India and Pakistan: practising peace

April 3, 2011

gi

Given the history of India and Pakistan, it is easy to be sceptical about the chances of their latest peace initiative. So let’s start with the positives.

Unlike past peace efforts which have veered between ill-prepared personal initiatives by political leaders and technical talks between bureaucrats which foundered for lack of direction from the top, the current phase combines the two.  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s impromptu  invitation to his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani to watch last week’s India-Pakistan cricket semi-final coincided with the resumption of the first structured dialogue between the two countries since the November 2008 attacks on Mumbai.  The foreign secretaries, or top diplomats, of India and Pakistan met in Thimphu, Bhutan in February.  In talks last week, the home secretaries of the two countries made progress in coordinating their investigations into the Mumbai attacks; the trade secretaries are expected to meet soon, as are the defence secretaries.

Moreover, the Indian prime minister is personally committed to pursuing peace in the time he has left before a national election due by 2014.  And while last year he was isolated even within his own party in his enthusiasm for peace - an idea that still lingers in some quarters - his  initiative  appears to enjoy the support of powerful Congress party president Sonia Gandhi. Outlook magazine, writing about his cricket diplomacy, noted that Singh was flanked by Gandhi and her son and prime-minister- in-waiting, Rahul Gandhi, when he welcomed Gilani on his first official visit to India.

The Pakistan Army, which dominates foreign and security policy in Pakistan, has also been slowly reassessing its approach to Islamist militants it once nurtured for use against India as they slip increasingly out of its control. How far that reassessment goes is open to debate;  but few doubt that Gilani would have accepted Singh’s invitation to India to explore peace talks had this not been endorsed by the army.

All that said, sceptics have history on their side when they argue that the latest attempt at peace-making will fail.  Militants, including those allied with al Qaeda, have an interest in disrupting peace talks, using an attack on India to stir up fears of war on Pakistan’s eastern border and take pressure off them on its western border with Afghanistan.  If talks are not to be sabotaged – particularly at a time when militant groups in Pakistan are fragmenting and some of their cadres  sucked into the orbit of al Qaeda – both countries would need to overcome distrust enough to share intelligence to prevent another big attack.

Singh’s peace initiative also has powerful opponents within the Indian establishment, who are well placed to whip up an already jingoistic media if they think he is going too far.  Bharat Karnad, from the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, wrote that the Pakistan Army appeared to have decided to favour talks with India for now. ”The question is can India capitalise on what seems to be rethinking underway in the Pakistan Army?  Alas, there is surprisingly less give here than is generally assumed,” he wrote. “This is because India’s Pakistan policy is hostage to the petty calculations of the political class in the country and powerful ministries within the Indian government with vested interest in portraying Pakistan as menace.”

And making matters even more complicated, the problems between India and Pakistan have been worsening over the years — in particular both are now bickering over their shared rivers as rising populations and poor resource management leave them facing both water scarcity and flooding. The risk now, as underlined by Cyril Almeida at Dawn, is that “the already fiendishly complex relationship may collapse under the weight of `new` problems if the `old` ones aren`t resolved first.”

So the question is not really whether the peace process will succeed or fail in some kind of absolute sense (you can stack up arguments on either side of that debate), but rather about the speed at which talks progress. They need to move fast enough to build constituencies for peace on both sides of the border, but not so fast that they trigger a backlash.

Some relatively minor (at least relative to the big intractables) confidence-building measures may be possible. One would be a relaxation of visa restrictions to allow more contact between people of the two countries. Another could be the unilateral opening up of the Indian market to Pakistani goods without insisting on reciprocity - the relative size of the two economies makes it somewhat easier for India to absorb trade from Pakistan than the other way around. And given that even the prospect of improved trade with India helped drive up prices on the Karachi stock exchange last week, this kind of unilateral concession by India would be hard for hawks in Pakistan to turn down.

There is also some talk of building contacts between the Indian and Pakistani militaries and their intelligence agencies to reduce distrust.  That would be tricky from an institutional point of view – the Indian and Pakistani armies play very different roles in both countries – but possible on an informal basis if the political will is there.  ”Two possible initiatives that come to my mind are an invitation to General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), to pay an official visit to India and exchanges of visits by senior military officers of the two countries.” wrote B. Raman, formerly at India’s R&AW intelligence agency. “We already have such exchanges with the Chinese Army. We are none the worse for it. There is no reason why we should not have such exchanges with the Pakistan Army.”

A third possibility, promoted by some analysts, is that India and Pakistan focus on narrowing their differences over Afghanistan with the aim of easing distrust  in order to build momentum for a broader peace process.  There are already some indications that the rivalry between the two in Afghanistan is easing. India has been somewhat circumspect about expanding its role in Afghanistan over the last couple of years;  Pakistani officials talk increasingly of seeking a neutral and stable Afghanistan rather than a friendly and stable Afghanistan. That said, to rely on an easing of tensions over Afghanistan to underpin a broader peace process would leave them both hostage to fortune in a war whose outcome is highly unpredictable.

Ultimately — and this is where it will get very tricky if the peace process is to become irreversible – the two countries would need to tackle the big issues, including the future of Jammu and Kashmir.

Indian Prime Minister Singh and former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf made considerable progress in resolving the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir, the former princely state which has been divided between the two countries since independence in 1947.  Under a formula worked out by their envoys in secret back-channel talks by 2006/2007, the two countries agreed that there would be no redrawing of borders, but that borders would become irrelevant.  The agreement foundered in part because Musharraf became embroiled in political problems at home which eventually forced him to step down.

Yet many details of that accord had yet to be worked out and even Musharraf admits that it would have taken a great deal of political courage from leaders on both sides of the border  to translate that agreement in principle into reality.

One dispute whose resolution is frequently cited as a possible stepping stone to a  broader peace deal is that over Siachen, the world’s highest battlefield, which lies in the mountainous, uninhabited edges of Jammu and Kashmir.  The armies of India and Pakistan have fought each other in the mountains above the Siachen glacier since 1984, and despite a ceasefire agreed in 2003, their troops remain there, often posted at altitudes above 18,000 feet.

The technical details of a deal on Siachen were agreed years ago and many in both countries acknowledge it was a war which should never have been fought. If Singh were to accept Gilani’s invitation to visit Pakistan, an agreement on Siachen could in theory given him something of substance to announce there.

Siachen, however, does not exist in isolation.  Even since India and Pakistan fought a limited war in 1999 in the mountains above Kargil — which lies on the road linking the Kashmir Valley to Ladakh and the access route to Siachen – the battle over the world’s highest battlefield has become inextricably linked to the broader  dispute over Jammu and Kashmir. However geographically remote the battle over Siachen may be, it cannot be resolved in isolation.

All in all, if this peace initiative is to succeed India and Pakistan will have to make progress on many different issues simultaneously though a combination of detailed structured negotiations between bureaucrats, informal contacts between their institutions, and high-level political support. But at the very least, we can say that process has started.

149 comments

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Pakistan has come a long way from Mumbai 26/11 to Mohali 30/11, in 2008 10 terrorists created mayhem in Mumbai. In Mohali 11 Pakistani cricketers sweated out and played their best cricket and represented Pakistan as sportsmen. India bestowed its hospitality and ensured the security of Pakistani players, and the Prime minister was invited to watch the game. As, in cricket this is a new turning point, both countries need to play a long inning and stay on the crease, take the singles, rotate the strike.
Structured approach is the way to go, whatever the bottlenecks and roadblocks are, one by one smaller issues like Siachin, effort should me made to get them out of the way. Only then disputes like Kashmir can be dealt with.
Cricket has once again come to the forefront, on 30th March Pakistan literally came to a standstill. the whole nation was behind the green team and anticipated victory. And it was not until the last 4 balls of the final over that Indian breathe a sigh of relief. The contest was hard fought, this must have improved Pakistan’s image. India must now come out with all its sincerity and resolve all outstanding disputes with Pakistan so that both nations can put behind decades of bad relations and normalize things. So next time there is another match in India, thousands of Pakistani fans can make the trip across the border and vice versa. If cricket can usher a new era of peace, so be it. Good for everyone.
And Myra, just to add one more to the list, both PCB and BCCI should have good relations and try to get going an annual Indo-Pak cricket series which should not affect by politics. A series of one day, tests, T-20. Lastly, congrats to the world champs! It could not have come at a better time and place, on home soil.
Surely, this is a new begining, lets see how far the two countries go. Good thing is this time democracy is in place in Pakistan and it seems Indo-Pak relations are all set for a long innings. Lets hope there is no run out this time.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

“Militants, including those allied with al Qaeda, have an interest in disrupting peace talks”

This statement is a false claim, the fallacy is used by Pakistan Army as a propaganda tool. This has been discussed here a million times here.

Lashkar-e-Taiba is virtually the jihadi terrorist wing of Pakistan army and is NOT involved in terrorism inside Pakistan. Their only mission is terrorism inside India.

“Disrupting peace talks” is also a myth, the truthful version would PA used terrorism as a negotiating tool, believing talks backed up with terrorism will lead to change of heart.

Between 2003 and 2008 “peace talks” were going on, while simultaneously Pakistani terrorism insdie India was going on.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

There is a lot of mutual misunderstanding and wrong perception between the people of the two countries. That needs to be resolved first. One can see the expression of it in blogs like these. Pakistanis have their own list of assumed woes with India and Indians have their own counter claims, with neither side coming to any agreement.

I do encourage people to people level understanding first. Stubbornness must go. People should become open minded and see things for themselves. Most are misled by biased media information and draw their own conclusions.

The first step I would recommend is to take the talented Pakistani players in IPL teams. They deserve their spots in those teams. Politics must be taken out of cricket for starters. All players on both sides have mutual respect and admiration for each other. A champions trophy tournament must be staged where national cricket champions from each country should play each other – Ranji trophy champions versus QEA trophy winners in Pakistan. I would include champion teams from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh as well.

The next time teams refuse to tour Pakistan because of security concerns, I’d like India to extend its grounds for Pakistan to use as home grounds instead of Dubai and England. And Pakistanis must be given visas to come and cheer their home team. I would avoid places like Mumbai and Calcutta. But Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore have sportive people. We won the world cup not just for India, it is for all people of the sub-continent to celebrate.

I’d invite Pakistani fast bowlers like Akram, Sarfraz Nawaz etc to coach Indian probables. May be a sub-continental state championship tournament will do a lot of good. The only thing that needs to be different here is that players get mixed up based on talent needs, much like the IPL. Thus some Pak players might find themselves playing for Calcutta and some Indians players might play for Lahore.

Doors must be opened for people to visit shrines on both sides. Indian and Pakistani tourist departments must welcome people from both sides and give them special treatment and hospitality. The great poets and musicians from Pakistan should be invited to perform in India. I’d like these doors to open first.

And like Myra has suggested, India can open up trade for Pakistani goods. India can surely help build power plants, roads, bridges, set up engineering/medical colleges on the scale of IITs. I’d recommend giving admission to talented Pakistani students in our prestigious colleges. Indian business should be encouraged to build factories and IT hubs in Pakistan. I would extend this to Bangladesh as well. We cannot let our neighbors rot while we upgrade our standards.

A lot can be done if the hearts are willing. These kind of warming steps need to be taken first without any pre-conditions on both sides. At some point, a better understanding will develop. And with that understanding and mutual dependence, every lingering issue, Kashmir included, can be resolved amicably. We have waited for 6 decades. We can surely wait a little longer so that everyone’s pride is not hurt while resolving the issues.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

” recommend giving admission to talented Pakistani students in our prestigious colleges. ”
KPSingh,

Bad idea. Some of them will disappear in India and will become future “assets” for bomb blasts/ terror. I might have expected that from GP, not from you. It is not going to happen even if you disagree with me. “visa liberalization” is just lip service, not realistic.

Also the things you have listed have already been done and tried. Proposing to hold discussions, reducing rhetoric by leaders are all fine. Beyond that rest of it is pipedream.

I would believe you if you said you have convinced any paks here on any issues that matter to India. Jihadi terrorist infrastructure, intent remain the same. Severe internal diarrhea has forced some “tactical” temporary hold up. This should not be misconstrued to be long term change of heart.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Netizen said:

> Bad idea. [...] I might have expected that from GP, not from you.

Hey!

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@KP

“The first step I would recommend is to take the talented Pakistani players in IPL teams. They deserve their spots in those teams. Politics must be taken out of cricket for starters”

***The reason why Pakistani cricketers were not in IPL was related to “business” not “politics”

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

KP

“I’d recommend giving admission to talented Pakistani students in our prestigious colleges”
***You are getting emotional. It is harmless on blogs.
If you want to do something along these lines, make the same offer to Kashmiris from Azad Kashmir.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

while I thoght about the relaions, I can help innovating this simple urdu poem.

fiza sahee hai guftagoo karne ke liye,
choot na jaaye waqt khud ko sambhalne ke liye,
kadam nahi tho sahi nazar to badha ne ke liye,
zahir kare andhere ko, aane wale pushton ke liye.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Indian diplomacy has prevailed! If Pakistani leaders believe that there is some soft spot among Indian leaders or the Indian people for the kashmiri people, then they should have their head examined. I shall recommend them a top brain surgeon of the world.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

KPSingh:’recommend giving admission to talented Pakistani students in our prestigious colleges.’

-Good idea, but as someone suggested above before that level can be reached there needs to be an atmosphere of trust. Look US and Russia has the cold war rivalry behind them still they have issues between them and they do cooperate. And your list of suggestions is good. The possibilities of cooperation between India and Pakistan are endless. It includes, education, health, sports etc. India surely has an outsourcing I.T industry established, Pakistan may have a talented and capable workforce that can be trained and I.T hubs established in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore etc, similar to Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Umair, the young software developers in Pak are very good. Like the reverse swing, and doosra, they specialize in innovation and creativity. Skills suitable for gaming, social media & visual analytics. I believe Pakistan could have the much sought after competitive advantage in IT i.e. cost & differentiation. All that is needed is a sustained period of uninterrupted stability. Economic domination is also a bogey by hawks and oligopolists. If I recall correctly, trade is almost never a bad thing.

KP, wonderful ideas on cricket. India could go far by approaching Pakistan from a position of strength instead of power.. if that makes any sense whatsoever.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Rex,

Your skepticism has merit. India has employed stall tactics in the past. This is indicative of any party satisfied with the status quo. I think this also has something to do with their pesky democratic process. Their leaders/parties will never be reelected if they make ‘concessions’ to Pakistani ‘blackmail’. There is goodwill towards Manmohan Singh. Pakistanis seem to like him. Some people are difficult to despise. I don’t know of any Indian that HATES Inzamam-ul-Haq lol.

