Maybe we have forgotten Kashmir?

Published: December 10, 2012

The writer is the Chairperson of the History Department at Forman Christian College, Lahore

Last year, I wrote an article in this newspaper arguing that Pakistan should change its stance on Kashmir, not only for the sake of Kashmiris — who have fared well compared to Pakistanis lately — but for the sake of Pakistan itself. Arguably, Pakistan would be a much secure, stable, democratic and developed country if it were not for the Kashmir issue.

Last week, in a series of  ‘Conversations’ I arrange at Forman Christian College between faculty and students, I chose the topic of ‘Kashmir Banega Pakistan’ (Kashmir will become Pakistan). After packed sessions on Balochistan and the Taliban, I expected the same nature of heated debate. As an added incentive, I convinced a former Pakistan Army captain, now a professor at FC College, who had seen live action in Kashmir, to come and share his personal experiences and thoughts.

However, what happened at this interactive session was rather revealing. Granted that this was a self-selecting group and not something a statistician would be happy with, but there were students from all four provinces of Pakistan and Gilgit, a good mix of men and women, a majority from the rural areas and a range of social and economic classes present.

While the session began with a good number of students, I could immediately sense that there was some lack of interest in the subject. I asked thrice if anyone present wanted to argue the traditional stance of Pakistan and no one spoke up. When cajoled further, one student made a lukewarm effort and said “we should remember Kashmir since our waters flow from there.” Except for this, there was nothing argued for Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir: no mention of Indian atrocities, no mention of the ‘unfinished business of partition’ and no Muslim brotherhood claims, either. The charged atmosphere and excitement of the previous sessions were almost the opposite of the dullness of this session. As the students petered off, we even ended the session early as no one seemed interested.

Having been raised in the 1990s where watching the ‘news’ from the Kashmir Cell was staple on the state-run Pakistan Television, I had expected a heated debate. Perhaps, if this session had been held in, say, 1992, there would have been a passionate debate. So what is different now? First, it is clear that the Kashmir issue was kept alive in Pakistan mainly through state propaganda. The everyday stories, some true, others embellished, of Indian atrocities in Kashmir were meant to emotionally charge Pakistanis against India. With only one television channel and a controlled populace, it was easy for the government to shape public opinion. The liberalisation of the media and the improvement of the situation in Indian Kashmir have obviously changed the ground reality. Secondly, almost 50 per cent of Pakistan is under 30 years of age and has little connection to Kashmir. While for the first generation of Pakistanis it was ‘their’ issue and the second generation inherited it from their parents, this third generation has no ties to Kashmir. Where in 1947, Pakistan was trying to augment a ‘moth-eaten’ country, young Pakistanis know well that keeping the current boundaries of the country is proving to be hard now. Talking about taking over a region which has no direct connection to them, except for religion, is like talking about merging Egypt and Pakistan. Thirdly, what this session showed was that young Pakistanis are primarily concerned about their own well-being and advancement — not some grand pious notions. Today, a typical young Pakistani would rather take a good job in India than maintain a belligerent attitude towards the country.

The best example of the lack of interest in Kashmir is the Difa-e-Pakistan Council itself. A motley of older gentlemen with extremist views on almost everything, the Council is a last ditch effort of a dying and increasingly irrelevant generation to keep issues of the past alive. Surely, if Pakistanis still passionately cared about Kashmir, the Council would not have to hold rallies to remind people to hate India.

Pakistan is finally making a break with the past, led by the younger generation where pragmatism, mutual cooperation and development, and peaceful coexistence can become the benchmarks of a future Pakistan. It is time that such an opportunity is seized and the Kashmir issue is resolved through a sensible solution and the agreement and mutual benefit of all parties, with old impractical and idealist postures abandoned.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (105)

  • Vikas
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:00PM

    Kashmir is an integral part of India. Period.

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  • ethicalman
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:03PM

    Wow ..this article is written very clearly..very unbiased nationalism..and with rationality..

    It’s sad news for Kashmiri sepratists..Gelani, Yasin Malik etc..but if Pakistanis are ready to live a life for pakistan rather than other parts of India..this is a good sign…

    But I know the author is in minority..so the Kashmir jingoism will continue for some more years..

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  • BlackJack
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:12PM

    Thank you sir – would that this were true. To be honest (and this could make me unpopular with many of my compatriots), most Indians have as little connection with Kashmir as the Pakistani students you met – most of them have never been there, have heard of atrocities against Kashmiri Pandits, and have grown up reading in the news of militants killing both army personnel and civilians indiscriminately. What we are fighting each other for is a concept and is only a mirage. You fight to integrate a muslim majority state to justify your archaic founding principles – and your desire for that which you cannot have has infused generations of Pakistanis with undying hatred against their neighbors, and resulted in the loss of half of your erstwhile nation and now in the alienation of large parts of the rest; we fight for a secular India where secularism increasingly means votebank politics targeted at minorities, where they continue to vote for unscrupulous politicians who do nothing for them, while the rest of the voting population becomes increasingly polarized by these developments. There is much to be fixed – you focus on your side, and we will focus on ours.

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  • Salman
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:29PM

    How can you claim that Kashmiris are doing better than Pakistanis? Have you ever been to Kashmir? Any statistics? Surprised to see such claims from a ‘Scholar’Recommend

  • politically incorrect
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:38PM

    At partition the princely states like Kashmir were given a choice between joining Pakistan, or India. There was no option for being Independent. The king of Kashmir state Hari Singh was trying just as much as the Nizam of Hyderabad to maintain the status quo in terms of their respective sovereign status and tried all sorts of tricks that they could to achieve it.
    But the Pakistan inspired tribal invasion to Kashmir changed the nature of the conflict for good. Cornered and loss of power and/or life staring at his face, Hari Singh asked for help from the Indian state, which India readily complied with a rider that Hari Singh has to sign the instrument of accession for the Indian Govt to come to his rescue. Once he complied the fate of Kashmir was sealed.

