In India-Iran oil spat, nuclear row trumps Afghan war

January 4, 2011

khatamiNot too long ago, you could have predicted relatively easily how regional rivalries would play out in Afghanistan.  Saudi Arabia would line up alongside Pakistan while Iran and India would coordinate their policies to curb the influence of their main regional rivals. 

But that pattern has been shifting for a while — the row over Indian oil payments to Iran is if anything a continuation of that shift rather than a dramatic new departure in global diplomacy.  And as two foreign policy crises converge, over Iran’s nuclear programme and the war in Afghanistan, the chances are that those traditional alliances will be dented further. It is no longer a safe bet to assume that rivalry between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran will fit neatly into Pakistan-India hostility so that the four countries fall easily into two opposing camps come any final showdown over Afghanistan.

India, which has been working to improve its relationship with the United States for much of the last decade, already earned Iran’s wrath by voting against it at the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) over its nuclear programme, first in 2005 and then again in 2009. Though India has since been trying to repair the damage, comments by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei late last year criticising India over Kashmir soured the mood further between the two former allies.

The decision by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last week to suspend payments for oil imports made by Indian companies from Iran that use the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), a clearing house used to process multilateral payments between South Asian countries and Iran, was pretty much in line with that trajectory of slowly deteriorating relations.

As a caveat, it would probably be unwise to read too much into the oil payments row — Indian media have complained that the RBI decision was not coordinated across government departments and reported that the timing of its announcement came as a surprise even to the foreign ministry.  But extend the trajectory further and the outlook for coordination between India and Iran on Afghanistan does not look too promising.

India, Iran and Russia all supported the then Northern Alliance which opposed the Taliban when they were in power from 1996 to 2001.  But Washington and others have since accused Iran of covertly backing the Taliban — an allegation Tehran denies — in order to maintain pressure on the United States.  In the event of an escalation of the nuclear row, it could ratchet up support for the Taliban to make life even harder for the United States. That is anathema to India, which sees the Taliban as a Pakistan-backed movement used by Islamabad to try to maintain its influence in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile India has been cultivating ties with Saudi Arabia, which was one of only three countries along with Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates to recognise the Taliban government when it was in power.  In February last year, Prime Minister Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made the first visit to Saudi Arabia by an Indian leader since 1982, seeking to build economic ties and to enlist the kingdom’s help in improving regional security.

Saudi Arabia is India biggest supplier of oil, and some are already arguing that Delhi needs to build relations further to offset deteriorating ties with Iran. “Delhi should step up its engagement with Saudi Arabia, which is the world’s largest oil producer, and other petroleum-producing states in the Persian Gulf,” the Indian Express said in an editorial.  ” Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states are deeply concerned about Iran’s nuclear programme and are looking for security partners. Delhi must act purposefully to build on the natural convergences with Saudi Arabia on energy security and regional stability.”

Pakistan, meanwhile, has been trying to improve relations with Iran. Though that effort was dented last month by the bombing of a mosque in Iran by militants Tehran says are based in Pakistan, the two countries continue to meet at regional forums which notably exclude India.

At the same time, Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia are not as good as they once were.  U.S. embassy cables published by WikiLeaks quoted Saudi King Abdullah as expressing deep frustration with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari

And the dissonance between the two countries is not limited to a Saudi dislike of Pakistan’s current civilian rulers. The two countries do not seem to see eye-to-eye over the need for a political settlement in Afghanistan which would require the Taliban to break with al Qaeda — an  idea promoted by Pakistan’s powerful military, which dominates the country’s Afghan policies. Saudi Arabia has been reluctant to be dragged into mediating talks with the Taliban; and it would also be wary of any settlement which forced al Qaeda to leave its safe haven in Pakistan if this were to drive it into Yemen.

Much can change between now and 2014, by which time the United States and its allies would be expected to have the contours of a political settlement in Afghanistan in place if they are to pull out their troops. But the nearer we get to a collision between the row over Iran’s nuclear programme and the war in Afghanistan, the harder it will become to predict how regional players will respond.

(Reuters file photo: Iranian President Mohammad Khatami reviews the guard of honour in front of the Presidential Palace in New Delhi January 25, 2003. Khatami was the guest of honour at India’s Republic Day celebrations that year.)

