Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba and the power of religion

November 20, 2009

Following up on earlier posts here and here about Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), I’ve been looking closely at the arrest in Chicago on anti-terrorism charges of two men linked to LeT and accused of plotting attacks in Denmark.

Analysts say the Chicago case demonstrates the global reach of the militant group and its ability to plot attacks in India and around the world. The court documents submitted by U.S. authorities also allege that Lashkar-e-Taiba had suggested that attacks on India be given priority over the planned attack in Denmark, highlighting the threat still posed by the group one year after Mumbai.

As discussed in this factbox, analysts cite several reasons for Pakistan’s reluctance to dismantle Lashkar-e-Taiba. These include its role in Kashmir and in India-Pakistan rivalry, and popular support for the humanitarian work of its Jamaat ud-Dawa sister organisation. They also cite an unwillingness to create a new enemy right now when Pakistan is already fighting the Pakistani Taliban in Waziristan and facing a wave of reprisal attacks in its cities. Lashkar-e-Taiba is the only Pakistani militant group which is not believed to have been involved in attacking targets within Pakistan itself.

None of that makes the group any less dangerous. But while researching the subject, I also found myself asking questions about the nature of the group and the kind of support it has – beyond its alleged state backing. This is not to condone violence. But by failing to look at this support, particularly for Jamaat ud-Dawa’s  humanitarian work, are we perhaps missing at least part of the point?

The religious ideology of the Markaz ud-Dawa wal Irshad which gave birth to Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat ud-Dawa is Ahl-e-Hadith, a Salafist school of thought which seeks a return to what it sees as the ”purer” practices of the early Muslims. This ideology originally sprang from a rejection of the corruption of religion by political power and of the syncretism which had thrived in South Asia through a blending of Hinduism and Islam, and which also underpinned the popularity of the Sufi tradition.

Whatever you think of this ideology, it does bear a remarkable resemblance to the thinking behind the Protestant Reformation in Europe which rejected the power and the myths of the Catholic Church and sought what it saw as a return to the original views of the followers of Jesus, best exemplified by its then heretical efforts to translate the Bible from Latin into languages that ordinary people could understand.

The Protestant Reformation led to centuries of wars, pogroms and cruelty from which Europe only properly emerged after World War Two. It also contributed to a philosophy of clean living, hard work and individualism which some argue laid the foundations for capitalism and with it, the rising power and wealth of the west.

So my first question is whether we understand properly these similarities between such reformist traditions in Islam and Christianity, both in their time seen as hardline, fundamentalist and dangerous?  And are we drawing the right lessons from this?

Secondly, one of the reasons for the popular support for Jamaat ud-Dawa is its extensive humanitarian work in education, healthcare and disaster relief.  This is not unique to Pakistan or Islam – before the development of universal free education in many countries, most people were educated in schools originally set up by charities and religious organisations.

Providing help to the poor is common to most if not all religious organisations.  In disaster relief, the Hindu Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was amongst the first on the spot following the 2001 Gujarat earthquake in India, just as Jamaat ud-Dawa cadres rushed to help the victims of the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan and Pakistani Kashmir

Again, are we paying enough attention to the similarities between the ways in which different religious organisations help the poor and drawing the right lessons? There are inherent dangers in this help – as seen in the activities of some Christian missionaries in the British empire, in the global network of support for Jamaat ud-Dawa that counter-terrorism experts fear can be exploited by Lashkar-e-Taiba, and in the popular backing for the RSS after the Gujarat earthquake in 2001 that may have strengthened it in its alleged role in the communal violence in the state a year later.

There are no obvious answers to these questions. But if those posting comments here could set aside the many bitter feuds which divide nations and indeed the exploitation of religion for political gain that has been a feature of every continent, how would you start addressing them?

Please try to restrict your comments to those you would be willing to make if everyone was physically present in the same room, rather than in an internet forum.

(Photos: Mumbai skyline; earthquake-hit road near Muzzafarabad in Pakistani Kashmir; a girl rescued from the Gujarat earthquake)

Comments

Though there are similarities between the religious organizations in many countries, there are also stark differences that this article does not entirely highlight.In the case of the RSS and similar organizations in India, they are not a part of any strategic assets for national defense. The Indian military or intelligence agencies do not have their retired cadres and servicemen actively participating in training the members of this organization.The LeT is well known as an unofficial wing of the Pakistani military. After the Soviet withdrawl from Afghanistan, Pakistani military has developed a new strategy of using personnel who do not belong to military, but get full military and commando style training, into wars in India. Since it is not made up of military service personnel, Pakistan can always disown them as non state actors, functioning on their own interests. This kind of strategy is cost effective and can be run while maintaining a diplomatic facade of official non-engagement in any conflict.The RSS does not receive full military training from anyone. None of their members wield the gun. When it comes to mob violence, there are enough goons available for those actions in India. They can be directed at any community by local politicians, who resemble mafia bosses mostly.I’d say organizations like Shiv Sena, Navnirman Shiv Sena and many local organizations to be more violent in nature compared to the RSS. Anti Muslim riots have happened in other states in the past as well. They take different colors in different states. And there are riots staged against other communities as well, which do not get so much attention as the Muslims do.Anyway, the LeT is a terrorist organization, much like the Al Qaeda, which has hijacked religion as a means to stage conflicts on a global scale. I’d say these organizations are very similar to the KKKs or Aryan nations and Nazi party in using a religion or an ideology based on identity engage in violence.From an Indian standpoint, it is saddening to see an effort to treat India at par with countries like Pakistan in all matters. None of the organizations in India can come close to anything like the LeT, HuJ, Taliban etc.Organizations like the RSS emerged in reaction to violence used by Muslim parties in the sub-continent. In general Muslims are feared in many parts of India and people do not mess with them. They know that Muslims in India act united and resort to violence to defend their community. Even the government has tried to please them a lot.But that aside, the root cause of all this is bad economy, illiteracy, poverty, and frustration of the youth. And they get manipulated by many power brokers in various ways in the sub-continent and elsewhere. If life improves, one can surely mitigate these movements to a large extent.

 

