Monsoon and geopolitics

Published: June 21, 2013
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The writer is a former ambassador to the UN and a former foreign secretary of Pakistan

The writer is a former ambassador to the UN and a former foreign secretary of Pakistan

An interesting tweet last week from a friend in Kathmandu said: “Monsoon has arrived in Dhaka, Kathmandu, Delhi and Lahore. Monsoonal unity of South Asia is impressive (and) needs to transfer to geopolitics.” Romanticism and geopolitics is indeed a curious juxtaposition calling for dispassionate introspection. Apparently, my friend was carried away by a reference to India as “the South Asian country” in a Huffington Post article of 15 June 2013, providing an interesting window into the germinating regionalism in South Asia.

A pull-quote from the article on UK’s Prince William’s ‘Indian’ ancestry revealed the royal’s connection to the South Asian country stemming from “Williams’ great-great-great-great-great grandmother Eliza Kewark, who worked as a housekeeper in India”. But with a little closer look into history’s rear-view mirror, the author of the Huffington Post article would have discovered even more historic and perhaps, much deeper South Asian connections with English royalty. A famous British queen in the late 19th century and an equally famous but more popular queen-in-waiting in the late 20th century both chose their ‘secret’ last love from South Asia.

No wonder, my friend sitting in Kathmandu, with Himalayan overview of monsoonal rainbows, could not have come out with a more romantic theme for resuscitation of the lost South Asian charm. He believes that once we get past the hurdle of rolling South Asia around on our tongues and brains, a lot of things will fall into place, including “retroactive regionalism” — according to which Babar, Sher Shah Suri, Chandragupta Maurya, Asoka would all be ‘historically Indians’ but present-day ‘South Asians’. In that sense, perhaps, Gandhi and Jinnah, the revered fathers of their respective nation states, too, would be more South Asian rather than Indian or Pakistani. Both lived only for a few months as citizens of their newly-independent states.

It has been over six and a half decades since India the nation state was established as a truncated version of historical ‘India’. Locating India within a larger whole becomes easier when we bear in mind that India the nation-state cannot all by itself carry the legacy and meaning of ‘Jambudvipa’ or ‘Indic civilisation’. In fact, Pakistan as the physical inheritor of the real Indus River Civilisation is more “Indic” than India which today culturally represents a hybrid of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christian influences. For the sake of the people of India, as well as of South Asia, whose future is defined to such a large extent by India, my friend in Kathmandu, a committed bearer of South Asia’s ragtag flag, has reason to ask: “Are we sure about India as it is constructed or isn’t it time to consider reformatting?”

Civilisational heritage aside, one can understand why my friend is agonising over this enigmatic region’s unpalatable geopolitics. Home to one-fifth of humanity, South Asia offers so much to the world; yet, it is held back by conflict, poverty and underdevelopment. Despite the monsoonal commonality, it remains one of the poorest regions of the world with a vast majority of its peoples still living in grinding poverty and sub-human conditions. Five of the eight Saarc members — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives and Nepal — belong to UN’s category of Least Developed Countries or LDCs. South Asia’s total external trade is only a small fraction of the region’s GDP, while its intra-regional trade is also non-consequential.

Ironically, all Saarc countries except Afghanistan share borders with India as the largest state of the region but do not share a border with each other. This unique geographic feature seriously limits the scope of regional cooperation. It makes transit trade difficult because there remains no room for bypassing Indian borders, granting India a veritable control over intra- and sub-regional trade. Further, the geographic centrality of India in the South Asian region has given rise to a host of border conflicts and water disputes in the region all of which involve India, be it India-Pakistan, India-Bangladesh or even with others.

The complex security challenges confronted by South Asia have assumed an ominous dimension with India and Pakistan, two nuclear capable states, always remaining in a confrontational mode. No other region in the world today is as volatile and unstable as South Asia with its longstanding India-Pakistan hostility and conflict, and its crucial role in the post-9/11 scenario. While an India-Pakistan thaw is nowhere in sight, their region is already in turmoil with a vast array of problems ranging from interstate and civil conflicts to unresolved disputes, human tragedies, humanitarian catastrophes, religion-based extremism, terrorism and poverty-driven violence.

