We need to talk about the Haqqanis

October 7, 2011

In a question and answer session last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked about how the United States would balance its need to work with Pakistan while also putting it under pressure to end its alleged support for the Haqqani network.

Her answer, according to the State Department transcript, was to remind her audience that the United States had also played a role in creating the mujahideen to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

“Now, I also think it’s important to take a little historical review. If you go on YouTube, you can see Sirajuddin Haqqani with President Reagan at the White House, because during the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, the United States Government, through the CIA, funded jihadis, funded groups like the Haqqanis to cross the border or to, within Afghanistan, be part of the fight to drive the Soviets out and bring down the Soviet Union,” she says.

I have to assume she means Jalaluddin Haqqani, the elderly father who has since passed on much of the leadership of the Haqqani network to his son, Siraj. Yet here is the thing. I cannot find any evidence that Haqqani ever visited the White House. I have asked around among Afghanistan and Pakistan experts. I have skimmed through my copy of Charlie Wilson’s War.  I have asked on Twitter if anyone could show that Haqqani had ever visited the United States. 

And so far I have nothing.  I am not going to say definitively that Jalaluddin Haqqani never visited the United States – the little voice in my head that says people who live in glass houses should not throw stones stops me from doing that.  But my working assumption – until proved otherwise – is that Clinton was wrong.

So why does it matter? The United States and Saudi Arabia did fund the mujahideen in the 1980s and to some extent bear the responsibility for what is happening now.

It matters for three reasons. It matters because if we can’t get our historical facts right, policy decisions are being made based on very shaky foundations.  The nature of U.S.,  Saudi and Pakistani support for the jihad against the Soviets is still very much open to debate.

According to its defenders, the Pakistan army paid a very high price for fighting the Soviets on America’s behalf. Pakistan also had some three milliion Afghan refugees to deal with and when the Soviet Union retreated from Afghanistan it was left with thousands of armed Islamist militants without a cause and a raging Afghan civil war on its borders. Helping bring the Taliban to power in Kabul and turning the jihadis on Kashmir was a way of dealing with that problem.

Yet – and here is where history matters – how much was Pakistan a victim of the U.S. Cold War against the Soviet Union and how much did it turn it to its advantage?  It might have been possible during the jihad against the Soviets for Pakistan to support Afghan nationalist insurgents with U.S. and Saudi money – Pakistan controlled the way these funds were spent. The Pakistan army chose to stress Islamist militancy over Pashtun nationalist militancy in part because it has always  been afraid of Pashtun  nationalism on its side of the border. By stressing Islamist over nationalist/ethnic militancy, the  Pakistan army opted for what to a military mind was the best way to protect the integrity and unity of Pakistan.  (This was also obvious in some ways for an army which had lost East Pakistan to ethnic nationalism in the 1971 war which led to the creation of Bangladesh.) -

In many ways, that mindset continues. Work out how far the Pakistan army is dependent on instrumentalising Islam in its security posture and you are a long way to understanding how big the gap is between the United States and Pakistan. 

The contestable reading of history matters also for how it is portrayed nowadays.  The story about Haqqani being entertained at the  White House is an old one. Yet it was revived recently in the Pakistani media with a photo purporting to show that encounter – which appeared in fact to involve a different person. Commenting on the alleged White House meeting, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani said on Twitter that  the “fact remains neither Jalaluddin nor Sirajuddin Haqqani met Pres Reagan. Maulvi Khalis did.”

The photo underpinned a powerful narrative in Pakistan – that the United States rather than Pakistan is responsible for creating Islamist militancy. The United States is uncontestably responsible for many things – for the invasion of Iraq, for winning the Cold War to become the world’s sole superpower and for championing an untrammeled free market system that has contributed to the current global financial crisis. But how much did Washington with its money create Islamist militancy and how much was it a product of Pakistani security thinking?

If we don’t know the answers to that question, how are we supposed to judge whether the Haqqani network should be  included in peace talks in Afghanistan?

We know the idea of talking to the Haqqanis is on the table. The Pakistan army alluded to contacts between the Americans and the Haqqani network in a statement condemning allegations made by Admiral Mike Mullen, outgoing chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the Haqqani network was a “veritable arm” of the Inter-Servitable.ces Intelligence (ISI) agency. In its response, the Pakistan army statement quoted army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as saying “Admiral Mullen knows fully well which all countries are in contact with the Haqqanis. Singling out Pakistan is neither fair nor productive.”

Writing in the Washington Post, David Ignatius said that “U.S. officials know the ISI also facilitated a secret meeting during the last several months between the United States and a representative of the Haqqani clan.” The aim was to find out whether the Haqqani network – or parts of it – were “reconcilable”.  “The message to the Haqqanis is that they can best protect political power in their ancestral homeland in Paktika, Paktia and Khost provinces by coming to the table now,” he wrote.

Technically, the US administration’s conditions for bringing back Afghan militant groups into the political process do not in any case exclude the Haqqani network - requiring only as end-conditions of talks that they sever ties with al Qaeda, renounce violence and agree to respect the Afghan constitution.  And as Joshua Foust wrote at Registan.net, it is hard to find moral grounds for excluding the Haqqanis when some of the United States own allies in Afghanistan have if anything an even worse track record. Or as former CIA officer Robert Baer put it in Time, “when the U.S. finally leaves, don’t be surprised to see the Haqqanis in Kabul.”

Yet what do we know about the Haqqanis? Consider for a moment that one of the arguments that has been put forward in the past for talking to the Quetta shura Taliban – to whom the Haqqanis declare allegiance — is that they are stakeholders in the conflict – whether the United States and its allies likes this or not.  However unpopular they might be even among ordinary Afghans, they were once in power in Kabul and they have their own form of shadow governance in parts of Afghanistan. Does the Haqqani network – for so long based in Pakistan and with its alleged ties to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency — still have enough of a constituency in Afghanistan to make them a valid player in a political settlement?

According to Michael Semple, who has spent years working on Afghanistan, it would be more appropriate to label the Haqqani network the “Waziristan Militant Complex”. Writing in Foreign Affairs, he  argues that “the Haqqanis’ lethal effectiveness derives from the wide range of Pakistani tribal fighters at their disposal.

“What is new here, and key to understanding the attack on the embassy (and perhaps even the Rabbani assassination), is that over the last two years the Haqqanis have developed what amounts to a special forces capability. They have built up intelligence-gathering networks and infiltrated government institutions in Kabul and the surrounding provinces. With the help of al Qaeda and Central Asian fighters, foreign militants in Waziristan have developed advanced combat training and technology for roadside bombs. The Haqqanis draw on this expertise without actually controlling the groups who deliver it. Rather than the Haqqani Network, it would be more appropriate to call this the Waziristan Militant Complex.”

In an article written last year, Tom Gregg argued that the United States should open talks with the Haqqanis while Jalaluddin was still well enough to contribute and still command respect within Afghanistan in peace talks.

“Sirajuddin, on the other hand, does not know the meaning of the word. He has been brought up in war, has never lived as a citizen of a functioning nation state, has little to no experience of government, is not a tribal elder and is not even a credible religious leader. In this regard he is motivated more by a radical Islamist ideology than his father, and less obviously constrained by a desire to maintain good relations with the local tribal leaders,” he wrote.

“Sirajuddin is in his early 30′s, grew up in Miram Shah, Pakistan and, prior to 2001, only occasionally traveled to his native village of Garde Serai, nestled in the rugged mountains of Paktia province. In Miram Shah he was involved in Islamic Studies but, unlike his father, did not graduate from a prestigious madrassah and is too young to have been a well-known fighter during the anti-Soviet jihad.”

Personally, I  find it very hard to judge whether the Haqqani network has a role to play in any Afghan settlement. I have heard very powerful arguments on both sides. And in any case it is not my job as a journalist to judge — but rather to keep collating and unearthing the evidence as I go along.

