakistan’s nukes will most surely be aimed at Pakistan itself.

    Now that is a thought, I’ve never had before! Sir, you’re a genius!

  120. Bin Ismail wrote:
    Naturally, as an Indian, you would not mind seeing nukes in Taliban hands. That way – Pakistan’s nukes will most surely be aimed at Pakistan itself.
    How will these be transported to Israel or US, or someone will provide a C 130 as provided to none other than our great AQ Khan

  121. PMA

    Gorki (August 20, 2010 at 8:22 am):

    Your assessment of my person are not correct and your questions regarding Pakistan Armed Forces are not genuine.

  122. @ Raju Bhai [August 20, 2010 at 6:05 pm]

    Now that is a thought, I’ve never had before!

    Wasn’t your never having had a thought before fairly widely known? Oh, you mean to yourself! Got it now.

  123. PMA

    shiv (August 20, 2010 at 9:39 am):

    Your assumption is not correct. Minimum Deterrent does not automatically mean use of Nuclear Weapons. Minimum Deterrent means having ability to discourage and to devour a possible aggression by the other side. Pakistan has been able to ward off all real and possible internal and external threats of aggression as a result of this doctrine in place since 1948.

  124. Tilsim

    @ shiv

    Pakistan’s minimum deterrent is conventional too. From what I can surmise, Pakistan is not just relying on one option.

    That said, it’s in Pakistan’s interest to solve our problems with India and I believe it’s in India’s interests too.

    The Taliban will never get their hands on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.

    You do post a lot of nonsense. A true soldier, you are not. Focus your energy on creating the conditions for peace.

  125. Raju Bhai

    @Bathplug

    Ha! Oscar the Grouch is peeping out of the edge of his garbage-can in Kolkata!

    If you can point out to some article or book from any notable source, where Bin Ismail’s threat analysis, arising out of his keen insight and ingenuity, has been mentioned before, I would be grateful! Then I would accede, that this is common knowledge and thinking, and Oscar the Grouch, the protector of Pakistan’s Honor & Dignity, is the omniscient one and I have been a brain-dead vegetable unable to mold a simple thought. If not you can go eat your house.

  126. Raju Bhai

    Correction

    “peeping over the edge”

  127. AZW

    PMA:

    Your assumption is not correct. Minimum Deterrent does not automatically mean use of Nuclear Weapons. Minimum Deterrent means having ability to discourage and to devour a possible aggression by the other side. Pakistan has been able to ward off all real and possible internal and external threats of aggression as a result of this doctrine in place since 1948.

    The whole Pakistan got split apart, most of it left us in 1971 because of what, Indian hegemonic designs?

    A Strategic Depth doctrine that seeks to put friendly governments in place on the western border did put a friendly government in place alright. Except in pursuit of that strategic depth doctrine, Pakistan abetted one blood thirsty Mujahideen leader after another. The minimum deterrence and its implied depth doctrine are working just fine in shape of hundreds of bombers who have killed thousands of civilians on the streets.

    Minimum deterrence is working excellently in case of the most dangerous country on earth that has remained perennially unstable due to its internal conflicts, its internal ethnic fault lines that were never addressed properly; where popular vote got crushed in the name of immediate stability.

    But we ought to remain firmly alert to Indian bases in Takijistan.

    Just last week I saw the news that ISI now considers the militants as a bigger threat than India now. Not a bit surprising that after so much carnage and pursuit of failed policies, the ISI is coming around to this conclusion. What is worrying is that only until the chickens come home to roost, when the failures of misguided policies are hung in public, then the decision makers of this poor nation are forced to concede.

    But as the Buddhist tenets said along time ago, ”Change will not happen until the pain of suffering becomes greater than the pain of change”.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB10001424052748703908704575433433670192748.html

  128. Tilsim

    @ Raju Bhai

    Bathplug has class and decency. He is a true patriot. Not a bigoted creep like you who is warped by all consuming hate and an advocate of genocide. There are a lot of your types who have nothing better to do all day except set fires everywhere. Get a life.

  129. androidguy

    Tislim,

    If you don’t mind, please square this that you wrote: “..The Taliban will never get their hands on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons…”

    with this:
    “.. I suspect that the same people in the establishment who think they can control them actually want to usher in an Islamist state in Pakistan. These elements have their own agenda which is at odds with the PA’s core calculations. They are collaborating with the same groups that the PA is fighting against…”

    If i put 2 & 2 together, isn’t there a probability atleast of getting 4. On what basis are you negating the probability with your first statement?

  130. Tilsim

    The Taliban have no chance of being in power in Pakistan.

    The Islamists are different to the Taliban. They are akin in their mindset to your RSS. i.e Supremacists/ fascists. I believe that the reason that PA has nuclear weapons is that the US believes that these weapons can never get into the hands of these type of extremists at least for now. If they did, I think India will act also preemptively.

  131. Raju Bhai

    Tilsim wrote, Bathplug has class and decency. He is a true patriot. Not a bigoted creep like you who is warped by all consuming hate and an advocate of genocide. There are a lot of your types who have nothing better to do all day except set fires everywhere. Get a life.

    Bathplug has “class and decency” AND a pat. Since when have Pakistanis started giving certificates for Indian Patriotism.

    You make a mouthful of claims about me:
    a) bigoted – tell me anything I wrote, which showed bigotry. I have neither bigotry for Islam nor for Pakistan. Islam in the sub-continent, I find, needs to make certain amends. I thought, that was on the agenda of ‘Pakistani Liberals’ as well. For Pakistan, I have less hope. Anyway, I wouldn’t be having Pakistani guests at my place praising my bread-pakoras, then, if I was really bigoted.

    b) warped by consuming hate – I have already said, that I have no hate for Pakistanis. That requires an emotional investment which I find unnecessary. Considering the situation Pakistan and Pakistanis have maneuvered themselves in, perhaps sympathy for the poor Pakistanis, would characterize my feelings better.

    c) advocate of genocide – Huh? Dude, you talking to me?

    d) setting fires everywhere – I think a country full of water, can use a few fires for cooking.

    Is this the image you would like to have of me, or do you have anything to back up that image as well, other than the frustrations of your co-posters here to find a proper response to my queries and comments?

  132. Tilsim

    @ Raju bhai

    The moderators had the the decency to delete your post stating that the proper response of India to 26/11 would be the destruction of Lahore. Call it genocide or call it collective punishment, you advocated it.

  133. shiv

    @ Tilsim
    You do post a lot of nonsense. A true soldier, you are not. Focus your energy on creating the conditions for peace.

    I am an old hand at communication on the internet. The need to speak about personal characteristics is a sign that there is no serious rebuttal of what I have to say which remains perfectly valid. And clearly causing enough takleef to provoke the above comment.

    Creating conditions for peace is a two way affair.

    What a lot of Pakistanis may not understand is the depth of the pigswill Pakistan has got itself into.

    There was time (say in 1965) when large parts of India remained relatively unaffected by war and did not have the rabid hatred of Pakistan and Pakistanis that is gradually appearing in India, and increasing with every denied terrorist act. That was a time when some Pakistanis are proud to claim that they not only bettered India but the South Koreans came to find out how to develop a country.

    But Pakistani generals and Islamists chose the path of total war assuming that India was basically disunited. That was a mistake. The loathing of Pakistan increases in India with every terrorist attack and every act of international begging.

    Sooner or later the Pakistanis who wish to punish India will step too far and precipitate a reaction from India that will lead to a disastrous war. India by and large is a very conservative nation that looks for a way out with peace – which has typically been construed as a weakness by your “professional soldiers” who are presumably lauded as “real soldiers” by people such as yourself. . However the streak of irrationality and a disdain for this world and willingness to die for a “noble cause” exists among Indians just as powerfully in India as it is claimed to exist among the Ghazis of Pakistan.

    Pakistanis are playing with fire. If infiltration and terrorism continue – and people are killed in India you can already judge how the world will react to Pakistani denials. And war for Pakistan will have to be suicidal at some stage. If not the next skirmish the one after that. So my dear sir (or madam), I don’t think I am anyone to “foster peace” in a situation where there really is neither peace nor acknowledgement of war from Pakistan. My being a soldier or not is completely irrelevant to the issue.

    Peace is within reach – but it means no more Pakistani terrorism in India. And that is for starters. If terrorists are out of control in Pakistan, it is hardly India’s fault. Pakistan will have to check them or pay the price. Whining that Pakistan is difficult to manage or not wealthy enough is hardly an excuse. Or else continue jihad and precipitate a disastrous war sometime down the line. Do you seriously believe that I am against peace by telling it like it is?

    Denial occurs even among people who think that are not in denial.

  134. androidguy

    Tilsim,

    “.. I believe that the reason that PA has nuclear weapons is that the US believes that these weapons can never get into the hands of these type of extremists at least for now. If they did, I think India will act also preemptively….”

    An Indian leader with the balls to act preemptively against Pakistan hasn’t been born so far (and in some situations its a good thing!!)

  135. Raju Bhai

    Tilsim wrote, your post stating that the proper response of India to 26/11 would be the destruction of Lahore. Call it genocide or call it collective punishment, you advocated it.

