Comments on: Pakistan, India and the possibility of change http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2011/07/25/pakistan-india-and-the-possibility-of-change/ Perspectives on Pakistan Thu, 01 Oct 2015 19:31:05 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Mortal1 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2011/07/25/pakistan-india-and-the-possibility-of-change/comment-page-1/#comment-39266 Thu, 28 Jul 2011 01:06:55 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=7573#comment-39266 It’s no secret that Pakistan’s foreign policy is dictated by the generals in Rawalpindi & the civilian govt has no control over it. Meeting of foreign ministers could thaw the ice a bit but that’s pretty much it. Unless there’s a fundamental change in anti-India ideology of the Pakistani military establishment, all talks are futile. Also, it’s none of my concern but Pakistan’s new foreign minister, Hina Khar, seems too inexperienced & young to deal with the extraordinary diplomatic challenges, which that country currently faces.

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By: kEiThZ http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2011/07/25/pakistan-india-and-the-possibility-of-change/comment-page-1/#comment-39265 Wed, 27 Jul 2011 23:10:34 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=7573#comment-39265 Unfortunately, I can’t be so optimistic. The problem with using economic ties, is that from the Pakistan Army perspective, this makes it very difficult to sustain conflict with India. Once Pakistan is plugged in to the Indian economy and Lahori businessmen are flying to Delhi and Chandigarh instead of Karachi (whose own businesspeople will be flying to Mumbai and Hyderabad instead of Islamabad), it will be very difficult to sustain this narrative of India as hostile.

Not just that, but in the event of actual hostilities, Pakistan would face additional vulnerabilities. Their economy would suffer if trade was cut with India (which tends to happen during hostilities). And they might risk losing strategic supplies and spares if those are made in India.

Hence, the reluctance to plug in to India. That said, the only way Pakistan will ever truly be prosperous is by plugging in to the Indian economy. There is no other choice. The sooner the Pakistanis realize this the better for them and their progeny.

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By: KPSingh01 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2011/07/25/pakistan-india-and-the-possibility-of-change/comment-page-1/#comment-39262 Wed, 27 Jul 2011 21:25:47 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=7573#comment-39262 Seeing Umair’s comments, I get a feeling that things are changing in Pakistan. This is a welcome change. All of us want peace and well being. We cannot undo the past. It is time we bring in new faces and move forward. I think Indian military generals and their sub-ordinates should visit Pakistan and meet with their counterparts in a friendly mission, where they can discuss ways to reduce tension. If the militaries can reduce friction between them, it will help civilian efforts to gain strength. Though militaries are under civilian establishments, they can be given guidelines on talking only about military issues. Emphasis must be made on not challenging each other, showing off and taunting each other. Instead they should discuss what they can do to help the two nations get along. A joint mission to help Afghanistan or drug trafficking can be a starting point. Mending has to happen on all fronts. But I welcome this change of stance. It does not matter if things are forced by circumstances or not. We can capitalize on it and increase the momentum. Looking forward to better relations at any time.

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By: Umairpk http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2011/07/25/pakistan-india-and-the-possibility-of-change/comment-page-1/#comment-39261 Wed, 27 Jul 2011 20:59:30 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=7573#comment-39261 Tycoons’ Rise Aids India, and the Favor Is Returned

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/27/world/ asia/27tycoon.html?hp

-entrepreneurial spirit is required to move forward, and surely people on both sides have termendous entrepreneurial skills. Energy sector is one area where Pakistan can imitate the Indian success. Yet another success story is India’s aviation sector, though I do not know everything my guess is with all the Jetairways and Kingfishers airlines etc, flying for the Indian consumer is much cheaper. Pakistan has PIA and Air Blue only, and with extensive expertise in aviation sector, recently the African nation of Eritrea relaunched its national flag carrier Eritrean Airlines under Pakistani management. Today it costs around Rs 10K return to fly between Islamabad and Karachi on Pakistani airlines, I would like to be able to, for example, attend a meeting in Karachi in the morning and get back home for dinner the same day for a fraction of current airfare.
Only if both India and Pakistan can take advantage of expertise each one can offer.
These things seem wishful for now, there is a long long way to go before progress can be made. But the possibility is always there, like greater integration in EU, maybe South Asian nations can also get closer.

