Pakistan and the taboo of secularism

January 8, 2011

graveFor everyone trying to understand the implications of Salman Taseer’s assassination, this essay from 2007 is good place to start (h/t Abu Muqawama).  “The Politics of God” is about why Europe decided, after years of warfare over the correct interpretation of Christianity, to separate church and state.  But it is also relevant to Pakistan, where the killing of the Punjab governor over his opposition to the country’s blasphemy laws has shown that what was left of Pakistani secularism, is, if not dead, at least in intensive care.

Read the opening paragraph to understand why it resonates:

“For more than two centuries, from the American and French Revolutions to the collapse of Soviet Communism, world politics revolved around eminently political problems. War and revolution, class and social justice, race and national identity — these were the questions that divided us. Today, we have progressed to the point where our problems again resemble those of the 16th century, as we find ourselves entangled in conflicts over competing revelations, dogmatic purity and divine duty. We in the West are disturbed and confused. Though we have our own fundamentalists, we find it incomprehensible that theological ideas still stir up messianic passions, leaving societies in ruin. We had assumed this was no longer possible, that human beings had learned to separate religious questions from political ones, that fanaticism was dead. We were wrong.”

The point of highlighting this essay is not to argue that Pakistan should emulate the west, nor indeed that secularism is necessarily the answer, but rather to suggest that there is still a debate to be had in a country where even using the word secular is becoming taboo. (And before anyone accuses me of orientalism, the advantage of looking at it through the lens of European history is that it also strips out some of the other factors which contribute to the nature of Pakistani society today — the war in Afghanistan, America’s response to 9/11, the role of the army, its past use of militant proxies, the weakness of its civilian governments, the fragility of the economy etc, etc).

As  the blogger kala kawa put it, ”too much space has been ceded. Too much PUBLIC space has been ceded. This debate cannot go underground. It must not be behind closed doors. We don’t have guns, and we don’t have bombs, and we don’t even want to kill anyone. We just want to talk it out.  Unfortunately, that’s enough for them to want to kill us.”

Or to quote Pakistan’s ideological father, Ellama Mohammad Iqbal, himself not a secularist, in one of his early letters: “Let the many-headed monster of public (opinion) give their dross of respect to others who act and live in accordance with their false ideals of religion and morality.  I cannot stoop to respect their conventions which suppress the innate freedom of man’s mind.”

So back to Europe and “The Politics of God”.  Author Mark Lilla traces the separation of church and state to the 17th century, at a time when Christians had wearied themselves with killing other Christians — just as much of today’s violence is a battle within Islam. In his treatise “Leviathan”, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes laid down the idea that men would only be free of fear and war if they created political institutions without grounding them in religion.

“This liberal-democratic order is the only one we in the West recognize as legitimate today, and we owe it primarily to Hobbes. In order to escape the destructive passions of messianic faith, political theology centered on God was replaced by political philosophy centered on man. This was the Great Separation,” writes Lilla.

Do read the whole essay, but I want to scroll forward now to what Lilla had to say about the 1930s. It struck me as particularly interesting since that is where the idea of Pakistan finds its ideological moorings (for those who don’t know, this blog, Pakistan: Now or Never, is named after a 1933 pamphlet calling for the creation of Pakistan).

According to Lilla, the idea of political theology never really disappeared in the west with the separation of church and state, just as the human impulse to religious faith never disappears.  But it reappeared in a particularly distorted form in Europe after World War One in ”messianic” notions of how to transform society. And it reappeared especially in Weimar in Germany where that messianic faith in the possibility of human redemption, he argues, led to Nazism.

“All of which served to confirm Hobbes’s iron law: Messianic theology eventually breeds messianic politics. The idea of redemption is among the most powerful forces shaping human existence in all those societies touched by the biblical tradition. It has inspired people to endure suffering, overcome suffering and inflict suffering on others. It has offered hope and inspiration in times of darkness; it has also added to the darkness by arousing unrealistic expectations and justifying those who spill blood to satisfy them. All the biblical religions cultivate the idea of redemption, and all fear its power to inflame minds and deafen them to the voice of reason. In the writings of these Weimar figures, we encounter what those orthodox traditions always dreaded: the translation of religious notions of apocalypse and redemption into a justification of political messianism, now under frightening modern conditions. It was as if nothing had changed since the 17th century, when Thomas Hobbes first sat down to write his ‘Leviathan’.”

Many of the men who fought for the creation of Pakistan lived or studied in Europe and cannot have been immune to the political influences sweeping the region in those fateful years after World War One. At the time Europe was reeling from the sheer scale of death wrought by the war and looking for other ways to structure its political systems.  It was a time where people believed again in the possibility of an idealised and perfectible society, rather as they had done in medieval Europe when they fought over Christianity. Communism and international socialism was one such ideal. Fascism was another. It was only after the trauma of World War Two that modern liberal - and secular - democracy, really took root in Europe (and since it has been going for only 60 years, a short space of time compared to centuries of history, it’s impossible to predict whether it has taken root for good.)

It was in that feverish atmosphere that Choudhary Rahmat Ali’ proclaimed in ”Now or Never” – written in Cambridge, England - that the Muslims of South Asia might ”live or perish for ever” if they did not stand up for their faith and the existence of Pakistan. It is a fear that has found expression nowadays in an intense anti-Americanism.  (Interestingly, he also complains that Muslims were in danger of being sacrificed by their “so-called leaders”, who had gone along ”without any protest or demur” with plans for a united independent India, a criticism also levelled at today’s leaders for cooperating with the United States.)

Iqbal believed that only Islam, with its internationalist outlook and faith in common humanity, could break down the barriers of race and national greed which had led to World War One.

And in 1933, he wrote admiringly of Italian dictator Mussolini as an example of the essence of Islamic economics, which was ”to render the growth of large capitals impossible. Mussolini and Hitler think in the same way. Bolshevism has gone to the extreme of abolishing capitalism altogether.  In all aspects of life, Islam always takes the middle course.”

Yet Iqbal was also a scholar, who credited early Islamic scholarship, and its capacity for inductive rather than deductive reasoning, with laying the philosophical groundwork for European humanism — the same kind of reasoning that led Hobbes to reject the politics of religion.  Somewhere in that capacity for intellectual thought, and what he called “the innate freedom of man’s mind”, lies the space for debate.

(File photo of the grave dug for an earlier victim of violence in Pakistan)

241 comments

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An enduring irony that never ceases to amuse me is that Iqbal wrote “Saare Jahan Se Achcha” (which is misty-eyed in its claim that Hindustan is better than the whole world). Now that India minus Pakistan and Bangladesh has inherited the mantle of Iqbal’s Hindustan, the ideological father of Pakistan has ended up being known as the creator of one of India’s most patriotic songs. It must be mortifying for a lot of people :-).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saare_Jahan _Se_Achcha

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

An interesting Indian perspective: “This Death in Pakistan” by Shekhar Gupta

http://epaper.indianexpress.com/IE/IEH/2 011/01/08/index.shtml

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

A very interesting article! the first thing which attracted me is the plant or the small tree which is going to grow there. This in my view is the Clerodendrum Trichotomum, which grows very rapidly and has the flowers with scented smell. The second thought came to me about Iqbal, the so called contemporary for Pakistan, studied the Kanthian philosophy in heidelberg, Germany.
Let me take a pause and come back on the article later.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Pakistan was created for geo-political reasons, using religion as the leverage by the powers of a bygone era. Those powers and the powers they fought against are gone. Pakistan’s creation has lost its purpose. Now all that is left is religion and they are burning themselves with it.

Do not use religion to set fire on others. It always comes back to burn you down. This is the moral of the story for everyone – Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Americans, British and the Communists. The US used Islam as a weapon to bring down the Soviets. And now it is facing Islam as an enemy. Pakistan was created for Islam and it is dying by it.

Religion belongs to the hearts of the people. It cannot run governments and nations. The Roman Catholic church already tried that in Europe and that time period is called as the dark age.

Learn from history. Do not repeat the same mistakes again. It is always a novel experience to stage protests, throw bricks, burn down buildings, give motivating speeches, running revolutions and forming nations in the name of some emotional ideology. But once in the hot seat, running the matters is an entirely different ball game. Many such nations came under tyrants and extremists. Look at Cuba, Communist China, North Korea etc.

Pakistan is an experiment that failed.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest” – attributed to Denis Diderot and as true now as it was at the end of the 17th century, perhaps more so.

Posted by Gubernator | Report as abusive

@Gubemator
Diderot also rejected the idea of progress through technology and based his philosophy on experience and the study of probabilities.
We are living progress today through advancement in technology. Good thing that he is no more around us. Adio 17th century.

What we are reading about the events in Pakistan is the classcal conflict of the haves with the have nots. The pseudo intellectuals of the media and some political elites, most of them migrants from India(their beloved enemy), have been debating on the secularism in a country which was made out of India on the basis of the religion.

If one were to watch the documentry films coming out of the country after the natural disasters of the earthquake and most recently the devastating floods, one would witness the most miserable status of the working class suffering from loss of homes, food shortages and illnesses which have paralised most of the Nation. On top of that Pakistan military and the security forces are rampaging and roaming about in autonomous territories causing violence, death and destruction of houses and lives to support the American crusade against the muslims of the world.

And then you watch a senior member of the Govt. convassing against the law of the land, no doubt a hideous one, but presenting himself as the opposition politician and the saviour of a poor christian citizen,starting a nation wide discussion about the faith of the most ordinary people, who practically have nothing left except the clothes on their torso, and their inner faith in one God and the Prophet(PBUH).
This is not the Govt. man who had any interest in his heart for the poor citizens, but some one who was indulging in party politicsat the expense of the victim.

This is not the result of extremeism, nor anything to do with the theologists or priests or the royalty, or has any baring of the Madrassas, the ususal targets for ridicule. This is the begining of the conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletarians and could culminate into a conflict hitherto not seen before among muslims. We are watching the developments in Egypt, Sudan, Somalia and now in algeria. A man in the street, office or land are struggling with their survival, while the Govt dignitories are spending over five billion US dollars equivalent annualy on the military, acquiring fighter planes and the nuclear weapons, while the most poor ones are trying to survive and now have to worry about their faith as well, which means the life after death. Enough with this larifary and marry go around of the Peoplers party and the musical chairs game bertween the military and the civilian Govts. It is about time that the Govt. delivers or leave their posts and go into the exile where furnished houses and Chateaus in foreign lands await them.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

KPSingh:
“Pakistan is an experiment that failed.”

-The idea of Pakistan is alive, over the period of time it has evolved. All great nations in the world went through turmoil, civil wars etc but that doesnt mean they fail. Infact, by any standard the Pakistani society has proved to be remarkably reilient in the face of calamities, civil war etc. I have all the belief this nation can still make it. I was simply outraged by Salman Taseer’s death and let me assure you a true Muslim does never condone such murder. The very essence of Islam is moderation, debate and talking with a lot of wisdom and putting across your point of view. Ignorants on the other hand pull out a gun, commit murder and stay behind bars for the rest of their life.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Umair,

Pakistan has remained an idea over 63 years. It is only the idea that is alive like you have said. The reality of it becoming a nation has not happened. I understand your bond to this entity created by the British for their own purposes. Everyone is bonded to the land he or she is born and has grown up. Therefore I understand your feelings. However, Pakistan is only an idea and the history through the past six decades has become an experiment – whether a nation can be founded on a religious identity and whether it can provide the needed glue to keep its various diverse ethnic and linguistic groups together. This experiment faulted in 1971. And it has fallen ever since. Pakistan has only survived due to its renting out its territory for the big powers to stage their conflicts. And in fact, that was the reason why the British separated the Western and North Western parts of the sub-continent into one nation. They needed some reason to create that entity and Jinnah had his own personal ambitions. So the two made a convenient arrangement. Jinnah got what he wanted. And the British empire got what it wanted. Little did both know that both will not exist for too long. Now both are long gone while there is a geographically carved entity trying to define its existence and identity by propping up an enemy that is opposite in all possible ways to its definition.

Your ancestors existed in the region before the British came. Borders have been drawn and redrawn many times over history. People have remained and survived. Borders have come and gone. I can understand your affection and passion for the region and people. But there is no use having any feelings for an artificial boundary created by an ignorant British. Because this boundary will change its shape again, much like the Sindh river which shifts its course every once in a while.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KPSingh:
“Pakistan has remained an idea over 63 years. It is only the idea that is alive like you have said. The reality of it becoming a nation has not happened. I understand your bond to this entity created by the British for their own purposes.”

-First, Pakistan is not a mere ‘entity’, Pakistan is a nation and a state. A nation always has an idea through which its inception takes place, otherwise it would just be a piece of land with a few clans/tribes etc living in close proximity. It is the very idea and basis of existence that unites a nation.
Secondly, Pakistan came into being after a struggle and many prominent leaders were part of the Pakistan movement. Surely, it was due to the surrender of British that they conceded and Pakistan was created. But to discredit the sacrifices of muslims and state that Pakistan was solely created by the British would be unfair.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

KPSingh:
” there is a geographically carved entity trying to define its existence”

-As a nation, Pakistan, as I stated before has evolved, from scratch to nuclear power. In the middle of geo-political cross roads, and global interests, Pakistan is a country of paramount strategic importance whose stability is vital for global peace. Keep in view it is one of handful countries possessing nuclear status. And its not just Pakistan, South Africa shunned aparthied 17 years back and became a rainbow nation. In the 60s Dr. Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement in US would have no idea one day an African American would take to the office of the President of US. This is how great nations evolve over time, going through turmoil, crisis, civil wars. I can assure you Pakistan’s territorial integrity has been affirmed by its nuclear deterrence. No one can alter the borderline, those years are gone. I am a realist and see the things the way they are. the colonial sun had set below the horizon for ever in 1947. today’s reality is different and today’s challenges are different. You put all the blame on British, what about the rigid stance of hindu leaders who wanted to have everything their way. That was the reason why Muslims wanted their own home in India.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

” The pseudo intellectuals of the media and some political elites, most of them migrants from India(their beloved enemy), have been debating on the secularism in a country which was made out of India on the basis of the religion.”

***This love for “migrants from India” in Pakistan is a classical attitude of majority (YES MAJORITY) across the border. These people forget that migration of Muslims from India to the land of the pure was package deal for the birth of Pakistan.

It seems like these people think Pakistan already existed and Pakistan did a huge favor to let in these Muslim migrants!

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

Umair

” I can assure you Pakistan’s territorial integrity has been affirmed by its nuclear deterrence. No one can alter the borderline, those years are gone.”

***I agree. Prove that to me by not uttering “India as existential threat to Pakistan”. Should I expect this from you?

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

Rehmat:

In my opinion, India still poses an existential threat to Pakistan, I know you will be disappointed by this statement but before that please understand my point of view fully. South Asia is a region that has seen crisis and unresolved disputes in the past and these challenges will occur in the future as well. The cornerstone of Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine is to maintain well trained conventional military power and willingness to use force if confronted with agression. The nuclear option is the last resort only if conventional force cannot withstand an enemy long enough for diplomatic intervention. currently we have hostile relations with India, a country 6 times larger and with greater resources. we have already almost lost half of Pakistan’s territory to India in previous wars. Keeping that in mind, also the fact that bulk of Indian Army is deployed on the Pakistan border, facing Pakistan in a posture ready to make the thrust. We have to resort to offensive defense. I know it is unfortunate, but this is the reality. India has the potential to pose serious existential threat to Pakistan, we have to judge by the ability. India might currently not have the intent to pose a threat to Pakistan, but India’s ability to do so remains in place. And intentions take no time to change. So this is how it works, if you have the ability to pose an existential threat, and in the past your intentions were hostile. I am not willing to take any chances, like I stated before we have nothing to loose. After 1971, we decided to defend every single inch of territory. Onus is on you to win the trust and prove India is no more a threat. Again, in many blogs, on internet and many online forums I have seen a sizeable majority who have negative views on Pakistan. Maybe you belong to the educated class in India who are incharge running the affairs of the country and maybe in reality India does not repeat DOES NOT pose a threat to Pakistan. But I have given you the view point from Rawalpindi/Islamabad.
Now I expect you to give me the view point from Delhi/Mumbai. I know India is making economic progress, tell me what are the intentions. If you state positive, a willingness to resolve disputes and put past behind, sign a peace and friendship treaty, no use of nukes against each other. Probably it would be a good idea to move on from the bitter past and start a new begining. You must state if India’s goal is economic progress and no war, how do you want to deal with Pakistan in future given the history?

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

PS:
Rehmat, my statement that India poses an existential threat to Pakistan is just a staement. I am willing to read your response, you have to give me logic that reality is otherwise. Maybe you can help me change my view, but onus is on you to prove.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Umair, let me butt into this conversation.

You keep harping on the fact that Pakistan is a nuclear power, but somehow don’t trust the deterrent capability of that power to prevent any Indian aggression. That sounds contradictory.

In fact, after an initial period of deep unease about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, I began to believe that a well-managed “balance of terror” can actually keep the peace.

You don’t have to trust Indian intentions, merely Indian sanity. India is sane enough not to precipitate a nuclear war. Doesn’t that cancel the “existential threat”?

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Umair,

There is another angle altogether. Now please understand what I am going to say. This is not a jingoistic position but one that expresses the urgency of a win-win solution.

You said:

> Maybe you can help me change my view, but onus is on you to prove.

Not really. There is no onus on anyone. I think I have mentioned many times before that India does not need to do anything, because India is doing quite well right now. It is Pakistan that is in trouble. The economy is going to get worse, because your government has not taken the required hard decisions (it has reversed itself on petrol prices). Because of this lack of discipline, the IMF will not loan Pakistan more money. US aid comes with similar strings. This means the government will have no option but to start printing money, which in turn will mean inflation anyway. Saudi Arabia and China will not underwrite a poorly managed economy, so don’t have any hopes there.

You can let things slide, and then a couple of years from now, when Pakistan is in the throes of hyperinflation and people are suffering acutely, your guys will have to make the hard decision to cut down your armed forces or let people starve. It will be the Soviet Union all over again. The arms race will bankrupt you.

The more pleasant alternative is to act right now and ensure that any Indian threat is neutralised by formalising the border based on the LOC, and forfeit any further territorial claims. Then both countries can reduce their troops from the border and even downsize their armies. With better trade relations, the economy can start to improve. Neither country can afford to spend so much on defence, but Pakistan has the more critical problem.

So recognising that India is not an existential threat is actually in Pakistan’s own interests. The onus is not on anyone else to convince you of that. If you’re not convinced and want to retain an expensive defensive posture, good luck to you. We’ll see you in a couple of years’ time.

[I hold no official position, but I foresee that as time goes by, the Indian government's position will harden and they will be less inclined to make concessions. I would like to see a dignified peace, not a humiliating one for Pakistan, because only peace with honour will last. I fear that arrogance and hubris will overtake the Indian leadership after a few years of relative success, and we will have a peace agreement like the Versailles treaty, full of humiliating terms that will only result in a future war. That will serve nobody's interests.]

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@Umair
“If you state positive, a willingness to resolve disputes and put past behind, sign a peace and friendship treaty, no use of nukes against each other. Probably it would be a good idea to move on from the bitter past and start a new begining”

How many times does the Indians have to say this? Make a peace treaty and no nuke use and move on. Build our nations, provide food to hungry, medicine to ill and good life to all. As for dealing with Pakistan, if there is peace treaty then no one in India would want to hit at Pakistan because Pakistan will have to curb down militants in its territory which will automatically reduce tensions between us. Yes move on from bitter past and make a new beginning. You may never accept us as brothers but we can be good friends still. What say??

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Interesting article by the great Imran Khan in the Guardian. Even Imran has fallen for the psyche of blaming others for all of Pakistan’s ills. There is sure is an external contribution to the developments in Pakistan. However, Pakistani military is 50% to blame in all this. I think many prominent Pakistanis are afraid of saying anything against the military. It is even scarier than saying something blasphemous about the prophet Muhammad.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ 2011/jan/09/pakistan-implode-america-lea ve-afghanistan

Emotions have taken over Pakistani psyche. See how the murderer Mumtaz Qadri sings (check out you tube) and the songs being played portraying him as a a martyr and Ghazi. When emotions take over, hearing stops. Nothing will get into the head. It is a sign of depression. Pakistani nation has fallen into depression. And one feels victimized from all angles in that situation. And it can be suicidal.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “As a nation, Pakistan, as I stated before has evolved, from scratch to nuclear power.”

It is interesting to see that you define a nation as that which grows to become a nuclear power. So is North Korea. Does anything else matter to be a nation in your view point? Holding a machine gun makes one look formidable. But if is standing naked and frail, he can die of his own illness rather than someone else’ bullet.

“In the middle of geo-political cross roads, and global interests, Pakistan is a country of paramount strategic importance whose stability is vital for global peace.”

Not anymore. It was created because of geo-political equations until 1990. After that Pakistan’s strategic importance was lost. And it was clear when the Americans abandoned the region right after that. Until then US was using Pakistan as an ally against a larger enemy. Now US is back not as a friend, but as a foe. That must confirm what I have been saying all along. Pakistan was Churchill’s outpost in the NW part of the imperial India to stop the Russians. Stop gap arrangements only have temporary purpose. After that they get abandoned.

“Keep in view it is one of handful countries possessing nuclear status.”

You keep raising the nuclear power status. So do many other countries and they are not chest thumping as you do. Usually the one who fears shouts the loudest in darkness.

“And its not just Pakistan, South Africa shunned aparthied 17 years back and became a rainbow nation. In the 60s Dr. Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement in US would have no idea one day an African American would take to the office of the President of US.”

South Africa had Nelson Mandela as its leader who believed in forgiveness and reconciliation. He did not launch the slaughtering of the white minority. US experiments with itself and improves from it. And both have infrastructure built on industrial growth and overall advancement. Pakistan has none of these.

“This is how great nations evolve over time, going through turmoil, crisis, civil wars.”

Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Congo, Angola etc also have civil wars. And they are not in the list of great nations and they are not going to rediscover themselves anytime in the future.

“I can assure you Pakistan’s territorial integrity has been affirmed by its nuclear deterrence. No one can alter the borderline, those years are gone.”

If that is the case why do you keep raising the “existential threat” issue? Why is anyone an enemy of your country when they cannot do a thing to yours? Didn’t you say earlier in one of the blogs that Indians do not have the balls to attack Pakistan? Do you truly believe in your country’s ability? Or are you simply calling a bluff?

“I am a realist and see the things the way they are. the colonial sun had set below the horizon for ever in 1947. today’s reality is different and today’s challenges are different. You put all the blame on British, what about the rigid stance of hindu leaders who wanted to have everything their way. That was the reason why Muslims wanted their own home in India.”

Hindu leaders only happened to be Hindu from their accident of birth. They were otherwise extremely liberal and modern people. It is your leaders who clubbed them as Hindu leaders. If Muslims wanted their own home, why did East Pakistan genocide happen against fellow Muslims? Did Hindus initiate it?

Colonial sunset happened in 1947. But Pakistan was left as a land mine to thwart Russian and Indian link in South Asia. Now Russians are gone, the imperial British are gone and cold war is over. The land mine is no longer needed. Unfortunately it has gotten stuck to their feet and they are trying to shake it off without stamping on it. That is the real thing. Since you claim to be a realist, you must realize this eventual truth.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Let us recollect what the subject is, namely Pakistan and the taboo of secularism.
Sorry umair, Pakistan is a wonderful god given land for the citizens who live in it. However, it is not a Nation, Mr Jinnah tried to make it one but it did not work, many of its peaceful, industrious and rich non muslim citizens left the country. Many came from India to replace them with a common religion base but different cultures and the transplant has never function naturaly without the constant use of drugs. The replacement of english with Urdu as a lingua franca and use of violence as a means to solve political discourse has ever since partialy paralised different communities. Military came into power to mobilise and rejuvinate the spirit of Islam as a common base for the Nation, but this did not work either and in fact backfired with splits among several so called theologists. They´had the common overall religion but uncommon genesand DNA. We know now why the chemistry of one with another does not always work.

