Thank you, Mr Modi

Published: July 6, 2015
The writer is a public policy expert

The writer is a public policy expert

For many Pakistanis, Mr Modi, it all began with that infamous pronouncement from one of your illustrious predecessors. “We have drowned the Pakistani ideology in the Indian Ocean” was how Indira Gandhi bragged about the events of 1971. As we tried to reconcile with the reality of the dismemberment of Pakistan, our national outlook on the Pakistani ideology started undergoing a transition. The majority amongst us chose to remain loyal to this notion just like faithful sailors on board a storm-hit ship who refuse to get away on lifeboats. But there were others amongst us who sought to question this ideology by reaching out to the safety of the lifeboats of pragmatic notions, such as softening of borders and harping on about shared cultures between India and Pakistan.

And it is about these exchanges over the last four decades, between us on the storm-hit ship, and the wise lifeboat people that I will tell you, my dear Mr Modi. The first thing that the lifeboat people kept harping about was that the predicament of our ship was not a phenomenon resulting from 1971. We were informed that the ship should, in fact, not have taken sail in 1947 in the first place. We were told that our ship – the Pakistani ideology – was actually an artificial after-thought by a band of zealots, who were completely divorced from the vision of our founding fathers.

And to the collective dismay of those glued to the storm-hit ship, the lifeboat people also started, what they termed, was the deconstruction of myths about our national history. They took pains to convince us that our founding fathers had no intention of according central significance to religion in our national life. We were told to forget the butchering of hundreds of thousands during Partition and rather focus on one speech amongst hundreds made by the Father of the Nation, to prove that there was a disconnect between our ideology and Pakistan. And, I must admit, my faith in the Pakistani ideology was shaken a bit. The lifeboat people also started enlightening us on the nexus between this faulty ideology and security paradigms and that there was an unwarranted build-up of security apparatus at the cost of the wellbeing of billions in this region. Ceremonies, such as the Wagah border flag-lowering every evening, were termed uncalled for events, scaring peace-loving doves on both sides.

Every now and then, these doves would cross the border, dancing and chanting songs of peace. Our faith in the Pakistani ideology would be further diluted as we were told stories of the love which they received on the other side of border. The blood spilt during Partition, the three India-Pakistan wars, Kashmir, the Bangladesh debacle — all of these were fast becoming hazy in contrast to the colours of peace that these doves painted.

But then came you, Mr Modi and that picture. We saw you smiling as you received souvenirs from the Bangladeshi prime minster for services rendered during the unfortunate 1971 saga. We could not miss the scorn, the venom, which came shrieking out of that picture. The lancet cut you jointly administered to us with your Bangladeshi counterpart through that picture has been a blessing in disguise. Our faith in the Two-Nation Theory and the Pakistani ideology is reborn. Our commitment to uphold democratic values as the best guarantee against shenanigans of incompetent rulers will never again be lost on us. We are reminded how important it is to stand behind our soldiers who would always be our ultimate line of defence against the wiles of unrelenting foes.

So, Mr Modi, we will always remember this picture of yours and liken it to the picture of Dorian Gray, reminding us of the collective sins of our adversaries, perpetrated to soil the intrinsic beauty of our cherished ideology. Let me also assure you that the next time we visit the Wagah border, we will chant Pakistan Zindabad slogans at the top of our voices so that we are heard – and clearly understood – on your side of the border.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th,  2015.

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Reader Comments (42)

  • Indian Guy
    Jul 6, 2015 - 1:57AM

    You are trying too hard Mr. Rizwan Mehboob. Instead of being so dramatic and dishing out such fancy metaphors, it would great if you just realize that while all kinds of ideologies exist in all societies, its mostly pragmatism that drives events. Instead of thinking about ideologies, in my opinion just reconcile yourself to Pakistan being a geographical entity and people living there. And, work for its betterment by strengthening it from inside instead of getting yourself entangled in fancy ideologies.Recommend

  • Easy Peasy
    Jul 6, 2015 - 2:00AM

    What exactly is the point of this opinion piece ? How on earth does 1971 reinforce 2 nation theory ? In fact it debunks it completely. Rest assured though, Indians don’t want Pakistanis back in India, partition was a blessing in disguise for Indians.Recommend

  • ajeet
    Jul 6, 2015 - 3:02AM

    Pakistan is South Asia’s Israel, a foreign religion demanding our land. There is more pain on the way as we have a Hindu samrat in India.Recommend

  • Bairooni haath
    Jul 6, 2015 - 3:51AM

    You got Pakistan 68 years ago. Nobody can reverse that. 44 years ago, a majority of Pakistanis decided they did not want to be part of Pakistan anymore. A minority decided to continue with the Pakistan name which nobody agrees what it stands for anymore.Recommend

