Towards a review of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws

March 12, 2011

rehman malikAfter two assassinations, Pakistani politicians are finally beginning to address tensions over the country’s blasphemy laws.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said in an interview politicians should be able to reach a cross-party consensus on preventing the misuse of the blasphemy laws, as proposed by Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, head of the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) religious party. ”Its misuse is being, of course, taken into account and the party leaders are going to sit together as proposed by Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman … and I hope this matter can be thrashed out, whenever this meeting takes place.” 

Two senior politicians, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer and Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, were assassinated this year after they called for amendments to the blasphemy laws, which critics say are often misused to settle personal scores.  The row over the blasphemy laws has become one of most incendiary issues in Pakistan, highlighting the dominance of the religious right which has been able to bring out thousands into the streets to protest against any changes to the laws.  Taseer’s self-confessed killer, Mumtaz Qadri, was celebrated as a hero by many.

Fazl-ur-Rehman, who quit the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government in December after a row over the sacking of one of his ministers, has been a vocal defender of the blasphemy laws. However, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper quoted him as saying last week that “if a law is being misused against minorities we are ready to discuss this.”  In a follow-up commentary, Dawn called it “a climbdown from his customary hardline position”.

The row over the blasphemy laws was only part of a growing trend  towards extremism in Pakistan, it said. “However unwittingly, the JUI-F leader has also provided the key to the only conceivable way out of this frightening situation. The clear and present danger of extremism can only be countered if all parties, particularly those whose focus is spreading religious ideology, work together on a consensus that taking the law into one’s own hands, regardless of the issue at stake, is unacceptable.”

Interior Minister Malik said Fazl-ur-Rehman’s proposals would be likely to gain support, without giving details. “Everybody, I think will follow him in this connection.”

The intervention of Fazl-ur-Rehman, who despite his pro-Taliban credentials has had good ties with the secular-leaning PPP, appears to have coincided with an improvement in relations with the ruling party after the December falling-out.

Interior Minister Malik said, ”he has always favoured and taken the side of the Pakistan People’s Party … He is a great friend of mine, he is a great friend of the president, he is a great lover of democracy so you can draw the inference that there is nothing wrong.”

It remains unclear how far politicians would be willing to go in order to prevent misuse of the blasphemy laws, which carry the death penalty for those convicted of insulting the Prophet Mohammad. Some argue that it would be enough to ensure that the cases of those accused of blasphemy be heard by  higher  courts better qualified to interpret the laws fairly and less likely to be swayed by the mob pressure which can be used to get convictions in lower courts.

Others argue that the actual wording of the laws needs to be amended if they are to be fairly applied. The original blasphemy law, introduced in British India in 1860, imposed a prison term of up to two years for any damage to a place of worship or sacred object carried out  “with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as an insult to their religion…”

The current provision in the Pakistan Penal Code, as amended in 1986, both introduces the death penalty for insulting the Prophet, and drops the concept of intent.  According to Section 295-C of the Penal Code, “Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.”

This omission of the need to prove malicious intent has opened the door to some of the more absurd accusations of blasphemy, many of which are made against Muslims — like a student accused of blaspheming in an answer on an exam paper, or a doctor who threw out a business card from a salesman named Mohammed. It is unclear whether the misuse of the laws can be stopped without the reinsertion of the notion of intent in some form.

When I asked Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman about the blasphemy laws — during an interview in London in November before the issue became so bitter and so deadly — he answered somewhat mildly that, “if there is a law, it has to be implemented, but when there is misuse of the law, it can be challenged in the courts of law.”  He added that, “any aberration of the law can be changed through an act of parliament.”

Both he and the government have ruled out making any changes to the laws.

The attempt to find a political consensus on the subject could however be an important first step towards injecting some sanity into the approach taken towards the blasphemy laws.

(File photo of Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik) 

 

 

43 comments

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

Pakistan was created exclusively for Muslims. So I do not understand why non-Muslims are still clinging around there. All this talk of a secular Islamic republic is made up for political consumption. Non-Muslims should get out and seek asylum and they will get it because there is an open record of persecution in Pakistan due to its blasphemy law. When China imposed the one-child policy, some Chinese used it as a violation of individual freedom and got asylum in Western countries. Get the hell out of that wretched place.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Some wise person said that if one needs laws to protect faith then its not faith, its slavery…but then most of Islamic world is a slave of its own narrow mindedness and gross misinterpretation of religion…If all human drama is the Will of God, the protector of all, then how can God instruct its men to kill his own creations?? I find a paradox here, a misconception, is this God for real and if it is real then is it out of its brains asking its own people to kill his creations and create havoc and terror on earth?? Or is it that God said and wanted something else while the self proclaimed prophets and wretched mullahs twisted the books, teachings, and minds of followers to meet their own selfish ends?? God created humans with brains letting it to be its most intelligent creation but Muslim world by and large believes in extreme blind faith (followed by Jews and Hindus in order) without using those very brains given to them by that same very God. Can someone help me out of this paradox??

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

777xx777,

Humans by nature will find something to get conservative about and fight for. If God, religion etc disappear, do you think people will not be waging emotional wars for some other issues? It could all be for IPad 2 versus Xoom. What I am against is isolating people by using religion or any ideology as a reason and instigating violence to achieve that goal. That is one reason why I am harsh towards Pakistan and its supporters.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

How can a country that does not properly enforce traffic violations, enforce, litigate, judge the abuses of the law? This law should be removed immediately. It is being used to settle scores.

Posted by salaam_sultan | Report as abusive

If Rehman Malik has temporarily gained the intestinal fortitude to say what he did, it will evaporate the instant he receives a death threat from elsewhere. My prediction is that the blasphemy law isn’t going anywhere.

That said, I will be pleasantly surprised if some compromise is reached on its application.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Pakistan was created exclusively for Muslims. So I do not understand why non-Muslims are still clinging around there.
Posted by KPSingh01
==

I agree with you. Unfortunately, many Indians and Westerners fall for Pakistani “liberal” propaganda based on one speech by Jinnah.

The following are authentic MAJ quotes. Since the night of Aug 14, 1947 Pakistan has evolved in only one direction. With the foundation given by Jinnah, the debate has been what is real Islam inside Pakistan. It is a huge lie to say Zia started Islamization.

