This war and our monumental confusion

Published: March 5, 2013
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The writer is Editor, National Security Affairs at Capital TV and a visiting fellow at SDPI

The writer is Editor, National Security Affairs at Capital TV and a visiting fellow at SDPI

Another terrorist attack; more death and destruction. The people are angry. The government seems helpless — both because it is not easy to stop every attack and because it comes across as terribly insensitive.

There’s a cacophony of voices and much contradiction in what is being said.

One group says the government has failed. This accusation ranges from it being just a statement to being a political statement depending on where one stands. The PPP sympathisers, while condemning these terrorist attacks, imply that these groups cannot be controlled because some of them are “strategic assets”.

Others simply argue that this government has failed. Implication: when we come to power we will deal with this menace more effectively.

A third group wants to call in the army. Ironically enough, some proponents of this approach are people who also accuse the army, implicitly and explicitly, of supporting these terrorist elements. For instance, the Hazara community in Quetta began making this demand. But within the community, there are also people who accuse the army of sheltering sectarian killers. Similarly, the Shia have been making this accusation for a fairly long time in the Kurram Agency of Fata.

As for the group loosely called “the liberals”, this paradox is a regular feature. Yet, most of these people want to pull the army into this chaos, regardless of whether the army can or cannot deliver.

The very political parties that beat this government with a stick also want to talk to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) — so far, the identifiable foe — even as they condemn these attacks and imply that if they were in the driver’s seat, they would have fared much better than the present bunch of jokers.

Finally, some people are absolutely convinced that these groups are the army’s death squads and this is a game played by the military. In the very off chance that they are right, we are screwed anyway. In which case, we should either migrate or fight this army to save ourselves. The TTP is already fighting the army. But if the TTP is the military’s creation, then we have to fight both. Be that as it may, the state has unravelled, according to this view, and the jig is up. There’s no need for me to write the rest or for you to read it.

There are overlaps among these groups. That makes the confusion even more confounded.

Partisan voices and contradictions are a hallmark of hard times. The threat is clear and present but the enemy is not. Fighting effectively requires identifying the enemy clearly.

The other big problem, and in many ways allied with the first, is the people’s lack of faith in the state itself and the government. I use the government to mean both the civilian principals and the army, the coercive arm of the state. The very fact that the people expect the government to act and save them and simultaneously are bitterly sceptical that it can or wants to do that, is a recipe for defeat. In this, of course, the people are not to be entirely blamed. Terrorism is not easy to deal with. When the soil is good for its nourishment, it tends to stay with states and societies for very long durations. And when a state is placed geographically as Pakistan is, there are reasons for other states to fish in troubled waters. Let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind that such is the case here, too.

Equally, the very people who blame the state of Pakistan — and it should be blamed — need to understand that the threat emerges from the fault lines within, owing to the way this society has evolved, and more specifically because of our placing faith in religion as a binding factor despite a long history of it being a divisive force.

So, here’s the situation. Given societal acceptance for particularistic views, the state’s capacity to dislocate the terrorist from the context which sustains him is, at best, limited. This problem, purely internal in this situation, is also being exploited by external elements. Add to this governmental incompetence and we have a very difficult situation to deal with.

To put it another way, while it would be very difficult even for a competent government to stop all such attacks, the incompetence of the current one makes the problem more wicked.

So, what can be done — if at all?

Effective response requires that we understand what the German jurist Carl Schmitt described as the “friend-enemy distinction”. In other words, the state has to not only ward off external threats but also remain cognisant of and act against internal ones.

This is the starting point of any war. We have bungled this very first step.

To clarify, this is not about talking or not talking to the enemy. This is about identifying the enemy and keeping him distinct from the friend.

Once this strategic decision has been taken, we then get into the operational part of the effort. When and where to employ the army or the FC or the police? How to use the intelligence agencies? What mechanisms to create for coordination? How to control the periphery? What policies to adopt in the urban centres, et cetera?

Let’s be more specific: not every attack can be stopped. (In fairness to the law-enforcement agencies, many have been pre-empted; they don’t get reported). Now if we know this, we should be prepared. What has stopped the government from creating quick reaction forces for all major urban centres where attacks are likely? How difficult or expensive it is to get helicopters so that part of the QRF (Quick Reaction Force), the bomb disposal squad and CSI experts can be airlifted immediately when something like the Abbas Town blast happens? How difficult it is to figure out sensitive areas and place undercover operatives there?

I can list much else but the point is that while pre-emption is the best option, the next best thing is for the government to respond quickly and efficiently. People need the assurance that there is a government and it cares.