The complexity of these issues is rooted in South Asia’s turbulent political history, its geo-strategic importance, its untapped economic potential and the gravity of its problems impacting the overall global security environment. Conflict, however, is the last thing the region needs. Given the unique political history of South Asia and the particular social and cultural proclivities of its inhabitants, this region needs stable peace, not confrontation. It needs a co-operative approach towards the resolution of contentious issues through dialogue and not the perpetuation of hegemonic ambitions, which generates disputes.

This approach requires responsibility, restraint and stabilisation, and indeed, a sense of “regional belongingness” that my friend in Kathmandu espouses so passionately. But he knows that since 1947, India because of its sheer size and centrality, has stood more or less alone as a ‘regional’ power, without having to be identified in tandem with the rest of the countries in the region. On a global scale, other countries in the region, notably Bangladesh and Pakistan are not that small. They rank eighth and sixth largest in a world of 193 countries. So, it makes sense to locate India only as one of the eight countries in the southern quadrant to Asia, relative size alone need not make it an exclusive entity or a champion of hegemonic doctrines.

Let us hope this year’s monsoon in South Asia does not unleash yet another round of killer floods, and instead, brings a fresh regional impulse, giving this troubled region an enabling environment for peaceful settlement of its intra-regional disputes. It is time South Asia, so rich in history and culture, now rediscovered its lost charm and indivisible identity. To do so, it must be freed of its legacy of conflict and confrontation. An effort could also be made to build on its common civilisational assets, historic experiences, cultural affluence and mutuality of values and interests. As a geopolitical entity, South Asia must become a factor of peace and stability, both regionally and globally.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd,  2013.

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Reader Comments (50)

  • thor
    Jun 21, 2013 - 10:05PM

    Yunan-o-Misr-o-Roma Sab Mit Gaye Jahan Se
    Ab Tak Magar Hai Baki Naam-o-Nishan Hamara
    Kuchh Baat Hai Ke Hasti Mit’ti Nahin Hamari
    Sadiyon Raha Hai Dushman Daur-e-Zaman Hamara.
    – Allama Iqbal

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  • Water Bottle
    Jun 21, 2013 - 10:06PM

    Very original and honest.

    This piece has more for India to learn than any other country in the region. Perhaps, your Nepali friend is your own alter-ego, but it doesn’t matter for truth is the truth.

    Good.

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  • sid
    Jun 21, 2013 - 10:16PM

    no thanks…………remember 2 nation theory…………….

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  • C. Nandkishore
    Jun 21, 2013 - 10:31PM

    Pakistan is not South Asian. It is Arab. Ask any Pakistani for confirmation.

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  • MSS
    Jun 21, 2013 - 10:37PM

    @author, it is difficult to argue against most of your observations well intentioned statements. Babar certainly was not South Asian Whilst the Maureans certainly were. Now if you wear a hat of ‘an honest historian’ and study Indo-Pak conflicts and then try to mould the public opinion you may indeed serve the whole region well. Otherwise, pieces as this do not serve any practical use.

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  • Mansi
    Jun 21, 2013 - 10:45PM

    First you say we are all Ashrafs, progeny of the Arabs who ruled heathen Hindus, for which Hindus are jealous of us and drive Hindus and Sikhs out of their homeland of thousands of years. Then you say the country we got was moth eaten ( yes the same land that gave Vedas is called moth eaten ) and accuse Hindus of stealing your land ( How did Arabs who hated the culture of the natives and did everything to destroy its icons deserve the inheritance of the land boggles my mind ). After all the sacrifices made by Sikhs and Hindus to carry forward the dharmic history and culture of this land you accuse us of “stealing” that. That is our identity Sir, something our ancestors held precious in face of invaders and oppressors for a thousand years. I don’t know how you can suddenly claim more Indic just because you have political rulership over a piece of land that too at this point of history and negate the real inheritance of ideas as given to hindus by our ancestors.

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  • Don't Lose Hope
    Jun 21, 2013 - 10:53PM

    @Mr.ex Ambasador
    You may be Optimistic about India , But we , Indians are optimistic about it .Condition of country has been changed a lot during last decade or two .We will show you our worth not only in the region , but also in the world in few decades . We will achieve our past glory of JambuDeep.

