Pakistan-India; a $5 million downpayment on a peace initiative

August 23, 2010

tentsHistorical parallels can be misleading, so I am a little bit wary of reading too much into a comparison between the devastating cyclone which hit then East Pakistan in 1970 and the current floods in Pakistan. But on the surface the similarities are there.

In 1970, the Pakistani government was criticised for not doing enough to help the victims of the Bhola cyclone, exacerbating tensions between the western and eastern wings of the country ahead of a civil war in which East Pakistan broke away to become Bangladesh. In 2010, the Pakistani government has been criticised for not doing enough to help the victims of the floods; potentially exacerbating tensions between the ruling elite and the poor — usually the first to suffer in a natural disaster. At the same time the country is fighting what is effectively a civil war against Islamist militants, for whom poverty and alienation provide a fertile breeding ground.

At the very least, you can say that big natural disasters have unpredictable consequences. For that reason I’m reluctant to start speculating about the long term consequences of the floods, although the Indian blog, The Acorn, has made a pretty good stab at it here. And you can also say that the response of India will be crucial.

 In 1971, India backed the Bengali separatists, inflicting a humiliating military defeat on Pakistan, forcing its army to surrender at Dhaka and taking 90,000 Pakistani prisoners-of-war. Whatever the rights and wrongs of that war – and there are many – Pakistan’s narrative memory of India exploiting its weakness in a civil war to split the country in two continues to inform its thinking about its much bigger neighbour to this day. So what happens in 2010?

The question — at least as posed to me from a Pakistani perspective – is this. Will India show its sincerity towards peace by helping Pakistan recover from the biggest natural disaster in its history? Or will India take advantage of Pakistan’s current vulnerability to impose its will on Kashmir? It is a question which is at once haunted by the ghosts of 1971, and infused with an optimism that history does not have to repeat itself.

So far the signs are reasonably promising. Pakistan has accepted an offer of $5 million flood aid from India (think America taking aid from Iran or vice versa to understand the significance of this).  India is also pledging to do more to help rebuild Pakistan. India and Pakistan, said Indian ambassador to the United Nations  Hardeep Singh Puri, shared the same history, topography, land mass and river systems.  The South Asian region was prone to natural disasters and, throughout it, the vagaries of nature continued to take a heavy tool of human lives and material losses. “We share the pain and agony and fully understand the trauma and suffering that our Pakistani brethren are living through,” he said.

At the same time, two of the big issues (Kashmir and water) which India and Pakistan traditionally blame on each other have been shown to be caused - at least partially – by problems within.  In Kashmir, a fresh wave of protests led by Kashmiri youths throwing stones has displaced the standard Indian view of the Kashmir revolt as one fuelled almost entirely by Pakistan-backed gunmen and bombers.  For the first time in years, the talk is of a need for a settlement on Kashmir which acknowledges that Kashmiri separatism has indigenous roots. In Pakistan, its problems with water management have been shown to go far beyond the much talked about threat of India manipulating the rivers which flow from its side of the border.  Both countries have had their assumptions challenged; both therefore have the potential for a change in mindset which might make talks easier.

The Pakistan Army has also been steadily reassessing the threat from Islamist militants after seeing many of its own killed fighting them, and after a wave of bombings which extended right into the country’s heartland Punjab province.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency now sees the threat from Islamist militants as bigger than that posed by the Indian Army.  That is not terribly surprising to anyone who has been following the gradual evolution in Pakistan’s thinking towards militants it once backed to counter India. It also does not mean that the perceived threat from India has suddenly got smaller – army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has been quoted as saying he looks at capabilities rather than intentions. It just suggests the perceived threat from militants has become bigger. But it does, again, offer the possibility of a change in mindset.

So if India really does intend to do more to help Pakistan, what are the next steps?