This will be a long war; there’s still time for us to get our act together.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (61)

  • gp65
    Mar 5, 2013 - 9:45PM

    “Equally, the very people who blame the state of Pakistan — and it should be blamed — need to understand that the threat emerges from the fault lines within, owing to the way this society has evolved, and more specifically because of our placing faith in religion as a binding factor despite a long history of it being a divisive force.”
    This is the heart of your post.

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  • SecularLiberal
    Mar 5, 2013 - 9:54PM

    “But if the TTP is the military’s creation, then we have to fight both.” I am ready to fight both on the internet…..lekin agar bijli chali gaye to hum kis tarah jeetain gay :(

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  • lololol
    Mar 5, 2013 - 9:56PM

    “more specifically because of our placing faith in religion as a binding factor despite a long history of it being a divisive force.”emphasized textstrong text

    This religion is the reason why Pakistan was created in the first place. Should we merge back with India?

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  • Ejaaz
    Mar 5, 2013 - 10:08PM

    What proof do we have of foreign hands meddling?
    India would be nuts trying to destabilize us at the moment. We go , they are next. Afghanistan is no government. If it is the US, what do they gain? Imran talks of international conspiracy also. I saw Shia bashing in UAE and I know that did not need any outside encouragement. We may have finally succeeded in producing local dedicated Waha is without foreign assistence. All our own achievement.

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  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Mar 5, 2013 - 10:12PM

    Pakistan should study the Khalistan movement in Punjab and how India ended it as a case study without prejudice and without communal angle. During Khalistan movement VIP cars and in some cases police cars were used to transport arms and terrorists. Patronage of religious leaders and politicians was common. It was ended by giving orders from the very top with clear directions to end it at any cost and allowed free hand to law enforcement. The key phrase is at any cost and rest is history. Yes it had all kind of implications but so are for not doing nothing.

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  • Yoghurt lover
    Mar 5, 2013 - 10:15PM

    @SecularLiberal:

    Hehehe!

    Good sense of humor!

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  • Kaleem leghari
    Mar 5, 2013 - 10:25PM

    These “Jinni..s’ are out of bottle now.I think it is even harder for those who’ve gotten them out of the bottle to ‘accomplish their grand designs’…Now the the question is who is going to put them back in the bottle….?

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  • Milestogo
    Mar 5, 2013 - 10:25PM

    Those who create violence can not be Muslims.

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  • gp65
    Mar 5, 2013 - 10:31PM

    @Ejaaz: “India would be nuts trying to destabilize us at the moment. We go , they are next. Afghanistan is no government. “

    I agree that it makes no sense for India to collaborate with religious extremists.Having said that, I do not agree that “We go, they are next”. India has shown great determination in protecting its borders whether against external aggression or internal insurgency. India has survived the peak of jihadi influx in the 90s. Now there is a fenced LOC and armed forces are

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  • Zalmai
    Mar 5, 2013 - 10:35PM

    “Equally, the very people who blame the state of Pakistan — and it should be blamed — need to understand that the threat emerges from the fault lines within, owing to the way this society has evolved, and more specifically because of our placing faith in religion as a binding factor despite a long history of it being a divisive force.”

    When an edifice is built on a shaky foundation by builders that ignored fault lines under this building, which was constructed in haste the result will be the eventual crumbling of this ill conceived house.

    Religion cannot be a binding factor if it is only used as a populist slogan or a political and ideological stunt to maintain state and social power without social justice for all.

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  • observer
    Mar 5, 2013 - 10:36PM

    @Ijaz Haider

    To clarify, this is not about talking or not talking to the enemy. This is about identifying the enemy and keeping him distinct from the friend.

    I thought you were going to identify the enemy keep him distinct from the friend, but then you got distracted.

    Do give it a shot.

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  • Unowat
    Mar 5, 2013 - 11:27PM

    @observer:
    HOW APT. I think he must give it a try. He can do it.

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  • David
    Mar 5, 2013 - 11:54PM

    All I can say is that the Pakistan government (whenever it functions) and more importantly the Army is actually doing its best to protect… wait for it.. INDIA from these medieval marauders! Once (and God forbid that) this duo fails totally it will have to be the Indian government and military that will have to deal with these animals or shall one say sub-humans. I salute the brave Pakistani citizens who are doing as a good job as they can under the trying circumstances to shield India and other civilized nations from this rabble. And one hopes that they will succeed in the end…

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  • Arifq
    Mar 6, 2013 - 12:13AM

    Then there are the groups that support the terrorists either explicitly or implicitly, this support primarily comes from their sharing of faith (sect) or pure desire to maintain status quo. Weakness lies in not being able to marginalize and punish the apologists, the die hard public supporters who are seen on literally all TV talk shows.