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  • Vikrant
    Jun 21, 2013 - 11:05PM

    With all due respect, Mr. Shamshad Ahmad is WRONG in his contention that Afghanistan does not have a common border with India — the fact is that the Wakhan Corridor is a de-jure border between India and Afghanistan (via Pakistan-administered Kashmir — regarded as “Pakistan Occupied” by India) … and this was only prevented happening de-facto by the marauding tribal invasion in 1947. Thus in effect (certainly as far as India is concerned, and by its silent acquiesce — the world community in general as well, barring some countries like Pakistan and China ONLY), Afghanistan too rightly has a common border with India making the latter the most important country in this region whatever be the pretensions of the others. Also the fact is that India’s economy is booming while that of the others is looking to only “catch up”. This explains why countries like Pakistan (led now by the the astute and pragmatic Nawaz Sharif) and all the others in the region are making a bee-line to take advantage of this… that further goes to underline the fact that without India, the “South Asian Monsoon of Prosperity” is a non-starter…. it is India and India alone that can bring about the prosperity and progress of ALL the countries of the region — emphasized by the “common border” India shares with all — but are these countries “smart enough” (esp Pakistan) to take advantage of this? Pakistan: I think NOT, in spite of Nawaz Sharif as the PM… (sadly)

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  • Naveen
    Jun 21, 2013 - 11:34PM

    India does have a ‘Give all, expect nothing’ Gujral Doctrine for all South Asians bar Pakistan. Going over and above that would be suicidal for India. Perhaps India should keep a closer eye on the activities of Nepali Maoist & Pahari elite, Sinhala Hardliners and Bengali & Punjabi Jamaat followers who in their fanatic zeal have not only created instability within their country and have also been spreading Hate propaganda against India. No nonsense approach need to be taken.

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  • Gary
    Jun 21, 2013 - 11:38PM

    “No other region in world today is as volati­le, unstab­le as South Asia with its longst­anding India-Pakist­an confli­ct.”

    No other country as destabilized any region more than pakistan sounds appropriate.

    Looks like pakistani’s are ashamed to call themselves pakis/pakistanis these days. :-).
    India is more than a geographical entity, it’s an IDEA! There is a reason why educated Indians call themselves Indians, and not south asians.

    “regional belongingness” Lol.

    regional belongingness better applies to animals than humans.

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  • Ashvinn
    Jun 21, 2013 - 11:50PM

    Nice romantic piece but unfortunately we have floods in parts of India rainfall is reported to have been more then expected I guess in excess of 25%. As for Afghanistan we share cultural ties from time of gandahar I guess there was no pakistan back then or may be it did exists who knows I am sure some smart Pakistanis would educate me on that.

    Hopefully pakistan met dept issues some warnings looking at the what’s happening in Delhi.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jun 21, 2013 - 11:51PM

    Dear shamshad ahmed sahib getting monsoon rainbow already in coments section from india
    hahahhahah

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  • rajat
    Jun 22, 2013 - 12:08AM

    The writer puts it very well that India has a truly multicultural heritage. India represents secularism and syncretism of South Asia. Pakistan is a negation of these ideas. It’s a country founded upon the idea that only the sentiments of Muslims and the interests of one religion Islam matter. Be it in Bangladesh or terror ravaged Afghanistan India seeks out like-minded partners who give importance to culture, language, ethnicity and above all pluralism, rather than obsess over a single religion. Pakistan seeks out Islamist partners be it in Bangladesh or among Afghan Taliban or Rohingyas. These two countries represent opposite ideas. Therefore India should and can build an economic block with other S Asian nations except Pakistan because the Pakistani state (though not all of its people) will continue to see itself as an extension of the Muslim imperialist ideology of Ghori and Ghaznavi and keep sheltering Hafeez Sayeed and his ilk.

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  • Indian Catholic
    Jun 22, 2013 - 12:09AM

    @Vikrant: You hit the nail on the head, What you say is true: ” the fact is that the Wakhan Corridor is a de-jure border between India and Afghanistan”

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  • sahil
    Jun 22, 2013 - 12:28AM

    Try as much as as you want, indians are incorrigble in their hegemonistic designs. But, then what is wrong with day dreaming.

