Aatish’s personal fire

Published: July 18, 2011

Will Cuppy, American humorist and literary critic, was said to read some 25 volumes of history on average before penning his humorous sketches of historical figures contained in the delightful volume The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody. That was then. Now we base our analysis of an entire country on a tweet. Welcome to Aatish Taseer’s Wall Street Journal article “Why My Father Hated India”!

There’s much thrown in here so let me try a flowchart of sorts.

Indian rocket test fails; father tweets to taunt at India’s misfortune; father’s attitude to India causes tension with Aatish (right!); Pakistan’s obsession with India; grounded in Partition; Pakistan’s search for identity; rejection of India’s culture; Islamisation; identity crisis; coups; Pakistani military is the villain; wants strategic depth in Afghanistan; plays a double game; imaginary threat from India; back to father’s tweet; veneer of bravado; arid pain and sadness; wounds of Partition to be healed.

How does one deal with a piece which throws in everything except the kitchen sink in order to construct a supposedly linear reality? The technique reminds me of the cross-examination of Stanley Weber by the two strange characters, Goldberg and McCann in Pinter’s The Birthday Party. From ‘why the chicken crossed the road’ and ‘you left the organisation’ to ‘why you defiled your mother’, the rhetoric becomes a nightmare for Stanley and leaves him catatonic. Taken separately, one can discuss issues and arrive at a balanced analysis. But that’s not the purpose of Aatish’s piece. Pakistan must be seen as a mistake, acting without stimuli. India is Professor Godbole sitting contentedly and doing nothing while Dr Aziz goes around raging and making a fool of himself. That is of course nonsense. But whoever controls the narrative wins.

Mercifully, contained within Aatish’s piece are pointers to greater complexity. The father was killed because he supported a Christian woman. How does that fit in with the article’s thesis that the father hated India (and Pakistan has to hate India and be Muslim) because that religious distinction lies at the core of its ‘other’-isation of India? Or is Pakistan more complex than is hinted in the article?

Aatish’s father did not ‘hate’ India. He was one of those who did much to open up Lahore — to Indians — by using the Basant festival. There is not a single viable political party in Pakistan that does not want to normalise with India. That is a matter of record. But Salmaan Taseer (Aatish’s eye for detail doesn’t inspire much confidence since he gets the spellings of his father’s name wrong), like others, was a proud Pakistani. We don’t need to ‘other’ India to be Pakistanis but neither can we ignore real problems that need to be addressed. Tackling those problems requires mature analysis, not reducing everything to Pakistan’s identity crisis vis-a-vis India.

But what of the Pakistani military, the villains in all this? Since Aatish began with India’s failed GSLV rocket test, let me put in some facts here for him.

The Indian Army, standing at over 1.1 million active-service personnel and 1.8 million reserves, is configured under six area commands (operational) and one army training command (ARTRAC). Three of these area commands — western, northern and southwestern — are totally Pakistan-specific. A fourth, central command, with one corps (1 Corps) is also primarily Pakistan-specific. The Indian Army has 13 corps, out of which eight, including one from the central command, are specific to Pakistan.

But more than the number of corps, it is the number of divisions — infantry, mountain, armoured — as well as independent armoured and artillery brigades that manifest the deployment pattern or order of battle (ORBAT) of the Indian Army. The Pakistan-specific area commands and corps have a much-higher number of lower formations, the actual fighting elements, than the eastern and southern Commands.

Aatish alleges that Pakistan army has diverted most of the $11 billion to arming itself against India. He has no details and is plainly wrong but let’s take what he says on face value. This money has come to Pakistan over 10 years, according to his own piece. Compare this with India’s defence expenditure especially in purchasing power parity terms and one would realise what Pakistan is up against. He can check the figures with SIPRI and IISS.

Finally, each of his points has inspired scholars to write books; he would do well to avoid reductionist analyses. Nor should he utilise his father’s clout to serve personal ends by making a sales pitch to audiences in both India and the US. On a personal note, his article would have extracted only a yawn from me but for a query from Shashi Tharoor who wanted to know why I had advised Aatish Taseer to stick to writing novels. Now, Mr Tharoor is serious business. And if he needs to be explained what was wrong with Aatish’s article, then we are in real trouble.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (150)

  • sameel
    Jul 18, 2011 - 9:58PM

    well what he wrote is currently said by every liberal Pakistani and you think he was out of order. Please for once decide what is wrong and what is right forget who says it.

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  • Paras Vikmani
    Jul 18, 2011 - 10:12PM

    I think all Indians loved reading that artcile in WSJ because that was the truth.

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  • Milestogo
    Jul 18, 2011 - 10:12PM

    Aatish is saying truth. He is not alone or first. This truth is being told from decades – starting the debacle of 1971. Live in denial – and your grand children will raise same questions and concerns that aatish is raising.

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  • faraz
    Jul 18, 2011 - 10:45PM

    Beyond a certain limit, the size of the army doesn’t matter. In an offensive battle, most of these Corps would be deployed in echelonment to carry out deep operations. Initial tactical defence zone of the enemy has to be breached in order to achieve penetration in depth. If the formations in the first echelon fail to break through the defensives, rest of the troops can have no bearing on the outcome.

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  • Max
    Jul 18, 2011 - 11:20PM

    I saw Aatish’s article in WSJ this morning and concur with your analysis. I was not sure if he was writing about his father or Pakistan and its army. I had not seen eulogy of one’s father’s like this.
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  • bobby
    Jul 18, 2011 - 11:32PM

    Aatish Taseer’s article is absolutely 100% bang on the money, and the hysteria it has caused, is evidence for it being right. The truth hurts.

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  • Usman Ahmad
    Jul 18, 2011 - 11:43PM

    Ah! another gem! Indians will read your articles with interest but in halfway you’ll lose them and they will repeat the same old mantras!

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  • Jul 18, 2011 - 11:55PM

    So he wrote an article to have the audacity to point fingers on the Pak military, and now you have taken the time out to write a rebuttal on how the Pak military is a poor victim. And your argument is that we are not obsessed with India?

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  • Jul 19, 2011 - 12:12AM

    Very well written article explaining some strong points!

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  • Imran
    Jul 19, 2011 - 12:14AM

    Excellent article Ejaz !!! I can’t help but say boom boom Ejaz :-)

    Pakistan bashing has become a cottage industry especially in US and India. Most of pieces like these are devoid of intellectual integrity and objectivity. You exposed this person very well. Please send it to WSJ as a rebuttal.

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  • Irfan
    Jul 19, 2011 - 12:17AM

    I thought Aatish’s article at least will make Pakistanis introspect. But they are blaming Atish for bringing out the truth instead. Keeping burying your head in the sand and keep beleiving that India is your enemy and all your problems are India’s faults. With this kind of cognitive dissonance, no wonder Pakistan is going down ther drain.

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  • Proud
    Jul 19, 2011 - 12:21AM

    PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

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  • Moi
    Jul 19, 2011 - 12:34AM

    Its a belligerent India that is the source of Pakistan’s insecurity. Of course our US ‘ally’ has rubbished this as insignificant. The author rightly points out that despite all claims to the contrary, the Indian military continues to be obsessed with Pakistan.

    As long as India is obsessed with Pakistan, Pakistan will continue to view it as a threat.

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  • Ashok
    Jul 19, 2011 - 12:47AM

    Well essentially any article on India-Pakistan relations since 1947 will have to be reductionist. Mr. Taseer aims to give his perspective on what are the major events that are worth telling in a limited space.

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  • Sheheryar
    Jul 19, 2011 - 12:54AM

    Lovely piece, simply.

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  • Salman Arshad
    Jul 19, 2011 - 1:03AM

    Oh..
    so we are paranoid about India because according to you “India is paranoid about Pakistan”
    .
    Your article is exactly the mindset Aatish was talking about.
    .
    The day learned people like you get the irony here, we can start to have some hope.

    Pakistan Zindabad.

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  • Truth
    Jul 19, 2011 - 1:15AM

    Good article Ejaz Saab!

    Of course Indians will love Aatish’s article. And of course they’ll be lividly indignant when they’re asked to face the truth that they’re the ones who’re actually obsessed with Pakistan.

    No? So, what are so many Indians doing on this site?

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  • Imran
    Jul 19, 2011 - 1:28AM

    You know, it is very ironic that Indians on this forum are accusing Pakistan for being obsessed with India while none of them have the audacity or intellectual integrity to explain why 8 out 13 Indian army corps are deployed against Pakistan. Who is obsessed with whom?

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  • White Russian
    Jul 19, 2011 - 1:41AM

    Pakistani obsession with India is much smaller in magnitude to certain individuals obsession with this obsession. Cant we get over this? After 65 years, Pakistan has grown many other reasons to exist than merely not being India. Wake up! it is (almost August) 2011.

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  • Really?
    Jul 19, 2011 - 1:43AM

    @Irfan:

    Atleast make an attempt to read Ejaz Haider’s article.

    He correctly points out that all and sundry in Pakistan’s mainstream are in favour of friendly relations with India. Even a centre-right party like the PML-N has made concerted efforts at peace with India in the past, and recently Nawaz Sharif again voiced his desire for normalising relations with India.

    In India however, the mainstream continuously panders to anti-Pakistan diatribe and constantly evinces a pathological obsession with going to war with Pakistan.

