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India and Pakistan have a long way to go

August 5, 2009

India’s soft approach to terror is getting on my nerves and I am sick and tired of hearing that Pakistan is doing nothing to curb the terrorist organisation LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) and are continuing to push terrorists on to our soil. I am sick and tired of hearing that they are doing nothing to keep Hafiz Saeed, the founder of the terrorist organisation, in custody. I am tired of hearing it because I know that at least for now that Pakistan will not act against the LeT. I know that Pakistan is going to keep sending terrorists into India. Sure, India should make a hue and cry as it sees fit, that is our government’s job, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t cringe every time I hear or read about all this. Pakisitan reluctance to charge a mass murderer is particularly galling.

I would like to hear more about the fact that the LeT is a branch of the Pakistan Army and the ISI. The world knows that the Pakistani Army and the ISI support the LeT but no one seems to care except us. Yes, Pakistan wants Kashmir, at any cost. Considering that the Pakistan Army is still the most powerful institution in Pakistan it is not surprising that the civilian government will not touch Saeed.

We can be disgusted all we want that any army needs to stoop to hire goons to help it along but however sick this makes us feel, however sick it may make the civilian Pakistani government feel, however much we want to vomit at the thought of elements in an official state agency being involved in the deliberate murder of innocent men, women and children, India seems helpless to control it. Nothing has proved it more than the release of the mass murderer by the Pakistani authorities.

At this point it is important to know that Hafiz Saeed has a personal vendetta against India. He lost 36 family members in the communal slaughter (where both Hindus and Muslims were killed) that accompanied partition, in 1947. Mass murderers are often mentally disturbed. In any case any man who plotted the Mumbai terror attacks should be in a mental institution.

The USA, which has arm-twisted Pakistan (by threatening withdrawal of aid) into taking on the Taliban, is reluctant to do so when it comes to the LeT. I am not sure if America is under the illusion that they can rid the world of the Taliban without tackling LeT. Surely America should have learnt its lesson after their experience after the Afghanistan war when the Taliban simply re-grouped in Pakistan? Any remnants of the Taliban will simply find refuge with the LeT and give birth to a hydra headed monstor. It is difficult to believe that the US doesn’t know this, so the obvious answer is that they are being soft on Pakistan for short term gains.

India is showing its soft side too, like it has done many times in the past. The recent Sharm-el-Sheikh joint statement by our esteemed prime minister Manmohan Singh in which he not only agreed to talk to Pakistan even though they continue to rage a cowardly proxy war against India takes the cake. Even more ridiculous is the mention of Balochistan in the joint statement by our PM. While India has already backed out of the first part, it’s the second part that has got India red in the face because India has nothing to do with Balochistan. Our Prime Minister has made a blunder. He was apparently trying to be “nice.”  Pakistan on its part wanted to counter India’s accusations some way or the other, and thought bringing in Balochistan was a pretty way of doing it. Apparently without the mention of the B word Pak wasn’t ready to sign any such statement. And why did India sign such a statement? It is believed that India was under pressure from the US to sign joint statements with Pakistan, under pressure to be “nice,” and under pressure to resume talks. India should show only contempt for this kind of double speak by the U.S. where their government is concerned only with the safety of their own citizens. In any case such ridiculous statements are simply political games which countries play. Even though the statement is meaningless, it is still a betrayal by the Prime Minister because India has nothing to do with Balochistan.

But to put it all perspective let us remember that such statements will not benefit Pakistan in the long run. Such a statement might create a diversion for its people, and a nice piece of work as far as the India baiters are concerned, but finally the truth will come back to haunt Pakistan. For now Pakistan may use the statement as a lollipop but lollipops don’t last. To solve any problem one has to acknowledge it first, to its people. Pakistani took over two decades to admit to being a sponsor of terrorism in India and that too only when the evidence was too much to deny. Pakistan is still busy sending terrorists into India and building secret tunnels, instead of concentrating on its internal issues. It is using precious funds, some of which I am sure the LeT collected in the name of charity, to buy guns and bombs. What can one say?

Related Reading: War is not an option after the Mumbai terror attacks
The stupidity of terrorists
Some tips from someone caught in the Mumbai terror attacks
Top ten myths about Pakistan unraveled

Related Reading: All posts on Pakistan

82 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2009 9:21 pm

    Me first!

    Well you got right nerve, me too frustrated about listening to same record.
    Now with a new thing where in ISI is behind, fake Indian currency makes me go more seek.

    Sunny, that is exactly it. The frustration is far too much. And yes Pakistan is printing fake Indian currency in their own official printing presses! That country has no pride whatsoever! Why else would they continue with their criminalways? But then criminals rarely see any sense. – Nita

    • August 6, 2009 12:03 pm

      Nita, I think, we as a nation to rethink decision mades by our old leaders, at the time of independance.

      Do you think, is pakistan brought back to india, as India, can solve many problems.

      Or as Sri Lankan govt. there lacks guts! (Whihc they did later LTTE) to get over thier own problem.

      No Sunny, the pakistanis are foreigners to us and you will see why if you read my answer to Vishesh’s comment. – Nita

  2. August 5, 2009 9:27 pm

    Pakistan uses U.S weapons and financial aid (to fight Taliban and terrorism) to use against India. Sponsors terrorism in India by simply pumping in fake currency to India.
    We do nothing to stop this.

    OldSailor, And it makes me think that we can’t do anything. – Nita

  3. August 5, 2009 10:20 pm

    Pakistan is aiding U.S.A for his war in Taliban. Meanwhile, Pakistan wants to divert this situation. A fight with india or just a big drama of fight with India can reunite all millitant groups in pakistan and hence,can eliminate internal conflicts and carnage in pakistan. I think, this all, including recent blaming to india is pakistan’s political stratgey to draw the attention of its people from its economic downfall, poverty and massacre.

