Does that U.S. “retribution plan” for Pakistan still stand?

September 27, 2010

flagburningOne of the more interesting details in the advance reports of Bob Woodward’s “Obama’s Wars” is that Washington had prepared a “retribution plan” in the event of a major attack on the United States which is traced back to Pakistan.

“While no contingency plans exist for dealing militarily with a collapse of nuclear-armed Pakistan, there is ‘a retribution plan’ in place, developed by the Bush administration, if the United States suffers another 9/11-style terrorist attack,” according to the Los Angeles Times. ”That would involve bombing and missile strikes to obliterate the more than 150 al Qaeda training and staging camps known to exist, most of them in Pakistan, which presumably would suffer extensive civilian casualties.”

“Some locations might be outdated, but there would be no concern, under the plan, for who might be living there now. The retribution plan called for a brutal punishing attack on at least 150 or more associated camps,” the Times of India quoted Woodward as saying.
 
The idea that the Americans would take drastic punitive action if a major attack were traced back to Pakistan has been around for a while, and is one that worries many Pakistanis. But I’ve not seen it spelled out quite so clearly before in black-and-white.
 
Some important questions then.
 
1) Does that plan still stand?
 
2) Does it apply only to al Qaeda, or has it been updated to take account of threats from other Pakistan-based groups? 
 
Take, for example, the failed car-bombing of New York’s Times Square in May by Pakistani American Faisal Shahzad, who said he was working with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or Pakistani Taliban.  While mainly based in Pakistan’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, the Pakistani Taliban also have a strong presence in the city of Karachi, so if you want to take punitive action against them, where do you draw the line?
 
What also of other militant groups such as the al Qaeda-linked Jaish-e-Mohammed , based in Pakistan’s heartland Punjab province and with alleged connections to the 2006 “liquid bombing” plot to bring down multiple airliners over the Atlantic? Or of the Punjab-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, which in the 2008 attack on Mumbai for which it was blamed, showed it had organisational skills comparable to al Qaeda to mount a spectacular assault, and which has also been linked to overseas plots?
 
The idea that al Qaeda was somehow a unitary organisation representing a unique threat to the United States has come to look very dated since 9/11.  Does that mean the “retribution plan” has also been overtaken by events?
 
3) To what extent can Pakistan prevent Pakistan-based militants from plotting attacks on the United States, when it can’t even prevent bombings of its own cities? Does the  “retribution plan” attribute responsibility to Pakistani authorities for failing – according to the United States – to “do more” to tackle militants?
 
4) How far could Pakistan withstand U.S. punitive action even if this were limited to its tribal areas? The country is already looking pretty shaky after devastating floods and the economy is in a shambles. A shift to civilian democracy that was supposed to bring stability has been sorely undermined by weak governance, which has seen the balance of power shifting increasingly back towards the Pakistan Army. Taliban militants have been trying to exploit political instability by stoking sectarian tensions, bombing Shi’ite rallies in the cities of Lahore and Quetta this month.  And anti-Americanism is already running  high, exacerbated by public hostility to U.S. drone bombings in the tribal areas.  The risk would be that intensified U.S. bombings could increase instability in Pakistan to such an extent that Washington would end up with an even bigger security threat – a nuclear-armed country slipping out of control.
 
Of course everyone remembers former president Pervez Musharraf’s comment that Washington had threatened to bomb Pakistan back into the stone age if he did not cooperate after 9/11. But I’ve never been entirely clear what that meant.  Bombing a nuclear-armed country into a state of chaos, or indeed attempting to invade it, are unlikely policy options for Washington as it tries to extract itself from two unpopular wars while also fretting about neighbouring Iran’s own nuclear ambitions.  Yet bombing suspected al Qaeda camps in the tribal areas could simply increase instability without eradicating militancy.
 
So where does that leave the United States and its “retribution plan”? Where are the red lines that would demand an immediate and powerful U.S. reaction? Would it depend on the size of the attack, the intensity of public reaction, or electoral imperatives at the time?  Does anyone know? Does Pakistan?
 
In strategic thinking about the relationship between India and Pakistan, one of the biggest worries has always been that both countries do not know where the other’s red lines lie when it comes to the use of nuclear weapons.  Even more worrying, they think they do. That thinking probably applies too to the United States and Pakistan - that they don’t know where each other’s red lines lie – either in terms of Washington’s ability to absorb another attack, or in Pakistan’s ability to withstand the U.S. reaction.  You would have to hope that they know they don’t know, and that the “retribution plan”, if it still exists, never has to be put into practice.
(Reuters photo: Protesters burn U.S. flag in Peshawar) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Comments

Keith:

Pakistan and US are fast reaching a tipping point in their relationship, previously this relationship withstood a lot of strain. But now, Pakistan’s position is precarious as much as the US looks vulnerable in its war effort.

This time around their are larger issues just than closure of border or burning of NATO fuel tankers.

Just read: Mission creep in AfPak
by Eric Margolis

I quote:
“Where have we heard this before? Why in Cambodia and Laos, that’s where, during the Vietnam War. The frustrated US expanded the war into Cambodia and Laos to go after Communist base camps. The war spread; these two small nations were largely destroyed, but the war was ultimately lost.

Victory in war is achieved by concentration of forces, not spreading them ever thinner and wider.”

-Just as US lost the Vietnam war by expanding it to Cambodia and Laos, the Afghan war will be lost by expanding it to Pakistan. We need to know if you think Pakistan is an ally or an enemy. And sure you can explore air supplies and northern supply routes with the help of Russia and Iran. Only then you will realize the importance of Pakistan as an ally and recognize the support we give to US/NATO forces in Afghanistan. You cant fire on PAKMIL and get away, dont bite the hand that serves you.

and lastly this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/world/ asia/07diplo.html?_r=1&hp

U.S. Tries to Calm Pakistan Over Airstrike

Good Luck!

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 
 

@Umairpk

Every few months, some normally intelligent journalist will resort to a superficial comparison of the Afghan and Vietnam wars.

They lost in Vietnam because they weren’t willing to confront the Chinese who were the real source of support for the Communist Vietnamese. Instead they ran off into Laos and Cambodia.

The equivalent in Afghanistan would be running into Iran and Uzbekistan. This time around the Americans aren’t making the same mistake. They are gunning for the source of the problem: the badlands of Pakistan.

And if Pakistanis like you can’t wrap your head around it and would prefer to protect the Taliban and Al Qaeda (because that is in effect what your actions say you are doing), then be prepared to pay a very, very heavy price for that.

You might have a short party when NATO leaves Afghanistan. I’m sure the Communist block celebrated when the US lost in Vietnam too. Look at where they are today.

Once Western forces leave the region, then Pakistan will be susceptible to every foreign policy instrument the US and the West have at their disposable. Things won’t get better for Pakistan. They’ll get worse. This is why I sincerely hope that Pakistanis understand the value of co-operating now and dealing with this problem once and for all.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

As for the tankers. Keep them. Do you have any idea how much money and aid Pakistan gets for that route? Pakistan is as reliant, if not more reliant, than NATO on those shipments.

Now that the alternate routes are ramping up, don’t be sure that Western forces in Afghanistan necessarily need the Pakistani supply routes. They might be easier to run, but not an absolute necessity.

And NATO’s been building up strategic reserves in Afghanistan for just such an occassion…and they surpass what Pakistan has today. Don’t worry. Guys like me get paid quite well to think of these kinds of scenarios long, long before they happen.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

@Keith
“then be prepared to pay a very, very heavy price for that”

Yes that’s what US does best flex its financial muscle and impose sanctions on others, good or bad is debatable. In case of Pakistan it might turn out to be good because in such a scenario it is hoped that better sense will prevail among ordinary pakistanis like Umair and they will realise how important it is to live peacefully with others and how important it is to treat others as equal to yourself. US gave so much aid to Pakistan and yet Pakis continuously back-stabbed America all in name of Islam. No where Islam teaches to back-stab the one who gives you aid but God knows what Quran does Pakistanis study. I won’t be surprised if Pakistani administration would have made madrassas teach a distorted version of Quran as well along with biased history, to achieve their personal selfish aims. I am not sure how far this back-stabbing and double dealing of Pakistan will go.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive
 

Keith:”And if Pakistanis like you can’t wrap your head around it and would prefer to protect the Taliban and Al Qaeda (because that is in effect what your actions say you are doing), then be prepared to pay a very, very heavy price for that.”