    There is a widespread conviction, not just in India, but in the world, by those who care, that Mumbai 26/11 Attacks were not just the deed of some non-state actor, but were the handiwork of ISI. It was an act of war by a neighboring state, in which 173 people died, many were injured, prominent places were destroyed, and business confidence in India was attacked. This act of war was unprovoked. In fact it took place when India was offering Pakistan a hand of friendship.

    Normally, by any measure of security theory and responsibility of a government, Indian Government should have retaliated. This is an imperative on the GoI, that exists regardless of whether I advocate it or not. In fact, contrary to the disbelief of many Indians, I can understand, why the GoI chose not to retaliate.

    When you say, “Call it genocide or call it collective punishment”, you are in fact taking recourse to an illusion, which seeks to distance oneself from one’s own, when the own get caught, and to deny one’s own culpability in it.

    If Pakistan declares war on India, then Pakistanis would have to live with the consequences if India too retaliates.

    Anyway I did not advocate hitting civilians, merely pointed out that anything of strategic relevance in Lahore would have been destroyed in an Indian retaliation.

  136. Tilsim

    @ Shiv

    There are a large number of Pakistanis who are raising their voices against the disastrous policy of proxy war and perpetual hostility with India.

    I agree with you that terrorism from Pakistani soil has every potential to provoke a disastrous war.

    I believe that both Pakistanis and Indians can solve their issues through some mutual respect, give and take and some confidence in each other. However, as both Pakistanis and Indians are an emotional lot, the constant war of words and berating the other is not the right way to proceed, if peace and friendship are the goal for the people of the two countries.

  137. Tilsim

    If through perpetual hostility, you undermine the people who are trying to change things in Pakistan, then you are not helping India.

  138. Raju Bhai

    Tilsim wrote, if peace and friendship are the goal for the people of the two countries.

    I think 100% Indians would take ‘peace’ any day. ‘Friendship’ would make Indians suspicious.

  139. androidguy

    Tilsim,

    Here you go again!!

    “…I believe that both Pakistanis and Indians can solve their issues through some mutual respect, give and take and some confidence in each other….”

    thats the optimist in you coming through. A few posts from others, and you will be all pessimistic and despondent. You go through these cycles frequently. And I can completely understand and empathize!

    Btw, its been a pleasant experience debating with you🙂

  140. Hayyer

    PMA:

    “The satirical poem “Hayyer’s Song” is a parody inspired your earlier post. It was composed ‘on the back of a napkin’ so to speak but it does catch your ‘whining’ about India not being a military power…….Nevertheless, no comments on your ‘work’.”

    My work was a gift from one poetaster to another. Poetasters like genuine poets are extremely dismissive of other work.

    I thought that your refutation of NZA was based on a sound analysis of Indian intentions not mere prejudice or even obiter dicta. I hoped to understand how you arrived at your conclusions.

    I hope you will quote the sentence containing the whine about India not being a military power. That was not the starting point of the discussion anyway. It was whether Pakistan has any basis for assuming that India is an enemy that threatens Pakistan so much that it requires a minimum deterrent.

  141. Gorki

    PMA Sahib:

    ‘your questions regarding Pakistan Armed Forces are not genuine…..’

    You may choose not to answer it (or may not be able to) but please do not dismiss my question as you did.

    In fact for an Indian who wants to be left alone, there is no question more important or more genuine than the one I asked; especially from a Pakistani who does not believe that our two nations can be (should be?) friends.

    Let me restate my question one more time for the sake of clarity. For the sake of a genuine settlement, one has to state the demands as clearly as possible. I do not believe that the PA nurtures and sends out terrorists into India from time to time out of sheer sadism. After all all acts of terrorism as a tactic are coercive in the end; designed to bring a change in behavior or geography. PA too must have a purpose in mind. My question again, is this:

    What change does the PA wish to see in India’s behavior towards Pakistan?
    Will it stop if India cedes the Kashmir valley?
    The entire state of J and K?
    See PA’s flag atop the Red Fort?

    Come on, we are all grown ups here and can take it; we may not be able to concede the demands but knowing them would help the Indian public understand what the GOI must do for the ‘war of a thousand cuts’ to stop.

    Regards.

  142. PMA

    Hayyer (August 20, 2010 at 9:50 pm):

    What ever the starting point of this discussion was, it got lost in India-Pakistan usual noise. Some tend to think that Minimum Deterrent is a wartime doctrine. Actually it is not. It is a doctrine to stop wars from breaking out at the first place. What is missing in India-Pakistan case is the ‘Peace Doctrine’. I have always believed that the two countries need not to be ‘Friends’. There is no such thing as ‘Friendship’ between countries; only national interests. The two need to sit down and hammer out a Peace Agreement and then live by it. There is no other alternative. And yes Pakistan must maintain its doctrine of Minimum Deterrent even after a permanent peace has been achieved; it would guarantee the continuum of Peace.

  143. PMA

    Gorki (August 20, 2010 at 10:22 pm):

    I say your question is not genuine because it assumes that it is Pakistan Army that wants something from India. India-Pakistan disputes are between two countries. The two have to resolve them. It is that simple. Pakistan Army or India Army are institutions and instruments of their respective State. I am sure you understand that. Let the talks begin at any level of the two administration. The both sides know what the want from the other. Lets give Peace a chance.

  144. MAHALINGAM KHAN

    Gorki Mian,
    How clever , do you want warriors to forget the mission of Ghazis from Qasim to Ghori to Auarangjeb. Pakistan will sacrifice itself at the alter of Islam which teach loving death as much kuffar love life.

  145. PMA

    AZW (August 20, 2010 at 7:24 pm):

    No body is denying Pakistan’s internal problems and even external problems and mismanagement of the governments of the past six decades. There is plenty of blame to be shared by a lot of folks. So quit flying off the handle and foaming all the time. This discussion was about Security State vs. a Welfare State and what position Pakistan should take. You on the other hand as usual get on your little soap box as start lecturing everybody. Pakistan does not exist in a vacuum or in a Utopian land. You don’t understand a country’s defence need – then that is your problem.

  146. androidguy

    PMA’s posts raise more questions than answers

    “.. And yes Pakistan must maintain its doctrine of Minimum Deterrent even after a permanent peace has been achieved; it would guarantee the continuum of Peace….”

    What do you mean by permanent peace? And why do you need MD to guarantee peace which is already supposedly”permanent”.

  147. no-communal

    @PMA
    “Let the talks begin at any level of the two administration. The both sides know what the want from the other. Lets give Peace a chance.”

    Many Indians want to see talks happen and peace result after some give and take. Belive me, some of them are quite influential (like the Prime Minister of India). But a lingering worry is that each time there is some progress, some hope of a settlement, a bunch of Ghazis suddenly land in India. Remember Lahore and Kargil, Mumbai attack with your FM in India, etc..

    So we ask ourselves: is it worth risking another two hundred lives only to come back where we are, or is keeping the status quo better? You have to understand India’s aversion to peace talks in this specific context. Only then you will realize why we insist on tackling terrorism first.

    The only recent time there was a break in the terror cycle (and some hope in the air) was when the army itself was in power. But some of you well-meaning democracy activists, I am sure unwittingly, managed to derail that.

    Therefore, would it not be more practical to keep the discussion short, such as, as Gorki suggests, what does the army want (certainly what it wanted during Lahore Bus Yatra was not the same as what your PM wanted. So your argument that it is an instrument of the state does not quite hold, does it?). And while we discuss that, would you be willing and able to restrict people like Mr. Khan above? Believe me, those words like Mr. Khan’s are taken very seriously in India (may be not in Pakistan, if you know that they are empty balloons), after so many of them successfully achieving their goal here.

  148. AZW

    PMA:

    I, and many here, have tried to reason with you that minuimum deterrence is a wrong approach. This approach is steeped in myopic and fearful view of the world. If Pakistani history is any guide, minimum deterrence, no matter how much we try to make it an innocuously necessary term, has come at an unimaginable cost to the civil society.

    You are most welcome to believe what you want and you can fly off the handle when glaring examples from history are shown (not the first time your extra sensitivities were disturbed by my posts), but so far on this thread you have skirted every question posed to you by those Indians, and every single refutation of your fanciful ideals have been met with nothing but further rhetoric and empty statements.

    I do not wish to engage in any shouting match with you. Have fun with your fanciful ideas. As I said before, pain of suffering is the biggest reason when people embrace change. Pakistan is gradually coming around to recognizing its failed priorities. You will hopefully one day too.

  149. Tilsim

    @ android guy

    Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham,

    Yeh hi hai zindagi sanam!

    My energy goes up every time I feel that Pakistanis and Indians can find a new way🙂

  150. NSA

    Find a new way to what?🙂

  151. AZW

    Azhar Aslam:

    Thanks for the link and a good read. I do have questions about how to implement those reforms, how to get there, and what to do with the popular vote if the governance is not up to par from a still popular government.

    This is a whole lot of new discussion and will completely sidetrack the current ones, so maybe we’ll pick it up some other time.

