Guest contribution-Unifying Pakistan

November 3, 2010

sindh floodsThe following is a guest contribution. Reuters is not responsible for the content and the views expressed are the author’s alone. The writer is a defence expert and author of two books on the Pakistan Army.

By Brian Cloughley

Many of Pakistan’s problems are of its own making, courtesy of uniformed dictators or ineffective politicians or weird alliances of both. When military rulers took over the country in their bloodless coups they were welcomed by the majority of citizens, which was understandable given that the governments they replaced were feudally authoritarian and grossly incompetent.

The problem was that the generals stayed too long in power. If they had wanted to further democracy they would have encouraged the country to move towards socially aware and proficient civilian governance. But they didn’t; and there’s no point in crying over spilt opportunities. What matters now is unifying the country to meet its many challenges. Unfortunately, about the only bonding factor evident is extensive distrust and hatred of America.

Pakistan has immense internal problems. For example, the education and health systems are a disgrace, mainly because the rich and powerful and the politicians – who are often the same people – don’t have to use them. It is shameful that Pakistan has to endure what is called ‘load-shedding’ – electricity power cuts – for so many hours each day and that prices of basic foodstuffs are so high. The economic effects of power cuts on industry are becoming critically serious. The great flood has made the situation worse, but even before that disaster there were many millions who could not operate a tiny fan to ease the crippling heat of summer, or a one-bar radiator to counter the killing cold of winter. There has been scandalous and even criminal mismanagement of flood relief measures. Corruption is rife and living standards are appallingly low for the majority of the population.

Yet there is massive wealth in Pakistan, albeit concentrated in very few hands. It was recently revealed that “The average worth of assets held by Members of the National Assembly [MNA] increased three-fold” since 2003, and “the current average value of assets held by an MNA stands at Rs80.89 million”, which is about a million US dollars – a staggering amount of money in such an impoverished country.

It doesn’t stop there. As Pakistan’s ‘News’ newspaper reported on 27 September, “Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his 25 ministers, in sworn affidavits submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan at the time of their elections, have admitted that they don’t pay income taxes”, which is, to put it mildly, peculiar. Hillary Clinton twisted the knife next day by declaring that “Pakistan cannot have a tax rate of 9 percent of GDP when land owners and all of the other elites do not pay anything or pay so little it’s laughable.” On 26 October Transparency International (TI) released a report including the observation that there is a global “tide of corruption”, and indicating the sad fact that Pakistan is one of the most horribly corrupt countries in the world.

Alas, there is nothing terribly new in this, except that Pakistan’s position in the league has worsened a bit in the past year or so, but then the Sindh Assembly passed a unanimous resolution condemning Transparency International, and the Punjab Governor, Salman Taseer, declared that the findings were “a disgraceful stunt to malign the government.”

Equally off the planet were many other politicians who, instead of pledging to help ordinary people and bring to justice at least some of the legions of corrupt officials who rip them off, joined in the assault on TI. This is a dangerous, head-in-sand reaction, because it smacks of supporting or at least tolerating what the vast majority of people consider to be a major social problem.

Given unchecked social injustice, Pakistan might seem ripe for revolution – and the violence of Muslim extremists in Pakistan is classically revolutionary in character. Their attacks are the ultimate (and sometimes physically final) protest against what they perceive as a grossly unfair society, although their solutions are medieval and rejected by most Pakistanis. Their hatred of America, however, strikes a populist nerve, and the US has exacerbated its unpopularity by conducting cross-border strikes from Afghanistan and drawing closer to India, to the extent that a 2010 Pew Research Centre poll found that 59 per cent of Pakistanis view the US as an enemy. President Obama’s November visit to India is regarded widely as being deliberately anti-Pakistan. But it’s the domestic problems that are most sensitive.

There is dangerous disgruntlement in Pakistan. It isn’t surprising that once again there is talk of a military takeover, although the Chief of Army Staff, General Kayani, wants to keep the army in barracks. But, as with all Pakistani public figures who care about their nation (as distinct from those who prioritize personal wealth), he must be worried about the country’s lack of direction.

There are some decent and honourable people in Pakistan’s politics, and they may yet come to the fore. What matters urgently is establishment of a sense of national unity and purpose. Unfortunately the President, Asif Zardari, is not the person to generate this, because he is despised and detested by most citizens and even by many supporters of his own political party.

Mr Zardari would do his country a vital and historic service were he to stand down to allow election of a figure who can inspire and bond the people of Pakistan. The Constitution, quite rightly, now limits presidential powers – but it doesn’t alter the president’s responsibilities to the nation. The politicians will have to play their part by ensuring appointment of an uncorrupt and principled president who can unify the country and guide social reform. It is only when the people come to trust their national leadership that there can begin to be effective action to deal with Pakistan’s manifold problems. General Kayani doesn’t want to take over – but if Zardari doesn’t go, there might be no alternative, if Pakistan is to survive as a nation.

(Reuters photo: A boy plays with a tyre in a flood-hit area in Sindh/Akhtar Soomro)


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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by pragmatic_desi, Pakistan Now Never. Pakistan Now Never said: Guest contribution-Unifying Pakistan […]

Posted by Tweets that mention Guest contribution-Unifying Pakistan | Analysis & Opinion | — | Report as abusive

Instead of uniting Pakistan, why can’t they be helped to divide into smaller nations? After all it is the people who are being held hostage. People need decent lives. If a collective nation of Pakistan cannot give them that, then an alternative must be tried. For all one knows, Sindh might do well economically on its own, without having to play slave to the Punjabi dominated military. Balochistan might do well exporting its minerals and resources instead of getting leached out by the rest of Pakistan. Pakistan does not matter. What matters is the people and peace in the region. Just a thought.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Pakistan is a sinking ship & it’s much easier to devide people on a sinking ship, than unify them. A change of leadersip will hardly make a difference in a deeply devided Pakistani society. Zardari is supported by his sindhi vote base but despised by the Punjabis & the rest. Nawaz Sharif is supported by the Punjabis but despised by the Sindhis & the rest. An army takeover won’t help much either. As long as Pakistan’s ecconomy continues to go down the drain & the poor & middle class keep getting exploited at the hands of a few elite, it will be impossible to unify the country. It’ll be a lot easier to break them, though.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

And may I ask whom would you hold accountable in these small countries when they commit piracy acts on the high seas and violence in the neighbourhood? Have we not got one Somalia too many. You bright guys, go back to your elemantry schools in your small country
to study why a country is created in the first place?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Rex Minor: “And may I ask whom would you hold accountable in these small countries when they commit piracy acts on the high seas and violence in the neighbourhood? Have we not got one Somalia too many.”

How can Pashtunistan engage in high sea piracy? What makes you assume that Sindh with Karachi as the financial capital will engage in piracy. Sindhis are a business community. Their counterparts in India are a thriving group. Sindh might simply turn around and become an economic hub for the region. Karachi could give Mumbai a run for the money if it is allowed to function like a regular city.

Balochistan has enough minerals and resources that are being leached out by the rest of Pakistan without any benefits going to the Balochis. They might do well exporting their wealth without having to resort to piracy. Somalia has nothing.

“You bright guys, go back to your elemantry schools in your small country to study why a country is created in the first place?”

Even an elementary school kid today can tell why selfish leaders foment violence, isolate groups and create states for themselves. Jinnah was a power maniac and wanted to head a state desperately before he died. He knew he could never become a head of state in a Congress led united India. So he worked with his supporters and exploited the frustrations of the British with Gandhi and carved out a nation for himself. Pakistan was created for Jinnah. The country died as soon as Jinnah died. That is why it is in shambles.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

You are carrying a very heavy load. Try to forget the past if you can and return to normality. No body is your enemy nor any one wants to belittle you. In every country most people go about with a normal life, work hard and want peace and prosperity for their families. They do not bully others and do not want to be bullied by others. I trust that you are in agreement with this position.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@”You bright guys, go back to your elemantry schools in your small country to study why a country is created in the first place?”

Professor Minor, why don’t you enlighten us with the twisted knowledge that the mullahs of the psychiatric ward of a German hospital are imparting upon you? Give me a buzz when you have anything besides “USA is a failed state”, “China is a superpower” & “the Pashtuns will rise”?

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

I was going to write to you that why do you think splitting Pakistan would make it better.

I tend to agree with Rex that splitting is not good. Earlier it was 1 reason for superpower to visit the region, splitting into 5 will give 5 reasons.
Your assume all will go well after splitting just like MA Jinnah thought about Pakistan and just like many who want Kashmir separation think. Is it not opposite of the logic given for Kashmir separation (by you ? or someone) that India will have to deal with not 1 instead 2 Pakistans.

***Is it not why Maoists disturbance in India?

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

***Is it not what Maoists are saying in India about big corporations?

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive


Kashmir separation is an extension of Pakistan’s separation which involved bloodshed, hatred and sustained venom against India (read as a Hindu nation). If Bangladesh were adjacent to Pakistan and were to separate, it too would carry a lot of grudge against Pakistan and will fear of being run over by a nuclear armed Pakistan. The case is very different in regards to Kashmir and East Pakistan.

I’d recommend doing away with the North Eastern States as well because we have done to them what Pakistan has done to Balochistan – take away the resources from them and leave them to fend for themselves. And we take note only when they stage violent protests.

I am not overzealous about splitting up Pakistan. It is just a question I raised to the author. In fact splitting up the Eastern half of Pakistan has helped India tremendously to move on. It was a very well timed action. Otherwise Pakistan would have wiped out India by now by sitting on both sides.

Pakistan’s culture is driven by the Punjabi/Pashtun ethnic groups which are very belligerent and martial in nature. They do not think of anything but muscling their way through everything. Look at Rex Minor’s chest thumping about Pashtuns. They have been in wars and conflicts ever since time immemorial. That is all they have – sustain an enemy at all costs and keep fighting the enemy. This attitude has led to the complete derailment of Pakistan as a nation. They have done nothing over the past sixty years other than to prepare for a war and build weapons beyond their means. And they use India as the excuse to sustain their addiction to conflicts.

A nation is meant for providing livelihood, security and future to its people. Nations are meant to use the available resources for the people’s use and continue to work on developing. If nations do not meet that criterion due to internal infrastructure and culture that focus on external issues all the time, such nations will not only drag themselves down, but also others with them.

Pakistan is an experiment that did not work. It failed as an Islamic nation in 1971. It is about to fail again because Islam is not a nation, it is a religion. Religions are meant for private spiritual pursuits and cannot be used for creating nations and running administrations. A failed state is much more dangerous than one that was messed up by outside forces. Afghanistan is a latter case. It became a victim of super power rivalry. Pakistan is the former case where failure has come from within entirely.

