Kabhi apni shakal dekhi hai?

Published: July 11, 2011

The writer is a partner at Bhandari, Naqvi & Riaz and an advocate of the Supreme Court. The writer can be reached at http://twitter.com/#!/laalshah. The views presented in the article above are not those of his firm

‘Kabhi apni shakal dekhi hai’ is an Urdu phrase which literally translates as, ‘Have you ever seen your own face?’ Like many such phrases, it is not intended to be taken literally; most people have, of course, seen their own faces. Instead, what the query asks is this: Who are you to ask questions? Are you worthy of the demands you make?

The phrase in question came to my mind last night as I witnessed some earnest discussions between Pakistani and Indian intellectuals at a dinner. One of the topics of discussion was inevitably Kashmir and all around me my fellow citizens were confidently arguing that the people of Kashmir should be allowed to fulfil their natural destiny by joining with Pakistan. But the thought which kept going through my head was: Kabhi apni shakal dekhi hai?

The purpose of this column is to ask the members of our intelligentsia, who so confidently assume that the Kashmiris are protesting and dying in order to become Pakistanis, kabhi apni shakal dekhi hai?

Our country is a mess these days: Our economy is poised on the edge of a complete meltdown. Our largest city has just gone through a phase in which more than a hundred people were shot dead at random. Our industries are crippled by a lack of electricity. We are one of the world’s most water-stressed countries and also likely to be one of the worst affected by climate change. We are driven by sectarian hatred and under assault by religious fanatics. And if there is a sensible reason for wanting to be a woman in this benighted land, I have yet to hear it.

Finding things to criticise in Pakistan is like shooting fish in a barrel. The point that I am making here relates to what I saw later on that night of détente, as I drove two first-time visitors from across the Radcliffe Line to the Old City. They were simply stunned by the familiarity of it all. For them, Lahore was a magical reconstruction of Delhi, with the Lutyens bungalows being substituted by GORs, Regal Chowk standing in for Chandni Chowk and the Jama’a Masjid transmuted into the Badshahi Masjid.

At times like these, one is prone to dream of all that could be if relations were to normalise. The Delhi-wallahs kept on babbling about how Indian tourists would love to come to Lahore and all I could think of was, you poor fools, you have no bloody idea. We have built an entire country on our hatred for you. We have dedicated ourselves to enshrining our differences, first the differences with you and now the differences amongst ourselves.

Do you really think that the architecture of otherness can disappear at the drop of a hat?

We need to take a look at ourselves, ask how we have gotten to where we are, and perhaps reconsider our assumptions. Starting from the belief that the Kashmiris want to be Pakistanis and that the ‘loss’ of Kashmir is somehow fatal to our national existence — we have dedicated ourselves to winning back what is ‘rightfully’ ours. In pursuit of that victory, we have developed only one arm of the state: The army. And in order to justify the continued pursuit of militarism, we have distorted our ideology to the point that any and all steps taken towards the larger goal of a Kashmir restored to our anxious arms are deemed to be worthy of any sacrifice by us, irrespective of the consequences. Accordingly, we have supported the forces of hate in Kashmir because they fight our wars even though that same hate then drips back into Pakistan and poisons our own bloodstream. And all of this because the Kashmiris can supposedly conceive of no better future than to be a part of Pakistan. Kabhi apni shakal dekhi hai?

I do not mean to denigrate the struggles of the Kashmiri people. They have suffered much with great courage and dignity. I fully support the right of the Kashmiris to decide their own future, whether it be independence, union with Pakistan or something completely different. But it makes no sense for Pakistan to destroy itself in supposed support of the Kashmiri cause only because it removes any rational incentive for the Kashmiris to join with us. Obviously, whether or not Kashmiris really want to join us is a question only they can answer. Frankly speaking, at this point, I can’t see why they would.

We must, therefore, now turn our efforts to healing ourselves first. After six decades of worrying about others, we need to focus on what’s wrong with us, and leave aside the problems of the world. Perhaps then this will no longer be a country sensible people want to run away from. Perhaps then, if somebody asks, “kabhi apni shakal dekhi hai?” we will be in a position to respond, “Haan, dekhi hai.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2011.

Reader Comments (74)

  • Vikas S
    Jul 11, 2011 - 9:45PM

    Very good article….I am not sure about others…but “NAQVI SAHEB NEIN PAKISTAN KI SHAKAL DEKH LI HAI”.
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  • Nailed It

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  • Jul 11, 2011 - 10:00PM

    yes, we have developed a monstrous one armed bandit:)

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  • khan
    Jul 11, 2011 - 10:18PM

    Do you have any thing positive to say about your motherland ?

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  • Jul 11, 2011 - 10:19PM

    Naqvi saab, this needs to be published in an urdu akhbar as well!

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  • Jul 11, 2011 - 10:19PM

    Useless article, just pointing out the negative aspects of Pakistan. All we need is a better government and Pakistan can be a completely different place.