  152. Tilsim

    @ NSA

    Oh Jeez, NSA!:)

    kab tak dil ki khair manayen,
    kab tak rah dikhaoge
    kab tak chain ki mohlat doge,
    kab tak yad na aoge

    bita di ummid ka mausam,
    khak urti hai ankhon main
    kab bhejoge dard ka badal,
    kab barkha barasaoge

    ahad-e-wafa aur tark-e-muhabbat
    jo chaho so ap karo
    apne bas k bat hi kya hai,
    hamse kya manwaoge

    – Faiz

  153. Raju Bhai

    PMA wrote: I say your question is not genuine because it assumes that it is Pakistan Army that wants something from India. India-Pakistan disputes are between two countries. The two have to resolve them. It is that simple. Pakistan Army or India Army are institutions and instruments of their respective State. I am sure you understand that. Let the talks begin at any level of the two administration. The both sides know what they want from the other. Lets give Peace a chance.

    There is absolutely nothing that Pakistan can get out of talks, what it has not got in battle. And there is absolutely nothing Pakistan can get in battle.

    The only reason Pakistan wants talks is to get some acknowledgement, some legitimacy as a power of some consequence, which increases its worth in the eyes of its patrons, which means more money for the Pakistani Army.

    The talks are not for solving anything, or for clinching peace. Otherwise there would have been no disruptions of talks allowed, be it with Kargil, Mumbai, or Qureishi’s manners.

    Any peace between India and Pakistan would make Pakistani Army superfluous. We all know that Pakistani Army is an institution far bigger than one just having a mandate to protect against external aggression. Also making peace would entail Pakistani Army formally acknowledging its failure to secure any concessions from India. That would also sound the death-knell for Pakistani Army’s extraordinary privileges in Pakistan.

    Pakistani Establishment is fully satisfied with forcing India to the talks table after some attack on India, and then playing offended and walking out.

    Pakistan’s strategy for victory against India depends on a miracle, that the Naxalites may weaken India, or may be the next generation of Kashmiris would rebel against Indian rule, or there is some war between India and some other power.

    That is the extent of Pakistan’s strategy towards India. Hope against hope, but no solutions.

    Other than that Pakistan is playing only for time, time in which its elite, its establishment can make money sitting on top of an anti-India military machinery, and exploit its people.

    If Pakistan has a different strategy, everybody here would very interested to know.

    Let’s not pretend, that talks would lead to peace, or that the Pakistani civilian government has any real power to make peace with India.

  154. Bin Ismail

    Amidst this heated debate on the Minimum Deterrence Doctrine, it would not be entirely out of place to remind ourselves of another doctrine that the founder of Pakistan proposed about 64 years ago. In November 1946, he said: “The two states (Pakistan and India) will be friends and will go to each other’s rescue in case of danger and will be able to say ‘hands off’ to other nations. We shall then have a Monroe Doctrine more solid than in America.” This was Jinnah’s vision, which alongwith his vision of a secular Pakistan, awaits fulfillment till this day.

    The two nations now have two choices – to continue to bask in the memory of three wars and the fantasy of more to come or to bury the hatchet and strive for a lasting peace.

  155. PMA

    AZW (August 20, 2010 at 11:54 pm):

    When you first came on this site I supported many of your thoughts and many of them I still do. I think you are very thoughtful intelligent man. You and I are in agreement on many issues related to Pakistan and I firmly believe that we both have Pakistan’s best interest at heart. But post after post you go on a tangent and start blaming Military for all of Pakistan’s ills knowing very well that there are so many other bad eggs in the basket as well. You time and again bring in East Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kashmir without giving any consideration to the greater geopolitical circumstances behind these tragic events. I do not support military takeovers or its meddling in politics nor do I think that its leadership is without faults. But I do believe that Pakistan must maintain a robust and effective Armed Forces with ability to discourage and ward off any internal as well as external aggression. You seem to have problem with that. You think Pakistan exists in a vacuum where there are no other international forces at play. But if that is what you want to believe then it is fine. Lets move on. But please do not lecture me. Internet is an open medium. Anyone can register here and post their comments. But neither you nor I are obligated to answer each and every post or comment. I do not argue with most Indians who choose to comment here because I know that we are on different sides of the fence. What is the idea in arguing when you already know others firm position. Indians would have problem with Pakistan Army, that is understandable. What is there to argue. At closing I would encourage you to continue to post here. We must debate with each other issues important to our beloved Pakistan. Thank you and regards. PMA.

  156. bciv

    @no-communal

    and what makes you think that mr khan is not an indian? i can tell from his use of words (“Auarangjeb”) and phrases that he is not pakistani. and, having seen more than enough of the rationalist kind of indian troll, and his friends in their several avatars, i know he is one of them. that is, if his nick wasn’t already a deliberate give away.

  157. Gorki

    No communal

    I am surprised that you didn’t get the little joke MK is playing. I think someone in Pune or Mumbai is rolling on the floor unable to control his laughter. Suffice to say that you are looking in the wrong place….
    (Hint: don’t go by his last name but the other one….)

  158. no-communal

    @bciv, Gorki,

    Yeah, I see it now. Thanks. At the time I didn’t pay much attention to the name. Mainly because such language and threats are omnipresent.

  159. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib,
    thanks for your polite response. Although you did not answer my question, your evasion itself says a lot. Despite the fact that I put you on the spot, my intention was never to show you personally in a bad light.
    I have said it before and will say it again that I respect your learning and your sensitive nature. Above all I respect you for the genuine concern you have for your people.
    In that, you and I are alike. I too care deeply for my people. The difference is that for you the people who are yours are those who live within the boundaries of the nation state of Pakistan and perhaps other Muslims in the neighboring countries. As for me, the definition of ‘my people’ is, shall we say, a little more generous.
    Nevertheless you are an asset to your country and Pakistan is lucky to have you.
    I only hope that some day the historian in you will get past the patriot that holds him back so that you can see that most of us who ended up on the wrong side of the fence for reasons beyond out control, are not the enemy……
    That perhaps we were never the real enemy……
    Regards

  160. shiv

    Let me post a sudden insight that I got while reading an interview of Ahsan Butt on AfPak.foreignpolicy.com

    Butt states exactly what Tilsim said – i.e that the India threat receded after 1998 when Pakistan acquired its nuclear deterrent. May I point out that these viewpoints are the perceptions of Butt and Tilsim based on the overt display of nuclear capability in 1998.

    I need to post an Indian viewpoint because it is relevant to the issue of long lasting peace. I think Indians and Pakistanis need to understand where the other is coming from.

    Actually the fact that Pakistan had probably developed a working nuclear bomb (using a tested Chinese design – it was reportedly even tested in LopNor around 1986) before India was known to India. India received its first nuclear threat from Pakistan in the mid 1980s and a second threat was conveyed during the Rajiv Gandhi regime. The fact that Pakistan had nuclear weapons was made clear to India in the 1980s. India knew it and the Pakistanis who needed to know, knew it.

    That is why I say that both Butt and Tilsim are merely stating a public perception that Pakistan became safe from India in 1998. But that is only one half of the story. The deterrent was in place well before that.

    It appears that some elements in Pakistan felt that 1998 not only marked “safety and security from the Indian threat” but also a signal that India could somehow be coerced and browbeaten using nuclear blackmail as the backdrop. The period after 1998 created in India a large number of horrendous newsworthy events where a Pakistani hand in terrorism was blatant and overt unlike the “Freedom fighters of Kashmir” who had been used from 1990 to 1998.

    These events were
    1) The Kargil war (1999)
    2) The hijacking of Indian Airlines IC 814 to Kandahar and the resurfacing of Maulana Masood Azhar and Omar Saeed Shaikh (of Daniel Pearl fame)
    3) A horrendous massacre of civilians at Kaluchak
    4) Mumbai blasts in 2003 killing over 50
    5) Bombs in multiple places in India many odf them the handiwork of people who now have been caught and were members of SIMI or HuJI – all have revealed information about Pakistani training and funding.
    7) 2006 – Mumbai blasts killing over 200, Varanasi blasys killing 28
    8) 2007 – Hyderabad blasts killing 44
    9) 2008 – the worst year yet culminating with 26/11 the Mumbai attacks which had a clear Pakistani hand.

    The point I am making is that Pakistanis may have felt safe and may have the audacity to call the relationship with India as “uneasy peace” but that is not true from an Indian viewpoint. For Indians there is an undeclared war in progress. India has a huge mass of people who cannot be moved into one state of mind of hating or loving anyone in a day or a month or a year. But it is possible to move them into a state of collective anger by sustained attacks. But India is no Pakistan. Indians will make their leaders pay if those leaders do not implement the will of the people. And if the will of 1.1 billion Indians is to make 180 million Pakistanis suffer – that is bound to happen. Sooner or later.

    Pakistanis who believe that there is peace between India and Pakistan are either in denial, or are not exposed to reality just like Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent seems to have been unknown (and not reassuring enough) to Pakistanis prior to 1998.