    Amit Singh, that’s true there are people who are not happy that Taliban is being attacked so these are diversions. – Nita

  4. August 5, 2009 11:37 pm

    Long way? I doubt if the problems will be ever solved before human race ends!! The financial terrorism being sponsored by Pakistan is also scary!

    Reema, I think that too at times. Specially as terrorists organisations have a mask of being charitable organisations and they collect money in the name of charity. They will always have money to kill innocents. – Nita

  5. August 6, 2009 2:29 am

    The only viable option left for India is soft approach. Going to war with Pakistan or hot pursuit is not an option and never was an option since India and Pakistan tested nuclear devices. Even if we remove nuclear devices out of the India-Pakistan equation, in the hindsight to what happened to America in Iraq, results would have been disastrous for us, had we attacked Pakistan.

    The correct approach is to blow hot and cold of a hot pursuit and keep the diplomacy of talking on and off. We need to maintain a level of international pressure on Pakistan and wait until the very same terrorists who were trained to target India, start targeting Pakistan.

    This is the cheapest (i mean it, even if we have to take casualties into account) and viable option against Pakistan. This will not only invalidate their nuke technology and the spend on their military preparedness on their eastern border, but also will heap domestic pressure w.r.t the biggest share of national income going towards maintaining do-nothing-army.

    Given this policy, now the big question. What if the militants inflict bigger damage? We need to improve our border security and also internal security to guard ourselves against any such misadventure. Our economy can afford such a spend on improving security which is lacking now.
    This is needed, even if we do not have the militant threat, given the size of our country and its growing economy.

    PM Manmohan singh has done the right thing and i hope that he doesn’t meet the same end as former PM Vajpayee.
    Thanks
    sri

    Thanks for your perspective sri and I sincerely hope you are right about Manmohan Singh. And ofcourse I agree with you about the no-war option. It is the most sensible course but I also feel that talking to a government which has no control is of no use. It’s humiliating for India I think. I too feel that border security needs to be improved. – Nita

    • August 13, 2009 11:31 am

      Nita,
      I know that in the last decade or so, we all went through flipflop of opinions on Pakistan from negative to sympathetic to negative view. It would be unwise to think in terms of humiliation or jubiliation w.r.t relations with Pakistan. I think we should compromise a little bit to achieve full peace with Pakistan for bigger gains else where. The whole exercise of peace process with Pakistan is to neutralize threat from Pakistan (from nukes, from terrorists etc). Looking at the bigger picture, we need to get dear to people of Pakistan, Bangladesh, nepal and Sri Lanka to neutralize larger threat from china.
      –sri

      • vasudev permalink
        August 13, 2009 12:27 pm

        omg! do you really believe it!!!

  6. August 6, 2009 3:27 am

    Nita, You cann’t expect turn around in 6 months of the damage done by letahl combination of Mullahs and army in past 20 years. India has to endure little longer before a strong unipolar civil mandate is thrown up by the people of Pakistan. The problem lies in the internal politics and education system of Pakistan which will keep on supplying Jehadist irrespective of peace talks held by politician of both countries. Army and Mullah coalition from the peroid of Zia ul haq has changed thinking pattern of intellects. Also downsliding economy with little respect to democratic norms has fueled the problem.

    It is no solution problem currently. And sincerity is lacking from both sides. Really, India and Pakistan have a long way to go before having a peace solution or annihilation of each other in war.
    The fact of the matter is that the present set up in Pakistan is multi-polar in opinion about relationship with India and Taliban. Pakistan didn’t consider talks untill Kashmir matter is included as major issue in bilateral talks. Let us consider LOC officially as final border and divide the Kashmir. Or, A referendum should be held and the Kashmiri people should be asked whether they want to remain part of India, join Pakistan, or become independent. The governments of India and Pakistan need to agree to honor the wishes of the people concerned over their own narrow interests.

    Please go through this blog to completely get the idea that in what mess we both country are.

    http://thesouthasianidea.wordpress.com/

    • August 6, 2009 7:18 am

      Thanks yayaver. As you said we cannot expect Pak to change so easily. Also I think Pakistan’s continuous lies about India affects their populace as well. And if you ask me I do not think that Pakistan will stop killing innocents in India and stop sending fake currency, even if Kashmir is given away to them. As long as there is a hatred of India, jealousy of India, and a desire to expand borders this won’t happen. Kashmir for example may want to be independent and do you think Pakistan will be happy with that? Anyway I personally do not believe that this is about Kashmir anymore. Even if the Kashmir issue is solved Pakistan will find another reason. They will accuse India of something else. What needs to be done is to rid the country of extremists, remove anti-India propaganda from their textbooks, and introduce secular education. I think they haven’t even started with this unless you count their recent actions against the Taliban. In any case the long term approach is education. As long as there are people who hate India even though their own country is our aggressor I think there is something seriously wrong.

      • August 6, 2009 8:10 pm

        We cann’t force them to do these changes according to our wishes. It is direct confrontation on the soverignity of a democratic country of Pakistan. Our fight is not against their people but few extremist element sitting at key position. We have to create huge awareness campaign about their lack of vision and end results of their hate campaign. To bring change we need to support the liberals of that nation. They only can topple the extremists and become future of Pakistan. To gain the trust, we should also remove Armed force acts from disputed region of Kashmir.

        http://www.cfr.org/publication/17155/crisis_in_kashmir.html

  7. August 6, 2009 8:56 am

    I still say the same things that I said in an earlier comment. To end this frustration, we need to realign our expectations to reality – which is that Pakistan is not going to do anything like what we’ve been expecting in vain.

    • August 6, 2009 9:37 am

      Mahendra, I re-read the comment you had posted and it is very apt for this post. For readers let me quote you:

      Pak’s disease of denial is as vicious as the denial that afflicts alcoholics and drug addicts. They will go all the way to the grave, heads held high in empty pride, rather than fight the disease within.