But one thing seems to me can be said with certainty. We should not be allowing a narrative to develop in which the Haqqanis appear to have an obvious role in an Afghan settlement – or at the very least a role which might help the west extract itself from Afghanistan – without knowing more about who they are.

And we should certainly not drift mindlessly into that narrative simply because, or especially because, the U.S. Secretary of State has, historically speaking, invited them into the White House.

(File photo of Presidents Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari)

70 comments

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

@Myra
A very well written article! Who in the world does not want to associate with success. The role of the USA and UK in support of Afghan resistance against the soviets was limited to bolragainst the soviets was limited to political and moral support and the supply of specific equipment to combat soviets air power. Pakistan military had no role in the campaign but took hundreds and thousands of civilian refugies.

IF you were to investigate the so called taliban leaders close relations with the USA during Bush era, you could come across severalpersonalities visiting Texas ranch. The USA state dept has a great number of spin doctors whose expertise in puting out fibs and mama stories is now known in the western world. It is a sad story and the end game is not very likely to be pleasant when there is no longer a trust with allies.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Myra
“But how much did Washington with its money create Islamist militancy and how much was it a product of Pakistani security thinking?”

This is the right question and India has known its answer ALL the time. Its only that westerners like you realize it now when the bombs and bullets are killing your people. But we can only hope that one day people of Pakistan just like Arabs awaken up and realize that Islam is not enough. All religions are just lies, opium of masses, created to fool ordinary people and achieve political goals. Arab youth knows it now. Indians are learning this truth slowly. May be some day Pakistanis and Afghanis learn this as well. Till then its a WAR between the addicted (colluded religious and rich) and free (seeker of truth).

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

very well written; as i understand it the mujahidin started with dauds secularising coup so from about 1974 and certainly from 1977 if not earlier received isi support; pak was then in its swamp of post bd war gloom n further isolated due to its nuclear weapons program n military coup; when shahs regime in iran was falling and afghan leftists tried to succeed daud, pak felt that the situation was ripe to try to provoke the ussr to foolishly (to put it no more strongly) intervene in afghan, and unfortunately was successful in doing so. at the same time by early 79 – before soviet intervention- cia operatives in islamabad etc were discussing whether to support mujahidin vs ussr. the soviets foolishly took the bait and invaded. and then the us got into the act. but this shouldnt obscure the fact that it was pakistans ploy to use the mujahidin or to provoke the foolish soviet aggression and thus us bears some responsibility for agreeing to pak terms n supporting mujahidin (ussr wouldve collapsed anyway) but certainly didnt create them. its time to nail this lie. pakistan used irregulars in a small way in 48 and 65 wars vs india and was thus already in this business from birth. if any outsiders have a role or should be accountable to the victims of pak terror it was the uk whose pak army generals in 48 connived at this (and it was mrs thatcher who persuaded usa to accept pak demand that the west condone paks nuclear weapons program) or the australians whose general midwifed the birth of the isi.

Posted by buntyj | Report as abusive

Rehashing history, that most people know already in general would not solve any problem. Haqqani hype is yesterdays story. Righ now the foundations of renewed civil war are being laid. India has thrown itself with Tajik faction. Other players are not in any such rush. America is interested in peace on its own terms and Taliban say what is in it for them. Obama is deathly afraid of any setback next summer and Taliban are not willing to give any assurance. Therefore you see all the pressure on Pakistan. Don’t you love it, never a dull moment.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

And who would have thought that the man from chicago would rely on the calabrian family to rescue the democrat administration. The man who managed without a great fuss to enter the white house and then the intelligence network is now at least for the next two years the secretary of Defence.

Is the world going to witness further kidnappings and covert operations against those who seek foreign troops exit and peace for Afghans? Ndrangheta activities are no longer secret in the european intelligence network.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

This article might answer a few questions:
http://bit.ly/oSgoI2

Again, it means there is no hope for peace because the Pakistan Army hasn’t changed a bit.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Both Pakistan and the US are riding tigers. They are in the same boat on many counts. If the US funded and created islamic militias to fight the Soviets, the Pakistanis aided and abetted that game plan on Pakistani soil. Pakistan also set up its own Islamic militant factories in POK and also gave freedom to many religious groups to preach hatred against the West and India in particular. Most of them are now biting the hands that fed them.

Today both, the US and Pakistan, are fighting the very demons they themselves created. As someone mentioned on another post, isn’t it strange that on the one hand the US is fighting the Taliban and on the other asking Pakistan to go after sections of the Taliban. Both are still playing the same game – for Pakistan there is the good and bad Taliban, for the US there is a good and bad Pakistan/ISI – a part which fights with the US and the other that instigates others to fight the US.

An interesting point that came to mind while reading Myra’s piece here:

“….when the Soviet Union retreated from Afghanistan it was left with thousands of armed Islamist militants without a cause and a raging Afghan civil war on its borders. Helping bring the Taliban to power in Kabul and turning the jihadis on Kashmir was a way of dealing with that problem.”

Is this to justify Pakistan’s role of spreading violence and terrorism? This piece also attempts to make out, that Pakistan was short changed by the US in the 1980s. That itself is a debatable issue. Pakistan willingly and most ardently desired US intervention in Afghanistan against the Soviets and got it almost entirely on its own terms – that all aid, specifically military would be controlled and channeled through the ISI – and that Pakistan would be handsomely rewarded, which it was. Does anyone remember Zia’s famous dismissal as ‘peanuts’ of the initial aid offer which was then officially raised to 6.2 billion and that was a lot of lolly those days for a country like Pakistan. The F-16s came about as a result of that aid package also. And$ 6.2 bn was the official figure, how much more was doled out is anybody’s guess as also all the weapons and armament which was simply stashed away and syphoned off for a rainy day against India. That Pakistan feels it was ditched is one side of the story – it also made a lot of hay.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

Let the USA, Nato and Pakistan military leaders hold a collective ceremony apologising to the people of Afghanistan for the loss of life in their sacred land, promising the victorious Talibans good and bad one as identified by the lady in the red including Haqqanis as well as Durranis, promising them continued assistance so that a strong Afghanistan emerges after this debacle.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

PS
Let the historians talk about the haqqanis and durranis and determine who did cheat whom?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Those who believe in lies of any religion can NEVER be strong. Religion is THE worst form of politics. Koran says all human actions are will of Allah. So that means American invasion of Afghanistan was will of Allah. Drone strikes were will of Allah, Afghani terrorist deaths were will of Allah, murder of Bin laden was will of Allah, those morons siding with terrorists are will of Allah, so on and so far. BUT if kicking the Taliban out of Kabul was will of Allah then why does Allah wants Taliban to be back after 10 years now? Did Allah realize that he/she/it made a mistake 10 years ago (that’s news to me, Allah is also capable of making mistakes IF at all) OR is it that Allah likes to play with her/his/its followers as pawns? Is it a big chessboard and living things are pawns and Allah is playing with himself? So can I hear the evil villainous Pakistani laugh? Matrixx??

P.S.
Even this post of mine is will of Allah, mind you. And yes morons, when is your Allah going to make you issue decrees against me? First your Allah makes me write this and then she/he/it makes you issue decrees against me for writing this. I will die out of laughing.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

Come on now Myra.

You know the truth. Politicians blather on. The people who really know and implement policy are the bureaucrats in Washington and you can bet they know and/or probably don’t care whether Haqqani visited Washington. And honestly, who cares? It’s not material to any dealings with them. Talk like this is for public consumption and PR.

Personally, I do believe the Americans will talk the Haqqanis. After all, as Churchill put it, “To jaw-jaw is better than to war-war.” That said, how do you integrate the Haqqanis? I see no common grounds. I’m not even sure they’re interested in political power. Their Jihadists on the warpath. They know nothing but war.

This is why the Americans are leaning on the Pakistanis. They are the only group that bring the Haqqanis to heal in a somewhat discrete fashion. The Americans can do it, of course. But not without leaving one hell of a mess in the Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa and the FATA.