I don’t think I can see any hopes of Pakistan returning to normalcy and becoming a nation. It is on a tail spin. With desperation in the American camp, pressure is only going to mount and cause rapid implosion of Pakistan. At that time every community – Sindhis, Balochis, Ahmediyas, Shias etc will try to protect their interests and their survival. And it will be a violent one which can make the splintering up of Yugoslavia look like a picnic. Does the region have to go through it? Pakistan is being held together by two things – American money and Indiaphobia. If either of them gets out of control, Pakistan will react. And it will be with nukes.

I am not offering a final solution. Please do offer yours in terms of what other alternatives you can give. You will need to consider all the factors that have brought this country down – radicalization, militancy, terrorist training camps, a rogue military, corruption, economic strain, famine etc. Pakistan is already back in medieval times with no power and poor water distribution in the hinterlands. Frustration will only grow and a military rule simply will not help change the momentum. I’d like to hear your suggestions on what needs to be done with Pakistan.

Balochistan is impoverished region. The tribals there might do business with the rest of the world. They are not hunting with bows and arrows. They are a lot more advanced when compared to the tribals in India.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Instead of dividing Pakistan it would be much better to convert LOC into Border with India. That way PA can be tamed and common man’s tax money can be put to better use. Why can’t Pakistanis attack India with high quality at affordable prices? Why can’t Karachi stock exchange give BSE a run for its money? For all this Pakistanis need a revolution that is NOT based on blind following of so called religious leaders. History has been witness to fact that religion is the greatest tool to divide and rule. So all in Pakistan and India need to get out of this blind religion following and open their eyes to world of positive possibilities.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Any nation can survive as a viable unit when internal instututions function well. It enables the Civil authority to run a government by providing modern education to children, affordable healthcare to people, develop infrastructure to facilitate development of industry that can generate useful employment to the people, maintain a security and defense establishment to assure protection from internal and external disturbances and attacks, and so on and so forth. To assure all this, the local administration has to create congenial internal and external environment by fostering harmony in society and developing friendly relationships with neighbours and with the international community so that development work can occur in a peaceful atmoshphere.

In Paksitan’s case a lot of these things are missing due to the tail wagging the dog. The military leadership has spun out of control there and queered the national debate. Every effort by the civilian leaders to focus on the business of governing has been thwarted by the military. The civilian politicians feel helpless and demoralised in this atmoshphere. They can do nothing that they plan to do without the Army Chief pushing his nose in and blocking.

The key to Pakistan’s redemption lies not so much in breaking up the country or inviting the Army Chief to take over, as in getting the Army to obey the Civilian authority without defiance. In an atmosphere vitiated by Army defiance (MUTINY, really!), which political party can carry out their program of establishing peace with the neighbours and focussing on internal development?

Posted by chidambaram | Report as abusive


The questions you have asked have been asked many times over the years. Suddenly Pakistan cannot become a trade powerhouse and start flourishing businesses. They do not have the infrastructure for it. And the conditions in the country today do not suit healthy business development. They own the most fertile lands in Punjab. But they are importing wheat on credit from countries like the US and Australia. Parts of the country have no government writ functioning. Tribals run their own local governance and are not bound by the laws of the nation. In some places even the military is scared of going in and setting up conditions for a functioning civil administration. The whole country is kept like a military garrison. People are living, whether the government functions or not. Guns are everywhere. Violence has increased. They cannot even hold international sports and games in their country. Pakistan’s cricket team is playing other nations in Dubai and UK. That is only the tip of the iceberg. When a patient is suffering from self inflicted burn wounds, one does not discuss about what designer clothes would fit him. Doctors will have to look at any festering parts and discuss about amputating those rotting parts away. I’d love to see a healthy Pakistan. But that term sounds like an oxymoron to me.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

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Posted by Guest contribution-Unifying Pakistan | One Stop Everything News | Report as abusive

Chidambaram: “The key to Pakistan’s redemption lies not so much in breaking up the country or inviting the Army Chief to take over, as in getting the Army to obey the Civilian authority without defiance. In an atmosphere vitiated by Army defiance (MUTINY, really!), which political party can carry out their program of establishing peace with the neighbours and focussing on internal development?”

Whatever happens will happen. Our strategies and discussions on what to do with Pakistan will not get anywhere. However, it is always good to have the awareness about events and be able to see how we will handle a situation.

Pakistan was created for two reasons – Jinnah wanted a nation for himself. The British saw the need for a smaller country in the sensitive Central Asian region where they could park themselves and take on the Russians. They knew Jinnah was not going to live for long. Once a nation was formed, it would be easy to control it from afar. This was done when Britain was still a super power. But they disappeared from that position after WW II and got replaced by the US.

The US realized the same strategic advantage of Pakistan as the UK had done. So they pampered Pakistan well. The British controlled nations by turning them against each other, or turned people against each other within nations. It was a strategy that worked when the power center was far removed from the regions under control and communication and technology were not advanced. The US did not need that. It developed modern technology rapidly. It simply put people of its preference in power. The US had the CIA which could accomplish this. It preferred dictatorships to civilian governments.

Pakistan, which was created by the British for its strategic reasons, now became a puppet of the Americans who encouraged its military. If Pakistan had powerful leaders who had massive clout over people, the US would have propped them up as well. It did that in the case of Zaire, Chile, Philippines and Iran. It wanted India on its side. If Nehru had accepted American proposal, the US would have supported him all the way through. In the case of Pakistan, only the military had that potential. So over the years, only one thing developed in Pakistan – its military.

Cold war is over now and a new menace has emerged. Circumstances have changed. Russia is no longer the threat it was. New players have entered the arena. Old strategies do not work anymore. Pakistan is not needed as a strategic asset for the Americans or their allies. Pakistan’s global strategic value is no longer there. It is now needed for a regional power struggle between China and India. The US does not want that to happen because it will lose Pakistan to China entirely. There is already enough anti-Americanism in Pakistan.

My point is this – since this volatile Af-Pak region is geo-strategic in nature, it has to change its shape and size according to the changes in the global game. It is very unfortunate. That is the way it is. In the new environment, a Pakistan that has been fed with advanced military hardware, nukes, and Islamic radicalization is not going to benefit the world powers. It is going to be useful for the Middle Eastern countries and China. This is a very dangerous development. And India will be affected by this development. Every country is looking after its own interest. China wants to use Pakistan to contain India. Middle Eastern nations want Pakistan to take on Israel. The West is now at the receiving end, just like India has been and will be.

An impoverished country with no infrastructure, feudalism, radicalism, militancy, nukes, a military too powerful are the right ingredients for a massive explosion. Pakistan is a ticking time bomb. Before it blows up, the geo-strategic equations have to be changed and corrected. There is only one option as I see it. And I have discussed about it here.

We need to distinguish between two things – protecting Pakistan as a nation and protecting the people who live in the region that makes up Af-Pak. The two are very different things. Pakistan as a nation has done nothing to its people. They have no law and no justice. The nation is surviving entirely on foreign aid and military service. This cannot go one forever. It is not a nation for its people or for Muslims anymore. It is simply a strategic asset for whichever power that steps in.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

The entire world would benefit from a broken Pakistan & it would especially be beneficial to India. Out of the 5 main ethnic groups in Pakistan (Punjabis, Sindhis, Pashtuns, Balochs & Muhajirs), it’s the Punjabis, who harbour strong anti-India sentiment. It’s this venemous sentiment which has brought about the self-destruction & ruination of Pakistan & is the root cause of most of it’s problems (radicalization, bad ecconomy etc). The Sindhis, Balochs & Muhajirs, generally do not subscribe to the anti-India agenda of the Punjabis & if given their own independant nations, they will not only be neutral towards India but may also be friendly towards it. The Pashtuns also, by & large, don’t harbour anti-India sentiments and in many cases, they hate the Punjabis, much more than they hate Indians. So, that would just leave out Punjab, which will be too weak & toothless to challange anybody & hence will be forced to give up it’s belligerant ways & concentrate on it’s ecconomy & well being of it’s people. Thus, breaking of Pakistan, could be a solution to curbing the cancer of terrorism emanating from that country.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Mortal1: “Thus, breaking of Pakistan, could be a solution to curbing the cancer of terrorism emanating from that country.”

It will eliminate the nukes from this dangerous environment. All the rise in global Islamic Jihad is due to the safety built by the nukes in Pakistan.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive


I still advocate peace deal between India and Pakistan. But for the short term, it seems Pakistan is too incoherent, corrupt, divided and focused on enmity with India to care about Kashmiri Azadi from both India and Kashmir.

I agree in the short term, let’s make the LOC the defactor border. Any future incursions by state or non-state actors, politically and militarily will be met with punishing brute force, as Indians will not tolerate violation of their territorial integrity.

Barack Obama, if he wants to bring up Kashmir and bring about a short term solution, he is more than welcome to advocate the LOC as the new border.

In time, as Pakistan stabilizes, de-militantizes, strengthens its democracy and secures its innards, India and Pakistan should start bilateral peace talks and jointly give Kashmir Azadi, if that is what they chose. Assuming Pakistan stops generating militants today, I can see in 20-30, most of the hardcore militants leaving the scene through attrition and old age and as the newer more modern demographic comes up, they may be receptive to a peace deal with Pakistan and full azadi for Kashmiri’s.

In the short term, let’s make LOC the border and put up a 30 foot concrete wall, a temporary, but necessary measure. It certainly works in Israel to curtail the level of suicide attackers and militants. There will have to be some give and take to prevent landlocking populations that want to stay in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

Sorry to Kashmiri’s but Kashmiri azadi cannot happen until Pakistan signs a peace deal with India.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@KP, Mortal
Any attempt to divide Pakistan will be seen as violation of Pakistan’s integrity by India (even if USA does the divisions) and f*natics in PA may just launch nukes towards India out of sheer madness. How do you both propose to deal with this? Until nukes remain in Pakistan and/or China illegally keeps supplying nuke fuel to Pakistan, no one can touch Pakistan. In my opinion what will ultimately destruct Pakistan is a civil war. At time of civil war it will be much easier to bribe out nukes. Lets see what is next.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive


I wasn’t suggesting that India should attempt to break Pakistan but simply pointing out the benefits, if that were to happen. IMO, India or anyone doesen’t need to do much to break Pakistan up because it is rapidly heading towards that direction on it’s own without any help from others. I also feel that Pakistan is already in a civil war like situation & things will only get worse from here on. In Khyber-Pakhtunwa, there’s a civil war going on betweeen the Pashtun Taliban & the Punjabi army. In Baluchistan, there’s a civil war going on between the Balochs & the Punjabis. In Sindh, the sindhis are getting increasingly frustrated & disgruntled with the dominant Punjabis. Karachi is embroiled in a bloody civil war between the Muhajirs & the Pashtuns. Even in Punjab, a civil war is starting to surface between the radicalized Deobandi/Wahabis & the moderate Barelvis/suffis. If things are not corrected soon (& I think that they are uncorrectable at this point), it will only be a matter of time, before Pakistan splinters on it’s own.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

777xxx777: “Any attempt to divide Pakistan will be seen as violation of Pakistan’s integrity by India (even if USA does the divisions) and f*natics in PA may just launch nukes towards India out of sheer madness. How do you both propose to deal with this? Until nukes remain in Pakistan and/or China illegally keeps supplying nuke fuel to Pakistan, no one can touch Pakistan. In my opinion what will ultimately destruct Pakistan is a civil war. At time of civil war it will be much easier to bribe out nukes. Lets see what is next.”

