The psychoanalysis of Pakistan

Published: July 24, 2011
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If nations are like people, then what sort of person would Pakistan be? And what if that person were to see a therapist?

If nations are like people, then what sort of person would Pakistan be? And what if that person were to see a therapist?

If nations are like people, then what sort of person would Pakistan be? And what if that person were to see a therapist? If nations are like people, then what sort of person would Pakistan be? And what if that person were to see a therapist? If nations are like people, then what sort of person would Pakistan be? And what if that person were to see a therapist?

The door creaked open as the therapist led Pakistan into the room, his clothes drenched, his hair wild, his shirt unbuttoned, his hands covered in mud. “This is the last time I see you without an appointment, Pakistan.” The therapist tried not to reward Pakistan by obliging to his unannounced visits and subsequent tantrums, but this time, she knew that there was something terribly wrong.

Pakistan lay on the couch, with the therapist sitting behind him close to the door. She dimmed the lights, giving the weathered wood paneling a bronze glow. She hadn’t known Pakistan for long, but long enough to detect a disturbing pattern. Having changed several therapists, Pakistan followed a predictable course with all of his previous shrinks — starting off in a blaze of intimacy, slowly withdrawing, reaching a point of violent confrontation and then starting over with someone else. She knew that he badly needed her to understand him, even as he erected every possible obstacle in her endeavours to do so. Every session with Pakistan was a struggle — both for the therapist, as she tried to decipher his thoughts and motivations beneath the white noise of his obscurantist denial and obsessive paranoia — and for him, as he resolutely prevented her (and himself) from reaching his innermost chambers.

The therapist had no idea just how old Pakistan was, for even by his own accounts, his birth was a matter of great dispute. Pakistan was born either in the Bronze Age when the Indus Valley Civilisation was established in Mohenjodaro. Or, in the 8th century with the arrival of Muhammad bin Qasim, the 17-year-old Arab general, who became the first man to plant the flag of Islam in the Indian Subcontinent. Along the way, he also planted seeds in the collective Jungian psyche, the shoots from which continue to surface to this day. Sometimes he claimed to be born as a reactionary ideal in 1857. His real genesis, in 1947, was corroborated by an official birth certificate. Though that might simply be the day he was separated from his Siamese twin in a rather bloody operation.

The therapist took out her file to review her notes. From session to session, Pakistan varied from bouts of extreme pride and grandiosity– touting the mark on his forehead from excessive prostration during prayer, picking fights with the toughest boys in the neighbourhood, showing off the missile tattoos on his biceps — to states of despicable self-loathing — slitting his wrists to atone for his ‘sins’, claiming to have disavowed his religion and his brethren, shooting up heroin to disassociate himself from self-reflection. It was difficult to pin a diagnosis on him. Her initial hunch was that he had manic depression, swinging from grandiosity to doom and gloom. But she couldn’t pick that diagnosis, since these personality traits had persisted since about as long as the therapist could note. She relied on what she knew of Pakistan’s life thus far to inch closer towards a diagnosis.

Pakistan’s childhood remained of great interest to the therapist. While it was a topic that Pakistan refused to confront directly, drawing from his nightmares, his rambling digressions, and notes she had received from his previous therapists, a vague picture had come together. Born on the stroke of midnight, Pakistan and his twin brother, India, had had a tumultuous childhood, resulting in frequent fights, bleeding noses and cut lips. Orphaned in his infancy with the premature death of his father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, frequently beaten by his estranged brother (who also took away Pakistan’s favourite cashmere sweater), deeply insecure due to his short stature, and lacking any sort of guiding hand, Pakistan had a tormented upbringing. Once he attacked his brother to take back his sweater but failed (though he still claims it was his brother who started that particular round of fisticuffs). To this day, Pakistan refused to acknowledge any blood relationship with his brother, claiming to be a separate entity from him.

After his companion and childhood friend, Bangla, abandoned him in the early ‘70s, instead of reflecting on the many years of neglect and abuse he had inflicted on her, Pakistan transitioned into another high of energy. His charisma won him many friends and he formed a relationship with a mysterious sheikh, who would go on to have a deep impact on him. Sheikh Al-Wahab charmed Pakistan with his white robes and his shiny Rolexes (which he would jingle whenever he wanted Pakistan’s attention). The therapist could see that Pakistan believed that the sheikh, and his devout breed of Islam, offered him a chance to reconstruct his identity … but it was a dangerous façade.

Armed with this new identity, Pakistan entered a phase of gradual psychological self-mutilation, wherein he began to erase all memories that contradicted his new self. He grew a beard, rode his pants high on his tummy and learnt Arabic, but forgot his own native tongue. In his attempt to be born anew, he began to loathe himself: his brown skin, the festivals he celebrated, and the culture he shared with his estranged brother.

Pakistan’s newly found religiosity didn’t go entirely unnoticed. In fact, Uncle Sam encouraged Pakistan’s violent streak in order to settle a score against its long time adversary by training Pakistan’s crazy cousin, Talib. With his AK-47 loaded with incendiary rounds and an even more incendiary faith, Talib, with the help of his Arab roommate, Qaeda, and Pakistan’s full backing, did for Uncle Sam what no one else could have. After the fight, when Pakistan and Talib turned around to celebrate their victory with a series of high-fives and ‘Allah-u-Akbar’ chants, Sam was nowhere to be found. All they had to show for their efforts was a crate full of Kalashnikovs, heads full of grandiose delusions and a stash of smack to ensure insight remained an unwanted guest.