Finally, I can tell you that the folks I know don’t give one whit about the past. They are focused on bringing this conflict to a close and ensuring US interests (primarily security interests) are preserved. The longer that Pakistan proves itself an obstructionist in that quest, the more they expose themselves to American wrath. NATO is building up that northern supply route. When that is done, reliance on Pakistan will subside. The Americans are also looking for every crack that will let them deal directly with the Afghan insurgent groups, while bypassing the ISID. Strategic and diplomatic independence will allow the US to be free to pursue a far more aggressive strategy with Pakistan. If you thought getting Bin Laden was daring, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Posted by True.North. | Report as abusive

@007XXX
The question you ask is not relevant to the topic and if you are interested in metaphysics, libraries are full of writings on the subject and I have no desire to teach you.

Respond to my comment if you can.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

@Matrixx

I was not asking YOU any question but just requesting to show me the Pakistani laugh, as it was you only some time (months actually) ago who showed us the “evil villainous Pakistani laugh” (your own words at that time). Other than that I was NOT asking YOU anything else.

About your comment. Yes I agree with you that Civil war situation is arising in Afghanistan. India right now is not siding with anyone and all this India with Tajik faction talk is just Pakistan propaganda. I can also go on saying Pakistan is siding with Taliban again (good or bad I don’t know, IF at all there is any good or bad) but I would rather take your word that Pakistan is waiting. Hope you take mine that India is more Patient than Pakistan.

By the way how about you respond to Myra’s question “But how much did Washington with its money create Islamist militancy and how much was it a product of Pakistani security thinking?”.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

I didn’t knew that murdering infidels, blowing up people along with themselves, depriving children of scientific education, depriving women of all human rights, being proud of being violent, banning music, murdering people just for not having a beard or not wearing a certain cap and living in caves is the “new modernity”. I pray to your Allah/God/Bhagwaan/whatever to save me from this “new modernity”. I am better off in old world. Take care and remain cool.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

Those Indians who waste their energy and degrade Pashtun muslims should better visit the SIKHchic.com and see the daily acts of one Pashtun and try to comprehend his apology for the violence against the sikh community!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Heaping blame on the Americans for the Afghan quagmire by the Pakistani Security Analysts seems to be amateurish. If the Americans invaded Iran after the Iranian revolution after ayatollah’s takeover and If USSR wanted to bleed the Americans for the Iranian Invasion. Pakistani security establishment would have happily played proxy for the Russians in bleeding America, suffice it to say that we can replace Afghan with Iran , and American and Russian interchanging places in this ‘could have been’ narrative. Pakistan since its birth played as a rent seeking state to super powers and bargained influence and money for resolving short term problems, little realizing that the cure it was creating was worse than the disease.

For a Modern state that was conceived so quickly without ideological foundations or common history (after the shared history with India which it denied). The same politics which British used to divide Indians based on religion took discourse in Pakistan even after getting a new dominant Muslim state for them.

Lack of entrenched political culture would mean interference by the same forces which existed prior to Pakistan’s foundation. Hence the Feudals (with the support of the military) wielded so much influence in Pakistan that there were problems for democracy to take root. In fact these are the same Feudals who actually played dominant role in creating the political edifice for the idea of Pakistan.

Unfortunately, the inferiority complex and low level of confidence of political class that got created due to the above factors (lack of entrenched political culture) obstructed them in the creation of modern state. Politicians rather than fighting decisive battles with fundamentalists (who were about to take root in the society), the entrenched elites (feudal s) and the mercenary British army of western India (mostly the Punjabi army), they succumbed to them (India was fortunate in this case, which it failed in understanding economics for a long time). Not surprising the Jinnah called them spineless even before it started celebrating the second year of its independence.

The west Pakistan was also then hugely diverse and multicultural (even after its minorities leaving), Jinnah’s shortsightedness of imposing Urdu language on the deeply cultural and profoundly proud of their Bengali heritage would play right into the secessionists. Pakistan instead of realizing its mistake in 1971 and celebrating its diversity actually blamed the fiasco entirely on India and on its own diverse social groups.

while the defense policy had already been bartered to the Army, the ideological foundation have been given away to the ‘people with divine mission’. But the diversity of Islam is so huge (especially south Asia’s) and Koran (and other religious works) itself so multi-faceted and prone to interpretations (fundamentalists refuse interpretation but still different fundamentalists will have different interpretations) that mullahs of every size and colour have started to interpret in their own way. This attracted various terror groups lapping their interested ideology (for some mullahs war with US is essential, some with India, some with liberal muslims, some with Shias, some with Israel and some with everybody else but them!!)

The end result was a tinderbox, a conflict ridden state without actually failing, a term of what is called a classic ‘Jelly State’ that M.J. Akbar calls while describing Pakistan.

Hence I think, fundamentalism in Pakistan do not owe its beginnings when USSR invaded and US entered the fray nor will the fundamentalism disappear when US leaves. It will only leave if Pakistani establishment snaps its terror policy and in my opinion time is running out.

Disclaimer: By noting the history of painful and unfortunate beginnings of Pakistan, I am neither advocating its merger with India nor its breakup. Rather I am only advocating a reason why Pakistanis are unable to see the truth (with honorable exceptions, of course).
When the other view is not tolerated, much less appreciated it will eventually become a theocratic state. It may be Communist,Monarchy,Theocracy or whatever the name is, the discourse of all will end in the same thing called COLLECTIVE MISERY.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Excellent article, however there are still a few things we need to remember and try to approach is logically instead of emotionally. We have to remember the other 800 pound gorilla in the room as well, i-e India. While Pakistan may be working on one end using it’s means to push for an end game. After 30,000 civilian lives lost and over 10,000 pakistani soldiers bite the dust, they are still fighting a problem that has been one of the last remnant of cold war between two superpowers.

India on the other end is pouring in wealth to push for anti-pakistan Afghanistan. With hundreds of Afghanistan intelligence agents/soldiers going to India for training; which is a cause for alarm/concern for Pakistan. If we are to switch the players and assume if these same individuals were going to training to Iran or China, this would have been very suspicious for United States.

However, we look the other way, because of our close relations to India. Our closeness to India and constant pointing fingers to Pakistan is part of change of strategy. As Pakistan moves closer to China, we need India to hedge our risk against the rising red dragon.

Posted by Jeff23 | Report as abusive

Cut out all the diversions. Here is how an Indian sees the current situation:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/who-ar e-indias-friends/857546/0

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

We all need to assess the situation in Afghanistan and appreciate that they are traditionally an agrarian conservative muslim society. Historically, Afghanistan is a multi-ethnic country with Pashtuns, uzbeks, Tajiks and hazaras etc. Also that Pakistan has always sought influence in Afghanistan and rightly so, afterall the Pashtuns are a big ethnic group in Pakistan too. Last ten years has brought no good for Afghanistan either and instead Pakistan’s tribal areas have been greatly destablized. A responsible end to Afghan war is neccessary, a stable and neutral Afghanistan is all what Pakistan wants. Rest all is just talk. As for the Haqqanis, they should be included into Afghan mainstream otherwise they will remain a group which will continue to hinder the nation-building. One cannot alter the historical facts and geo-political realities.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Indian columnists as well as indian bloggers are likely to keep on nitpicking on the faults of others and quite rightly so, forgetting history and the basics of the war which is being waged against the Pashtun Nation(tajiks, uzbeks and hazaras facilitated the invasion) in the total land of Pashtuns on both side of the so called durand line, separating formerly India and since 1947 Pakistan from Afghanistan.

For an observer the starting point being the colonisation of India by the Brits. and its two unsuccessful wars with Afghanistan, Indians could use the starting point being the invasion of India by the muslim armies. Nevertheless, it was Indian maharajas and feudal lords which facilitated their successes and eventualy enabled British occupation for two centuries.

