Pakistan and India: looking beyond the rhetoric (redux)

October 5, 2009

Following up on my earlier posts here and here about what is happening behind the scenes between India and Pakistan, first a word on defining the terms. The two countries are not about to sign a peace deal. Any attempt at normalising relations will be long and painful, and as has been the case many times in the past, vulnerable to spoilers with a vested interest in stoking conflict.

Given the importance of India-Pakistan rivalry in Afghanistan, along with U.S. attempts to persuade the Pakistan Army to focus more on fighting Islamist militants than on the perceived threat from India, it’s worth keeping tabs on progress so far and on the outlook for the months ahead.

As I flagged up in July “Afghan campaign gains from India-Pakistan thaw”, tentative attempts to improve relations soured by last year’s attack in Mumbai were already beginning to bear fruit even as the news from Afghanistan itself turned increasingly negative. A fragile thaw had allowed the Pakistan Army to move “a very large number” of troops from the eastern border with India to the western border with Afghanistan in what U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke called a “significant redeployment”.

The implications of that redeployment are beginning to take form, with reports that the Pakistan Army may be preparing a major offensive into South Waziristan. The army, which rarely talks about troop movements, has gone public to say it has two divisions, or about 28,000 troops, in place in South Waziristan, while U.S. defence officials say Pakistan now has enough forces to launch a ground offensive there.

So what are the signposts to look out for in the months ahead in terms of India-Pakistan relations?

First, with India saying it will not resume a formal peace process until Pakistan takes action against those accused of involvement in the Mumbai attack, it’s worth keeping a close eye on the trial of seven men accused of involvement.  That trial was postponed for the second time on Saturday, with the next hearing set for Oct. 10, according to the New York Times.

Second, the two countries are trying to find a way of re-engaging in a dialogue that would satisfy Indian demands that Pakistan take action against militants based on its territory, while also bolstering the civilian government in Islamabad in its efforts to convince the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency to turn against groups it once regarded as “strategic assets” against India.  These include the Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for the Mumbai attacks, and the Jaish-e-Mohammed, both based in Pakistan’s heartland Punjab province.

As discussed in this post the two countries have many different ways of engaging with each other, of which the formal peace process, or composite dialogue, is only one.  One of the more effective lines of communication in recent years has been “backchannel diplomacy” in which senior diplomats from the two countries meet quietly and try to iron out differences away from the glare of the media.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi signalled a willingness last month to return to this backchannel diplomacy by naming a former diplomat as a possible special envoy for these talks.

While his subsequent talks with Indian External Affairs Minister S.M Krishna in New York ended, as expected, with no breakthrough, their 100-minute meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly may have helped to improve the atmosphere.

Krishna told Indian news channel ANI in an interview last week that India and Pakistan needed to find an effective channel to deal with all issues concerning the two countries.

“I do not know about back channel or front channel, all that I would be interested as foreign minister of this country is an effective channel between Pakistan and India and it could be the back channel, it could be the front channel, so I think it doesn’t make any difference, as long as it becomes effective,” Krishna said.

And while he reiterated that Pakistan must take action against those accused of involvement in Mumbai, he also said the two countries should share intelligence to try to prevent another big attack. (Another Mumbai-style attack could torpedo U.S. efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan and Pakistan, by raising tension to a pitch that the Pakistan Army might feel compelled to rush all its troops back to the Indian border.)

An editorial in The Hindu newspaper argues that a continued refusal to engage with Pakistan would be the least effective way of encouraging it to recognise that militant groups operating on its territory pose a common threat to both countries. ”It is not a coincidence that those sections of the Pakistani establishment which continue to see the jihadi terror groups as future assets are the very sections least anxious to see the resumption of the bilateral dialogue.”

“With last month’s meeting in New York between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan yielding little in terms of forward movement by either side, there is a danger of the bilateral relationship getting stuck into one of those ruts that finally require the mediation of extra hands in order to be rescued,” writes The Hindu’s Siddharth Varadarajan.

“Rather than wait for that, the first available improvement in optics — the start of the Mumbai trial in Pakistan, for example — should be seized upon to move ahead on the back channel, with the front channel being revived in a calibrated manner as confidence increases. Indefinitely postponing talks will not help protect India from future terrorist attacks. And talking will not make it more vulnerable.”