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  • pointing out the obvious
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:46PM

    @Salman:
    have you noticed any suicide bomb attacks in Indian Kashmir lately? Can people go to the mosque without the threat of being killed in Kashmir? I think its pretty clear what the author means…

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  • MSS
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:54PM

    Wow, it is a revealing scenario. One would have guessed this was bound to happen with the arrival of media and internet. Now it possible to communicate with the population from the other side of the border, so it is no longer possible for either government to keep lying to its populace and depend on the hate factor. Young men and women of today from India or Pakistan have no emotional baggage and want a peaceful life for themselves. Tomorrow many of them will become leaders and hopefully they not be prisoners of the past. The Kashmir issue will become a non-issue in a couple of decades. Wish these people well.

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  • kumail
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:03AM

    Pakistan consider Kashmir as a ‘political entity’ and regards it as DISPUTED region. Whereas, India considers Kashmir as ‘state’ and integral part of India.

    We do not even have a clear policy on Kashmir. India cannot talk of the Kashmir issue because that would require India to amend its constitution through a parliamentary majority. Therefore, in the international arena its is swaying in India’s favor.

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  • kashmirian
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:13AM

    I have not read such a stupid article in ages. it is too simplistic. First the author says that one of the participant of “debate on kashmir” session in his college said that we should care about kashmir since our waters come from there, later the author says that we should not care about a region which has got nothing to do with pakistan and it is like demanding egypt (lying in north africa) to be part of pakistan because of the same religion. how a place from where the rivers of pakistan pass (kashmir) has got no connection to pakistan and can be equated with muslim countries in other continents like egypt, Recommend

  • jahandad
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:29AM

    THE AUTHOR IS TOTALLY WRONG,, Kashmir issue is the survival issue of Pakistan,,,,,,,,,FORGET ABOUT THE wars with India ,,Kashmir is bleeding since 1947,and even before that from the time of cruel Hindu raja ,who had purchased it from British raj at 75 lack rupees, and then imposed inhuman taxes on Muslims in Kashmir , even Kashmirs[Muslims] had to pay taxes for the burial of their dead ones,,,,,THE SAME IS HAPPENING TODAY over 100000 Muslims killed by a million plus Hindu terrorist army ,and some 10000 missing ,over 50000 plus women raped , forced conversion to Hinduism ,etc ,,,,I DON’T KNOW HOW CAN someone so blind viewing it ,[only to be loved by Hindus in India , or impressed by sexy Bollywood girls],,,,shame on such thinking ,,,,,AND REMEMBER 99.9% PAKISTANIS DON’T SHARE YOUR VIEWS,,,,,

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  • Zeeshan
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:13AM

    @Vikas,

    “Kashmir is an integral part of India. Period.”

    Keep chanting this until dawn.

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  • Baba Farid
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:26AM

    Back in 1992, it wouldn’t even have been possible to read newspapers, or even comment on them from across the border. I do commend The Tribune for having such a dynamic platform for voicing thoughts, opinions and blogs with comments both humorous and otherwise, from Indian and Pakistani voices, along with the regular news. I hope that trust affection and cooperation replaces cross border animosity that has plagued past generations. I look forward to the day there can be active cooperation in matters of trade, education and technology exchanges as well as more people to people contacts. I have been researching Mughal history for sometime and would dearly like to visit Lahore, Multan and Peshawar under more peaceful circumstances. May peace prevail.

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  • sabi
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:35AM

    India in last sixty five years had progressed well toward making it secular state enabling its citizens more freedom of expression of faith and assurance of equall rights without cast creed and religion.This is very incouraging and should be appreciated.Pakistan on the other hand had drifted from secular values to a theocratic state and this is really discouraginf and should be condemned.Pakistan thus has lost kashmir on moral grounds.If India is giving kashmiris their rights then let kashmirs live in India and contribute to the prosperity of their land.This dirty politics must end now.We need peace not Kashmir.

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  • Asok
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:47AM

    Kashmir cannot be solved between India and Pakistan while a civilian government is ruling Pakistan. This is because such a government is simply not authorized to make any kind of accommodation regarding Kashmir. Neither is it capable of providing the security gaurantees that India would want.

    So, we will have to wait until the civilians have established undisputed authority in Pakistan, or until the next military strongman takes over ala Musharraf.Recommend

  • Sudheer
    Dec 11, 2012 - 3:53AM

    Very good article, the author speaks the truth. Rightly or wrongly India annexed Kashmir and there was/is nothing that Pakistan can do about it. Had this reality been accepted at the very inception of Pakistan, the country would have saved herself from many traumas and tribulations it encountered during the ensuing years, including the birth of Bangladesh, religious dogmatism, ruining of its economy, fragmentation of the society etc..
    A similar sentiment used to be here in India about Tibet, as we Indians could never fully reconcile to the occupation of Tibet by China. We still want to see a free Tibet, but, the bitter reality is that there is no way we can dislodge Chinese from the Tibet, hence the acceptance. All that we wish now is a Tibet, albeit under Chinese rule, but autonomous, peaceful and free of oppression. Although, India seriously supported insurgency in Tibet right from the early sixties to early eighties, but, later it was abandoned as quid pro quo for the caesurae of the similar Chinese support for the rebels in the far eastern states of India.
    Therefore, Pakistan is advised to forget about Kashmir and instead concentrate on its bankrupt economy and a badly fragmented society which appears to be on the verge of collapse. Any further adventure is likely to lead her to a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.

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  • upkamath aka prashanth
    Dec 11, 2012 - 6:18AM

    There are many ways Kashmir can be a part of Pakistan. But the first step to all such paths is a common one – Pakistan should attain a per-capita income of twice that of India.

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  • Aarvey,india
    Dec 11, 2012 - 6:20AM

    @Zeeshan:
    Yes zeeshan, we are all chanting this not only until dawn but even into dusk. Face this, after all this is the reality just as dawn and dusk is.

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  • vasan
    Dec 11, 2012 - 6:21AM

    I think Pakistanis are in the right path now atleast

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  • Kailash Sethy
    Dec 11, 2012 - 7:16AM

    Some Pakistanis(educated and rational ones) should get chance to come India and work for few years in India they will have better understanding of India and then on return they can share good experience with their countrymen. That will be a very good gesture on India’s part to build good attitude in Pakistanis mindset. Being being brother, India has to show more responsibility bringing peace to South Asia. Of course at same time Pakistan has to hand over Dawood Ibrahim and saeed hafiz

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  • Dec 11, 2012 - 7:43AM

    Most Pakistanis and Indians have grown out of their past generations mindsets and agree that according to democractic principles Kashmiris should be allowed to choose their own fate, in accordance with U.N. resolutions. Am I right my enlightened and modern young Indian friends? Ooops

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Dec 11, 2012 - 7:59AM

    @jahandad: ” … Kashmir issue is the survival issue of Pakistan … “

    I am afraid Pakistan is not going to survive.