Here’s an excellent opportunity to bring up and nail an issue that is often only tangentially discussed – the Muslim view on whether non-Muslims have the right of self-determination or whether they must live in subjugation to Muslims.When discussing Lashkar-e-Taiba, it is a glaring omission to ignore the organisation’s stated objectives. The Wikipedia entry on LeT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lashkar-e- Taiba) says:”The Lashkar-e-Taiba group has repeatedly claimed through its journals and websites that its main aim is to destroy the Indian republic and to annihilate Hinduism and Judaism. LeT has declared Hindus and Jews to be the “enemies of Islam”, as well as India and Israel to be the “enemies of Pakistan”.[13] They see the issue of Kashmir as part of a wider global struggle.[14] In a pamphlet entitled “Why Are We Waging Jihad?” the group defined its agenda as the restoration of Islamic rule over all parts of India.[15]“Note the points about Kashmir being “part of a wider global struggle” and the agenda of “restoration of Islamic rule over all parts of India”.Two takeaways from this:1. The settlement of Kashmir is not going to make LeT lay down their arms, because this is just one milestone in their quest.2. While there is so much talk about the right of Kashmiris to self-determination, there is obviously no such right for a billion Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Zoroastrians in India, because the main objective is the “restoration” of Muslim rule.One of the Pakistani commentators on this blog made the extremely insulting comment that Hindus were quite happy to be living as second-class citizens under Muslim rulers. This is an example of arrogance that needs to be called out. Why should Muslim rule be “restored” on non-Muslims, whether they be one individual or one billion? Hindus existed before the Muslim invaders, and we still exist after the Muslim and British periods. And what is this concept of “restoration”, anyway? Is Muslim rule a watermark of some sort that once reached, must never be allowed to fall below? So do Muslims see southern Spain as another region over which Muslim rule must be “restored”? Can only regions of the world that Muslims never conquered remain independent?Time and time again, Pakistanis who post here have been asked to clarify their positions on a number of human issues such as this, but their silence is telling.As a Westerner, I agree you want to be impartial, Myra, but even in a court of law, the judge does call out unfairness and does in the end decide in favour of one or the other party. Objectiveness and impartiality do not imply strict neutrality. The racial arrogance expressed by many Muslims on this forum is troubling in the extreme. It seems no Muslim is willing to come forward and say that Hindus and other non-Muslims have the right to live their lives under a form of government that suits them. In India’s case, it is a secular republic under which everyone (including Muslims) has full rights to practise the religion of their choice.I presume most of us here have read the Harry Potter books. Rather than compare Islamism to the Protestant movement (a return to core principles), would it not be more appropriate to compare it with the Slytherin concept of pure-bloodedness? In Salazar Slytherin’s eyes, there was no place in Hogwart’s for mudbloods. Let’s understand that India’s secular constitution makes it an unabashedly mudblood country. The kind of vision Islamists have for not just Pakistan but India as well is a chillingly pure-blooded one.Sorry to put you on the mat just like I’m doing with our Pakistani friends, Myra, but you will need to take a stand too. The right of all human beings to practise their faith without being subjugated by another faith and existing at their mercy is not something we can hold to be negotiable. Would you agree? The scrupulously neutral position you have tried to take on LeT is then untenable.Regards,Ganesh

Posted by Ganesh Prasad | Report as abusive
 

This blog raises a very fundamental question but one that alas cannot readily be answered. You are absolutely right in pointing out that “purist” reform movements are not restricted to Islam. Christianity had its great reformation and Hinduism too has had similar movements every few centuries or so. A reading of Islamic history suggests that there has always been a tension within Muslim society since the days of the four Rashidun (the first caliphs). The problem is that Islam is a way of life and therefore there has been and perhaps there always will be a debate on whether Muslims are living in accordance with their Prophet’s teachings. This tension has manifested itself in a constant dialectic between the Muslim clergy and the rulers. This is however not a new development and persistent though this feature of Islam has been, it has not led to any reform of the kind some other religions have witnessed. Moreover, whatever the theological implications of such a dynamic, the result regrettably will be more violence, especially in Asia.

Posted by Indranil Banerjie | Report as abusive
 

The prejudices between Hindus & Muslims are set in history,I do think for political correctness no Hindus would admit to it but their mutual hatred is undeniable,very few in both the communities will raise above this hatred.The group who wields political power can force concessions to themselves.The intent level needs to be understood both between RSS & LET,which is to propogate their faiths & how they want to do it.Though i am a practicing hindu, the more i delve into its logic i see absurdity & also eternal values through the the philosophy of Karma.The core foundation to seek truth makes hinduism a pleasurable pursuit,the totaltarian claims can be rejected without inviting retribution, attacks or violence from people whom i disagree with it.Within India you see same liberty what i exercise with christians or buddhist etc in seeking their life goals in larger cities.I do not have the same evidence in ISLAM among practicing muslims that you can reject something & expect to avoid violence from their community despite being faithful to its core tenets.Currently i do think there is a conflict to establish religious supremacy,this unfortunately will lead to a very bloody conflict.People are scared about Violence.I also see extreme positions taken against Muslims not only in India but in other countries i have travelled.End of the day i assume good secular education and state separating from religion in a democratic form of government can ease this pressure.The ballot will decide what form of governance people desire in their respective countries ( extremist idealogy of hate or free will given by birth).While RSS may have a sympathetic hearing among Hindus,it is less likely they can wield clout to influence a particular course of actions not withstanding their perceived good deeds seeded in Hindus.My reading is LET as a movement has helped both the Church & Hindus to become a propoganda tool for organized form of religion respectively,this can be evidenced even in UK also.My final conclusion you need to stop this organized dictatorial religions from spreading since we are fragile societies and can’t understand god even if he has revealed himself in Gita,Bible or Koran.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh:”1. The settlement of Kashmir is not going to make LeT lay down their arms, because this is just one milestone in their quest.”Certainly those analysts I have spoken to about the LeT would agree with this statement. That said, it would have less support.”2. While there is so much talk about the right of Kashmiris to self-determination, there is obviously no such right for a billion Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Zoroastrians in India, because the main objective is the “restoration” of Muslim rule.”I think you are mixing apples and oranges here. As far as I understand it, the LeT does not advocate self-determination for the people of Kashmir since it frames its arguments in pan-Islamic terms.”The right of all human beings to practise their faith without being subjugated by another faith and existing at their mercy is not something we can hold to be negotiable. Would you agree?”Yes. But I think you would find many different opinions on how this should be achieved — for example laicity in France is quite different from secularism in India.Also remember that the perception — and I stress the word perception — among those who support the LeT appears to be that Kashmiri Muslims are victims of Hindu oppression and are therefore not able to practice their faith in peace.But the question I was really trying to raise in this post is why the LeT and JuD enjoy so much public support — the role of the Pakistan Army would not alone account for that, especially if you look at the size of the network they appear to have in the diaspora.(See the Chicago case as discussed in my analysis.This story is also interesting:http://www.reuters.com/artic le/worldNews/idUSTRE5AK0K220091121)One is the perceived need for religious renewal; the other is the humanitarian work carried out by the JuD.So I’d come back to you with a question, how would you address that in a constructive way?Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 

Myra,Thanks for introducing me to the French concept of laicity. I had not heard of it before, and my quick research suggests to me that it may be superior to the secularism practised by several societies, India included. It does need some initial buy-in, though. I also wonder how it would apply to Sikhs, whose very appearance is tied to their religion and can’t easily be decoupled.URL-shortened links to a good article I found on laicity:http://bit.ly/tfctRhttp://bit.ly  /4GTzVWIf I understand you right, although the LeT phrases its objectives in pan-Islamic terms that go beyond Kashmir, it seems to receive funding and sponsorship from those who see it as a bulwark against Hindu oppression of Muslims in Kashmir. You’ve also suggested that there are those who support the charitable arm of the organisation and by extension, the militant one. I’m sure there are other groups that support it for reasons of their own. The diaspora you referred to could be motivated by the 1971 issue, as we discussed at length some time ago.Perception is hard to deal with, and Kashmir seems to be a major irritant here. The election in Indian Kashmir in May 2009 promised to take the wind out of the separatists’ sails but the Shopian rape case put the Indian government on the defensive almost immediately. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would say the embarrassment for India happened too soon after a smooth election to be anything but a false flag operation, but I frankly don’t know.For an emotive topic like the LeT, this doesn’t seem to have provoked enough discussion yet. I’ll stop for now and see what others have to say.Regards,Ganesh

Posted by Ganesh Prasad | Report as abusive
 

Myra ”Certainly those analysts I have spoken to about the LeT would agree with this statement. That said, it would have less support”.How presumptious can these analyst get, once Kahmir goes over to PAK LeT would have less support, from whom, the Muslim brotherhood or the ”western ANALYSTS”Myra ”But the question I was really trying to raise in this post is why the LeT and JuD enjoy so much public support — the role of the Pakistan Army would not alone account for that, especially if you look at the size of the network they appear to have in the diaspora”.Again the vote of confidence to the culprit, ”the role of the Pakistan Army would not alone account for that”, then who do you think is responsible. The diaspora gains its cues from the motherland, which is controlled by the agencies. Ask the MQM, PPP, PML supporters in the diaspora who controls the agenda of this country.I seem to be enjoying this exhibition of ”educated analysis”.

