For peace between India and Pakistan

Published: February 15, 2011
The writer is a defence analyst and retired as air-vice marshal in the Pakistan Air Force

The writer is a defence analyst and retired as air-vice marshal in the Pakistan Air Force

One wonders if the weight of the India-Pakistan baggage ever touches the interlocutors when they meet, as in Thimphu. Both India and Pakistan remain embroiled in a confrontational engagement, even as the world around marches along, benefiting from an era of prolonged global peace. What bedevils world peace, other than Indo-Pak, in the new century is the non-state player and the archaic Israel-Palestine conflict. While the Palestine situation remains in a state of controlled peace, thankfully, the fight against the non-state actor may have some distance to go.

There are significant changes in the conflict dynamics of both India and Pakistan that must push both to review their stance towards each other. The centrality that drives the mindset on both sides is the enemy status that each side maintains of the other. Just as the Pakistani military remains India-centric, the Indian military, too, retains Pakistan as the prime threat. Any improvement of relations between the two must, therefore, begin and finish with eliminating all intervening factors that make these two nations inimical. That is a tall order; and that is why improvement will come only in increments. That is why it is necessary to plod on, bit by bit, if improvement is indeed intended. Thimphu, both one and two, have only been jittered starts, at best.

Begin with terrorism, and accept the fact that Pakistan may not have been too ingenious in employing some of its manifestations in pursuit of shaping an environment that links up Kashmir. Many Indians are quick to also point at Kargil and Mumbai. They are right on Kargil, but preconception denies them the reason to recognise that the heinous hand in Mumbai was meant to derail Pakistan from the war against terror. It will need an equally smart Indian to accept that Pakistan alone does not hold propriety over non-state actors. Sri Lanka continues to smarten from a thirty-year LTTE-imposed war, while the Samjhota blast is yet to unfurl all hidden facets of Indian culpability. Neither manipulator of the irregular war has benefited from such enactments. Conclusion: Give it up as a bad joke — it can also deliver dastardly consequences.

Kashmir, from 1989 onwards, was an attempt to bring it to the world focus as the root cause of why India and Pakistan were still struggling in their relationship. It failed as a ploy; that is why someone needed to do Kargil, which was farcical. That, however, does not change the status of Kashmir. Minus Pakistan, Kashmir, even today, remains a living nightmare for India. It received a none-too-helpful buoyancy post-Mumbai, for entrenched positions re-emerged as India has tried to expropriate maximum political benefit of a toxic situation. It is time to get back to the drawing boards and give peace a chance. The Thimphu spirit just might be it.

Quite clearly, a lot has happened via the backchannel and the composite dialogue. Queer issues of ownership or nomenclature must not be allowed to detract from the gains made. If India wishes for the backchannel to revive, Pakistan must concur. That remains the only sensible thing to do. Plus, Kashmir is no more a Pakistan-India territorial issue, it has a very large human aspect to it, with tens of thousands Kashmiri lives lost. India wishes to link the issue of Siachen to Kashmir, extending the quixotic circus.

Before Thimphu, the Indian foreign secretary suggested progress on people-to-people contact, Sir Creek and opportunities of trade. I would say, take it.

Talks are good. Sustain those by making them “uninterrupted and uninterruptible”, in the words of Mani Shankar Iyer. Listen to the wise man.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (45)

  • Jason
    Feb 16, 2011 - 12:10AM

    The author has taken a lot of liberty with truth. Pakistan is not India’s primary threat. India is about 7-12 times its size depending on the criteria you use. It is more like a nuisance or irritant. If there was any threat it might have been China. However, given that India and China are of comparable size, have coexisted for millennia without any major conflict and both do not have any imperialistic aspirations, that threat is almost nonexistent.

    Pakistan may have a lot of issues of its interest with India, but India has no issues other than the recovery of POK. No Indian government has any mandate to do anything other than that. Since Pakistan will object to that and the “value” of POK is not worth going to war, India has no interest to do anything other maintaining status quo. If at all, a later government may use water supply as a means to negotiate recovery of POK.Recommend

  • Raja
    Feb 16, 2011 - 12:54AM

    Lies and more lies…
    Delsions and more fantastic delusions…

    and this man goes for a “strategic analyst” for pakistan.
    Then you wonder why pakistan is where it is today…

    Why did LTTE kill Rajiv Gandhi?
    Because Indian army went in and destroyed, DEMOLISHED the terrorist organization called LTTE.

    Lashkar-E-Taibe is the unofficial jihadi terrorist wing of Pakistan army. Chaudhry
    would still like to peddle the fanatasitc lie they are some sort of autonomous
    entitty. During Kargil war LeT cadre worked together with Northern Light Infantry
    men to defend mountain positions. Iftaar party hosted by LeT is attended by
    Pakistani generals.

