Where we are?

—Yasser Latif Hamdani

From Daily Times:

Obama’s warming up to India has not gone down well with our super patriots, and rightly so. Despite 40 odd years of service to the US and now a decade-long alliance that has cost Pakistan many a life and limb, the US has now established a long-term strategic paradigm in South Asia, which sees India as a close ally and Pakistan as a nuisance at best.

Instead of going back to the drawing board and trying to understand why it is that we are increasingly unable to compete with our eastern neighbour, our super patriots have invented another self-defeating narrative. They want us to engage another 50 years in another mini-cold war around an imagined zero-sum game that pits Pakistan and China against the US and India. Even if the Americans were naïve enough to hold such ‘strategic’ hogwash as a legitimate view, neither the Indians nor the Chinese are going to buy into it. Contrary to what a naïve New York Times columnist recently wrote, the Indians know that the big truck their friend in Washington owns has a flat tyre and no spare.

This is the Asian century and enough people in India realise it, which is why there will be no confrontation between China and India — at least any confrontation that mirrors the Soviet-US clash. China is rising and the US is, at best, a fading power, in a position very similar to the British Empire after the Second World War. It will continue to be an important power like Britain but its sole superpower status has irrevocably been shaken. As it grows more multicultural, the melting pot will become less effective and consequently a more fractured polity is likely to hold the US back in the future. India therefore is more likely to play both sides instead of blindly jumping into bed with the Americans. Our response therefore should be similarly cautious.

That we have not thought things through is apparent even from our approach to China. There is little or no recognition in Pakistan that China’s might is derived not from its military but its economic might. Yet how many of our institutions of higher learning have programmes in Chinese language, culture and law? None. It is not enough that Pakistan will become a conduit of energy for western China and, subsequently, an international trade route. Pakistan must realise that it will be important to China only if it remains internally stable, united and moderate. For this to happen, Pakistan must choose a pragmatic path to international geo-politics. It can no longer fool itself with some Pan-Islamic ambition and pursue a policy of Muslim interests. Our military establishment’s cynical flirtation with Islamist groups is dangerous given the Islamist rebellion in some parts of China.

Pakistan faced the full force of Chinese pressure on the Lal Masjid issue where Chinese citizens were attacked by a band of brigands who were, for the most part, seen as a ‘strategic asset’ by our establishment.

Pakistan must realign itself internally to face external challenges and seize opportunities. The reason Pakistan was respected and sought after by the Americans in the 1950s, 1960s and some part of the 1970s was because we were ideologically soft but economically and socially a strong state. By the 1980s onwards, Pakistan has been ideologically hard but economically and socially a very weak state. In doing so we have not only alienated the Americans but our trusted friends such as the Chinese and the Turks. If things continue as they are, even the Saudis will leave us in the lurch.

If — and this is an almost impossible task — Pakistan can roll back project Islam of the Ziaist variety, which requires a major overhaul of our laws, education and media, and can present itself as a moderate, democratic and internally stable state, Pakistan is ideally placed to profit from the changing global economic and political scenario. As a long-term ally of both the US and China and having a shared past with India, Pakistan can either be doomed by history or use it wisely to create a state that exists for the benefit of its people. The latter course will not only keep Pakistan united but will allow it to become one of the most prosperous nations of this century.

However, none of this can be done if ‘independent’ courts in Pakistan sentence to death a mother of five for alleged blasphemy. In the coming days, brace yourself as the entire world condemns us for our barbaric treatment of women, and rightly so. We must make up our minds. Are we going to be a medieval dystopia that is a pariah country like the Islamic Republic of Iran — which is absolutely the worst place to live in, I can assure you — or are we going to be a normal state that the world can do business with? Those of you who question the abolition of the Blasphemy Law on religious grounds must be reminded of what a wise man once said, “Is this the first time in the history of legislation in this country that this council has been called upon to override Musalman Law or modify it to suit the time? The council has overridden and modified the Musalman Law in many respects.” The wise man in question was our founding father, Mr Mohammed Ali Jinnah. He had also cautioned against the misuse of the original Blasphemy Law — Section 295 of the Penal Code — by saying, “We must also secure this very important and fundamental principle that those who are engaged in historical works, those who are engaged in the ascertainment of truth and those who are engaged in bona fide and honest criticisms of a religion shall be protected.”

The critical factor missing in Pakistan right now is a leader — democratically elected and popular — who can play the role of a Mao or an Ataturk or a Lee Kuan Yew today. Orphaned soon after birth with Jinnah’s early demise, Pakistan has missed a legitimate strongman that India found in Nehru. I say a legitimate strongman because attempts by illegitimate tin-pots, such as Ayub, Zia and Musharraf, have only worsened our situation. That it has to be a strongman willing to put his foot down is also clear because nothing else will compose the differences of our fractured national identity or have the courage to take on the naysayers, the Islamists and the ethno-fascists who today pose a clear and present danger to this state and its writ. Abraham Lincoln played that role in the US. He was ready to go the extra mile to preserve the union because his integrity was unquestionable and that allowed him to take decisions that were necessary but unpopular such as the emancipation of slaves. Do we have such a leader in our midst, someone who is ready to take on the forces that seek to tear us asunder and then make us relevant in the new era of prosperity that is about to dawn?

Unfortunately, instead of seizing the moment, all our leaders are more concerned with the dictates of petty politics, which is neither democratic nor people-oriented. One had imagined that Zardari would — much like Heracles of Byzantium — make a surprising turnaround and show concern for the country, if for nothing else then his own legacy. Instead, sadly, he has failed to rein in opportunist elements within his own party and has persecuted instead those genuine people within the party like Sherry Rehman and Aitzaz Ahsan who could help him rewrite history. May he still find it in him to finally lead like a leader. May he roll back General Zia and his criminal assault on Pakistan decisively and not just by paying lip service to that very important goal. What is at stake is not just the future of Pakistani non-Muslims; it is the prosperity and progress of this nation.

The writer is a lawyer. He also blogs at https://pakteahouse.wordpress.com and can be reached at yasser.hamdani@gmail.com

86 Comments

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86 responses to “Where we are?

  1. Samachar

    MJ Akbar:

    “The moot point is obvious: Pakistan is Obama’s wartime ally, India merely a peacetime friend. Obama cannot afford to upset the only functioning mercenary force at the service of the Pentagon, the Pakistan army. The Pak army’s annual pay grade of about $3.5 billion is a blip on the $700 billion the Pentagon spends yearly. Israel and Egypt get as much in aid for far less work. Come to think of it, the outsourcing of IT jobs to India probably costs America more than outsourcing the Afghan war to Pakistan.”

  2. lal

    Wonderfully argued YLH. I believe you are right on the money on India-China-US angle too.Where as playing the china card is beneficial for India in the short term for getting through the technology restrictions,the economic relations between India and china guarantee a safety valve in the long term.Pakistan,if it continues on the disastrous policies may have to face a day when even its all weather friend gangs up with India.What is even more obvious is,given its geostrategic location,Pakistan can easily be the hub through which the two most energy hungry countries which lies to its east can get there supplies from west and central asia.But it seems growth and trade are not the buzz words there,like it is in India

  3. YLH

    “But it seems growth and trade are not the buzz words there,like it is in India”

    Paradoxically… there are three periods in Pakistan’s history when Pakistan was obsessed with growth and trade as buzz words…

    1. Ayub Khan 1958-1964 (before he rigged the elections and made a mess of things and then launched that ill-advised Operation Gibralter).