Comments

The Saudi foreign policy is guided by Washington and it can be seen in each of their action. Deep down they still are close to Pakistan. Saudis have the means to provide financial help to Pakistan, but it goes against American need to keep Pakistan under pressure.
Now Saudis getting close to India is also dictated by Washington. What does India offer in return for Saudi friendship? Basically nothing in terms security or economics. America has spent enormous political capital to help India. I hope it is worthwhile investment.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive
 

The question that comes to my mind is: was there an alternative to India spoiling relationship with Iran to come closer to USA or Saudis? Making friends is a healthy sign but if that comes at the expense of turning older friend’s into enemies, then that is not good. This is not even a minor shift in foreign policy. A follow up question is would India have done the same with Iran, had India been a permanent member of UN security council? In the end, time will tell if India moved its pieces right or not. So far I am getting a bad vibe about all this.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

This current Indian government is just disgusting. There was absolute no need to go against Iran. If Iran builds nuclear energy facilities then what’s the harm to India. If Pakistan can have bomb in name of Islam then why not Iran?? Or for that fact if Russia and US can have bombs why can’t anyone else? Why not denuke Russia and US first. Indian government has lost it here.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

India is a country of mystery and is likely to remain so for some time. How come that brazil has taken piece initiatives in the Asian subcontinent more than thos from India. India and Pakistan have locked themselves in a babylonian prison and God knows how they are going to disentangle themselves from each other without bringing on their people the desaster which is awiting them five minutes before the zero hour! Indian brinkmanship with Pakistan is surprising. Saudi Arabian Govt. have the credentials of the caretaker status for the holy land, no more and no less. The wealth of their oil and other minerals is unsurpassed. Their country’s security has the protection of the Nuclear ambrella of Pakistan! Their underhand political role is limited and more or less in line with the American administrations.

Why is not possible for India to stay neutral in Iran affairs with the west? Can some of the indian gentlemen spell out why India is bent upon anti muslim satnce in the world, or atleast gives the perception of being an anti muslim country despite the fact of having a large minority of muslim citizens?

rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Rex Minor said:

> Can some of the indian gentlemen spell out why India is bent upon anti muslim satnce in the world, or atleast gives the perception of being an anti muslim country despite the fact of having a large minority of muslim citizens?

Selective memory, Rex? India has always supported the Palestinian cause against Israel from the very beginning. Can I turn your question around and ask what Muslim countries have done for India in return?

India has received no support from the OIC in all its years of existence. The OIC has not even admitted India as a member in spite of its having the second or third largest population of Muslims in the world. OIC countries take Pakistan’s side on Kashmir for reasons of religious solidarity, and they are quite blatant about it. No wonder many Indians now support building ties with Israel! If Muslim countries cannot reciprocate India’s support, perhaps India shouldn’t waste its time trying. We’re not a nation of fools begging to be humiliated. We can show you the costs of antagonising a rising power. Can you understand that?

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Rehmat said:

> Making friends is a healthy sign but if that comes at the expense of turning older friend’s into enemies, then that is not good. This is not even a minor shift in foreign policy. A follow up question is would India have done the same with Iran, had India been a permanent member of UN security council? In the end, time will tell if India moved its pieces right or not. So far I am getting a bad vibe about all this.

I’m with you on this. India’s relationship with Iran is a civilisational one, not just a simple relationship between countries. Most Westerners, even those in the highest policy-making circles, cannot tell the difference between the various Muslim civilisations like the Turks, the Arabs, the Mongols and the Persians. India has always had deep relations with Persia (Ravi Shankar’s famous sitar came to India from Persia), and this is corroborated by individual Indians who have been to Iran to execute various projects.

It is a mistake for India to take the side of the West against Iran. The anti-Iran sentiment in Washington is typical of that country’s shortsighted and ignorant elite. They lost a generation of Iranians by supporting the Shah, and they are losing the next generation by being so implacably hostile. The current regressive regime in Iran will fall very soon, perhaps in less than a decade. The emerging generation is progressive and modern. India needs to build rapport with this generation that will lead the country very soon. Antagonising Iran before this transition happens is very foolish.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

@G Prasad
OIC is a club for muslim countries and not for muslim citizens or non muslim countries.How come a guy of your calibre does not understand it? Believe you me there is nothing sinister about this or pro Pakistan or Pro Kashmir behind it. India could ask for the status of the observer and for participation in discussuios about the welfare of muslim citizens. in my view they have the right to be represented in such discussions! India is a hindu country and should say so with pride and reservation and drop the cloak of ‘India’, the lowest denomintion given by the anglo saxons to the backward natives of a landß

Most countries have foreign policies based on 1) For or not For another country!

Some countries have foreign policies
2) Against or not Against other countries. USA and its western allies as well as India have foreign policies based on the number 2 criterion!

I believe this is not the policy to win friends but simply used to build alliances! for some reasons India is following this stance! it is a mystery for many.

