Taliban names removed from U.N. list – how times have changed

July 31, 2010

mullah zaeefIn all the noise about the war in Afghanistan over the last week, including the WikiLeaks uproar and a spat between Pakistan and Britain over remarks made by Prime Minister David Cameron about Pakistan’s links to Islamist militancy, one piece of news carries real significance.

On Friday, five Taliban members were struck off a U.N. Security Council list of militants subject to sanctions in a move designed to smooth the way for  reconciliation talks with insurgents.  Among those, two of the five were dead. The other three - Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad Awrang, a former Afghan ambassador to the United Nations, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the last Taliban ambassador to Islamabad before 9/11, and  Abdul Satar Paktin – are no longer subject to the asset freeze and travel ban imposed on those on the list.

To get a sense of quite how significant a change this is, consider how Mullah Zaeef – who now lives in Kabul and says he is no longer an active member of the movement – describes his treatment when he was arrested in Pakistan in early 2002, according to his book “My Life with the Taliban“. The Pakistani official who arrested him told him:  “Your Excellency, you are no longer an Excellency! America is a superpower. Did you not know that? No one can defeat it, nor can they negotiate with it. America wants to question you and we are here to hand you over to the USA.” 

Turned over to the Americans near Peshawar after being driven there from Islamabad, he says he was attacked and his clothes ripped with knives. “The Pakistani soldiers were all staring as the Americans hit me and tore the remaining clothes off my body. Eventually I was completely naked, and the Pakistani soldiers — the defenders of the Holy Koran — shamelessly watched me with smiles on their faces, saluting this disgraceful action of the Americans.”

“That moment,” he says, ”is written in my memory like a stain on my soul.”

That was followed by long years of humiliation and degradation in jails first in Afghanistan and later in Guantanamo. Finally freed from Guantanamo without charge on Sept. 11 2005, he returned to Kabul where he has lived under government protection.

The decision by the United Nations, with American support, to remove the names of Mullah Zaeef and others from the sanctions list is possibly the closest Washington has come since 9/11 to offering some kind of legitimacy to the Taliban movement which ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

It is an important step for a movement which some analysts argue always craved legitimacy – it was recognised only by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan when it was in government - and which in any negotiations about giving it an eventual share of power in Afghanistan would be looking for the kind of funding and trade possibilities that only international recognition can provide.

It should also make it easier to open the kind of informal  contacts that could eventually pave the way to more serious negotiations.  Mullah Zaeef – who in his book speaks of his loyalty to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar – was involved in earlier meetings in Saudi Arabia which were reported to have focused on the possibilities of reconciliation with the Taliban.

The United States and its allies have increasingly spoken about the need for talks with the Taliban to try to bring an end to an unpopular war now into its ninth year, although Washington has also said it needs more time to end a stalemate on the ground so that it can enter any talks from a position of strength.

But if and when talks do start, one of the obstacles has been over how to talk to a movement whose members are on the United Nations “most-wanted” list.

The Taliban leadership is not expected to negotiate in public until their names are removed from the list. The United States and its allies are unlikely to remove those names from the list until the Taliban sever ties with al Qaeda. And the Taliban are unlikely to sever ties with al Qaeda until after negotiations start, since that is their biggest bargaining chip.

The removal of some names – even of former Taliban members – from that list is a small step to resolving that conundrum. Potential intermediaries can now travel more freely and if they choose to do so, open up lines of communication to agree on the kind of confidence building measures which would likely be an essential prelude to more organised talks. U.S. and other officials can also meet them without fear of sanction.

Whether those contacts succeed or not is a different question – the Taliban leadership will make their own calculations about whether they can win more at the negotiating table than by waiting out the clock for the Americans to leave. But they should help both sides to understand each other a bit more in a shadowy war where neither side, each from radically different cultures, has much of an understanding of the enemy it is fighting.

In the words of Mullah Zaeef again:

“The biggest mistake of American policy makers so far might be their profound lack of understanding of their enemy. The U.S. brought an overwhelming force to Afghanistan. They arrived with a superior war machine, trying to swat mosquitoes with sledgehammers, destroying the little that was left of Afghanistan and causing countless casualties on their mission, knocking down many more walls than killing insects. Till this very day, it is this lack of understanding and their own prejudices that they still struggle with.”

Comments

It is clear that America is looking for an exit. In other words, the empire has been defeated. Coalition forces should be more frank and clear, they should declare the defeat.

Posted by RAMFAITORI | Report as abusive
 

Alright, lets send all of these fellows to srinagar. they need honest work.

Posted by tupak_shakir | Report as abusive
 

I think American Govt & its allies has to admit that they are defeated by Taliban.

Posted by Canadian76 | Report as abusive
 

> Alright, lets send all of these fellows to srinagar. they need honest work.

If you read his interview, he now seems equally willing to do “honest work” in Rawalpindi. :-)

He who doublecross both Taliban and Yank end up with IED below and drone above – Confucius

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Here is a Newsweek article about the double act by Pakistan. Even the Taliban does not trust Pakistanis.

http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/31/with- friends-like-these.html

This means, things will not go the way they did for Pakistan in 1996. Duplicitous nature of Pakistanis has come out in the open since then. Pakistan might find it difficult to control Afghanistan through Taliban in the future. If they resort to more violent methods, it will backfire on them.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

What I find really amusing is that people would post different links and state that Pakistan is double dealing and will face consequences.
My understanding is that it is perfectly normal for a country to pursue its national interest in whatever way. If the US can go after its interests and face no consequences. Then same goes for Pakistan as well.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

” If the US can go after its interests and face no consequences. Then same goes for Pakistan as well.”

The problem is that the US can do a lot of things and can still be around as an economic and military power. It has such a depth of infrastructure and foundation that it will stay mostly on top despite all the issues. Pakistan does not have that prvilege. It is a small nation run by its military. And it simply cannot get away with its own interests. That’s why it has to engage in so much of manipulative acts, trying to balance one thing against another. The problem is that it takes all the time to juggle and balance, which leaves nothing for proper growth. And Pakistan is where it is due to its circus acts. It has been swinging from one end to another and can fall. Most countries in the world do not have the privilege of acting only on their interests. A lot of things are shared and if they have to use the same road, they all have to follow the same rules. One cannot choose to drive in the opposite direction using the same justification as that used by a battle tank.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Umair, your repeated comparisons between Pakistan & the US are quite puerile.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

“What I find really amusing is that people would post different links and state that Pakistan is double dealing and will face consequences.
My understanding is that it is perfectly normal for a country to pursue its national interest in whatever way. If the US can go after its interests and face no consequences. Then same goes for Pakistan as well.

Posted by Umairpk”

–>No Pakistan has crossed the line, where the U.S. is giving Billions of dollars of aid and in the same sweep, Pakistan ISI is training Taliban to kill NATO soldiers, is that any way to treat an ally?

Don’t think that there will not be consequences, blowback and retribution for the undermining of the Afghan mission.

Pakistan’s national interests are skewed, devilish and serve no greater purpose to elevate the lives of Pakistani’s. Have Pakistani’s got a better way of life, more education, a better abode, less terrorism, more tolerant as a society, while Pakistan conducts proxy wars against NATO and Indians in Kashmir?