    If Pakistanis desire to control those Pakistanis who are terrorists in Pakistan, they must simultaneously control those Pakistanis who wish to be terrorists in India. Any attempt to allow the latter to exist while the former are opposed will have a blowback. That blowback is already visible in many ways. You cannot have two standards for terrorists – telling them to take it easy on Pakistan while having a go at India. Jo Lahore mein gaandu woh Peshawar mein bhi gaandu.

    No Indian is really bothered if Pakistan faces terrorism. Those terrorists are your babies. You need to check them. Not India or the rest of the world. Complaining that Pakistan is a victim of terrorism too is like saying that a suicide bomber is a victim of explosives.

  161. Raju Bhai

    @shiv

    A great summary of the core issue!

    I doubt that you will get a satisfactory response here though. PMA and other military fans here contend that Pakistani Army is a responsible and rational institution with the interest of Pakistani people at heart. He wouldn’t want to get his hands dirty with details. He is not interested in hearing how the Pakistani Army is pushing Pakistan into a collective suicide.

    Tilsim, Bin Ismail, etc. in their optimism think that the Pakistani peaceniks can make a separate peace with India, even if the Pakistani Army is not on board.

  162. Hayyer

    @PMA

    No, you are not obligated to reply to every post. A lot of nonsense is posted, which is best ignored.
    My question was not, I hope, in that category. Please be so good as to answer if you can.

    Your proposition that a Minimum Deterrent would guarantee peace sounds sensible enough. But that only postpones the answer to the question, or raises another one in its place.

    Why is India perceived as a threat? Do you perceive the same threat from Iran your other big neighbour, or from Afghanistan? If India were not a threat at all, what then? A drowning nation, metaphorically speaking, might benefit from an ideological shift.

    “What is the idea in arguing when you already know others firm position. Indians would have problem with Pakistan Army, that is understandable. What is there to argue.”
    Yes we know each others position. But can we not argue about the best way to improve it. Now, if we agree that there is a vested interest in maintaining the hostility we would have taken a step forward.

  163. Dastagir

    The post concerns “Saving A Country” hit by a natural disaster.

    “Rationalist” (RSS) is spewing venom against Islam… How are the two connnected. It shows his perverted mind… how RSS hate can blind a man’s reason… Rationalist seems to be the male counterpart of Shivsena Singer Lata Mangeshkar ! Shame on him.

    I could have written on Hinduism too… tit-for-tat… but this is not the occasion. I dont want to stoop to his level… I would advise him to read Kanchi Iliah who describes hinduism as “Spiritual Aparthied”. I want him to reflect on those 2 words… and educate himself… SMS scholarship and abuse wont do any good. Hinduism is doomed. Who will spend on the Pundits in 2010. Hinduism is not possible to be practiced in these days of inflation. From birth to death, its expensive… (a man dies.. 2-3 trees have to go w/him for fuel.. or elese electricity)… what a waste.. The future of India and Hindus lies in CHRISTIANITY. Remove “reservations” and see how Maya becomes Mary in 24 hours…

  164. Dastagir

    “From birth to death, its expensive… (a man dies.. 2-3 trees have to go w/him for fuel.. or elese electricity)… what a waste..”

    I woould rather be burnt than get blood drained out of me, start rotting, and be covered with insects. It’s just a personal preference.

  165. Dastagir

    THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE. Even while going., the muslim enriches the SOIL that nurtured him during his stay on earth…. his coming… stay… and departure are ECO-FRIENDLY… bled him with the “universe”… and add to its harmony… His presence adds to the beautiful land-scape painting created by God.

    P.S. This is a moment of huge tragedy. I have never seen floods of this dimension. I had heard of “togh-yaani”.. and what is being shown / read is really.. shocking.. and makes one numb. We are grateful to the Pakistani hosts of this site.. who allow us entry (without hassles).. listen to our responses.. and though our destinies might have different paths… we are spiritually connected (and will remain so)… and we wish each other well. We are human first.. and after that everything else. What pained me immensely, was that few people were trying to take advantage of the inherent goodness and well-manneredness of muslims (taking it as a weakness). Muslims cant be as “manly” as the low-caste Shivaji (who was not a Kshatriya… and Stabbed-in-the-back)… or as chivalrous as Babu Bajrangi (mob-violence)… So this new-found vegetarian viagra spewing venom IN A MOMENT of HUMAN TRAGEDY is introlerable.. Delete comments that show frustration and a desire to grab attention… Provocation should be dampened.. Bad-tameez… Bad-tehzeeb… in a moment of sorrow… you start abusing people… Uncouth pervert.

  166. AZW

    Rationalistic:

    Islamic theory and indoctrination make it impossible for a muslim (esp. for a pakistani muslim who wishes to prove his muslimness to the arabic and turkish ummah) to be honest and sincere towards non-muslims, esp. to the hated-humiliated-hounded hindus.

    The quislings of islam have grown from 0 to 500 million in the indian subcontinent. The hindu is endangered in his own homeland.

    Take your one track communal spew some where else. You are no longer welcome to post at PTH any more. I will be deleting your comments from now on, and will ask other moderators to do the same for anything originating from you and your IP address.

  167. PMA

    Gorki (August 21, 2010 at 4:02 am):

    Let us go along with your assertion that Military is the real power in Pakistan and any negotiation with Pakistan is meaningless unless done directly with Military Chiefs. Well Musharraf was there for nine years, why India if she wanted peace did not avail that opportunity. At that time the excuse given was that he does not represent the people. Now that civilians are in charge the excuse is ‘they are not the real power why to negotiate with them’. These are all excuses of a party that does not want peace. Then there is the excuse of terrorism. Terrorism is symptom not the decease. Make peace with Pakistan. Resolve all out standing disputes. Take the initiative. Terrorism will dry out. There is a common perception that Pakistan government especially its military runs the terrorist outfits in Pakistan. Let me share an open secret with you. It is the ordinary shopkeeper and the office worker who makes weekly donations that end up supporting these outfits. Make peace with Pakistan. Take the initiative. This is the time. We owe it to our people.

  168. PMA

    Hayyer (August 21, 2010 at 10:45 am):

    Let me reverse the question. Why India is arming itself to the teeth. Is Pakistan a threat. Is China, the eight billion dollars trade partner a threat. Should India not first take care of its three quarters of a billion poor instead of wasting billions on nuclear weapons and secondhand retrofitted toys. Ask yourself these questions before talking about my ‘drowning country’. And have you thought about vested interests on your side.

  169. Hayyer

    PMA:

    China is a very real threat, though the last skirmish was in the eighties. India is equipping itself to defend against China. It would be superfluous against Pakistan. Against whom was Zardari offering the services of the Pakistan Army? China is probably the second most powerful country in the world. She is your friend, our enemy, despite the trade now approaching 60 billion dollars. You read the Economist and you can read up on that in the latest issue.

    I cannot think of any vested interest against Pakistan that is driving Indian policy. There are rabid communalists around, of all varieties, let me add, but especially powerful Hindu right wingers. Their concerns are domestic in the main though. No one is able to make a living of being anti Pakistan.

    As for our poor of which we have the world’s largest number-improvements occur all the time. Remember we are spending less than 5% of our budget on defence, but China’s economy is four times ours too.

  170. @PMA

    With respect, this is ingenuous. If you wish to know why India arms against Pakistan, consult Major Amin; Air Marshal Asghar Khan; Air Cdre Kaisar Tufail; Brigadier Z. A. Khan – I could go on.

    For your information, these are all decorated members of the Pakistan military.

    Please go through their books. I would be interested if at the end of your exercise, you are able to report that even a single encounter was initiated by India (with possibly an ambiguous situation in 71).

    With regard to China, whether or not you wish to acknowledge these realities, there are incidents on a regular and sustained basis, there is a Chinese military and infrastructural build-up in Tibet, and there is a re-positioning of Chinese short-range truck-mounted nuclear missiles to close to Indian borders. What does that sound like to you?

  171. Tilsim

    Gentlemen,

    These back and forth conversations are great for filling up some idle time but I would venture that we have only one issue at hand and that is to generate ideas on how best to resolve our differences and keep the forces of extremism at bay. Both India and Pakistan still dominated to a certain extent by a liberal ethos. There is every hope still that a state of peaceful and progressive co-existance can be reached. This is not an opportunity that may last forever unless societal trends are reversed. My plea would be to use our time here on PTH and elsewhere to develop a comprehensive philosophy and innovative actions needed to reverse these trends.

    We both face significant problems from the forces of extreme nationalisms whether they wear an Islamic civilisation or Hindu civilisation mask. May I remind people that India may not have the problem that Pakistan has with extremism as yet but the inroads seem to be happening there too at quite a pace in certain geographies.

    I was saddened to see that the views of Savarkar are posted today by many of his followers posting on this board, 87 years after they were reported. To quote:

    “Hindustan must be looked upon both as a fatherland (pitribhu) and a holyland (punyabhu). Muslims and Christians cannot be incorporated into Hindutva because their holyland is in far off Arabia or Palestine. Their names and outlook smack of a foreign origin. Their love is divided.”
    —V.D. Savarkar in Hindutva: Who is a Hindu?, 1923

    Does this sound familiar? Yet, this gentleman’s portrait now hangs in the Indian Parliament since 2003.