Besides, the current Iranian Regime is not a regressive one and I can assure you it is not going to fall in the next century. What is going to fall is the regressive policies of the American administration and all of its allies. Iran would never restore its relations with tghe current USA administration, if like Moses Mr Obama declares before he says adio to his office in two years that he is a muslim? Iran is definitely under the attack of the zionist group as well as the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia. This is not going to deter them from mintaining the independant foreign policy based on self respect and demanding a treatment of equals and not of a second level.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@Myra
The photo of the ex president is not very uptodate. Iran has a very energetic and youthful President, no nonsense with the Americans and its allies. Self respect and treatment of equals is the demand of countries from Iran to Brazil and beyohd. No more hegemony of the west in the world. Please show some respect and include the photo of the current President if you embark on writing about Iran.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Rex,
“Their country’s security has the protection of the Nuclear ambrella of Pakistan! ”
You can’t possibly be serious.

Posted by trickey | Report as abusive
 

I think India should not change its stance against Iran. Our relationship with Iran goes long ways. Once broken, relationships are difficult to rebuild. Americans live on the other side of the globe. We live very close to Iran.

Just like the US is friends with both Pakistan and India, we must tell the Americans that we will be friends with both them and Iran. We should deal with each of them based on our terms and conditions. The US is very clear on this. It has a very close relationship with Pakistan that antagonizes India. At the same time it has developed strong relations with India that antagonize Pakistan. However, both countries are able to put up with it. India should do the same regarding its relations with different countries.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

@trickey
A brigade of Pakistan Army is stationed in Saudi Arabia to gurantee this arrangement.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Rex Minor said:

> India is a hindu country and should say so with pride and reservation and drop the cloak of ‘India’, the lowest denomintion given by the anglo saxons to the backward natives of a land

Clearly, you will never understand the meaning of a secular state or why Indians are so proud of it. “India” is more than a country. It is an idea, and secularism is a core part of it. I am sure Pakistani liberals like Umair would prefer such a system to the religion-based state that Pakistan is in today.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Mullah wrote: “India is a hindu country”

So, based on your vision, Germany is a Christian country. And they are also a White, Aryan country. They said that with pride and the world went to war with them. They killed off your favorite enemies, the Jews. Based on your mindset and analysis, you must be shivering there because the next onslaught might be against your religious people. All freedom, respect etc are valid only so long as everyone adheres to it. If some people start looking at everything from a religious angle, they create isolation and reaction.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Muallah: “Iran has a very energetic and youthful President, no nonsense with the Americans and its allies. Self respect and treatment of equals is the demand of countries from Iran to Brazil and beyohd. No more hegemony of the west in the world. Please show some respect and include the photo of the current President if you embark on writing about Iran.”

Iran’s current President is a close minded bigot. He is full of hatred for fellow humans and has threatened to develop nukes only for one purpose – to exterminate Jews. He has no charisma or personality and has no care or concern for others. This fellow is going to trigger WW III soon.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Rex,
KSA’s coercive options are far more potent than any brigade or nukes that Pakistan can provide. They have far more powerful allies .
You are mistaking a gratuitous display of solidarity for a nuclear umbrella.

Posted by trickey | Report as abusive
 

@trickey
You surely do not want me to state here where the weapons are positioned for your inspection?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

€ganesh Prasad
I do understand secularism; it was not born in Asia. The state or the Govt. should be secular, but the constitutions must have some foundation? I was under the impression that Indian laws are hindu laws. Admittedly the Indian state or the Govt. is secular and does not represent one or the other religion per say.
The European contstitutios are based on christian values or christian and jewish values. Its Govts are secular though. In any case this is not the place for discussions, let us leave it at that using the word secular in a way that every one can use it for his mission.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

> The state or the Govt. should be secular, but the constitutions must have some foundation?

The Indian constitution is not based on any religion. It is inspired by many other secular constitutions, including the French and American ones. Take a look for yourself: http://lawmin.nic.in/coi/coiason29july08 .pdf

> I was under the impression that Indian laws are hindu laws.

No, in the area of family law (although not criminal or commercial/civil), Hindus are governed by Hindu personal laws, Muslims by Muslim personal law, etc. It is wrong to think Indian laws are based on Hindu laws. The Indian Penal Code is based on British jurisprudence, and the constitution is a more modern document adopted in 1950, and based on modern ideas including the separation of church and state. Your impression is incorrect.

> India is a hindu country and should say so with pride

No, and no. If you understand secularism as you claim, you would not say this.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Rex to Ganesh: “OIC is a club for muslim countries and not for muslim citizens or non muslim countries.How come a guy of your calibre does not understand it?”

***OIC emerged after Arab-Israel war in 1967. India was part of Islamic Summit conference in Rabat in 1969 that led to OIC. Saudi King invited India because India had large number of Muslims who were equally concerned like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia about issues in middle east. If OIC is for Muslim countries, what is Turkey, which is a secular democracy like India, doing there? Is it because Turkey has 97% Muslims vs India which has 15%?