    Icing on the cake (most hilarious of all) is the desparate lie India is bogged
    down by Pakistan or by kashmir “nightmare”..

    Keep it up…keep entertaining us..Recommend

  • shahzad
    Feb 16, 2011 - 1:05AM

    Lest other Indians too take the bite of what Jason suggests. Read the article again. It says the Indian military retains Pakistan as its primary threat, not India considers Pakistan a threat – God forbid.

    At a recent seminar when a Chinese delegate said that China does not consider India a threat, Indian delegates considered it a slight and almost pushed China to accede to India being a threat. Sometime you need such helpings for the good of your self.

    Back to the threat business. This is a methodology function. When you begin to plan for war you begin with quantifying threat and its likely manner of application. Based on which you draw your response. With two-thirds of the Indian army deployed on its western border and three quarters of the air force poised in the same direction, there is little to suggest anything else.

    So dont get bogged down with the threat issue. Look at the broader aspect of what needs to be done for peace. That remains the crux of this article. Not to seek some additional support for Pakistan’s ego – God forbid.Recommend

  • John
    Feb 16, 2011 - 1:06AM

    India PM M.M. Singh indirectly indicated repeatedly that ” there is no redrawing of borders”. Hint in that is that it may be acceptable for India with LOC being the final border give or take with few adjustments to redraw a natural boundary. If Pak accepts it then it is all set to go. Pakistan for it’s name sake gets a piece of Kashmir. With Kashmir state’s credit and economy now under Reserve Bank of India management there is nothing the Pak can do except to accept the reality of situation and the world is with India on this.

    India’s national identity and it’s association with Kashmir goes way back and whoever neglects this association is denying the Mt. Sinai with Israel identity or Mecca with Islamic identity.

    As always whether we like it or not national interests is linked with the major religious philosophy of the land however irrational it may be sound to others.

    It is time the leaders in Pak take note of this and take the hint from Singh’s statement and move on to the big picture as to water resources where there is considerable cooperation exists even when both sides were at war.

    Otherwise India will continue to live with the irritation and Pak will be wasting it’s energy on this rather than it’s own problem of integration of NWFP and Baloch. The people who are most affected are naturally Kashmiris, although now their economy is under direct control of RBI and investments are taking shape.

    For Kashmiris, they are with all the privileges as much as they can expect given the circumstances and they have to look beyond as any land lock province has for it’s economy, social developments. 1947 letter of accession is clear and so is the subsequent 1954 passage of union with India bill by the Kashmir assembly.

    This is the reality. Not sure how the subsequent gov in India will look at Singh’s opinion on this.

    All the UN resolutions at the time of war have no teeth in them now given the scale of economy on both sides and the world has changed.

    Neither China nor US is interested in Pak views on Kashmir if one reads all the reports and follow the diplomatic engagements between US, China, and India.

    Pak has three options: Continue the status quo, support proxy incursions in Kashmir valley, or take LOC as final border and move on.

    My reading on this matter is that both Pak and India are working on the LOC as final border.

    Hope it pans out for all concerned. Anything else is only a pipe dream from both sides.Recommend

  • bhutjolokia
    Feb 16, 2011 - 1:33AM

    “The writer is a defence analyst and retired as air-vice marshal in the Pakistan Air Force”.Recommend

    Feb 16, 2011 - 1:52AM

    Mr. Shahzad Chaudhry

    I am reading your article for quite some time, Never respond to your article before, As i didnt seem to agreed with you on majority of your Wavelength. India Prescribe Major part of your thinking and writing, may be beacuse of your army background.

    Let me tell you one thing here ,Get out of your mentality to see everything VIS A VIS India.let me pointout some remarks from a perspective.

    1) Both India and Pakistan remain embroiled in a confrontational engagement

    Only Pakistan Remain embroiled in conforntation /Hate Mode. NOT INDIA. India move ahead with its economic progress ,Today world recognize its status as a economic powerhouse, Where in one month 5 headof Superpower visited and ask for more business, None visited pakistan. say lot more of equality here.

    2)The centrality that drives the mindset on both sides is the enemy status that each side maintains of the other.

    Do Not assume about India ,India has lot more to achieve than animosity towards Pakistan.It is pakistans problem ,where your Leader and Army has tunnel vision.

    3)Pakistani military remains India-centric, the Indian military, too

    Again Same mistake , Get out of your Tunnel Vision, India has bigger problem than Paksitan. Yes it is headache to have problamatic pakistan on border,But Indian army is well defined and more articulate than you think.

    4)Samjhota blast is yet to unfurl all hidden facets of Indian culpability

    India investigated whole episode ,and Indian will make sure ,Justic will be done,
    Actually Indian Investigator are quite capable of it.

