Pakistan’s Zardari: a little bit Pakistani and a little bit Indian

November 26, 2008

“There is a little bit of Indian in every Pakistani and a little bit of Pakistani in every Indian and I speak today as a Pakistani, as much as the little Indian in me”- Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari quoting his assassinated wife Benazir Bhutto.

Words spoken straight from the heart, and directly to the millions of families on either side of the border,  mine included, with common customs, language and roots until severed by Partition into two nations, two people unable or unwilling to live at peace with each other ever since.

 Zardari was addressing a conference in New Delhi via videolink where he also unveiled a proposal to commit his smaller nation to a no first use nuclear policy, highlighted in an earlier post on this blog.

But he also spoke about making it easy for people to travel to each country, perhaps with some kind of an electronic card.  Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also proposed visa free travel between the two countries, an idea so daring given the tortured India-Pakistan relationship in which most of us grew up up thinking the other to be enemy number 1, that it has been quietly allowed to languish.

But what of India ? Is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, one of those whose ancestral home falls on the other side of the border, up to it ?

So far Zardari seems to have made most of the moves beginning with a declaration that insurgents fighting Indian security forces in Kashmir – who were backed by the Pakistani establishment for the last 15 years – were terrorists.

Singh, by contrast has been decidedly low-key, choosing to let the bureaucracy control the pace of normalisation rather than going for a bold gamble of which only a politician is capable.

The Indian leader, as foreign policy expert C. Raja Mohan  says, has been hesitant to even make a visit to Pakistan, despite invitations from both the military and civilians governments in Islamabad.

What a contrast to his predecessor Atal Behari Vajpayee and his Hindu nationalist-led coalition from whom he inherited the peace process.

Vajpayee got onto the first bus service to Lahore, only to be surprised by the Kargil war three months later. Two years later he invited General Pervez Musharraf to Agra and that summit too ended in spectacular failure. It still didn’t stop him from making a final overture in 2003, ending in a visit to Islamabad the following year to launch the peace process that has made fitful progress since. 

The question now is whether the Congress party really has the courage to take forward the peace process or must it await the return of the BJP to make the big breakthrough, says Raja Mohan.

The Foreign Ministers of the two countries are meeting this week  and when you hear them say they are trying to “”reduce the trust deficit” you can expect only incremental progress. 

Singh’s time is running out with elections due by May next year. Is he going to seize the opportunity provided by Zardari and break new ground or choose the familiar, and let diplomats do the talking as they have done for more than half a century with little to show for.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Yes its true that the both sides of peoples feels the same situation in their normal life and even on events while we have to set new atmosphere for upcoming generation with more options and opportunities as the whole world has more critical situation in every part of the life.

Posted by SMS Text Messages | Report as abusive

Zardari’s comments have been unconventional, a bolt from the blue and thus not as trustworthy at times.
However, the ideas are worth the while and one can give a shot.The Govt in Delhi must respond positively.Many a hearts may still have time to unite after six decades of separation, even for not very long.Com’on, try to grab some opportunity.

Posted by AR Prabhakar | Report as abusive

[…] elements from Pakistan to be removed and make sure it is safe before it accepts such an offer? Pakistan: Now or Never? Blog Archive Pakistan?s Zardari: a little bit Pakistani and a little bit Ind… Pakistan?s Zardari: a little bit Pakistani and a little bit Indian ?There is a little bit of […]

Posted by Pakistan?s Zardari: a little bit Pakistani and a little bit Indian. – GupShup Forums | Report as abusive

People of Pakistan, democracy, peace and progress there is endangered by the Military, ISI and Fundamentalists who prosper each other at the cost of people. Anti India sentiments generated by them together is fertile land for their crop of terrorism. Friendly and harmonious relations of the people of Pakistan are although good for democracy, peace and progress of Pakistan but the same would ultimately eradicate the crops of hatread for India on which the Military, ISI and Mullas prosper.
India should encourage and co-operate with democratic government of Pakistan but cautiously not giving any opportunity of situation like Kargil.

Posted by Senior Advocate Upendranath Awasthi | Report as abusive

And now foolish India will fall for Zardari who didn’t get a single paisa from USA, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s all weather friend China when Pak’s finance is a disaster!! Zardari will use any deception he can… If India hasn’t learned from Pak’s all time deceptions than it’s shame on India. By the time, this is not against the Aam Aadami of Pakistan.

Posted by DAVE | Report as abusive

A toilet paper is far more valuable than a ‘promise’, a ‘pact’, an ‘agreement’, a ‘treaty’ offered by a Muslim to a non-Muslim !!

Now, the Pak leader is putting on the cloths of a saint to divert the world attention to India from the basket case of their Nation(?) that is Pak – World’s economic begging bowl, sword edge of Muslim nations of the world in terms of spreading Muslim religion, most ‘Pak (pure)’ among the Muslim brotherhood of earth in terms of exporting mayhem & terror to non-Muslim countries!