“Believe you me there is nothing sinister about this or pro Pakistan or Pro Kashmir behind it.”

***You are so sure of your false statements that you do not think there is a need to use search engine for the facts. The fact is that India was banished from OIC at Pakistan’s behest (Yahya Khan I think). It is not even a secret. The reason later given was that since India has an issue with a member of OIC, i.e., Pakistan (Kashmir) India cannot become a member of OIC. Can someone tell these retards from OIC that the best way to get a solution is to make India part of OIC, not excluding. See the results of India not being part of OIC. Right or wrong, India is allergic to condemnation coming from OIC about Kashmir.

“India could ask for the status of the observer and for participation in discussuios about the welfare of muslim citizens. in my view they have the right to be represented in such discussions!”

***Ha! Sir, you are bit behind. India has asked for the observer status and Pakistan has prevented that. It is a hard fact if you flip the pages and look at the older news. Even Russia has observer status BTW. You asked someone what did India do for Muslim countries, I ask what did Pakistan do for Indian Muslims? Nada and even that would have been better. So far Pakistan has been preventing Indian Muslims to have their voice heard at a platform like OIC.

“India is a hindu country and should say so with pride and reservation and drop the cloak of ‘India’, the lowest denomintion given by the anglo saxons to the backward natives of a landß”
***You really need to cool down on this. I SUGGEST YOU TAKE OFF FROM REUTERS FOR A WHILE, READ UP THE BASICS ABOUT INDIA AND COME BACK. That way India will look less of a mystery.

Talking about Iran, my God-fearing Iranian friend, who studied in India, fought Iran-Iraq war is anti-American and calls this Iranian President a joker. He calls India the best place for individual freedom of any kind. I am indicating that India is not a Hindu country, and it better not be.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@Rex
“Besides, the current Iranian Regime is not a regressive one and I can assure you it is not going to fall in the next century”

Yeah correct, that’s why Iran’s supreme leader has issued Fatwa against listening to music and news from foreign sources. What a liberty and progression!

Well the latest news is that Iran has suggested that India and Iran trade in Euro and have bank accounts in Iran-owned Frankfurt-based EIH bank and Indian companies are proposing that SBI opens a current account in EIH so that payments go on smooth. An Indian delegation is to visit Iran in mid January. Hope this gets resolved soon.
http://in.reuters.com/article/idINIndia- 53913320110104

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@Rex
On India being a hindu country and being proud of it; Sorry sir but the day India becomes a hindu country not a single soul in this proud nation will be able to save its pride and honour. We are proud of our secularism and coexistence and definitely do not want to go down Pakistan/Iran/Afghanistan way. Muslim countries slaughtered non-muslims, European christians slaughtered jews, Jewish country keeps killing muslims, communists slaughtered all religions, for how long you guys will keep rejecting coexistence. Some people never learn.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
You guys are very easy with rude words. I had no intention to discuss politics or exchange rude words on this blog. In your culture the use of certain words and phrases may not be regarded as rude, such as lies, false, whores, selling mothers etc. But in my environment they are all rude and there are consequences for their use. Now what is bothering you with my post to Ganesh? Has he asked you to represent him? The fact that you and your ancestors have lived like flunkies under the Brits does not mean that you are never going to become an independent country or a Nation? India is a hindu country and is better than many countries in the world giving most rights to its minorities!! Their use of military force is not compatable with democratic values and this needs to be corrected. India should also allow Kashmiris to go independant if that is the what the Kashmiris opt for( The European concept is an example where individual countries are volunteering to give up some their independence for the benefit of the majority). Pakistan is a muslim country by its own choice and have not managed properly to even give equal rights to its muslim population, let alone the non muslim minority!! I have said my piece on Islam, but it does not mean that all those who call themselves muslims have completed their journey and follow all of God’s commandments.

How am I to explain the motherhood? I have used the german word ‘vernunft’, I do not know the english equivalent is the call of the day, not emotions, anger and violence. I am allergic to rudeness, abuse and violence, they are some of the qualities of the Evil.