People are the assets and the soul of a Nation, religion alone is not the basis for making a Nation out of a country. Look at today’s Pakistan, secularism and security has become the issues and the slogan of the politicians in power; this is the intellect of the military and civilian elites who are not the elites, but rule the country.

Today’s problems in Pakistan are of hunger and shelter and medical needs for the people in the flood stricken lands of Swat(destroyed earlier by Pakistan Army), Punjab and Sindh. Mobile hospitals are required for rthe needy who have to put up with nothing in their stomach or over their heads or for their sleep at night. Not secularism, and security for them have the priority!! And the politicians living in the villas and comfortable town houses, not having the slightest idea of what is going on in one of the largest country in the world.
O’h yes, let us not forget the rumbling of the container trucks running at high speed with Nato supplies from Karachi to the Afghan border and beyond, are the witness for the have nots that their land has been mortgaged in favour of the only Imperial power left in this world. and their govt. is made of people who were living abroad but were brought back by the military to perform a symbolic service for the yanks, and rest of the time engage in intellectual intercourse on secularism, holding conference and travelling around the world for stzrategic meetings. Does the ordinary citizen realises that almost most of those holding the post of a minister has a house in the UK or France?

There are solutions, radical one to overcome the dilemma, but too difficult to implement them with speed in a declared democratic country such as Pakistan. Things would take their course and time now and as long as the people have not understood that there are not few criminals, like you mentioned in your post, but the majority of the people who want food etc etc etc. Religion and security is their own and they do not need much from the Govt. and the great anchors of the talk shows and the so called intellectuals of the media.

India is not the enemy of Pakistan, never was, but also not the friend either. They have their own problems, the massacre of sikhs who are now spread across the world and live in asylum, and still some show their loyalty for India, the suppression of the remaining kashmiri muslims by military in their own ancestoral homes and those who live in the main land, not having the ability to defend their place of worship, is no different than the suppression of Palistinians and the destruction of their ancestoral homes in East Jerusalem. But India and Israel and the Imperialist America are not the problems for Pakistan but Ummah, the nation of Islam of two billions in over fifty countries.
Pakistan should have no diplomatic relations with India and concentrate on its domestic problems. This is the reasonable solution for both countries and would serve them well. Like the USA India would want of Pakistan to solve security problems for the USA and India!
Is Pakistan military is capable of doing this?

Pakistan existance is not threatened by the Indian Armada as well. This is the 27th trick of the Pakistan politicians and some and I repeat some army brass. The USA has a dilemma, and their strategy is to bring Pakistan into NATO, though the Turkish plan is to create a separate alliance with Iran and Pakistan to play a major role in the middle east region and beyond. Pakistan must first get rid of the worms it is carrying.

India is not regarde by the Russians, chinese and the Americans as a trust worthy partner for any military alliance. But this is India problem. One thing is definite, neither India, Germany or Brazil are going to get the permanent seat in the security council unless certain preconditions are fullfilled. Like Hillary Clinton said some time ago that all these countries regard themselves as qualified for the Security Council seat. India has no choice but to unload Kashmir, if this is what India desires?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Rex:
Pakistan is basically a conservative society much like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan which is an agrarian (agriculture) based society. It does not mean secularism does not have a place in Pakistan, the white color in Pakistan flag represents the minority. I was a conservative before Salman Taseer’s killing, but where others get radicalized I have now become a liberal and secular. If liberalism and secularism means to stand for the right for justice, to live life according to Islam (true Islam not the one followed by those who kill in the name of Islam) than I am a liberal. Like someone stated, there is nothing more blashphemous than killing in the name on Islam.
Having stated, I do not agree that Pakistan Army destryoed Swat, instead it saved what was left by destructive terrorists. And believe me, be it Swat or Waziristan the Army’s strategy is to rid the place from ‘terrorists’. Note I use the word terrorist, it does not include the local populace who are themself fed up of armed gangs. Rex, fighting for rights of indigineous people is one thing, but the terrorists holed up in these areas with Al Qaeda help are creating mayhem and need to be dealt with or they would burn the country. And believe me, the Pakistan Army has given so much blood for this country, it will never abandon it and never let it implode. And your complain of Pakistan’s collaboration with US, when all Muslim nations are disunited Pakistan is left with no option but to take help from US. Had Pakistan economy been strong, There would be no need to collaborate in US the way is being done now. In absence of leadership within Muslim natio the vaccum is filled by external powers. I always see you caring for just the pushtoon people, think of larger picture, think of Muslim Ummah as a whole.
Lastly, just want to share this article by Salman Taseer’s daughter:
My Father Died for Pakistan
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/opinio n/09taseer.html

Also I agree with Imran Khan’s assessment, the longer US forces would stay on in Afghanistan, the more destabilize Pakistan will get ultimately pushing for disaster.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

PS;
Just to add, as the battle lines are drawn, ordinary Pakistanis will have to choose one side. The grey area will disappear more and more, it would be the conservatives, vs liberals. The role of Pakistan Army would be important, the character of Pak Army is not hardline which gives me confidence that ultimately we have a good chance of taking on the hardline misguided fools. We just need to stand up and be bold, let them know we will not give up so easily.
But again, the war in Afghanistan has to end, otherwise Pakistani population willl keep getting radicalized.

Let me broadly define what would be the terms ;conservative’ and ‘liberals’ mean in Pakistan. The conservative camp includes unfortunately some hypocrites, these would be educated people also who would not read 5 times prayer listen to music but would cheer the assassination of people like Salman Taseer. These misguided fools are large in numbers and need to be dealt with promptly by educating them. I would also include some great religious scholars etc in conservatives, does not mean all conservatives are at fault.
coming to the liberals, these could be westernized people in urban Isalamaba, or living in Gulberg Lahore or DHA Karachi etc. People affluent, running businesses frequently travel overseas etc. This elite class have largely abandoned the poor, and alienated the poor.
The social divide is apparent, only good governance and better economy, equal opportunity for all can correct the course.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Murder in Pakistan
http://arabnews.com/opinion/article22991 7.ece

Saudi newspaper calls Taseer a martyr.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

“let me assure you a true Muslim does never condone such murder”

I guess Umair then Pakistan has a majority of “fake” Muslims because it appears that a wide spectrum of Pakistanis were cheering the murderer Qadri.

As far as choosing a side, again the evidence shows that the majority have either taken the side of Qadri or decided that the other side is not worth supporting.

Posted by SilverSw0rd | Report as abusive

Silversword:”Pakistan has a majority of “fake” Muslims because it appears that a wide spectrum of Pakistanis were cheering the murderer Qadri.”

-The reality in my view is different, save a handful of bigots the majority of Pakistanis do not support the murder of Salman Taseer. Although I agree that majority of people could have done a lot more to come out in public and speak up.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

@”I was a conservative before Salman Taseer’s killing, but where others get radicalized I have now become a liberal and secular. If liberalism and secularism means to stand for the right for justice, to live life according to Islam (true Islam not the one followed by those who kill in the name of Islam) than I am a liberal. Like someone stated, there is nothing more blashphemous than killing in the name on Islam.”
Posted by Umairpk

Good to know that. Hopefully, guys like you can start a revolution & free your society from radicalism, narcissism & boigotry. Good luck!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Umair said:

> The role of Pakistan Army would be important, the character of Pak Army is not hardline which gives me confidence that ultimately we have a good chance of taking on the hardline misguided fools.

We should all certainly hope so. I don’t know if many of you read Seymour Hersh’s article of November 2009 (http://nyr.kr/2mBzFD).

There’s an interesting excerpt (which some of you may consider Indian propaganda, but still…):

**** Start of excerpt ****

I flew to New Delhi after my stay in Pakistan and met with two senior officials from the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s national intelligence agency. (Of course, as in Pakistan, no allegation about the other side should be taken at face value.) “Our worries are about the nuclear weapons in Pakistan,” one of the officials said. “Not because we are worried about the mullahs taking over the country; we’re worried about those senior officers in the Pakistan Army who are Caliphates”—believers in a fundamentalist pan-Islamic state. “We know some of them and we have names,” he said. “We’ve been watching colonels who are now brigadiers. These are the guys who could blackmail the whole world”—that is, by seizing a nuclear weapon.

The Indian intelligence official went on, “Do we know if the Americans have that intelligence? This is not in the scheme of the way you Americans look at things—‘Kayani is a great guy! Let’s have a drink and smoke a cigar with him and his buddies.’ Some of the men we are watching have notions of leading an Islamic army.”

**** End of excerpt ****

If the PA has been infiltrated (gradually, dating from the Zia ul Haq days) like the elite Punjab police unit that was meant to guard Salman Taseer, then we’re all in big trouble.

But a bit of humour to lighten the mood (and Umair can tell us if this is true):

**** Start of excerpt ****

In an interview the next afternoon, an Indian official who has dealt diplomatically with Pakistan for years said, “Pakistan is in trouble, and it’s worrisome to us because an unstable Pakistan is the worst thing we can have.” But he wasn’t sure what America could do. “They like us better in Pakistan than you Americans,” he said. “I can tell you that in a public-opinion poll we, India, will beat you.”

**** End of excerpt ****

That made me smile.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Another piece in NY Times. The worry about Pakistan’s nukes is increasing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/weekin review/09sanger.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

As long as humans keep trying to find solutions to their problems, in religion, the human race will keep suffering. Religion solves less and creates more problems. All this talk of scriptures, God, commandements, and so on; what the hell has all this given to Europe, violence and more violence. Despite the example of Europe the muslim world today wants solution to all their problems in Islam. Even guys like Umair keep saying Islam is solution to all troubles. Umair tell me when Taliban hailed Islam and put it down everyone’s throat in Afghanistan through barrel of gun then was Afghanistan free from all evils?? Did Islam solve anything in Afghanistan?? We all need to come out of this sick mentality of “religion solves all problems” and “holy land this and that”.

What is happening inside Pakistan is the growing evidence that Muslim world (read Muslim countries) is making EXACTLY the same mistake that Christians committed in Europe in medieval periods. And Pakistan with its Islamic bomb is the leader in this massacare. I hope this madness, of following religions blindly, is put to rest sooner than later.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@Umair
When I am in france, now and then I visit a village and participate in France National day celebrations and even the church service. The village people remember their dead who in their opinion died for France.

And then I watch the grave stones of the dead with inscription and read the place where the soldier died in action for France, Algeria, Morroco and in France.

I immediately remember the attrocities and even the genocide which the French forces commited in their former colonies. And I say to my French neighbourers despite my wife’s protest that they, the French soldiers died for nothing and zero. likewise, I say that the Pakistani army soldiers and officers, in as much as I regard them innocent at heart, and were following the orders of the seniors like the French, they died for nothing if they fired the bullet or artillery shells causing the death of innocent Pashtoons in their dwellings. I would also not condone the killings of Bengali muslims and several thousands of hindu minorities in former East Pakistan, about which I learnt on this blog from Rehmat. You cannot justify one act of violence with another act of violence. YOU WILL NOT KILL, is the commandment of God. Those who do are to face the consequences. There are no true or false Islams. There is only one Islam, but different types of muslims, the bad ones and the good ones like any other people.

The use of liberal in Pakistan is misplaced, the word moderate as suggested by someone sounds more a virtue than the liberals in the world have. I do not favour characterising people and putting them in specific camps, it has its pros and cons. A radical conservative has cut down a liberal jewish congress woman a couple of days ago in Arizona. The motives are not yet clear, racist or political. Do nt worry the American communities and the whole society is more radicalised than the amateur developing society of Pakistan. If I were you, given the situation we are watching every day in Pakistan, I would not declare any allegance to liberalism or secularism. Secularism means separation of Govt. and the church(religion in Pakistan case), and this is not easily understood by millions in the United states nor in underdeveloped country of Pakistan. You can write down for my benefit or the millions of Sindhis and Punjabis and Pashtoons farmers that you talked about and Mr Musharaf was very fond of describing them as the silent majority. They are silent not because of disconcern but because of their illetracy and lack of understanding terminologies which came from the west. I have dozens of american friends and they would not tolerate any liberal nor give them any employment:

You said also that you agree with Imran Khan’s assessment who has been all along againsta military intrusion in the Pashtoon land and preaching for a dialogue, endangering his own liofe like a fool, but did not receive any support from the liberals and even so called secular media. I have commented on his article and support his analogy bu do not support his call for the Americans withdrawl from Afghanistan. Let the Pashtoons youth learn what tactics and strategies their parents are capable and which their ancestors practiced and defeated many brave armies in history. American armies are better in check in Afghanista than in Pakistan or Iran?

Rex Minor

PS
I am sorry for the family of Taseer! Let us also not forget that Taseer’s mentor Mr bhutto classified Ahmedis as non muslims! Should this not have been his priority for amendment. Is this law still in existance? Some reports suggest that mr Taseer also belonged to the Ahmedi sect?

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

PS
Correction; you can write down………. the translation of the words liberal and secular in local languages. Thanks!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Umair
I have obtained from the internet translations of ‘secular’ and ‘liberal’ in urdu language;
Secular= La Deeni or Deen se Khali, and

liberal = Dirya Dil or Azad Khayal

There were no translations available in Pashto or Sindhi language.

Now try to sell the urdu equivalent words to the pakistani majority and then experience the backlash. Most in the Pashtoon land would not let you in their house if you tell them that you are a secular or in urdu an atheist. I wonder what are the words Mr Taseer, who was a fan of Machiavillie, was making use of when explaining to his Punjabi audience? What do the urdu or sindhi news papers describe these magic words? Use the words in English?
By the way I found very suitable translations in Arabic and Persia for these words. I guess not many make use of these languages?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

777xxx777: “As long as humans keep trying to find solutions to their problems, in religion, the human race will keep suffering. Religion solves less and creates more problems”

I have seen a famous line while in the US: “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”

The same can be said about religion. It is people who manipulate them to fight others. There is enough evidence of this starting from Aseemananda to Bin Laden.

Communism had no religion. Yet it sustained a cold war for 70 years when millions perished at the hands of Communist tyrants. If religion is the reason for all mayhem, can you explain why Communism did the same?

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@Umair, Pakistan,

It can only get worse before it gets better, my friends. Its sad to see that moderate voices of sanity are being labelled as “un-islamic”.

The canyon like rifts in Pak society are starting to emerge in Pakistan. It is so difficult that laws passed, involving religion, done by the genius Zia Al Haq, like the blasphemy laws are hard to undo, as they bring the wrath of the religious zealots.

The original intent of the religous based laws in Pakistan was intended to intimidate and bully minorities into becoming muslims or leave Pakistan. Its sad that even Pak Govt officials are being targeted for being voices of reason, rationality and sanity.

Your people openly condone murder against a lone minority person, who may have even been wrongly accused of blasphemy, just to settle a score, or an arguement. This is a blatant misuse of religion and its becoming apparent that to challenge these entrenched religious laws will bring Pakistani society to the brink of civil war with itself.

I am seeing the brewings of mass sectarian violence. The clashes are going to become more violent and frequent. Even being a full blooded muslim, saying one moderate thing of reason is enough to get you threatened in Pakistan.

Is it any wonder, why nobody really wants to speak out?

I am sorry Umair, you almost had me believing in the viability of Pakistan. It is clear to me now, that if so many Pakistani’s want one, harmless, innocent women finished off, there is no hope for reason, rationality or loving behavior in Pakistan.

The hate and venom of some Pakistani’s is uncontainable. They have a blind rage against reason, fairness, secularity and reason.

In my opinion, Pakistan has lost its moral right to be in the nxklear club. Your country is too unstable, as is your gov’t and your people, as is your army. You entire establishment is wobbling and ready to slide into the abyss.

I deeply regret it and am sorry if the truth hurts here. Generation after generation, the religious venom will spread like a virus and moderate behavior will be perceived of as “unislamic”.

Please tell me, how are non-muslims supposed to view Pakistani’s and this behavior? How many excuses and scapegoats are you going to keep providing for this daily flood of extremist behavior from mainstream Pakistani’ population?

God bless Salman Taseer, may god forgive those that chant evil words against moderates and minorities and may god forgive those that do nothing in the face of evil.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@singh,

The biggest enemy of humankind is ignorance. Do you notice how backwards repressive societies’s leaders and religous leaders begin to convulse with anger at the mention of education and education of women?

The biggest fear of the evil clerical tyrants is that their religous authority will be challenged by an awakened population. Once you have seen the truth, you will never turn back.

BTW…communism is another form of religion in itself, that being an unwavering blind allegiance to the state itself.

Again ignorance is the tool used to facilitate repression, genocides and power over people’s destinies.

There is nothing more omnipotent than a loving, compassionate, yet universally awakened soul that represents the forces of good in this universe.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@Umair,

I have many Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist friends and don’t identify my friendship with them through a religious lens and respect and like them all.

Just to be clear, I am focussing on the culture of Pakistan here, my POV is strictly through a cultural lens. How would you suggest changing these religous laws, without offending some in your culture. How will you make right wingers see reason, without creating a perception that their religion is being attacked?

How can there be a cultural shift here? Any ideas…besides scapegoats and excuses?

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

G-W asked:

> How can there be a cultural shift here?

I would say Pakistan today is like Iran after the 1979 revolution, minus Ayatollah Khomeini. There has been a lurch towards hardline conservatism and society has markedly changed. The change has been more gradual in the case of Pakistan but recent events have made it starkly obvious that mainstream society has become more sympathetic to orthodoxy.

Iran has since been through a long night which is not yet over, but from whatever I read, it appears as if the common people of Iran have been disillusioned with the theocratic state and are now ready to move to a more moderate setup. I believe this is just a question of time, and will most probably happen in the next five years.

The depressing answer to your question on Pakistan may be that the world (and Pakistan’s liberals) can do nothing but let nature take its course. Let Pakistan go through a similar journey that Iran has. Perhaps after another generation, the country may be ready for a shift back to a more moderate polity. The country may be lost for a generation.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@Umair

I just logged and saw you asked me to convince you that India DOES NOT pose an existential threat to Pakistan. I saw other addressed it. I have to sign off and will get back to you ASAP with my 2 cents.

Thanks

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

Guys

Take a deep breath and relax, Pakistan is not going down in the drain. Lets look back 35 years. In 1979 we were forced to fight a war against Soveit Union and the problem started there. But as GW stated we do not have any excuse, certainly Pakistan faces some tough challenges. But we will ultimately overcome them, no doubt this killing of Governor Salman Taseer has been a shock. But gradually with a strong democracy Pakistan can slowly clamp down on religious extremism. This problem is as much economical as well, good governance, getting rid of corruption, creation of jobs, equal opportunity for all, education and health care is the answer. Minus all these social services, extremism is the answer. Pakistan faces an energy crisis, this morning I had to fill up gas in my car, at the gas station meters away from Kohsar market (venue of governors killing). Long lines at gas station, 2 days no gas, and just then the lights also go off and wait more for generators to switch. A struggling economy, a poor infrastructure, energy shortages, drone strikes, paranoia etc and you have a deeply frustrated population drifting towards extremism. Who is responsible for all this? I think we must look inside among ourselves and while it is true some of the problems are due to external factors. Much of it is of our own making.
Make no mistake, Pakistanis are not extremists and never do vote for religious parties. Though the population has deep resentment for political elite who are busy looting public wealth, are incompetent, disunited and unable to carry out legislation for public good. An American withdrawal in Afghanistan and peace there will bring oil and gas pipelines from central asia and resolve the energy crisis. We need stability in the region, and stop unnecssary wars, most of you guys are in the west. Did you ever pressure your govt. to stop fueling wars in other countries? Indirectly, the extremism in Pakistani society has been rapidly rising partly due to Afghan war and its spread across the border into Pakistan. The other secondary factors I have already listed above. It is a combination of factors, but as stated nothing is catastrophic, with good governance and greater resolve things can be fixed.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

@KP
“If religion is the reason for all mayhem, can you explain why Communism did the same?”

I think GW answered your question perfectly. BTW did I say religion is reason or did I say people FOLLOWING religion is the reason. Subjects and objects can never be the reasons but ACTIONS are the reasons. Karma is what matters ultimately and is the common preaching of all religions.

My point is that as long as people keep beilieving in God’s commandements without thinking whether those commandements are correctly taught to us by our ancestors or not, till then this mayhem will continue. We need to use our brains given by same God in whose supposed commandements we believe in so much. So as long as people kep believing blindly in religion and keep seeking solutions to problems, in blind faith the mayhem will continue.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Ganesh:

“‘If the PA has been infiltrated (gradually, dating from the Zia ul Haq days) like the elite Punjab police unit that was meant to guard Salman Taseer, then we’re all in big trouble.”

-I read the article by Seymour Hersh titled ‘Defending the Arsenal’ which was written back in November 2009. Pakistan Army is altogether a different institution apart from the rest of security services in Pakistan. The ISI and MI would run numerous counter-intelligence and counter-surveillance programs to keep a close eye on personnel depolyed on critical posts. While definitely no one can guarantee the 100% reliability of personnal realiability program. But still Pakistan Army is very professional, It won the prestigious cambrian patrol exercise in UK last year. Sends officers to West Point New York as well as British military academy at Sandhurst. Also many young officer deploy to overseas UN peacekeeping missions (Pakistan Army is the highest contributor of UN peacekeeping operations currently). Also rubbish is that army’s recruitment policy is influenced by religion, for an idea of the Army’s selection process visit the Inter-Services selection board online http://www.issb.com.pk/

Also from the same article by Semour Hersh, the thing which struck me most was stated by retired Pakistani intelligence officer;

“My belief today is that it’s better to have the Americans as an enemy rather than as a friend, because you cannot be trusted,” the former officer concluded. “The only good thing the United States did for us was to look the other way about an atomic bomb when it suited the United States to do so.”

And I have read Brig. Yousaf (ISI) author of ‘The bear Trap’ in which he details the Soviet -Afghan war operations by ISI. He states that deep mistrust existed even in the 1980s between CIA and ISI which i think continues to this day. The US will have to resort to long term policy initiatives to gain trust in Pakistan.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

@Umair
“Though the population has deep resentment for political elite who are busy looting public wealth, are incompetent, disunited and unable to carry out legislation for public good”

It is a similiar picture here in India as well. You must have read about the recent great corruption season ongoing currently in India! But it is still calm on surface or so it seems. I hope and wish your words come true.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Umair,

Good luck and best wishes! If Pakistan can rediscover itself and agrees to live in peace with others once in for all, that’s all everyone wants. Hope this experience opens the eyes of more people. Wars are not worth it. Jihad is not worth it. The future awaits everyone.

Kanwaljit P Singh

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Rex Minor said:

> And I say to my French neighbourers despite my wife’s protest that they, the French soldiers died for nothing and zero.

Your wife sounds sensible. What does she have to say about your Pushtoon fetish?

Perhaps the one thing uniting Indians and Pakistanis on this blog is universal amusement at your obsession with the Pushtoons.

I for one will keep a keen lookout for the continuing exploits of this master race.

Thanks for the entertainment.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
Rudeness is your class and curasity is in your Genes and DNA! Keep on guessing!