It would be foolish to try to wrest nukes from Pakistan. Whether Pakistan spins out of control or not, there is going to be a nuclear attack on India for sure in the near future. Sheer madness has already engulfed the minds of many there. It is not something to happen in the future.

Pakistan will slip into turmoil as the US government becomes desperate to do something before 2012 elections. Already on two occasions American choppers and planes have violated Pakistan’s air space. On the first occasion, Pakistani soldiers were killed. With the reversal of the electoral results in the US, Obama is in a bind. There is only one thing that will help him win the next term as President – winning the war in Afghanistan and capturing or destroying Bin Laden. When the going gets tough at home, many leaders try to wriggle out of the situation by escalating things outside, in the form of wars or trade issues or economic issues. For Obama war on terror is already going on. So he will try to escalate it and try to divert the public attention towards Af-Pak.

The probability of a ISI sponsored terrorist attack in India is always very high. They have been trying hard to draw India into a war. Their goal is to frustrate India and force it to retaliate, which will allow them to launch the nuclear offensive immediately. This will get them out of their miseries as they see it, as all of them get to go to Heaven. Since the days of Operation Brass Tacks, Pakistan’s military has been itching to launch its nukes on India. Therefore one does not have to wait for a splintering Pakistan to start it. India is going to be at the receiving end until Pakistan is “settled.”

As I see it, a new bipolar world is emerging – China/Pakistan/Middle East on one side and US/India/Russia and other Western countries on the other. Pakistan cannot change overnight. It has taken them 60 odd years to become a degenerate nation. Imagine how much long it will take to undo all that and become productive. Pakistan seems to have gone past the threshold of recovery. One never knows how the down swing will play out. It can lead to internecine wars or some major war with the Western powers. Either way, Pakistan is on the verge of becoming another Yugoslavia, only a lot worse.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

I have been regualar reader of these columns. I have realized that as Indians we expect very little from pakistan. We only hope that pakistan becomes a moderate muslim nation than it is now. We only hope its identity be decoupled with India, so that It stops comparing and competing with India in every sense and takes its own historical road to greatness. Most Indians even consider a nuclear Pakistan a reality and only hope that Pakistan state ceases to see India as perennial enemy. We only hope Pakistan state to stop using terrorism as state policy and every issue be resolved bilaterally through dialogue. Well don’t you think these are reasonable expectations from a neighbor. Indians are acutely aware of the problems that India faces be it poverty, Malnutrition and sectarian strife and I have never seen Indians on the internet trying to give explanations or being an apologist for such a situation which can broadly be called misgovernance. Painfully though, I have seen Pakistani’s (educated I might add) trying to be apologists of what happens wrong with their nation. I sense that their hubris and ego gets hurt so much (they always seem to virtually present themselves facing an Indian Judge on their minds in such situations) to see these blood and gory in their state that at one moment they condemn terrorists who torch Pakistan cities while at same breadth praise the Taliban. They do so because its only terrorism which was able to inflict pain on India (to whatever extent it can). A true nationalist always thinks about the long term good to his country and in this respect he should raise the voice even if the country is sometimes wrong(For Instance, All Indians condemn and question the misgovernance in Jam mu and Kashmir, while at the same time condemn terrorist/seperatist activities). And people who do so otherwise are suffering from mass hypocrisy and mob mentality.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

@Singh, you said:

“Since the days of Operation Brass Tacks, Pakistan’s military has been itching to launch its nukes on India.”

–>Singh, if some in Pakistan think using a nuke on India will make their day, then they are sadly mistaken.

Using current information, from what I have seen, all computer simulations result in the complete an conclusively total annihilation of Pakistan, to the point of non-recoverability. India suffers greatly too, but is recoverable and fully functional in a couple of decades.

The level and mass count of death will be staggering on both sides and nothing will be gained by vapourizing so many millions of humans in one day, not to mention potentially fatal degradation of the Ozone layer, the entire earth will suffer.

It is time for the pindi boyz to surn in their firearms and join India in a free trade zone extending from Afghanistan to Burma to Sri lanka.

Time for Pakistan to embrace greater dreams of success for its people.

Punjabi pindi boyz take note, time to share the roti, put the guns away, we can all work together and profit from helping each other.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

This whole idea of keeping India as an enemy is total waste of time, money and an affront to Pakistan’s people’s potential. Pakistani’s need to wake up from this bad dream and demand that their government makes peace with India. The U.S., India and Pakistan need to grow a unified vision for the S. Asian continent.

Obama needs to reign in Pakistan Army as a maker of peace and solve Kashmir and give all Kashmiri’s full azadi. It is all doable, but U.S. needs to apply pressure to gatekeepers in Pakistan, much more than before to stop enmity with India, India is not the enemy.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@Mortal, if Pakistan splinters, the U.S. better have a bold response plan to secure Pakistani nxkes. You know these guys, if they can’t live peacefully, they will make sure everybody else suffers too.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

WITh regards to peace with India, Kashmiri’s need to demand that Pakistan sign a peace deal with India, if they want azadi. It is time that Pakistan becomes somewhat coherent with regards to Kashmiri freedom. Kashmiri freedom will not come at the expense of Indian security and potential genocides perpetrated on minorities.

Kashmiri freedom is possible, if the Geelani’s and others pressure Pakistan for azadi, while simultaneously pressuring India. If Pakistan is receptive, there is no reason why India cannot be as well.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@”if Pakistan splinters, the U.S. better have a bold response plan to secure Pakistani nxkes. You know these guys, if they can’t live peacefully, they will make sure everybody else suffers too.” Posted by G-W

I’m sure, behind closed doors, all scenarios (of Pakistan’s breaking) have been discussed & plans have been put in place on what to do about it’s nukes, under those scenarios. I’m also of the opinion that Pakistan’s breaking, will be ultimately good for pakistanis themselves, as well. Non-Punjabis (Balochs, sindhis, etc) can rid themselves of the Paunjabi domination & exploitation and build their nations on their own terms. Punjabis will lose a lot of power BUT maybe that’s exactly what’s needed to make them give up their belleigerent attitude & get them thinking straight.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

G-W: “Kashmiri freedom is possible, if the Geelani’s and others pressure Pakistan for azadi, while simultaneously pressuring India. If Pakistan is receptive, there is no reason why India cannot be as well.”

Kashmir freedom question will not be raised if our military takes a conciliatory approach towards the local people. It has been quite brutal of late when there is no need for it. A few years ago, because of militants from Pakistan and the support for them by the locals led to brutal methods by the military to contain it. Now it is very clear that whatever rising is happening is entirely coming from within. For that military is not needed. Political solution is the need of the hour. If Kashmiris want to part with India, I’d like them to leave on a friendly note rather than with bitter enmity. We already have Pakistan for that. There is no need for another country surviving by blaming others for all their ills.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Mortal: “I’m also of the opinion that Pakistan’s breaking, will be ultimately good for pakistanis themselves, as well”

And if Pashtunistan happens, we must campaign for Rex Minor as its President and Commander in thief.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@KP: “And if Pashtunistan happens, we must campaign for Rex Minor as its President and Commander in thief”

Provided he gets a release from his shrink(s)

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive


Once Kashmir gets full azadi, they will want to join with India, all of kashmir. That is what terrifies Pakistan, that one day Kashmiri’s will wake up from their subverted existence and slumber and join with India, willingly, out of economic survival.

Poor Kashmiri’s are just being Pakistan’s stooges, and for free, they don’t even take any pay, what a deal for Pakistan?!?!

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

G-W: “Once Kashmir gets full azadi, they will want to join with India, all of kashmir. ”

That’s like saying Bangladesh will return to India. I dread that thought.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

The opening paragraph of the article ignores the historical reality which prevailed at the time in Pakistan.
The military had the alternative and that was to follow obediently the orders of the civilian head of state and use the military machinery to possibly massacre the civilians, who at the time were demonstrating agianst the legitimate Govt.
This would have put them at par with the Indian military Generals, who, since the partition of the country, have been suppressing the citizens on the orders of the civilian Govts.

The Pakistani Generals had the opinion that a civilian Govt. which requires the military to curb demonstrations of its citizens, does not have the legitamacy to rule a democratic country.

This is not to say that subsequent military takeovers were justified, simply when the civilian Govt. was accused/involved in corruption scandals or committed administrative misjudgements. The military assumption of the monitoring function, similar to the now defunct military role in Turkey, was a serious error and did cripple several elected Govts. in Pakistan. Pakistan today’s military appears to be resigned to accept the genuine military role of defending the country borders against the foreign enemy, with or without the agreement of the civilian govt.

India on the other hand has maintained the skelaton of the democratic rule as well as the use of the military to suppress ruthlessly the citizens unrest in the country.

Which of these countries are going to splinter or hang on is for the history to judge?

Rex Minor

PS Let us ignore the fact that all Pakistani senior military officers have attended and still do the military Staff college in Turkey.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@correction in PS

Let us NOT ignore……
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Rex Minor: “The military had the alternative and that was to follow obediently the orders of the civilian head of state and use the military machinery to possibly massacre the civilians, who at the time were demonstrating agianst the legitimate Govt.
This would have put them at par with the Indian military Generals, who, since the partition of the country, have been suppressing the citizens on the orders of the civilian Govts.”

You are talking like a great historian on one side and completely lack overall knowledge of history on the other. You are only projecting views that seem to align with your myopic view of the world and then claim justice based on that view.