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  • sahil
    Jun 22, 2013 - 12:41AM

    @vikrant
    Well u said it all. The biggest threat to south asia has and shall always remain your perverse day dreaming mentality. Get down from your imaginery high horses and face the reality. First bring food to the hundrrds of millions of empty stomachs of india and then talk of bringing prosperity to south asia ”by india and india alone ”

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  • BlackJack
    Jun 22, 2013 - 12:45AM

    “Are we sure about India as it is constructed or isn’t it time to consider reformatting?”
    Colossal arrogance – seems like a line from a joke that starts – a Pakistani and Nepali walk into a bar…
    Also, Babar was not South Asian, and neither were his descendants, which most Pakistanis think they are.

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  • KV
    Jun 22, 2013 - 1:09AM

    @C. Nandkishore:
    Whether you like it or not Pakistan was, is and always will be in South Asia

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  • Naseer Muhammad
    Jun 22, 2013 - 1:54AM

    @ C. Nandkishore As a British Pakistani my ancestry is South Asian not Arab thank you very much. Over two thirds of Pakistan’s population relate to one country above all INDIA!

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  • Faraz Kakar
    Jun 22, 2013 - 2:03AM

    ”In fact, Pakistan as the physical inheritor of the real Indus River Civilisation is more “Indic” than India…”

    True… unfortunately the medieval Saudi Arabic values under veil of religion, have mentally enslaved Pakistani’s. We view with great contempt the cultural and linguistic diversity of our society instead of being proud of it. We forget that if religion could bind people into nation, the Arabs would not be divided in dozens of countries. This intellectual clash between religious nationalism and cultural identity is what does not let us be at peace with ourselves and the world. Our perceived weakness is actually our greatest strength, if only we replace the tradition of blind obedience with a culture of rational thinking.

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  • C. Nandkishore
    Jun 22, 2013 - 2:17AM

    Friend, on the off chance that ET publishes my comment, let me assure you that most Pakistanis donnot think they are Arab. I only became aware of this misconception through Indian comments. Fact is 2 of Pakistan’s races (Punjabis and Sindhis) are also present in India, something we all know, and Pashtun and Baloch are essentially Afghan or Iranian.

    Most Pakistanis don’t belive they are descended from Arabs. This is a popular idea spread by the left, but let me assure you, it is not true. :-)

    ET: 8 Indian comments and no Pakistani input?

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  • Jim
    Jun 22, 2013 - 2:26AM

    Nice try by Shamshad Ahmad to usurp the Indus Valley Civilization for Pakistan, but won’t work. Despite the physical location of part of IVC in Pakistan, the world recognizes India, not Pakistan, as the inheritor of IVC legacy. Pakistan is an artificial construct, as some of your own intellectuals and historians will tell you. Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber-Pashtoonistan, Jammu and Kashmir are all realities. Each has distinct language and culture. Pakistan was forged artificially — and in blood — to satisfy the ego of one man. It is a mirage that will soon go away, paving way for the original federated but decentralized union of autonomous republics. And the geographic entity is the Indian subcontinent, not “South Asia” another bogus invention. Remember it is the INDIAN OCEAN, not South Asian Ocean. And INDUS valley civilization, not Pakus Valley or South Asian valley civilization. Seriously, Pakistani diplomats and generals need a crash course in history. No wonder you drove out the likes of Ayesha Jalal from your country.

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  • Irony
    Jun 22, 2013 - 2:40AM

    It is not south Asia, it is the Indian subcontinent.The resonance of Indian subcontinent far outmatches south Asia just because people all over the world recognize India- the only continuous and oldest civilization. I am sorry but the name as Indian subcontinent will continue even though it hurts your ego. Also you all of Indian race and not arab race.
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  • gp65
    Jun 22, 2013 - 2:42AM

    @Ashvinn: Gandhar that is referred to in Mahabharat is present day Swat in Pakistan. It is unrelated to Kandahar in AfghanistanRecommend

  • Observer
    Jun 22, 2013 - 3:04AM

    The author, in typical Pak foreign office propaganda, makes some very over-arching and conflating statements such as “No other region in the world today is as volatile and unstable as South Asia with its longstanding India-Pakistan hostility and conflict, and its crucial role in the post-9/11 scenario.”