If the Indian army had not surrendered against the chinese, I would applaud India as well. Both India and Pakistan were granted independence, not because of their resistance , but the Pashtoons resistance!
Surrender and defeat in the Pashtoon land is not a very popular word. If they are defeated by the yanks or the Pakistani army, I shall have no sympathy for them. I do have feelings for victims but not for bullies who threaten, seldom act and then surrender.
The sober news is that Pakistan special gift package is with the air force and in the hands of one Pashtoon. No one should mess about with him ( his words, not mine) and he was addressing the great satan of the world, not India. For India, Pakistan has enough surrogates to take the message!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

PS
chew the words, not the spellings!

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Neither the Pashtoons nor the Germans are a master race. The are simply Aryans, the indo germanic and the close relatives of the Hindus! Knowledge broadens one’s outlook and does not harm ones pride. The great Pashtoons belong to yours and Umair’s race, not mine!!!!

Rex minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Rex
“The are simply Aryans, the indo germanic and the close relatives of the Hindus”

‘Ancestors’ would be a more suitable word rather than ‘relatives’. And if you are a native German then you also belong to same race as Pashtoons, Pakistanis and Indians. As for greatness, it is a highly subjective word. And yes I also admire Pashtoon resistance against most of the invaders in history (Only Mauryans and Attila could rule/conquer Afghan land for more than 50 years at a stretch). But in my eyes that alone does not make them great. Again as I said greatness is very subjective.

I think Indians firmly decided to develop secular society (work is still in progress) and if Europe can take centuries for that then why can’t India take decades. Afghanistan became other extreme and decided to not become secular and instead force Islam down every citizen’s throat through barrel of gun. Pakistan, I believe is stuck between two. Some in Pakistan want to make it Afghanistan/Iran/Suadi and some want to make it Japan/China/India. This confusion on part of Pakistanis is what is becoming a cause of turmoil that we see today. From an Indian’s perspective I would want Pakistan to be a more open and secular and friendlier state. But enemies of India inside Pakistan want Pakistan to be Islamic so as to counter India’s supposed Hindu country image in their eyes.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

P.S.
BTW does any Pakistani or their sympathisers know that word ‘Hindu’ has got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with religion. Persians called everyone living on other side of Sindhu (modern name is Indus) river as ‘Hindu’ irrespective of their religion. At that time there were primarily three religions in this land, namely Sanaatana dharma, Jainism and Bhuddhism. Afghans/Persians brought Islam to our land. So if we ‘chew’ the original definition of word ‘Hindu’ as used by Persians then everyone, repeat EVERYONE living in modern day India is a ‘Hindu’ (someone living on other side of Sindhu river when viewed from Persian/Iranian side) IRRESPECTIVE of his/her religion. So all Indian Sikhs, Jains, Bhuddhs, Christians, Sanaatanis, Muslims are Hindus, if we go by definitions of ancient Persian ‘believers’. I know that no one, not even any other Indian would agree with this because off late meanings and definitions have been twisted enough to meet certain political ends that nothing can be rollbacked now. But that’s the truth.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

And I am not trying to force any religion down anyone’s throat. All that I am saying is that word ‘Hindu’ was originally used NOT to specify religions but the location (in a broad sense of course) of any Indian, by ancient Persians.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

777
You have identified the problem without knowing the full implications.You have a country named after a river in a foreign country and have a religion named after a river in a foreign country. Similarly a ruling party named as such. You are in copy right violation of truth in advertising. An essential element of clarity of thinking is creating pure categories on a scientific basis. It is high time you correct this problem or seek permission to use the name and appropriately compensate people of Indus valley.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

@”I think we must look inside among ourselves and while it is true some of the problems are due to external factors. Much of it is of our own making.”
Posted by Umairpk

That’s the spirit my friend. It’s time to focus on curing the disease rather than on it’s causes. Whatever the causes might be, CIA, Zia, Kashmir or something else, at the end of the day, it’s Pakistan’s problem & only young & educated Pakistanis like you can solve it and you’ll find the support of Indians with you. Enough time has been wasted in pointing fingers & making excuses, it’s time to come up with solutions & transform your nation.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Matrixx: “You have identified the problem without knowing the full implications.You have a country named after a river in a foreign country and have a religion named after a river in a foreign country. Similarly a ruling party named as such. You are in copy right violation of truth in advertising. An essential element of clarity of thinking is creating pure categories on a scientific basis. It is high time you correct this problem or seek permission to use the name and appropriately compensate people of Indus valley.”

Sorry to butt in.

You have taken up a religion from a foreign country and adopted the cultural practices of another tribal culture from the desert.

You are using a forum developed in a foreign country and writing in a language belonging to a foreign country.

You are accepting the use of weapons made by using foreigners or foreign technology.

Your nukes are from stolen technology from foreign countries.

Your military and government are structured based on foreign systems.

Your industry, business, schools, colleges etc are from foreign origin.

The dress you wear at home came from Central Asian Turks and Persians.

If you want to be scientific in everything, then you must follow your own advice. May be you can campaign going back to the old ways that are pure and original. After all your nation is named as a land of the pure. You must try purifying your holy nation off everything. I wouldn’t say this another person. But since you project an air scientific approach towards everything, I thought I’d remind you of your ignorance.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

777xxx777: “And I am not trying to force any religion down anyone’s throat. All that I am saying is that word ‘Hindu’ was originally used NOT to specify religions but the location (in a broad sense of course) of any Indian, by ancient Persians.”

Agree with your views here. The “Hindu” seems to be geographical, much like the term “European” or “American” or “Asian.” Religions only become a subset of it. Cultures form another subset.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@Umair, Mortal, Singh,

The politicization of religion as a tool for national unity in Pakistan has failed and in fact unhinging Pakistan and rolling it into a backwards 7th century state extremely fast.

One solution would be a new patriotic movement that at its core doctrine seeks to align all value systems under the umbrella of what is good for peace, stability, health and welfare of the people, balanced with modern education.

As easily as the PA under Zia Al Haq made religious rules, they can also undo those rules, by creating a new clerical class, incubating them and setting them free upon the population to encourage them to embrace moderate philosophies. Within time, as people gravitate to moderate clerics, who advocate modernism and democracy and secularity, the extreme clerics will not be able to hold their slave like grip on people’s minds, people will not be interested in the extremist right wing dung that they are forcing down avg. people’s throats.

The clerics can’t destroy all 170 million people all at the same time can they? People have to self-realize that they ARE moderate and they are huge in numbers and that their will cannot be challenged. People need to organize and take charge of their affairs.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

KPS
Wow, I hit a nerve there. Love it. I will also get around to culture. Chew on issue of false advertising, and that is not 7th century concept.

Right now I like to spend more time on terror factories in Bharat. Is it OK?

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

Matrixx: “Chew on issue of false advertising, and that is not 7th century concept”

Who is advertising? I am only trying to point out the hypocrisy in your view here.

“Right now I like to spend more time on terror factories in Bharat. Is it OK?”

Please go ahead and list them. Let us see which ones the world is worried about, compared to the “non-state actor” factories in Pakistan, starting all the way from your military down to the single man, sword of Islam, beloved of the prophet, Allah’s holy warrior, Ghazi, Mumtaz Qadri.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

G-W: “The politicization of religion as a tool for national unity in Pakistan has failed and in fact unhinging Pakistan and rolling it into a backwards 7th century state extremely fast.”

Let me reiterate here: Pakistan was not formed for Muslims. It was formed by the colonial British, specifically for staging campaigns to thwart Russian expansion into South Asia. I can refer you to a book if you want. Of course the British were adept at triggering a problem from out of thin air and using it to divide people. “A nation for Muslims” to protect themselves from “Hindus” is one such tool that they used. There are always selfish agents, ready to sell their mothers to get to power everywhere. In Jinnah they found one. If you look at Pakistan’s entire history, you will see that it has been a military garrison for foreign forces to fight their battles. It never was a nation. Its people have been left abandoned to fend for themselves right from the start. That is why there is no effort to build a nation and infrastructure. It has always been a trench digging mission.

“One solution would be a new patriotic movement that at its core doctrine seeks to align all value systems under the umbrella of what is good for peace, stability, health and welfare of the people, balanced with modern education.”

You need to stop day dreaming. Please step into the real world. Just like Europe, after many wars and battles spanning over centuries, settled down after a massive world war in 1940s, Pakistan will settle through a violent struggle. And a lot of countries surrounding it will suffer from it as a bargain. Afghanistan has already been turned into rubble. There is no other way out. All the mad Mullahs are not going to disappear into thin air. Go see the videos on Mumtaz Qadri in youtube. You will be amazed at the sentiments in Pakistan. It is quite shocking.

Jinnah planted the seed. Britain gave birth to Pakistan. Zia Ul Haq fathered it. Military turned it into a brothel for foreign powers. Now Pakistan is spent and no one wants it. It will find its own solution which will be violent and will subject its people to enormous pain and grief as a result. It is unfortunate. But things are headed that way.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@GW
National unity through the religion has not failed. It does not work. It never has. Time and again I have said that, to make a Nation from the citizen of a country requires more than a religeous binding.
The problems Pakistan is now facing are related to food and shelter for the people of the three provinces who have suffered on account of floods.
The incompetent civilian Govt. of the Bhutto clan is simply not in a position to deliver. The rest is a smoke screen and a diversion.

Rex Minor

PS
Examine the media coverage, english papers playing the jaz tune for foreign consumption, whereas, the urdu papers the classical tune for the masses.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@777
It is sometimes amusing to indulge in acadamec discussions, but is this the right time for it. You are right, when a non muslim individual from India or Pakistan walks into the Pashtoon land, he is considered a hindu. The guy might have been a christian or a Pakistani, but dressed up like an Indian is taken as a hindu, Good thinking.

The Psuedo intellectuals of Pakistan are talking balony, sorry my language, secular in urdu language dictionary means a person of no religion. No muslim country could turn its people to become secular. What the Govt. can and should do is make the Govt. secular. In otherwards the State and the religion needs to fuction separately. I gather this is what you mean by secular India. There are problems in this course but could be minimised. For example, the chistian Papa has recently warned the followers about liberalising or secularising the society, which we oberve the increase of homo and partnership between a man and woman without a marriage or inter marriages between men or women as the new trend in the USA.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Umair
Your perception: “In my opinion, India still poses an existential threat to Pakistan, …….”

“And intentions take no time to change. So this is how it works, if you have the ability to pose an existential threat, and in the past your intentions were hostile. I am not willing to take any chances, like I stated before we have nothing to loose.”
***You echo what Kayani said. PA and IA both says lot of stuff for public consumption. IA’s example was that India has the ability to take on Pakistan and China together (chief of Army staff said I think). I must be fooling myself if I trust that. Similarly, Umair if you have to buy PA perception you need to follow through the whole point.

**Your main point about the issue of “India as an existential threat to Pakistan” is 1971 division of Pakistan by India. I agree that from Pakistan POV it does not matter that Pakistan gave India an opportunity. So there is a fear in Pakistan that India might do again to divide Pakistan.

In real terms, India can be existential threat from Pakistan’s POV, by either occupying or dividing Pakistan.

@Occupation of Pakistan.
This is the same as unrealistic idea of Akhand Bharat, which has been discussed and ruled out as a possibility (check Ganesh and my posts to Matrixx). Occupation of a land with 100s of extremist groups who don’t even spare Pakistanis and religiously follow the distorted version of Islam is a plain stupidity.

@Division of Pakistan.
Umair face it. Both India and Pakistan had shots at each other; Pakistan had more (1948, 1965, Kargil wars) and succeeded in 1948. So India faces as much threat from Pakistan. It is called nuisance value based on terrorism coming from Pakistan, not called existential threat. India had one shot at Pakistan and divided it. It was feasible because West and East Pakistan were not contiguous territories. It would have NOT happened if they were contiguous lands. Not possible anymore for obvious reason. You should be proud of your nuclear cover. This in itself addresses ends the discussion.

Militarily, India’s potential is based on relative strength between India and Pakistan. It does not matter what India thinks or how strong India is. It also depends upon how strong Pakistan is. In reality if India ever thinks about doing what you fear, it will come at a huge cost to India.

Just ask 1) what is at stake for India and 2) Is it even beneficial to India?

What is at stake for India?
In contrast to Pakistan’s “we have nothing to loose” situation, India has lot to lose by getting into a war. From 1990s when India had to pledge gold and had foreign reserves to buy oil for just a week to current economic growth, getting into war is not an option. Army can go for picnic at border that is about it. USA, a super power, is a good example to see the effect of wars on economy. Funding to non-military areas are heavily cut, people lose job, and survival of the fittest takes its extreme form. You have mentioned yourself that US economy will restrict US to expand and continue wars. India is nowhere near USA or even China. Progress is slow but getting into wars will take India back to the past. Also India’s intention is to become a permanent UN Security Council member. You know what happened to Pakistan with Kargil, India will be seen as irresponsible and an aggressor—-a great reason for countries to not support India for UNSC permanent seat. India cannot afford to do get into a war. never mind all this rhetoric by analysts and Generals on either side. Like India, China also has a lot at stake and I cannot see them doing another 1962 against India. Most Indians do not lose sleep over that. There is not enough military presence on Indo-China border. You know that very well :-)

What is at stake to the West?
Economic ties with the West means they will make sure India does not hurt their interests in India by getting into war. They have done that in the past. US/UK issued a travel warning to their citizens not to go to India/Pakistan. So the effect on economy starts even before the war. India rolled back Army from India-Pak border.

What are benefits to India? I don’t see any. You can tell me. Two Pakistans means double trouble. Imagine Pakhtoonkhwa as an independent country and TTP head as President and Pakistan Army having no authority to tackle them like they have been doing now. Sounds scary!

“Keeping that in mind, also the fact that bulk of Indian Army is deployed on the Pakistan border, facing Pakistan in a posture ready to make the thrust.”
***IA/PA face each other at the border, not just IA at the border. India can say the same that you have attacked India so many times that India trusts Chinese more than you and leaving low troop presence on China border.

““hostile relations with India, a country 6 times larger and with greater resources”
***The size of India is not going to change. This is 60 years too late to ask. Agreed ratio got worse after 1971. Greater resources question is what needs to be addressed. Not just military.

If you truly are concerned about Pakistan’s internal issues (health oil economy electricity poverty extremism) like you mentioned emotionally after Gov’s murder, you need to go easy on this REALLY UNNECESSARY perception that India is coming after you as soon as you focus on internal matters. If you go back I told you that you need to have this patriotic feeling all the time and patriotic is not about military biceps but other issues.

The height of paranoia was when Pakistan still labeled India as #1 enemy when TTP was cutting people like cucumbers and doing suicide attacks. You buy that India as #1 enemy; I fail to understand why. Extremists are already showing their potential and posing “existential threat” to Pakistan.

“I know India is making economic progress, tell me what are the intentions.”
“You must state if India’s goal is economic progress and no war, how do you want to deal with Pakistan in future given the history?”
***No country promises not to get into war. Economically, for a country over billion people, growth in all forms is essential. Lack of growth or slowing down is existential threat to India. PM Singh has commented about it at various platforms. This is true for Pakistan too. You just cannot have “Pakistan has nothing to lose” attitude and expect progress on all the fronts inside Pakistan. That means nothing.

“If you state positive, a willingness to resolve disputes and put past behind, sign a peace and friendship treaty, no use of nukes against each other. Probably it would be a good idea to move on from the bitter past and start a new begining. …”
***At the level of posters, you and me and others all we can do is express our views and not echo govt views. Ofcourse peace /friendship treaty will be great. But action is required at individual level and govt level. The willingness to resolve disputes should be done diplomatically not Kasab’s Jihad. Same is true for anyone in Pakistan. This is good for the whole region. It is not possible to eradicate religious extremism/terrorism TOTALLY without declaring that you are against all groups, no ifs and buts.

My question to you is: “Do you oppose extremists from Af-Pak to Kashmir to India (anyone essentially), including those in Af-Pak and South Punjab and LeT/JeM.? Or are their ifs and buts?”

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

“Right now I like to spend more time on terror factories in Bharat” Posted by Matrixx

You do that! Keep spending time on “terror factories in Bharat” while your country is being consumed by radical forces. One would hope that you learn something from Umair but I guess that would be too much to ask for.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

KP Singh,

Don’t feed the troll. I think “dispassionate” in his vocabulary means “diss India passionately”. When someone is shouting with his ears closed, there is really nothing to say. It’s a waste of breath (or bytes).

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

“I think “dispassionate” in his vocabulary means “diss India passionately”.” Posted by prasadgc

good one GP!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@Matrixx
“You have a country named after a river in a foreign country and have a religion named after a river in a foreign country”

Foreign country??? Indus is a river SHARED by India and Pakistan and NOT owned by Pakistan. And we don’t care much about names. We care about people.

“You are in copy right violation of truth in advertising.”

I like your sense of humour.

“It is high time you correct this problem or seek permission to use the name and appropriately compensate people of Indus valley.”

We ARE the people of Indus valley. Or may be you mean give bribes to Pakistanis for naming our country as India.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@Rex
“secular in urdu language dictionary means a person of no religion”

Secular in English and Hindi dictionaries also mean the same as in Urdu. But you got it right that in India secular means seperation of state and religion. What religion the citizens follow is NOT the business of state. Just like Europe.

Yes right again, not the time to discuss all this. Sorry to all for deviating from the topic at hand.

For topic at hand, it seems like we have some kind of consensus that Pakistan needs to seperate Government and Religion. I would agree with Rex that in a muslim country the constitution needs to use a better word than secular to achieve this seperation.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@Singh,

There is nothing more to say let Pakistan slide into hell.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

I am shocked that Salman Taseer is the only real man in Pakistan. Every parliamentarian in this so-called democracy is a coward. What a shame, not one is stepping forward.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@777
Secular in English does not mean a person of non religion. refer oxford dictionary or webster encyclopedia, adj. concerned with the affairs of this world, not spirtual or sacred and occurring once in an age or century. Not easy to interpret or adopt words used in the western languages into the oriental languages and vice a versa.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@GW
Take it easy, it is fool hardy to speak, write or justify slander. Blasphemy is a slander in every sense. Mr Taseer should have stuck to his bookkeeping profession or money making. To become part of the Bhutto clan and talk about subjects of which he has not got the slightest sense, and then behave like the opposition politician, though part of the ruling Govt. In my opinion he was killed by the execution commando, a single security guard while the rest of the Guards watched it. He should have atleast cared for his family!
There appears to be something very scary and not normal about the Peoples party. Emotional rhetoric cannot compensate for incompetence. The first order of the day should be to protect the minorities in Pakistan. I am sure most legislators would go along with the postponement and eventualy ban on capital punishment for any crime. This could be followed by the review of several laws(including Blasphemy law), and there must be many which the military dictators brought in, revisit the interpretation of the crimes and the level of punishment.
Now who is going to follow that, certainly not the clergy, judiciary ofcourse and the parliament and parliament appointed commission. This reminds me, how come the Govt. is not coming out publicly with the report of atrocities( I shall not use provocative word ‘genocide’) which the military committed against non-muslims in former east Pakistan? did this not occur during Mr Bhutto reign?

rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Rex
http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&rlz =1B3GGGL_enIN343IN343&defl=en&q=define:s ecular&sa=X&ei=KLgtTZflCYfIrQfcs9CpCg&ve d=0CBkQkAE

Although I agree that it is not easy to import/export words from one language to other but the word Secular means ‘roughly’ the same in all three languages, or so says the web. Anyway I would say this is not the place to discuss vocabulary.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@pakistan,

I wholeheartedly agree, that nobody should ever blasphemize the prophet mohammed. But you have to realize that the blasphemy law was manmade for political reasons, by Zia Al Haq, who was not a saint himself, to purge Pakistan of non-muslims.

Once religious laws are put into effect, they are extremely hard to undo, especially when its something that is already second and third nature to people.

But we have to ask ourselves, before the blasphemy law, how often did minorities suffer?

This is one scary reason, why I would never visit Pakistan in a million years. Pakistani’s become inflamed like a virus at the mere mention of someone blasphemizing, there is no proof needed, the only proof needed is the growing angry crowd as they prepare to tear an innocent minority with their bear hands, all in the name of god. Again, no proof is needed, people jump on the bandwagon and don’t even demand proof, with a blind unwavering rage, they want someone beheaded or burned to death. Again, this is no different than the Salem witch hunts in Massachusetts in the 1800′s in USA.

I am not critical of the law itself, I am critical of the people’s uncivilized and animal like reaction to it. Violence should be outlawed and traded for at least more humane punishment. Lawmakers have to find some middle ground and some courage.

Where is the mercy, where is the love, where is the humanity. Have some lost the ability to at least question whether their own reaction and behavior is civilized behavior?

Umair, pakistan, I am sorry, Pakistani’s are on a daily basis, forcing stereotypes of themselves onto our psyche. They have shown not much else.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Rehmat:

Thank you so much for a very detailed reply on existential threat question, as stated before by me for fist time ISI has given assessment that internal millitant threat to Pakistan has surpassed that posed by India. We are moving towards an era of cooperation and peace that in itself is positive for future.

GW:
“I am not critical of the law itself, I am critical of the people’s uncivilized and animal like reaction to it. Violence should be outlawed and traded for at least more humane punishment. Lawmakers have to find some middle
ground and some courage.”

-Currently another parliamentarian Sherry Rehman is also under threat, she had pushed for a bill in parliament to amend the blashphemy law. The govt. said under a charged atmosphere debate is not possible and it will be done through a step by step approach once thins cool down.

Here is an article must read from Fatima Bhutto, nice of Benazir Bhutto:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/602cb62e-1cef- 11e0-8c86-00144feab49a.html#axzz1AqJHMRU m

A Pakistan in mourning will not be silenced

“This is one scary reason, why I would never visit Pakistan in a million years.”

-so unfortunate you think like that, i had wished you could visit Lahore the birthplace of your parent. Salman Taseer was from Lahore, people there have big welcoming hearts and are patriotic Pakistanis. I assure they will not let Pakistan fall victim to a few religious bigots.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Although things are not looking good for Pakistan at this time with everything pointing towards a downward spiral, I for one, would like to hang on to some hope that Pakistanis can pull out of this. Salman Taseer’s murder, as horrendous & dispicable an act as it was, might be the incident which wakes up the silent moderate majority from it’s deep slumber. I suspect that there are many guys like Umair in Pakistan who finally realize that this is the final wake up call before the wake itself & urgent measures are required to set things straight. If this silent majority can rally around this incident, come together & organize a movement, Pakistan can be saved. A strong & sincere leader is needed (Imran Khan?). All is not lost yet!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@Umair

“Thank you so much for a very detailed reply on existential threat question, as stated before by me for fist time ISI has given assessment that internal millitant threat to Pakistan has surpassed that posed by India. We are moving towards an era of cooperation and peace that in itself is positive for future.”

***Umair, since we are discussing it, let us speak our minds. With respect to “India as an existential threat to Pakistan” issue, do you still think that India can convert its potential into action?

I do not agree with you that at this point India and Pakistan are “moving towards an era of cooperation and peace that in itself is positive for future.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

PS: Umair, it is good that you are focusing on extremism/violence for past some time due to recent happenings in Pakistan. I agree and I asked you a question at the end of my post about this? What do you say about that?

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@777
Then stop going into the web or quoting writings of columnists in various papers to justify it. English like German is a germanic language based on logic, mathematics and science. It is different from Arabic or turkish or other oriental languages which are perfect to express emotions, love or romance.
Communication among the people of this world has become very complex, because of so many languages.
Let the urdu language experts first develope a suitable word, which can be sold to the masses in their country without creating the uproar and resistence, before talking abve their heads in english language about being a secular or liberal.
@GW
Pakistan is facing problems of the biblical standard. Earthquakes, floods and its own military campaigns against its citizens. On top of that USA military and political pressure on the members of the Bhutto Clan, who are falling prey every day.