The circumstances that have led Pakistan to where it is today need to be understood. Let me explain some here. I am not saying I am a greater expert than you. But I will base my argument on known history that is accepted as genuine:

1. No nation that is formed by seclusion and hatred as the basis will ever become a civil nation. Imagine the Afrikaners in South Africa demanding a state for white people only because a white man can never live under the majority rule of blacks, according to their beliefs. It was this Afrikaner led Apartheid regime that had built nuclear weapons technology. If they had managed to carve a nation out of South Africa for themselves, they would have survived by threatening the neighbors out of fear of being “polluted.” Such entities invariably rely on violence and wars to mark their place in this world. They also constantly equate and compare themselves with others to satisfy their egos that they are better. Dictatorships become ideal in such countries. People always are kept under the fear of “others” constantly working to sabotage their lives.

Mr. Rex, you are living in Germany, a nation, not so long ago tried to divide the world into Aryans and others. They worked under a lunatic to take the world to an ultimate war.

2. You write: “This would have put them at par with the Indian military Generals, who, since the partition of the country, have been suppressing the citizens on the orders of the civilian Govts.”

See this comparison with India? You are not comparing Pakistan with Iran where military generals salute their civilian leaders. There is a sub-conscious attitude that arises with no awareness that proves my point # 1. The “others” from whom separation is achieved are always compared with. India is a huge country. Military dictatorship in such a vast and diverse country would have led to a situation that Aurangzeb faced at the time of his death. It would have spun out of control. Indira Gandhi did try autocratic rule for sometime and it put the country on the path of self destruction.

3. “India on the other hand has maintained the skelaton of the democratic rule as well as the use of the military to suppress ruthlessly the citizens unrest in the country.”

You seem to have no idea what democracy is and what an administration is. A democracy is only a system where people get to elect their leaders at a certain frequency. Once leaders are elected, they run an administration. To run that administration they have powers to direct law and order agencies, justice system, economy, revenue, policies etc. In places where there is uncontrollable unrest, various layers of security are deployed – local police first. If that does not help, a specialized police force from the state is tried. If that does not work, a federal or central police is sent in. Each layer has more capability to handle an unruly mob. Military is the last one. In general, military is meant only for handling external threats. But in situations where external threat is mixed in with internal ones (like in the case of Kashmir and other border states), counter insurgency units of the military are sent in. Military treats anything as a war zone once it is deployed. Unless its mission is defined as a peace keeping mission, the military is allowed to handle the zone as a conflict zone. Anything that moves can be taken out.

Pakistani military has carefully crafted a plan in which it staged insurgency in the Kashmir valley to force India to bring in its military and treat the place as a war zone. It had taken them close to two and a half decades to set up the momentum. Now they can sit back and watch and allow the Indian system to falter on its own. Any time a stability is reached, insurgency will be resumed to continue with the chaos. Mumbai attacks were staged with that plan – to trigger violence on a broader scale against Indian Muslims and it did not work. In the case of Kashmir, it is a smaller region with a majority Muslim population. It can be manipulated easily with strings dangling from Pakistan. Indian military there is dancing to Pakistan’s tunes. India is trying every which way to get out of that control that Pakistan has achieved. The war on terror has helped in that regard. So Pakistan is trying again to revive the game. And a long and continued presence of security forces, endless curfews are what Pakistan had led India to fall for. It will frustrate the locals and will bring in violence.
What does this have to do with democracy? It is a law and order problem and all countries have the same approach to such problems. You have no idea how the US and western nations reacted after 9/11 towards Muslims and those who resembled them or even had Muslim sounding names. Reactions are being exploited. That’s all.

We all would love to see peace in Kashmir. But peace in Kashmir means your beloved military in Pakistan has nothing to hang on to. You people talk of a thousand year war. It is precisely that – keep sustaining wars and conflicts to stay alive.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive


My friend you are too dreadful. You have to rethink a new vision, that can provide an out for all, including Pakistani’s. Pushing them into the corner will do no good.

We have to reach out and provide a solution to all, one that involves S.Asian Union.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

G-W: “My friend you are too dreadful. You have to rethink a new vision, that can provide an out for all, including Pakistani’s. Pushing them into the corner will do no good.

We have to reach out and provide a solution to all, one that involves S.Asian Union.”

I’d love to see everyone living in peace with mutual respect and regards towards one another. But that is, as the Buddhists say, a state of “Shambala.” It is a utopian desire which has been dreamt of all the time. The best alternative will be to look for something that works.

One party cannot decide what is best for others. Everyone has to desire the same thing for things to click. In the current situation, every Indian move is being looked at with suspicion. If India builds roads and infrastructure in Afghanistan, it is accused of clandestine operations from a zillion embassies there and one of the embassies was bombed out.

It is not that the people in the region do not want to live in peace. There are groups with vested interests who are sabotaging such efforts and silence their critics. So long as Pak military is holding on to power indirectly or directly and has its own agenda, no peace will return to the region. Only after restructuring this sinister cartel like organization can anything be attempted. Pakistanis are suffering from suicide attacks mainly because militant groups have become a part and parcel of Pak military’s weapons. There are elements inside who do not want to let go of that. And Mr. Kayani, despite the crisis in his country has openly stated that India will always be the # 1 enemy for Pakistan. Indians don’t have to do anything. They are branded as enemies and treated as one at all costs by these lunatics. When that is the situation, it is useless day dreaming of Shambala. We have to think of what is practical. As I see it, things are headed the way that I have mentioned.

Europe became a union fifty years after a violent war and many wars preceding that. It was a complete cleansing effect where all felt that wars do not lead to peaceful existence. Pakistanis have to learn that the hard way when their country will implode.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

On one hand you mention that your family members have suffered in india, this compares to some simple Indians still living with the colonial past, relatavise the violence against the sikhs by stating that it was carried out by the sikh police and military. Does it make you feel better that it was the sikh personal who carried out the crimes against the Sikh community in India. Or do you reckon that the Begalis were happy to die at the hands of muslim soldiers of the Pakistan military. OR to go back in history of Europe, did the jewish community felt comfortable to kill one another in the family to safeguard their religion against the onslaught of the crusaders in Europe?

What I have stated about the military takeover in Pakistan are based on facts, and are not meant to justify the events or excuse the military Generals for their incompetence in running the affairs of a country in peace times. It also makes no difference if they are reported in the wikipedia or not, the source of your historical knowledge.

I am sorry to state that you have been a victim of a mass paranoid,instigated by several govts. of the world, starting from the USA to Europe as well as the Asian continent.The media pundits have supported inadvertently, the propaganda in an uncontrolled fashion, and today the world has self projected monsters, you have mentioned most of them yourself, and please believe they are going to multipy like cells every single day. Perhaps it has never occured to you for a minute that these monsters are nothing more than the images of the Govt. functionaries in the world. Turn your back on them and they would start disappearing. Follow them, chase them, call them terrorists and you are unnecessarily giving them a life line which they do not deserve.
Follow the thinking of GW, and you would see the world differently, we do not need your bravery or valor that many talked about, nor do we want the men with swords and klashnikovs to rule us. There are some ground rules one has to comprehend. One has to learn to live with crocodiles in a river or cobras in a desert.

It is not a question of a lunitic in a country, there have been a lots of lunitics in this world and they have had their day and then disappered. The list is too long, we have also had people of peace and I would prefer to remember them. Not Napolien, mussolini, Hitler or Stalin, or the modern imposters such as George W and Tony Blair of this world, but the noble, Jimmy carter, Bill Clinton and Mandelas of this world.

Listen to your fellow countrymen like GW, one needs the intution and the insight to identify people of peace and future leaders, and ignore the fellow travellers who are trying to live the lives others have decided for them.
The key line in GW’s proposal was to eliminate the role of the Indian military as well as the Pakistan military in the conflict, allowing the Kashmiris to decide their own political will. In my view I do not see why India and Pakistan cannot have a peace agreement between their countries, once the Kashmiris are out of the equation?

If the chechoslavakia can split into two countries and still remain as part of the European family, why can’t the Kashmiris or Bengalis etc. etc. still remain part of the south Asian family, even after controling the fate of their communities?
The key to peace is in the hands of Mr Manmohan Singh and no other person at this time. Let him have the courage to decide for this path, as GW’s vision demands, and the success is guaranteed. Let us not play childrens games of the naive self styled thinktanks of the Brooking Institute or chattahm House etc.
Leaders determine the course of history not the intellectual anylysts of this world.
A nice day.

Rex Minor

Ps I should very much like to read the words like “love to see peace in kashmir” as mentioned by GW! The man is very sincere. I feel very strongly that I could even help him!

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

I can’t agree with the strain of thought in this discussion. The history of South Asia is such, that a divided subcontinent will be prone to more instability and violence than the other way around.

Certainly, key Indian strategic thinkers agree with that concept. Just think where India would have been if the ideas here had applied to India pre-1990. Would the Indian people have been better off from a splintered India?

What Pakistan needs is reform. Real reform. Not the window dressing of civilian governments with no real power or authority to change anything. And not just political reform where the armed forces are subordinated to their actual role (defence of the homeland) but also internal governance reform with respect to rebalancing their federation. Punjab dominates the federation. And that should be solved the same way India solved it. Break that state up. Give the Seraikis their own state for example. Just like what the Indians did with Haryana.

There are plenty of reforms that Pakistan can take to improve itself. If all these fail, then perhaps Balkanization becomes an option. But I think any talk of splitting up Pakistan at this stage is foolish, irresponsible and ultimately futile. Certainly, nobody who holds any real power or influence in the Indian strategic community (that I’ve come across) would agree that a fragmented Pakistan on India’s doorstep is in India’s long or short-term strategic interests. And the same goes for the rest of the world.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

@Rex Minor,

You are half right, the key to the solution lies not only in Manmohan Singh’s hands, but also the Emperor of Pakistan, namely the head of the Pakistani Army.

The pindi boy’s have to sign off a peace agreement, this is tantamount to removing militants from the area, as it will send a message to the militants, that their leverage on India, using Pak Army is gone.

As Keithz said, the solution is from top down. Pakistani Army MUST adhere to all 1948 UN resolutions regarding Kashmir, and vacate every inch of soil that they are occupying. Indians must do the same.

This is where we will need third party watch, we will need the UNITED STATES OR NATO to watch and make sure there is no cheating, when there is parallel withdrawal and rapid draw-down of both Pakistani and Indian Army forces. My view is that since Pakistan and India cannot agree to Kashmir, neither shall have any portions of it.

There will be stipulations on the Indo Pak peace agreement, that Pakistan wholeheartedly, no exceptions cease and desist all proxy militant operations, disband and destroy all militant charities and militant training camps, whether they are configured to make trouble in Kashmir, or Afghanistan. India shall do the same, destroy any militant groups in India, as well.

