Ways of Pak Mani Shankar Aiyar’s review of Stephen Cohen’s book (Books, Mar 19) was an interesting read. Pakistan is a confused, corrupt and failed country. Founded by opportunist politicians who wanted power and didn’t hesitate to divide Hindus and Muslims, it can’t exist for long.
Anuj Acharya, Brampton, Canada
Pakistan was born out of British perfidy and the blatant power-hunger of Nehru and Patel, ably aided and goaded on by Mountbatten. It really never had a strong reason for its existence.
P.K. George, Houston
The review of Stephen Cohen’s book on Pakistan (Mar 19) indicates that Pakistan is at a decisive juncture. One route might take it through military supremacy, use of terrorism as an instrument of state power, open to jehadi influences, hatred for India, to gradual self-destruction. The other sees it down the path of deepening democracy, assertiveness of the civilian government and curbing of terrorism. Its leaders must decide which route to take.
Othman/Ramdas/Parbat/Thomas etc etc,
>> Pakistan is Arab whether you like it or not. And India is more and more HIndu.
You may fit yourself in such pigeonholes if you want to. With the multiple ethnic names that you have assumed in the past 8 years, the only pigeonhole you would fit in would be "Miscellaneous"!
Stephen P Cohen is a well known pusher of US interests which demand an alliance with Pakistan to prevent it becoming a base for destabilising US interests in the Middle East. The US and its pimps like Cohen have long been determined to overlook or fund the crimes of Pakistan as long as they thought this rabid dog would bite only India or Russia. It came as a big shock when their long petted dog bit Uncle Sam.
So here Cohen is telling Delhi it must give Pakistan all it wants. Tell him to eff off, will you, South Block?
Don't be a fool. Some lecturers playing with words cannot abolish a country's cultural identity. The Russians tried to abolish their Christian heritage with all the might of the state and then have had to go back to it.
India will always be Hindu.
The reality is that the Indian Muslims chose to have Pakistan in 1947 as their separate country with the agreement of Hindu leaders like Nehru and Patel who were simply sick to death of having to argue with characters like Jinnah all their lives. As Nehru said, we simply got rid of them to get rid of the headache.
So Pakistan chose its separatist Muslim identity and India chose its Hindu identity. Nothing can be done about this now. Nations cannot choose their cultural fates at will because some lecturers play with words. What detemines the cultural fate of a nation is what most of its people think and how most of its people behave. Most Indians behave like Hindus and think like Hindus and that means India is Hindu.
Similarly, that means Pakistan is Muslim.
We are 65 years away from Partition and because India's capital is Delhi which has a Punjabi majority and Pakistan is dominated by Punjab, India at times seems obsessed with Pakistan and regretting the Partition. In reality, most Indians except a tiny pesky minority of sentimental Lahori sycomphants and nostalgists have moved on. Most Indians sneer at the Wagah Whiners.
In 2047 who will be there who remembers pre-Partition days? Already you have to be in your nineties to remember anything much about that lost and gone India.
Forget nostalgia, man. Pakistan is Arab whether you like it or not. And India is more and more HIndu.
".... Islamic in principle but pluralist in practice."
Is there a role model? Is even Turkey this? I don't think this is realistic to expect any time in the foreesable future given the times we live in - Islam in regression, becoming more orthodox - more "khattar" as some would say, more assertive but with an impotent rage fueled by the "world is against us" overbearing sense of victimhood. Anyways as someone commented there might be hardly any plurality of the religious type left in Pakistan.
"It is the consensus of virtually all the contributors that for a pluralist democracy to stand a chance of taking root in Pakistan, the transformation of the India-Pakistan relationship is an essential prerequisite."
This appears to be more of putting the cart before the horse.
"The responsibility by no means rests on Pakistan alone. Cohen is as unsparing in his criticism of the intransigence of South Block (which houses PMO, MEA and Defence) ..."
I am no fan of the Indian establishment/government. Of course our establishment is intransient, unimaginative, etc. But let us not make a case of "rewarding" the bad boy ... all you will get is a brat. In fact the world has practically already done this and Pakistan has become an expert at being the "bad boy" who keeps getting rewarded (at least getting away). Pakistan is in need of a tough dose and a tough love of a parent - not the love of an indulgent parent. It must know that the world will keep going and keep existing, may be even get better off, whether Pakistan stays as it is or dismembers. They must look off the cliff into the precipe and then decide to step back themselves - they others can help getting further back from there.
" On the one hand, there are the many social, political, military and even ideological imperatives, spelled out by Cohen and his colleagues, which point to an evolving change in the Pakistani mindset regarding the possibility of Indo-Pak reconciliation."
This is certainly encouraging. We may not see it because we seem to read and remember the worst statements of their most extreme spokemen. The editorials and columns of their leading English language newspapers as well as the comments of many of their leading politicians give a totally different picture.
"It is the consensus of virtually all the contributors that for a pluralist democracy to stand a chance of taking root in Pakistan, the transformation of the India-Pakistan relationship is an essential prerequisite. The responsibility by no means rests on Pakistan alone."