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  • Ejaaz
    Mar 6, 2013 - 12:14AM

    @gp65: ” I do not agree that “We go, they are next”.”

    How things will play out regionally, if Pakistan becomes a Taliban State is anyones guess. You are confident about India being impregnabale, good for you. Pakistan is a reality and that it is going through a choatic period is also a reality. One can argue to end of time whether it was a good or not, but it does not change the ground reality: the culture of present day Pakistan is very different than that of present day India. They have less and less in common with the passage of every year, and the Partition is not going to get undone. Your Vajpayee recogonized this and that is why he went to Minaar-e-Pakistan. Choas in Pakistan will affect the neighborhood, how much is the question.

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  • sabi
    Mar 6, 2013 - 12:37AM

    Ijaz Haidar,
    Pakistan can not survive with constitution that has no spirit,no soul no logic but fascist laws and powerfull religious loby always blackmailing civil society in the name of religion.Politicians are extremely afraid of religious loby and therefore shy away under the notion ‘politicle compulsions’.
    A mullah can build a mosque at any place at any time and nobody dare to ask why.
    Writ of state is non existant but for blasphemy accused where might of state is at its maximum.
    In such a dire situation where some satanic groups penetrate deep in society with dangerous idealogies as in the case of Pakistan,disintegration and bloodshed is the logical outcome. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that Pakistan is going to see one of the worst mayhem in modern day history.And we asked for it.

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  • Gp65
    Mar 6, 2013 - 1:05AM

    @Ejaaz:
    I have never suggested a reversal of partition or indicated that Pakistan is not a reality. Freankly, I do not know of any Indian who have any interest in reversing partition. Even BJP leader Vajpayee had gone to Minar-e-Pakistan as you rightly point out. My only point was that India will not be as impacted by Pakistan’s internal events as you seem to think it is.
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  • Ali Zaib
    Mar 6, 2013 - 1:40AM

    Equally, the very people who blame the state of Pakistan — and it should be blamed — need to understand that the threat emerges from the fault lines within, owing to the way this society has evolved, and more specifically because of our placing faith in religion as a binding factor despite a long history of it being a divisive force.

    10000000000000% AGREE TO YOUR LINES ABOVE

    AND ALSO TO —–> Its (still) Econonmy Stupid (Pakistan should study the Khalistan movement in Punjab and how India ended it as a case study……at any cost and rest is history)

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  • American Desi
    Mar 6, 2013 - 2:41AM

    “……and more specifically because of our placing faith in religion as a binding factor despite a long history of it being a divisive force.”
    But Sir, is not religion founding reason for Pakistan where the founders deemed that Muslims can’t live along with non-Muslims? Hate and intolerance only begets the same.
    Unless the Pakistani’s make a concerted effort to secularize the constitution and consider all humans to be equals, there is no hope. All you can do otherwise is prolong the agony. Sorry.

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  • Ejaaz
    Mar 6, 2013 - 2:50AM

    @gp65: Just look up what your retired SC justice Katju just said a few days ago. Google it. He expects the partition to be undone in 20 years or so. You can make any claim you like, but facts are that there are many voices from India stl wanting the partition undone.

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  • Mar 6, 2013 - 2:53AM

    This mistrust of the army is of the its own making, and sadly there is a strong history of its detrimental violent shenanigans where they have supported one sort of Wahhabi/Salafi/Deoband/Sunni extremist group or another for regional causes. The ideological fault lines and beliefs you rightly point to, are unfortunately reflected even within the army, whose recruits are mostly taken from Pak’s Sunni majority. After all did you not spout the same unfounded and prejudiced 5th column accusation against the victimized Hazaras?

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  • Mar 6, 2013 - 2:56AM

    Can you blame the Shia minorities distrust after the questionable escape of LeJ militants from a Balochistan jail that most folks suspect was orchestrated by our own army. Or when an LeJ leader was air lifted to help in negotiations during a militant attack on its bases? Or when the army instead of moving in and helping the Shia Turi tribe, strangulated them and forced them into a ‘peace deal’ with one group of foreign Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani Network, or ‘Haqqani Sahib’ as Musharraf fondly recalls, who himself has never been honest on the extremist crisis and our involvement (Omar Saeed Sheikh is an MI-6 double agent, when everyone knew he was a former ISI asset). Or when many religious nationalist pro-army figures such as Hamid Gul, sit at DPC sharing the same stage with sectarian extremists and once called the TTP as holy warriors? You seem to miss one point in the narrative, TTP are considered ‘creations’ that have turned against its ‘masters’. Many of them were former LeJ and Afghan Taliban militants.