Looking further ahead, the prime ministers of the two countries are likely to meet again on the sidelines of the Commonwealth summit in Trinidad at the end of November giving the political leadership in India and Pakistan an opportunity to move ahead in what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said will be a cautious, step-by-step process in rebuilding relations.

(Reuters file photos: The Mubai skyline; and Dras on the Line of Control)

30 comments

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Pay attention to what Praveen Togodia VHP leader says at @17:00 onwards, i haven’t been to India but now i have a better idea of anti-Pakistan sentiment originating source.
- Posted by Umair

When did Praveen Togodia send terrorists to attack civilians in Hotels, Train stations or Parliament buildings in Pakistan? How many times?

How many madrassas Praveen Togodia runs and what kinds of trainings do people get in his madrassas?

How many Interpol/UN/US arrest warrents and ban orders pending against Praveen Togodia or his madrasssas?

How many times Praveen Togodia closed previous madrassa and opened a new one to conceal his hideous activities?

If you can answer above questions, you will find the difference between a cheap Indian politician and a dreaded Pakistani terrorist?

I am not a supporter of such Indian politicians like Praveen Togodia and I think 98% of the Indians are like me!

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Andy

Not 98% but 99% agree with you. We India are a democracy so 1% for Togadia and the likes.

For our friends like Umair, we have been debating and discussing for too long!

I appreciate Umair’s love for his own nation. But wisdom prevails over chauvinism. Hence break the baskets of religion and pseudo-nationality. Umair, you’ll get all answers yourself.

Myra, no point in hitting head on rock. Let us look head and strive for a peaceful and happy world. With whoever joins us and whoever not.

Myra, are you listening?

Vikas, Mumbai

Andy
Can you explain the terror incident bombing of Samjhota express killing Pakistani citizens? And now likes of Praveen Togadia have also infiltrated the Indian Army, with Col. Purohit and others like him.You accept the facts right wing hindu organizations in India do have a radical agenda.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

You accept the facts right wing hindu organizations in India do have a radical agenda.
- Posted by Umair

It is none of Pakistan’s or your business!

These hindu organizations are not sneaking in to Pakistan in the middle of night and killing 170 people in Pakistan!

You are deliberately trying to confuse international terrorists with right-wing vote-hungry politicians!

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Siddharth Varadarajan has been saying this for some time now. No one from India is saying “not talking” with pakistan prevents pakistani terrorist attacks in India !!

The reality of India’s experience has been that talking doesn’t prevent pakistani terrorism. So no use in talking.

Most of the time pak strategy has been to lie through the teeth they have nothing to do with terrorist attacks in India. With Mumbai the refined lie has been ISI and Pak army were not aware and these were done by “non-state actors”. No one is buying it. Like outsourcing, this is insourcing to within Pakistan through retired pak army and ISI. It is also a serious myth to assume only a minority in pak support anti-India terrorism.

Forget about Pakistani leaders, have your seen any Pakistani bloggers admitting Pakistan should stop terrorism unconditionally?

India should manage its pakistan problem in its own best interests. Instead of indulging in meaningless talks with pakistan, India will be better off persuading pakistan to abandon terrorism using other counter strategies.

Sure it will be better for India to spend all energy on economy and other constructive things, but having ideolgical, war mongering, militaristic state next door that has no interest in peaceful co-existence India has no choice.

Did Krishna really say “two countries should share intelligence to try to prevent another big attack”? One hopes he didn’t. That sounds absurd; if he did say this, he probably said it for international consumption. How can you “share intelligence” with the planners of terrorist attacks!

Umair,
Are you going to answer me straight or hide behind all non-issues? When you answer my questions, you will find your answers in the process!

You are running out of excuses!

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Myra,

Your posts are getting repetitive. We get your point that India and Pakistan should get back to the composite dialog. I believe both countries will do so in due course of time. For once, let Pakistan begin prosecution of the perpetrators of terrorist attacks behind 26/11.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

Umair,
Hafeez Saeed is the most recent terrorist under ISI protection who was put under UN/Interpol ban. There are at least 20 similar persons living under ISI protection even after Interpol/UN ban for various crimes including plane hijacking, Train bombing, Parliament attacks!

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Umair,
Purohit is in Jail! Where is Hafeez Saeed?

