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)

Comments

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
 

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