Afghan Pashtun’s history starts thousands of years prior to accepting Islam, foreign invasions and the occupation of so called hindu majority Indian territory. Pashtun’s traditions of protecting minorities and those who seek asylum has remained in tact after thousads years of history. Their resistance against Brits, Soviets and the Americans have this halmark and has very little to do with Islamic Jehad or strategic considerations.

Neither Indians nor Pakistanis have ever been able to fully understand the vew point of Pashtuns since they live in their own world, made up of strategic concerns and interest for the territory and boundries rather than the people who live in the land, and have therefore unknowingly replaced the colonialists with their own brand of Imperialism.

The call of the day is not for grand strategies or strategic alliances, but the common sense to understand the reality. The western world force has been defeated by the resistance which until now is made up of special commandios and snipers, and not a total Pashtun onslaught.
In the words of Mr Karzai to BBC reporter;

. His investigation have revealed that foreigners are the source of corruption and the drug trade.

. Foreign as well as Afghan forces have failed to protect the Afghan civilians.
. Security situation in Afghanistan will improve after exit of foreign forces.

Bravo. men and women of the USA and NATO, you caused all the mess. Is it not about the time to leave Afgans to settle their family feuds in afghan traditions and Afghan style? Take your strategies out of this land!!

Rex Minor

PS
Do not forget to pay for the reparation and the injuries caused.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Drug trade flourished, repeat FLOURISHED in Afghanistan several years before Russians came or before Americans came 10 years ago. Taliban ruled the Afghan land with their “sacred” Kalashnikovs, tanks, and what not, only that instead of “sacred love” in their hearts they had “sacred hunger” for power at any cost and Islam was used as the most effective tool for achieving this political goal. But then religions world over are created for this purpose only and no one knows it better than Brits. So why blame it on foreigners now. Stand up to the reality and accept the truth that Taliban got their money from drugs cultivation and murdered minorities in cold blood to instil fear in rest of ordinary Afghanis so as to continue their “sacred” rule. Wear a cap, keep a beard, don’t listen to music, don’t watch movies or if you do you will be BRANDED un-Islamic and then murdered in cold blood by “sacred” force of ALLAH. May Allah/God/Bhagwaan/whatever bestow on rest of us and save us from her/his/its harsh unloving murderous “sacred” rulers. If there is any supreme being IF any at all then she/he/it must have preached love instead of guns, hatred and violence; I am sure!

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

Indian Maharajas “facilitated” British occupation…hmmm….so going by this logic are the Pashtoon leaders not facilitating American occupation? And then he says Pashtoon is this, Pashtoon is that and now here himself agreeing that Pashtoons facilitated American invasion. Moron’s idiot box has really made him a proper idiot, more confusing than ever.

By the way muslim invasions replaced Maharajas with Shahenshas and nothing else changed (again the Moron will claim to know more than Indians). Indians are PROUD of some muslim shehenshas like Akbar, Shah Jahan, Tipu. Love has no race, caste, creed or religion. Love IS “sacred” and Akbar and Tipu knew this and Indians (including the infidels) return that love to them till date. As for British occupation, u need some history lessons, and this time don’t take them from idiot box.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

No diversion is intentional. Unless the Indian leaders take the courage and tell its people, most of whom are still being treated as underdogs and underprevilaged despite the growth in the economy, that Indian occupation by the Brits was made possible mainly on account of the treason which the maharajas and feudal lords committed against the country rulers, and certainly not on account of any great invasion by the British armada. The Brits remained loyal and rewarding to Maharajas to decide on the fate of the people after their exit.
Indian leaders should also stop overstating the importance of the political movements to force British exit which was decided by the powers who defeated German third reich.
Today’s generation is not responsible for the past but have the opportunity to accept critique head on and do not repeat the same errors. Indian leaders and its media should clearly stand against foreign interventions in any part of the world and should be in forefront to encourage peoples reconciliations. Unless Indian leaders adopt this stance they are unlikely to be regarde as a regional power, being sorrounded by two nuclear armed adversaries at a time when the super power is bleeding miltarily and economicaly ang last but not the least moraly.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Treason by Indian fuedal lords, maharajas, MUSLIM NAWABS (u cleverly missed that)…hmmm…did I deny it?? Or did any Indian deny it?? All the treason stories are there in Indian school textbooks leave alone higher studies. Rex, you presume too much. I only said that isn’t Pashtoon fuedal lords not doing the same?? You were the one to enlighten us that Americans are PAYING the Pashtoon tribes to get their arsenal through. Thats what Brits did. Only difference being that Brits at that time had seemingly infinite amount of money in relative terms. Pashtoons should tell their children of their leaders’ treason/allegiance/permission/facilitati on of the American forces (choose the word whichever satisfies your Pashto Muslim ego). Can any invader set foot in foreign land (sacred or not) without treason/facilitation/permission of majority of locals?? So what is it in case of Taliban and Pashtoons? And also Pahstoon should tell their future generations that it was not Taliban or Pashtoon that made Americans leave but the Americans themselves ran out of money as they were not earning enough and had to go back (very similarly as Brits left India after exhausting their money in second world war and therefore had no say in decision by victors).

By the way, can any one rule a foreign land for infinite time, be it India or be it Afghanistan? NO. So how does that make Pashtoon supreme OR belittle Indians. Beats me!! That day will come when Afghans and Pakistanis will realize that Islam is NOT enough just like their Arab counterparts.

And by the way did India not deliberately remained absent from voting on Libya and recently against Syria in UN which in turn added frustration to US. Did Indians not rejected the calls of US to scrap ties with Iran. In fact Indians have carved out a payment mechanism with Iran with help from German banks. But very cleverly you fail to see all that.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

Matrix

If you had even bothered to google Meghnad Desai you would know he is not an indian. His view of India and the current situation is his view and his view alone and more importantly it is not that of an Indian.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

What I offered was an alternative view point and it was published in an Indian newspaper.
I have my own view that Afghanistan is moving towards a civil war and if India wants to play a role, I welcome that in the sense that it can test its raw power. It is pointless to cry about how bad the others are and don’t care about Indian sensitivities. Let me say welcome to the contest.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

There is no need for Indians intellectuals to keep blowing in the wind which has very little to do with Afghanistan or the Haqqani group of warriors.

Everyone has the right to his opinion, but for pete sake do not follow in day light the think tank policy maers in the USA who are the masters of spin. The USA has no intention to leave the muslim lands anywhere; A solid trick, the Pashtoons talibans know it and so does Hamid Karzai.
Hence the sudden offensive by the Pashtuns against foreigners. 2014 is probably a good date for domestic consumption but not acceptable to any Pashtun who by name calls himself a Pashtun.
No I am not a Pashtun but happen to be one of those who does understand their language and culture, I am not a french either but understand their language and culture as well, shall I go on narrating about myself? No it is of no interest or consequence!
It is not the Haqqani group or any other group, those who watch cable networks should listen to the people on the street, whose main demand is that they are not receiving the cash and the foreigners must leave.
Pashtun’s attitude over thousands year of history is comparable to the hotel lodging in Vienna or New York, when the tourist has no money to pay must leave.

I have always agired successive Indian Govts. foreign position in the United Nations, an example of a diplomacy for many. No emotional expressions but solid and correct position. There are, however, serious concerns about its domestic policies and its conduct towards its neighbours which unless rectified cannot be ignored.

Pashtuns are treacherous and uneliable, to quote the colonialists, will demand cash to let a foreigner use his territory, but under no cicumstances allow a foreigner to dictate or decide on his actions. Foreigner means a non Pushto speaking human. A Pashtun who does not follow the tribal codes and is without Pakhtunwali charactristics is no longer a Pashtun and must leave the land!
For any Pakistani to outline what Pakistan wants from Afghanistan may be sensible and desirable from Pakistan’s point of view but no Afghan Govt. is likely to give any consideration to demands from his brothers, as Hamid Karzai calls them.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

PS
There is not going to be a civil war per say. Every Afghan citizen must follow the Afghan codes and the disputes would be settled in line with the Afghan constitution and Afghan justice. No more drug trde, once the foreigners leave, implied Hamid Karzai on BBC.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

This is another Indian’s view: http://bit.ly/qAQzbI

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Another Indian view can be summed up in one of its paragraphs ,
India’s greater potential enemy is Inia itself.