    I point this out only to bring back our attention to our collective responsibility to focus on the true threats facing India and Pakistan as we know it. The multitude of disputes need to be resolved, not only because Pakistan’s security establishment behave badly by using violence as an instrument to change the stale air of the status quo but to take some of the wind out of the sails of extremists. The failure of liberals and moderate leadership would be a disaster of epic proportions against this backdrop.

  172. Tilsim

    Shiv wrote:
    “No Indian is really bothered if Pakistan faces terrorism. Those terrorists are your babies. You need to check them. Not India or the rest of the world. Complaining that Pakistan is a victim of terrorism too is like saying that a suicide bomber is a victim of explosives.”

    Mani Shanker Iyer, Indian diplomat and senior Congress politician wrote :

    “I will instantly be told the difference is Pakistan was behind Mumbai 26/11; we are not behind the blasts and suicide attacks in Pakistan: that is a horror they have brought upon themselves. True. Too true. But by insisting on a mea culpa from the Pakistan establishment, which will never be forthcoming, are we not encouraging further outrages instead of working together to put a stop to them? And are we not rendering ourselves hostage to the very crossborder terrorism we ought to aim to neutralise?
    Most Indians are sceptical of Pakistan’s capacity, let alone willingness, to end the terrorist menace, on the grounds that the Pakistan army and Intelligence are themselves breeding grounds for it. But to take such a monochromatic view of Pakistan is to seriously misread the situation. While there are elements in every segment of Pakistani society — army, intelligence, political parties, media, mullahs, and the aam aadmi — that bear an abiding hatred of Hindus and Indians, so too are there adamant anti-Pakistani Indians and communal elements in every section of our society. Diplomacy should aim at not letting such elements hold sway, and at expanding the constituency for peace that is there in every segment of Pakistani society, including the army and Intelligence.”

    Tehelka Magazine, Vol 7, Issue 30, Dated July 31, 2010

  173. Tilsim

    Mani Shanker Iyer also wrote:

    “We have much to gain from sustained dialogue; from expanding the ambit of interaction away from cruelty and callousness, to re-establishing in the subcontinent the ambience of a composite culture, the Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb that was the hallmark of our civilisational inheritance till Partition. This emphatically does not mean the restoration of Akhand Bharat. It means that respecting the irreversibility of Partition, we learn to treat each other as human beings, brothers and sisters whom much more unites than divides. When an innocent child chases his ball across the border, should he be arrested? Should fishermen who have deliberately or accidentally transgressed an unmarked line in the sea languish in jail without trial for years? Should soldiers who fought a war long ago be incarcerated for decades thereafter? Should even intelligence agents wither away in our versions of the Bastille for years and years and years, till they go insane as so many have? Should jawans in hundreds die of frost-bite, almost none to bullets, in a non-war in Siachen? Is it really so impossible to draw a line down the middle of the Sir Creek to forestall a repeat of the 1965 war? Should not the Jhelum be used, as it was till 1947, as the principal route to carry the produce of Kashmir to their natural outlet at Karachi? Is that not what the Tulbul Navigation project is about? Why not build dams on the Indus rivers system that will share their electricity with Pakistan and wean us both away from 19th century technology for irrigation? Should hundreds of visa seekers spend night after night in the ditches outside visa offices, shivering in anticipation of being denied entry once again next morning? Should we be confining foreign holidays to the rich who can fly out to London and New York but deny train tickets and bus rides to the aam aadmi to see how things are in the neighbouring forbidden land? Should we not be free to watch Pakistani TV in India? Should we not be allowed access to their newspapers and magazines, as they should to our films and TV channels? Should every qawwal and ghazal singer first prove he is not a terrorist before bursting into poetry and song? Tell me, did Ajmal Kasab and his gang of monomaniacs collect visas before embarking for Mumbai harbour? What do we gain from heaping these humiliations on our people, generally the poor and abandoned victims of history, who find themselves born into divided families? Whose interest is served by routing everything we wish to buy and sell each other, through a smuggler or via Dubai? Why can’t two brothers invest in a Pak- India joint venture? Why must we spend thousands of crores on hate and next to nothing on friendship?

    The India-Pakistan dialogue must be ‘uninterrupted and uninterruptible’, a phrase I have been flogging for the last 20 years
    THIS IS not a litany of complaints against India or a list of grievances against Pakistan. It is a joint charge against both countries that while their respective elites argue their case in drawing rooms and TV talk shows, the “dumb millions”, as Gandhiji called them, are those who bear the brunt of allegedly intelligent, educated and ‘patriotic’ leaders being unable to work out a via media among themselves.”

  174. Raju Bhai

    Tilsim wrote:

    “Hindustan must be looked upon both as a fatherland (pitribhu) and a holyland (punyabhu). Muslims and Christians cannot be incorporated into Hindutva because their holyland is in far off Arabia or Palestine. Their names and outlook smack of a foreign origin. Their love is divided.”
    —V.D. Savarkar in Hindutva: Who is a Hindu?, 1923

    Does this sound familiar? Yet, this gentleman’s portrait now hangs in the Indian Parliament since 2003.

    In Islam, a Muslim is defined by the Kalimah – La Illaha Illallah Muhammadur Rasullullah!

    V.D. Savarkar gave his views, on how he would define a Hindu. Everybody has views. Whereas the definition of Muslim is part of Islam, there was no definition for Hindu. V.D. Savarkar is offering one. One can accept it or reject it. What is wrong in offering definitions?

    The point is that your quote by itself is useless in demonizing him, and thus provides no argument, why his portrait should not be in Parliament.

  175. Raju Bhai

    @Tilsim

    Besides, since 1923, RSS has redefined the concept of Hindu. Hindutva is a cultural concept. Even Muslims, Christians and Parsis, who do not belong to Indic religions can still be considered Hindus by RSS, if they accept their Hindu cultural heritage, and do not reject their pre-conversion culture or their host culture.

    If you do wish to demonize RSS, perhaps you should use some quotes by RSS leaders advocating violence against Muslims or Christians.

  176. Tilsim

    @ Raju Bhai

    I know that you have trouble recognising hate speech.

  177. Raju Bhai

    @Tilsim

    And I know you have trouble letting go of the desire to find mirror images for all that is wrong in Pakistan, in India including a mirror image of Pakistani terrorists and extremists.

    You are grasping at straws to find a bogeyman in India, so that you and Indian liberals can unite against him, find comfort in collective siege from some extremists. It just doesn’t work in India like that.

  178. Tilsim

    @ NSA

    What Afzal forgot to say is what Tarun Vijay said:

    “because on one side there is Hindu civilization and on the other, there is no civilization, only barbarism”

    Tarun Vijay is former editor of RSS publication, Panchajanya and columnist for Times of India.

    It is what it is, I am sure some Indian muslims feel this is a better way and they will have to make their own bed and lie in it. What I see are parallels in how extremist ideologies are spreading their tentacles. The liberals have been too laissez faire. In Pakistan we certainly were.

  179. Hayyer

    NSA:

    The RSS also set up a Rashtriya Sikh Sangathan for your information in Punjab. It aims to win Sikh votes for the BJP. The path out of the ghetto is not through Nagpur.
    All Hindus don’t buy RSS theory. It is a clever trick to conflate nation with religion, but it doesn’t work.
    There are over 192 members of the UN. By the standards of the RSS there should be at least 192 separate religions, actually more because there are about 245 countries in all.
    Also, by RSS standards all those Europeans and Yankees cannot be patriotic because their faith arose in Palestine. Americans should be required to worship the spirit in the sky in charge of the happy hunting grounds, and Europeans various sorts of Gods depending upon location. Japan should classify its citizens into two classes, Shintoists and Buddhists, with the Buddhists in category two. The Chinese should now ensure that only Taoists and Confucians are trusted with matters of state. Borobodur and Angkor Vat should be torn down as symbols of alien faith and all elements of the Rig Veda composed outside Mother India (there is a theory that the Aryans brought it with them from Iran and Afghanistan). When God made man he also gave his a religion and a perfect nation to go with it. What poppycock.
    Any Hindu or Sikh settled abroad should be automatically suspected of loyalty to India and therefore denied citizenship.
    If however the RSS is preaching a new political theory of religious fascism you will have to argue it out with political scientists, along with other discarded social theories like racism or imperialism. Please don’t infect PTH with this sort of nonsense.

  180. Raju Bhai

    Tilsim wrote:

    What Afzal forgot to say is what Tarun Vijay said:

    “because on one side there is Hindu civilization and on the other, there is no civilization, only barbarism”

    And why are the neo-Pakistanis (Talibanis) intent on proving him right?!

  181. Tilsim

    @ Raju Bhai

    Yes, the ‘talibanis’ must be the reason why Tarun Vijay says what he says. He is just a puppy, really. Silly me.