-Keith, Pakistanis (like me) have paid a huge price already, economically, psychologically, our future looks very tough but we are still hanging in here. You can bomb Pakistan and destabilize it, but it is our home and we live here. NATO and US has the option of calling it a day and one day leave our neighbourhood. But we will be the one’s picking up the pieces of a 10 year war and potential civil war next door. Not to mention Pakistan has already been pushed beyond the limits of normal endurance. I wouldn’t care much if NATO/US threaten us of grave consequences later when we are going to go down anyways.

Al-Qaeda remnants might be in some places of unregulated Pak-Afghan border. Pakistan might be having soft corner for Haqqani’s and Quetta Shura, but in last year or so Pakistan has done a lot to tackle the situation in Swat and Waziristan. Don’t forget many Al-Qaeda big guns were captured by ISI. We need to build on this trust, rather than promoting distrust.
In principal Pakistan has no conflict with west/NATo and US, we have our national interest, we are fighting against terrorism, we do not want you defeated. In return, you need to work with us as an ally not enemy.

“And NATO’s been building up strategic reserves in Afghanistan for just such an occassion…and they surpass what Pakistan has today. Don’t worry. Guys like me get paid quite well to think of these kinds of scenarios long, long before they happen.”

-And maybe Pakistan too have planned for contingency, in absence of ally support we will be isolated. But surely navigating complex challenges doesnt mean we should give up. If NATO and US can be our reliable allies, we will go the extra mile to work on common goals.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

“Don’t forget many Al-Qaeda big guns were captured by ISI. We need to build on this trust, rather than promoting distrust.
In principal Pakistan has no conflict with west/NATo and US, we have our national interest, we are fighting against terrorism, we do not want you defeated. In return, you need to work with us as an ally not enemy. ”

–>Yes, Umair, pakistani’s have paid a huge price, because Pindi boyz are dragging Pakistani’s through mud, for personal profit and gain and NATO is pounding the crap out of people and it is taking its toll. Yes, brave Pak soldiers have died, and god bless them for bravely doing what they were told to do.

But you cannot claim Pakistan is fighting terrorism and turn a blind eye to what ur Pindi boyZ are doing in Kashmir. You can call it whatever you like, it is terrorism and it has prompted the Indian army to subjugate kashmiri’s….Have ur pindi boyz not sent terrorists into kashmir india, Kashmiri’s would not be suffering, you need to accept responsibility for that.

Ur Pindi boyz are pushing NATo to the brink and NATO will punish your people for the follies of your Pindi boyz, so who is at fault here?

You guys keep protecting the Quetta Shura and haqqani’s those who kill NATO soldiers, so don’t you think this decision by Pindi boyz is bringing punishment on your people?

DO you see the pattern now Umair? You can call it national interests, but Pindi boyz pursuit of nation interest is bringing the wrath of NATO on your people.

So what is ur opinion of Pindi boyz now? You seem to advocate an open cheque policy for pindi boyz without ramifications and consequences. With power and comes great responsibility.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

No one can cofront or eliminate terrorism on its own. This is the task of the united effort and therefore the UNO. the terrorism need to be identified first, not willy nilly by individual countries, for India the Kashmiri resistance is terrorism and for the americans, terrorism isthe resistance against their military operations around the world and for Russians the terrorism is from their chechanian and Dagistan resistance. Pakistan leaders are no selective either, every crime in their midst is terrorism for them. Let us reflect our intelligence and not our prejudice on this blog.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Terrorism is killing innocents civilians in name of resistance. Killing Kashmiri Pandits in name of Islam is terrorism, for that land belongs to hindus even before muslim religion was invented but there are people who consider themselves being muslim as enlightened and often try to elevate or eliminate (of course both by force) non-muslims. Such people are terrorist. There was a man Gandhi who was hard core Hindu who called off Stayagrah (a non-violent movement against british) when people burnt a police station so as to STOP violence done by his OWN people and then there are kashmiris who burn something everyday and call it an independence struggle. Then there are people who say dont mix local cultures and rituals with religion and then themselves mix caste system and other rituals with Hindu religion when no where in religious text of Hinduism is it mentioned to burn women alive or to make someone else your slave. One one hand they want Pashtoons be left alone and not be disturbed and let them live in whatever they want even if their society is full of disease, death, unemployment, cruelties on women (come to India and do a survey among hindu and muslim women and decide for yourself which society has better conditions and laws for women) and other such evils. While on other hand they justify pashtoons coming out and killing everyone around in name of destroying power centres and establishing Islam as Islam is considered greatest to them and all else are worst; why can’t Pashtoons let others live in whatever conditions others want to live, if they don’t want others to poke their nose into their affairs then why should anyone else allow pashtoons to poke their nose everywhere, why did Taliban gave safe heaven to Laden and allow him to conduct anti-WORLD activities from their soil, is that not considered poking nose in other person’s affairs. Such double standards and false sense of extreme superiority are going to take muslim world nowhere. Turkey and Indonesia learned the coexistence formulae long long ago and now even Saudis and Iran and learning slowly to GIVE respect. When will others (especially Pakistan) learn???????

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@Umair

You still don’t get it. NATO has no intention to “bomb” Pakistan. There is no conflict with Pakistanis.

There’s just conflict with some groups that Pakistan harbours. That’s the only reason any bombs are landing in Pakistan.

I don’t buy the hogwash about Pakistani interest. Instead of defining a stable Afghanistan to be in the Pakistani interest, the generals in Rawalpindi who write foreign policy (which itself is a pecularity for a supposed democracy) have defined Pakistan’s national interest as having Afghanistan as a vassal state. And they generally refuse to cooperate with the West unless the rest of the world recognizes Pakistan as Afghanistan’s overlord.

Sorry, but the rest of the world (and Afghans) profoundly disagree with that worldview.

As for the price being paid for by Pakistanis. Again, disagree. Pakistan has been more than adequately compensated. And would probably benefit even more from a stable Aghanistan. However, it’s Rawalpindi that has decided to place their imperial ambitions in Afghanistan over Pakistan’s own well-being. If they think that they can go toe-to-toe with the entire western world, so be it. You better hope that Kayani is a damn good poker player.

Nor do I buy the argument that Pakistan has done enough. The running joke is that the most dangerous job to have in any of the Pakistan based groups or AQ is the number 2 or number 3 job because that’s who gets picked up everytime a high ranking American shows up. So if the ISI can pick up the number 2/number 3, why can’t they help actually dismantle these organizations? Oh that’s right it’s about Pakistan’s “national interest” (extortion from the West and imperial ambitions in Afghanistan).

Longer term, like I said, Pakistan’s going to face economic consequences. Not military penalties (though Pakistan is now going to have a time getting access to more advanced and sensitive weapons systems or logistics support during any conflict).