Is this not what experience from most not all Indian bloggers?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Ganesh

Interesting views, but here is the problem. A super power, the US enjoys little to no leverage with Pakistan too. What makes you think India is difficult to tackle for Pakistan, mostly this will be taken like a pinch of salt. Lets start with the view that Saudi Arabia will side with India??? your argument is Indo-Saudi economic ties. On the other hand Pak-Saudi defence ties are at a different level. Both sunni states, Saudi Arabia views Pakistan as a bulwark against a Shiite Iran, not to mention joint Saudi-Pak regular military exercises and Pakistan’s unstated pledge to extend a defensive nuclear shield in case of any type of nuclear threat to Saudi Arabia from anywhere (Iran or say Israel). So Saudi Arabia’s case is different. You paint a grim picture of Pakistan, yes as an developing country Pakistan too faces economic challenges, as if it is unusual since many other developed nations do not under current recession??
As for Afgahnistan, Pakistan’s quest for ‘strategic depth’ and strategy to prevent ‘strategic ecnirclement’ by India is a three decades old principle of Pakistan’s strategic calculus. India is merely reacting here, Pakistan has already positioned itself and is actively promoting Haqqani group as a potential power broker in a post-war Afghanistan. I bet you, there are people holding PhDs in futuristics in ISI’s Afghan/India bureau. I would rather say, welcome to the Afghan quagmire. Signing a deal with Karzai means nothing, if you hold the city in Afghanistan it means nothing. It is a rural insurgency there. And Pakistan has a well thought plan having always considered Afghanistan its sphere of influence. And surely US will not sit aside and watch regional players pick sides in yet another civil war after withdrawal.
To the question of submission to India’s superiority, had that been the case Pakistan would never come into being in 1947 or even after that India would have undone Pakistan. Today, Indo-Pak relations are based on strategic parity, an equilibrium and balance of power. Never mind nepal, maldives, Bangladesh or sri Lanka, it will be only Pakistan that will be able and willing to challenge India. I do not see this equation change, it will only get more like it in future. If size is any measure than why such a small country like Japan is an economic giant? also will trillions of dollars of black money from India in offshore tax havens, rampant corruption, big population and crumbling infrastructure India is is not winning the race if not loosing too.

Lastly, Pakistan;s survival rests on minimum credible detterence where a preset number of tactical nuclear weapons, a small but well equiped and trained, motivated conventional force is guarantor of its territorial integrity. I don’t think India will ever acquire its dream of total dominance in South Asia. Just an example, USSR attacked twice a tiny Finland. And the Finnish, smaller in numbers, resisted stubbornly, lost territory to Soviet in winter war and continued and fought to a stalemate. Eventually Finland decided to follow a policy of active neutrality, patching up with soviets and today stands as an advanced industrial economy and welfare state and full EU member. Russia lags behind with poor infrastructure. My point is, for Pakistan such a course is not possible, because in India unfortunately people still exist with a mentality to finish Pakistan, I would say eternal enemies? or correct me if I am wrong. If India and Pakistan could co-exist in peace, probably we would not be debating the Afghan problems today. We are neighbours, we fight each other and then we take the fight to our other neighbour’s house. This is not on.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

@Umairpk
“because in India unfortunately people still exist with a mentality to finish Pakistan, I would say eternal enemies? or correct me if I am wrong.”

Yes you are definitely correct BUT democracy is about what majority of the people want and not just what some bunch of jingoists like but then how would you know democracy. So yes majority of Indians are fine doing business with Pakistan (myself included as I do get calls from Pakistan businessman but am hesitant to do business with Pakistanis out of fear of loss of my investment) IF Pakistan shuts down its mullah factory and PA comes out of its metal caves and stop being dogmatic against India and stops ALL anti-India activities. Your internal matters are not our business but your external affairs handling hurts us. Now do you want me to put out the links to jingoist and hatred filled messages for India being aired on Pakistan national television, PTV (though I loved to watch a few serials and theater shows on PTV in old times)?

I agree with first part of what Ganesh said that India can bring Pakistan to economic disaster even without firing a single bullet by just making good use of Pakistani Army’s extreme inferiority complex against India (extreme inferiority complex signs are when one tries one’s level best to show oneself as superior to other even when truth is different). And I agree with you that Saudi kings will never side with India. But then both of you forget that what world is/has seen is the GREAT OIL WARS. All this talk of Islam, religion, sacred is just for consumption of fools like us. Truth is OIL. World is running out of energy resources and race is ON. Whosoever invents a method for economically harnessing the natural energy sources will win and emerge as next super power. It is human spirit to invent and inventions makes super power. Nothing is more ridiculous than terming China as super power. And the day anyone INVENTS the alternate to oil, the middle east will fall damn down and all this inflated Islamic ego will come crashing down. Kings will become beggars and nukes will not save them from misery. Probably UAE’s emirates realize this most in middle east. Race is ON.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

@Umairpk
“any type of nuclear threat to Saudi Arabia from anywhere (Iran or say Israel)”

Nuclear threat to Saudi from Iran?? And you were the one blowing loudest the trumpet of Ummah. What a brotherhood. Saudis (Sunnis) viewing Iranians (Shiites) as nuclear threat as stated by a Pakistani. All that you guys know is violence and hatred not just for infidels/kaafirs/non-believers but for everyone else including your brotherhood.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

Umair,

You’re proving my point. Your view of India as the enemy is bankrupting you. And I don’t know in which alternate universe you can see India “losing the race” when the country is steadily improving in every sphere. Denial of reality is still strong, I see.

Oh well, we can wait for a few more turns of the screw and see if there is any change in mindset. Up until the morning of 16 Dec 1971, Pakistani citizens were being led to believe that they were winning the war. After that, it was a shock and a rude awakening. Looks like another rude awakening is on the cards. It’s a pity, because the mindset can be changed quite peacefully and the corner can be turned without such a drastic wake-up call.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Nihal Singh’s analysis is very close to mine:
http://bit.ly/p3oi3o

A smaller country (by a factor or 7) can never be an equal. When will Pakistanis accept this bitter truth?

(Haathi aur bhains ke beech mein kya strategic parity ho sakta hai?)

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

007:
“Nuclear threat to Saudi from Iran?? And you were the one blowing loudest the trumpet of Ummah. What a brotherhood. Saudis (Sunnis) viewing Iranians (Shiites) as nuclear threat as stated by a Pakistani. All that you guys know is violence and hatred not just for infidels/kaafirs/non-believers but for everyone else including your brotherhood.”

-no need to go ballistic, i was just telling you my observation and just see the news yesterday. A plot to kill Saudi arabian ambassador to Washington by the Iranians has been uncovered.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/1 2/us-usa-security-iran-idUSTRE79A5E02011 1012

This is the reality, yes the muslim ummah is split and that causes others to take advantage of the fault lines. That is exactly my point that there should be no violence or hatred among muslims themselves whether shiite or sunnis, repeatedly we have argued and I told you islam does not allow violence against non-muslims too. Rather, terrorists have no religion, they just use violence to meet their goals. so stay cool and accept the geopolitics as they are.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

From Haqqani group to Pakistan and Indian military is a bit of an overstretch. Indians can rightly point out to pakistan military poor performance in combats with Indian military and the Pakistanis could in return point out to the poor performance of Indian military in their combat with Chinese military. What does this prove? It simply proves that most of the Indian and Pakistani population naively rely on their military to defend them. Both armies were trained per the english military text books stipulating withdrawl or surrender in the face of s larger number of force and unless the number count is not superior to that of the opponent, just sit back in your bunkers and sweat and pray for life. This doctrine is in practice in both armies with the result that both armies are now being used against its own citizens. Both democratic Govts are following this strategy todate. Mr Manmohan Singh meetings with the services chief or Mr Gillani meetings with the military and ISI chief and with political parties outside the parliament.