These acts are easy to say and not easy to do, but are necessary to build the trust. Kashmiri’s will need to focus on building their country as neutral and sovereign territory, but it must be a secular, plural and democratic Kashmir, not an oppressive and tyrannical Islamic Regime, hellbent on killing off all of the non-muslims. The constitution of Kashmir, must be written to allow an equal voice for all and must make it clear that all Kashmiri’s are equal, regardless of their race, religion, politics or creed.

The next thing to do, is for India, Pakistan and Kashmir to make structural adjustments in their economy to allow free trade and free flow of services and development of high speed trains, highways, roads to facilitate large scale regional development, as this will keep people employed and working, rather than wasting 10hrs a day praying and throwing rocks.

There has to also be a full hearted effort by Pak, India and Kashmir to develop and strenghten democracy and trust. Militantism MUST be crushed with an iron fist.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Further to my last point, the existing emperors of Pakistan can be a part of all of this. Since the Pak Army owns all the textiles, and many other industries, they can take their uniforms off and sell to Indians. Just think, you could, in one generation, put many Pakistani’s to work, lift them out of poverty and keep them away from falling prey to Militant recruitment. In regard, the Pak Army establishment need to understand that they will continue to profit and more so, by bringing jobs, development and a sense of dignity to their people. This will strengthen Pakistan from within. India can work with a moderate, stable and economically strengthened Pakistan.

The short sightedness of Islamabad and Rawalpindi continues to baffle me. There is a labour and work force, there is industry and there is 1.3 billion consumers next door. Is it not time to quit playing foolish, unproductive games and think to a more productive future?….rather than all Asians being so divided and being stooges for the Chinese?

A de-militantized, economically viable Pakistan is in everybody’s interests. Balochi wealth can be developed to raise Balochi’s help the rest of Pakistan. Energy highways need to be built through Pakistan for India. Pakistan can profit through transit fees and construction…the list is endless and goes on and on….so….why is Islamabad so stupid, thick and mentally retarded?

As I said, the biggest impediment to peace is not India, not the kashmir issue, it is the enablers of militantism in Pakistan, who are too selfish and short sighted and paranoid to accept and dream a grand vision, where every body wins and profits and gets along and peace naturally comes, when every body is working and has a sense of stablity. Unfortunately, there is no political, or moral will in Pakistan, nobody is hungry for such a dream. Everybody has been subverted into hating India first.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Do not complicate the matter now, setting out the pre-conditions. Leave the details to be worked out by the experts!

Mr Singh opposite number would not be the military man, but a heavy political leader! Many of you guys are proud of your democracy, why do’nt you send an “e mail” to Mr Singh outlinining your one sentence vision, and then experience democracy in practice!
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive


At the upper levels, in your circles, there must be a paradigm shift on the future of S. Asia. The status quo has not worked and is not yielding regional peace.

It seems nobody has either the idea or the political will to suggest something so bold as peace for the entire region, through high-level peace treaties brokered by the super powers. I think the Chinese, Russians and United States need to get their defense strategists together and get on board for a fully free Kashmir, a fully democratic Pakistan and an Indo-Pak peace agreement. From a security point of view, I think a de-militantized and peaceful south asia will quit being a magnet for terror camps and is in the interest of all.

There is currently a lack of trust and will between pakistan and india to even initiate something so forward, therefore if the superpowers have sincere desire to stamp out Pakistani trained militants, they should embrace a greater vision of a peaceful S. Asia, free from globally exporting terrorism.

In the end, the goal is to create a win-win for all, through painstaking negotiation, concessions, trade-offs and finding value in each other’s nations.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@Rex Minor,

I disagree with you. Even strong civilian leaders are pre-approved by the Army there. At the end of the day, they owe allegiance to the army first, not the country of Pakistan. If what Musharaff did unilaterally in Kargill is an indicator, i would have thought that most people, even you would know that Pak Army must be a part of the peace agreement, since they are the ones that have brought war on India, nefariously without Nawaz Sharif’s consent.
The jackals need to be brought to the table too. It seems they want their piece of the pie to retain their power and importance. It would be stupid to not consider what their needs and futures would be without an enemy like India. We need to make sure that they also have a future, outside of the military, so that they can even contemplate doing something other than wearing uniforms, once there is a peace deal with India. I am not advocating that Pak Army complete remove it self, I am just saying that with kashmir solved, and much militantism destroyed, those Fauji’s need something to do and that they can with the existing industries, they can sell to India.

But, they must be drawn to the table and made aware of these incentives to them and their people, otherwise, they will never quit pointing their guns at India. I think they are terrified of what their futures will become, if Pakistan makes peace with India. Again, they need to be made aware that new incentives will arise for them, if they make peace with India. I don’t think anybody here will disagree with that. An entirely new future and vision opens up for S. Asia.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Sorry, your post is slowly loosing the vision and now replaced by the rhetoric.

In our home we have a colourful words in a beautiful frame, which mean,


Rex Minor

Ps Do not look for logic in your part of the world, for logic is not the truth! For peace, trade and good relations you need two parties but for war the decision is in the hands of one country. I thought your idea could get the stzeam out of the radicalism and show the way towards normality. Perhap Mr Singh is right, it is too late to avoid the military confrontation, war and ruins would provide sense to the survivors of the holocaust.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Let us not overplay the stregnth of the military in India or Pakistan. A military man is a military man, drilled to follow orders and trained to kill, without using his brain. I feel sorry for today’s military people who are drilled and trained to kill another human on orders of their commander. Both miltaries have identified each other as their number one enemy and are drilled to kill their opposite number.

Apart from nuetralising the two militaries the after peace consequenes are manyfold. The Indian military has more to loose than the Pakistan military. India has more mouths to feed than those in Pakistan. The Indian leaders have to think of the civilian jobs for their military personal( Mr Obama has the same problem). Perhaps both countries have to offer them for the police service in the UNO peace missions or to allow their participation in honouring the western countries. We have witnessed Indian military honouring the French power in Paris. They could also be given the jobs of jounalists reporting for cable net work. I am sure they would be more adaptable than one imagines for other jobs than those in uniforms.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

The biggest builder of peace here will be the Pakistani peoples themselves.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Look at Myanmar on one side of India and Pakistan on the other. Both are similar in size. One is Buddhist in religion and culture. The other one was created for Muslims and is dominated by martial cultures. No one is worried about Myanmar. People there are more oppressed than Kashmiris. Interestingly, those who scream for the rights of Kashmiris, have never done that for the others who are in a much worse condition. It is very clear that the expression of false compassion and crocodile tears arise not so much from the love for Kashmiris and them being Muslims. It comes entirely from scoring even with India. If they really cared for fellow Muslims and felt their pain, they would not have butchered them in East Pakistan. Therefore it is very clear that everything is geo-politics and rogue organizations are manipulating it for holding on to power.

Balkanization of Pakistan has happened once. It happened because Pakistani army has no idea how to run a nation. It believed in muscling its way through everything. That’s what a military does. It takes out anything that moves when deployed. Now the same military is campaigning against Indian military in Kashmir. Again this is geo-politics. Cutting off the Eastern leg of Pakistan has helped both India, the Bengalis and the world a lot. Imagine a Jihadi infested East Pakistan today. It would have become a festering wound that would have brought down India which has been trying to become a respectable nation against the odds.

I can only talk from an Indian standpoint. We have been at the receiving end of global geo-politics. For us, cutting off East Pakistan was the most strategic action. If we are an economic power today, it is because we have reduced the menace from both sides of the nation. And Pakistani system has not learned from its mistakes. It has become worse with time, being unable to managed even a nation reduced in half its original size. They have become worse with time, with the rest of the world zeroed in on them. This means, they have wasted away their entire history of existence in conflicts or preparation for conflicts. Wars cost money and resources. Pakistan has become one huge military garrison that is offering services to world powers and gets paid in return for its services in terms of money and weapons.

In summary, there is no nation or characteristics of a nation. It is bound to fail. It is going to turn into another Myanmar or North Korea once China replaces the US as the next full time supporter of Pakistan. That is the only thing that will keep it stay as one nation. Pakistan has only two pathways ahead of it – turn into a Chinese “pearl” like Myanmar/North Korea or splinter up through civil wars. Either way it is going to be a disaster for India. Expecting Pakistan to become sensible, civil etc have become pipe dreams. They have no money and no resources to achieve any of it in a reasonable time. Things have gone beyond the threshold level of survival as a nation. With Obama’s war intensifying further, the tail spin will only become rapid.

I have already taken a deep breath. I come from the community of brave people who can face death with dignity. We are going to be hit with a nuke or two in the near future unless destiny gets ahead and stems it. I am mentally prepared to face it.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

G-W: “The biggest builder of peace here will be the Pakistani peoples themselves.”

If they could, they would have done it long ago. The fact is that they did not and they are not going to be able to after all that has happened over the years. They have to realize that India is not the enemy as being portrayed. And they have to stand up against their system that is manipulating them. They have no means of doing that and are helpless.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Rex Minor: “It also makes no difference if they are reported in the wikipedia or not, the source of your historical knowledge.”

I quote wikipedia to you because it is easily accessible. If I recommend serious books are you going to buy them and educate yourself? I bet not. I provide a reference just to authenticate what I am saying.

“I am sorry to state that you have been a victim of a mass paranoid,instigated by several govts. of the world, starting from the USA to Europe as well as the Asian continent.”

You need to have your head checked. Would you mind listing the names of these governments? Do you believe that I cannot think and analyze a situation for myself? If you are referring to the Govt of India, I am the last person to believe any of what they promise. And they are too busy fighting their political wars with others. They have no time for any systematic propaganda. CNN has no journalistic talent and they present nothing that is news worthy. So give me a list of the propaganda organizations that have brainwashed me.

You are beginning to talk like Jar Jar Binks.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

I have no doubt and recognise that you are an intelligent person. There are millions and millions of people like you in this world, but in recent years they have been paranoid by the USA propaganda machinery. India is the innocent one. Most western Govts and the regular folks readily believe in the crap which is coming to every household in this globalised world. Axis of evil, failed states, islamic radicals, terrorist, AlQaeda and Bin Laden, etc etc., how on earth can the world deal with these monsters, created by no other intellectuals but the think tank machinery of the USA and its allies. Most of these monsters are very ordinary criminals and should have been treated as such. No sir, the country of law, where a person is given an eighty five years imprisonment for failing to ignite the bomb in a car. Where the supreme courts authorises unlimited corporation money for the political parties(Jimmy carters says stupid of the supreme court), where the top brains are working to initiate sanctions against sovereign countries of the world.
Most people use the first layer of their brain and seldom listen to the brain which is in their stomach. No one has the time to think and use the second and third layer of the brain. America is invoved in two wars, the whole of the world is being encouraged to concentrate on two wars. I tell you what I am not involved in any war, I am a supporter of the resistance against foreign domination, farmers loosing their land and livelihood, students being asked to pay tuition fees in the universities, ordinary citizens paying higher taxes and legislations causing ecological disasters.