What kind of Fxxken warped national interest is this? Does it fill the bellies of little Pakistani children? does it modernize Pakistani infrastructure? Does it give Balochi’s and Pathans a more equalized voice in Parliament?

What fxxken national interest are you talking about?…don’t you mean Punjabi Army Mafia self interest, rather than national interest? How is the average Pakistani benefiting from all of this?….they are not….you greedy useless Punjabi ARE…damn fools can’t make an honest living.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

Umair, you just don’t get…you keep defending the indefensible.

You think it is ok that Pakistan takes billions of US taxpayer dollars in Aid and use that to make nukes, buy more weapons and undermine NATO nations, the same ones that gave you the money???!?!?!

You look at U.S taxpayers and tell them right in their face that you think its ok to take their money and at the same time funnel that money to see their loved ones lost in the line of duty in Afghanistan, because you train and support the Afghan Taliban….Go ahead, please confirm this as your national interest.

You are in an entirely different league than the greatest superpower on earth. Your country is beyond broke and in the progress of failing…you are truly lacking insight if you are comparing the U.S. to Pakistan.

The U.S. as the greatest and most powerful fighting force on earth and countries that double deal with the U.S. have a historical tendency to collapse, be occupied or attacked. Your nukes may make you feel safe against India, in your own dreams, but against the U.S. your nukes are completely useless. The U.S. can bend Pakistan over a barrel anytime it wants and make you laugh or cry or hug you and slap you around at will.

Quit kidding yourself Umair, it is time you realized that the U.S. has been handling you guys with kid gloves by choice.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

G-W:
“The U.S. as the greatest and most powerful fighting force on earth and countries that double deal with the U.S. have a historical tendency to collapse, be occupied or attacked.”

-LOL, the US could not even defeat an impoverished smaller less capable Afghanistan, after almost 10 years of war, US is almost defeated. How will the US face a nuclear armed, 170 million strong Pakistan with a fairly well trained Army and Air Force. While I agree Pakistan is not a super power like the US, it is not that much of a weak country either. Pakistan has time and again shown remarkable characteristics, being pushed beyond the limits of normal endurance for a number of times. It shows this country has the potential to become a super power one day. The US was not a super power from the begining, it went through civil wars and many other turbulent times. Today the US is super power because it shares minimum borders, is far away from Atlantic and Europe, has control over world oceans and is a continental mass.
Lastly, if Taliban can defeat the greatest and most powerful fighting force on earth, it shows Taliban are also a force to be reckoned with.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

G-W:
“You look at U.S taxpayers and tell them right in their face that you think its ok to take their money and at the same time funnel that money to see their loved ones lost in the line of duty in Afghanistan, because you train and support the Afghan Taliban….Go ahead, please confirm this as your national interest.”

-US taxpayers desrves this punishment, US taxpayer is a fool, and whenever a President announces a war the tax payer cheers along. But the recessions, auto and housing market crash, bailouts, and job losses have taught a memorable lesson to the US taxpayer. Today annually $65 billion are being spent on Afghan war. The US taxpayer just saw 2000 pounds bombs dropping over Kabul and Baghdad and cheered on. But i think now the taxpayers are standing up and asking questions, that is a good sign. Unless the American politician is held accountable by the taxpayer, and those who donate and fund the campaigns, there is more transparency, no other American administration will lead the country to another devastating war. Vietnam, Korea, Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan, enough is enough. Dont blame Pakistan, open the eyes of the AMerican taxpayer. Did Pakistan ask the Us to come and invade Afghanistan? Then why blame Pakistan?

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

USSR had 4000+ nuclear warheads, 300 million strong population and yet they bit the dust without a single bullet getting fired. Pakistanis who think US will need to attack on them to crush them are sorely mistaken. If events turned for that way, you will soon realize that your 170 millions are not an asset but a liability instead. The more Pakistan get cornered economic way, the more you will be tempted to nuclear proliferation and once that happens, all those “non-aligned” people and nations will ensure that Pakistan gets the treatment it deserves.

Just one (and final one) would come your way once you guys cross the depths of stupidity and use any of your nukes anywhere!

Most unfortunate outcome of present scenario is that common Pakistani people are suffering incessantly and it may even worsen if Punjabi Mafia don’t mend their ways now.

Posted by Seth | Report as abusive
 

@”It shows this country has the potential to become a super power one day” Posted by Umairpk

Get out of the top 20 of the Failed State Index & become capable of paying your bills without aids & loans from others, before you start declaring yourselves a ‘super power’.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

“-LOL, the US could not even defeat an impoverished smaller less capable Afghanistan, after almost 10 years of war, US is almost defeated. How will the US face a nuclear armed, 170 million strong Pakistan with a fairly well trained Army and Air Force.”

The same way that India faced Pakistan in 1971 and got 100,000 of their fairly well trained soldiers to tuck their tail between their legs and surrender.

Posted by abrahavt | Report as abusive
 

clean up drool:

Gates:

“They are more and more partnering with us and working with us and fighting these insurgents and 140,000 soldiers (are) in northwestern Pakistan fighting some of the same insurgents we are.”

His defense of Pakistan comes after new questions about links between the country’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and Taliban leaders.

The New York Times said some 92,000 classified documents made public by the WikiLeaks website showed ISI agents and Taliban member met “in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders.”

Gates acknowledged that the allegations were “a concern.”

“There’s no question about it,” he said. “But I would say that, again, we walked out on Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1989 and left them basically holding the bag. And there is always the fear that we will do that again. And I believe that’s the reason there’s a certain hedge.”

And he said Pakistan had shown it was now committed to tackling Taliban fighters by raiding militant safe havens in South Waziristan and Swat.

“And so the Pakistanis going after any of these groups, I believe, overall, helps us in what we’re trying to accomplish, both with respect to Afghanistan and with respect to Al-Qaeda.”

Posted by tupak_shakir | Report as abusive
 

Umairpk: “the US could not even defeat an impoverished smaller less capable Afghanistan, after almost 10 years of war, US is almost defeated”

That is because no one was clear on what the objective of the war was – to capture Bin Laden? to destroy Al Qaeda? To wage a war on terrorism? To drive Taliban off and install democratic and modern state in Afghanistan?
No one has defined the objectives clearly. In the meantime power has switched from a Republican to a democratic President in the US. The equations of geo-politics changed completely. George Bush suddenly changed gears and went after Saddam Hussein, right in the middle of the mission in Afghanistan. How can one win any war if there is no clear objective to start with? In addition, the Republican government simply abandoned Afghanistan, assumed a lot of things about Pakistan, and allowed Pakistan to siphon off the money and feed it back to the Taliban and probably Al Qaeda. The Republicans never really cared much for Afghanistan right from the start. They probably thought a shock and awe show would be good enough and went into Iraq. There they assumed that Iraqis will run to them and hug them after overthrowing Saddam. Instead, they found themselves as a foreign occupying military and could not extricate themselves out of it quickly. This war was not won because the objective was not clear. The target was wrong. And they relied on Pakistan to achieve those goals. The real target should have been Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. These two are the real reason behind global Islamic terrorism now. If you use a drug lord to fight a war on drugs, you will be turned into an addict yourself. And the US did simply that. So Taliban and Pakistan simply lucked out.