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  • MSS
    Mar 6, 2013 - 3:03AM

    @author,
    The government is blamed by all and sundry. May be they want to deal with the situation with a firm hand and have asked the army to intervene BUT the COAS has refused point blank pleading occupation in other areas. May be the army have another game plan.
    The state’s coercive arm is usually the police for matters internal. Secondly, even if the external elements are fishing in troubled waters, again it is the responsibility of internal security agencies to deal with it seeking help from government’s diplomatic arm as well as applying force against those locals colluding with the external powers.
    The more I read about the whole situation, the more I am convinced that Pak army are dragging their feet and making the national government look inept and stupid. Active support for the US drone strategy would go a long way in helping the country. US drones are not killing in Karachi and Quetta. Political class and opinion makers need to join hands and create an atmosphere that demands action. Enable the security agencies by giving them a free hand, resources and clearly defined objectives measure able against a success criteria in time limited mode. Such situations require a clause like ‘whatever the cost’.
    The friend and enemy concept is good as long as it is not applied to Taliban. There ARE no good Taliban.

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  • Mar 6, 2013 - 3:05AM

    @Ali Tanoli:

    Its the 21st century, and a whole lot has happened since 1501 Persia which hateful Sunni bigots and extremists seem to shamefully continue to reference to justify sectarian terrorism and genocide as ‘just deserts’ against innocent Pakistani minorities. Recommend

  • Feroz
    Mar 6, 2013 - 3:07AM

    Mr Haider is still confused whether the enemy is internal or external. A price has to be paid for the strategic folly of backing and recognizing the non representative Taliban regime that ravaged and brutalized Afghanistan. It has cost Pakistan the affection of the Afghan people and put it into a very vulnerable position. If the folly had been accepted and recognized Pakistan would never have given shelter to the Taliban in their territory from where this brutal group continued to attack Afghanistan and kill innocents there. The Pakistani Ulema has been talking and posturing like they are spokesmen for the Taliban, giving religious sanction to premeditated murder.
    Those who are confused are nothing but apologists for those condoning use of violence in Islam against non believers. Pakistan is a country that has created its own ghosts and is now so imbalanced as to see them in every shadow, a kind of borderline state of Health between sanity and insanity. Yes Mr Haider the fault lines are very clear, the strategic assets of the state have become strategic liabilities for the people. Will their creators be apprehended, tried and punished is the moot question — without asking this question Pakistan can never be saved.

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  • rehmat
    Mar 6, 2013 - 3:23AM

    @Ejaaz: “India would be nuts trying to destabilize us at the moment. We go , they are next. “

    I do hope for the sake of my Pakistani brothers and sisters that TTP does not gain control of power in Pakistan, having seen how ruthless the Afghan Taliban were to the Afghan population in 1996-2001 period.

    Having said that, please be aware that India has been quite used to having highly hostile governments in Pakistan over long periods of time and has found a way to minimize damage of Pakistan’s hostility to its own citizens.

    SO I hope that you succeed in your fight with TTP. But do it because it is good for your own country. You will not be doing any India any favours. We do not look at Pakistan as a saviour to protect us from terrorists when we are well aware of the camps in Muridke and Mirpur.

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  • Raj - USA
    Mar 6, 2013 - 4:32AM

    Pakistanis lack a sense of nationality and patriotism. The root cause may lie in the preachings of Islam, or at least the way it is preached and practiced in Pakistan. Surveys done two years ago showed that 87% of Pakistanis believe that they are muslims first and Pakistanis later. Even Pakistanis who have obtained citizenship of other countries think they are muslims first and citizens of the country later which makes them less trusted.

    Almost all homes have been preaching their children ever since, that it is the Islamic duty to convert non-muslim Pakistani citizens. It is still the same today, even after 65 years. By converting non-muslim patriotic Pakistanis to a muslims, you have only converted patriots to traitors, not just the person you have converted but also many followers of his religion. Those muslim sects who remained silent then did not realize that they themselves are considered non-muslims and may face a different kind of victimization.

    This thinking of religion first and nation later, is the reason that extreme versions of Islam have found a place in Pakistan and also that terrorists from all over the world consider Pakistan their Mecca.

    Pakistan should have been a country for muslims. But many thought it should be a country of muslims only. Then, who is a muslim and who is not, has led to conflicts and clashes between various sects. Talibans are supported by many in Pakistan because they are considered muslims.

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  • Babloo
    Mar 6, 2013 - 4:41AM

    Mr Ejaaz, you have spent your life arguing for religion inspired 2-nation theory.
    Now spend some time on 2-sect theory.