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  • Imran
    Jul 19, 2011 - 1:55AM

    @Really?

    Absolutely right. Take for example Indian media, they are thriving on two things, Bollywood ( meaningless, over hyped and ridiculous ) glamor and Pakistan bashing..
    Then they have cheeks to lecture us about objectivity.

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  • allasia
    Jul 19, 2011 - 2:04AM

    The reason for India deploying 8 out 13 Army Corps is elementary my dear Ejaz! If you look at history, 1947, 65, 71 (yes 71 in the west), 99, it is Pakistan that attacked India or India administered Kashmir. They have defend themselves against the 650 k Pakistani Army which gobbles up 8% of Pakistani GDP.

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  • Mrs Ahmed
    Jul 19, 2011 - 2:10AM

    Atish Taseer “he was quite clear about what it would not be: the old pluralistic society of India, with its composite culture”.
    yes the dream by the poet in nearly 80 years brought us down to vey real danger of talibanization. Pluralism and all inclusiveness is the only route to prosperity , developement , peace and much more are denied to the people of this ‘dreamland’ . India must know that talibanization if Godforbid takes root in Pakistan , India is certain to get effected in a big way ofcourse destructive in nature.

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  • Babloo
    Jul 19, 2011 - 2:18AM

    India is a status quo power with no territorial designs on Pakistan. Its happy with its bordersincluding Loc in Kashmir. India is also content and happy with its political system.
    Democracy and secularism are not questioned by main politiocal parties.
    Pakistan is not happy entity, either with its ideology or with its current borders and is a revisionist enity and would like to change atleast the LoC.
    So India’s position is defensive and thats why Mr Ejaz is wilfully wrong and Mr Aatish Taseer so profoundly right.

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  • Sana
    Jul 19, 2011 - 2:41AM

    Master piece, u have literally DEMOLISHED Aatish Taseer :D

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  • Truth Seeker
    Jul 19, 2011 - 2:57AM

    @Imran:
    Please go through the ‘Invasions history of India’ and then advice Indian GHQ in Delhi to deploy their forces accordingly. May be you come up with different deployment strategy as their relations with China are improving and Bangladesh was created by them.

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  • mohit bajwa
    Jul 19, 2011 - 3:11AM

    I as an indian SALUTE you sir

    atish’s only pouring out his personal frustration as per HOW come sheharbano taseer grab all the media limelight and attention in the world while he is left up with some few stupid novels which he begs to be read by all!

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  • Roflcopter
    Jul 19, 2011 - 3:11AM

    Good article. Aatish Taseer is a joke

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  • Amjad
    Jul 19, 2011 - 3:17AM

    The fact that so many Indians are quick to post and read all things in Pakistani newspapers shows how obsessed they are with Pakistan. Enough said!

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  • Arun
    Jul 19, 2011 - 3:18AM

    a. (Aatish’s eye for detail doesn’t inspire much confidence since he gets the spellings of his father’s name wrong)

    Take a look, e.g., at dawn.com. The governor is referred to uniformly as “Salman Taseer” and not “Salmaan Taseer”. We should lose confidence in dawn.com?

    b. What would Ejaz Haider ascribe as the reason that Salman Taseer would twitter:

    Why does India make fools of themselves messing in space technology (GSLV)? Stick 2 bollywood my advice

    50+ abusive tweets from India because I advised them 2 stick 2 gana bajana & stop blowing/ misfiring rockets & polluting space

    c. What is the real problem that needs to be addressed with regard to India’s GSLV which is a civilian launch vehicle? (We don’t need to ‘other’ India to be Pakistanis but neither can we ignore real problems that need to be addressed. Tackling those problems requires mature analysis)

    d. How does a civilian space vehicle have anything to do with how many divisions the Indian army has? Would it not be better for Pakistan if India spent more on its space program and less on its army? (Compare this with India’s defence expenditure especially in purchasing power parity terms and one would realise what Pakistan is up against.) Why did Salman Taseer and why does Ejaz Haider not see this?

    e. The article linked to by Ejaz Haider shows that Salman Taseer got nowhere in celebrating Basant, except in the Governor’s House. How many Indians did Taseer invite to the governor’s house to celebrate Basant? ( He was one of those who did much to open up Lahore — to Indians — by using the Basant festival.)

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  • Jul 19, 2011 - 3:53AM

    I wish this was published in WSJ – that would have been a fitting reply!

    Unfortunately these days every Indian has a blind cheque to be a commentator on PakistanRecommend

  • Timorov
    Jul 19, 2011 - 3:58AM

    As always a masterful piece. Indians have such deep seated hatred against Pakistan and its so obvious by the comments they leave on Express Tribune. They can have their extreme arrogance, but it will come and get them one day.

    In the mean time Pakistanis should just bow their heads with a singular purpose of making our country stronger. History has a fascinating way of reversing fortunes. Indians can take great glee in Pakistan’s myriad problems and losses today. But what goes around comes around!

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  • Truth Seeker
    Jul 19, 2011 - 4:22AM

    @Amjad:
    How do you know they are Indians, Are there no Hindus in Pakistan, or they are not supposed to give their candid opinion on any matter. Even if Indians are participating in this debate it is a good sign, because Pakistanis are learning abour a different point of view ( could be distatsteful) which is a healthy sign.
    Not only India, but Pakistanis believe that the whole world is obsessed with them.Pakistanis should start naval gazing by reading Indian/U.S/ British newspapers and should not hesitate to give their opinion whenever it is needed.

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  • The Analyst
    Jul 19, 2011 - 5:02AM

    Brilliant Article and analysis by Aatish Taseer. Things would be so much better for Pakistan, If only the Pakistani Intelligentia wakes up and accepts the reality, rather than bashing any analysis which reflects the truth.

    I am deeply saddened by the situation Pakistan is in. As an Indian, whose family migrated from Pakistan and often spoke with findnesss, about our shared cultural heritage, I want this country to thrive and prosper. Regardless of what the Pakistani Utopians might like to think, and regardless of a few bumps on the road, -India remains an assimilatve, pluralistic and economically upward nation.which is now (again) able to command a lot of respect and admiration from the World Community. I wish Pakistan a similar and bright future.

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  • Asok
    Jul 19, 2011 - 6:31AM

    What is the logic that Ejaz is using? How is “supporting a Christian” woman incompatible with hating India? What has the Basant festival got to do with relations with India? What has all the stats regarding India’s defense expenditure go to do with the failed GSLV test?
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  • S.Sridharan
    Jul 19, 2011 - 6:42AM

    Whether Aatish’s excellent article was instigated by a tweet or not is besides the point. What matters is the content of the article. Interestingly, Ejaz Haider has in the second paragraph of his article succinctly summarized the gist of Aatish’s article. However, instead of placing counter arguments on those points, Mr. Haider has just picked up one issue, that of the Pakistani Army’s obsession with India. One has heard arguments similar to Ejaz Haider’s from others as well, most notably Gen. (r) Musharraf. But, they all miss the point that the Indian Army’s focus on the Pakistani borders is because of past history. It was Pakistan that raised 5½ Army Divisions, started arming itself to the teeth with most modern arms in the early 50s through its military alliance with the US and the West. It brought Cold War to the Subcontinent in the process. Since then, the US has extensively equipped and trained the Pakistani armed forces practically free of cost for help rendered elsewhere. On the other hand, India had to fritter away its hard-earned money by paying through its nose for equipping itself to maintain the balance of power considering that in the worst case it may have to fight a two-front war with both Pakistan and China. Because of the wars imposed on her earlier and the association between the Pakistani Army and the jihadi terrorist groups and the insurrection instigated in Jammu & Kashmir, and the relative peace on the borders with China and improving economic and trade relationships with that country, the Indian Army has to train its resources on Pakistan. Mr. Haider, cannot turn these truths inside out to suit his convenience.Recommend

  • Sonam Shyam
    Jul 19, 2011 - 7:14AM

    An article by an eminent Pakistani journalist like Mr.Ejaz, rebutting the thoughts of an Indian rookie author like Aatish Taseer, clearly indicates that the Pakistanis of all hue have been terribly rubbed the wrong way. I have yet to come across a short article on Pakistan which depicts the paradox of Pakistan so efficiently like the article by Aatish Taseer. Aatish is an extremely talented young man who had an identity crisis in his life after being dumped by his Pakistani father. He has spent most of his life understanding India-Pakistan relations and his troubled upbringing has given him an incisive insight in to the problems of Pakistan. Mr.Ejaz, instead of rebutting Aatish point by point, you have clubbed all his thoughts together and rubbished his assessment which is unbecoming of your journalistic stature. For example in his article Aatish has tried to highlight the role of Pakistani army in damaging democracy in Pakistan and keeping up the anti India rhetoric to grind its own axe. Now what is new in this statement? Mr.Ejaz and other Pakistani journalists routinely say the same thing. What is Mr.Ejaz trying to point out by bringing the statistics of Indian army deployments vis a vis Pakistan? Is Mr.Ejaz trying to tell us that it’s because of the Indian army deployments that the Pakistani army has to conduct illegitimate coups, throw out governments, undermine judiciary, sell nuclear secrets, execute ex Prime Ministers, manufacture corn flakes etc etc? Aatish Taseer was rightly pointing out the illegitimate activities of the Pakistani army and what has Indian army deployments have to do with it? We Indians have no issues even if Pakistan were spend all of its GDP on defence but we only object when the money Pakistan receives as aid is diverted to fight India. A country with more than half a million standing army ,receiving military aid to further boost its capabilities, is totally unacceptable. Pakistan should build its economic muscle to finance its military and not divert aid to fight India. Lastly it would be advisable for Pakistanis to read Aatish Taseer’s article with a clear mind and instead of giving knee jerk reactions, should come up with more substantial rebuttals, if any.