You are realistic when you say no resolution of core issues will come of it. However, if the nuclear threat level can be brought down even a notch, why resist the initiatives? It is easy to flex our muscles on the internet but in the real world millions of lives hang in the balance.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “Pakistan may have a talented and capable workforce that can be trained and I.T hubs established in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore etc, similar to Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc”

There is absolutely no doubt about the intelligence and talent that is available in Pakistan. It just needs to be tapped. Collaborative efforts are needed on many fields – agricultural research, bio-medical technology, alternate energy etc. I think co-operation has to start on non-political front first – arts, sports, science, industry, technology etc. Politics will follow the trend. If you look at India, it was treated like a global beggar during the cold war days. No one cared if India existed or not. But India worked steadily on the areas I have mentioned and geo-politics came around on its own. It is important for us here to develop a mutual understanding first. I am glad Ganesh has triggered that effort here. If we can at least respect and understand each other, then we can propagate it to others. There will always be vested groups ready to derail all efforts on both sides. But if the efforts are along non-political fronts, mutual dependency will force politics to align. Pakistanis have a lot to give to the world. They are being left out and their potential unnecessarily wasted and turned in the wrong direction.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Rex,

Tell me why does a German study Pashto?

Professor, Translator, Linguist or State Intelligence ??

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Shoab
Pakistan has choices. She can have strong relations with countries to the north, countries to the west and India to the east. Only cooperative relations are productive.

There are only two entities who stand in the way expansion of economic relations. Firstly it is NATO occupation of Afghanistan and the “War on terror” imposed on Af-Pak and then there is India not resolving Kashmir and also trying to piggy-back on WOT to score points against Pakistan. There is nexus between the two.

I don’t see any change in India’s position and in fact it has signed on to the policy of dividing Afghanistan and restart a civil war. Pakistan position is that all domestic parties come together and share power. This issue is important because without peace in Afghanistan, the instability will continue and business investment can not take place in Pakistan. Pakistan has policy options much greater than what India has.

I say that building the trust is fine but political policies change when ground reality shift.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

Matrixx: “This issue is important because without peace in Afghanistan, the instability will continue and business investment can not take place in Pakistan.”

You are assuming that Afghans have no say in this. Nowhere do I see a settlement suggested by you that involves Afghans. And it is highly likely that they do not trust Pakistan at all. If Afghans do not trust Pakistan, a stable Afghanistan is out of question. No one trusts the Pakistani military and its non-state actor departments. Not even the Americans. Everyone is suspicious of your military and its ulterior intentions. Unless your military comes clear with what its objectives are, nothing can be certain. Others cannot be blamed on making their own moves and plans. These needs to be some kind of a compromise your military has to accept. Just having the nukes does not guarantee everything. Credibility is very important. Pak military has become famous for duplicity and double dealing in the outside world. So long as others are not sure about how sincere your military is, they will do what they do. Blaming them will not help. We are talking about people to people level understanding here. Unless that happens, no progress will happen.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@Shoabo
I do not favour inquisitiveness. I think in German language, write in understandable English and am familiar with several languages, including Persian, Pashto, French and Latin to mention some.
People are the stregnth of a Nation! No other source provides this stregnth to a country. Pakistan needs reforms in military, a nationalised army, education starting in kindergarten madrassas to educate the children about the value of Islam and human rights, foreign studies in non anglo saxon institutions. More new science Institutions to develope future energy sources, improved infra structure and support for small, medium and large industrial entrepreneurs. This is a small list but demands great efforts to establish. Your army has been a great obstacle in progress and know only how to run a police state and slowly and gradualy reduce the area of the country. During the past several years, they have accomodatd unwanted elements into beautiful cities and cantonments, while at the same time have caused the IDP’s population. Remove the foreign embassys and CIA operators offices and their nets from Islamabad, or at least rename the city ‘Islamabad#’. Move the capital to Karachi or Gwadar or …..,
What you see of the Indian PM, is not real, a soulless Zombie, who witnessed the massacre of his ethnic community at the hands of Congress leaders not long ago. He along with his group left this world long time ago and are today wandering about in several parts of the world. The same loyal group which opted to join India after partition and left their ancestor homes in today’s Pakistan. In view Dr Manmohan Singh’s ability in economics, the congress magicians kept him in Indai along with several ohers.

India has the remaining brave warriors in the kashmir contingent, whose atrocities against kashmiri muslims are now known to most in the world.

Pakistan does need to pretend, lie or cheat the country which is now allied with Israel. The Indian born former military ruler has lied, and used all the shabby tricks. Pakistan does not need to have a diplomatic relations with a country, whic h did not accept the 1947 flawed terrotorial arrangements, which both the congress and the muslim league party signed to. Pakistan was subsequently decimated, as soon as the opportunity as provided and is likely to strike again whenever the opportunity arises.

Rex Minor

PS Sorry for mispels etc. By the way I do like your non serious and pleasant dialogues with others you find sincere. You may even succeed to convince the hard core of the orange brigade.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

PS Paistan DOES NOT need to cheat……

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

First off, India needs to focus on it’s own problems rather than extending help to others like KP is suggesting. Charity begins at home. There are enough people in India who could use those college seats/scholarships. Furthermore, the definition of peace between these two countries should be defined as not fighting a traditional war/no nukes flying overhead. Let’s just keep working on this. The Kashmir issue will never be fully resolved, all India can hope to do is to provide economic opportunities for the youth and hopefully reduce the violence. Personally, I believe India has a big enough “to-do list” of its own that it cannot engange in a new foreign policy direction. Learn from China, grow for 30 years and then start to negotiate.

Posted by rainydays | Report as abusive

Shoaibo said:

> India could go far by approaching Pakistan from a position of strength instead of power.. if that makes any sense whatsoever.

It makes perfect sense to me. I think that is an excellent point that the mandarins in South Block (India’s foreign ministry) should take note of. India should approach Pakistan in a relaxed and secure way, feeling free to be flexible in its approach and make innovative offers. Rigidity of a position shows not strength but insecurity, which does not behoove a strong country.

I too wish India would not adopt a position of power. I have been saying for a while that the greatest danger to India comes from arrogance and hubris. That is one of the reasons why I would like Pakistan to make peace with India within the next 3-5 years while there is still rough parity between the two countries. With the gap widening between the two, India may refuse to talk to Pakistan in a few years, or force a settlement on terms considered humiliating by the Pakistanis. Such a peace cannot last.

The treaty of Versailles imposed such humiliating conditions on a defeated Germany after the First World War that it led directly to Hitler and World War II. For a truly workable peace, it has to maintain the dignity and pride of all the countries involved and they must all buy into it with enthusiasm.

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Shoaibo.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

rainydays said:

> First off, India needs to focus on it’s own problems rather than extending help to others like KP is suggesting. Charity begins at home. There are enough people in India who could use those college seats/scholarships.

I’ve heard a similar argument when I was growing up, that India should not be investing in space technology (Aryabhatta, etc.) when there were so many mouths to feed. But such investments have helped the Indian economy in no small way, which reduces the number of poor people.

I think if peace initiatives can boost the economy, then the choice you’re talking about is actually a false dichotomy. People in India will also benefit from it.

> Learn from China, grow for 30 years and then start to negotiate.

It’s not an either-or situation. Multiple approaches can be tried at the same time. I too have noted that India is making more friends as its economy grows. Such is the way of the world. But we shouldn’t rely on that process alone.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@rainydays

I agree with you to some extent.

India is the least of the problems facing Pakistan.
And Pakistan is the least of the problems facing India.

There are 6 Indians for one Pakistani in this world, so
it may give an impression based on the number of Indians
posting in blogs Pakistan is an importnt issue for India.

India’s problems are:
1. Corruption
2. Environmental degradation
3. Economic growth not reaching the downtrodden to alleviate grinding poverty

Pakistan’s problems are:
1.Worsening Islamic Extremism – pursuit of “pure” “real” Islam
2. Lack of growth of even rudimentary instititions of nationhood/ democracy
3. No societal, educational, economic infrastructure to compete globally in the knowledge economy.

None of the Pakistan’s problems can be alleviated by acquiring another land mass, or another ethnic group. What have they achieved with the land mass and population they got in 1947?

I share your skepticism about scholarships. Frankly it looks outlandish. Why would we give opportunities to develop more ISI assets in India? Not realistic.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

No matter how much goodwill is generated on a (civilian)govt to govt or people to people level, it will all be useless unless the Pakistani army is willing & ready to roll back it’s anti-India jihadi & “non-state actor” machinery. In 2008, there was plenty of goodwill between India & Pakistan. The dialogue was on, Pakistani athletes, musicians, actors etc. were being welcomed in India and then a single terrorist attack by the PA/ISI’s “non-state actor” unit disrupted everything & brought it all to a stand still. If the PA is not ready to mend it’s ways vis-a-vis India, I suspect we’ll be back to square one, yet again, very quickly.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

India Pakistan difference, besides mutual complaints, is that India is far more democratic and economically growing, infrastructure in the form of science and technology set up long ago is churning out students which can be used as knowledge resource whether at home or abroad. They bring name to the country.

India has democracy, but NOT enough if we quit comparing with Pakistan for a moment. Riots and scandals have brought shame to India. It is democratic enough that no one thinks of going to military rule (emergency by I.Gandhi) has made sure no one prefers that.

Economic growth of India is recent. What if circumstances reduce growth to 3%.

Foreign companies are investing in India. Sports industry (IPL) is taking off. What if terrorist activities disrupt all that.

India and Pakistan will be similar with OVERLAPPING basic problems to be solved. Neither nation is solving them.

Both India and Pakistan have common problems, poverty, rising fundamentalism (inherent/growing in Pakistan or reactionary so to say in India) are similar. Billion in India, expansion of infrastructure has had a telling effect on environment (trees are cut callously with wood used irresponsibly for construction and no ban on this yet). No attention is paid to the reports that gas guzzlers in USA or any environment polluters will have most effect on Himalayan terrain and impact both India/Pakistan. Pakistan saw floods and Mumbai saw them too because of the environment.Pakistan got seriously hit. Rising # of earthquakes/Tsunamis can bring disaster anytime. It is time to learn lesson from Japan;s nuclear nightmare. Is anyone thinking in either countries?

The feeling of belonging to “nation” and doing something for it in real terms is missing in India and Pakistan. India has system in place, made possible by certain leaders, which is taking India forward.

I am worried about “arrogance and immaturity” in certain section of Indians. WE are immature as nation not to use our potential fully.

Using “Position of Strength” by democratic Indian politicians is not seen possible. Who will bell the cat?

PM MMSingh is blamed for his soft policy because he is born in Pakistan, which is ridiculous in my view. I believe, he will behave the same had he been born in Amritsar.

Derogatory “Delhi-born” tag is attached to Musharraf by Pakistanis when they do not like his policies.

Geography of India and Pakistan is partly responsible for the 63 yrs. I wonder if we swap Indian populace/leaders with Pakistan’s (Indians in Pakistan and Pakistanis in India), what would India have done and what would Pakistanis had done with swapped territories.

perhaps i vented a bit

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

KPSingh:
You say “You are assuming that Afghans have no say in this.”
I say no such thing, here this is from my previous post
“Pakistan position is that all domestic parties come together and share power.”

Now you can see that some reading disability is in play.

India’s position is that the war should continue but it is the US footing the bill and it would decide when to end this war. Credibility has no play in it.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

A few scholarships would be a drop in India’s education ocean, but the real issue would be that Pakistani students in India would present a soft target for miscreants. We remember the diplomatic tension between India and Australia when Indian students were attacked in Melbourne in 2009-2010, even though the Australian government was not at all involved. Can you imagine the furore if Pakistani students are attacked in India? This peace initiative may end up bringing about just the opposite. So probably this is not the time to attempt something like that. God knows there are enough hardliners on both sides who would like to derail any peace initiative. It reminds me of the Star Trek movie “The Undiscovered Country” where hardliners from all sides plot to sabotage the peace process between the Federation and the Klingon empire.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

“India’s position is that the war should continue ”

What a gem !

PhD in Pakistan studies? Cunning Hindu baniyas, Chankya, Manusmirthi, Dalit, Gandhi, godse,akand Bharat, etc, etc, etc

Here we are talking about KPSingh Scholarship Scheme!

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Rex,

I have a festering open wound, would you happen to have some salt ? :)

– A “Paistani”

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Let me clear up my views a bit. My suggestion is analagous to saying that both countries need a timeout from each other. Now this cannot be done in reality, however, both countries, or one of them, can choose to pursue a short term policy which puts extra peace efforts on a lower priority. Let’s be content with no war taking place.
India’s political capital is finite (both at home and abroad). It should be used to push reforms, and policies which help pull people out of poverty, and bring India further into the global economy. I think the same finite capital idea is applied to Pak but for completely different priorities. I see India’s capabilities in finite terms (every country for that matter). Therefore, I believe a priority based policy needs to be in place and trying multiple/repeated approaches has its drawbacks. Please don’t confuse this with the idea of closing all doors and sitting in ignorance. I am saying that it is important to meet a certain threshold of relations (the current level is okay).

Posted by rainydays | Report as abusive

In Singh’s defense, he is imagining the possibilities not prescribing a sequence of steps for peace. If India can become just another country to Pakistanis… the cost, quality and portrayal of indian campuses in bollywood would draw many Pakistani students.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Once again a lot of crap is being put out unnecessarily to impress one’s ego.Indian diplomatic act, competition in Sport and Indo Pak future relations, all to some good, but Inflating India as a great power, a great country is just too much.
Yesterday, I saw a documentry film about an Indian town on the wagah border with Pakistan. Very simple and pleasant school age children were shown playing the roles of Indian and Pakistani guards. A school boy was shown in a dialogue with the reporter/moderator talking about him going to the border after the school and selling DVD’s to pay for the school fees. He was very spirited and claimed that he makes a large sum from the sale of a single DVD at 100 Rupees. The reporter thought he was telling fibs and questioned him on the large sum. The boy admitted instantly that he was telling a lie; he earned only one Rupee for every DVD sale. The reorter did not let go and again asked him why he was telling a lie. The boy replied that he feels good by exagerating the amount he earns. I guess for him his ego was more important than the plain truth!!

Indian schools need to teach the boys that the children must not lie under any circumstances!!

. A majority of the people in India are non believers, whereas, morality requires the belief in the existance of God, freedom and immortality, because without their existance there can be no morality(Immanuel Kant-1724-1804).
. Indians are cursed with the caste system which restricts many’s potential in higher studies. How can one devalue a certain section of people and then claim that the system would benefit the devalued and the underprivilaged?
. There are millions of slaves made up of men, women and children who work without salary in brick factories and other enterprises, live in shanty villages like a concentration camps. The Indian Minister of Labour admitted to the CNN reporter but refused to accept the classification ‘slave’ for this labour force. He calls them BONDED labour and said that the Provincial Govts are responsible to eliminate this pratice.
. Indian economy cannot feed its population and the flow of the work force outside their country is ever on the increase.