Now tell me why do you think India should become a member of the IOC? Your rude words for the IOC dignitories is not going to help. But indian official diplomacy with the secretary general of the IOC could provide India to participate in discussions on matters which affects muslim citizens. There is no harm India trying again and again. The Arabs have a saying, that the one who asks God almighty for something time and time again, even God almighty would grant his request! If Indian muslims have the same belief as the Arabs, then the secretary General of the IOC would concede.
Your comments about the Iran President, perhaps you should tell , which of the the heads of states in the world is not regarded a joker by many of its citizens? I shall leave it at that! Perhaps one day when you have improved your education level you would learn not to underestimate the knowledge, education and the intelligence of others.
If the Indian constitution is based on the Aborigian customs and the majority of the people are not of hindu religion then perhaps India is a unique state in the world. For me it is a hindu country, hindustan and Jai hind. You want to use any other vocabulary then this is your business. You can give us also a new interpretation of the word secular and secularism.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@777
The one thing I admire most about the Chinese Govt. is that they do not interfere in the domestic affairs of the other countries. I do too and try not to criticise what I do not understand. I must live in a country to appreciate or criticise any.
Perhaps Iran is following the policy of China to buy up European bonds in support of Euro so that the further fall of US dollar does not have impact on the emerging economies. The chines vice premier is in Spain to buy up its loan! India as I understand has already unloaded most of its dollars reserve in favour of Gold?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@777
I do not wish to get involved in the interpretation of the word secular:
Please name me a country which does not have criminals? In every country there is an under dog, but what about the democracy, secular Govts. civilisation etc. We have come a long way and the credo of injustice, crimes and the beating of the war drums are going to remain with us for a long time. I thought you once mentioned in your post about hindu laws in India? Have they now become obsolete? The USA, UK most European countries are christian countries, reflect christian values in their constitutions, and their Govts. are secular.
I have no problem with the majority!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

> Now tell me why do you think India should become a member of the IOC?

There is no need. India already owns the IOC (Indian Oil Corporation). The OIC is another matter…

Sorry, couldn’t resist ;-).

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

@ganesh Prasad
Thank you for correction. I am even prepared to write to the organisation of the Islamic conference to allow india the observer state. But on what grounds?
. Has India asked Pakistan to wave its objection? It had the opportunity to discuss this matter in Islamabad several months ago? is India interested at all to join this club whose aims are to end the occupation of Palestine by the jews? I thought India has entered into alliance with Israel to offset the loss of Turkey alliance with israel?

Rex minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@Rex
“I must live in a country to appreciate or criticise any.”

Then why do I see so much criticism of India from you when you have yourself admitted that you have never visited india. Now dont give me crap that I should not ask questions.

“I do not wish to get involved in the interpretation of the word secular”

I only said its good that we do not impose religion on our fellow countrymen. And its very good that India is not a hindu country and neither do we want it to be. If you meant something else then please clarify your context.

“Please name me a country which does not have criminals?

In every country there is an under dog, but what about the democracy, secular Govts. civilisation etc. We have come a long way and the credo of injustice, crimes and the beating of the war drums are going to remain with us for a long time.”

Then why you bring in religion into any criminal activity inside India. Kashmir is problem because of those same underdogs and criminals in Indian Army. That does not make whole institution of IA bad. When a minority is killed in muslim countries it is criminal and when a muslim is killed in India it is BECAUSE of religion. That is called maintaining double standards. Cool off man.

“I thought you once mentioned in your post about hindu laws in India? Have they now become obsolete?”

Why can’t you read sentences in CONTEXT. Phrase “selling mothers” is most rude in India because a billion people (myself included) proudly call this land as “Bh?rata Mata” (Bh?rata = sanskrit name for India; and Mata = hindi word for mother) but you just read the words in isolation and kept on bickering and battering me like anything. I thought best not to respond. But now you ask Hindu Laws so please read again and this time try to understand the context. Hindu (Marriage and Personal) Laws is what I meant there. Rehmat understood all those because he read all that in context. So what all Ganesh said about Indian laws is perfectly correct.

Tell me, calling someone a comedian, sick, racist, etc just because he does not agree with your opinions (which are not supported by facts), is this not considered rude in Germany??

“India as I understand has already unloaded most of its dollars reserve in favour of Gold”

Not ‘most’ but yes Indian govt has bought quite a lot of Gold recently from IMF gold fund.

“For me it is a hindu country, hindustan and Jai hind. You want to use any other vocabulary then this is your business”

Neither hindu, nor hindustan and nor hind are sanskrit words. The sanskrit word is Bh?rata. Hindustan was name given to this land by Persians. So it does not matter what you think; what matters is what is truth. I hope that satisfies your quest for vocabulary. BTW all this vocabulary talk reminds me, have you found out the root of Germanic.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

Correction: seems some trouble with character encoding in my browser or reuters website. Bh?rata should read as ‘Bharata’.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@Ganesh Prasad

So yours is a socialist country niot a capitalist? So the first order of the day should be to eliminate the name India and replace it with Bharat and introduce a socialist system as practiced in the UK, France and German republic and end the hunger of the citizens!
If the inspiration is not from its natives, but from the French and the Americans who followed the French, then yours is based on the catholic christian values and others which transpired in France, i.e. the slaughter of the kings and the nobility as well as the hugonots? O’h my God, you people are lost in the sea and there is no chance of india coming out of this abyss even after thousand years. I was quite happy to regard India as a mystery like many in the world do. Now I am horrified to note that many of those Pakistani muslims who have migrated from Bharat( your constitution allows me to say it) who are writing in media or speaking openly about secularism for Pakistan, even swearing that this is what Mr Jinnah had in mind. Mr Taseer is not the first one and would not be the last one to go this way. One cannot have a muslim country and eliminate muslim values, similar to what the western countries have adopted. Religion and scriptures are the authorities and the basis for morality. We all know today that we must not lie, we must love our neighbours, we must be humans( not the neandataler), we must be responsible for our actions etc. etc. etc. This was not taught to the mankind in the stone age or by the yanks or the communists/socialists but by the scriptures.