  182. Raju Bhai

    @Tilsim,

    I am sorry, Tilsim, but unfortunately a steady stream of sensational pictures and stories have a habit of tainting a whole people.

  183. @Tilsim

    //Yes, the ‘talibanis’ must be the reason why Tarun Vijay says what he says. He is just a puppy, really. Silly me.//

    Interesting way of calling someone a son-of-a-bitch.

    Clever you.

  184. Hayyer

    Well, if you make the principle universal how would it be?
    To each people, nation, caste, language whatever, a separate religion?
    Or is it Indian exceptionalism? The best Indians have their gods made in India. In foreign countries, peoples, languages, nations, castes whatever they have foreign gods but it need not be equal to the number of nations, castes, languages etc.
    God represents himself to different peoples in different ways so that they can all fight each other over him. Not a good god, no. And he makes holy things and holy objects differently wherever he goes. It is the mark of the patriot to recognize only locally made objects as the authentic ones. Swadeshi in other words is not only good economics and politics but good religion.

  185. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib,

    You indirectly admitted that there is terrorism emanating out of Pakistan but rather nonchalantly dismissed it as a symptom of a India Pakistan dispute that will go away if only India will make peace on Pakistan’s terms. A cynic may even argue that in your way of thinking terrorism was like a bargaining chip, providing Pakistan with leverage. At least You did not seem to be troubled by it and I find it troubling.

    By claiming that it is the common man in Pakistan who funds terrorism you seem to imply that the average barber, cobbler, clerk and schoolteacher are the ones who are behind the attacks on Indian teachers, clerks, cobblers and barbers? I find that very troubling, not the least for it’s obvious moral implications.

    Even those not worried about such niceties as morality of making war on defenseless civilians should find it troubling, for by making this argument one opens the civilians in Pakistan to the charge of being complicit in the activity that according to the Geneva conventions is listed as a war crime (deliberately targeting civilians).
    Leaving aside the niceties of the Geneva Convention, one will also find it hard to counter the argument that can be made by the opposite side (as was made by the apologists of the US nuclear attack on Japan in WWII and the Russian atrocities against the German civilians) that in a war where the civilians supported an organization that committed war crimes, there are no innocents and every one is a combatant, and so, fair game.

    Let us even ignore all of the above arguments as hypothetical, we are still left with two very real and practical problems on our hands.

    By fusing a national dispute between two nation states with the pre existing minor cultural and religious differences between them there is a high likelihood that the divisions between the majority and the majority will sharpen within the state itself and that those divisions will continue even after the national dispute is resolved. The state, by giving its sanction to it (whether overt or covert, or though acts of omission or commission) will then in time, raise a cadre of nationalist citizens, extremely intolerant of diversity in outlook and convinced of their own superiority. Does that sound familiar; and doesn’t that seem uncomfortably similar to fascism?
    For a moment even forget India, by turning a blind eye to armed gangs living within your own civil society how will you stop the criminalization of your own body politic? Once your state surrenders its sovereignty to those most likely to use violence to settle any disputes doesn’t it setup a parallel center of power in the civic discourse? Why would anyone listen to the local Daroga if he can go to the local mujaheedin commander and get on the spot justice? Do you not feel that this will someday lead to a Lebanon like situation where the Hamas is more powerful than the elected government? Isn’t this how one lays the groundwork for a failed state? 
What is happening in Karachi may or may not be linked to what I wrote above but doesn’t the possibility that it may be, give the patriot in you sleepless nights or is besting India so important that intellectuals like you are willing to loose entire Pakistan but are not willing to let go of the mirage called Kashmir? You may not answer my post if you don’t want to but I hope it will give sincere but somewhat mistaken people like you some food for thought…..

  186. shiv

    Mani Shankar Aiyar was high commissioner to Pakistan in the 1980s and wrote a book called “Pakistan Papers”. It was in that book that he pointed out that the primary identity of the Pakistan is “Not Indian”. However most of the book is devoted to pointing out how trade between India and Pakistan would be beneficial to all.

    But there is a degree of sophistry in the idea that Indians should ignore terrorism from Pakistan and somehow be friendly with those who want to be friends. This is because those Pakistanis who do not have the power to change the attitudes of the terror brokers of Pakistan want that fact to be ignored while they enjoy the fruits of cooperation and trade with India. This allows a whole lot of pretenders and insincere Pakistanis jump into the “good relations and friendship” bandwagon without accepting an iota of responsibility for the terrorism that emanates from Pakistan. This only benefits those people but is a problem for India.

    There are two levels of relationships here. One is a state to state level and the other is a people to people level. The latter cannot be stopped although state relations can modify the intensity and quality of people to people contacts.

    But within any given nation, the state (the government) is responsible for the people, and in a functioning democracy the people are in turn responsible for the state. In an oligarchy or dictatorship, the people have little control over the state.

    If one state imposes sanctions or war on another state, it should be possible for the people who oppose that to change the attitude of their government. If the attitude of the government regarding war or sanctions do not change, it means one of two things:
    a) The people do not want that change of attitude from belligerence to peace
    b) the people want the change but are unable to control or modify the attitudes of the state.

    If the former is true of Pakistan, it is pointless for India to seek good relations.

    If the latter is true, it means that the Pakistani state/government should be brought down and power handed to the people.

    The attitude that the people want the state to be aggressive to India but personally want to escape the consequences of that is the message that consistently comes out of Pakistan. That has already happened too long.

    In the case of India, if Indians want belligerence against Pakistan – that is exactly what will happen. If Pakistanis (state or people) believe that Indians want peace but the Indian government is against peace – then surely my argument should hold for India too. Pakistan will have to attempt to bring down the Indian state and hand power to the people. And laughably – this has been exactly the aim of the Pakistani state for 60 plus years. And what we have today is the result of that. LOL

    Geopolitics really is good fun. A few thousand die along the way – but hey what the heck – a free people will produce enough babies to replace the dead. No?

  187. rationalistic

    {Edited and deleted by moderator. You have been warned before. Your comments are to be summarily deleted from the forum from now on}.

    PTH

  188. Dastagir

    Agar HRD aur taleem par dhayaan detey.. to yeh din dekhna na padhta.. woh log.. jinke paon mein chappal nahin thee… aaj oonche sur mein baat kar rahe hain.. dhamka rahe hain.. aur zaleel kar rahe hain. (Rough Tr. Had Pakistan invested in human capital, in education, production of goods & services (MUSLIM SWADESHI) silently.. without any NOISE… [Silent work like RSS to change the ground reality]; this day would not have come…when people are advising… those who walked bare-foot (minus shoes/chappals), a few decades earlier).

    Nasim Zehra Awan : Your article came too late. Fascination for theology vis-a-vis consolidating the nation… improving life of its citizens… this rassa-kashy would ultimately lead to total destruction… with no one left even to moan and cry. It looks so weird.. President Zardari travelling while the country is facing a natural disaster (what sensitivity, Mr. Zardari)., a Prime Minister Geelani, a Fake Opposition Leader Nawaz Sharif (The Dealer), Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry (newly found freedom) and General Kiani (Boot-Boot-Boot).

    When politicians are in power they are abused., and media suggests that “Boot” arrive. Once the boot takes over., the media laments for the “lack of freedom and democracy”… This fragile democracy.. this fake democracy.. with an empty treasury !

    Khazana Khaali Hai (from 3 June 1947 – todate). Hamesha Khaali Hee Rahega., because the money goes into “Private/Personal Accounts”. The Vadera / Lambardaar of Sindh; the Chaudhry of Panjab.. and the other land-owners of Baluchistan and Pakhtunkhwa.. ARE NOT realising the fact, that if the situation continues as is.. their HIRED GOONDAS (Pvt. Armies) will not be able to stop the REYLAA (flood) of hungry people into their Palaces… These Vaderas and Chaudhris will die very violent deaths… The Goons will not be able to control the Mass of hungry people.

    1. Land Reforms…
    2. Education…
    3. Saying Towbah to “Corruption” from Peon to Cabinet Secretary…
    4. Some sense of Governance at the Executive & Judiciary levels.

    But will the above happen ? The answer is NO. The Mother of the Aurobindo Ashram had predicted all of this… Pakistani Elite are not doing anything… they dont give a damn if Pakistan collapses tomorrow… cuz their homes (nests) abroad are well furnished.. and are awaiting them. They just need to take their bag and take the nearest flight to… (Via. Dubai., of course).

    Half of the country is drowned. These floods will change the lives of Pakistan citizens.. and it is a time… and i am sure… they will sit below the sky… and reflect on what their life/lives have become.. I hope they take firm steps…

    Poverty is not the issue at hand… Its about the mental make up. When one is faced with enormous difficulties… and one bears it with patience… one finds his salvation. Pakistan’s Salvation is Education… but will they find it… will the flood help them find it…

  189. PMA

    Gorki (August 22, 2010 at 3:09 am):

    You asked me for a direct answer and I gave you one. One man’s Terrorist is other man’s Freedom Fighter. There are Jihadi outfits in Pakistan that go around and collect funds from the ordinary folks in the bazaars of Pakistan. Their stated aim is to liberate Kashmir from India. Now please don’t make moral judgements on my person. I have only stated my observations. You yourself know very well of the daily abuses carried out by the Indian Security Forces in Kashmir. Instead of escalating violence on both sides, I say to the government of India and to the government of Pakistan to sit down across the table and resolve all outstanding disputes and take the initiative away from the Jihadists. Now your post is rather long and full of rhetorics. I am not dismissive of you sir but you have to excuse me for not posting long responses. The arguments after a while become circular and loose meaning. Let the talks begin.