O’h I almost forgot both militaries have modern weaponry in case they have to use them against each other, the last resort. They are certaainly not meant for use against outside the subcontinent.
Now what is wrong with the idea of making a National army, peoples army to be exact, which is to defend the borders and combat the external enemy when necessary?
No military doctrines or strategy and no surrender.

This brings us back to Haqqani group, which operates from north to south along the Pashtuns land, based on the arrangements this group has managed to mae with several tribes. They are rumoured to be able to operate in the territory beyond the capital controlled by Norther alliance tribes. These rumours has shaken those who are already suffering from the extreme paranoid, forcing Adm Mullen to announce his departure. It is no more talibans but now Haqqanis; God damn it why did’nt the CIA informed their leaders about these groups who travel distances athletes. Indian leaders are now concerned since these groups are able to reach within less than twenty four hours their capital and the capital of Kashmir!!

No wonder that Pakistan military all of a sudden decided to reset their strategy and stopped using their long range artillery against those who are deadlier than the gringosand could prove to be a useful ally in its conflict with India.
Most seasoned political and military leaders are surprised at the overreaction of Obama adm. against a limited number of criminals in Afghanistan, prolonging the conflict over ten years. NATO is pulling out of the mess asap inspite of Leon Panetta opposition and later pleas. Leon Panetta comes from the immigrant family which came from Calabria, Italy. Calabrians are known to be notorious in kidnapping, drug trade and money laundering. Mr Panetta, a clintonian is known to have supervised the Abbottabad operation in Pakistan. Pakistan ISI should have known about the calabrians trade mark.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Ganesh,
On 28 may 1998 Pakistan detonated five nuclear bombs at once, until 27 may 1998 Indian public was told Pakistan would be taught a lesson and called the bluff. We all know what followed. Both 16 Dec 1971 and 28 May 1998 are important dates in history. It showed how a defeated, civil war wreaked nation fought back within 25 years and replied to Indian nuclear tests. Goes to show the new generation of Pakistanis is even more unwilling to be scared into submission. Once again, strategic parity is the way forward, India can be a big country but with a petty mentality it cannot become a great country.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Ganesh
I have a different view on a country being big or being great. India is a big country and petty thinking by its leaders does not make it look a great nation. So, if and only IF India can assure it does not pose an existential threat to Pakistan, sorts out Kashmir and other disputes. That is the only way Pakistan should patch up with India. Otherwise just keep waiting for eternity, if you think Pakistan will eventually implode, you will be sadly mistaken. Just because India is geographically bigger does not mean it cannot be challenged by a numerically smaller adversary.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “if and only IF India can assure it does not pose an existential threat to Pakistan, sorts out Kashmir and other disputes. That is the only way Pakistan should patch up with India. ”

Let me tell you this one more time: India is not your enemy. We are your neighbor. We’d like to live alongside. You got a country for Muslims. You keep it and live well in it. There is no need to psyche yourself into perceiving us a sworn enemy. Most of us do not think of Pakistan much. Like it or not, we are a big country and you cannot change that. And like it or not, yours is a small country with its own limitations. Just look inwards and start building your nation. We are willing to help you guys out. Your leaders could not even accept our financial aid when the floods happened. The problem lies in your heads and nothing else. You have the nukes. Everyone acknowledges that. The truth is this – you need us as enemy; you need issues that do not get resolved in perpetuity. The two are needed to keep your flimsy country stay united and survive. Without India, Pakistan would have gone to war with itself and self destructed long ago. East Pakistan proved that point. There is no such thing as Islamic unity. But there is the enemy who is the infidel. Your nation was formed on the fear of the infidel and not on Islamic unity. Islamic unity proved its true meaning when Bangladesh emerged and Iran and Iraq went to war. Relying on the infidel enemy to keep your country united will lead you to focus 100% entirely on that and nothing else – which is something your country has done.

In this world, you have to share it with others. There is no such thing as us versus them. Even after getting a nation for Muslims, you still need a non-Muslim enemy to keep yourself going. And that has brought you to the brink. Your country now has made more enemies than friends of late. Triggering civil wars inside your neighboring countries will not help your country survive. This is something the thick headed military generals in your country have to realize. No country trusts Pakistan today because of the well known duplicity and double dealing history.

The best way forward is to stop sitting at a high pedestal and making preconditions. It is your survival as a nation that is under question. You do not have the privilege to demand from others. Your country has to give up belligerence and seek friendship. We will very much honor it if you sincerely believe in it and try it. Beyond that, you do not have much choice.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KPSignh

I as an individual make my choices and hold my views, collectively i think both nations, India and Pakistan are moving towards better relations. What i stated are my personal views to Ganesh. On people level, India and Pakistan are great nations with great people, it is my sincere hope that there is peace. Maybe if our generation does not see it, our future generation can.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “On people level, India and Pakistan are great nations with great people, it is my sincere hope that there is peace. Maybe if our generation does not see it, our future generation can.”

I entirely agree. We have a lot to gain by being friends than by being enemies. The world has not seen the potential of Pakistanis yet. There is no denying that there are tremendously talented people in Pakistan. If they have to excel and be recognized, friendship is the only way. Hope that happens soon.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

On people level, India and Pakistan are great nations with great people, it is my sincere hope that there is peace. Maybe if our generation does not see it, our future generation can. – Umairpk

Those kind of general platitudes won’t actually achieve anything. I hate to be pessimistic. But it’s true.

The only way peace is going to come is when the average Pakistani stops taking pleasure in seeing dead Indians on TV and stops buying into the nonsense that for Pakistan to succeed, India must fail. We’re a long, long way from that day.

How many Pakistanis still say they’d rather starve and risk a few bombings over giving up support for Afghan and Kashmir Jihadi groups? When the answer to that question changes, you will have the conditions for peace.

Once again, strategic parity is the way forward, India can be a big country but with a petty mentality it cannot become a great country. – Umairpk

This is the kind of bombastic nonsense I am referring to. When have great powers not been petty in history? India is actually fairly mild by comparison. What do you think the yanks would have done if they had been next door? Do you remember how Japan got repaid for Pearl Harbour? Do you remember the Treaty of Versailles and what it did to Germany or what the Soviets did to the Germans after World War II? The Indians worst fault was that they felt some sort of compassion and didn’t go for the jugular when they could have. Every Pakistani should be thanking their lucky stars for that.

And you really think Pakistan has strategic parity by packing nukes? That actually makes me laugh. Parity would be achieved when you have the economic and resource depth that lets you sustain war for more than a week. As it stands, India could take a few nuclear strikes and survive. But all of Pakistan would be a glass parking lot by the end of that exchange. Better yet, Pakistan would could be brought to its knees without firing a single shot. All the Indians have to do is hold a 6 month long exercise close to the border. The Pakistan Army attempting to keep up would drain every mineral, food and financial resource the country has.

Nukes don’t give you strategic parity. And Pakistanis believing that they do is part of the problem. Somehow they missed that lesson that great powers need great economies to back them up. Do you think the US could be a super-power without its massive economy (however troubled at the moment)? How important was China two decades ago when they had nukes and not much economic growth? What about North Korea? Do you think they’re much of a power? After all, they’ve got nukes. This kind of national naivete and simpleton mindset is what’s gotten Pakistan into the morass they are in today.

Posted by True.North. | Report as abusive

Umair said:

> Once again, strategic parity is the way forward

You keep thinking of strategic parity in terms of nuclear weapons, and you always think of weapons because you see enemies where there are none.