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  • xyz
    Dec 11, 2012 - 8:16AM

    eye opener to Pakistanis.

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  • SKChadha
    Dec 11, 2012 - 8:17AM

    In this India Pakistan issue, the gainers are the political leaders of Kashmir on both sides of the border and losers are the normal Kashmiri citizenry. With influx of media/ education, the Awam of Kashmir is realizing that it is the peace in their land, which is good for their benefit. The time is ripe enough to first make the leadership of both sides of Kashmir accountable towards welfare of its citizenry rather than harping on emotive issues.

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  • thor
    Dec 11, 2012 - 8:30AM

    @Zeeshan:

    “East Pakistan was an integral part of Pakistan. Period.”

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  • thor
    Dec 11, 2012 - 8:32AM

    @jahandad:
    Kashmir issue is the survival issue of Pakistan,
    Take a deep breath & think again..

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  • Raza Khan
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:16AM

    Let Kashmir issue RIP! We lost half of our country due to this issue.

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  • Indian Wisdom
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:20AM

    “Pakistan is finally making a break with the past, led by the younger generation where pragmatism, mutual cooperation and development, and peaceful coexistence can become the benchmarks of a future Pakistan. It is time that such an opportunity is seized and the Kashmir issue is resolved through a sensible solution and the agreement and mutual benefit of all parties, with old impractical and idealist postures abandoned.”

    How true….Amen!!

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  • Feroz
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:48AM

    Fighting with India over Kashmir has been a non productive pastime for the Establishment. Alongside the Afghan adventure it has only brought the Jihadi culture and fundamentalism into the streets and cities of the country. Neither India or Pakistan have managed to administer the territories under their control efficiently so it is pointless to extend boundaries. Let the Kashmiri people move and trade freely between both sides of the LOC and build a better and more productive future for coming generations. Shedding further blood is not in any ones interest.

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  • SK5
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:50AM

    Why don’t we have a referendum in kashmir and find out!

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  • Kashman
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:56AM

    Kashmir is Pakistans brains. Peroiod.

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  • zoro
    Dec 11, 2012 - 10:22AM

    Looks like the oppressed mind of the youth in Pakistan which has now started thinking rationaly about there own future is showing there presence … The penny has dropped and the ghairiat brigade will try its best ro scuttle it … By harping on kashmir, Pakistan has brought itself to the position to what they are today … and youth knows that for sure …
    Kuddos to the youth who is giving a cold shoulder to the Pakistan’s Kashmir policy !!!

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  • Dec 11, 2012 - 10:28AM

    @Caramelized_Onion:
    You are, absolutely right, but per that rule: Pakistan has to vacate Kashmir of it military first and only then could a plebiscite he held. So when is Pakistan planning to initiate that process? The ball has always been in Pakistan’s court.

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  • wonderer
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:09AM

    It is heartening indeed to see some people in this land-of-the-pure finally seeing through the smokescreen that lasted over half a century, and has still left behind some blinkered gentlemen like @jahandad: above. It is a welcome pointer to a possible future of Pakistan.

    The other thing which stands proven is Truth prevails. The distant ray of hope at the end of a very long tunnel has becomes more and more sorely needed with each passing day. All praise be to Allah.

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  • roadkashehzada
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:11AM

    when some western ask me about kashmir, i say we dont have any indian here so my view will be biased but go to google map and count the roads coming from kashmir to india and pakistan even today and you will see connection.

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  • wonderer
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:27AM

    @vasan:

    Yes Sir. But one cannot blame the Pakistanis. Even Indians would not be on the “right path” if they had been deliberately misled for so long.

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  • Zeeshan
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:39AM

    It is always intriguing how the current resistance toward India vis-a-vis Kashmir is being reduced to the “under-30″ and “hate” factors.

    So, by listening to a bunch of students in your institution, you boldly extrapolated this raw data to represent the views shared by Pakistanis (even when it would not please statisticians). So much so, you assumed that they don’t care about Kashmir and that they “rather take a job in India” than worry about Kashmiris? (This alludes to the rose-tinted glasses Pakistani Liberals tend to wear when they see India.) Just in case our liberals bought into the idea of “India Shining”, Indians are lining up outside of Arab and Western embassies to find work. But of course there are works waiting in India for our Pakistani liberals as Pakistani experts, if that’s what you mean by working in India.

    “The liberalisation of the media and the improvement of the situation in Indian Kashmir have obviously changed the ground reality”

    Really? Does the “liberalization of media” allow Indians to read [Human Right atrocities report issued four days ago][1] or allow them to salivate at each bomb exploding in Pakistan? Given the hundreds of anti-Pakistan vitriol here at Tribune and elsewhere, you still have rosy picture toward this idea of liberalization? Liberalization of media allows for the amplification of parochial perspectives and not the exposure to truths. It provides multiple views which individuals could opt to pursue through their own liking. That’s what liberalization of media has done. That’s [why India is keeping an eye on Pakistani media][2].

    And, where do you get the idea of “improvement of the situation in Indian-Occupied Kashmir”? From Kashmiris or Indians?

    Pakistan’s solidarity with Palestine and Kashmir are highly driven by religious ties.That emotional and religious ties escaped our liberals who could neither feel them nor experience them. Solidarity with others does not mean Pakistanis want an inch of Kashmir or Palestine. The people of Pakistan are open to the idea of an independent Kashmir. Pakistanis have never brought up Junagadh or Hyderabad but the Indians are still salivating for Azad Kashmir and GB. So, who is insensible here? Pakistanis or Indians?

    It is Pakistani Liberals’ dreams that Pakistanis give up the idea of Kashmir. By doing so, they argue, prosperity will return to Pakistan. Ok, turn around and lecture this to your Indian friends who have 600,000 of their men in Kashmir. Surely, millions of Indians need the money used to terrorize Kashmir.