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  • Iram
    Jul 11, 2011 - 10:27PM

    Excellent …..why they should come with us…and why we are dying they must….our childern are dying without medicens and we must ready ourself for war…we have war situation against poverty, lack of education, voilence on minors, energy crises and cultural and religious differences..yes we have war…..we must spend on it …wake up otherwise it would be so much late……inrepairable retardation …..

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  • sundeep
    Jul 11, 2011 - 10:35PM

    completely agree………….Nicely written. :)

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  • Pakistani in US
    Jul 11, 2011 - 10:47PM

    Couldn’t have said it better. Feisal, whenever I see your face in opinion section of ET, I know that there is something really pungent to start my morning with – and that makes me happy. Even though I am only 27, I feel old – as if I have seen this place rise and fall in front of my own eye. Or perhaps the idea of rising Pakistan was probably just a feel good delusion during my pubescent years. Your articles provides sort of catharsis to read about real face of the unfortunate country of ours (and perhaps a silly hope at the bottom of an abyss). Thank you.

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  • Faraz
    Jul 11, 2011 - 10:52PM

    Excellent article,you have rightly selected the phrase and it definitely suits our present plight as a nation.i wish our oblivious policy makers “apney shukel dekh layin”.Now
    it is the time to change and for the better.

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  • Nadeem
    Jul 11, 2011 - 11:15PM

    “But it makes no sense for Pakistan to destroy itself in supposed support of the Kashmiri cause…” says it all. We need to divert resources from the Army to our children’s education, healthcare, rule of law. 70% of Pakistanis do not have access to clean drinking water: this issue should be numero uno, instead of kashmir or ‘strategic death’ in afghanistan.

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  • parvez
    Jul 11, 2011 - 11:31PM

    Clarity of thought and the ability to articulate it, just brilliant.

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  • Fortune Cookie
    Jul 11, 2011 - 11:39PM

    “kabhi apni shakal dekhi hai?” ….. literally in both URDU & HINDI the meaning of the words IS EXACTLY the same. It is a shame that with us having so much in common that we have little HUMANITY left in US. In our encounters on the internet, without knowing each other, we tend to SELF RIGHTEOUSLY condem each other. Rather than finding solutions spaew vitriolic hatered against each other. Wake UP. The border is not going to Go away!!!!!.

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  • irshadmemon
    Jul 11, 2011 - 11:49PM

    Look at the chosen representatives of pakistanis,mostly thugs and criminals.so what pakistanis are expecting frm thugs?these thugs are continusly thugging the local pakistani thugs.thug always choose a moderate and enlightened thug ..as pakistanis have been doing since sixty yrs.these moderate and enlighted thugs have delivered moral bankruptcy,corruption,ethnicism and regionalis to nation ,they are deserving it.Above all corrupt establishment and beaurucracy ,untouchable and unaccountable bfre law of land is the evil axes to be crushed severely.but thanks to political thugs to facilitating them more and honoring them with rubbish commisionarate system,Britain had ever have evolved in their colonial rule.Sheikh imran hussain rightly perceived,that pakistan is a’US republic of pakistan’so congrats to pak citizens on their choice-bcoz beggars have no choice

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  • Vicram Singh
    Jul 12, 2011 - 12:18AM

    @author: ” >The Delhi-wallahs kept on babbling about how Indian tourists would love to come to Lahore and all I could think of was, you poor fools, you have no bloody idea.

    I think they were just being polite.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jul 12, 2011 - 12:28AM

    I wish we can convince the bearded people, how accurate you are. Unfortunately these bearded people have a screwed up view of the world. They think everyone in this world wants to keep women uneducated, girls to be married against their wishes at age 12. These people (including half of our army who are from the areas of Jhelum to Abbotabad) think that if you kill all our opponents, bomb the innocent, be extremely violent, people will follow you.Our Hatred of India and spending all our money in this effort, caused the loss of Bengal and now Balochistan is moving in the same direction. Pretty soon Pakistan will divide on ther basis of ethnicity because who wants to be part of a country where annual GDP growth barely keeps up with population growth and inflation is greater than annual pay raises for most of the work force.

    Till we realize that our biggest enemy is not only Taliban but also Jamaat-e-Islami and to some extend Imran Khan, we will not have any future. There is not a single country where the bearded ones lead the country out of economic problems.

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  • mazen
    Jul 12, 2011 - 12:39AM

    Good article. But how you can change the perception of Pakistani people regarding this rhetoric that KASHMIR MERA HAI inculcated by media and by our politicians. First the mindset has to be change prior to take a left turn on Kashmir policy. Pakistan and India need to change their stances and need to resolve this dispute by out of the box solution. Political will from both side require, otherwise, it is not possible.