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

@”You still don’t get it. NATO has no intention to “bomb” Pakistan. There is no conflict with Pakistanis”

BUT that could change rather quickly, if (god forbid) there’s a successfull terrorist attack in the US/West, leading to Pakistan. Umair, that’s why it’s very important for Pakistan to cooperate NOW, rather than face the music later, ecconomically and/or militarily.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

I believe all this “retribution plan” thing is just to make Americans ‘feel’ safe and hence to get their votes and nothing more. I don’t think US will be fool enough to bomb Pakistan even if the situations were even 100 times worse than now. Economic pressures are far more easier to bring Pakistan on knees. Why risk human life when dollars (or rather absence of them) will do the job. Dry up money in Pakistan (even Iran would help US when it comes to Afghanistan), bribe PA to smuggle out nukes (while PA will continue to falsely boast of nukes so as to keep Pakistani heads high falsely though), and then when all ends are tied the public of Pakistan will automatically f*** PA generals. That’s when US can ‘dictate’ terms to Pakistan and probably cleanse as well. And this is where US will fail — shrewd diplomacy. US never have been good diplomat. They might be technologically superior fighting force but wars are won with diplomacy. In India/Pakistan people think ohh India/Pakistan so called won independence but fact remains that the most high quality produce of India/Pakistan is still consumed by English while local population not even gets its glimpse. Is that not what we called slavery before 1947. That’s what shrewd diplomacy is. Even after 60 years of independence India/Pakistan’s best products are still consumed by British and locals of these countries don’t even get a glimpse of them in local market. This is where US fails. Look at Brit history in Asia region, they brewed hatred among hindus and muslims and it resulted in never ending conflict of India and Pakistan (over Kashmir), Brits brewed hatred among Pashtoons and Punjabis and it resulted in never ending conflict of Afghanistan and Pakistan (over Baluchistan), Brits brewed hatred among muslims and jews in middle east and it resulted in never ending conflict of muslims vs Israel (over Jerusalem). The seeds of all these never ending self engaging conflicts were sown by Brits. And even today they get the best products of all these regions for a very minuscule price. This is where US always failed. US does not know how to “Divide and Conquer” and Brits know it very well that one cannot conquer without dividing.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

Keith:
“the generals in Rawalpindi who write foreign policy (which itself is a pecularity for a supposed democracy) have defined Pakistan’s national interest as having Afghanistan as a vassal state. And they generally refuse to cooperate with the West unless the rest of the world recognizes Pakistan as Afghanistan’s overlord.”

-No, the Pakistan Army high command might look at Afghanistan as a place which provide Pakistan with ‘strategic depth’ in our bigger conflict with India. I can tell you a secret, India is still a significant threat to Pakistan, they are still creating trouble for us in Baluchistan. Apparently Pakistan Army does not want to enter into a direct conflict with Afghan Taliban becuase:
a) it would result in another backlash, wave of terror attack on Pakistani cities.
b) it would unite all terror groups against Pakistan
c) Pakistan Army is stretched thin, flood relief operations and other ops have created a lack of capacity and we lack concentration of forces to undertake ops.
d) Afghan Taliban are seen as a way to exert influence in Afghanistan, curb Indian influence there.

Now you tell me, is Pakistan not even allowed to define the terms even in its neighbourhood. We do not want Afghanistan to be subordinate to us. A stable, propsperous and independent/neutral Afghanistan is in our interest. We need an end to conflict with India and prevent a strategic encirclement by India, whereby a hostile India on the east and an anti-Pakistan/pro-India Afghanistan on the west.
If US/NATo can come all the way 12000 KM and pursue their interest in the region, are you willing to accomodate our concerns too. Kashmir dispute should be resolved to prevent Indo-Pak rivalry in Afghanistan.

“As for the price being paid for by Pakistanis. Again, disagree. Pakistan has been more than adequately compensated. And would probably benefit even more from a stable Aghanistan. However, it’s Rawalpindi that has decided to place their imperial ambitions in Afghanistan over Pakistan’s own well-being. If they think that they can go toe-to-toe with the entire western world, so be it. You better hope that Kayani is a damn good poker player.”

-Again you do not have an idea of the losses, man and material, number of troops KIA and wounded more than NATO/US casualties combined. Economy in tatters, loss of investment, trade run into billions of dollars. Pakistan has no imperial ambitions, we surely pursue our regional interest. What is wrong with that? The only problem is that Washington needs to align its short term interests with the long term interest of Rawalpindi.

“Nor do I buy the argument that Pakistan has done enough. The running joke is that the most dangerous job to have in any of the Pakistan based groups or AQ is the number 2 or number 3 job because that’s who gets picked up everytime a high ranking American shows up. So if the ISI can pick up the number 2/number 3, why can’t they help actually dismantle these organizations? Oh that’s right it’s about Pakistan’s “national interest” (extortion from the West and imperial ambitions in Afghanistan).”

-http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6 9721Z20101008
Pakistan’s ISI, a hidden, frustrating power for U.S.

Again I want to remind you that we have dispute and conflict with India, it is historic dates back to partition and related to Kashmir. Things are deep rooted, complex, we need to find common goals and align our interest. US/NATo can put pressure on India to resolve Kashmir and refrain from using Afghanistan to encircle Pakistan. Thats it, and I can assure ISI will be your best friend.

“Longer term, like I said, Pakistan’s going to face economic consequences. Not military penalties (though Pakistan is now going to have a time getting access to more advanced and sensitive weapons systems or logistics support during any conflict).”

-Keith, for decades PAF suffered from lack of spares for F-16s. No new aircrafts, but now we have embarked upon indeginous programs, Chinese jets, AEW&C from Sweden, mid-air refueling tankers from Ukraine, submarines from France and Germany. For decades we have diversified the equipment and supply sources after suffering from sanctions. So this is something which will not come as a surprise nor will it bite us any harder.

I just want to reassure, Pakistan is just another country facing challenges and strive to live in peace while protecting its interest. That’s it!

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Keith:
“There is no conflict with Pakistanis.

There’s just conflict with some groups that Pakistan harbours. That’s the only reason any bombs are landing in Pakistan.”

- Just as Saddam did not have any WMDs, Pakistan too does not harbour ‘some groups’. No Pakistani government, and Pakistani military can withstand the severe public backlash from supporting the US/NATO when there are daily border incursions and drone attacks. Even analysts believe drone strikes are counterproductive in the long run.
Just as American public holds accountable any US President and administration. Similarly Pakistani public views NATO/US as threat and Pakistani government and military as unpopular and puppets of NATO/US.
You need patience, with strong civil society and firm democracy Pakistan will gradually change, Military will start being answerable to civil government overtime. It could take decades, but the first step already took place with 2008 elections and civil government coming into power. Do not forget the challenges that Pakistan faces. With a faulty policy towards Pakistan, NATO/US will achieve nothing.
NATO/US are pressed for a quick fix to Afghan war, but it will take time for things to settle down. Pakistan will do everything to facilitate the stabilization of Afghanistan and withdrawal of forces from there.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

So many anamolies about the NATO have popped up that certain basics need to be stated.
1. NATO is a pain in the a…. for many European countries, their politicians and the people. They just do not know how to get rid of the yanks? Many Europeans are desperately trying (not brits) to set up a European military Command to defend Europe.
2. The largest contingent in NATO are the turks(leaving aside the non European USA), who have defended Europe since the end of ww2 against the Soviet Union. Some americans may not know this but more than 90 percent of Turks are muslims and have now a civilian Govt. which in the past several years managed to stregnthen the democratic institutions and weakened the military hold on the country. This means no larifari to follow the American Godfather policy in the muslim countries. Infact the only modern, militarily strong and independent country, and a friend of Iran and Syria, the countries labelled by the USA as part of the axis of evil.
The overall involvement of NATO with USA is to support the development work in Afghanistan and to support the training of Afghan police and military. They are in Afghanistan on the basis of a now defunkt UNO resolution and not to start further adventure with the Americans.
Now please revise your thesis as appropriate, in view of this NATO background.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Are you aware that it is the USA administration which is afraid of retribution and have warned their citizens travelling to Europe to stay anonymous, do not visit the crowded tourist spots or main Railway Stations. What a travesty after imposing travel restriction on some prominent Iranians, the sanctions are being extended to their own citizens. Now how should the americans hide their identity when most speak only english language with a slang in France and Germany? The good news is that they are not asked to avoid Macdonald hamburger and chips outlets. I really feel sorry for the american folks whose leaders have got them into this mess to hide their identity now in European countries which are security tight.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