I would propse a punishment for blessphamy, thirty days community service. How does one propse this and implement it? As I said earlier, there must be many unjust laws from the colonialist times and those introduced since by the civil ot military Govts. which need to be visied and revised. It is not very difficult to create a humane society but very easy to excite and radicalise the working class of a developing country. The french revolution, Hitler rise to power are some of the examples in modern history.

I have also promised myself that it is futile to visit either Pakistan or the USA at least in 2011. I have the advantage though of believing that death only comes once and I would not be consulted when the time comes. Right now it is more scary to visit Arizona, and I have two invitations, Which the Sheriff described it as the world capitol of the Biggotry,

Mind you, to put into prospective such laws are there to suppress the the lowest among the working class or the political opponent, they are not meant for the elites or the middle class people.So, I would not worry too much except that it is difficult for any tourist to visit Pakistan or Afghanistan, both countries being declared the most dangerous spots in the world.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Mortal1: “I suspect that there are many guys like Umair in Pakistan who finally realize that this is the final wake up call before the wake itself & urgent measures are required to set things straight. If this silent majority can rally around this incident, come together & organize a movement, Pakistan can be saved. A strong & sincere leader is needed (Imran Khan?).”

Pakistan had a nationwide protest by lawyers not long ago to force their government to do the right thing. Interestingly many of the same lawyers seem to be lining up to support Mumtaz Qadri and his views. I guess lawyers in Pakistan have a separate faith based principle while having a different set of principles for other matters. Or they might face the bullets from militant organizations which take no accountability for their murderous actions. In other words Pakistanis fear the threat of their militants and would like to avoid any kind of confrontation with them. They might stage protests against other matters so long as they do not cross path with militants. This is a dangerous situation. This means the radicals have gained an upper hand and the nation will submit to their will. A country cannot run on two sets of ideals. Sooner or later one will end up taking over. Only Pakistan’s military can take the necessary action to suppress the radical elements that seem to be holding the people hostage. And the military seems to be playing it safe by focusing on external threat rather than internal chaos. If they continued on like this, at some point the radicals will feel encouraged to gain strength in the military itself. I used to be appalled to see Pak cricket players openly displaying religious loyalty by staging prayers on the cricket ground. This started around the time when Inzamam Ul Haq became their captain. Religion has nothing to do with cricket. But the mindset has been infiltrated and influenced by religion. This kind of development is overall and is not confined to small pockets. The malice has spread far and wide inside Pakistan. At least if the country had made economic progress during all this, it could have managed to come out of it quickly. But Pakistan has gone from bad to worse. Economic backwardness is ideal breeding ground for radicalism to spread.

Based on what I read from many Pakistanis in this forum as well as in others, I see that most have had very limited exposure to the outside world and many have been blind folded with regressive view of others. They all seem to be consistent and seem to parrot literally the same thing. They have very little awareness of overall perspective. Even Pakistanis who have emigrated abroad seem to carry the same ignorance (read the postings by one from Germany on this forum. He never knew about the genocide in Bangladesh until he was coerced into reading about it).

It will take more than a generation to cleanse Pakistan off the stain that has penetrated the nation. And it has to come from within Pakistan itself. There are surely great thinkers and liberal people there. But they don’t get to guide others and are threatened with dire consequences.

One can emotionally thump his chest about Pakistan coming out of every crisis. But the reality is what it is. I definitely support the moderates in Pakistan. Currently I do not see any potential for them to win against the odds. First of all their military has to change its mindset. Since it was the force behind the radicalization of Pakistan, it has to undo everything to help the country come out of it. Otherwise the military itself had the potential to be taken over by radical elements. All it takes is one more Zia Ul Haq.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

G-W said:

> I wholeheartedly agree, that nobody should ever blasphemize the prophet mohammed. [...] I am not critical of the law itself,

Why are you pussyfooting around the issue and appeasing extremism? Any so-called “blasphemy law” is against the principle of free speech, period. Religion cannot be allowed to trump the rights guaranteed by the constitution in a true democracy. This means that Muslims, like everyone else in a democracy, must learn to be offended and swallow it. People can sue for defamation in a civil action and win damages, but there is no “punishment” as in a criminal case. That’s a sign of a mature society.

For the record, I think the Indian government is among the most cowardly in this regard. They are quick to ban books and movies that religious bigots (whether Hindu or Muslim) object to. Surprisingly, they stood up to the Christians who wanted the movie “The Da Vinci Code” banned. If Christians in India had been more numerous and prone to violence, the government would have banned that movie too. On this issue (of sacrificing the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression to appease religious sentiments), I am prepared to agree with India’s critics that it is not a true democracy ;-).

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Mortal

Every individual is accountable for his actions in every society, the Islamabad shooter is similar to Arizona shooter who opened fire in a political rally and injured a congresswoman and killing 6 others. Like Pakistan, the political rhetoric is heated up in US as well. This itself is a normal process, what is wrong in Pakistan is clearly more divisions and some parties resorting to violence. You are right, all is not lost in Pakistan.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

G Prasad has spoken

You speak against the queen and the UK police would take you straight in custody and put you in prison for your own custody. There are laws to protect the population of a democratic country against trouble makers. Only some countries, including the USA is plain behind the civilised societies. There is a law in Austria and Germany against those who deny the holocaust! Freedom of speach, must consider the rights of the listener.
I may not agree with certain laws of a country which the legislators bring in to tackle their citizens. I would not demonstrate against the Govt. in India so that the police does not use their sticks or bullets against me. Nor would I take part in peaceful demonstrations in several European countries not to fall prey of Police brutality. Did you say “freedom of Speach”. The democratically elected Govt. desides what comes under Freedom of Speach and what amounts to agitation and trouble making. Not you Mr Prasad, wherever you are living?

Have a nice day.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

The man from the wilderness of Canada has again spoken!

Pakistani cricketers praying on the cricket ground has appalled him. The guy, if he is a genuine sikh, supposedly demonstrates his loyalty for his religion from head to toe or vice a versa, and armed with little miniature weapons, has the audicity to speak against people praying in an open environament. I am not a Pakistani but a muslim, and yet when I saw a fellow traveller Hindu with his wife sitting next to me on AIR france flight from New york, once covering his head saying his prayers during the Flight. I weas not appalled but considered myself blessed travelling with such an individual.

And those christian football players, who kiss the cross and pray few words and then enter the footbal ground every saturday afternoon, do not disturb me or upset me. To the contrary, it stregnthens my soul to know that evil is at bay during the prayers time.

what category of people are appearing on this blog? My God, Reuters was a religious man so I am told. If this continues I have to find some other spot, I said it before but somehow stayed on.
On a serious note, I genuinely feel sorry for the guy who has not only lost his relatives and home but has become allergic to other people’s prayers in the process. My advice to him, do not ever travel to Europe at least on Sunday where the faithful christians are heddled together and praying to the God aginst the evil.

Rex Minor

PS
I do not believe that Pakistan has committed genocide, nor have I yet sighted the copy of the Pakistan Govt. enquiry report which was referred to. I do, however, condemn any killings by the army , particularly of hindu minorities which is mentioned in several statements.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@KPSingh: I agree with you that the Pakistani army is the only entity which can cleanse Pakistan of extremism (I think I said the same thing in an earlier response to Umair). The PA needs to take urgent radical steps to take on the extremist forces & uplift the silent & scared moderate majority.

@Ganesh: You said it! Blasphemy laws have no place in a civilized society.

@Umair: You have drawn a parallel between the Arizona shooting & Salman Taseer’s assasination. Although, on the surface they might appear similar, they are actually very different. One is a case of paranoid schizophrenia & the other is a case of radicalization. Jared Loughner (the arizona shooter) is a mentally disturbed individual, who just wanted to kill someone in order to vent out his bottled rage & he ended up killing a bunch of innocent bystanders, including a 9 yr old girl. Mumtaz Qadri on the other hand, is the quintesstential child of Zia & a product of a radicalized society. To most poeple, even more shocking than the assasination, is the support which Qadri has recieved from a large segment of Pakistani society. You can be rest assured that even the most radical of right wingers in the US will not condone the arizona shooting. Jared Loughner is a lone wolf while there’s a whole eneration of Mumtaz Qadris in Pakistan. So, while the arizona shooting is reflective of individual sick minds in a society, Taseer’s assasination is reflective of a society which has gotten sick.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

correction: whole *generation of Mumtaz Qadris.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Rex Minor said:

> You speak against the queen and the UK police would take you straight in custody and put you in prison for your own custody.

Not true. People in the UK speak out against royalty all the time, sometimes in very crude ways, and their right to expression is *protected*.

> The democratically elected Govt. desides what comes under Freedom of Speach and what amounts to agitation and trouble making. Not you Mr Prasad, wherever you are living?

No, the constitution of the country decides what freedom of speech is, not the government or an individual like myself. Courts exist to curb the ability of governments to violate this freedom.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Ganesh Prasad: “No, the constitution of the country decides what freedom of speech is, not the government or an individual like myself. Courts exist to curb the ability of governments to violate this freedom.”

It amazes me that there are many in Pakistan who have no idea how the outside world is and their vision is skewed by assumptions and what they have been told. Even after going abroad, some of these individuals carry on with this mindset and refuse to change. There is no willingness to change the perspective. In the long run, people become emotional and defensive. I am wondering what kind of damage Zia-Ul-Haq’s legacy has done to Pakistan. Radicalization has nothing to do with one’s level of education or status in a society. Ignorance is preserved at all costs these people grow up blind. This is the danger that the world has to address. Seeing some of the responses from the other side really makes me worried.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Interesting read

“Could Bilawal and Rahul step in?” by Jawed Naqvi

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/13/could-bil awal-and-rahul-step-in.html

From the article:

“CONSIDERING the dire straits that India and Pakistan are in today with their respective versions of religious insanity, who can deny the urgent need to sink mutual differences and bail out together before the gathering storm swamps both.

The religious right in both countries has nurtured a hidden alliance and each half screwdriver turn of madness by one has given vital oxygen to the other. Both need to be rooted out before they take over.

Call it desperation or realism, but there is no denying that the conventional secular leadership on both sides has had its say on approaches to combating terror and they have landed us in an untenable mess. That`s reason enough to risk a radical if uncertain change. That`s why Rahul Gandhi and Bilawal Bhutto might do well to exchange notes for a badly needed joint approach to fighting religious terror and other barbaric traditions that stalk both countries.”

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
Sorry to butt in, but a small correction. The Parliament (and not Govt.) of the country can ammend the constitution any time. I am not sure of European countries but in India to ammed constitution, the ammendment bill needs to be cleared by AT LEAST 75% of the Parliament members, which in turn technically means that govt CANNOT ammend constitution at will but it can be done ONLY when 3/4 of the nation wants it.

Probably thats the trouble with Pakistan that majority does not know what it wants really.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

It’s not a good analogy to compare the shooting of Salman Taseer with the Arizona shooting. The more apt comparison to the hardline Pakistani public response to Taseer’s killing is the US public attitude to Wikileaks’s founder Julian Assange. People from politicians to radio talk show hosts were baying for his blood. They would definitely have cheered if someone had killed him. In that sense, the US is really not that much different from Pakistan. The populace just responds to a different set of buttons, that’s all. Press those buttons, and the rule of law, the presumption of innocence and due process go out of the window.

For the record, I oppose both sets of extremists. Call me a First Amendment Absolutist in American terms. I believe that nothing – *nothing* – should constrain the freedom of speech and expression. I therefore don’t believe Wikileaks did anything wrong, and I don’t believe that a blasphemy law should exist. None of these people deserves to die, not Julian Assange, not Asia Bibi, and not Salman Taseer.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Thanks for the link, Rehmat.

> Interesting read
> “Could Bilawal and Rahul step in?” by Jawed Naqvi

It is indeed an intriguing possibility. Stranger things have happened.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Here in Pakistan, there is no room for extremism and People of Pakistan are peace loving Nation.Minorities enjoys same environment as other Moriarty Muslims.

Posted by AslamUSA | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
“I don’t believe that a blasphemy law should exist”

Your name gives me intution that you are a Hindu (or more specifically follower of Sanaatana religion, I may be wrong though); so now tell me your views about a Muslim painter painting nude pics of Hindu Goddesses. Does he deserved to be kicked out of the nation?? Does he deserved to be put in jails despite that there are no such blasphemy laws in India?? Before pointing fingers we must look inside ourself.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Welcome to the land of the oldest democracy in the western world.
Sorry Mr Prasad, I did not mention the royalty, but the Queen, the sovereign of the United Kingdom and its colonies and the head of the commonwealth
The United Kingdom does not have a written constitution either, and is governed based on its traditions and practices. This is simply to ensure that nothing what they did in their history is challenged by the coming generations.

In the Uk you say anything deragotry to an individual and you would land in the court, let alone making blesphamic comments about any religion.
The UK Govt. has even refused entry to the right wing Dutch parliamenterian in the UK, who is on a crusade mission against Islam.

You are probably referring to Press freedom? Any libel statement in the media can also be challenged, however, the royalty has the tradition not to address the court against the Queen’s subjects. I could though and would, but the process is very costly.

The publications of the illegaly obtained documents by Assange has given a new dimension to the use or misuse of media, some would say is the challenge of the 21st century to the democratic Govts. We must all remember that before we claim our rights, there are duties as well which every citizen is obliged to follow.

Rex Minor
PS
Pakistan media is the smartest, urdu press for the domestic audience and the english newspapers for the foreign consumption.

, once you see Mr Assange was to any trouble maker or agitator even refused the permission

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

PS last sentence is garbled notes and went in involuntarily.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Mortal:
“Although, on the surface they might appear similar, they are actually very different. One is a case of paranoid schizophrenia & the other is a case of radicalization. Jared Loughner (the arizona shooter) is a mentally disturbed individual”

-Mortal, you know Sarah Palin’s “blood libel” remark has proven to backfire her effort to minimize the damage. Instead, it has been used to attack the Republicans and the debate goes on and the rhetoric remains heated. I could similarly argue that Mumtaz Qadri was mentally under the influence of a cleric’s sermons and acted in a state of disillusion, his act will certainly not earn him paradise. My point is that the US society is also suffering from partisan divisions between liberals and conservatives. However this is not an excuse for us not to put our house in order. I diagree that an entire society should be held responsible for the acts of an individual. In responsible society every individual is accountable for his actions.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

I agree with Umair. Ganesh has already indicated in his recent post that reactions depend on issues and issues vary from one country to another.

Ganesh had mentioned about American response to Wikileaks vis-a-vis blasphemy law response in Pakistan.

No one is perfect. And the US does have their conservatives. Try amending the gun law there and see what happens.

I’d say anyone radicalized is mentally sick. There is no difference between a brainwashed person and a schizophrenic. One develops into a maniac through improper exposure and build up. The other is born that way. Both can hurt in unpredictable ways.

The US is a great country. But it has the dubious record of being the only nation to have used two nuclear bombs on civilian populations.

I was in the US when 9/11 happened and I remember the response towards Muslims or anyone who looked like Muslims or if their names sounding like Muslims. When emotions take over, no one seems to care about equality, fairness, rights etc. It is true all across the world.

The goal now is to help the moderate Muslims across the world and prevent the radicals from succeeding in the process of alienating the moderates to their side. People are asking questions to the moderates for the actions of the radicals. And that is the starting point.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

In the US, people are really miffed about job loss due to out sourcing and illegal immigration. It would be interesting to see public response if one of the Michigan militia members or one from the Aryan nations or KKK decides to take out a few of them with his automatic rifle. I am sure the American public might sympathize with the militia man. If the economy really went down and emotions run high, those who manage to do well or succeed that come from different backgrounds will become targets. I am a Sikh and our community always lives under this fear everywhere including India. Hence my sensitivity and awareness to the potential of becoming a target community.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@”The more apt comparison to the hardline Pakistani public response to Taseer’s killing is the US public attitude to Wikileaks’s founder Julian Assange. People from politicians to radio talk show hosts were baying for his blood. They would definitely have cheered if someone had killed him.” Posted by prasadgc

There were a couple of right wing nut job radio hosts in the south, who said the Assange should be assasinated but to say that that is the sentiment of the American people, in general, would be wrong. Most Americans want Assange to be tried in some court of law and not murdered. Having said that, I don’t think that comparing Salman Taseer to Julian Assange makes much sense, one championed the cause of minorities & the other leaked classified information to the world for personal gains. If someone hacks into my personal email & financial accounts & broadcasts that info to the world, I would not consider it as “figure of speech”. I believe, the Australian public has a different perspective on the wikileaks issue & have a soft corner for Mr. Assange, since he’s australian.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@”My point is that the US society is also suffering from partisan divisions between liberals and conservatives.”
Posted by Umairpk

It always has & it always will but neither the staunchest of conservatives nor liberals support any kind of violence to intimidate/overpower the other. There will always be fringe elements & sick lone wolves who chose to act on their own but by and large, an overwhelming majority settle their differences with ballot rather than bullet. I agree that American society is far from perfect & there are extremist elements that need to be tackled but the problem is far more profound & serious in Pakistan. There’s no comparison.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@”There is no difference between a brainwashed person and a schizophrenic.” Posted by KPSingh01

I disagree. Schiszophrenia is a serious mental illness & greatly impairs one’s ability to think & act rationally whereas a brainwashed person suffers from no such impairment but chooses to be influenced (for a variety of reasons).

@”I am a Sikh and our community always lives under this fear everywhere including India. Hence my sensitivity and awareness to the potential of becoming a target community.”

Don’t lose sleep KP. Nobody is targeting sikhs or the Indian community in general, here in the US. While no one can ever be completely secure from individual hate crimes, you can be rest assured that law enforcement agencies are competent & vigilant enough to thwart organized attacks on any minority group by any white supremist group.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Suddenly I feel like Umair, having to reassure everyone that all’s well here in the US & we’re not falling apart or imploding :)

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Mortal1: “Don’t lose sleep KP. Nobody is targeting sikhs or the Indian community in general, here in the US. While no one can ever be completely secure from individual hate crimes, you can be rest assured that law enforcement agencies are competent & vigilant enough to thwart organized attacks on any minority group by any white supremist group.”

It all depends upon how the sentiments run. When Daniel Pearl was killed, my Jewish American colleague was really disturbed by it. The first thing he said was that he would not hesitate nuking the f*cking place. When 9/11 happened, American public were quite enraged and aptly. At that time, any President could have gotten their approval to do any dastardly act on others. Pearl Harbor bombing culminated in Hiroshima. Japanese were rounded up during WWII and kept in camps in the US. The country is more open now. But one never knows. Human beings are the same everywhere.

As far me, I still remember the riots in Delhi in 1984. I was worried in 1991 that the Tamils would be massacred after Rajeev Gandhi’s assassination. The goal was to kill him so that public anger would be vented towards Tamils, thereby creating their permanent alienation and culminating in a much bigger war of secession that would spread from North East Sri Lanka into mainland of South India. Whoever was behind the plot realized that conditions were ideal for such an act. There was a power vacuum at the center and the country was almost broke. It could not have managed to counter any insurgency in the South. IPKF was already a disaster. Luckily the coalition party at the center prevented any such thing from happening and India survived. Things were on the edge and if India had fallen off at that time from that edge, it would be a very different scenario we would be witnessing today.

Being advanced technologically, with better living standards etc do not really matter when emotions take over. Mass hysteria can unleash monsters very quickly. In Pakistan one sees symptoms of mass hysteria spreading its wings. In the US or India for that matter, that is not the case today. A certain set of conditions are needed for these symptoms to spread and gain strength. Pakistan seems to have that environment today compared to before. Longer American presence in the region will only push it towards the edge more.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Mike Mullen has openly declared that Pakistan is the epi-center of terrorism.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/internation al/article1090317.ece

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KP,

I agree that humans are emotional, no matter where they are & it can lead them to violence during difficult times (like 9/11, Indira Gandhi assasination etc) but here’s when 2 variables come in, the first is the level of literacy & social development in a society & the second is law enforcement. Literacy & personal development will prevent people from actually committing violence, even if they might say violent things or feel violent and a strong law & order machinery will also make them think twice or punish them if they actually resort to violence. During the various instances of ethnic violence in India (1984, 1992/93 Mumbai riots, Gujarat etc), the police were either helping the perpetrators or were silent bystanders. It’s when law & order machinery breaks down, that people get encouraged to take law in their own hands.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

KPS and Mortal

“Human beings are the same everywhere.”

***May be you can tell me more about it, I have heard a section of Sikh society celebrating Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her body guard. I do not know at what level it happened but sweets were distributed and Diwali for that occasion was celebrated. This seems no different from Pakistan’s situation after killing Punjab Governor. Indira Gandhi’s fault was ordering Blue Star op.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

Rehmat,

You are correct. A segment of the sikh community openly celebrated Indira Gandhi’s assasination while a majority of sikhs felt that she deserved the retribution, she recieved. One must realize that for the sikh community, an attack on Golden temple is what an assault on Mecca would be for Muslims or one on the Vatican would be for Christians. I don’t know how those communities would react to an attack on their holiest shrines but I would guess that it would be similar to that of the sikh community. I don’t think that the Salman Taseer situation in Pakistan even remotely resembles the Indira Gandhi/Blue Star situation in 1984. Taseer was trying to protect the minority community in his country whereas Indira Gandhi perpetrated an attack on a minority group in her country.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

777xxx777 said:

> Your name gives me intution that you are a Hindu (or more specifically follower of Sanaatana religion, I may be wrong though);

Born Hindu, now agnostic. I can’t believe mumbo-jumbo anymore. Fortunately, apostasy isn’t a crime in Hinduism, let alone a crime punishable by death ;-).

> so now tell me your views about a Muslim painter painting nude pics of Hindu Goddesses. Does he deserved to be kicked out of the nation?? Does he deserved to be put in jails despite that there are no such blasphemy laws in India??

I think former Australian treasurer (equivalent to India’s finance minister) Peter Costello expresses my feelings on this exactly in this speech: http://bit.ly/ckKp3u

“I do not like putrid representations like Piss Christ. I do not think galleries should show them. But I do recognize they should be able to practice their offensive taste without fear of violence or a riot. Muslims do not like representation of the Prophet. They do not think newspapers should print them. But so too they must recognize this does not justify violence against newspapers, or countries that allow newspapers to publish them.”

If any Hindu is offended by MF Hussain’s paintings, I would suggest a strongly-worded letter to the editor of some newspaper.

> Before pointing fingers we must look inside ourself.

Absolutely.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@Mortal

“I don’t think that the Salman Taseer situation in Pakistan even remotely resembles the Indira Gandhi/Blue Star situation in 1984. Taseer was trying to protect the minority community in his country whereas Indira Gandhi perpetrated an attack on a minority group in her country.”

***I agree. Although reaction is similar in 2 cases, there was a HUGE difference in provocation in 2 cases.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@Prasad,

I a not pussyfooting. I personally don’t agree with the blasphemy law, but if people want it, I can’t impose on them, their right to want to keep, even though I may diagree with everything surrounding it, I still have to respect the belief and the blind allengiance that some have with it.

What I am saying, is that Pakistan can keep the law, but it should amend or add another subsection to the law, that makes it umlawful and illegal for anyone to kill, hurt or maim another citizen under any circumstances involving this law. The punishment should be a rebuke, or a fine or something of that nature.

This blasphemy law in it its current state, facilitates the incitement of lawlessness, brutal savagery, baseless accusations leading to death of an innocent, not to mention, an open check to harass minorities. Again, I think that the blashemy law should be amended to reflect the times and since you can’t get rid of it, at least you can be adaptive and put a more gentle, kinder enforcement of it.