Posted by uday kumar | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh, you said:”One of the Pakistani commentators on this blog made the extremely insulting comment that Hindus were quite happy to be living as second-class citizens under Muslim rulers. This is an example of arrogance that needs to be called out. Why should Muslim rule be “restored” on non-Muslims, whether they be one individual or one billion? Hindus existed before the Muslim invaders, and we still exist after the Muslim and British periods. And what is this concept of “restoration”, anyway? Is Muslim rule a watermark of some sort that once reached, must never be allowed to fall below? So do Muslims see southern Spain as another region over which Muslim rule must be “restored”? Can only regions of the world that Muslims never conquered remain independent?”–>Ganesh, let this answer be clear to all Pakistani, or Muslims, we non-muslims have the right to full determination. Our religion, culture and laws predate Islam by thousands and thousands of years.We would rather be dead than live under oppresion by Islamic Rule. Let me be more precise, we WILL never live again under Islamic oppression EVER again. That is one reason why, India will NOT ascede Kashmir to Pakistan. The line is drawn here. Maybe, Pakistani’s should all become Hindu, maybe we want all of our land back, upto Afhganistan, that all used to be a part of the “Pan Indian Empire”,with buddhism and hinduism upto Iran. We are not any less human than anyone else, we are equals in everyway and in someways, more progressive, forgiving, loving and accepting than even western Empires have been.I have mentioned this many times before that Kashmir is just one goal in the long line of many goals. God finally gave Indians a strong union, success and respect, we will fight tooth and nail to preserve that and we are willing to eat dirt, to preserve our national integrity. As Indians we never take our freedom for granted and we are willing to sacrifice ourselves to protect it. Unlike pakistani’s gripped with fear, are letting Taliban take over, Indians would have crushed Taliban a long time ago.Any old bones to pick with India about old scores of Islamic reconquering of India, should be forgotten.Let me repeat, to those pak bloggers, let it resonate loudly with all your breatheren, take it to your Mosques, to the streets, Indians, will never again live like Second Class citizens on their own blood ancestral home land.Never again will we succumb to a a creed that imprisons us. On that note, I would like to invoke the memory of the great King Shivaji of Maharashtra, who was one of the Forts of the Indian Union, perhaps without his fight, India would have succumbed to Moghul oppression and further genocide and desicration of Hindus.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive
 

Uday Kumar:”How presumptious can these analyst get, once Kahmir goes over to PAK LeT would have less support, from whom, the Muslim brotherhood or the ”western ANALYSTS”You made two false assumptions in that statement. 1) the original question was about a settlement on Kashmir. You transformed that into “once Kashmir goes over to Pak”. 2) You assumed this argument was made by “western” analysts. Why should western analysts be the only ones who study the LeT?This is a consistent problem on this blog: the assumption that anything said by westerners is wrong, or in this case attributing it wrongly to westerners in order to dismiss it. Please think carefully about whether you would like people to adopt a similarly dismissive approach to anything said by Indians or Pakistanis. Personally I respect anyone who takes the time to study a subject closely, regardless of nationality.Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 

GW,You are conflating two very different world views — Kashmiri aspirations to self-determination and LeT’s pan-Islamist ideology. As highlighted in the discussion earlier with Ganesh, self-determination and pan-Islamism actually run counter to each other.So it’s not logical to say we reject pan-Islamism and therefore reject self-determination for Kashmir.This is the problem when the Kashmir debate is framed purely in terms of religion, although the religious element is also there. Many Kashmiris will say “I am Kashmiri, and I am also Muslim.” You might add, also mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, husbands, wives, workers etc etc (this argument about multiplicity of identities is made powerfully by Amartya Sen in Identity and Violence.)Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 

Myra,It is unfortunate you have compared protestant reform movement with a violent, hate mongering, terrorist organization called LeT.Your suggestion religion is only-one of the elements- in the Kashmir issue is very unconvincing. Kashmir “dispute” is a residual outcome of “two-nation theory” which was entirely based on religious exclusivism and separatism.Instead of elaborating more myself I requet you to read this article:http://www.dnaindia.com/opinion/ column_kashmiris-chase-a-mirage_1274327Q UOTE- They naively believe that once azadi comes, they can revert to a composite Kashmiriyat. This is precisely what Jinnah believed could be done with an independent Pakistan, but the mullahs had other ideas.No pandit or Ladakhi or any of the other ethnic populations of Jammu & Kashmir will ever want to stay in this place. No secular humanist can support an azadi project that is rooted in exclusivism when the world is talking inclusivism.This is not to say that Kashmiris are intolerant or communal. But that is the net result of the pact they have made with the devil. They mistakenly believe that the Pakistani jihadis will leave them alone once they are free from India. The jihadis don’t leave anyone alone, so why is Kashmir going to be an exception? END QUOTE

 

This blog was about hijacking religion for propagating violence. In that regard, LeT and India’s RSS were looked at by the author. Now everyone, including the author are discussing Kashmir self determination.The natural tendency in all these blogs is to settle down the same issues – Kashmir, Islamic terrorism, LeT, India versus Pakistan and finally the US and its allies, Taliban. Beyond a certain point, every discussion leads to the same end.This means, the core problem is venting itself consistently irrespective of what discussion it is. If tomorrow someone wrote on a blog about vegetables in the sub-continent, I can bet at the end Indians and Pakistanis will be fighting each other with the same issues.So what is the issue? Everything boils down to Pakistan versus India. I can sense big bloated egos clashing, one telling the other that one country is better than the other. Every issue, Kashmir, Terrorism, cricket, you name it stems from the same reason.So the way to diffuse all this is to go after that core issue. How do Indians and Pakistanis work towards understanding each other and clear all misconceptions about each other. That is the first step. Only then any resolution can even be attempted on anything, be it river water sharing to Kashmir issue. A lot of emotions blind people’s senses and they take off tangentially every time.My point is, it is not religion that is the source of the problem. Religion is a tool that is being used to divide people and gain power. In some other place it is ethnicity or language or class or color of the skin. We all breathe the same air. We must be able to do something worthwhile.