    5) that is why someone needed to do Kargil,

    This shows your Dubious thinking ,WAR IS NEEDED ? How you justify WAR.Well it is expected from you ,So no wonder here

    6) Kashmir, even today, remains a living nightmare for India

    NO Nightmare for India. But for Kashmir ,you lost HALF OF YOUR COUNTRY ,In Miserable state right now ,So let other judge ,Whose NIGHTMARE it is?

    7)Kashmir is no more a Pakistan-India territorial issue

    Kashmir is Integral part of India and will Remain as part of India ,We can discuss POK as occupied territorial issue.

    8)in the words of Mani Shankar Iyer. Listen to the wise man.

    India has Many Mani Shankar ,Unfortunately Pakistan has NO Mani Shankar ,Recommend

  • Mahajan
    Feb 16, 2011 - 3:40AM

    One thing has to be said about Pakistan’s Kashmir obssession. In all the talk about the civil rights of the Kashmiris, Pakistan overlooks the simple fact the Muslim insurgents decimated and evicted thousands of non-muslim minorities in the state. Given this record, and unless the attitude of Pakistanis towards minorities in Pakistan proper changes, Kashmir is better off staying with India. The world must recognise this important issue, even if Pakistan does not.Recommend

  • pl/sql
    Feb 16, 2011 - 4:51AM

    This notion that Pakistan is the prime threat of India is nothing more than a case of grandiose delusion on the part of Pakistanis.

    China is India’s main threat.Recommend

  • American
    Feb 16, 2011 - 7:52AM

    The author’s attempts at equating terrorism in Pakistan with that in India and Sri Lanka is not only hilarious, it is downright crooked.
    There is no instance of Indian or Sri Lankan terrorists coming and killing any one outside their countries in past 10 years, at least. And certainly no Indian or Sri Lankan came and killed any one in Pakistan in last 50 years.
    But Pakistani terrorists are out and killing civilians from India to UK.
    Just about every country in the world is wary of terrorist plots and terrorists emanating from Pakistan.
    If you are helpless and incapable of dealing with your terrorists, admit it, and seek help.
    Hiding behind equating with India and Sri Lanka, is laughable.Recommend

  • samar
    Feb 16, 2011 - 8:14AM

    1) indian military is not pakistan centric as it does not play any role in politics like the pakistani military.
    2) pakistan will benefit more if relations with india improve, india could manage well just by ensuring status quo.
    3) i agree terrorism is everywhere but pakistan is reluctant to fight it wholeheartedly as lankans did and won and indians are working hard to defeat it.
    4) i agree india should have shown some maturity after mumbai attacks. but such things happen and both countries should forget it and move on.Recommend

  • M J Akbar
    Feb 16, 2011 - 10:12AM

    wow…author has admitted that “Kashmir is no more a Pakistan-India territorial issue”.Recommend

  • Shahzada Saleem
    Feb 16, 2011 - 11:07AM

    “Listen to the wise man” is the least option left with India. Gone are the days when Azad Kashmir was the part of India. Go and ask a single Kashmiri, whether he wants to join India where incident of Gujrat has clearly exposed secular Indian face, he would rather prefer to join Rawanda not India. When someone says wise things, make your habit to respond wisely. Recommend

  • ani
    Feb 16, 2011 - 11:14AM

    Good points. Those who fly fighter jets are not schooled in the proper discourse of how nations conduct themselves in a civilized manner. Perhaps being too long in a military institution whose ethos is revenge and suvbversion of facts and all things civilized, the mind goes numb. Kargil and Mumbai: it not the sheer audacity of the outrage nor the mayhem that has the India and the world concerned. It is how deep the state is involved in terror and how dangeously warped its thinking is and how much in denial its leaders are that has everyone worried. Recommend

  • Feb 16, 2011 - 12:48PM

    Actually Pakistani agencies are a threat. Bigger than China. For the simple reason that the latter has economics to take care of. In the case of the Pakistani agencies (cannot include people because they are helpless and sometimes under the delusion that the deep state is working for their good) – the Pakistani agencies have posed real threats to India. From the Pathans sent in 1948 and operation Gibralter in 1965 to the unprovoked firing on our western borders in 1971 (that started the war) to 1989 infiltrations, to terrorist camps, to allegedly sheltering Dawood Ibrahim (who allegedly killed 200 people in Mumbai on a single day) to Kargil, to the attacks in Afghanistan to the parliament attacks to the Mumbai train blasts and finally to the crowning glory – the mumbai attacks where finally India has the smoking gun.

    Do not underestimate the Pakistani agencies and their unending stamina to carry on this bloody campaign – they are dangerous because they are not accountable to the Pakistani people. Recommend

  • Sid
    Feb 16, 2011 - 8:23PM

    @shahzad — “With two-thirds of the Indian army deployed on its western border and three quarters of the air force poised in the same direction, there is little to suggest anything else.”