    2. Nawaz Sharif 1990-1992 and 1997-1999 (before he allowed the Pakistan Army to launch that ridiculous operation in Kargil)

    3. Musharraf 1999-2002 (before he decided to play politics by first rigging elections and then messing everything up by acting like a demigod)

    Of this 2 was a collective human failure because it undid the long established paradigm that democracies don’t go to war with each other.

  4. Caroline

    @YLH
    Excellent Summation!
    Those of us here in the U.S. did notice that “heir” Obama ignored Pakistan on his recent trip. We also noticed that he came back empty handed. Everyone he spoke to on his trip gave him a response of “nyet”!
    Unfortunately, if and until we do get rid of him, you can expect only the same!
    Our newly elected Republican Legislative Branch will have an uphill battle against the incumbent Democrat Senatorial Branch of our Congress so I’m afraid there will be a stalemate for the next two years. We tried!

  5. Bilal

    Nice article by YLH, he has shown us the future of Asia and has also shown the correct way to move forward, I can’t hope but pray that we follow it as a State.

  6. I Pundit

    @Caroline

    Its actually not about Obama at all.

    “he came back empty handed” simply because days of USA hegemony is OVER.

    Its not about dems or GOP , its about DECLINE of American influence globally.

    Enjoy:-

    “http://www.huffingtonpost.com/juan-cole/obama-in-asia-meeting-ame_b_782364.html”

  7. readinglord

    A good and well-balanced article by YLH after his bashing spree!

    Keep it up, dear!

  8. Anwar

    Very good analysis and predictions.. Good economy, growth and human development are the only vaccines against the infection caused by Zia’s virus..

  9. Talha

    Excellent analysis, may this article find its way into the doors of our selfish rulers.

  10. amar-asks

    Why specifically are my comments “awaiting moderation” (censored?). Why am I being treated like some bearded muslim at a US airport?

  11. Pingback: Wake up and smell the failure - Page 2

  12. Tilsim

    Great article.

  13. Talha

    @ amar

    All comments are being moderated from now on fortunately and unfortunately.

  14. lal

    “The critical factor missing in Pakistan right now is a leader — democratically elected and popular — who can play the role of a Mao or an Ataturk …”

    May be an oversight,as both Mao and Ataturk was not “popularly elected” or may be he was stressing some other point.

    But I am not sure whether waiting for a leader of their caliber is the right solution.If somebody comes across well and good.I do not think any of the Indian leaders in the past 20 years qualify for the criteria of strong man.Infact other than Vajpayee and to an extent MMS, I am not sure whether we can call them even popular,the likes of gujral, devagowda and PVN.

    Ofcourse the Indian narrative may not work for pakistan, as the challenges that India faced in the early 90s are different from what pakistan faces now.

    ps:what is the moderation criteria now.is everybody moderated.would be nice if some body updates

  15. stuka

    Caroline appears to be a republican apologist.

    1. Obama did come back with very specific orders for Military Hardware from India.

    2. Obama did not comeback with a deal from South Korea because the South Koreans were trying to shaft us. Had it been a Republican president, he would have signed a deal where South Koreans would sell us stuff while putting barriers for us to sell them anything.

    3. Strategic Genius I Pundit states that US influence in Asia is coming down. He needs to read up on erstwhile foes like Vietnam asking the US to get MORE involved in Asia because the vaccum of a US decline will be filled with China – something no Asian country wants.

    4. YLH is right about there potentially not being a conflict between India and China because of the trade volume and economic ties. Indians need to realize though that the current Indo-Chinese relationship is similar to that of colony and empire. India provides raw material to China, China adds value and sells back to India. India needs massive investment in infrastructure and labor law reform to even begin to narrow the gap on manufacturing competitiveness.

    5. The US – India trade relationship is far more benign for the US compared to China – US. Republicans like Caroline have consistently sold out potential American jobs to China basically through lobbying by Chamber of Commerce types.

  16. no-communal

    @Talha
    “All comments are being moderated from now on fortunately and unfortunately.”

    I would say rather unfortunately. If amar or I or Sardar Khan cannot freely express ourselves, what’s the use of an online medium? We can all read newspapers and know what’s going on around us.

  17. no-communal

    I think I am going to stop commenting.

  18. YLH

    My point was that we need a leader to play that role but he should be democratically elected.

    As for “leaders of that stature”, it is not as much a question of that stature as it is of our current politicians raising their game to that stature.

  19. Ranger

    You know, India and Pakistan should learn to behave like normal people. We cannot be friends – not as long as there are property disputes between us – and we will never be friends. All this aman ki asha , people-to-people-contact stuff is sheer nonsense. But is it too much to ask to stop being enemies ? Is it too much to ask to start living, co-existing peacefully ? Thats what normal people do.

    And by the way Obama said one thing. That a stable Pakistan is in India’s best interests. Pakistan was stable in 1965 I believe. We got a war. Pakistan was stable in 1999 under Nawaz Sharif. We got a war. So really, it does not matter to India whether Pakistan is stable or unstable.

  20. Straight-Talk

    It is really very good analysis of current geopolitical situation viz-a-viz Pakistan.

    India and China have a booming trade more than that of Indo-US. It is general understanding in India that although China obviously supporting Pakistan and now and then provoking India but it will not go beyond a certain limit. China is also very tentative about its economic impediment from energy and mineral deficiency. She is comtemplating many sources for energy supply such as central Asia and from Arabs and Iran through Pakistan. China’s over assertiveness, aggressive posturing and its involvement in disputes with its neighbours over the various islands of eastern china sea and southern china sea, which are rich in minerals and petroleum deposits but also claimed by other states are mainly worrying factors.
    So it is navive to think that it will fight with India on provocation of Pakistan whether Zardari thinks or not China as his second home. Moreover fight with India will not yield any material benefits to China whatsoever.

    India is also not going to fight with Pakistan let alone China. If it goes to war it will be behind many decades in the current race of economic development. It knows very well that its current exalted position among various states is due to its economic growth and its booming and consuming middle class. It also knows that it is its economic clout which has compelled US president to visit India and sing and dance with Indian tunes. Otherwise India doesn’t have anything special to offer which other countries couldn’t. If US thought that India will support it on the issue of Myanmar and Iran, India told them categorically that both of the issues are sensitive to Indian defense and therefore India will chart its on course and will not do everything what US wants.

    So Pakistan should understand that India is not going to attack Pakistan for no reason. The fear is that some stateless actors can bring both of them to brink of war. So better sense says that both country should alleviate the concerns of others, isolate these war mongers and come to table and try to negotiate whatever possible with slightly flexible position. Pakistan can gain more than India in economic terms as it can give the land transit route to Afghanistan and Central Asian republics and can also benefit from paving the way for Gas pipe line from Iran by giving guarantee of delivery at Indian border, which India in today’s scenario have serious doubts, can also export food and cotton items to India which India wants badly. India can gain from the stabled situation in Kashmir, can devote much time in improving infrastructure which now days are the veins and arteries of economic development.