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  • gp65
    Mar 6, 2013 - 4:51AM

    @Ejaaz: “@gp65: Just look up what your retired SC justice Katju just said a few days ago. Google it. He expects the partition to be undone in 20 years or so. You can make any claim you like, but facts are that there are many voices from India stl wanting the partition undone.”

    Retired Justice Katju was a well respected Supreme court judge – when he was a judge. Lately though he has made a habit of giving sensational quotes. SOmetime back he said 90% of Indians are idiots, just today he has said PAkistan is a Jurassic Park.. He is a loose cannon and not taken any more seriously than Rehman Malik with his star wars comments. While undoubtedly there maybe some people who hope to reverse partition, that must be a very small fringe – none of whom I have met in real life. Please note many Indians say partition was unfortunate by which they are referring to the millions of death associated with it. They do not mean they want to reverse partition.

    In any event it is unclear why the issue of undoing partition was introduced in this debate. I have certainly not suggested any such thing nor do I believe that it would be to India’s benefit if such a thing happened.

    Finally neither Congress nor BJP political leadership have ever indicated that reversing partition is a foreign policy objective nor is there anything in India’s post 65 years of post independence history that would indicate that.

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  • Pro Bono Publico
    Mar 6, 2013 - 7:35AM

    @Ejaaz:
    And in 1971, India invaded and occupied East Pakistan, gifting it to Mujib. And isn’t it fair to conclude that India is working on what is left of Pakistan.

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  • Gujesh
    Mar 6, 2013 - 9:20AM

    @Ejaaz:

    Why Katju only ? Even RSS chief has also said that one day Pakistan will be part of India. But these people are not taken seriously here. If referendum is held in India, anti-partition lobby will lose its deposit.

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  • vasan
    Mar 6, 2013 - 9:48AM

    “……and more specifically because of our placing faith in religion as a binding factor despite a long history of it being a divisive force.”

    What a confession coming from Pakistani !!!. Now you should consider how to fix this religiously propagated “binding factor” ( or may be a “divisive force” )
    The best way to start and fix it permanently is to focus on secular education and bring up the next generation, at least, without poison. But this will take a generation to bring about amity and peace. Till then war is the only option, unless ofcourse Pak wants to chicken out from the TTP violence. War, not in the conventional sense, but war against insurgency. Being an Indian, I think such turbulence keeps Pakistan away from playing its games with India. But that should not be an excuse from wishing that Pak eliminates these monsters and learnt its lessons.

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  • observer
    Mar 6, 2013 - 9:55AM

    @Ejaaz:

    Just look up what your retired SC justice Katju just said a few days ago. Google it. He expects the partition to be undone in 20 years or so. You can make any claim you like, but facts are that there are many voices from India stl wanting the partition undone.

    You are confusing diagnosis/prognosis with wish. When a Doctor says that the patient is terminal and not likely to survive beyond six months, it is only a prognosis and not a wish. Look at Justice Katju’s remarks in that context.

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  • Milind
    Mar 6, 2013 - 1:02PM

    @gp65 – I tend to agree with Ejaaz…. The blowback of destablized Pakistan to us here in India is real, the fenced borders notwithstanding… The fencing does help, but can easily be blown out with some cross-border firing… Also its not present in hilly/Poonch regions..
    The last big attack was through sea-route… Additionally we had reports of rogue elements from Pakistan using Nepal & Bangladesh to infiltrate.

    @Ejaaz – Justice Katju is a loose cannon and losing his credibility rapidly here. Most of the Indians (especially Hindus) do not carry a fondly remembered historic legacy of the past, since we were ruled by outsiders/Mughals… This has helped in making Indians (Hindus in particular) forward looking (rather than delving in the past) and pragmatic (since we don’t have the historic legacy or baggage – depends on how you look). The same is not true with Muslims who are stuck with glorious Islamic rule and unable to adapt in the modern world.

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  • RH
    Mar 6, 2013 - 1:37PM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    i am shocked to see how this comment which condones shia genocide got published. i am quite certain that my comment will not. moderators, please wake up. you need to be cognizant of the content you are allowing through.

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  • Morons
    Mar 6, 2013 - 2:00PM

    @Raj – USA: Spot on mister!! Even Islam says that a Muslim should completely obey and submit to his/her country’s law and policies and always remain faithful to the system except where it conflicts with their religious faith. Even then the conflict should be dealt personally and no law should be broken. As a matter of fact, a majority of countries in the world (unfortunately excluding Muslim countries) assure the freedom of practicing ones religion and provides security to the place of worship so it definitely is not a problem for Muslims living anywhere in the world. But the opposite is not true. Kudos to you for pointing us in the right direction.