ISI myth not understood by the USA, can be explained in a very simple way. ISI agents are operating throughout the world, including the USA and within CIA in the form of a double agent. This is their stregnth, the double agents in most intelligence units of the world. I would leave their knowledge of the Indian intelligence for the time being. The members of the ISI are not loners and have families, relatives and friends spread in their community. Now, with Pakistan Govt. policy against the so called Talibans and their treacherous alliance with the Americans mean that a brother will turn against a brother, his relative or the community. CERTAINLY NOT. This is the reality and with the decline of competence in basic common sense the american administration, the CIA and the zionist media ignore this reality. The one thing they should never forget that in Pakistan no brother is going to turn against his brother regardless of the conflicting political views and loyalties towards their profession. The family loyalty would always take preference. On top of that the loyalty towards UMMAH is one of the asset a muslim inherits and this is not likely to disappear in order to please a yankee.
So simple is the explanation!!!
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Rex Minor

You have made a few interesting and accurate points:

“The largest contingent in NATO are the turks(leaving aside the non European USA), who have defended Europe since the end of ww2 against the Soviet Union. Some americans may not know this but more than 90 percent of Turks are muslims and have now a civilian Govt. which in the past several years managed to stregnthen the democratic institutions and weakened the military hold on the country. This means no larifari to follow the American Godfather policy in the muslim countries. Infact the only modern, militarily strong and independent country, and a friend of Iran and Syria, the countries labelled by the USA as part of the axis of evil.”

-You are right, I agree with you. Turkey under the AKP Party and President Tayib Erdogan has seen Ankara’s influence grow significantly in recent years both regionally and internationally. It has severed ties with Israel to a minimum, regularly cancelled scheduled military exercises with Israel. Took a tough stand over Gaza blockade, confronted Washington, independently forged good relations with Iran and Syria, brokered talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan too. In short Turkey is a rising star in Europe to watch out for. Go Turkey!

As I stated above, and repeat that NATO’s so-called mandate (which is not even legitimate absent UNO) ends on the Pak-Afghan border and it has no jurisdiction whatsoever to undertake any operations on Pakistani soil.

“ISI agents are operating throughout the world, including the USA and within CIA in the form of a double agent. This is their stregnth, the double agents in most intelligence units of the world. ”

-I would say ISI is a thoroughly professional and competent organization. It runs an official level counterintelligence program against CIA in Pakistan. The CIA station chief is aware of it, primarily CIA would try to penetrate and acquire info on sensitive matters related to Pakistan’s nuclear program. While ISI under the counterintelligence program would frequently run double agents, feed wrong info etc and used such tactics to keep a close eye on CIA activities within Pakistan.

One of the main success for Pakistan here is that as long as ISI continues to be the first line of defense it can prevent outside intervention and safeguard Pakistan from internal strife orchestrated by outside. This is bad news for anyone who would want to manipulate Pakistan’s domestic circumstances (Political, security, etc).

http://www.stratfor.com/geopolitical_dia ry/20101007_conflicting_interests_betwee n_us_and_pakistans_isi

The ISI and Conflicting Interests Between the United States and Pakistan

“the ISI, whose past relationship with the jihadists is known to all but whose present relationship with those groups remains opaque. The uncertainty of that relationship explains the statements from various U.S. officials in which they tend to distinguish the leadership of the ISI and the Pakistani army from certain unidentifiable elements within the directorate. The ISI, along with the wider Pakistani military establishment, is in the middle of a historic transition from developing Islamist militant proxies to regaining control over the landscape it once nurtured.”

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

@Umair
Pakistan needs people like you as their leaders. The ISI is the only breakthrough of the military, establishing their spy agency second to none. The military is overall very weak in their structure and the philosaphy they learn in their training schools is not of an independent country. The military must be decolonised.
Reforms are needed in all the civil institutions as well, concentrating on domestic policies. In fact I would degrade the position of a foreign mionister and upgrade the position of the interior minister in a developing country. The people are too emotional, certain clear lines are needed for education of the masses without criminalising the Islamic parties, madrassas and religious institutions. The anglo saxons are not the examples to follow nor are the examples of the Indian society is going to provide Pakistan a better status. What is needed is a peaceful revolution, not the blind follow up of the western culture or the camel riders of the arab countries who were equally robbed of their cultures, traditions and independence by no other than the anglo saxons. To be a muslim is the unmatched wealth the people of Pakistan possess, but how they have performed during the past sixty odd years is a pathetic story. People are the assets of the country and they need to be educated and developed. There are no short cuts in progress. They need education, education and education.

Pakistan has the potential to be the leader of the Islamic world, but they need to develope the peoples potential. They can not match the performance of the non-believers including Chinese and Japan, but certainly outmatch the performane of the christian societies who are on the decay on account of so called liberalisation.
Have a nice day.
Rex Minior

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@Rex Minor,

Like many smooth talkers before, you are sweet of tongue, but deadly in intention between the lines.

In your world, you would rollback rights for women, destroy any religious competition through murder, hook and crook and decriminalize all militant groups.

In your world, Rex you are a staunch lover of the 7th century, you would genocide minorities or crush them by force through conversions.

I understand the appeal of this creed and way of thinking, what it means to men, the 7th century allows men to be men and have their cake and eat it too. This type of thinking, left to its own devices, would effectively diminish and kill all forms of creativity, true spirituality and brotherhood will all ways in which God has revealed himself to different types of peoples.

If you truly believe what you preach, why do you even dirty your hands using western made cell phones and computers and wear western clothes?

Believing in one thing or another thing is not ultimate be all and end all of ultimate truth, wisdom or spiritual achievement. As long as people like you continue to preach that they have cornered God’s love and all others are non-believers, this will continue to lead humanity towards war, clashes and misery. Stepping back from it all, do you think this is what God would want his children to do…butcher each other in his name? Because if that is what we choose to do…we are are unknowingly being deceived and serving two masters and that is not really allowed.

In this regard, you should quit politicizing Islam and focus on the actual politics of the land. Religion and politics should be kept separate as mixing the two, actually dirties religion and separates human from god.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

Rex said: “Pakistan has the potential to be the leader of the Islamic world, but they need to develope the peoples potential. They can not match the performance of the non-believers including Chinese and Japan, but certainly outmatch the performane of the christian societies who are on the decay on account of so called liberalisation”

Ohh!! Man, talk of hatred and pouring venom. He blamed Indians for pouring venom on Pakistan and what he does himself now, pouring venom and hatred on all non-muslims.

Umair, would you like to be appreciated by someone who is so much blinded by religion and leaves no opportunity of spreading religious bigotry? Would you like to be appreciated by a person who is just so much opposed to co-existence with so called Kaafirs? Would you like to be appreciated by someone who keeps spreading propaganda that Pak nukes (and effectively Pak sovereignty) is in control of ‘Taliban’? Would you like to be appreciated by someone who considers ‘Taliban’ as pious and pure and considers Laden to be Allah’s man and a so called believer? Above all would you like to be a staunch muslim country and lead no one or would you like Pakistan to become more acceptable to co-existence and hence to become a leader of South Asia? Every single Pakistani needs to do some soul searching and find the right answers. Lets hope better sense prevails. Amen!!!

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@Gw
For you to interpret my comments in such a manner simply shows the lack of your english knowledge and the intution we all need if we want to understand the intended interprertation beyond that is obvious in words. Your stretch wasnot necessary. I can assure you that my message was a very straight forward one and without any sordid thinking or malice towards others. Every religion guides people a way to the almighty as well as a civilised way to come to understanding within a community.
To three 7 verbatum, I have nothing to add.
He appears to be sometimes angry and most of the times confused.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@GW
I do not believe that Islam be politicised nor be criminalised by the behaviour of one or more so called muslims who at one or other time confessed to be a muslim. Those who kill others, muslim or non muslims, must answer the God almighty. I have no problems with the secular system as long as the liberalisation process does not take the course which we are experiencing in USA and Europe with the demographic problem.
Rex manner

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan “Every religion guides people a way to the almighty as well as a civilised way to come to understanding within a community.”

***I see now for these few seconds u have chosen to mark all religions as civilized and leading towards almighty. What happened to your older theory that Abrahamic religions are the believers and others such as Hindus who idolize their trillion Gods are not believers. So who is the almighty now for them.