As it stands, any cleric looking for power over the people can willy nilly enforce fatwahs of this law and openly incite murder and violence against an innocent. Such fatwa’s actually advocate a crime without any repercussions to those that incite such violence.

There have to be checks and balances against abuse of these so-called laws, as they actually promote lawlessness against a select people.

There should also be a law against relgious men putting bounties on people. Again, there are not inherent checks and balances, its an open check to lawless, at the end of the day. Political apathy has destroyed Pakistani image abroad.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

rehmat: “I have heard a section of Sikh society celebrating Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her body guard. I do not know at what level it happened but sweets were distributed and Diwali for that occasion was celebrated. This seems no different from Pakistan’s situation after killing Punjab Governor. Indira Gandhi’s fault was ordering Blue Star op.”

People from my community were very deeply affected by Operation Blue Star. I was in 10th grade when that happened. It was a very deep scar. Golden temple is the very heart of the Sikh religion and when it was bombed out, no one really cared what caused all the damage. And the reaction varied from deep seated hatred to more mellowed outlook based on fatalism and dejection. The reason people felt angered was because a lot of it could have been avoided. Bhindranwale was propped up by Sanjay Gandhi and Zail Singh. Before that he was a nobody. They allowed him to run a terror campaign in the state on their behalf and it went out control. It was possible to prevent him from occupying the golden temple and building up fortifications. Indira Gandhi chose the Baisakhi day for the campaign, knowing well that a lot of people would be there. There were other methods to flush the terrorists out – laying a siege for months is one thing they could have tried. They could have used tear gas and other types of gases that put people to sleep. A lot could have been done to avoid that disaster. It was a poor decision that basically put the country on the path of self destruction. And the massacre of my people by Congress goons made things even worse. Imagine a scenario where Pakistan was free to attack India under this condition. Sikhs would have fought against Indians and Indian military has a large percentage of Sikhs. Imagine what kind of damage it could have caused. Compared to all that, Sikhs have stayed put and have continued on with India. If some Sikhs celebrated Indira Gandhi’s death, it was more from the anger towards her than based on any unpatriotic sentiments. If she and her beloved son had continued to live for a decade more, they would have alienated our community complete, and setting up the disintegration of the whole of India. Indira Gandhi was the result of some bad karma. She would have helped splinter up the nation and she couldn’t care less.

Her assassination by her Sikh bodyguards is not similar to Salman Taseer’s assassination by his bodyguard. IG used tyrannical methods to subdue people wherever she could and in the process touched some raw nerves. Salman Taseer spoke up against injustice and got killed by a fanatical man. Though Taseer is no Gandhi, I’d say his assassination is very similar to what Gandhi experienced.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KPS

I can understand what you said. I do not expect cannot Sikh sympathizing with Indira Gandhi’s assassination at that time. This was minimalistic reaction. No doubt there.

I also agree that Congress propped up Bhindranwale who became a pain as it happens. No outsider felt safe to enter Punjab for more than a decade. It all ended with controversial Op Blue Star. It is so tragic that innocent people lost life in large numbers in that operation. Loss of a innocent life is my biggest concern.

Military analysts who know better say laying a siege over a long period of time was not a good option for the chances of masses turning against security forces surrounding their most holy shrine. Such situations never have any ideal option.

I am not trying to justify that Operation in any way. It is a fact that these terrorists were holed up in the most sacred temple and temple lost its holiness long before Operation blue star happened. They already turned temple into military complex. They expected that security forces might attack them.

My question is more general in nature now. Is it fair to flush out terrorists from a religious place by sending security forces inside under such situations, provided innocents do not die? Personally I would be OK with that (be that any religious place).

“Her assassination by her Sikh bodyguards is not similar to Salman Taseer’s assassination by his bodyguard.”
***I agree. I am surprised IG continued with Sikh body guards even after Blue Star.

Wounds are hard to heal for a community who has undergone this. IG assassination followed the death of 5000 Sikh innocents, again by Congress. No one has been punished. I am looking forward to a day where a Govt provides justice in such cases.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@”My question is more general in nature now. Is it fair to flush out terrorists from a religious place by sending security forces inside under such situations, provided innocents do not die? Personally I would be OK with that (be that any religious place).”
Posted by rehmat

I agree with you. It’s the duty & responsibility of the care-takers/leaders of shrines & places of worship and the community itself to disallow extremists & militants from holing up in their premises and if they do allow it, they should be prepared for intervention by the state authorities.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Is it ethical, moral or a civilised act to desecrate holy places of worship? We are living in the 21st century and have come a long way and do not want to recollect the most babaric practices in our fathers’ and forefathers’ times. In civilised countries we do no longer even stone women for adultry or announce death sentenses for those who commit hineous crimes including treason or murder.

Those who desecrate places of worships are no more than the very ordinary criminals, be it the private man from the public or the State apparatus. Let no one try to justify this shabby act under the pretext of law and order. All those who do are going to face the hell on the day of judgement.

I would not challenge God almighty, the creator of the universe and dare to desecrate his house of worship. This is what in our times Indira Gandhi did and this is what the former military ruler of Pakistan did!
Let the historians record it and follow the after effects of their actions in the country.

Rex Minor

PS
Indira Gandhi was swept away from this world, but mr Musharaf and his collaborators should have gone on trial.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
“I can’t believe mumbo-jumbo anymore”

There are two of us now!

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@Rex
“Those who desecrate places of worships are no more than the very ordinary criminals, be it the private man from the public or the State apparatus”

While your statement is correct in ‘context’ of Golden Temple but tell me what about those who build temples and mosques in middle of existing roads and then when govt calls those constructions as illegal then it is called disregard of God. What will happen to those on Judgement day??

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@Rehmat
“No one has been punished. I am looking forward to a day where a Govt provides justice in such cases”

How can you even hope that congressmen be punished some day. Are you not following the current scam season in India?? Yours is just a wishful thinking my friend.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Rehmat,

Your question regarding attacking a place of worship is, to my mind, not a clear cut case of black and white. One can easily turn it around and ask, how can temple authorities permit and even encourage anti national or unlawful activity within its premises and not expect the government to take action? If the sanctity of a place of worship is defiled by allowing unlawful activity doesn’t the government have a right to take action? These are perhaps more rhetorical rather than substantive, because most places of worship maintain the dignity of religion and those who visit them to worship. The Golden temple action was an aberration which took the country through colossal tragedy and the brink of disaster.

I personally feel IG took the wrong step too late in the day, mainly because it was her son who raised the monster. The Gandhi clan and the community at large paid a very high price for this bit of stupid political brinkmanship. The real tragedy is that no one seems to have learnt the lessons of such brinkmanship – but then one does not expect politicians to ever change.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

@777
You ask strange and leading questions: Temples and Mosques are usualy not built in the middle of the roads, but rather roads are built in many parts of the world around the old buildings, houses and even mosques and Temples. The Govts. then follow the mean trick and declare old buildings having been built without permision and therefore illegal.

I am not sure about the temples but in the case of a normal mosque, I personaly would not object to the building being moved to another suitable spot.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@G Prasad
Sorry, I did not notice any agnostic statements in Peter costello’s rhetoric speach, other than explaining Australian immigration policy. His comments about Sharia were uncalled for and discriminatory. He did relate God to the oath of loyalty.
Their policy is not prcticle and the Australian Govt. has no control over other countries grant of citizenship and Passport to Australian citizens. As far as I am aware there are many citizens living in Australia who are quite satisfied to keep their UK passport and not bother about the Australian Passport.

In my view the agnostics have one weakness and that is to fall prey to indoctrination, since they do not have any protection of the scriptures.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Rex
“Temples and Mosques are usualy not built in the middle of the roads”

Welcome to India!!

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@777
I admit I have not yet solved the mystery about the Indian Faqir, who throws up the rope and start climbing. It is too much for me to take on another mystery, whether the road was first there or after the mosques and temples were built. In any case the road must be out of use during the time the worship centres were being built.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Rex Minor,

You’ve misunderstood me again. I was replying to 777xxx777′s specific question to me – would I object to a Muslim painter depicting Hindu gods and goddesses in an irreverent way? I answered him with an excerpt from Peter Costello’s speech (not speach) where he points out that everyone has the freedom of expression, even if others disapprove strongly of it. That is exactly my belief as well.

We need not go off on a tangent about sharia or UK citizens living in Australia.

And thank you for your concern, but agnostics are protected from indoctrination against all scriptures!

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

DaraIndia said:

> I personally feel IG took the wrong step too late in the day

That’s right. Regardless of her own earlier mischief in setting up Bhindranwale to destabilise the Akali government, she could have acted sooner to end the terror.

The right psychological moment was the day in April 1983 that DIG Atwal was killed in broad daylight at the gates of the Golden Temple. It shocked everyone, including the Sikh community. If Operation Bluestar had been launched right then, it may have been accepted as a necessary action.

All water under the bridge now…

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@G Prasad
I reckon I did understand you. Australia is an old continent but the ausralians are relatively a new nation. I have lived in Australia for a number of years and have come across wonderful people. Mr Castello’s speech was nothing more than a small long PR talk and was meant only for new immigrants.

I believe that it is about time that the Govt. people explain fully when they refer to the so called “freedom of expression”. Those who express their views of others or other religions need to do so within the limits and scope of the law and without any infringement of others freedom. People in democracies have equal rights and they must be allowed to practice their faith and religion without any fear of coersion. Hence, I gave certain examples about the laws in Europe. USA is a young country and to my disenchantment no longer a modelfor the civilisation.
Have a nice day. Do not pay too uch attention to typos or mistakes, try to take the sence or ignore it.

Rex Minor

PS
If 777 was referring to the hussain case, Indian law has spoken. I agree with your solution and even propose that the Govt. should ban their publication in India. Here I believe that the muslim clerics from India approach the man and make him aware of his cavalier act.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Dara

No doubt Op blue star came too late. Whole Punjab state was under curfew. Borders were sealed. This speaks of the category of the operation.

I agree this was an aberration as one would expect to be the case but its after effects remain for decades. Wounds might have healed for many but India lost permanently a lot of Sikhs who migrated abroad. 1984 Sikh killings in riots made many Sikhs leave their homeland. I admire Sikh community for sticking with India.

“One can easily turn it around and ask, how can temple authorities permit and even encourage anti national or unlawful activity within its premises and not expect the government to take action?”
***In this specific case, terrorists ruled the state and police was reduced to nothing. Leave aside guaranteeing protection to temple authorities, police was unable to protect itself from terrorists. Army was not called until late. Even if temple authorities did not want terrorists in the complex, who was going to protect them? Bad guys have advantage in this scenario.

Unarmed innocents who went for worship were shot dead by terrorists INSIDE GOLDEN TEMPLE before Op Blue Star. Atwal case (as Ganesh mentioned) was an extreme one.

“If the sanctity of a place of worship is defiled by allowing unlawful activity doesn’t the government have a right to take action?”
***Logically govt has the right to take action. However saying this is not enough. First off one or the other political party is the reason for this. A more silent action with minimal collateral damage is what security needs to learn. Unfortunately India will need this in many cases. From a layman’s POV, Indian security forces lack this expertise. Mumbai terrorist attack showed that, which was criticized by other countries.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@777

“How can you even hope that congressmen be punished some day. Are you not following the current scam season in India?? Yours is just a wishful thinking my friend.”

***I was hoping against hope.

It is not just congressmen, some in BJP, VHP and other parties should have been lynched for Gujarat riots. They are all screwed up.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

Most Sikhs living abroad are still seething from the memories of operation Blue star. Khalistan issue might have been buried for now. With economy on the upswing, things have become quiet. There are Sikhs in Pakistan who are kept in waiting by the ISI. Therefore let us not kid ourselves into assuming that Khalistan movement has disappeared into thin air. I am right now here in North America on a visit. I can tell you about the sentiments here which still bear the scar of those days. IG has caused a permanent damage to the goodwill of Sikhs with financial clout. Lack of justice for 1984 riot victims has made things even worse. At least if the culprits had been punished by now some relief could have been achieved. All culprits simply got away. It has taken more than 25 years to reach this stage.

All it takes is one down swing in national situation and these elements will be back with full force. And there are opportunistic forces waiting to exploit that. Indian government should at least issue a formal apology to the Sikh community for betraying their sacrifices for the country.

In sincerely pray that Khalistan does not happen. I have seen Pakistan enough. I do not want that mistake to take us all backward. The way forward is co-existence. To achieve that those in power should take the right measures to heal the wounds. These wounds are not forgotten over centuries.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@Rehmat
“They are all screwed up.”

Yup!! Congress along with social crimes have committed gross financial crimes as well. BJP has not been in power for enough time so as to be able to commit financial frauds.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

I agree with KP’s opinion that Khalistan movement is not dead. I visit Golden Temple every year around baisakhi festival. I must admit for last 3-4 years or so there has been an uneasy calm in the region. Probably because of declining finances of Punjab state or may be because of huge financial scandals at state level. But something is wrong definitely.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Sometimes I feel that Indians pointing fingers at Pakistan for taboo of secularism should look inside India first. Is Secularism not a taboo in India as well? False conversions and then fight over conversions. Anti-conversion laws in some states. What is it all? Are people in India not dogmatic in same sense as that in Pakistan, only the intensity might be less but mindset is same. ‘My’ religion and ‘Your’ religion is what is dividing the social fabric of India and Pakistan.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

If one sees articles of this kind emerging, it means fractious forces have started their next phase of campaign:

http://paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?2 35356

I think this English newspaper is controlled by the ISI. See how things are distorted to project some evil system, as a precursor to misleading the masses.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

> I think this English newspaper is controlled by the ISI.

One of the dead giveaways of Pakistani propaganda is the focus on “brahmins” as the major evil force in India. Indians know that brahmins are more or less a spent political force and do not control anything much nowadays. OBCs are now the dominant force in Indian politics, I would think, but it will take a while for that realisation to percolate down to the Pakistani propaganda machine. I think they would be genuinely surprised at the magnitude of the revolution in Hindu society that has taken place relatively peacefully.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

777xxx777 said:

> Is Secularism not a taboo in India as well?

Unfortunately true. The Congress did overplay the Muslim card in all their crude electoral machinations, and the BJP then effectively struck back with the label “pseudo-secularism”. Now no one wants to be accused of being a pseudo-secularist, even if they are truly secular, and that plays into the BJP’s hands. It’s sort of like “liberal” being a bad word in the US.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Rehmat,

Generally agree with all your arguments and the trend of thought. It is not possible to imagine an India without its Sikh community – many of whom I have worked shoulder to shoulder with and whose enterprise, determination and humour I greatly admire and respect.

Just want to add an observation on your comment:

” Even if temple authorities did not want terrorists in the complex, who was going to protect them? ”

There is a peculiarity I have noticed, and I think it is relevant to the whole sub-continent. We do not take action when it is most required – when things first start getting out of hand. We hesitate, generally for narrow political reasons, to nip trouble in the bud.

Strangely it is also the best time to take remedial measures, before a cut becomes a festering wound and needs surgery instead of a simple anti-tetanus shot. Yet we hesitate. Operation Blue Star is a good example.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
“The Congress did overplay the Muslim card in all their crude electoral machinations, and the BJP then effectively struck back with the label “pseudo-secularism””

Neither Congress has done anything progressive for Muslim society and nor has BJP done anything progressive for Hindu society (barring a few states for both parties). And yet they continue to be faces of the respective societies…WHY?? Agnostics like me and you can see this but masses believing blindly in religion and God can be made emotional fools very easily. Hence the state of affairs in India and Pakistan.

Though in case of India this blind behaviour is on decline because of economic progress. I believe that people of region India and/or Pakistan have been very good in trade and commerce since times immemorial. Finance has always taken precedence to society issues. As long as governments provide sound financials of the state, most society concerns take care of themselves. People here can move on quite happily if future is shown to be bright and financially healthy. Current Sikh community/Punjab discussion is an example. More recent example is Assam where ULFA ran out of steam becuase not many young people volunteered as the government brought development and improved financial conditions to state. Bihar will be next example where maoism will run out of steam soon. Seperatist sentiments never gained roots in Gujrat, Rajsthan and Maharashtra because of sound financial conditions of people in these states.

In Pakistan exactly opposite happened. The governments were never worried about development and people were indoctrined to Islam and its blind belief so that leaders do not have to take care of hunger, health and development in Pakistan. Does anyone calls its nukes as ‘Hindu’ bombs, ‘Christian’ bombs, ‘Jew’ bombs; but pakistani leaders call their nukes as ‘Islamic’ bombs. Someone please explain me what is Islamic about nukes?? I would agree with others here that Pakistan badly needs good development policies that end hunger and put health of citizens as top priorities rather than Islam and nukes.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Since all of you guys are very wise now after the event. tell me, do the people or a section of the people do not have the right in a democracy to separate and go independent. I do not have any problem with Sudan split in two countries, if the christians of the south decide to separate.

Needless to say that economically separation may not always be the best and solidarity has virtues and advances civilisation. Not to forget that the slovaks separated from the checks, but the European Union brought both once again together.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

777xxx777: “‘My’ religion and ‘Your’ religion is what is dividing the social fabric of India and Pakistan.”

Religion is not the real issue here. It is all power politics. Religion is used as a weapon. If you look at the history of South India, they seem to have had atheist parties use the same campaign to come to power. May be Ganesh can enlighten us on that. As far as I know, there are some Dravidian parties there which are supposed to be anti-Hindu and atheistic in principle. They grabbed power in the 1960s. At the end of it, all politicians have done the same thing – build wealth and run dynastic politics. Religion, language, ethnicity, caste, class and everything that can be used, have been used to gain control over others. If you see from this angle, you will see the emptiness in the logic for separate nation for Muslims or Dravidians or Maoists or whatever.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Pakistan: “Since all of you guys are very wise now after the event. tell me, do the people or a section of the people do not have the right in a democracy to separate and go independent. I do not have any problem with Sudan split in two countries, if the christians of the south decide to separate.”

The question is not about separating on democratic terms. The question is this – what does this accomplish? In what way separation will make lives of people better than what it is now. The second issue is after separation do the two nations stay friendly or turn hostile. And this question is answered based on what caused the separation. If people demand separation on a regular basis, every house in the neighborhood will become a country. Solutions have to be sought based on existing conditions. Sometimes staying together helps sharing resources better. If one community turns against another, it is better to separate. But they are not going to remain friendly neighbors after separation.
Population has to mature for handling these kinds of issues. Czech republic and Slovakia separated without any incident. That kind of separation is hard to achieve in South Asia because of demographic mix – people of different communities are living next to each other.

Ultimately what matters is the primary goal of well being and peace. If separation can achieved that then that’s the way to go. If a union can achieve that then that too is the way to go. It all depends on the nature of each situation.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KP Singh said:

> If you look at the history of South India, they seem to have had atheist parties use the same campaign to come to power. May be Ganesh can enlighten us on that.

That’s only in Tamil Nadu with the DMK and AIADMK, both offshoots of the earlier atheistic, anti-brahmin party the DK. I would have respected them for their principles if MGR did not go to temples at election time, just like Karunanidhi now does. So KP is right, religion is used as part of power politics – rail against brahminism since that stand gets votes, then also visit temples to get some more!

Somehow, in spite of all the corruption and the dirtiest of politics, the two parties between them seem to have done something for TN. It’s one of the most industrialised states now, with all indices doing above the national average and day-to-day life also being fairly peaceful. But on the surface, things don’t seem to change at all. I go to Chennai every two years and it’s the same hot, dirty, crowded place that I remember from the 80s ;-).

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Karnataka, the state I grew up in, has seemingly changed beyond recognition in some very undesirable ways. I used to think of Karnataka and Gujarat as two peaceful states with soft and mild people. Both have now lurched to the right, with a strong anti-Muslim sentiment, I think. I have no clue why this happened. I haven’t followed Karnataka politics since my dad retired and left Bangalore in 1986. Perhaps this phase also has to run its course…

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Also to rub into 777xxx777 more:

The states of West Bengal and Kerala have been communist ruled states for more than three decades. Kerala boasts the highest literacy, women’s rights etc. Yet it is one of the most backward states as far as industries are concerned. No industry can survive there due to severe labor union problems which are controlled by the communists there. Most Keralites end up working in the Gulf countries and have spread across the rest of India to eke out a livelihood. If religion is the reason for backwardness, one has to look at these states and wonder what happened there. It is not religion or any ideology per se that contributes to backwardness. India is one places paradoxes exist and one will find more exceptions to the norm than anywhere else.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@KP
“Religion, language, ethnicity, caste, class and everything that can be used, have been used to gain control over others. If you see from this angle, you will see the emptiness in the logic for separate nation for Muslims or Dravidians or Maoists or whatever.”

Did I say anything different?? Read my post above to Ganesh. I am copy pasting here what I typed above: “but masses believing blindly in religion and God can be made emotional fools very easily.” Is it anything different than what you stated. Please read sentences in full and in given context.

“The states of West Bengal and Kerala [...] more exceptions to the norm than anywhere else”

Why are you asking same question again. Blind belief is the keyword. Blind belief in religion or in communism its all same…IGNORANCE on part of COMMON MAN. G-W had answered your question perfectly already.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@KP
“Most Sikhs living abroad are still seething from the memories of operation Blue star. Khalistan issue might have been buried for now. With economy on the upswing, things have become quiet. There are Sikhs in Pakistan who are kept in waiting by the ISI.”
***Those Sikhs who left in 80s are in that frame of mind. That is understandable. TRue that these issues can come up suddenly under favorable situations. Terrorism in Punjab lasted 15years, and now it is nearly 15years since it is over. These situations demand generation of time to fully cure.

I was going to ask to you if you think demand for Khalistan could be justified somehow. In your post to Rex, I got my answer that you do not justify separation.

++++++++++++++++
@Dara

“There is a peculiarity I have noticed, and I think it is relevant to the whole sub-continent. We do not take action when it is most required – when things first start getting out of hand. We hesitate, generally for narrow political reasons, to nip trouble in the bud.”
***You are on the spot. It is not that politicians do not know the long-term effects of this. They focus on narrow stretch of time in future where they have to win elections. They take action when even a rickshaw driver also knows there is no other way but to take action. THis is a general human tendency, at least humans of this area, which will keep landing us in problems.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

Dara

Correction: I meant “you are spot on” !

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@KP, 777
Religion,language, ethnicity etc. have not been used or misused to gain control over others. It is an irrational quirk of human nature that we fall prey to and clever politics and Businesses can easily exploit. And they do.
. Independent country based on religion, common culture or a united country based on common interests?
. which product to buy given the choice of two, three or four different price tags.

Here we share lack of logic and irrational behaviour with brainless creatures that ooze their way across the forest floor in search of food. These creatures also explain our behaviour and teach us to solve complex puzzles and design better computers and communication networks.
Pakistan, Afghanistan or khalistan, human effort and struggle for survival is likely to continue and humans, unlike flies, have a very vibrant memory. Freedom is our credo and this is somethimg we all cherish, despite all the errors we make in our history.