“How will the US face a nuclear armed, 170 million strong Pakistan with a fairly well trained Army and Air Force.”

When Richard Armitage asked the question to Musharraf, “Are you with us or against us,” Pakistan was still a nuclear armed, 170 million strong with a fairly well trained army. I wonder why Musharraf switched sides. Even the Taliban with their primitive weaponry stood up to the US and did not yield to the demand of handing over Bin Laden. But Pakistan simply surrendered to the US and when the opportune moment came, simply tripped the feet of the US.

“While I agree Pakistan is not a super power like the US, it is not that much of a weak country either. Pakistan has time and again shown remarkable characteristics, being pushed beyond the limits of normal endurance for a number of times.”

Without money and resources, one cannot stand up to sustained war. Pakistan has been held alive by American tax payer’s dollars. It would have been easier to contain and control Pakistan economically rather than militarily. If Musharraf had decided to be brave like you people claim about yourselves and stood up to the Americans in 2001, the US would have bombed the living day lights out of your country first. And there would have been nothing you could have done about it. Of course your people would be burning effigies and killing innocent Westerners on the streets. And like Iran, you would have become an out and out Mullah regime to seek unity. Chest thumping sounds nice. But in reality, your nation is made up of cowards mostly who can switch sides. Your system survives by double dealing, back stabbing and slipping out. That is how this war has been dragged on. Your ancestors survived the same way by switching sides with Arabs, then Turks, Mongols and the British. And not much has changed even today.

“It shows this country has the potential to become a super power one day.”

A super power is not defined by military might. A super power forms by all round development, especially in terms of economy. Otherwise one can say North Korea is a super power. It ain’t. But your nation does have the potential to become a North Korea.

“The US was not a super power from the begining, it went through civil wars and many other turbulent times. Today the US is super power because it shares minimum borders, is far away from Atlantic and Europe, has control over world oceans and is a continental mass.”

Native Americans lived in the same set of conditions for probably forty thousand years. They never became a super power. The US became one because its people emigrated from Europe and brought with them the advanced culture in terms of democracy, education, law and order, accountability, technology, science and vision. Small countries from Europe could take over literally the rest of the world because of rapid advancement in technology and industrial growth. They too fought countless wars amongst themselves and kept advancing their weapons as a result.

“Lastly, if Taliban can defeat the greatest and most powerful fighting force on earth, it shows Taliban are also a force to be reckoned with.”

Staying under a deep burrow and coming out when the enemy is not looking cannot be considered as winning a war. The Americans came and fought the war in Taliban territory and not the other way around. And they honored the international boundaries of other nations around and did not run them over. If the American came in with a coherent approach and clear objectives, they would have wiped out the Taliban. They trusted the Pakistanis of all people and paid the price for it. Americans fell for deceit. And those who stab their allies from behind and switch allegiance to the enemy are cowards. They can never be winners in any war. Your country switched sides with the Americans in 2001. Now you are switching sides with the Taliban. Depending on who is gaining, your age old cultural traits are showing. Cowards. That’s all I can say.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

If Americans did not have a clear vision and strategy while attacking Afghanistan, I would call that lack of strategic planning. Just like when Musharraf was aked by the US to help it in Afghanistan, in return all corps commanders in the GHQ gave a green light to commander to play a double game with Americans. In this case, Pakistan, ISI and Taliban had a better strategic planning. I would say brave are those who won the war against the Soviets and now against the US. Cowards are those who failed to come up with superior strategic planning. Brave are those who had little to eat and less to defend but stood their ground against superior technology. Cowards lost despite all the technology at their disposal, because their cause was not justified.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Mortal
Is the American taxpayer still willing to support the President for another war? America needs to learn to fight its war alone.FYI Dutch troops already left Afghanistan, the war is over.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

I agree with you that the war in Afghanistan was grossly mis-managed & many strategic mistakes were made BUT the biggest mistake made, was to trust Pakistan as a sincere & reliable ally. If we had an alert President in charge from the begining, instead of the idiot, who fell asleep at the wheel, things would have turned out quite differently. Anyways, as I’ve said before, your celebrations & chest-thumping is pre-mature as the game is not over yet and in the long haul, you’ll pay for the ‘double-game’ which you’re so proud of.

Regarding your question about the american tax-payer supporting another war, the american people will not support any unnecessary, meaningless and ill-planned war with any country/group. A vast majority of Americans believe that war should absolutely be the last option after diplomacy & all other means have failed. But having said that, 9/11 has taught us an important lesson & homeland security is also a top-most priority for us. We will always, wholeheartedly support any war targeting the forces/groups/nations which are a threat to the lives of americans here at home & elsewhere.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

yes 1971 was bad year for us. here is Bharat Mata ki history

Ghaznavid Empire 963–1187
Mamluk dynasty 1206-1290
Khilji dynasty 1290-1320
Tughlaq dynasty 1320-1413
Sayyid dynasty 1414-1451
Lodhi dynasty 1451-1526
Mughal Empire 1526–1858
Durrani Empire 1747–1823
British Empire 1800-1947
Pakistan 1948
China 1962
Bangladesh 1972
Sri Lanka 1990
Kashmir 2011

Posted by tupak_shakir | Report as abusive
 

Can you guys please take this juvenile trash-yapping elsewhere

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Umair: “If Americans did not have a clear vision and strategy while attacking Afghanistan, I would call that lack of strategic planning. Just like when Musharraf was aked by the US to help it in Afghanistan, in return all corps commanders in the GHQ gave a green light to commander to play a double game with Americans. In this case, Pakistan, ISI and Taliban had a better strategic planning.”

Americans did not have any planning. It was a half hearted and confused effort right from the beginning. The Bush administration had to take on Afghanistan attack because of the emotions following 9/11. They were working on Saddam Hussein right from the time when Bush became President. Afghanistan was an unnecessary distraction thrust on their strategic plans towards Iraq. They went to Iraq to protect their masters in Saudi Arabia and servants in Israel. With two stones they killed one bird. In the meantime, the wily Musharraf used his jackal like cleverness to working with the Americans and against them.

“I would say brave are those who won the war against the Soviets and now against the US.”

I am amazed by your distortion of facts. Afghans could never have defeated the Soviets. Soviets had run over all the Central Asian Muslim states and ruled them over for more than sixty years until they imploded. Afghans had nothing to fight the Soviets with. It was the US that fought them with their weapons and Afghans, unlike Pakistanis, used those weapons and strategies laid out by the CIA to derail the Soviets. It was really not a defeat in the real sense. The conflict was simply sustained, preventing the Soviets from settling down. Their coffers went empty in the bargain and they sounded a retreat. When a country defeats another country, there are prisoners of war from the defeated nation. And a declaration of surrender is signed by the defeated party. If you remember, your General Niazi signed one in Dacca in 1971. And India held 70000 prisoners of war. Now that is defeat. Let me know how many Soviet prisoners did Afghan hold after the “defeat” in that war. Also show me where a Russian general signed a declaration of surrender. Defeat is clear and is accepted by the parties in conflict. The Soviets simply left the place. The Americans will do the same because they are simply wasting their time and resources in this region. Just be hiding underground until they leave does not equate to victory. Usually cowards do that. Criminals also do that. This does not mean cowards or criminals get to declare victory. And cowards quickly rewrite history with lies.