Most of the problems in the world can be related to incompetence. The USA has become incompetent, very much relying on the immigrants who not only beef up their service industry ut give a lifeline to their hospitals, educational institutions and research projects.
The issue of incompetence caused due to the systemic weaknesses has not yet been addressed. When asked on Aljazeera cable network, why the USA rescue mission failed in Iran, Jimmy Carter reply was that had they sent one more helicopter, the mission would been a success.

I wonder sometime what has happened to the legacy of Ganndhi? He was the bravest of all, to be a non violent against violence is not very easy. I would have hell of a time controlling my reflexes. Have you not recognised the light in the words of GW?
Are you able to recoghnise the message of peace? The world needs people of peace for the coming generations and not more criminologists or psychologists.

Have a peaceful day.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

What is Jar Jar Binks?
You write in Nov 6 post that you come from the community of brave people, I would suggest that you join the highly paid french Legion force, mostly built on brave people from foreign countries! It is just a suggestion, with good intention, which would allow you to live with the best of the world.
Thzey might even consider you to join their contingent in Afghanistan.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

thanks for your post few days ago.

“I wonder sometime what has happened to the legacy of Ganndhi? He was the bravest of all, to be a non violent against violence is not very easy. I would have hell of a time controlling my reflexes. Have you not recognised the light in the words of GW?”
***you should know better how all this works. Gandhi’s pupil bravest of Pushtoons Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan was as peaceful as Gandhi and advocated and showed way to fight without arms. What has happened to his legacy that you are supporting Taliban, your blue eyed boys who we all know how peaceful they are. You do not practice what you preach, do you?

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

The congress party was a political resistance against the colonial rule. Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan was a great Pakhtoon leader. His Congress party also had the majority in the Pakhtoon province and had formed a civilian Govt. headed by his brother. And then came a muslim league leader from India called Mr Jinnah who had propsed a separate autonomous region for muslims in the muslim majority areas of India.

This was the beginning and later messed about by the congress party leaders, and the central self Govt. communication minister who far unknow reason introduced the broadcast of News in hindi language, not Urdu or Pashto! Was this the reason or some other events which gave rise to muslim league majority in the Pashtoon province, I am not sure. Nevertheless, the majority later later voted for Pakistan in the referandum.

mr Nehru and other congress leaders were of the opinion that the Pashtoon province would vote against the separation and hence a full stop for mr Jinnah’s project. Well, the events on ground had their own dynamics and the refrendum went in favour of muslim league party. My research tells me that the Congress party was more or less responsible for the creation of Pakistan, and all other events in the region ever since the partition. All other actors in the show have been and are still nothing more than fellow travellers who are being manupalated by the congress party.

Today we know that we are more educated than the previous generations, the european model is with us, no more boundries, autonomous provinces, regions or countries but all belonging to a european family. the project has so far been successful.

The Indian Prime Minister can straighten the equation in his region by taking the next flight to Pakistan and agree with Kashmiri leaders and the Pakistan Govt. to let the kashmiris have independence, if this is what they want and normalise the relations in the entire region. I do not have to repeat GW’s vision. The vision is a very sound one, no other Indian or Pakistani leader has ever mentioned it. The people would live a new dawn, the foreign military people leave the battle grounds for the commerce and peasants to start working for livelihood and not offer services to soldiers of the West. The Indian and Pakistan militaries would be compelled to reset and identify a different enemy in their military training.

Now to your personal question. I admire the Afghan/Pakhtoon Nation from Karzai to the wazeeris on both sides of the border, who are resisting against the alien invasion, and have time and again performed this ritual. This is the legacy of the Khan brothers somewhat different from that of Mahatma Ghandi non-violence philosaphy all the way. Non violence among brothers and fellow natives and countrymen, yes, but not against foreigners, colonialists and aliens. I always support the victims of aggressors not the aggressor. By the way the Pashtoons or talibans as they are labelled do have blue eyes. I would never bet on loosers, On one side you have the Americans who have never won a war on their own, and on the other side you have Pashtoons who have never lost a war in their history. Who would you place your bet on?
I do neither preach nor practice anything I do not believe in. I am what I am. It is upto others to be what they want to be.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Pakistan: “What is Jar Jar Binks?”

Haven’t they shown Star wars yet in your Madrasas? Even Darth Vader comes in a burqa in it. It must be all right to see it as there is no obscenity involved. Only the droids go naked. The Sith Lords resemble Taliban.

“You write in Nov 6 post that you come from the community of brave people, I would suggest that you join the highly paid french Legion force, mostly built on brave people from foreign countries! It is just a suggestion, with good intention, which would allow you to live with the best of the world. Thzey might even consider you to join their contingent in Afghanistan.”

You need to quit thinking of everything in terms of wars. The French are broke and are raising retirement age. I am happy where I am.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

“For peace, trade and good relations you need two parties but for war the decision is in the hands of one country.”

On one hand you say two parties are needed for peace, and on other hand when Indian MEA says India will replicate if Pakistan pulls back from Kashmir then you call it larifari. And then at the end of it all everyone other than you is confused…right? How are you so sure of Pakistan replication if India initiates the pull back? It is only your lack of knowledge of history of region that makes you say this. Every single head of PoK (or so called Azaad Kashmir if you like) is made to owe allegiance to Pakistan…WHY?? BTW would you care telling that how come 4 month of trouble in Kashmir has undone 10 years of good work and peace (which you never praised) in valley?(please investigate first and not make stupid assumptions)

***Splintering of India and Pakistan
Again you know nothing and speak too much. The separatist ULFA movement in Assam state of India has run out of steam because they could not get new recruits. Why not one may ask? Because youth was busy with their jobs and work brought to them through sustained development efforts of central and state governments. Latest cabinet proposal to make the land owner a stake holder in industrial projects will take a dig maoist movement now. Just wait and watch. Would you care to show some similar efforts on Pakistan side?

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@777, KPSingh
Your assumptions have always been faulty, therefore you come out with a different result and decisions. This is not unusual, most people in the world have different views because their assumptions vary. The assumptions vary because of different cultural background, different education system and different philosaphies.

I have said my piece on this blog and now I leave it people like GW to carry on. My time is up and perhaps I shall return with my comments after 2012. You guys can sort it out with star wars and Harry Potter guidence.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

“Your assumptions have always been faulty”
Ohhhh and yours are always perfect? Super genius Rex.

“This is not unusual, most people in the world have different views because their assumptions vary. The assumptions vary because of different cultural background, different education system and different philosaphies”
So how does it make the assumptions faulty ‘always’?

You just keep on making me laugh more and more. As soon as I think Rex is becoming boring you soon come up with something very stupid and ridiculous.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

As soon as you are shown the truth you run away by putting the ultimate defence in saying (blaming others) that people have bad english, bad understanding, bad head, bad heart, wrong assumptions and what not. But I am sure there is nothing personal in it…right??

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Just in, Barack Obama addresses Indian parliament and advocates India getting a permanent seat at the UN Security Council, Pakistan reacts negatively: -on-unsc-seat-will-complicate-matters-pa ml

–>It appears that Pakistan has a moral issue with India gaining international respect. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black, the detractors from Pakistan obviously have no moral conscience with respect to:

1) Aiding and abetting enemies of their allies (ie afghan taliban)
2) Keeping non-sunni citizens as “non muslims” ahmadiyas and other
3) Fomenting and stoking militantism in kashmir, and using Kashmiri youth as forward fodder against Indian Army
4) Subjugation of Balochi self-determination
5) Unequal representation of minorities
6) Hijacking and Destruction of the democratic process

7) Unwillingness and hesitation on N. Waziristan offensive, thus enabling TeT to kill Pakistani’s, Haqqani’s, Hekmatyar, Quetta Shura and Al-Qaeda to attack and kill ally soldiers in Afghanistan, leading to undermining of the Afghan mission.

As Richard Holbrooke, US/NATO special envoy said yesterday on CNN’s GPS, “Pakistan understands our stand on the issue and how we feel about it, but I am neither here to praise or attack Pakistan, but they our position”…

In light of the recent Democratic loss in the U.S., Obama has the added pressure to succeed in Af-Pak. It remains to be seen, whether Pakistan will enable that success or destroy any chance of it.

I think the Pakistani’s are destroying their people’s future by not putting both feet forward and destroying the Frankenstein created by them for good. With India, poised to get a permanent seat at the UNSC, this is a hallmark time for Pakistan to engage the peace process multilaterally with the U.S. and India and seek a unified response to destroy all Militant groups in Pakistan tribal areas and embrace communion, brotherhood and prosperity for all in S. Asia. Pakistan stands to gain much, both economically and politically, if help NATO and US bring the militant nurseries to a conclusive end, in ALL of Pakistan, for good. It is not too late for Pakitan to shift direction and build goodwill.

If Pakistan seeks to build goodwill, I believe India should reciprocate manifold and when relations have solidified, both countries have created uncharted territory in peace, stability and security, the Kashmiri issue needs to be resolved, resulting in a secular, democratic and plural Kashmir, with Pakistan to follow the same model as India and Kashmir. The potential for peace and prosperity for all is immense as new incentives arise for all peoples in S. Asia.

Militantism will not have one inch to grow on, where people are educated, working, safe and secure, free from religious venom, destroying the minds of the youth. Extreme right wing movements will wither on both sides fo the border, as people will collectively turn their heads towards the future.

The actual state of peace and security for the entire region, rests, at the end of the day, on the heads of the Emperors of Pakistan, that being the Pakistani Army. They can choose to drag the entire region into hell, or lift all peoples of S. Asia to a different level, never to look back. The past will be healed. Pakistani’s and Indians will be brothers and allies and the Deobandi’s and Salafis, can gracefully disappear into the history books, never again to culturally kill S. Asia into war and separation.

On that thought, it is time that Richard Holbrooke and the Obama administration start cornering these people and telling them that they will be called out and singled out, as time progresses, if they choose to go against the river current of regional peace.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive


We need to destroy the current gridlock and embrace S.Asia peace. We sufficient pressure, politically there will be success. This vision, must be paramount in every discussion we have, enmity will enable the status quo and no success will result. We need to discuss the incentives of peace.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Typo, “we sufficient pressure should read as “With sufficient pressure”

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Let there be absolutely no doubt that Pakistan has worked for decades to acquire a credible nuclear deterrence. Any attempt to split Pakistan will result in an assured retaliatory nuclear strike, unlike Iraq or Afghanistan, Pakistan has much more firepower to ensure its territorial integrity remains intact under all circumstances.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

We need to destroy the current gridlock and embrace S.Asia peace. We sufficient pressure, politically there will be success. This vision, must be paramount in every discussion we have, enmity will enable the status quo and no success will result. We need to discuss the incentives of peace.”