  • Bairooni haath
    Jul 6, 2015 - 3:52AM

    Modi giving Pakistan the tough love it needs!Recommend

  • Bairooni haath
    Jul 6, 2015 - 3:53AM

    Butchering took place both sides of the border during Partition.Recommend

  • foziaqadir
    Jul 6, 2015 - 7:09AM

    Partition was indeed a blessing in disguise as we all know how Muslims are being treated in secular india….#beefban #Yogaday says it all and those who are advising pakis to solve their internal issues should also give a thought to #arunachalpradesh #manipur the #assam blah blah
    Blessings from #Kashmir Recommend

  • pk
    Jul 6, 2015 - 7:22AM

    A nation founded on the myth of superiority of one religion over another is bound to fail. Life is coming in full circle for Pakistan, as if devastation and deaths due to this absurd theory is not enough. I personally won’t like to even touch the soil of a country whose constitution places one religion superior to another. It is just unacceptable to conscience. Recommend

  • G123
    Jul 6, 2015 - 7:28AM

    OMG – What a Fragile Country you guys need some other nations leader speech to reignite your patriotism. We Love India and regardless of any situation our patriotism engraved into our DNA i think that’s the difference that u lost half the countryRecommend

  • Deepwater
    Jul 6, 2015 - 8:05AM

    Pakistan lives in the past. In fact, it is obsessed with the events of 1971, two nation theory and so on. India and Bangladesh have both moved on and ahead due to their strong cultural underpinning and pragmatic leadership.

    Pakistan believes India has never accepted it. Fact is, Pakistan has never accepted itself. It is finding it impossible to be the nation it was originally “designed” to be and being anything else would undermine the very reason it was created. Recommend

  • Easy Peasy
    Jul 6, 2015 - 8:13AM

    While you are busy researching plight of Indian Muslims, please don’t conveniently forget to check on how you treat your fellow Muslims in Pakistan too, let alone other religious minorities. #ahmadipersecution #shiamassacre Recommend

  • wb
    Jul 6, 2015 - 8:31AM

    You’re a public policy expert?

    Pakistanis, whatever you do, please don’t use this writer’s expertise in your power and water problems. They can only get worse.

    This reads like the essay of a middle school student on Pakistan Studies subject.Recommend

  • pat
    Jul 6, 2015 - 8:36AM

    Last time our pm visited Pakistan to make peace Pakistan started Kargil .so this time Modi decided to leave Pakistan alone to its faith and they are not able to digest it. They lost half of their country for the genocide they did in their own country( operation search light) .And they easly blame India for all their incompetents.Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Jul 6, 2015 - 9:20AM

    Dear Rizwan Mehboob, as an Indian I appreciate your feeling as a Pakistani about creation of Bangladesh. However, please remember that the bloodshed of 1971 was no less heinous then of 1947. Further, what you feel about the creation of Bangladish today, please tell me how it is different then feeling of a normal Indian about dividing us in 1947?Recommend

  • Milind
    Jul 6, 2015 - 9:25AM

    @foziaqadir – “Partition was indeed a blessing in disguise as we all know how Muslims are being treated in secular india….#beefban #Yogaday says it all”

    And what about the other 44 Muslim countries that voluntarily participated in #Yogaday? I guess these are not blessed because these were not partitioned from India.Recommend

  • AK BOB
    Jul 6, 2015 - 9:31AM

    “We could not miss the scorn, the venom, which came shrieking out of that picture.”… Probably meant to be a reminder that the Bangladeshi people are still waiting for an apology from Pakistan. You cannot wish the misdeeds away…..Recommend

  • Hmm
    Jul 6, 2015 - 10:08AM


    You might have doubts in your ideology, but we have no doubt in our ideology. And we never stop chanting “India Zindabad ” be it Wagha border or BD border or Indo-chinese border . We still consider Jinnah was a demon and he did good for our country in some way . Now shut your mouth and be prepared for next war . This time we will finish it for once and all .Recommend

  • Vakil
    Jul 6, 2015 - 11:03AM

    Very sad indeed that an educated Pakistani like the @author (he has certainly used wonderful metaphors!) needs India and its leaders to hate his own country for him to be patriotic. It looks to me that Pakistanis need hate from India and its citizens just to justify their existence. When are they going to grow up?Recommend

  • Asok
    Jul 6, 2015 - 11:11AM

    Indira Gandhi said no such thing. Why keep this lie alive?Recommend

  • Asok
    Jul 6, 2015 - 11:14AM

    It’s astounding that Pakistanis are still unwilling to accept their guilt in the atrocities committed against the Bengalis in ’71. A lot of the ills you’re facing today comes from that denial.