Lies and misconceptions have one weakness that they need constant lying to keep them afloat. Now give me that ultimate dagger that I did not understand English or that I am too complicated for you.

Let me leave it at positive note and request you to stick with what you said here since this is the reasonable explanations. Add to it the non-believers (the atheists) who do not hurt anyone and have their own driving force to achieve the same goals.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@Re(h)ma
You are a fool, I said religions and not aetheists or buddhists? Their philosaphy of the life is different and not guided by the scriptures, the commandments from God almighty which the Jews, the christians and muslims believe in. This is not to say that others are not humans and possess no humanity. My own experience with some hindus and aetheists has been that they demonstrate a deeper knowledge of metaphysic, show more humanity than those who carry the arabic names, full stop.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan

Do not be childish and start using the name that I use for posting. It is matter of basic etiquette. Don;t I use “Pakistan” for you? It must be quite difficult for you to type: “Re(h)ma”!!!

@You are a fool, I said religions and not aetheists or buddhists?
***If fool is what separates me from you, I pick that one. I never used Buddhists unless you are confusing Hinduism with that. The former is a GODless religion by the way. You just do not get someone’s point.

@My own experience with some hindus and aetheists has been that they demonstrate a deeper knowledge of metaphysic, show more humanity than those who carry the arabic names, full stop.”
***Do not forget what you said next time you talk about non-believers. Is that what you said above the reason why you lost your Arabic name if you ever had any?

My effort is towards co-existence and tolerance, the very needs of increasingly multicultural societies we have these days. In general my comments reflect that.

We need more fools like me in Germany to make it more tolerable society if you read the current news.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
“The former is a GODless religion by the way”

So is Jainism; Buddhism and Jainism both are God less religions and believe it is the humans that have the power inside them to attain salvation. And unlike hinduism both buddhism and jainism have absolutely no traces of caste system in their philosophy of life. Although there are different sects among them as well. But the best part is that both have wilfully accepted the Hindu Civil Law in India (which means according to Law they are hindus) and are living quite happily with everyone else in India. There are large number of marriages among Jains, Bhudds and Hindus nowadays which is further indicative of increasing cohesiveness. I agree with you perfectly that in today’s multicultural environment we all need to learn formulae of co-existence. Now I even heard of marriages between hindus and muslims which is a great news. This is the kind of cohesiveness we need today. A nation of a billion proud Indians with one of the oldest civilisations and one the most diversified cultural heritage have got a thing or two to teach the world. But problem is when will Pakistan learn?

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@777

Hindus Buddhist and Jains have similarity that they originate from the same region in general and arguably branched from Hinduism. So is Sikhism. Buddhism is largely gone now except Lamas.

Hindu law works for them. Abrahamic religions Islam and Christianity have their own code in the constitution since they are culturally and regionally different from Hinduism.

“But the best part is that both have wilfully accepted the Hindu Civil Law in India (which means according to Law they are hindus) and are living quite happily with everyone else in India.”
***It will not work in India. There is a history behind it. Co-existence is one thing but losing existence is another. Saying “which means according to Law they are hindus” is a trouble and unpalatable to many. Will not work in India. RSS does that with Sikhs that they are like Hindus, Sikhs happily co-exist but do not like to be called Hindus by any means.

Perhaps it will happen down the line but 60yrs post-independence is just a blink of an eye when you see when Muslims first arrived in India.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
NO NO NO NO man you got me all wrong…or may be I put bad English…whatever

I never meant to say give up one’s identity. All I said was that in legal cases of property and marriage disputes and rights, the Jains, Bhuddhists and Sikhs have willfully accepted Hindu laws. That’s it. So per law they are all HUF(Hindu Undivided Family) and it is already working well. It never means giving up identity. NEVER. And as for Law I believe it should not be dependent on any one religion or favouring any one community and should be based on human values. And in my opinion Hindu law comes as close as it could be to being human even if it goes against Hindu religion itself. For example until a few years back a widow could not claim ancestral property (that which her husband inherited) of her husband but only claim what her husband has bought which was somewhat as per Hindu traditions. But Hindus saw flaw in this approach on ground reality where widows were cheated by and large. So as per changing conditions law was modified such that now widow gets everything her husband owned be it ancestral or bought by him. So that’s kind of dynamism that’s missing in other communities like Muslim and Christians. And because of such human angle to Hindu law it is wilfully accepted by Sikhs, Jains and Buddhs. And your idea of Muslims in India being culturally different from Hindus doesn’t cut ice with me. All know that those who are today Muslims in India are those whose ancestors were Hindus in history but who converted to Islam either by force or by will, choose your pick whatever you like. So only faith changed but culture did not. Do not confuse culture with faith. And I have not seen any keenness on part of any Muslim leaders in India to make Muslim civil law more human and more women empowering. So please do not think that I am asking someone to give up their identity; all I am talking of is legal matters’ jurisdiction because those legal jurisdictions affect human life in a huge huge manner.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
I am sorry for my oct 16 post! I find your debate with 777 very interesting.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
I guess Rex is ASSUMING that me and you are debating (bickering/fighting). I would appreciate if could you please confirm to him that as fellow, sensible and responsible Indians we are just discussing conditions and difficulties our country faces today and then trying to discuss the positive options and solutions.

@Rex
By the way your divisive and super self centric nature is quite evident to me and, I am sure, to Rehmat as well.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

777:

I lost a whole post when my browser shut down. Just being quick here.

I am for UCC. UCC was envisioned by framers of the constitution with time. 60yrs gone and lack of discussion and mostly on the negative side is not helping it.

HOWEVER, why call it “Hindu Law” when the idea is to have UCC? That does not sit well with many and people think it will be lead to loss of identity. Agreed you do not mean that, I am not sure you can say the same thing about the Hindu Radicals who also want UCC. At least get rid if the name “Hindu” in “Hindu Law”.

Also agree that Hinduism has been progressive and happily removed unnecessary age old customs. Personal laws cannot be reformed at the same pace. All India Muslim Personal Law Board has called for abstaining from Triple Talaq. It is no where near what should happen but it is not stagnant. Sterotyping of Muslims and MPL has masked any progress made by reformist or the discussion. Gender equality in MPL has been called for my Muslims reformists and books have been written. Historically India accepts changes naturally and gradually. One chance to have UCC was post 1947 when personal laws were first introduced.

We cannot lose track of history that people of all faiths have been living here for centuries now.

“All know that those who are today Muslims in India are those whose ancestors were Hindus in history but who converted to Islam either by force or by will, choose your pick whatever you like. So only faith changed but culture did not.”
***Hard to say what really happened. No one has a handle on the subject. This is the subject on which academicians have published papers. It is complex. Lots of things happened including use of sword and word. If Sufism (incorporating non-Muslim values) has anything to do with spread then it was peaceful. Political Islam converted using sword. My personal opinion is that examples of conversions by sword are more glamorous and attract attention but not good enough to explain this large number of conversions. this is not the subject for discussion and is of mere academic interest any way.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Rex Minor

“I am sorry for my oct 16 post! I find your debate with 777 very interesting.”
***I appreciate that. HOWEVER, one danger is that you will withdraw it since soon I may say something which you do not like. I hope my “debate with 777″ is not a reason for it? UCC is an issue in India and we are sharing our opinions. Jump in if you want.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
“I lost a whole post when my browser shut down. Just being quick here.”

It happens often with me that Reuters does not show the post. So what i do is first i write in notepad and then copy paste it into reuters. That way i do not lose and if not shown first time then i can copy paste twice or thrice. Works for me!!

Ok back to discussion.

“HOWEVER, why call it “Hindu Law” when the idea is to have UCC? That does not sit well with many and people think it will be lead to loss of identity. Agreed you do not mean that, I am not sure you can say the same thing about the Hindu Radicals who also want UCC. At least get rid if the name “Hindu” in “Hindu Law”.”