With this bckground, I should be more modest in my perception of mother India. Indians need not repeat what they learnt in the childhood, namely to feel good when lies are put out. I have noted one Indian muslim who has come forward with some suppressed critique on the problems India is facing. Humility is a virtue, not a disgrace, love for the next one is a good moral and compassion for neighbours is a good investment. Western democracies and their constitutions reflect the Ibrahimic relgion values, and are not based on atheism!!

Europe, which benefitted from the Arab and other eastern civilisations has been the centre of human civilisation and industrial centre for several centuries now.
Those who want to learn need to visit European unversities, preferably non anglo saxon one to learn about the progress of humanity in science and culture, medicine and philosophy, religion and its place in the society, freedom and respect and care for the next one etc etc.

The alternative is to muddle through, believing in economic growth and wall street casinos, until the next blip comes.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Rex – Please, keep your moral teachings to yourself. Good habit. What is your post about? A critique of India? A praise for European history? Are you talking about religion? Economic growth? Recession? Education? Kids lying? Or all of the above? All you are doing is stating a personal opinion and backing it up with assumptions that you are trying to pass off as some kind of analysis of facts/trends.

Posted by rainydays | Report as abusive

There are not enough words to describe the Glory of India. :-)
Emerging India is going to be a global powerhouse.
It has an egalitarian constitution, all Indians should try to uphold the spirit of The Holy Document.

Indians should explain the economic prospects , glory of New India at this blog :-)

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/worl d-news/german-chancellor-merkel-to-visit -india-next-year_100472722.html
German Chancellor Merkel to visit India next year
December 11, 2010 1:12:13 PM CST by IANS
Berlin, Dec 11 (IANS) German Chancellor Angela Merkel Saturday said she would visit India next year after accepting an invitation from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was on a short visit to Berlin.”I will visit India next year,” Merkel told reporters in a joint press conference with Manmohan Singh.

She said the prime minister had invited her and she would be in Delhi in 2011 to mark 60 years of India-Germany diplomatic ties.

Manmohan Singh said that Germany will organize a Year of Germany in India beginning September 2011, and India will organize the Days of India in Germany during 2012-13.

“I have invited Chancellor Merkel to visit India next year, and I look forward to hosting her in Delhi,” he said.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

“Indian schools need to teach the boys that the children must not lie under any circumstances!!”

***Lying or not lying cannot be taught. Also this reminds me of Pakistan cricket team captain Afridi’s statement who said Pakistani saaf Dil etc and Indian’s is not. A Westerner/German who has not lived in Pak/India/B’desh can be excused for not understanding this.

Those who hate India for its caste system should know that the system is not going to go away in next 1000 years. It will become irrelevant–FOR SURE, which the UNWILLING soul will not be able to see. Where does this leave us?

“. A majority of the people in India are non believers, whereas, morality requires the belief in the existance of God, freedom and immortality, because without their existance there can be no morality(Immanuel Kant-1724-1804).”
*** :-)

Kant got it wrong. Religion without morality is a joke. Morality does not require religion or GOD. I need not quote anyone for this. I have seen examples of people of faith being liars and atheists practicing morality/spirituality. Hope I am not tagged “unIslamic” for this.

So, what can be done to billion “non-believer” Indians so that they become believers? What is the way out having known this. Convert them?

I mean I do not see billion “non-believer” Indians to become “believers”. Does that mean they will continue to be immoral?

Nice post but where is “love for the next one”? How does this sound? Is it “humility”? How does that fit with “good moral and compassion for neighbours is a good investment? I know it is bit inconvenient to answer all this and have pieces in right place.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

Rex can correct me if I am wrong but he is not referring to Indians as ‘non-believers’ in the Islamic or Christian definition. He might be talking about the increase of secularism and atheism in the non-RSS/BJP sections of Indian society.

To Indians; Is there some truth to this? Is India becoming less religious? Thanks.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

I am not sure about the prerequisite of religion to have a monopoly on morality. There is no shortage of believers committing acts of evil (Christians in Jerusalem, Spanish Inquisition, ‘New’ world, ‘Muslims’ in new york, beslan, lahore, dhaka, mumbai, ‘Hindus’ in Sri Lanka, Gujrat, Delhi).

An atheist can have a moral code not necessarily sanctioned by any particular religion.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Et tu Rehmat? You took the bait from the Pashtun living in Germany and abusing the freedom and rights given there to him.

I can understand the new comers here who do not know how to deal with this guy. Well let them figure it out for themselves.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

http://tinyurl.com/3mr8zf5

Jihadi terrorist activity from Germany remains a global security concern. German authorities are trying to use laws against Nazis against Jihadis, doubt this would suffice.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Shoaibo said:

> To Indians; Is there some truth to this? Is India becoming less religious? Thanks.

Only a scientific survey will be able to answer that correctly. Our perceptions would be purely anecdotal. But let me give you my (obviously limited) view. I live outside India but do visit often (and for religion-tinged events like marriages and funerals).

I will redefine ‘religion’ as ‘ritualistic’ for now, and say that I have seen examples of both trends – of people becoming more as well as less ritualistic in their religious expression. And I will restrict this comment to what I have seen of Hindus since I’m not aware of the nuances of trends in other religions.

On the one hand, I have seen young people, even educated ones performing more rituals on different occasions, and without even understanding them. I would explain this in identity terms. They need to show that they are religious or that they are part of the great Hindu religion. It is not a spiritual urge on their part. The rise of the right-wing parties may have something to do with it. Some of my own cousins take pride in belonging to this movement. I think this is an example of identity politics at work, definitely not increased spiritual aspiration.

On the other hand, I have seen examples of society becoming a bit more relaxed and less stifling in religious matters. Earlier, not performing funeral rites for one’s parents was considered a mortal sin. Today, there are people who don’t, and they don’t face ostracism or severe pressure from others. Girls are allowed to go to funeral sites (burning ghats) and daughters are allowed to light funeral pyres (only sons or male relatives used to be allowed to do so). Among the middle classes, there is a greater assertiveness among women and a corresponding yielding of orthodoxy. People who refuse to toe the line and declare themselves atheists and agnostics are tolerated more easily. Increasing economic independence allows individuals to assert their freedom not to practice religion according to orthodox rules. Modern society and its new dependencies are more powerful than the corresponding feudal ones. You can now defy the clergy but not your company’s management ;-). It helps that there is no central religious authority for Hindus like the Pope for Catholics. Defiance often goes unchallenged.

My personal view (may be wishful thinking) is that the political Hindutva movement will ebb naturally when it has run its course. Increasing economic freedom and empowerment of women will further weaken religious orthodoxy. India will eventually become more like a modern Western society, where most people do not actively practise religion.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

I said:

> Increasing economic independence allows individuals to assert their freedom not to practice religion according to orthodox rules.

Typo, should be “not to practise religion”

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

I think you will find this interesting:

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/article1 603051.ece

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

Matrixx: “I think you will find this interesting:”

This article has already been published in the Guardian and has been torn to pieces by the pack of wolves in that forum:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ 2011/apr/05/rising-india-surrender-natio nal-dignity

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Matrixx and Netizen are made for each other. :-)

No negative point about the other country escapes their watchful gaze…

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Fascinating contrasts. Those are the anecdotes I have heard. As you all know, the exact opposite is happening in Pakistan. Complicating matters is a decentralized religious authority. Management is very much top-heavy. I do wish we Muslims benchmark Al-Andalus instead of Kandahar as the model Islamic society.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

There are indeed some synergies that can be exploited if Matrix and Netizen work together.

Example:

“I was looking for a really miserable article on X but found one on Y instead. I have no use for it but I thought you might like it for your collection. Regards”

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Allah hur jori dekh kay banata hai…

Sorry, i could not resist. That’s the last one, I promise.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

KPS
Interesting none the less.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

Shoaib
Don’t be shy and show me how I compare to Netizen? Poor Neti gets bad name for nothing. I never challenged him.
Insinuations are like gossip, reserved for ladies. Seems like we are getting into some fun stuff.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

@KP

“You took the bait from the Pashtun living in Germany and abusing the freedom and rights given there to him.”

*** :-) that was a calculated limited refresher for him.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

Matrix, I won’t be shy at all. These articles are about pakistan. People are interested in what Pakistanis such as yourself have to say. Your are a realist, I am a dreamer. We can have good discussions about Pakistan instead of India. Don’t fall prey to copy/paste provocations.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Shoaib: “Matrix, I won’t be shy at all. These articles are about pakistan. People are interested in what Pakistanis such as yourself have to say. Your are a realist, I am a dreamerMatrix, I won’t be shy at all. These articles are about pakistan. People are interested in what Pakistanis such as yourself have to say. Your are a realist, I am a dreamer”.

Common Shoaid, I think its the other way. I found you are a bit more realist that matrix not personal about the guy, who is a typical lab rat of pakistani propoganda (To this thought its embedded as India means regional hegemon,poverty,teeming millions sleep on the streets,casteism,insurgencies,corruption  ,brahmin-bania domination,riots,hindu zionists blah blah blah). This group is heavily psychofrenzic in nature, while we Indians could not have cared but for the cross border terrorism emanating from pakistan.

I see anti-India websites being maintained by this group even when relative peace prevails between them.
examples are http://rupeenews.com
see the most funny article to date http://rupeenews.com/?p=13486 is best one which made me laugh like never before. or this famous one http://www.riazhaq.com but this got a bit muted these days.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Sensiblepatriot,

Thanks for the link to riazhaq.com. I know of rupeenews and its dependable entertainment value but this site was new to me. Riaz Haq seems a bit hawkish but isn’t living on another planet (like the rupeenews guy). For example, this article by him referencing (but not fully agreeing with) Gujarati journalist Aakar Patel makes one think: http://bit.ly/hrMVg6

I used to joke that Pakistan as a whole was more hardcore than India because the proportion of Punjabis in the population was higher (sorry KP, Mortal and others!) but Patel’s point about needing a good “caste balance” takes this even further. He also tangentially makes the point about South Indians making good employees (but not entrepreneurs), which resonates with another favourite joke of mine:

- How do you get a South Indian to run a small business?
- Put him in charge of a large one.

(Of course, like all stereotypes, this does no justice to the Shiv Nadars and TV Sundaram Iyengars of the world who built empires like HCL and the TVS group, but it feeds well into the “caste balance” theory.)

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

I agree with the author. Kashmir is the core issue. Why has India historically hesitated to resolve the core issue?

My possible explanations numbered by importance with an admittedly pakistani bias: (Feel free to shred them)

2. Any compromise would embolden energize other Indian insurgencies
1. Sibling rivalry / Pride
4. Historical baggage: Conquests of of pre-Raj India
3. Embolden ‘Islamo-fascism’ or ‘CBT’ in India proper
5. Buffer zone from Pak/China/Khyber Pass (learned from Singh)
6. A genuine belief that Kashmiris will learn to love India
7. Kashmiri dams/water/resources
8. Potential for future reunification of a ‘united’ india
3. New demands, claims and blackmail from Pakistanis and/or Kashmirs
2. Any flexibility will end politician’s reelection prospects

Can we Pakistanis or Kashmiris do anything to placate these concerns so that India is willing to negotiate? or are we simply powerless to budge the South Asian giant?

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Shoaibo said:

> My possible explanations numbered by importance with an admittedly pakistani bias: (Feel free to shred them)

Thanks, that’s a good start at enumerating reasons. Before we start to comment on them, let me contribute a few more possible explanations. I’m trying to keep my Indian biases out of the way while still looking at it from an Indian point of view (if that makes sense). Also, the numbering below does not denote an order of importance. I’m just trying to cover any reasons that may be missed out.

1. A belief that an outrageous demand should not be dignified with negotiation (If someone walks into your house and demands your furniture, would you agree to negotiate or throw him out?) The instrument of accession is a legal document of territorial ownership, after all.

2. Pakistan’s Kashmir argument is not really the root of the relationship problem but a symptom, an excuse and a gambit all at once. The real aim is the step-by-step dismantling of the Indian Union starting with Kashmir, all fuelled by hatred. We must stay strong and not let our nation be destroyed by our enemies who hate us for just existing as a successful nation of Hindus (as they see us) freed from Muslim rule.

3. A hostile border will move closer to Delhi and threaten our security even more (rephrasing of 5).

4. Hate to see the Indian map without Kashmir after growing up seeing all of Kashmir depicted as part of India in maps and textbooks. India looks “beheaded” without Kashmir. Shudder!

5. Loss of face internationally, for one of two reasons:
- We “lost” and Pakistan “won” – oh, the shame!
- We would be admitting that we were wrong all along

6. It will strengthen Islamism over secularism and will consequently threaten our way of life. This is particularly threatening now that we’ve seen the Taliban vision of Utopia.

7. That’s a lot of territory to give away!

8. We’ve poured so much money into that state, even given them special status (Kashmiris can buy property anywhere in India but other Indians can’t buy property in Kashmir). We should not reward ingratitude. (Different twist on 6).

An idea for the analysis part of the exercise:

Try and see which of these reasons would weaken if

1. Pakistan had never employed violence in support of the Kashmir cause, and relations had been friendly overall except for this one outstanding issue
2. Pakistan was a Buddhist country like Thailand
3. Kashmir was a much smaller territory like Sikkim
4. IHK Kashmiris weren’t actively voting in Indian elections and applying for government jobs at the same time that they’re protesting against the Indian army

My belief is that the following reasons you listed aren’t true:

2. Any compromise would embolden energize other Indian insurgencies (I think this domino theory is just scaremongering.)

1. Sibling rivalry / Pride (On the contrary, Indians believe Pakistan suffers from this complex!)

4. Historical baggage: Conquests of of pre-Raj India (This has been forgotten by today’s generation)

8. Potential for future reunification of a ‘united’ india (Nobody seriously wants reunification, not even the Hindutva brigade, as it will mean expanding the electorate with 180 million Muslims from Pakistan and 140 million from Bangladesh. The most that Indians desire is a free-trade zone and visa relaxations.)

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Shoaib:”I agree with the author. Kashmir is the core issue. Why has India historically hesitated to resolve the core issue?”

Shoaib, You put the points very eloquently. Other than the points Prasad described about our differences of opinion,
others you pointed out were closer to our belief. And nothing is more closer than our belief than the point 5.

Indians genuinely believe that One day kashmiris see reason in joining Indian mainstream and we are willing to rectify our mistakes.This is precisely the reason why sajjad lone son of Abdul ghani lone, the great moderate seperatist leader brooded over the fact that they fizzled away their chances of negotiation because he said “we killed our own leaders”. His contention was that strangely Indians did not provide adequate security. Now these are the same people who built up a momentum of intolerance and ethnic nationalism on narrow terms (Kashmir nationalism equating Islamism) and were consumed by the same hatred.Now Hawks and pro pakistani seperatists like Geelani are not worried about their life from Indian Security agencies but more worried about the home grown radicals and pak sponsered terrorists. Hence they cling on to those Harcode ideas as they know any dilution in their stand will end their lives.