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  • Truth Seeker
    Jul 12, 2011 - 1:46AM

    In nutshell, Feisal has encapsulated the reality of time and space in South Asian perspective. In the prevailing state of affairs Kashmiris will never commit
    communal hara-kiri, by contemplating to join Pakistan.
    Even sane Indians( and there are a lot of them) are averse to the idea of doing away with ‘Radcliffe Line’.
    It is in the interest of the Indian and Pakistani public to have good neighbourly trade relations.
    The institute which was projected as the saviour of the nation, was allocated 70 percent of the total revenues in the first budget presented in 1948 of new born state. These words of the then Finance Minister are still reverberating in the Parliament Building of 2011 located in Islamabad which was an undulating grazing ground in 1948,” expenditure for defence…(was) higher than would normally be justified for a young state like ours”. Because of the perpetual( same today) excuse of the security of the state, budgetry wizard had been,” reluctantly constrained to spend on the Armed Forces money” which should have been spent for,”(the) social, industrial and economic development of the country”.
    The Security paradigm since the creation of Pakistan has remained static, which has caused stagnation in all other sectors and constant deterioration of society has resulted due to wrong emphasis on security.The time has come for a revolutionary change in the crooked military thinking for the sake of the country, otherwise Pakistani military will be left with no country.

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  • Mir Agha
    Jul 12, 2011 - 2:12AM

    Ahmed sahibzada, if you haven’t noticed, neither have the leftist democracy-wallahs led Pak out of economic problems. Keep you head buried in the sand.

    Mr. Author, Pakistan has always supported and will continue to support the right of Kashmiris to answer those questions you raised for themselves. Unfortunately, you support their killing, raping, and torturing.

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  • Chandler
    Jul 12, 2011 - 2:46AM

    “I witnessed some earnest discussions between Pakistani and Indian intellectuals at a dinner.”
    (rolls eyes).
    What kind of “discussions” do Pakistani and Indian “intellectuals” have anyway?

    “The Delhi-wallahs kept on babbling about how Indian tourists would love to come to Lahore…”

    Delhi-wallahs do not represent the whole of India. How many people in India (out of 1.2 billion, yes, say that number aloud) know what or where Lahore is anyway?

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  • Babloo
    Jul 12, 2011 - 4:47AM

    Have you seen a child throwing a tantrum, crying and kicking and throwing his many old toys because his parents would not buy for him the new toy that he has always wanted ?

    That child is Pakistan and that toy is Kashmir. The old toys are East Pakistan, Baluchistan and rest of Pakistan.

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  • Indian rigghtwing
    Jul 12, 2011 - 5:09AM

    I think the time run out for pakistan to realise this. it might be little late and not sure under what facing saving formula, Pak Army can make u-turn in its policies in general and India in particular.

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  • Sanjay, MUmbai
    Jul 12, 2011 - 6:04AM

    Interesting point of view from across border about what ails their society, politics, army..and view on Kashmir. Pakistan may survive on the seed of Kashmir and their army can keep milking Pakistani budget. Whether this is wisest thing to do..its for Pakistanis to think about. For majority of Indians , away from North India, Kashmir and Pakistan have become irritants , dragging India’s progress. Kashmir for most of us on this part of India is a beautiful state . having huge tourist potential to contribute economically to its welfare, without having to dip deep down into central budget. With right kind of policies, Kashmir can become shining crown of India’s success story. This part of Kashmir can become source of inspiration for other part of Kashmir, presently occupied by Pakistan. The infighting within people of Pakistan among same religious people, brings forth the crack, fissures which existed since more than 60 years . It has proved once again that religion cannot become reason for forming countries or nations or societies. Present state of affairs in Pakistan will send shivers down spines of our Kashmiris and also Muslims in our country. Pakistan needs to go back to drawing board and re-look at basic concepts of nation building, reinforce its foundation with fresh ideas of tolerance, love, empathy, equality ..for them to grow. Indians would always want their neighbors to progress and have peaceful co-existence. South Asia can become huge success story, with some mature political leadership.

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  • Shazia Nawaz
    Jul 12, 2011 - 7:29AM

    Kashmirs do not want to be with Pakistan. I have met several of them. It is a myth and a lie that they want to be with Pakistan. And of course, ” Apni shakal dekhee hai hum nay”

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  • Rahul Singh
    Jul 12, 2011 - 7:46AM

    nice to find a sane voice in Pakistan, which find solace in anti India bashing.

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  • Faction
    Jul 12, 2011 - 8:02AM

    Nice thought, but a pipe dream. Your society is too far gone for this type of introspection. Nothing but hate and violence for the forseeble future.

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  • Irshad Khan
    Jul 12, 2011 - 8:16AM

    It is a courageous writing . The last para is jist of all thinking of the writer. I have been pleading that we should seal all our borders for illegal entries from any side. We should comb the whole country and get rid of all foreign entrants, staying in Pakistan for training of militancy or any other purpose whatsoever in the name of Islam. We shold stop thinking ourselves as leaders of Ummah and saviours of Muslims all over the world. We should adopt the policy of neutralism i.e niether we will interfere in other`s matters nor others let to dictate us on any basis. FATA will be an autonomous Province of Pakistan. No arms making, selling should be allowed to a citizen. Any sort of smuggling will not be allowed at any cost. Rulers will live in simple small houses. All tax money and revenue will be spent on education, Housing, electricity, drinking water, communications, roads. Railways shall be developed as a major mean of travelling in the country instead of planes, Airports, motorways and luxury coaches/cars. This way our next generation may be made independent and proud of their country. When shall we start such programme?