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  • Dec 11, 2012 - 12:17PM

    Author is visionary. But this put him at risk as there are still many who want to keep the hatred bot boiling in the subcontinent,Recommend

  • Naqshab
    Dec 11, 2012 - 12:21PM

    …rather it is a small section of population in Pakistan pampered by American illusion and illegal intervention. (else they have no hope to enjoy shower of administrative power) It is this small section, imposed corrupt elite, root-less, disconnected and disillusioned, suffering from inferiority complex which is responsible for the present mess over there…. their entire encyclopedia about India is based on Bollywood fictions… bunch of USA returned spoiled kids of Pakistani elite in no way represent the voices of Pakistan.

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  • Naqshab
    Dec 11, 2012 - 12:54PM

    …rather it is a small section of population in Pakistan pampered by American illusion and illegal intervention. (else they have no hope to enjoy shower of administrative power) It is this small section, imposed corrupt elite, root-less, disconnected and disillusioned, suffering from inferiority complex which is responsible for the present mess over there…. their entire encyclopedia about India is based on Bollywood fictions… bunch of USA returned spoiled kids of Pakistani elite in no way represent the voices of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sandip
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:03PM

    Thanks to the author for being so factual and truthful with his experiences. I think its high time that the youth in India also start taking an active interest in Pakistan and it’s well being. We have a stake in the well being and prosperity of Pakistan and now that we have this glimmer of hope, we must do everything possible, with no prejudice to our respective positions on such contentious issues, to lend all the support that we can to this constituency of peace that is developing in Pakistan.

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:34PM

    @Kashman:

    Kashmir is Pakistans brains. Peroiod.

    But, Pakistan only has a small part of Kashmir and a bit of it was gifted to Chinese!
    What does that tell you about Pakistan’s “brains”?

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  • Raju Thacker
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:44PM

    @ Zeeshan
    Indians are not lining up outside Arab Embassies, they are preferred by Arabs. Having worked in middle east, I know arabs prefer Indians over Pakistanis. There are 10 Indian schools in Oman, against only one Pakistani School.

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  • Observer
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:55PM

    @Zeeshan:

    “Solidarity with others does not mean Pakistanis want an inch of Kashmir or Palestine. The people of Pakistan are open to the idea of an independent Kashmir”

    If that is true, why not give the Kashmir/Gilgit/Baltistan areas under Paksitan’s control the freedom to declare themselves as an independent country? You don’t have to wait for India on this.

    As for Palestine, why did Pakistan send Zia ul Haq and killed several hundreds of Palestinians in 1970 if Pakistan loves its muslim palestinian brothers?

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  • sunil bhalla
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:59PM

    one of the best and sensible article i ever read. Good to see that pakistani media is leading today to spread truth and realities among masses.

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  • Hero
    Dec 11, 2012 - 3:03PM

    We need aggressive policy on this issue

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  • vasan
    Dec 11, 2012 - 3:16PM

    roadkashehzada: Pathetic concept indeed. Just count how many roads ran from West Pak to East pakistan(erstwhile)

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  • Niraj
    Dec 11, 2012 - 4:19PM

    if true, there is hope. i am willing to wait.Recommend

  • Atif
    Dec 11, 2012 - 4:26PM

    @Vikas

    “Kashmir is an integral part of India. Period.”
    I dont think you have anything sensible to say. Because I am seeing this sentence second time..

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  • Baba Farid
    Dec 11, 2012 - 4:58PM

    Change can come about only if it starts in the hearts of individuals. There is no other way society will change. The Almighty made our hearts like Kashmir and wrote upon it: Agar Firdaus bar ru-e-zamin ast, hami ast o hami ast o hami ast! But we have divided that paradise and let hatred and violence be nurtured in it. It is up to us to banish these serpents from there so that peace once more returns to these valleys. O youth of both countries, your elders had been seduced by the glamour of war and power mistaking it for National Pride, I hope before we die with our regrets, that you will teach us a nobler lesson and bring about the blessings of Peace. May the Almighty guide your footsteps! Our prayers are with you.

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  • Omar Tak
    Dec 11, 2012 - 5:04PM

    The author claims that

    ”Thirdly, what this session showed was that young Pakistanis are primarily concerned about their own well-being and advancement — not some grand pious notions. Today, a typical young Pakistani would rather take a good job in India than maintain a belligerent attitude towards the country.”

    The question that arises is who this ‘typical young Pakistani ‘ is ?

    Are the thousands of people who regularly participate in anti-US rallies not ‘typical young Pakistanis ‘ ?
    Are those who celebrated Mumtaz Qadiri not ‘typical young Pakistanis’ ?
    Are those insurgents who regularly get killed in J&K not ‘typical young Pakistanis ‘ ?
    Are the TTP cadre not ‘typical young Pakistanis ‘ ?

    The fact is that the author’s explanation is simplistic. What I understand from his ‘typical young Pakistani ‘ comment is that he is taking a small section of youth who are not interested in politics as representative of Pakistani youth .What he forgets is that such sections are present in all countries .For example ,a typical urban youth from Mumbai or Delhi doesn’t know his history ,not is he interested .

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  • Omar Tak
    Dec 11, 2012 - 5:05PM

    ”Thirdly, what this session showed was that young Pakistanis are primarily concerned about their own well-being and advancement — not some grand pious notions. Today, a typical young Pakistani would rather take a good job in India than maintain a belligerent attitude towards the country.”

    The question that arises is who this ‘typical young Pakistani ‘ is ?

    Are the thousands of people who regularly participate in anti-US rallies not ‘typical young Pakistanis ‘ ?
    Are those who celebrated Mumtaz Qadiri not ‘typical young Pakistanis’ ?
    Are those insurgents who regularly get killed in J&K not ‘typical young Pakistanis ‘ ?
    Are the TTP cadre not ‘typical young Pakistanis ‘ ?

    The fact is that the author’s explanation is simplistic. What I understand from his ‘typical young Pakistani ‘ comment is that he is taking a small section of youth who are not interested in politics as representative of Pakistani youth .What he forgets is that such sections are present in all countries .For example ,a typical urban youth from Mumbai or Delhi doesn’t know his history ,not is he interested .