The following were said by Jinnah:

1. Come forward as servants of ISLAM, organise the people economically, socially, educationally and politically and I am sure that you will be a power that will be accepted by everybody.

2. ISLAM expects every MUSLIM to do this duty, and if we realise our responsibility time will come soon when we shall justify ourselves worthy of a glorious past.

3. Pakistan not only means freedom and independence but the ISLAMIC Ideology which has to be preserved, which has come to us as a precious gift and treasure and which, we hope other will share with us.

4. We should have a State in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of ISLAMIC social justice could find free play.

5. You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of ISLAMIC democracy, ISLAMIC social justice and the equality of manhood in your own native soil.

6. “The Prophet of ISLAM (PBUH) was a great teacher. He was a great lawgiver. He was a great statesman and he was a great sovereign who ruled. The life of THE PROPHET (PBUH) was simple according to those times. THE PROPHET (PBUH) was the greatest man that the world had ever seen. Thirteen hundred years ago he laid the foundations of democracy”.

7. It is my belief that our salvation lies in following the golden rules of conduct set for us by our great lawgiver, the PROPHET OF ISLAM. Let us lay the foundations of our democracy on the basis of true ISLAMIC ideals and principles.

8. “What is it that keeps the MUSLIMS united as one man, and what is the bedrock and sheet-anchor of the community. It is ISLAM. It is the Great Book, Quran, that is the sheet-anchor of Muslim India. I am sure that as we go on there will be more and more of oneness, one God, one Book, one Prophet and one Nation”.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Including this blog, many westerners repeatedly parrot the founding of “secular” Pakistan.

There is an anecdote about MAJ speaking to a crowd in the new Pakistan. A man holding the Koran asked him what will be the basis of laws of the new country. MAJ pointed to the Koran and said the laws of the land will be based on the book!

This is how you found a “secular” democracy??!!

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

@KP
“That is one reason why I am harsh towards Pakistan and its supporters.”

And I don’t think your harsh attitude is helping anyone. As soon as you start talking of dividing Pakistan this blog becomes a filth of gutter; with you, Mortal, Matrixx and Shahid getting into unnecessary mud slinging and even then you don’t realise that such talks are not, repeat NOT constructive. All this mud slinging may be one reason why intelligent people like Ganesh and Rehmat comment so less nowadays on this Reuters blog. Anyone would react the same way as Pakistanis do if you talk of dividing their country. Yes there are problems but people need to be sensitive. On one hand you talk of all the sensitivities and on other hand you play with sensitivities of Pakistanis. I am unable to understand your logic.

“Humans by nature will find something to get conservative about and fight for”

Then why is it so that some parts of world see more violence than others??? Beats me again.

And my post was not for you specifically but a satire towards Islamic world which at large believe blindly in God without using the brains given to them by that same very God whom they worship. (For sake of all that you care for, please first read and understand this statement correctly and then comment.)

P.S.
IPad vs Xoom vs Galaxy Tab — this war is already on. I am on iPad side :-))

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

777xxx777: “As soon as you start talking of dividing Pakistan this blog becomes a filth of gutter; with you, Mortal, Matrixx and Shahid getting into unnecessary mud slinging and even then you don’t realise that such talks are not, repeat NOT constructive. All this mud slinging may be one reason why intelligent people like Ganesh and Rehmat comment so less nowadays on this Reuters blog.”

As far dividing Pakistan, it is my opinion. And my opinion arises based on how I see things. I cannot honey coat my views so that it appears pleasing and polite to you and others. As far mud slinging, it has nothing to do with division of Pakistan. It has been going on whether someone mentions it or not. You are making it sound as though that is the only trigger that causes the degeneration of any discussion here. Go read the older articles and tell me if anything has changed at all.

I express my views the way I’d like to do and my intention is not to appear polished and polite to others. I am dealing with people who want to nuke India and support those who love to kill infidels with no sense of guilt. I can tell the difference between a croc and dog. And I deal with them accordingly.

“Then why is it so that some parts of world see more violence than others??? Beats me again.”

Naive thinking leads to simplistic analysis. Turmoils are always associated with a number of factors and they get energized and vented by ideological forces at the end. The difference in this expression varying from violence to peaceful marches depends upon the circumstances in which emotions get expressed. A person who has experienced a near death accident will react very differently to a similar incident than someone who has never undergone one. Reactions depend upon who is experiencing the situation.

“my post was not for you specifically but a satire towards Islamic world which at large believe blindly in God without using the brains given to them by that same very God whom they worship”

I am not hard core as far as religion is concerned. Mine was a general comment as well. My response did not arise because it touched some raw nerve or something. And all Muslims cannot be generalized as the same. There are many name-sake Muslims as well. But they have to play along. It is like labor union members. Some would like to avoid the strike, but they would have to face alienation if they choose not to participate.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@KP
“You are making it sound as though that is the only trigger that causes the degeneration of any discussion here”

I certainly did not mean that your opinion of Pakistan’s division is the ONLY cause of degeneration, but if you felt my language gave such an impression then accept my apologies. All I said was that at least an intelligent and informative guy like you should not be going to a fool’s level. It was disappointing for me to see you getting involved in mud slinging with shahid. Just remember what Buddhha said.

“I cannot honey coat my views so that it appears pleasing and polite to you and others”

I only asked you to be polite but not necessarily pleasing and there is a huge huge difference between the two things. By the way if you are not polite to others then you should not expect others to be polite with you. And if you do then is that not fundamentalism.

“I am not hard core as far as religion is concerned”

I get a very opposite impression after interacting with you for past couple of months. I may be wrong though.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Lets see how long can Rehman Malik stay alive.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

In KP’s defence, I think I understand where he’s coming from. I did not get the impression frm his comments that he is hardcore about religion. He just seems frustrated by the religious intolerance that he sees happening and criticises that. It must be noted that Umair and Shahid have done exactly the same but when the criticism comes from an Indian, it is harder for Pakistanis to take.

There is great wisdom in wha KP is saying, because he too comes from a community that has had a period of friction with Hindus in India. Yet instead of taking away hatred and bitterness, he has transcended it in his own heart, and he provides the contrast with some of his own relatives who refuse to move on. The hope and desire for justice is a positive emotion, but when it crosses the line into a lack of forgiveness and a thirst for revenge, it tends to destroy the person who harbours these sentiments. KP has been trying to provide the positive example of the Sikh mainstream to show Pakistanis a way forward. Unfortunately, his words have fallen on deaf ears, and I suspect it’s because of tactical errors in argument rather than in the merit of the arguments themselves.

I agree that one should refrain from saying things like Pakistan should be broken up. It would naturally infuriate Pakistanis. We get angry when Pakistanis or Chinese say this about India, so why wouldn’t their feelings be any different?

The other thing I believe Indians should refrain from is criticising the Two Nation Theory. Many Indians do this, without realising that Pakistanis interpret it to mean Indians want to reabsorb Pakistan into India.

To be frank, I support a variant of the Two Nation Theory. This may sound a little confusing on first reading, but I believe that (1) Muslims who believe that Hindus and Muslims cannot live together and (2) people who believe that Hindus and Muslims *can* live together – cannot live together!

[This leaves people like the RSS out in the cold. They are Hindus who believe that Hindus and Muslims cannot live together, but since they don't propose to remove themselves to an enclave called Hindutva-stan (with Nagpur as the capital, perhaps), their position is untenable.]

Hence it’s actually a good idea to have an Islamic Republic of Pakistan and a (Secular) Republic of India. This is in fact a good arrangement. Trying to discredit the Two Nation Theory is trying to prove that the Pakistanis were wrong, and who wants to be proved wrong? That’s why many Pakistanis are happy when they see sectarian strife in India, and why many Indians are happy to see Muslim-on-Muslim violence in Pakistan. Each group is trying to prove a point. Without meaning to be vain, I think we should all adopt my version of the Two Nation Theory, and then there will be no conflict of opinion.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Correction:
We get angry when Pakistanis or Chinese say this about India, so why WOULD their feelings be any different?

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

“The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world.”
Georgia Harkness

Posted by Curie | Report as abusive

@GP

“I think we should all adopt my version of the Two Nation Theory, and then there will be no conflict of opinion.”

I think what you said is confusing. Frankly speaking, I had to read it thrice to get a grasp of it. Indians criticize two nation theory for the fear of losing Kashmir and Pakistan supports it for the advantage of gaining support for Kashmir independence. Its a two edged sword that demands careful handling. But guys like KP and others who want to see a divided Pakistan must remember the Obama’s words, a healthy Pakistan is in the very interests of India. If it is so difficult to manage one country with nukes whose people are filled with inferiority complex fuelled by hatred, then how can dealing with 3 countries be easier with each having nukes and filled with infinite rage and hatred. Beats all logic. Ahh what did you say?? Smuggle nukes out of Pakistan?? Now now don’t be childish and stop kidding around here. Paki nukes are not going anywhere.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Indians criticize two nation theory for the fear of losing Kashmir and Pakistan supports it for the advantage of gaining support for Kashmir independence.

Posted by 777xxx777
==
Your shallow comment above is very embarassing to be honest.

To quote KPSingh “Naive thinking leads to simplistic analysis.”

I also find people lecturing to others they and some others are at a much higher level of intellectual plane arrogant. Shahidkhan who posts only along he is the conqueror, heis the fairer and taller one, etc,etc is not the same as KPSngh.

Your comment above on Kashmir is further illustration of how Indians underestimate the Pakistan problem. See….it is my turn now to sound patronizing :-)

I will try to be brief. India does not reject TNT to hold on to Kashmir. India rejects TNT and THAT IS WHY it holds on to Kashmir.

I have Brooklyn bridge to sell to you if you think Pakistan holds on to TNT just to get Kashmir.

As Salman Rushdie said Pakistan was “poorly imagined”. They have neither been able to achieve peace inside or outside because of this. Pre-1947, confrontation with Indian nationalists (accusing Gandhi and Nehru to be hindu agents!!), was the only thing they knew. They had no plan for nationhood, democracy, etc, because Muslim Leaguers themselves feudals and had very little to do with democracy.

MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember, part of the reason for asking for Pakistan is both the British and Jinnah company thought dirt poor hindus forming a united India was a ridiculous, inane, hilariously silly idea. Expected it to splinter soon, and Pakistan to be the most powerful entity in South Asia.

Confrontation with India is the only thing possible to achieve even parity. India is breaking through this barrier.

Your comment about taking Obama’s advise on the prosperous Pakistan being in the best interest of India. It require a long answer, but I only wish such fantasies are true. You are welcome to call me names or accuse of whatever, historical evidence is the opposite. I’m not implying India should work on actively trying to splinter Pakistan either.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

@netizen
“You are welcome to call me names or accuse of whatever, historical evidence is the opposite”

First of all calm down and come back to your senses. Anger and hatred often blind one’s ability to see things in light and results in gross errors of judgement. And I have never called anyone with names with exception of just Rex.

“India rejects TNT and THAT IS WHY it holds on to Kashmir.”

First of all India does not reject TNT officially. Second, Indians (not GOI) reject TNT out of emotions. Third, success (as assumed by Pakistanis) of TNT is primarily used as argument by Pakistanis to get Kashmir from India.

“I have Brooklyn bridge to sell to you if you think Pakistan holds on to TNT just to get Kashmir.”

So tell me the cost of bridge. Pakistanis have enough nuke arsenal and popular support of their people for nukes as well to hold on to Pakistan. TNT is not needed for safeguarding Pakistan any more. Now TNT is needed by them only for Kashmir.

“MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember, part of the reason for asking for Pakistan is both the British and Jinnah company thought dirt poor hindus forming a united India was a ridiculous, inane, hilariously silly idea. Expected it to splinter soon, and Pakistan to be the most powerful entity in South Asia.”

I see the same hatred in your heart as that in Pakistani’s hearts. What’s the difference then between them and you?? Useless rage leads to nowhere. British just wanted a conflict in the region for they feared a united India more than anything else in the world for the business genius of the region. Indians/Pakistanis have been extremely good at commerce from times immemorial and that’s what Brits feared the most. Ditto they tried to do with Jews in middle east. Jews like Indians are traditionally very good in business and hence were perceived as a clear threat to Brits (and possibly mainland Europeans as well) at that time so they pushed them into a perpetual state of war. As for Jinnah, we have to accept that he was against TNT until he was sidelined by Nehru only because Nehru somehow came close to Gandhi and Jinnah did not. KP can elaborate and probably correct me if I am wrong on this as he is the only one here who has extremely good grasp of history. KP man, can you please intercept and throw some light here.
As for Pakistan, Brits needed a pawn against USSR and when Nehru refused they saw Pakistan creation as the only means to counter USSR. There never was a thought to make Pakistan a south Asia giant.

“Your comment above on Kashmir is further illustration of how Indians underestimate the Pakistan problem”

Do you think calling Pakistan a problem helping anyone?? Pakistanis have been calling India a problem and look at them now. Do you want same to happen to India. Neighbours must live like neighbours and not enemies. We (Indians) have to pursue them (Pakistanis) to shed hatred.

Let me tell you one thing India can lay Pakistanis flat on any day and that too without firing even a single bullet, yes WITHOUT firing a single bullet. So Pakistan is not such a big threat. Power is not nukes but the people.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

First of all calm down and come back to your senses
I see the same hatred in your heart as that in Pakistani’s hearts
posted by 777xxx777

==

Clearly your only discussing style is bullying and trying to sound “holier than thou”.

Your subsequent comments show further proof of your ignorance of history.

The following statement proves how ignorant you are. Ignorance can be helped, but not dumb arrogance. Please do not flatter yourself thinking you are G Prasad. Even if he has difference of opinion he can conduct discussion with decorum and doesnt talk like you.

As for Jinnah, we have to accept that he was against TNT until he was sidelined by Nehru only because Nehru somehow came close to Gandhi and Jinnah did not

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

As for Jinnah, we have to accept that he was against TNT until he was sidelined by Nehru only because Nehru somehow came close to Gandhi and Jinnah did not
====

the above is a Pakistani lie, twisted version. Clearly you demonstrate you have read ver little history. Hindutvadi Jaswant Singhs book is more out of hatred for Nehru than genuine admiration of Jinnah.

Indian Muslim authors Rafiq Zakaria, MJ Akbar have been much more honest about Jinnah. Jinnah of 1930 s and 1940s was Muslim communalist, chauvinist who traveled length and breadth of India and promoted religious hatred.

then young Rafiq Zakaria after attending a public meeting in Bombay in1946 wrote he “disturbed communal harmony as never before”.

Nehruji in his book Discovery of India,writes about how Jinnah/ ML were so unreasonable and deliberately promoted communal hatred, spreading lies, rumors about Muslim persecution in congress ruled provinces. HOW Pakistan was achieved is very relevant to WHY things haven’t worked.

Ask KP Singh if any of the above are untrue.
Your claim India has not rejected TNT is super dumb. Rejection of TNT is not rejection of ,or opposition to Pakistan. India rejected and was done with TNT after the night of Aug 14, 1947.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

“Do you think calling Pakistan a problem helping anyone??”

WHETHER you like it or not India has a Pakistan problem. This is different from the Kashmir problem. If Pakistanis feel they have an India problem, it is their perogative to examine to examine if such a view is true.

WHEN Jinnah company announced muslims living in villages, towns across the massive subcontinent are a separate nation, Gandhiji and Nehruji posed a question what will happen to those muslims who will be left behind. The same question tormented Maulana Azad who is a great Indian hero, but was torn between his Indian nationalism and concern about future of muslims. He egged on G-N-P trio to yield more and more and appease MAJ.

G-N-P trio, esp Nehru and Patel realized the proposals of MAJ will make strong Indian union unlikely and wanted him out. MAJ’s proposal was India would be several groupings of provinces with option to secede in 10 years. Whole India would be burning today, which is exactly what MJ Akbar has repeatedly said in his writings admiring Nehruji.

Same question was posed by British interlocutors of Cabinet Mission. Jinnah responded by stating minorities in each dominion will be like hostages to ensure the other dominion treats its minorities properly. To quote Rafiq Zakaria, “Cabinet mission was stunned by this medievalistic mindset”.
When Jinnah said this he was having delusions, he will take the entire province of Punjab with its Hindu/Sikh population.

Acquiring Kashmir was Nehruji’s idealistic mindset which believed a muslim majority province will strengthen Indian secularism. Even this was not pre-planned. Jinnah started proxy jihad, and precipitated the subsequent events.

I refer to Pakistan problem, implying not questioning the validity of their nationhood, but in reference to their inability to live peacefully internally and externally.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

@netizen
“Please do not flatter yourself thinking you are G Prasad”

I do not want to be G Prasad and nor am I trying and neither one can become someone else. So be very clear about this in your mind. I am what I am and I happy with that.

“Clearly your only discussing style is bullying and trying to sound “holier than thou”.”

Alright let your favourite G Prasad decide who is bullying and who is commenting out of emotions. GP, can you please intercept.

“Jinnah of 1930 s and 1940s was Muslim communalist, chauvinist who traveled length and breadth of India and promoted religious hatred”

What about Jinnah before 1930?? Was he born in 1930??

You only want me to accept your opinions without discussion. And as for decorum I think I am not trying to degrade it but if you feel so then accept my humble apologies. Your very first response to my post said that I am welcome to call u names and all (when did i call u names before, why u said so??), then you call me ignorant, dumb arrogant and super dumb, but did I complain about the decorum??

As for history lets wait for KP’s comments.

I have had engaging discussions with KP, Umair, Rehmat and Ganesh on this blog with differences in our opinions, in some cases, being poles apart but it always ended on a good note and always ended up learning something that we didn’t knew. Somehow I feel ending this discussion with you as it is not going down well with both of us. You are in my opinion being too emotional. I may be wrong though.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

TNT was very much a passion for the post independence generation of urban Indians. Just like we are reacting to Mumbai attacks, that generation of Indians were deeply affected by the partition of the sub-continent and the violent way in which it was achieved. If partition of India was not hurried in by the massacre and mayhem, things might have have evolved to what we see today. Each side feels victim of the other and this perpetuates the festering of the deep scar.

In the emotions that come out of all this, the denizens of the sub-continent are forgetting the true source of it all – the British imperialists like Churchill and Governor General Lilithgow. Churchill spent his time in the sub-continent during the quest of Afghanistan. His participation was a part of the great game, as they called it. Churchill had limited exposure to the rest of the sub-continent. He only saw the warring tribals of the NWFP region and his perception of the region was that all Indians are warring barbarians who could only be kept under the control of their empire. He hated to see the Raj go when the Indian National Congress demanded independence. He was under enormous pressure from Washington whose help was needed to take on the Germans.

Churchill and his imperialistic men needed someone who could stem the rise of Indian nationalism and they found Jinnah. They realized that Jinnah had been seething inside after being sidelined by the Congress. The two had mutual needs. In addition, Britain definitely had the concern about expansion of the Russian empire into South Asia. Losing India at that juncture was to lose all the advantage that they had built over decades. Jinnah kept promising them that he fully supported their endeavors and offered to be on the fore front of their objectives in Afghanistan if Pakistan was created.

The British still tried to do it in a political way by running public referendums. When they saw that the public rejected the idea of Pakistan by voting against it, there was only one option left – instigate violence against non Muslims and allow it to spread out of control. Ultimately this violence accelerated the creation of Pakistan. That momentum never stopped. It is still fully of that same old energy even though another generation has replaced the older one and is getting old. Wars have been staged periodically to keep that energy alive.

Ignorance of facts has led to more volunteers lining up on both sides. Pakistan’s nuclear effort was covertly supported by the CIA, US State department and British intelligence. They made sure that all tracks were covered and did not allow any counter efforts to thwart it. This is because of their engagement with the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Any way, I have nothing personal here. Looking at history, a lot of wrongs have been committed and perpetuated.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

You are in my opinion being too emotional
Posted by 777xxx777
==

That’s fine if you say I am emotional. Stating mutual feelings may not be bad idea. You, in my opinion seem to be very shallow. You are welcome to stop discussion anytime.

You wrote

“What about Jinnah before 1930?? Was he born in 1930??”

The first question is a very valid one, with a desire to learn. The second question proves my comment about you being shallow.

Jinnah defenders stand on these 2 pillars to hide and dismiss, cover up all the ugly activities he pursued.

First pillar is citing pre-1930 Jinnah. Jinnah of 1930s and 1940s is the one who matters to history based on the things he did.

Second pillar is one speech he gave soon after independence where he sounded as if the new Pakistan will be like mini-Inida. “You are free to practice your religion, etc, etc” Istiaq Ahmed a Pakistani scholar has written on partition has said behind the doors he said different things to different people to please every one. My posting of earlier his quotes is to prove how unrealistic was this attempts/claims to establish a country, let alone a secular democracy.

Examining these issues are important to understand where we are. The attempts by many Indians to suggest Indians are equally responsible or even in someways responsible for Pakistan’s plight is absurd.

From Aug 14-1947, Indian leaders have ONLY reacted to Pakistan like a deer caught in car light. Before India decided to support Mukti Bahini, Pakistan had launced war twice 48, 65 and was financing, training separatist movements in East Pakistan.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Churchill and his imperialistic men needed someone who could stem the rise of Indian nationalism and they found Jinnah. They realized that Jinnah had been seething inside after being sidelined by the Congress.
Posted by KPSingh01
==

Just to clarify I am not partition generation, born 25 years post :-) just a history, politics buff.

I agree in totality the ugly role played by British imperialists. In the above 2 sentences you wrote, the first one is very accurate.

The second one that “he was sidelined” is very debatable and has several caveats. It wasn’t too hard for anyone to make Jinnah FEEL SIDELINED. Rafiq Zakaria while describing his history at the Bombay Bar, says Jinnah never let an insult (real or imaginary) go unretaliated at the court and called him “prickly”. Zakaria has written extensively criticizing hindutvadi politics. He had no reason to have personal hatred against Jinnah.

It is not just Zakaria, several other people close to him to have documented he was very aloof and not personable. Many have said he was more feared than he was liked. He also intensely disliked mingling with poor people – the riff raff. The opposite of G-N-P trio and Maulana Azad.

My position is not to prove Jinnah was a demon. But what I understand from history, my academic position is as I stated how it was achieved, by whom and how is very relevant to present predicament.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Judging Jinnah from an Indian perspective is an excercise in futilty, just as judging Nehru & other congress leaders is, from a Pakistani lens. Jinnah is the villian of the partition for Indians whereas he’s the hero for Pakistanis, who consider the congress leaders as villians. I don’t think Indians & Pakistanis can EVER come to a clear consensus on that one. Let’s focus on the presnt & future instead of the past. I don’t think most indians give a darn about whether Jinnah was secular or not or whether the 2 nation theory has failed or succeeded. They care about their security which has been jeoprdized by Pakistan’s military establishment for more than 2 decades & there’s a lot more to worry about since his rogue institution has nukes in it’s hands & pointed towards us (or our loved ones).

PS: We can disagree, have a good debate & learn from each other without getting angry or personal.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Mortal,

You have very valid points to make. The reason one should look at the past history is not to score points against an opposition. It is to make sure that we understand the past well so that we can educate others not to undergo the same miserable experience again. The reason why I quote Jinnah in a negative light is not because of any personal bias.

Very few people have managed to carve out a nation on their own for their personal ambitions. Very few people have managed to divide people up using a flimsy excuse and triggered a perpetual drift. Jinnah did them both.

An environment like South Asia is ripe with conditions that can create Jinnahs who would want to exercise their own fiefdom and would love to be worshipped as heros. I do not have to list them here. There are many even now. Such people are driven by intense ambition. They are cold, ruthless and blindingly calculative. Backwardness is something they’d love to have around. Look at what Indira Gandhi had done to India. She single handedly emasculated the entire Indian political system. What we need are leaders who put the nation and the people ahead of themselves.

Nehru had the desire and ambition to be the leader of India as well. But he did that mainly because he had lot of ideas for laying out the foundations that would let the nation grow and mature into a respectable country in terms of strength, growth and moral values. He did work towards that goal and India is where it is due to the foundations he laid. We lucked out. Imagine Indira Gandhi in charge of the nation at the time of independence. She had no vision and enterprise and she would have burnt the whole nation up by now. Instead of fighting verbally and otherwise with one Pakistan, we will be doing so against many.

The reason why knowledge of history is important is because we have to tell our children to watch out for the symptoms of the past and prevent such symptoms from taking them over. Progress in an all round sense if very important, not just economic one. The more we learn, the more we will be aware and the more we can do something to prevent weeds from wiping out a garden.

Pakistan is separated and we are fine with that. I am not regretting a divide now. They got a nation using the fear of a Hindu majority crushing a Muslim minority. Once they got it, they should have gone ahead with their nation building. Instead they are still using a Hindu majority India threatening their existence as a reason not to do anything other than to barricade themselves. That is not what they got their nation for. This fear of a Hindu nation is needed like a steroid to keep their existence and cohesiveness going. And that kind of a phobia and paranoia is having an impact on us. None of us have a solution to heal that paranoia. It looks like they want to sustain it and build on it more rather than look inward and do some soul searching. We are a convenient enemy that they love to have. A whole generation has grown in complete ignorance about the neighborhood and only contempt and misperceptions have built up. Is this what we need? No other neighboring nation is engaged in such a combative mission with us.

The reason why I suggest division of this basket case into smaller nations is because it has gone beyond control. It cannot even control itself. When a forest fire spreads, sometimes they set off fires to direct the fire away from residential areas. This does not mean they are spreading it more. It is a measure that is taken to prevent collateral damage. No one desires the division of a nation. None of us want our nation to be divided. But if our nation becomes a hell hole, surely something has to be done where people can find a way to survive. Pakistan is going from bad to worse. The worse it gets, the more dangerous it becomes for us and our survival. We have progressive goals and unfortunately being the neighbor of this volatile nation will stem that progress. An enormous investment is needed to protect our interests. Any lackadaisical approach will invite more Mumbai style attacks and a threat for nuclear confrontation if we do not go along.

Errors of the past have come to haunt everyone. A solution has to be sought. In the current set up, Pakistan and Afghanistan will only make things worse. Afghanistan has been utterly destroyed. Only poppy grows there. Pakistan is not far behind. They have become like boulders ready to roll down our way. The only way to save ourselves is to break those boulders into smaller pieces so that damage is minimal to us. There is nothing stemming from hatred or any other emotions here. It is only one of the solutions that can help bring some stability and peace to the region. And I do not sit and control anything here. If it hurts the sentiments of some people, they have to look at themselves and see why such a thought has arisen in the first place. The reality looks very ugly. One more natural disaster in Pakistan, that place will spin like a hurricane. It is important to connect the dots and have an overall understanding of everything. Ultimately everyone needs to live well. Pakistanis are trapped. And they have no understanding of that themselves. We have become like dogs ready to bite each other while our masters are waging their bets.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KP,

I understand your position that a disintegrated & thus weakened Pakistan will pose a lesser danger to India, the region & the world (many global analysts, would either openly or secretly, agree with you) but the biggest question in such a hypothetical scenario is, what happens to Pakistan’s nukes? IMO, India can deal with all kinds conventional and/or proxy threats from Pakistan but unless the nuclear threat is eliminated, it doesn’t really matter whether Pakistan remains in it’s current form or reduced to just Punjab.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Mortal,

If a scenario develops where various factions begin to fight each other leading to a civil war in Pakistan, the world is not going to sit and watch it. In the case of Libya they can be left to themselves to sort their issues out. It cannot be done in the case of Pakistan because the nuclear weapons will end up under different groups. So if such a scenario develops where groups cannot live with each other, the world will try to orchestrate a settlement and that settlement will involve a safe removal of the nukes. Everyone knows how dangerous it is to let Pakistan slip into a civil war with nukes mixed in the middle. In fact this fear has helped other countries hold Pakistan from below. If Pakistan did not have the nukes, by now the US would have cut deep in roads there. They are more worried about the nukes than about Pakistan itself. Therefore the forces that will try to unite all Pakistanis will pitch the campaign that others are out to get their nukes in order to keep them united. But it won’t hold for long because the economy will create fissures from within. We are sitting next to a land mine that is ticking. If smaller countries emerge, the world can easily negotiate with them to give up nukes for economic help and protection. The first ones to wriggle out will be the Pashtuns. They are the most violent group of them all.

This is not my wish guys. This is one of the possible scenarios. I hope and wish this does not happen. I pray that Pakistan emerges out of all this and becomes a healthy nation. From my stand point I just want them to be friendly neighbor. That’s all. But if they fall apart, things have to be done quick. Look at what the earthquake and tsunami have done to Japan’s nuclear reactors. One can never discount the effect of natural disasters. If a country is already fragile, it will crumble immediately. Japan is a wealthy state and it can absorb the shock. An economically weak Pakistan cannot, based on today’s conditions. Last year’s flood disaster is a wake up call. Hope they have realized it.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@KP
I doubt that nukes can be smuggled out of Pakistan. If it would have been possible then US would have done that by now. And that is why I feel smaller Pakistan(s) each with nukes and infinite hatred for India are not good for us. The bad elements should remain concentrated in one area and not spread. So if nukes have to be smuggled then it has to be before breaking of Pakistan (if it does happen) because afterwards I don’t think anyone will have any chance to do so. But lets just hope that PA comes back to its senses and shuts down the mullah factory.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

I think I am with KP on this, He is not the one proposing the division of pakistan. What he is spelling out is for us Indians (and the world at large) to prepare contingency plans to handle any situation that will involve further deterioration of Authority in pakistan. We have never planned for future risks and this was palpable during the crisis of Bangladesh when the outcomes blowed on our faces. we were least prepared to take millions of refugees at that time. No one can force overtly the division of pakistan as it possesses the strategic assets (Nuclear weapons),But the really frightening case which is already happening is loss of authority and a pakistan that is only nominally united. Without the Rich paying taxes, which hampers spending in social,physical and policy infrastructure and showing no sense of urgency or determination to take on things like terrorist culture head on. The world should only be prepared in a scenario where Authority on Nuclear weapons falls on more belligerent and bigoted people.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Mortal1 said:

> I don’t think Indians & Pakistanis can EVER come to a clear consensus on that one. Let’s focus on the presnt & future instead of the past. I don’t think most indians give a darn about whether Jinnah was secular or not or whether the 2 nation theory has failed or succeeded.

I second that. I have also realised that there is no consensus even on “facts”. Each nation has its own narrative. That’s fine. Let’s set these aside and instead concentrate on today’s reality and discuss a vision of where we want to go tomorrow.

Mortal had also posted a link to a paper by Stephen Cohen:
http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2011/01_ pakistan_cohen.aspx

I wonder if anyone read it. I felt sad to read what Cohen has mentioned at least twice in the paper, i.e., that India is Pakistan’s “natural trading partner”. It’s so obvious to everyone else in the world. Pakistan does not have much in common with China, Iran or Saudi Arabia. It is India that is Pakistan’s “natural trading partner”. What a pity this is not yet a reality. Why are Westerners sitting here dissecting South Asia’s divided politics? We should be a strong and united region that can deal with all comers with confidence, as an economic power bloc.

I believe there are certain things Indians and Pakistanis need to do to progress the relationship.

Indians:

1. must stop talking about Jinnah’s rights and wrongs, the Two Nation Theory and other emotive hot button topics for Pakistanis. No consensus on any of these topics is possible, and any such discussions only end in mutual abuse.

2. must avoid prescribing extreme solutions for the future, such as breaking up Pakistan or reabsorbing Pakistan into India. We are private citizens who can’t implement these recommendations in any case, and such idle talk only causes rancour.

In short, consideration for the other’s feelings.

Pakistanis:

1. must stop viewing India with a historical Islamic lens. India is an independent, modernising country. There is no point in viewing India as a nation of backward people who follow an idol-worshipping religion and who were once conquered and ruled by superior Muslim races who now make up Pakistan. This view does not help in understanding or dealing with the India of today or tomorrow. They need to reset their views and start with a clean slate with no historical or cultural baggage, as if India is a country they have just discovered.

2. must accept the idea that India is a much bigger country with a correspondingly greater influence and role in the world. This is only natural. As a parallel, Mexico cannot hope to compete as an equal with its giant neighbour to the north, and it would be foolish for Mexicans to imagine themselves as superior to Americans based on their victory at the Alamo. It is better for Pakistan to accept the *natural* balance of power in South Asia and to give up the unhealthy desire for military “parity”. Parity is not achievable in any case. It is far better to pursue economic development than bankrupt one’s country in a futile arms race. There will come a time when the 5% of GDP that India spends on defence will exceed Pakistan’s entire GDP. A race is therefore hopeless. A partnership will be far better.

In short, an acceptance of modern reality.

I realise my prescriptions for Pakistanis are more onerous. They probably need to run the natural course of the Five Stages of Grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) and cannot arrive at acceptance in one leap. Even this statement would probably anger them, but I am not saying this as an Indian but as an (amateur) student of politics, history, economics, etc.

Let’s see if we can have a discussion based on current reality and a positive vision for the subcontinent in the future.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

what a farce and waste of words among indian bloggers? Communicating among themselves above the heads of Pakistani bloggers and on a subject which neither the Pakistan politicins nor its city dwellers have understood. Pakistan military is at war with its own citizens and one up and one down. This is going to last as long as the military is not in the barracks. Innocent civilians are dying and the Pseudo intellectuals of Pakistan has one main theme about the individual deaths who are related to the basphemy law? American footprints are in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and although the melt down of its imperial colonialism is underway, the stability in the Arab and muslim world is nt likely to occur until the Americans leave the south East Asia and the middle east.
G Prasad has a good proposal, forget the history and take the gospels of COHEN, the messiah after moses, and accept the reality on grond. Is it alo not the reality that India is a counry of majority Godless people and where slavery is the order of te day. Mllions are working as labourers including children and women and without any salary and compensation! The Indian Labour Minister calls them as bonded labour and not slaves, and tells us that the Provincial Govts. are trying to eradicate this practice and so far in vain. What a shabby explanation and we in the west are being asked not to buy the products made by the boed labur made uof women and children. The damn problem is that the bonded labour or the horde of slaves are involved in making infra structure and red bricks for the Indian house. If I was an Indian, I would go on huner strie like Mahatma Gandhi did or burn myself alive in front of the Indian Prime Minister residence? G Prasad should address this reality in India and not shy away from this disgrace of a human in the so called democracy.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

“Mllions are working as labourers including children and women and without any salary and compensation! The Indian Labour Minister calls them as bonded labour and not slaves”

Unfortunately, slave labor is a reality in many countries, including Brazil, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan etc. Do you know which country has the most slave labor & child slave labor in the world? Your favorite super power China.

“forget the history and take the gospels of COHEN, the messiah after moses”

Is there any jew on the planet that you don’t hate? You must be a big fan of Hitler, Himmler & the nazis for murdering 6 million jews during the holocaust.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

The discussion of Jinnah is not to score brownie points against Pakistanis.

It is very much relevant to PRESENT DAY reality of Pakistan and what Pakistanis think of themselves. It is futile to lament present day poisonous fruits with out addressing/exposing the roots of the poisonous tree.

Indian curriculum, outlook is secular. Attempts to make India, a Hindu Pakistan have been resisted. Our history books teach Indians of all stripes fought against British and some muslims wanted a separate country and we are one people. Historical religious fault lines are downplayed.

However, Pakistanis are taught lies, hatred of hindus, falsified versions of Jinnah/partition story in Pakistan Studies. This subject is a required even in medical, dental and engineering colleges.

These are examples of REAL questions in Pakistan Studies exam paper:
1. Write short notes on why Congress was a hindu organization

2.What are the 4 castes of Hindus, and outline how they are classified

3.Explain how Congress worked against the interests of Muslims.

Rex Minor, Shahid Khan, Ajmal Kasab are all produced through this education. Hatred of non-muslims, specifically of hindus, Hinduism, portrayal of Indic heritage as pure evil, degraded society is imparted to all Pakistanis.

Most Indian muslims were Congress supporters until early 1940s, and even in 1947 many rejected Muslim League policies. Congress had Muslim Presidents including Maulana Azad. Thus teaching lies has produced a fascistic state, hell bent on violence inside and outside.

Unfortunately, for 63 years, 4th generation now, Indians have just downplayed the reality of Pakistan problem and consistently have underestimated the magnitude of the problem.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Here is my humble submission to Anglos and Indian ego-maniacs. Pay attention to what is going on around you.
Whole of North Africa is in turmoil and it would be very hard to put together again dictatorial cabals beholden to the West. Now add to that Japanese earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruptions and nuclear meltdown in progress. Nikkei stock average drops 10 percent in one day. It would take hundreds of billion dollars just to stabilize Japan.

This is the end of nuclear industry as we have known it. Three strikes and you are out. There is not enough oil to sustain economic growth of EU, Japan, China and India at the same time. I will leave it to you to find the weakest link to be cut. World depression is a distinct possibility. I predict much higher food prices because input prices are going to be much higher.

Regarding India-Pakistan conflict, it is a stalemate. We can track the trend in near term. More of the same.

In this new situation NATO would have no option but to speedup withdrawal from Afghanistan. AfPak says not so fast. You have the responsibility to fix what you have destroyed.

These are a few words to the wise. May you live in interesting times.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

For the first time, I agree with Matrixx.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Matrixx,

We certainly live in interesting times.

You’ve said a number of things, and I would like to comment.

> Whole of North Africa is in turmoil and it would be very hard to put together again dictatorial cabals beholden to the West.

That is one interpretation and I would also hope that is true. There is another interpretation that you missed. The Arab world is demographically very young (60% of the population is below 25), and the current unrest is (1) fuelled by youth discontent and (2) secular. So another interpretation is that the Islamists have lost the Arab world for a generation.

> This is the end of nuclear industry as we have known it. Three strikes and you are out.

There will definitely be a slowdown in the take-up of new conventionally designed nuclear reactors. But the newer “nuclear batteries” could become very popular.
http://bit.ly/gYlWr1
http://bit.ly/6ZH9f
http://ti.me/gj9giY
http://ti.me/gln6r4

Plus, there will be renewed interest and investment in alternative sources of energy, which is always a good thing.

> There is not enough oil to sustain economic growth of EU, Japan, China and India at the same time. I will leave it to you to find the weakest link to be cut.

You’re implying that India will suffer disproportionately. It doesn’t work that way. There is more than enough oil in the short term. What will happen is that oil prices will probably go up, impacting everyone. India may not achieve this year’s growth target of 9.2%, but anything beyond that is probably wishful thinking.

> Regarding India-Pakistan conflict, it is a stalemate. We can track the trend in near term. More of the same.

Superficially, yes. But the Pakistani economy is weakening very fast. I’m not the one saying this. Warnings are being sounded all the time by economists. The stalemate is on the surface. Beneath the surface, the fundamentals are being altered in India’s favour. I keep saying Pakistan should settle with India quickly while there is still a semblance of parity. India will be too arrogant to negotiate in a few years’ time, which I personally think is a different worry, because hubris has historically led to the loss of empires.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Arab yuth is running around like headless chickens to recover their dignity which their leaders, Pseudo monarchs and Kingsand other dictatos whowere partners of the USA in so called war against terrorism, and were feeding the USA adminstration incorrect info and sending innocent citizens to Gitmo. What the youth primary demand is the retirement plan of their Kings and dictators, who just got used to being their masters. This is not an easy task and resistance s getting stronger as the revolution move into the Beduin land where desert has been pouring out black tar and providing energy for the Industry in western countries and beyond. The melt down has just begun; the consequences are for any one to guess.

Rex Minor

PS Taliking about the interior minister, his residence in London is awaiting his arrival. Pakistan cannot afford such a liability and should let him go to his PP friends in London.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

“This is the end of nuclear industry as we have known it. Three strikes and you are out. There is not enough oil to sustain economic growth of EU, Japan, China and India at the same time. I will leave it to you to find the weakest link to be cut.”

IF ONLY wishes were horses, you could ride them.

You have omitted the even weaker link called Pakistan.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Prasad
What economist are warning of is the financial imbalance but that is only one part of economic welfare. I deal with broader perspective including economy and politics in medium term. What does India offer that is so attractive for Pakistan? If it is free trade then it has to be really free for both sides.
If you double the per capita income, then the energy consumption also has to double. This what described as resource constraint. Just to get to Malaysian level, the energy consumption would have to triple. Energy is available beyond those hills but America has reserved it for xxxx.

@Netizen
Friends of Pakistan consider it as the Silk road.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

The only positive that can possibly come out of Arab revolution and Japanese nuclear disaster is that the west and other advanced nations will start working on alternative and sustainable sources of energy. The day anyone finds an alternative to Petroleum the Arab economies will go up in flames even if there are no dictators. Probably UAE realised this truth before anyone else. The race is on.

As for Pakistan economy and India economy, the differences of scales will always remain. Now Pakistanis have two choice, one is to join hands with India and grow along with it or two to keep the current hatred and jealousy growing and hence ruin themselves. Nukes cannot feed people and millions cannot go on living on grass forever.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

A question for fellow Pakistanis,

There is certainly poverty in Pakistan and it needs to be eradicated but who is eating grass here? Where does this come from?

Posted by salaam_sultan | Report as abusive

China has high technic, India has large labour force and Pakistan is strtegically important for China, USA, Europe and the Russians. Turkey and Pakistan are in the next power ircle. India has a choice, hang on to kashmir and ts military or cme out in the open and compete with China? Super power club is not in sight and the americans and the europeans are fed up for the progressive whih is lyingflat on its haunches, after all they were in the wto for a long time. And what is the achievement, which match the chinese such as fastest rail track in the world as an infrastructure. They are still marching on the sweat of the poor labourers. Every visitor to BBC tak show blames the Govt. yes the Govt. which they sayis democratically elected.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

[...] Towards a review of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws March 17, 2011By Reuters, Mar.12, blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2011/03/12/to wards-a-review-of-pakistans-blasphemy-la ws/ [...]