      It is time for India to stop hoping and praying. Pak is never going to catch those responsible for Mumbai blasts. They’re never going to do anything against Dawood or Dr. Khan. They’re never going to reduce troops on the India border, nor stop infiltration, nor bow to American or world pressure.

      • August 6, 2009 7:58 pm

        Correctly said Nita and Mahendra.

        Denial mode is hurtening any chance of dialouge between two countries. This is all done in the name of ultra patriotism in the Pakistan. The cross border movement and trade will help us in this regard. The vaccum created between India and Pakistan cann’t be filled by witty talks of diplomat only. Ground level movement of population for interaction is necessary. A B Vajpayee was on the right path for the talks and then Kargill dampens any mood of further progress. Then, India has done the blunder my giving recognigation to the army dictator as right form of government. All the eyes of the world are now shifted to Pak-Afghan and Iran-Iraq Alienation of students from ground realities.

  8. August 6, 2009 9:18 am

    Nita,discussions on Indo-Pak relations can go on but the problem will never get solved.In my opinion,part of it will be solved only after Pak gets divided once again.
    During partition a lot of families lost their friends and relatives,no doubt.That should not be the excuse to become a terrorist.What I do not understand the reasons for our successive Govts to play ball with Pak.One of course is the US pressure.Before Hillary Clinton could board the flight to India,our PM signs a joint statement???Hafiz Saeed,Afzal Guru,Kasab are only few names which are enough for India to take a hard stand,but we seem to get our priority wrong.The impression is that appeasement….Another problem seems to be a total absence of foreign policy experts in India.Can we say much of S M Krishna?Tharoor except for changing from suits to kurta payjama has not made even one statement.As a result of all this, Indians are getting a feeling of being let down.We are generally very tolerant,but only one leader will make the difference.We need another INDIARA GANDHI and L B SHASTRI .

    BKC, I agree that we should not play ball with pak. I personally only believe in talks only if there is a genuine willingness on the other side. Their side is all sham and pretence and it is obvious to us but still we want to talk! I am not a hardliner when it comes to Indo-Pak issues and in fact I am not even against talking to militants groups who have given up violence but they have to have the willingness to change. In Pakistan as long as the Army rules, an Army which is bent on territorial expansion, an Army which does not fight fair, India can give up hope. – Nita

    • Nikhil Kadadi permalink
      August 6, 2009 9:54 am

      @Nita see here is where i think we are wrong, our approach is one of being reactive (first you improve then, we’ll talk) which is as you yourself rightly said will not happ, instead we need to be proactive & make them ‘realize’ what they are doing in not in anyone’s interest and they should stop it, sure sometimes be mellow and sometimes commanding in our approach, but as we all agree be prepare to wait for a long time to get results we expect

      Nikhil, the way things are now I don’t think anyone can make Pakistan believe that they are harming themselves. They are anti-america and anti-india. I feel its crazy as it will mean that Pakistan will never develop economically. – Nita

  9. Nikhil Kadadi permalink
    August 6, 2009 9:39 am

    I think this is a long term & two way process,to bring pakistan to realize that we are not their enemy,
    – a part of our frustration comes from the fact that we are not confident that are borders & internal security is tight enough, whether it is physical violence or matters like spreading fake currency, need of the hour is to make our gov strengthen the internal security by allocating more funds to the defence sector & give them world class weapons, planning etc… thereby securing our borders & country
    -at the same time engage in diplomacy and make the authorities realize that both countries and have mutual benefits if they have cordial relations,
    we also have to realize that since it is a long term thing mistakes will be made & we should be patient and persevering in our pursuit for peace

  10. August 6, 2009 10:03 am

    Nita my feeling is that a big battle is going on in Pakistan between Jihadists and moderate forces in every sphere of life including the Army, Political parties and civil society. Our aim of peaceful coexisistence with Pakistan without any terrorist threat from there depends on the victory of moderate forces. So our policies should be aimed in such a way to help the moderates. In the joint statement in Egypt our Prime Minister proved why he can be only a bureaucrat and not a politician knowing the sentiments of the people. The statement could have been better worded.

    Charakan, if what you say is right, I will be happy. At one time I too used to believe that the average Pakistani was not anti-India but whether it is because of the media or because of the blogs one reads, or because of the few Pakistanis I knew at one time, I don’t believe this anymore. I don’t think that the majority of Pakistanis see India as a friend. Remember finally the people get the government they deserve. If being anti-India was not liked by the people, not even the Army would be anti-India. No leader dare be seen as pro-India as it is seen as a sign of weakness. – Nita

  11. August 6, 2009 10:55 am

    I see absolutely no reason why both the countries are deceiving each other. I think Pakistan has been a breeding ground for Islamic extremists , the excuse being “we hate India”. It seems absurd that a country does not care for its internal stability.

    You do read a lot about how different groups have power in different areas over there. They want Kashmir alright , but now they have torn the place with all their wars…

    We are forgetting that we are the same people. That the idea of an India and Pakistan was approved to continue the “divide and rule”.

    For all its Goodness , the US should stop acting like a big daddy . And even if they want to , they created Taliban.

    You and me saying anything against Pakistan is only going to give more reason to “hate” India. Unfortunately the way they operate , I don’t think the people can even think of changing things through a “revolution”.

    Why a religion? Why a hate?

    Vishesh, somehow I don’t believe we are the same people. We were in 1947 but since then there have been several generations which have grown up with a different education system and a different values. The average Muslim in India also cannot relate to the extremism in Pakistan. They are thankful that they chose India and not Pakistan and people have said this publicly. – Nita

    • August 6, 2009 12:11 pm

      Unni, noble thought, but again it’s all by survival.
      Read sentiments of Jews! After what Great Hitler did to them.
      This time around things have got into many aspects. The whole thing has change. No one knows reason.
      Each one comes out with his own speculation. Person who started it has no control over it.
      Person who control it have no word to say. Persons who act have no direction. Nations like Pakistan as lost it all.