I have not come across many in my generation who do not want peace in the region. India has made several initiatives of peace with Pakistan and Kashmir but has Pakistan replicated? Both of us know the answer then do you think your lecture to Indians is justified. I respect your vision for peace but tell me how come just 4 month of trouble has undone 10 years of peace in valley? Is enmity from India’s side? On one hand you put ball in Pakistan’s court and then you lecture Indians (as if Indians are stopping the peace)…don’t you think you are spreading confusion?

As for Kashmir independence. Look at European model. First you create small countries and then indirectly IMPOSE a common currency by falsely glorifying it. And that results in killing all kind of price competition. To have price competition in such a scenario one needs to lower one’s living conditions. What good is such pseudo independence when bread and butter of people is still controlled by others? When Germany breaks 3% deficit no austerity for it but when Greece breaks 3% deficit then all austerity hell is let loose on it. Why?? Do you want Kashmiris to live at the pity of India, Pakistan and China? Think in terms of economics and not emotions. Greatest freedom is when one is free to earn one’s bread & butter the way one wants to as long as it does not harm others. And that is possible only in a union and not in division. This may be surprising to a lot but is true. And how come you being an Indian miss the point that for past 10 years all was normal in valley and trouble erupted in past 4 months only. Does 4 months bad is enough to write away 10 years of good?

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

KPSingh:”Instead of uniting Pakistan, why can’t they be helped to divide into smaller nations?”

-Well, KPSingh problem with this idea is that Pakistan has moved on since 1971 and today possesses one of the world’s fastest growing nuclear arsenal and world 7th largest Army. Given these facts I do not think Pakistan can be divided any further, any such attempt will lead to a nuclear confrontation on a scale and magnitude no one would like to contemplate. So you need to get out of this mentality, niether Pakistan is sinking ship nor is it going to give up and get further divided. A nation which has a history of facing challenges will certainly come out of it. And the basic idea of this article is the same as well, Pakistan has wonderful and hardworking people but they lack the leadership. And provided the right leadership and reform certainly things can be turned around.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive


I think India, needs to use its current position and let Pakistani’s know the incentives of peace, with the understanding that the two countries need to make peace first, and then resolve kashmir.


Your point of view, using nxkes, aggression and blackmail to maintain territorial integrity, will wither and become a tool of the past. You need to embrace Indo Pak peace first, then advocate resolution on a democratic, plural and secular Kashmir.

Indians are frustrated with overtures of peace, restraint and goodwill, as it has landed on the deaf ears of Islamabad and Rawalpind. Trust me, Umair, Indians DO NOT want to dismember, nor do we have interest in hurting your country. Indians, like any other human beings will say things out of frustration, because they are upset that your leaders have not mustered the moral will and courage to destroy militantism and seek true peace with India.

Indians want real peace with Pakistan, not a fragmented Pakistan, but a cohesive, progressive, modern and friendly Pakistan, but you have to unclench your nxklear fist first, take your hands off the button and take a paradigm shift to aggressively and actively seeking peace with India. This will ensure complete azadi for kashmir and you never have to threaten nxklear annihilation on the Indians ever again, because the naysayers and detractors of peace, both in India and Pakistan, will disappear and be made irrelevant.

So, I tell you again, do you have the courage to advocate for peace, I do not mean where you impose unreasonable conditions, that you know that Indian voters, cannot stomach, but a sincere peace where you destroy your militants, stop Kashmir violence and seek a peace agreement with India. If this means that India and Pakistan never have war ever again and that your people prosper and Kashmiri’s get azadi, is that not something to be talking about now, rather than your outdated rants of nxklear threats.

Show some moral courage Umair, it is time to change your point of view and be a strong, god loving Muslim and submit to peace, even if it means submitting to peace with non-muslims, it is not defeat, but a higher fulfillment of all muslims in S. Asia. Think about it.

It is time to unclench your fist and be a good muslim and submit to the will of peace.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive


You are perpetuating a false myth that national sovereignty is an abstract concept. Given that most of S.Asia is poor, any, I mean an economic production on a collaberative scale will benefit the status quo and lift the people.

I know that India has the money and there has to be a new vision where people see the benefit of building and investing in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other underdeveloped countries. In this respect, S. Asian corporations can create new markets in neighbouring countries, there will be competition, with cheap labour, there can be manufacturing for the U.S. middle class, which will continue to need cheap goods and services for almost forever. You see, you cannot compare Pakistan and other less fortunate countries to the lazy Italians, Greeks or French. These are emerging economies, people will work for less and don’t need two hour lunches and coffee breaks, they will be happy to have any work, better than none.

With respect to currencies, this will be a first step to stregthening currencies of neighbouring nations and in the long run, will facilitate regional trade on a larger scale and trade will foster better political relations.

It is time to put aside that the myths that we have embraced for the last few decades.

In particular, Islamabad, must stop making more nukes, it is going in the wrong direction and killing the potential of peace and killing of the potential of Pakistani’s.

More weapons will not bring prosperity, peace, or security. They will bring certain death and destruction.

Thick skulled Pakistani’s can’t embrace novel concepts like this, but instead choose the path of enmity and hatred. Time to stop this and think outside the box.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive


BTW…if Pakistan disintegrates on its own volition, that should not preclude a nxclear strike on anybody.

Secondly, you need to quit this victim seige mentality that everyone is out to disintegrate Pakistan.

Nobody is out disintegrate anything, but Pakistan is almost on a daily basis disintegrating itself, by carrying on with the status quo, with almost too many things to list here.

I am telling you to discuss what I have put forward, with your friends, collegues and relatives and spread the word of peace. Just put aside your damaged ego for a few moments and try to be different and original.

I said that pindiboys can keep their power, they just need to redirect it into peaceful endeavors, all can profit from peace, but only a few profit from building more nukes with IMF and US monitary aid and many Pakistani’s continue to suffer.

You need to understand that building more nxkes equates to prolonging Pakistani suffering and destroying Pakistani potential and potential for any peace.

You need to step outside of the false myth of India being the enemy, that pindi boyz have perpetuated to keep their power by keeping Pakistani’s mentally subverted and uneducated.

Don’t you think it is time unshackle Pakistani’s from the chains of ignorance and hatred? They are hungrey for peace and prosperity, like all Indians, in that respect, we are the same and not different.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@Brian Coughley,

Thank you for a well written essay. The best thing to unify Pakistan, would be prosperity for its citizens and peace within and peace with India. Many think that Pakistan has hit rock bottom and while some there think that Pakistan has not much to lose, those nay sayers must also realize that there is much to gain.

The Pakistani Army must choose to be a tool for peace, rather than disunity.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@your post
Nov 3, 2010
9:49 pm EDT

***Sorry, I did not have enough time earlier. It is fair that I respond to your detailed post.

Clearly, the discussion at broader level is that post-partition the region has not settled down. Both India and Pakistan have taken over areas with (Kashmir) or without document (Balochistan) and some regions wanted to be with undivided India not with Pakistan. Gaffar Khan knew what Pushtoons are going to get in Pakistan and he asked for not dividing India. He was right. Eventually partition happened and the guy was left in a place under Pakistan). Add to the list North East in India, part of that places china in direction equation (Arunachal Pradesh) which is troubled since ever.

Partition of the region has been blamed on some grand strategy of Brits but that hardly matters 63yrs down the line. Durand line led to division of Afghans, also divided were Punjab and Bengal. Speculation by Western strategists at the time of independence was that Indian would soon balkanize which at that time seemed more probable. If one thinks about the period of Mughal empire and British Raj, neither of them could control totally all the ‘present day India”. So the chances of India holding to one land of diverse people were remote. Those strategists were willing to put more money on Pakistan’s cohesion. Instead, Pakistan got split into 2 pieces and arguments of division of Pakistan have always been floating ever since Pakistan was born, catalyzed by 1971 Bangladesh and further during US-USSR cold war when Pushtoons spilled into Pakistan and were refugees. Their ill treatment did not do much to the cohesion. I am sure there are generous Pakistanis but good things are not remembered.

If E and W Pakistan were a contiguous territory, it was possible that Bangladesh would not have happened. Pakistanis should thank the fate since Pakistan would have been worse off by keeping Benglis under control with force. Similarly, India would have faced a Bangladesh with Kashmir or North East or perhaps Punjab also, if these regions were separated by Pakistan or China. Punjab in India has genuinely moved on after going through 15-20yrs of bloodshed (Pakistanis live in 80s who do not trust it and Rex Minor would not take a note in any case). Bangladesh got what it wanted, but the remaining areas need solution. The control with force is not a normal thing to have for a normal country since it becomes a drags a growing country, especially the one like India with huge populations and lots of internal problems on list. These troubles have sucked up lots of resources and seen a lot of bloodshed and disturbed the region. This needs permanent solution—sooner rather than later. But these are big decisions and come from within, not forced. The USA or anyone else doing it with XYZ method is the worst thing to do.
Ever since nukes got into the equation, no one is going to attack any other country which also has nukes. Even a superpower cannot do this. These recent wars have shown that nukes are great deterrent. There have been disadvantages of this deterrent since it provides a safety umbrella to run covert operations. What will be the solution to Pakistan’s internal matters—division of areas? Only they would decide that and can do it much better. This is not a switch on/off button for solution as you know it very well. If it took so long to come to this, it would not take any less to make it work. US withdrawal will make the situation clearer.
Let us forget that Pakistan will any day divide further willingly. In any case, Pushtoonistan as a country will resemble Afghanistan and if both merge, it will be a bigger Afghanistan. Balochistan will not be given for its strategic location and rich in natural resources and Chinese have a veto in that matter. What Pakistan needs is reforms—have a political system for the country taking into view what each area wants. For Pakistan, a democracy with autonomy to 5-6 areas will help them a lot.

While NE India and Balochistan & other Pakistan’s regions are internal to India or Pakistan, Kashmir is not. NEeast situation is complicated and fluid. The problems In NE India are multilayered—local and anti-Central govt for linguistic or political reasons/reservations/autonomy/sovereignt y. GOI has tried to control with methods which tend to be short-term in nature. Perhaps 1971 Bangladesh refugee situation/Pakistan factor also is playing a big role there. I think autonomy to these regions will not be a bad idea. When people have some job and no time for extracurricular activities, the solution is easier. Sikh problem would have been tougher to solve had the Sikhs not been prosperous.