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  • Nasreen
    Jul 19, 2011 - 7:39AM

    Son of Taseer has shown his pure HINDUSTANI menality in his article. That was not an academc but except novelistic approach. We should not take his piece seriously neirhter we sohold nt response them.That is waht they want , in facat,
    Atish had been neglected by his father throughout his life, he was disowned.so His furistic writing on pakistn may be considered non-serious.

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  • Jul 19, 2011 - 7:55AM

    Except for the part about his father’s ‘hatred’ for India, which is debatable, everything else he said is spot on.Could not agree more.
    Mr Haider’s reposte appears rather to be reflexive rather than informative.

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  • Frank
    Jul 19, 2011 - 8:23AM

    Dear ET please cancel my last version of this post, which is full of errors – and thanks for this article

    I want to congratulate Ejaz Haider on writing this magnificent article. Not only very well written but containing real intellectual substance. It considers only facts and deals with them using reason and logic. If Pakistani liberals want to be taken seriously as an intellectual movement they need to produce more of this. Otherwise the rest of us will continue to think of them as nothing more than rich party boys and girls who find conservative Pakistan an inconvenience.

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  • hasan
    Jul 19, 2011 - 8:31AM

    Any Pakistan related article on the Internet attracts tons of hate comments from Indians and they claim Pakistan is “obsessed” with India! Well it better be obsessed. A hostile country with clear land route needs to be countered. It is a basic military knowledge. Look at other countries with easy land access like Germany and Russia. They’ve been invaded and occupied many time over centuries. The real problem is low morale of Indian intelligentsia, hyper-nationalism, over-exuberance over India becoming “super power” etc. One of their most funniest accusation is Pakistani abandoning their Indianess while Indian elite try to emulate everything Western. How come that is not abandoning Indianess!

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  • BruteForce
    Jul 19, 2011 - 8:37AM

    India has 2 primary threats- Pakistan and China. Thankfully there is the Himalayas to prevent India and China clashing, but there is no such thing for Pakistan. Consequently India will deploy more forces against a foe which it will feel is harder to defend against.

    Lets just say Indian Army is obsessed with Pakistan. So what? Indian Army doesn’t define India and has very little say in the policies of India. Not so with Pakistan. Pakistani Army is the only entity and Institution in Pakistan worth talking about.

    “The father was killed because he supported a Christian woman. How does that fit in with the article’s thesis that the father hated India (and Pakistan has to hate India and be Muslim) because that religious distinction lies at the core of its ‘other’-isation of India? “

    His father hated India, and India is NOT equal to Hindu or non-Muslim. We should resist the urge to paint one in black and white. Jinnah is a classic example. He was a secular being but did something completely against this thought- He said 2 sets of people cannot live together at any cost and he divided them on the basis of the Religion they follow. If Jinnah is Secular why did he ask for it? Or, vice versa?

    This is the same kind of example. Salman Taseer was a liberal who had shades of grey more than anything else.

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  • Arindom
    Jul 19, 2011 - 8:50AM

    Aatish is 100% correct! Obviously to the author here, the truth hurts.
    What is the reason for copy-paste of Indian Army’s organisation structure here – it is no secret and is available in countless websites – what is the relation to this Aatish’s excellent article, really?
    What’s wrong with India trying to develop a Space Program – while much smaller and underdeveloped than the US’s or China’s today it is a program of great envy to all developing nations. Indeed it has started becoming a threat to US and European space launuch business!! So what is the reason for deriding it other than sheer jealousy?
    And it is a fact acknowledged everywhere that Pakistan, trying to “un-Indianise” itself, have really dug itself into a hole today. The results are for everyone to see. I donot need to list the facts vis-a-vis the two countries’ moral and economic standing in the world today!Recommend

  • Moi
    Jul 19, 2011 - 8:52AM

    @Babloo:

    Its happy with its borders including Loc in Kashmir.

    You cannot be suggesting that India has given up its claims on Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan or even Aksai Chin? Now when did this happen? No matter, it will be a pleasant surprise to me.

    “Democracy and secularism are not questioned by main politiocal parties.”

    Yes, the systematic genocide of Muslims in Gujarat under the stewardship of the state’s Chief Minister was a well meaning continuation of India’s ‘secular’ policy? Right?

    And the brutal killings of Christians in Orissa are also a testament to India’s secular ethos?

    It seems India is in one heck of a hurry to feed the bitter pill of truth to Pakistan. I suggest they take a dose or two themselves first. For in terms of identity, India is as broken a State as the next one. All claims to the contrary or frivilious.

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  • Tony Singh
    Jul 19, 2011 - 8:59AM

    @Imran:
    “You know, it is very ironic that Indians on this forum are accusing Pakistan for being obsessed with India while none of them have the audacity or intellectual integrity to explain why 8 out 13 Indian army corps are deployed against Pakistan. Who is obsessed with whom?
    Sir either you are ignorant of History or just playing to the gallery. The answer to your query is that all four Indo Pak wars were started by Pakistan. You can check this out with Mr. Ejaz (also can be spelt as Ijaz ) Haider.

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  • akash
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:24AM

    every war on India by Pakistan was started by Pakistan… I wonder why Indian defence establishment is pakistan centric.. doesnt take rocket science. India is the prime threat ahem ahem

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  • sam
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:24AM

    Aatish is bang on, what he has said is very true and Truth hurts. Strangely though guys all this looks so much in sync with the 70′s bollywood flick Trishul , ( Big B going after Sanjeev Kumar after he deserts Waheeda Rehman). Ironically we are sticking to Bollywood again – hahahaah

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  • chandran
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:41AM

    even for 1000 years and many generation to come we Indian wont accept pakisthan concept by our heart. You may be fully soverign country for others and for ous. the same thing for china and taiwan relations.

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  • Asad
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:48AM

    funny to see all these Indian commenting about pakistani obsession with india.Talk about obsession what are you guys doing spending time reading articles on a Pakistani news site?

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  • R
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:48AM

    This technique reminds me of an educated person whose nationalism blinds him to the obvious. A deliberate attempt is being made to confuse the issue. Now – some who are in the habit of writing letters to the Army high command would have us all believe that the size and resources the army commands are justified because of India. For a moment let us concede that. Nations need armed forces to defend. Also, let us all agree that India no Professor Godbole. The point is: will the elected civilians decide or will the armed forces decide for themselves and answer to no one? Just because India is there, is not a licence to appropriate the state! The state is Pakistan not the Army! Pakistan belongs to its citizens not to the Army – India or not.

    And all humor aside – Will Cuppy or not, an institution that answers to no one, offers no apology for the largest genocide on its own, conducts coups wily nily, declares wars without approval, destroys its civilian leaders, nurtures and exports terror to friends and enemies, has ruined the image of hardworking Pakistanis – just what exactly do you call it? Villain? No, you are mistaken. You see India is there…… therefore…..

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  • Noble Tufail
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:52AM

    Great piece of writing Ejaz Haider Saab.

    “We don’t need to ‘other’ India to be Pakistanis but neither can we ignore real problems that need to be addressed” nothing could have been written better than this. Poor Atish himself seems to be in identity crisis. he is trying to sell his confusions.

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  • Pakistani
    Jul 19, 2011 - 10:28AM

    Well the article was good, logical and made perfect sense to me. The more interesting part is the reaction to this article by us and the indians. How can it be that an article is well written and logical; and junk at the same time. I guess that you people are not being unseasonalbe and must have your own reasons for your twisted logic.

    I guess we just don’t speak the same language.Recommend

  • Hamza Masood
    Jul 19, 2011 - 10:47AM

    This article should have been at least twice as long. It started out so promisingly, but ended as if it were being rushed. That makes me feel a fair bit of the compliments were directed at the op-ed this could have been, rather than the op-ed it was.

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  • Azar Ali Zain
    Jul 19, 2011 - 10:59AM

    Just because Aatish’s father hated India doesn’t mean that every other Pakistani hates India (I like the contemporary India, for instance, is that an eye opener?). If so is the case, then there is an equal percentage of Indians that hate Pakistan, see the evening news and you’ll get an idea.

    Aatish’s article lacks consistency, it majorly runs around the paranoid concept of Pakistani hating India (the title says it, “Why My Father Hated India”). There are definitely equal percentage of Indian people hating Pakistan as Pakistanis hating India, so it is pointless to bash only about Pakistanis hating India.

    And I, like any other average Pakistani, hate India for the injustice done to Kashmir, simple as that, no crooked logic, no conspiracy theory, and till this day, India behaves as an oppressor – and humanity hates every oppressor, be it India, Israel, Russia, or even Pakistani bureaucracy’s oppression to Baluchistan. What reason does the Indians have to hate Pakistan? Do they think Pakistan was part of what they currently call India and that the original “India” was broken to make a Pakistan out of it?