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  • Sanjay Sharma
    Jul 12, 2011 - 8:50AM

    Few years back, Syed Ali Shah Gilani fell ill and was treated in AIIMS, New Delhi. He was fighting with cancer but by the grace of God, he came back to life from brink. He was treated by the Government Doctors. Last year he came to Delhi from Srinagar and reiterated his hard views on Kashmir and wanted the state to be freed to join Pakistani State. He met with protests by furious masses who were dead against any such secessionist idea. Again the Government of India provided z-plus security to him for his safety. He is still against any dialogue with Indian Government on the issue of Kashmir unless the Government agrees to talk about freedom of Kashmir. He was once a legislator in the assembly of J&K but now he prefers not to speak against arms struggle.

    Nawab Bughti was killed by forces on the charges sedition and fighting for the people of Baluchistan. He was once a popular personality amongst the political rulers and a true Pakistani.

    ” Behtar ho ki hum sab aayina dekh lain ”

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  • Mirza
    Jul 12, 2011 - 9:24AM

    Dear FN, where the heck have you been hiding? What a great op-ed, in every sense of the word. The fact is if we would have maintained the higher standards of living in Pakistan, with democracy, real freedom and progress not just Kashmiri but others would love to join Pakistan. However, once we had higher per capita income than India but we are going in the wrong direction. We are waiting and praying that somebody from up above to come and save us. We have tried several dictators and loved them initially just to hate them later. On our part we are not going to change for better. We don’t want to work or study science and technology. We hate the US as it is not giving us enough green cards and not changing our lives. We think that China or SA would throw us some coins out of pity. We are not used to be on our own two feet. I have met Kashmiri from both sides of the border and they do not like to be dominated by a militant and fundamentalist Pakistan.
    Thanks and regards,
    Mirza

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  • Suresh
    Jul 12, 2011 - 9:50AM

    Fortunately, India did not invest anything on clinching that part of Kashmir which is with Pakistan, economically, militarily and emotionally. That way much larger catastrophe to both the countries is averted.

    Who cares Lahore. Given a chance for a visit, I would begin my journey from Abbotabad (!) then to Swat and finally to Chitral. These are real heaven on earth.

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  • Adeel Ahmed
    Jul 12, 2011 - 10:02AM

    @Vicram Singh:
    True… Likewse, I would never want to goto Mumbai and the likes, and live amidst the largest slums and open to sky toilets in the world… disgusting!

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  • sam
    Jul 12, 2011 - 10:17AM

    i think the author missed the bulls eye on this one completely.. while some fight so that Kashmir becomes part of Pakistan most educated only argue and fight so that kashmiris are no longer surpressed weather in pakistan or indian held kashmir… the lections in kashmir will never depict a true picture. instead itll only go to show which country or whcih party was able to do a better job at faking votes.. kashmir should be left alone.. by pakistanis and indians they should offer it aid to make up for all the destruction.. let it stand on its own two feet and then let it GO…. this is what most of us educated lot fight for

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  • Ashfaq
    Jul 12, 2011 - 11:16AM

    Oh. really!!! Lets see.
    So called Pakistani Occupied Kashmir is called Azad (Independent) Kashmir with its very own Democratic Government.
    Indian Held Kashmir??? is fighting with with 100 Thousand Indian Security Forces.

    So. Yes as a Pakistani, I wud say this to Mr. Feisal Naqvi & Indians:

    “Ham tu apni shakal dekh kr hi baat kertay hein. Apka apnay baray mein kia khiyaal hay? :)

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  • ZAB
    Jul 12, 2011 - 11:35AM

    As a young boy I was obsessed with Audrey Hepburn but I had no idea what I would do if she was presenteds to me. This is the same situation with Pakistan, obsessing about some thing unattainable. I grew out of my obsession and married a beautiful woman. Pakistan should grow up, forget about Kashmir and get a life, a real life.

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  • chandran
    Jul 12, 2011 - 12:31PM

    recently Indian started the mining business in indian held kashmir

    Kabhi apni shakal dekhi hai? then u will look like indian

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 12, 2011 - 1:40PM

    Brillant !! If only the people of the nation can see the rationality of the subject concerned, than perhaps there is hope of turn around from current path to oblivion !!!
    Its refreshing to read something of logic related to very sensitive subject.
    Thank you.

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  • saleem
    Jul 12, 2011 - 1:57PM

    If Pakistan had managed itself financially, followed Quaid Jinnah speech of Aug 11, 1947 on law, morality and religion. Today it would also have been economic and social success story rather than the present state of affairs. Remember in the 50,s the $ was for Rs 5, Zafarulla an ahmadi was the Foreign Minister, Cornelius a christian wrote the constitution, Women were not intimidated to wear a hijab/niqab and camel dress. .