    The reality and the truth is that it is Pakistan and Afghanistan that are most unstable and volatile in South Asia. All other countries, have progressed economically, socially and democratically in varying degrees. Trade between these SAARC countries with the exception of Pakistan are blooming nicely.

    As for claiming Indic civilization, Pakistan has in fact, rejected it in favor of imagined central Asian, Arab, Afghan and Persian heritage.

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  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Jun 22, 2013 - 4:20AM

    Mandatory requirements for Pakistani writers: The following phrases must appear in the article if the word India is going to appear anywhere in the article regardless of the topic of the article
    1. South East Asian region is very volatile and unstable
    2. Arch enemy
    3. Fought x number of wars
    4. Two Nuclear capable states
    5. Longstanding hostility
    Some times it feels like there is a template with these phrases with fill in the blank for the writer to write. People are getting tired of this cookie cutter articles.

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  • Allah.Ditta
    Jun 22, 2013 - 6:05AM

    I think Pakistan comes now in AF-PAK region. South Asia is just like saying South of World as we say West to whole Europe, USA, Canada and even Australia. Author can call anything to a Pakistani or to himself but I do not think India or Indians like labels associating themselves with anything which includes word “Pakistani’. Author mentions all the rulers but forgot to mention once who ruled from Lahore and ruled existing borders of Pakistan and whose tomb is still in Lahore. His name was Ranjit Sing. Kashmir was part of Afghanistan and it was Ranjit Sing who made it part of India and Pakistan. Great Pakistani was he.

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  • leela
    Jun 22, 2013 - 6:22AM

    So it is clear that you are living in Hindu lands by way of aggression to claim being Indic. Most Pakistanis consider themselves to be proto arab, persian, turkic or central asian. Based on the two nation theory, they had claimed to be distinctly different from Indians. No thank you, you should not mooch of India’s success while constantly plotting to subert India.

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  • Azhar
    Jun 22, 2013 - 7:19AM

    I feel proud that my Pakistan physically inherited the Indus Valley thing, which I learned a lot about by reading Indian textbooks. Every textbook had typos, though. Instead of calling those places Harappali and Mohenjodakhan, they kept calling them other stuff. Oh well, that’s India for you.

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  • someone
    Jun 22, 2013 - 7:35AM

    The partition of India was nothing but the political adventure and ambition of few politicians for which thousands of ordinary people died and got displaced from their roots. But the bottom line is, did the partition achieve what it was supposed to?
    1. Is ordinary Muslim in Pakistan/Bangladesh better off than the one in India?
    2. Did partition help Muslims of sub continent to achieve something they could not have had achieved in united India?
    3. Do Muslims in Pakistan/Bangladesh have more religious freedom than Muslims in India?
    4. Did partition empower Muslim of sub continent more or could they have been more assertive if combined in democratic united India?
    5. Does the argument of Muslim and non Muslim can’t live together still hold the water?

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  • Great Thinker
    Jun 22, 2013 - 7:38AM

    Shamshad, Child: Note that Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, Bangaldesh, albeit South Asia, were all part of Bharat, once upon a time. The faith of all the Bharatvarshee’s was a way of life, called Hnduism. Conquerors of a medieval land came to India and tried to imposed their religion on Bharat. Your forefathers were also Hindu’s. Some of the converts decided that they are different from the rest and decided to separate from the mother. You and your ilk are one of these converts. Now a small part claiming the legacy of the whole is absurd.
    Now, Flush and come out. It is stinking here.

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  • ashvinn
    Jun 22, 2013 - 8:03AM

    @gp65: stand corrected but then again dont the afghans consider all of balochistan and parts of NWFP as part of afghanistan

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  • Vivek
    Jun 22, 2013 - 8:15AM

    @observer

    As for claiming Indic civilization, Pakistan has in fact, rejected it in favor of imagined central Asian, Arab, Afghan and Persian heritage.

    I have a slight disagreement with the word “imagined” that you mentioned.

    If the Pakistanis think they are arabs/persians/turks/uzbeks/tajiks/krygyzs/afghans, why should be care about it? If they think they are, then who are we to disabouse them of this notion ?. The majority of the Indians woulds be happy not to be associated with anything pakistani at all, and if the pakistanis themselves think they are all that mentioned above, then all the better for us.