In any case I am sorry if I have upset you guys, you can call yourself whatever you like Indian or friday! This is your world not the world.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@777
perhaps you should write in sanskrit and not English for the bloggers. Time and again i have mentioned that that I am neither a Pakistani nor an Indian. I happen to read and write in english besides several other languages but not sanskrit or hindi. The use of abusing mothers is not only practiced by you guys but also by some Pakistanis too!

I am not here to teach you and stop teaching me. Religion is not the reason for my personal support, whatever it means, but when a minority is persecuted by the majority for reason of religion, I would regard it shabby and criminal and even genocide. What happened in Egypt against the christians is as shabby as Bharat military persecution of sikhs in Punjab and muslim kashmiri citizens. The criminals must be treated as criminals, but do not tell me that all those were persecuted by the Indian military were criminals or for that matter who are being persecuted by the Pakistan Army in the Pashtoon and Baluchistan regio as well as those Bengalis who suffered almost genocide were all criminals?

You make a racist remark or sickening comment or whatever which is not civil, should also expect being called a racist etc. I have been called white and racist sometime but I did not squack and tried to allay the perception which most probably was my fault. If you guys feel happy after being alerted to the fact that your remarks are rude then you are placing yourself to be a candidate for being called a sick person. I observed this happening in your post with Brian!Incidently did I hear mr Obama shouting in the Indian Parliament Jai Hind?

Rex Minor
PS
I do not follow double standards, not even asingle standard. Indian military must stop persecution of Kashmiris and the Israleli must stop the persecution of Palestinians and vacate the Palestine land. Is this too much to ask? I have even omitted American occupation of the Pashtoon land? The Pashtoons can take care of them!
Kashmiris

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@Rex
“The use of abusing mothers is not only practiced by you guys but also by some Pakistanis too!”

This is an idiom. Because people in this region respect mothers so much that to signify how bad a person could be one says, “he is SO SO SO BAD that he would sell EVEN his mother” or something like that which would signify that, “Ohhh he is SO SO SO BAD that he has no respect for mother”. I hope it is clear to you now. If still not then may Allah give you a brain that is ready to understand other person’s point of view as well. Amen!!

“I am not here to teach you and stop teaching me”

I am not, repeat NOT interested in teaching you. You yourself said you would like to learn.

“You make a racist remark or sickening comment or whatever which is not civil, should also expect being called a racist etc”

You make statements (coming out of your stomach) without supporting facts, then you should expect being called a liar, fool, etc.

“Indian military must stop persecution of Kashmiris and the Israleli must stop the persecution of Palestinians and vacate the Palestine land. Is this too much to ask”

Pakistan/Afghanistan/Pashtoon/whatever should stop poking their nose into Indian side of Kashmir and let India develop it. Is this too much to ask??

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@777
You are rude, and I do not believe we have any more to exchange.

rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

> O’h my God, you people are lost in the sea and there is no chance of india coming out of this abyss even after thousand years.

LOL – Our part of the sea is among the calmest at the moment compared to the storms raging in other parts, and there are plenty of fish to catch too. Thanks for your concern, but it is entirely misplaced.

If the attitude of the Germans towards Muslims continues to harden and they start treating you really badly over there, you could consider applying for asylum in India. India has offered succour to persecuted people since time immemorial (the Jews after the destruction of the temple of Babylon, the Zoroastrians after they were chased out of Persia, the Armenians after the Turkish genocide, the Tibetans after the Chinese invasion, etc.) In a nation of 1.2 billion, we can surely accommodate one more person, even if he insists on not understanding what people around him are saying!

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Another perceptive analysis from one of the best journalists covering Pakistan and South Asia…

Posted by timlister | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh/Rex: sorry for jumping in earlier. I did not know you two were having one to one discussion. It is a common practice in blogs that anyone who has anything useful to say on a point is welcomed to jump in without sabotaging the discussion. I could not resist since I saw facts being distorted and left unaddressed.