In fact, no point is as farther from truth as the point 8. No point is as abhorrent as this, because for the Indian(read majority Hindu) politician’s penchant to play minority appeasement politics and Muslim politician’s (this is more so in south asia) penchant for majoritarian politics in their region (exemplified by kashmiri politicians). It would be a greatest disaster for the Idea of India. God forbid, if the Unision does take place, it will instantly be the end of India and any insane pakistani who want to see India destroyed at any cost would take this one proposal forward. Had I spoken the state secret of India or jumped the gun too much? But this is the truth.

Since contemporary Islam is still not compatible with modern (I would use this rather than western) forms of Governance and only slowly coming to terms with new age thinking (personified by the recent arab revolutions) in many muslim countries, any such merger would be a disaster as political guidance for 45% of muslim population(in southa Asia) then comes from Perceived Islamic Utopias rather than homegrown ideas churned from local dissent.

PS: The idea that Contemporary Islam is not compatible did not occur to me from Huntingtons less than honest work of “clash of civilizations” or despisal of Islam, but for their majoritarian tendencies (again more so in South Asia). Modern thinking is not just enforcing democracy but that would be majoritarian tyranny on minority , but instead more from liberal thinking and criticism of every socio cultural aspect including religion.

After a long time it gives pleasure to have a reasoned debate with you guys and please tell me if I am patronising too much :)

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

“Since contemporary Islam is still not compatible with modern (I would use this rather than western) forms of Governance” – read it as,Since contemporary arab Islam and muslim countries who get inspired by that region is still not compatible with modern (I would use this rather than western) forms of Governance.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Great responses! This is the way to go.

I agree with you; I disagree with you. More importantly, I understand you better than yesterday.

This is how it should be.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

sensiblepatriot;
Neocons would be proud of you but you need to work on your presentation. You also need to weave in ” New world order” into your thinking and bring it down to local solutions.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

2. Pakistan’s Kashmir argument is not really the root of the relationship problem but a symptom, an excuse and a gambit all at once. The real aim is the step-by-step dismantling of the Indian Union starting with Kashmir, all fuelled by hatred
-===

GP,
I am moving you from UNREALISTIC idealist category to pragmatic REALIST category if you really wrote the above.

If my categorization means anything to you …just in case :-)

No question of ceding sovereignty over any part of Jammu Kashmir. If and when discussions begin it should be about asking Pakistan to vacate Occupied Kashmir.

Let the “talks” begin on this good brotherly note :-)

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

One thing I’d like to tell honestly is that India is not the enemy of Pakistan. We simply cannot afford to. Whatever India has been doing is in reaction and self defense. Through the exercise of nation building and democracy for the past 6 decades, we have realized that calm neighborhood is the first need for any progress. Constant engagements and conflicts in the neighborhood, whether it involves us or not, will lead to utter disaster. India learned the hard way when it burnt its own fingers by engaging in a proxy war in Sri Lanka. And the generation of politicians who loved creating and sustaining conflicts has ended. Economic goals and progress associated with it are evident to everyone. India’s world cup victory is an indication of its economic growth more than anything else. A new generation has grown through this economic rise and it does not have the complexes of the past generations and is confident. Dhoni’s team simply reflects that face of India. There is tremendous hope and opportunities for everyone who wants to be a part of it. This has pushed the fundamentalist parties into the background and they are losing the significance that they once had. They relished on the backwardness of India and could control masses. Now most people ignore them and it shows in the votes they get.

Pakistan’s phobia of India might have been justifiable in the past. But today, India wants to move forward and the old phobia in Pakistan towards seems to be major hindrance. Pakistan could be with India the way Bangladesh is. We are not treating them like a small, insignificant neighbor. We do not interfere in their affairs. I wish our businesses can set up shop there and help build their economy so that everyone can live happily.

Kashmir issue needs to be resolved. However, timing is very important. I’d say we need things to reach a mature level on both sides (India and Pakistan) before this matter is taken up under a much friendlier atmosphere than it is today. I want the Indian and Pakistan border guards embrace each other and exchange sweets at the Wagah border instead of rising their feet and take up a belligerent posture. A lot has to change between the two nations before Kashmir issue is settled. Mutual trust will only come with continued exposure between the people. Unnecessary myth and mis-perceptions have been built in the people about each other by vested groups. The only way to break out of it is through personal experience and exposure. Pakistanis and Indians must tour each others’ countries and spend time understanding each other without any preconceived notions. If that happens over ten years, then the power mongers will not be able to mislead the people with their slogans. That is the only way to break out of this jinx.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Netizen said:

> GP, I am moving you from UNREALISTIC idealist category to pragmatic REALIST category if you really wrote the above.

I listed all possible Indian emotions while trying not to feel them myself. I don’t know what category you will put me under in that case.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Matrixx said:

> Neocons would be proud of you but you need to work on your presentation. You also need to weave in ” New world order” into your thinking and bring it down to local solutions.

Oh shut up, wet blanket! Or else join the party and dance. The rest of us are having a good time for a change. :-)

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Shoaibo said:

> Great responses! This is the way to go.
> I agree with you; I disagree with you. More importantly, I understand you better than yesterday.
> This is how it should be.

Yes, good to see a pleasant discussion for a change. We’ve gained ground without causing our countries to lose territory ;-).

I should probably add a ninth point that may cover the Hindu right-wing feeling about Kashmir (although, having never been a part of his movement, I can only guess at what this could be):

9. We are the superior religion, and the Muslims are barbarians who took advantage of our past disunity to invade and conquer us. Now we have awakened, and will never let them get the better of us again. Kashmir is ancient Hindu holy land and we will never give it up. On the contrary, we will one day get back all our rightful territories. The holy Sindhu (Indus) will once again be a river of India.

For what it’s worth, I consider this the saffron mirror-image of Wahhabism, or Swaha-bism for those who appreciate puns in Sanskrit. To be fair to them, it’s probably a bit milder than Wahhabism because there’s no desire to wage jihad beyond the borders of this greater India and convert the barbarians outside.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Ganesh Prasad,
Love that response and I hope you don’t end up dancing with Taliban.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

KP Singh said:

> A new generation has grown through this economic rise and it does not have the complexes of the past generations and is confident. Dhoni’s team simply reflects that face of India.

On that note, the number of medals won by Indians (especially from smaller towns) in the recent Commonwealth Games shows that economic progress is trickling down and benefitting a larger number of people. There’s no reason why this should be restricted to India alone and why this should not be a subcontinental phenomenon.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

My 2cents, unless it has been said already. Some in India say that since India symbolizes secularism and/or unity in diversity, Kashmir independence would be defeat of secularism. I would argue with this point that Kashmir itself has demography that symbolizes secularism, so that will be further evidence of the success of pluralistic society, more so if independent Kashmir is successful as a nation. Then I counter argue my point with 1. diversity in Kashmir has been diluted ever since 1989 and 2. if there is an independent Kashmir, it will be Kashmir valley and Azad Kashmir, enriched in Muslims, which is not a pluralistic “what should have been Kashmir in 1947″

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

Why don’t we do a similar exercise and explore Pakistani attitudes to Kashmir? I’m sure different sections of Pakistani society have different viewpoints, but let’s try and capture the lot.

Here is a start:

1. Sense of injustice – The parallel with Junagadh and Hyderabad justifies the accession of Kashmir to Pakistan, and India has committed an injustice by using the ruler’s accession as an excuse to grab the state.

2. Desire for revenge – In addition to any prior justification, we should make India feel the pain of losing territory just as we felt the loss of East Pakistan.

3. Islamic divine right – Islamic conquest is a high watermark, in the sense that any land conquered by Muslims at any time belongs to Islam thereafter in perpetuity. Other cultures have no legitimacy, and if they ever take back such conquered territory, they’re actually taking what now belongs to us. All of India belongs to us, not just Kashmir (see also point 6).

4. Need to justify the Two Nation Theory – If a Muslim-majority state is happily part of secular India, it means the Two Nation Theory was wrong. This raises an existential question for us.

5. Strategic military advantage – Gaining command of the strategic heights of Kashmir gives us a military advantage over India. The border moves closer to New Delhi, and the scope of China-Pakistan cooperation is enhanced through this corridor.

6. Stepping stone to an Islamic Caliphate – Kashmir is a step along the way to ultimately flying the Islamic flag from Red Fort (Islami Jamhooriya Hindustan).

I’m sure there will be more angles. I don’t know if control of Kashmir has an impact on water resources, but that could be another reason.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

I will give my assessment below which has zero scientific value.

1. Sense of injustice – The parallel with Junagadh and Hyderabad justifies the accession of Kashmir to Pakistan, and India has committed an injustice by using the ruler’s accession as an excuse to grab the state.

….. 90% of the population

2. Desire for revenge – In addition to any prior justification, we should make India feel the pain of losing territory just as we felt the loss of East Pakistan.

….. Upper brass of Military and my parent’s generation. Kashmir by far more painful than East Pakistan. Bangladesh a self-inflicted gunshot for intelligentsia, a matter of revenge for the army, irrelevant to the masses.

3. Islamic divine right – Islamic conquest is a high watermark, in the sense that any land conquered by Muslims at any time belongs to Islam thereafter in perpetuity. Other cultures have no legitimacy, and if they ever take back such conquered territory, they’re actually taking what now belongs to us. All of India belongs to us, not just Kashmir (see also point 6).

….. This segment is growing daily at dangerous levels.

4. Need to justify the Two Nation Theory – If a Muslim-majority state is happily part of secular India, it means the Two Nation Theory was wrong. This raises an existential question for us.

….. I would exclude this one. I don’t think this one bothers anyone

5. Strategic military advantage – Gaining command of the strategic heights of Kashmir gives us a military advantage over India. The border moves closer to New Delhi, and the scope of China-Pakistan cooperation is enhanced through this corridor.

…. Average Pakistani No. Military Probably.

6. Stepping stone to an Islamic Caliphate – Kashmir is a step along the way to ultimately flying the Islamic flag from Red Fort (Islami Jamhooriya Hindustan).

…. The most extreme of the extreme and Zaid Hamid not worthy of this list.

I would add these:

1. “India will steal our water just like land and destroy our agricultural economy. One more way India has the power to suffocate us”
2. “India has designs on the rest of Kashmir”
3. India is subjugating our family members (often literally) on the other side of LOC
4. Free our fellow muslims AND countrymen whether they are independent or part of Pakistan. – Masses
Let us wrest Kashmir from India and bring it where rightly belongs Pakistan – Army

5. Kashmiris will be much better off with us than India.
i.e. We are the “same” people.
AJK is better off than IHK.
Just look at the news

6. Desire for revenge not for East Pakistan but for everything India has inflicted upon us.
7. “India’s injustice and our righteous stand has resulted in our failures in other spheres of nation building.”
8. The army is our protector. surely they know what is best for us.
9. We are the citadel of Islam. We are the frontier of an uninterrupted territory that goes all the way to the Maghreb on the shores of the Atlantic ocean. We have been given the honor to protect the ummah from Non-Muslim hegemony and colonialism.

Matrix, I am often the designated village idiot at dawat baat-cheet in Islamabad and Karachi. You should jump in here to give your pov.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

You will find the following categories in the complied lists.

A. That’s a legitimate concern, I can see that.
B. That is absolutely ridiculous, They should not worry about that.
C. I disagree

This means B has to be communicated. A has to be understood leaving only C to be resolved.

Me and Prasad could solve this thing in 2 days… only to be assassinated by the unlikely parternship of Matrix and Netizen.

I am joking.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Ganesh, Shoaib et al: Nice discussion.

Shoaib:

I have another bad habit of sometimes jumping in uninvited in the discussion :-) HOWEVER, take it positively (no agenda on my part).

Back to your two responses to Ganesh’s points.

Don’t you think your response to #3 is in contradiction with that in #6 (ref: your post on Apr 7, 2011 10:47 pm EDT)

If you say that the segment that feels that “All of India belongs to us, not just Kashmir (Ganesh’s point; see also Ganesh’s point 6).” is growing daily at dangerous levels, then the point that “Kashmir is a step along the way to ultimately flying the Islamic flag from Red Fort (Ganesh’s point; Islami Jamhooriya Hindustan; Zaid HamidISM)” is NOT EXTREME anymore which you feel to be the case.

Unscientifically speaking, this is also supported by Zaid Hamid’s growing popularity. Radicals anywhere always gain in such situations.

Sometime I ask myself a question if Kashmir or any territorial India-Pak problem did not exist, would India-Pakistan call each other friends or have alternate problem.

PS: Separately, If you (or anyone else) have the link to 1hr press footage of world cup you mentioned, please post it.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

Shoaib:
I do read the interaction on this blog as well as other Indian publications and enjoy it. I look at things from wider angle where actions count lot more than declarations. Therefore, I consider myself as a realist.

It is fine to be a dreamer so long you don’t confuse dreams for reality.

I do step into discussion when statements are unreal and are being offered as facts or reality.

As I see it now, the situation is stalemated between India and Pakistan. This is because lager Indian army can’t be used to coerce Pakistan. It is my guess that Pakistan has battlefield nukes and they will used if they cross international border.
India depends on America to bring Pakistan to buy India’s way of doing business on Bangladesh model.

In the next ploy, 26/11 laid the basis for their joint plans of coercion. This was a replay of 9/11 on Indian scale. After that, Hilary Clinton tried a number of things over last two years and you can see that the political capital was wasted and America is now having trouble in settling Afghanistan issue. I’m waiting for Plan B to show up. For Pakistan peace is more important than any useless deal with India. Business investment can’t take place when there is war creeping over the border.
I’m not against travel and trade. I do travel for pleasure but India is not on my list. As far as trade is concerned, let there be mutually beneficial trade but it can’t be one way street.
Regarding Kashmir, I stand for their right to decide their future irrespective of what anybody else wants.

Let me not stop fun and dance, please continue. I will watching from sidelines.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

Shoaibo said:

> Me and Prasad could solve this thing in 2 days… only to be assassinated by the unlikely parternship of Matrix and Netizen. [...] I am joking.

In defence of these two gentlemen, I sense distrust and suspicion of the other side in their posts, rather than hatred. I suspect they would both like to see a peace agreement, but neither of them trusts the bona fides of the other country (with some justification). And building trust is a long and error-prone process.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Rehmat,

No deception was intended between 3 and 6. Prasad has many themes in #3 and a single theme in #6. Perhaps #3 should be broken apart.

Zaid Hamid had street credentials because of his part in fighting the soviets. The hypnosis wore off when he went off the deep end: Kasab is a sikh, looks like an Indian, pak flag on delhi fort, his cultish background among other things. He had this great big revolution meeting…. nobody showed up.

Look at it this way, Islamic republic has not elected Islamic Parties but secular republic of India has elected Hindu Ultra-Nationalists. Yes, I know this is simplistic but I think you might get my counter-point.

Matrix,

I was riding a wave of euphoria… thank you slapping me into cold brutal world of reality.