 

Myra,I am saying is that Kashmiri aspirations are mostly superficial and yes lately since the Indian army have been there, it has caused hardships for some muslims there, but all of this fueled by the Pan Islamic concept to expand Islam by any means, I believe Pakistani establishment has been using a politically drummed up religious persecution excuse of Kashmir to make Kashmir into a Jihadi lightning rod to agitate India and fuel terrorism against India.Again, under the Kashmir dispute, there is an underlying, pervasive drive to re-affirm Islam, slowly but surely over India, by any means possible.Kashmiri’s at least some of them, have fallen prey to this ideology, but they don’t realize that being in India, those Kashmiri muslims have much better hope for success and quality of life, than Pakistan can give them. At the same time, I can unequivocally tell you Myra, if perhaps for a second, India were to let Kashmir separate, the terrorism would not stop, Pakistan and the other countries, some of them would attempt to duplicate the same thing in other parts of India and create another fictitious struggle of muslims against their Indian Country to accede more land, but it is intentioned to happen over a long period of time.Kashmir agitation and proxy war is only the tip of the iceberg of these grand intentions. We all have to be aware and on guard.Kashmiri aspirations ARE Indian aspirations. What will separating into another muslim country do?….propel them into space and do something redeeming for mankind?…no it would become another proxy war base for the Pakistani Army to make inroads into the Indian heartland.Quit kidding yourself Myra.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive
 

The Muslim community in general is not making itself look very good at all. I am not Muslim my self and so this is the perception I have of that religion.I see in the news that clerics bless and condone the killing of others in the name of Islam. I see Muslims willing and ready to kill themselves to get the point across, what ever that point may be. I have seen footage of Muslim women being executed because of some minor infraction like going to school or talking to a man that is not her husband.But what really gets me is the clerics and teachers that “bless” this violence. Who teaches one to hate another is a false teacher. Who rejoices in victory in battle rejoices over the deaths of their fellows.False teachers and profits are a curse to humanity. They lead the aspirant into suffering and spiritual slavery. These teachers do not want anyone else offering knowledge alternative to Islam, because it would erode their power base.What saddens me even more is that there does not seem to be any push back from the Muslim community at large. These clerics are not denounced. They are not condemned. And this leads me as a non Muslim to believe that indeed the entire Muslim community at large is in agreement with these teachings.Granted we have Christians that are just as bad. But it seems that Christianity, Judaism, and many others, are more socially advanced than Islam, in that they do not bless death or condone the killing of others.From my perspective Islam is a religion of spiritual slavery and violence. I have read scriptures written by sufis. And these do seem to have more in common with enlightened spirituality. But Islam in general paints a picture of brutality, strict control, and fierce intolerance. No cleric that blesses the killing of others is a servant of God. It is simply impossible. The creator of all that is, is a giver of life. All who exist, exist by the will of God and by his will alone.So who then is any so called holy man, to defy the will of the creator by killing his own brothers and sisters? To deny that we are all brothers/sisters is to deny the idea of one God. Since being brothers we must have the same source. If another human being is not considered to be a brother, then what is the other source from which they come?Islam has a long way to go before it will be given any kind of respect from non Muslims because of the deeds done in the name of Allah, and because they do nothing to correct their image.Maybe I’m completely wrong, maybe I’m just full of crap. I hope so. Since that would be much better than my perceptions being true.

 

Posted by Myra MacDonald ”You made two false assumptions in that statement. 1) the original question was about a settlement on Kashmir. You transformed that into “once Kashmir goes over to Pak”. 2) You assumed this argument was made by “western” analysts. Why should western analysts be the only ones who study the LeT?”on 1) Lets see how many diff forms of resolution to the Kashmir issue does LeT support. a) Independence – No, i see you also mention this. b)Permanent LOC borders – No. c) Merge with POK – Yes.Please highlight where have i sounded presumptious. LeT has declared its acceptable stance to the issue, its a non brainer. Infact anybody attributing LeT to be in favour of a resolution other than the above is being economical with the truth.On 2) You say i have assumed this argument has been made by a ”western” analyst. And its not only western analysts who would be studying LeT. If one had to research the analysts studying LeT, a layman like myself can only think of 3 regions of the world that can be interested in LeT as a possible threat a) Pakistan b) India c) West (USA, UK, EU).Obviously you wouldn’t quote a Pak analyst while making this statement, as you know where his sympathies lie.An Indian analyst worth his salt cannot make a erroneous statement like this.I read them all on http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/default .aspSo that leaves the western analysts, now this lot can be expected to mention something to this effect. Proof of this can be found in the latest report by the french investigation agency. Where the soft peddling on LeT was described in detail.Let us discount the Chinese, Russians and Bangladeshis as they don’t have a direct threat from LeT to understand the org well.On hind sight i might have been presumptious if true, then you were surely quoting a).I am not being dismissive here Myra, the gripe is the lack of understanding genuine Indian concerns. You mention a Kashmiri would claim ”I am a Kasmiri first and then a muslim”, what about the over a million Kashmiri Hindus who have been ethnically displaced.How many western analyst do you know have researched the recently held elections in POK? Has anybody from the west cared to check who were the parties representing in those elections? What was the ethnicity of those voters or partymen ? Compared to the Indian Kashmir how is this demographics diff ? FYI, being a Brit the term ”Balti” curry comes from Baltistan in POK, there is a active rebellion there against PAK and this is being put down using Al-Qaeda and Taliban, Right under nose of NATO forces.Its very disturbing that these issues are conveniently forgotten whilst the RSS bogey is raised in context of India.The discussion here is not on India-Pakistan, as Shastri mentions. Its is on PAKISTAN. Let us limit ourselves to it. India is a epitome of true secularism, unlike the pseudos in france, who have denied the poor Sikh children the right to wear turbans to school, something they have been doing since before WW2. Nearly a 100000 sikhs have died fighting for frances Independence during the RAJ.There is an election in U.K. next year. Myra i have studied in a Muslim Engg college and hence lived in a muslim neighbourhood. The Monastry for the wahabis and salafists of south-asia is Deoband. Since the year 2000, i’ve noticed the number of Deobandi Mullahs increasing in U.K., as i can identify them from the rest of the crowd. I dread to think what terror this lot is going to unleash in collabration with AQ to influence the elections here in U.K.The reason i mention this is because non of these Green turbaned Deobandis are from India, they are all from Pak-Punjab. Let us call a spade a spade before it is too late.

Posted by uday kumar | Report as abusive
 

@Ben Acosta,You have summed up my thoughts exactly. Thanks for that. Sometimes political correctness has to have limits, or people die, ie Fort Hood Massacre by Maj Nidal Hassan. No human moral standard should justify what happened there.@Keith, Myra, bloggersHere is an insightful video from Sunil Ram, canadian defence policy analyst and consultant. Please have a look at this video as he has some direct talking thoughts on Obama and Af-Pak.http://vodpod.com/watch/1237433-o bamas-plan-and-mumbai

Posted by GW | Report as abusive
 

addition to my earlier post on Deobands in U.K.Its these deobands who are the charitable face of LeT under the guise of JuD. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that a ”soldier marches by his stomach, JuD feeds the LeT warrior/Terrorist”.

Posted by uday kumar | Report as abusive
 

Suicide bombings, death, destruction and carnage on a monumental scale. Murder and mayhem across the length and breadth of the country with no sign of let up or relief. Senior army officers targeted in broad daylight in the heart of the federal capital.The audacity, vicious nature and cruelty of the onslaught increasing with each passing day. Is this the Muslim homeland envisaged by the founding fathers? Certainly not! Jinnah’s vision of his creation was negated and nullified with the adoption of the Objectives Resolution shortly after his death in 1949.http://ahraza.wordpress.com/2009/11  /21/i-want-jinnah%E2%80%99s-pakistan/

 

@ Uday Kumar,Let’s separate out where we agree and disagree:Where we agree: That even if India were to hand over Kashmir to Pakistan tomorrow large parts of the LeT would still not be satisfied since it has a pan-Islamic agenda. I have not talked to anyone who really questions that, including Pakistani analysts.Where we disagree: That if there were a settlement on Kashmir the LeT would have less support. Can you, and others, address this second point?@ Shastri:”This blog was about hijacking religion for propagating violence. In that regard, LeT and India’s RSS were looked at by the author. Now everyone, including the author are discussing Kashmir self determination.”Mea culpa and thank you for pointing that out. I’d actually been thinking along quite different lines, having just been in Paris talking to a former French investigating magistrate about a series of bombings there in the 1990s (whose origin was in Algeria). It made me aware of how in South Asia everything tends to get reduced to India-Pakistan, whereas there is a bigger global picture out there. I’ll think some more about how to express this in better detail.Myra

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AHR (Agha Haider Raza):I appreciate your views & efforts to expose & criticize the real enemies of Pakistan i.e. fundamentalists, extremists & the military establishment. I wish more Pakistanis, like you, would have the courage of conviction to do so. Keep up the good work!

