November 29, 2020
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Learn Urdu, Read Pakistani Newspapers...

Ashok Desai analyses the March opinion survey conducted by the International Republican Institute and concludes:

The IRI survey bears out our preconceptions about Pakistanis as religious zealots and India-haters. But that is only if we look at the majority. What I find remarkable is the pronounced division of opinion on all questions facing Pakistan. This is why I think that the naively negative policy that Manmohan Singh has followed on Pakistan has reached the end of the road, and that a more nuanced policy is worth trying. Opening the border to greater trade can do no harm; a billion dollars or two of aid for spending on Indian goods may create a bit of goodwill. There are 14 or 18 crore Pakistanis over there (no one knows since there has been no census for decades); it is worth making a few friends out of them. And we do not have to depend on Research and Analysis Wing to find potential friends; the Pakistani press is a serviceable mirror of the Pakistani society. What would help us greatly is if a few million Indians learnt Urdu and started reading Pakistani newspapers. That would give Pakistan a new source of export earnings, and us a valuable source of information on the country. We should even give some Pakistanis asylum once in a while when they get into trouble at home; who knows, they may rise to power one day.

Read the full piece: What Pakistanis Think

While learning Urdu might be a worthwhile exercise anyway, I think the smart Indians would perhaps simply read the Pakistani newspapers on the web. So not much scope for export revenue there, for Pakistan.

Learn Urdu, Read Pakistani Newspapers...
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530

Ashok Desai analyses the March opinion survey conducted by the International Republican Institute and concludes:

The IRI survey bears out our preconceptions about Pakistanis as religious zealots and India-haters. But that is only if we look at the majority. What I find remarkable is the pronounced division of opinion on all questions facing Pakistan. This is why I think that the naively negative policy that Manmohan Singh has followed on Pakistan has reached the end of the road, and that a more nuanced policy is worth trying. Opening the border to greater trade can do no harm; a billion dollars or two of aid for spending on Indian goods may create a bit of goodwill. There are 14 or 18 crore Pakistanis over there (no one knows since there has been no census for decades); it is worth making a few friends out of them. And we do not have to depend on Research and Analysis Wing to find potential friends; the Pakistani press is a serviceable mirror of the Pakistani society. What would help us greatly is if a few million Indians learnt Urdu and started reading Pakistani newspapers. That would give Pakistan a new source of export earnings, and us a valuable source of information on the country. We should even give some Pakistanis asylum once in a while when they get into trouble at home; who knows, they may rise to power one day.

Read the full piece: What Pakistanis Think

While learning Urdu might be a worthwhile exercise anyway, I think the smart Indians would perhaps simply read the Pakistani newspapers on the web. So not much scope for export revenue there, for Pakistan.

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