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  • Dec 11, 2012 - 5:13PM

    very well written.. we need to look in to our development first.. what we got from Kashmir in the last 60 years??? hatred ? we have to think about kashmiris.. let them decide their own future.. my vote would be for an independent kashmir .. if its possible,.otherwise.. i am happy with my pakistan. lets make harmony , peace and co operation with india and other neighbour countries.. this is time of Globalisation

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  • FactCheck
    Dec 11, 2012 - 5:18PM

    @kashmirian:

    You are thinking, who would pay for my palatial lazy life in the future?

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  • MSS
    Dec 11, 2012 - 5:32PM

    Nobody in the world knows a solution to Kashmir issue other than territorial status quo. Various governments in Pakistan have accepted the UNO resolutions are no longer relevant. The Indian Parliament currently is not in a position to shift from its “Atoot ang” stance because of the numbers involved. Pakistan’s survival certainly does NOT depend on Kashmir. India has always allowed Pakistan’s fare share of water from its rivers. In India this is a non-issue. So, some time in the future, India and Pakistan will have to have serious talks and collectively decide that ‘there is no issue here to solve’ and agree that LOC is the the international border. Pakistan will keep the land it has, China will not have to vacate any areas ceded to it by Pakistan and everybody wins. Everybody except those who are bent on calling a buffalo a white cow, will understand. Both people can enjoy peace, harmony and prosperity together.

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 11, 2012 - 5:41PM

    Dear Mr Bangash

    If more Pakistanis begin to think like you, we in India would have to worry about having a brotherly economic and cultural competitor in our North West I hope that day comes soon. The progress will be difficult. Pakistan appears to have been hijacked by a vocal and fanatical Kashmiri lobby that will not want to give up. It will sacrifice everything in Pakistan for its own political and religiously bigoted purposes.

    I hope Pakistan wins this internal war of hearts and minds. That is all it is. Without it there would be no Taliban, no TTP – dictating to Pakistani people who should be allowed to live, and how.

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  • ahmed41
    Dec 11, 2012 - 5:47PM

    As one Indian leader has said : We can not change the boundaries between the 2 halves of Kashmir, but frontiers can be made irrelevant.

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 11, 2012 - 5:50PM

    Kashmirian

    Many rivers run through many countries.

    It is time you allowed Pakistanis to lead their own lives. Have you kashmiri fanatics not destroyed Pakistani society enough already for the incidental ‘crime’ of having the same religion as you? Is an eternal parasite really a brother?

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  • Milestogo
    Dec 11, 2012 - 5:54PM

    Kashmir jihad is far from over. The biggest jihadi attack happened in the recent past.

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  • Dec 11, 2012 - 5:56PM

    Author is one of the fans of katrina kaif who like other most paki youth is subdued by indian cinema-raid on pakistan…i too dont like to miss any indian movies but on the ground when it comes to kashmir then i am ready to sacrifice and where author metions dullness of difa-e-pakistan on its kashmir stance,there he misses the facts wich you may call underground realities.

    Hafiz saeed is vivid culprit of mumbai attacks but he enjoys full protocolistic life in pakistan and his campaign for kashmir is what he alongwith 90 percent of pakis consider their life on a single agenda “kashmir banega pakistan”

    And as for me i totally support an atomic attack on mumbai for the deserve it being the most brutal nation and war-criminal,yes i like peace but what i preferably like is kashmir and i hope this will be ours oneday.Recommend

  • Another North Indian
    Dec 11, 2012 - 6:23PM

    Saeed Swabian

    Katrina Kaif is a nice lady. Don’t bomb her and don’t bomb Pakistani cities so you can have Kashmir – which you will never have in any case. Stop hijacking Pakistan’s future. Take up some productive work, and help everyone live better lives.

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  • Umair
    Dec 11, 2012 - 6:25PM

    The writer is respected person, but he fails to highlight the real facts, why Kashmir issue is fading from a vital interest to a secondary interest or may be just another issue from millions, which Pakistan is battling with.
    Lets be a realist, this generation of Pakistan is growing in the shade of more acute problems in the society. Their growth has compelled them to think about their won survival, as a whole, to save this polarized and divided society. How eleven years of war on terror and bad policies have brought Pakistan on the verge of collapse? How bad inherited and sustained bad governance have truncated the country. How individualistic politics, growing corruption, scuffle among institutions and stagnated economy have shuffled our priorities. Its not that Pakistan has forgotten the Kashmir, its because, we are so handicapped in other matters which looks worse then Kashmir and ironically we have not been able to ponder over them.
    Lets talk some rationality, states act and preserve their national vital interests. Kashmir is Pakistan’s vital interest. The water we get from Kashmir, is enough rationale to fight for it. If we are so noble and idealistic, we could discuss that they are brothers, they are Muslims and lot other slogans. Agriculture, which provides a substantial part of our economy, is hostage and on mercy of India. Lets say, we could live with this problem as it is now, but how? We have not been able to build a single dad after “Tarbala Dam”. If we continue on same course, our country will turn into desert. Because it were to negotiations and solving the issue bilaterally, we would have solve the problem by now, but our adversary is not very noble. With the growing influence and power of India and with rapidly declining power and influence of Pakistan, we have widened the gulf, which is not soon likely to bridge.
    We cannot forget Kashmir because of our own interests, but first we have to look inside our collars and ask, Have not we brought this state on death row? instead of strengthening the country, raising the cause and gathering more diplomatic support, we have given birth to more grave issues. The problem lies in the answer of writer, that youth have forgotten the Kashmir. Its because the youth sees no future for itself. They see traps knitted around their futures and growing mounting problems each day.
    I think the leaders of our nation have to think seriously about lot of things, including Kashmir. Otherwise, it would be hard to keep the current borders, in future. If we want to solve the Kashmir issue, we cannot sit and talk from a position of vulnerability and weakness. We have to strengthen ourselves at home and give give honest and due share to every single matter, including he future of our generations and Kashmir.

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  • Ahmad
    Dec 11, 2012 - 6:31PM

    gdgdgd

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 11, 2012 - 7:11PM

    Umair

    If your aim is to talk rationality, then don’t fall for commonly-accepted garden-variety fanaticism. That you get water from Kashmir is no reason to ‘fight for it’. Look around you. Many countries get water from rivers that flow through other countries. These countries do not behave like Pakistan.