> India is a big country and petty thinking by its leaders does not make it look a great nation

There are more strategic factors than nuclear weapons that determine greatness. And petty-mindedness is in the eye of the beholder. India’s restraint in the face of repeated provocation is not petty-mindedness. Returning to the negotiating table in spite of zero progress in prosecuting the masterminds behind Mumbai is not petty-mindedness. An Israel or a China in India’s place would have reacted very differently, I assure you. Even the PA knows this, which is why Uighur Muslims from the same Ummah will be chased and fought, because China will not show the same patience as India.

India is not just a big country but also a great one. I can see that it sticks in the throat and a Pakistani cannot acknowledge it yet. In the fullness of time…

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@Umair
“no need to go ballistic”

So you fell into the trap. Do you (and everyone else) see now how easy it is to “provoke” the religious right. Come out of this religious narrow mindedness. Both Indians and Pakistanis are slaves of their own religion based narrow mindedness. Both countries and their people need to come out of it. You responded to my this post that raised questions on Ummah but you did not respond to my post previous to that one to which I was expecting some response. Open your eyes and see the light and do not believe in lies of ANY religion.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

Umair,

This is what is meant by a great nation: http://bit.ly/osO5tI

Obviously, we complain about our own shortcomings. So does this article:
http://bit.ly/rbGOel

But the fact remains that you won’t find such innovation happening in any other “Third World” country, innovation that impacts the rest of the world. India is the greatest Third World country because of this. Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Egypt, Iran – no other country comes close. In contrast, Pakistan’s attitude to innovation is epitomised by the fact that it has disowned its sole Nobel laureate because he was Ahmadiya. Where is the comparison then between these countries? How can we talk about parity of any kind?

India has a mindset that is oriented towards scientific and economic progress, towards making our lives better tomorrow. Pakistan’s mindset is oriented towards getting Kashmir, no matter what it takes. It explains the different trajectories the two countries are on. And in a few more years, if they haven’t already, the Kashmiris themselves will realise which side their bread is buttered, and snub Pakistan accordingly. Do you think that will not happen? They are not fools. In fact, there are very few people in this world who are foolishly self-destructive. Pakistanis are among them.

You have to change your mindset, or it will get changed for you by rapidly deteriorating circumstances that you don’t even acknowledge. India will be a far better friend (less exploitative and transactional) than the US, China or Saudi Arabia, but you have to reach out and take the hand that is extended to you. There is no sign of such an awakening yet, which I why I fear that a lot more suffering must be undergone by ordinary Pakistanis before this self-destructive mindset is challenged.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Rex:”Now the Indian mob is once again on the march with their cheap crap on this blog; and the hindu convert to atheism to australian immigrant,is leading the crusade stating Indian greatness but not a word of praise for his adopted country Australia”.

Rex, Every time the blog leads to a reasoned debate, you become a cry baby resorting to personal insults. Common, be a man.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

“and the hindu convert to atheism to Australian immigrant,is leading the crusade stating Indian greatness but not a word of praise for his adopted country Australia”

I didn’t knew this blog space is about Australia. Reuters, please confirm if 1) this space is about Australia OR 2)Australia is a neighbor of Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Saudi, Iraq.

Crusade?? Boy oh boy, man with a black hole in head. better shoot him off to some black hole in outer space.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
To give a fare share to Pakistanis read this: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp- international/article2529668.ece

I think this whole talk of great/good and bad is rubbish and that too coming from an atheist like yourself. Religious fools believe in good (God) and bad (Satan) NOT atheists. I believe in truth more than anything else. And for a change I agree with Rex’s LAST 2 SENTENCES: “There are no small and big countries in today’s world, but those who have enough for their people and those who do not have enough for their people. Both India and Pakistan belong to the latter.” Everything else he said is rubbish and to be ignored as usual.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

007XXX,

I have probably been a bit harsh on the Pakistanis. I was going to say, there have been examples of innovation there too, but these need to be at the forefront. Pakistan is in the news for all the wrong reasons.

http://bit.ly/o0FVcp
http://bit.ly/pRgNbZ

It’s really time these guys got rid of the chip on their shoulder and became a normal country. There’s a limit to how many times Indians have to tell them we have no desire to see any harm come to Pakistan, and that we want Pakistan to be peaceful, prosperous and friendly. The message just doesn’t seem to get through, and we hear about the great nuclear weapons again and again. It is frustrating.

For the record, I’m an agnostic, not an atheist.

Regards,
Ganesh

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
Problem is not ordinary Pakistanis. They see what is shown to them by their military rulers. Problem is presence of such people in their military who believe in and promote Islamo-fascist false egos as an excellent means to achieve their petty political goals. Religion is the ultimate political tool for divide and rule. Pakistani generals know it very well. Even their so-called well wishers (like Rex) teach them hatred and violence.

Next time a Pakistani boasts of his country’s nukes, ask him if he is still eating the grass or has he moved on to wheat/rice.

And there is a very thin line between being an agnostic and being an atheist, I take your word on the side of the line you stand.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

PS
I am a believer not a skeptic about nature or fellow humans and admire those who believe in human excellence and uphold human rights.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

“I guess if the Indians system identifies its people with their castes,therefore this feature should be a plus for the tablet. ”

@Reuters moderators,

If you guys don’t know or don’t understand then let me tell you that statements such as above are RACIST. Now tell me since when has Reuters has given permission to post racist comments here.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

It is always prudent for all of us to broaden our knowledge of the globalised world including once own country. I do not hold any grudge against no one based on the indidual race or gender. Nor do I quote racist media and there are plenty around, but rely on Govt. institutions and do not question the sincerety of the the individuals such as the jewish programmer from the apple company who has develoed the software without any malice. If you still believe that I have erred then tell your Indian Govt. to stop identifying people from the schedule castes who receive special assistance in the country.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

I have no intention to start a discussion on Hinuism, which is the causual factor for Indian caste system, nor have any interest to refer to Indian constitution which refers to untouchable millions, nor have any interst to quote United Nations accusation of millions of forced child labour and bonded slavery in India,of people who are classified as low caste at birth.

The subject is too complex for me to understand Indian hocus pocus, trying to exists in several centuries simultaneously. This is too much for me!

I am keen to learn about the Haqqanis fate( what is the latest from Godfather?) and in view of sabre rattling and defiance statements coming from Pakistan leaders, am waiting for the response from its military. Perhaps the Americans used the same procedure as in Abotabad, advising ISI the words hot pursuit, special tqrget and went on the target without any hinderence?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

007XXX,

Don’t feed the troll.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

What I do not understand here is that on reuters, Indians come out and call Pakistan as a terrorist state, and muslims too. And then complain there are some racist comments posted by someone. How crazy?
I guess reuters is simply providing an opportunity for freedom of expression and debate on issues.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Reading these comments by both sides is sad. Both India &
Pakistan cant get a footnote together to live and prosper
with each other.Very soon the debt issue will sink Pakistan
and Afghanistan as well as India.Just tell the West meaning the Bankers in Europe & USA how are you going to pay off your debts? Issue paper script? The Rupee is 86.5 to the $
The Afghan is 47.65 to the $ & the Indian Rupee is 49.48 to the $ and guess what maybe the $ might not be the World’s currency What happens then to your Countries ?
I guess Barter, Welcome to the new order!

Posted by Ramonsanto | Report as abusive

Myra,

How come there’s no article yet on the trade and visa liberalisation happening between India and Pakistan? That’s an important development with the potential to reduce tensions in the subcontinent and change the entire environment in a few years.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Umairpk:”What I do not understand here is that on reuters, Indians come out and call Pakistan as a terrorist state, and muslims too. And then complain there are some racist comments posted by someone. How crazy?”

OK, let me try again. Indians are concerned with the current state of Pakistan because its environment, which encourages extremism to prevail, affects India (as well the rest of the World). When Terrorists from Pakistan land in Mumbai and blow up people and kill people with impunity, its just not a domestic problem of Pakistan. Its a headache to the world.