There are 5 major threats from India

1. Naval Economic blockade
2. Water Treaty Violations to the point of famine
3. Conventional superiority
4. Land grabs
5. Support of separatists

3 is already part of our nuclear doctrine. 1, 2 and even 4 could be added and published.

5 can be handled through very simple governance, justice and nation building.

We have several other deterrents
1. 180 million reserves
2. No oil
3. Cost of occupation

I believe India’s threats are real and significant but tactical in scope not existentialist. What is the point of our nuclear program?

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Matrix, I just read your post again. You are not suggesting India’s an existentialist threat. Ignore my last post.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

yes friends – they play sports to keep people happy not to find out the best team – they give up victory expecting future gains :-|

like WWE (WWF)

Posted by rajeevtco | Report as abusive

Matrix, India and America are a part of the equation for peace in Pak proper. Here are other issues. (I have a penchant for numbered lists).

1. Saudi/Iran proxy sectarian war in Pakistan
2. Afghanistan proximity effect with or without America
3. Our gun culture. (Disclosure: I have several)
4. Porous Western Border
5. Violence in political parties (less now THANK GOD)
6. Criminals
7. 15% budget spent on mostly conventional force leaving precious little for nation building
8. FATA – a haven for every outfit except Dr. Evil
9. Illiteracy – in both secular and islamic subjects
10. Every Foreign Intelligence agency except New Zealand
11. Our cursed geo-strategic location
12. Non-blowback Jihad (AL Qaeda)
13. Blowback Jihad (LeT)
14. Feudalists

I am not saying we ignore US and India, I am suggesting a more holistic approach to tackling our issues.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Shoaib
All these items you listed are linked to lack of leadership and governance. Bring on the full force of law on criminals and hang a dozen of them and all these these criminals would run and hide like rats. Then it would not be civilized to harshly treat criminals.
Why do you want education when being a mafia boss would get you all you want?

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

Matrix :”Neocons would be proud of you but you need to work on your presentation. You also need to weave in ” New world order” into your thinking and bring it down to local solutions”.

The way the Arab revolt is gaining strength, You can see me extremely ecstatic about this new development and need to put me in another category. ;)

It is a matter of fact that Muslim Leaders in India (with some honourable exceptions) have played the Victimisation card. Strangely, they even played this Victimisation card of “Islam khatreme hain” even after gaining their own state.

Shoaib,
We Ourselves have big issues to resolve and they are even more and bigger.
I cant remember all, but Ganesh,KP,Citizen can suggest.

1. Corruption – The mother of all problems.
Its mother is 2. Nepotism(my family first and last),which
forces to build 3. Personality cult,
to sustain that personality cult insists it to make money by 4.weaken Governing structures to loot money who child is 5.semi functional state, while results in weak enforcement of entitlements whose child is 6.poverty whose child is 7. Illeteracy, which inhibits reasoning and causes high growth rate which leads to 8.population explosion, the lack of empowerment will result in more childresn, 9.Naxalism and weak Indian identity, which results in 10. Terrorism. To crush these anti social forces brutally will create a new child called 11.political mafia to absorb excessive unemployment from oversized population. The political mafia enforces weak regulation which results in excessive exploitation whose child is Environmental degradation. To crush the democratic revolt because of this sub human existence bcoz of unhealthy environment rises an impending revolution but,12.casteism is employed and this ploy would suffice to divide people.
Since, we have big problems of our own making. why cant we just forget kashmir and concentrate on them? For pakistan this obsession has led to their destruction and brought them close to the Failded states which was unthinkable in 60′s.
If we could engage the above rroblems which I mentioned we would atleast solve some of them to some extent.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

After reading so many comments and suggestions here I’d say that we are heading nowhere. Both the nations need revolutions. India is witnessing one of the sorts right this moment…can Pakistanis unite for anything other than Islam and India?? Lord Krishna said to Arjun, that he must fight for the cause of humanity and nation for that is the only way of salvation…peaceful but massive revolution of masses only can bring salvation to nations…no bomb, no bullet, no gun can put down revolution by people. Egypt, Libya, Saudi and now India…is Pakistan next??

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

(Excuse me for going completely going off-topic here but I’m posting this message on this blog as it is frequented by many Indians.)

I’m fascinated with the anti-corruption campaign currently in progress in India & urge all Indians & persons of Indian origin (regardless of residence) to join & support Mr. Hazare’s movement. A victory would go a long way, in curbing & eliminating corruption from India. Spread the word!

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_anna_ hazare/96.php

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Ordinary people in India & Pakistan work for their daily bread. They don’t want to hear the war & political issue.The leader in both side want to make issue for their political gains.

Both side have millions below poverty line.Both can use the money spend in war to feed them.No missiles or bombs can feed them.

Posted by DipuKurian | Report as abusive

Bond,
I disagree. Anytime pak/ind, turks/greeks, serbs/bosn, arabs/jews don’t spit venom at each other, we are headed somewhere other than backwards. I would argue that the arabs learned a thing or two from Pak’s ouster of Musharraf. Excuse my complete ignorance of hindu cosmology, Lord Krishna’s morality could be inspirational to Kashmiris as well not just Pakistanis.

SP,
great insight. you better hope RAW or ISI are not reading this thread. As a Pakistani, I would say, let’s focus on our internal problems, growth and prosperity. This should not mean that i want to abandon Kashmiris. My opinion, let’s not look exclusively through the prism of the Kashmir “Nakba”.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Ordinary people in India & Pakistan work for their daily bread.

… The dignity of these people should be our single-minded focus.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Instead of dwelling on the negative stuff all the time, it would be good to look at the positive things as well.

What is common between the two countries and how bridges can be built using the common factors?

Differences help build walls.

I see the list by Shoaibo, Sensiblepatriot, Ganesh etc. We know the negative things already. And they have been repeated over and over again.

To make amends, positive aspects need to be looked at and they will diffuse the antagonism considerably.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Shoaibo:
“Look at it this way, Islamic republic has not elected Islamic Parties but secular republic of India has elected Hindu Ultra-Nationalists. Yes, I know this is simplistic but I think you might get my counter-point.”
*** That is true but it is simplistic as you said.While BJP has ruled central govt and currently rules some states, Islamic Parties in Pakistan have not won central election but have strong influence in provinces (in coalition perhaps).

Radicalism is on the rise in two countries in general. However, the nature and intensity varies:

IN Pakistan there are incidences such as flogging of a girl in SWAT and in India Ram Sena type parties impose their cultural views on young guys/girls in eating joints/bars.

Vajpayee-led BJP brought India a bad name by riots in Gujarat but they began thinking on Kashmir solution (Vajpayee/Musharraf back channel). The religious parties of Pakistan have disproportionate say in matters related to mosque and religion.

Nice article here:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/07/the-relig ious-discourse.html

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

Singh, This is going to shock everyone, but I have a list. Warning: I go way off the deep end here.

1. Tourists –

Pakistanis –> Mughal Architecture, Unislamic recreation a la Dubai, Medical
Indians –> IVC , Gandhara, Holy sites, Shangri La

2. Energy

India –> IPI, TAPI, SUI
Pakistan –> Transient Fees

3.

Security (Ensuring each other’s territorial integrity)
Indian —> Balochistan
Pakistan —> Assam, Naxalites etc.

India –> Western flank
Pakistan –> Eastern flank

5.
India —> Resolution of Core Issues
Pakistan —> Support of UNSC bid, OIC

6. Common tastes & preferences

7. Markets
Pakistan –> 1+ billion market , 200+ million middle class, alternative to China
India –> 180 million market monopolized by China + Afghanistan, Central Asia

8.
Pakistan –> Investment
India –> untapped talent & resources

9. Mitigation of Nuclear Flashpoint

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

While BJP has ruled central govt and currently rules some states, Islamic Parties in Pakistan have not won central election but have strong influence in provinces (in coalition perhaps).

…. i think those were king’s parties. Upon real elections ANP beat MMA in NWFP. Others can correct me if I am wrong.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

KP Singh said:

> I see the list by Shoaibo, Sensiblepatriot, Ganesh etc. We know the negative things already. And they have been repeated over and over again.

The difference is that in the past, these negative points were being hurled by people at each other with heated emotion and harsh language. What we tried to do this time was list the various viewpoints candidly but without getting personally emotional about them. I think this was a useful exercise, since we now have a better understanding of each other’s viewpoint. As expected, it’s not a black-and-white situation from either side.

Importantly, this is still unfinished business. We have to complete the task of collating the discussion into some conclusions and identify the remaining areas of disagreement.

While it’s good to start looking at the positives, let’s not forget to complete the previous discussion.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Shoaibo said:

> 3. Our gun culture. (Disclosure: I have several)

I’m glad I didn’t pick a fight with you, then ;-).

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

The political classification of right wing and left wing used in a pluralistic society cannot be equated with “right wing” in Pakistan, Islamic Republic with guaranteed 3rd class citizenship to non-Muslims. While the tiny minorities of Pakistan have become used to their lowly status, things have gotten much worse now.

In India if you say India is a Hindu country you are an extremist. In Pakistan, the “secular” parties compete with others in trying to prove who is more Islamic, etc.

“secular” ZABhutto passed the law declaring ahmadiyas non-Muslims, paving the way for their persecution. His daughter proudly declared she was responsible for Taliban. This is Pakistani “secularism” .

the “secular” PPP+MQM alliance just passed an amendment stipulating only a Muslim can become pk Prime minister!!!

What could be on the right wing to this politics? Other than suicide bombing, and chopping off women’s noses! It is pretentious to discuss right and left wing in Pakistan and India as if they are same or similar.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

I’m glad I didn’t pick a fight with you, then .

…. I am harmless, I still remember my poor eid ka bakra from age 8. lol.

Singh, the lists could also be useful to break the stalemate by addressing the issue of the OTHER side. I don’t mean to be a cynical egotist but I would not doubt it if Pak/Indo bureacrats have never thought of the problem that way.

‘Our’ list is familiar but ‘their’ list is not. These were new to me:

Delhi’s proximity to Kashmir
Indus is holy to Hindus
Indian fear on offensive jihad on India ‘proper’
Indian perception of importance of TNT to pakistanis.

I was hoping some Pakistanis could contribute as well but my only compatriot matrix will have none of this tomfoolery. LOL.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Shoaibo

Jamaite-Islami (JI) has influence across the border that China and JI signed MoU (Uighur Muslims was the primary reason).

It was interesting to note that a foreign country signs deals with individual political parties rather than the govt.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@Rehmat
“It was interesting to note that a foreign country signs deals with individual political parties rather than the govt”

You must understand that China deals with influence and not necessarily governments. In Pakistan’s case governments are just meaningless. That state is ruled by army and its various “holy” wings and so China deals with them. The Pakistani state has always made itself available to others as a pawn to let use itself in any way its possessor finds fit so long as it hurts India in any way. Same goes for its relationship with China. Age old principle: enemy of my enemy is my friend. What will happen if China like US start looking at India as a better friend than Pakistan. Or still better what if Chinese investment in India goes so high that China starts to threaten Pakistan for stopping the non-state actor BS?? Time will tell.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

Bond,

I would look at it another way.
Pakistan doesn’t care. Anybody willing to help in our cause is welcome. I will give Pakistan some credit here, do we, a pawn, use Kings and Knights as our pawns ????

Regardless, Almost all of India’s neighbors are happy to see Pakistan irritate India.
For smaller neighbors, this means India’s historic and perceived hegemonic tendencies are kept in check. For China, this means India, a historic rival and now a competitor remains embroiled in her own unstable neighborhood.

Any resolution with Pakistan would make India the uncontested regional power and potential global power. Many countries are not interested in Pak/Indo resolution. Curiously the Americans are…. to check China in 2025. For this reason, China won’t tilt towards India over Pakistan. China would be happy to enjoy a trade surplus over both Pak and Inida. However, only a resolution would make Pakistan useless.

Regards.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Shoaib :”This should not mean that i want to abandon Kashmiris. My opinion, let’s not look exclusively through the prism of the Kashmir “Nakba”.”.

It gives me great hope when a Pakistani eventually says “Lets not look exclusively through the prism of kashmir NAKBA”. And even if sizeable section of Middle class pakistanis realize this and make a point by shouting on the roof tops that Kashmir is fine, but what about our country? then may be the establishment listens to you.

I see pakistanis always claiming they are 170 million muslims, I ask them is 5 million kashmiri muslims more important than your own 170 million and their well being that you bind the entire fate of your country to this intractible issue.

I genuinely believe pakistan is more than just a country cribbing about kashmir and ‘cribbing’ is the word that I used because, a country which has become economically crippled,aid dependent and extremist infested loses its moral and geopolitical influence because of the above factors and the world will simply hear all ‘kashmir talk’ of pakistan as merely mindless cribbing.

I have even strangely heard from the same people saying “India would not attain super power status until it resolves Kashmir”. while we are not running after superpowerdom contrary to what may believe ,I am at a loss to understand this issue. Hasn’t the world moved beyond Kashmir? Arab leaders when they meet India use to mention Kashmir, the west used to do it, now they do not. Have you heard from Ban ki moon, that Kashmir resolutions have expired and no longer relevant to existing realities.

I say it again, that Pakistan is much much bigger than kahsmir which is difficult to resolve, because of extreme oddities it displays (majority living in minority area and minority living in majority area and so no one gets all, and as per even pakistanis the seperatists in case of referendum may get thin majority but not majority geographical area, India may not get majority people (although I contest this) on this but gets majority geographical area).

owing to these anomalies, is it correct to tie down entire fate of a country to this issue that even few years back, Pakistan policy was “No normalisation of Relations until Core Issues (read kashmir) are Resolved”.

If the Pakistani state pushes the kashmir issue on the back burner and let the natural evolution of relations based on cultural and geographica similarities were allowed to prosper, then I suspect Kashmir would be such a difficult issue to resolve. For Instance, All the Countries of the ASEAN had issues among them, but when trade bloomed beyond a high watermark, these nations have slowly taken the path of corrective diplomacy rather than aggressive diplomacy to resolve issues.

But when the Indian attempts to address the “aspirations of kahsmiris” (to borrow your words) were repulsed by the assassination of the Moderate Seperate leaders time and again, -http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/09/strike-o ver-killing-of-muslim-cleric-shuts-kashm ir.html – this just happened yesterday, How do you think India should take the dialogue forward? The Pakistani state had abetted terrorism in a fashion that it takes its own momentum and turns on its own mentors and its neighbours, that even if the state wants to come out of this entanglement (dawn afterall says itself that these are pak based aka pak sponsered rebels -Pakistan-based rebels fighting Indian rule blamed the… same link i have provided above. ) It had become inconceivable to do so for them.

This issue which manifests itself as the bare fundemental thread that constituted the anger against India and complicated the average pakistani’s psyche that even celebrities are found flip-flopping their opinions (see afridi, he says good about india,spits out venom the next day, begs BCCI not to treat them as untouchables the next day and that he loves India).
The paradox is indeed struck hard on Indians. This psyche makes you love us on our Big Money,cultural trains (aka bollywood, daily soap) but owing to establishment makes you hypocritic by spitted hatred at the same moment.