“Cowards are those who failed to come up with superior strategic planning. Brave are those who had little to eat and less to defend but stood their ground against superior technology.”

Those who lack clear strategy do not become cowards. Americans are the aggressors here. They are ones hunting their enemy around. They are outside. Your “brave” warriors ran away from Afghanistan and dived into caves and into Pakistan. Those who run away from the battle to hide are no brave warriors. Anyone who hides and waits for the enemy to leave is an absolute coward. Hiding underground is not equal to standing one’s ground. Get your head checked.

“Cowards lost despite all the technology at their disposal, because their cause was not justified.”

Americans and their supporters haven’t lost anything. Interestingly it is your Pakistani soldiers who died in large numbers compared to the coalition soldiers. This means Pakistan is the losing party based on head counts. Pakistan had to sacrifice more soldiers to survive the onslaught of the searching Americans. Corruption, bribery, double dealing, back tracking etc are not signs of true warriors. They are the characteristics of absolute cowards who jump ship as soon as they see an opportunity arises.

Jackals and Hyenas which mostly survive by scavenging can never become lions. Even if the lions miss their target, they are still lions. Go read about Daulat Khan from your Punjab region when Zahiruddin Muhammad Babar came in from Samarkhand. Babur placed two swords around his neck – one for betraying him and one for betraying his enemy Ibrahim Lodhi in Delhi. And that heritage has continued to this day in your Pakistan.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Mortal1 said:

> Can you guys please take this juvenile trash-yapping elsewhere

I second that. If your comment is of the “We’re great, you’re crap” variety, please do us all a favour and refrain from posting it. The rest of us have got the message by now.

If you have something constructive to add, do so. Gentle leg-pulling should be admissible too, and everyone should recognise it as such. Americans and Canadians rib each other all the time, as do Australians and Kiwis. In neither case is there anything but good-natured humour involved. Let’s build an atmosphere where Indians and Pakistanis can pull each others’ legs but avoid hate speech. It achieves nothing in any case.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

(Comment lost – reposting)

Mortal1 said:

> Can you guys please take this juvenile trash-yapping elsewhere

I second that. If your comment is of the “We’re great, you’re crap” variety, please do us all a favour and refrain from posting it. The rest of us have got the message by now.

If you have something constructive to add, do so. Gentle leg-pulling should be admissible too, and everyone should recognise it as such. Americans and Canadians rib each other all the time, as do Australians and Kiwis. In neither case is there anything but good-natured humour involved. Let’s build an atmosphere where Indians and Pakistanis can pull each others’ legs but avoid hate speech. It achieves nothing in any case.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

The war in Afghanistan has resulted in hundreds of thousads of deaths of innocent people. the country is ravaged. The American objective was to eliminate the terror network from that soil which was done immediately after the invasion in 2001. The subsequent objective of bringing democracy tothat country is non acheivable. So the american and other strategists must not waste their time and resources in persuing the lofty objectives. the best course is to accept the reality and leave the afghanistan by forming a representative government under the un. All stake holders should sit together and let the peace pervail in that unfortunate ciuntry. The proxies must finish.

Posted by Tanjeer | Report as abusive
 

This thread has gone beyond ridiculous.

Getting back to the topic, a few interesting points that Myra has highlighted.

1) Perception – The topic says it all. Certain Pakistani politicians have been adamantly pushing for negotiations for a while now. When PTI chief Imran Khan said the same thing in 2004 – 2005, he was derided by Musharaf as ‘Taliban Khan’. Anybody suggesting negotiations with the insurgents was branded as an Islamist. Anybody having contacts with them was said to be ‘supporting’ them. Today, the very same contacts are being utilized by the US for its own ends. How times have changed indeed.

2) Al-qaeda – This is a tricky one and I’ve read mixed reports on this issue. Some suggest that elements of Al-qaeda have merged wholesale with the insurgents e.g. Brigade 055 which allegedly transformed itself into the ‘Lashkar-al-Zil’.

Other reports suggest that, barring a few top level planners, the bulk of Al-qaeda has more or less evacuated from this region because their primary aim is neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan. Their primary aim is the Arabian Peninsula and the areas close to the Red Sea. Hence the recent troubles in Somalia, Yemen etc. The most important question from the US point of view will be whether the insurgents will ‘publicly’ renounce whatever contact they may still have with AQ.

3) Legitimacy – The current de-listing is a very small but critical step towards a settlement. The legitimacy offered by this move is not directly for the insurgents. Rather it is for ‘negotiations with the insurgents’. The insurgents themselves will get direct legitimacy when (and if) the ‘ongoing’ negotiations come out to the public in more detail or when active members of the insurgency are de-listed.

4) Motivation – The most important question Myra has raised is whether the insurgents will negotiate at all given they have almost no real reason to do so. Operation Mushtaraq was a failure. The success of other ongoing operations is also unclear. So the question that people should be asking is “What leverage (if any) does the US actually have over them i.e. what can the US offer that the Talibs actually need?

I’ve repeatedly heard the assertion that the Talibs crave legitimacy and recognition. The question is, from whom exactly. Do they need this from the Afghans themselves or from the US? Moreover, is this assertion accurate?

The Talibs allegedly control more land area today, then they did before 9-11. For an insurgency, this would be impossible if they were not viewed as ‘legitimate’ by the Afghan people themselves (Mao’s dictum on guerilla warfare).

A lack of ‘overt’ recognition from the US may be irrelevant to the insurgents considering the fact that the US directly dealt with the Talibs in the past even though they did not recognize the government of the Talibs. Moreover, this overt recognition and legitimacy may be impossible for the US to offer today, considering its domestic politics and media opposition.

So what is it that the US can actually offer to the Talibs? Does it have any leverage over them at all?

Posted by Shuqaib.Bhutto | Report as abusive
 

Some people have short memories. The USA has never won a war on their own, ok Panama was an exception. The loss of pozer by the USA would be slow, like the death of an elephant, but their loss of power is a sad story and then at the hands of a rag tag Pashtoon fighters so called talibans, if only one could persuade them to negotiate so that there is an honourable exit for the yankee marines, after all they had a famous name even after the defeat in vietnam. Mr Macchrystel will be remembered in history as the first General who left his army respectfully rather than sacrificing them for clowns, the general.s words, not mine.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

There is no point to have any sort of discussion between the Indian and Pakistani bloggers. Have they not discussed their problems for the last several centuries? Even the mediaters have failed and are no longer live in this world. Both countries have only one choice left to disregard the existance of each other and try to forget the whole episode. There are real problems in other parts of the world, and thery need to be addressed instead of involving other govts in the chronic dispute of kashmir etc. Let us assume for a second that Pakistan sels its borders with a concrete wall, does any one think that the Indian leaders would be satisfied, no sir, they would be stiil concerned with the fate of Baluchis and the Punjabis and the Pashtoons and the afghans and the chinese and the Pakistan relation with the Brits and the USA etc etc. The story of interfearance in domestic and foreign policies of Pakistan would remain in the forefront of the Indian domestic and foreign policies. Pakistans existance provides the vitamins for the Indians to nourish themselves. A polite or an impolite debate is not going to resolve the basic issues. So my advice would be to try and discuss the issue without involvement of the Indian and Pakistani issues. Their policies have created a resistance within their countries and this is going to continue until the time that their domestic policies change.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

You flatter yourself if you think India is obsessed with Pakistan. If it wasnt for the people dying in India at the hands of terrorism exported from Pakistan India would just ignore Pakistan which is filled with gun toting extremists and whose economy produces nothing of significance. It cracks me up when Pakistan claims India is interested in invading and occupying Pakistan.Other than the paranoid Pakistan Army which is bent of avenging their defeat in their wars with India I doubt that the average Pakistani believes it either. Infact if it wasnt for the Pakistan Army there would have been peace between India and Pakistan eons ago.