But when Indians allegedly discriminate other Indians based on caste, it doesn’t affect pakistan’s a**, neither does it affect rest of the world. Anyways its so funny to feel because, there are so few incidents and you can always pick a case or two from this large nation and brand entire India Communal,Racist etc etc. If there is misgovernance in India or Human right violations in China, people are not really concerned as it doesn’t affect them or rest of the world. A mere concern, for the people who faced the brunt, is what we can show. That’s it.

I was only wondering whether Pakistan government can restrict the suicide attacks, that happen in their country, to Pakistan itself. It seems neither the Afghanistan nor the rest of the world wants it.

Believe me the Communist regimes of Russia(under stalin) and China (under mao) killed millions of their own people and so did the dictators of the middle east. But the world didn’t care as that had not affected them. The problem only starts when these crimes assume a transnational nature. The problem acquires gigantic proportions when world’s most wanted terrorist is found in military complex and when world’s notorious mafia leaders (Dawood) find refuge in there. The problem gets worse when the worst of Islamic extremist ideas find space and recruiting grounds in Pakistan.

When Mao was asked by his colleagues about how to retake the lost province of hong kong, he simply replied “if we could build a paradise in china, I don’t see why British wont handover the province to us and why Hong kongites wont integrate with China”. True to his wishes (and even though China had to painfully transform from communist backwater to capitalist paradise), Hong Kong was handed over by the British, without an eyebrow being raised. This showed chinese determination in positive national building and looking for workable ideas to resolve problems.

Perhaps if the Pakistan were to create a paradise on earth, then perhaps valley Kashmiris may secede from India into the willing arms of Pakistan (honestly a workable Pakistan would suffice). And you can reconcile the fact with your conscience to know which way Pakistan is going. Inspite of all the good people in Pakistan, I think the military generals are seriously confused with the direction of Heaven and Hell and are confusing with the direction of Hell with Heaven.

The daily carnage in Pakistan may be common news for Pakistan, but it is not so for the rest of the world. When only one 9/11 happened, America tried to avenge with full force because it was not normal to take attacks for granted. Although America is also to blame here for cutting a deal with worst kind of Animals they called jihadis, Pity that the Pakistani state still considers these monsters as pets and strategic assets even as they eat into the body politic of Pakistan. Its like a criminal who after stealing is seen by the police but in order to avoid arrest, grabs a piece of grenade, opens the seal and threatens the police that he will throw it. Police just need to wait for the time, the leaking grenade eventually blows taking the life out of the thief.
Pakistan is already holding the grenade (Nuclear Weapon) while its infected fingers (infected due to the cancerous nature of militant environment) may pull the pin even without the Pakistan knowing/volition it. There is still time.

Yes Ganesh, Unfortunately pakistan gets bad press. But nobody is under the illusion that the good things happening in pakistan are strong and forceful enough to stop the slide and a rebound in the promising direction.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Umair,
Pakistan need not acknowledge its mistakes formally, it just needs to change its course. Believe me we all did (India in case of Sri Lanka, America in case of Vietnam, China again in case of Vietnam) and we did silently without accepting anything formally, but what mattered was whether we changed course for the better.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Rex: “To attract a wider acceptance of their views many skeptic indivduals from the minority community having no faith in their religious institutions have been declaring themselves as atheists and agnostics.
This is simply a neu masche/new stitch and not any change of faith. The milliband brothers of the UK labour party, who are jewish have declared themselves as agnostics”.

Strange if this was the case with everybody. But Hinduism forcefully propogates the idea of theism, atheism and agnosticism equally. The Vedas which are the fountain head of the religion are themselves agnostic. So maybe that is why the educated Hindus who are aware of this underlying culture are non-commital to particular form of worship or God. Yes I am agnostic too.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
“Don’t feed the troll.”

Advice accepted. Thanks!

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

@Umair
“Indians come out and call Pakistan as a terrorist state, and muslims too”

When did Indians call muslims as terrorist? Terrorist call themselves as muslims. There is HUGE difference. And if you do not know the difference then go back to engineering college. Such an utterly stupid statement coming from an engineer is a shame. I have lived in India for 28 years (all my life) and have travelled a lot and met a lot of people; I have never come across a non-muslim who does not have a muslim friend and I have never come across a muslim who does not have a non-muslim friend. And these demographics are changing even faster in next generation. Probably thats why the pakistani jingoists and well wishers call muslims in India as “pseudo-muslims”. Now tell me who is calling muslims a bad name?

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

Pagan-infidel-buddhist-hindu-skeptic-unb eliever-nonbeliever-disbeliever-atheist and agnostic are the stiches of a chain and has been the histpory of people who despite the appearance of prophets of God and the scriptures have remained outside the communities of believers. Human righta and moral ethics which the mankind learnt from the scriptures have now been enshrined in the constitutions of the western nations.
@sensible Patriot, it does not matter if you or your fellow countrymen are now declared atheists or agnostics, I have respect for them because according to my belief all humans are the children of God almighty. Indians should however stop practicing group politics and commit mobbing which are illegal in the civilised world.

To resolve Indian and Pakistan conflict, both parties must recognise that peace in the subcontinent can only come when international law and human rights becomes the basis and not on status quo, India being a stronger and larger country and therefore Pakistan must accept the reality. Indians must not ignore History; muslim invading armies have not shied away from unsuccessful battles but persisted in further attacks until they were successful and then ruled India for a very long period. This is my opinion and is not meant for anyone to take it personaly. People of Pakistan have many nations within and they are not soft targets for the USA. Needless to say that Pakistan military and civilian leaders have made strategic mistakes and maintained love hate relationship with India and played a double game with the USA; but this can easily be attributed to their colonial past. Nevertheless, I certainly am not going to underestimate(unterstellung)them and let no one should mess about with
them.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Ramonsanto
“What happens then to your Countries?”

Hmm although this is not a forum for economic discussions but since u have asked so let me tell you that Indian currency is NOT pegged against $. I think you are confusing Chinese Yuan with Indian Rupee. India very recently converted a large amount of US dollars and US bonds into Gold and this trend is likely to continue. What you miss by and large is the spirit of enterprise and invention, that is so much absent in western world’s complacency of decade long growth, and is so much present in Afghan, Pakistan and Indian people. Yes even the ordinary people on streets in this region think of enterprise and believe in human innovation and are hard working to the core. The only problem is politics and use of religion for politics in the region which I believe will take its own course as per changing environment.

Now Welcome to barter system! What does western world has to offer in return for Afghan apples and pomegranates, in return for Indian enterprise, technology innovation and agriculture, in return for Chinese cheap labour and quick reverse engineering??? Banks, derivatives, dollar, pound?? No we don’t need them anymore. Yes WE will have to write down western world’s HUGE debts but that will definitely involve cost for west. Any idea on how much of Spain does China OWN??

Probably US came to recognize this barter much earlier than rest and hence the nuclear energy pact with India.

P.S.
Is Obama still afraid of Indian children spending more time in their classrooms than those in US??

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

@007xxx

Now here u are accusing Pakistan forgeting that those were indian officials who were saying that they have the bomb and Pakistanis should walk with their heads down. Pakistan entered the nuclear race very late, and yes even if u ask any Pakistani that are u still eating the grass, they will proudly say yes they still are eating grass and exporting their wheat to get the money to make the bombs. Sometimes one has to admit the mistakes made in the past to get a good start. Why not india and Pakistan both decide to disarm them from these useless nukes. Coz even if there is a war b/w these two countries, regardless of who is victorious i never wanted my army to use such a dreadful thing on humanity. So i want this crap to be destroyed.

Posted by Abdul_Basit | Report as abusive

@ sensible patriot
ur wrong abt the communist killing their people not effecting the world thing, when Gaddafi was killing his own people to maintain peace in Libya then why the world was shouting abt it. Now see what NATO has done there, they gave the revolts so much weapon that they are now killing whole tribes who supported gaddafi and they have turned into war lords. Now for the next 20 years it will be the safe heaven of american proxies a.k.a terrorists.
I am happy Pakistan is finding its way out of the US alliance.

Posted by Abdul_Basit | Report as abusive