Rex:

I read your long post to me. All the rude words you felt have been used for you by Indians are not from me. If you do feel the rudeness from me, you would notice the point I am making. My post to you was all about OIC, nothing else. Do you have any counter argument to what I said. I am not getting into your German word explanation etc.

“Perhaps one day when you have improved your education level you would learn not to underestimate the knowledge, education and the intelligence of others.”

***Sir, now would you get out of this “I am a victim” attitude. You placed a false statement (not talking about opinion) and I corrected gave you the hard facts. That;s about it. You have done that one too many. I am not underestimating your knowledge. It may sound rude to you, Rex it is not possible for one person to talk on every subject.

“For me it is a hindu country, hindustan and Jai hind. You want to use any other vocabulary then this is your business. You can give us also a new interpretation of the word secular and secularism.”
***You sound like a former citizen of Pakistan, “a nation built for Muslims of the subcontinent”. So to many Pakistanis, India is everything opposite–the Hindu Nation. Interesting to note how you spell “Ghandi”. That indicates a lot.

“Now tell me why do you think India should become a member of the IOC? Your rude words for the IOC dignitories is not going to help.”
***Because India has more muslims than most of the 57 members of OIC, nearly as many Muslims as Pakistan.

“is India interested at all to join this club whose aims are to end the occupation of Palestine by the jews? I thought India has entered into alliance with Israel to offset the loss of Turkey alliance with israel?”
***Sorry for interrupting Rex-Ganesh discussion once again. Rex, have you heard of cause and effect? India-Israel relationship started in 1994 while Indian support to Palestine cause started in 50s and continues until today. India was the first non-Arab state to recognize PLO to represent Palestine. India was prevented to join OIC before India started any relationship with Israel. So Israel is not a factor. Let us assume it is factor, then Turkey should be out who has military alliance with Israel and has relationship with Israel much before India did. Now I won’t make fun of your education; for your analysis I do.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

“What happened in Egypt against the christians is as shabby as Bharat military persecution of sikhs in Punjab and muslim kashmiri citizens.”

***Or perhaps, “Salladin came to unite the believers into one force and defeat the dark forces of the crusaders.” Sounds familiar?

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
I am sorry to say your arguements do not hold any weight for Indian membership or even an observer status. if you have time, please read the conditions of membership. I have provided some suggestions for the observer status but Indian Govt. is unlikely to follow them. I mentioned Israel since this is mentioned in the charter and I doubt if India would demand of Israel to end the occupation which even the USA refuses to follow? Once again you state things but I doubt if you are able to speak for India. In my opinion You are by nature a cynic, who looks for faults and weaknesses. In any case this is your right and your business. Abu Musa, the secretary general of the organisation is a very reasonable person, try to contact him. Turkey is a muslim state and meets the criteria for membership. Indian muslims are a minority in a country which has the hindu majority. I am not here to exchange arguments with you or any one else, unless I decide its usefulness.
I have also stated in my post that both India and Pakistan have got themselves in the Babylonian prison and there is nothing much the other parties can do.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@Ganesh Prasad
Thank you for the offer. There are no mobs in germany, at least for the time being. Germany has taken many asylum seekers from India, who were persecuted or at least their families at the hands of your super military, so they say. People are afraid of muslims in Germany and get frightened by the day, so many mosques with minarets going up. I spend summers in France in the south which was under occupation of muslims centuries ago. I feel at home there as well. People are friendlier than the parisians and they do not fear me. Their current leader Bona Part is afraid of the muslims too, since most of the muslims in France are of algerian and morrocan origin as well as the fact his father is a hungarian immigrant whose family suffered at the hands of the Turks, once the rulers of Hungary.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@Rex
“You are rude, and I do not believe we have any more to exchange.”

My supposed rudeness is nothing as compared to your rudeness towards Indians and on top of that you justify your rudeness as required. You believe you can go on calling anyone with any names and they should not react. Wake up. Thanks for leaving.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

Rex

“You are by nature a cynic, who looks for faults and weaknesses”
*** Instead of giving me this garbage, have something to say on the issue.

Let me help you. Read this:

http://archive.arabnews.com/?page=7&sect ion=0&article=127258&d=11&m=10&y=2009

http://www.expressindia.com/news/fullsto ry.php?newsid=61844

http://gulfnews.com/news/world/india/riy adh-favours-observer-status-for-india-at -oic-1.222639

“I am sorry to say your arguements do not hold any weight for Indian membership or even an observer status.”

***Then whey did you say “India could ask for the status of the observer and for participation in discussuios about the welfare of muslim citizens” Your line tells you are 5year behind. India has already asked for it. Your love for Pakistan is preventing you to understand that it is politics (by Pakistan) that is keeping India out of OIC.

Given your understanding of the issue, I am not surprised what you say. Glad you know it is OIC, not IOC.