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  • Naveen
    Jun 22, 2013 - 8:38AM

    @Naseer Muhammad:
    Having met a good many Pakistanis in Italy, I agree with you that most Pakistanis are and remain South Asian for all practical purposes – be it in food, dressing, language, music etc etc. For most of them, an Arab guy is as foreigner as it is to an Indian.

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  • Naveen
    Jun 22, 2013 - 8:42AM

    @gp65:
    He’s talking about Gandhara Cultural zone in ancient South Asia (Do Bamiyan, Takshashila ring no bells?). You need to brush up your knowledge of history.

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  • Jun 22, 2013 - 9:58AM

    I’ve come across many different types of Pakistanis.

    1) We are not of Indian-orign: They vehemently deny their Indian origins. They proudly claim Arabic victories as their own. They see the Indian Civilisation as vile.

    2) We are of Indian-origin and proud: People like NFP are somewhat like this. They accept their Indian history AND more importantly make an effort to assert this to the above mentioned group.

    3) We are of Indian-origin but deep-down not so proud: This is where the Author fits in.

    Look at this line: “In that sense, perhaps, Gandhi and Jinnah, the revered fathers of their respective nation states, too, would be more South Asian rather than Indian or Pakistani. “

    So rather than admit their ancestry and call it India, they now want to call it South Asia. Rubbish.

    India was India before the British came, it was even more so before the Mughals invaded. You call it Bharat, Hindustan or India, what is in a name?

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  • Rakib
    Jun 22, 2013 - 10:37AM

    Man from Kathmandu says:- “Are we sure about India as it is constructed or isn’t it time to consider reformatting?”

    What an absurd idea to consider! Why should anyone try to put together something that was pulled asunder? Eventually “Reformatting” would mean the satellite countries accepting Delhi’s very same central status befitting its stature. For centuries Delhi (& nearby area) was the capital of the Subcontinent ruling over vassal states, who enjoyed some amount of autonomy too provided they paid the tithe promptly.It all changed between 1947-50. Reviving it all is just an idea as ideas go & the couple of “friends” that discussed it may even want their respective countries to subscribe to it but can’t put the clock back can we and I very much doubt Delhi would be interested at all in such an offer. Perish the thought.

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  • Polpot
    Jun 22, 2013 - 11:17AM

    @It Is (still) Economy Stupid: Well said Sir.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    An overarching desire to estabilish equivalence between India and Pakistan arising out of inferiroity. .

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  • Observer
    Jun 22, 2013 - 12:59PM

    @BruteForce:

    Brilliantly stated. Some right-wing Pakistanis like the author deliberately coined the term “south Asia” so they can live in denial of their Indian ancestry and heritage.

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  • Ali
    Jun 22, 2013 - 2:24PM

    @Rakib

    “Why should anyone try to put together something that was pulled asunder?”

    Why not? It’s a good idea. Why you want to be the proverbial spanner in the wheel?
    If Afghanistan can be tagged along, that will make the Muslim population almost 650 mln. i.e 40% of total in such an arrangement. No govt. can be formed without them.
    With a little luck and unity we can even have our own govt. We will rule India again, this time even bigger than before. We can bring back our old glory. Inshallah!

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  • David_Smith
    Jun 22, 2013 - 3:02PM

    First, let’s get to the important part: Queen Victoria was said to be cosy with a Muslim clerk working for the household and one Diana was very fond of (amongst many) a Pakistani heart surgeon in London. But since neither appear to have contributed to the bloodline, the Indian housekeeper is still a jump ahead!
    Now to the other points in this curious piece (why a Pakistani Foreign Secretary should fire from the shoulder of “a friend from Kathmandu” is beyond me). South Asia is simply a geographical term. The only time it has been ruled as a unit (more or less) was during the Mauryan, Moghul and British empires. Today the countries of South Asia do not share a common vision, except when broadly defined, such as poverty alleviation; and they certainly do not share any common strategic objective. The reasons for this may be historical but there are some present realities as well: India’s GDP is six times that of all other SAARC nations put together. One could go on with other figures. India is happy to be just India and Indians, in the country or living abroad, want to be known as Indians and not South Asians.
    Pakistanis can be whatever they want to be and if they are (also) the inheritors of the IVC, so be it, very little is known about the IVC except they were pre-Islamic. The references to hegemony has outlived its shelf life. The last time there was any “reformatting” in the sub-continent was when the liberation of Bangladesh took place. Perhaps, the Foreign Secretary had another little chat with his friend from Kathmandu!