      And noble India, still things they deserve 123456th chance.

    • August 7, 2009 11:49 pm

      Vishesh, as social beings we are usually part of two types of communities, natural communities such as our family, friends, co-workers and local groups, and broader ‘imagined’ communities such as state and nation. Communities such as ethno-religious-linguistic groups straddle these two types of communities.

      For eg., in a country like Germany, the linguistic community of speaking German is essentially the same as the national community of Germans, although this has changed a little with immigration recently.

      Obviously this does not work in the case of either India or Pakistan. In Pakistan, a national community has been created (or been attempted) on a strongly religious basis and in India the channels to create a national community have been much more varied. For eg., the Hindu right tries to do this with religion (just like Pakistan), liberal nationalists on the basis of the Constitution and others on the basis of culture etc.

      I will argue that the dominant nationalisms in India are Gandhian (emphasizing the nation as the guardian of pluralism) and Ambedkarian (emphasizing the nation as an agent of social justice).

      Keeping these facts in minds it makes abosilutely no sense to say that Indians and Pakistanis are the same people. The similarities are superficial and do not override the much deeper idealogical differences. Attitudes ranging from hatred to contempt of India and Hinduism are widespread and pervasive in Pakistan. We cannot let emotions and naive observations cloud rational judgement, not when the well-beings of our future generations is at stake.

      • August 8, 2009 10:54 am

        I would argue that we are all essentially the same , as long as we choose a identity we have the same.

        I do understand that thanks to a certain country we got a Taliban and now that group along with other extremist has led to what we have today.

        But we should also understand that the religious heads/community heads do not in actual represent the masses. They use the masses as tools. If given a chance to choose and presented with proper reasoning I am sure there will be many who would prefer something else.

      • August 9, 2009 2:20 pm

        Vikram, are there deep ideological differences between Indians and Pakistanis? Even though those who have a vested interest in promoting hate and insecurity want us to believe that, I am not convinced. My belief is People on either side want peace and prosperity and most of them want to have more and more social and cultural contact .

        • August 10, 2009 7:56 am

          Charakan, my claim is backed up by the survey data of ‘Status of Democracy in South Asia’ and the anecdotal observations of Farzana Versey in ‘A Journey Interrupted’.

          There is little support for multiculturalism in Pakistan and as Versey puts it, the image of India as a Hindu and anti-Muslim country is pervasive.

          Yes, peace is desired but on whose terms ?

          • August 10, 2009 11:05 am

            Vikram , My impression is from reading Ahmed Rashid the noted Pak journalist and from the fact that whenever elections were held in somewhat free and fair manner Pakistanis had voted for comparitivitely Liberal Parties

            • August 10, 2009 8:50 pm

              Charakan, there are two separate aspects we seem to be discussing here.

              1) Are there deep idealogical differences between the average Indian and Pakistani ?

              My claim is yes there are, the reasons for this I have stated in my first comment to Vishesh and my claim is backed up by the survey data I quoted in my last comment.

              2) What is the general nature of personal relationships between Indians and Pakistanis ?

              Notwithstanding the personal bonhomie that you (and I) have witnessed, it means very little in the broader issues between the two countries, which are political and security related. We should be careful not to mix things up.

              A taxi-driver not charging you fare in Karachi does not automatically mean that he will not support terrorism in Kashmir.

              • August 10, 2009 9:32 pm

                Vikram, you’ve said it, about mixing two different issues.

              • August 11, 2009 12:52 am

                Vikram,
                I agree that there was ideological difference between the secular and democratic Indian Govt and Islamist Dictatorship of Pakistan. The differences was between the political leaderships and they tried to mould the opinion of masses around that ideological differences.

                The military rulers tried to infuse more radical Wahabi Islam into Pakistan instead of more liberal sufi Islam. They tried to build a State on basis of Islamic Laws.
                But the recent events in Pakistan shows that the Liberal Nationalists are gaining ground. Same thing is happening in Bangladesh too.In India also the right wing religious Nationalists are on the back foot.
                Overall there is an ideological convergence between Govts in the sub-continent.
                My view is even though the former Pakistani Rulers tried to infuse a different ideology on its people it is failing or already failed.

        • August 10, 2009 9:17 am

          “My belief is People on either side want peace and prosperity and most of them want to have more and more social and cultural contact .”

          Charakan, and what’s your belief based on?🙂
          I hope it’s not just blind belief.

          • rags permalink
            August 10, 2009 11:18 am

            I agree with Amit.. Pakis have a hatred for Indians which they would never display in first world settings. I’d love to believe that the majority want want nothing but peace but well, I’d like a lot of things to be true including Harry Potter.

          • August 10, 2009 8:15 pm

            Amit, The belief is an overall assessment from my readings. interactions with a few Pakistanis and from media reports. The warm reception they gave to our Cricket teams in last 2 tours also is indicative that they want better contacts. That do not mean they will buy our line abt Kashmir or minority issues of either country.

        • Vinod permalink
          August 10, 2009 10:52 am

          Amit, would you count the fact that Indians and Pakistanis readily bond leaving behind all their hate for each other when they each find themselves placed in a context dominated by the politics of the First World as sufficient basis for such a belief?

          Damn, I need to learn to write in simple sentences.

          • vasudev permalink
            August 10, 2009 11:03 am

            couldn’t understand what you wanted to say?

            i mean, do you mean to say something like this:

            indians and pakis are great friends in the us/uk/germany etc etc?

            • August 10, 2009 12:10 pm

              vasudev, I have lived abroad and find this to be true. Yes, Indians and Pakistanis do bond outside India because they have more in common with each other rather than anglo-saxons. However if any discussion of any Indo Pak political issue comes up Pakistanis have a different take on it. For example they can be very good friends but that doesn’t mean that they don’t think of India as a “Hindu” country, that Hindus in India terrorise Muslims, or that Kashmir belongs to India and so on. What I am trying to say is that they put all this aside when it comes to personal bonding and I guess that is how it should be. It is not possible to tell them the truth about India. When they are confronted with facts like how the population of Hindus there has dwindled to almost nothing after partition while in India Muslims are thriving and happy, they will not accept the facts.