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Myra”Where we disagree: That if there were a settlement on Kashmir the LeT would have less support. Can you, and others, address this second point”?Beg to disagree, support will increase. In a tribal society Might is right and public support gravitates towards the victors. I am limiting myself to believe the settlement would be in favour of Pak.Refereance to U.K. Elections and the threat of AQ-DEobandi/LeT/JuD et al skewing the polls. Here is an interesting article on how the elections in U.K. are likely to be a close fight.Where we disagree: That if there were a settlement on Kashmir the LeT would have less support. Can you, and others, address this second point?http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics  /2009/nov/22/hung-parliament-election-m ori-pollCan you imagine the votes being split Tory -35%, Labour-35% and BNP+UKIP-30%.AQ will create the bogey of BNP, this plays straight into its agenda of creating disgruntled muslim youth ready to romanticise the path of terrorism.

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Things do not bode well for Pakistan. This is something not only Pakistanis, but also the entire region has to worry about. The following article in NY Times sounds an alarm.http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/ world/asia/22pstan.html?_r=1&hpwIt ties in with what Myra has mentioned in this article. When things go bad, people seek solace in religion and seek miracles. Pakistan is facing a major problem – unemployment opportunities for its young. This is ideal ground for ideologists to take over and manipulate the young to follow their goals. This is something everyone should worry about. We all must see how we can engage the youth in the sub-continent into constructive activities. We must discuss about how to help the youth from falling into the hands of organizations like the LeT. Other than the military there is nothing in Pakistan today to provide opportunities for the youth. The US, China, India, Pakistan, Russia etc should get together and chalk out a plan as soon as possible to save the next generation from disaster. It is not longer Pakistan’s internal matter. They have become completely helpless. On one side is their military. On the other side are organizations like the LeT, Taliban etc. There is hardly anything in between. And suicide attacks have become common in the middle of all this. There is no use advising the Pakistanis to set their house in order. The fire has gone beyond control. Kashmir is not the real issue now. Pakistan is. I see Pakistanis on this forum mentioning that things are fine and that they have a vibrant economy etc. I think it is merely a statement arising from pride. There is nothing wrong in that. But the reality is too visible to others outside. We should discuss about how to help the youth in Pakistan to seek civil life. Otherwise the future will make today look like a tea party.

 

While going through this discussion an interesting thought came to mind. I think how a question is framed could, to a large extent, preempt the answer.For example:Would you support an organisation which even though it advocates, incites and advocates extreme violence, also undertakes compassionate and extremely beneficial humanitarian and charitable work that reaches out to those afflicted by terrible tragedy in their time of need?ORWould you support an organisation that undertakes compassionate and very effective humanitarian and charitable work even though it also advocates, incites and indulges in extreme and gruesome violence on innocent human beings and their human rights?Would your answer to these questions be different?For me, it would be the same…………… I would commend it and appreciate its wonderful work but would like to see it being brought to justice and it must be made to pay for advocating violence and criminal activity.

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Being a Pakistani and a Muslim (two facts which, contrary to popular belief are not always mutually inclusive) let me categorically state that I am against all acts of terrorism, foreign or domestic. For a definition: (n) terrorism, act of terrorism, terrorist act (the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear. According to this definition, LeT is a terrorist organization, and so are JeM, RSS and also the Indian army in Jammu and Kashmir. However, I am not here to argue who is a terrorist and who not.Violence is never the answer, however forced oppression of a large minority is almost always a futile effort as well. Organizations like LeT do not just materialize out of thin air, a certain perfect atmosphere of incubation must exist for such organizations to form and grow roots. India has provided those conditions in Kashmir for organizations like LeT to be born. LeT is not the cause of Kashmir problem but the effect of it.Pakistan did not create the Kashmir problem, the problem is of India’s own making. Pakistan cannot be blamed for exploited this situation though, just like India cannot be blamed for exploiting the situation in East Pakistan back in 1971. No one can exploit you unless you provide them with an excuse, and create such favorable conditions that can be taken advantage of. Truth be told, India did not create Bangladesh, Pakistan’s leadership (civil and military) created conditions that gave India a chance to facilitate Bangladesh’s birth.Letting the Kashmiris decide their own fate will not wipe out LeT overnight but it will spell the beginning of all such outfits’ eventual and sure demise. I would like to quote the poster Shastri here who so eloquently said “it is not religion that is the source of the problem. Religion is a tool that is being used to divide people and gain power. In some other place it is ethnicity or language or class or color of the skin. We all breathe the same air. We must be able to do something worthwhile”. Bravo to you Shastri and Ganesh and all other voices of sanity emanating from India and the Indian diaspora. If we had only a few such sane people in both our houses of power we would learn to coexist in peace.

 

“But by failing to look at this support, particularly for Jamaat ud-Dawa’s humanitarian work, are we perhaps missing at least part of the point?” MyraWe could also consider this from another angle. Both the LeT and JuD have been designated terrorist organisations. There can be no denying the danger they pose, specially in the Indian context.The very purpose of the commendable charitable work could well be to garner support, deflect criticism andcondone its terrorist activities.

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“Where we disagree: That if there were a settlement on Kashmir the LeT would have less support. Can you, and others, address this second point?” MyraMyra suggests that if Kashmir is taken out of the equation, the LeT would lose some of the support it enjoys in Pakistan. This is debatable.The reason it enjoys support is because it has taken up a cause which strikes an emotional chord amongst most Pakistanis. If it could take credit for having brought about a resolution of the problem, on terms favourable to Pakistan, it would become a national icon. The LeT would become an extra constitutional institution which could do no wrong ever. This would, in fact, gain it even more support in efforts to attain its global aspirations.

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The views of Agha Haider Raza (and those of Tariq Ali, whose article “I want Jinnah’s Pakistan” is quoted in his blog) are very welcome. I hope the majority of Pakistanis feel the same way and wrest their country back from the fundamentalists.From what I read, it appears that Jinnah was a secularist, but did not want to be part of secular India. Perhaps he felt more comfortable in a Muslim-majority secular country than in a Hindu-majority secular country. What’s the difference, I wonder? In theory, minority rights are always protected in a secular society. Wanting to be the majority community in a secular country only shows a lack of trust. And indeed, the trust deficit plagues India-Pakistan relations even today.While Pakistan has moved further away from secularism towards being an Islamic state, the irony is that a non-mainstream Muslim like a Shia or an Ahmadiya is far freer today in India than in Pakistan.If people like Raza have their way and Pakistan becomes secular again, perhaps the difference between the secularism of the two countries will be academic.Ganesh

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From what I read, it appears that Jinnah was a secularist, but did not want to be part of secular India. -Ganesh===Ganesh, trying to be nice is fine. But I am afraid you have to read a lot more, no offence. (Please note I don’t have any ideological hatred against pakistan).Until and unless the Indians read and understand the origins of “pakistan ideology” they will never understand pakistan.Pakistan ideology was conceived on the supremacist mindset dismissing the entire Indic heritage as evil and degraded. Modern, secular identity as espoused by Nehru would take all good things about all religions and all heritages. That’s why Nehru admired Upanishads and was thick friends with Islamic Scholar Mualana Abul Kalm Azad.There are 2 versions of Jinnah. “trust deficit” of Jinnah as you say was something he deliberately promoted to achieve his goals. Partition has worked very well for India and this is not about Akand Bharat, etc. How unreasonable man he was? Did you know Jinnah demanded the entire Punjab province with its Hindus and Sikh population and claimed muslims will gurantee their rights? Think about this, he was demanding a separate country claiming minority rights will not be protected!When Patel offered Kashmir if he would let go Hyderabad, he demanded both on diametrically opposite principles.Here is a letter from Iqbal (great grand father Hindu Pandit) to Jinnah (grand father Hindu):http://www.humsafar.info/iqbrev37 0528.htmHere is a gem from the ideologue poet of pakistan int he above letter :QUOTE-But it is clear to my mind that if Hinduism accepts social democracy it must neccessarily cease to be Hinduism.Are you aware of any such narrowly defined bigoted view of Hinduism? Then it becomes easy to understand pak world view, doesn’t it?

 

Raj and Ganesh,One can clearly see the butterfly effect in the case of the sub-continent. The original intention of Jinnah was to be a head of a state. It did not matter what state it was. he wanted to be like George Washington, a founder/leader of a nation. He realized that his chances of leading a nation called “India” were becoming remote as Gandhi and Nehru began to eclipse him in the national Congress that became the organization fighting for India’s independence. Someone like Sardar Patel, Ambedkar etc could have done the same thing that Jinnah achieved. They too were leaders who could found nations and be fathers of those nations. There was Periyar in the South who had similar ambitions. Patel and Ambedkar decided to stay with the Congress and work towards building a nation and devote their lives to it. It was just their maturity that helped them go along and it was Gandhi’s presence and their regards for him that helped save the country. Sheikh Abdullah was another “leader” who wanted to found a nation and be its first leader.Jinnah did not fit the definition of a true Muslim. Yet he championed for the rights of Muslims, while he ate pork and took alcohol, smoked cigarettes. If you see that in comparison to Gandhi, you will see the politician on one side and a true leader on the other. Gandhi lived what he preached. Jinnah preached one thing and lived a different life. Power craze was the underlying reason. He did not care about the long term repercussions of his actions. He had charisma and leadership skills, much like Hitler and Idi Amin had. He had followers too. So he could create Pakistan. Once he got what he wanted, now he preached secularism which made no sense. The inconsistencies in his statements, and practices are stark.The only thing that can help a leader in a hurry is to create conflict and keep it alive by means of violence. In India we have leaders of the Shiv Sena and many others who follow the same principle. Now that one goal was achieved, Jinnah had to keep his power stable. How do you keep power in your hands? Create a monster out of the Hindus. His followers would simply build on it. Jinnah died unfortunately soon. Without further leaders to lead them, Jinnah’s followers had a new nation and no ideas on what to do next. So they did what they knew best – Continue along with the original purpose that led to the creation of Pakistan – “protecting Islam and Muslims” against Hindu evil designs. And so the monster of India as a perpetual aggressor was sustained. And it began to fill the hearts of its people, its establishment.LeT and other organizations grew out of hatred for non-Muslims and Hindus in particular due to the proximity to a nation viewed as a “Hindu” nation. Since Pakistan was founded on religion, the counter part had to be religious too. So the self-psychosis has grown over the years and the end result is organizations like the LeT. You weaken them, there will be another one. Things have snowballed to today’s condition. We need to look at the very root of all this – power craze of leaders who managed to get what they wanted and used violence, hatred and mistrust to sustain their hold on power.We Indians need to curtail organizations like Shiv Sena right now. Otherwise, they can turn Mumbai into a Peshawar in no time. Kashmir was turned into what it is by Sheikh Abdullah as well. India should make a law that puts leaders of this kind permanently behind bars in Andaman islands. Jinnah would have done well there too. Unfortunately he became a head of a state that is now burning.There is no way we can go back to that time period and undo everything. If we could, we can solve the problem of LeT, Shiv Sena, ULFA etc.

 

Myra,Your article ignored the impact of LeT on JAK residents. While LeT may be popular amongst Pakistanis, it is far less so among Indian Kashmiris. This is something Pakistanis can’t seem to understand or accept.Indian Kashmiris are among the worst victims of LeT’s work. So it’s unlikely that they will feel any sincere sympathy for LeT.Moreover, in my humble opinion, LeT has done more damage to the Kashmir cause than India. The presence LeT has made Kashmir simply another task on the list of the Global Jihad. As such, the Kashmiri Azadi movement is no longer a unique stand-alone movement with its own merits. It’s now just another grievance of the Islamists that the world must cave in to. This is what the LeT has done to some very legitimate concerns and grievances of Indian Kahsmiris.I have a tangentially relevant comparison to illustrate where international opinion might lie: Kosovo. I served with a Colonel who was a young captain when peacekeeping in Kosovo in the early KFOR days. He repeatedly told me during many conversations, that his time on the ground convinced him that “we bombed the wrong side” (an opinion that was opposite to what he felt when the mission started). In his view and those of several other NATO officers I’ve met over the years, the Kosovars were rewarded for violence, ethnic cleansing and genocide (against the Serbs). It has steeled the resolve of an entire generation of diplomats, strategists and military officers against repeating that experience. Now imagine, how the world would react to a violent insurgency in Kashmir demanding the same solution as the Kosovars (or absorption into Pakistan).

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@How many western analyst do you know have researched the recently held elections in POK? Has anybody from the west cared to check who were the parties representing in those elections? What was the ethnicity of those voters or partymen ? Compared to the Indian Kashmir how is this demographics diff ? FYI, being a Brit the term ”Balti” curry comes from Baltistan in POK, there is a active rebellion there against PAK and this is being put down using Al-Qaeda and Taliban, Right under nose of NATO forces.”-posted by Uday KumarMyra: Uday has raised valid points. I have asked sometimes earlier that we have no in-depth knowledge of POK. THis blog and all the talk that media—you and others–do is only about Indian Kashmir. Myra, may I ask why not you use your pen to make readers aware of POK. what do they think about LeT–may be they like them–JuD helped during earthquake.recently Kashmiris from POK living in UK protested against Pakistan invasion of kashmir in 1948.Myra, pleaseeeeeeeeeeee tell us something about POK.@But the question I was really trying to raise in this post is why the LeT and JuD enjoy so much public support — the role of the Pakistan Army would not alone account for that, especially if you look at the size of the network they appear to have in the diaspora.”"One is the perceived need for religious renewal; the other is the humanitarian work carried out by the JuD.”—”JuD helps poor and needy during crisis” is simple answer. But let us not stop there. You need to ask more questions. JuD is a front desk of LeT and JuD/LeT alliance where JuD serves as a candy store (but they do sell candies to who wants them) in which behind double doors of the store the candy store has guns and bombs.(figuratively). Have you not seen this with criminals all the time? So yes JuD helps people—like in earthquake and if I am not wrong they were seen around SWAT IDP camps too. This crisis management strategy and aid to needy is partly their recruitment strategy. A person in need can be easily convinced to pick a gun and these guys join their real business establishment LeT. Some smart journalist mentioned during SWAT IDP times that it is time some genuine UN humanitarian workers help rather than these JuD with their interests since they were seen around. In POK earthquake, they were active.So we know what these guys do. But does this candy store front allow to overlook LeT?–No. They are the same thing.I ask you this: If Al-qaida’s also has similar front desk, how would you look at that? Rationally, you would want to block this aid irresepective of this good work and have this aid delivered by the genuine GOs and NGOs.