    I do agree to Aatish at the point where it says about the Pak Army. But India has its stories too. We do know about the IAF corruptions. Why single out Pakistan only?

    And from a journalistic point of view, the article was not up to the mark. No statistics, no factual/historical references, it was just what he thinks it is. It was his personal narrative, and in a personal narrative, one has the power to steer the reader to his perceptions, that’s what Aatish did.

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  • Salman haiDar
    Jul 19, 2011 - 11:33AM

    If he had worked for anyone other than the express tribune he would know that us papers have style and the spelling of a name like salman is regularized. Trust me, I knowRecommend

  • arvind
    Jul 19, 2011 - 11:34AM

    India is not obsessed with Pak. It is interested in Pak because we are the same people, same blood.

    Recommend

  • AN
    Jul 19, 2011 - 11:42AM

    Well written. Aatish has some personal grudge against Pakistan which is understandable.I wish Aatish also read this piece specially this part.

    Nor should he utilize his father’s clout to serve personal ends by making a sales pitch to audiences in both India and the US.

    Recommend

  • narayana murthy
    Jul 19, 2011 - 11:45AM

    Imran says “You know, it is very ironic that Indians on this forum are accusing Pakistan for being obsessed with India while none of them have the audacity or intellectual integrity to explain why 8 out 13 Indian army corps are deployed against Pakistan. Who is obsessed with whom?”

    Well Imran, you don’t need audacity or intellectual integrity (whatever that means) to explain this.

    All you need is a little common sense. Pakistan, in its grand ideas, waged four wars against India, several terror attacks using proxies.

    Is that enough for you?Recommend

  • narayana murthy
    Jul 19, 2011 - 11:54AM

    @Asad… FYI, I started reading Pakistani news papers almost everyday, only after the Mumbai attacks of 2008. Which by the way emanated from your soil. And according to the admissions of your own people, may have had some low ranking ISI/Army officials involved. However, I believe that, it also had the sanction of high ranking army officials.

    Now you tell me, who is obsessed with who? When was the last time, Indians attacked Pakistan?Recommend

  • Muntazir Mehdi
    Jul 19, 2011 - 11:55AM

    much surprised at Aatish’s article… …. Well done Mr. Ejaz Haider well written piece.Recommend

  • sam
    Jul 19, 2011 - 11:57AM

    @Amjad: Dude its an indian story by an INDIAN author in an American Journal. You guys jumped into the boat. ( India obsessed with pakistan- heehehehehehe , Get a GRIP)

    Recommend

  • Pragmatist
    Jul 19, 2011 - 12:18PM

    Will the author clarify what “Pakistan specific” means? Do the soldiers have “Onward to Pakistan” emblazoned on their uniforms? What makes the author think that these soldiers will not fight the Chinese, if called upon to do so? The author is jumping to a few conclusions of his own here.

    Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jul 19, 2011 - 12:25PM

    Why is so much importance being given to what Aatish Taseer thinks and says ? He is really not an authority on any subject. What the author wants to convey is totally lost in all the prose.
    An exercise in futility.

    Recommend

  • Bharat Rakshak
    Jul 19, 2011 - 12:37PM

    Mr Ejas Haider,
    India Amry’s Central Command Does not have any Corps for almost a decade. It is considered an organizational command. Ist Corps (Strike Corps) was moved to SW command.

    The # of soldiers are more in the Dvisions bordering Pakistan not because of any threat from Pakistan across the International Border, the divisions under the Northern Command are involved heavily in COIN and hence have a preponderance of men in them.

    Your narrative gets lost in false assertions to build your argument.

    regardsRecommend

  • Manoj
    Jul 19, 2011 - 12:48PM

    @Imran: Dear Imran, you know the history of your country better than me. Your country had thurst four war on India and still you are asking why majority of indian army is posted at Pakistan border.

    Ask this question to yourself you will get the answer.

    Recommend

  • amoghavarsha.ii
    Jul 19, 2011 - 1:51PM

    @Ejaz, I did not understand why you wanted to write about some other article? which atleast I have not read. But By your own words of words in the article, have not come across anything bad in that article.

    Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Jul 19, 2011 - 2:25PM

    that article by Aatish would have got more hits because of this assumed rebuttal. Recommend

  • Nobody
    Jul 19, 2011 - 2:47PM

    @sam:

    Its an Indian story by an indian author in an american journal about PAKISTAN.

    Wow, you guys really are obsessed about us!

    Recommend

  • Jul 19, 2011 - 3:00PM

    Yes Aatish’s article is a bit mixed up. However, it elaborates a simple point in that Pakistan has been poorly raised and badly governed since its unnecessary birth and is now completely spoilt and rotten to the core.

    Recommend

  • waqas
    Jul 19, 2011 - 3:00PM

    @faraz:
    My dear faraz why you are discussing tactical level things here . Is this the forum to discuss Indian Staff course or War course teachings. If even you wana shower your knowledge , it has to be in lay man lang not military tactical lang.

    Recommend

  • Adi
    Jul 19, 2011 - 3:04PM

    Thank you Ejaz for the response to Aatish’s pieceRecommend

  • akash
    Jul 19, 2011 - 3:15PM

    Just read the article in WSJ by Atish.. and it was amazing i must say.. :-) and also understand now, why Ejaz had to write this rebuttal.. But my love for Ejaz has gone down a bit after his rebuttal… but as a passionate pakistani he had to write something.. we get your point sir.

    Recommend

  • mind control
    Jul 19, 2011 - 4:07PM

    @Moi

    Yes, the systematic genocide of Muslims in Gujarat under the stewardship of the state’s Chief Minister was a well meaning continuation of India’s ‘secular’ policy? Right?
    And the brutal killings of Christians in Orissa are also a testament to India’s secular ethos?

    The fact is that 17 people have already been convicted for life for Gujarat and many others including a Minister are being prosecuted.
    Similarly, Dara Singh the accused in Orissa and some others have been convicted.

    Now, contrast this with the Gojra incident where all the accused walked or with the Murderer in Chiefs of Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and ‘stipends’ to them.

    I am you will start understanding concepts like secular ethos.Go ahead, try.

    Recommend

  • rock
    Jul 19, 2011 - 4:34PM

    4 times in the history your army attacked us and just 9 out of 13 corps against your border. Think. Surprise factor is always with you. again think.

    Recommend

  • Muzammil Hassan
    Jul 19, 2011 - 5:01PM

    Not only are Indians obsessed about Pakistan itself but they are also obsessed with Pakistan’s apparent ‘obsession’ (which even if it exists in is not even as vociferous as it used to be)

    And brilliant rebuttal,hit where it was suppose to it – just look at how Indians are recommending each others posts to collectively feel better about themselves

    Recommend

  • M. Hafeez Syed
    Jul 19, 2011 - 5:22PM

    Pakistan Zindabad, Pak Fauj Paindabad! Derya mein reh ker Megermuch sey beir. We have Kahota too.

    Recommend

  • Deb
    Jul 19, 2011 - 5:30PM

    Truth hurts and absolute truth hurts absolutely.

    Recommend

  • mm
    Jul 19, 2011 - 5:58PM

    well the article got published in an international paper…so should the reply

    but a good replyRecommend

  • m Hussein
    Jul 19, 2011 - 6:38PM

    What Aatish should have written is how we hate each other and how that has fed the armies of both states. we are the most stupid of people harboring hatred for over 60 years instead of building our societies.
    India at least is breaking away from the death spiral thanks to their secular democratic principles.

    Recommend

  • harkol
    Jul 19, 2011 - 6:53PM

    @Azar Ali Zain

    ‘India behaves as an Opressor’ did you say? Lets define opression – “The state of being kept down by unjust use of force or authority”.

    The authority in J&K Remains with people of J&K. The elections there are observed by international groups and they too admit they are free and fair. They have equal rights by constitution of India, and have protections that are unique that no occupying force ever accords to a people. Indians can’t buy land in Kashmir, they can’t permanently settle in Kashmir. They pay equal taxes (no extra tax), have equal trading privileges, are subject to same law and have right to vote. Kashmiri representatives are Ministers in central govt.

    The only problem we have in Kashmir is that of higher army deployment, which invariably leads to some human rights violations. But, do consider – army had much lesser presence in Kashmir prior to 1989. Jihadi culture funded and armed by Pakistan created a law and order situation, needing a large deployment of army. Kashmir is only few hundred km away from Af-Pak, the most troubled region in world. India can’t Lie down and let Jihadis run over!!

    Also, consider ‘freedom’ ratings by international agencies. India administered Kashmir enjoys a far higher ‘freedom’ rating than Pak administered Kashmir.

    Begs the question – who is “OPPRESSED” and who is “OPRESSOR”?

    Recommend

  • Jul 19, 2011 - 6:58PM

    Would Ejaz Haider care to respond to what is said by Aatish Taseer in “self-wounding, even nihilistic, was that Pakistan, by asserting a new Arabized Islamic identity, rejected its own local and regional culture”.

    Recommend

  • Sumedh
    Jul 19, 2011 - 7:12PM

    Friends :- Get this..today most of the youths in India are looking forward to Indias growth & prosperity & want to make sure that they too are contributing to it… we really dont bother about whats happening in Pakistan, what they did with nukes , whats the size of their army & blah blah blah….. We want our country to become a most livable country in the world & not the most Powerfull country in the world.. Recommend

  • Moi
    Jul 19, 2011 - 7:59PM

    @mind control:

    You fail to understand my point. My point is that if India truly was secular all these mass killings that have taken place against religious minorities wouldn’t be taking place, now would they? And if any person were to instigate such violence, the state would have briskly jumped in to stop them, instead of actively joining the pogrom (as happened in Gujarat).