And just to add, dialogue makes a difference. Anyone could have got furious at Tharoor’s article, but the replies from Marvi Sirmed and Faisal Naqvi were good enough and spot on.
India has no choice but to go full throttle for engagement with Pakistan at all levels, otherwise it will just be the opposing forces that will win. No country can afford to go backwards, and with positive energy on both sides things can start moving in the right direction. For Pakistan, there is a clear choice to make, judge and decide what would be a future relationship with India should be. For now this remains a question mark and I would appreciate if we can get real answers.
In the end, as I stated before, probably ISI could curtail some of its budget and resources and retire majority of staff and Pakistan Army could display their tanks in exhibitions rather than carry out firing exercises in the desert. Afterall when business is booming and there is no conflict, who has time to fight?
In short, there are choices to be made on both sides.

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By: KPSingh01 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2011/07/25/pakistan-india-and-the-possibility-of-change/comment-page-1/#comment-39260 Wed, 27 Jul 2011 20:40:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=7573#comment-39260 The new Pakistani foreign minister is a big hit in India. May be this is the way to ease tension. She is going to impress people all over the world. Hope she stays on.

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By: sensiblepatriot http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2011/07/25/pakistan-india-and-the-possibility-of-change/comment-page-1/#comment-39259 Wed, 27 Jul 2011 17:44:17 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=7573#comment-39259 Indian government threatens to withdraw economic ties and then our liberals will cry hoarse and demand the continuation of trade. THEY SAY WITHDRAWING TRADE WILL ONLY WORSEN THE SCENARIO AND PAKISTAN KNOWS THAT INDIA CANNOT GO BACK FOR THE FEAR OF LOSING WHATEVER LEVERAGE IT HAS GAINED.
Somehow this para got cut.

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By: sensiblepatriot http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2011/07/25/pakistan-india-and-the-possibility-of-change/comment-page-1/#comment-39258 Wed, 27 Jul 2011 17:40:28 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=7573#comment-39258 Ganesh, I was surprised by the comments of Feisal Naqvi and have to read the comments to ensure he is the same guy speaking. Now as you said, this is exactly what liberals of pakistan (how small a minority they be) has been saying. To Tharoors credit he was less hard than say Nadeem Paracha or Hoodbhoy.

But a deeper mind would realize that liberals of Pakistan are playing a very dangerous and risky game(although I believe its worth it and worth for them) of slowly but surely delegitimizing the pakistan military (no not defenestrating it) in the pakistani body politic.

The last thing they need is a Tharoors article calling them brothers in arms and asking to join Indian liberals. No matter how liberal a pakistani is, he is bound by country’s founding ideology in order to survive. If any, He would draw a bigger circle of tolerance like salman taseer and thats it. Unfortunately Pakistan by creating a founding identity based on religion which confused itself with common muslim culture(there is nothing as such) have unknowingly or knowingly legitimized the theocratic narrative of pakistan and made religious parties very much part of pakistan’s polity.

Thankfully there is a way around out of this. By providing more and more provincial autonomy and devolving powers to the provinces, the state ideology can be diluted (every state in US has its constitution and laws like relating to Gay rights in NewYork) and just as many (east) European constitutions mention God but neverthless are secular societies, Pakistan may one day join the mainstream of rational-spiritual nations rather than theocratic-renegade nations.

Ganesh:”Surely the Pakistani military that runs so many commercial enterprises like breakfast cereal, should see the benefits of free trade. If the military brass can see personal profit from peaceful relations with India, then tensions could reduce. India should perhaps investigate which companies are owned by influential generals and offer them attractive business deals”.
I am not sure if you said this seriously but this is just what law enforcement agencies called moral hazard. If we let pakistani military have economic deals with India, how is it different with the ones they have now with Americans. Unless their is a change in heart or loss in Authority, Army will continue to excercise this India bogey.
Imagine we had a 10 billion dollar trade deal with pakistan (lets say we earn a billion profit of out it and pakistan similarly so), if Army continue to send terrorists, Indian government threatens to withdraw economic ties and then our liberals will cry hoarse and demand the continuation of trade. Over the time they have trade and we have terror attacks and we learn to live with this equilibrium. Are u sure on the proposal.
This just happened with our bilateral ties as we accepted the low intensity attacks as fait accompli.