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“Pakistan did not create the Kashmir problem, the problem is of India’s own making. Pakistan cannot be blamed for exploited this situation though, just like India cannot be blamed for exploiting the situation in East Pakistan back in 1971″ – Posted by NusaafirI agree with a lot of your comments but strongly disagree with the one quoted above. As I’ve mentioned before, Kashmir was absolutely peaceful, progressive & harmonious until 1988. I have relatives who have a house in the middle of Srinagar & my family & I used to visit Kashmir quite frequently for vacations until 1988. So, what & why did India do all of a sudden that all hell broke lose?It’s a well documented & substantiated fact that from 1988, Pakistan started dispatching thousands of Mujahadeen (now idle with the end of the Afghan war) into Kashmir in order to implement Zia’s plan of ‘bleeding India with a thousand cuts’. Once these Pakistani militants swamped the valley & started killing hindus, sikhs & muslims (who opposed them), India had no choice but to deploy troops in large numbers. Yes, there have been incidents of injustices against kashmiris by the Indian army but then such occurrences become inevitable when 500,000 soldiers patrol an area with a population of 2 million.Please do not compare the Kashmir situation with the one in East Pakistan. The Indian Govt never conducted a genocide in Kashmir nor were there any accusations of atrocities prior to the army buildup in 1989. West Pakistan exploited & plundered the East Pakistanis & failed to acknowledge their rights whereas India has granted special privileges & status to the Kashmirs, which hasn’t been given to the residents of any other state in the country.

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Raj,No offence taken. It’s always an educational experience when someone sends around a link that explains things a little better.Thanks for that very interesting reference, i.e., the letter from Iqbal to Jinnah. It clarifies many things for me.However, I did not interpret it in offensive terms as you seem to have. Let’s consider his comment that Hinduism could not accept social democracy without ceasing to be Hinduism. Why is this necessarily a bigoted view as you think?Let’s remember that in 1937, Hinduism was totally caste-ridden as it had been for centuries. Indeed, whenever I read literal translations of ancient epics, I’m struck by the frequency of caste references in them. It seems that people could not converse without addressing each other by caste titles. I can see very clearly where Iqbal was coming from.Nehru was an atheist and believed in socialism (the equality of all), and his philosophy was therefore doubly antithetical to the prevailing Hindu outlook at the time, which was both devout and socially stratified along caste lines. Iqbal’s skepticism about Nehru’s chances of success was entirely justified. Both India and Pakistan, as concepts, were attempts at massive social engineering. Gandhi was an enemy of the caste system. Nehru was another idealist, an atheistic socialist with an egalitarian outlook who was also a true believer in democracy. And as we can all agree, Jinnah was no mullah. There was no guarantee that either of the national visions would prove realisable. The reality of the Hindu and Muslim populace was completely at odds with the visions of their leaders. The fact that the centuries-old caste system in India has been largely de-fanged over just 62 years, and peacefully at that, is nothing short of a miracle. Even the anti-Mandal agitations of the early 90s may be seen as quaint and reactionary in a few decades. I must say India has been incredibly lucky to have effected such sweeping social change so rapidly and yet so peacefully. Iqbal would have been astonished that Hinduism could in fact accept social democracy without ceasing to be Hinduism. (It’s still a work-in-progress, of course, but in another 62 years, who knows, caste may be a complete anachronism.)In this context, I have always been a bit puzzled by the comments made by many Pakistanis on blogs like this about brahmins and brahminism when criticising Hindus. Could it be that just as many Indians have not understood that 1971 has powerfully impacted Pakistani thinking since partition in 1947, many Pakistanis have not understood that Hindus are nowadays not so strongly influenced by caste considerations? Brahmins no longer dominate Hindu society the way they did during the partition era, and the funny thing is that many of the people today who argue that that’s a good thing are themselves brahmins. Elites tend to embrace egalitarianism quite readily!Iqbal’s other comments about the Muslim elites and the poor are much more enlightening, and they seem to show Jinnah in a rather poor light. Nehru was the product of an elite upbringing too, but he always cared for the common man and his ‘elitism’ served only to give him a modern vision of an egalitarian and democratic society. From Iqbal’s letter, it appears as if Jinnah (as of 1937 at least) had not given much thought to the common Muslim. It’s as if getting a country of his own was his main concern, and the rights of the people in it were a justification for his demand. That may be an overly harsh reading, but again, I’m still learning about that period, and it’s a fascinating experience.Regards,Ganesh

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Mussafir:”According to this definition, LeT is a terrorist organization, and so are JeM, RSS and also the Indian army in Jammu and Kashmir. However, I am not here to argue who is a terrorist and who not.”Somehow there is desperation to show India and its military as an evil entity in not only in the above view, but I see that in many Pakistani writings around. They just cannot accept that India is yet another nation and its military is there to protect its interests. And equating it with LeT is ridiculous. The world armies are not assembled near India to eliminate the Indian military. LeT is sitting untouched because of protection from Pakistani military. Criminals like Dawood Ibrahim are state guests in Pakistan. What does that make Pakistan then?”Violence is never the answer, however forced oppression of a large minority is almost always a futile effort as well.”Indians did not decide to go duck hunting in Kashmir. Violence has to be suppressed by force. Isn’t the Pakistani military doing the same thing in South Waziristan? So why accuse the Indian military? India sees Kashmir as its own territory. If there are people there fomenting trouble, of course the military will be there to bring order. But Indian military is not oppressing people there. It is the trouble caused by militants sent in by Pakistan who are able to hide amongst the population either out of sympathy or fear or both. Indian military is present in border regions in large numbers and Kashmir happens to be a border state next to a hostile neighbor. Isn’t it the reason why Pakistan has more than three fifth of its military on the other side of the border?”Organizations like LeT do not just materialize out of thin air, a certain perfect atmosphere of incubation must exist for such organizations to form and grow roots. India has provided those conditions in Kashmir for organizations like LeT to be born. LeT is not the cause of Kashmir problem but the effect of it.”Wrong. LeT is the result of CIA/ISI training of militants to take on the Soviets. Madrasas were built to brain wash an entire generation of youth to hate and fight against the enemies of Islam. That war was over. But the elements cannot go back into the cages anymore. They were unleashed in Kashmir and LeT is one of the organizations that were created by the ISI as proxy military to take on the Indians. It has nothing to do with Kashmir. And Kashmir has nothing to do with any of what is going on. It is settling scores of East Pakistan and keeping the superiority complex of Pakistanis alive. If Kashmir problem did not exist, there will still be an LeT and there still will be trouble coming from Pakistan. Because your country is owned by a corrupt military. It needs an enemy at all times and a conflict to sustain itself.”Pakistan did not create the Kashmir problem, the problem is of India’s own making. Pakistan cannot be blamed for exploited this situation though, just like India cannot be blamed for exploiting the situation in East Pakistan back in 1971. No one can exploit you unless you provide them with an excuse, and create such favorable conditions that can be taken advantage of. Truth be told, India did not create Bangladesh, Pakistan’s leadership (civil and military) created conditions that gave India a chance to facilitate Bangladesh’s birth.”You are mixing some truths with convenient lies. India’s engagement in East Pakistan was direct and it resulted in a war. At the end of the war Pakistan’s “mighty” military was defeated. That was the end of it.Kashmir problem was not created by India. It is problem created by Pakistan after 1989 when the Soviets left Afghanistan. Let us not hide the roaches under the carpet. Explain why Kashmir remained peaceful from 1948 to 1989. India had done nothing there for any major protests to arise. And Kashmiris are not alone in raising anti-Indian voices. There are many in India with such ambitions. It is a growing country and it will take many decades for nationhood feelings to settle.It is every Pakistani who says “Kashmir is the core issue.” That clearly tells Kashmir problem is not and Indian one, but a Pakistani one. Even during the chaos Pakistan is going through, this obsession with Kashmir and Indian hatred has not subsided. That is really unfortunate. Until Pakistanis realize this, there is no way they can get out of the vicious cycle they have got themselves into.