  190. Ali Abbas

    @PMA,

    You are aware that the Punjab provincial government funds LT to the tune of hundreds of millions and that its current Chief Minister and Law Minister have made their sympathies for Jihadis loud and clear!

  191. aliarqam

    The times have gone, when one’s terrorists was freedom fighter for the other, anyone who will put arms for his political agenda should be called a terrorist, irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity or nationality….
    We have suffered a lot for such so called freedom fighters, the moral equivalents to American founding fathers, and (as per some of my ultra nationalists fans of bearers of AK-47..) equivalent to our founding fathers…

  192. Nasima Z Awan

    I wanted to thank everyone for their comments as they were instructive and educational. When I see Pakistan drowning, one thing is very clear; we can no longer afford to go on as a garrison state with all the resulting power dynamics. These include a perenially powerful security establishment and its arms that are the Judiciary, sympathetic politicians, a jingoistic media and a degenerate elite.

    The Mumbai attacks in 2008 were a massive blow, not just to India but to Pakistan. These attacks and the reaction to the Kerry-Lugar bill which was the first time that foreign aid was linked to supporting a nascent and struggling democracy that did not want to perpetuate war with India, should tell everyone who is calling the shots in Pakistan. For us to survive in this crucial juncture of our history, we simply cannot go on like this. Indians should realize that rubbing it in is not going to help. Many of us are well aware of this problem and are helpless. What we need India and the world to realize is that there is clearly a divergent narrative in Pakistan that simply does not buy into the false nationalism of the dominant group in Pakistan.

    It is only this realization and its active promotion outside that will help us. This is the 21st century and Pakistan needs India and the World’s help to survive the current disaster. It needs India and the world to realize that it has been held hostage by those Jihadis for whom peace is the loss of a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

    Some can refer to these murderers as freedom fighters just like a pig eating its own feaces can justify it as a gourmet feast. Then again, there is only this much lipstick that one can put on a pig….

  193. Gorki

    “In the next century, nations as we know them will be obsolete and all states will be governed by some form of global rules and authority. National sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all”.
    Strobe Talbot, president Clinton’s deputy Sec. Of State quoted in Time in 1992

    Aliarqam, Ali Abbas and Nasima Awan,

    Thank you all for your comments and understanding.
    There is nothing more I can add for those of yours above except to say that words such as “one man’s terrorist is another mans freedom fighter” was an idea whose time has come and gone.
    Let me indulge first in some cold unemotional calculations. Even as I sit to write this at an airport in an american city, the CNN is playing a clip of an interview with a Pakistani official with the anchor bluntly stating “The american public wants to know why you think the aid we will provide will not end up in terrorist hands…!” (CNN, 524 pm central time)
    I find the question itself nauseating but it is not the fault of the anchor. This is the kind of damage such policies have done to the people of our region, in whose name this ‘freedom fighting’ is taking place. Pakistan does not have to get a certificate of good behavior from the US news anchors but they are not alone in this perception. Today, there is no single country in the world; not China, not Russia, not any Arab government or any other that will stand by this statement!
    In the past the terror groups carried out spectacular attacks as much for it’s PR value as for it’s value of terrorizing the opponents. As things stand today, the PR value is in the negative. One can judge if there is any other tactical advantage left to such tactics that some of us advocate it as a policy knowing fully well that one misstep can bring about a nuclear war in our homeland.
    Second, if I understand right, India Pakistan is supposed to be an international dispute. What is the meaning of nationalism today when millions of Pakistanis and Indians willingly live and are thriving not only in their native lands but as common citizens of countries such as the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia?
    If there is any proof needed that in this age of global connectivity, it the bonds of shared ideas and values which defines our identity rather than nationality, it is here and now. I find myself more drawn to you three and many others on the PTH than people like Shiv, rationalist etc. It is people like you I would like to invite to my home, have my children meet and find inspiration from than those who cling on to outdated concepts.
    Today, my heart hurts to see images of people driven from their homes by floods. It is not because I am such an angel but because, sitting here, thousands of miles from the place I was born, I see on TV screens, amid all the suffering, the sights and sounds of my own childhood, the faces are the faces of my people, their suffering feels like my own suffering.
    I find myself a global citizen but the globe has not become one yet. It is divided into two camps, with one camp made up of you people, in the other camp are people like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin who are carrying out a vicious hate campaign against a decent man trying to build a place of healing and understanding in New York!
    Today there are many in India, Pakistan who love to use words such as ‘freedom’ and ‘justice’. People like Gingrich and Palin also use such words very frequently. Those who really care about such things know that these words must be used carefully and that such words cannot be applied selectively. The 60 innocent dead in Kashmir cannot be avenged by 187 innocent dead in Mumbai, it only means 247 innocent dead!

    “What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.
    This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth.
    All things are connected like the blood that unites us all.
    Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it.
    Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
    -Chief Seattle (1786-1866)

  194. lal

    ”Some can refer to these murderers as freedom fighters just like a pig eating its own feaces can justify it as a gourmet feast. Then again, there is only this much lipstick that one can put on a pig”

    well written nasima….

    ”What we need India and the world to realize is that there is clearly a divergent narrative in Pakistan that simply does not buy into the false nationalism of the dominant group in Pakistan.”

    As much as we empathise with you,and want you to win your battles for the benefit of pakistan,south asia and indeed the whole world,I hope you will understand that a realistic position from our part will be to be ready to face any eventuality,that the ‘divergant narrative’ may never become the mainstream.

  195. PMA

    Gorki (August 23, 2010 at 4:11 am):

    Obviously my efforts to explain to you the Jihadi Culture of Pakistan and justifications made by the Terrorists for their actions, no matter how wrong, have gone to waste. I have tried to tell you that the circle of violence in which Pakistan and India are caught up today must end. The two countries must come to a negotiated Peace Agreement. But in spite of my plea not to make a moral judgement against my person you have done exactly what I have requested you not to do. And sadly the author of this article Ms. Nasima Zehra Awan who I think has raised some important points have joined in. Her remarks like “a pig eating its own feaces can justify it as a gourmet feast” fall short of journalistic excellence. Someone had addressed her as “girl” and I condemned it. But her choice of words is not ladylike.

    Then deviating from the discussion you have gone on for some length to say that one day nations will disappear and India Pakistan will become one happy Mother India. Indians and Pakistanis live happily as one big family in North America and Europe and Australia. So be it. What does that has to do with any thing. If Gorki Ji Maharaj wants to become a Cyber Guru with thousands of followers; so be it.

    Sir at the end I will like to tell you that you don’t know me personally and I don’t know you personally. We only interact on this site. Hell I don’t even know your real name. I read your extended and sometimes irrelevant posts. But you often tend to get personal. What is that you want me to do. I have no idea what to say to you anymore.

  196. androidguy

    PMA,

    In short, are you suggesting that if India doesn’t give Kashmir, Jihadi culture in Pakistan will continue?

  197. ashu

    Mr. PMA,

    Gorki has made no moral judgement of your person. His voice is a voice of sanity and moderation and hence it is attracting many supporters. Your voice is a fading voice and you will keep finding yourself isolated as more and more folks on both sides of the border who just want better and safer lives for themselves and their families will start seeing through emotional issues. ( I feel sad when I say this because I have a lot of respect for your wide reading and crisp articulation) You will pardon me if I find your hypersensitivity, that leads you to take offence to Gorki’s comments, where your name is not even mentioned, rather unbelievable.

    Regards,

    Ashu

  198. PMA

    Android Guy (August 23, 2010 at 7:07 pm):

    No. What I am saying is that the respective Governments of India and Pakistan should get serious and resolve all outstanding disputes between these two countries. At present Jihadists have the initiative and public support. Take that initiative away from them and bring in an era of Peace.

  199. androidguy

    PMA,

    Thanks for your reply.
    I take it that “outstanding disputes” is an euphemism for Kashmir, and if that is so, what if India decides that if resolving outstanding disputes mean giving up Kashmir, it will rather not resolve this dispute, then what?
    Is what you advocate for Pakistan really the only way to proceed?
    Bolivia celebrates a “Dia del Mar” ever since it lost access to the sea in the war with Chile in 1884(1884 not 1984). Armenia still has issues with Turkey due to the 1915 massacre. Deep scars & wounds to the lot of them. How many Armenians and Bolivians open donation boxes in their shops for irregular warfare?

    I think the crux of the issue is, where do you strike a balance between a strong security state and a welfare state. Its a debate the Pakistanis have to engage. As an Indian, I am only interested in its ramifications on my country, and hence the questions.