    Build a secular India first and then claim secular ethos.

    Recommend

  • ZS
    Jul 19, 2011 - 8:12PM

    Ejaz Sahib,

    As much as I believe that Aatish is a scorned boy who had yearned for his father’s approval his whole life, I believe his points about Pakistan are valid. I am true to Pakistan and its ideals pre Bhutto, as I believe you are too. But we have to admit that our nation was made by the elite and erupted from a “poet’s utopia”. The whole concept of partition was not for the Muslims of India but for the rich landlord Muslims on each side of the continent. The people left in the middle are still there and have animosity towards us because of that. And lets not forget that we have force fed new “Pak” ideals to our children post partition and have tried to erase thousands of years of culture that we both shared, ie. indus valley civilization.

    And Ejaz sahib, a person of your calibre shouldn’t play the “look at them, they did it, so why can’t we”. It takes away from your talents that I have begun to admire over the years. Aatish’s explanation stems from the comparison that Pakistan had initially started to make with India. Had they focussed their attentions inwards we would have been a different nation. We were on the right track but sadly there is no socio-economic comparison. Let’s start from the bottom. Let’s make comparisons to other countries of equal wealth disparity and economic dispair ie. Nigeria. When the comparison between “us” and “them” stops… then we will surely be rid of the wounds of partition that divide us. Jai Hind and Jeevay Pakistan!

    Recommend

  • Ravindra
    Jul 19, 2011 - 8:17PM

    A father is one with whom you learn to walk 2words long journey.

    Recommend

  • woohoo
    Jul 19, 2011 - 8:32PM

    Pakistanis can say whatever they want, but, Aatish has recorded the word from the horse’s mouth in the “Mango King” article

    Recommend

  • Cricket Fan
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:05PM

    @harkol:

    Something must be really wrong when India throws all the money, privileges and elections it has Kashmiris way and they still yearn for freedom.

    Its time you guys understood: No amount of money can buy the desire for freedom.

    Its interesting how Kashmiris always support Pakistan in an India-Pakistan cricket clash. When Pakistan wins, Srinagar is shut down to prevent celebrations from taking place. More than anything else, sports often reveal where loyalties lie, and where the unsaid bound between peoples is the most profound.

    http://www.mid-day.com/sports/2011/mar/290311-India-Pakistan-fans-pray-Srinagar.htm

    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-04-01/india/293699551pakistan-today-kashmiris-srinagar

    Recommend

  • stuka
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:21PM

    Not sure if R is Indian or Pakistani, but s/he hits the nail on the head. Atish is right inasmuch as the partition narrative and “not India” shaped Pakistan’s national security first paradisgm, and all else followed from there.

    Recommend

  • LooseSalwar
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:22PM

    “Indian rocket test fails; father tweets to taunt at India’s misfortune;”

    Some serious obfuscation and hand waving on display here. Salman Taseer was the governor for Pakistans largest and most prosperous province, not just someone’s father.

    The GSLV(Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket is a satellite launch vehicle, for civilian purposes. Why would anyone mock a failed scientific experiment which can potentially benefit over a billion civilians? It demonstrates extreme prejudice, especially from someone who was supposed to be liberal Pakistan’s shining light. If this is the best “liberal” Pakistan can put up, then clearly, Aatish is right to generalize about the Pakistani political class.

    “Since Aatish began with India’s failed GSLV rocket test, let me put in some facts here for him.
    The Indian Army, standing at over 1.1 million active-service personnel and 1.8 million reserves..”

    What does the GSLV have to do with the Indian Army? Are you sure you are in the position to put in facts before anyone?

    Recommend

  • MS - Mariya
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:52PM

    Given the number of indians commenting here and seem to comment on every story just shows that they are the ones obsessed. I mean seriously..you write articles about us…take out time to visit our news sites…take out even more time to write long comments..come back again to reply..This is atleast an hour of attension to someone you seem to hate but yet blame us for being obsessed. Just check the length of comments written by S.Sridharan & Sonam.

    Indians please come out of your delusional world.

    Recommend

  • LooseSalwar
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:54PM

    @nobody,
    Its an Indian story by an indian author in an american journal about PAKISTAN.
    Wow, you guys really are obsessed about us!

    It’s called morbid fascination; not obsession.

    Recommend

  • Faraz
    Jul 19, 2011 - 10:04PM

    @Paras Vikmani:

    I think they loved it because he was saying what they wanted to hear and not what was true. Aatish did not know Pakistan and Pakistan does not know him. He talks about Salman’s so called hate for India but in his entire column the fact that gets left behind is Aatish Taseer is too biased against his father to be writing anything about him with balance since he was abandoned at birth.I do not blame him for hating his father for doing that but I do blame him for allowing his own hate to take the shape of a slanderous article against someone who is no longer here to defend himself.

    Recommend

  • hamza khan
    Jul 19, 2011 - 10:41PM

    @Paras Vikmani:

    yeah…define truth. truth to indians is normally polar opposite of what the reality actually is.

    Recommend

  • parvez
    Jul 20, 2011 - 12:17AM

    Just finished reading Aatish’s article and one has to admit dispassionately that he has made a strong case and has a right to his opinion. I feel one should examine it carefully and not let emotions get the better of us.

    Recommend

  • S Malik
    Jul 20, 2011 - 12:53AM

    A great WSJ article from Aatish Taseer’s article. He is absolutely 100% bang on the money!! It isnt easy to re-write the brain-washed generations of Pakistanis who have been fed a daily diet of hatred towards India.
    For them to digest that Jinnah was just another London-educated-brat turned opportunistic policitician who’s ambition was to become the Prime Minister of India… not the ideal statesmen & now the Father of the Nation (of Islamic Republic of Pakistan)… its a hard pill to swallow for Pakistani people. So, they live in denial & get on with their lives. [I didnt add that Nehru was just as much a cunning politician as much as Jinnah, no difference between the two]

    Recommend

  • hans bhatia
    Jul 20, 2011 - 3:14AM

    Thanks Ejaz, but for you iwould have missed Attish’s forthright and honest views. By the way when are you going to write about the ORBAT of ISI? How many jihadi CORPS it has? After all these have been created aas force multipliers aginst the enemythat only fights in sel defense.

    Recommend

  • asif
    Jul 20, 2011 - 4:59AM

    Indians: What makes you come to come to this website ? To convince us of of your superiority ? If that is the case, then you really don’t us. Yes, we are going though a rough time but in our reality you are not configured to do any mentoring, sermonizing or tutoring let alone anything coercive. I am proud of Pakistanis here who have conducted themselves with grace while tolerating your obnoxious taunts. You on the other hand ….Recommend

  • Ali
    Jul 20, 2011 - 5:00AM

    Aatish Taseer is a nobody, and its the Indians who are obsessed with the Pakistanis. Trust me, this is coming from a half Indian half Pakistani man living in the United Kingdom. The FOB’s along with British Indians are filled with anti-Pakistan sentiments. Could someone please write an article explaining that? Anyway, with India being such an educated country (I have visited India almost every year since 1991, and visited Pakistan only thrice in the past decade), its strange that I find so many Indians trolling Pakistani web portals whereas you hardly find any Pakistanis trolling Indian portals. Back to my original point, I think it was basically a cry for recognition from an Indian child who’s claim to fame is.. a Pakistani father.

    Recommend

  • kaalchakra
    Jul 20, 2011 - 5:25AM

    Excellent response to Aatish, Mr. Zaid Hamid? You have skillfully saved Pakistan’s ghairat by your detailed rebuttal to the son. Also, reassuring to finally learn that there was or is no hatred for India in Pakistan (and vice versa) and we have all, collectively, disavowed taking reductionist approaches to complex issues.

    Recommend

  • Rehmat
    Jul 20, 2011 - 5:34AM

    There were some logical flaws in Ejaz Haider’s arguments:
    1. There is no inconsistency between speaking up for a Christian Pakistani and being anti-India. But somehow the advocacy for Asia bibi is used by Ejaz Haider to prove that Salman Taseer was not anti-Hindu.

    Basant is a name that has sanskrit origin and refers to spring. But the kite flying festival in India happens in January and not Februrary. Thus it appears that this was a Pakistani festival (perhaps more prevalent amongst Pakistani Hindus than Muslims) that Salman Taseer supported but others opposed. Where is the evidence that this festival was supported to include Indians. Or is Ejaz Haider confusing Hindu Pakistanis with Indians?

    Pakistan has initiated 4 wars with India plus it had a known policy of using non-state actors to foment violence in Kashmir. The act of stationing the bulk of its armed forces on the Pak border is thus not an act of agression, as the author seems to imply but rather a purely defensive gesture.

    Recommend

  • akash
    Jul 20, 2011 - 6:50AM

    @Moi.. I think Mindcontrol answered your question very well.. India is secular.. now it doesnt guarantee that there will be no problems..

    If you can, then please also comprehend the vastness and diversity of India before jumping up and down about few abhorrent past incidents(where law will take its course unlike pakistan). We do not claim to be perfect

    In a bank you do have security guards.. that does not guarantee there will be no theft..