    Could you please give a credible source of your claim. It is possible that many army bases may be situated in Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat because the terrain is conducive to such.Recommend

  • Mojo
    Feb 16, 2011 - 9:27PM

    @Shahzada Saleem:
    Exactly, a Kashmiri would rather join Rwanda than join the failed state of Pakistan.Recommend

  • palu
    Feb 16, 2011 - 11:31PM

    Wonder why do Indians jump on any mention of India. They are the happiest if Pakistani writers give cause to Paki-bashing but cannot withstand any criticism even if implied as a function of the Indian state. It is amazing how many Johns, James,and Jasons emerge at the drop of a hint. Isn’t surprising at all. The intelligence and media world is these days run as commercial enterprise. Outsourcing, down-loading and renting people in need of money is the way to go. Till their masters tell them, they ain’t going no where. Why the Tribune? Because it offers a platform to such characters who have been tasked vilification, rather than offer constructive debate. Recommend

  • Manish
    Feb 17, 2011 - 1:03AM

    While the author provides the insight from a Pakistani prespective, it is critical to note some recent changes on the Indian socio-intellactual scene, which will be critical in the Indo Pak relations. First, Pakistan’s strangulation of moderate forces within Pakistan, has alienated a lot of Muslim support from within India. Indian moderate muslim does not want to be seen even talking about pakistan. This is a huge shift from late 80s. Second is economy. One USD is worth 45 INR, need I say more. With India being seen a huge economic force , the western world support will be with India which is democratic and progressive compared to Pakistan which is virtually bankrupt and increasingly fundamentalist, in case of a war. Third, Kashmir has three borders . China , India and Pakistan, all loaded with nukes upto their teeth and Zero political will to start a war. No one will . Fourth, Pakistan is yet to wake up from the fact that It is gone past its “use by” or “best before” date for US. Fifth. The Indian army is more focussed on adapting cutting edge technology, building own ammunation (tejas is an example) and of course building 19 hole golf courses. Pakistani army unfortunately has huge fissures which are ethnic in nature. When was the last time you guys has a Punjabi chief of army stafff ……and oh By the way, There are poeple within Pakistani who are saying the same things . Hassan Nisar on saturday nights :)Recommend

  • rehman
    Feb 17, 2011 - 1:39AM

    china doesnt even consider india a country par comparison.india has tried real hard to show case itself as a threat to gain importance that wah ji we are being compared to the great china!ask any chinese and the only image they have of india is its filth and nothing else!!!india has a different destiny i agree but it would have to de link pakistan from it!!we are stuck with india beacuse of kashimir and because of this reason we have not become a developed country as of now or we would have. history is evident of the fact that pakistan has grown more than india throughout the 50 yr history!!!Recommend

  • Mahajan
    Feb 17, 2011 - 7:25AM

    @Shahzada Saleem:

    The same could be said of Baluchistan. Baluchis want no bar of Pakistan, have you forgotten they are also muslims like you? Yet they are at war with you. In the the case of Kashmir, history is in favour of India. The Maharaja Hari Singh sceded the territory to India, whereas Pakistan, annexed Baluchistan. It is Pakistan’s Achilles heel, it will break away, and Pakistan will be tumbling down like a house of cards. Most of the world believes that Pakistan is a failed state. So what has Pakistan to offer to Kashmir?Recommend

  • Anoop
    Feb 17, 2011 - 7:49AM


    “Sri Lanka continues to smarten from a thirty-year LTTE-imposed war, ”

    –> It is regrettable that you are reporting only one part of the story and using it as an excuse to effectively brush Terrorism emanating from Pakistan under the carpet or to justify it with a “everyone does it” excuse.

    India did support LTTE but also realized its mistake and sent in Soldiers after it, which angered the LTTE so much that they killed India’s PM Rajiv Gandhi. Lesson learnt. After that incident the Indian state has not supported any non-state actor.

    ‘ Samjhota blast is yet to unfurl all hidden facets of Indian culpability. ”

    –> The reason why you cannot compare Mumbai attacks to Samjhota blasts is that Samjhota Blasts were done by actors who have had no past support from the State and the moment their involvement was realized their back was broken resulting in Hindutva-Terror free 2010! On the other hand Mumbai was carried out by a group which in the past has been created, supported financially, as well as logistically by the Pakistani state, and whose leaders still enjoy the State’s protection(Witness the way Pakistan tried to block UN declaring JuD and Hafiz Saeed as Terrorists).Recommend

  • Anoop
    Feb 17, 2011 - 7:53AM

    Regarding Kashmir, it would be unintelligent of you to talk in a manner which suggests that Pakistan can find an acceptable solution regarding Kashmir.