    ‘Fighting for’ Muslims is not noble and idealistic. It is absolutely bigoted and obscene because it means ‘fighting against non-Muslims’. Fight instead for reason and rationality. If you have to absolutely fight, fight for Pakistan.

    That is the only way to ‘strengthen’ Pakistan at home and give your youth some future. You cannot build a modern society if you continue to nurture backward, fanatical, and violent thoughts. And you definitely cannot do so if your thoughts bring you in conflict with others who may be stronger than you.

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  • singh rp
    Dec 11, 2012 - 7:29PM

    Kashmir is forgotten by us Pak is foolish

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  • Maula Jut
    Dec 11, 2012 - 8:01PM

    The author has presented India’s case better than the Indians themselves. What should be his reward? A job in India? Dream on. You will be stuck in no man’s land, Mister. That is why it is wise to think first.

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  • Singh
    Dec 11, 2012 - 8:07PM

    kashmir has caused more trouble to pakistan citizen more to indians .. here in iIITS samsung hiring a guy with package of 1.6 crores am talking in terms of pakistani rupee.. my comment should sound bizaare but i think the normal pakistan youth life of luxury , science , innovation rather than chanting kashmir .. serioulsy paksitanis are u kidding me !!!

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  • Educatted
    Dec 11, 2012 - 8:46PM

    @Salman: How do you know abt Kashmiris and their lifestyle. Have you been to Kashmir?

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  • 1984
    Dec 11, 2012 - 8:50PM

    @Saeed swabian:
    Wait a minute

    First you say about sacrificing ur life for Kashmir

    Then u tell that Hafiz Saeed is a criminal….

    Then u want to launch a nuclear strike on Mumbai

    Then u say u support Peace….

    I may not be a doctor,but I think its better u admit yourself in a psychiartic ward to treat urself for “Bipolar Disorder”….I think this is just initial stage due to imbalance in chemicals…it can be cured by taking medicine…..

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  • Raza Khan
    Dec 11, 2012 - 8:54PM

    Please do not remind me of Kashmir, it brings back nightmares!

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  • thor
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:49PM

    @Raza Khan:
    Yah it used to be a terrible place with terrorists & jihadist vying for innocent people blood.

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  • Pacifica
    Dec 11, 2012 - 10:49PM

    @Saeed swabian:

    “… as for me i totally support an atomic attack on mumbai”

    How can you call for a nuclear strike so casually? Do you even understand what the result would be? Not only would Mumbai be devastated, the radioactive fallout would probably affect Pakistan, Iran, and much of the Gulf. Not to mention that matters would quickly escalate into a mutual exchange of nuclear strikes between India and Pakistan that would cause destruction pretty much all over the world in terms of fallout, contamination, and a nuclear winter.

    Nuclear weapons are for deterrence only. No sane person can contemplate actually using them.

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  • Enlightened
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:05PM

    The comments posted by Pakistanis on this forum even endorse the author’s observation on Kashmir. An average Pakistani who is facing innumerable problems in Pakistan today, Kashmir issue figures quite low on his/her list of priorities. However for militant organisations, religious and political parties, raising of Kashmir issue is a matter of their bread and butter and political survival respectively. In the last assembly elections in Kashmir, 65 percent people caste their vote despite ban put by APHC indicates the mindset of average Kashmiris that they too are disinterested in separatists ideology. Kashmir problem at best should be kept in the back burner and Pakistan should necessarily focus on its failing economy and grave internal situation to bring back prosperity and peace to its people.

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  • Raja Islam
    Dec 12, 2012 - 2:57AM

    @jahandad:
    What about the robberies and rapes committed by the tribal army that invaded Kashmir? As a Pakistani I am worried that the government has lost its writ over what is Pakistan and is unable to provide security to its nationals what to say of Kashmir that I have only heard of and never seen.

    We should get out of this Kashmir hamara hai mind set and focus on fixing our own problems. The possibility of a South Asian Union on the basis of the European Union should also not be ruled out.

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  • Dr V. C. Bhutani
    Dec 12, 2012 - 3:19AM

    This paper has the merit of being close to common sense, which in countries like India and Pakistan is a rare commodity. Mr Bangash has rendered a valuable service to the people of Pakistan by urging some of the basic facts of the situation. In fact there is very little in the essay with which I would disagree.
    It has been my view for some time that Pakistan had a one-point foreign policy which was designed to enable Pakistan to grab Kashmir from India by any means fair or foul. Some great leaders of Pakistan in the past used every kind of methods, tactics, and artifice to try to advance this objective by resort to war, encouraging insurrections in India, infiltration of terrorists, and finally full throated use of terror as the principal tool of Pakistan’s foreign policy to advance the same objective.
    Unfortunately, Pakistan forgot that the primary function of a government is governance which should ensure that the people entrusted to its care have a decent life and means of leading a decent life. Successive Pakistan governments did everything except attending to the basic function for which they were elected. One such effort led to the massive mistreatment of the people of East Bengal, leading to the secession of the eastern wing, with a helping hand from India.
    There is hardly any doubt that continued effort to grab Kashmir shall be attended by similar further results, which may not be in Pakistan’s interests. Pakistan cannot hope to get Kashmir by any means that it can devise, least of all by war.
    Terror itself has brought Pakistan universal disapprobation: it has no friends in the world today except the time-honoured China, whose interest may be of a very different kind. The world does not live in great admiration of Pakistan.
    Mr Bangash has come to viable conclusions, with which I heartily agree.
    V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 12 Dec 2012, 0348 IST

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  • K B Kale
    Dec 12, 2012 - 3:58AM

    Hats off to the courage of the author Yaqub Khan for writing such an article! The Kashmir issue is being kept alive only by Pakistani Armed Forces lest the very ‘raison d’etre’ of it doesn’t vanish & they can continue enjoying good things their present Military job offers them.

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  • Insaan
    Dec 12, 2012 - 6:55AM

    @Kashman: Kashmir is Pakistans brains. Peroiod.

    Are you implying Pakistan did not have a brain at the time of partition? Pakistan played Kargil too get half a brain?