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  • amna
    Jul 12, 2011 - 2:16PM

    This is great. I shared it and then read it again. Just as good a read the second time.

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  • Feisal Naqvi
    Jul 12, 2011 - 3:27PM

    Thank you all for the comments which are greatly appreciated, brickbats and bouquets alike.

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  • Uza Syed
    Jul 12, 2011 - 4:16PM

    “We are driven by sectarian hatred and under assault by religious fanatics.” Feisal Naqvi. Naqvi Sahib, you should have referred your guests from Dehli to this, “…… when Pakistan comes into existence it will face serious conflicts of religious. Communal hatred will extinguish all possibilities of peaceful co-existence among various sects of Islam.” Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (also a naturalized Dehli Wala!) and added —- How true!

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  • andleeb
    Jul 12, 2011 - 4:52PM

    How come the articles about Kashmir are written by Pakistanis and commented on by Indians? I have never read comments from Kashmiris (from either side of the line). I think they dont care any longer for either side and are fed up. Kashmir is just a roti which is being divided and eaten up by the two sides… does anyone care for them really?

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  • Kramer
    Jul 12, 2011 - 5:16PM

    A fresh perspective. A commendable article highlighting how the pursuit of Kashmir has led to a cascade of choices, directly responsible for the miserable state that Pakistan is in. Kudos!

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  • Jul 12, 2011 - 5:19PM

    This might be difficult. And yet at some stage people of Pakistan will have to accept this reality. India has not been perfect in handling Kashmir. However Kashmiris are Indians and their future is in India only. Insha Allah, It will be a bright future.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 12, 2011 - 5:35PM

    @andleeb:
    Check the Indian side out and see the progress in terms of infrastructure, education, economy etc….. Then revert back and check as to what really is the reality in Azad Kashmir!!!

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  • Inam ul Haq
    Jul 12, 2011 - 5:56PM

    In the prevailing circunsrances the author appears to be right. But the unfortunte part of the story is that Hamari aisi Shkakal hamarey leaders ki waja se hai. We choose best of the tailors for striching our dress to be called well dressed, we opt to go to the best of hair cutting saloons for having good appearance. If the face of nation looks clumsy today its because we chose to be looked like that. God has given this land of ours every thhing that one could dream and desire. The only thing we need good tailors and barbers who could give good looks to the nation.

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  • Salim
    Jul 12, 2011 - 7:17PM

    I think in Baluchistan and Kyberpakhtunkwa present condition is worse than in Kashmir. Struggle for indepndence is going on at these places also. So, I would like to ask the writer, whether he will support a UN mediated plebiscite in these places also.

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  • Waqeel Hindvi
    Jul 12, 2011 - 7:25PM

    @Adeel Ahmed:
    Thank god, our slums are on the streets of Mumbai and Kolkata.
    Whilst, your slums are in your minds.
    Cleaning the street with clean minds is an easy spot.
    Clearing the mind with clean streets is a delusion.
    Please continue to persist in your self imposed bubble of misery.
    Give us a call, and we shall only too gladly give you a helping hand.
    Meanwhile, you can continue emulating the clean street / unclean mind strategy.
    It surely seems to have worked for your keepers in UAE and the CCP.

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  • Waqeel Hindvi
    Jul 12, 2011 - 7:32PM

    @Ashfaq:
    URDU >
    Arz kiya hai … ershaad farmiyegaa?
    “Har ek baat pe kahtey ho tum, ke tu kyaa hai?
    Tumhi kaho ke ye andaaz e guftugu kyaa hai?”

    – Mirza Assadullah Khan “Ghalib”.
    .
    ENGLISH >
    Please consider the following couplet …
    “On each occasion of our crossing paths, you belittle me.
    Pray, enlighten this innocent soul, of this unique mode of discussion.”
    - Mirza Assadullah Khan “Ghalib”. Recommend

  • Anwar
    Jul 12, 2011 - 8:17PM

    @Salim:

    Huh? People in Khyber Pakthonkhwa and Balochistan are not raising Indian flags my friend. It’s people in Indian Occupied Kashmir who are chanting “Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan” and as much as you indians want to deny it, this is the common voice of Kashmiris. Never has Pakistan claimed Kashmir should become apart of Pakistan, so to Mr. Naqvi, maybe instead of worrying about the shakal of people, you should go open a book and look at facts instead.

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  • Anwar
    Jul 12, 2011 - 8:20PM

    @Waqeel Hindvi:

    Our slums are in our minds? Which nation is it that his killed over 2.1 million female foetuses in the past decade? Which country is it where billionaires live in a country where 79% of the population barely make above $2 per day. Which country is it that is so obsessed with Pakistan that an election can be won with a hard stance against it. This is the indian mindset. Claiming to be shining while 55% don’t even have access to a bloody toilet. Our slums are in the refugee camps of poor Afghans and Kashmiris who have made Pakistan home and in the IDP camps of people who have been forced away by this phony war on “terror”. Don’t worry about us, go worry about trying to keep Assam part of India without having the Indian military kill inncoent people like you’re doing in Kashmir and have done in indian Punjab.