Hafeez Saeed is the most recent terrorist under ISI protection who was put under UN/Interpol ban. There are at least 20 similar persons living under ISI protection even after Interpol/UN ban for various crimes including plane hijacking, Train bombing, Parliament attacks!

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Umair,
Purohit is in Jail! Where is Haafeez Saeed?

Hafeez Saeed is the most recent terrorist under ISI protection who was put under UN/Interpol ban. There are at least 20 similar persons living under ISI protection even after Interpol/UN ban for various crimes including plane hijacking, Train bombing, Parliament attacks!

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Myra,

Have you noticed that since Umair brought up the Praveen Togadia reference, at least 7 or 8 Indians have come out & criticized Togadia and unequivocally stated that they oppose Togadia & others like him with a radical agenda.
Correct me if I’m wrong but have you ever seen any Pakistani blogger come out & criticize or oppose terrorists like Hafiz Saeed, Azhar Mehmood or Dawood Ibrahim who have the blood of thousands of Indian civilians on their hands?
The reality is that not only do Pakistanis (like the one’s on this blog) fail to oppose these anti-India terrorists, they actually openly or secretly (in some cases) admire & support them. The terrorists that I mention above are considered no less than national heroes for most Pakistanis. This mindset is typical of the attitude of the Pakistani establishment, which exaggerates & over-hypes the fringe ‘Hindu radical’ elements in India while encouraging the anti-India terror elements on it’s own soil.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

“What we face in Afghanistan is a triangle of terror that comprises the Taliban, al-Qaeda and the ISI of Pakistan,” Daoud Muradian, a senior adviser to the Afghan foreign ministry, told Al Jazeera.

Muradian said: “They [the ISI] use them [the Taliban] against us and leverage against India and blackmail the international community. We face in Afghanistan state sponsored terrorism and that is the ISI of Pakistan.”

http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2009/ 10/200910410429964475.html

Posted by Soman | Report as abusive

Umair: You ask many questions and Indians do answer them mostly. But What I have not seen is that you and other Pakistanis do not answer the questions Indians ask. My idea is to get a personal POV from you and other Pakistanis avoiding jingoism so as to advance discussion. But nearly all the time, there is a pin drop silence from you and others. You heard many Indians commented on P. Togadia.

I ask again:
1. We have heard that you and other Pakistanis who have studied after post-Zia generation have been taught wrong history to create hate against India, Hindu religion and make you believe that Hindus (by extension 80% of Indians) hate Muslims.

2. What you and others (Ali still believes it) say about India invaded Pakistan is contradictory to the statements by Pakistanis who are in the business and know better than the bloggers. Do you agree with the following or would contradict.

Here are the links:
1. Pakistani scholars A. H. Nayyar and Ahmad Salim prepared a report about history being taught in Pakistan schools. The report is named “The Subtle Subversion: The State of Curricula and Textbooks in Pakistan.” Conclusion is that Pakistani students have been taught a distorted/deleted history—the falsehoods and there needs to be a serious change in the curriculum. This includes India-specific distortions.————–Umair: please tell us about your personal opinion. Have you learned in school about Hindus (majority Indians) hating Muslims, so on and so forth….. I am interested in a useful exercise.
http://www.sdpi.org/whats_new/reporton/S tate%20of%20Curr&TextBooks.pdf

2. Ex-Pak Air Marshal Nur Khan who led PAF in 1965 war against India says:
“The 1965 war was based on a lie in which Ayub Khan and his generals misled the nation that India rather than Pakistan had provoked the war and that “we were the victims of Indian aggression”,
http://www.pakistaniaviationforum.com/in dex.php?showtopic=378&mode=linear

3. Ex-Pak Air Marshal Asghar Khan says:
“The fact is that in the last 60 years of our existence, India has not started hostilities against Pakistan unless provoked to do so, or until we created conditions, as we did in 1971 in East Pakistan, for India to interfere militarily….”
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/colu mnists/16-ardeshir-cowasjee-wise-words-f rom-an-old-warrior-hs-04

4. You are proud of your army—understandable, but are you proud of your army for killing 1-2 million E. Pakistanis in short span in 1971.
Indians believe that Pakistanis are helpless in believing things about India which are so untrue and this is because of a background of falsehood in various forms systematically taught to you.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Can you explain the terror incident bombing of Samjhota express killing Pakistani citizens? And now likes of Praveen Togadia have also infiltrated the Indian Army, with Col. Purohit and others like him.
- Posted by Umair

Sure, Why not!