  21. rich05

    good article,

    hope to read more from u

    it looks like pakistani leaders and army are its worst enemy, its a wonder pakistn is still united after want the power to be are doing
    everything ring a leader can do is being done

    the security is just watch or some element actively suppoting as the shia sunni divide widens, qadians being killed, other religious minorites being treated as 3rd call citizen, ethnic violence erupting regularly bet diff group

    why is the sucurity agencies not taking action, noone is evry arrested for any bomb blast or sectararian killings

    so it looks from outside someone in power is alloing all these to happen delibrately, for what ends no one seem to know

  22. Kamala

    Excellent analysis. Sure hope the right people are listening.

    Kamala

  23. PMA

    “They want us to engage another 50 years in another mini-cold war around an imagined zero-sum game that pits Pakistan and China against the US and India.”

    Who are this imaginary “They”?

    The Military? The Politicians? The Bureaucrats? The Feudals? The Industrialists? The Islamists? Who in their right mind in Pakistan want to engage in another ‘cold war’ and then against who?

    The US-Pakistan alliance of 50s and 60s is no model for the 21st. century geopolitics and no body is Pakistan is thinking on those lines except the weekly columnists.

    In the post WW II era the USA was looking for allies to encircle the USSR and along with Turkey and Iran recruited Pakistan for that purpose. Pakistan on the other hand threatened by hostile India and Afghanistan joined the alliances for reasons entirely different than those of the USA. For the USA it was the ‘cold war’; for Pakistan it was ‘struggle for survival’. At the end both US and Pakistan with each other’s help succeeded in their respective aims.

    Pakistan however made the necessary ‘correction’ in 60s and instead of keeping all eggs in one basket opened herself to China as well. Today in her international relations Pakistan is where it wants to be. It is in most cordial relationship with number 1 and number 2 super powers of the world. If America is looking for a new ‘encirclement’ then Pakistan certainly is not a party to that. If there is a 21st. century ‘cold war’ then Pakistan is not in it. No body is Pakistan is looking for a new ‘cold war’ except the weekly columnists.

  24. I Pundit

    “Strategic Genius I Pundit states that US influence in Asia is coming down. He needs to read up on erstwhile foes like Vietnam asking the US to get MORE involved in Asia because the vaccum of a US decline will be filled with China – something no Asian country wants. “

    Our US-lovers like “stuka” needs to understand that American influence is INDEED going down.
    He needs to look at the simple fact that :
    Obama had simply NOTHING to offer to anybody during this trip to Asia other than SYMBOLIC SUPPORT ( read meaningless) to India for its UNSC permanent member bid!

    Also the article presented by me by well respected Juan Cole needs to be read by him!

  25. PMA

    Straight-Talk has some very valid points (November 15, 2010 at 10:45 pm).

    Under the present balance of power the likely hood of India-Pakistan hostility breakout is minimum. I also agree that both parties should come to table and try to negotiate all disputes with full sincerity. By resolving her disputes with Pakistan India can gain in economic terms by receiving land transit concessions to Afghanistan and Central Asian republics and also benefit from paving the way for Gas pipe line from Iran to Indian border, which energy starved India needs very badly. However Pakistan should only export value-added items to India and not just raw food and cotton. India can gain a lot by resolving the core issue of disputed Kashmir, and instead of maintaining half a million troops in Kashmir it could devote much time in improving infrastructure which now a days are the veins and arteries of economic development.

  26. Humanity

    “All comments are being moderated from now on fortunately and unfortunately.”

    There has to be a better way to filter known malicious elements ..

  27. Caroline

    I’m a Libertarian! Unfortunately, none of them on the ballot! Republicans are too far right and the Democrats are too far left!

    I have NEVER apologized for the Republican Party! I am one of their their most vociferous critics!

  28. Bade Miyan

    PMA,
    “India can gain a lot by resolving the core issue of disputed Kashmir”

    So long as K is going to be the core issue, no development on peace is possible. Rest is all wishful thinking.

  29. androidguy

    “India can gain a lot by resolving the core issue of disputed Kashmir”…….those who peddle this line should know that by the same token Pakistan can gain a lot by laying off Kashmir, engage India in trade irrespective of status of the “core issue”. So will the Pakistanis try to gain ” a lot”?

    Pakistanis tried their best to get the Big (K)ahuna, all ways possible. They over-extended big time, now they are trying to get what they couldn’t through appealing to India’s commercial interests. Something tells me its not gonna work.

  30. Gabban

    Yasser (Latif Hamdani) saheb,
    ‘Do we have such a leader in our midst’ ?
    We should have someone ofcourse …

    The situation, for Pakistan, can be reversed only, repeat only, if the USA and Saudi Arabia stop dealing directly with the army of Pakistan …

    These two countries should be stopped immediately to give money and arms/ammunition for/to the army of Pakistan …

    This one single act on part of USA and SA will cleanse Pakistan … otherwise, nothing will change … it is wise to leave the country for the good of our children.

    Thank you

  31. Kaalket

    Kashmir will be fought to the last Sunni terrorist in the Valley. I dont think Pakistan should let go Kashmir issue. No talk, no relation with India till this core issue is solved .There is nothing better that this an Indian can hope for and a Pakistani can dream of. Jihad-e Kashmir must go on at every cost .

  32. Harbir

    “Under the present balance of power the likely hood of India-Pakistan hostility breakout is minimum”

    Like in 1999?

  33. Pankaj

    A number of articles have appeared in Pakistani news papers after the Obama visit

    All analysts are asking the question why India is being favoured and why is Pakistan being looked down upon by the west.

    The answer is that Pakistanis have not changed their 2 desires that defeating India and ruling Afghanistan

    The conventional war and unconventional war ie terrorism have nt been able to defeat India

    But the west is now firmly convinced that Pakistan Army will not leave its strategic assets in Afghanistan .

    SO the conflict of interest between Pak Army and NATO is being reflected in the growing number of Anti Pakistan statements

    And on the economic front Pakistan brings nothing to the table

  34. Hayyer

    PMA:

    “Pakistan on the other hand threatened by hostile India and Afghanistan joined the alliances for reasons entirely different than those of the USA. For the USA it was the ‘cold war’; for Pakistan it was ‘struggle for survival’. At the end both US and Pakistan with each other’s help succeeded in their respective aims.”

    I have been trying to understand what it was and is that drove Pakistan’s search for security. Post ’71 it was the fear of a vivisection again as in Bangladesh, and one can comprehend the genesis of that fear somewhat even if it is misplaced. The ‘struggle for survival’ prior to ’71 is another matter. I have come to understand on PTH that Pakistanis in the first decade or so felt threatened by India because they thought that it wanted to undo Partition, or, that India had not accepted the reality of Pakistan, or even that she expected Pakistan not to survive for whatever reason.

    Even if Pakistani’s apprehensions are a true reflection of Indian sentiment it must be accepted that Indian hostility was of a passive kind-that is, India expected Pakistan to fall apart without India having to do anything. Pakistan’s alliance with the US and UK in anti Soviet and anti Chinese security pacts as a defense against India would have not allayed India’s hopes, whatever Pakistanis believed they were.

    Pakistani joined these pacts a full seven to ten years after ’47. India had not started any offensive manoeuvres that could have justified Ayub Khan’s offer of Pakistan’s army to the US as a mercenary force (‘our army can be your army if you want’). Pakistan must have done so to build up an offensive capacity against India which it did use in 1965.
    Invading Kashmir in ’47 and attacking India (even if only across Akhnur) in ’65 was not the best expression of a purely defensive posture.