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  • Realist.
    Jul 12, 2011 - 10:36PM

    lol
    wheres my comment ?

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  • Bhangra
    Jul 12, 2011 - 11:26PM

    @Ashfaq:
    But sirji last I checked, the Indian part of Kashmir also has a democratically elected government headed by chief minister Omar Abdullah. Just last week, panchayat elections were peacefully completed in Kashmir with 78% turnout. Pakistan, on the other hand, gave part of Kashmir away to China! So much for supporting their independence.

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  • Sharad
    Jul 12, 2011 - 11:38PM

    Every word the author wrote is absolute truth. Pakistan destroyed itself by its foolish obsession with Kashmir. Pakistan lost everything just because of this little resourceless little peace of land known as Kashmir. When Pakistan gained independence, it had the world greatest irrigation system and it would have made Pakistan a great Asian economy, only if the agricultural base was used as a launching pad for agro-based industries and other knowledge based services/industries, including heavy industry.
    But, alas, your obsession with Kashmir and foolish belief that you are somehow a great ‘martial race, destined to rule all the kafir nations decidedly ended any chance of Pakistan earning respect in the comity of nations. Today, Pakistan is pariah state with no economy to speak of and no one in the world wants to touch it even with a long pole.
    I don’t think there is any optimism left for Pakistan’s future, because going by the comments made by many Pakistanis in this forum, I got the impression that the minds of common Pakistanis are closed, they are no longer receptive to anything that goes against their own make believe world view.

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  • MN
    Jul 12, 2011 - 11:50PM

    I’m sure many comments have been on the negative for this article. Although I’m an Indian, I feel this article isn’t really befitting Pakistan. IRP (Islamic Republic of Pakistan) has some wonderful people & processes; and the reason for a country as honest & strong as IRP to be in the situation it is today can NOT be blamed on just one or 2 or a few reasons.
    To turn around at one’s nation & blame all the problems on ONE SINGLE point or on a few aspects should definitely be near the abyss of rationality & the apex of infancy. As a human being, as an Indian citizen & a Hindu, I strongly feel IRP was let down by successive generations of leaders – starting with Z-A-Bhutto (& his progeny), Z-u-Haq (& other barbarians of his ilk – the military morons) to the current nincompoops like A-A-Z-dari, N-Sarifh, etc. There is a very foundation-al ideological and basic root-cause – and it is this root-cause that’s showing up as multiple-symptoms.
    And that’s where my opinion stops. Because, further to that, one really needs to live in IRP & feel the pain & horror. And, I’m no jingoistic nationalist myself either. I also acknowledge the same nincompoop-ish dynasty that ensured my nation continues to have a million people in poverty. I detest the gandhi dynasty (from Nehru to Mrs. Feroze to the current Antoniette Maino & baa-baa-black-sheep) as much as I detest the right-wing nutcases in VHP, RSS, Bajrang dal etc.
    In my opinion IRP is in a situation right now where my nation will soon be in the very near future. And thanks to fools, morons & nincompoops (in all administrative positions), the very cultural, polite & honest people of both of our nations are going to face a civil war – like the one in Egypt & other Arab-spring-nations of today.
    God Bless all humanity.
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  • Vicram Singh
    Jul 12, 2011 - 11:54PM

    @andleeb: “… Kashmir is just a roti which is being divided and eaten up by the two sides… does anyone care for them really? ”

    You sir, have expressed the ACTUAL sentiment that the Pakistani establishment has for Kashmir and Kashmiris. It is a known fact that Kashmir has only a strategic importance for Pakistan.

    Our linkages with Kashmiris go thousands of years before Islam came to the sub-continent. Our interest is not strategic, instead our interest is in the revival of ancient cultural bonds. They are part of India’s collective culture.Recommend

  • ZAB
    Jul 13, 2011 - 4:08AM

    It is depressing to read the comments from Pakistanis, who seem to miss the substance of the article. Saying bad things about India is not going to improve the horrendous situation in Pakistan. Do not worry about India, USA, or any other place. As your nation is rapidly entering a descent into not just chaos, but into oblivion, you are trying to feel good by claiming that the situation is bad in India. Why not talk about Somalia, the country closest in comparison to Pakistan? You will feel even better. Of course that will not make your problems go away.

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  • Salim
    Jul 13, 2011 - 5:59AM

    @Anwar:
    your perception of Kashmir is totally wrong. Only 2% (hardline factions supported by POK based miltant groups) is supporting a merger with Pakistan. Currently, genocide of Baluchis and Pashtoons (FATA and Karachi) being carried out. So, Let the Baluchis and Pashtoons also to decide their own future. I think Pashtoons may be more interested in a merger with Afghanistan.

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  • pmbm
    Jul 13, 2011 - 9:21AM

    Apparently Kashmiris do not deserve the right of self-determination and independence as East Timureans did with the support of U.N.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Jul 13, 2011 - 10:47AM

    @Anwar: ” Don’t worry about us, go worry about trying to keep Assam part of India without having the Indian military kill inncoent people like you’re doing in Kashmir and have done in indian Punjab.