Samjhota Express:
Indian Govt found the evidence of criminal activity. The whole investigation was done transparently, in open media. Indian Govt provided 100% data and evidence to Pakistan Govt since some innocent Pakistanis were victims. Two(+) Indians (including an army officer and a lady politician) are serving life in jail. There was NO cover up either by army or politicians. If there are more likes of Purohit, they will also go where Purohit is now: JAIL. This is an internal matter of India since the crime happened on Indian soil by Indians! Can you show me where Indian Govt or army did anything wrong or any cover up?

Posted by ANdy | Report as abusive

@ Umair: Re: Purohit

Maybe you’re so caught up with the mullah/jihadi rhetoric that you don’t get a chance to catch up with the news. Let me update you:

February 14, 2009 05:12am EST
The US has approached the UN to get a certain Asif Kasmani declared an international terrorist. The reasons cited by US to get Kasmani, a Pakistani national, declared an international terrorist are his involvement in the Samjhauta Express blasts. Kasmani is considered to be the link between Laskar-e-Toiba and Al Qaida.

And BTW, who arrested Purohit in the first place? it was the Mumbai Anti-terrorism squad, after conducting an independent investigation regarding the incident. They could’ve easily concealed Purohit’s involvement & pushed the whole thing under the rug. Now lemme ask you, Do you think that any Pakistani law enforcement agency (without any external pressure), would’ve arrested a Pakistani for blowing up a train carrying Indian passengers? I think we all know the answer to that one!

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

Judging India by what Praveen Togodia says is like judging the US by what the Grand Dragon of Ku Klux Klan says or like judging Pakistan by the ramblings of the former Baitullah Mehsud. Let’s leave such ridiculous characters out of civilized dialogue.

Umair,

If you are truly interested in peace with India, you and other Pakistanis need to get past the fringe elements and give weight to the statements and aspirations of the vast majority of moderate Indians. Giving weight to statements by fringe leaders in India only makes Pakistanis look paranoid, delusional and on occassion comically so. Would you suggest that the Indians should judge every Pakistani according to what Hafiz Saeed says?

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

Umair: “nd now likes of Praveen Togadia have also infiltrated the Indian Army, with Col. Purohit and others like him.You accept the facts right wing hindu organizations in India do have a radical agenda.”

Radical people are everywhere. The only issue is how much control do they have over a system. Entirely warped individuals and organizations are there in literally every country. There are men calling themselves as prophets and marrying young women and fooling their followers about the end of this world in the US. There are neo-Nazis in the US and many parts of Europe and Western Russia. The only time such radicals took over a system in the past is when Hitler became the head of Germany and the world had to go to war to put an end to that. India too has its radicals in various forms. Hindu radicals are not the only ones. There are Communist radicals, there are atheist radicals and so on. Only they cannot take over the control of the nation. It is a little too big and too diverse for anything to take over entirely. Unfortunately in your country the potential to be taken over by radicals is very high. Your military was radicalized. You are seeing the effect of that today. But do not equate Pakistan with India. Unlike Pakistan, India has the advantage of size and dramatically varying diversity. These work as barriers to divisive and emotional forces that would otherwise spread easily. You can compare Pakistan to a desert and India to a large tropical jungle. In the desert, the wind blows in all directions unhindered. In a jungle surrounded by series of mountains, wind gets enough resistance. So if you say India too has radicals, you are correct. But you are not correct when it comes to the effect it has on a nation. These radical elements are too small to make a large scale dent. You can see that for yourself. Your country tried proxy wars in Kashmir all these twenty years and bled itself to near death. And India has progressed in those twenty years as an economic power house. Radicalism is in pockets and are confined to small regions. The nation by and large is unaffected and can survive such multiple centrifugal forces. Your nation never grew to that strength. It was founded on a divisive policy and it divided further. Now it is on the brink of further division because radicalization is nearly complete. Backwardness in the rural regions and hinterlands combined with religious fanaticism has taken over your system. What you call as a vibrant society is confined to the small pockets of urban centers like Lahore. So in Pakistan, progressive people are confined to small pockets and cannot influence the rest of the nation. Radicals have gained upper hand easily. In India it is the exact opposite. Progressive people are spread all over the country, poor or not. Radicals are confined to small pockets. May be you all should look at this difference and try to ape India in that regard.