  200. PMA

    Android Guy (August 23, 2010 at 8:25 pm):

    I trust the officials on both sides are capable of setting the agenda for the talks. To answer your what if question: The alternative is ‘status quo’. And we know how ugly that could get.

    About your second point: “where do you strike a balance between a strong security state and a welfare state”.

    Actually that is the question I had initially put forward to my fellow Pakistanis many many posts ago on this board. The debate was intended among Pakistanis. But then as usual a whole bunch of Indians got into it for no reason and the subject got derailed like you can see.

    Incidentally no Pakistanis, other than venting against everything under the sun, has come forward with a serious answer. As you have pointed out, the question remains.

  201. PMA

    ashu (August 23, 2010 at 7:46 pm):

    Actually Gorki’s voice is voice of simplicity; voice of simple emotions. The gentleman thinks that ‘love’ will take care of all the complex and serious issues facing our two nations. This kind of talk is OK for the internet popularity. But the real life is much harder and cruel. I want no repeat of 1947.

  202. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib:
    I am sorry if you feel that I offended you by my post. I have always tried to convey me admiration of you as a person even as I have expressed my reservation for your views. I only started communicating with the educated Pakistanis after 26/11.

    Judging from your earlier comments if appears that a portion of Pakistani intelligentsia still lives in a smug cocoon and feel it is business as usual but unlike them we Indians were seared by this one event in a way that the US was by 9/11 or by Pearl Harbor before. If you find my posts simplistic or irrelevant because of my poor writing style, it is no big deal but if your countrymen fail to understand the message behind them then we have a major calamity on our hands because for the Indian side, it is an existential crisis; how do you live with a paranoid and a bitter neighbor who would not leave you well alone?

    That was one question that I asked of you when you couched it in a language of doctrine and defense strategies. I am not a military man and may be lack the training needed to understand you but I find it beyond comprehension how a constant needling of a larger nuclear armed neighbor can lead to ‘security’.

    Whether the Jihadists are funded by the ordinary man on the street or not, the fact remains that an influential core of Pakistani military and hawkish civilian leadership has been very supportive of that.
    Your words sounded at the best stating that the onus for all that is on India; well let me try to state my stand on this it clearly and briefly below.

    I believe it is the stand of a majority of not only the Indians but also of the civilized world and a large number of people in Pakistan:

    1. The onus for stopping that entire jihadism is squarely on those who have supported it in the past and even now find it hard to condemn them as murderers.
    2. That breeding such activity in Pakistan can precipitate a nuclear war in our region at the worst but even at its best will destroy civil society in Pakistan.

    You may feel am too emotional.
    On the contrary I feel those supporting India Pakistan rivalry are on one big emotional trip; the quality of life in Pakistan will not change one bit even if India ceased to exist tomorrow but you are entitled to your views as I am to my optimism; only time will tell.

    I agree that I don’t know you personally, only through the net; I still respect your learning and believe you are a decent person at heart.

    One last thing; Gorki is indeed my name and everyone who knows me personally or professionally in our small corner of California knows me by that.

    Regards.

  203. androidguy

    NSA,

    Interesting, that bit about Bolivia. There have been nations with a scar on their consciousness but not many have turned out as toxic as in South Asia.

    PMA, thanks for your replies. I thought AZW and many others had answered the questions you had put forward.

  204. PMA

    Gorki (August 24, 2010 at 12:43 am):

    Sir, first of all it is nice to know that Gorki is your real name. From here on I will address you as Dr. Gorki Sahab! I kinda thought that it might be your real name as many Punjabi names end with ‘ki’. I will put behind whatever personal comments each one of us have made in the past and start with a clean slate. I also think that you are a very decent man. Actually most Indians I have met in life are very decent mild mannered people.

    About India-Pakistan relations. I don’t know which directions they will go. Our past history is not very encouraging. Your side is scarred by the terrorist attacks. Our side is scarred by the ongoing Indian occupation of Kashmir and shameful midwifery of 1971. Both sides are armed to the gills and busy maneuvering outside their own borders. I think it will all depend how the two respective governments handle these crisis. I was encouraged by the last ministerial level meeting but it went no where. Let us hope for the better. With many regards. PMA.

  205. NZA

    @Lal,
    “As much as we empathise with you,and want you to win your battles for the benefit of pakistan,south asia and indeed the whole world,I hope you will understand that a realistic position from our part will be to be ready to face any eventuality,that the ‘divergant narrative’ may never become the mainstream.”

    Lal, this is not the time to accept the status quo as that can likely lead to a nuclear holocaust between the two countries and one of the most ancient civilizations being wiped out. Both of Pakistan’s main political parties as well as other parties like the ANP want peace with India. My one advice to all the Indians who have participated in this debate is to realize that peace between India and Pakistan will cost the establishment tens of billions of dollars. It will benefit the region to the tune of peace and millions of lives saved and trillions of dollars of wealth earned between the two.

    Please, for heavan’s sake, seperate the garrison establishment from Pakistan from the nation as represented by the government. They are 2 very divergent entities, where the former is holding the latter hostage. This debate should never be about scoring point but understanding the complexities involved and using that understanding towards working for a durable peace.

    Already, as evidenced by the British Prime Minister’s remarks, this is happening on the international stage where the Government of Pakistan is being viewed as being on a different page than the security establishment which is still holding on to its Taliban assets. For the future of our region, it is important that India and the rest of the world continue to make that distinction even when the elected representatives, be they the PPP or PML N, are coerced into making jingoistic statements. Most Pakistanis are sick and tired of this perpetual standoff and are already coming to the realization that the real enemy resides within. The Indians who have participated on this forum, if they are doing so in good faith, should heed this.

  206. PMA

    NZA (August 24, 2010 at 12:30 pm):

    Ms. Nasima Zehra Awan: I admire your clear thinking and analysis. You have very neatly divided Pakistan’s internal dynamics in to two camps. The good guys with white hats and the bad guys with black hats. “The garrison establishment – the real enemy” and……”The nation of Pakistan represented by the government”. “Two very divergent entities” and the two shall never meet. The good guys who “want peace with India” and the bad guys……well they are bad guys. Lets just leave it at that.

  207. Ali Abbas

    @PMA, black hats go so well with black coats and even better with black robes.

  208. bciv

    @PMA

    “shameful midwifery of 1971.”

    all some of us have been trying to say is that we should concentrate on trying to prevent any such rape in the future before we worry about any interfering midwives.

    “very neatly divided Pakistan’s internal dynamics in to two camps”

    the military is not only part of the country, it is part of the state of pakistan too. one’s failures reflect on the other. but, as a first step, we must decide what is the lesser evil: politicians breaking the law without being caught doing it or convicted through due process, or generals proudly ripping the law into shreds, in broad daylight, and never having to worry about ever facing a court of law? politicians who run to the generals to come and save them from themselves, or the generals who are more than happy to oblige? a military who happily oversteps the institutional boundaries set by the constitution (explicitly or otherwise),
    or pols who are only concerned with having a place for their snouts at the trough than trying to upset the apple-cart?
    there are no good guys and bad guys, in principle, i agree. but military dictatorship has been a big part of our history, and its causes and ongoing effects must form a proportionately central part of any objective analysis of our problems. these ‘effects’ are part of the analysis of not only our ability to have an objective debate about security vs welfare state but also the likelihood of our being able to implement what we decide as a result of such a debate.

  209. PMA

    bciv (August 24, 2010 at 6:20 pm):

    My definition of ‘Pakistan Establishment’ is slightly different than that of Ms. Nasima Zehra Awan. I have watched the ‘Establishment’ from inside and from the outside and have not been able to distinguish one arm from the other. Generals, Politicians, Feudals, Judges, Bureaucrats, Industrialists…..they all collectively constitute what we have called ‘The Establishment’. They are all related to each other in their private family lives. They all look after each others interests. They all have raped the country (to borrow your phrase) collectively.

  210. Hayyer

    That is what happens outside of a western liberal democratic secular discourse. Outside of that it is all self interest, or God or the Army, or the Fascists, even the Maoists in some countries.

  211. bciv

    have not been able to distinguish one arm from the other. Generals, Politicians, Feudals, Judges, Bureaucrats, Industrialists

    you obviously have been looking at the wrong kind of ‘arms’.

    this is an oversimplification. there are too many exceptions for them to be able to prove anything.

    gen. fazle haq was martial law administrator, governor, chief minister and drugs lord, all in one person. bhutto was made the (all too willing) gen sec of the muslim league by the same institution who hanged him as chairman ppp. even nawaz sharif has had a stay at attock fort, while generals yahya and mush never had to face any courts. it is no cartel of equals. some are clearly more equal than others.

  212. bciv

    @Hayyer

    a rather insignificant example: even gen niazi went and joined the Jamiat Ulema e Islam (D) after returning home! not that he should have anything to fear about.

    only democracy can start to have some minimal sharing of power, even if only once every five years in the beginning. but any real progress (evolution) in this regard can only take place once democracy rises above religion and ideology(ies) and other such bogeys and gimmicks. otherwise, people will continue to be fooled and fool themselves.