Posted by abrahavt | Report as abusive
 

Rex Minor,

Once again you enlighten us on just how totally and completely out of touch you are with the Indian reality. The Indian reality to-day instead of being one which “The story of interfearance in domestic and foreign policies of Pakistan would remain in the forefront of the Indian domestic and foreign policies.” It is the very opposite.

Anyhow, as you say, there is no point in trying to even begin a discussion on this either with a Pakistani or erstwhile Pakistani. But, for the record, Pakistan is way down there in general discussions amongst the average India. Not that it makes a difference to you I am sure.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

“There is no point to have any sort of discussion between the Indian and Pakistani bloggers” Rex Minor

At least on this we are agreed.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

@Umair

“Pakistan has the potential to become a superpower one day”

–>I agree, maybe in 10,000 years and once all the glaciers have melted.

Right now IMF and other central banks own Pakistan. As well, you Pakistani’s have sold-off and mortaged huge amounts of your country as collateral, in other words, outsiders own Pakistan. You have no way of paying the debt back. Russia paid its debts because it has oil and sold it high.

What do you have? Shan Masala? Cotton T-shirts? Sorry Umair, super powers have manufacturing, minerals, a fairly educated population, a well governed nation with a strong central civilian authority that has control over the army, not the other way around and above all, a good worth ethic, which is lacking in Pakistan. You may learn good work ethic from Indians.

Pakistan’s method of funding its economy is by blackmailing countries with money, using militantism and terrorism, that is one major source of income to upgrade its military and undermine India and Afghanistan through proxy terrorism.

@Tupak Shakir,

Tupak, all men are great in their dreams, reality narrows the competition.

It is best you divorce yourself from the insane asylum and face the fact that Pakistan has not truly become a functioning country.

All of your hateful ramblings just underscore your jeolousy towards the success and respect that Indians have achieved and the goodwill built with Afghans.

Don’t worry about kashmir, it will be free, they will have a plebescite and Pakistan will have to vacate kashmir too by complying with 1948 UN resolutions and an independent third party will confirm all actions to ensure undue bias threats and duress by Pakistan is not inflicted upon kashmiri’s.

Just because you have been told the universe and every grain of sand in it belongs to you, that does not mean its true.

You forgot the 2012 deadline, in which Balochistan will become a sovereign and free nation and the Pashtoons will return to their families in Afghanistan, redrawing the Durand line, leaving Pakistan consisting mostly only of Punjab and Sindh.

Let Kashmir be the domino to free Pashtoons, Balochis and others that want to be free from the oppression of Pakistani punjabi raj.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings : By Anwaar Hussain

http://truthspring.info/2010/07/01/my-na me-is-ozymandias-king-of-kings/

The article outlines everything that has gone wrong in the ‘War of Terror’. It is especially relevant to whats been going on in Afghanistan.

Posted by Shuqaib.Bhutto | Report as abusive
 

Umair, Shakir,

You guys have to understand that most of the time, India has always taken the higher road.

When you take the higher road, you can’t go wrong, most of the time. You take the lower road, you will always be on the wrong side.

I still say unequivocally that Pakistan and India MUST have peace.

Kashmir should be settled with a plebescite, but in the proper manner. If Kashmiri’s independently choose to stay with India, so be it, if PoK Kashmiri’s independently choose to be an integral part of Pakistan, so be it.

The status quo of exporting militantism is not working any more for Pakistan, but is in fact creating blow back and this is the fire that will set Pakistan on fire, if it does not take the high road.

You can keep your nukes, keep your army your F-16′s and such and you will never have to use them, if you make peace with India. Peace should not be seen as a sign of some sort of defeat for the Sunni Empire. Peace is something everbody in the world there wants.

If Pakistan makes true peace, you don’t need NATO in Afghanistan and Kashmir can be free. But a filthy few at the core of Pakistan’s elite are the biggest roadblock to peace, as they are relentlessly pursuing their own ambitions, while destroying Pakistan’s true potential.

As I said earlier, there is no reason why India cannot share with Pakistan, as long as Pakistan unclenches its fist, quits militantism and dirty politics.

Pakistan must unclench its fist, take the higher road and many good things will come its way.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

@”Let us assume for a second that Pakistan sels its borders with a concrete wall, does any one think that the Indian leaders would be satisfied, no sir,…”
Posted by pakistan

I agree. India’s obsession with Pakistan is well known. It’s hardly a secret that India created numerous terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Hind & Jaish-e-Krishna to infiltrate into Pakistan & kill Pakistanis. There’s also concrete evidence that India has been behind numerous terror attacks in Pakistani cities over the course of the last few decades, including the one in 2008 when 10 Indians entered Karachi via sea from Mumbai & killed 165 civilians.

As always, you make a lot of sense :)

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

@Pakistan,

At the end of the day, we Indians just want to be left alone in peace, no more Islamic terrorism or further terrorism of any kind.

If you Pakistani’s are willing to seal your borders with 100 foot high concrete walls along the LOC and other borders, we will rejoice in joy, if that is what it takes to keep your trouble out of our country.

As said earlier, peace is always preferable, but I do not think you Pakistani muslims want peace, you want war, you want to kill hindus, genocide and convert as many as you can by force, intimidation or the sword and we want to keep this sort of thing out.

There have been many offers and olive branches to you Pakistani’s but the dirty games never stop from Islamabad, the lying and double dealing never stops.

You jokers keep talking about national interests, well isn’t peace a national interest?….NO its not…when the Army runs everything…all these Fauji’s know is how to kill, that is their purpose, not peace, otherwise Punjabi’s and Fauji’s would be out of a job….God forbid if peace ever came between India and Pakistan…Pakistani Army would be largely unemployed and useless.

Prolonged continual low level war with India and war with the west suits the punjabi mafia fauji’s business model niche.

You Fauji’s keep your wallets filled with extorted cash from the IMF and the west to keep your power, while you can offer nothing to the average Pakistani except good cricket and religion to fill their bellies at night.

Peace with India is the biggest fear for the PA, because it means and end to their paycheques.