Cool down guys, Indo Pak relations have been bloodied right from the begining. I started my education upto primary levelin another former British Colony far away from Pakistan. Rest of my education was in Pakistan upto graduation. Its not that we have been taught hate against India and wrong history as far as the Indo-Pak wars are concerned. My education in Pakistan was fairly balanced, science, Islamic studies and business. What is wrong here? the reference from Urdu text book where it says a Hindu can never be trusted by a Muslim or something similar is true. But today Pakistan Telecom company offers student internet package, and you dont know those same students who read these text books have access to high speed internet at home and other similar computer labs and reference book at school library. Kids as little as 12 , 13 years of age. There is no ban on Information Technology in Pakistan, if someone wants to find the truth he can find it. Besides all cirriculum is approved by the Punjab Text book board and others boards with approval of different scholars. The reference of hindus in Urdu text book is a small thing, why do you guys take it so seriously. Just look at the bloody partition and history riddled with wars and skirmishes between our two nations.
Do you think despite that text book references people in Pakistan do not listen to Indian music or do not watch Bollywood movies? Sports and arts can bind our two countries. You guys also try to look towards the positive side of Pakistan as well.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

@ Umair: “The reference of hindus in Urdu text book is a small thing, why do you guys take it so seriously”

A seed of hatred sown in an innocent child’s mind is not a small matter by any stretch.

Umair, you have access to high speed internet & all the information in the world. I would appreciate it if you answer these questions honestly (Rajeev & others have tried asking you before but lemme do so again, anyways):

* You’ve been interacting with Indians on this blog for a while. Not only with hindus & sikhs but also with christians & muslims. What do you think about Indians in general & hindus in particular, now? Do you, yourself believe that a hindu can never wish well for a muslim? Are we Indians as bad/worse/better than we’re made out to be in Pakistan?

* Are you ready to acknowledge that India did not attack Pakistan in any wars fought & in 1971 the Indian intervention was necessitated by Pakistan’s own mistakes?

* Are you ready to accept that the Pakistani army has kept alive the bogus ‘India threat’ perception over the years, in order to stay in business & keep a grip on power?

Please try to answer these questions objectively as an individual who has an independent mind, rather than a Pakistani or a Pakistan defender.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

Just to add to my previous comment, I can say that Pakistani’s and Indians are a family, although an estranged one, we are still family and I believe in my heart that one day, we can live in peace. I have always been the first one to extend an olive branch to Paks that I work with, even if they arrogantly choose to ignore me and not say Hi back to me. I am telling you my honest experience. When people leave Pakistan and work elsewhere, these are the type of impressions that they leave with people. Tell me how man Hindus that have ever rubbed you the wrong way. I don’t believe that you even have any relations with anybody.

“the reference from Urdu text book where it says a Hindu can never be trusted by a Muslim or something similar is true.”

–>What kind of education book teaches hatred and racism? This is pure propaganda and a fabricated lie. There is nothing in our culture, our books, in India, the U.S. or anywhere that tells us that we should hate any religion or peoples.

Your country is ill and destroying its people with hatred an venom. What hatred you preach, will one day comeback to hurt you. In hinduism, we call this Karma.

Pakistan has the most dark, venomous and backwards Karma. From these blogs, the news and co-workers, I have seen nothing else.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

Umair:

Everybody is cool–they are just addressing your concerns. Let us take this to some near logical conclusion or getting each others POV.

@Besides all cirriculum is approved by the Punjab Text book board and others boards with approval of different scholars.
–I think you are not getting the point and you have not paid attention to the pdf. how does it matter if the cirriculum is approved or not, it still remains unaltered despite the recommnedations.

The SDPI report that is the source of my discussion is a proper researched excercise not some media BS. SDPI looked at the Education board Grade 1-12 books; you studied in Pakistan after primary level). The report said:

QUOTE “Four themes emerge most strongly as constituting the bulk of the curricula and textbooks of
the three compulsory subjects.
1. that Pakistan is for Muslims alone;
2. that Islamic teachings, including a compulsory reading and memorization of Qur’an,
are to be included in all the subjects, hence to be forcibly taught to all the students,
whatever their faith,;
3. that Ideology of Pakistan is to be internalized as faith, and that hate be created against
Hindus and India; and
4. students are to be urged to take the path of Jehad and Shahadat.” UNQUOTE

It is not the UrdU books it is English, UrdU both as the report says.