    Also post ’71, it is a strange trauma that seeks a cure by sending terrorists to Kashmir, Mumbai and to our parliament, and attacking India in Kargil.

    Kashmir is a sticking point between our two countries. Kashmiris want independence, they do not emphatically want Pakistan. Alas, in India there is no scope for further vivisection. It is not only the official discourse, it is the only possible discourse. There is no morality involved; it is a question of survival. Where would Pakistan be if the Baloch, and perhaps the Sindhis became independent. After Bangladesh the only way Pakistan can exist is as as it is.

    Pakistan could have expected something from America over Kashmir if India were to be as dependent on American money as Pakistan seems to be, but she is not, and America has nothing to offer India, now or in the foreseeable future, that will make India compromise on Kashmir-Neither the nuclear pact, not sensitive technology, not the Security Council seat. India was down and out in 1963 after the China war and even then Nehru weakened as he was and a dying man did not give an inch-what chance now? From 1974 to 1999 various US sanctions have made not an iota of difference; lifting those sanctions makes no difference either.

    There is a way to solve Kashmir but it is not the one that follows the contours of the TNT or the UN resolutions. Pakistan should try another approach since it is now quite evident that neither, the UN, US, terror or freedom fighters are able to provide a solution. More of the same medicine is just wasting time.

    Some Pakistanis would like the issue solved only so that Pakistan can turn its back on India and cultivate links west, north, and northeast too probably- Which may be a good thing by itself, I don’t know. Official Pakistani sentiment about India need not be altered in such a case. No school texts to modify, no official histories to be corrected, no humanizing the demonic people living immediately east.

    On the other hand what excuse will the PA have to continue its dominant role. It needs India. As Musharraf said a decade ago, hostility will continue even if Kashmir is solved. Your former President blurts out many truths in his frank style.

    It was not Pakistan’s security concerns that drove you into the arms of the US and now China. It is the PA’s hatred for India and the official discourse, which Pakistan does not want to abandon, that India is a country of vile people. This sentiment also breeds other malaises (yes, there is such a word) in your society which the beating of wings on PTH can do little to cure.

  35. I’ve expressed this before in the What devoured glamorous Pakistan thread (https://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/14/what-devoured-glamorous-pakistan/), but it’s worth reiterating in a different way.

    As a premise: Imagine that Pakistan was not a fanatic Muslim country with a raison-d’être of being not-India. Imagine that each and every one of their policies was not about being anti-India – whether it was controlling Afghanistan to gain strategic depth against India, or raising territorial issues.

    From my Mumbaikar perspective, such a country would have been and could still be a paradise on earth.

    1. It has vast natural resources and a relatively small population (imagine the population is not Islam-obsessed). This makes for a great combination to launch a modern educated country.

    2. It is geostrategically well-situated. Imagine freeways and railways allowing people to drive or travel from Mumbai to Paris, and on to Indo-China and China. In fact, until the 60s, it used to be commonplace to travel by road between Germany and India. We used to get European tourists all the time who had traveled by road via Greece-Turkey-Iran-Pakistan. The attendant economic benefits to Pakistan would be enormous in terms of tolls, roadside malls, eateries where people would stop to shop and eat, leading to employment for Pakistanis and tax for the Pak state, not to mention that the country would be well-integrated into the global economy. India and China are building highway and railway systems connecting the two via Indo-China. There is no reason why these should not be extended to West Asia and Europe. It is a known fact that the American freeway system built in the 50s led to massive economic growth by creating new employment opportunities and speeding up the transport of people and goods.

    And of course, Pakistan would also stand to get a lot of revenue from ushering gas from West Asia to energy-thirsty countries like India.

    3. Pakistan’s upper reaches like the Swat and Neelam valleys could easily become Asian tourism destinations, dare I say, akin to Switzerland in Europe.

    4. As a neighbor to India, Pakistan has such a gigantic and hungry market for all kinds of goods that it produces from simple foodgrains to sophisticated stuff like automobiles. Again, leading to huge employment and prosperity for Pakistanis.

    5. Kashmir could become a place that Pakistanis could visit just by driving over or taking a bus or train, like they used to before Partition.

    6. Pakistan would be standing shoulder to shoulder with India, China, Indonesia etc as we define the Asian future and secure the interests of developing countries that we all are.

    I could go on, but suffice it to say that were Pakistanis to leave (or had they left) their anti-India obsession aside, as well as their state’s mission to impose supremacy of Islam on all of us non-Muslims (and let’s not be under any illusion that this isn’t exactly what is being attempted), it could very easily (have) become a paradise on earth and a model to emulate for the rest of the developing world. The early years were a pointer that this was a possibility. So much time has been wasted for absolutely no reason, fighting a windmill. It is really up to Pakistanis to decide if the next 50 years are going to be more of the same.

  36. amar-asks

    talha writes:
    “All comments are being moderated from now on fortunately and unfortunately.”

    All? No.
    Some favorites are being given special leeways.

    A comment should not be deleted merely because someone does not like it. A sudden interruption in a conversation is a jerk. Some of my best comments were simply not allowed to reach those to whom they were addressed. That is unfair.

    to Arjun

    Pakistan is a product of islamically-motivated slander and hatred against hindus, against everything hindu. Since hindus in Pakistan fled or were exterminated hence there is no counter-balance anymore in Pakistan. God allowed Pakistan to be created in order to demonstrate to mankind that a good human society cannot be founded or maintained on the basis of this arab religion and this proof has been amply given now.

  37. Bin Ismail

    Where are we? Indeed, where are we? This reminds me of this couplet of Ghalib:

    “Hum wahan hain jahan se hum ko bhi
    Kuchh hamari khabar naheen aati”

    First we need to be “ba-khabar” about ourselves, to exercise sincere introspection, to remind ourselves that we were never and shall never be infallible and as humans, will always be susceptible to decline.

    Quoting from Shakespeare:

    “And every fair from fair sometime declines,
    By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d”

    Have we declined? Yes, we have declined, but not by chance. We have been trimmed by “nature’s changing course untrimm’d”. Now it’s time to correct ourselves. It’s time to do our own trimming ourselves. It’s time to realize that mixing of Statecraft and Religion has cost us the the honour of both the State and Religion.

    We have to start from somewhere. This could serve as a good beginning .

  38. Straight-Talk

    @PMA
    Thanks for your support

    I am quite intrigued about the differences among the political class of both the country. The matter can be resolved, if sincerity and accommodation along with little bit hard decisions are taken. In the negotiating table nobody can claim full, and nobody can claim outright victory. There must be give and take policy, hard bargaining, little bit territorial adjustment and some out of the box thinking/ solutions can resolve any problems leave alone Kashmir.

    But I have serious doubt about the intentions and motives of some power centers, who have serious stakes in keeping Kashmir problem flared and Danger from Kafir India/Islam in danger/Pakistan in danger alibi keep on alive, lest they’ll be irrelevant. In Pakistan, they get money from US and in Kashmir, they get money from India.

    These powers centers must be brought in line with the thinking of right minded people. The people who thinks country first, its ethos and its welfare first. How can? I don’t know but they should tow in line, must know, share and respect countryman’s desire and theirs hopes.