Pakistan, far from smothering Talib’s zeal, channeled it to settle scores with India in his unending struggle to regain his cashmere sweater. But in his efforts to agitate Talib against India, it was Pakistan who was influenced by his oddly appealing cousin. Meanwhile, Qaeda ran out of his supply of Ritalin® and, no longer in the spotlight, grew increasingly bored in his suburban house-cave. Convinced that Sam, who no longer showered him with attention, was the root of all the evils in the neighborhood, Qaeda went to Sam’s house with his bamboo stick and poked it right into Sam’s eye. Sam, infuriated, attacked Qaeda, who had taken refuge in Talib’s house-cave next to Pakistan’s, and demanded of Pakistan that he too join him in fighting both Qaeda and Talib. Scared out of his wits by the heavily muscled and belligerent Sam, Pakistan shaved his beard and donned a suit to convince Sam that he was ‘with him, not against him’. But in his heart, Pakistan could not abandon Talib, and banking on Sam’s short attention span (possibly due to serious ADHD), hoped to be able to hold off any Public Displays of Affection with Talib until Sam’s interest fizzled out.

But Talib just didn’t get it. He began to attack Pakistan for supporting Sam. Talib and Qaeda dealt Pakistan blows the likes of which he had never received, tearing into him, ripping apart whatever was important to him. But for all the pain they inflicted on him, Pakistan blamed everyone else in the neighborhood. Unable to remove himself from his association with Talib and Qaeda, and yet fully aware of their actions, the therapist noted that Pakistan found himself more confused, more in pain, more depressed and more vulnerable, than ever before.

The therapist formulated Pakistan’s history into what she regarded as a pattern of unstable identity, unstable relationships and fearful attachments. She started crossing out all the different diagnoses she had written on her sheet including adjustment disorder, substance abuse, depression with psychotic features, dysthymia and anti-social personality disorder, until the only diagnosis un-maimed by her pen was borderline personality disorder.

And yet, even armed with this knowledge, the therapist continued to have a difficult relationship with Pakistan. She knew that this was not just because Pakistan was, to put it mildly, un-normal, for she barely knew anyone in the entire neighbourhood who was.

“What happened, Pakistan? You look terrible.”

Pakistan remained mum, looking blankly up at the ceiling. The therapist prodded on, “Why do you have mud on your hands?”

“A great flood destroyed my house. I had to dig myself out of the rubble. My cow, Rani, my princess, I couldn’t find her. The waters took her away. My crops have all run a-waste.” Pakistan spoke in a monotone, staring blankly at the ceiling. The therapist didn’t know what to feel. A part of her believed he was pre-schizophrenic, his ability to process reality crumbling slowly. Another part felt that the heroin was like a virus, forever impairing his ability to test reality. She tried to feel sympathy for him, but found herself unable to do so. “Did anyone help you out?”

“Sam helped me out, not because he cared, but because he feared that if I lost my mind a bit more, I would blow up in his face.”

The therapist carried on, without believing his entire flood story. Just a few years back he had come running to her, with an earthquake-story in which his house was leveled, and here he was again, carrying on what was now becoming a comically long list of tragedies, some real, some imagined. “Why do you think these catastrophes happen to you?”

“It is a test of my faith, or a punishment for my transgressions, I can’t seem to understand.” The therapist’s attempts at objectivity began to fail, as Pakistan’s contradictions started to amuse her. His misery became a source of mirth, rather than solemn reflection.

“What transgressions?”

“I have failed my religion and no matter how much I pray for forgiveness, Allah continues to punish me. And I continue to be Sam’s slave. I have shaved my beard and started wearing suits just so that he does not suspect me of being with Talib. But inside, I know that I am in the wrong, and that is why Allah-Almighty punishes me.”

“But haven’t these Muslim ‘brothers’, hurt you more than even those who you claim are your enemies, including your actual sibling? Look at how you’re bruised, scarred, hurt — isn’t that the work of your so-called brothers?”

“They are angry, and justified in being so.”

“So they have the right to spew hatred and commit violence, but no one else does? Why bend the rules for them? Your sheikh has taken more from you than even your worst enemies: he took away you.”

“What is that supposed to mean? I have me.”

“What me, Pakistan? What of you do you have left?” The therapist’s frail figure shook, her spectacles danced on the bridge of her nose, as she continued to unabashedly counter-transfer.

“All of me is here in front of you. Me, born to live life governed by the laws of Islam, and to vanquish the apostates who tarnish its name.”

“But how can that be! Don’t you remember that when you were born, not in the 8th Century, but in 1947, your first law minister was a Hindu, and your finance minister was an Ahmadi, a sect you now consider as worthy of murder!”

“That cannot be true! Why wouldn’t I remember it if it were so? Wait, you are right, but how…?”

The blank look left Pakistan. Suddenly, he was awash with palpable emotion. The therapist knew what was going on, a rock had been upturned, and from beneath it had scampered out a thousand repressed memories. Memories of a father who never said his prayers, who swore by his suit and his whisky, of a time when festivals were marked with kites flying in the sky rather than blood from sacrificial animals running in the streets. Clearly in pain, Pakistan held his head. He tried to get up from the couch, before falling onto his knees, his hands covering his ears, ensuring that nothing but the voice within was heard. The therapist ran to the door, but stayed on to look at Pakistan writhe as alarmed guards ran in to pin him to the ground. Her unfinished case history was still lying next to her chair in the room. She was shaking. This would be her last session with Pakistan not so much because Pakistan’s malady awoke no empathy in her anymore, but because she knew she had stepped on the wrong side of Pakistan’s split monochromic psychological spectrum of blacks and whites.

Pakistan’s search for reflection began anew; a search that he ensured was always a never-ending spiral, where the journey itself is enacted only to avoid the destination. The therapist wondered who Pakistan would be if she were to meet him after some time; she wasn’t even sure if she would recognize him. She held the notebook tightly next to her chest and walked off determined to hold on to her diagnosis, if nothing else. And yet, she knew that in spite of all that he had endured (and inflicted) he had still lived to tell the tale. A survivor and stubborn to the core, she knew he’d be back. And while he wouldn’t be pretty for his pains, she knew, irrationally, that she might just like to see him again.

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, July 24th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (86)

  • Milestogo
    Jul 24, 2011 - 3:35PM

    This was heart touching. I almost felt that Pakistan would say ” I am tired”.

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  • rock
    Jul 24, 2011 - 4:02PM

    Indentity crisis because of wrong theories. Nice article.

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  • goggi
    Jul 24, 2011 - 4:55PM

    “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” Shakyamuni
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thus we conclude, Pakistan has become what Pakistanis think! ………………………Everything is interrelated and criminal, pathological, racist or religious fanatic behaviour of humans is not an independent entity as well. If a man shoots me with a gun, he has no doubt millions of accomplices who support him actively. Who created such hatred in his mind? Who gave him the gun in his hands? From whom did that man get the gun? Who manufactured all the different parts of this gun? Who assembled it? Who transported it and so on…….using our mind we can quickly ascertain that we are ourselves the cause and the logical effect of this cruel human drama to execute each other. Jean-Paul Sartre described such dilemma of human life as „mauvaise foi“, die dishonesty or self-lie, the flight from the truth and responsibility.

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  • Raheel
    Jul 24, 2011 - 4:58PM

    Excellently written. Its like reading a script of a movie

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 24, 2011 - 5:10PM

    Just Brillant !! Truly a masterpiece of a work !!!
    Well done Sir, to put some humour in this very sad state of affairs with the Nation and its people !!!
    Keep it up !! We need more of this, please.
    Shall we say at least once a week to reflect on events in the making.

    Thank you.

    Raj Patel.
    London.

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  • Jul 24, 2011 - 5:32PM

    Brilliant article..Small wonder that the author happens to be a fiction writer..

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  • Aamer Zaheer
    Jul 24, 2011 - 5:40PM

    Excellent piece!

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  • My Name is Khan
    Jul 24, 2011 - 5:43PM

    Brilliant. In our quest to be different from India, we have forgotten who we are.

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  • Zeeshan Niazi
    Jul 24, 2011 - 6:48PM

    that’s a true manifesto of Pakistan “the ultimate survivor “….but i still find some irrational allegations against her.A part of history that is yet to be revised..

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  • fatima javed
    Jul 24, 2011 - 8:05PM

    awesomely well written , a must read , but analysis on relationship with his shiekh friend should be reconsidered , for i think its not like that or here’s where pakistan only did mistake because “the shiekh” knew the innate quench of pak for luxury , its always been its low point!

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  • Anushka Jatoi
    Jul 24, 2011 - 8:39PM

    Brilliant read! one of the nicest pieces on express tribune so far. keep them coming! Stubborn and a survivor to the core, that’s my Pakistan!

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  • nasir
    Jul 24, 2011 - 9:34PM

    disgusting piece….how can a country survive and get a dignified status among the league of nations if its people make it the subject of ridicule and fun.pakistan is really doomed.

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  • Long Standing
    Jul 24, 2011 - 9:45PM

    Simply Brilliant!! ..

    Request the author to attempt a similar piece on India…

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  • Long Standing
    Jul 24, 2011 - 9:53PM

    @Anushka Jatoi : I quote Alexander Herzen “There is nothing in the world more stubborn than a corpse: you can hit it, you can knock it to pieces, but you cannot convince it. ”

    Stubbornness is not a virtue.. being objective is…. Yes you can be passionate about ur country as any body would be about his…. however passion should never overshadow objectivity..

    It may be good to display to the world that ‘you’ (Pakistan) are a survivor… but at what cost… at whose cost… do you need to prove that u are a survivor… what is important is not how much you live but how you live…

    I personally think that “Stubborn and a survivor to the core, that’s my Pakistan!” is the root cause of all that that ails Pakistan.Recommend

  • Cynical
    Jul 24, 2011 - 10:17PM

    Even at the risk of being repetitive, have to say, it’s ‘BRILLIANT’.

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  • Jul 24, 2011 - 10:31PM

    Excellent sharing this

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  • pardesi
    Jul 24, 2011 - 10:53PM

    Pakistan = not India

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 24, 2011 - 10:58PM

    Face it !! Its a very well written Satirical Article about the true nature of Pakistan as it is today !!Recommend

  • shulamith firestone
    Jul 24, 2011 - 11:56PM

    this is beautifully written, very captivating and creates a brilliantly accurate picture of pakistan in ones mind, a view point that has never been seen before.

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  • shmail
    Jul 25, 2011 - 5:02AM

    what does not kill, makes me stronger

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  • Mufti sahab
    Jul 25, 2011 - 5:14AM

    Brilliant article.

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  • Mastishhk
    Jul 25, 2011 - 5:17AM

    @ Author…A brilliant Piece of literature…..Hope u realize wat a gem of an article this is !!!!!!

    Im still waiting for some of my fellow Pakistani to come up with “What about Aaafia Siddiqui????”, What about Raymond Davis????What about Blackwater????What about genocide of Muslims in Kashmir???? What about Israel killing Palestinians??????…………

    We have an inhereht tendancy to deviate from the topic and refrain from introspection. We get ourselves involved in senseless issues instead of trying to excorsizing our own demons !!!!

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  • Sonam Shyam
    Jul 25, 2011 - 6:50AM

    The author has left me simply spell bound. With such extraordinary talent among its people, its extremely sad that Pakistan is counted as a failed nation. The nasty grip of the Pakistani army has to be loosened and the moment the Pakistanis break the shackles of their army, I think their true talent will be unleashed to the world. The strategic depths and the strategic assets have strategically destroyed the name and fame of Pakistan. Once the army is brought under civilian control, the extremists will fall apart since they survive on army’s support. Easier said than done, but I still believe that its worth a cause to really dedicate your life for. Lastly, whatever Mr.Haider has written in this article is not very different form what Aatish Taseer wrote in the Wall Street Journal but the reaction of the Pakistanis to this article is measured, subdued and even appreciative. The moral of the story is that if a Pakistani writes something critical of his nation then it is OK but God forbid, if an Indian writes essentially the same thing, all hell breaks loose to the extent that even senior Pakistani commentators jump in to rubbish the Indian author.

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  • najib moha
    Jul 25, 2011 - 7:01AM

    great piece. should be translated in Urdu and distributed among our ghairat brigade. Ghairat brigade in Pakistan and also in West because ghairats double with money .

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  • sanjithmenon
    Jul 25, 2011 - 8:42AM

    Brilliant. One of these days Pakistanis need to learn from Bangladesh.

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  • Hamza Moin
    Jul 25, 2011 - 9:45AM

    A true masterpiece written,sir.This truely reflects your hardwork and skills which can easily be elaborated from this article.It clarifies an excellent image of Pakistan in ones mind which remains hidden for others to exploit.

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  • Anushka Jatoi
    Jul 25, 2011 - 9:51AM

    I agree, but despite all odds – we are still optimistic and hopeful – that is what i was referring to when i said ‘stubborn and a survivor’. Yes, the cost is high no doubt and i don’t think it is the root cause of everything, that would be pushing it. We have bigger issues that have gotten us where we are today.

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  • Mohammmad Ahad
    Jul 25, 2011 - 10:42AM

    The obvious satire has made the article a tad bit monotonous. However, that being said I would like to add that Pakistan does suffer from an identity crisis, one that did not exist at the time of its independence. Secondly, quoting Pakistan’s founding father’s past “mistakes”, if you will, to puts erroneously the vision of a future Pakistan in a different light is wrong. Jinnah did not gather the Muslims of India’s following with the model of a libero-secular Pakistan, he did it by fighting for a separate state for Muslims. With all due respect, please get your facts straight.

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  • Abhi
    Jul 25, 2011 - 10:59AM

    I will wait for Ejaj Haider to write a rebuttal of this as well.

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  • Zohair
    Jul 25, 2011 - 11:33AM

    Brilliantly written, depicting the true picture of Pakistan…but one thing on which i differ is that Islam is again portrayed as it is being portrayed by the so-called “true Muslims”…they do not know Islam and they have created a false picture of extremism and fundamentalism. Islam is nothing like that and whatever good that is in Pakistan is mostly because of our Islamic roots. Also Islam is the complete guide of life and says nothing against non-muslims…if they are living with us they are part of the whole society and Islam accomodates them….this talibanization was more of a political stint and still is…its not Islam and we as educated lot should start to recognize the difference. once again i must say a masterpiece of an article (and if the writer adjust this piece a little) it should be a must read for all Pakistanis.

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  • najib moha
    Jul 25, 2011 - 11:34AM

    @Mastishhk:
    lets talk about Pakistan, Davis and al that concerns us. Not genocide of Muslims in Kashmir because then you also have to talk about genocide and expellation of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir. haha. There is no one sided coin. And Israel -Palestine is not our issue . Love Pakistan first, that might be a first step.

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  • Naimal Azad
    Jul 25, 2011 - 11:37AM

    An amazing n heart touching piece of work :)

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  • KolachiMom
    Jul 25, 2011 - 11:57AM

    @Long Standing: Well said.

    Beautifully written piece. Kudos to the author.

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  • Hamza MOin
    Jul 25, 2011 - 12:26PM

    Marvellously written and a great piece of work.

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  • Ali Turk
    Jul 25, 2011 - 2:01PM

    Very nicely written article with powerful message(s)

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  • Haris Kabir
    Jul 25, 2011 - 2:42PM

    a sugar coated poison filled article.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 25, 2011 - 3:06PM

    Someone should really translate this into Urdu and send it to the Clergy in Pakistan and see if they have IQ to grasp it !!!

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  • zcc
    Jul 25, 2011 - 3:50PM

    @nasir:
    U really need to wake up…!!

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  • M.I.Aslam
    Jul 25, 2011 - 4:33PM

    @Sonam Shyam: your observation is just not right we follow ( atleast i do) many indian intellectuals but problem is most of them have a hawkish attitude towards Pakistan that simply repels any Pakistani who wants to follow if you don’t agree with me just follow your news channels regularly for discussions on Pakistan and listen as if you are not an Indian

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  • Asbah Rahman
    Jul 25, 2011 - 5:24PM

    The author has taken pains to give as close as possible a descriptive account of Pakistan pathological discourse. The excellent analogies drawn from Pakistan’s birth, its appearance, its siamese twin, the cashmere sweater to poking Sam in the eye can leave any reader spell-bound. Describing Pakistan as a person rather than a state makes us realize the pain WE, the people of Pakistan have inflicted on it and the state of mind in which we have left it! It is a shame that despite knowing the bitter realities and true etiologies of Pakistan’s tribulations we have often failed to admit them at international forums and always failed to come up with a way out. Only by confessing our own role in the mess and resolving to take the antidote can we even think about moving on. However, to avoid further ideological confusion one should make an effort to differentiate between the two whenever one mentions culture and religion. We as nation have always opted either for islamic radicalism or extreme tolerance in the name of enlightened moderation. While the sacrificing of animals is a religious rite, the flying of kites a cultural festival and neither should be compared with barbaric customs or digression from Islam.

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  • M.I.Aslam
    Jul 25, 2011 - 5:44PM

    every one is praising this article to me it is an insulting article to the very fundamentals on which this country was established. I think most of the commentators have just not read the article or else they have not got the theme behind the article.
    let me summarize the main points of the article so that u can see for your self
    1 Pakistan should not be have a religious outlook
    2 The founder of Pakistan was a secular, non religious
    3 Pakistanis must not feel guilty on turning their back on Afghani Talibans
    4 Help of Uncle Sam is nothing to be ashamed of
    5 The real enemy is NOT India but the Muslim brother-en which just mesmerize Pakistan with the glitter of their money and make him do nasty things
    Pakistanis Please for Allah’s sake use your common sense …. let me present few facts
    Pakistan Movements Officially started in 1940 on the basis of two nation theory proposed by Quaid i Azam himself (please read it again specially the argument given by Quiad to prove that Muslims and Hindus are two separate nations by any definition and mind you Quid was the greatest lawyer of his times). I ask the auther if Quaid was a secular as he has painted in his article why he himself presented the two nation theory? then why a separate state was even required for the Muslims of Subcontinent? Why he accepted the slogan Pakistan ka matlab kia La ilaha illallah ?
    I agree Quaid once said that he don’t want Pakistan to be a theocratic state but he also said that he wanted Pakistan to be a laboratory for Islamic laws. Some can say this is contradiction but NO its not if you observe true Islamic laws then its not contradiction because we Muslims on the whole are missing the institution of AJMAH which is exactly
    in consonance with the Quaids statements.

    Now the writer said about hindu minister and qadiani minister . he said that you are not in 8th century rather in 20th.
    This is a direct attack on the very fundamentals of Islam i would request the editors of the paper to take strong action on this as Islam does not change with the passage of time it is for ever
    I my opinion the author is a “liberal” who thinks attacking the foundations of Islam is quite in fashion and might get some recognition & rewards from uncle sam. They are also struggling very hard to prove that Quaid was a secular person and wanted Pakistan to be one I challenge them to post one statement of Quaid after 1940 where he expressed such views unequivocally to all Recommend

  • Ozymandias
    Jul 25, 2011 - 6:51PM

    @M.I.Aslam

    Totally agree with you on that point.

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  • chiko
    Jul 25, 2011 - 7:44PM

    @goggi: best wishes from
    Chiko Lama, South France

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  • Long Standing
    Jul 25, 2011 - 7:47PM

    @M.I.Aslam: So whats the moot point of your argument….

    (a) That Mr Jinnah was non-secular
    (b) Being secular is un-islamic
    (c) So Pakistan should continue be an laboratory for Islam.
    (d) Any objective or rather any narrative of Pakistan’s history which doesnt confirm to Zia’s version is blatantly blasphemic.

    … points for you to ponder (in case the article in question was not enough)

    Read Jaswant Singh’s book on Jinnah… I have read it and I have a personal copy. BTW Jaswant Singh was expelled from (so called) right wing Hindu Party BJP for this book. Read the book and you will find answer to point (a)

    Islam prides itself in being the most modern religion giving its followers a healthy lifestyle… there are enough of quotes in Quran and Hadith to assume that being secular or tolerant to other beliefs is not un-islamic

    Why should Pakistan continue to be a laboratory of Islam.. Is Afghanistan not enouh, is Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Iran, Somalia not enough to conduct experiments on implmentation and interpretation of Shariah Law?

    Regarding history of Pakistan.. however you hate ur sibling (India) .. ur historical umblical cord cannot be severed from the history of Indian Subcontinent.. you like it or not.. You are not descedeants of Arabs but that of pagan worsjippers in Mohenjodaro and Harrappan civilisation…

    Stop being myopic and open some textbooks (non -zia ones) and read history..

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  • Long Standing
    Jul 25, 2011 - 7:49PM

    @M.I.Aslam: BTW can you elucidate ‘very fundamentals on which this country was established’

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  • Ozymandias
    Jul 25, 2011 - 8:58PM

    Ok let me clarify that I agree with M.I Aslam’s comment re: Indian channels etc and not the subsequent comment re: Jinnah etc.

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  • Madiha Akhtar
    Jul 25, 2011 - 9:10PM

    Love the article,it’s just brilliant piece of work..

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  • c
    Jul 25, 2011 - 9:22PM

    have u ever seen a terminal psychotic person walking on road – the best way to deal with such people is to just ignore them, or put them in a place where they can’t find any stones to throw at you. he will keep on blubbering about his greatness, he will proclaim himself to be a king. pakistan has become same. the more you show interest, the more billigerent it become- just ignore as a nuisance value, nothing more. and if possible, take out those nuclear bombs from his half torn pockets for some may fall down from the holes in his pants, and collected/used by the group of terrorist kids hanging around him.

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  • Asim
    Jul 25, 2011 - 9:44PM

    A wonderful read. Sums up the tumultuous journey of Pakistan since its creation. This year when we celebrate the fourteenth of August with great zeal and fervour (by zeal I do not mean acrobats on motorcycles) we should take some time and think about what the country really stands for right now. Being of a very religious mindset, I should have been among the first few to really react to some of the things touched upon by the author but I realize that it is the truth and if it is so hard to digest well then there is something fundamentally wrong with how we have shut off our minds to anything we don’t want to agree with as is evident from MIAslam’s comment. In my opinion, liberation is not the consumption of alcohol on the streets, it is just another name for an open mind.

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  • Asbah Rahman
    Jul 25, 2011 - 9:49PM

    mr. M.I Aslam you have been reading the matric and FSc text-books. Had you ever read biographies of Qauid-e-Azam you would have learnt otherwise. I recommend those by stanley wolpert, Jaswant singh, or Ispahani if you prefer a Muslim. they would help broaden your views and enlighten you to the hard bitter facts of our history rather than the emotionally charged accounts in textbooks. (they might aswell help u learn how to spell Qauid!!!) the founder of pak defnitly was secular and wanted pak to be a secular state.

    the article never implies receiving aid is nothing to be ashamed of…(though i think it really one really shouldnot be, some of the richest european states take aid, however we shd take it at a better footing)

    regarding your point5, the article doesnot state that India is our best friend, (bcz such a thing doesnot exist bw states rather simply tht we shd bot shun all our history together.) as far as the turning back on afghans is concerned, well what choice did we have, should we also had talib rule and waited for the american army to invade us???

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  • S Hussain
    Jul 25, 2011 - 10:28PM

    @M.I.Aslam:
    Proving that Jinnah had a secular outlook isn’t difficult, he espoused these views in the way he dressed, and the way he lived, from adopting English as his favourite language to marrying a non-Muslim, these are all in sharp contradiction to the ‘fundamentals of Islam’. He was known as the ‘greatest advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity’, and only changed his views late in life.

    Mr. Aslam, we have tried the Islamic experiment since the 1970s; we are trying to create a rather strange subculture that espouses totalitarian 8th century Arab values touted as true Islam, and portray that as the only possible way forward, forget the Ahmadis, and the Hindus, or anyone else, as they are all heretics, just the ‘true muslims’ can lead this country to the Sirat-ul-Mustaqeem, the straight and narrow. Our laboratory, sir, has only caused us to produce toxic terrorists that have systematically destroyed us, we have bled and we have become mentally disturbed.

    Today, we, the bastions, the warriors, the scions of Islam are ridiculed at the world stage, the murderer of 90 people wants to stop the ‘Pakistanisation of Europe’, Muslim countries everywhere are avoiding us, trying to avoid becoming like us.

    We have become the Islamic Hulk, my friend, as a result of these experiments; we were once a progressive Muslim state, the South Asian Malaysia/Turkey.

    Now, we want to be Malaysia/Turkey, but ignore the fact that both countries are essentially secular, it is the secret to their success.

    We have brutalised the land of the Indus, one of the greatest civilisations of the past, and what have we gained? Just delusions, and ridicule.

    We must mend our ways.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 25, 2011 - 11:07PM

    @M.I.Aslam:
    Since when was the Zinnah a “greatest Lawyer” ?
    Do you actually know as to which chamber he was with or how many cases he actually handled???
    Is there anyone in the ruling elite, even following the actual beliefs of the father of this nation. except hanging pictures of him in their office walls and having is face on the bank notes??
    Do some home work pls !! then come back and we can continue this discussion, in regards to your ill informed views and hypocrisy at its best!!!
    The very idea that Zinnah wanted to create Pak as lab for testing Islam is a sacrilege, as rest assure that the man was more anglophile than a Asian !!!
    He never really dabbled in religion either, it was just his political platform !!!!

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  • Mastishhk
    Jul 25, 2011 - 11:20PM

    @najib moha
    This is exactly what i wanted to communicate sir….Our problem is that instead of tacking the issue at hand we shoot off to a different tangent and start shouting about issues that do not even remotely concern us. You rightly said that we need to love Pakistan first. It seems that our love is not enough at this point of time !!

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  • M.I.Aslam
    Jul 25, 2011 - 11:44PM

    @Hedgefunder: i really can’t answer your absurd questions but I had to tell you its not zinnah its Jinnah you exposed yourself on the account of your hindi ( atleast next time you can write your name) and about the cases of i don,t really need to tell you please go through his biographies written by various authors and you can visit
    http://www.nihcr.edu.pk/Downloads/QA.pdf
    for the law cases by Jinnah ( I ve done my homework now better do SOME work)Recommend

  • M.I.Aslam
    Jul 26, 2011 - 12:36AM

    some indians have shouted loudly on me let me explain myself regarding india . i ve no doubt in my mind that india ( Now talking as state) is our real enemy though author tired to show us the other way. I don’t understand why this rattling of US view is done by Pakistanis that we must not be concerned with India they are not our enemy …………. okay i can believe that for a change even i can forget the bitter past
    but the problem with me is that i am a realist…. i want to see some change on ground not on TV but
    …………………..`when i see 60 to 70 percent of indian military on Pakistani boarders ( i am talking after taking into account army navy air force and their strategic weapon systems – see for your own selves all detail available on various indian military websites)
    ………… …….. when i read about the new indian military concept of limited war (Cold Start Strategy) where they will launch attack on Pakistan from multiple sides ( as per their army cheif this strategy is for war with Pakistan)
    ……………….. when I see indian military in-spite of knowing fully well our deployments on Afghan boarder is not only practicing these concepts vigorously on ground but are actually bring their cantonments to vary forward location which will drastically reduce time for indian army to attack Pakistan
    ……………….. when i see indians campaigning against Pakistan in US and their nasty campaign aging kashmiris
    ……………….. when i see involvement of india in Baluchistan (People on indian media suggested openly to indian govt right after OBL issue that it should intensify on going covert operations in Sindh and Baluchistan to destroy Pakistan as soon as possible)
    ……………….. when i see their stance over the issue of kasmir and our water
    ………………. when i see humiliation our cricket player (with regards to IPL)
    and the list goes on and on
    i just cant compel my self to consider india as a friend
    ………….and I !!!!! atleast I cant forget indian occupation of Junagarh and Hyderabad which decided to join Pakistan and to date they are actually Pakistani territories illegaly occupied by india the way they are holding kashmir
    …………..how can I forget the role played by india in dismemberment of Pakistan ……. i agree to any one who say that we brought bangalis to this stage TTRUE vary true but even then who gave indians the right to transgress the international border? who gave them the right to invade another country on the issue which was totally an internal dispute? does it mean that now if some thing goes wrong in india we have the same right like for example the Muslim genocide in Gujarat would allow us to invade india?
    ………….how can i forget the transgression of india in siachin

    but i am ready to forget all if indians show some signs of change which i ve not seen till now rather they want us to dance on their tunes which is not acceptable to me
    they want Pakistan to arrests people whom they think have links in Mumbai attacks but they forget comfortably to tell us about samjhota express
    they want Pakistan to stop proxy wars but they become dumb on the questions of their six counsellates in Afghanistan which are right on the Pak-Afghan boarder and are involved in anti Pakistan activities
    even their prime minister accepted indian involvement in Baluchistan in sharm ul sheikh (Egypt) and promised to take action and the just forgot it (probably age factor)

    so my answer to all pseudo liberal intellectuals to please spare us from your PAID views Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 26, 2011 - 1:04AM

    @M.I.Aslam:
    ok, spell mistake, acknowledged, but checking sites like these does not really give you full picture of life as barrister in london in early to mid 20th century !!!
    The very idea of a coloured or black person getting to handle a serious briefs in those days was unheard of !! that’s the reason likes of gandhi, patel, jinnah and many others had to seek their pastures in other parts of world !!!
    There is great deal about him joining Lincoln’s Inn Chambers from being an apprentice in shipping company, but he was never really renowned in UK for his legal skills ,nor did get his Silks either, but was known for the liberal company he kept!!!!
    So it seems your home work really is bit flawed as everything is in relation to Pakistan and its people too !!!

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  • M.I.Aslam
    Jul 26, 2011 - 1:19AM

    Dear moderator shaib!!!
    i posted a healthy comment to reply questions raised by Long Standing, Asbah Rahman and S Hussain. you ve posted a comment written after that which means the first one is trashed which is really sad and certainly had de-motivated me to contribute.

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  • @
    Jul 26, 2011 - 6:42AM

    Loved the analogy of Pakistan as an ailing patient. A multi-axial diagnosis would most definitely be needed!

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  • Shaikh
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:50AM

    Firstly, Pakistan was created so that Muslims-Muslims-could practice their religion in peace.

    Secondly, the army does not have a ‘command’ over Pakistan. The people do, but the people are manipulated by the media and the political parties.

    Thirdly, the way forward is not to abandon our history or our principles; it is to educate the next generation and then let them change Pakistan. Instead of all this crap about students not having enough experience and being out-of-hand, we need to trust them.
    After all, this generation and previous haven’t improved Pakistan much, have they?

    And if they have improved Pakistan, then why are there so many problems in our society?
    With respect, the older generations should step aside and let us, the youth of today, do our work.
    And please, I would not like to see any excuses from older people. You all really should know better by now.
    May Allah bless Pakistan. (Ameen.)

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  • Ozymandias
    Jul 26, 2011 - 1:41PM

    Geopolitically speaking I’ll have to agree with Mr M.I Aslam re: the Indian stance. However I beg to differ as far as the intended ideology of Pakistan is concerned. I also don’t think that the author is recommending a ‘blind’ friendship with India. In any case, terms like friendship and enmity should be avoided in statecraft. There are only interests involved here.

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  • rock
    Jul 26, 2011 - 2:25PM

    @M.I.Aslam: Read this article again and try to understand it. You have not understood a single word. very surprising.

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  • rock
    Jul 26, 2011 - 2:30PM

    @M.I.Aslam: Regarding indian army, indian army can not move a single inch without permission of our government. Practice and strategy is require to defend our country.

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  • rock
    Jul 26, 2011 - 2:38PM

    @M.I.Aslam: regarding Partition of India during1947, british wanted to destroy India. small small religious states. only foolish will accept this thing. India has largest number of religion and gave maximum number of religions to world.

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  • rock
    Jul 26, 2011 - 2:40PM

    @M.I.Aslam: regarding bangladesh Indians have no role. bangladeshis will defend this case.

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  • rock
    Jul 26, 2011 - 2:42PM

    @M.I.Aslam: regarding balochistan and fata it’s your internal problem. regarding stupid people in Indian media they want TRP, spicy news and stuff.why should we defend media?

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  • rock
    Jul 26, 2011 - 2:47PM

    @M.I.Aslam: India is not a military state. US fights with some countries but India trades with the same countries. Our foreign policy is based on economy. India itself is another world.

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  • rock
    Jul 26, 2011 - 2:52PM

    @M.I.Aslam:
    Indian civilisation never attacked any country in last 5000 years. But India is always prepared to defend the motherland. Diversity is our strength.

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  • Junaid
    Jul 26, 2011 - 2:58PM

    This is completely ripped off inspired by an article previously written by wajahat syed khan (Dawn/Samaa-Tajziya)

    will post the link

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  • Tony Singh
    Jul 26, 2011 - 3:50PM

    @M.I.Aslam:
    “some indians have shouted loudly on me let me explain myself regarding india . i ve no doubt in my mind that india ( Now talking as state) is our real enemy though author tired to show us the other way
    Chalo yaar its okay. Enjoy our enimity, but do not comment on nouns. What difference does it make if its Jinnah or Zinnah? Its more important to understand the point one is making. Once again three cheers to our “enimity”.

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  • Paras Vikmani
    Jul 26, 2011 - 6:23PM

    Just one word: Awesome!

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  • M. I. Aslam
    Jul 26, 2011 - 7:48PM

    @rock:
    regarding bangladesh Indians have no role. bangladeshis will defend this case.
    wow what a point then when Mrs Gandhi then prime minister said on record
    We have sinked two nation theory in the bay of Bengal” and ” We have had the revenge of thousand years”

    and i totally agree with you that Indians have not attacked any other nation since 5000 years and except British all other forces invaded Indian from WEST from Alexander to Mughals but would it not be counted for weakness?

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  • Hina
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:46AM

    very well written! it was just like a flash back story! very sad and depressing though! Hope we will over come this phase soon! InshaAllah.

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  • Digvijay
    Jul 27, 2011 - 3:18PM

    This article although wonderfully written is a bit biased on pakistan’s side…..
    Firstly, India never took the cashmere sweater from pakistan, it was pakistan who attacked kashmir in 1947 and tried to forcefully take it, as a result the king of kashmir formally acceded into india.
    secondly, pakistan’s situation today is a result of its own wrong doing in the past. It trained taliban on its soil first to fight the soviets and when this “force” was successful, it was used against india. Thus providing save havens to these terrorists proved detrimental to its own society (which we are seeing now). It continues to do so even today in the hope that once uncle sam leaves afghanistan, taliban will come into power and once again afghanistan will be in there control just like in the 90s. Thus it supports those who are killing pakistan’s very own people!
    Moreover, pakistan as rightly mentioned by the author has an identity crisis and it fills this identity vaccum by considering itself as opposed to india. Thus it has an obsession with india. The military is so powerful only because it is able to create an apprehension in the minds of pakistanis that they have a threat from india. For pakistan to change this negattive perception has to change. And it can only be done when pakistan accpets its shared past and culture with India. A culture which it constantly comes face to face with through things such as bollywood, songs and language.
    Everything else was perfectly written in this brilliant article……

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  • Fareha Jamal
    Jul 27, 2011 - 6:39PM

    “I have failed my religion and no matter how much I pray for forgiveness, Allah continues to punish me. And I continue to be Sam’s slave. I have shaved my beard and started wearing suits just so that he does not suspect me of being with Talib. But inside, I know that I am in the wrong, and that is why Allah-Almighty punishes me.”

    This is the most effective piece of written work i have found in this article. Many people ignored the fact and continue to argue on irrelevant points which has neither a head or tail. Ignoring and denying the real facts has lead all of us to this peak of devastation.
    Beautifully written article.

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  • Faaz
    Jul 27, 2011 - 10:37PM

    Speechless after reading this.. never imagine pakistan taking a form of a man and being thrown into a mud of thorns.. i suddenly feel reali patriotic after reading this. ow much more will pakistan have to endure at the hands of selfish beings.. its like a never ending tale of pain.. hope pakistan gets out of this tornado …

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  • Rabia
    Jul 28, 2011 - 6:40PM

    Mr. Warraich, your article shows that you did your research, which displays your hard work on the piece. A very well written article, congratulations.

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  • Tahreem
    Jul 30, 2011 - 9:08PM

    An Incredible piece of writing.

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  • Khizra Karamat
    Aug 1, 2011 - 1:16PM

    WOW.

    The creativity of the idea is amazinng. The writing style is also amazing. im taken aback. Seriously. Awesome job.

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  • Aug 4, 2011 - 11:59AM

    You nailed it !

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  • Aneesha
    Aug 4, 2011 - 4:12PM

    I would just like to remind you all that even Mr Jinnah’s ancesters were rajput. His father converted to islam when he shifted to sindh as it was pre dominantly islamic state. I dont think he was religiously fanatic but he must have been secular in his time.

    Think about it …….

    By the way a very well article written. I wish India can forgive Pakistan but hatred in India is no less against it now …..

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  • raj kumar chhabra
    Aug 5, 2011 - 3:11AM

    what can i say……can i describe in words……superb master piece essay…a real story…apt diagnose….lovely …from start to end……..hats off to the creator….of this blog. As it involves,,,Indo pak there are bound to be some differences…difference in opinion…Also i feel one’s truth is not a truth as it crosses the Indo -Pak border…same are about lies……..so are the differences…why not to try and give peace a chance….for the sake of our blood relations….and keeping..petro dollar relations also as without that ….pak cant survive…a bitter truth if you feel i am wrong…..India -Pakistan Zindabad

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  • thathamusa warraich
    Aug 6, 2011 - 12:01PM

    Very well written article. You have narrated history of Pakistan in short and graphic manner. Proud of you Haider

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  • Love to Question
    Aug 6, 2011 - 8:21PM

    This article reeks of self-pity and self-loathing. I am not commenting as a religious man but purely as an objective critic. It is time Pakistan as a nation stop pitying its state of affairs and do something about it. Also it is not mature to blame the West when it does not serve your interest, at the same time “wear suits” – so to speak, to tag along when at risk. The West has always been known to do things that satisfies their interest and nothing else. So my suggestion is clean your own backyard and stop blaming and self-pitying!!Recommend

  • Mahesh
    Aug 13, 2011 - 11:17AM

    @Longstanding….
    Loved reading you here, bro. would love to keep in touch with you, if possible, for a fruitful exchange of views. What say??

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  • Mahesh
    Aug 13, 2011 - 11:20AM

    @ M I Aslam.
    Since you said, you follow Indian Authors and channels, I would not mind taking up any issue with you ( without any hawkish attitude) and give you an Indian point of view. Where would you like to start with, dear friend? And I follow all media channels, tell mw which one and what news analysis you are talking about and we can discuss it threadbare…
    Nothing is good because India does, nor is anything is bad because Pakistan does it…it is in the nature of acts, whether they are good or bad….So, lets get going.

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  • Long Standing
    Aug 13, 2011 - 8:01PM

    @Mahesh: Thanks Mahesh… will surely look forward to …

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