Rex Minor

PS Sikhs like hindus is a nation which has defended their faith and holy temple in earlier history of India. The boundries of a country have always been subject to alteration in our history.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

777xxx777,

I get your point. However, if one looked at your posts across various blogs in Reuters, the general impression is that you have gone after religion induced foolishness as the main issue behind all problems. Your intention might be to indicate that ignorance is the main cause. But that is not the impression I got. Once I started pointing at other sources of the same problem, you seemed to have switched to ignorance as the main issue. That is fine. Just wanted to point that out to you. we all know the problems. It would be interesting to see if anyone can offer a way out of it. Even education, progress etc do not seem to get rid off ignorance. It keeps taking different forms and creates different sets of problems. Ego sometimes masquerades as ignorance. Contempt for others is another main source of problems. Jinnah used it to the hilt to separate Muslims from non-Muslims. His countrymen still act with that contempt. Intentional ignorance helps sustain contempt to a large extent.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Pakistan: “Pakistan, Afghanistan or khalistan, human effort and struggle for survival is likely to continue and humans, unlike flies, have a very vibrant memory. Freedom is our credo and this is somethimg we all cherish, despite all the errors we make in our history.”

Nations are like sand dunes that keep changing their shapes in the wind. That is one reason why it is not worth fighting wars in the name of nations. People fought and died for nations that do not exist today. It all seems like a big waste. People have much stronger ties to their race, ethnicity, language and religion. These factors transcend national boundaries.

It would be ideal to have this whole world as one nation. However, that is not practical. Just from an administrative standpoint, it is good to run smaller states out of a larger union. Resource sharing is becoming more important today than before. Therefore the world needs restructuring based on those needs than on religion, ethnicity etc. Unfortunately wars are being used to achieve that restructuring. Nations are being held together to satisfy the power ambitions of a few people. The world has to progress more to become one nation.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@KP
“However, if one looked at your posts across various blogs in Reuters, the general impression is that you have gone after religion induced foolishness as the main issue behind all problems”

Correction: Not all problems but yes most problems. And since I am an agnostic (or may be a secular, but accept and abide by the Hindu marriage and personal laws) I can’t accept the religious theories very easily. And by the way ‘My’ religion and ‘Your’ religion sentiment was exploited in 1947 and we are paying the price till date. Period.

“you seemed to have switched to ignorance as the main issue. That is fine. Just wanted to point that out to you.”

May be the word ‘religion’ is very touchy to you.

“Even education, progress etc do not seem to get rid off ignorance.”

I disagree, education along with economic development can get rid of most kinds of ignorance. Assam and Bihar are examples. May be you could include Punjab, Haryana, Gujrat, Maharashtra and Rajsthan as well. Did anyone ever think why can’t UP be agriculture power house of India instead of Punjab and MP given that UP has the best river network in whole of nation?? Because of very low agricultural education, there are a few agri universities but of no use as is case with everything sarkaari in UP. I can go on and on how the UP governments over the past years have failed to tap the immense agriculture potential of the state. But why?? Because PEOPLE, the COMMON MAN is IGNORANT. Worried too much for mosque and temple but not for roads, healthcare and agriculture. As are the people so are the governments.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

777xxx777: “And by the way ‘My’ religion and ‘Your’ religion sentiment was exploited in 1947 and we are paying the price till date. Period.”

If you look at the history of Nazi Germany, Aryan racial superiority sentiment was exploited. Between Tamils and Sinhalese, ethnicity was exploited. The same was the reason for Hutu versus Tutsi massacre and the friction between Kurds and Turks/Arabs. In the case of India, my religion versus your religion sentiment was exploited. If you go down South in India, Dravidian versus non-Dravidian sentiments were exploited. At the end of it, some of those who exploited these sentiments made it to power. Some made it and fell apart. Some never made. But there has always been an attempt to use some kind of ideological sentiment to rally people behind underlying personal ambitions. Many are passionate about power. And it drives them to dangerous extents. Shiv Sena once attacked ethnic Tamils, much before it took on Muslims. Prior to Mumbai attacks, they took on Baniyas. You can see that agenda keeps changing while the power crazy leaders use violence to achieve their ends. Blaming people to be foolish is not going to change this reality. Everyone is foolish, including the ones who are calling others as such.

“education along with economic development can get rid of most kinds of ignorance. Assam and Bihar are examples. May be you could include Punjab, Haryana, Gujrat, Maharashtra and Rajsthan as well.”

It all depends upon what education means. If going to college, cramming lessons, regurgitating them in exams, getting a job and buying a car is what education is, such an education has no meaning. In India, that is the kind of education everyone is striving for. Real education comes from learning from life. For that the right kind of culture and atmosphere are needed. Omar Sheikh went to London school of economics. Bin Laden grew up rich. Jinnah was educated too. The only one who had real education was Gandhi. The country he set up has survived because of what he preached. Many followed him on his principle and created that culture.

Education on an average does help a little. What matters is the underlying culture. Our people, including educated ones, do not care for others and skip queues. If you see developed nations, everyone stands in the queue. Small little things build up a culture. Courtesy for others, compassion etc cannot be taught in schools and colleges. They have to come from the society and societies rely on factors other than education to build such aspects. In some cases, it is religion. In some cases, it is something else. Emotional cultures turn violent easily. And such volatile cultures will burn others whether their people are educated and economically advanced or not. And emotions follow no rationale. If you see the Muslims in Indonesia versus the Muslims in Pakistani Punjab, you will understand the influence of culture. Both were Buddhist ancestry. Indonesia became Islamic only in the 15th century. Most of what is Pakistan had converted much earlier. Pacifist culture was replaced by martial culture and it is difficult for these people to see beyond that. Their culture prefers war mongering to settle issues. There are educated people who control everything in all these societies. But they make warped decisions. You are making it too simplistic to solve the problems that humans have been struggling with for eons.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@Singh, 007,

The average common man, his naivite and uninformed nature is exploited using religion.

The greatest creation of mankind is our ability to live together in a secular, plural, democratic system, where peoples of all colours and races can co-exist and vent their grievance through appropriate channels, without violence.

Freedom and justice are always under attack by the forces of evil, ignorance and force$ of greed, religion used as a tool for electrifying nationalism or religionism is such a thing. As a nation of humanity, we must strive to recognize the similarities in one another, rather than reinforce differences in each other. If we do the latter, we will continue to stoke the shackles of ignorance create an eternal battlefield for our children. We must strive to become the change that we so want.

We should build societies that are open minded, yet cherish freedom, rule of law, democracy, justice and the right of the individual, regardless of their race, creed, sex or origin.

The best thing as individual that we can do to improve the world, is educate your children, make them aware, make them kind and compassionate towards others by loving them fully, but at the same time, espouse value systems that get them to recognize things like pluralism, multiculturalism, secularity, democracy and rule of law.

Humanity and all peoples must be weary of political and religious vampires that hijack their sensibilities to pursue a creed that only brings misfortune to lead them astray. Each person must carve his own destiny, if the world is to be free of ignorance.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Ignorance is the garden which allows the growth of repression, cruelty and subversion of the human spirit and subversion of the ability to love all of humanity.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

777xxx777: “PEOPLE, the COMMON MAN is IGNORANT. Worried too much for mosque and temple but not for roads, healthcare and agriculture. As are the people so are the governments.”

People like Jinnah, Milosevich, Mao, Stalin, Bal Thackeray, Mobutu, Narendra Modi etc were/are the ones driving the common people. Common people are like sheep. They have their values and wisdom. But they get driven around by those who control the knobs. It is these people who drive up their personal agenda while using some cause. They all use violence wherever needed. Common man has no answer to carefully orchestrated violence. Police are emasculated and justice system is choked. When that is the case, common man wants to run and hide under the table somewhere. He has family to take care of. It is those who drive others, the manipulators that must be restricted. Everyone wants to live in peace, if you allow them to.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KP:”People like Jinnah, Milosevich, Mao, Stalin, Bal Thackeray, Mobutu, Narendra Modi etc were/are the ones driving the common people.”

-How can you even equate Jinnah with the rest? you are simply out of your mind or you have a lot of grudge against Jinnah.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

@Rex

“Since all of you guys are very wise now after the event. tell me, do the people or a section of the people do not have the right in a democracy to separate and go independent. I do not have any problem with Sudan split in two countries, if the christians of the south decide to separate.”

***I think KP’s question “what does this accomplish?” was the answer to this.

At least people here are wise after the event, but how do you explain your above suggestion when you know Pakistan, where Muslim leaders thought separation is best for them, has MISERABLY failed. The suggestion that Sikhs have right to have Khalistan goes against the logic which even you agree to that separation based on religion does not work and Pakistan is a classical case in point.

For the sake of argument let us say Sikhs have the right to fight for freedom. Who is supporting this movement? No sane person was supporting it at that time even. The argument is about the reaction. A nation carved out of reaction will not be peaceful with neighbors.

Army action that led to killing of terrorists (freedom fighters for you) and innocents, and killings of Sikh innocents in 1984 riots also do not justify a new nation. Reaction was bound to be there and it happened—assassination of Indian PM and much more which you might not know—Punjab CM, and another prominent political leader of Punjab (I forgot the name now), Indian Army Chief at the time of Op Blue Star Vaidhya.

The way those Khalistan “freedom fighters” (terrorists to me) wanted to achieve a “Sikh Nation” was by hijacking buses and killing people of a certain community. Those innocent Sikhs who died in Golden Temple or in Delhi riots were not supporters of those dead terrorists but despised them. Who is being supported with the suggestion to make Khalistan then.

Moreover, where is the need of co-existence if everyone has to form a nation?

Getting back to your original question, plural democracy like India calls for co-existence and it gives the right to split states based upon local political needs. It has been happening—UP was split, Bihar was split, Punjab was split to make smaller manageable states. Making nations everyday is not child’s play. You may not have problems with it but those who live around here would face the consequence.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@Rex

Correction:
“Reaction was bound to be there and it happened—assassination of Indian PM and ASSASSINATIONS of many more which you might not know—Punjab CM, another prominent political leader of Punjab (I forgot the name now), Indian Army Chief at the time of Op Blue Star Vaidhya.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@KP
“Common people are like sheep. They have their values and wisdom. But they get driven around by those who control the knobs.”

Ohh come on till when can we keep on blaming leaders for our own narrow mindedness. Jinnah and Indira were not powers but the people behind them were the powers who were fools enough to not be able to see their real motives. If you keep asking for better leaders then we are heading no where. Keep praying for another Gandhi and live in gutters for centuries. It is our nation and everyone has to take care of his/her responsibilities towards it. And those responsibilities include upholding secular co-existence and nullifying bigotry. Putting pressure on politicians to do development work and not spend on wars. Did you ever thought why selling war is bad idea in India but not in Pakistan? How is that people in India just do not buy war and people in Pakistan so easily do?? As are the people so are the governments.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@KP
Rehmat has said very well above. Not a major population of Sikhs, yes ordinary common man, did not supported Khalistan and so it never happened. Not majority in Kashmir support separation from India and so it will never happen. IA presence in Kashmir is needed to ward of PA adventures in valley and of late there have been proxy wars from ISI that try to make a horrible face of IA so as to defame IA and India in general. We can see the reactions of people like Rex who sit in Europe derive most of knowledge about India from idiot box and meditations and make a monster out of India. ISI has succeeded in SHOWING India a monster to world. But will never succeed in snatching Kashmir from India because Kashmiris just do not want to be separated (especially not now, given the difference in economic levels of India and Pakistan).

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “How can you even equate Jinnah with the rest? you are simply out of your mind or you have a lot of grudge against Jinnah.”

Because he was responsible for the deaths of at least two million people and those who lost everything – their properties, wealth, family members and had to live the memories of horror that happened. Jinnah got what he wanted – Rising a flag as a head of state. He had no more agenda. He simply said Pakistan would be secular, while campaigning prior to partition that Muslims will never live under Hindus. He is directly responsible for the people of the two countries looking at each other as the worst enemies, armed with nuclear weapons and standing perilously on the edge. All the guys I have listed could have carved out a nation for themselves and kept their people in a perpetual conflict.

I was not even born when Jinnah died. Therefore I have nothing personal against him. But the truth is that Jinnah is as much a crook and a politician as any other opportunist in South Asia and beyond. He offered nothing at the end. Pakistan’s internal turmoil is his legacy.

There are people who still adore Hitler and Stalin. That does not make these megalomaniacs any better humans.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

777xxx777: “Ohh come on till when can we keep on blaming leaders for our own narrow mindedness. Jinnah and Indira were not powers but the people behind them were the powers who were fools enough to not be able to see their real motives.”

If I use your logic, then no one needs leaders, MPs or Prime Ministers. People can do it all themselves. We humans are hierarchical animals. Leaders happen on their own in a crowd of people. It is the leaders to whom common folk listen to for inspiration and motivation. Where do charisma and personality matter? Leaders have mass appeal. What they desire, their people do it for them. This does not mean people are brainless. It is just that their desires and feelings are aligned with others and there is someone to project them better than they do. So leaders run the show. That is the reality. You are seeking an ideal condition that does not exist.

“If you keep asking for better leaders then we are heading no where.”

Abraham Lincoln was a leader. He led his country out of a deadly civil war. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Dalai Lama, are all leaders. It is they who have brought sanity to the world. Without them, this world would have been completely annihilated.

“Keep praying for another Gandhi and live in gutters for centuries.”

You say the above and then go on to say,

“It is our nation and everyone has to take care of his/her responsibilities towards it.”

Which is what Gandhi preached. He said, “become the change that you expect in others”. Gandhi cleaned his own toilet to show how everyone should take responsibility for themselves.

“And those responsibilities include upholding secular co-existence and nullifying bigotry.”

Shambhala will come one day. You might have to live for another thousand years for that. Good luck.

“Putting pressure on politicians to do development work and not spend on wars.”

One more Mumbai style attack on India and you will be singing a different tune. Wars get imposed on people sometimes. 9/11 was a taunt to the US and it responded with full public support. The US never wanted to get involved in WW II until the Japanese hit Pearl Harbor. We are not living in an ideal world. There are forces around that will lot let you live in peace. One needs to be prepared to swat the flies that keep coming. Or you will be consumed by them.

“Did you ever thought why selling war is bad idea in India but not in Pakistan? How is that people in India just do not buy war and people in Pakistan so easily do?? As are the people so are the governments.”

I think you have a very limited understanding of how things work. I am not going to lecture you on it here. Talking secularism is all easy. When emotions fly high, most humans become animals, including those living in free, democratic, advanced societies.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

777xxx777: “Not a major population of Sikhs, yes ordinary common man, did not supported Khalistan and so it never happened.”

Most people who lived in the regions that became Pakistan did not want partition either. But Pakistan happened. This does not mean those people are fools. Violence needs very few people to drive others around. A few criminals are enough to wreak havoc. That is the principle every selfish leader has relied on including Jinnah, Narendra Modi, Jagdeesh Tytlor, Bal Thackeray and so on. You need a few wolves to drive the entire pack helter skelter.

“Not majority in Kashmir support separation from India and so it will never happen. IA presence in Kashmir is needed to ward of PA adventures in valley and of late there have been proxy wars from ISI that try to make a horrible face of IA so as to defame IA and India in general.”

Kashmir is a pure geo-political issue and it has nothing to do with religion or people. I am not going to discuss it here. No one is a fool here.

“We can see the reactions of people like Rex who sit in Europe derive most of knowledge about India from idiot box and meditations and make a monster out of India.”

If he chooses to hide under his shroud, that is his freedom. Let him close his eyes and blame the sun for not dispelling darkness.

“ISI has succeeded in SHOWING India a monster to world. But will never succeed in snatching Kashmir from India because Kashmiris just do not want to be separated (especially not now, given the difference in economic levels of India and Pakistan).”

Now you are getting emotional and there are manipulative people who can exploit that. You won’t even know you have been taken by their spell.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@KP
“Leaders happen on their own in a crowd of people”

And so the overall quality of crowd needs to improve. Agree??

“Most people who lived in the regions that became Pakistan did not want partition either”

How are you so sure of that the muslims living in Pakistan region before 1947 did not wanted partition?? I have lived in Punjab during height of militancy and Op. Blue Star so I do know the sentiment of ordinary common folks of that time. If that is the case with you in case of partition and muslims in Pakistan region then I take your word otherwise not.

“Now you are getting emotional and there are manipulative people who can exploit that”

Probably you did not read what I wrote in brackets.

Anyway since we do not agree on this and will probably never agree and because you are some super genius and I have no knowledge of how things work then there is no point taking discussion forward. Both of us should try to do what we wish to see. On my part I will try to be better citizen and you can try to find or become a good politician. Adieu!!

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@KPS and 777

At the risk of hurting myself in crossfire between KPS and 777 :-) , I don’t see much difference in what you 2 are saying.

KPS says: “Common people are like sheep. They have their values and wisdom. But they get driven around by those who control the knobs.”

777 says “Ohh come on till when can we keep on blaming leaders for our own narrow mindedness. Jinnah and Indira were not powers but the people behind them were the powers who were fools enough to not be able to see their real motives”

Looking at above, KP believes leaders drive people around like sheep to get what they want. 777 provides a solution to the problem that as long as crowd does not understand the “real motives” of these political leaders (because crowd is like “sheep” according to KPS), this will continue. I see an agreement here.

Perhaps history repeats itself because leaders do not learn from their past actions and crowd is irresponsible in not reminding leaders well in time, rather supporting them for wrong decisions.

I am out of here. :-)

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

777xxx777: “”Leaders happen on their own in a crowd of people””

“And so the overall quality of crowd needs to improve. Agree??”

Not necessarily. Gandhi, Buddha, Jesus etc came and went. Has that changed the overall quality of the people? They have come to remind people of their deviation from human values.

“How are you so sure of that the muslims living in Pakistan region before 1947 did not wanted partition??”

There are several books on partition of the sub-continent. You can read any of them. Regions like Punjab did not buy Jinnah’s logic that Muslims would be dominated by the Hindu majority. They were a majority in their own regions and they did not feel the need to fear the Hindus. For centuries they had lived with non-Muslims in their midst. Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, also known as the Frontier Gandhi was against partition. This gave a lot of heartache to the British. Pathans did not want to be subservient to the Punjabi dominated Muslim Pakistan. One of the rumors is that the British military chief of the new independent Pakistan decided to unleash them into Kashmir to diffuse this tension. When a referendum was held in Muslim majority regions for Jinnah’s campaign, it experienced a miserable outcome. Less than 35% of the voters chose Pakistan. Please read the history books. There is plenty of information. A lot has happened between 1947 and now. Sentiments have changed because of all those events.

“because you are some super genius and I have no knowledge of how things work then there is no point taking discussion forward. Both of us should try to do what we wish to see. On my part I will try to be better citizen and you can try to find or become a good politician.”

I do read a lot. Therefore I am unable to buy your logic. Hence my disagreements with you. However, there is no need to finger point at others when arguments get emotional. It is not my intention to expose anyone’s ignorance. All of us are doing it ourselves.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@KP
“Not necessarily. Gandhi, Buddha, Jesus etc came and went. Has that changed the overall quality of the people”

Sorry you did not understand my original question. You said “Leaders happen on their own in a crowd of people” and so my logic was that since u say leaders come out of crowds then that same crowd needs to constantly keep working towards its own improvement so as to have improved leaders over and over. A crowd of blind will choose a man with one eye as leader whereas a crowd of people with both eyes will choose a leader with clearest vision (of course given that leaders are made/elected based on vision) just a metaphor to explain my point…do I need to tell??

“I do read a lot.”

I admire that very much! :)

“Therefore I am unable to buy your logic. Hence my disagreements with you”

I am fine with that.

“However, there is no need to finger point at others when arguments get emotional. It is not my intention to expose anyone’s ignorance. All of us are doing it ourselves.”

You were the one who said ’777 knows little’ given that both of us are Indians and living in around same region in north India. Do you really think you have any point in saying that I know little? But yes irrespective of your comments I should have used better language than what I did. Will try to improve myself :)

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@Rehmat

“At the risk of hurting myself in crossfire between KPS and 777 :-) , I don’t see much difference in what you 2 are saying.”

Ha ha ha. Don’t worry you are probably more intelligent than both of us. Even I have been trying hard to tell KP that difference is not much. Anyway, thanks for connecting mine and KP’s points. Love your intellect man. :)

“I am out of here.”

Ohh no don’t go..your comments are always welcome :)

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

777xxx777: “You said “Leaders happen on their own in a crowd of people” and so my logic was that since u say leaders come out of crowds then that same crowd needs to constantly keep working towards its own improvement so as to have improved leaders over and over.”

Crowds do not have much influence on those who emerge as leaders. They generally come up with dramatic ideas and principles. Gandhi was more of an exception than the norm. So when he did what he did, they had huge impact on the society. Many had never realized the power of non-violent protests. Non-violence is there in the scriptures and the most common people never took to it. It needed a leader to come out and demonstrate that. The crowd improves because of such leaders and not the other way around. Common people doubt the practicality of many things. Leaders show them that what they think as impossible is possible. Many Indians had no interest in an independent India. Most were happy working for the British and leaving all affairs to them. Somehow they found a structure and order that they had missed from their kings and zameendars. The British were swindling the country. But the average Indian did not care. The British provided a common front which diffused all the lingering issues between various opposing groups. Gandhi, Nehru etc saw that Indians did not deserve to live as subservient coolies. And they instigated a small percentage of people who sacrificed their lives, wealth, career etc to stand up against the British.

My general observation is that more education and awareness can make people more urban and sophisticated. And such people become too individualistic, cynical and selfish. Ruthlessness and indifference towards others take root. Class discrimination begins to dominate. And things go in a different direction from there on. There is a reason why religion, culture, social values etc exist. They are there to contain people from becoming too advanced or too backward. They are also there to provide solace and strength during difficult times. Emotions cannot be overcome by pills or higher education. Religion does provide the cushion needed when dire circumstances are faced. Feelings cannot be overcome by rationalizing. That is why Gandhi not only led people in a pacific resistance movement, he also relied on religion, social changes and community based approach. It was needed during his time.

Humans are strange animals. The fail when they tread on extremes of advancement and backwardness. This is like choosing utter socialism or capitalism. Both can lead to misery. Societies have to choose somewhere in between. The same with extreme intellectualism and close minded blind faith. Religions and cultures offer that buffer. Thus we get a mix of everything – foolish to clever. It is the way things are. We cannot change this human trait no matter how much we try.

“A crowd of blind will choose a man with one eye as leader whereas a crowd of people with both eyes will choose a leader with clearest vision (of course given that leaders are made/elected based on vision) just a metaphor to explain my point…do I need to tell??”

It depends upon how emotional people are. When people get emotional, they can elect Sarah Palin. When they are feeling great, they can elect Jim Carey. Clinton came to power because people were hurt by economic misery under George Bush. Obama came to power because people were fed up with an idiot. This does not make Americans as idiots. Elections of leaders are driven by local emotions a lot. The only advantage in a democracy is that people can elect a different leader if they choose to. Indira Gandhi/Rajeev Gandhi etc won more by charisma rather than anything else. And the alternatives to them were not any better. So charisma won. For the past two decades we have not seen much from the Nehru dynasty and people have had a chance to try other parties and leaders. And most people are still backward and illiterate. But they have the wisdom to try new leaders. When Rahul Gandhi is ready, it will all change again. But that is life.

Anyway it was a great discussion with you. Thanks.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@Rehmat
I tell you what your problem is that You are too clever, always trying to act like the devil’s advocate. I have no qualms about your comments, I fully agree.

I was not suggesting independance or separation for sikhs at all, but simply stating that in a democracy people have to be permitted to choose their course in history.
As I said I have no problem with christian population of Sudan separating from the North. But this does not mean that the new ‘C’ Sudan is going to perform better than the ‘M’ Sudan. Do you reckon Zimbabwe and South africans are performing better than in the past?

Pakistan experiment has met several setbacks, simply because the respective Govts have failed to reform their educational, judiciary and administrative institutions and relied very heavily on the use of military. They are still not sure whether their country is a muslim country based on the Islamic laws or a non Islamic laws?