    I just want to ask? how many more years they will keep on harping on old stinking problems? neglect their people, amassed their coffers, make new and adjust old alliances. If these alliances can bring peace then very good, go ahead take benefit of this peace and devote some time for resolving out standing issues and invest in countrys’ future and its development and if not then why go for alliances, tackle problem head on, negotiate and solve it once for all and then….. well go ahead and do for something for country’s future and its development…… very simple, Isn’t it?

  39. PMA

    Hayyer (November 16, 2010 at 9:32 am):

    Thanks for taking time to post your comments. I’ll try to be brief so that it does not become a long drawn argument.

    About the security issue:

    Regardless of the thesis advanced by my friend here at PTH, the Radcliffe line was drawn with dry ink. Pakistan with time would have forgotten Indian opposition to its creation except that war of 1948 and Indian occupation of Kashmir made any such rapprochement impossible. Pakistan and the USA approached each other for their respective security concerns as early as 1949-50. The first tangible movement in security and economic cooperation took place in 1951 when Liaqat Ali Khan visited the USA. The world only came to know the details when Eisenhower administration formalized the security agreements in the form of SEATO & CENTO. In 1953 Vice President Nixon met Prime Minister Khwaja Nazim-ud-din and asked him what is that Pakistan would like to see happened in return for her security cooperation with the USA. His answer was ‘economic help and security cover’. You ask ‘what it was that drove Pakistan in search for security’. The answer is very simple: India. She has been an existential threat to Pakistan from the day one and continues to be so to this day. India has yet to realize the benefits of making peace with her next door neighbor. You are right that ‘Kashmir is the sticking point between our two countries’. Without resolution of Kashmir, there will be no peace between the two. But Musharraf also has a point. There is more than Kashmir between the two countries. It is called ‘attitude’ towards each other. Since there is nothing Pakistan can do to modify others attitude, she must maintain her full security paradigm, just in case.

  40. Kaalket

    Pakistani experiment must continue till Kashmir issue is solved . As PMA explained , this is an experiment in psychology and religious influence on human mind. Pakistan is winning by making whole humanity aware of their experiment by sharing the daily achievements in highest sphere of human life. Just take a look at the monetary help promised by kaffir duniya to serve the cause of Pakistan in search of purity .

  41. Puzzled Indian

    @PMA
    November 16, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    “Since there is nothing Pakistan can do to modify others attitude, she must maintain her full security paradigm, just in case….”

    So the Operation Gibraltar, Kargil, Parliament attack, Mumbai 2008 etc. are just a part of that ‘just in case scenario’??

  42. Hayyer

    PMA:

    India went into Kashmir because Pakistan invaded it first.
    As for attitude, army generals have it, they need it-civilians don’t.
    If nothing is going to change between India and Pakistan despite a resolution over Kashmir then why should anyone bother to resolve it-India, Pakistan, the UN or even the US. Your leaders and ours and Obama should save their breath.
    Talk of Angrezon ke waqt ke jailor. Saare duniya badal gayee, hum nahin badley.

  43. Bade Miyan

    PMA,
    What is the percentage of people in Pak admin who think like you?

  44. amar

    to PMA

    Our “attitude” to Pakistan is a result of the fact that Pakistan is a quisling state and the colony and fortress of an alien totalitarian-imperialist ideology on hindu lands (The Sindhu river basin). So don’t enter into that unending pakistani pretension that you pakistanis are the innocent lambs being plagued by the evil others (e.g. the wicked hindus).

    Blood flowing in Kashmir, that was Pakistan’s political intention and strategy. Pakistan started it. Since pakistani cannot deny that, hence they puff-up their chests and say that they are proud of having started it – in order to help their muslim “brothers” and bring their cause to the notice of the world. Great!!!

  45. PMA

    Hayyer (November 17, 2010 at 7:57 am):

    No Hayyer. Resolution over Kashmir will change everything. It will usher in ‘Peace’ between the two countries. After establishing peace the two could get on with the business of non-interference in each other’s territory. The way things are right now, Pakistan does not accept Kashmir as Indian territory and therefore does not consider its activities in Kashmir as interference in Indian internal affairs. India on the other hand. Well you know Indian position. No resolution of the dispute, no peace between the two countries. That is where we have been for the last sixty years and unless a resolution, that is where we will be for time to come. Since neither party sees it essential to her existence, there is no movement towards establishing peace. But mind you peaceful coexistence does not mean friendship or strategic alliance. Even after a peace agreement has been made, the two will have to maintain their respective security paradigm. That is what Musharraf was talking about. Disputes or no disputes Pakistan has to maintain a ‘Minimum Deterrence’ against possible eventualities. Now, this Doctrine of Minimum Deterrence could change if India’s military build up vis a vis Pakistan would change. Demilitarization of Kashmir on both sides, removal of troops and air and missile defence system from Pakistan’s border etc. etc. are some of the steps that might help the situation. Nothing is impossible if their is a will. But India being the bigger power and occupier of Kashmir has to take the first step and then Pakistan has to reciprocate. Let us hope that sane minds prevail and peace is established between India and Pakistan.

  46. androidguy

    “..Even after a peace agreement has been made, the two will have to maintain their respective security paradigm…”

    If so, then what is the incentive for India as the status quo power to give up Kashmir in the first place?All this talk of will is fine, why doesn’t Pakistan show us the will and let trade flourish, irrespective of the Kashmir issue? Kashmir was demilitarized in 1947, what happened? Kargil was demilitarized in the winter of 1999, what happened? PMA wants India to give up Kashmir by appealing to some woolly Indian magnanimity that doesn’t exist vis a vis Pakistan. The shenanigans of your bearded dogs in Mumbai and all over India has seen to that.

  47. Hayyer

    PMA:

    It seems from your last post that India needs to kneel, and remain kneeling while offering a series of nazranas to the rhadamanthine PA before the latter even considers acknowledging the supplicant.
    The perception on this side of the border is different of course.
    What is clear, if your views are representative of those held by the Pakistani establishment, is that it would be foolish of India to retreat even an inch from its present posture.

  48. amar

    What does Pakistan want in Kashmir, what is their declared goal, what is their real goal? A quisling state of an alien totalitarian-expansionist-imperialist ideology can never be trusted not to backstab.

    India’s bad karma to have such a neighbour. In the Mahabharata there is the story of a demon (called Bakaasur) who lived near a village and the village had to deliver one human being as his food everyday. Bakaasur rhymes somehow with Pakistan (as Bakaasuristan). Hindu blood will be demanded by them for all the times to come. This is god’s unexplainable punishment upon the hindu idiots.

    On Eid they slow-slaughter-bleed animals with glee and call it “sacrifice” for “god”. What can you expect from a people with such an upbringing? And what good can you expect from such a god?

  49. YLH

    The only real comparison Pakistanis have in the Mahabharata is to Pandavas.

  50. no-communal

    @amar
    Bakaasur rhymes somehow with Pakistan (as Bakaasuristan).

    By that logic Bakaasuristan rhymes with Hindustan too.

  51. amar

    ylh writes:

    “The only real comparison Pakistanis have in the Mahabharata is to Pandavas.”

    Pandavas were not worshippers of an arabic allah. That alone makes your comparison just a smirky remark and nothing more.

  52. amar

    to no-communal

    Bakaasur had certain characteristics. Among which people do you find them more represented?