    No major power in the History of the World, with a vibrant Economy and decent Military power has voluntarily given away ,willingly or otherwise, any part of the Terrirtory under its control to a seemingly lesser power, like Pakistan is to India. History tells us that the “solution” that Paksitan hopes to achieve will can never happen.Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Feb 17, 2011 - 10:02AM

    @ Shahzad Sahib:

    Sir, Indian military is quite professional and just obey the legitimate orders of GOI. For them nobody on this earth is a threat till last drop of blood in their body. For people of India, and not the Indian military, its western neighborhood is only a nuisance. This is not at all a threat.

    When neighborhood turns out to be an evil, it becomes duty of every nation to protects its citizenry and property. The fencing and putting army at borders by India is to contain the wild animals in jungle raj and not to allow them disturb the civilized society. This is just to curtail nefarious activities of few, check future uncalled for interference, terror acts or the incidences like Kargil or 26/11.

    As to Samjhota Blasts, to my opinion, Pakistan may issue advisory for its citizens while visiting India. There is no use of crying foul on such incidences in visiting country. In internatioanal relations Pakistan have no locus standi in asking other country for sharing suc information. The civilized society of India is painstakingly trying to find out and punish real culprits of Samjhota Blast of its own. On the other hand culprits of 26/11 are heinous international criminals on world stage. They are not at all ‘actors’. They are hard core criminals. May they be ‘aided, abated by state or just non-state criminals’.

    When you talk about human aspect of Kashmir issue, we would also like to have your views on partition of Bengal, Punjab, Sindh 1947. Was that ethnic division does not have a human aspect? If that be so, what is so big or so special about Kashmir?

    On threat perception of India, I quote your saying in comment column:

    When you begin to plan for war

    Does it not smacking a particular aggressive mindset across the border? Isn’t it a fact that Pak establishment is applying only this methodological function to quantify threat perception with its each aggression against India. To my observance, such manifestations are linked only to aggressive intents. India negated such intentions during Kargil operation, when its forces did not cross the LOC. Forget about the treat perception in aggression; I suppose enough SWOT analysis is being made in India even before peace initiatives or international discussions.Recommend

  • vasan
    Feb 17, 2011 - 10:28AM

    I dont understand the Pakistanis’ screaming from rooftop about Samjotha train blast. Why dont they realise
    1. It was a reaction to all the terrorism spawned by Pakistani in India
    2. This incident took place in INdia and India is investigating it inspite of all its difficulties in obtaining clues. They have finally zeroed in on the culprits. This happened without any international pressure. THIS INCIDENT IS BY INDIANS IN INDIA THOUGH THE VICTIMS HAPPEN TO BE PAKISTANIS.
    3. The mumbai incident happened in INdia by Pakistani terrorists who were state/non state actors. The Pakistani govt accepted that the attack was carried out by Pakistanis. Since the attack was in India, we are interested in getting to the bottom of it and punishing the culprits.Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Feb 17, 2011 - 12:22PM

    @ ET

    Sir, my comment related to this topic was not published by you, Well I duly respect the moderation done by ET but at the same time I want to know why my comment was not published.


  • Anoop
    Feb 17, 2011 - 12:42PM


    “Outsourcing, down-loading and renting people in need of money is the way to go. Till their masters tell them, they ain’t going no where.”

    –> Darn! I was working for those my Intelligence agency and I didnt even know! My Paychecks are pending.

    And, dude, with all the negative image Pakistan has created for itself not only all over the world, but also its allies, dont be surprised if Westerners come and visit Pakistani websites.

    Labelling them Indians will only expose your lack of ability to counter their arguments, which I see are very reasonable. Also, there are millions of Christians in India, who can also come and visit. Unlike Pakistan, in India, the Minorities are the biggest supporters of the Idea of India. Example: Our Prime Minister.Recommend

  • Hassan Khan
    Feb 17, 2011 - 12:49PM

    Your assesrtion that India is not Pakistan centric is wrong. India is as much Pakistan centric as much Pakistan is. Even today, 3/4th of Indian Military is deployed along border with Pakistan. From matters in ICC to european union, India always opposes Pakistan.And this hatred for Pakistan is not just the mindset of Indian establishment. I live in California, US. We have several indian and pakistani resturants here. Almost all Pakistani resturants will display on thier boards ” Pakistani/Inidan Food”. I have yet to see a single Indian resturant which will have same courtesy to Pakistan. The fact is that Inidan masses and establishment, except for a small minority are allergic of word Pakistan. They have not accepted the partition of India in 1947. It is true that Pakistani establishment made many mistakes in relations with India. But at the same time, india also failed to show the generosity as a bigger nation, it had to show. In 1963, Pakistan could have taken Kashmir by stabbing Inida in the back when india was on war with China, but we did not do that. Inidan authors and historians are quick to blame Pakistan for 1965 and Kargil but they have never praised Pakistan’s rsponsible role of agood neighbour in 1963. Similary, Indian media is quick to criticise us for insurgency in Kashmir but hardly mentions India role in 1971.Recommend

  • Hamid Kasur
    Feb 17, 2011 - 1:37PM

    No Power on Earh can prevent destructive war between India and Pakistan in very near future, that will restructure the Political Landscape of South Asia. Please don’t waste time on CBMs, get ready for the inevitable.Recommend

  • amoghavarsha.ii
    Feb 17, 2011 - 1:57PM

    Hypothetical analysis, In another 10-20years are so, China Might be one of the presumed enemies of Islamic Peoples of Pakistand like LeT, TTP etc., and they might do something similar to what they are doing to India.

    Does PaK security forces and people are prepared for the consequences?

    Do they think there present deeper than…..higher than friendship still be same and they will react same as India?

    Pak Should get its act straight with long term views, USA is very far to react to something if China which is next door does anything to pak?

    Atleast there are some people in india with roots in pak so some soft corner, do china have the same?
    Any country should be prepare itself for everything.Recommend

  • akash
    Feb 17, 2011 - 3:22PM

    Looking from outside we see lot of people from ISI and Military.. serving or retired as defence analyst.. or strategist in Pakistan which explains this kind of write up.. we in India also have them but they are less as compared to pakistan.. I thought our jasons.. james.. et al are pretty good in providing some counter points in debate
    the reasons I come(and many like me) to tribune( and thankfully it lets the debate flow) is to understand the mindset in pakistan.. esp after mumbai 26/11..why so hatred.. state/non state we dont care.. if non state then what is govt of pakistan doing.. and yes please do not compare samjhota wih mumbai.. because mark my words India will punish them.. its already underway.. and it will happen before anything happens on mumbai.. make no mistake.

    All observation by author whether it is about LTTE or Kashmir.. or Indian fringe elements are half baked and erroneous. Tired of hearing K word from Pakistan.. such hypocrisy.. and even their leaders..”we morally support Kashmir movement” what a joke.. first listen and support ordinary Pakistani then poke your nose into others affairs..Recommend

  • Manish
    Feb 17, 2011 - 4:08PM

    Let me also extend my argument on economy. Express tribune E paper’s ad content is almost Zero. Just a few ads of their own channel. Take any Indian newspaper and compare the ad revenue. Newspapers are independent. A free thriving economy is helping newspapers being independent. One just managed to put a Minister in jail. Freedom of media is a key differentiator. Lets look at Manufacturing, Hyundai has exported half a million cars in last 3 years from India while it shut shop in pakistan. Tatas bought over Jaguar Land Rover and Mahindras bought Sangyong, it is not a comparison anymore. How many Pakistani companies appear in Fortune . In the end, while our artists get oscars (Gulzar and AR Rehman) , pakistani artists apply for Indians Visas . One community that Pakistan was proud of was their Non Residents , now they even feel ashmaed of being categorised as Pakistanis , a lot of restaurants in UK changed their names to avoid being categorised as Pakistani restaurants. … ….An army or nukes or jihadis dont build a nation, its people do. Those who breed snakes for their enemies , get bitten by them , most times. Smell the coffee GuysRecommend

  • Vinayak
    Feb 17, 2011 - 4:40PM

    @Hassan Khan:
    In 1963, Pakistan could have taken Kashmir by stabbing Inida in the back when india was on war with China, but we did not do that.

    How cute isn’t it.

    Also, India could have nuked Pakistan, before Pakistan developed its nukes, but India did not do that. I am sure Pakistani authors and historians never appreciate this thing either!! Recommend

  • amlendu
    Feb 17, 2011 - 4:46PM

    @Hassan Khan:
    Just wanted to correct your misconception about Pakistani/Indian food written on Pakistani restaurants in California. It is not because of courtesy towards India that the owners of these establishments write such things on their boards. It is a simple marketing ploy. They know that even if it is Pakistani cuisine, it is known as Indian food to westerners and expat Indian communities are the biggest market for these restaurants so Indian/Pakistani food written on boards. Indian restaurant owners are convinced that marketing their food as Indian food only can bring them enough customers so they do not need to advertise their food as Indian/Pakistani. Another factor is that Pakistani cuisine and north Indian have a lot in common and when you call Pakistani food, Pakistani/Indian food then you are mostly right. But Indian food has a lot of cuisines which are not common to Pakistani food (like, south indian food, bengali food, marathi food and such), so writing Indian/Pakistani food will limit the appeal of that particular restaurant to people who are interested in north Indian/Mughlai food only and exclude people who are looking for other Indian cuisine.
    In short this is all about marketing and business strategy and please do not try to find an issue where none exists.Recommend