              • vasudev permalink
                August 10, 2009 1:02 pm

                nita. i agree fully.
                indians and pakistanis are highly hospitable and highly hostile. the hospitality comes out of the common values. the hostility comes out of the national pride. unfortunately, while a man might offer you an excellent biriyani when you visit his house the same person might not even give you an inch on the negotiation table.

              • August 10, 2009 7:16 pm

                Nita. do the Pakistanis in the West whom you know hate India as a country? Do they want more social and cultural interaction between the ppl of both countries?

                • August 10, 2009 7:51 pm

                  yes charakan but instead of hate i would like to use the word vinod has used, mistrust. I would like to add another, jealousy. they love to equate india with pakistan and try to say that if something is wrong with pakistan then the same thing is wrong with india. its a strange attitude and frankly i don’t think it will do Pakistan any good. at the same time they want the social and cultural ties, but at no time do they ever want to acknowledge that Pakistan is any way behind India or if it is then the fault is India’s. Pakistanis tend to believe that india wants to swallow pakistan, that india wants to attack pakistan, even though historically it is Pk which has always attacked. they attribute all kinds of things to RAW and their govt makes them believe it. they feel that if Pakistan is interfering in India, so is India doing it and things like that. I am sure there are people in Pakistan who are not like this, but then they are exceptions. Even educated Pakistanis, the ones I knew once, thought like this. That India is the big bad brother, that it has evil designs on Pk, that it is ill=treating its muslims and so on and so forth.

                  • August 10, 2009 9:08 pm

                    So you mean they do not hate India right Nita? Mistrust is understandable on either side . If you hate someone then you will not like any contact with them right?

                    • August 10, 2009 10:07 pm

                      Charakan, I think Vikram has explained it well. There are deep idealogical differences. These are different from the friendliness they show towards you. Frankly I think it is all very superficial. At least I cannot have any sort of respect for anyone who believes that RAW is responsible for Baluchistan, that Maoists laid siege in Mumbai’s 26/11 (yes there are people in Pakistan who believe this) and that Hindus are behind Taliban and that Pakistan will treat Kashmiris better than India. If you are equating these beliefs of theirs with the fact that Pakistan has been meddling in our affairs for the past 2 decades and has been responsible for terrorism then no you shouldn’t. Our mistrust is founded on facts. Theirs is not. Their mistrust of India is not based on hard evidence. That is why we call it mistrust or suspicion. If we think that Pakistani terrorists are going to get logistic support from the Pakistani army for their next terrorist attack, is this suspicion or preparedness? If the Pakistanis think that that India is going to attack Pakistan isn’t this suspicion only, not based on any facts? If Pakistan thinks that India wants to swallow up Pakistan, isn’t this simply insecurity? Who grabbed PoK? It was Pakistan wasn’t it, which took some part of our land? India has never taken any land, even when we defeated them in wars. So I think the word mistrust is not the right word when we think of India’s attitude towards Pakistan.

              • Vinod permalink
                August 10, 2009 7:32 pm

                The Pakistanis I know in Singapore mistrust India immensely. While they acknowledge all their misadventurism into kashmir they are unwilling to talk to Indians because they think India’s holier-than-thou attitude is obnoxious.

                • August 11, 2009 1:13 am

                  Nita,
                  I have answered to Vikram above.
                  As you said Pakistanis definitely want more social and cultural contacts with India. Most of the mis-trust can be reduced if such contacts are increased. My main point through out this discussion was common man in India and Pakistan wants only peace and prosperity and it is the hate-mongers with vested interests who are trying to sabotage it like the 26/11 terrorists and their handlers.

                  • August 11, 2009 2:04 am

                    Charakan, the sad fact is that the common man in South Asia wants peace and prosperity but doesnt really care if his own peace and prosperity comes at the price of someone else’s.

                    This is true both within India and Pakistan and across them. However, I maintain that due to the ideological nature of Pakistan and the institutionalized hate against Hindus and India, Pakistanis are much more ‘comfortable’ with bleeding India than vice versa.

                    This is not to say that there are no hate mongers and extremists in India but in India there actions were challenged as soon as they emerged, whereas Pakistan has started taking on its own extremists (that too very selectively) after it began to feel the pinch of the monsters it had created itself.

                    I am not exonerating India of what has happened here and its actions abroad, but I am not ready to just forget Pakistan’s sustained malevolence and terror campaign against India for such simplistic notions like ‘Pakistanis want more social and cultural contacts with India.’

                    • August 11, 2009 2:37 am

                      May be I am too simplistic and optimistic. As I said above in a reply to your comment,at a time when I see convergence of views in the sub-continent I was surprised to see the mention of deep ideological differences between Indians and Pakistanis. May be I should check my glasses.
                      Anyway I thank each one of you for your part in the discussion.

                • Vinod permalink
                  August 11, 2009 7:43 am

                  The point of more social and cultural contacts is to give a human face to Pakistanis, whom many Indians, quite understandably, regard as sworn enemies. Hate can be blinding and if hate is the driver in dealing with conflicts then it will never yield a reslution. The point of these contacts is so that Indians and Pakistanis are inter-subjectively affected with each other’s humanity. That in turn has a connection to the kind of role we expect our respective leaders to play in resolving such conflicts.

                  Amit, the justice for those Indians who have been victims of these terror attacks lies in diligently working through the trust issues and finding a resolution to the problem between the two countries in good faith.

                  • August 11, 2009 8:27 am

                    Vinod, yup, hate can be blinding. I see plenty of hatred of Modi too.

                    As for human face, perhaps those who consider us kaffirs and hate Jews need to see the humanity of non-Muslims first. Or for that matter, the humanity of their co-religionists.