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  • Wellwisher
    Mar 6, 2013 - 2:04PM

    @Its (still) Economy Stupid:
    *You are correct. But is there any leader in Pakistan now, who can take such a selfish-less decision in the interest of the country alone? *

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  • David_Smith
    Mar 6, 2013 - 2:32PM

    @Ejaaz:
    Look nobody in India wants to undo partition. There is whole generation of Indians that is closer to 2013 than to 1947 in age and look ahead. If Pakistan does get destabilized and the Taliban gain influence, yes, it will radicalize a small section of India’s Muslims. But I don’t think India would be destabilized. But your main argument is correct: it is not in India’s interest to destabilize Pakistan. Let’s hope with a new government in place in Pakistan, things will improve between the two countries.

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  • observer
    Mar 6, 2013 - 3:00PM

    @Ijaz Haider

    A. So, here’s the situation. Given societal acceptance for particularistic views, the state’s capacity to dislocate the terrorist from the context which sustains him is, at best, limited.

    B. To clarify, this is not about talking or not talking to the enemy. This is about identifying the enemy and keeping him distinct from the friend.

    C. Once this strategic decision has been taken, we then get into the operational part of the effort. When and where to employ the army or the FC or the police?

    OK. This is interesting.
    What we know is that (a) the there is ‘societal acceptance’ of the ‘terrorist’ and (b) the ‘enemy’ and the ‘friend’ remain to be identified and (c) this identification is a ‘strategic decision’.

    Does that mean that the State, under ‘societal pressure’ may decide to identify the ‘victim’ as the ‘enemy’ and the ‘terrorist’ as the ‘friend’ for ‘strategic reasons’?

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  • TheFatefull
    Mar 6, 2013 - 3:13PM

    “Beggers can’t be choosers”, that’s what we Pakistanies are applied in formation of our domestic policies. A vast range of terrorist attacks on different communities are furnished lay focused on supporting domestic crimes and hatred of one community toward another. As Bartrend Russell says,” non profitable institutions are taught to feed national resources with a technical lesson of couping enemies across the boarder, but when. Country goes on peace march along multitude of Armed powers, there it’s non-profiting institutions start stealing and robbing domestic people and their resources, even at the cost of implanting civil wars”. (Social analysis of power).
    Foreign interests are playing on other hand an important role, china, Russia, Iran and even Saudi Arabia are found to be interested on Pakistan trading sea coastal areas. Trade where playing pivotal role. China 1st of all should be considered a fast friend, instead an enemy selling her 3rd rate goods to Pak. On very higher rates,on other side Rissia which always admired to be friend and bestowed her eternal support practically is push away due to Anonmyous reasons. Likewise other countries though they are Muslim states or communist states, are securing their part of interest in Pakistan. None sense decisions are real enemy of Pakistan rather to call an enemy across the boarder…

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  • Mohsin
    Mar 6, 2013 - 3:28PM

    @Ejaaz:

    Og just one independant Balochistan. Thats what they have to gain

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  • Kashif Zia
    Mar 6, 2013 - 3:51PM

    @Ejaaz: India would like to exploit the situation, and why not. You mentioned US, Afghanistan. Why not them? Even so Israel.

    But the problem is more internal and evolutionary. The trust is that these organizations have been supported by our Arab and Iranian friends. They have been part of politics. Our own establishment has given them free hand to acquire terrorism capabilities. To do that they were allowed to pollute the society with sectarianism. In last 30-35, our society has evolved like that. We are reaping what we have sowed.

    But even now, there is no change in plan? Look at Army’s numbness, Political parties’ fear, capability of finding “excuses” from general public. Its heading nowhere.

    Love for religion seeps into your soul making you humble, balanced and compromising. Craze for religion has taken this society back to barbarism. This applies to extremes of right and left, both.

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  • dasmir
    Mar 6, 2013 - 3:54PM

    Get back to basics.
    Fight the sectarians the way Bengali youths are fighting.
    Start a Shbagh square with equal participation from everyone.
    maulwis are not welcome.
    Start from where Qaid e Azam left on 11th august 1947.
    Sink two nation and multiple faith theory in Baharai arab.
    start a new Pakistan come what may.
    A Secular democratic pakistan.