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  • Anand
    Jun 22, 2013 - 4:52PM

    @Davd_Smith

    What a response!!! You are more like a Goliath than a David.:))

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  • James bond
    Jun 22, 2013 - 5:08PM

    Dear indian friends funny thing is what I saw in Karachi peoples most of them migrated present indian areas of U.P, A.P, MP, Bihar petna and some of very tiny from Malabar area
    if one asked them and see there last names they are either from Arabia, Persia or Afghan roots shows and that’s make a laughed but on other side u go any where in Pakistan people
    s of those areas name are very similer to indian counterpart except Kpk they don’t even look indian …

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  • Jun 22, 2013 - 5:12PM

    @Ali:

    “We will rule India again, this time even bigger than before. “

    Thats why I talk about why Pakistan has been good for India. India is India today, because of its culture, which is Hindu. Yes, one might hesitate to state it the way I did because of the fear of offending the other minority groups like Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists,etc. When I say Hindu, I also extend that to Sikhs and Jains,etc.. If India were majority Muslim, it would gradually go the way of Pakistan. Malaysia is a great example of what India might become. It has 40% non-Muslim, but Sharia imposed. India would lose the vibrant character in such cases.

    Today SRK and Saif Ali Khan can come on TV and do ads for Liquor brands. In Malaysia, a woman was famously sentenced to be caned for drinking beer.

    You might argue that its a farfetched possibility, but I say its the trend. Look at UK and its minority Muslim population. Or, even US. Look at Ethiopia, with its 35% Muslim population.

    Pakistan was the best thing to have happened to the non-Muslims of India, espesially the Hindus. They got their culture back, their country back. There is no threat of Sharia taking precedence over the Indian Constitution, like in Pakistan AND Malaysia.

    You might want India to be like Malaysia, but that would mean India will stop being India. I am glad you have your country, because I have one I can call home and proudly.

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  • Vivek
    Jun 22, 2013 - 5:21PM

    @Mansi

    Brilliantly put. What should boggle our mind further is naming their weapons after the very same invaders who pillaged, plundered and destroyed their ancestors. None of the invading armies got their women to accompany them on their invasions…Go figure..For me, that truly takes the cake.

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  • mind control
    Jun 22, 2013 - 5:21PM

    In fact, Pakistan as the physical inheritor of the real Indus River Civilisation is more “Indic” than India

    OK.

    So how many objects in Pakistan are named after the ‘Indic Civilisation’?

    Missiles (Ghori, Abdali), Mosques (Feisal), Stadia (Quadaffi) included.

    And how many say Khuda Hafiz, and not Alhamdulillah?

    Indic, indeed.

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  • B
    Jun 22, 2013 - 6:19PM

    @Ali:
    You taking Afghanstan and then India? Wake up @Ali, TTP is already taking Pakistan while you nap.

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  • Arijit Sharma.
    Jun 23, 2013 - 12:04AM

    Question for Lala Gee – when you say Indian Muslims – are you talking of Sunnis only ? On your side of the border there seems to be a raging debate on what makes a Muslim.

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  • joy
    Jun 23, 2013 - 6:18PM

    After reading this and other such articles makes me more and more convinced that the so-called elite of Pakistan is still searching for its identity. Till yesterday, they pretended that Pakistan was located somewhere between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and today, they are trying to reinvent the wheel by saying they are indic, whatever that means.
    Sixty fiive years have gone and our neighbours are yet to say that they are just Pakistanis.

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  • Poaqiano
    Jun 26, 2013 - 7:31AM

    Indus Valley , the cradle of human civilization had no Muhammad, Abdul , Ali , Nali or Musharraf etc . How many of IVC values have been incorporated into Pakisani life style ? None and the most abhorring part of Arab culture,Inbreeding is the most common feature of Pakistani society .This religious practice is taking toll on the innocent children who are paying with their both limb and brain.No child of inbreeding can be considered the inheritor of “South Asian” civilization.
    Let author ask the Nepali friend what he thinks of Inbreeding and its place in t South Asia which is India that is ancient Bharat. .

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