                    • vasudev permalink
                      August 11, 2009 1:34 pm

                      hear! hear!

                    • vasudev permalink
                      August 11, 2009 1:36 pm

                      the said party knows how to smile at you disarmingly and then collude to slit your throat. that, is the humanity that i have known of these chappies. others might have had excellent experience. but i have had none and i need to specify it. sorry folks.

            • Vinod permalink
              August 10, 2009 12:18 pm

              Thank you Vasudev. That is what I wanted to say. I should join a ‘write simple English’ course.

              • vasudev permalink
                August 10, 2009 12:51 pm

                ah, but vinod! you are trained speak the iim confucious language. i understand only the simple layman tongue. but problem with you guys is, often you have to deal with illiterates like me. and india is still made up of illiterates! he!he!

                • vasudev permalink
                  August 10, 2009 12:52 pm

                  not ‘with you’ but ‘for you’

                • vasudev permalink
                  August 10, 2009 12:57 pm

                  also reminds me of my tough times when i have to negotiate with the japanese. now i find even the chinese have learned the japanese craftiness. the otherwise well-english-proficient japs act dumb when they don’t want to put across a point ‘simply’ or when they don’t want to accept your terms.
                  (also reminds me of the trick my slightly-short-of-hearing mother-in-law plays with me)

          • August 10, 2009 9:23 pm

            Vinod and Charakan,

            I’ve also interacted with, and made friends with Pakistanis and Bangladeshis while here in the US, and we all shared a camaraderie with each other. But here’s the thing, we hardly ever discussed issues related to politics, secularism and terrorism, because a. we didn’t have much time for that while in school, and b. I certainly hadn’t given these political and historical issues much thought – the focus was strictly on academics. It was likely the case with them too, though I don’t know for sure.

            While we all enjoyed parathas together, I bet that if we started talking about these political issues, our differences would come out pretty fast. So, at a personal level, it’s quite possible to be friends and no one is saying that all Pakistanis are bad people incapable of showing kindness or friendship, but it’s a mistake to use that when talking about state policies or their views on terrorism, or projecting that friendship on to all when facts to the contrary are present. I bet I could find many common points with someone like Hitler too (just as a thought-experiment – no offense meant to anyone) – enjoying and appreciating beer together while listening to Wagner – but that doesn’t mean that there’s agreement on other germane issues. It would be a mistake to project benevolence onto Hitler just because he ordered a round of drinks for everyone.

            And Vinod, how does your “first-world” experience translate to all those who are still living in India and Pakistan? Or those whose relatives were killed by Pakistani-supported terrorists? What about justice for those Indians? Your and my experiences are unique to us, and isn’t it a mistake to use that to ignore the unpleasant realities?

            Also, valid criticism and asking others to clean up their act is not the same as hatred – some people tend to conflate the two.

  12. Vipul permalink
    August 6, 2009 8:41 pm

    Nita,

    Long time since I posted on your blog. There are some good comments here. I wanted to add, as was done by someone earlier, that war is not an option. No, not because it would de-stabilize the region or for any other nobler cause. The point is simple (and something not fully internalized by us Indians) – We are no longer, repeat no longer, stronger than Pakistan if we were to go to war. The day both countries went nuclear, conventional arms superiority went out of the window. No point trying to ‘win’ a war if you end up with a mushroom cloud over Delhi or Mumbai. Simple.
    Some of my friends intrinsically feel that if all else fails, or if India is provocated too much, we can atleast threaten to go to war and kick their butts. This is absolutely false.
    The only solution is for us to tighten our internal security – which is in shambles and makes us a laughing stock everywhere. Second, to completely ignore Pakistan and watch its relative demise from the sidelines.

    Hello Vipul. Nice to see you here after a long time. Thanks for your comment. I agree with you entirely. With nuclear Pakistan and their anti-India stance there are crazy terrorists in Pakistan who will willingly self-destruct just to teach India a “lesson”. – Nita.

    • Vinod permalink
      August 6, 2009 8:58 pm

      Just so that people know, the bomb over Hiroshima only had 10% of the fissile material loaded on it working and I think everyone hear is well read about what the consequences of that were.

    • vasudev permalink
      August 7, 2009 1:20 pm

      i liked the ignore factor. precisely we should ignore them.

  13. August 7, 2009 12:49 am

    I am also tired of the Pakistan’s blind statements… they were making their own grave but letting the terrorists to roam around in their country

    Kanagu, yes they are digging their own grace. They will never develop if they remain so belligerent towards India, try to grab Kashmir at every opportunity and blame India for their internal problems. – Nita

  14. sreekumar permalink
    August 7, 2009 1:06 am

    india’s counter-terrorism strategy seems to be including only those options that does not hamper our economic development. it is better to wear out pakistan than jump into a messy confrontation with them. As said in a post above, we need only wait some years before the pakistani state unravels.

    sreekumar, hasn’t it already unraveled? – Nita

  15. Devanshu permalink
    August 7, 2009 9:48 am

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124823898093171403.html

    Notice how the Pakistani general describes a town in Swat Valley under Taliban rule as the “Benares of terrorism”…are the Pakistani people suffering from collective schizophrenia or is it a more general Islamo-phrenia.

    • August 7, 2009 11:06 am

      Devanshu, thanks for that link. It gives an insight into this Indo-Pak issue and confirms what we believe. That there is an unreasoning hatred of India amongst not just extremists, but also officials and sadly, amongst the Pakistani pubic too. This can only be the result of brainwashing and I feel that this hatred of a country which they themselves keep trying to attack, is a little crazy. It only means that Pakistan will never get rid of terrorists. It is a path they have chosen which can only lead to their own destruction.