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  • Hunter punter
    Mar 6, 2013 - 4:35PM

    Pakistans greatest test will be once USAF leave Afganisthan in 2014. The Afganistani Pashtun taliban will amalmagate with Pak pashtun taliban, and that will be a disaster for both Afganistan and Pakistan. The chaos is yet to start. There is hardly any semblance of the Durrand line, and it will become even more porous aiding and abetting guns and drugs. India has niether any interest in destabelising pakistan, nor in going back to pre 1947. India has travelled too far in last 65 years, and no Indian wants to go back there. In anycase, this generation is indeed a 21st century India, rather than a pre independence India.

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  • Polpot
    Mar 6, 2013 - 4:38PM

    “Equally, the very people who blame the state of Pakistan — and it should be blamed — need to understand that the threat emerges from the fault lines within, owing to the way this society has evolved, and more specifically because of our placing faith in religion as a binding factor despite a long history of it being a divisive force.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    These words blow to smithereens the vary basis of the Pakistani nation.What next?

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  • C. Nandkishore
    Mar 6, 2013 - 5:42PM

    So my comment has not been printed. As usual. Never mind. There are others like The Nation, Economist and Foreign Policy. These do not have moderation, maybe they are not afraid to print all views.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Mar 6, 2013 - 5:50PM

    @bigsaf@RH
    So u guys saying that was ok which happend in persia and what kind 21st century u living in where this still happening go to iraq and iran sistan province or kurd areas wake up man.

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  • joy
    Mar 6, 2013 - 6:06PM

    reading this article I am reminded of an observation made by the Pakistan Railways Minister during a TV interview ( seen on you tube), His answer to a rather innocuous question was very revealing.
    The anchor asked him why Pakistan could not make its own locomotives.
    He replied that Pakistan did not have the time as for the first fifty years it was busy trying to conquer India, but when it failed, it turned west to conquer Afghanistan……….
    If religion were a binding force then the people of Czechoslovakia would not have agreed to become two separate republics. I did not give the Bangladesh example here because the two parts of Pakistan were geographically distant whereas Czechoslovakia was a single entity.

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  • Muneer
    Mar 6, 2013 - 7:08PM

    If the army intervenes on its own,politicians,the SC and media will get after them.It will be propogated that since army wanted to come,so it arranged every thing.If it does not intervene,as it is doing,it is being opined that it has some other game plan.It has been reported in the press last week,that, the COAS,while talking to the senior editors has said,that the present government has not given the army any policy/instructions to fight terrorism.The army should only come to control the situation in Karachi/ Quetta, if called,”in writing” by the Federal Government.Otherwise,army must stay out.   

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  • nrmr44
    Mar 6, 2013 - 8:54PM

    @Ejaaz:
    If Pakistan goes India is next? Pakistan has been on the skids these last 20 years, while India has been moving steadily upwards, so stop feeding on hallucinations.
    Pakistan goes, no one is next. Not Afghanistan, not India, not Iran, no one. You are on your own on this one!

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  • gp65
    Mar 6, 2013 - 10:35PM

    @Milind: “@gp65 – I tend to agree with Ejaaz…. The blowback of destablized Pakistan to us here in India is real, the fenced borders notwithstanding… The fencing does help, but can easily be blown out with some cross-border firing… Also its not present in hilly/Poonch regions..
    The last big attack was through sea-route… Additionally we had reports of rogue elements from Pakistan using Nepal & Bangladesh to infiltrate.”

    You are undermining your own argument. The last attack (I presume you mean 26/11) happened on civilian watch not on TTP watch. If people are being sent to India through Nepal and Bangladesh that too is not happening on TTP watch. Throughout the 1990s jihadis were fundd, trained i Pakistan and infiltrated into India under protective firingby Pakistani army. Even they accept that this is true. In other words, there is a long history when hostile Pakistani governments have overtly or covertly supported terrorist infiltration and terrorist acts into India. The risk to India is not specifically TTP but hostile government in Pakistan and it is not some unknown risk. Over the years, India’s sophistication in dealing with these risks has improved greatly – though clearly it is not foolproof.

    This is why I tend to agree with Rehmat that I hope Pakistan successfully tackles these barbarians. But it should do it for its own sake. It would be no faour to India.

    I do agree with @Ejaaz’s point and I have indicated that earlier too that India does not benefit by supporting TTP.

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  • Enlightened
    Mar 6, 2013 - 10:38PM

    Those who decided to change Pakistan to an Islamic Republic might not have ever dreamed that their decision would turn this country into a nightmare for its people. Religion is like a pair of shoes which one may choose to wear that fits him/her but nobody should force anyone to wear his shoes which is bound to be a misfit to the other person. The past history has taught us a very important lesson that whenever violence was used to change faiths of the people, it never met with success but ended in disaster for those who used force for the same.