I have made a point that Israel is not an issue for OIC consideration. Remember cause and effect I told you! Also Indian historical stand on Palestine is no different from Arab states. The real reason given is Kashmir, as I said earlier. If India was a member of OIC, it would have been easier to influence India about Kashmir.

“if you have time, please read the conditions of membership.”
***Why don’t you put it up here? As far as I know there is nothing that could originally prevent India to be part of OIC. With time new reasons have been given but that is all politics.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

I think just too much is being read into this break in the oil payment pattern to Iran. I am even more surprised that no one seems to have made mention of why the payments have been suspended. It is somehow being seen as a see-saw between Indo-US and Indo-Iran relationships.

It has already been clarified that this temporary suspension is because of UN stipulations post sanctions against Iran. Not to be taken as an indicator that it “was pretty much in line with that trajectory of slowly deteriorating relations.” That is wishful thinking. of The Govt has also said that it is looking at alternate modes of payments and today there is a report that India has proposed the payments be done in Dirhams.

Isn’t it strange that when it suits some, India is wrongly accused of not implementing UN resolutions and when it suits them it is accused of cowing to pressure when it follows UN guidelines. India, for some, cannot ever do anything right or independently and can only be always at fault!

I think it is kite flying to presume that India and Iran are going downhill and fast. There have always been ups and downs and will continue. Both play games. India has neither buckled to pressure nor will it jeopardise its relationship with Iran to earn brownies from the others. We don’t need them. If it was just buckling to pressure how come it has resisted even greater pressure from the US regarding its relationship with Myanmar?

Those hoping for a rupture between India and Iran will be disappointed.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

It was very interesting going through the article and the comments of my learned commenter friends. Having assimilated the issue under consideration, I feel my friend Daraindia has stated the facts bluntly and rightly, though his contention of the relationship with Myanmar for reason is far apart from that of Iran.

However, US diplomatic circle runs far wide and strong and would not take much time to verify the reason of cool air blowing over Iran-India and to find out how strong it is to last long. However, under the circumstances of the changing world and fall outs of Weakileaks revelations US has been hit badly enough to be relied upon by even close friend though overtly all seem to be as before but in fact it is not covertly.

All will come out in the open when the time is ripe and is not dwindling between who ultimately comes at the top to be the lone superpower. India’s link with US is but new and recent that too because of trade and fear of China’s down ward thrust. Nevertheless, its long developed relationship of regional, economic, and commercial connection with any country would not be snapped for US pressure and relationship. So also India’s link with Russia’s relationship will not be snapped for any reason

US has friends all over the world but how many are long lasting none even Israel. The day if US are down graded permanently among supper power, Israel will be the first to abandon US friendship, then many more countries will follow suit and India of course will be one of the many. This is what is the fact. It is because US makes friendship with countries for one time use as is people use toilet papers. The world know it that no country other than Israel is considered by US as permanent reliable friend and the best ally.

Therefore, Relationship with Saudi Arabia with another Muslim country will not become that bad that will enable Israel to butt in their internal affairs. Israel- Turkey relationship should serve as a sample as to how Muslim countries unite on Humanitarian causes.

US will need to enhance its effort further to understand the politics and diplomacy of the Arab countries. This is possible only by learning the language, and honoring promises, avoiding making Islam controversial under all circumstance, and permanent solution of Israel – Palestine dispute.

Iran will not bow to pressure, as principle Muslim countries may break but will not bow to pressure. This is because they consider faith in GOD Almighty is more important than life.

The example is set by fighting modern arsenals with sacrificing self for decades. Until to day, they have not bowed but have not broken down too.

India being a regional country and having been under Muslim rule for centuries knows the fact, therefore expecting a breakdown or souring of relationship between India and Iran is a wishful thinking for ever.

Both India and Iran together with Pakistan is the custodian of Arabian and Indian sea in case of emergency may be African countries will also join in..

Posted by KINGFISHER | Report as abusive
 

@KINGFISHER
Well said, though I take the liberty to deviate from your closing sentence. History tells us about the great civilisation which came from the Persians or Iran it is now called, to India also brought destruction for the so called Indian Gods and its worshippers, many of whom are today’s muslims in India and Pakistan. India today is a hindu majority country with a sizable muslim and sikh minority but its psyche has never come to terms to live in peace and harmony with its mulim neighbour or even its own muslim citizens. This is not a healthy factor for any power to be in partnership with the muslim world for control of Arabian waters in the 21st century. Indian leadership has not been able to make a nation of their country similar to Pakistan and this falls short of sharing its power with any muslim country. India is more aligned with Israel strategy to use and the drop its mentor when things are rough. Indians like the chinese were always best in trade and commerce in the Asian continent and now on their way to become the super economies and this should benefit the world as a whole.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

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