      • August 7, 2009 11:36 am

        Nita, do not write off Pak like that. It is true that Pakistan was created on the basis of unreasonable fear of ‘hindu’ India. Military regimes supported by USA and most politicians used that fear to consolidate power. Now I feel the situation is changing and thats why the militants are desperate. Selective media coverage due to the vested interest on sensationalism on both sides may be the cause of your frustration

        • rags permalink
          August 8, 2009 1:18 pm

          Why did the Pakistanis let themselves be used that way? Can’t they think for themselves? Are they that deficient in their cognitive capacities?I’m so tired of this “U.S. used Pakistan” argument. They always escape by saying that and never take personal responsibility for their situation.

  16. August 7, 2009 11:43 am

    Charakan, I don’t know what to think. Today if someone came to me and gave me hope that Pakistan has a good future it will make me very happy because we in India know its in our best interest. But as of now I am feeling very pessimistic and partly I know my reaction is emotional and yes ofcourse I may be influenced by the media but tell me, are they lying when they say that Hafiz Saeed is roaming around freely in Pakistan? And an article in the wall street journal shows that even independent obeservers are now realising that anti-India sentiment in Pakistan.
    I am from an Army background Charakan and my father has been in wars and so have other relatives of mine. I feel very strongly for the sacrifices of the Indian army and today even the heroes who are guarding our border and don’t know whether they will be alive tomorrow.
    I am extremely upset and frustrated that 1) terrorists who have killed innocent Indians are not being caught by Pakistan and that they are planning more attacks and 2) our government seems helpless to control it. Helpless to protect our own citizens.
    If you believe that Pakistan is going to reign in anti-India groups like the LeT I am afraid I cannot share your sentiment. At least not as of now.

    • vasudev permalink
      August 7, 2009 1:36 pm

      nita
      india is reactionary as well. tit for tat. the mumbai blast cases have got the death sentence. i say it is a reaction.
      hafiz saeed is roaming freely in pakistan.should that bother us? he is a martyr like our own freedom fighters. what about the enemy we have captured? aren’t they, in a sense, roaming free and aren’t you disgracing indians by asking indians to testify in courts whether really they were blasted, shot or pierced to pieces and asking for evidence?
      if you show weakness in the name of democracy then others would test you to see really how far your democracy can sustain before your people turn crazy.
      and so they give you newer and newer challenges so that you can twist and turn and sweat in your own filth and refuse.
      i am enjoying this psychological play acting on the part of pakistan. right now they are on top.

    • August 7, 2009 4:03 pm

      I can understand your anguish Nita especially coming from an army background which I never had. Lot of positive changes I see when comparing Pakistan of December 2008 and now. I do not expect all top extremist leaders to be prosecutted because then they will give evidence of involvement of many top Army men and may finally result in a civil war. But I expect much more resistance from the civil society and the moderate leaders against funding and supporting extremists terrorising India. Am I too optimistic.?

      • Amit permalink
        August 8, 2009 1:34 am

        “I do not expect all top extremist leaders to be prosecutted because then they will give evidence of involvement of many top Army men and may finally result in a civil war.”

        How would you know that without even trying? And if civil war erupts in Pakistan, so be it – why should India meddle in their affairs?

        Seems to me that we Indians are to blame here – by setting such low expectations and not asking for justice, and not putting sustained pressure on Pakistan. Though when it comes to justice for Kasab, we turn up the rhetoric to make sure he’s treated well. Isn’t such behavior rather strange where justice for our own countrymen takes a lower priority or is ignored? The infamous chalta hai attitude, I guess. Our country is already over-populated, so how does it matter if a few hundred Indians are killed by terrorists. I don’t know whether it’s stupidity or cowardice, or misguided Gandhigiri, (my money is on cowardice) but whatever it is, it’s pretty shameful behavior. We make sure that Modi doesn’t get a visa to USA and erupt in joy when that happens, but we spread rose petals for Musharraf and invite him to talk-shows for interviews – the guy who engineered Kargil which resulted in 500+ Indians killed and 1000+ wounded. It’s quite clear that we don’t care for our fellow-Indians, and until that attitude changes, Pakistan will keep on bleeding us.

        • August 8, 2009 8:25 am

          Amit,We have been trying and putting all kinds of pressures.Thats all we can do. But we cannot deny the fact that extremist elements in Pakistan are on the back foot now.I think the discussion here many a time portrays Pakistan as some thing with single power centre and single voice, which certainly it is not.There is a power struggle going inside and outside the Govt there between jihadists and moderates. The public opinion now I beleive is in favour of moderates. India should do everything to strengthen the moderates there.

          I completely agree with you on Musharaf and I had posted about it here
          There was a Peace delegation from Pakistan in India during the time of Musharaf visit [March 2009]but our media especially the visual media completely ignored them while giving so much coverage to dictator and Kargil plotter Musharaf.

      • Vinod permalink
        August 8, 2009 8:48 am

        I actually think all extremist leaders need to be dealt with with a heavy hand. But care must be taken in identifying them. Often times an indiscriminate show of military power is deemed as the answer. More innocents die and more get radicalised by this. In dealing with terrorists care must be taken that the credibility of the existing democratic system is not lost. Terrorists and extremists are not isolated in the population yet. They are from the population. They are not operating a guerilla war. They are getting their recruits from the common pool.

        It is unfortunate that the LeT leader was let go. More should have been done. Either he mend his ways or be incarcerated for life or be given the death penalty.

        • Vinod permalink
          August 8, 2009 8:56 am

          ps – I also think Narendra Modi is a clearly identifiable extremist leader.

  17. Devanshu permalink
    August 7, 2009 6:55 pm

    Well forever its worth, Beitullah Mehsud, Pakistan’s own homegrown former truck driver turned Taliban leader is confirmed dead in a missile strike. Obama has tried very hard to kill him, with almost all the Predator missile strikes this year in Mehsud’s territory of South Waziristan. This is in sharp contrast to the purely anti-Indian Punjabi terrorist groups like LeT which are a part and parcel of Pakistani foreign policy, and which Obama has done nothing to confront Pakistan about.