Yes of course - Pakistan poisoned itself with Islam, killed off most of its Hindus and Sikhs, and sends terrorists to murder hundreds of people in India, so it must be India's fault.
Pluralist democracy?? Perhaps Aiyar has not noticed this but Pakistan is now 99% Muslim, and the last remaining Hindus and Sikhs are fleeing to India to escape persecution. Here is a Pakistani newspaper article titled ""Persecuted Hindus migrating in hordes" http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=78099&Cat=4
"No official figures on forced conversions are available but the HRCP believes that the numbers are high. In most cases, young Hindu girls are abducted, converted, and forced to marry Muslim men. In some cases, they have also been forced into prostitution."
Even if democracy were to break out in Pakistan, there are no minorities left for pluralism of any kind. I guess having a bunch of Deobandhi thugs collaborating with a bunch of Barelvi thugs to finish off the last remaining Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan is Aiyar's vision of pluralism.
Attack Israel and the Israelis will kill you even if it takes 20 years to track you down. Attack the US and the Americans will bomb you back to the Stone Age. Attack Hindus and we shit in our langotiyas and blame ourselves for not doing more to avoid being attacked. But we're the next superpower.
What about the Pakistani army as well. Forget the mullahs ( a giant diversion). Pakistan is the army. General Musharaff, when he was planning the Kargill operation , was already dreaming about taking a swing at the Delhi Golf Club. The Pakistanis have not lost their claim.
>> Pakistani mullahs and Indian saffronites are promoting cultural purity
What about Indian Mullahs?
>> Why should these two visons blend into a composite anyway?
South Asian or Indian culture is a composite culture. Pakistani mullahs and Indian saffronites are promoting cultural purity but all they are doing is harming a great composite culture.
Pakistan is a confused , corrupt , immoral , failed , lunatic , hopeless country to say the least . It was founded by the opportunist politicians who wanted power for the sake of power and did not hesitate to divide Hindus and Muslims for their petty gains . A country based on lies and fraud can not exist for long no matter what people like MSA keep on saying for being in limelight after being sidelined by their own party. All out of work people like him are now talking of peace.
Pakistan , will be a problem when it breaks up due to its own contradictions.
India should maintain a distance from Pakistan and be prepared and vigilant at all times . We should not be helping a country which has attacked us for four times and has always tried to bring us down . Pakistan should be allowed to meet its own destiny , which is failure and eventually , disintegration into four parts .
History should record its failure as a warning to all people and politicians who think they can misguide and divide a country on the basis of religion .
The two should blend into a composite
The two should blend into a composite
We had a composite culture of sorts - it was "urdu" culture. In reality it was Mughal dominated culture. A colonial culture
Why should these two visons blend into a composite anyway? "South Asia" vs India. If you were Indian which would you take take?
Its better the Pakistanis Arabicise themselves. Much better for all
religion is the reason of state of pakistan. pakistan remained pakistan because of religion for all these years. kissinger once wondered whether pakistan is a country or open space. there is no such thing called nationalism in islam. this means that a state based on islam with geographical boundaries is an anomally.
>> there are two competing visions for "South Asia".
The two should blend into a composite.
Pakistan's identity must be based solidly on its South Asian heritage.
Pakistan's identity must be based solidly on its South Asian heritage.
anwaar dear this is the problem - there are two competing visions for "South Asia" - Pakistani and Indian. For example. its only Pakistanis refer to South Asia. Most Indians refer to this region as simply India and surrounding countries. Those that don't are confused or candlewallahs.
Its better that the Pakistanis image themselves to be Arabs. That would ironically lead to a more peaceful relationship. There would be a lost less tension, imo
Pakistan was born out of sheer British perfidy and blinding power hunger of Nehru and Patel, aided by Wily Churchill's influence on Mountbatten. It never had and never will have a reason for its existence, Bengladesh included. The same goes for Nepal.
Pakistan was imposed on four provinces by British.Really speaking idea of Pakistan born in U.P.in Aligarh university only to threatening to Hindu for more rights for Muslim in United India.Jinnah also donot want broken Pakistan but British conspiracy and nod of Congress leaders Pakistan was born..This broken nation have no identity,no same language, no same culture or civilization.That is why so much unimaginable laughable identity established in mind of Pakistani.They think Muhammad Ghori and Muhammad Bin Kasim were their forefather and Mohenjo Daro and Harappa civilization were stranger outsider culture..How can these broken identity have any future.?That's Why from last 66 year anarchy is merrymaking there
Pakistan's trying to find its roots in Arabism will make it fall flat on its face. Using Islam as a unifying paradigm only strengthens the forces of regression and sectarianism. Pakistan's identity must be based solidly on its South Asian heritage.
India was Partitioned to give Muslims of the Sub Continent their cherished Land of Pures in 1947.As Muslims were not ready to live with Hindus .
So please live at least now peacefully and let the World specially your neighbor India live in Peace .
the Americans want to rehabilate Pakistan, thats why they publish these books. And India must oblige.
Fact is the Pakistani elite are irrendentist, even though they are have a little difficulty these days. But they should note that the Urdu culture is going, gone in India
Indian security can be achieved by sealing the borders.
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