From India and Pakistan standpoint, they need to have a reason to see each other peaceful—increased trade/business ventures between 2 countries would make them shed their reflex of getting into wars. Kashmir in India needs both a common sense from GOI and India/Pak good relations, latter is not a possibility in the near future for the reason that we as people hold grudges and have prejudices. These are salient features of the people of this region. India is short of ideas. Pakistan still thinks India, which is progressive, will see Kashmir as a dragging force and will “kneel down” to Pakistan’s ways. By now they should know nothing of the sort will happen. Kashmir itself does not have a brilliant leader to talk about other than some motivating teenagers and lately women to throw stones.
India should be proactive and have solution for Kashmir before it is forced to or has to decide from position of weakness. Kashmir is not like Arunachal Pradesh where it can linger on forever. First off both India and Pakistan should develop some good reasons not to hurt each other. That would be a start towards talks.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

Umair’s and Pakistani’s take note today, in India history is being made:

“In the years ahead,” the US president said in Parliament, “I look forward to a reformed United Nations Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.” India is now the only country to have the endorsement of four of the five existing permanent seat holders. ”

–>This is exactly what Pakistani’s must understand. The United States is chosing a friendly partnership with India, not because of need, but of choice. There is no reason why Pakistan cannot be an equal partner with India, if it choses to sever itself from China and Militantism and let Kashmir be free.

Pakistan can only be unified if Pakistani’s realize that they have bright future ahead, if they chose an economic union with India and seek a peace agreement, which will precipitate and remove the largest impedents to most regional issues between the two.

Yielding friendship and enmity with India has taken Pakistan backwards for the last 63 years. Pakistan has much to gain, if it severs itself from the Chinese and seeks reconciliation with India.

In time, India will surpass the chinese due to:

4)Free flow of ideas contributed by an entrepreneurial spirit
5) Freedom of Speech…allows good ideas to travel fast and be adopted quickly

It seems on a daily basis, India is blowing past Pakistan at light speed, in almost every respect.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive


No one is going to or will be allowed go into Pakistan and splinter it up into small nations, whether Pakistan has the nukes or not. Everyone recognizes its sovereignty as a nation. But if Pakistan does not help resolve the Afghanistan problem soon, conditions will turn against its own very existence. You have mentioned about it yourself earlier. And implosion can happen without anyone really doing anything from outside. At that time, having the nukes can be more dangerous to Pakistanis more than anyone else. All this talk of Pak nukes being in safe hands are political in nature. Those who say that in public also have expressed concerns about dirty nukes being used in New York Times Square or London. They talk both things depending on who they are talking to. A lot depends upon how your military will handle the near future – will it try to keep its “assets” or give up on terror-sponsorship entirely to save the nation. All bombs going off inside Pakistan today were meant to go off in Indian cities. If war on terror had not happened, that would have become a reality. Obama will not be in India now if that was the case. Unfortunately those bombs are going off inside Pakistan now. The same can be extended to the nukes, which are meant for India specifically. If the situation inside Pakistan gets out of control, I won’t be surprised if some elements get together and launch a nuclear offensive on fellow citizens. Anything is possible in Pakistan today. No one is there to be trusted. All this talk of vibrant society is only talk. Reality is very different.

If Pakistan falls apart and splinters up, it will be entirely due to internal reasons and hopefully your country will come off from this edge. All we have discussed is about that potential to fall which is becoming real by the day. One more attack on US soil or Europe that originates from Pakistan will meet with dire consequences. That is what your Jihadists are trying to do – bring the war close to home. They are thinking that it is easier to fight it by bringing the enemy closer. They have Afghanistan to prove that point. You do not want the world fighting the elements inside your country. If they get pushed beyond a point, they will.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

G-W said:

> There is no reason why Pakistan cannot be an equal partner with India

Actually, this is the crux of the problem. Pakistan is *not* India’s equal. The sooner they accept this and adjust their expectations of the relationship, the better for them. Ultimately, it’s not India’s hostility that bothers them, it’s the fact that India is in a higher league altogether which is difficult for them to swallow.

Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

“I think India, needs to use its current position and let Pakistani’s know the incentives of peace, with the understanding that the two countries need to make peace first, and then resolve kashmir”
And HOW do you propose India should do this (if not already doing it for past decade or so)?

“Given that most of S.Asia is poor, any, I mean an economic production on a collaberative scale will benefit the status quo and lift the people”
I think you did not get my point. I was saying political independence (for Kashmir) does not mean anything if one does not have financial independence and that financial independence can be achieved ONLY in political union and not division. Which effectively means the same as you outlined. So for economics of the region we are on same page and I also firmly believe that Sindhis in Pakistan can give Indian businessmen a run for their money. If there can be a Karachi in such a chaotic Pakistan then imagine what Karachi can become in a peaceful Pakistan. Hope I am clear.

So you are again going through those emotional fits. First come out of it then we will talk.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive


It is no secret that politically speaking, discussion of peace with India in Pakistan is tantamount to political suicide or mass protests and fatwas against anyone who seriously contemplates such a heretical act such as peace with India.

It is therefore required and necessary, that India use its current ability, that being money, to incentivize the peace process with Pakistan, with actions. I mean tangible acts of goodwill directly to the Pakistani people themselves, like transfer of Medical Technology, Building of Schools and Hospitals and assistance with building and upgrading of civilian infrastructure with Pakistan.

If India can assemble a delegation to pro-actively impose peace on Pakistan with Tangible things that Pakistani’s can appreciate, it will go a long way to thaw relations. Current distant discussions have yielded no results. If India can do this and muster the political will, in the international forum, India will significantly boost its international image and potentially thaw the political gridlock with Pakistani’s, who then, with time, start moving away from an anti-India stance.

Pakistani’s are a very stubborn and proud people, they will be defiant and tight fisted, until their last bit of life in them. As INdians, we are a sophisticated, ancient culture, we have the energy, imagination, inertia and resources to figure out a peaceful way to reach them. The best way to do that for India to create goodwill with Pakistani people directly and entirely circumvent the Emperors of Pakistan.

At least, if the Army or any political factions force Pakistani’s to refuse gifts or assistance, it will be there for the record, that India reach out a loving hand, reach out with flowers and got thorns in return.

Perhaps it will be what is required to make Pakistani’s look at themselves and how they want the world to view them. Defiancey, pride, hatred and many other emotions must be melted within Pakistani’s with the offer of goodwill from Indians.

India had a good chance during the flood to deliver and politically tilt things in their favour, but squandered the opportunity due to political shortsightedness.

You can’t look for impediments to peace, but look for opportunities, 777, that is the whole point. We have rise above all of the BS and keep it simple and deal directly with Pakistani’s and nurture their needs first.

As I said, let the history books show that India reached out for peace to an ailing Pakistan, if it takes the help and it makes peace, so be it, if Pakistani’s refuse the help and want to politicize that, then let history show that they chose to keep the path of hatred with Indians in their hour of need, while they were drowning in their own pain. As Indians, we have to let Pakistani’s choose at the end of the day, if they want peace.

With India’s huge progress and prestige now, we still the continual duty to reach out to Pakistani’s and try to lift them, it is upto them to accept it, or refuse it and prolong their own suffering at their own devices, as they choose. But make no mistake about it, it will echo around the world, hundreds of times, if India makes these heartfelt peace overtures, it will be considered a sign of immense strength, no weakness.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Interesting to read a relatively neutral and balanced piece on Pakistan by Brian Cloughley. Unlike genuinely (I think) neutral analysts like Christine Fair, Cloughley is usually an apologist for the Pakistani military. Looking at the accelerating downward trend in that country though, I think he may be unemployed within 5 years. That may explain the shift in his position. What next, his CV turning up in New Delhi? There’s definitely more money there now…

Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive


“Pakistani’s are a very stubborn and proud people, they will be defiant and tight fisted, until their last bit of life in them. As INdians, we are a sophisticated, ancient culture, we have the energy, imagination, inertia and resources to figure out a peaceful way to reach them. The best way to do that for India to create goodwill with Pakistani people directly and entirely circumvent the Emperors of Pakistan.”

***There is a trouble with this approach. Unwittingly, you are depicting India (Hinduism I guess) as ancient and sophisticated not Pakistanis. We seriously do not have figured the peaceful ways if you see lack of common sense of Indian Army (I would not blame them, it is the govt). Assuming our leaders are the best, they have not shown a common sense much less any peaceful way.

I have a serious problem with owning the history before 1947. That was different time. After 1947, India has not been this peaceful or imaginative or what not, as claimed –people behaved like mobs as well as the state violated all laws. India is not a land of honey and milk. It is a matter of degree. Pakistan has more blood at hand than Indians, but that does not allow us to generalize 1.2billion Indians and 170million Pakistanis. I am sure like me you would have come across peaceful Pakistanis including Punjabis from either side of the border.

It is the politics/policies/choices we made. People are fine are victims of the situation. Let this not be used as an excuse however to behave in certain way.

Calling Pakistanis unpeaceful/arrogant and Indians as peaceful and all good things, and then suggest India be a big brother and help them to fix, does not sound good. This does not work even at people to people level. we got to own our mistakes as people and suggest fixes via people-people level. If I were a Pakistani I would not like this appriach. We need to put ourselves in each other’s shoes. There is no denying the fact that SOME Pakistanis would throng the streets at the call of Jihad. But this crowd forms the monority just like in India or anyhere else during riots. The decison makers at the top or in streets are few, rest all of us make a mob. Few Pakistani or Indian commenters at Reuters do not represent the majority. If you look at a larger sample size on a bigger blog, you would see lot of peace in Pakistan hearts as well. I have seen that. I hate to admit it but we all are victims of the situations. GW in Pakistan would have behaved the way any other Pakistani does. Genes do not play big role, environment does in this context. Same way a Pakistani in a different situation would respond diffently. I hope you get my point.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

“I mean tangible acts of goodwill directly to the Pakistani people themselves”

When Pakistanis did not accept aid from India even at times of flood then how do you expect Indian organisations being allowed to work inside Pakistan? Don’t be childish. Do you think any foreign delegation can work in a country without government support. I think not.

But yes I get your point. And let me tell you it is not Pakistanis who do not want peace it is the politicians who do not want peace. Because once Pakistan has peace politicians will have no political fodder and will have to work towards development which is a dammn tough task. So its not common Pakistanis who are at fault it is actually their top that is corrupt.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive


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