    And it doesn’t seem as if Obama is going to. Very short term thinking if he thinks that another Beitullah Mehsoon won’t come up in another few years what with LeT acting as the parent. – Nita

  18. Naveen permalink
    August 7, 2009 8:46 pm

    Sharm-el-Sheikh episode is a disaster in Indian diplomacy. Well, whatelse can we expect with Sant Manmohan Singh as PM, an insignificant SM Krishna as Foreign Minister and Nirupama Rao (who could be bullied by a bunch of rogue journalists) as Foreign Secretary. If diplomacy is the only way (as advocated by our many peace-mongers), we should use someone like TN Seshan or Renuka Choudhary to tell the other party in these same words-
    1) Don’t let your piled-up stinking filth spill in my backyard again.
    2) Don’t forget to pay for the past times.
    3) If you think you are not capable, let us help you clean-up.

  19. August 7, 2009 11:43 pm

    The failure of Indian Intelligence and lack of strong diplomats (Including the prime diplomat) is also contributing to this mess. And I don’t think we could trust the United States to do anything in favour of India.

    The economic aspect of terrorism is a hugely neglected ball game by India. I am sure much of the funding for the terrorist activities are from outside the borders of Pakistan. If that network could be exposed, respective countries need to react.

    Everything bows down to economics. Even America. I don’t understand why our intelligence is doing absolutely nothing about such a huge factor! There is no pressure on them from the politicians and there is no pressure on the politicians from the public. That is the only reason I can assume.

    Destination Infinity

    • August 8, 2009 6:17 am

      Infy,
      Indian intelligence is good, but decision making diplomats are poeple who are just to lazy over entirematter.

      It has been a matter of over half a century, and “Yeah toh chalta rahega” attitude of diplomats and leaders is what causes such incidents.

    • rags permalink
      August 8, 2009 1:26 pm

      It could be because there are many Indian businessmen, Bollywood and politicans invovled in the racket. That is the only reason I can think of for the Indian govt. not being more vigilant about the funding of terrorism.

    • August 8, 2009 4:57 pm

      Yeah that was something that I was expecting. The racket part. It proves that if we are weak within, we would have to endure such attacks. But hopefully the attacks would make us stronger and unite us to face much bigger actual enemies that are outside the subcontinent.

      Destination Infinity

      • August 9, 2009 8:48 am

        You cannot chew a nut, if you have a sweet tooth. If we are weak from inside, we cannot push outsiders out. Because there are heands from back of us who are reaching them.
        Infact educated poeple from recetn attacks have started blaming government and system for loses they have inccured and they want to make it worst. They are not looked after.
        More the worst! some hoped they would have not survived.

  20. August 8, 2009 3:21 pm

    Whatever has been happening in the last so many years should have brought us back to our senses. Instead of waiting for Pakistan to do something, we need to strengthen our own house. There is no point in expecting anything from a country which puts destroying another country over its own progress.

  21. August 8, 2009 7:17 pm

    i share similar views with you nita! i doubt whether LeT is actually a branch of pakistan army which has been playing havoc all around! but lets face it for a fact that like any thing other important this issue will also become a common feature of our country with the sleepy government not responding effectively!
    off topic : ah! feels good to be back to blogging ! in between i wanted to ask one question. on a previous note you told me that you graduated from Miranda house but i didnt ask for which course???

  22. August 9, 2009 9:21 am

    Yes, the two countries have a long way to go! I hope we traverse the distance asap! The ‘loss of 36 members’ is a good point; I always like extra information that many people consider redundant. Sometimes I feel that our common problems are solved asap and then we are neither friends nor enemies to Pakistan.

  23. Captain Sharks permalink
    August 9, 2009 6:57 pm

    India’s foreign policy is totally ineffective…we are slowly becoming more and more dependant on USA.

  24. vasudev permalink
    August 10, 2009 11:09 am

    the case of ‘competitor companies’

    quite often, within their own marketing jurisdictions you would find competitor companies competing and fighting tooth and nail to gain an inch of the competitor’s territory. the marketing staff are the ones fighting. quite often they won’t even acknowledge each other.

    the same guys, when nominated to a different assignment in a different country or territory which has no meaning for either of them, often bond very closely and discover common values, cultures,languages, interests etc.

    assigned back to base they are enemies once again, ever hostile.

    therefore, there is no point in saying we have common values, virtues and we are from the same background and we bond very well outside our own spheres. man always behaves in a similar fashion when there is a competition or when something is at stake.

  25. Devanshu permalink
    August 11, 2009 3:47 am

    http://pakobserver.net/200908/10/Articles04.asp

    Only posted this link because it mentioned Indian ammunition, currency, etc. being recovered from Taliban militants. Anybody have any thoughts?

    Also as will be made clear if anyone reads this article Pakistan has ONLY been taking action against Tehreek-e-Taliban, the “pakistani” Taliban which is the only Pakistani Islamist organization that directly wants to topple the Pakistani state.

    The death of Baitullah Mehsud the leader of the TTP, is actually a boon to the insurgency in Afghanistan, since the leadership vacuum created by his demise will make his group, more and more subservient to Al Qaeda and other Taliban groups that are in bed with the ISI. These are the very same people who are taking a terrible toll of Western troops in Afghanistan.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0809/p99s01-duts.html

    PS: the reported shootout between the successors of Baitullah has been proven false after one of the supposedly dead men, Baitullah’s fellow Mehsud tribesman, Hakimullah Mehsud, called the media and reported the Pakistani government’s bluff.

  26. August 14, 2009 1:53 am

    I ditto Amit’s point. We need to strengthen our grounds and keep our country as safe as possible. It is a shame for Pakistan and other countries, harboring terrorists and their organization. We need to do what is needed in order to be safe, which is being on high alert and informed at all times. Unfortunately, this is the state of our generation.

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