    What ylh does not know: The pandavas came to this village and Bhima agreed to go as the next human offering to Bakaasur. What then happened to the demon need not be narrated. Pakistanis are producing Bakaasurs and not getting rid of them. The pak army and its tactical outfits and strategic partners and media-men are the Bakaasurs.

  53. YLH

    I don’t think so. I think I have hit a deep religious nerve.

    Pandavas and Kauravas … Pakistanis and Indians…

    Same difference.

  54. no-communal

    @amar

    From Pakistani viewpoint ylh is, probably unknowingly, right. The Pandavas were deprived of their rightful land. That’s what they feel about Kashmir.

  55. Kaalket

    YLH,
    The apt comparison is not Pandav and Kauravs but Danavs and Manavs. And how could you forget the close relatives of Kauravs living in Kandhar ?. PMA is an honest Pakistani and lets appreciate his honesty and wait for solving K issue by end of Feb 39 , 7272 .

  56. Girish

    N_C

    Why the ‘probably unknowingly’ qualification? Why is it inconceivable that YLH knows the Mahabharata well and was therefore making his claim with full knowledge of the story?

  57. Kaalket

    no-communal
    What land , where were the Muslamans before attack and conquest of Sindh? Going by their argument , Indians have more claim on the land currently occupied by Pakisani people in the name of all that has roots in far away Arabia. The majority inhabitants of Pakistan belongs to Arabic Civilization and have no right over anything material or spiritual belonging to IVC or Non Arabic on the Subcontinenet.

  58. no-communal

    @Girish

    I agree. It’s possible that ylh knew about the analogy.

  59. no-communal

    @Kaalket

    Where do you suggest they should go, to the Sahara?

  60. Samachar

    The only real comparison Pakistanis have in the Mahabharata is to Pandavas.

    Joke of the year!

  61. Samachar

    Here’s another way of looking at it:

    When war seemed inevitable, both Arjuna (for the Pandavas) and Duryodhana (for the Kauravas) went to Krishna to solicit support. Krishna gave them the choice between his army and himself in a non-combatant role. Arjuna unhesitatingly chose Krishna, and Duryodhana was overjoyed to have Krishna’s army. Krishna participated in the war as Arjuna’s chariot-driver.

    There is a symbolism here I need not explain, but how it extends in the case at hand is perhaps as follows:

    India is embracing Uncle Sam’s democracy, open markets, entrepreneurship, technology; while Pakistan is embracing Uncle Sam’s weapons and material aid (some $30 billion??? since 9/11).

  62. Kaalket

    no-communal
    I say look at your historical narartive and find the land of your origin. All of Pakistan’s claims and demands rest on the religion of Islam so its natural the solution and answer of these issues must be based on the Dogma. To you yours and to me mine , Pakistan came to existence on the Sub continent with the arrival of Arab army in Sindh and it is a good point to start the quest . Indians can only offer Best Wishes.

  63. Chote Miyan

    “The only real comparison Pakistanis have in the Mahabharata is to Pandavas.”

    Wonder who is playing Draupadi..PA, perhaps? The five husbands would be US, China, Saudi, etc..

  64. Chote Miyan

    Amar Bhai,
    Do you even realize that people have stopped reading your posts? Yaar at least change the vocab that you use. You seem to be incapable of framing a single sentence without the words Arabic, fascist, Islam..Give us a break, c’mon.

  65. androidguy

    I second Chote Miyan. Tiring, boring, effete and thoroughly off-putting. Was good for a little bit of comedy, but even that no more nowadays……Amar Bhai, you made your point, now please get the message.

  66. Amit Kumar

    Mere Bhai log..

    I am reading V. S. Naipaul’s book, “Beyond Belief”. He calls Pakistan a criminal enterprise. It started with looting of Sikh’s and Hindus wealth. As per him was about 40% of the wealth of today’s Pakistan was with Sikh’s and Hindus.

    He also provides a deep insight in the mind and thinking of a Converted (non-Arabic) Muslims.

  67. Amit Kumar

    After spending time in cities of Pakistan..V. S. Naipaul suggest that if there was no partition all Indian cities would have been like Karachi. He was talking in 1996.. a good read for all those who hates Qaid-e-Azam of pakistan.

  68. Milestogo

    Give it some time, London will become next kashmir and the curse will continue.

  69. Milestogo

    Message from a gangster
    By: Vikram Maurya

    I Chhota Shakeel (a gangster) am the messenger of Dawood Ibrahim (The Don).

    I am the only messenger of Dawood and there is no other person who can do mandwali (make deals) on his behalf. Anybody who claims to be the messenger of The Don is fake, kill him outright.

    It’s the order of the The Don that his followers (Our gang) go out and conquer the world. Fight till all other gangs in the entire world accept the authority of The Don.

    Kill other gang members wherever you find them. Wait in ambush for them. The Don is most merciful, he will forgive you for that.

    When you kill other gang members, their wealth and woman are your right hand possession. They are yours to keep, have sex with them or sell them or do both. The Don is most merciful he will forgive you for that, he is oft merciful.

    When other gang member joins The Don’s gang (our gang), or agrees to pay hafta (authority fee), forgive him. The Don will also forgive him. The Don is most merciful.

    Women and men are not the same, women are weak. They are not good for fighting. They are only good for sex. So all male members of Our gang can keep up to four women each, but no more, The Don does not like it if Our gang members have more.

    Now I keep 38 women..umm might be a couple more, but so what I am Chhota Shakeel the messenger of The Don and the 4 women rule is not binding on me.

    A girl 9 years of age is old enough to have sex so don’t worry if people call you a pedophile. I, Chhota Shakeel, had sex with such a girl. The messenger of The Don is the best of men and would never do wrong so you also can enjoy a 9 year old girl.

    Destroy other gang members headquarters and set up our regional offices there. No other Don is worth working for only Our Don is supreme and only his followers are supreme.

    Don’t fight with other gang members at our offices, The Don does not like that. But if the other gang members start a fight anywhere, then it is okay to kill them anywhere until they submit to The Don’s will.

    When you cut an animal or other gang members slaughter him slowly, trust me it gives a lot of pleasure man. The Don himself told it to me and I have experienced that heavenly pleasure.

    One more thing I told you that you can keep only 4 women but that is legally. You can also keep as many concubines as you want there is no restriction on that.

    Hey, as a warning, whenever you are out on assignment at least make phone calls five times a day to The Don, otherwise he becomes suspicious. So please call and praise him 5 times a day. Also if any of our gang members wants to leave the gang kill him outright. He is a traitor.

    If you do good and perform excellently The Don will reward you with 72 virgins. You can have sex with them as long as you want. And the magic is they will be virgins again the next time you see them.

    Hey, all of our gang members must visit Karachi once in his life time because that is where The Don lives.

    Chhota Shakeel

  70. no-communal

    Milestogo again forgot to add the age of the author. Why are you playing tricks on us?

  71. Milestogo

    This article is for the extremist kind only. Moderates like you should ignore it.

  72. no-communal

    How many extremists do you think are reading PTH to get their daily dose of intellectual input?

  73. amar

    to chote miyan

    Those who have stopped reading my posts are missing some real honest analysis. That is their choice.

    But good that you read and don’t miss it. Don’t bother about whether others read or not.

    BTW my mention/comparison of Bakaasura and Pakistan brought 10 responses.