Umair, if it means that Pakistan can significantly progress, educate its youth properly, improve its economy have a solid peace treaty with India and get rid of militantism, do you think it is worthwhile for the Punjabi’s to step aside, get the fxxk out of the way and give real peace a chance?

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

@Mortal1

You are right, India is the root cause of all evils from the beginning of time. India even controls the weather, the planets, the rivers and all things evil.

How pathetic.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

OH BTW…

Peace is a two way street. As Manmohan singh said, India willing to go more than half way for peace, if Pakistan wants it.

I look forward to the day, when I can goto Lahore, my mother’s birth city, where I can enjoy some Kebab’s, paratha and tons of food, in Lahori size portions. You can take the Lahori out of Lahore, but you can never take the Lahore out of the Lahori.

India will always take the higher road and ask for peace from pakistan, but Pakistan must deliver on its end, wholly and fully, openly and honestly, with no lying, backdoor militant BS.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

@Mortal1
Jaish-e-Krishna, ROFL! I can see that getting over-subscribed in Gujrat within minutes!

Jai-Shri-Krishna,
Seth

Posted by Seth | Report as abusive
 

Mortal1 said:

> I agree. India’s obsession with Pakistan is well known. It’s hardly a secret that India created numerous terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Hind & Jaish-e-Krishna to infiltrate into Pakistan & kill Pakistanis. There’s also concrete evidence that India has been behind numerous terror attacks in Pakistani cities over the course of the last few decades, including the one in 2008 when 10 Indians entered Karachi via sea from Mumbai & killed 165 civilians.

LOL

In that vein, I believe it all started with that fanatic Gandhi who said, “I will stop eating grass (he was a vegetarian) until we get nuclear weapons.” But the basic, underlying reason for all the tension is that the Hindu (sorry, Hindoo) concept of Karma, which devious Hindoos spin as a cosmic law of consequences, is actually a thinly veiled exhortation to the faithful to go out and ‘do unto others as they have done unto you’. The preaching happens in an epicentre of terrorism called Madras, and when the international uproar became too much, the Hindoos just renamed it to Chennai and continued as before. The Karmists will not live in peace with those who perform actions. The obvious fear in Pakistan is that once they start trade with the Hindoos, it won’t stop!

One more thing. The Hindoos refuse to kill their holy cows, and the resulting unsustainable bovine flatulence is causing global warming which dries up the Indus and will turn Pakistan into a desert within a few years. This is the existential threat that India poses to Pakistan.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

@“Cowards lost despite all the technology at their disposal, because their cause was not justified.”
–Umairpk

–Then why have you been asking 100 times over the Reuters that Pakistan must be give the status of a “true ally” for this war to succeed. want to be a partner in crime in an unjust cause? Huh?

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

RexMInor:

@@”Let us assume for a second that Pakistan sels its borders with a concrete wall, does any one think that the Indian leaders would be satisfied, no sir,…”
Posted by pakistan

—What you said about “concrete wall” is based upon your baseless “assumption”. On the other hand, let me tell you the fact about Pakistani obsession with India.

To stop infiltrators from Pakistan into India (during Punjab militancy and into Kashmir), India put up high-voltage barbed wire across Indo-Pak border (if u fly in the night u will see the floodlights separating India-Pak) in a small region. Infiltrators from pakistan often try to cut the wire and perish. Talking about obsession, ISI got worried and was planning to construct tunnels under the electric wire during miltancy in Punjab lol.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

Mortal1 said:

> It’s hardly a secret that India created numerous terrorist groups like [...] Jaish-e-Krishna

Jai Sri Krishna! That was so subtle I didn’t get it the first time :-) .

Indian commenters have now started deploying a weapon called irony which threatens to destabilise the blogosphere…

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

@”Jai Sri Krishna! That was so subtle I didn’t get it the first time”

To be honest, even I didn’t realize it until I read it. A good accident, nevertheless!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

I have come to a conclusion, India itself I mean a majority of its people the regular folks are not bad. But unfortunately it seems that India is afterall an enemy of Pakistan. It would do anything to harm Pakistan, today they potray themselves as no threat to Pakistan, maybe because Pakistan military is capable to fight off any aggression. But in reality, sad reality there seems to be a permanent threat from India.
Even if this is not reality and just a perception, it needs to be changed. Until both nations live peacefully nothing will improve.

G-W: Nothing stops u from visiting Lahore, it is a welcoming place and if u get a chance do come and enjoy the hospitality and openness of Lahoris.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Typical Indian responses:
1. Always accuse pakistan of terrorism.
2. East Pakistan accusation of genocide.
3. Bringing trouble in Kashmir.

Above are characteristics of a patriotic Indian. An Indian is not a true Indian if he does not hold the above views.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

@”Typical Indian responses: 1. Always accuse pakistan of terrorism.”
Posted by Umairpk

Not just Indians, pretty much everyone accuses Pakistan of terrorism these days, simply because it’s the truth. We were the pioneers but it has caught on.

“British PM accuses Pakistan of exporting terror”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/ 07/29/2967183.htm

@2. East Pakistan accusation of genocide.

Again, Not just Indians, pretty much the whole world has conclusively established that your army conducted a systematic genocide in east pakistan in 1971. BUT most importantly, the Bangladeshis themselves have acknowledged that your army genocided 3 million bengalis in East pakistan.

http://www.genocidebangladesh.org/

@3. Bringing trouble in Kashmir.

Why were Punjabi terrorist groups like LeT & JeM created & nurtured by your army? To do social work in Kashmir?

@”Above are characteristics of a patriotic Indian. An Indian is not a true Indian if he does not hold the above views.”

It has nothing to do with being patriotic and/or Indian. These are facts, plain & simple. If you have anything credible to refute these facts, please feel free to provide it. Otherwise, your comment would be looked as nothing more than hollow rhetoric.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

“G-W: Nothing stops u from visiting Lahore, it is a welcoming place and if u get a chance do come and enjoy the hospitality and openness of Lahoris.”

–>Quite honestly, I would be a little apprehensive to walk around, esp if people knew I was from India, or an Indian.

Although Punjabi language might get me out of most foibles, I am terrified that I might be mauled by an Islamic mob, perhaps a false blasphemy accusation can be enough to do that.

I would like to go, but the political climate is too hostile, especially all the anti-india stuff.

I will be an old man before I visit Lahore.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

(Comment lost – reposting)
Umairpk said:

> I have come to a conclusion, India itself I mean a majority of its people the regular folks are not bad.

Sincere thanks for saying that. I believe this is true of the majority of people on *both* sides of the border. In that case, more people-to-people contact is the only way to reduce mutual suspicion and build trust between the nations.

This very forum gives us an opportunity to exchange views in a frank and civil manner. It doesn’t mean we have to sweep issues under the carpet in order to be “nice”, but we can talk about controversial topics in a spirit of openness and refrain from being abusive.

> Even if this is not reality and just a perception, it needs to be changed. Until both nations live peacefully nothing will improve.

Once again, I would appeal to everyone on this forum to take this as the opportunity to change these negative perceptions. There is a very bright future for South Asia, and it cannot be realised until we can improve Pakistan-India relations.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Typical Indian responses:
“1. Always accuse pakistan of terrorism.
2. East Pakistan accusation of genocide.
3. Bringing trouble in Kashmir.