 

Afghans favour India’s role in reconstruction, says studyA Gallup poll said that 56% preferred India’s role in the reconstruction of the country, while 51% preferred the UN, 44% Nato, 30% Pakistan and 42% Iran.http://economictimes.indiatimes.com  /articleshow/5256271.cms

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I watched the one hour HBO documentsry, last Thursday, on 11/26 mumbai massacre, presented by CNNs Fareed Zakaria, who himself hails from Mumbai. One important component of the documentary that sets it apart from all other terror documentaries I watched last decade or so. It is the remarkable real time, the then live telephonic conversations taking place between the ten terrorists and their LeT bosses in Pakistan.”What do I do with the 2 hostages?” asks the terrorist. They were talking about the 2 parents of the orphaned toddler we saw on the TV. They were waiting on their demand for the Indian govt to release Kasab, the lone apprehended terrorist. Live telecast beaming all over the world gave away every detail to the Pak masters and in turn the terrorists were given the rescue mission details on going.“ shoot them in the back of the heads” . “ I want to wait. Its quite out there now”. “ No. They (security) may be planning a surprise attack on you. Finish the job now.” A shot is heard.” Did you shoot?” “ yes. I did”. “I heard only one shot”, the Pak master enquires. “ That one worked on both”, the terrorist replies. The Pak master cautions the terrorist, “the commandos are jumping on the roof top from a helicopter, attack them”. Within minutes, the 2 terrorists are shot and killed. Same night in a hospital, the only terrorist caught alive announces how his dad sold him for cash to LeT.Amidst the spine chilling conversations and watching the ongoing live massacre, I could not but appreciate the technology out there. War on terror is the appropriate term, we all must agree. And BTW did someone say say individuals privacy? D*** you. Eavesdropping is the only way now.Lot of intelligent and rich minds are working in tandem with hardcore murderers. The terror is here to stay. Watch the HBO film, hope someone will post it on YouTube.

 

It is really encouraging to hear a view like this in mainstream media. What we have right now is a hysterical cry against terrorism with no real thought and reason about it. Right now it is cast too simply in Hollywood style as “us” against “them” or “good” vs “evil”What we have to do is cultivate the good aspects and block the bad ones. So in essence promoting the good things such as charity about jamat e dawa and checking their role in terrorism if any.

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Now imagine, how the world would react to a violent insurgency in Kashmir demanding the same solution as the Kosovars (or absorption into Pakistan).- Posted by KeithAlso keep in mind the ongoing terrorism in southern Philippines and southern Thailand. You will add more and more victims to this list and eventually one fine morning Europe, the way immigraion trends are taking shape, will witness similar reality in its own backyard.

 

My first objection to this entire post is, India, traditionally, never had any religion. Hindu was a word coined by Islamics/ Christians to denote certain persons who had full freedom of thought process. Present Afghanistan, Bangladesh etc were all inhabited by people with faith native India. India never had any religion, how so ever one defines it but thought processes, yes and full freedom of thought process, something which is remarkably similar in China. The present state of sub continent which is marked by chaos, misery, genocide, famine, poverty is all output of Abrahmic religion… Christianity and Islam. India is the place for all world to know the truth that misery in world starts with Islam and Christianity. Of these, the thought process of Islam never developed. Thought process of Christianity developed and is highlighted by terms such as Communism, Secularism which in turn are failure, and have given nothing to world except misery, genocide something which is greatly evident in India.What we need to ponder is that we will once again enter into arena of genocide, riots as we continue to stick to rigid, stupid and idiotic mental slavery which diminishes freedom of thought process to flourish.India will not be destroyed by Pakistan/ Afghanistan/ Bangladesh… The biggest challenge and the force that will destroy India is mental slavery to desert gibberishes like secularism, communism and failure of Indians to derive inspiration and strength from it’s own history, which when was devoid of abrahmic religion, assured peace, wealth, happiness, self sufficiency for all.Contribution of India in inventions and originality has gone down as people of India relied more and more on English as their primary language for carrying out daily work.Let me conclude by reminding once again, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc were at golden period when there was full freedom of thought process. Thereafter, the common person of this land has never seen peace and shall never see ever again.

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@ Rajeev,”How many western analysts do you know have researched the recently held elections in POK?”Are you talking about Azad Kashmir or Gilgit and Baltistan? If it is Gilgit & Baltistan then I’m working on that next.

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Pakistani officials: 5 army officers detained for links with Mumbai attack terroristsTwo Pakistani intelligence officials, speaking anonymously because they are not allowed to release their identity, said phone records showed the five Pakistani officers had contacted Headley and Rana.They say the five include a retired brigadier general and two active lieutenant colonels, but did not provide more details.http://www.google.com/hostednews  /ap/article/ALeqM5iGVd-1YTntqd9GATyRcGe A10j6BgD9C5T9100

Posted by soman | Report as abusive
 

@Are you talking about Azad Kashmir or Gilgit and Baltistan? If it is Gilgit & Baltistan then I’m working on that next.- Posted by Myra MacDonaldMyra:if your article is going to be on G&B, why not right on Azad Kashmir (POK). Any way, I am talking about both POK that has some govt system and G&B (Northern Areas) that lacked all this time any rights to people and has been given some adminstrative package after a long time. I’ll like to know the thoughts of people and politicians and the political developments from each 3 areas of Kashmir (Indian, Pakistan Kashmir and Northern Area).

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Myra:Correction to my post:”why not WRITE on Azad Kashmir (POK).”

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Rohit,Please take your RSS indoctrinated anti-Christian attitude elsewhere. You are no better than the missionaries you accuse of committing misdeeds in your land.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

It looks like your research didn’t go very far. Let’s look at who started the taliban and alqueida. It was the cia. Let’s look at why there is even a war in afghanistan. It is because of 911. Now evidence suggests 911 was an inside job with no connection to afghanistan or Muslims. Answer this question Myra. Are you just writing propaganda? Terrorism has nothing to do with religion. It is most likely the western intelligence agencies. Already reports are circulating that the taliban are being ferried with Western helicopter support. Create the enemy, then act like a savior, take over the country, and as long as the phony enemy is there to fight this imperialism can go on forever.

Posted by jay | Report as abusive
 

This looks like mad dreams of Hitler to conquer the world. Lol LeT is kiling its own muslims and thinking its achieving its goal. In all its attack in India muslims are are the one killed most in numbers. Think of what happened to SS in WWII, it ended in humiliation and Hitler suicides. First respect all religion then ur religion can also survive. else ur the reason 4 destoying ur own religion.

Posted by peaceplease | Report as abusive
 

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