India you state is a democracy, a secular and pluralistic one, and this is all positive to become a Nation. But you forgot to mention one ingredient, the use of military against its own population.

THIS VIOLATES UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS!

For how long do you reckon India is going to keep this instrument for suppression?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@KP
Your post to 777 could easily go to print for distribution in worship places. A very good analogy. Educate the masses so that people are in a position to elect competent leaders! In Tunisia there is compulsary education upto the age of sixteen, introduced by their former President.
How do you stop irrational behaviour of the humans?

Rex Minor

PS
Is there nothing in your holy scriptures about God promised land for sikhs. The jews relied on their scriptures and even the UNO agreed to grant the the Palestinian land for one dollar, making millions of Palistinians homeless:

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

KPS
You are entitled to your opinion but you are not allowed to rewrite the history.
Now we are talking about Punjab before 1947. Punjab at that time was Muslim majority. Hindus were next and Sikh a significant minority. Most of the land owners were Muslims and Sikhs while Hindus controlled business and money. The ruling party was Unionists.
So who wanted Punjab divided? It is obvious that Congress wanted it, to maximize territorial control. The important question is Sikh politics at that time and what they gained and what they lost.
Sikh leaders of the time (Master Tara Sigh) took virulent anti Muslim stance. They made a deal with INC and you all know the resulting division and carnage. I know what promises to Sikhs were made but I let you tell every body what were the promises and how they were kept.
The Sikh conflict of eighties was the result of what happened in forties.
Indian nationalism and hatred for Pakistan will not heal your Punjab.
Death is a tragedy but the ultimate tragedy is death of a dream. The pain finds solace in drugs and slow death among living.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

KP:”I was not even born when Jinnah died. Therefore I have nothing personal against him. But the truth is that Jinnah is as much a crook and a politician as any other opportunist in South Asia and beyond. He offered nothing at the end. Pakistan’s internal turmoil is his legacy. ”

-Sorry my friend, if you are mentally sick than I cant help you much. Jinnah was a great statesman of Muslims in subcontinent and founder of Pakistan. In history only a few men could achieve what he achieved.
On the contrary I would call the Congress hindu leaders as liars, conspirator and collaborators with the British and wanted to deprive the Muslim minority of their rights. Even today Indian Muslim actors can’t buy property in up market Mumbai. Afterall hindustan is a country of hindus primarily, I am glad Muslims got their own country carved out of India and Jinnah made that possible with his gut intelligence and ability.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Matrix:”Sikh leaders of the time (Master Tara Sigh) took virulent anti Muslim stance. They made a deal with INC and you all know the resulting division and carnage.”

-Looks as though they have kept their violent methods, and taken it to other countries:

CBC News – Montreal – Sikhs with kirpan not allowed in Quebec legislature

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/ 2011/01/18/sikhs-denied-entry-nat-ass-qu ebec.html

no civilized person can ever be allowed to brandish weapons in public service office anywhere.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Matrixx,

Different people have different opinions on partition of the sub-continent. I have mine and I’d never say that mine is the correct one. My opinion is based on my own search, understanding and analysis.

I strongly feel that people of the sub-continent should read a lot of history of the land. There have been many mistakes that have been buried one over the other. In order not to commit those mistakes again, knowing the history is very important.

In my opinion, Pakistan was a mistake. But that is my opinion. Along the same lines, I rate Jinnah as a crook and clever opportunist. To others, he might be God. It does not matter to me. As far as I am concerned, my analysis leads me to my own conclusions. And I am expressing them here. That’s all. I can never prove anyone wrong. I can at the most disagree with others.

Hope I have made myself clear. Here is a link that you might want to browse through and familiarize yourself:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_o f_India

KP Singh

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Umapripk: “no civilized person can ever be allowed to brandish weapons in public service office anywhere.”

Just like the burqa issue in France, Sikhs are required to carry five things with them at all things. Sword is one of them. Many carry a small one for symbolic reasons. But in Canada they have their rules and if they have a rule that women cannot wear the burqa or a Sikh cannot carry his sword in public places, then one is expected to honor that rule. I am with you on this.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “if you are mentally sick than I cant help you much.”

Thanks. I prefer being treated by doctors than by mentally sick patients.

“Jinnah was a great statesman of Muslims in subcontinent and founder of Pakistan. In history only a few men could achieve what he achieved.”

All this is talk. Jinnah achieved nothing. It has not made lives of the people any better. Muslims are not living in paradise by creating Pakistan. They slaughtered each other in Bengal. Now they are blowing each other up. His country is on the brink. If he did what he did just to score some points in history, he sure achieved that. But that’s not what nations are created for. They are created for the welfare of the people. Ask the Bengalis and they’d tell you that Pakistan surely was not for their welfare.

“On the contrary I would call the Congress hindu leaders as liars, conspirator and collaborators with the British and wanted to deprive the Muslim minority of their rights.”

No. Congress leaders wanted a secular country where all people had equal rights. They were socialists in nature and wanted feudal and princely systems dismantled and land distributed to the tillers. I would not deny corrupt politicians. They have been around since time immemorial. If Congress party had planned to deprive Muslims of their rights, India will not be having a Muslim population that is almost as big as that of Pakistan. And they are not living in concentration camps. There are troubled spots due to geo-political reasons. But misery is equally shared by most people, Muslims included.

“Even today Indian Muslim actors can’t buy property in up market Mumbai.”

Would you mind quoting a reference? Which actor are we talking about? Shah Rukh Khan, Feroz Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Yusuf Bhai etc are all Bollywood actors and they live in their own mansions and apartments. No one even looks at their religion in India. We do not look at everything from a religious perspective. There are housing societies in many cities, where vegetarians live and they object to cooking meat or consuming alcohol. Some do not allow bachelors or single women. That is not discrimination. It is due to specific agreements that all residents of a place agree to.

“Afterall hindustan is a country of hindus primarily, I am glad Muslims got their own country carved out of India and Jinnah made that possible with his gut intelligence and ability.”

Sure he did. And that country fell apart in 1971 due to ethnic and linguistic chauvinism. An external enemy is constantly needed in order to keep Pakistanis united. I am sure a short sighted and selfish politician like Jinnah had no vision of long term repercussions of his ambitious acts.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

India must face up to Hindu terrorism

by Kapil Komireddi The Guardian UK 19 Jan 2011

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ belief/2011/jan/19/india-hindu-terrorism -threat?INTCMP=SRCH

The Indian state’s pro-Hindu stance has left it unwilling to tackle Hindu extremism.

“For far too long, the enduring response of the Indian establishment to Hindu nationalists has rarely surpassed mild scorn. Their organised violent eruptions across the country – slaughtering Muslims and Christians, destroying their places of worship, cutting open pregnant wombs – never seemed sufficient enough to the state to cast them as a meaningful threat to India’s national security.”

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

As the LeT has a free hand in Pakistan, similarly the RSS has complete freedom of movement in India. Both India and Pakistan states have home grown militant groups enjoying state patronage.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

And frankly KPSingh, even though you call Jinnah a crook, still i think you are far better than those cold blooded killer hindu terrorists who are thirsty for Muslim blood in India.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

KPSingh:”No. Congress leaders wanted a secular country where all people had equal rights. They were socialists in nature and wanted feudal and princely systems dismantled and land distributed to the tillers. I would not deny corrupt politicians. They have been around since time immemorial. If Congress party had planned to deprive Muslims of their rights, India will not be having a Muslim population that is almost as big as that of Pakistan.”

-Sure, sure great success India has a 150 million muslim population out of which 5% is educated and 2% has access to public services. Marginalized, called as fifth columnists of Pakistan and alienated India has been a hell for its Muslims. though very committed with India, Indian Muslims have achieved nothing. They are just folks like us, I keep a note of 10 Indian Rupees in my wallet as a token of friendship, a Muslim friend I made in UAE and we exchanged Indian and Pakistani rupee notes. Look, we have to leave the past and look towards the future if we want to move on. When blasts took place in India, ISI was blamed. Swami Aseemanand confessions clarify hindu terrorists are at work. We need to rein in the extremists on either side of the border.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

KPS
It is sad that you refuse to look at a few bitter questions about Punjab but want to discuss Jinnah and Bengal.
You ask me to go to Wikipedia. Why would I do that when I know Punjab history passed down by my own family from Dinanagar in Grudaspur area. Most of them barely escaped a few miles to Pakistan and lost every thing in process. There are thousands who did not escape the organized bloodshed. Bravo secular India.
You study Wikipedia and rewrite to your satisfaction but the fact remains that Sikh community is among living dead and if you are a real Sikh, then you need to resolve this issue before you escape to Indian nationalism.
Next time I like to talk about “Stockholm syndrome” as it applies to minorities in India.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

@”India has a 150 million muslim population out of which 5% is educated and 2% has access to public services.”

Can you back up any of these ISI manufactured stats & statements like “Indian muslim actors can’t buy real estate in mumbai” with any sort of substantiation? If not, please stop claiming them! Nobody is denying that muslims in India may not be doing as well as other communities but there are various socio-economic reasons for it & it has nothing to do with the “hatered by the hindus”. You need to check your facts from reliable & neutral sources instead of blindly buying the mullah military propoganda sold in your country. Indian muslims have just as many opportunities to rise as people of other communities, in fact the Indian govt has programes tailored for the upliftment of muslims & reserved quotas for them. India is the only country in the world where the government subsidizes the airfare for the Hajj pilgrimage, spending almost Rs.50,000 per passenger.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@”Looks as though they have kept their violent methods, and taken it to other countries” Posted by Umairpk

Carrying a miniature sword does not translate into violence but blowing up planes, buildings etc & killing innocent civilians in public places, does. The 9/11 attackers, London bombers, shoe bomber, underwear bomber, Times square bomber etc were NOT sikh.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@Bloggers
Often issue is raised that muslims in India find difficulty in buying/renting property in metros. Does anyone know one thing that all international food chains have ‘extensive’ vegetarian menus ONLY in India. I believe that muslims not getting properties among a ‘certain’ group of hindus is because those guys might be pure vegetarians. I am myself a pure vegetarian and would never want to have my neighbour as a non-veggie because I just can’t stand smell of non-veg all the time. Once in a while in a restaurant is fine but all the time. NO man. And I have seen people refusing houses for rent to non-veggies in my own colony a lot of times (and mostly were hindus) and that is IRRESPECTIVE of the religion of the other person. It just so happens that muslims are all non-veggies. Or at least I have never met a pure veggie muslim.

In case of actors and celebrities it is all a publicity stunt. If someone doesn’t get a good deal then just gather media and start shouting, ‘I am harassed because of my religion’. Umair, do you have any idea how much is truth in such statements. And how come you not read that fight over meat shop in a society in mumbai some 3-4 years back where both parties were hindus. As I have been saying all along that religion is used as a tool to achieve selfish and mean goals.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “India must face up to Hindu terrorism”

We are. So hang in there. Militancy is due to backwardness. So long as there are poor masses, militancy helps drive them around and control them. For a country like India, which is huge, it has tremendous inertia and slow momentum. It is gathering pace along economic progress front. It might take a couple of decades where the current generation of weeds die out and get replaced by less iconic and less popular dummy leaders. Typically they fight amongst themselves and disappear slowly with time. Once that happens, these kind of organizations weaken and disappear. India has done the right thing. One cannot take the stick for everything. Progress will wash it all out, albeit slowly. No one is worried about these Hindu militants other than Pakistanis who want to score a counter point every time something blows up there.

Guardian is still in the imperial British mindset. They hate Indians and would love to write anything against India. Interestingly Indians end up writing against India for their pay masters there. We know what to expect from the Guardian and we are not too concerned. Once in a while they get desperate after the realization that they have not nit picked on India. So they write something about Kashmir or hygiene or gays in India. I treat Guardian at the same level as Pak Tribune.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “As the LeT has a free hand in Pakistan, similarly the RSS has complete freedom of movement in India. Both India and Pakistan states have home grown militant groups enjoying state patronage.”

RSS belongs to the Hindu organizations who hate the Congress more than they hate Pakistan. How can a Congress led Indian government offer patronage to them? You seem to club everything into the same group.

RSS will dissipate away as time goes on. LeT might end up ruling Pakistan. Therein lies the difference.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Matrixx: “It is sad that you refuse to look at a few bitter questions about Punjab but want to discuss Jinnah and Bengal.”

Punjab was ruled by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Now if I sit down and demand that all of Punjab should return to the Sikhs, that would be foolish. A lot of sad stories have happened. And all that happened because of a power crazy and selfish politician and an evil colonial empire. When I know the root cause of all miseries, I have no use getting angry at others.

“You ask me to go to Wikipedia. Why would I do that when I know Punjab history passed down by my own family from Dinanagar in Grudaspur area.”

The problem with history being passed down is that it can suffer from distortions. Sometimes ears and noses can be added to juice up the story. It is human nature to do such things. People tell their stories entirely from their view points and many times they do not correspond to the overall story. Hence it is my policy to verify always. I am sure it will do you a lot of good as well. Otherwise in your ancestral story India appears like an evil monster with Hindus walking around with machetes, hacking all Muslims, demolishing all mosques, raping Muslim women and having a merry time. I can sense that in the views of many of you who refuse to read from authentic sources and learn the truth.

“Most of them barely escaped a few miles to Pakistan and lost every thing in process. There are thousands who did not escape the organized bloodshed. Bravo secular India.”

Many lost lives on the other side too. I am sure you have chosen to ignore them completely. Or in your passed down history no mention was made of that. Partition was a huge mistake and it resulted in tremendous bloodshed. It all happened because Jinnah wanted to be a head of state somehow and the British wanted to f*ck up independent India. We all have been manipulated for others’ benefit. Instead of fighting each other, we must look at those who fooled us and see what we can do to avoid similar mistakes.

“You study Wikipedia and rewrite to your satisfaction but the fact remains that Sikh community is among living dead and if you are a real Sikh, then you need to resolve this issue before you escape to Indian nationalism.”

A lot of injustice has happened to every community in South Asia. Ask the Bengalis and they will tell you about 1971 genocide by fellow brothers from West Pakistan. Have you guys offered any apologies to them? Our gurus were chased and killed by Mughal emperors. What do you think we should do about that? Go and kill some other innocent guy buying his groceries? Where do you draw the line? We have to look forward and make sure that future generations do not suffer the same foolish problems that our previous generation and ours did.

“Next time I like to talk about “Stockholm syndrome” as it applies to minorities in India.”

India is not Nazi Germany. You need to open your eyes and try to see things without a bias. Life has to move on. If we are sitting and settling scores, we will never make it. A lot of things did not go the way they should have. That’s unfortunate. But we can do something about everything ahead that should go the way it should.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “I keep a note of 10 Indian Rupees in my wallet as a token of friendship, a Muslim friend I made in UAE and we exchanged Indian and Pakistani rupee notes”

Keep those ten rupees safely. Very soon it might become very valuable to buy essentials. With Pakistan bursting at its seams, foreign currency might be the only hope.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-as ia-12215145

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@”As the LeT has a free hand in Pakistan, similarly the RSS has complete freedom of movement in India. Both India and Pakistan states have home grown militant groups enjoying state patronage.” Posted by Umairpk

Can you tell me, how many terrorist attacks, has the RSS carried out in Pakistan with the help of the Indian govt?

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “And frankly KPSingh, even though you call Jinnah a crook, still i think you are far better than those cold blooded killer hindu terrorists who are thirsty for Muslim blood in India.”

There are not that many Hindu terrorists in India. My community had a lot more once. There are Hindu conservatives and people with extreme views. Our archaic and old criminal justice system is good enough to take care of them. Our military does not sponsor them. The party running the government is more opposed to them than you Pakistanis are. So do not worry. India is in safe hands. And Pakistanis won’t have to lose their sleep over them. I’d suggest that you guys worry more about where your country is headed.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

I think it’s easy to demonise a country based on (1) past history of another generation, (2) its foreign policy or (3) acts of a few people within its borders. It’s also easy to suffer from a victim complex based on a few events in history or events that affected people one identifies with.

As a college student, I was very anti-American because I disagreed strongly with US foreign policy. Today I realise that “America” is not a monolithic entity. There are many aspects to America, some good, some bad. It’s silly to hate a country based on some aspects when there are so many good things about it as well.

I think we can see what is good about our own countries, and we’re caught in this trap of hating the other country for a number of reasons. I cannot speak on behalf of Pakistan, but I can safely say that India is a “normal” country, with many flaws and blemishes, but still not a monster. It would be good if this can be accepted at some level.

On a lighter note, I think Swami Aseemanand deserves the Nishan-e-Haider for giving Pakistan a much-needed face-saver. Now in answer to any number of terrorist incidents committed by terrorists from Pakistan, one can always say, “Aseemanand! Aseemanand!” and the argument is over!

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

KPSingh:” So hang in there. Militancy is due to backwardness. So long as there are poor masses, militancy helps drive them around and control them. For a country like India, which is huge, it has tremendous inertia and slow momentum. It is gathering pace along economic progress front. It might take a couple of decades”

-Good that Guardian is exposing the hindu terrorists in your midst, its only a matter of time before Reuters catches up. Financial Times and Economist have recently exposed the corruption, incompetent politicians and lazy bureaucracy in India which is a huge obstacle towards full economic potential. No wonder permanent UN seat for India is not even on the cards. Countries like China, Japan and Germany are far ahead in good governance. India are not even in the race. Forget about Baluchistan and worry about Maoists. Though, in the end i am relieved you did not state that Guardian was on the payroll of ISI.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Ganesh:
“I think we can see what is good about our own countries, and we’re caught in this trap of hating the other country for a number of reasons. I cannot speak on behalf of Pakistan, but I can safely say that India is a “normal” country, with many flaws and blemishes, but still not a monster. It would be good if this can be accepted at some level.

On a lighter note, I think Swami Aseemanand deserves the Nishan-e-Haider for giving Pakistan a much-needed face-saver. Now in answer to any number of terrorist incidents committed by terrorists from Pakistan, one can always say, “Aseemanand! Aseemanand!” and the argument is over!”

-Pakistan too has its share of challenges, maybe more than normal. But like any other people, Pakistanis have normal aspirations, that to live in peace, have a better life, education, healthcare and to live with dignity according to their faith, Islam. I am sure people in India have same aspirations. This is the reason why we get along with each other so nicely in Australia, South Africa, UAE etc. I have been to couple of these countries, all desi people live together and help each other out. Why can’t we live in peace back home? maybe emotions, nationalist fervour takes over. Point valid by 777 sometimes religion and sometimes politics are in play.

People like Swami Aseemanad or Hafiz Saeed should be dealt with, as stated before we need to rein in the extremists on both sides.

BTW, Nishan-e-Haider is equivalent to probably Pram Vir Chakar, is given to a sailor, soldier or airman who sacrifice his life for defense of Pakistan. No example of living person getting Nishan e Haider, more appropriate award would be ‘Nishan e Pakistan’ or maybe ‘Hilal e Pakistan’. :)

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Mortal:
“Can you back up any of these ISI manufactured stats”

-The stats on demographics of Indian muslim population I quoted above are from Guardian article authored by an Indian referenced (link given) above. Or are you implying ISI has infiltrated Indian media? not a surprise for me. or maybe you didnt care to read the article since the title sounds frightening. Face the truth, don’t bury your head in sand, doesnt make the problem go away. The only thing I agree with you is a subsidized Haj airfare for Indian muslims (though 50k figure still in accurate)

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Matrixx said:

> I know Punjab history passed down by my own family from Dinanagar in Grudaspur area. Most of them barely escaped a few miles to Pakistan and lost every thing in process. There are thousands who did not escape the organized bloodshed.

And there were similarly many who fled to India having lost all their property in Pakistan. And similarly many still who were not so lucky.

I don’t know if you saw the movie “Gandhi”. You may think of it as Indian propaganda, or as a pro-Indian view by a British filmmaker, but I think this particular scene has the ring of truth about it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-rWIk2hf vA

Watch the clip from 2:30 to 4:20.

A lot of people have suffered a lot in the past. A lot of people continue to suffer today. The question is, what can we change about ourselves (not the other party!) that can bring about a future where people do not suffer as much?

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Umair said:

> BTW, Nishan-e-Haider is equivalent to probably Pram Vir Chakar, is given to a sailor, soldier or airman who sacrifice his life for defense of Pakistan. No example of living person getting Nishan e Haider, more appropriate award would be ‘Nishan e Pakistan’ or maybe ‘Hilal e Pakistan’.

My bad – I googled it after posting but it was too late!

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Umair said:

> This is the reason why we get along with each other so nicely in Australia, South Africa, UAE etc. I have been to couple of these countries, all desi people live together and help each other out.

On that note, if you’re ever visiting Sydney, you’re welcome to stay at my place :-).

(And that goes for the rest of you regulars as well)

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad (g dot c prasad at gmail dot com)

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

That should be g dot c dot prasad at gmail dot com, but I’m told Gmail doesn’t care about the initial dots anyway.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

> I don’t know if you saw the movie “Gandhi”. You may think of it as Indian propaganda, or as a pro-Indian view by a British filmmaker, but I think this particular scene has the ring of truth about it:

> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-rWIk2hf vA

> Watch the clip from 2:30 to 4:20.

I found another clip, in English this time, and the relevant section is from 7:35 to 9:25:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLUzWJbxD Ek

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Interesting point of view of a Kashmiri:

http://k4kashmir.com/?p=2466

I think the “official” points of view are now outdated.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “Good that Guardian is exposing the hindu terrorists in your midst, its only a matter of time before Reuters catches up. Financial Times and Economist have recently exposed the corruption, incompetent politicians and lazy bureaucracy in India which is a huge obstacle towards full economic potential. No wonder permanent UN seat for India is not even on the cards. Countries like China, Japan and Germany are far ahead in good governance. India are not even in the race. Forget about Baluchistan and worry about Maoists. Though, in the end i am relieved you did not state that Guardian was on the payroll of ISI.”

India’s big size is an advantage. It prevents calamity from spreading far and wide. Maoists operate in one region. RSS etc operate in another. Likewise there are staunch communists, criminal dons etc operate in their own niche. They have difficulty spreading from all side and taking over the whole land. Diversity becomes a huge barrier. The elements you are trying to cling on to desperately to score points against India, have been there over decades. India was in a much worse situation before. In addition to all these, we had corrupt Congress led government at the center. Now things have become much better. Organizations like RSS, BJP etc are losing favor. BJP is desperately trying to come up with new agenda to get back to power. In all, things look good for India. So Aseemananda is just another criminal like many Hindu Swamis who get caught in sex scandals. That is part of the system. No matter how advanced a nation becomes in all aspects, criminals are not going to go away.

But Pakistan’s case is different. People with evil intentions have proliferated your main power systems over the years. And they are colluding with criminal organizations masquerading as religious missions targeting innocent people to instigate terror and panic as a means of controlling others. It is like a mental sickness. It needs treatment. But they have taken over the power center of Pakistan. When that is the case, there is not much hope for this nation. It has all the potential to fall than rise. I hope I am wrong. But everything points towards a downward slide. Pakistan will still have good people and intelligent ones at that. But they will be sucked in and swallowed up in this giant whirlpool that has begun to spin.

Guardian will still try to spin more anti-Indian stories for its leftist British readers and Pakistanis. At some point they will not have much to write about. Things are headed that way. None of us deny the issues being pointed out towards India. We know they are real. But we are not so alarmed. Things are on the right path on this side of the Wagah border.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “The only thing I agree with you is a subsidized Haj airfare for Indian muslims (though 50k figure still in accurate)”

Muslims have their own civil code. An Indian Muslim can marry four wives. A Hindu or Christian or Sikh will get arrested if he did the same. India has given a lot more concessions to its Muslim citizens than many of the advanced and liberal European and North American nations.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@”The stats on demographics of Indian muslim population I quoted above are from Guardian article authored by an Indian referenced (link given) above.”