Above are characteristics of a patriotic Indian. An Indian is not a true Indian if he does not hold the above views.

Posted by Umairpk”

The solution then is to counter those views and prove them wrong.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

(Post failed – retrying)

Umairpk said:

> I have come to a conclusion, India itself I mean a majority of its people the regular folks are not bad.

Sincere thanks for saying that. I believe this is true of the majority of people on *both* sides of the border. In that case, more people-to-people contact is the only way to reduce mutual suspicion and build trust between the nations.

This very forum gives us an opportunity to exchange views in a frank and civil manner. It doesn’t mean we have to sweep issues under the carpet in order to be “nice”, but we can talk about controversial topics in a spirit of openness and refrain from being abusive.

> Even if this is not reality and just a perception, it needs to be changed. Until both nations live peacefully nothing will improve.

Once again, I would appeal to everyone on this forum to take this as the opportunity to change these negative perceptions. There is a very bright future for South Asia, and it cannot be realised until we can improve Pakistan-India relations.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

G-W said:

> Quite honestly, I would be a little apprehensive to walk around, esp if people knew I was from India, or an Indian.

From whatever I have heard, Indians who visit Pakistan are treated very warmly and leave with a good impression. This seems to be another unfortunate misperception that needs to be corrected.

Regards,
Ganesh

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

(Post lost – retrying)

Umairpk said:

> I have come to a conclusion, India itself I mean a majority of its people the regular folks are not bad.

Sincere thanks for saying that. I believe this is true of the majority of people on *both* sides of the border. In that case, more people-to-people contact is the only way to reduce mutual suspicion and build trust between the nations.

This very forum gives us an opportunity to exchange views in a frank and civil manner. It doesn’t mean we have to sweep issues under the carpet in order to be “nice”, but we can talk about controversial topics in a spirit of openness and refrain from being abusive.

> Even if this is not reality and just a perception, it needs to be changed. Until both nations live peacefully nothing will improve.

Once again, I would appeal to everyone on this forum to take this as the opportunity to change these negative perceptions. There is a very bright future for South Asia, and it cannot be realised until we can improve Pakistan-India relations.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

G-W

It is said that unless you go into the water you don’t know how deep it is, you are afraid to come to Lahore that is your incorrect perception. In reality you will feel at home, its a modern metropolitan city with a lot of cultural activities, welcoming people etc.
My advise get a Pak visa, jump on a flight, check yourself in a hotel and everything else will take care of itself. And if you have a foreign passport rather than Indian passport that makes it a lot easier to travel. On an Indian passport there is lot of hassle to travel to Pakistan and vice versa. But that does not mean Pakistan is unwelcome for Indian visitors, it has to do with bureaucratic red tape on visas etc. One of the initiatives of the “Aman ki Asha” has been to highlight the issue of visas, hurdles and limitations that divide families on both sides of the border who have to often celebrate weddings or mourn their dead without being close to their loved ones.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

G-W:
“I am terrified that I might be mauled by an Islamic mob, perhaps a false blasphemy accusation can be enough to do that.”

-Again that type of thing maybe holds true for Karachi because it is a huge city with all sorts of people. But Lahore is very different, if you hang out with the right people, you would find Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi to be modern, cultural, visitor friendly. Islamabad pretty much resembles wealthy Los Angeles neighbourhoods with luxury cars and beautiful houses and excellent roads. Now there are Mosques everywhere in Islamabad too but you will not find mobs with sticks and stones looking for infidels to kill them.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

This a good start. I’m generally supportive of at least talking to the Taliban. Nobody has ever lost anything by talking.

That said, this does not yet signal a change in the US game plan. But it might at least prevent a civil war and utter collapse when US/NATO forces exit the region.

As for Pakistan’s desire for influence, I actually think it’s not going to go so well if the Taliban come back to power. They’ll come back with a fresh sense of victory and new legitimacy (having dealt directly with the West instead of having Pakistan as a mediator). If they no longer need Pakistan, they’ll cut it off like a bad habit. And they might resort to at least some populist measures to shore up popular support. Ignoring the Durand line is a likely start.

Once they don’t need their Pakistani sanctuaries anymore or Pakistan’s assistance in dealing with the outside world, they’ll be less inclined to consider Pakistan’s point of view. The day is coming when Pakistanis are going to wish that Karzai was running the show.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

@”Above are characteristics of a patriotic Indian. An Indian is not a true Indian if he does not hold the above views” Posted by Umairpk

It has nothing to do with being Indian and/or patriotic. These are facts, plain & simple. Not just India but many countries are now openly accusing Pakistan of supporting selective terrorism (the British PM just did it last week) and regarding the east pakistan genocide also, not just India but pretty much the whole world (including Bangladeshis themselves) has conclusively established that your army conducted a genocide of millions in East Pakistan in 1971. As for the accusation of fomenting trouble in Kashmir, why did your army create & nurture terrorist outfits like LeT & JeM & infiltrate them into kashmir? To do social service there?

If you have anything credible to refute these facts, please feel free to provide it anytime.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

@Umair,

Likewise, I advise you to goto India and see it for yourself as well. There has been over billions spent on the new delhi airport and India has modernized quite a bit, despite the poverty and some throwback things that still go on there.

You have a much better chance at personal safety, being a muslim in India, than I do being a lone Hindu in Pakistan.

Very grateful for the welcome, but Pakistan is not in a security or political situation, where I would want to travel there.

If Pakistan wants to make peace, then it would be an entirely different story.

Pakistan would benefit greatly from the tourism, from all over the world, especially India.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan would benefit greatly from the tourism, from all over the world, especially India.

– why is everything about money with you all ?

Posted by tupak_shakir | Report as abusive
 

Umairpk said:

> But Lahore is very different, if you hang out with the right people, you would find Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi to be modern, cultural, visitor friendly. Islamabad pretty much resembles wealthy Los Angeles neighbourhoods with luxury cars and beautiful houses and excellent roads.

G-W said:
> Likewise, I advise you to goto India and see it for yourself as well. There has been over billions spent on the new delhi airport and India has modernized quite a bit, despite the poverty and some throwback things that still go on there.

Guys, sorry to sound a discordant note here, but instead of talking about the broad roads and modern infrastructure that is now to be found, we should be concentrating on broad minds and modern thinking in the two countries. (Sorry if that sounds like a movie dialogue). As we have seen, that’s the biggest challenge to improving relations between our two countries.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Pakistani school seeks to turn boys from Taliban
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100804/ap_o n_re_as/as_pakistan_militant_children

Sharing a success story finally.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

@Guys, sorry to sound a discordant note here, but instead of talking about the broad roads and modern infrastructure that is now to be found, we should be concentrating on broad minds and modern thinking in the two countries. (Sorry if that sounds like a movie dialogue). As we have seen, that’s the biggest challenge to improving relations between our two countries.”
Ganesh Prasad

—-Ganesh, that was a nice front foot cover drive for four! Well played. :-)

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh,

I agree with you that broadening of minds in both countries, is certainly desirable but I think that free movement of people on both sides, resulting in direct physical contact, will go a long way towards dispensing the false notions & perceptions, prevalent in both counries. I can say it from personal experience (& I believe that many living in foreign countries will attest to it) that once Indians & Pakistanis get directly in touch with each other, they realize that they have far more similarities than differences & this helps in understanding each other’s POV and breaking the barriers.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Pakistanis are extremely hospitable to Indians. We were hospitable to indian cricket fans. ask any sikh pilgrim about pakistanis.