    Problem with you and similar other mindsets in Pakistan is that they will never look at positives of India.. the freedom minorities (we prefer to call them indians) enjoy and they have reached top echeleons in every field be it politics, IT, bollywood, bureucracy.

    Also may I add, since when does someone from pakistan have a high moral ground to comment on the state of Indian minorities.

    Recommend

  • LOL
    Jul 20, 2011 - 8:15AM

    @S Malik:

    Whoa lets not get ahead of ourselves Mr. Malik. You lazily dismiss Jinnah as opportunistic and power hungry. I wonder if you know that shrewd Mr. Gandhi had offered Jinnah the prime-ministership of India during the Gandhi-Jinnah talks and then again in 1947. Needless to say, he rejected both these offers.

    When Nehru was told of this, Mountbatten recounts in his ‘Mountbatten papers’, he responded by informing the Viceroy that he himself and V.P Menon too, had offered Jinnah the post of prime minister of India on separate occasions, yet he doubted Jinnah would accept it.

    Jinnah was terminally ill by that time. If all he had wanted was power he would have rushed in to grab it. However, in fact his sole concern was the future of the Muslims of India, to which he had dedicated his life. Which is why, he is the Quaid-e-Azam.

    Recommend

  • LooseSalwar
    Jul 20, 2011 - 8:19AM

    @Mariya,

    “Given the number of indians commenting here and seem to comment on every story just shows that they are the ones obsessed. “

    This article spreads falsehoods about India’s civilian space program. Manipulating public opinion about India is precisely what Aatish accused Pakistan of. Indian’s are well within their rights to counter false propaganda against India.

    Recommend

  • mind control
    Jul 20, 2011 - 8:37AM

    @MS Mariya

    I mean seriously..you write articles about us…take out time to visit our news sites…take out even more time to write long comments..come back again to reply.

    Well you would find it easier if you could keep in mind just 2 things,

    A. Reading, Comprehending and Responding to ideas, are skills that come with literacy and education. Given that India is ahead in both and also in numbers, the fact that they write, read, respond should cease to surprise you.

    B. Human beings have been exhorted to ‘Even to to China for Knowledge’. I am sure you are not going to grudge the Indians going to a web site for the same.After all they are only following sound advice. Aren’t they.

    Moral of the Story- Instead of grudging their presence concentrate on the content. Cheer up.

    Recommend

  • Dubby49
    Jul 20, 2011 - 8:46AM

    The Indian Army is not obsessed with Pakistan. It considers, and always has, China as the main threat. Pakistani’s who believe that the focus of the Indian Army is directed at themselves have an exaggerated sense of their own importance. Mr Ejaz Haider takes umbrage at India’s military expenditure. It would be good if he also acknowledged that the money India spends on defence is its own and not alms from abroad.

    Mr Haider’s final paragraph about Shashi Tharoor is a fudge. Instead of answering the question, he mocks the questioner.

    Recommend

  • Great Indian
    Jul 20, 2011 - 9:19AM

    99.999999 percent Indians don’t comment in Pakistani news papers. Let me explain how. Hardly
    120/1,200,000,000 Indians comment here and out of 120, who have lots of free time to waste, it is a question how many are “real” Indians. Pakistan matter for most Indians only for the nuisance value. Ejaz sir, what is need for a rebuttal article for a college grade level article in an international paper. The whole world knows where Pakistan stands on various issues. It will be like that for a while. Nothing is etched on stone for ever. As the article said until 80s Pakistan had better highways, better airports, better cities and a better economy when compared to India.Pakistan experimented with Saudi Arab idolatry and the disastrous end result is in your face. If you could do relatively better in the past you definitely have the potential to do better in future and that future is made NOW. Just one generation (20 years) is needed to change the whole destiny of Pakistan. I bet you will definitely get a chance to gloat on the prestigious Wall Street Journal.

    Recommend

  • Gopal Vaidya
    Jul 20, 2011 - 9:21AM

    The son wrote a personal testimony about his father that captured the essence of Pakistan. No wonder it is hard to refute! The fact that the father died supporting a christian woman does not mean that the father did not detest the “evil and cunning” Hindus of India. This is central tragedy of Pakistan. As long as the ethnic cleansing was against the Hindus and Sikhs, the “moderate and secular” Pakistanis were content. Now that large sections of the populace have turned against the Ahemadiyas, Shias and even the westernized middle class, people like Ejaz Haider have woken up to the need for greater tolerance. No wonder his feeble response falls flat in the face of Aatish’s personal testimony.

    Recommend

  • raha
    Jul 20, 2011 - 9:47AM

    Well Said and analysed 10/10 Sickened to see these indians so obsessed with everything Pakistan yet blaming us rofl

    Recommend

  • Venkat
    Jul 20, 2011 - 10:14AM

    The common man on the streets of Pakistan and India wants to live their life peacefully. Nor do they hate the brother, sister, aunt, uncle across the line. Given a chance, there would be many common people’s version of Sania-Shoaib marriage.
    It is the politicians, media, and writers who with their talent spoil/poison the atmosphere unnecessarily and without being asked to. People from India and Pakistan should be allowed to mingle and all three should be refrained from airing their views or comments. Then we will see the truth.

    But then all three stand to lose lot of money in a peaceful environment.

    Recommend

  • Sam
    Jul 20, 2011 - 10:24AM

    @Paras Vikmani:

    WRONG.. every indian loved readin the article because it told them whatever they wanted to hear. plain and simple!

    Recommend

  • AMQ
    Jul 20, 2011 - 10:56AM

    All i got from Aatish’s article was that Pakistan is at the bottom of the ladder because it turned its back on the cultural similarities with India. How is that the truth?

    Recommend

  • Abhi
    Jul 20, 2011 - 12:47PM

    @Ali
    May be Indians are more aware of their surroundings than their pakistani counter parts. If you see more indian reading and commenting on Pakistani news websites it is a good sign.

    Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Jul 20, 2011 - 1:06PM

    As in articles by many Indian writers, it is annoying to say the least when the bulk of Pakistan’s problems are blamed on partition from mother India. Personally, it makes it hard to take any of it seriously then.

    Some Pakistani writers may sound like they’re saying similar things but fortunately their views are a bit more nuanced and consider important factors that Aatish conveniently ignores.

    Aatish probably is a terrific novelist.

    As EH wrote: Pakistan must be seen as a mistake, acting without stimuli. Recommend

  • SUPER POWER
    Jul 20, 2011 - 1:48PM

    @Ali: Anyway, with India being such an educated country (I have visited India almost every year since 1991, and visited Pakistan only thrice in the past decade), its strange that I find so many Indians trolling Pakistani web portals whereas you hardly find any Pakistanis trolling Indian portals. Recommend

  • AJ
    Jul 20, 2011 - 2:09PM

    Folks

    I am an Indian, a resident of the United States currently in Mumbai and I have never visited Pakistan.

    Having not seen partition – I have not understanding of that pain. For me, as for most others born after the partition, it is merely a bad historic event that we believe is causing damage even now. It is what it is and I have not seen many asking for its reversal.

    Are Indians truly obsessed about Pakistan? Perhaps some are.

    Are Pakistanis obsessed with India? Haven’t really met many Pakistanis (outside of the US None) to even understand the pscyhe. But then I am also not aware of how Pakistani’s view themselves! Taseer has his Point of view and so does Mr. Ehzaz. Why don’t we just let them! Recommend

  • LOL
    Jul 20, 2011 - 3:13PM

    @S Malik:

    Whoa lets not get ahead of ourselves Mr. Malik. You lazily dismiss Jinnah as opportunistic and power hungry. I wonder if you know that shrewd Mr. Gandhi had offered Jinnah the prime-ministership of India during the Gandhi-Jinnah talks and then again in 1947. Needless to say, he rejected both these offers.

    When Nehru was told of this, Mountbatten recounts in his ‘Mountbatten papers’, he responded by informing the Viceroy that he himself and V.P Menon too, had offered Jinnah the post of prime minister of India on separate occasions, yet he doubted Jinnah would accept it.

    Jinnah was terminally ill by that time. If all he had wanted was power he would have rushed in to grab it. However, in fact his sole concern was the future of the Muslims of India, to which he had dedicated his life. Which is why he is the Quaid-e-Azam.

    Recommend

  • Pragmatist
    Jul 20, 2011 - 3:37PM

    @LOL: “However, in fact his sole concern was the future of the Muslims of India, to which he had dedicated his life.”
    I see what you mean. The evidence is right there in front of us. Some future this is.