  74. PMA

    Hayyer (November 17, 2010 at 10:23 pm):

    These are not my personal views. Just observations. Also your insight is correct. At present neither India nor Pakistan see any reason to change its position or posture as you say. India for the last sixty years has chosen to hang on to Kashmir even if it means ruling millions of Kashmiri people by military force who do not want to be part of India. Pakistan on its part has never accepted Kashmir as part of India and regards it as a disputed property. Neither party is capable of convincing or forcing the other to accept her own point of view. Neither party is willing to compromise although there is room for a compromise.

  75. Hayyer

    Not sixty years, only fifty-seven. Before 1953 there was no reason to think that Kashmiris were not happy to remain with India.
    On the other hand at present India has no alternative but to hang on. There is no exit policy under our constitution.
    Of course one could say that the accession of Kashmir and the conditions attendant are not governed by the Constitution of India and one could well be right. It is nebulous territory. The terms governing accession were replaced by Article 370 of the Constitution, and of course the terms of accession.
    Neither the Maharaja nor did the main political party ask for a plebiscite. That condition was added by Mountbatten, the man who is supposed to have manoeuvred Indian access to J&K through Gurdaspur district.
    But that condition may have been undermined by Article 370. I don’t know; I am not a lawyer.
    The UN resolutions on plebiscite again were not a demand either of the people of J&K or of GOI. They were rendered inoperative by Pakistan’s failure to withdraw its troops from the occupied area by its troops.
    Because it can not be reasonably expected that Pakistan will withdraw it is safe to presume that the plebiscite cannot be held.
    However it is by no means certain that a plebiscite, if it could be held would go Pakistan’s way. Kashmiri Muslims want Azadi.
    Azadi unfortunately for them is not an available option. So, yes, India is hanging on to Kashmir. But, if I may be allowed a value judgement-better that India be permitted to hang on to it given Pakistan’s current religious and social circumstances, which Kashmiris have no desire to see extended to their little valley. Religious parties have no political standing in Kashmir. Kashmiri Muslims do not massacre each other in sectarian violence and there are no suicide bombers blowing themselves up in mosques and other public places. There is some violence, inspired by the ISI,and Geelani’s mindless Bandhs which everyone is fed up with, but on the whole it is better off as it is.

  76. amar

    Islam has occluded the intelligence of the kashmiris. Like Poland in 1939 between Hitler and Stalin – so is Kashmir between Pakistan and China. Kashmir must make itself azad from the alien non-kashmiri, backward-arabic ideology under which it is suffering intellectually and politically. Those who are weak must develop intelligence and the ability to recognize real friends. The kashmiri land which has been snatched by Pakistan and China must be returned to the kashmiris.

  77. Humanity

    @amar
    Hearts filled with hatred for Islam usually end up getting subdued by it in unexplainable ways. It is natural for a human to be drawn towards it because of the appeal in its message of love and peace. The more one hates it the more one is drawn to it. We all notice your intensity of hatred growing day by day. It looks the tip over is not far. God speed!

  78. PMA

    Hayyer (November 19, 2010 at 11:00 am):

    You are right. Kashmiri Muslims want independence from India. And you are probably also right. Independence from India does not automatically mean joining Federation of Pakistan. Joining Pakistan does not bring Kashmiris any special status. Although culturally Kashmiris are closer to Pakistan than India, under Pakistan they will be simply domiciles of an other small province forever complaining about dominance of Punjab. But you are wrong on your ‘religious and social’ assessment of Pakistani society. Pakistanis do not go around killing each other as you say. Only a small minority does that. But after Americans leave the area, things will come back to normal. Our tribals will go back to their centuries old occupation and there will be no suicide bombing in the settled areas. About sectarian strive in Pakistan. That perhaps will continue as both Iran and Saudi Arabia will continue to support their respective client Mulla in Pakistan. Coming back to Kashmir. Independent Kashmir would be in a position to negotiate better terms from all of her neighbors. But that is just another hyperbole. As you said. India will never let Kashmir go unless she has to. I see no resolution in the near future. India is cursed to rule over unhappy Kashmiris by force.

  79. amar

    to humanity

    I am a very rational human being. My analysis of islam is not based on hate. So your “pious” words cannot manipulate me. In fact islam is worse than what I attribute to it. I am rather mild im my conclusions.

    to PMA

    Because of Pakistan Kashmiris are destined to be an accursed and tormented people. India is their best chance to go forward, but Pakistan will take care that they do not profit from it. How are the Kashmiris etc. in the POK or NA doing? The wickedness of this alien non-kashmiri arabic religion leaves them no other choice.

  80. Hayyer

    PMA:

    I am glad we can finally agree on something. I have only the following two caveats.

    1. “Although culturally Kashmiris are closer to Pakistan than India, under Pakistan they will be simply domiciles of an other small province forever complaining about dominance of Punjab.”

    Culturally Kashmiri Muslims are closer to Islam than they are to Hinduism. But there is a strong sub stratum of Hindu, even Buddhist culture, in Kashmir, which Kashmiris Muslims are proud of notwithstanding the efforts of Saudi funded madrassas. Kashmiris, Hindu or Muslim are Kashmiri before they are anything else. They are all, almost without exception, a Kayastha community, excessively literary, with all the strengths and weaknesses of the formerly safedposh. Kashmiri Brahmins on the other hand apart from their former excellent acquaintance with Persian and Arabic have little connection to Islam.d

    2. I see no resolution in the near future. India is cursed to rule over unhappy Kashmiris by force.

    Not cursed by nature, but entirely invited. There are simple native remedies for the curse.

  81. PMA

    Hayyer (November 19, 2010 at 9:58 pm):

    There is no exceptionalism to Kashmir. Before Punjab was divided at the insistence of some Brahman Pundit, it too was a multicultural society. Pre-partition Punjab too had a strong Hindu and Sikh cultural substratum to use your words. No Punjabi Nationalist on either side of Punjab would deny that. An ethnic nationalist may he be a Punjabi or Pashtun or Kashmiri is an Ethnic Nationalist first and anything else later. Pakistan and India on the other hand are an experiment where a nation is defined above religious affiliation and ethnicity. India has succeeded in this effort to some degree save some exceptions, Kashmir being one. Kashmiris have never bought Indian Nationalism. Indians know it but still continue to deny it and blame Pakistan for their failure in Kashmir. However had Kashmir been part of Pakistan at the time of independence, chances are that Pakistan would have been more successful than India in absorbing Kashmir as one of its federated units. The grievances of Kashmir within Pakistan federation would have been similar to those of Sindh, Balochistan and Pashtunkhwa but not what they are with India. I say that because of Kashmir’s cultural and geographic closeness to Pakistan. Suppose today India gives Kashmir its freedom. Chances are that an independent Kashmir will be closer to Pakistan than it would be to India. It is only natural. India knows it very well. So there you are. India is cursed to rule by force a people that do not want to be part of India.

  82. amar

    PMA writes:
    “However had Kashmir been part of Pakistan at the time of independence, chances are that Pakistan would have been more successful than India in absorbing Kashmir as one of its federated units.”

    The main (or may be the only) pakistani “success” would have been to exterminate the hindus and buddhists (in Kashmir) more quickly and thoroughly than through the presend-day sunni terrorists which Pakistan is sending or inciting.

    It is very difficult (may be even impossible) for a pakistani to be honest. His religion takes care of that too so that he need not have any compunctions about his deceits and self-deceits.