I don’t care who’s stats they are, they’re way off the mark. When the literacy rate for the whole of India is app 70% (substantiated 2009 figures), it’s not possible that it’s just 5% among muslims. Same goes for the 2% public access figure, it’s balony. There are literally hundreds of minority welfare programs for muslims in India (you can get the details from the indian govt website, if you want).

“Good that Guardian is exposing the hindu terrorists in your midst, its only a matter of time before Reuters catches up. Financial Times and Economist have recently exposed the corruption, incompetent politicians and lazy bureaucracy in India which is a huge obstacle towards full economic potential.”

It’s not the Guardian or any other foreign newspaper which exposed Aseemanand. The Indian authorities got the confession from him & the Indian media exposed him to the world. Same goes for the corruption scandals, the Indian media is the first one to expose any scandal, not the financial times or economist. I agree that corruption is a huge problem in India but it’s hardly a secret. The fact that India is able to keep growing at 9-10% (and will continue to do so as per most economic forecasters) despite the corruption, beauracracy etc. says a lot about that country.

“No wonder permanent UN seat for India is not even on the cards. Countries like China, Japan and Germany are far ahead in good governance.”

How do you know that a UN seat for India is not on the cards, do you work for the UN? You have absolutely no idea what goes on behind the scenes, don’t go by your own propoganda machinery. You can’t compare India with Japan & Germany, they are developed countries, India is not. And again, you have no idea about the governance in China, nobody does as everything is concealed whereas India is an open book.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
“The question is, what can we change about ourselves”

Now you have asked the perfect question and solution to all problems lies in finding answer to this question. Every single soul has to find an answer to this question. As long as people continue to be sheep they will continue to be shaved off.

“That should be g dot c dot prasad at gmail dot com, but I’m told Gmail doesn’t care about the initial dots anyway”

It does. gcprasad is definitely different from g dot c dot prasad. Just thought to tell you so that you may not make this mistake accidentally. :)

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

You guys have put out so much stuff that even the world intelligence agencies from CIA to ISI must now be completely confused.
I guess you are probably aware that comments contained in this blog are keeping CIA, langley computer very busy.

@777
People who were living in the part which is now Pakistan, did opt for Pakistan. Mr Jinnah, whatever his reasons or intentions, he did manage to win their confidence at that time. Let us therefore not blame him for the decision which people took without any pressure or coersion.

@KP
History, which one learns from the family members and ancestors, should be more reliable than that which one reads from history books,newspapers articles and other published literatures. The reason is that while one is able to better calculate the influence of emotions, prejudice and exegeration of one’s own family members than those of strangers who are the authors of history and different literature.
For example, how many christians in the world are aware of the alterations and changes which were made in today’s Bible by king Constantine. Whereas, Quraan has remained unaltered throughout its life and kept its original Arabic language. Incidently, Burqa has nothing to do with Islam.

Res later.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Rex
“Mr Jinnah, whatever his reasons or intentions, he did manage to win their confidence at that time. Let us therefore not blame him for the decision which people took without any pressure or coersion.”

When did I speak Jinnah here??

“For example, how many christians in the world are aware of the alterations and changes which were made in today’s Bible by king Constantine. Whereas, Quraan has remained unaltered throughout its life and kept its original Arabic language.”

There starts chest thumping by Rex. Islam is best and rest all worst. No point discussing anything with this man. How is Rex so sure that Quran remained unaltered and Persians did nothing in it to suite their expansion motives. Meditation?? Stomach??

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@777
you are not the only one who does not feel or recognise the will of the people. Pakistan Govt. and its liberal elites have not understood the message contained in Taseer’s murder, which I regard it as a wake up call, the revolution of the proleterians in their country is brewing. Others are likely to follow.

You can sit back with comfort and wish that Kashmiri people would somehow get subdued by the military and all would be well eventualy. You could also claim like Rehmat that sikh terrorists were involved in the uprise of sikhs(there were many before in their history) and they were all crushed or fled the country. Subject closed. Good for every one. What a wonderful the world would be if things were to be static and every one would go for reason,solidarity, and show solidarity for the country. But real life is usualy different, not only on the Idiot Box. We have all seen the fall of 23 yeras President of Tunisia, the great ally of the USA in war against terror, who went live to his people on the Idiot box, apologised, admitted being ill advised by his govt. ministers and then had to run for his life and escaped to Saudi Arabia, abondoned by France and the USA, his buddies.

We are also watching the rise of China as a super power replacing the USA to a second place, under the strict watch of the current power. Do you genuinely believe that whereas communist Govts have fallen against the democratic movements of the world, India or Pakistan Govts could keep on maintaining the use of military against its own people?

I very much doubt it. People are the power and it is the task of the leaders in a democratic Govt. to create a consensus among the people of their great ideas. One needs that and I genuinely wish that India and Pakistan succeed in this ventures.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@777
Sorry, my mistake, Kp is blaming the leaders. You do accept that the people make mistakes when they choose the wrong leaders. Sorry.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Bloggers
Very straightforward and honest but very simple explanation for prejudice, I thought. Hindus would prefer to live in the neighbourhood of vegeterians.

Could I use this explanation to avoid having an african as a neighbour or avoid living next to an Indian or Pakistan who always cook curry smelling foods or avoid living next to a neighbour who is making bacon in the morning.

Would I not be called intolerant, racist and other names?

I thought people would call me names and therefore decided to have a next door neighbour which is living at a distance of five hundred metres from my house.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@KP
Here India could learn from Europe and ban muslims marrying upto four wives. I trust Indian laws do not allow women marrying more than one husband at atime.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Here is the next PM of Pakistan in the making:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan  /20/daniel-pearl-murder-briton-perjury

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Pakistan: “People who were living in the part which is now Pakistan, did opt for Pakistan.”

That is not correct. People who lived in the regions that became Pakistan did not support Jinnah. A referendum was held in this regard in these Muslim majority states and Jinna’s Muslim league came up with 35% of the votes. Pashtuns were opposed to partition. Congress party had won the state legislative elections in Punjab (united), NWFP, Bengal and many other states. The people who liked the idea of partition were those who lived in regions like Awadh (Uttar Pradesh/Bihar etc). Most were wealthy landlords.

The mistake that Congress leaders made was to quit all the legislative assemblies in protest against British recruitment of Indians for WW II. If they had stayed in power, partition would not have happened. Gandhi, Nehru and other leaders started the quit India movement and got themselves jailed. This created a power vacuum. Mr. Jinnah had given up his quest for Pakistan and was living in London as a lawyer for about three years. This power vacuum brought him back to Hindustan and he was asked by Liaquat Ali Khan and others to start the campaign again.

Most people who stayed behind in the Awadh region were low caste Hindu converts. The same in Bihar. Biharis moved into East Pakistan at the time of partition. The others stayed behind, while the rich folks emigrated to their promised land. Many have marriage alliances with Muslim families in Awadh region even now. AQ Khan moved from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

Poor Muslims in Bihar and UP remained poor. Hindu dominance did nothing to their economic state. Many worked in leather industries making shoes and garments. Dying and clothing business also was dominated by the Muslims in Awadh.

Most people hate migration, especially if they are poor. They live with huge family networks spanning over generations. Poor people do not have the will and resources to start from scratch in another place, if they could live the life they have been leading all along at the same place. It has nothing to do with them being Muslims. Only when they lose everything do they get forced into migration. Otherwise they are happy where they are. Many Muslims opted to stay in India in the Awadh region because they were poor and had well settled for generations.

Those who lived in regions that became West Pakistan had no interest in Pakistan either. By instigating divisive violence, Jinnah, Suhrawardy etc managed to drive these people to their destinations. And the British colluded with them all the way through.

Pakistan happened not for the benefit of Muslims. It happened because of past era super power geo-political ambitions. Division had to be created and sustained by creating an unhealing would.

Think of this, before partition, Muslims and Hindus have been living in the sub-continent over eight centuries. There is absolutely no record of any anti-Muslim violence during that time period. Muslims and non-Muslims fought wars together against Muslim and non-Muslim kings and emperors. Pakistan was deliberately created.

“Mr Jinnah, whatever his reasons or intentions, he did manage to win their confidence at that time. Let us therefore not blame him for the decision which people took without any pressure or coersion.”

Jinnah died a year after the formation of Pakistan. There was no time for him to win anyone’s confidence. He was not elected as the Governor General of his country. He was a British puppet. He belonged to the Shia community and was a Muslim only in his name. If he had lived a little longer, the local war lords would have used that against him and finished him off. Look at what happened to Mujibur Rehman in Bangladesh. Violent methods lead to violent ends. Pakistan will prove that point.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Pakistan: “Hindus would prefer to live in the neighbourhood of vegeterians.”

Wrong. Vegetarians prefer to have vegetarian neighbors. There is no discrimination here. Gay people do not get accommodation in many places either. When I went to grad school in the US, the apartment manager asked us to confirm that we were not gay. In general Indian students take up room mates. There are people who do not like smokers around. People will not allow former convicts to rent apartments nearby. Child molesters are not allowed in family neighborhoods. Are you saying everything is discrimination? I’d use the word preference instead.

Your logic goes like this: All lawyers are educated. Therefore all educated are lawyers. Think about it.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@KP
Are you again in your moments of blowing in the air. I make errors but you misunderstand and quote wrong history.

1) I do not consider a vegeterian(your words)preference to live next to a vegeterian as discriminatory, but others would. I also do not consider white preference for white and non Indian or Pakistani preference to live in the neighbourhood of a non Indian or Pakistani, as discriminatory. But others, the public and human rights people would! Comprendo.

2. The Pashtoon province of NWFP overwhelmingly voted for Pakistan in the 1947 refrendum despite being overwhelmingly the congress party consituency. Mr Jinnah was able to win them over for Pakistan. Had this not occured there would not have been a Pakistan today. Now stop being a naive person blaming the Brits or the Americans for all the ills of what is happening in Pakistan.
You read a lot of material and tend to mix apples even with cherries. Jinnah with Stalin (the dictator) and then the serbian thug!
Think over it. I know it is damn tough to live in Canada, but do not worry G Prasad has a grand plan to settle your people in Kashmir!

People are reponsible for decisions in the end and not those who knowingly or in ignorance elect their leaders.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Rex Minor said:

> G Prasad has a grand plan to settle your people in Kashmir!

Eh? Learn to attribute references correctly. This is sloppy journalism.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@Rex
“I tell you what your problem is that You are too clever, always trying to act like the devil’s advocate. I have no qualms about your comments, I fully agree.”
***I guess that was a complement. :-) Thanks!!! Since we agree, and you closed the subject, see you later.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@Rex
“Hindus would prefer to live in the neighbourhood of vegeterians”

“SOME” Hindus would prefer to live in the neighbourhood of vegeterians because they are themselves vegetarians. Its same like a non-smoker would PREFER company of a non-smoker. You may call it racist or whatever you like but we don’t care. People in India for a large part respect each other’s eating habbits and vegetarians do like to have vegetarian neighbours. You would even find even some non-veggies become veggie on some occasions for some auspicious days. That’s how India is.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@Rex
“People are reponsible for decisions in the end and not those who knowingly or in ignorance elect their leaders”

‘People are responsible for decisions’ — Correct I agree for the first time with you.

‘not those who knowingly or in ignorance elect their leaders’ — Its the people only who elect the leaders and are responsible for electing wrong leaders out of ignorance thats what u said…I seriously did not understand your sentence. I think what u meant what “not those who ARE elected (leaders) BY people knowingly or out of ignorance”?? If not then, please detail out.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@Rex
“I thought people would call me names and therefore decided to have a next door neighbour which is living at a distance of five hundred metres from my house.”

In India we don’t have luxury of space :( so we do not find it racist to choose neighbours based on eating habbits but some fools give it a religious colour and make outsiders like you and Umair FALSELY see India as a racist society.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

777xxx777 said:

> [In Gmail,] gcprasad is definitely different from g dot c dot prasad. Just thought to tell you so that you may not make this mistake accidentally. :)

Well, I sent mails to myself with all combinations of dots present and absent, and all mails reached me. So I believe Gmail really doesn’t care about any dots before the ‘at’ sign.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
“Well, I sent mails to myself with all combinations of dots present and absent, and all mails reached me. So I believe Gmail really doesn’t care about any dots before the ‘at’ sign.”

Good then!! Good for all of us :) may be my info was outdated. Thanks for correcting.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@Bloggers
If any one does not comprehend or agree with certain comments, then why do you insist on clarifications and definitions. There are no worldwide standards that one can rely on, every thing can be and has been challenged. We have no more appetite of the NYTimes, Washington Post and the guardian from the UK, not to mention the self proclaimed angel WikiLeak. Nothing good is going to come from the liberals, who are talking about a world for which there is no consensus.
There are people who are even confused with dots and at signs and now trying to tell us that those who prefer to live next to a vegeterian is not a racist. The next we should be ready to read from many good people that India is not a racist country, and most probably many would say that the USA and Australia have never practiced racism.

The most important thing is how one feels about it ones self; and if any of you personaly feels that people preferance for ceratin types of people over others for one reason or the other ( nobody in the world is a nut to do things without a reason)is nothing to do with racism then it is o’k with me. Never mind the others, after all one has to live with one’s own conscious! There is no need for the rant about what the Germans what they did during the war,if one is quite on what the Austarlians did to aboriginies in peace times and the Americans did to the slaves and the Europeans ( not only Germans) did to jews and the Spaniards did to muslims and jews and the English did to Indians, scots and the Irish. We are all sinners and we must all repent since we are all capable of doing things to each other which the animals are not capable of doing to their own kind. So please stop playing the role of a ‘good’ and defining who the ‘Bad’ or Evil’ for believers is?
Now all this has very little to do with the article similar to the role of clergy and religion, this has nothing to do with it.

Myra, the Pashtoons ahve a slogan, if I am not able to do something against the enemy, I shall kill my father!!

The facts are that in most parts of the world, Pakistan is not an exception, we do not find leaders with vision who could implement reforms in their countries and make laws more humane and suitable for our times. Even the graat Obama, elected on the slogan of ‘change’ has been unable to make the USA more humane?
In muslim countries, including Pakistan, the change for better or worse is on the horizon from its own population of under twenty and this is likely to surprise most in the next decade. what has happened in Pakistan was just a misfire too early, people have had enough of this double standards and kow towing of their domestic policies in the interest and on behalf of the foreign powers. We are witnessing a new type of revolution for freedom and peace( foreigners must quit is the slogan)and the sooner one recognises it the better it would be for peace.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@777
you could buy a small piece of land in Dharamsala, in the foothill of Himalayas for weekends and enjoy the nature! You would hardly find a Mcdonald shop?

@G Prasad

Indeed I was very polite! Do you regard Sikhs as flunkies to fight for India, to seek asylum in foreign land when naked force is released aginst them and now your proposal for the rest to become jews of India and settle in Kashmir, depriving kashmiri muslims of their land?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@KP
I did not understand your joke about lawyers and education? I would not classify lawyers as educaterd people. Study of Coutries criminal or civil laws or its constitution provides very limited education. The next you would say that those who are good at spellings are educated people? Think over it!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Rex Minor said:

> Indeed I was very polite! Do you regard Sikhs as flunkies to fight for India, to seek asylum in foreign land when naked force is released aginst them and now your proposal for the rest to become jews of India and settle in Kashmir, depriving kashmiri muslims of their land?

You have failed to understand me yet again. I did not make the point about Sikhs settling in Kashmir. KP Singh did. Please learn to attribute comments to the right source before you comment.

See this link: http://reut.rs/g7FMyc

“Many Sikhs will gladly settle down in Kashmir.”

Please don’t argue with me about things I did not say.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Rex Minor said:

> Myra, the Pashtoons have a slogan, if I am not able to do something against the enemy, I shall kill my father!!

I am filled with awe and admiration for the Pashtoons. I would never have considered such an innovative course of action. Is there anything these superhumans cannot do?

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@GPrasad
The Pashtoon phrase was addressed to Myra, the qualified journalis, not to you. If you do not understand something not meant for you then move on! Is this not what you were taught in the primary schooling or at home?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@GPrasad
You know very well that KP is a lost man making his voice heard from the wilderness, just top tell the world that he is still living. What the Indian Govt. has done with his folks is a trgedy unmatched in modern history: Perhaps the old Indian tribes who crossed into Canada from the current USA met similar fate from yanks.

I always regard his statements with care and not on face value. You as a former citizen of India should realize what his family has gone through and yet he tries to talk about his loyalty to India, whatever it means.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Rex
“you could buy a small piece of land in Dharamsala, in the foothill of Himalayas for weekends and enjoy the nature!”

Now who is being rude?? If you do not understand something then take your own advice and just move on.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

“the Pashtoons have a slogan, if I am not able to do something against the enemy, I shall kill my father!!”
Posted by pakistan

Of course, that makes a lotta sense! No wonder, pashtun land is populated with so many fatherless!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

“the Pashtoons have a slogan, if I am not able to do something against the enemy, I shall kill my father!!”
Posted by pakistan

Of course, that makes a lotta sense! No wonder, pashtun land is populated with so many fatherless!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Rex Minor,

It would show culture if you apologised for wrongly attributing KP Singh’s statement to me and arguing with me about it. You are noticeably silent on your mistake.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@G Prasad
I guess I should tell you the meaning of the Pahtoon phrase, though it was meant for Myra, the brilliant jounalist in my view and I guess she has understood it.
It simply means that when you are unable to find the culprit responsinble, you just blame some innocent one. This is what is happening with Taseer’s murder. The Clergy gets the blame!
Now tell me, did you write KP’s statement about Kashmir in your post? If you did not, then I am sorry, but if you did then you carry the blame! And therefore my apology would be unnecessary. Should’nt KP not apologise as well in your agnostic view?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Rex Minor,

You have written so many non-sensical things one after another, I have no idea which ones I should address first or just leave the non-sense to you. I think I will do the latter.

I am slowly beginning to realize that Pakistan mostly is made up of people like you. I saw the videos cheering Mumtaz Qadri. That tells me everything. When population becomes filled with Rex Minors, that country is doomed to fail. It is becoming filled with people blinded by emotions, frustrated and filled with fury. It is only a matter of time before it all blows up.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Rex Minor said:

> Now tell me, did you write KP’s statement about Kashmir in your post? If you did not, then I am sorry, but if you did then you carry the blame! And therefore my apology would be unnecessary. Should’nt KP not apologise as well in your agnostic view?

I don’t know whether you honestly fail to understand an issue, or whether you just act like it. Maybe your thought process is just very different.

The statement by KP on Sikhs being willing to settle in Kashmir is *his opinion* for which neither he nor anyone else has to apologise. You may dislike his statement intensely but he need not apologise for having that opinion.

You thought that *I* had made that statement and continued to argue with me over it, even though I have no strong opinion on it either way and have never written about it. The wrongful attribution of a statement not made by me is the only thing that needs an apology, in my agnostic view, not the expression of an opinion on Sikhs settling in Kashmir. Since you have apologised for the wrongful attribution, I will treat the matter as closed.

And you can learn to accept that KP can have his independent opinion without having to apologise to you.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Rex Minor said:

> It simply means that when you are unable to find the culprit responsinble, you just blame some innocent one.

Ah, now I understand that it’s meant to be ironical. I apologise.

> This is what is happening with Taseer’s murder. The Clergy gets the blame!

The clergy is *not* innocent, but of course they are not being blamed for the actual murder. They are being blamed for encouraging it by declaring Taseer ‘Wajib-ul-qatl’ (deserving of being killed) and for supporting the killing afterwards by threatening anyone who wanted to mourn his death. They have created the atmosphere of intolerance that caused his death.

MJ Akbar, the Indian journalist, has rightly pointed out that if Taseer had been an Indian Muslim, he would still be alive. The level of intolerance in India is nowhere near as high as in Pakistan, if you will just be intellectually honest enough to acknowledge it.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@GPrasad
I am honest enough to believe in what you state, though I have not the knowledge of Indian and Pakistani intellects and I am sure many would not agree with me. What I have experienced on this blog also tells me the opposite, perhaps not a good sample of people? Incidently, Indira Gandhi would also be alive today if she had not blindly relied on her security guards after inflicting injury to the dignity of sikhs? Try not to quote or follow analogue people who have a very limited view of events. Rely on your own talent and feelings coming from your guts. Do you feel that India with its caste system is more tolerant than Pakistan?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Ganesh to pakistan “if you will just be intellectually honest enough to acknowledge it.”

He’s neither intellectual, nor honest. So don’t push your luck!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Rex Minor,

One’s own stomach or guts can provide opinions, not facts. A lot of it is quite literally gas. A person with opinions that are not based on facts and will not change his opinion when facts are presented is called a bigot. It is not a bad word but an accurate description of such a person. If the cap fits, wear it.

You have heard the term ‘caste system’ but do not have anything more than a superficial knowledge of what has happening in India around caste since the days of independence. Indian society is not static but your textbooks probably are.

Before you talk about caste again, I expect you to do some research (not from stomach or guts please) on the following terms:

Mandal
SC/ST
OBC
Mayawati
BSP
DK and DMK

We can then debate your question with more insight, “Do you feel that India with its caste system is more tolerant than Pakistan?”

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Correction:

…what has BEEN happening in India around caste…

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@Prasadgo
You want to know about the “Indian Caste System”?
Just google the foregoing words and your IPad would show you 693,000 results.
Have a good read!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Rex Minor said:

> You want to know about the “Indian Caste System”?
Just google the foregoing words and your IPad would show you 693,000 results.

You are an intellectually dishonest person because you act deliberately obtuse. I asked you to research the progress made on caste relations in India, and you pretend not to understand. You have proven that it is impossible to have an honest debate with you. Other readers will have understood this as well.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

They tried to build a secular society using Islam as a foundation. Using a religion as a basis for founding a secular state is a contradiction in terms….particularly so when it’s an Islamic state that pretends to have secular aspirations. The founders of Pakistan saw what they wanted to see. They saw the secular values that they so cherished in their idealistic view of Islam. Secular moderation was to be found in a supposed moderate faith that always chooses the “middle path”. How wrong they were.

This leaves the Pakistanis confused. They keep trying to find a middle path. They don’t want to be Saudi Arabia. But they don’t want to be the West either. But I really do wonder if compromise is possible at all. I don’t think it is. Pakistan will slowly become another Saudi Arabia (and if the treatment of minorities is an indication, the pretense of even moderate secularism is slipping away). There’s very little chance it will go the way of Turkey and become a secular state with a large Muslim majority.

I know Pakistanis aspire to be Turkey. But the difference is that while there is debate in Turkey about secularism, most Turks understand and accept the necessity of separating mosque and state. In Pakistan, increasingly this is not the case. When the starting point of debate is that you are an Islamic Republic, that leaves very little room for debate.

Moreover, the situation of Pakistanis, ignores context. Pakistan was founded in direct contrast to the view that India would be a Hindu state. As such, Islam is a part of Pakistan’s identity. Even more than that, it’s Pakistan raison d’etre. Pretty hard to turn secular if the founding image of the country is based on the idea that Islam in South Asia was under threat from the Hindu hordes.

I do wonder what the founders of the Pakistani idea would think of the state of affairs today: an increasingly secular India (not perfect but constantly progressing away from sectarianism), sitting next door to a Pakistan that’s breeding more and more religious intolerance and fanaticism. Too bad. Pakistan could have been the Switzerland of South Asia.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive