It’s not just Mr Tharoor!

Published: July 26, 2011
The writer was a Ford Scholar at the Programme in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security at UIUC (1997) and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy Studies Programme

The writer was a Ford Scholar at the Programme in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security at UIUC (1997) and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy Studies Programme

Shashi Tharoor is no fool. Quite the contrary. He is a high achiever and combines brilliance with great marketing skills. So, why would he pen an article in the Deccan Chronicle (“Delusional liberals”, July 21) that seems, on the surface, to be fairly lightweight? Precisely because he is smart.

He knows perception-formation is important; he also knows reinforcing perceptions is crucial; and he knows the basic rule about perceptions: They are quick to form but resistant to change. The last paragraph of his article must, therefore, be seen not as an exercise in naivete but in considered perception-formation and reinforcement. Let me reproduce it here.

“Indians need to put aside their illusions that there are liberal partners for us on the other side of the border who echo our diagnosis of their plight and share our desire to defenestrate their military (italics mine).” He then honours me by capping his article thus: “Nor should we be surprised: a Pakistani liberal is, after all, a Pakistani before he is a liberal.”

India has diagnosed Pakistan’s problem; the Pakistani military needs to be defenestrated (it means to throw something or person out of a window — sigh!); the liberals in Pakistan must share that diagnosis and work in tandem with India to do so. But because they don’t seem to, India must put aside the disillusion that she has any partners in Pakistan.

Let me leave Tharoor here for a while and note that this is an orchestrated exercise. We already know what Aatish Taseer wrote about the Pakistani military so I shan’t recap that. But there was another interesting piece in The Wall Street Journal, “Cut Pakistan loose” (June 9), by Nitin Pai, a young analyst who writes on military and economic affairs. Pai’s argument is that America and the world should cut Pakistan loose because Pakistan comprises two entities, the state and the military-jihadi complex. According to this thesis, the military-jihadi complex formulates policies and the state is a wretched, helpless entity that simply looks on while the military-jihadi complex troubles both the Pakistani state and the rest of the world. Pai concluded that recent developments have created a vertical fault-line between these two entities and Pakistan stands on the verge of a political transformation. This transformation should be allowed a free hand because it might just empower the Pakistani state. To this end, he wanted complete aid and funds cut-off since that money only reaches the military-jihadi complex.

(Read: What would happen if Pakistan and the US severed ties?)

Even a cursory study of the basic literature on what a state is and where it can be located (some of the best minds have been grappling with this) would tell us that Pai’s framework is deeply flawed. He knows it too. But like Tharoor, he too is not teaching a political science class. He is forming perceptions and reinforcing those that make someone predisposed to accepting his argument. His piece is not meant for the Political Science Quarterly but for mass dissemination.

But wait. The smartest of them is yet to come — Ashley Tellis. Tellis, an Indian-American, was adviser to former US ambassador to India, Robert Blackwill. Tellis also contributed immensely to the process that led to the India-US civil nuclear deal and he has been one of the strongest intellectual voices selling India and New Delhi’s vision of itself. He has successfully sold the idea that the US and Indian interests in the region, and especially vis-a-vis Pakistan, are synonymous.

In a recent article in The National Interest, captioned, “Pakistan’s army rule” (June 28), Tellis, after declaring Pakistan a “frenemy”, highlights the civil-military divide within this country, arguing that the US raid to take out Osama bin Laden has not only resulted in a “damaging enervation of Pakistan’s already-frail civilian authority”, but the army’s riposte has further strengthened “the power of the very military that has taken the country to perdition repeatedly since its formation”. No prizes for guessing the common strand in these articles — the civil-military divide and the military’s perfidy. The only way Pakistan can be redirected is by getting rid of the Pakistani military. Once that happens, Pakistan will become a ‘normal’ state and everyone could take the much-needed rest.

The liberals must join the rest of the world — and India — in doing this. But, to return to Tharoor, “Pakistani liberals are particularly prone to the desire to prove themselves true nationalists” because “it is the best way to ensure that their otherwise heretical opinions are not completely discredited by the men in uniform who hold the reins of power in the state”.

In these analyses, terms are bandied about loosely and that is deliberate. No one would call an Indian a “nationalist” in an accusatory tone. Not so with a Pakistani because Pakistani nationalism, as it presumably stands, is a function of the military’s worldview, not Pakistan’s. By this logic, a Pakistani must be a liberal first — as if there is a world-body of liberals that stands above and beyond their states — and a Pakistani only secondarily. The military must be defanged; Pakistan must accept India’s supremacy in the region as also the US interests because those are interests based on some conception of “universal values”. Disputes will be resolved, for sure — on India’s terms.

This is of course bogus in the extreme. But it works. It works because there is a civil-military divide in Pakistan; because the military has primary input in policymaking; because the civilians have, repeatedly, proved themselves largely incapable of asserting themselves. All these are facts. But then there are other facts. Consider.

Most peace initiatives towards India have come while Pakistan was under the jackboot. This should not have happened if the military requires a permanent state of war with India to retain its primacy in domestic affairs. (That has its structural reasons but this is not the place to go into those.) Similarly, Pakistan was pushed into the 1965 war by two civilians, not an army general (even though Ayub Khan should have known better). Pakistan’s nuclear programme is owed to a civilian prime minister, not a general. Pakistan’s decision to test was taken under a civilian prime minister and there’s credible evidence to suggest that the then-army chief was sceptical about it. Pakistan’s Taliban policy — in conjunction with the US — was formulated and implemented under a civilian prime minister and the ISI was opposed to it (in fact, until the Taliban captured Kabul in ’96, former DG-ISI Lt-Gen Hamid Gul (retd) would constantly refer to them as American stooges).

One can go on. But four points need to be kept in mind: One, the civil-military divide is Pakistan’s internal matter and we would do whatever it takes to ensure that this country moves towards effective civilian control of the military; two, this divide does not mean that those of us who are opposed to the military’s primacy would, ipso facto, ignore Pakistan’s security interests. Like every other state in the world, Pakistan is also a self-interested state and the rest of the world must live with this fact; three, we have no intention of defenestrating our military, even as we would continue to kick them to extract obedience; four, we don’t need advice from across the border, especially because the Indian pundits crawled on their bellies when Mrs Indira Gandhi slapped her two-year emergency rule. We have seen worse without giving up or giving in. Thank you!

(To be concluded)

Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (114)

  • Paras Vikmani
    Jul 26, 2011 - 9:07PM

    Truth bites,isn’t it Mr. Ejaz Haider?


  • BruteForce
    Jul 26, 2011 - 9:22PM

    “Pakistan must accept India’s supremacy in the region as also the US interests because those are interests based on some conception of “universal values”. Disputes will be resolved, for sure — on India’s terms.”

    You are just putting words into Tharoor’s mouth. When does he even hint that?

    What nation can do without a military? And, can any sane person, especially as one as smart as Tharoor, really expect Pakistan to be rid of the military? You are just misinterpreting his article, maybe intentionally. All he has tried to do is give sound advice.

    “we don’t need advice from across the border, especially because the Indian pundits crawled on their bellies when Mrs Indira Gandhi slapped her two-year emergency rule. “

    Now, you are talking. You have just proven what Tharoor said! If a Sri Lankan or an American would have written the same exact piece, you would not have commented on it, but would have thought to yourself how good an article it is. The Passport of the Writer really matters.

    So, Mrs. Gandhi had imposed her 2 year emergency shows how the ‘Indian Pundits’ failed. But, the demonstrations, the jail bharo andolans, the media boycott during those 2 years which brought the all powerful Mrs.Gandhi to her knees is conveniently ignored which making that irrelevant point.


  • Jul 26, 2011 - 9:24PM

    This cross-border back and forth is getting tiresome. If only all this master penmanship and point scoring could reduce poverty, provide education and healthcare, reduce terrorism and encourage economic activity. For all that has been written, the very very small percentage of Indians and Pakistanis who actually read these articles are only going to massage their own egos. After the points have been tallied up then what? Will anything change? No.


  • Frank
    Jul 26, 2011 - 9:26PM

    We can and should build a secular and liberal society in Pakistan but we must never forget that even in this allegedly enlightened era, in international relations rampant Machiavellianism rules, and ever shall. To think otherwise, as the Pakistani liberals in their naiveity do, is a highly dangerous delusion. Until Pakistani secularists are willing to defend the country from its enemies, as you are doing so magnificiently here, secular liberalism will not be a credible intellectual movement in Pakistan. You are turning into an eloquent spokesman for a pragmatic liberalism that can meet both the internal and external challanges the country faces and that can take it forward. Mr. Ejaz Haider I salute you.


  • Cosmo
    Jul 26, 2011 - 9:26PM

    The author should be awarded a medal named after “Zaid Hamid”. May be next tv show this guy can join him.


  • narayana murthy
    Jul 26, 2011 - 9:31PM

    I think, it was very unwise and absurd of Tharoor to say that there are no liberals who side with India’s analysis of Pakistan.

    There are many. However to expect these liberals to grow beyond their nationalism is absolutely absurd.

    Honestly, what surprises me is that, this bafoon is taken seriously by Pakistanis. A man who shot off his mouth, unlike a diplomat and did nothing but show pretty face with a nice smile and talk in fake American accent and got kicked out of the ministry, is actually just a lucky fool.

    Pakistanis would do better to understand his “Okat” (hope that’s spelled correctly) and ignore him. I think, today, he’s making a lot of noises because he’s jobless.

    Your comment “Shashi Tharoor is no fool. Quite the contrary. He is a high achiever and combines brilliance with great marketing skills.” is foolish in itself. George Bush was the most powerful man on earth. Does that prove that he was not a fool?Recommend

  • Naveed Akhtar
    Jul 26, 2011 - 9:34PM

    Spot on Mr Ejaz Haider. What really annoys India is how a small nation compared to them in population & area shows them the eyes!!!!!!


  • SNagesh
    Jul 26, 2011 - 9:58PM

    I also feel a sense of mental block by pakistany intelligentsia to listen to what the other side is saying and this article is just a manifestation of that.
    But you still doesn’t answer the fundamental question Taroor asks. What does Pakistan has that interest India? Something to introspect …


  • Anjum
    Jul 26, 2011 - 10:06PM

    Exellent article. This os how we think. Recommend

  • Jul 26, 2011 - 10:10PM

    MrEjaz Haider,very articulate,well thought about,without twisting,staying basicaly to reality on the ground.Yes,military weilds the real power and clout,yes they need to understand in true effective democracy,the civilian govt must be the’Decider’Period.It not yet reality ,so there can be ,to use his term,(it is first time I heard that term),the military of any nation should or ever be’defenestrated’.for liberal or conservetive cause,for at the urging of any other foreign ,friend or foe.Having said that,the social,cultural,institutinal structure should be cultivated right from the first building block of any old or new nation,must be the supermacy of civilian control in any effective government entity.In this there should be no misunderstanding,but in the case of Pakistan it is more easily said than implemated,as there no structure in place,it has to be built up from ground level,there is the ‘Gordian knot’,and the rub.Mr Ejaz knows this,and the liberals too,right now,Pakistan civilian rulers are in quandary,any pre=muture or rash act,the country would most likely slide into choas or worse another round of military rule,civilian govt.can not push Pakistan military into corner,so also who wish Pakistan well or foe and friend alike,should refrain from.Pakistan is now at present ‘cat on the wall’we do not know the tipping point.A stable non threatening Pakistan is in everybody’s interest.America,has been around the block for a while,I have lived here since JFK time,they are muture super power and not fools,and very pragamatic power,but Pakistan should be careful is not to take them for fool and worse people,the games should end now.Recommend

  • Abbas from the US
    Jul 26, 2011 - 10:15PM

    Mr Haider,

    Your complete articulation of a Pakistani Liberals analysis would be more acceptable if you had also taken the time and added some clarity to the oft repeated question. Who defines Pakistan’s security needs and perceptions. That role is clearly assigned to the civlians under the much trampled Pakistani constitution. Lost in the debate is the same question of perception formation and how the perceptions have already been defined by the generals where everytime a civilain government comes to power, it appears nothing changes when it comes to deterrance even after acquiring the bomb.


  • antony
    Jul 26, 2011 - 10:15PM

    This is vain bravado by Ejaz to up the ante on resistance from what he fears as indian -american colloboration in defanging pakistan’s main attack weapon . Silly that he attempted so much in words and touching on all perceived fears with 2 liners –dont ask me proof -I know it and will prove it when time comes–rhetoric .. What I can sense he is trying to say is pakistanis even if they are liberals will care and work for pakistani’s security interests and not tow with indian or US interests ..Ofcourse who is demonising that . The only issue is -maintaining links with militants terming as strategic assets in afganistan and fooling the world that these are legitimate pakistanis security interests will convince no one.. If Oil or minerals or gold or platinum is there and pakistan has plans and expertise to extract and create economy then that is a legitimate interest for pakistan .
    Current pakistan is lawless in karachi ,fata ,north waziristan and still pretends to have a capacity to run an economy on its own and raise noises around security fears from afghanistan side if it sides with India/US is absurd.. My question to Ejaz is are you ready to play this victim card for another 60 years for dispute resolution or would you realise its time to move on ?Recommend

  • Bangash
    Jul 26, 2011 - 10:27PM

    These Indians are on the margins when it comes to US-Pakistan relations. They should not be paid so much attention.


  • S
    Jul 26, 2011 - 10:27PM

    No matter which way you twist and turn you don’t have a point. Sorry.


  • Rock
    Jul 26, 2011 - 10:32PM

    Tharoor is getting more attention in pakistan than in india. :)


  • Desi
    Jul 26, 2011 - 10:37PM

    @paras, juvenile comments like yours doesn’t help the situation ! i think the author here has rightly pointed out some of his and other liberal Pakistani’s take on some of our commentary. Agree or not that’s his perception ! and in my view i think he is right, and you my friend with your comment just proved it.


  • Rajat
    Jul 26, 2011 - 10:37PM

    lol… a good read, but sadly 90% of the english reading masses on either sides of the border wont understand it.

    Just one problem though, the writer in the last part goes into the same banal and trite allegations and counter-allegations (the very same things he was disparaging of Mr. Tharoor) of the bureaucrats and intellectuals of both the countries, which brings us, the common folks back to zero for wanting peace.


  • Sinclair
    Jul 26, 2011 - 10:39PM

    Well Mr. Haider, you just did your best to prove Shashi Tharoor right. After all that ranting, what seemed to have hurt you the most was that an “Indian” was giving you advice. If you start writing articles like blogs – personal and partial to the hilt – what of the newspaper? What about journalism?

    Half the history of Pakistan is mired in Military rule, and you don’t feel even a morsel of shame bringing up the emergency – which was fought by the way, peacefully. Most commentators are such psychopathic liars that they don’t even know when they are lying.


  • Anuj
    Jul 26, 2011 - 10:47PM

    and now pakistan is obsessed with Mr. Tharoor……if those pakistanis ( read MAJORITY) who think that death of OBL was not good and justified….i wonder what creed of liberals pakistan is boasting of…..that way India has only one liberal….Mr. Digvijay singh, who addresses OBL as ‘ Osamaji’…..
    further, if these liberals look at China as substitute of US aid and support….technically, China as their new master….i dont think any country would need such liberals in society……
    so, Pakistanis would become secondary if they accept Indian Supremacy but not when they accept china as ‘ chaudhary’ ……


  • Anuj
    Jul 26, 2011 - 10:50PM

    @ Bangash….yes, we are on margin as we dont have US drones killing our own citizens and no US army running behind any kind of ‘ strategic-assets’…..ROFL… guys love to live in la-la land….


  • Hasan
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:02PM

    Most Indian elites are hyper-nationalist with the hindutva agenda. Tharoor is softcore on the hindutva agenda as supposed to BJP types but not much different. Since 9/11, they’ve found an ally in the Neocons in Washington which they would like to leverage to exert themselves in the region. Good news for Pakistan it is unlikely to work. It get them to score points in the Neocon outfits like WSJ but not much more. Pakistan needs to tread carefully and bite its time. It will take American security establishment few years to figure out they are not going to get anything meaningful from India as fas as strategic concessions. Pakistani liberals also needs to stop dreaming about peace with India anytime.


  • A Reader
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:02PM

    Mr. Ejaz Haider and fellow readers – what is the explanation/ rebuttal for the following penned by Mr Thraroor?


    *In his rebuttal, Ejaz Haider goes into great detail about the strength and deployment patterns of the Indian Army, as if to justify the Pakistani military’s behaviour.
    But there is no recognition whatsoever that India’s defence preparedness is prompted entirely by the fact that Pakistan has launched four incursions into our territory, in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999; that India is a status quo power that manifestly seeks nothing more than to be allowed to grow and develop in peace, free from the attentions of the Pakistani military and the militants and terrorists that there is not and cannot be an “Indian threat” to Pakistan, simply because there is absolutely nothing Pakistan possesses that India wants.

    If proof had to be adduced for this no doubt unflattering assessment, it lies in India’s decision at Tashkent in 1966 to give “back” to Pakistan every square inch of territory captured by our brave soldiers in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, including the strategic Haji Pir Pass, all of which is land we claim to be ours.

    If we do not even insist on retaining what we see as our own territory, held by Pakistan since 1948 but captured fair and square in battle, why on earth would we want anything else from Pakistan?*



  • Khattak
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:05PM

    you know, it truly seems like he has no point until the very last paragraph… thats the part we need to concentrate on… especially the part about not forgetting the national interests of Pakistan while keeping the military in line… it might be something we all know, but its something we tend to forget…


  • Khalid Ahmed
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:06PM

    Regarding 4 points the author has put in last para.

    1) The Civil-military divide of Pakistan is not a political issue but a prejudicial one.Pakistanis are a highly emotional bunch and that is the root problem.

    2) The problem is, Pakistan’s ‘security interests’ have been met by either starting unnecessary wars (all 4 Indo-Pak wars were started by Pakistan which majority of Pakistanis deny) or meddling with other countries by funding militants (Afghan Taliban, Kashmir jihadists).

    3) No one in his right mind is asking Pakistani liberals to defenestrate their military. Even the most liberal and neutral countries like Switzerland have military.

    4) India’s emergency rule was entirely according to the Indian constitution and there was no involvement of Indian army whatsoever. Why there was any need for the author to drag it here is beyond me.Recommend

  • Rabia
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:09PM

    Ejaz Haider has given munh toR jawab to Shashi Tharoor


  • SL
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:11PM

    I need to do something …….need to write something …..wrote from my heart the open letters to Establishment leaders…when my fellow was brutally killed …..response…oh no …reaction and messages ….Am I on the hit list of another captured ….I need to prove something …i need to prove something. Great Tharoor, Pai, Tellis looks interesting to begin.


  • Khalid Ahmed
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:13PM

    @Naveed Akhtar

    It’s like saying, “What really annoys the Muslim Ummah is how a small nation like Israel shows them the eyes!!!!!!!”


  • Shahjee
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:15PM

    Ejaz is dead right on that. However nobody can take Tahroor seriously simply because, “An Indian liberal will be an Indian first before he will be a Liberal”.

    As for complete civilian control over military in Pak, this is indeed an internal matter and Pak just need one good political party (not individual) to make it happen. Pak army never has any option to withstand popular opinion in the country. Every Pakistani knows that Indian “Liberal” occupation of Kashmir is the root cause of militarization of Pakistan and negatives coming out of it.


  • Random Passerby
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:20PM

    This cross border back-and-forth is beginning to resemble the youtube comments section!


  • R
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:33PM

    Mr. Haider continues to avoid the point and deliberately so. He reinforces what he seeks to protest. Defenestrate means throwing out – not eliminating or even reducing. Jack up the size and might of your armed forces. When will the current set up in which the armed forces report to no one be thrown out? when will the khaki report to the civilians elected by the people? That is everyone’s point – so far that is what the liberals in Pakistan have told us all too. Perhaps it was just a ruse. Be bold and stand up for liberal and Pakistan credentials without giving up either. And no one is asking you to give up your armed forces.

    About india and emergency. Bad indeed. But it was the liberals that stood up – went to jail, protested in the streets and finally forced the reversal. Not only that but the masses ousted the government. By the way, the Armed forces kept aloof – that is what professional soldiering is in a genuine democracy. Where are the liberals in Pakistan – Mr. Haider included?


  • Arun
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:45PM

    I just want to know – who coined the term “the deep state” and what does it mean?


  • stuka
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:48PM

    Mr Haider

    Do you not see yourself proving the Indian point when you say:

    “It works because there is a civil-military divide in Pakistan; because the military has primary input in policymaking;”

    The above is THE key issue, and defenestration in this case refers to eliminating or significantly reducing the military’s input in determining Pakistan’s foreign policy and worldview.

    You are then of course quick to diagnose the cause in terms that are entirely sympathetic to the military:

    “because the civilians have, repeatedly, proved themselves largely incapable of asserting themselves. “

    This, pardon my french, is a load of crock. The civvies have been repeatedly made to fail by interventionists in Pak Mil.

    Junejo was willing to accept the Geneva agreements but Zia Ul Haq overruled him. NS’s Lahore agreement was better than Musharraf’s Islamabad agreement from a Pakistani perspective, yet the former was condemned and the latter was highlighted as enlightened.

    The game is over in the sense that Pak Mil can no longer wrap itself in the Pakistani flag and claim to speak for the nation because the divide exists within Pakistan itself, India or no India.


  • Jul 26, 2011 - 11:49PM

    My gawd – you are angry Mr. Haider. And you wonder why there is no peace between India and Pakistan – what was so difficult for you to digest in what Aatish taseer or tharoor said? The ‘Bleed India’ policy is not a figment of Hamid gul’s imagination and you expect Indian experts to sugarcoat this for your digestion?


  • allaisa
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:50PM

    @shahjee: Everyone knows that ‘Indian liberal’ occupation of Kashmir happened because of Pakistani ruthless invasion of Kashmir (when they looted, pillaged and plundered the very population they were supposed to ‘liberate’) and then were defiant about the UN resolution. Recommend

  • Ravi
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:56PM

    “This is an Islamic land and will always remain so until the end of time” – so emphatically states Mr Ayaz Amir ( “Where is this frenzy driving us? ‘The News’ Pakistan 07 Jan. ‘11)

    A Pakistani liberal trying to prove himself to be a true Islamist ?


  • stuka
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:09AM

    One, the civil-military divide is Pakistan’s internal matter

    Not anymore. Certainly not when the military policies have an external revisionist component to them.


  • Arun
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:11AM

    Pakistan will begin to fix itself when people like Ejaz Haider realize that they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.


  • Usman
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:34AM

    India is our country. It broke off from Pakistan in 1947 but we will take it back soon! So no worries at all!


  • rgg
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:37AM

    More boring and predicable.drivel from Haider. But its also entertaining to see Haider react so predictably. That’s why I read his columns even thought they are completely unoriginal. It seems his calling in life is to react whenever anyone from India writes a column. Or maybe he has figured out that when he does that, he gets more clicks & more comments on his column thru this newspaper’s web site. Or maybe he just burns up when anyone from India points out the problems/issues with Pakistan from an Indian perspective. Basically, I don’t see any reason for people in India to like Pakistan. Same is true for the rest of the world. So, get used to seeing columns and articles about Pakistan the Pakistani military and the “deep state” that are critical. I hope you guys in Pakistan realize how pretty much anyone who counts in the USA and Western Europe thinks that your military and ISI has been playing a double game with terrorists and nukes. People have grown really, really tired of these shenanigans. Its going to take real positive action and time for that perspective to change now. Getting the military and the ISI under real civilian control, getting rid of the terrorists and coming clean on nuke proliferation would be a good start.


  • Jul 27, 2011 - 12:47AM

    Most peace initiatives towards India
    have come while Pakistan was under the
    jackboot. This should not have
    happened if the military requires a
    permanent state of war with India to
    retain its primacy in domestic

    the civil-military divide is
    Pakistan’s internal matter…this
    divide does not mean that those of us
    who are opposed to the military’s
    primacy would, ipso facto, ignore
    Pakistan’s security interests.

    Mr. Haider, would you be so kind as to re-read these two paragraphs and reconsider your reasoning?


  • Jul 27, 2011 - 1:11AM

    Hang on! Why should anybody a priori have to ‘share’ India’s diagnosis? And why should anyone then be accused of being delusional just for disagreeing and/or arriving at a different diagnosis? I am not so concerned about trite labels – whether liberal, nationalist or whatever. I think it is far more relevant to be prepared to question, analyse and arrive at one’s OWN answers to a problem. And moreover, to be prepared to change those answers in the light of new evidence or argument – i.e. what is called the scientific method. Surely that is what a liberal would/should advocate? And to be willing to tolerate differing and even opposing opinions, without throwing a tantrum?


  • Talha
    Jul 27, 2011 - 1:13AM

    Indian obsession with Pakistan continues.

    They never could get over the fact that Pakistan became a reality.

    Now they are beating it when its down but failure in their quest is a circular.


  • Realist.
    Jul 27, 2011 - 1:26AM

    Indians are highly obsessed with Pakistan thats a FACT.
    Good job Ejaz!
    You have literally Pwned tharoor.


  • vickram
    Jul 27, 2011 - 1:32AM

    It is ok to be proud of being a Muslim, but it is a crime to be proud of being a Hindu, right? Everyone in your country wants Islamic way of life with Caliphate deciding every facet of life, but you have the gall to talk about Hindutva. By the way, what is this Hindutva agenda and why is it wrong?
    Hindutva will vanish the minute the minority stops playing its victimhood complex. India is the only country in the world where a 14 per cent of population dictates terms to the ruling party and sets agenda for the country. Kasab has been caught red-handed, but our government is afraid to hang him for fear that Muslims will start rioting.
    Most of the muslims live in ghettos, study in madrassas and shun english education. And they cry that they don’t get jobs.
    Wherever Muslims go, they make the majority community hate them. Look what has happened in Norway. See what is happening in Denmark.
    Remember, more you people talk about Hindutva (whatever it means) more it will grow. Already, people in Norway have started sympathising with Indians….
    1500-page manifesto is being downloaded in case you don’t know…
    Look at yourself in the mirror and try to change your ways. We can take care of ourself, with or without Hindutva.Recommend

  • Salman Arshad
    Jul 27, 2011 - 1:33AM

    This is shameful, Mr. Ijaz. Our “security interests” should be none other than our food, health and education, and all we need to protect should be our resources.
    Whenever Indians “laugh” at us, because of our follies, like Mr. Tharoor did, I really wonder why we try to prove them right by whatever means possible!

    You should not have written another article. And if you really had to, you should have directed your frustration not at those laughing at us, but at those who have brought us only shame, bread terrorism, and destroyed the economy. This article should have been an expression of remorse; that would have been a much better “reminder” to our (supposed!) enemies around the world.
    Yes we need a military, but we really need to “throw out” a large chunk of it that has come into being only for the defense of the military itself against attempts at civilian supremacy.
    Throwing out the excess will make us stronger, not weaker. And building our strength is in my opinion a much better “rebuttal” to those who laugh at us. There is no “rebuttal” in being proud of our follies.


  • Shahjee
    Jul 27, 2011 - 1:33AM

    There cannot be any peace in subcontinent untill Upper Cast Hindu establishment is ruling India.
    1- They are ones who kicked Jinnah out of Congress.
    2- They are the ones who rejected partition of India and at the same time, worked hard for the partition of provinces resulting in loss of millions of lives.
    3- They are the ones who did not let partition of India done smoothly by holding a predominant muslim state of Kashmir against UN and their own promise to date. They believe and acting on premises of killing all of Kashmirs if needed to keep the land with them.
    4- They aided militancy and openly attacked East Pakistan and declared “Big Victory” after separating eastern wing of Pakistan.
    5- They doing all dirty things in Afghanistan just for one reason, to harm Pakistan.
    6- RAWs budget is 7 times of ISI budget and 80% spent to destabilize Pakistan.
    7- They intorduced Nukes in Subcontinent in early 70s and then again overtly in 1998 and declared that we have BIG bomb and Pakistan must submit.

    India has no interest in keeping Pak territory as it knows the cost of keeping a small part of it (Kashmir). But it has BIG INTEREST in making Pakistan a Bhutan or Bangladesh, which routinely award its leaders highest national awards and follow its line every where.

    So when Indian Liberals say Pak should have no army, they mean that Pak is allowed to live as a country as long as it accept Upper Cast Hindu establishment free run in the region.

    Thanks Mr. Upper Cast Liberal, but no thanks. We will fix our army but you will never have this free run in the region you want nor can Humanity afford it. We already saw what you did in 47, 65, 71 and in Srilanka. You will be soon rendered insignificant and real Indians, who are the poorest of poor, will rule India with peace and harmony in the region.


  • MS - Mariya
    Jul 27, 2011 - 2:08AM

    Good job Ejaz! We as a nation has been silent for a long time..silent against the dictators..silent against the mullahs and silent against the indians tirade.


  • Gautam Arya
    Jul 27, 2011 - 2:16AM

    @Author:”we don’t need advice from across the border, especially because the Indian pundits crawled on their bellies when Mrs Indira Gandhi slapped her two-year emergency rule. We have seen worse without giving up or giving in.”
    Every heard of Jayaprakash Narayan? and how much he fought against emergency?..besides many intellectuals were jailed too. Indira gandhi finally lost the elections as well. So who is giving in or giving up sir?..Its laughable to see such comments coming from a person who grew up in a country of converts who has been giving in for almost 1300years now.Recommend

  • saleem khan
    Jul 27, 2011 - 2:20AM

    People like Ejaz Haider should stop defending Pakistan because, in the process, they defend Pakistan’s Army and not the people. Tharoor is right and his points are all valid. Hope we had people who would love to defend the people of Pakistan, instead of of the enemies of the people of Pakistan.Recommend

  • sohaib
    Jul 27, 2011 - 2:57AM

    Indians are small minded people and they have this delusion of a big power. Just see Indian’s comments under the article and you will realize this. They keep offering us with their unsolicited advice.


  • Arun
    Jul 27, 2011 - 2:59AM

    Most peace initiatives towards India have come while Pakistan was under the jackboot. This should not have happened if the military requires a permanent state of war with India to
    retain its primacy in domestic affairs.

    One could also read this as: the military made the peace initiatives whenever it felt very secure in its primacy in Pakistan; and posed a problem to any civilian who made peace initiatives at other times.


  • My Name is Khan
    Jul 27, 2011 - 3:01AM

    I think the author and many commenters are missing the point.
    We Pakistani liberals are an endangered species. Tharoor’s comments do not help but he does have a good point that while Pakistani liberals may agree that dismantling our military complex which has ruined our nation may be a good idea, that doesn’t mean we want India to walk all over us.
    Tharoor should have said that Pakistani liberals are who India is rooting for in order to have peaceful relations and that is the truth.

  • Arun
    Jul 27, 2011 - 3:16AM

    From a tweet:

    Here Indians thought that Pakistan state’s jihad policy, namely
    1. the existence and flourishing of jihadi groups,
    2. their indiscriminate propagation of hate ideologies in Pak society and preying on the poor,
    3. their killings of Pakistanis and
    4. the enmity which these jihadi proxies aroused against Pakistan among Pakistan’s neighbors and allies

    was an onerous burden thrust on Pak liberals and other civilians by the Pakistani military and its insular militaristic approach to national affairs.

    Mr Haider makes it absolutely clear that all the good instincts of nationalism and self-interest require Pak liberals to stand behind Pak military’s use of jihadi proxies in national affairs.

    What more remains to be understood except the inference from Mr. Haider’s passionate arguments that Pakistanis without exception CHOOSE to be in a state of undeclared war against India and everyone else, and Indians better accept that fact.


  • Deb
    Jul 27, 2011 - 3:33AM


    You rock.


  • Taimur Malik (Timorov)
    Jul 27, 2011 - 4:17AM

    Thank you Mr. Haider for always speaking the truth and giving us such a nuanced and delightfully eloquent elucidation of your points. The basic and cardinal truth of politics (and marketing) is that if you repeat something enough it becomes the truth, and that’s exactly what the Indian establishment aims to do (and it has very efficaciously indoctrinated its own people). I actually sent your last article about Aatish to a fellow friend at Columbia who is Indian and is you know center-right, pro-BJP et al, (and obviously believed in the defenestration) and then when he read the facts about Indian military presence vis a vis Pakistan, he told me that he never knew all of that and agreed that Pakistan did need a strong security component to its national strategy. I am truly grateful for his openness for seeking the truth.


  • Arjun
    Jul 27, 2011 - 4:19AM

    Mr Haider: Whether you like it on not, peace can only be achieved on India’s terms i.e. without a change in the LoC in Kashmir. There is nothing jingoistic or nationalistic about this.


  • The Analyst
    Jul 27, 2011 - 4:50AM

    So, obviously, everything which is ailing Pakistan is “others” fault–including Tharoor, Ashley Tellis, and Aartish Taseer’s –among others. And let’s not forget about India, the US, Israel, Afghanistan, and many others who are trying to destabilize Pakistan. Yup, the whole World is against Pakistan, except ofcourse the “all weather friend”–China. The whole World is to blame for Pakistan’s failure, except Pakistan’s own doings.

    I wonder what the radicalization, islamization, corrupt politicians, the corrupt military bureaucratic oligarchy and incompetency and ineptness has to do with the situation Pakistan is in. Hmmm……..


  • InPitt
    Jul 27, 2011 - 5:21AM

    Mr. Haider,

    I read recently that you are one of few columnist-liberals the army/ ISI cultivates.This was a post by another self identified Pakistani liberal. It makes a lot of sense to me now, although it has brought down my perception of you a few notches – quite high from my days of reading The Friday Times, before it went behind a paywall.
    I really could not see anything new or insightful in this article. (I, btw, thought Tharoor’s ending was in poor taste- especially the last line- although the rest of the article was spot on.)
    This article seems to be the loudest advertisement for the truth in Tharoor’s propositions.
    It is almost as if he had written his article in response to this one!Recommend

  • Sumit
    Jul 27, 2011 - 6:02AM

    “One, the civil-military divide is Pakistan’s internal matter and we would do whatever it takes to ensure that this country moves towards effective civilian control of the military.”
    The problem is ISI Sponsored terrorism in India make it India’s business to analyze and understand the source of the rot. The hypothesis of an impotent Pakistani civilian state which is unable to control lunatic elements in the military actually cuts Pakistan slack. Because without that distinction – each of those incidents would be understood as an act of war endorsed by the Pakistani state.
    Pakistan is a dysfunctional state. And too bad if hearing outsiders say this hurts your pride. But remember the world only cares to analyze your neurosis because your are exporting your problems beyond your borders. If you don’t want the world telling you what to do with yourself – set your own house in order. We all have better things to do than bag on Pakistan. Recommend

  • Jul 27, 2011 - 6:31AM

    I sincerely feel that aim of this article was not to criticize Tharoor and others for the the theory they have expressed but to tell all Pakistanis that the behavior and attitude of their Army Generals is correct and well justified. The establishment should and MUST keep control over the civil government and liberal minded people of Pakistan. BECAUSE ESTABLISHMENT are the ONLY TRUE NATIONALIST AND GUARDIANS of Pakistan.


  • Harish Puri
    Jul 27, 2011 - 6:43AM

    @Nadir El-Edroos:
    Well said, Nadir – you’re absolutely spot on!


  • Y Khan
    Jul 27, 2011 - 6:57AM

    Ijaz haider — I am glad you have finally understood the game that is being played against Pakistan. India needs to honour the two UNSC resolutions regarding Kashmir. The US and India can collude all they want against the aspirations of the Kashmiri people whom they savagely butchered but Kashmiris will prevail!


  • Arun
    Jul 27, 2011 - 7:03AM

    Al Jazeera tells us that Pakistan is censoring the internet
    The latest incident involves the blocking, by at least 13 of the country’s ISPs, of the website of popular American music magazine Rolling Stone. The block comes shortly after the magazine published an article highlighting Pakistan’s “insane military spending”. The article, by Rolling Stone blogger Matt Taibbi, linked to a New York Times article for background information, a fact that some have used to argue that Rolling Stone may have been blocked for other reasons, such as the fact that the site hosts myriad images of scantily-clad women. But as Pakistani free expression group Bytes For All has pointed out, most major pornography websites are not censored in the country.

  • Faramurz Hurmuz
    Jul 27, 2011 - 7:30AM

    Vow, seems to be singing Army’s- not Pakistani- national anthem here. Tharoor played to his domestic constituency & international gallery, while Haider’s tune appears to be called by his ISI ‘tormentors’. BTW, how does he 1285-word article in a paper that caps lead writers at 750 words – and this is just part one! Editor Qureshi haazir hoN ;)Recommend

  • Sonam Shyam
    Jul 27, 2011 - 7:31AM

    Since Mr.Haider is yet to conclude his article. I have only a couple of points to make. Mr.Haider has highlighted that some of the most important decisions like the launch of the 1965 war, the creation of Taliban, Nuclear tests etc were all done under civilian rule. Mr.Ejaz Haider, do you really believe what you are stating? Do you think Ayub Khan, the first military dictator of Pakistan, would have launched Operation Gibraltar and Operation Grand Slam in 1965 on the orders or advice of Z.A.Bhutto? If Bhutto was so powerful and had such great command over the Generals then why was he hanged by a seemingly weak and pliable Zia-ul-Haq? Do you believe that ISI actually opposed the idea of creating a Taliban and you are justifying your argument on the basis of Gen.Hamid Gul’s testimony who himself is nothing short of a Zaid Hamid in his ranting of conspiracy theories? Pakistani civilian government, creating a Taliban in tandem with Americans, despite opposition from Pakistan army is simply preposterous. Lastly you are saying Pakistan’s nuclear tests were conducted by civilian government is also not very convincing. Do you believe that Nawaz Sharif would have ordered the GHQ Rawalpindi to conduct nuclear tests? Poor Nawaz Sharif didn’t even know when his own army crossed over in to Kargil and Mr.Ejaz Haider you are trying tell us that same Nawaz Sharif would have have the audacity to order nuclear tests? Pakistani civilian governments, like the one led by Gilani and Zardari are mere puppets when it comes to Pakistan’s defence and foreign policy, which is the exclusive domain of the army. Lastly it is widely believed in India that Gilani and Zardari cannot even transfer a Havaldar posted outside GHQ Rawalpindi, such is the iron grip of the Pakistani army over the Civilian government.


  • akash
    Jul 27, 2011 - 7:49AM

    your articles and one Mr. Naqvi’s article yesterday will make Mr. Tharoor smile in delight :-).


  • Jul 27, 2011 - 8:06AM

    Mostly Indian visit the ET so the comments disagreeing with the article don’t matter. Well done Mr. Ejaz Haider.


  • Tony Singh
    Jul 27, 2011 - 8:11AM

    Ejaz jealously will not get (Pakistan) and you anywhere, but cold logical analysis of what is that which makes Pakistan attractive to fundamentalists would. Why just us Indians, the world (including your ‘all weather friend” China) worries about this phenomenon. Other than that Indians don’t give two hoots about Pakistan. Come out of this illusion and ask your fellow countrymen to stop dreaming about hoisting Pakistan flag on red fort.


  • Vasanth
    Jul 27, 2011 - 8:21AM

    Mr. Ejaz….WE THE PEOPLE threw out the same Mrs Indira Gandhi after the emergency…Can’t find similar examples in your state :)


  • sceptic ali
    Jul 27, 2011 - 8:22AM

    @Cosmo: if you were to hide the author’s name, one would be forgiven for thinking that it was penned by that mujahid of mujahids, that commander of commanders, that don of dons, that hero of pakistan and islam – Zaid “ghazwa-e-hind” Hamid.


  • Mohd.
    Jul 27, 2011 - 8:33AM

    The second last paragraph is an utter lie.


  • saeed ahmad
    Jul 27, 2011 - 9:32AM

    Thank you for saying that on behalf of us… :)


  • proudpaki
    Jul 27, 2011 - 10:18AM

    Dear Indian trolls – get a life :p


  • Frank
    Jul 27, 2011 - 10:23AM


    your articles and one Mr. Naqvi’s
    article yesterday will make Mr.
    Tharoor smile in delight :-).

    Mr Tharoor is a masochist?


  • Hassan
    Jul 27, 2011 - 10:35AM

    Few if any of the comments above have actually tried to be objective this comments section reeks of anti India and anti Pakistan sentiment and both are trying hard to come across as fair and equitable all of you are failing miserably….


  • God Father
    Jul 27, 2011 - 10:47AM

    @Arjun: wake up dude its morning time now !!!


  • ashok sai
    Jul 27, 2011 - 10:51AM

    @ Author

    Excellent sir, I wish we had writters like you in India who would defend the wonderful policies of establishment and feel proud of its achievements over the years.


  • Asim Ali
    Jul 27, 2011 - 11:44AM

    Bravo Ejaz. I am neither Indian hater nor fond of Pakistan Army. Peace with India is must for the development of both countries. Unfortunately, Indians do not have catholicity of mind and heart in proportion to their economic and military power. We are proud that majority of our writers dare to speak against the government and military. At times I oppose Ejaz’s ideas but he forces us to accept the bitter truth. No doubt Tharoor is an intelligent person with serving in important positions in India and UN. Unfortunately, he reflects the typical Indian mindset of ‘holier than thou’. Indian readers wax about showing Pakistanis right path when an article is critical of Pakistani policy making bodies. Readers in Pakistan stamina to digest bitter truths that comes out from the writings of established writers. But Indian show knee jerk reaction when their is an iota of criticism. Indian writers, with the exception of few, do not have courage to cross the line of interest of state. whereas in Pakistan writer often do it. If one wants to see the difference of approach between writing of Indian MP and Pakistani MNA, it would be better to compare Tharoor with Ayaz Amir of Pakistan. What is disappointing in Tharoor’s article is he self righteousness. Please if you are against cross bordering terrorism than keep your diagnosis of our plight to yourself. Shashi himself is a national before liberals. We need to get rid of the illusion that army in the world are present to distribute peace and atom bombs are symbols of love. Indian is suffering from the malaise of nation state that is unable to see itself within the frame. We the readers in Pakistan are really disappointed by patronising attitude of Indian readers. there is a lot of soul searching regarding state of affairs in Pakistan, but I do not see any such drive in Indian. Rather they are under the illusion that a mighty army, atom bomb and expansionism is justified just because they have democracy and progressing economically.
    Perheps they also need soul searching.


  • Feroz
    Jul 27, 2011 - 11:59AM

    Shashi Tharoor is such a light weight, no one needs to lose sleep over him. His opinion counts for little and is just another of the over one billion Indian opinions. I think both Tharoor an d Ejaz Haider need to put their time to better use.


  • Sayesha Rai
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:01PM

    Dear Mr. Ejas,
    I would recommend you to read the book ‘Pakistan’s drift into Extremism’ authored by your fellow Pakistani Hassan Abbas who very eloquently describes the role of Pakistani Army in bringing Pakistan to such shambles. Maybe you wont feel that bad if a Pakistani points out all the wrongs in your country.


  • Maira
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:28PM

    Absolutely Brilliant Ejaz! You are head and shoulders above Shashi Maghroor!


  • White Russian
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:31PM

    Inhabitants of the two biggest boredom producing countries are up again. The flame wars on the internet between the bores of two sides are getting to my nerves. *Off with your supremacist nationalistic garbage from both sides. Stop whining and sulking like the mutually jealous lovers. These loads of comments are not going to prove anything, or convince anybody, or …


  • Abhi
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:37PM

    “There cannot be any peace in subcontinent untill Upper Cast Hindu establishment is ruling India.”

    Good news for you India is already out of clutches of “upper cast hindu” establishment. Manmohan singh is a Sikh and Sonia Gandhi and family is Christian/Parsi.


  • Abhi
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:38PM

    also i think now mr Haider is eligible to write in “The Nation”.


  • R S
    Jul 27, 2011 - 1:20PM

    Mr. Ejaz, you are attacking tharoor and Atish, not their points!


  • harkol
    Jul 27, 2011 - 2:13PM

    Indian pundits crawled on their bellies when Mrs Indira Gandhi slapped her two-year emergency rule

    Indian anti-emergency movement was instantaneous and led to general strikes all through 1975-1977 Indira had to throw the entire opposition in Jail!! It isn’t like Army takeovers in Pakistan which are welcomed with sigh of relief by most and keeps happening again and again.

    In 1975, Many newspapers stopped writing editorials in protest. There is a famous instance where a newspaper chose to carry an empty column instead of publishing censored articles. Indian Express fought the emergency tooth and nail. RSS, normally an anathema to most liberals, was also instrumental in organizing massive protests against emergency. Even the fundamentalists of India demonstrated high democratic instincts. Army was never politicized, and neither was any election called off.

    The only blot during emergency was that there were couple of questionable decisions by Supreme Court in support of India Gandhi, which were set right in 1976 by Supreme court itself by re-affirming the ‘basic structure of constitution’ doctrine, making it impossible for Indira Gandhi to sustain emergency. And not even Indira Gandhi dared to challenge the Supreme court’s authority.

    I think Ejaz is hurt by very sensible analysis is coming from various quarters of the world. It is natural to be hurt when one is slighted. But, one hopes the rationality will return.


  • Ali Naqi
    Jul 27, 2011 - 2:43PM

    Finally, someone is talking sense in Pakistan!
    Until I read Ejaz Haider’s response to Shashi Tharoor’s op-ed, I was under the impression that most liberals in our country wanted to cure Pakistan by turning it into an Indian protectorate!
    Luckily, we still have people like Mr. Haider who can ruthlessly criticize his country’s ambitious army and unruly intelligence agencies without falling for the Indian propaganda that “a stable Pakistan is in New Delhi’s best interest”!


  • Kafka
    Jul 27, 2011 - 3:12PM

    Turkey could never become Europe, even after giving up its Mulsim identity. Even a secular Pakistan would never be acceptable to the world and India. Indians did not accept the creation of Pakistan sixty years back. Nothing has changed. They will continue to spit venom with absolutely negative effects on Pakistani peoples minds.


  • Ali Naqi
    Jul 27, 2011 - 3:53PM

    Ejaz Haider can take on the likes of Shashi Tharoor and Ashley Tellis singlehandedly! Not surprisingly, Indians love to hate him.

    It appears that they keep on waiting for his article throughout the week to write derogatory comments (and, in the process, prove all of his assertions about them right!).

    Really enjoy how Indians froth at the mouth each time Ejaz writes an article for Tribune!


  • Adeel759
    Jul 27, 2011 - 3:54PM

    This article says, Pakistan needs no advices. And that they are totally capable of ruining this country. And as a pakistani, having seen it first hand, I completely agee with it, Pakistanis as a whole needs no advice from be it, Tharoor, Nitin or whoever.But people on lighter side why doing you all focus on Hina Rabbani Khar’s charming trip….Recommend

  • Jul 27, 2011 - 4:38PM

    Please read the article again and tell me what wrong the shashi tharoor has said


  • antony
    Jul 27, 2011 - 5:02PM

    @Nadir El-Edroos , Though I impulsively retorted Ejaz article , I notice your comment and find your view point is much in focus on development and progress for pakistan currently and I appreciate you for your liberal view and attempting to improve Pakistan economy..I will tell you all else what ejaz talks about as security interests will fall in place if economy thrives…

    Good thought process!!!


  • asif
    Jul 27, 2011 - 5:09PM

    If nothing else, it should come as no surprise that Indians are a mean-spirited and delusional people as it is obvious from their graceless taunts on these pages. We are so glad not to be living among therm. Thank God for Pakistan


  • Vish
    Jul 27, 2011 - 5:23PM

    Taseer & Tharoor’s write-ups seem to have rubbed a lot of ‘liberals’ the wrong way.


  • Vish
    Jul 27, 2011 - 5:27PM

    “Indian pundits crawled on their bellies when Mrs Indira Gandhi slapped her two-year emergency rule”

    If rebuttals are written, they must at least not falsify past events.


  • Shahjee
    Jul 27, 2011 - 6:22PM

    @Pundit Jee, please read the article again and tell us a single line which could be taken as a FACT. Its big Upper Cast Hindu mouth.
    @Abdi, Please consult dictionary to know the meeting of “establishment”. India is not run by Sonia or Sardar jee, its run by its civil and military establishment just like US or China or dozens of other countries.
    Pak is largely run by military establishment which got a foot hold in civil affairs after wars with India on Kashmir occupation. Pak army is over sized setup as its facing an occupying enemy force 9 times bigger in size. That has allowed it to be nosy in civil affairs, and YES Indian army in Muslim Kashmir is the main reason.


  • woohoo
    Jul 27, 2011 - 6:31PM


    that Indians are a mean-spirited and
    delusional people as it is obvious
    from their graceless taunts on these

    Sir, is you post meant to a graceful taunt?


  • Concerned
    Jul 27, 2011 - 6:47PM

    Great article Ejaz Saab! As a proud Pakistani and a leftist I am glad to have an intellectual like you in our ranks.

    It’s sad though that only hate-spewing Indians form an avid readership of this site.


  • Manoj
    Jul 27, 2011 - 7:08PM

    In India man / woman like Shashi Tharoor, Digvijay Singh, Arundhati Roy etc and also Indian news Channels are not taken seriously. Hence, I request All Pakistani not to react on the statement made made by above.

    Here, I do not wish to discuss the content of this article, because i agree to some points and disagree to many more.


  • Sheheryar
    Jul 27, 2011 - 7:11PM

    Good to see that well-respected liberals have started to appreciate and speak against the venom that Hindustanis possesses against Pakistan. In fact, Mr Jinnah appreciated in Nehru Report 1928 which he described as “.parting of the ways.” Such is the rivalry between these two arch-rivals.

    PS: Very strong reply to Tharoor’s article in Deccan Chronicle. But this should stop now.


  • FZ
    Jul 27, 2011 - 8:49PM

    India as a nation has only truly been independent for 60 or so years out of the last 500 years. And this is aptly conveyed. For some reason they still seem to blame Pakistanis for their past subjugation. We shouldn’t pay too much attention to them.


  • HJ
    Jul 27, 2011 - 9:30PM

    You were more than happy to be a cheerleader for the military during the Musharraf years and, if this article is anything to go by, you’re still playing that role. You aren’t as breathtakingly naive as the ‘analysis’ in this article would suggest, so one can only assume that you genuinely feel that the military’s intervention in Pakistani politics has been a force for good. As an introductory course on politics in Pakistan would undoubtedly show you, such a belief is demonstrably false. Recommend

  • hamza khan
    Jul 27, 2011 - 10:38PM

    well written ejaz saab! smackdown and the indians will suddently come alive to save their molested egos! well done!


  • kaalchakkra
    Jul 27, 2011 - 11:30PM

    I am so very glad to see that at least some ‘liberals’ on both sides are realizing what has been more than obvious to some of us for a very long time – that ‘liberals’ in India and Pakistan are not carbon copies of each other, as delusional Wagah candle-light group has been trying to teach us.

    In fact, their views are often fundamentally incompatible, and if “liberals” on each side understood their counterparts on the other side, they would be shocked.

    From Indian pov, Mr Ejaz Haider and many others like him often seem merely refined versions of zaid hamid, and many Pakistanis, no doubt, see any Indian who is not willing to work with Mr Fai,for Kashmir’s separation as a Hindutva fundamentalist who have not accepted Pakistan.

    These differences are real, and hopefully, would be acknowledged more broadly.


  • Mawali
    Jul 27, 2011 - 11:59PM

    I think a fitting well written response to Shashi’s irresponsible accusation laden rhetoric filled attack disguised, as an affirmation of a misguided article on Pakistan.
    Shashi Tahroor, a consummate liberal himself with a diplomat’s tongue, very articulate yet very Machiavellian. It is disappointing to read such hyperbole from people of his intellect who use their pen as a hammer of condemnation rather than a feather of friendship and goodwill. Knee jerk responses that reflect values and beliefs imbedded in the Indian Psyche. Unbecoming, of seemingly enlightened people who could make immense positive contribution to the development of both nations.
    I expect more from Shashi who admittedly comes across as a rather likable individual to rise above to match his intellect and achieved station in life and serve as a beacon of light for the emotional, half cooked experts and equally half cocked Indian mafia on this forum who spare no opportunity to spew their venom.
    Admittedly, Pakistan provides him and others many a chances to berate or embellish half truths. I am not saying Pakistan is a shining example of anything. It is not! But, herein lies the problem one, calling Pakistan and Pakistani’s names and kicking us when we clearly are down does not endear those that indulge in such cowardice. Two, though these two countries are headed in diagonally opposite directions still need each other. Simple fact while Pakistan lumbers along day-to-day to scratch out a living fighting a visionless, ill defined war at the cost of an equally visionless future. India, has made tremendous gains in the past decade and the future looks promising. A future that nonetheless remains dependent on its security concerns both within and outside its borders. While the “salvation of the land” as Shashi puts should be an equal concern for both countries but, categorically more so for India who has more to lose than say Pakistan. Because, as Shahshi correctly reminds us that there is “absolutely nothing Pakistan possesses that India wants”. Indians should know that they may not need anything Pakistan has, but they need a stable Pakistan for their own stable future. The dark clouds that hover over Pakistan will not stay still, they inevitably will move westwards. Does India have the stomach for this fight? I think not! If for no other reason it behooves India to be an active participant in the well being of Pakistan in the interest of Self preservation.
    So then safe to say “delusional liberals” on both sides of the divide would be best served to tone down the rhetoric.


  • Observer
    Jul 28, 2011 - 1:20AM

    If we peel off the sophistry and the analytical facade of Mr. Haider’s article, what we see is a message defending the military establishment while very cleverly referring to Indian analysts on the surface. Wonder if Mr. Haider is on the Establishment’s payroll!


  • Vinod
    Jul 28, 2011 - 7:30AM

    A predictable reply from a “pseudo intellectual” Pakistani!

    He is obviously in denial of facts and much of this article is just Pavlovian response, not a well thought out response.

    Pakistan has to become a normal country at some point. That would mean reducing the ridiculous size of its military compared to its resources and coming out of the permanent sense of being a security state. It has to come to terms that Pakistanis are no descendants of the Mughals or Turks. They are not going to rule the “cowardly Hindus”, in fact they are the descendants of Hindus themselves.

    There will be lot of resistance before the inevitable happens. This piece is part of that resistance.


  • Nerus
    Jul 28, 2011 - 8:28AM

    Whats wrong with advice from across the border? Why look at the nationality of the adviser instead of the advice itself? So what if Indira Gandhi’s emergency was a black period in Indian history? Does that make all Indians incapable of coherent thought and advice?


  • abhi
    Jul 28, 2011 - 1:39PM

    most of the dictionaries define establishment as an institution, existing order etc. Please forward me the link to dictionary where it means otherwise.
    You can always talk about conspiracy theories which claims that jews are controlling everything in this world. If that is the case, I don’t think anybody can argue with you.
    If you think sardar ji and sonia are not running India, then please let me know who is running it? If you talk about military also, many army/air force and Navy cheifs have been non “Upper Cast Hindus” (Most famous cheif being field marshal Sam Manekshaw)

    Actually if you remove your tinted glasses you may see the world better rather than in single colour.


  • Krishna
    Jul 28, 2011 - 4:21PM

    @Shahjee, fyi, the real Indians are already ruling much of India. The upper casts are becoming poorer and poorer and joining the ranks of ‘real Indians’ in hordes.


  • AD
    Jul 28, 2011 - 7:15PM

    This article gives sense as if someone has stepped on tail of somebody.


  • mind control
    Jul 28, 2011 - 8:10PM

    @Ejaz Haider

    because the military has primary input in policymaking; because the civilians have, repeatedly, proved themselves largely incapable of asserting themselves. All these are facts.

    Mr Haider it is also a fact that three of these civilians, namely Liaquat Ali, ZAB and BB got assassinated, two got deposed and exiled viz Suhrawardy and Nawaz Sharif and one winner of free and fair elections namely Mujib was forced to create another country.

    So, oh so wise sir, how were these dead and exiled civilians to assert themselves vis-a-vis the GHQ.

    Moderator- I hope my response is based as much on ‘facts’ as Mr Haider’s assertion.


  • Lateef Ahmad
    Jul 28, 2011 - 8:19PM

    Nice job Ejaz. Subotro Roy, Sashi Tharoor, Nitin Pai, Ashley Tellis and many other writers have been planted by Indian agencies to propagate India’s agenda of occupation. Our region: Pakistan, China and Kashmir, need writers like you to defeat these forces of deceit and propagandists


  • Rishi
    Jul 29, 2011 - 11:58AM

    Well, Mr. Haider, it looks like you have been hurt by the advises, because they are from India! Indians would like to refrain from giving advise to Pakistanis, but last time we checked, Pakistan was the aggressor in all four wars that India had to fight with it and couple of years back in Mumbai, Indian armed forces had to gun down 10 Pakistanis who came and killed people in the streets. So your problems are very much ours as well.


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