  83. Hayyer

    PMA:

    It is not just that Kashmiri exceptionalism is another example of the common variety. Kashmiris are insular to the point of xenophobia and distinguish themselves and things Kashmiri from other races, communities and things to an extraordinary degree. They are also extraordinarily adept at concealing this sentiment. Kashmiri, or Koshur is by definition, superior. Punjabi in contrast is adjective for foreign, not Kashmiri, inferior. Muslims and Pandits are both prone to this attitude.
    Culturally, Kashmiris are farther from Punjab its immediate neighbour than Punjabis are from Sindhis.

    Kashmiris may not have bought Indian nationalism, but you can be certain that they would not have bought the Pakistani identity either. Pro Pak sentiment developed after 1953. There is nothing natural about it. I don’t advocate the argument of blaming Pakistan for Kashmiri disaffection, only of exploiting the disaffection. Our failure is not explained by the attraction of Pakistan as an alternative model but of not consistently applying to Kashmir the principles that India claims are its organizing principle.

    Geographically Kashmir is equidistant from India and Pakistan. It is Punjab on both sides, west and south. Culturally, as I have already said they have little in common.

    ” Suppose today India gives Kashmir its freedom. Chances are that an independent Kashmir will be closer to Pakistan than it would be to India. It is only natural. India knows it very well. So there you are. India is cursed to rule by force a people that do not want to be part of India.”

    Kashmiris are a surprising people. I would be very surprised if they were to be closer to Pakistan than to India if they were given their freedom

  84. PMA

    Hayyer (November 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm):

    Kashmiris may be insular and xenophobic when it comes to Indians. Many Pakistanis have similar attitude towards Indians and Bengalis. I am afraid this attitude comes from ‘color prejudice’ prevalent in Sub-continent rather than from any other explanation. Even within Pakistan, Pashtuns consider themselves ‘superior’ to Kashmiris, Kashmiris to Punjabis, Punjabis to Sindhis and so forth and so on. But they all have learned to live with each other. On a larger plain they all belong to the ‘Indusland’. Realities of life, which are often based on economics, are very different than the self created insularity. There are more Kashmiris in Pakistani Punjab than there are in Kashmir itself. Allama Iqbal, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Nawaz Sharif – the list is too long – are all Kashmiris only two or three generations away. And even Kashmiris of Kashmir are not the indigenous people. Pakistani side of Punjab, particularly its major cities like Lahore, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi etc. etc. each has more Kashmiri population than Srinagar. Culturally and economically Kashmir and northern Punjab on Pakistani side are joined at the hips. Traditionally Kashmiris have come to Punjab for jobs and education. Kashmiri girls are highly sought after as brides. Kashmiri refugees of 1948 war, just like Indian and Afghan refugees have been totally absorbed in Punjab. Post-independence Pakistani Punjab is a big melting pot. Kashmiris feel very much at home in Pakistan. They occupy top positions in every field of Pakistani life. When comes to cultural aspects of Pakistan and Kashmir, a revision of old held Indian believes is in order. You need to pay a visit to Pakistani Punjab. It is not your grandfather’s Punjab anymore!

  85. hayyer

    PMA:

    “Kashmiris may be insular and xenophobic when it comes to Indians.”

    You are entirely mistaken. This love for Pakistan and Pakistani Punjab is a post ’53 phenomenon. Before that they regarded everyone not Kashmiri with a jaundiced eye. The love for Pakistan is much diminished nowadays.

    “Many Pakistanis have similar attitude towards Indians and Bengalis. I am afraid this attitude comes from ‘color prejudice’ prevalent in Sub-continent rather than from any other explanation. Even within Pakistan, Pashtuns consider themselves ‘superior’ to Kashmiris, Kashmiris to Punjabis, Punjabis to Sindhis and so forth and so on.”

    Colour prejudice exists, gore kale are pet themes, but most Punjabis, even Pakistani ones are not fair. And contempt for Punjabi contempt for Sindhis is not colour based. On the other hand Hindu Bengalis are contemptuous of everyone except Tamil Brahmins, and that is not colour based.
    “But they all have learned to live with each other. On a larger plain they all belong to the ‘Indusland’. Realities of life, which are often based on economics, are very different than the self created insularity.

    “There are more Kashmiris in Pakistani Punjab than there are in Kashmir itself. Allama Iqbal, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Nawaz Sharif – the list is too long – are all Kashmiris only two or three generations away.”

    I doubt very much that there are 6 million Kashmiri speaking Muslims in Pakistan. The others are not Kashmiri. I don’t know about Faiz Ahmad Faiz, who doesn’t look Kashmiri but Nawaz Sharif is from Poonch I am told, but they may be of Kashmir origin. He does not look Kashmiri either. Iqbal did, but Iqbal was of Kashmiri Pandit descent from a village near Kulgam.

    “And even Kashmiris of Kashmir are not the indigenous people. Pakistani side of Punjab, particularly its major cities like Lahore, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi etc. etc. each has more Kashmiri population than Srinagar. Culturally and economically Kashmir and northern Punjab on Pakistani side are joined at the hips.”

    No sir, they are not joined at the hip. Kashmir lies beyond the Pir Panjal. Pindi is nearly 300 kilometres from Srinagar.

    “Traditionally Kashmiris have come to Punjab for jobs and education.”

    Not any more. The Kashmir valley had two universities and two medical colleges plus a highly regarded engineering college. The IT guys do go to Pune, Bangalore and Delhi for jobs in the IT industry. But the woodcutters, and labourers have stopped going to Jammu and Punjab for at least 40 years.

    “Kashmiris feel very much at home in Pakistan. They occupy top positions in every field of Pakistani life.”

    So do they in India. Ghulam Nabi Azad and Farooq Abdullah for example. But Lt. General Zaki was also of Kashmiri extraction and Major General Naik is a Kashmiri from Trall. Kashmiri Pandits ofcourse have made a habit of ruling India.

    “When comes to cultural aspects of Pakistan and Kashmir, a revision of old held Indian believes is in order.”

    Culturally, PMA, Kashmir has little in common with Punjab except that according to Grierson, the Kashmiri language has about 20 percent of its vocabulary from Punjabi. Music, dance, literature, food, even dress, houses, mannerisms, pronunciation, attitudes, just about all that goes under the category of culture is distinct.
    Pakistan sometimes produces its Kashmiris at international conferences. Our Kashmiris mock them for their pretensions. Kashmiri culture is about as close to Punjabi as Bengali is to Bihari.

  86. hayyer

    Perhaps I should have added to my post above that Kashmiris think themselves superior not just on account of their complexions or their good looks. They think they are superior by the very fact of being Kashmiri, primarily in the area of the cranium. But its not just that they pride themselves on being more intelligent; Kashmiri fish is better than Punjabi fish. Vegetables grown in Kashmiri are superior because they are Kashmiri. Mutton is better from Kashmiri sheep. ‘Koshur chhya?’ is the question when something superior makes its appearance. Kashmiri superiority is axiomatic as is Punjabi inferiority. Punjabi of course means not Kashmiri, imported and ipso facto inferior.

    I would hesitate to offend you so please forgive me if I add that your notions of Kashmir are more romantic than real-unless, and I am only guessing here, you are unconsciously inventing the real-not deliberately, but because you are fond of the idea.