    Pakistan has been playing a Kargil with Afghanistan for a long time now. Pakistan in a way is forcing Afghanistan to use non-State actors. to pay back.

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  • Javelin
    Dec 12, 2012 - 9:52AM

    @Saeed swabian:
    “And as for me i totally support an atomic attack on mumbai”

    This the most idiotic statement I have read in a long time. This is the fastest way to make Pakistan into a parking lot.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Dec 12, 2012 - 12:38PM

    @Raja Islam: ” … We should get out of this Kashmir hamara hai mind set and focus on fixing our own problems. The possibility of a South Asian Union on the basis of the European Union should also not be ruled out. … “

    I keep pointing out – the UNDERLYING basis of the European Union is their Christian faith. ( Why do you think Turkey is being kept out of the EU on one pretext or the other ? ).

    There is no such basis for a South Asian Union.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Dec 12, 2012 - 1:30PM

    @BlackJack:
    Dear Blackjack,
    You are right on the ball. As an example, a friend of mine was talking to his 45 year old son the other day, and they discussed WWII. The son asked his father, “what was WWII about and were the Germans and Japanese really fighting us”? With this and Kashmir in mind I think we have to move on. Kashmir is rapidly becoming becoming ancient history.

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  • sabi
    Dec 12, 2012 - 2:16PM

    @Arijit Sharma:
    Why do you think Turkey is being kept out of the EU on one pretext or the other ? ).
    Because Turkey has a bad record of religious freedom of expression.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Dec 12, 2012 - 2:43PM

    @sabi: ” … Because Turkey has a bad record of religious freedom of expression. … “

    And that is because the predominant religion in Turkey is ….. ?

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  • sabi
    Dec 12, 2012 - 3:37PM

    @Arijit Sharma:
    “And that is because the predominant religion in Turkey is ….. ? ”
    Ataturk!

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  • Cynical
    Dec 12, 2012 - 6:22PM

    @sabi

    @Arijit Sharma: “And that is because the predominant religion in Turkey is ….. ? ”
    Ataturk!

    Rarely so much has been said with so little. And well said too.

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  • ajaath
    Dec 12, 2012 - 7:21PM

    Excellent article. The writer touched the pulse of an ordinary pakistani. Being an indian living in Dubai, watching pakistani media & interacting with ordinary pakistanis including non educated ones like taxi drivers, I am sure that this is their opinion. The “Kashmir” ice frozen in the minds of pakistani by successive leaderships/army in Pakistan is slowly started melting. Today if you ask any Pakistani, their first preference is kickout US from their country not liberating Kashmir from India.

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  • gilgat khan
    Dec 12, 2012 - 8:58PM

    pakistan and and and gilgatRecommend

  • SM
    Dec 12, 2012 - 9:38PM

    We have just not only forgotten Kashmir but we have forgotten, more importantly, the raison d’etre for the creation of Pakistan.

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  • roadkashehzada
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:09PM

    @vasan:
    and it collapsed, lesson to learn my friend lesson to learn ;)

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  • Dec 12, 2012 - 11:56PM

    The Kashmir issue, according to former President Musharaf, was almost solved had there been no lawyers moment because the latter prevented Manmohan singh from visiting Pakistan in 2007. But we have no evidence of Musharaf sahb’s back channel diplomacy. vital goals and interests are shaped by psychological-sociological experiences of nations. Global war on terrorism has weakened the issue; Pakistan is internally weak as well; In international politics, there is no place for weak candidates. I agree with your arguments to some extent but I have my own argument as well: there is an agreed consensus among the political scholars that peace in south Asia could only be achieved through a solution on Kashmir. For me, Kashmir is a vital interest, but it is impossible to forge a solution through military or nuclear warfare. Therefore, it must be resolved through composite dialogue. And I disagree that Kashmir is no more an issue….. Pakistan has always given top priority to Kashmir issue whenever negotiations were held and India also understands that if it wants to ensure peace and stability it should have to solve the issue in future.

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  • Dec 13, 2012 - 12:02AM

    I denounce your self-proclaimed integration. Dont think that Pakistan is so weak that we could do nothing against India’s status quo. For India, we have all the necessary arrangements; had there been no such arrangements India had possibly attacked Pakistan after Kargil, parliament attacks and Mumbai.

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  • gp65
    Dec 13, 2012 - 12:58AM

    @Zeeshan: “Pakistan’s solidarity with Palestine and Kashmir are highly driven by religious ties.That emotional and religious ties escaped our liberals who could neither feel them nor experience them”
    So how come such solidarity was not felt when Tiger Niazi was raping and terrorizing the Bengalis with whom you also shared religious ties. What happens to the same concern in Syria where a dictator has killed more than 40,000 people in one year? What happens about your concern for Hazaras who also share these religious ties? What about the Fghans – why did you impose the cruel Afghan Taliban upon them in 1996?

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  • Sexton Blake
    Dec 13, 2012 - 5:11AM

    @gp65:
    Dear gp65,
    Nobody really knows how many people have died in Syria, or where the information came from. However, it is reasonably certain that most of the people have been killed by US/NATO backed terrorists, and not by President Assad who is using his military forces to defend Syria.. It is interesting that US media outlets have released the news, but I do not have any recollection of them releasing the death toll imposed on Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan by US forces. Further, I am still pondering how Kashmir is related to the Syrian problem.

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 13, 2012 - 6:18AM

    Sexton Blake

    gp65 appears to see Pakistan’s obsessions with Kashmii Muslims and with Palestinians as little more than Pakistan using the excuse of religious ties to play dirty politics at home and abroad.

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  • Bamiyaan wazir
    Dec 13, 2012 - 8:41AM

    we are talking about Kashmir for how many years, and even we don’t know that dwellers of Kashmir want to be a part of Pakistan. We are just talking about Kashmir without any logic, No outcome. we lost too much part of our economy on this issue. we could not keep in prosperous and Balochistan and Waziristan and we are talking about Kashmir. totally Joke.

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  • Surya
    Dec 13, 2012 - 10:02AM

    @Sexton Blake:
    Then how is it related to Palestine?? For Pakistan, Kashmir is all about Land and Water..period.all these religious crap are just an excuse..tht’s wht gp65 is trying to imply..