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  • Razi
    Mar 7, 2013 - 3:48AM

    @Ejaaz

    The reason you will find most of the Indians bad mouthing justice Katju here is that he has recently come down hard on Narendra Modi. Obviously, the right wingers cannot live to see any criticism of their beloved butcher, whether in the form of a snub by Wharton or the words written by those in India who heed their conscience.

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  • Raj - USA
    Mar 7, 2013 - 5:56AM

    @Morons:
    Thank you for your appreciation. I would just add that it was real patriotic sense that enabled USA to wipe out terrorism from its soil. Pakistan could also do the same if they do not have any sympathy for any terrorists for any reasons. I have heard many politicians say: Quome Jung Lada Karti Hai, which I interpret as: Only Nations can fight and win a war.

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  • Murthy
    Mar 7, 2013 - 3:19PM

    Pakistan was born to become an Islamic country. If Jinnah, we often hear, had wanted a ‘secular’ Pakistan, why did he have to break away from India in the first place? He wanted power and position, which he might not have had if he had remained in a united India. Even six decades after independence Pakistan is struggling to find an ideology-based constitution. If religion continues to be taken as the basis of governance, there is absolutely no hope!

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  • MSS
    Mar 7, 2013 - 8:49PM

    @nrmr44,
    Ejaaz is making a wider point and he is not too out of sync with a general understanding that terrorism does not respect national borders. What if there is a government of TTP nutters in Pakland and they encourage their absolute nutters to carry out attacks in India, Remember Mumbai? Terrorism in anybody’s neighbourhood is a cause for concern.

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  • Tariq
    Mar 7, 2013 - 9:07PM

    I have always believed that the partition of India was a huge mistake and that India should have emerged as a united country in 1947. However, it is too late to put the genie back in the bottle. Partition cannot be undone.

    But, there is no reason why we cannot have a South Asian union along the lines of the European union. A single currency, free trade, and open borders should be a win win for everybody with the possible exception of the Pakistani Army; which is probably why something like this will never happen in the near future.

    As a matter of fact, India came agonizingly close to becoming something like a South Asian union in 1947. The Cabinet Mission plan (accepted by Mr. Jinnah) would have kept India united with a provision of allowing Muslim majority areas joining to form a sort of super province. It was Nehru and Patel who short sightedly turned down the cabinet mission plan and made partition a reality.

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  • Shameema
    Mar 7, 2013 - 9:16PM

    ‘ If Pakistan goes, India is next.’ I agree. The only reason India is united, ‘secular’ and democratic is the fear of Pakistan or if you like, the fear of not being like Pakistan. Were Pakistan to go, there would be no reason for Indian states to adhere together. The Bengalis will be eyeing a United Bengal; the Punjabis on both sides would want their own unification. Sindh would merge with Gujarat. The break- up of Pakistan would lead to the Balkanisation of India, make no mistake about that. That Balkanisation would greatly suit all the larger powers in the area.

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  • gp65
    Mar 7, 2013 - 9:58PM

    @Tariq: The All India Muslim League under Jinnah, wanted to keep India united but demanded that Muslims be ‘guaranteed’ of ‘parity’ in the legislatures. This was clearly an undemocratic demand going away form a single person single vote concept. Cabinet mission plan tried to address Muslim League expectations which were rightly rejected by Congress. Given the unreasonable expectations of Muslim League and its aggressive and violent approach to conflict resolution and deliberate promotion of intolerance for the ‘other’, even if India had stayed united in 1947, it could not have stayed united for too long afterward. Patel and Nehru showed great foresight in rejecting the plan.

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  • Enlightened
    Mar 7, 2013 - 10:58PM

    @Shameema:
    Thanks and no thanks as India does not want Pakistan to break up or consider balkanisation process suggested by you. However, it would be in interest of the both countries to normalize relations with each other by putting Kashmir issue on the back burner. The foremost priority for Pakistan should necessarily be to unite and fight war against terrorism and sectarianism on priority if it has to survive as a nation.

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  • Tariq
    Mar 8, 2013 - 2:18AM

    @gp65: One person one vote concept is not necessarily the only way to build institutions in a democracy. Take a look at the USA. We have a house of representatives which is based on a one person one vote system. However, our Senate is based on a “one State one vote” system. Since any bill needs approval from both the House and the Senate, interests of smaller states such as Montana and Rhode Island are protected.

    If a two chamber system along these lines had been proposed before Mr. Jinnah resorted to his “direct action”, the League would have given up its Pakistan demand and the shameful violence of 1945-1947 would have been prevented. I believe Congress leadership with its desire for 100% unfettered power is as much to blame for the partition of India as Mr. Jinnah and the League.

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