I couldn’t agree with you more. And tell you what UCC has not been realised because it is called “Hindu” law. Because of name the law is being treated as a threat to identity which is far from truth. I have myself been in heated debates with some very “hard” hindu followers that why make UCC be called “Hindu” law….we want hindu name or the good law? So yes u r right that name “Hindu” in law should be dropped and given that it is hardly Hindu anymore. As for radicals, they are same in all communities. Divide and Rule is an age old mantra, hindu books speak of “saam, daam, dand, bhed” (dialogue, bribe, punishment and division) as the four weapons of politics in increasing order of effectiveness and sometimes I think if the Brits learned it in India…who knows, but nothing new in it. It is for us to not fall in their traps.

“Gender equality in MPL has been called for my Muslims reformists and books have been written.”

But you would agree that MPLB has been hijacked by the male chauvinists for fulfilling their political ends. I mean there was a time when it was legal for Hindus to burn a woman alive with her husband or make her live as widow for rest of her life BUT today, you would agree, hindu women enjoy more empowering laws than anywhere in the world. In India if law is X then power to people on ground in X/10 but what if law itself is X/10? We all remember that when in 2006 (not sure if it was 06 or 07) a muslim woman was raped by her father-in-law and then all the bearded “thekedaars” of muslim community in India were busy issuing fatwas against the women herself, I was shell shocked. And to add to it MPLB was mum on the whole issue. What do you say to that? How could MPLB not have a clear conscience in case of crimes as heinous as rape? Do you think that is some kind of progress or do you think these bearded ****s should have any right to try cases like rape?? Rape cases being put up to mullahs….which century are we living in?? I don’t know what progress MPLB has made since then but they have definitely not been as swift as their hindu counterparts.

I may have put up difficult questions but they are all true to a large extent. I remember you telling that u r Ph.D. and I enormously respect highly educated people but when it comes to personal laws sometimes frictions may surface (specially when all of it is coming from a hindu), although i hope we continue discussing as fellow Indians and not as typical hindu-muslim. But I especially feel for muslim women as I firmly believe that the greatest symbol of being civilised is how a society treats its women. Hindu history has been full of shameful acts towards women but in modern days Hindus have been far more active and adaptive for change.

“***Hard to say what really happened……this is not the subject for discussion and is of mere academic interest any way. ”

No no man I am not discussing conversions. No one can ever know what happened. I only said faith has changed but not culture as there is a big difference between culture and faith. That’s it. Muslims in India are not Arabs despite that they follow the religion of Arab lands.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@Rahmat
As long as we are civil and have a dialogue and debate on the issues, without the use of personal attacks, it is o’k with me. I have never been to India, nor do I have any knowledge of the one billuion citizens living their daily lives, other than what we see in the European newspapers. Therefore, i am reading with interest the post between two indian citizens.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@Rex
So you finally trying to learn about India from Indians. Good. Appreciated.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@777

“And to add to it MPLB was mum on the whole issue. What do you say to that? How could MPLB not have a clear conscience in case of crimes as heinous as rape? Do you think that is some kind of progress or do you think these bearded ****s should have any right to try cases like rape?? Rape cases being put up to mullahs….which century are we living in?? I don’t know what progress MPLB has made since then but they have definitely not been as swift as their hindu counterparts.”

***AIMPLB was not mum rather endorsed the decisions making it worse. In the end, police intervened after pressures from some women rights group in India and the guy is behind the bars.

“But you would agree that MPLB has been hijacked by the male chauvinists for fulfilling their political ends. “
***MPLB would do what people want as it happens in politics. People need to be more aware which many times correlates with the education and prosperity in general. When people do not want the cases to be decided in old fashion, change will happen at the top.

Muslims who are becoming aware of this not at the pace to your and my liking may be. YEs you are right, I am a Ph.D. and I know many Indian Muslims– my friends and colleagues– who are PhDs. Education is a big plus but that alone does not help. After all we are born and brought up in a system and the useless baggage is hard to check out and we carry it all the time without knowing it. I have a Ph.D/MBA Indian Muslim friend whose wife is Burqa clad. I have seen her Burqa disappearing with time at her own will. I can see the change in my life time in short time. This may all be a bit of digression but the issues are interlinked. Changes happen at the bottom and the leaders would deliver what masses want. While one to one discussion is OK, same cannot be extended to the massess. Slow change is what is natural. The best time was post 1947 for UCC where sudden change would have been more acceptable.

“I mean there was a time when it was legal for Hindus to burn a woman alive with her husband or make her live as widow for rest of her life BUT today, you would agree, hindu women enjoy more empowering laws than anywhere in the world.”
*** Sati was stopped by Brits. Am I right? I cannot say Hindu women enjoy more empowering than anywhere in the world. There must be some rankings about it. That should tell.

I said: “***Hard to say what really happened……this is not the subject for discussion and is of mere academic interest any way. ””
You said: “No no man I am not discussing conversions.”
***that was in response to your statement “………. converted to Islam either by force or by will, choose your pick whatever you like.”

While we are at it, can you tell me why Buddhism disappeared. I think it was by Hindus who felt threatened by the rise of Buddhism. Hinduism still stays despite the rise of Mughal power. That is not admiring Aurangzeb etc here and I acknowledge there was violence and atrocities have happened but co-existence between Hindus and Muslims was always there.

Back to the personal laws: These personal laws are faith based. Even culture varies even among Muslims and had different personal laws until they were brought under one banner of MPL.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
“People need to be more aware which many times correlates with the education and prosperity in general. When people do not want the cases to be decided in old fashion, change will happen at the top.”

Education yes but prosperity I am not sure. I have seen some very rich muslims with very old fashioned thinking so not sure if prosperity is also a factor in awareness. For Change at top again there have been mixed experiences of everyone. One can say since education changes thinking of masses, and it is responsibility of top to give education to masses, with awareness among masses people would critically adjudge guys at top so why will leaders would want to educate masses in first place? But for most of Hindu history people have always regarded advancement and modernisation in education very highly. Since the times of Ajatshatru in Magadh or may be even before Hindus adored the senior scholars and modern education was always respected and was sought after. So your observation of changing masses first may be right or may be wrong.

“*** Sati was stopped by Brits. Am I right?”
Not quite. There were reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Vivekanad, etc who ferociously opposed Sati. Then there was that man we know as M. K. Gandhi who vehemently opposed Sati as it was more prevelant near to his place in neighbouring state of Rajasthan. And finally read “The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act of 1987″ in any law book on women rights.

And I didn’t get why you said so much in that Ph.D. para. I mean I don’t understand it at all. What’s your point? If you think I taunted you then let me tell you I always wanted to be a Ph.D. but my family conditions were never so that I could do it so you can understand my genuine respect for anyone who is so highly educated. But if you acknowledging my respect for your education then I am glad. All I wanted to say was that I respect you but since in my opinion I feared (surely falsely) that you MAY take my questions personally that’s why I said that I respect your education and hence want you to continue discussing, the country we love, as fellow countrymen and I am glad that you replied.

***Conversions…
OK I may have put a bad statement there. Accept my sincerest apologies. But my intention was to say that faith and culture in my opinion are two mutually exclusive things which largely do not effect each other in any big way.

****Buddhism
Disappearing of bhuddism may have many causes. In my opinion any religion can spread ONLY and ONLY when some very powerful dynasty endorses it for at least a couple of centuries. In case of Buddhism it rise and fall were both sharp. And so was the case of Jainism. But still disappear is not the correct word I would say. Have you ever visited Bodh Gaya? If not then I recommend you do, its a nice place. Its in Bihar (Magadh) and it is well connected to major cities of India by rail network.

****rise of Mughal power
I do not consider it as any rise. Mughals could only rule Northern and some eastern parts of India. Mughals could never conquer Rajputs or Marathas or any southern parts. Hence larger concentration of muslims in north and east India as compared to south and west. Aurangzeb did conquer all briefly but his kingdom was always full of violence and uprisings.