  • vasan
    Feb 17, 2011 - 5:07PM

    Hassan Khan, You are throughly confused my friend, Let us look at all points you have raised
    1. “3/4th Indian army is deployed on Pakistani borders” Why shouldnt we. We have faced Khalistan insurgency and Kashmir insurgency sponcered by Pakistan. It has attacked India in 1967 and recently in Kargil. Why shouldnt we keep the forces there where we have a huge threat perception. That is not from nepal or bangladesh. that does not mean we are pak centric. We have stationed our army there and get on with our other activities.
    2. “ICC to European union, India has opposed Pakistan”. If the issues affect us, naturally India will oppose. In opposing the concessions EU offered to Pak, it was not only India, but also bangladesh and Vietnam opposed. Are they also Pak centric. Objections in ICC are issue centric and not country centric
    3. If Pakistani restaurants put up bill boards offering “India/Pakistan food” and Indian restaurants dont put up “Pakistan food”, it is for commercial reasons. People want to make money by selling what is popular. You dont expect people to be magnanimous and become unpopular. Currently anything to do with Pakistan is unpopular everywhere. Do u also know that Indian cuisine is ranked 5th in the list of cuisines sought after by worldwide travelers, the other being Chinese, Thai, Italian etc. It is another matter that Pakistani and north Indian cuisine have lots of commonalities
    4. Indians are not allergic to Pakistanis. Look at the cheer given to the Pakistani teams in CWG. We are allergic to terrorism sponcered and enacted by state and non state actors of Pakistan. There are so many singers and artists from Pakistan who come and give programmes in north India which are very popular..
    5. Partition of India has been accepted and endorsed even by our BJP Prime minister Vajpayee. The current generation of people in most part of the country were not exposed to the violence of partition and hence they have accepted Pakistan as a separate country. Though we felt sad by Jinnah’s efforts to create Pakistan, we really should thank him now for he has saved us from many things.
    6. Thanking Pakistan for not attacking in 1963 is the stupidest thing I can think of. Nation states do not go to war to sort out differences. We did not think Pakistan would attack us in 1962 India did not attack China in 1962 and India did not attack Pakistan in 1965.It is other way around. If Pakistan has to be thanked, then we should thank Sri lanka, Bhutan,Burma etc. After all India was busy with China in 1962 . Should we thank China for not attacking us in 1965. What a crazy idea. You blame people for initiating wars but dont thank for not initiating it. That is the normal way of living .
    7. India’s role in 1971 Bangladesh liberation was to make sure the refugee flow from bangladesh is stopped. It also gave us a chance to play Pakistan’s game in their turf.

    You are confused, arent you.Recommend

  • vasan
    Feb 17, 2011 - 6:20PM

    In my earlier message, pint no 1 refers to 1965 war and not 1967; Typing mistake;sorryRecommend

  • himesh
    Feb 17, 2011 - 9:29PM

    I do not think you are competent to judge what China considers India. In fact, it doesn’t matter. If you look at history, China and India have been, alternately, the largest economies before colonialism and socialism destroyed them. As late as 1980, China’s economy was smaller than India’s and in 1990 they were equal. China’s control and command structure may have helped it get ahead in the short term but as history and current progress is evidence, we will certainly restore ourselves back to our prominence.

    We are not in a race with China though comparisons are made. We are very different people genetically, temperamentally and culturally. Our priorities and values and way of life are different. Our model of development are different. We value our individual freedom, which may have cost us the pace of development in the short term but not for too long. It is a trade off we are very comfortable with.

    @Hassan Khan:
    As far a cuisine is concerned, there is no such thing as “pakistani” cuisine since they are all evolved from Indian subcontinent. However, there are cuisine in India from the east, west and the south that are far beyond those practices in Pakistan. So I do not see how can an Indian restaurant have any other name.

    @Hamid Kasur:
    Certainly destructive for Pakistan; we all know how suicidal it is.Recommend

  • harkol
    Feb 17, 2011 - 9:44PM


    Pakistan alone does not hold propriety over non-state actors

    It is a useless argument. Everyone knows that there are extremists all over the place. The difference with Pakistan is that it supported terror as state policy and the whole world knows this.

    Samjhauta Express was act of extremists wanting to retaliate against the attacks from Pakistan groups. But, India has investigated and unearthed the involvement of these Indian criminals, hindu or muslim doesn’t matter in secular scheme of things.

    India didn’t do that on pressure, didn’t ask Pakistan ‘give us more proof’, and it certainly didn’t hesitate to get to the bottom to shake up a huge and strong organization like RSS. That’s what a secular and strong state should be made of. Everyone remotely connected with these blasts are being pursued.

    For Pakistan ‘non state actor’ is a convenient facade, that is meant as a plausible deniability for its rogue army financed private army like LeT. Till date Pakistan has taken no action on any individual within banned organizations, they just start off under a new name. World knows how long Pakistan has sheltered DI a drug peddling terrorist, and his family lives and marries in to the elite of Pakistan!!