If he wants to normalize relations he should first:

1)Return the Pak-occupied Kashmir
2)close down the over a million Madarsas – pure training and brainwashing centers – fertile recruiting centers for export of terrorists to non-Muslim countries
3)Decimate (close down) the vast, costly military complex – Pakistan does not need a military – it has no aggressive neighbors to justify such a costly military. A small (50,000) unit to fight internal terrorists is enough
4)Close down the costly nuclear weapons and delivery (missiles & American jets) systems
5) Stop interfering in Afghanistan – It is not Pak’s backyard. It is an independent and sovereign country and the Afghans can ask for India’s help if it wants to. Such deals are none of Pak’s business
6)Stop sending disguised Pak solders & ISI agents in Kashmir and elsewhere in India.
7)Open any and all Pak terror camps to Indian inspection on demand

If all of these are in effect for ten years, open to verification by India and any other victim nation, then India can CONSIDER to normalize relations

But alas, Indian leaders are not known to be wise to detect the wolf under the rabbit disguise!! Even if that disguise has been worn for 1400 years! They will fall for the ruse – I suppose, they like to get kicked in the pants a lot :)

To summarize: A toilet paper is far more valuable than a Muslim promise to a non-Muslim!

Posted by Roy | Report as abusive

So now this is the new game pakistan wants to play, flexible visa? why- to allow more anti-india activity in India? No way let them look towards arab their ancestors came from there. Leave India alone, We indians (H/M/S/C) are happy in our country. I feel sorry for foolish indians who still think pakistani’s can be friends, they cannot be, period.

Posted by SK | Report as abusive

@ “roy”

your obtuse analysis is not impressive, furthermore, it fails completely to shed any light on what clearly isin’t a BRIGHT idea.

You can apply your genius perhaps more effectively at trying to figure out where to put your hundreds of millions of slum folk, or rather, what to do about the smell of fecal matter evidently present on your streets.

Good Luck I say.

Posted by Salman | Report as abusive

@ ‘roy’

Oh. and i’m sure with so much slums flourishing, everything must appear as toilet paper to you.


Posted by Salman | Report as abusive

Having a pact with some one who follows islam is worse than eating human fracas. I think they are determined to annihilate everyone who does not beleive in islam this is the begining of a holy war ???.

There is no proof of allah ever existing,but seems to be after some people ? really feel what these blood thirsty people want to prove ?

Posted by vijay | Report as abusive

This statement clearly shows pakistanis intent for friendly relations but if India thinks that this offer will be forever is a mistake …. India should blame themselves first before blaming pakistan and muslims for all its problems …. infact it was them that occupied kashmir illegally and still occupy it without the wishes of kashmirs and defy the UN resolutions. If India wants to improve its releations with pakistan they should do following things:
1- Stop state terrosim in Indian occupied Kashmir and accept the verdict of people
2- Stop destabilising Tribal areas of Pakistan with their RAW agents & hindu zeolists and stop killing Pakistinis.
3- we accept Afghanistan as a free state and we cannot progress without them….but its interesting to note how much india is interested in afghanistan. India should first solve its dispute with its neighbours Pakistan, China, China, Nepal & bhutan then think about interfering in other counties. It is evident that they have some other motives there so it should stop it first. Just giving money to afghanistan cannot turn them against Pakistan ….they are smartter than this
4- India should dismantle all its military complex amd forces, 100,000 is enough to fight indian terrorist in their country and make the world safe.
5- Open all Indian terrorist camps to pakistani inspection. You are not that peace loving after all, you are the only county with war with all its neibours.
6- Accept the reality that Kashmirs are fighting for their rights and are not agents
7- release all innocent pakistanis in Indian jails and treat them according to any humans norms like pakistan does to all Indians even RAW agents.

Until this happens pakistan cannot gaurentee anything to India….. stop bulling otherwise china will kick your ass … my advise to Hindu Indians …. Stop living in pre-1947 era ..its 2008 idiots ….
After 20 years that India accepts the above 7 points will we consider anything from you …. otherwise burn in hell as you have sofar. In Pakistan People determine its future not like the Indian RAW which controls Indians minds. After all a promise from Hindu to non-Hindu is as good as a toilet paper as well.
God bless the peace living people in India & pakistan.

Posted by kam | Report as abusive


Keep dreaming you will get a response for this. AT a plce of our choosing, in a way we want. One has to be a fool to think of following a pact with pakis. The only way this will get settled is you live or we live. It is proved now we can’t live.

Posted by vijay | Report as abusive

I am greatly shocked by the anti-Islam responses that some of the people, Vijay in particular, have written. Do they think that all of the people following Islam, India’s 180 million population, Pakistanis and millions around the world do not keep any pact? Does he think that Hindu’s or Sikh’s or people of any other religion around the world are not doing corruption of any sort? I believe that this sort of misleading opinion might make this sick crises even sicker. Pakistan is determined and is looking forward in seeking peace with India. Pakistan is making this move only to establish security and tranquility of the region and is encouraging India to do the same. Pakistan itself is under great crises and the blame that Pakistan is trying to destabilize India is totally out of question.