Shoaib, dont think this is meaningless musings from an Indian, I spelt it out because we had oppurtinity to speak with some reasonable guys like you and just think of this policy paralysis that had done to pakistan in comparision to India and to its lost generations . we lost too, but we have started taking baby steps.. please ask yourself “have I started taking my baby steps?”

I hope people like Shoaib and any of the dawn’s analysts (and all like minded guys) would have the chance of moulding the opinion of their country for a lasting peace.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Shoaib
You did a good job of compiling the list of cooperative items which may be useful, even though I may not agree with all of them. More interesting, however, is the response of your Indian friends which is zilch. In fact this is quite predictable.
I will now step away to let the discussion take its natural course.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

Asking paks to shed confrontational attitude, shed hostility, etc is futile They are not going to change voluntarily.

But it will be forced upon them by dire economic, internal security situation inside Pakistan.
India has never been better placed to tackle pak aggression as it is today. the worst arrangement was Pakistan posing to be a progressive moderate country, while being an ally of USA, and with American blessings, money and weaponry waging Jihad on India.

That game is over now. Now everyone knows what “Pakistan” is all about. Although if you read the posts by paks here, they would like to believe Pakistan is getting stronger and going places. Pak aggression on India ALWAYS has depended on and circumscribed by other powers, and Pakistan,s economic, geostrategic stature has dramatically decreased this past decade.

this will accelerate in the future. Any influence pak has is through negative means. increasing Chinese investments, and economic interests in India will make pak even less useful to China. But Indians shouldn’t assume we are already there. not yet.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

If the Pakistani state pushes the kashmir issue on the back burner
Posted by sensible patriot
===

They are not going to do it. it is not going to happen.

India’s options are limited to
1. Offering to talk with stipulation of no question of revising borders, ceding territory,etc
2. boosting manpower,technical infrastructure to thwart terrorism ( this is the only tool available to paks)
3. Other means to ensure paks get paid for their midfield.
4. always be prepared for all eventualities.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

for their mischief.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Let me look at some commonalities here:

Corruption: This is one uniform aspect that pervades across the whole sub-continent. Everyone from the peon upwards, all the way to the top is corrupt in one way or another. This is does not exclude those in the military either. Corruption makes the so called leaders, be it military generals or elected politicians to hide their tracks by creating and sustaining issues.

For example, in India, the Shiv Sena’s lucrative business is brokering land deals where builders are forced to go through them when they try to buy land from tenants. If they do not budge, the Shiv Sena will suddenly become the savior of the poor and launch violent protests. Dawood Ibrahim has a hand in the same business in Mumbai. The two groups now use religion as a means to push each other out. Not long ago, the same Shiv Sena targeted South Indian immigrants to Mumbai. This was probably because of their influence on votes to capture the Mumbai Municipal election. Then they went after the Baniyas from North Indian states. I am sure that the underlying reason is not really protecting the Maharashtrian identity. It probably had to do with some group refusing to make deals with them.

I am reading Tariq Ali’s book now. And he shows how the Pak military is building its own feudal system over the country by spreading its tentacles into business, land ownership and other ventures. Many join the military in order to derive the same benefits. In order to keep the monetary flow in its direction, the military has kept several conflicts alive. Proxy elements really help in this regard. Most are expendable peasants who can be used against targets, while the military personnel rake the benefits. He says the military will never allow any settlement in Kashmir or Afghanistan. It never allowed a settlement in Pakistan’s political process itself. This is because, these conflicts help benefit its own cadres from top to bottom.

In India, ex-military generals become defense contractors for foreign weapon suppliers. They become middle men in getting their commission for every deal struck between the politicians and the defense companies.

Corruption has destroyed this region. Look at the 2G scam that swindled the country out of 40 billion dollars. No one is going to recover this money. And this corruption is not new. It was prevalent in the past as well. The British exploited it as well.

South Asia is one land where mothers are for sale. And in corruption we all stay united. That is the real Akhand Bharat. All divisions, caste quotas in India, feudal lordship in Pakistan etc are based on swindling others. So Kashmiris can sit and day dream about their utopian land of freedom. Even there there are those ready to sell their mothers. Welcome to IPL!

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

cyril almeida remarked in an article in dawn, to pluck the low hanging fruits to get into a negotiating mode. The issues such as sir creek and siachen has consensus between Indians and Pakistanis and should get more weightage rather than tough ones.
At the same time, Pakistan should offer MFN (Most Favoured Nation) status to India as India had given and continued the same even during difficult times.

The Resolution of Kashmir should start with eliminating the extreme positions on both sides, i.e) No Changes in Existing Borders (LOC), rest can be taken up in a long drawn process. If the Truth sinks in that the Borders wont be changed, Hawks on the Indian Side will be satisfied and will let the doves take the lead in resolving rest of the issue.
Hmm… thats again a long post (considering the above one too) and I’d love opinions flowing on these.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Matrixx said:

> Shoaib, You did a good job of compiling the list of cooperative items which may be useful, even though I may not agree with all of them. More interesting, however, is the response of your Indian friends which is zilch. In fact this is quite predictable.

What is predictable is your anti-India spin on every situation. Shoaib’s list was completely non-controversial and in line with what many Indians have been advocating all along (i.e., trade, tourism and other mutually beneficial exchanges). And as you know, non-controversial statements generally don’t generate a response.

I do commend Shoaibo for compiling this list. My response at the time was to ask for a wrap-up of the discussion on points of difference before moving on to the positives. Doesn’t this count in your view?

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Ganesh:
I’m still in wait and see mode. However, I like add another item to Shoaib’s list and that is water and air pollution in the general area. It should also include possible Nuclear contamination from power plants and research activity.
On a lighter note, I’m dead set against any tourists taking a dip in Indus river for above mentioned reason. Indus river is only relative clean river left and you don’t want to irritate Sindhi friends.

Keep me posted of progress and I would be checking how hate level changes in Indian Pakistani papers.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

Shoaibo,

First thing, please refer to me by my screen name. Last time you referred to Bond, i thought u r referring to someone else and therefore i did not reply. sure 007 is associated with Bond but still it is confusing for me if u refer me that way. I already have had a lot of trouble in getting a screen name from reuters 2 times registration (777xxx777 and 007xxx are both screen names allocated to me because of some trouble with reuters site) and what not. I would appreciate if u refer me by my screen name only. Thanks.

Now to the discussion:
“Anybody willing to help in our cause is welcome”

Is Pakistan’s sole cause is to hurt India?? That is what it seems right now.

“However, only a resolution would make Pakistan useless.”

You mean that the alms from China would dry up then and the politicians of your country will have to WORK hard to build the nation. Don’t you think you need that desperately already?? Don’t you think Pakistan youth also needs a triggering element to start revolution..not against US, not against Israel, not against India, not to “protect” Islam but to safeguard future of Pakistan. Dont you think it is in interest of Pakistan to have a peace treaty with India?

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

007XXX said:

> Dont you think it is in interest of Pakistan to have a peace treaty with India?

You’re talking to the wrong person. In fact, I get depressed thinking Shoaibo is in the minority over there. My reading of his statements is that he is dispassionately collecting all the arguments from both sides. These are not necessarily his views.

If you can get Matrixx to agree to your question, then it means the world has truly changed, and I’m in wait-and-see mode on that!

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
“If you can get Matrixx to agree to your question, then it means the world has truly changed, and I’m in wait-and-see mode on that!”

We all are representing some or other sections of our countries and humanity in general. My question is for all Pakistanis, I dont mind Matrixx answering that question. My question is very straight forward, all I want to know is what their thoughts on India-Pakistan peace treaty are. Only when we know what other person thinks and why so; only then we can try to pursuade and negotiate. One thing is sure that they know that India-Pakistan treaty is definitely in advantage to India and to intentionally hurt India they can (i deliberately did not say ‘will’) go on denying the peace even if it goes against their own interests. (Remember they ZAB said we will eat grass for 1000 years but build a nuke pile at any cost just to match India) So knowing Pakistanis’ views on the peace treaty is important.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

Ganesh: “You’re talking to the wrong person. In fact, I get depressed thinking Shoaibo is in the minority over there”.

I believe he is a minority because he has the gumption to put out his views bravely disregarding others who might call him unpatrioti,without ghairat (honour) etc,etc even perhaps an Indian agent masquerading as pakitani!

But in the deepest corners of their soul, everybody knows that the current atmosphere is tearing their state’s sould more than anything and while this slow tragedy continues, they harp back into thier only known argument. Denial!

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

You Indians have done every thing under the sun to hurt Pakistan and on top of that you insinuate bad faith to Pakistanis. There has been peace between the two countries for last forty years. Do you know why?

Shaoib is a patriotic Pakistani and I fully respect his views and it might be hard for you Indians to understand.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

while the Gullible Pakistani people are fed into this emotional vortex of Injustice to Kashmiri aspirations,and if the status Quo continues and the relations remain in deep freeze, It will push the pakistan further in choas and will only be blessing for land grabber china. China,which has already started asserting control over the Northern Areas (Gilgit and Baltistan) owing to the dysfunctional nature of the Pakistani state. The Establishment of Pakistan cries foul about the Kashmiris but never talk about the Northern areas which form 90% of the POK which are still ruled by frontier laws. see link below.
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news. php?id=595

I think we Indians have really missed the elephant in the room and that elephant is china. China may well hold cards on kashmir as it has Aksai chin and Northern Areas and Pakistani state will slowly cede all of that region (Northern areas) to China and the region will end up becoming one more unresolved boundary dispute with China.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Shaoib is a patriotic Pakistani and I fully respect his views and it might be hard for you Indians to understand.

…. Indians view of Pakistan is skewed by their view of other auhoritarian regimes. They believe that dissent is heavily policed or self-policed. They probably are aware of our free press but maybe not our regular and vocal critiques of our establishment

If you look at depiction of “Pakistan” in bollywood movies, you will see people wearing sherwaani, Quaid-styled topis and saying “janaab” all the time. Of course, all of this ridiculously passe.

This is due to lack of familiarity with the other.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Dont you think it is in interest of Pakistan to have a peace treaty with India?

…. This can only be answered with a Haiku

Long steady walk
much distance covered
circle

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

China,which has already started asserting control over the Northern Areas (Gilgit and Baltistan) owing to the dysfunctional nature of the Pakistani state. The Establishment of Pakistan cries foul about the Kashmiris but never talk about the Northern areas which form 90% of the POK which are still ruled by frontier laws. see link below.
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news. php?id=595

… The TOI article does not suggest china is controlling, encroaching or invading the northern areas. It has been wisely fencing and securing this mutually agreed a border for a long time. You may be reading something into this article that simply is not there.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Shoaibo said:

> If you look at depiction of “Pakistan” in bollywood movies, you will see people wearing sherwaani, Quaid-styled topis and saying “janaab” all the time. Of course, all of this ridiculously passe. This is due to lack of familiarity with the other.

How true. It’s a pity Lollywood isn’t more prolific and successful, so a truer picture of Pakistani society could be projected. (Conversely, it would be your turn to cringe ;-)).

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

What’s the deal with Altaf Hussain’s MQM? Is it likely to come to power anytime? What will it mean for Pakistan?

http://bit.ly/h9EDBO

“Altaf committed to the natives of Punjab that if his party came to power, it would change the political, social and economic culture of the country. MQM chief announced that his party would bring a revolution of young, educated people in the country and amend the constitution in favour of the labour class, women and minorities who, he said, were still deprived of their true, basic and fundamental rights. He made a commitment to the people of Kashmir that MQM would resolve the issue of Kashmir for good in line with their wishes, whenever it succeeded in forming a government. [...] Altaf announced to make amendments in the constitution in order to revoke discriminatory laws against women and minorities.”

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Prasad, I go out of my way to not see anything made in ‘Lollywood’ to save myself from terminal cringe.

Regarding altaf, all ‘royalty’ in all of our ‘democratic’ parties need to abdicate their rule to a new generation for real change to happen.

Altaf, Sharif, Zardari all have too much corruption and/or blood on their hand. It is time to fall on their swords and HAND OVER power to the ‘young and educated’

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

On the depiction of Pakistani society in Bollywood movies, check out ‘Tere Bin Laden’. I thought it was a bit different from the usual fare. I’d like to know your impressions.

I understand the movie is banned in Pakistan (I wonder why – if anyone should be offended by their portrayal here, it should be the Americans), but you may be able to get your hands on a bootleg copy.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

shoaibo: “Altaf, Sharif, Zardari all have too much corruption and/or blood on their hand. It is time to fall on their swords and HAND OVER power to the ‘young and educated’”

Good luck with that. We have not seen any changes with our new generation of politicians and leaders. It is the system that is corrupt. It is like mud. Anyone who falls into it gets dirty, whether they like it or not. So things move one step forward and two step backwards. That is the way it is.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Singh, falling on swords requires having honor. i have no illusions of that happening. i just want the usual suspects to go away.

Prasad, my bollywood is a bit outdated. the last movie was 1947 Earth and it was absolutely terrific.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

I have painstakingly consolidated our lists for the reason behind the Kashmir stalemate. I have taken liberty in paraphrasing Prasad’s statements. For all the trigger happy people – these lists should be read in quotes not personal declarations. It may be useful for our collective understanding of the other. Regards.

Reasons for India reluctance in resolving Kashmir Issue
1. Instrument of accession makes Kashmir part of India
2. Kashmir is a gambit, Pakistan real aim is to dismantle India.
3. Delhi would be threatened by a hostile neighbor.
4. India without Kashmir on its map is simple inconceivable
5. Loss of face, admission of guilt
6. Islamism gains victory over Secularism
7. Too much territory to simply give away
8. Kashmir should show india gratitude for investment
9. Water
10. Welfare of non-muslim kashmiris

Reasons for Pakistan’s insistence in resolving Kashmir Issue
1. Historic Injustice Kashmir/Junagadh/Hyderabad
2. Liberation of subjugated countrymen in IHK
3. Justice for India’s wrongful actions
4. Water
5. Fear of India’s designs on AJK/GB
6. Pakistan as frontier fortress and defense of islamic lands.
7. Resolution of national catastrophe – the K in Pakistan.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Shoaibo,

You have quite accurately analyzed the K issue. Excellent work.

UN plebiscite can be revisited. However, it needs to be revised to include independence option. It should also include provision for non-Muslim majority areas to decide their own destiny. The current resolution has only two options – join India or Pakistan. We all know that Kashmir’s Muslims may want neither.

One thing you must remember is that China can walk in and take over the whole place if Kashmir becomes independent. They did this in Tibet and no one could do a thing about it. They always create historic claims on every land they walk into. Since Pakistan is a close ally of China, it might not be able to do anything about it. A weakened US might simply protest a little and move on. This is once scenario we Indians have in our list and you do not have it in yours. China does not care what anyone thinks. They might even do this to divert attention on their domestic front.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Singh, me and other pakistanis are aware of the kashmiri independence desires. this is acceptable.