    Where do you get your propaganda from ? I am Indian and Assamese. We have been part of Bharat/India for thousands of years. And if you must know, ULFA was raised to fight illegal Muslim migration from Bangladesh.

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  • Tony Singh
    Jul 13, 2011 - 12:48PM

    @Ashfaq:
    Oh. really!!! Lets see.
    So called Pakistani Occupied Kashmir is called Azad (Independent) Kashmir with its very own Democratic Government.
    Indian Held Kashmir??? is fighting with with 100 Thousand Indian Security Forces.
    So. Yes as a Pakistani, I wud say this to Mr. Feisal Naqvi & Indians:
    “Ham tu apni shakal dekh kr hi baat kertay hein. Apka apnay baray mein kia khiyaal hay? :)”

    You know the funniest part of “Azad” Kashmir is that
    1. In recently concluded elections “Pakistan People Party” and “PML(Nawaz) were slugging it out. So much Azadi for so called “Azad Kashmir”. Just by naming it “Azad”, does not mean it is Azad.Recommend

  • Suku
    Jul 13, 2011 - 12:52PM

    First and foremost,those of us who have interacted with the Kashmiris both during the good times when the apples tasted sweet and also during the troubled times would bear me out when I say that Kashmiris do not want to be a part of Pakistan.They do not say so openly though.

    I have intercated with a lot of them during may days covering three tenures of three years each in a span of two and a half decades.Pakistan can only make them another dissatisfied lot.If one takes a look at the huts and houses on both sides of the LC from above,the situation makes it clear.The people on the Indian side appear more prosperous in all respects.This may be a limited view,but it is a fact.

    Secondly,educated and informed Kashmiris will certainly understand that they are only being invited to get dropped in to a cauldron which is called Pakistan.They should focus on educating the people,develop their country after taking it out from the clutches of the Army and grow like any other growing economy.Fortunately,the Muslims in Insia have noted the benefits of being with a secular country which has a majority population whcih is giving all time and space for them to see reason.No wonder,we have the Muslim population happier that they are in any of the declared Islamic nations.

    The writer has been honest and sensible to point finger at his country.It certainly is in the interest of India to have a neighbour that too a former integral part of us,doing well.hate India campaign will only fill venom within themselves.Earlier they see reason,the better it is.

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  • asim khan
    Jul 13, 2011 - 2:11PM

    discusses the problems. presents no solution. we really needed one of these. rare.

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  • Jul 13, 2011 - 4:14PM

    I am a Kashmiri and I Wish to ask the Indians commenting on this story..”Tum ne Apni shakal dekhi hai ??”

    Some Indian said, this is a sane Voice from Pakistan, others which find solace in anti India bashing. So can we have a sane voice from India now. Haven’t many Indian channels dedicated themselves , 24×7, for Pakistan bashing.

    Coming back to Kashmir. Can you sane Indians acknowledge now that your imperialist Country has massacred more that 100,000 people, raped more than 9000 women, forcible disappeared thousands, and Orphaned thousands. Even today, young boys are lodged into jails on a daily basis.

    Somebody mentioned Sayyid Ali Geelani being treated in delhi as if he was treated free of cost. Wouldn’t you be honest that your imperialist state is responsible for the deteriorating health of Kashmiri leaders, whom they jail and torture continuously. Yaseen Malik lost hearing in one eye, lost one heart valve, and damage to one eye due to torture.

    And those who say Kashmir is India’s crown, you have turned my valley into a graveyard. It will better for you to pull off or it will become your graveyard too.

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  • xyz
    Jul 13, 2011 - 5:37PM

    Naqvi sahab, I would like to ask you, if you believe that Pakistan will remain in this state for the years to come. If you say yes, then you have no right to write about Pakistan and if you believe that it will come out of this mess, then certainly Kashmir Issue should wait to be resolved. There was certainly a time when Pakistan was not in such a mess and in a better economic condition then India, before all this extremism and terrorism in 70s.. So was India asked the same question at that time?.. and if India did not concede then, than why should Pakistan concede now.. It is a the decision of the Kashimiri people and it should have never crossed our minds, irrespective of the condition of our State, that Pakistanis or Indians should have any role..

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  • hassan
    Jul 13, 2011 - 6:59PM

    @xyz:
    @Aamir:

    You are missing the point of this article: the author says that Pakistan’s obsession with Kashmir has brought it only ruin. We have our soldiers in lost battles, we have lost our self-pride, we have lost our economy, we have lost our friends and now we are on the verge of losing parts of country (such as Balochistan) as well. This is all due to our Kashmir fixation.

    Whereas, in India, the opposite has happened. They have refused to let go of Kashmir, and they are as obsessed about Kashmir as we are. But, this has not stopped them as they are progressing on all spheres. The economy is booming, foreign investment is pouring in, and because of its large middle class with purchasing power, every country is courting with India, wanting a slice of pie in that huge market. Even our great friend China has better trade relations with India. Everyone wants to be on the good books of India. (I read just now that a good percentage of Ford cars are now manufactured in India. So are Hyundai cars.)