Posted by sheryar | Report as abusive

To be a Muslim, one is required to strictly and literally follow Koran and Hadith. Hadith gives an example of strategy used against a powerful enemy.

Once, during the early days of propagation of Islam via it’s sword, the followers of Muhammad near Mecca, came to him complaining that one of their strong opponent, a leader of a big tribe, is refusing to bow down to Islam and convert to Islam and that he has so far defeated their attacking army many times. And that they thus were helpless.

Mohammad ordered them: Make a peace pact with the leader of the tribe. Then when it is night, and they are sleeping, go and slaughter the whole family, including women, children and elderly. That will establish a horror in the minds of the rest of the tribe. Once the minds are occupied with total fear and utter horror, I will own their minds and the battle will be already won.

His followers did just what was ordered. First they bribed a couple of influential people from the tribe, who then proclaimed that Mohammad’s follwers were marginalized and are among the poorest of all. And the tribe needs to make a peace pact with Mohammad, other wise they will get angry and there will be bloodshed. We don’t want to make the Muslims angry. We should do what they so justifiably ask. The tribe leader was thus coerced by these agents to make a peace treaty with Mohamad.

As the following night came, the Muhammad’s followers went quietly without making any sound, and massacred the whole of the leader’s family (who slept with a sense of peace & safety) as ordered.

Within days, the whole tribe was converted to Islam. The two appeasers, traitors to the dead tribe leader were beheaded on Mohammad’s orders. Mohammad later explained to his bewildered followers that the agents had served their purpose, he did not need them any more and he did not want such sub-human people in his flock.

In the current situation all around the globe, do you see many parallels? Do you remember the digging of secret tunnels and subsequent attack on Kargil, all the while as Musharraf was making a big show of the recent PEACE PACT with the slow minded PM, Mr. Vajpayee as he was participating in all those ongoing peace pact celebrations in Pakistan? That is just one example among thousands the world over. They spread throughout the whole history of the Muslim conquest which aims at the whole world as they plunder, loot, massacre and convert from of one infidel area to the next adjoining infidel area, mostly in sequence, sometimes in parallel at multiple fronts. The strategies as prescribed in Koran and Hadith are repeated over and over again, only the weapons change with time. This has been very successful since 1400 years till now.

Do you notice those people who are following in the exact same tradition of the two appeasing agents beheaded 1400 years ago and who essentially make the same appeasing arguments?

One of the tricks the appeasers and the paid agents have: Not all Muslims are bad. There are a few, minority people who are hijacking Islam and creating a false version of Islam. This is complete hogwash. There is only one Islam. To be a muslim one has to follow the Koran and the Hadith to the letter. There are no versions. It must be followed as it was written 1400 years ago. Now the situation can be explained by giving an exmple of New York Gambino family. Not all family men are gunmen. Only some are capable of killing people, while others do the loansharking, some own the gambling dens some infiltrate the police, some arrange the logistics of supply and safe houses. But one thing is common, they are all trusted family members. Same is tru with the Muslim brotherhood. Everyone helps according to their aptitude, capacity, mindset and situation in life. But they all bow down to Muhamadd and every word in Koran and Hadith. If not, they are simply not Muslim, clear and simple.

All this confusion is created and propagated by Muslim strategists, and their agents, their advance guards who are already in place in the next infidel area in line to be conquered. In this, they are very careful, forceful and consistent. It has worked for 1400 years till now and will continue to work in future.

Posted by Peace Pact | Report as abusive

If Asif Ali Zardari is a man of his words, its indeed commendable. He is probably the first PAK president to speak so boldly about Indo-Pak issues. I hope he follows it up with some positive action for his own nation’s good.

Pakistan is a sinking ship! When compared to India its far behind and needs a lot of catching up to do. Its leadership must realize that a proxy-war will only alienate it further from the international community.After 9/11 the world has changed and Pakistan is under the radar screen of many nations who are not comfortable in dealing with a country that exports TERROR!! I wonder why they don’t focus on providing a better life to their own citizens rather than wasting
resources on spreading hatred and terror ??

Posted by arut | Report as abusive

I think that i have heard enough of what Islam means …what it is supposed to do and what not…..

I want to ask only a few simple plain questions …
why is it that there is a wide scope of misinterpretation of quaran ?
Why only quran,…..why not the bible or gita or guru granth sahib or any other religious book infact..

Why do all the religious militants have to be Muslims ?

They have troubles with Christians , Hindus , Jews , animals ,cd players , Dvd’s , statues , history and what not.

Posted by Tejaswy | Report as abusive

[…] him to quit. His successor, President Asif Ali Zardari, then renewed calls for peace with India, stressing the economic gains of increased trade ties and even offering to overturn Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine by offering to commit to a policy […]

Posted by Pakistan: Now or Never? : BeijingToday | Report as abusive