Pakistan’s experience with china has been very positive on the territorial side. They agreed to all of our claims even though they are 15?? times bigger than us.

I don’t know much about china’s territorial claims except taiwan and arunchal pradesh.
I thought they had already taken everything they wanted in terms of territory? what else are they interested.

Perhaps an indian perspective on china would be of value. what else do you **think** they want? How could they POSSIBLY claim srinagar.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

@SP
Not aware of any “consensus” on Siachen.

http://tinyurl.com/3rtur7n

BY Brig (Retd) Gurmeet Kanwal
Director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), New Delhi

EXCERPTS-
“However, Pakistan’s military capacity to grab and
hold on to vacated Indian positions after the
demilitarisation agreement comes into effect needs
to be carefully evaluated.”

“India should insist on building a clause into the
demilitarisation agreement that in case of a clear
military violation of the agreement, both sides
reserve the right to take whatever action they deem
fit, including offensive military measures.
Simultaneously with the withdrawal of its troops from
the glacial heights, India should create and maintain
suitably structured reserves for counter-action across
the LoC at a point of its choosing. These quick
reaction teams should have air assault capability
with sufficient assets for air maintenance. They should
be stationed in Ladakh, acclimatised for launching
operations in high altitude and should be maintained
at a high state of readiness. The Indian Air Force must
equip itself with suitable surveillance and ground
attack means to detect and attack Pakistani
intrusions.”

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Shoaibo: “Perhaps an indian perspective on china would be of value. what else do you **think** they want? How could they POSSIBLY claim srinagar.”

I do not claim to speak for all Indians. I do have relatives in our military, three in the army, one in the navy and two in the air force. I have talked with them about China. Military personnel always have their own views on geo-politics. Let me share their views. They are the ones who are associated with strategic issues of this kind. So what I present here as Indian view might be very different from that of the common man in India.

China’s relationship to Pakistan is not so much from a friendship stand point. China is kind to Pakistan for the obvious reason – both have their views aligned towards India for their own strategic reasons. If China had some alternative other than Pakistan, they would take that too. And Pakistan’s reliance and tolerance towards China stems from the same need. But China did not help Pakistan when India got involved in East Pakistan. And Pakistan did not jump in from the rear when China attacked India in 1962. Both probably see it as missed opportunities. So India has now begun to look at Pakistan and China together rather than separate entities to deal with. One of the Indian military generals has even talked loud about taking on the two. This is not possible today from a realistic stand point. But generals do what they do.

Now Kashmir becomes a very important part of the geo-strategic equation vis-a-vis Pak/China angle. In the past it used to be just an issue between India and Pakistan. But China might either want an independent Kashmir that is in strong alliance with it or might begin to dominate Pakistan controlled Kashmir. From Indian stand point, it looks as though Pakistan has leased its part of the Kashmir to China. Karakoram highway is the backbone of this new strategy where troops can be moved in very fast if needed. It may not be just for expanding trade route from China’s hinterlands to the Arabian sea.

All the rise in Jihad and liberation calls, from the Indian strategic perspective, carry a Chinese under tone. That is one reason why India has a huge military presence in Kashmir. There is something brewing and India does not want to be caught off guard. It is possible that India is slowly tilting the balance against Pakistan by pulling the US towards its side. India is probably doing this to counter the Sino-Pak strategic move in the region.

Pakistanis want plebiscite etc from Indian held Kashmir only. If they are fair, they would demand the same from the Kashmir held by them. And if they agree that it is a disputed territory needing UN intervention, they would not have allowed China to build a road through that territory. Until Kashmir issue is resolved, it should be off limits to everyone. But Pakistan is already treating Azad Kashmir as its own province, leasing out land to China, while demanding from India fairness towards Kashmir. This discrepancy is obvious to the Indian strategists, but Pakistanis do not want to consider it at all. So if UN plebiscite has to be held, everything done in the whole of Kashmir has to be undone. This means the Karakoram highway has to be demolished entirely and land ceded to China by Pakistan has to be returned. Whatever conditions existed in 1948 (other than the people who are dead and gone), has to be brought back to the same level, specifically in regards to real estate. Then the UN resolution might have some validity. Since all these aspects have been ignored and only selective items have been chosen by Pakistan, it looks clear to the Indian strategists that China has increasing its presence in this part of the region. India is not even considering Pakistan here. It is looking at China. Both are huge countries and are almost at par on many fronts. So Kashmir has become an intractable situation due to the Chinese ambitions in the region. India is unwilling to move on Kashmir because we simply cannot allow China to gain control over our heads. China is exploiting Pakistan’s phobia and venom against India to the hilt.

Hope I have given some perspective about why India is not budging in regards to Kashmir. The only way a solution can arise is by diffusing the apprehensions of India regarding China-Pakistan collaboration. If Pakistan demands India vacate from Afghanistan, then India has every right to demand Chinese exit from Pakistan. But that is not going to happen. These are unnecessary moves and counter moves. You and I can sit and analyze these moves. But it is not going to change anything for us. I have only given the perspective from our military’s view point. Our elected governments do listen to our military strategists and that could be one reason why they are not willing to move forward in regards to Kashmir. This is despite opposing parties occupying the center of the power.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

This is an interesting article: http://bit.ly/hQT5jh

So, are Indians and Pakistanis really the same people?

I would say yes, no, yes and yes.

Considering that a single country was partitioned into India and Pakistan, the simplistic answer would be yes.

But considering that apart from Punjabis and Sindhis, there are no shared ethnicities between the two countries, the more discerning answer seems to be no. (Pakistanis also seem to consider religion as a big differentiator, Indians less so.)

However, step out of the subcontinent and look at Indians and Pakistanis in a third country. There is far greater similarity between the two peoples that distinguishes them as a group from the people of the host or other countries. So the answer again seems to be yes.

And finally, if we look at the entire world as made up of humanity, then there is ultimately no difference between any two peoples, so once again the answer is yes.

Once peace rules, the “yes” answer will seem more plausible, but the catch-22 is that the “no” answer in the minds of enough influential people will keep us from ever getting there.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Shoaibo said:

> Perhaps an indian perspective on china would be of value. what else do you **think** they want? How could they POSSIBLY claim srinagar.

It is sobering to think that Tibet was once an independent country, one of the largest in Asia by area. We don’t even think about Tibet as a country anymore, so completely has China taken over. It is scary.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Shoaibo (Would you prefer to be called Shoaib or Shoaibo?),

Thanks for consolidating the lists of Kashmir-related reasons. You’ve done a good job paraphrasing what I said. I would just suggest a minor change to point 3 to read “Delhi would lie closer to the hostile border” to make it clearer.

I notice the more diplomatic phrasing of two of the latter points (Pakistan’s reasons). I guess “justice for wrongful actions” could also be seen as revenge, which some people want. And “frontier fortress (citadel) of Islam” puts a more defensive slant on an aggressive expansionist ideology, which again some people have. No big deal.

Good that you have eliminated the points that are often ascribed by one side to the other but are actually irrelevant.

I guess what remains is really the core of the arguments on either side. We should be able to “frame and hang this on the wall” somewhere for regular reference in our discussions.

What do you think of the moratorium suggestion? Freeze the border and normalise relations first, then reopen the Kashmir discussion in a more relaxed way after a few years of peace and friendship. India would be very much in favour of this approach, but clearly this is not to Pakistan’s liking, or it would have happened already. What are Pakistani objections to this suggestion? Let’s try another list.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

While we are cozying up, the real people who control the knobs in Pakistan seem to have a dim view of the thaw in relations between the two countries:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/audio-news -video/Hafiz-Saeed-slams-Indo-Pak-peace- initiative/Article2-684463.aspx

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Prasad,

I have been called much worse. Either will do.

My opinion is Indian subcontinent is like Europe.
The two main, current nation-states (Pakistan and India) are each a nation of nations.
Collectively, they are one civilization of different cultures, languages etc.

In other words, France and Germany are very different but to someone on the other side of the planet — they are similar.

One difference is that it is a fusion of two major civilizational powerhouses – Indo/Islamic. Another differerence is the diversity of races in the subcontinent.

In modern times, As Indians will be more than eager to point out, Pakistan and India have taken two separate routes which makes them different.

Our differences are too much to be one country or people but our similarities are enough to be the asian version of the European Union.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Singh, fascinating post. I always thought of Karakoram highway as a trade corridor but after your point it makes a LOT of sense as a dual-purpose project.

The territory ceded to china has a clause related to the ‘eventual’ kashmiri resolution.
I believe this clause is 1 more reason for chinese to not want an indo/pak entente.
We genuinely believe that this ceded land does not belong to us or kashmiris and in return we got what we wanted. you will notice kashmiris dont complain about this land. your point is fair enough though… Pakistan does not want to take on china for a barren, uninhabited land.

I will google china’s ambitions in the region.

One thing I did not understand was how lack of cooperation betweeen pak and china in 62,71 makes you think of them as a collaborative threat. I thought you would’ve drawn the opposite conclusion.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Prasad, i paraphrased to make the list easier to manage. s On india points, it would not suprise me if my bias seeped in but it was subconscious.

I tried to word the pak point based on what i think is more representative of the majority.

a poor example about terminology: if a family member is killed by a drugged-up driver. the family may want the driver to be hanged. To the victim’s family this is justice, to the offender it is revenge.

regarding, the citadel point, i genuinely believe Pakistan wants nothing to do with an inch of india other than kashmir, perhaps even JUST the valley. It is a defensive posture against an “invader”. we do take pride and being frontier nation, the country that holds back much more powerful countries from the islamic world. Also, pak taking india is simply a ridiculous notion for all except hafiz saeed.

Posted by shoaibo | Report as abusive

Shoaib said:

> My opinion is Indian subcontinent is like Europe.
[...]
> Our differences are too much to be one country or people but our similarities are enough to be the asian version of the European Union.

My view as well :-).

> Collectively, they [Pakistan and India] are one civilization of different cultures, languages etc.
[...]
> One difference is that it is a fusion of two major civilizational powerhouses – Indo/Islamic. Another differerence is the diversity of races in the subcontinent.

This is a very respectful view that does not denigrate the other but recognises its equal legitimacy. I concur. And like I said before, I hope you are not a minority voice on the Pakistani side. Peace would be a cinch if everybody thought like you.

Psychologists say the most reliable indicator of an impending divorce between married people is the emotion of contempt, and conversely, that married people who respect each other tend to stay together. I think mutual civilisational respect is what we need for cordial relations and a successful “marriage” between our two countries. If one looks at either the Wahhabist school or the Hindutva movement, this is exactly what they lack – respect for the other.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Shoaibo: “One thing I did not understand was how lack of cooperation betweeen pak and china in 62,71 makes you think of them as a collaborative threat. I thought you would’ve drawn the opposite conclusion.”

In 1962 and 1971, China was not that powerful. In 1962, India had a namesake military. Jawaharlal Nehru did not invest much on national security as he naively trusted Zhou En Lai like his brother. China was more powerful then as it is now. But China was not a world power like it is today.

Ayub Khan, according to what I have been reading, was a very pragmatic and practical man. He had no interest in nukes. He did not plan the 1965 war on India either. But he was pushed for both by ZA Bhutto. Later on after the war became a surprise debacle for all parties, Bhutto is believed to have said,”Yes, I instigated the war by convincing Ayub. But that way I know the military will face the wrath of the people.” Bhutto was also one of the factors behind the East Pakistan genocide.

In 1971, Indira Gandhi did not decide to cut East Pakistan off either. She was a very hesitant and indecisive person. She was convinced by a clique of strategists who campaigned for an opportunity of a life time. They finally convinced her of this quick surgical action. India made the move and Pakistan lost its Eastern arm.

Later on I have read in a work by Mr. Siddique Saliq, a Pakistan POW from 1971, raising the point. He argued that the Indians were smart enough to make the move when Pakistan was at its weakest point. He regretted that the Pakistanis did not capitalize on Chinese rout of India in 1962 likewise. It was a missed opportunity according to him. Had Pakistan taken on India in 1962, while the Chinese mauled India in the North, they probably could have wrested Kashmir from India and caused more damage.

The US was always a factor in all these. However, India liberated Bangladesh under the nose of the US boldly. And Pakistan or China could have done the same to India. They missed the opportunity that is never going to come. India is now nuclear capable and has the missiles to level China. So China has resorted to proxy means.

Those who miss an opportunity, look for the next one and it always comes in one way or another. History is full of it. So India has become cautious of this fact. Our strategists know about the missed chance for Pakistan and China in 1962. So they always expect a similar down fall for India. In 1991, India did face a similar brink. It experienced a leadership vacuum. Khalistan campaign was at its peak. Somehow, India managed to get out of that grip. So the caution is even more.

India now believes that Pakistan and China are building trenches for the future to stumble India. Hence its tight grip on Kashmir. China is waiting for the US to weaken further. I think Pakistan is slowly emasculating the Americans. Beyond a threshold point, the US will be forced to get back to the basics and focus on its own survival. And China will be at a higher vantage point. India is aware of this eventual situation. And it is not moving back from its stance as a result. That is one reason why India is working hard to strengthen its economic front at the same time. Being just a military power is not adequate. One needs deep economic foundation that will take on shocks and provide stability at the same time.

Hope I have made myself clear.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Shoaib,

To me, the difference between justice and revenge is not just the viewpoint. A person interested in justice for wrongs suffered may be content with an apology (a validation of the feeling) and reparations (compensation for loss to the extent possible). A person interested in revenge would not be content with that. They would want to inflict hurt in equal proportion. I believe (on the basis of my readings on blogs and elsewhere) that there are people in Pakistan to want to hurt India for its perceived injustices, and would not be satisfied with a mere settlement of outstanding issues even if accompanied by official apologies. I thought that may be an important enough difference to highlight.

> we do take pride and being frontier nation, the country that holds back much more powerful countries from the islamic world.

This is an interesting view. I was reading an article just a couple of days ago (sorry, can’t recall the link, I read too many things to keep track of everything) by an Indian author (not necessarily a right-winger) who argued that India was the bulwark that saved countries like Burma and Thailand from aggressive Islamic conquest.

> Also, pak taking india is simply a ridiculous notion for all except hafiz saeed.

And at least some sections of the PA/ISI, it would seem. “Mughalistan” or “Mughalstan” is a term we come across a lot in this context. It may be a ridiculous notion, but it doesn’t stop some people from trying, and even low-level hostilities that stem from that view are sufficient to keep a detente at bay.

You made a number of points about India and Pakistan as peoples and as civilisations (Comment URL: http://reut.rs/gMgD0p). Let’s try a snap poll – Matrixx, Umair and any other Pakistanis reading this, do you agree with what Shoaib has written? What’s your view?