@But today Pakistan Telecom company offers student internet package……same students who read these text books have access to high speed internet at home and other similar computer labs and reference book at school library. Kids as little as 12 , 13 years of age.

-We will be naive to consider that even 10% of the kids do the above in Pakistan and India. Reason: poverty. When the issues is as serious as getting food 3 times a day, spending one Rupee on internet is out of Qn. In any case, one needs a computer—for many it still is unaffordable, especially for the kids out of Qn. That is not to deny that a fraction does have that.

Well having discussed your concerns and Indian responses on Togadia and Col Purohit, my followup Qn to you now is what is your take on terrorists operating in India—-Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar? Do you approve of their terrorist actions in India?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Shah Mahmood Quraishi just came on CNN. He has confirmed that the U.S. needs to succeed in Afghanistan and Pakistan supports that and that Pakistan wants to build trust with Hamid Karzai’s government.

On other issues, Quraishi was as clear as mud and dodging questions and changing the topic to reiterate that Pakistan wanst to be free of radical extremists and terrorists for good.

I ask Umair, Hassan and others, do you agree with the foreign secretary?

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

@Do you think despite that text book references people in Pakistan do not listen to Indian music or do not watch Bollywood movies? Sports and arts can bind our two countries. You guys also try to look towards the positive side of Pakistan as well.
- Posted by Umair

-Everybody watches Indian movies. Chinese used to do and the older generation can still sing Indian songs tunes. Russians did too. I was in a store in Prague and the lady at the counter told me in broken English that she loves Indian movies. Pakistanis who know the language will surely do, just like Punjabis in India like(d) Pakistani TV shows–no idea about now. Pak and India cricket teams have appeared on Indian TV for cultural show —songs and dance stuff, the Pak artists were regulars on Indian TV and many other cultural/arts exchanges happened before 26/11.

but sports and arts are not strong enough to prevent disruption of India-Pak relations by Pakistan-supported terrorism. The issues will be solved over a period of time if the terrorism does not disrupt it. It is common sense that wars and terrorism have worsened rather than helped the issues, and therefore must not be supported.

So it is expected that people like you come here an openly say that Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar are terrorists. Anyone who hesitates to do that is a terrorist supporter for me.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Myra,

Here is a report in New York Times that appeared few days ago regarding the growing menance of Lashkar terrorists.

“Despite pledges from Pakistan to dismantle militant groups operating on its soil, and the arrest of a handful of operatives, Lashkar has persisted, even flourished…..the group behind the assault [in Mumbai] remains largely intact and determined to strike India again”

Follow the link for more: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/world/ asia/30mumbai.html

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

Mortal:
“You’ve been interacting with Indians on this blog for a while. Not only with hindus & sikhs but also with christians & muslims. What do you think about Indians in general & hindus in particular, now? Do you, yourself believe that a hindu can never wish well for a muslim? Are we Indians as bad/worse/better than we’re made out to be in Pakistan? ”

Mortal,
I have lived and worked with Indians couple of years back, my room mate was from Mumbai and belonged to a very religious Indian Muslim family well known. We Pakistanis lived very well with Indians, i think the problem is in the subcontinent. Why is it when we are abroad, we are neighbours, friends and everything? Back home we are at each other’s throat?
If anyone is under the impression that children are indoctrinated against hindus in Pakistan, you are mistaken. That is simply not the case.
The private school system in Pakistan (O-Level, A-Level) doesnt even follow the Punjab text book board curriculum which you mentioned contain hate material against hindus.

My personal experiences are a different case, even generally the way you visualize things is incorrect. You need to change your perceptions.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

“–>What kind of education book teaches hatred and racism? This is pure propaganda and a fabricated lie. There is nothing in our culture, our books, in India, the U.S. or anywhere that tells us that we should hate any religion or peoples.”
That’s a clear case of exaggeration I got prejudice by reading all you Indian’s comment on this site than 12 years of education in Pakistan. Text books have some problems but does not preach student to go across the boarder and kill Hindus. I am sure Indian text books have problems.

“Pakistan has the most dark, venomous and backwards Karma. From these blogs, the news and co-workers, I have seen nothing else.”