    For India, and Indians, Kashmir is a minor irritant. It does not bring the nation to a stand-still. 15 years back, foreign cricketers used to cry whenever there was an India tour and they used to drop off giving various excuses. Now, they cry when they are NOT allowed to go to India. Compare the situation with us, no one wants to tour our country. (Between Azad Kashmir and India Occupied Kashmir, which part do you think foreigners feel safe to go?)

    It does not matter to us even if our entire country goes to dogs, but, we want to have Kashmir. Let our economy be entirely be dependent of foreign aid and charity, but, we will spend more on army to take back Kashmir. This has been our policy all these 60+ years.

    What has it brought us? It has brought only bankruptcy at our doors. As an intelligent person, we should think of cost-benefit analysis of having such a policy. Ask yourselves, what will happen to us if we continue this policy for another 20 years?

    “Doing the same thing again and again, and expecting different results is the height of stupidity.” – Albert Einstein

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 13, 2011 - 9:10PM

    @hassan:
    The answer is very simple !!! Pakistan won’t exist in its present form, in next 20 years, if there is no change in its policies and serious rethink on its economic matters !!!
    Does anyone honestly believe that the AID is just going to continue coming in for next two decade????
    Sadly not ! In fact i think it may just continue for another 18-24 months, and than the harsh reality will start settling in to the Pakistani mindset !!!
    The people really need to wake up and look at the world and all and see the progress being made in other countries, while they just sit and observe and await for more Aid !!!

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  • Abhi
    Jul 14, 2011 - 11:13AM

    @xyz
    The problem with emotional rant like yours is that you forget the fact that one part of kashmir is under occupation of Pakistan too.

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  • Ali
    Jul 14, 2011 - 12:14PM

    “We have built an entire country on our hatred for you.”
    kitnay araam say generalize kar diya. that’s not substance. that’s a writer trying his best (through whatever means) to justify his point. not that i’m saying you’ve not raised valid points, but you seriously need to re-think once in a while just to make sure you don’t lose track.

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  • Fahad Ullah Dar
    Jul 14, 2011 - 2:06PM

    Dear sir as far as ”Shakal” of Pakistan is concerned one wil harldy find any problem with that.Writer has commented that pakistanis have built their entire country on (Indian) hatred but the fact is that this has not been a one way traffic if Pakis have done so the very same goes for the other side of the border,thier daily politics and media discussion is always incomplete without the mentioning of Pakistan and ISI.So blaming only Pakis for da hatred sounds lil unfair.Lastly the respected Writer seems to be ill educated on Kashmir Issue,Relationship between Pakistanis and Kashmiris has been totaly based on Love and Ideological grounds rather than on ”SHAKAL”.And one last thing in our part of world there is another famous Urdu saying ”Kabi Payar Main Be Shakal Dekhi Jati Hey”

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  • Fahad Ullah Dar
    Jul 14, 2011 - 2:06PM

    Dear sir as far as ”Shakal” of Pakistan is concerned one wil harldy find any problem with that.Writer has commented that pakistanis have built their entire country on (Indian) hatred but the fact is that this has not been a one way traffic if Pakis have done so the very same goes for the other side of the border,thier daily politics and media discussion is always incomplete without the mentioning of Pakistan and ISI.So blaming only Pakis for da hatred sounds lil unfair.Lastly the respected Writer seems to be ill educated on Kashmir Issue,Relationship between Pakistanis and Kashmiris has been totaly based on Love and Ideological grounds rather then on ”SHAKAL”.And one last thing in our part of world there is another famous Urdu word ”Kabi Payar Main Be Shakal Dekhi Jati Hey”

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  • Zeeshan
    Jul 15, 2011 - 9:54AM

    Bravo

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  • reader
    Jul 15, 2011 - 3:15PM

    i agree with the whole article .. except one thing.. i’m a woman and a pakistani.. and very proud of being a pakistani woman! ..as for the kashmiris.. yeah plz leave them alone.. pakistan and india both want them for their own advantage.. TOURISM! .. nobody cares about the people..

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  • maria
    Jul 15, 2011 - 11:22PM

    couldn’t agree more Naqvi Sb. been ranting about this for about a decade now. the only thing that unites Pakistan today is our hatred for India. we are living in this self-created conspiracy, attention-seeking syndrome. Our ‘top enemy’ is milestones and eras ahead of us – the last thing they need is to worry about a country that is a self-destruct time bomb.

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  • Leader
    Jul 16, 2011 - 9:04PM

    Our current situation does not deprive us from our legitimate demand… thereupon, focusing on ourself doesnot ask us to have no foreign relations or disputes or get ourselves landlocked, try to learn to face and be a person who can fight on many fronts !

    such as your way of thinking, we might be slaves again and you be nothing but a munshi of some Hindu Lawyer.

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