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  • Naqshab
    Dec 13, 2012 - 11:51AM

    A glimpse from the India, for the Author in particular:

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/478296/why-i-said-90-per-cent-of-indians-are-fools/

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  • Syed Ali Zia Jaffery
    Dec 14, 2012 - 9:47AM

    Peace is something that we all covet; however, I for one cannot eschew the past.History vouches for the evil alliance between Nehru and Mountbatten; attempts to mollify Sheikh Abdullah. Nehru’s reliance on the hawkish Generals (Atal and Kalwant) and the list goes on and on.The Indians poked their nose, in fact did everything to cause our suquester. WHY THE HELL DID INDIA ATTACK US ON 22ND NOVEMBER 1971? WHY DID THEY TRAIN THE REBELS? WHY? Let’s not go in the past now.

    As far as forgetting Kashmir is concerned, I can’t buy this thought.General Bikram plz disband or relocate Northern Command ( 14, 15 and 16 corps) from J&K; this will allow me to revisit my thoughts on this issue.

    I would love to have a debate.

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  • Syed Ali Zia Jaffery
    Dec 14, 2012 - 9:52AM

    The Indians are devious to say the least; they flay us for Gibralter, but consider their ridiculous OPERATION MAGHDOOT on NJ 9842 as a pre-emptive war. So-called scholars delve on India’s strategic restraint pre Cold Start, but I take it as a joke

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  • K B Kale
    Dec 16, 2012 - 11:54AM

    Whatever be the magic, but whenever one writes an article discussing “Kashmir” on both sides of the border between India & Pakistan, one gets maximum responses!
    I think both the countries are obsessed by Kashmir.
    Does Kashmir deserve so much obsession?
    NO

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  • Sandip
    Dec 17, 2012 - 12:45PM

    @Daud Malik: For all your said arrangements, could you please tell how much reserve of petroleum Pakistan carries that it can sustain itself in the event of a war? War is an expensive business my friend, no child’s play. A country looking for handouts to sustain its day to day expenses shouldn’t indulge in foolish adventures. They can prove mighty costly.

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  • Vijay Kaul
    Dec 17, 2012 - 8:55PM

    Sir,

    Kashmir is not a local aberration it is as global as is Palestine, Chechnya, or for that matter the rising number of festering sores in the name of the game called Jihad.

    Let’s make no mistake Kashmiris continue to be brainwashed and have landed themselves in a hot soup of jihadi imbroglio, after ethnically cleansing their co-kashmiris who did not convert over centuries into Islam.

    Regards,

    Vijay Kaul

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  • K B Kale
    Dec 17, 2012 - 11:39PM

    @Vijay Kaul:
    Very well said, Mr Kaul, yourself a Kashmiri, probably displaced from his own homeland by ethnical cleansed by fellow Kashmiris Indian government just stood by watching!
    What a pity!

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  • K B Kale
    Dec 20, 2012 - 3:27AM

    @Zeeshan:
    Please don’t get emotional!
    (1) Just see how many Pakistani artists are working in so-called Bollywood and enjoying prosperity. Also don’t forget that Indians support their talent though they are not Indians.

    (2) And, where do you get the idea of “improvement of the situation in Indian-Occupied Kashmir”? From Kashmiris or Indians?
    My dear friend, Kashmiris participated overwhelmingly trashing the “Boycott” calls by separatists leaders in most of the elections held in J&K voted to a level of 80% turn out. What does it tell you?
    (3) If Kashmiris are to be given an option of “Independence”, it must be given to every State in India and Pakistan from Kashmir to the North to Tamilnadu to the South & Balochistan to the West to Assam to the East! I am sure both India & Pakistan don’t want to test this option! After all Pakistan has not yet given “independence” to what it wrongly calls as “Azad” Kashmir!
    Mr Yaqooob Khan Bangash has done a yeoman’s service by writing this article and it is in Pakistan’s interest to read & study it dispassionately!

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  • rajput
    Dec 24, 2012 - 6:24PM

    @Zeeshan:
    Yahi attitude ne bangladesh create karwaya. You can also keep dreaming of conquering Kashmir but that will happen only when Pigs fly. Baloch aur TTP ko sambhaal lo fir khwaab dekhna. Suicide bombings sectarian violence target killings rok nahi sakte dusro ki zameen pe kabza karna hai.

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  • rajput
    Dec 24, 2012 - 6:37PM

    @Zeeshan:
    Palestine? Ur army n Zia ul Haq did what to palestinians in 1970 is well known google it. BTW ur Adnan Sami has decided to happily reside in India and even artists like Ali Zafar Atif Aslam Nusrat Sahab and Rahat fateh ali khan get work money and respect here. Kashmiris may want an independent nation but they certainly dont want to merge with Pakistan. Shias in kashmir recently took out rally against Pakistan shouting Pakistan Murdabad, Hindustan Zindabad which angered the Hurriyat cadre and lead to clashes. Face the facts boy, U r outgunned outnumbered and out of ur league. Besides valley where Hurriyat and JKLF puppets reside barely any1 cares abt Pakistan. What can pakistan give to Kashmiris? Suicide attacks LeJ Sipah e Sahaba Fanatic propaganda of wahabis. And leave Palestine aside, U need to placete Baloch, TTP threatening to destroy FATA & KPK worry abt urself

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  • Samshad Alam
    Jan 26, 2013 - 8:35PM

    @omar tak – the average Indian youngster is politically aware and educated. The social media and the press in India are not firewalled or gagged to protect fragile sentiments. So, the knowledge gained is bidirectional, giving him a chance to form his own opinion unlike the tilted stories your school textbooks and half baked media use to paint your youngsters with an anti india brush.

    @zeeshan – “…pak has never asked about hyderabad or junagadh…”
    This is a sovereignity issue. When our land is conquered and our kashmiri brothers are conditioned into a vitriolic spore of anti indianness, we rise. When our stars are patted down in America ,we play hardball. Why does your army hover about like a headless rooster when drones are fired at you or when they grab your pet terrorist from your living room?
    Where does your bravado go then? India, by ratio invests lesser its ammo than pak. Pak has no outlet to prove its might. So, spin a yarn about kashmir?

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