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

In 1971, Indira Gandhi did not decide to cut East Pakistan off either. She was a very hesitant and indecisive person. She was convinced by a clique of strategists who campaigned for an opportunity of a life time.
Posted by KPSingh01
==

I’m afraid the above statement is an inaccurate description of events in 1971. The truth is every one was hesitant including Indira Gandhi, as they should be. India is/has been a responsible nation, and not Pakistan to go into wars willy nilly.

Indian strategic leadership was forced by refugee crisis, and continued West Pakistani aggression. Final DECISIVE leadership was provided by Indira Gandhi. This has been acknowledged by even Indian right wing- which doesn’t give any credit to Congress or Nehru dynasty for any thing positive.

http://www.rediff.com/news/2006/dec/26cl aude.htm

EXCERPTS-
“To divert the pressure applied by the Mukti Bahini on the eastern front, the Pakistan air force launched an attack on six Indian airfields in Kashmir and Punjab on December 3. It was the beginning of the war…..

……Let me recount an anecdote related to me by Major General K K Tewari (retd), Chief Signal Officer, Eastern Command, during the 1971 War.

General Tewari was present at a briefing the three defence services held for Indira Gandhi. She was seated at a large table. On one side was General S H F J Manekshaw, the army chief, and on the other Admiral S M Nanda, the navy chief.

During the course of the presentation, the admiral intervened and said: ‘Madam, the US 8th Fleet is sailing into the Bay of Bengal.’ Nothing happened; the briefing continued. After sometime, the admiral repeated, ‘Madam, I have to inform you that the 8th Fleet is sailing into the Bay of Bengal.’ She cut him off immediately: ‘Admiral, I heard you the first time, let us go on with the briefing.’

All the officers present were stunned. Ultimately, their morale was tremendously boosted by the prime minister’s attitude. She had demonstrated her utter contempt for the American bluff…..

… Finally, on December 16, Niazi surrendered to Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora…..

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

KPSigh:
You are getting the drift of things regarding China’s relationship with Pakistan. There other threads that go around India. It is for you to dig deeper.
Since India is coordinating with America, it is rigid and hegemonic in its treatment of Pakistan and it is not a road to peace. In any case, later this year, the Afghanistan policy proposals will set the future trends.
Netzen:
As far as 1971 war is concerned, India attacked another country and it did the same in 1965, across international borders, simple case of aggression. That is why India is enemy number one. Nobody is buying your sob stories.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

Nobody is buying your sob stories.

Posted by Matrixx
==

Who is nobody :-)

http://archives.dawn.com/2005/08/02/nat4 .htm

Pakistan sent infiltrators to Kashmir in ’65: Nur Khan

By Arshad Sharif

ISLAMABAD, Aug 1: Pakistan Air Force and Navy were not taken into confidence by the top army command as they started a secret operation to launch infiltrators into Kashmir — an operation which finally led to Pakistan-India war in 1965, said former chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Nur Khan, here on Monday.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

1971 PA decided to bring bad reputation to Chengiz Khan by naming air attack on India “Operation Chengiz Khan” :-)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates  /stories/december/3/newsid_2519000/2519 133.stm

1971: Pakistan intensifies air raids on India

Jets from West Pakistan have attacked at least four Indian airports, with reports eight airfields have been struck.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Netizen: “Final DECISIVE leadership was provided by Indira Gandhi. This has been acknowledged by even Indian right wing- which doesn’t give any credit to Congress or Nehru dynasty for any thing positive.”

Of course the final decision had to come from IG. She was the head of state. But she did not plan the bifurcation of Pakistan. If she raised the topic of a golden opportunity to weaken Pakistan and then engaged Indian military from the beginning in East Pakistan and then waited for the right time to make the final blow, you would have been correct in your claim. The fact is that this quick surgical action was proposed by Indian strategists and taken up with Mrs. IG. She had promised Nixon that she would not invade Pakistan when it was mired in a civil war. But her advisers managed to convince her. And only she, as the head of state, had to the authority to let it happen. I would not give her credit for being a genius strategist, because she was not. Even her declaration of emergency was pushed hard by her rogue son and his clique. She was very hesitant to impose it. She completely screwed up in the case of Khalistan and paid the price for it. I am not saying any of this from my personal standpoint (i being a Sikh and my view point skewed by Operation Blue star). She finally decided to go along with the plan of cutting Pakistan in half.

If she had hesitated further, India would be in history and many of its states would be in geography as separate entities. Some of them might even be fighting wars between them. Her father Nehru would not have allowed for interference in East Pakistan.

IG shot down the plan to take out Kahuta enrichment plant as well. The Israelis and Indian strategists found a window of time to strike hard and set things back by a couple of decades in Pakistan (source: Nuclear Deception). She was deciding and deciding and the CIA managed to tip the Pakistanis about this plan and the window of opportunity was lost. If they had struck down the Pakistani reactor and enrichment facility, Jihad would not have burnt Kashmir and terrorism would not have grown this much. It is the nuclear guarantee that has made these terrorist organizations quite bold.

Opportunities come both ways. If taken, and timed right, they can make long lasting effects. Pakistan could have derailed India completely if they had taken the opportunity to strike in 1962 when China hit India from the other side. We probably won’t be here as Indians. Pakistan nearly came close to getting Kashmir out of India’s grip. 9/11 destroyed that effort. There are enough elements on both sides, which still think of new opportunities. And everything becomes “strategic.”

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KP Singh,

Minor quibble: the Prime Minister is the head of government. The President is the head of state.

Trivia: Heads of state get a 21-gun salute. Heads of government have to make do with 19 :-).

> She [Indira Gandhi] was a very hesitant and indecisive person. She was convinced by a clique of strategists who campaigned for an opportunity of a life time.

It’s a very different picture of her than what we are used to hearing, that she was “the only man in the cabinet”. Still, who knows what lies behind the public persona?

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Netizen posted:

> ISLAMABAD, Aug 1: Pakistan Air Force and Navy were not taken into confidence by the top army command as they started a secret operation to launch infiltrators into Kashmir — an operation which finally led to Pakistan-India war in 1965, said former chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Nur Khan, here on Monday.

Not just Air Marshal Nur Khan, Air Marshal Asghar Khan (who had retired just before the 65 war), said the same thing. He contacted Ayub Khan and the latter confirmed to him that Pakistan has indeed attacked first.

This is available in an interview excerpted in one of the episodes of An Enemy Imagined (don’t remember which one, but watch all 18 installments anyway). It’s all available on YouTube. Also check out all the things Prof Aasim Sajjad of LUMS has to say in this (Pakistan-produced) series.

Matrixx, you need to get rid of the earplugs and the blindfold and *really* open your mind. No one objects to a difference of opinion and robust debate but beyond a point, your state of denial gets tiresome and people don’t respect you anymore.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Ganesh: “he Prime Minister is the head of government. The President is the head of state.

Trivia: Heads of state get a 21-gun salute. Heads of government have to make do with 19 ”

Thanks. However, in the Indian system, President is a rubber stamp. It is the Prime Minister who has the power. So his or her decisions count.

I have read the biography of Indira Gandhi by her friend Pupul Jeyakar long ago. In that she describes IG’s personality. She was a cut throat politician at the same time. Her coquettish demeanor belied the power craze in her. She led the Indian democracy by institutionalizing corruption. She won by her charisma more than anything else. She looked white and European. Most backward and poor people had no qualms about voting her to power, no matter where she stood for election. Her father and her son had the same charisma and reach. None of the present day Indian leaders have the mass appeal that spans across the whole country. I do not know how Rahul Gandhi would fare. White skin and European looks fetches a lot of favor in India without needing much effort.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Ganesh: “It’s a very different picture of her than what we are used to hearing, that she was “the only man in the cabinet”. Still, who knows what lies behind the public persona?”

The others were mostly clowns. Only may be Morarji Desai had some leadership skill. IG’s clique wiped out the base for many older generation Gandhian politicians. Hers was a new generation that took India in a different direction. I sometimes dread to think what would have happened if IG and(or) Sanjay Gandhi had lived longer.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Matrix: “Since India is coordinating with America, it is rigid and hegemonic in its treatment of Pakistan and it is not a road to peace. In any case, later this year, the Afghanistan policy proposals will set the future trends.”

You guys keep saying India is hegemonic. Please provide some logical points to support this statement. A hegemonic state will do what Pakistan will do – demand everything in its favor. Pakistan demands that India hold plebiscite in Indian held Kashmir. No one talks about PoK. Pakistan demands that India close down all consulates in Afghanistan. Pakistan demands that India leave Afghanistan because “there is nothing common between Indians and Afghans.” But Pakistan is smooching with China with whom there is absolutely nothing common. Pakistan demands that America should be their loyal ally and not favor India. Give one example of what India has demanded. It is Pakistan that has refused to help and co-operate when it citizens entered India and killed innocent civilians at Mumbai. India has not sent in its Hindutva brigades and wreaked havoc inside Pakistan. Hegemonist states will campaign hard on all fronts and deny privileges to their enemies. They will not stop pushing wherever they can. Look at the picture clearly. Pakistan has been doing most of it. India has no interest in dominating others today. India simply does not want to be dominated or intimidated. Whatever it has been doing is in this regard.

You are banking too much on Afghanistan’s future. The problem is there is going to be no future. Pakistan simply cannot go back to the days of controlling Afghanistan by remote control. It does not have the money, resources or support to do that. It is no longer the darling of the ignorant West. China will get in and control things. And when Chinese control, they will give you no options. They make the rules and you and your Afghan brothers will follow them. Because there will be no one else left to sympathize with you. The next phase will see China facing the Islamists. It will be an interesting encounter. They have no idea what they are going to deal with. But they have their own brutal ways to achieve their ends. They are accountable to no one.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KPSingh: According to you, it is all Pakistan’s fault and all evil exists in Pakistan. Does it not mean that Indians should stay away from Pakistan? You in fact reinforce my position that there is no basis for good relations between the two countries.
Even the evil people have the right to choose their friends and enemies. Thanks for your advice.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

Matrixx,

It’s more nuanced than that, and you’re intelligent enough to understand it. The point being made is that the PA has acted belligerently in the past (and this perhaps continues).

Taking these arguments to mean that everyone in Pakistan is evil is unwarranted. On the contrary, KP has often made the point that the people of Pakistan have been misled by the establishment.

Try and engage without escalation.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@KPSingh,
Please consider the possibility your passionate dislike of IG (for other reasons) may cloud your assessment of her. It is true she destroyed inner party democracy in Congress party, a great disservice to the country. Your comment her European looks is the reason for her success is rather unfortunate. You don’t understand, to this day only the Nehru dynasty has genuine pan-Indian appeal, from Assam to Gujarat, Kashmir to Kanyakumari. They have been to this day willing to listen to the periphral states, and display the impression they don’t belong to one part of the country. This doesn’t mean I approve dynastic rule. Just pointing out the reality.

Your comments about Indian “hegemony” as claimed by paks.

It is very simple. This is a code word to demand
(1)India should punch BELOW its size, economy, military stength would permit
(2) Pakistan should punch ABOVE its size, economy, military strength would permit.

In 5 years if Indian economy is 20 times the size of Pakistan’s, still they should be treated as equals :-)
Any one who understands this has understood the “pakistan ideology”.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

netizen: “In 5 years if Indian economy is 20 times the size of Pakistan’s, still they should be treated as equals”

I have always wondered about this. Do they lack perception? Is it the reason for them to be striving to achieve parity on every front with India? Even most countries call us “rivals.” They would not call India and Bangladesh as rivals, when the latter has more population than Pakistan. India and Pakistan are called as South Asian rivals. It is this attitude of Pakistanis to see themselves above or at par with India that has been the core problem. They would not equate themselves with China or Russia. Somehow India seems to appear inferior in their eyes. And that is one reason why they have attacked India four times directly and many times indirectly. Some of their historians believe that Pakistan was the entire sub-continent where they ruled for more than 800 years until the British cut them into a small nation while giving the majority of their land to their past subjects, the Hindus. Seeing themselves as rulers, they are still struggling to come to terms with accepting the reality. Anyway, this is something that will die out with time. We can focus on talking to sensible people across the border. There seem to be some.

BTW: I do not have anything passionate against IG. I treat people on their merit. Most of her family members made it big without any efforts and acted like royal people. She did to India what ZA Bhutto did to Pakistan. While India survived, Pakistan has been devastated.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Matrixx: “According to you, it is all Pakistan’s fault and all evil exists in Pakistan. Does it not mean that Indians should stay away from Pakistan?”

I gave some examples at least. Can you counter my points with some valid information? Show me with valid references where India appears belligerent to Pakistan. You need to understand that it is the perception from your end and not a fact. India knows its limitations and will not go beyond that.

As far staying away from Pakistan, yes, we would like to do that if that would do good. Unfortunately some of your countrymen, including the generals will go jobless if they do not play the India card. So long as they are there, we have to do what we do.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Unfortunately for Common people like Matrix who are fed hatred of India by their establishmet in pakistan, the Idea that India may perhaps be breaking with the past and moving away (I would rather say entire south Asia) is an anathema to their mind.

I always believed people who are exposed to liberal media will not be as bigoted as people who are fed only narrow and twisted propoganda of civilizational greatness.

But I am very surprised with these bigots because even with the English media and other liberal sources that are at their disposal. I am still unable to understand how people can be confined to their narrow narratives of pakistan.

Although it is possible to expect a chinese (or a mullah), though highly educated he might be, to have constricted ideas of his country bcoz of the media clampdown, one cannot belive that even in pakistan where free media reigns and a decent liberal news papers with diehard secularists exist, people like Zaid Hamid still roam around without being questioned in their News channels.
It is this popularity that even praveen Togadia (RSS,VHP) should have been jealous about. He must be longing to meet Zaid hamid to know how he twisted even the English speaking-western branding tugging educated Pakistanis into bending and twisting his ideas to match his dogmatism .

I am not here to pass judgements but I can only hope people like matrix keep reading economic (or better UNDP) indicators across south Asia while not being selective and he will find that,not only Srilanka,Bangladesh (of course India too) but also Nepal has overtaken pakistan in GDP Growth Rate.
It is now ascertained that Bangladesh will reach UNDP goals faster and accoring to Dawn author’s own admission Pakistan is at the cross roads of Education emergency.

Indian Strategists are hoping that bilateral trade with china and close American partership will allow India to close the clout that the chinese right now enjoy. When the trade between china and india crosses the threshold value when chinese belligerence against India looks more and more irrelevant, then Chinese wouldn’t lift a finger before they dump pakistan. As the Chinese and Indians wait for the slow and long decline of the American influence, they will simply build up ties with Iran and Chinese in particular may not have to depend on the land link that they are right now guarding zealously.

When others are playing the Great game cautiously and diligently experts are bedevilled as to why Pakistan is playing the adverserial role against India without first building itself. But few know that it is this machismo by the Army which is needed to usurp people’s aspirations and cling on to power.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

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