If somebody impartial read your comments and different blogs by different Indians, I believe they will come to conclusios that Indians are most venomous people. As I said earlier I am more prejudice now than I ever been.

Posted by asad | Report as abusive

“–>What kind of education book teaches hatred and racism? This is pure propaganda and a fabricated lie. There is nothing in our culture, our books, in India, the U.S. or anywhere that tells us that we should hate any religion or peoples.”
That’s a clear case of exaggeration I got prejudice by reading all you Indian’s comment on this site than 12 years of education in Pakistan. Text books have some problems but does not preach student to go across the boarder and kill Hindus. I am sure Indian text books have problems.

“Pakistan has the most dark, venomous and backwards Karma. From these blogs, the news and co-workers, I have seen nothing else.”

If somebody impartial read your comments and different blogs by different Indians, I believe they will come to conclusios that Indians are most venomous people. As I said earlier I am more prejudice now than I ever been.
- Posted by asad

Sir, your intellectual capacity and your tolerance is questionable if you can become prejudiced so easily that it only takes a few comments on a Reuters blog to turn you. Please don’t try and justify that kind of ignorance as something caused by the other person. That can only come from within.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

@Umair: “We Pakistanis lived very well with Indians, i think the problem is in the subcontinent. Why is it when we are abroad, we are neighbours, friends and everything? Back home we are at each other’s throat?”

What you say is true to a great extent & having lived most of my teenage/adult life in the US, I have certainly experienced that. I believe that the reason for this change in attitude is because when we get directly in touch with each other on foreign/neutral turf, we kindda let our guard down & start seeing each other as human beings rather than as Indians or Pakistanis. We let go of our pre-conceived notions & start looking at people for who they are rather than from where they come from. This isn’t possible sitting in India or Pakistan since there is no direct contact. The internet could certainly become a great way for some constructive communication but unfortunately it can also become another medium of war.

@”The private school system in Pakistan (O-Level, A-Level) doesnt even follow the Punjab text book board curriculum which you mentioned contain hate material against hindus”

Umair, in third world countries like India & Pakistan, public education is the primary source of education for a majority of kids. I can’t imagine more than 10% of kids in Punjab having access to Private schools. That would mean that app.70 million Pakistanis (90% of Punjab’s 77 million population) are possibly exposed to the hate material in the public text books. Do you think that’s negligible exposure?
Please don’t dismiss this as an insignificant matter. There’s a good chance that Ajmal Kasab & the 9 terrorists (all from Punjab) might have been exposed to this same hate material in their childhood & we all know what they proceeded to accomplish.

“even generally the way you visualize things is incorrect. You need to change your perceptions”

I don’t judge anyone by their race, religion or nationality but by their character (or lack thereof). I know quite a few Pakistanis & many of them are nice people & good friends of mine. My perceptions are based on what I see & not on hearsay or speculation.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

Pakistan shouldn’t be worried about dodging the real issues with issues about imperfections in India, US or any other country. Almost all terrorism comes from Pakistan, yet guys from Pakistan have the cheek to point out a single incident in another country and try to achieve a parity! Intellectuals in Pakistan have long, left the country to be run by generals, and what can be expected from them. Pakistan is going to find it very very difficult to achieve any success, it aspired for itself when it was created. Jinnah the father of the nation, wanted a secular country, not this all other faiths hating nation, which is best known for terrorism, nuclear black market, safe heaven for international absconders. Wake up, the entire world goes through a lot less to rise up to the challenges, they face. Pakistan is sleep walking, with its complete denail , of the current situation. And for humanity sake, stop putting a gun on your head and threaten , i would shoot unless you pay us money, so we can live for another day, till we run out again! Iraq has been punished for next to nothing, Pakistan should consider itself REALLY lucky, for not having met such a fate. Wake or not, to your own peril

Posted by SK | Report as abusive

if india start same business i.e. generating / creating terrorist, human bomb and blaming on other country, pakistan would’nt be exisitng by now in map.

india is keeping up its status and value. unlucky that indian democracy has give more and more power to leaders, that they play with power and do nothing very quickly.

i’m very happy the way US is doing, 1000+ kms from east, but they have come to east with there army to find out there enemy.

Pakistan being enemy and playing game with word ” PEACE” from more than 50 years and indians are relly taking that pain.

i wish india could go in pak soil and find the terrorist and punish them.