    Take a look at what Germany did after WWII, and how it actually benefitted them.Recommend

  • AA
    Jul 6, 2015 - 11:48AM

    By reading the comments here, all from Indians, let me assure you Rizwan Mehboob, the next time you visit the Wagah border, there is no need to chant Pakistan Zindabad slogan at the top of your voices because you are already been heard – and clearly understood – on the other side of the border. Every single word of yours is a heartbeat of every Pakistani. Thank you !!!Recommend

  • Union Jack
    Jul 6, 2015 - 1:36PM

    @Rizwan Mehboob: So you could not find a single reason in your own country Pakistan to make you feel strong about the reason why Pakistan was created. Even for that you needed a Hindu Indian Prime Minister’s help ? Man it is becoming boring to compete with some one whose belief in his own country is so fragile and weak. Recommend

  • Union Jack
    Jul 6, 2015 - 1:41PM

    Wow, your attempt to rescue Rizwan is even more silly then the author’s article. Straight from some Pakistani Punjabi film. Applause to you my friend for your excellent creativity and even better dramatic display of your hollow patriotism.
    A true patriot contributes to the progress of country not just thump his chest. Hope these words feeds any sense.Recommend

  • Ashish
    Jul 6, 2015 - 1:54PM

    To the author—Well you guys had doubts over 2 nation theory and but due to Mr Modi’s Bangladesh visit your faith in your 2 nation theory was reborn…well guess what you guys expect us to trust you guys when we never ever had any doubts that you guys divided and broke our mother land in 2 parts in 1947.
    You guys shout about plebiscite in Kashmir well your forefathers should have asked for a plebiscite in undivided India in 1947 on whether India should be divided in 2 parts or not…Instead of plebiscite your founding father threatened that there will be a civil war if his demand to divide India is not accepted..Well don’t expect a plebiscite in Kashmir now.. You made your pact with British and divided India w/o consulting the majority of population and now we will play the game our way.. Recommend

  • Lahori badshah
    Jul 6, 2015 - 3:31PM

    Great then, by your own admission, let’s do it again and save the souls of the Kashmiri, Assamese, and Sikhs who do not agree with colonial aggressive Hindi ideology and assertions @Easy Peasy: Recommend

  • Shan
    Jul 6, 2015 - 4:48PM

    The recent inopportune and highly provocative statements from Indian Official depict that it may be time for the world community to determine whether Indian hegemonic policies are the problem or a solution to the issues of peace and stability in the region.Recommend

  • Azfar
    Jul 6, 2015 - 4:48PM

    I think sometimes logic can or rather should take a back seat to passion. I can fully understand what the author has tried to convey through this discourse. I must also thank Modi for re-awakening that burning urge to become that impassioned patriot again. I had forgotten, amid those sweet talking proponents of peace, how it feels to win againt India in every field. Thankyou Mr Modi indeed. Thankyou for giving us back our passion Recommend

  • Pity
    Jul 6, 2015 - 7:00PM

    The stripping of a woman in Indian-occupied Kashmir plus the beef ban and the yoga reinforces our belief on the two-nation theory and the creation of Pakistan.
    ET, i know you don’t like posting my comments but if Indians have a right to express their venom then I too have a right to voice my opinion.Recommend

  • lancersboy
    Jul 6, 2015 - 9:04PM

    Yes a DNA created by 2000 years of slavery,keep going IndiaRecommend

  • Agnostic
    Jul 6, 2015 - 10:06PM

    Thank you, Rizwan Mehboob for airing what many Pakistanis felt after Modi’s visit to Dhaka. Sometimes I wonder why Mujib’s own soldiers despatched him to the next world. Will the Indian commentators also enlighten the readers about that tragedy? Recommend

  • Mazo
    Jul 6, 2015 - 10:21PM


    LOL Passion ? You are just happy not to think anymore and join the bandwagon of self perpetuated hysteria and blind ideology. And in your fit of “passion” to display your misbegotten pride you forget that – Modi doesn’t really care at all. He in fact couldn’t care less what Pakistan thinks about anything he says or does. Recommend

  • xy
    Jul 6, 2015 - 10:59PM

    Modi doesn’t really care at all. He in fact couldn’t care less what Pakistan thinks about anything he says or does.