    If Pakistan is sincere in resolving issues with India, it should show it by cleansing its stables and army being put to its place.

    Its romantic to say, we should keep talking because Mumbai was done by terrorists to break the talks. Terrorists will attack again and again every time we talk. Why should more people die to prove we can talk, when substantive concessions are not possible in this environment?

    I hope there is someday when we can have peace, but it can’t happen under barrel of the gun.Recommend

  • harkol
    Feb 17, 2011 - 9:47PM

    To put it simple terms – India wants ‘peace’, Pakistan wants ‘piece’. Incompatible aims for talks.Recommend

  • John
    Feb 17, 2011 - 11:15PM

    I am amazed how little people from Pak participate in this discussion compared to Raymond Davis or Blasphemy discussion.

    Neither the author of this article nor the discussion group making any sensible arguments.
    How come no one in Pak is discussing the letter of accession signed in 1947? Don’t they respect it as international treaty obligation of partition of India act which actually gave raise to Pakistan.

    There is something wrong in this. Pak authors always blame India for every thing including their fiasco in 1971. Ask Bangladesh they tell a different story.

    Sensible discussion should follow rational analysis of the ground situation rather than irrational ideology.

    One thing from the discussion thread is certain. Pak can clearly sense the feeling of Indians in this. And from the article the readers can sense how skewed the views are from Pak side.Recommend

  • amoghavarsha.ii
    Feb 18, 2011 - 4:11PM

    Pakistanis and Pakmilitary should think and answer one thing.
    Is Kashmir so IMPORTANT for survival of Pakistan? And Why?
    They have to seriously and without bias answer this question. Once You answer this and work for the answer, sincerely, we Indians are 100% sure that Pakistan will be a much better country than what it is now.

    For India, Kashmir is Just a matter of Principal. We were honoured by Kashimiri rulers by acceding to our union with special status. We wanted that committment to be honored by both sides ( kashmir and India ), so Kashmir is part of India today.
    Pakistan was at much better position to get kashmir at the time of Nehru, they just had to withdraw from POK and force India for pebliscite in Kashmir. But they misjudged.

    If there was NO CALL FOR HELP at that time by kashmiris, then history of kashmir, pakistan would have been very different.

    But for History of India would not have been very different than what it is now.

    If you see a Friend, you will get a Friend. If you see an adversary you get that.
    If you see a enemy you get an enemy only.Recommend

  • Veny
    Feb 20, 2011 - 7:44PM


    You forgot another wise women. Ms. Arundhati Roy.Recommend

  • Sajid Chaudhry
    Feb 21, 2011 - 6:34AM

    Again the same Indian mind set; narrow mindedness,unable to be generous and picking fault with others. Guys we, as Pakistanis, have a longway to go to build our nation.We have to educate our people, build our democracy and truly build our institutions. That is a tall order by any measure. We have been a victim of corrupt leadership just like our Indian friends and readers of these pages. We were also victim of foreign intrigue and you know what I am talking about.
    Indian friends let us forget the past. We didnot rule over youfor close to one thousand years,Kings and emperors did,they just shared the same religion as us.
    We do read these pages. Frankly some of the comments are outright untrue and not correct historically or factually.
    I am just going to name books by one author Ms Roy. Read them but I know you will not.
    You will not accept any thing that goes against your beliefs. If you were generous and accepting Pakistan would not have been created. But the Congress MIninteries of 1936 gave it away.
    Give Kashmiris their right to independence, Pakistanis will leave you alone. Help us deescalate the hostility between two nations. If you are prosper more power to you.We wish you well.Recommend

  • G.Din
    Mar 4, 2011 - 6:43PM

    @Sajid Chaudhry:
    “…Give Kashmiris their right to independence, Pakistanis will leave you alone….”
    If you are a Kashmiri, dream on. And why would Pakistan leave us alone, if we did? Are Pakistanis your “mamus”?
    If you are a Pakistani, to you too, dream on! Don’t leave us alone, PLEASE! You make life interesting and also keeps you busy driving Pakistan into the ground. We don’t want to miss that!Recommend

  • John
    Mar 4, 2011 - 9:00PM

    I am one of those John you are mentioning and I am not Indian. PAK and India are CASE studies for social and political scientists. What you are saying is silencing the thoughts and reasoning. For the world PAK is an international issue now, not the Kashmir. PAK would like to think other way around. Unfortunately that is not the reality at the UN.

    I see the same bias as yours whenever the PAK leadership speaks in International media abroad.

    The issue directly affects Indians unlike PAk. Would you blame them for that? Please ask how much the Kashmir issue affected PAK, positive or Negative?Recommend

  • chandran
    Mar 5, 2011 - 3:50PM

    i dont know whether kashmir with in india or not but
    pakisthan was part of india, is part of india and will be
    part of india historically culturally and no third party
    intervention in itRecommend

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