We wish no ill will towards Indian people. We have issues with your governments policy towards our kinfolk in kashmir and our territory.

Other than that, we wish you no harm and no ill will. this is a fact that your refuse to accept.

Posted by mirusmtupsha | Report as abusive
 

@ We were hospitable to indian cricket fans. ask any sikh pilgrim about pakistanis.
Posted by mirusmtupsha

What you say, used to be true till a few years ago. Being a sikh, I know plenty of sikhs who travel to pakistan to visit the holy shrines & they tell me that the security situation there has been getting worse in the last 4-5 yrs & they don’t feel safe to travel there anymore. Many have dropped their plans to go there & wait till things get better.

Posted by jordan23 | Report as abusive
 

After the lovely treatment of the Sri Lankan cricket team, I’d be skeptical if any Westerner or Indian or Jew (the favourite targets of Islamists) are truly safe and eligible for Pakistani hospitality.

In any event, the security situation is such that most employers aren’t willing to risk employees travelling to Pakistan and I doubt too many people fancy Pakistan as a vacation hotspot (though I hear skiing used to be fantastic in Swat).

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

@We have issues with your governments policy towards our kinfolk in kashmir and our territory.

Other than that, we wish you no harm and no ill will. this is a fact that your refuse to accept.
Posted by mirusmtupsha

—I diasgree that Kashmir belongs to you. your long list where you mention the Mughal dynasties “raping Bharat Mata” is an evidence that Kashmir does not belong to you. Now do you want to include “raped Kashmir” in your list?

@kinfolk in kashmir— oh Puhleeze. drop it.

Because:
1. by saying kinfolks, you are excluding Kashmiri minorities–Hindus, Sikhs annd Budhists out of the equation. That is not what kashmiriyat all about.

2. Kashmiris which you talk about (muslims) have kinfolks in India–14% of India’s population and about the size of Pakistan.

3. what u said “our land” suggests u approve of “Kashmir banega Pakistan” and kashmiris disapprove that.

kashmir solution will happen but not to fulfill your wet dreams. so keep dreaming and pass the dreams to your generations.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

@We have issues with your governments policy towards our kinfolk in kashmir and our territory.

Other than that, we wish you no harm and no ill will. this is a fact that your refuse to accept.
Posted by mirusmtupsha

—I diasgree that Kashmir belongs to you.

>> who cares what you think?

your long list where you mention the Mughal dynasties “raping Bharat Mata”

>> I said nothing of r_pe, this is appears to be a Freudian slip on your part. This also proves your historic baggage causing your stubborn, irrational stance to deprive kashmiris.

is an evidence that Kashmir does not belong to you.

>> If nehru hadn’t blown moutbatten, you would not have gurduspur and no real geographical access to kashmir. You have no cultural affinity to kashmiris.

Now do you want to include “raped Kashmir” in your list?

— don’t hold kashmir responsible for what my ancestors did.

@kinfolk in kashmir— oh Puhleeze. drop it.

>> Script, language, race, features, religion, poetry — what do tamils have in common with kashmiris?

Because:
1. by saying kinfolks, you are excluding Kashmiri minorities–Hindus, Sikhs annd Budhists out of the equation.

>> Kashmiri Hindus betrayed kashmiriyat by, collaborating with the SD’s to oppress and massacre the kashmiris.

That is not what kashmiriyat all about.

2. Kashmiris which you talk about (muslims) have kinfolks in India–14% of India’s population and about the size of Pakistan.

3. what u said “our land” suggests u approve of “Kashmir banega Pakistan” and kashmiris disapprove that.

>> they do now but not when you stole from my newly born nation on the basis of a worthless piece of document.

kashmir solution will happen but not to fulfill your wet dreams.

>> many oppressors infinitely mightier than your mughal-gifted repulic of India have said the same and perished.

so keep dreaming and pass the dreams to your generations.

>> and you be sure to warn your future generations of our intentions.

Peace.

Posted by mirusmtupsha | Report as abusive
 

May be this will cool you down about your respect for poetry and poets.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/colu mnists/jawed-naqvi-the-waning-romance-of -an-idea-970

Artists like Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Saadat Hassan Manto, Zia Sarhad, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Ustad Daman, Quratulain Haider are some of the names that went to Pakistan and languished in jails or fled back to India.

India has one example–MF Hussain driven out of country by certain allegations and pending court cases (not going into the details). But guess what he chose Kuwait over Pakistan.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

@ If nehru hadn’t blown moutbatten, you would not have gurduspur and no real geographical access to kashmir. You have no cultural affinity to kashmiris.”
–Posted by mirusmtupsha

—Want to play with “if”? If arrogant Jinnah had shown a foresight, Milllions would have been alive today.
If you “aunt” had ba_ls, you would call her “uncle”

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

—Want to play with “if”? If arrogant Jinnah had shown a foresight, Milllions would have been alive today.

>> he tried but hindus like you wanted a hindu-raj over an expansive territory conquered by muslims, inherited by the british.

If you “aunt” had ba_ls, you would call her “uncle”

>> even by rajeev’s standards, this is a do_uchey comeback.

Posted by mirusmtupsha | Report as abusive
 

conquered? You meant looted and plundered?

Jinnah was craving for power and his only way to achieve that was at the cost of million lives. He went for it. His soul (where ever that may be) is surely haunted by every person who died during the partition.

Posted by Seth | Report as abusive
 

@ he tried but hindus like you wanted a hindu-raj over an expansive territory conquered by muslims, inherited by the british.”
–Posted by mirusmtupsha

—-”conquered” invaded (ok, not raped!). This is what I have being saying. if Kashmir is given to Pakistan on a platter, your generations will also say the same that Pakistan conquered Kashmir.

So mughals conquered and Brits inherited? lol..what is your sensitivity abt NOT saying Brits kicked your ancestor’s Mughal ass, the way Mughals did to Indians of that time.

@Inherited–Is that the reason people like you expect that the keys of Hindustan should have been handed over to them when Brits left in 1947. Then you should vacate Pakistan the land where Ranjeet Singh ruled over his Sikh Kingdom with Lahore as his capital for ~50 yrs. He had driven Muslim rulers/Afghans of his time and Brits did not step into his kingdom until he was alive.

I wish Pakistan could have gone back to Akbar’s days instead of worse than Aurangzeb’s days.

Posted by RAJEEVK1 | Report as abusive
 

We should give money, weaponry and recognition to three or more Taliban leaders and just wait for them to destroy each other. Simple, inexpensive, and effective.

Posted by breezinthru | Report as abusive
 

The rats have started leaving the sinking ship. A good news, but be careful the USA military is still there in force most probably to find a place in the neighbouring country.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

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