Finally, all though the talks must continue with Pakistan, its Janus-faced actions in the past nevertheless doesn’t inspire confidence. India must take a call on decisive breakthroughs with Pakistan only after Pakistan gets its socio-economical and political edifice back on track.
Unfortunately Pakistan has not shown any reconciliation towards India and if any its probably out of the desperate situation it currently is in. When our economy is doing good and politicians are atlast trying to focus on our most urgent needs with pressure from active civil society(they are really, look at the states. Name one really really bad Chief minister..say of Lalu’s grade) why is the hurry on our side. I am really surprised.

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By: DaraIndia http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2011/07/25/pakistan-india-and-the-possibility-of-change/comment-page-1/#comment-39257 Wed, 27 Jul 2011 14:02:52 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=7573#comment-39257 I agree with almost all commentators here, dialogue is very good. Moreover, there are positive signs, like not allowing the recent Mumbai attacks to be a breaker. If just once, both sides could somehow pull out the proverbial rabbit from a hat and do something so demonstrative that it commences to break down the trust deficit, radical improvement can result.

We know that hard liners will try to sabotage the process. We have to show that we are beyond such subterfuge and not get emotional. Unfortunately ‘trust’ is what we need badly. It is each sides responsibility to convince the other. Can we rise above our past?

A word of caution, sweeping dirt under the carpet, just to show off that things are moving positively, will be courting disaster.

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By: prasadgc http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2011/07/25/pakistan-india-and-the-possibility-of-change/comment-page-1/#comment-39256 Wed, 27 Jul 2011 13:05:29 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=7573#comment-39256 vksaini said:

> In past as & when two sides appeared to be nearing some agreement, the attempt was always either marred by some terror attack alleged to be originating from Pakistan or Pakistan army/ISI putting its strong foot to scuttle its seeing the light of the day.

It looks like that tactic has been tried so often it has now become predictable and lost its potency. The recent Mumbai bomb blasts did not cause the official dialogue to break stride. That’s goodness :-).

Umair said:

> Good that value is being seen in debate, that we are on talking terms means the lines of communication remain open and any differences woud be worked out and conflicts resolved.

I too see something positive in the arguments that Indians and Pakistanis are having over Aatish Taseer’s article. Any communication is better than none. Some subtle change in attitudes will definitely result.

Feisal Naqvi made an important point in his last paragraph here (http://bit.ly/pll7qe). Pakistani liberals are already under a lot of pressure from the military establishment that tries to make them appear like traitors. They’re already quite critical of their military on their own (http://bit.ly/nGSvwV). But if they agree with an Indian critic like Aatish Taseer who says *exactly* the same thing, it will seem to prove that they are traitors, so they’re forced to defend their military. That in turn makes them look dishonest to the Indians. And so it goes on. But I do think that that dialogue cleared the air a bit.

The confidence-building measures will also add their bit. We will need to get ordinary people hooked onto the advantages of a tension-free relationship. Surely the Pakistani military that runs so many commercial enterprises like breakfast cereal, should see the benefits of free trade. If the military brass can see personal profit from peaceful relations with India, then tensions could reduce. India should perhaps investigate which companies are owned by influential generals and offer them attractive business deals ;-).

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

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By: vksaini http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2011/07/25/pakistan-india-and-the-possibility-of-change/comment-page-1/#comment-39255 Wed, 27 Jul 2011 12:06:29 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=7573#comment-39255 Let us hope that change of Pakistan’s FM brings in attitudinal change to fix the multiple problems between considered nuclear powered rival neighboring countries of Asia. In past as & when two sides appeared to be nearing some agreement, the attempt was always either marred by some terror attack alleged to be originating from Pakistan or Pakistan army/ISI putting its strong foot to scuttle its seeing the light of the day. Will Ms Khar be able to overcome these forces playing behind the screen to result a meaningful agreement bringing peace & prosperity to this region? Further even if an agreement is reached, the spirit with which it gets implement, only coming times will speak

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