    Recommend

  • SPEED
    Jul 20, 2011 - 4:08PM

    @Ali:

    Aatish Taseer is a nobody, and its the Indians who are obsessed with the Pakistanis. Trust me, this is coming from a half Indian half Pakistani man living in the United Kingdom. The FOB’s along with British Indians are filled with anti-Pakistan sentiments. Could someone please write an article explaining that? Anyway, with India being such an educated country (I have visited India almost every year since 1991, and visited Pakistan only thrice in the past decade), its strange that I find so many Indians trolling Pakistani web portals whereas you hardly find any Pakistanis trolling Indian portals. Back to my original point, I think it was basically a cry for recognition from an Indian child who’s claim to fame is.. a Pakistani father

    “Freind you visited India every year since 91 and only thrice to pakistan since the last decade- are you sure your not obsessed with India?????- Make up your mind”

    Recommend

  • let there be peace
    Jul 20, 2011 - 5:28PM

    @LOL: “However, in fact his sole concern was the future of the Muslims of India, to which he had dedicated his life.”

    let’s see. Jinnah divided Indian Muslims in 3 parts, united Hindus in a single nation, created buffer between Afghanistan and India, and then wanted to spend his last days peacefully in his Mumbai bungalow!
    No wonder some right wing Hindus like Advani and Jaswant singh get occasional attacks of love for Jinnah.Recommend

  • Vinod
    Jul 20, 2011 - 6:28PM

    @Moi:
    Do not know from where you are but, if you happen to talk to any Muslim in the indian state of Gujarat, you will be surprised to note that Muslims are one of the biggest supporters of the same Gujarat Chief Minister. So stop banging the drum of attrocities on Muslims in India. Just watching clips of the said Gujarat Carnage over and over again wouldnt qualify you to comment on the status of the Muslims and minorities in India. They are 100% better than any minority in the nation of Pakistan.

    As far as killing of Christians in Orissa is considered, can you list them, it will be far lesser than the human beings killed by Pakistani Terrorists in India.

    My friend if you close your eyes, the day doesnt turn to night. Wake up and get out of the proverbial well of ignorance. Open your eyes to the world around you.
    Good Luck

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  • Dubby49
    Jul 20, 2011 - 6:32PM

    A number of commentators have questioned why so many Indians choose to read and respond to articles in Pakistani media. The reason is that it gives people an opportunity to gauge how people think. The English media may not be as representative as vernacular media but it is a common language.

    As always, there are extreme positions. Pakistanis would do well to read Indian media also. I do not comment on most Indian online media sites because they exercise pre-censorship. A couple which don’t are the Hindustan Times and Outlook. Try them sometimes.

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  • My Name is Khan
    Jul 20, 2011 - 8:58PM

    Aatish actually wrote a great article that we Pakistanis should accept and realize the core of our issues is that we have let the military and ISI control the country’s agenda. We have far bigger issues and resolving our issues with India would help create prosperity in Pakistan – imagine that!

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  • Delhi Belly
    Jul 20, 2011 - 11:25PM

    Average knowledge about Indias military hardware, Indias strike formation and other Indian details about RAW blah blah is surprisingly a very common knowledge amongst Pakistani reader.
    Can the same readers give me information on
    A) Money spent on education in Pakistan as % of GDP?
    B) Money spent on health care in Pakistan as % of GDP?
    C) Percentage of taxpayers in Pakistan as % total working population?
    D) Percentage of revenue from tax as % of total annual expenditure?
    D) Unemployment % in Pakistan?
    E) Percentage of agriculture land being held by feudal landholders?

    Point I am trying to make is, we in India are tracking the move of our government and bringing government on its knees on issues of corruption in governance e.g. via Anna Hazare.

    As Aatish Taseer pointed out, it would be good for Pakistan to have same obsession with its country.
    PS:: We in India condemn the recent murder of Syed Saleem Shahzad,this is a serious loss to Pakistani media.Recommend

  • Jane Austen
    Jul 21, 2011 - 12:16AM

    One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.

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  • Sunil
    Jul 21, 2011 - 12:37AM

    @R – wow. That was some response!

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  • Sohrab
    Jul 21, 2011 - 2:48AM

    @Asad. Why are we Indians wasting time on a pakistani site?
    1) because we KNOW that there are reasonable people on the other side of this imaginary line called the border.
    2) because we KNOW that it doesn’t take much for chaos to cross that border. The armies can fight anytime but if the people start fighting (radicalization, Islamic or Hindu or whatever) entire civilizations are destroyed. Are both sides have the means to do that very easily these days.
    3) because some of us feel comforted by the fact that however bad our situation might be with the corrupt politicians and the concentration of power/inequality, we are still way better off than what most Pakistanis are going through (at least that is how the world media is being filtered these days, might change again). The more stupid among us gloat, the wiser ones among us want to give the wiser ones on your side hope: if you can hope then we have no reason to despair at all.
    4) because it is a relief to hear a fresh and illuminating perspective on this festering sore that has plagued our nations for 7 decades, and some of us are hoping that a newer generation of Pakistanis and Indians would just shrug their shoulders and worry about other more important stuff than harp about personal imaginary versions of history and how it could have been better etc etc
    We obsess too, but our obsession is from a slightly different perspective…
    Peace and Regards
    an IndianRecommend

  • Sam
    Jul 21, 2011 - 3:54AM

    I feel Aathish is right on spot. To heal India pakistan issues you have to put the ghosts of the partition at rest. India on its own conviction should create a monument to mark the millions of Indian citizens on both sides of the line…yes Indian citizens who lost their lives due to the criminal self serving actions and short sightedness of leadership of that time.

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  • Seher Khan
    Jul 21, 2011 - 4:02AM

    Bravo! Mr. Haider. Very well written article. It is common sense WSJ but they have ulterior motives for Pakistan. Every article written against Pakistan receives much appreciation from Indian readers then “WHO IS OBSESSED?” writing on the wall “INDIANS”. Indians are blindly following western culture and due to their slavish mentality have become slaves of western culture, therefore, Mr. Aatish Taseer get your facts straight. We know that you have personal vendetta against your father but I guess its your Indian values that encouraged you to make them public and ridicule your dead father. And there is no land issue in Kashmir. KASHMIR is a DISPUTED TERRITORY as per the UN RESOLUTIONS and Kashmiris reserves the right of self-determination. The Kashmir issue must be resolved according to the aspirations of Kashmiri. I being a Kashmir extends my full support and vote to accession with PAKISTAN. Last but no least, DON’T USE YOUR FATHER’S CLOUT FOR PERSONAL GAINS. In the end, Bravo! Mr. Ejaz Haider. You are a true intellectual and son of the soil. Keep up the good work. Recommend

  • Yusaf Khan
    Jul 21, 2011 - 4:08AM

    The only article the Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal is going to publish on Pakistan is going to be one that is anti Pakistan, ridicules the Pakistani army and its various intelligence services. Which is why I never read the WSJ or read anything that comes out of the other Murdoch owned media empire. Now the News of the World has shown the tactics that such media organisations indulge in and further shows that most of the venom that is spewed from such newspapers is there to spread hate and hysteria. All the Indian and American lobby can do whatever it wants but history is going to be on our side.

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  • Seher Khan
    Jul 21, 2011 - 4:24AM

    I am certain that they are THINK TANKS or Sponsored groups that are writing comments on these sites under different names. What is this liberals, conservatives? or induced liberalism by West and induced conservatism/extremism by Saudi Royals who are slaves and agents of Western Imperialism. Both are crap. MODERATES …..Because moderation is the best approach and policy in life.

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  • v
    Jul 21, 2011 - 11:38AM

    Mr Ejaz,…unfortunately and sadly, for all your logic and reasoning, the truth still stays the same. It is true that Aatish Taseer’s article jumps from one point and scene in history to another but you have to be generous to the pain of a son whose father was so violently, unjustly snatched from this cruel land called Pakistan. You have to feel the pain of the son who lost his father without making peace with him. Somewhere in his heart he blames Pakistan in his impotent helplessness and obviously rightly so.

    You rightly argue about finer points and details but so sadly deny the larger picture which Mr Taseer was pointing out. You might give a more reasoned analysis in a more sophisticated english but what use is it if it misses the bigger point. In a celebrated rustic’s words..” pothi padh padh jag mua, pandit bhaya na koi; dhai aashar prem ka padhe so pandit hoy”….

    Somehow in my heart I feel, that your rebuttal of Mr Taseer’s article is more of a rebuttal of his feelings….I dont know why I feel that you are trying to drown these same thoughts internally by fighting them externally.

    Look inside your heart, Mr Ejaz, the sadness of the truth will not go away by hiding from it, but may be by facing it.Recommend

  • najib moha
    Jul 21, 2011 - 12:39PM

    @Moi:
    Hello..Please spare your lecturing on Gujrat (It is to beb condemned and is a blurr on nation;s history)..Look at what you do to minorities in Pakistan. Clear your own backyard and as the saying goes ” those who live in glass houses should not throw stone at others.Recommend

  • Mehreen
    Jul 21, 2011 - 12:43PM

    Excellent rebuttal ! Aatish is clearly trying to cash in on daddy’s fame before everyone abroad forgets who daddy was. Any half educated wit can see that. I’m sure the Indians loved his piece, because it is they who are absolutely obsessed with Pakistan, one only has to turn on the telly in both countries to see the difference. Pakistan stories feature there on the hour, every hour! Be it newsworthy news or not, we’re always being followed by their media, and pretty much always being ripped apart.. I’d like am Indian to visit and find the same!Recommend

  • Biplab
    Jul 21, 2011 - 2:03PM

    Several of my batchmates in college were from Pakistan. It was a delight interacting with them. They were just like me – spoke a similar language (Urdu and Hindi are very similar), ate similar food, even the songs and movies we enjoyed were common. I do not think the man on the street in either India or Pakistan is “fixated” on the other country. So how come it all changes at the government or military level? What is it that leads to this deep mistrust and animosity?

    I hope Mr. Haider addresses this basic question in his next article.