“These personal laws are faith based”
In my personal opinion that is the real root of trouble. Hindus realised this root and pulled it out of personal laws.

“The best time was post 1947 for UCC where sudden change would have been more acceptable”

I don’t think so. Or at least our leaders that time did not had such a vision. Had our leaders then had any such vision they would have first made two child policy as law straight away. And I think that may be its good that it was not done at that time because somehow I cannot stop thinking that had there been a UCC in 1947 then its reform would have been much much slower and Hindus would have been still living under age old laws. So its kind of good that hindus were on their own and hence could reform faster than what could have done with a UCC in 1947 given the pace of modernising of muslims personal laws in 63 years. But you surely reflect hope and that is heartening to see.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

777

I want to make a statement to begin with that I do not get disturbed by a statement here and there, so go ahead.

“Education yes but prosperity I am not sure.”
***Agreed. Education also does not help sometimes, next step is wisdom. Education helps in many ways. Wisdom requires no education but such cases are small in number.

“One can say since education changes thinking of masses, and it is responsibility of top to give education to masses, with awareness among masses people would critically adjudge guys at top so why will leaders would want to educate masses in first place?”
***who is “top” here? It is the Indian govt –state and central education boards and the policies. Muslim leadership is what controls MPL. Indian govt can help in educating the masses leading to awareness which in turn will force changes in MPL Board thinking or changing any other nut.

@Sati was stopped by Brits. Am I right?”
“Not quite. There were reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Vivekanad, etc who ferociously opposed Sati. Then there was that man we know as M. K. Gandhi who vehemently opposed Sati as it was more prevelant near to his place in neighbouring state of Rajasthan. And finally read “The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act of 1987? in any law book on women rights.”
***Well, Sikhism is refined version of Hinduism and I am sure Guru Nanak Dev would have spoken against Sati Practice. I know Muslim rulers also actively tried to stop this. Well it is gone today, hopefully totally, is good.

@Buddhism
***OK it is not disappearance. That is a bit loosely used statement on my part. Buddhism thrived for long time (~1000Yrs). I agree there are several causes for downfall. Shankracharya is often blamed for this. He revived Hinduism at the cost of Buddhism. I have not been to Bodh Gaya.

Well let me come out of details, I was trying to see how religions interacted in the past: Hinduism/Buddhism and Hinduism/Islam relationships. I have an in impression that Hinduism (let me be proper it is not the religion) contributed to that. More specifically the orthodox Brahimins who had power were a big factor. The nature of Buddhism itself was that it was mainly practiced in monasteries and is thus easier to target. While it branched from Hinduism it is easier to imagine that it can easily merge back in Hinduism.

Comparatively, Mughal power has not tried to eliminate Hinduism, historically speaking. As I said event have taken place but Hinduism did not die. Muslims became part of the place and lived there for centuries.

@****rise of Mughal power
“I do not consider it as any rise.”
***That;s fine too. But did Hinduism faced existential threat at places where Muslims ruled. I do not think so.

“Or at least our leaders that time did not had such a vision. Had our leaders then had any such vision they would have first made two child policy as law straight away.”
***Population is the major problem. That can be fixed by education/awareness without changing personal laws. In Indian democracy even after UCC, it is the people who will decide how many to have. As discussed earlier, there are several other laws that need to be modernized so that is where UCC will help.

@Ph.D.
I did not express myself clearly. NO I did not take your statement as a taunt. Rather that’s a complement. Thanks. That example of the couple I gave you (my friends) was to tell you that I have seen changes happening in people’s thinking and they change with time when they feel so without anyone forcing them at all.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@Rehmat
Could you please elaborate on ‘education’? Have there been any reforms on the education system in India since Partition? I note that indian citizens are running around in the world like headless chickens trying to obtain basic learning in places as far as Australia and the USA. Are there no elite schools or universities for the citizens within India?
Thank you.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

PS
Incidently, same goes for Pakistan!
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat

“Wisdom requires no education but such cases are small in number. ”
That’s why we need education for all.

“***who is “top” here? It is the Indian govt”
Yes and that’s the problem. We can have good government only when people are aware, people will be aware when people are educated and people will get mass scale education only when there is good government. In computer science we call it inter-process/thread deadlock. Nothing moving on because everything is waiting on something else to move.

@Buddhism
Shankracharya and other fools like him are at best hired goons for gaining political ends. Nothing more than that. Don’t ever follow these goons is my advice to all.

“He revived Hinduism at the cost of Buddhism”
When you pour water from one glass to another the first one will become empty. So if there are conversions then this will happen with any set of two religions then why say “at the cost of”.

“But did Hinduism faced existential threat at places where Muslims ruled”

See you must have heard of this riddle, If 3 pegions are perching on a tree branch and you shoot one then how many are left? One? NO Answer is ZERO. Why? Because other 3 die of fear. Or may be answer lies in the fact that why have any punishment for murder/rape? Will punishment undo the crimes? NO. Then why punish? So that it installs fear of law in others and this fear acts as a deterrent for further criminal activities. So in the initial rule of muslim rulers this is what they did. They attacked extremely small group of hindus and did a lot of propaganda so that other hindus be made to fear of the muslim rule and there was a perceived existential threat to hinduism. How real that threat was, is/was a different thing. Then there was great mughal Mohammad Jalaludin Akbar. Sure he was brutal to his enemies but a nice man at heart. He realised same thing under Bairam Khan that Ashoka realised after Kalinga. Mad killing will lead nowhere. Whom will you rule if you kill all? This realisation plus his upbringing among hindus for a some period made him a man of both communities. He was the first one to give confidence to hindus that muslims are not out to annihilate hindus and showed the true colours of Islam to India which speaks of tolerance and coexistence. He was the first muslim ruler one to order that no meat business be conducted in chandni chowk, Delhi for 10 auspicious days of Jains. Akbar was the one who really adopted India and rest is history. But yes the after effects of that perceived threat are still widespread in hindu society, one major problem being inter-caste marriages. In pre-muslim era caste was not so much rigid. A brahmin girl could marry a soldier man or vice versa and other combinations. But after there was the perceived threat the hindus became deeply rigid so as to protect hinduism from that perceived threat. I have researched so deep after me and my girlfriend suffered because of this mentality of our parents. And only and only solution of this is education and nothing but education. All we can hope is that we could eliminate this plague of caste in next 50 years or so with help from all Indians including help from muslims like you as well who could tell their hindu friends to come out of this bullshit caste system.

@population
UCC is not the ultimate answer but could be a decent begining.

“I have seen changes happening in people’s thinking and they change with time when they feel so without anyone forcing them at all.”
Yes but sometimes somethings need a change faster than an individual’s pace so as to maintain balance of society as a whole. Population is one such problem that cannot be left to individual’s pace. Can you think of some more like this?

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@Rex
“Are there no elite schools or universities for the citizens within India?”

Problem is not quality. Problem is quantity of quality. When I appeared for engineering entrance exams back in 2002, there were like just 7 IITs (epitomes of Indian engineering studies, dream of every engineering student in school). And IIT graduates do some of the greatest research around the world. But in a country of 1 billion only 7 good universities with each having an intake of 400 or so per year. Today there are now 12 or so IIT universities but still demand is tremendous. I am engineer so I know of this lack of quantity of quality in engineering but I am sure same is case with other fields as well. Quality missing is at the M. Tech level. At Masters and Doctorate level there is serious lack of quality in engineering in India which in short means the education level is fine but research level is not, at least not in engineering.

Rehmat, please correct me if my analysis above missed any point.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@777
I had meant non-technical education! I was referring to Rehmats comments on population problem and the fix with education. I am a great believer in the power of skilled and educated citizens. A one billion people is the power, but without making them a cohesive force they could become a hinderence in your aspiration for India to become a super power. We are watching the downfall of the imperialist America, which, like the Romans , have all along been glorifying their military to conduct wars for progress. Is India going to follow suit or chart a different independent course and provide education for the population at all levels.
A Nation of a billion people could become an asset not only for India but the whole of the world. Is the Indian leadership prepared and willing to distribute the national wealth more evenly and with justice OR follow the free for all “AMERICAN DREAM” philosaphy, whatever that means. Let us remember that the citizens in your country are not the migrants from all over the world(like in USA) but natives of the land.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Rex:

In context of the ongoing discussion, education means uniform learning of all the knowledge and skills and values that a society has in order to keep harmony in the society across generations and bringing individual and collective prosperity and hopefully wisdom.
Education reforms are continuing. Wish I was expert enough to speak on all subjects!