In an op-ed in the Times of India, Swaminathan Aiyar suggests the Indian Army should unilaterally withdraw from the border in Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

“This will pose no military risk whatsoever: flood-stricken Pakistan cannot possibly embark on military adventures against India,” he writes. “But the withdrawal of Indian troops will mean that the Pakistan Army loses all excuses to avoid diverting manpower and financial resources from the border to flood relief and rehabilitation. This will cost India nothing, yet will release very large resources within Pakistan. Its impact on the Pakistani psyche will be significant. Even analysts who distrust Pakistan agree widely that India has no alternative to diplomatic engagement: cutting off ties will not win any minds and hearts there. Unilateral withdrawal will itself be a form of engagement, and will encourage other forms.”

Secondly, judging from comments I’ve heard repeatedly from Pakistani officials, India would also need to be seen to be actively trying to find a solution to Kashmir. The fear is always that India benefits from the status quo and will allow the Kashmir dispute to fester as long as it takes until everyone else – Pakistan and the Kashmiri people – are ground down and give up.  The response to that has been that India must be forced to negotiate on Kashmir through the use of violence. I know I’m simplifying here for the sake of brevity, but having heard all the arguments on all sides, if India were to actively seek a solution on Kashmir at a time when Pakistan is at its most vulnerable, it could go a long way to changing mindsets that only force will convince it to negotiate.

Thirdly, there is the potential for trade through more open borders which could do more to revitalise Pakistan’s economy than any amount of foreign aid. But that is a tricky one – when it comes to financial gain countries tend to get very ruthless about promoting their own interests through trade, the British East India Company being an early case in point.  For an indication of which way the wind is blowing, do watch how New Delhi responds to any European Union initiative to lower tariffs on Pakistani textile exports since this is one where India’s own textile industry could be undercut.

Finally, both countries desperately need to cooperate on climate change and water management. Both stand to suffer from the combined effects of melting Himalayan glaciers which feed their rivers and over-population which stretch (usually) scarce water resources.  And both have been at risk of fighting their next war over water for so long that it has been drifting into the dangerous territory of inevitability.

India and Pakistan have not done terribly well in trying to make peace so far – a meeting between their foreign ministers in July ended in acrimony. But they are trying to engage with each other and pick up the pieces of a peace process shattered by the November 2008 attack on Mumbai by Pakistan-based militants. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani – who are the ones who are really driving the dialogue process - could have an opportunity to talk on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September. We will probably see then whether the floods in Pakistan have had a lasting impact on its relationship with India.

And in the meantime, for the pessimists out there, here is a line I noticed in the Wikipedia entry for the Bhola cyclone. I have not had time to check this beyond Wikipedia, and it is probably contested like everything else about the 1971 war. But it reads: “India became one of the first nations to offer aid to Pakistan, despite the generally poor relations between the two countries, and by the end of November had pledged $1.3 million (1970 USD, $6.9 million 2007 USD) of assistance for the relief efforts.”

It’s an entry crying out for an aphorism. ”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Comments

@rehmat
“BJP has blood on its hands (Gujarat riots)”

So does Cong (Punjab), SP, BSP (frequent riotings in UP), Left (Bengal) have blood on their hands….i dont know of any major political party in India that do not has blood on its hands. I guess that represents the mentality of average Indian society in general. Each party becomes big by shedding blood. And if shedding blood results in getting bigger then it is a matter of concern for average Indians and we need to change our fundamental thinking.

But still we have to choose someone so we should choose wisely. And in Gujrat BJP has done quit a lot of development since then and that is far far more than that done by any party in any other state in India. So blood stains will remain but as we have been all saying in this post that history cannot be changed but future can be shaped. So let us shape a better future.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
” From Pakistan (and India also) POV, BJP must be credited for starting Indo-Pak peace deal (Vajpayee-Musharraf)”

More so from India’s POV for bringing peace to valley that once brits called heaven on earth.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

777xxx777 said: @So does Cong (Punjab), SP, BSP (frequent riotings in UP), Left (Bengal) have blood on their hands….i dont know of any major political party in India that do not has blood on its hand.
***Congress is culprit due to riots in Delhi and elsewhere and using Bhindranwale as an instrument to their use in first place.

without digressing anyfurther I agree all have blood on hands.

@And in Gujrat BJP has done quit a lot of development since then and that is far far more than that done by any party in any other state in India. So blood stains will remain but as we have been all saying in this post that history cannot be changed but future can be shaped. So let us shape a better future.”
*** Better economy/development is no bandaid for what happened in the past. Are you willing to elect leaders who kill minority and promote develeopment? I am not in their favor. Bad news is that Modi type guys will still do and that is the reason they are UNFIT to be national leaders. There is no place for a rightwing leader in PM office. BJP rose to power due to Babri Masjid but it was Vajpayee’s image that made that happen. He proved it by his attempts at India-Pak back channel talks on Kashmir and other efforts throughout.

Each party and its state and national leader has to prove that that they care for everyone, especially the minorities.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

Correction:

“Bad news is that Modi type guys will still do and that is the reason they are UNFIT to be IN POSITION OF POWER-NATIONAL AS WELL AS REGIONAL.”

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
“Each party and its state and national leader has to prove that that they care for everyone, especially the minorities”

I live in UP the state that has largest minority population in the whole of India. And for past 25 years every single party (including some of the hard core minority caring parties) have exploited the minority sentiment (as stated by you above) for fulfilling their own evil adventures. Tell me one thing why has no such “minority caring” party has ever raised any voice or pushed for any reform for education in muslims. Its an open truth in India about education penetration among muslims. You are yourself a well educated guy so tell me is there not need for serious reforms the way muslims get their education and has any of your minority caring parties have done anything in that direction. Is reservation WITHOUT infrastructure expansion the correct thing to do? Will this kind of measure lead to integration or disintegration of India? All Indian parties (including Congress and BJP) have just exploited minority caring sentiment probably because majority of the minority does not know themselves what kind of care do they need. Here in UP majority of muslims want everything except modern education…WHY? Why do muslims say that if something bad happened to any of them then it is because he/she is a muslim…why so much inferiority complex?? Why not modern education? Why not join mainstream and move on while keeping the religious faith intact? Why does religious faith comes in way of integrating with others and joining mainstream?? Only very small section of muslims have found answers to these questions and therefore have progressed very well. So it is responsibility of those muslims, who have reaped benefits of modern education, that they should spread awareness among other people of community to adopt modern education. Same goes for Hindus like SC,ST,OBC,etc. We already have laws against child labour and now RTE which are good. But reservation without capacity/infrastructure expansion will only lead to disaster and nothing else.

Even at times of Mauryan Empire in India we had universities like Taxila and people realised importance of education then why are we losing that realisation now???

Although I agree that what happened in Gujrat should NOT have happened and I condemn it in most ferocious ways and should not happen again (including Godhra train massacare). But look at Japan, US dropped bombs on Japan and after end of WWII Japan shook hands with US and look at them now. So there is no price for peace and economic development. Revenges can never be fulfilled but they destroy the possessor.

And going by your logic I guess we should not try to find peace and progress in Kashmir unless we get our revenges…is it???

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

and the greatest rightwing leader of our times is bloody b**ch Soniya Gandhi….who has more power than PMO and has no democratic responsibility whatsoever. And why has she not spoken a word about commonwealth games corruption charges???? Throw her(the most corrupt leader) out first then we will discuss who deserves to lead PMO in India.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

777xxx777, “And going by your logic I guess we should not try to find peace and progress in Kashmir unless we get our revenges…is it???”
***you got it calculated wrong. Revenge or eye for an eye blinds the world and I never propose that. NEVER (in my right mind). All I say is that majority can look at Modi’s pro-development projects and they can afford to forget his misdeeds (which I cannot). I also remember Godhra killings of Hindus before the Muslims were killed. I will have same views for the XYZ political party if ABC minority was attacked. I have same views about any party including Congress that provoked anti-Sikh riots.

More later.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

777xxx777: “and the greatest rightwing leader of our times is bloody b**ch Soniya Gandhi….who has more power than PMO and has no democratic responsibility whatsoever. And why has she not spoken a word about commonwealth games corruption charges???? Throw her(the most corrupt leader) out first then we will discuss who deserves to lead PMO in India.”
*** While she might be the animal you mentioned, throwing her out first then discussing who deserves to lead PMO in India statement is typed in anger. Actually BJP with its right policies can make Soniya irrelevent. She is not preventing BJP to come to power. It is BJP’s own policies that is a hurdle in their way. After Sikh riots orchestrated by Congress leaders, Akali Dal allied with BJP. BJP’s emphasis on Hindutva is driving Muslims towards Congress. Babri and Gujarat just precipitated BJP’s image. Perosonally, I do not care–Sikh masses would—about Congress action in Golden Temple since it was needed, I would not–Muslim masses would- be sensitive about a non-functional Babri mosque and ignore it as work of nuts. I am worried about killing of Sikhs by Congress and Muslims by peripheral parties with open support by BJP–state as well as national govt. I wish minority vote bank game is not played and useful issues such as Roti Kapra or Makan for all as well as “increased literacy/education among Muslims India” are discussed/planned.

All parties need to make the minorities feel secure.

“Tell me one thing why has no such “minority caring” party has ever raised any voice or pushed for any reform for education in muslims.”
*** I am not here to defend Congress. That Muslims are educationally backward in india is well known. It is senstive and complex subject. Many of the Muslims are converts from lower caste Hindus which were not doing well to begin with. Muslims are hurting themselves by living in Ghettos but that is driven by survival instincts. Ghettoisation has not allowed Muslims to come out of this circle of backwardness and poverty. Even if they are educated in the well to do countries, their overall contribution to the society in makinging new discoveries is exceptionally low. There is a circle of conservatism that you get rid of once you take a minimal step. I have been able to do and earn my doctorate while my closer cousins are stuck in the same circle. Staying in ghettos and being aloof of what goes around you is tough job and understood when you sit and watch India-Cricket match. While I support India, they support Pakistan. If I talk to each one of them individually what the hell is that about, they agree that I make sense but ten of them thrown together is totally different ball game. After the Cricket match they are normal dudes who love their society and people around–including HIndus (do I have to add?).

Oh well!

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

Interesting perspective, Rehmat. The voice of Indian Muslims has been missing from this forum and your comments add an interesting and rich dimension to our discussions.

Thanks, keep it coming.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
First I visited this one to know your views and I must say u are a refreshing guy. You said “Ghettoisation” and thats what make hindus feel more and more insecure that muslims do not mix well and want to run away with the nation one day. When hindus c muslims in India cheer pakistan team tell me how would hindus feel? You are right that this is the circle that has to be broken and as u and me both agree now that it can be achieved through massive educational reforms throughout the nation for all people be it majority, minority, backward, forward or whoever.

But tell me is caring for minority means stripping majority of all their rights? Can one hegimony be replaced by another? Is policies like reservation for ‘minority’ without, increasing capacity and therefore at the cost of ‘majority’, are constructive? Do you think ‘majority’ playing its part (somewhat) for controlling population menace and ‘minority’ community leaders saying NO to it altogether helping anyone here?

This is what Hindus in this country have witnessed all through their history right from Kutub-u-din-aibak days that they will lose their nation and tradition to muslims. History has it well documented that Hindu society was very open to caste system where a brahmin could become a warrior and daughters had full right to choose their husbands but muslim invasions and consequent forced religion conversions set deep fears in hindu society and rigidity set in. Even to this date hindus curse the days of muslim invasions that destroyed hindu societies to core and made it so much rigid. And partition of the nation in 1947 left so many scars on both communities that the insecurities run very very deep. I firmly believe had it been a seperate country for anyone other than muslims India would have had a much better relationship with it than it has with Pakistan today. Creation of Pakistan was itself a big factor to drive hindus nuts and make that insecurity go deeper into their hearts that they have been witnessing through hundreds of years of muslim invasions.

But this is 21st century now. So it is time we rectify mistakes our forefathers made. Open our hearts to each other and start thinking of nation as one and be ready to shed away our some of the rigid religious stands for overall good of the nation. Then may be someday majority (my notion of majority is altogether different from that of political parties in india, I say majority means almost EVERYONE) will think of better relations among the two nuclear power neighbours (or may be even 3, if u include China as well).

I know may be I said a few harsh and touching words but difficult questions need an answer.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

> Creation of Pakistan was itself a big factor to drive hindus nuts and make that insecurity go deeper into their hearts that they have been witnessing through hundreds of years of muslim invasions.

I’m not so sure that the current generation of Hindus has any insecurities about the creation of Pakistan. The more conservative they are, the more thankful they must be that an extra 170 million Muslims aren’t within their own country!

Sometimes, living separately (but peacefully) is better than being forced to live together. I’m personally comfortable about the idea of Pakistan and don’t believe that the two countries should reunite into a single one. Having a loose federation with close economic ties is enough.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

@Ganesh
“I’m not so sure that the current generation of Hindus has any insecurities about the creation of Pakistan.”

Certainly not. you r right about that. I never said about political unification or any stupid thing like that. All I meant was let us have free trade and visa free travel so that borders are irrelevant.

But I was talking in historical perspectives. It is a open truth that muslims took away a piece of land and resources in name of Islam, Political parties in India have frequently been trying to portray themselves as “Pro-Muslim”, combined all this with all the historical facts and enmity with a muslim neighbour and you will understand the agony of a very large section of hindus. I m myself a minority guy (not a muslim though, there are minority communities other than muslims as well in India) but I feel taking away the homeland of Hindus is was right and infringing their human rights just to make minorities comfortable is not correct. Hindus are one the most flexible people u can find on earth and expect muslims to be flexible as well. Tell me why muslims keep calling all non-muslims as ‘Kaafirs’. Hindus never say so to non-hindus. Idea is to mix and live harmoniously with each other. Muslims fail to do that and then blame everything on hindus for suppressing them and political parties make them their PAWNS in chess of power. How can Hindus support financially for Muslim education when they call fellow hindus as Kaafirs and pakistanis their brothers even in face of events like Mumbai attacks??? How do muslims expect that they can be accepted the most superior race and others are treated like ‘Kaafirs’? Respect is always give and take and never one way. Shahenshah Akbar realised this, but dont know why muslims this day fail to realise this?

Everything can be made right if only we have only and only one goal in mind and heart that we need progress and development of human race within the larger frameworks of the mother nature. And for that religion should not come in the way. Historically the societies that are based too much on religion remain troubled, engaged in wars and hence backward. Time to move on.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

**TYPO
“I feel taking away the homeland of Hindus is was right”
SHOULD READ AS
“I feel taking away the homeland of Hindus was NOT right”

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh and 777xxx777, Thanks

777xxx777 said

“Ghettoisation” and thats what make hindus feel more and more insecure that muslims do not mix well and want to run away with the nation one day.”
****Are you kidding? I think we need to find the real enemy than this unnecessary one. At 80% Hindus should drop this paranoia.

As i said “Ghettoisation” is complex and part of the blame goes to Muslim community and the rest to others who live in mental ghettos. One example is even Muslim bollywood stars like Shabana Azmi and Aamir Khan have been prevented to buy property in certain areas just because of their religion. there are several examples out there. Rest is survival instincts and comfort zone in localized communities. Educational reforms will peel away youth who have no other way than merge. WE need receptive communities for that. The poison of religious radicalism is spreading fast and deep.

“When hindus c muslims in India cheer pakistan team tell me how would hindus feel?”
***THis is worry not JUST OF HINDUS but of Indians and that includes me too. It is not as if all of them do this. Let me tell you one small example. one of my cousin who cheers pak team against India, supports Indian Team against all other teams, is a huge fan of Sehwag.
I half jokingly asked him to marry a Pakistani girl I know of since he is such a supporter of Pak Team. His reaction was “no way”. Not that I judge it one way or the other, but it tells that he is not blind in his support. I cannot speak for the community here. Bad apples exist in every community. Labeling a community miniPakistan in Gujarat is ignorance and stupidity.

“. Even to this date hindus curse the days of muslim invasions that destroyed hindu societies to core and made it so much rigid.”
***History cannot be reversed. Inavsions and occupatoions happened and I will not take credit or discredit for that and not should anyone alive today. Read it as history, get over and do something today to improve future. We in this region are fond of history!

” And partition of the nation in 1947 left so many scars on both communities that the insecurities run very very deep.”
*** I appreciate you said BOTH communities. Let me add that there was a third community involved and was affected: Sikhs.

“I firmly believe had it been a seperate country for anyone other than muslims India would have had a much better relationship with it than it has with Pakistan today.”
***Perhaps you are right. If chinese were part of India, I can tell you for sure they would bite much harder with a UN-recognized boundary dispute.

“Creation of Pakistan was itself a big factor to drive hindus nuts and make that insecurity go deeper into their hearts that they have been witnessing through hundreds of years of muslim invasions”
*** My understanding is that Hindus are relieved to get rid of a significant chunk of Muslims.
I would like to make a point here that talking about Indian Muslims and Pakistan in the same breath is derailing yourself from the main issue. Do not label the Indian Muslims as a community ready with bag pack to take the next bus to Islamabad.

I agree with you that we need to be receptive and tolerant to each other.

More later,
peace

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
“At 80% Hindus should drop this paranoia”
“I agree with you that we need to be receptive and tolerant to each other.”

Now this is what is worrying all hindus in India right now is rigid non-participation by muslim community in controlling population menace. Muslim leaders continue to deny the child birth control measures as Un-Islamic and, I am sorry to say, but they are being real pig headed fools. On the other hand as more and more hindus get modern education (combined with economics of nation) they realise the importance of population control and willingly contribute to the solution as well. Then why not muslims. And this is the fear hindus have in long run that this 80 will become 8 one day and tables will be turned and combined with radical intolerance of muslim community, u can imagine the fear urself.

“one of my cousin who cheers pak team against India, supports Indian Team against all other teams, is a huge fan of Sehwag”

Thats the trouble that most people in muslim community are BLINDED by religion.

“Do not label the Indian Muslims as a community ready with bag pack to take the next bus to Islamabad.”

Come to West UP and c for urself and then tell me. In the city that I live in (I wont tell the name out of sheer fear of muslim radicalism level here) we have a university where in the hostels every night mulim guys raise Pakistan flag and shout “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans. On the day of Mumbai attacks those students even distributed sweets among themselves. Tell me how am I supposed to feel????

It was not that Hindus were radical always. Hindus are far more cooler and receptive than may be Jews or Christians are towards Muslims. But this hard core intolerance and Ghettoisation of muslim community in India even after 60 years of partition is what is radicalising hidus now and it is very very ALARMING to me personally that so and so hindu organisation planted a blast somewhere. And to add fuel to fire Muslim leaders keep on denying population control measures as un-islamic. This drives every hindu nuts. I am not sure u realise it or not but this is truth what hindus today fear.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

777xxx777: “Now this is what is worrying all hindus in India right now is rigid non-participation by muslim community in controlling population menace. Muslim leaders continue to deny the child birth control measures as Un-Islamic and, I am sorry to say, but they are being real pig headed fools.”
***Unlike Catholics, Islam does not prohibit birth control. Those leaders are worse than you mentioned. Birth control is a success in Bangladesh. Islam is not in way of birth control.

“And this is the fear hindus have in long run that this 80 will become 8 one day and tables will be turned and combined with radical intolerance of muslim community, u can imagine the fear urself.”
***your fear is based on what may happen. We should not visit pre-partition history too much. Let us see which is more likely: the possibility that Muslim community will get another Gujarat type treatment, which is a shameful historical fact in post-partition India OR your fear of Muslim overpopulation one day overtaking the non-Muslim population and run away with the country. The answer to me is clear. The rise of radical Hinduism as a reaction does not cut ice with me since Babri Masjid incident is poking with the history and sowing seeds of trouble and nothing to do with the current day Indian Muslims. There is a need to stop playing with the sentiments (right or wrong) of both communities.

There is a need to NOT label the whole community responsible for any misdeed of some.

“On the day of Mumbai attacks those students even distributed sweets among themselves. Tell me how am I supposed to feel????”
***I am sorry to hear that. This troubles me as much as it does you. I won’t even laugh it off. But do notice there were Muslims who protested against 26/11 and did not bury the killed terrorist. Again, let us not make the whole community responsible. Indiscriminate bombing will not know religion. I hope those young guys know that.

there is a need to be tolerant, educate and be more aware of right and wrong, get out of physical and mental ghettos, merge with each other, participate in each other’s festivities (or at least mourn the death). Suspicion will not solve anything but will increase the problems.

Peace!

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
“Islam is not in way of birth control”

Please read again. I never said Islam is in way of birth control. I said Muslim leaders are in the way and believe that in all good sense of world the Muslim leaders do not represent whole of Islam and certainly do not own Islam.

“the possibility that Muslim community will get another Gujarat type treatment, which is a shameful historical fact in post-partition India”

It is the ‘majority’ that has been getting the Gujrat type treatment frequently in state of UP all in name of ‘caring for minority’. Why the hell ‘minority’ feels cared by killing? Can the stains of blood be washed with more blood? So come to UP and live for 25 years and then u will know that it is the ‘majority’ that is given a second class treatment for getting votes of ‘minority’. And what really troubles me is that WHY ‘minority’ votes for someone who treats a non-muslim as a second class citizen, there-to-be-slaughtered type. So the fears both in UP and Gujrat are very real. And only Gujrat is not shameful, list is long:- Amritsar, Meerut, Varanasi, Aligarh, Orrisa, Mumbai, and so on. And this shame can be washed only by tolerance and contribution to national growth and not letting religion come in way of it.

“Babri Masjid incident is poking with the history and sowing seeds of trouble ”

That was a political stunt and what is troublesome is that BJP got to power because of it. Because i have always maintained that it is not the politics but it is the votes that count. And only silver lining in that was Mr Vajpayee. But babri masjid incident was played to exploit fear of hindus in UP where they were always treated as second class citizens living under constant fear of being slaughtered by muslims all in name of as i said ‘caring for minority’ by the favourite party of ‘minority’–Congress and as soon as BJP came to power in UP they sensed this fear and exploited it to maximum for their personal power games.

“There is a need to stop playing with the sentiments (right or wrong) of both communities”

I am glad you said BOTH.

“participate in each other’s festivities (or at least mourn the death)”

I used to participate in Mithi Id with my muslim friends (I am a pure veggie so not the second Id for me) but after seeing those universities guys distributing sweets among themselves on day of Mumbai attacks I am just so sad that I didn’t even felt like wishing Id to my friends this year. But i do hope that by diwali i get out of this mindset and invite them to my house for goodies and also hope that they forgive me for not wishing them Id.

As you said Tolerance and Education can and will change things.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

777xxx777,

I was aware that you did not say that Islam is in way of birth control.

Overall, I see that we are on the same page on most issues. It boils down to common sense. We should remember that moderates may be large in #s but their voice is always low and remains unnoticed.

I hope you grab the first opportunity to participate in the festivities like you did before. Hindu friends of mine celebrate Eid with me and I still have lingering taste of Modak from Ganesh Chaturthi few days ago at my Hindu friend’s place.

I hope an wish that it gets back to celebrating Eid during the day and Diwali in the night.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

“I hope an wish that it gets back to celebrating Eid during the day and Diwali in the night”

Thank You very much and Id Mubarak (ofcourse a bit late).

Meanwhile I have asked you a question in one of the other articles. Could you please respond in that article. Its about relevance of democracy in India and Pakistan.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive
 

sorry, i was away from town during my free time. I guess I have mentioned it before, please make use of common sense, logic maths ang phisophy if you will to express your views, and for heaven’s sake not emotions and outburss. Both India and Pakistan are developing nations, in their own leaders views and therefore they are not as yet NATIONS. Indian and Pakistan leaders do not and have never fully represented their peoples views. India has the greater potential to become a great Nation, but they are not prepared to change their machiavi…. and tight lipped diplomatic teachings deeply culturted in their mentality. Pakistan is in a worst situation and have done no more than what they have been capable of, pride above all, suppressing their own citizens well anchored in establessed provinces with unique culture and embraced with a single religion of Islam, i.e PEACE, not war biggotry and phobia. They were disappointed unsettled, unnerved not because a german journalist mentions the historical fact, but because of the reaction of the hindu population in India, immediately after the creation of two countries from historically many and under the colonialism, one country. The new Pakistani leaders did not know how to tackle the onslaught of Hindus, I deliberately say HINDUS and not Sikhs, who lost a lot in now Pakistan and eventually in India, against the muslims living in the new Indian part of the land, forcing millions of muslims to flee towards Pakistan and reluctantly the departure of many Hindus and sikhs living previously in Pakistan provinces. Are you guys not aware of the fact that most of the muslim migrants so called muhajirs had to sleep on major city street footpaths at night for several years after the partition and despite occupying higher positions are still not fully integrated in the country, simply because of the number, the language ang and the culture. Not every one was jinnah or liaqat to take over the helms of the newly formed country, simply because it was their noble idea to find a separate homeland for the muslims. Suddenly over night the muslims of India became jews looking for a promised land of Pakistan. If you guys do not accept these facts then you are deliberately making doubtful proposals for reconciliation.
The so called democratically elected leaders have tried all acts in accordance with their talents- what they have not done is to start a deconisation process in their land, nationalising their armies and civilian institutions. For manmohan singh and Gillanis of of today is much more difficult than the the jinah and Nahrus of yesterday. There were never any blue prints available for such a plan, the idea was a some kind of a joke just to take over the administration from the Brirs and every thing was to carry on as previously. The facts are also that ever since the leaders have been trying to suppress the very people on whose behalf they took over the administration. I say simply that both Pakistani and Indian people have undergone a great suffering and more is to follow. Hanging on to Kashmiriris is unlikely to provide stability in the rest of India, sooner or later India is likely to break apart in States without any viable central Govt., unless the central Govt. takes certain steps for decolonisation. For Pakistan, I said they should not accept any elms from India simply because of at least keeping their pride, for this is the only thing they have got left. It is impossible to develop a Nation without a PRIDE.
I must admit that by nature I am a pessimist and seldom forsee a miracle from idiosities, but this time I hope that I am proven wrong.
Rex Mior

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

I have seen many Head of States and Government but have never seen any that gives financial aid to a neighboring country because of neighbor’s difficult days and makes a condition on it that it is given as a price for peace so that the neighbor on question of prestige do not touch the money.

I do not think any sane person would appreciate such demeaning attitude and gesture from a big or a small neighboring country. It amply proves beyond any shadow of doubt that the nation with such demeaning cultural heritage has yet not been able to raise itself up from the dust it used to sleep during the colonial days.

Recently a foreigner who visited India told a story that a friend invited him to his house and offered him half-sweet meat (Rasgula) and said you must eat the full Rasgula.

The foreigner said that how can a person offer a half-sweet meat and ask to eat full we all laughed. So the case of the 5 million is also one of the meanest thing have heard given as an aid asking it as a payment for peace.

I suppose the emerging economical animal (give any name) forgets that peace is not a commodity to be sold and purchased in the market.

Being cautious of the Indian emerging animal that made the greatest mistake in its offer 5 million with condition on which the world community has taken a very deem view of the Indian nation’s cultural meanness..

Posted by KINGFISHER | Report as abusive
 

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