    Sometime back I read this very nice article in Economist.I strongly recommend this to anyone who is seeking answers to what ails India-Pakistan relations.

    http://www.economist.com/node/18712525

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  • GC
    Jul 21, 2011 - 6:48PM

    Indians would have been hearing their own stories and have fancied an image. Let us take a neutral ground.

    Did India export any terror to its neighbours? I find it hard that pakistan considers India as an enemy. Even in the recent of all the wars, Pakistan tried to occupy indian territory (Kargill). Compare these to LeT attack which killed 190 and other such.

    Regarding the Muslims treatment in India due to caste system. A good major section of india do not have these discriminations. Muslim is not the only lower caste according to Hindu caste system. as much as 30% population is of lower caste(most of these 30% pop. is not even financially good to command anything). So caste problem is not targeted at Muslim community at all. Godhra is one horrifying incident. There is no second doubt. You should also look at the chain of events that lead to it.

    However things are changing. It would have changed to a great extent if there were no terrorist attacks. ‘Even though all muslims are not terrorists, all terrorists are muslims’ hit the indians psyche. Not just to hindus, but to other religion people too (it is not actually a caste problem, rather hatred to islam). This is what causes other nations to sympathize with India.

    If pakistan can act on terrorism sincerely, i would love pakistan.

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  • zindagi na milegi dobara
    Jul 21, 2011 - 7:22PM

    @Mehreen:

    I’m sure the Indians loved his piece, because it is they who are absolutely obsessed with Pakistan, one only has to turn on the telly in both countries to see the difference. Pakistan stories feature there on the hour, every hour! Be it newsworthy news or not, we’re always being followed by their media, and

    Hi Mehreen – Good day to u, (a peice of advise) , dont watch to much of indian telly “on the hour every hour as you seem to be doing”.
    Sometimes theese obsessions become difficult to get rid of “

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  • Vikramjit
    Jul 21, 2011 - 9:22PM

    Kudos to Ejaz Haider for a fitting rejoinder to Taseer, and opening further the debate that has been limited to the leaders,of the two countries, also some of the comments posted blatantly take postures as if the comment makers are actually sitting in bunkers and taking pot shots for their countries. Grow up please, these articles are not the view of millions off people, carving out an existence on both side of the border, but i welcome the reaching out to each other, accusations will soon change to mutual respect, its human nature, keep accusing, keep debating, keep talking, keep walking toward each other, and like the Berliners, fill the divide.

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  • Haroon Shaikh
    Jul 21, 2011 - 11:45PM

    Mr. Haider, excellent article.

    The one thing Id like to say to you is that China’s dispute with India over the unresolved status of Arunachul Pradesh is likely to heat up in the coming decade.

    Pakistan is likely to receive 350 JF17 jets and 250 J10 fighter jets. We already got six F22P frigates and discussion is on for another 10. We are also receiving 6 AIP class Yuan submarines from China.

    Indians should know that while Pakistan cannot match India unit for unit in military power, we are more than capable of challenging India if India’s leaders embark on aggression.

    India is killing innocent Kashmiris daily in Occupied Kashmir and Ms. Roy – a prominent Indian journalist who is locked up in her home by BJP-Shiv Sena fanatics has reported massively on the Kashmiri cry for freedom.

    Mr Haider, my appeal to you is to write something on how Pakistan should not just take these best-friends-for-life-i-love-you items from China but also take and learn from the power of China’s ideas for development. India still does not have a highway that can compare with the national highway connecting Punjab, nor do any Indian ports compare to the port system prevailing in Pakistan. Our airports are better too. We need macro and economic policies which are inspired by China to be a localized form of Pakistani economics. We need a Beijing Consensus.

    long live China-Pakistan

    oh, and Mr. Aatish is just delusional. He should know Pakistan has its own tokenisms like India too. The fact is every morning in Indian newspapers in the job section and in the marriage section, there is an ancronym which says SNSC (Sorry, No Scheduled Castes). Pathetic!Recommend

  • harsh
    Jul 22, 2011 - 2:51AM

    Pakistan need not have an army comparable to India. I trust , deep down his/her heart every Pakistani knows India is no threat to them however big their army (india) might be. So why this hypocrisy?

    When I was a child, I used to think of a power block containing India, Pakistan, Nepal , Bangladesh, Lanka…Oh! What a childish thought…Huh…Really amuses me even now!

    Despite being an ardent supporter of Hindutva, I can still stick to the concept of Indian subcontinent. Why cant you? And why do you need to hate us..After all you are the children of Indian blood, aren’t you?

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  • observer
    Jul 22, 2011 - 11:08AM

    @Haroon Shaikh

    Ms. Roy – a prominent Indian journalist who is locked up in her home by BJP-Shiv Sena fanatics has reported massively on the Kashmiri cry for freedom.

    Ms Roy is a journalist? And she is locked in her home by BJP-Shiv Sena fanatics?
    I am sure Ms Arundhati Roy is totally in the dark about her being a prominent Indian journalist and her house arrest. Wonders never cease if Pakistani patriots are involved.

    We need macro and economic policies which are inspired by China to be a localized form of Pakistani economics. We need a Beijing Consensus.

    Well the Chinese believe in ‘One Child’ policy and agricultural land in China is held by communes. Do you think Pakistani awaam is ready for this. Recommend

  • Harsh
    Jul 22, 2011 - 2:12PM

    A brave rebuttal discussing the size of the Indian army. Mr. Haider, your argument is out of context and as such irrelevant. If you want a balanced analysis, put things in perspective and discuss military size within the context of geography, population, economy, potential of external threats and then compare the Pakistani and Indian army.

    You say “Taken separately, one can discuss issues and arrive at a balanced analysis.” Unfortunately the dialog between Pakistan and India has been floundering for this very reason. Whenever dialog starts to move in a positive direction, Pakistani interlocutors bring in Kashmir and suddenly everyone starts frothing in anger! Back to square one.

    Recommend

  • Ilmana Fasih
    Jul 23, 2011 - 2:43AM

    Aatish Tasir couldn’t be more accurate. Honestly, I know the liberals in Pakistan say the same thing which Aatish said, but when it comes from an Indian mouth, they all become possessive of their armies and Pakistaniat.

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  • Rishi
    Jul 23, 2011 - 7:59PM

    Mr.Ejaz Haider is really worked up! But when he “rips apart’ Aatish Taseer for spelling his father’s name “wrongly”, he gives it away. Tharoor is right, Pakistani liberals are Pakistani first, before they are liberals!

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  • K-R-Siddiqui
    Jul 26, 2011 - 4:19PM

    @Milestogo:
    clearly…you didnt read the article just skimmed the first few lines and wrote it off…and im a grandchild that asked a similar question…the reality may quite surprise you….

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  • harkol
    Jul 26, 2011 - 9:00PM

    Anyone who hasn’t read Shashi Tharoor’s article on this issue, should read it. He explains why this article is so disappointing from an Indian standpoint. – http://www.deccanchronicle.com/columnists/shashi-tharoor/delusional-liberals

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  • amitk
    Aug 5, 2011 - 2:06AM

    Ejaz Haider, Did it occur to you that a son might know better of his father’s core belief rather than an outsider. A man in public life will always hide his core conservative views and only a family member would be better equipped to understand him as they spend a hell lot of time together. There must be more than this single incidence between Aatish and Salmaan that would have let Aatish to conclude that his father is anti-indian. Some of them would have been so awkward that Aatish would have avoided writing them in articles.

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  • Rahul Desale
    Aug 5, 2011 - 9:16PM

    Ejaz,
    With due respect (that is what we have learned to, and tough to do), be liberal for an instance. Let anyone say anything but what comes out and stays is truth.
    You have better idea of India-Pakistan wars, attacks and prosperous common culture.
    Instead of criticizing each and every topic in Aatish’s article you would have use your wisdom to say something which makes sense.
    This your article sounded just like a “tweet” mentioned in article.
    Indian Military have Pakistan focused approach, well history justifies it! Can you imagine, what Pakistan military is focusing on, if US were not present in Pakistan?

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  • Aug 5, 2011 - 9:59PM

    I guess our Indian brothers want our Liberals to be Pakistan-bashing to consider them as worthy of praise.

    Seriously this weird obsession needs to stop or at least we need to spared of it.

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  • shweta mittal
    Aug 15, 2011 - 6:40PM

    mr. ejaz haider,
    perhaps aatish is a little too biased against his father. but many of the observations he made about pakistan in ‘a stranger to history’ have unfortunately proved to be true in the years since the book was published. his father made other anti-india tweets. it was not as though he was objectively criticising india’s corruption scams or its mishandling of the maoist movement. his comments were downright mean and spiteful. he was one of those pakistanis who simply could not digest the fact that india was rising while pakistan was having a rough time. whereas aatish’s criticism of pakistan seems to come from concern.
    and for those pakistanis who claim that indians are obsessed with pakistan. they post comments on pak websites, i will speak for myself. i was actually searching for aatish’s WSJ article on google. while doing so, i came across this site. i wanted to read it because i always like to know how the other side feels. ejaz haider is considered a respected journalist whose articles have appeared in The Indian Express.
    regards, shweta mittal

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  • John Smith
    Aug 30, 2011 - 10:49PM

    IS PAKISTAN SELF WALKING TO SELF DESTRUCTION?

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