    Yeah he couldn’t care less thats why he ran all the way to china to complain about CPEC. He couldn’t care less thats why he is backing terrorism in Pakistan. Mate his whole election campaign was based on bashing Pakistan and fanning war hysteria. Recommend

  • Tarun Kumar
    Jul 6, 2015 - 11:15PM

    Lol even 68 years after its independence, pakistan needs a modi to remind them what nationalism is only means there is no pakistani national identity in the first place. Any confident nation would have ignored him.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Jul 6, 2015 - 11:48PM

    Why is Bangladesh important ? Because of the intellect. Bangladeshi intellect, although predominantly of the Muslim faith, is already secular. It that intellect can be re-connected to its basically Hindu ethos, the potential is limitless. Recommend

  • sabi
    Jul 7, 2015 - 2:39AM

    The slogan ideology of Pakistan is the invention of Jamat Islami (partner of Congress) which opposed the creation of Pakistan terming Jinnah kafre azam and new state as pleadistan.
    Check the facts before writing op-ed on esteem news papers.Recommend

  • joy
    Jul 7, 2015 - 4:24AM

    respected columnist,
    I can understand your pain and anguish, but pray enlighten me on one issue…why did the majority decide to break away..has it ever happened before? I dont want to harangue but please during this holy month, channel your energies to something creative and please please try and learn from yours and others mistakes Recommend

  • S
    Jul 7, 2015 - 9:50AM

    You have a point author. Pakistanis were almost forgetting enmity with India. Congress played so cleverly in the last years or perhaps they were indeed genuine in their peace efforts. Not that it affected me but it surely affected many Pakistanis who were indeed ready to move past the enmity. Mr. Modi was a nasty shock for them. lol!
    Pakistan ideology exists as long as we exist. Except some left leaning intellectuals in our country, no Pakistani can ever doubt it. Good to see you guys are coming around. Dismemberment of a country cannot shake the foundations on which we built our country. Considering that most Pakistanis that exist today never saw East Pakistan, it doesn’t hurt us and neither bother us. They are happy and so are we.
    Either way, Modi brought the enmity back. After a long time, we saw our leaders commenting on India and RAW in a negative tone which tells you something. Indians are all praise for Modi which is certainly odd to me as he and his ministers soured relations between the two countries in no time with his chest-thumping claims and undiplomatic language . Maybe the ability to bully neighbours counts as achievement to Indians.
    So yeah Thank You Mr. Modi for reminding us that why we need to stay vigilant. Recommend

  • Asher
    Jul 7, 2015 - 9:54AM

    Bangladesh whole ideology revolves around hating Pakistan. They can never move on. They need enmity with us to justify their existance. Interestingly, we don’t hate them at all.
    As for India, you can hardly claim to move on considering your PM just a few days ago was proudly owning Indian role in Bangladesh creation.Recommend

  • Raghu
    Jul 7, 2015 - 12:50PM

    @foziaqadir Is that all you can come up with. Your yoga day hash speaks of your paritition mindset,reminds you how much a looser you are ,since 44 Islamic nations followed yoga day.Thats the strength of argument. I understand you are loosing reasons or causes for building narratives and you will have none in future too.
    @Asher. Replace Bangla with Pak and Pak with India. Its the oldest narrative. Your narrative is new. You cant preach others what you dont follow.
    @s. Good that you understood the whole picture. Thats what Modi wants and he succeeded. Remember enimity with India is more a drag for you but not for us. Pak cant drag India down anymore. it has lost its advantage. Yes Pakistan needs to be bullied whether one can or not. It has punched above its weight always and needs to be shown its place. Every plan of its has boomeranged.You have lost everything against India fighting for Kashmir. You have been able to probably pinch our for a while. Thats it. If you want to continue ,go ahead. I would have been more sarcastic, but my humility stopped me. For all that you have done since 1947 against India, small lessons are indeed a necessity.Recommend

  • the eddy
    Jul 7, 2015 - 4:22PM

    You should read Bangladeshi-Canadian historian Salim Mansur on this shame-ridden stance of Pak Liberals , which makes them different from the guilt-ridden nature of Liberals elsewhere .Recommend

  • Oats
    Jul 7, 2015 - 11:58PM

    @S: What are you talking about. Pakistanis have no enmity against Indians but they only disagree over occupied Kashmir. The world knows that Britain and India cheated the Kashmiris and Pakistan by not letting the people join Pakistan. There is one mistake the author makes though. We don’t need Modi or anyone else to make us doubt the validity of the country. Do you think if Modi were not around, the people would be any less Pakistani? I don’t think so. A lot of Pakistani people see Indian Muslims as the same as Bangladeshi Muslims or Burmese Muslims. We are from after partition so we don’t care about it. It’s a done deal and cannot be reversed because the Pakistani have moved on. It’s only people like Muhajirs who have family in India or the Indian people who debate partition any more.Recommend

  • observer
    Jul 8, 2015 - 2:11PM

    @Rizwan Mehboob

    No matter how hard you protest, the ideology of Pakistan- i.e. Superiority of Islam and Muslims , did get trashed in 1971, because the MAJORITY of Muslims of Pakistan seceded and created a Secular polity.

    Since the adhesive of Pakistan Ideology is not working, Why don’t you try Fevicol.

    Results are guaranteed.Recommend

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