“I note that indian citizens are running around in the world like headless chickens trying to obtain basic learning in places as far as Australia and the USA. Are there no elite schools or universities for the citizens within India?”

**Please use better expression.
Tell me what you mean by “basic learning” and give me an example.

India has colleges so elite that it is easier to get into colleges abroad than in let us say IIT India. I suggest you google for IIT India, IISc Bangalore, IIM India, CSIR, TIFR Mumbai, CSIR Institutes. Same goes for China if I give you an example of Peking University which is elite. Many of these places (IIT IISc Peking Univ) are known very well abroad. You can tell me about Pakistan on this.

Population is the HUGE problem (read as bold and in font size 40). Despite expansion of colleges, getting into higher education institutes in a good Grad School is not that easy. It is easier to get into a better school in the USA versus that in India. Same goes for China.

I have no idea what you really meant by basic learning so I do not want to expand this further.

Let us connect this with Muslim majority countries. Why in your view is lack of University/education Institutes in these countries. Saudis are “God father of USA” (your words), petro rich and still lack higher education Institutes, enough entertainment centers though. Do you think there is distraction because of some other factors. I know you admire Pushtoons. Do you see any point of educating these Pushtoons in Afghanistan? Perhaps Saudis can fund that. How long can they stay like this?

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@Rahmat
Sorry, I have not been able to express my question in a proper way. let us leave it at that. Thanks anyway-
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@Rex

“Sorry, I have not been able to express my question in a proper way. let us leave it at that. Thanks anyway”
***If you say so.
I won’t say the same that I did not ask a question in proper way in my last para. My first question about lack of focus on education in Muslim majority countries, such as Petro rich Saudi Arabia (example), is very relevant.

I am fine with us moving on.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

Rex,
I agree with you that people are asset but 1 billion people in such a small land space are a menace. It is easy for outsiders to make intelligent comments as 1 billion people country has great potential and so on but those who really know ground realities are the ones facing the music. I would agree with Rehmat that Population explosion in India is the HUGE problem (read as bold and in font size 40). But at least a law has been passed by parliament that is known as RTE (Right to Education) under which every child is entitled to at least primary education. So things are being tried and changes will come but 60 years is not enough to judge a country. So please be fair in your assessment.

Rehmat,
It is normal for Rex to run away from tough questions raised about his beloved holy lands of believers. I am sure you are not surprised with him showing back to your questions. By the way me and you were discussing UCC above, so any thoughts to what I said on 28-Oct-2010.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@777

“Yes and that’s the problem. We can have good government only when people are aware, people will be aware when people are educated and people will get mass scale education only when there is good government. In computer science we call it inter-process/thread deadlock. Nothing moving on because everything is waiting on something else to move.”
***Except for some revolution, changes happen slow. One thing that I have seen is that people do not sink back into illiteracy/poverty once they are out of it. This happens for several positive changes but they are isolated. That is a good word you used to describe the situation.

@Buddhism
“Shankracharya and other fools like him are at best hired goons for gaining political ends.”
***I am talking about the one 1000Yrs ago. Was it Adi Shankracharya?

“When you pour water from one glass to another the first one will become empty. So if there are conversions then this will happen with any set of two religions then why say “at the cost of”.
*** Revival can be without conversions.

That brings me to an interesting scenario while we are discussing it. You know that monasteries were demolished and Hindu temples built during all this time of Buddhism downfall. This is a case of Ayodhya except that the Buddhists are not going demolish a temple, where there was originally a monastery.

“All we can hope is that we could eliminate this plague of caste in next 50 years or so with help from all Indians including help from muslims like you as well who could tell their hindu friends to come out of this bullshit caste system.”
***This happens, not always though, when people get out of their traditional l habitats. Caste system may be more visible in a remote village of Bihar than in Mumbai or Delhi.

Reservation system will not let casteism go forever. Why not totally scrap the reservations and promote free education for the poor and let all compete at the same level. This will still benefit several kinds of minorities including the ones who are already benefitting, and Muslims who are poor and would take away benefit from those who are good enough to be on their own. There are many layers to it if the idea is to be pursued. This reservation system is making the beneficiaries educated and richer but lazier not any smarter. As long as reservations stay caste system will stay. No one is going to bell this cat.

@population
“Population is one such problem that cannot be left to individual’s pace. Can you think of some more like this?”
***I have not seen exactly like the one example I gave you earlier but I have seen several in my profession in terms of the thought process. But this still remains the isolated cases overall. UCC is not going to control population as you noted that UCC is not the ultimate answer.

For UCC to happen, the name Hindu needs to be dropped from Hindu Law to satisfy the Muslim minority, which is reasonable. Again, can you see the protectors of Hinduism such as Narender Modi or VHP etc will see the word Hindu dropped from Hindu Law before we have UCC?

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

shortly the retribution plan will be history
once there is such an attack on the usa china will intervene to say it wont tolerate any us retribution attack on pakistan
despite appeasement of pakistan such attacks will occur periodically starting sooner rather than later
why? any successful extortionist protection racket over time requires that there are periodic reminders of the consequences of any possible defaults and mental intimidation of those who pay protection- or it will fail
the isi is well aware of this

Posted by buntyj | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
“I am talking about the one 1000Yrs ago. Was it Adi Shankracharya?”

Largest reason was fall of Guptas which created a power vaccum. Because of this vaccum there were a large number of small kingdoms that USED religion with help from brahmins (because budhhists at that time stayed away from politics) to FOOL their ordinary JANTTA. Sounds familiar…even today JANTTA is a fool who blindly follows religion and is so easy to fool in name of religion. Adi or no Adi but all these so called religious leaders (from all religions including mullahs and paadris as well) were/are/will always be hired goons at best for gaining political ends. History teaches us that religion is the greatest tool to divide and rule.

“You know that monasteries were demolished and Hindu temples built during all this time of Buddhism downfall. This is a case of Ayodhya except that the Buddhists are not going demolish a temple, where there was originally a monastery.”

All I care for is law of land. What was there before 1947 is not and should not be a concern. After 1947 it was a mosque and was illegally demolished and so the criminals be brought to justice and land be given to muslims. BUT given the current scenario, of late my personal opinion has been that niether a masjid gives a muslim good life and nor a mandir gives a hindu a good life. When we have land then why not a hospital, school or may be even a electricity generation plant? What say?

“This will still benefit several kinds of minorities including the ones who are already benefitting”

But how the hell will it benefit our politicians???

“This reservation system is making the beneficiaries educated and richer but lazier not any smarter”

Who want to be smarter when one can be rich and lazy both at same time??? Your idea is excellent but as you said no one will bell the cat.

“Again, can you see the protectors of Hinduism such as Narender Modi or VHP etc will see the word Hindu dropped from Hindu Law before we have UCC”

Narender Modi — Yes. He will be ready to drop name Hindu willingly. No doubt in it. I can understand the image of Modi in eyes of muslims for being unpunished after doing henious crimes against muslims but he is not a fool and a very strategic politician.
VHP — Hired GOONS. GOONS, GOONS, GOONS. I hope you do not discuss these fools again. Lets be sensible. BTW I am amazed to see even such a mature guy like you believing that VHP represents hindus when even Hindus themselves condemn VHP claims of representing Hindus.

I agree Hindu name should be dropped from UCC. Lord Krishna tells Arjun (and mankind) that greatest religion is to serve nation and motherland. So if changing name of a good law is what makes India a better country then I support dropping the name happily. What in a name? :)

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •