If a Muslim can head India’s Intelligence Bureau, can a Hindu ever be DG ISI?

Published: January 4, 2013

What Pakistanis across all stripes need to reflect on is that India as a government institution is becoming increasingly tolerant of religious minorities, and it’s time we do the same.

Salman Khurshid, Altamas Kabir, Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi, Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Syed Asif Ibrahim.

The Khan brothers, Imran Hashmi, Saif Ali Khan, the Pathan brothers, Sania Mirza.

(The roll call continues…)

Though the names on the second line may perhaps be more familiar, the names that shine bright on the first line are of keener interest. Unlike in Pakistan, some of India’s highest political perches are occupied by Muslims.

Yes, the God-fearing Musalmans.

Take Salman Khurshid, for instance. He was recently appointed to serve as Foreign Minister of India, a position which likens him to the soon-to-be Secretary of State, John Kerry, and on our end, Hina Rabbani Khar. In the case of Pakistan, it is a position that has historically been occupied by a Muslim.

Altamas Kabir holds the mantle of being the highest judicial authority in India. As Chief Justice of the Indian Supreme Court, he is endowed with supreme power. Though a reticent figure, he is said to be prudential in his rulings and as the newly appointed Justice, he is sure to take hold of India’s judiciary by virtue of constitutionally astute and righteous decision making.

Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi is the former Chief Election Commissioner of India, and was tasked with one of the most pressing of assignments: holding free and fair elections. It may seem to be the case that the task is of little merit, but Pakistanis have had their share of rigged elections, and understand the need for partiality. In fact, the Supreme Court’s ruling on the 1990 election should have been an awakening to strengthen and reform electioneering laws, and with the help of the CEC, Pakistan can be put on sound footing when it comes to elections that are free of impartial intrusion.

Hamid Ansari is the Vice President of India, and is the only person to have served two consecutive terms in the office he currently presides over. Therefore, it shouldn’t be judged that India’s appointments are mere placeholders; rather one should acknowledge the genuine political participation of Muslims.

Lastly – but perhaps most importantly – India recently tapped Asif Ibrahim to be the director of India’s Intelligence Bureau. In the Indian press, he is described as an able successor, and a champion of national security. Given that the Intelligence Bureau seems to be perpetually interlinked with the ISI – for reasons pernicious and well-documented, this is soon to be a household name, if it isn’t already.

What Pakistanis across all stripes need to reflect on is that India as a government institution is becoming increasingly tolerant of religious minorities, and it’s time we do the same.

At present, to suggest the appoint of a Hindu to the post of director general of the ISI would surely be met with derision and scorn. Such is the case because we’re seemingly bred in a political environment that looks upon religious minorities as inferior.

This year Foreign Policy Magazine, the flagship publication in international politics, ranked the mending of Indo-Pak relations as one of the top 10 stories of the year. Both New Delhi and Islamabad have taken genuine steps towards reconciliation.

Sure, easing visa-restrictions and getting rid of the positive list of goods that may be imported from India is a needed step in the campaign for Aman Ki Asha, but it will only be through establishing trust with the residing populace that Pakistan will manage to progress towards understanding.

To restore confidence in minorities of their safety and their belonging, the least the government of Pakistan can do is to appoint – on merit, of course – members of religious minorities to offices where they most belong.

This is one step that doesn’t require the approval of India. It is an initiative that can be taken on our own will, with our own conscience.

Imagine a Hindu DG ISI.

Imagine an Ahmadi prime minister.

Imagine a Sikh foreign minister.


The ball is in our court, and it will stay here for the time being. It is time we execute.


Hamza Mannan

Hamza Mannan is a freelance writer and his work has appeared across various newspapers.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Farahi

    Imagine a day when someone’s faith is not a requirement or an asset for their position. Rather their own capabilities and experience. You sir are no different than a Mullah. A person faith is between him/her and his or her God. Not a political statement to be made.Recommend

  • Smj

    DG ISI is already Hindu.Recommend

  • Asad Shairani

    I think most sane people would support equal rights for minorities in Pakistan – specially after the inhumane treatment some of them have been given over the past few years. However, please consider that India has around 21% of its population which you would call minorities. Pakistan on the other hand, has little over 2% minority population. Not taking anything away from the more religiously tolerant society of India – I think your comparison is a bit naive.

    I would love to see a Hindu (or a Christian, Zoroastrian, even Muslim) Prime Minister if he or she is fit for the job – and not because he or she follows (or doesn’t follow) a particular religion.Recommend

  • MAP

    Interesting. I will think about it.Recommend

  • Shak

    As a percentage of population there are a lot of muslims in india, so they are bound to be better represented in all walks of life.

    Pakistan did have chief justice who was a practicing Hindu, while i’m sure there more barriers but i think minorities have as much chance as anyone else, it depends more on your socio-economic background than your religion.Recommend

  • Syed

    Hold it, hold it there. You are getting ahead of yourself. First go after the known killers of thousands of Shia muslims in Pakistan. Lashkar e jhangvi gang is openly killing Shias and our country can’t do anything about it and you are talking about Hindu DG ISI. Come on yaar zara hosh ke nakhun lo. Recommend

  • Noor Lodi

    Good Article. Now imagine the division had never happened. Imagine a 600M strong Muslim block. Imagine no party in united India can form a Government without the support of the Muslim block. Imagine Muslims negotiating for ALL key posts in India in return of the support. Imagine Muslims virtually the ruling class in India. Unfortunately we did not imagine this. The person who did imagine this was no other then Jawahar lal Nehru and that’s why he did what he did – Made Jinnah believe that we cannot live together. Jinnah did not call the bluff and we are where we are. In a state of disarray. On the verge of disintegration for the 2nd time, only this time it may be fatal. Just imagine!Recommend

  • Chinmay

    Look, Hamza, as an Indian, I sincerely appreciate this column, but it’s not really about these appointments. Pakistani Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, and Ahmedis are LEGALLY, OFFICIALLY AND CONSTITUTIONALLY BANNED FROM BEING ELIGIBLE TO BE THE PAKISTANI PRESIDENT OR PRIME MINISTER. How inhuman is that? Imagine a young Pakistani Hindu kid in school at some kind of school contest where they speak on “What would I do if I was Prime Minister of Pakistan?” And imagine the hurt, humiliation and shame it would cause that kid to realize that purely because he or she was born and raised in a Hindu family, he or she is inferior, not good enough, not qualified to lead Pakistan. (Leave aside the fact that I don’t believe the Pakistani electorate would ever elect a Hindu Prime Minister, like we in India voted for Sonia (a Catholic) in 2004 and have a Sikh PM now) This problem in Pakistan has very deep roots, going to the foundation of Pakistan. When you lead a movement to create a country called “Pakistan” — a word that never existed before the 1940s — and create it as a “homeland for Muslims”, on the basis of the Two-Nation-Theory — which, according to Jinnah, is the idea that Hindus and Muslims are two different “nations” that can never evolve a common nationality — these problems logically follow from that. What’s the slogan we hear at the Wagah border? “Pakistan ka matlab kya? La Ilaha Ila Allah”. With great respect to you and all humane, tolerant people in Pakistan, if I was a Pakistani Muslim and one of you, what I would say is this: the Two-Nation-Theory and the core ideas of Iqbal and Jinnah have to be relegated to history. They have no relevance for building an inclusive, secular country in the year 2012. As simple as that. Recommend

  • Malik

    India is a very big country and there are more Muslims in India we have in Pakistan altogether – Therefore their representation is more visible – However minorities in Pakistan hardly represent approximately 2% of the total population. Since Ahmadis have been declared Non-Muslims in Pakistan so I would consider them a minority as well and well know that there are/have been a lot of Ahmadis at the key positions in Pakistan including judiciary and Army. We had a Hindu Chief Justice as well despite of the fact that Hindus are very small in number in Pakistan. I think we should talk about something productive instead of sensation and hypocrisy because we can generate the useless discussion but won’t be producing any results in the end. People who were capable of making their career in Pakistan, they did, and they were not discriminated based on their religion we have several examples – I consider this a useless subject – Please talk about something productive. Recommend

  • Ovais

    Oh common no Gujrat takes place in pakistan .. talk some sense… Pakistan may be bad towards minorities but india … grow up .. India destroys minoritiesRecommend

  • Ovais

    Rana Bhagwandas … CJ of Pakistan
    we dont have 30 percent hindus .. grow up pls .. the probability of getting a hindu top notch professional is obviously low .. simple maths..but obv ET will never get it … for them only 2 – 3 percent elite(elite not minorities) are more important than 97 percent common pakistani’s Recommend

  • Lol

    :P where minorities are less than 5%; please dont expect the (near to) impossible.Live with it. stop being negative about pakistan!Recommend

  • Indian

    As an Indian atheist, this whole issue seems so sad. India does have an atheist in the Central Government Cabinet: A. K. Antony, Defense Minister, raised as a Christian but now openly atheist. I can’t imagine an atheist Pakistani Defense Minister. Even when they tried to name a Chowk in Lahore after Bhagat Singh, there were protests at how something in Pakistan could be named after a non-Muslim, and the proposal has now been shelved. Whereas in India, there are major roads in Delhi and Mumbai named after Maulani Muhammad Ali and even Aurangzeb. As an atheist, I most emphatically do not want Pakistan and India to be “reunited” as some silly (mostly Punjabi) liberals in India wish, at this point in history. But I believe — based on evidence from the US, Europe, Australia, Canada etc. — that most people, all over the world, will eventually become atheists. If that happens, say, 100 years from today, the Partition of India, and important questions like the author of this good piece raised, will be seen as examples of how dangerous and cruel religious divisiveness and bigotry can be. Especially when exploited by opportunistic politicians, like Savarkar in India and a certain very famous “Muslim” contemporary of his who I will not name here…Recommend

  • 3rdRockFromTheSun

    When will Pakistanis realize that it is a person’s talent / capabilities that matter – not which faith he/she belong to.

    In addition to the list mentioned, there are prominent businessmen, scientists, defence personnel, teachers, columnists, doctors and generally people of all walks of life in India, who are who they are, because of what skills they bring to the table; and not what faith they follow.

    One’s faith is to be left at one’s doorstep, and not brought to school / work. Things will only improve when this happens. Stop looking at everything through the vision blinkered by religion.Recommend

  • http://UK Saleem

    Religious tolerance! What is that. We in the land of pure recognise no such thing. We are all pure and chosen. It is the rest of the world that needs to change!!Recommend

  • Mohammad Assad

    I laud your effort here and in most part I do agree with you, although I would just like to point out a small difference between India and Pakistan,
    i.e. that is in India there are 120 million+ Muslims while according to wiki in Pakistan there are roughly 3 millions non Muslim citizens.
    Hence it is quite natural that in India you will see far greater participation of Indian Muslims in politics/media/social circles compared to Pakistan where the 3 million non Muslims are over shadowed by the rather large 98% Muslim majority. Which is why, it is rare to see them in important positions in society eg. in 60+ years we have only had 2 non Muslim Chief Justices..
    Now having said this, I know most of the readers will start accusing me off turning a blind eye too the plight of the minorities and somehow will conclude that I am claiming that there is no discrimination against them. That is certainly not true. Lives and properties of both muslim (shias) and non muslim minorities are not safe in this country and we must work towards protecting our brothers…and to do so we first have to treat them as our brothers
    Which is why I completely agree with the gist of ure piece :)Recommend

  • Mohammad Assad

    @all indians reading this
    Most Indians seem to be under the impression that the percentage of minorities in Pakistan has decreased now compared to 1947 and 1950s. While I dont have the exact figures with me, I believe this was primarily due to migration in the late 40s of muslims into Pak and non muslims leaving Pakistan….as well as the fact that a large Majority of the hindu population was living in East Pakistan, so when we lost our eastern arm the % of non muslims here would obviously fall.
    So just to recap, while there are several problems in the way Pakistan is dealing with its minorities, the mantra repeated by Indians that Pakistans non muslim population has decreased from 30%/10% to 3% is not as simplistic as our Indians friends seem to want to paint the picture as.
    Now I hope my opinion is not dismissed and I am not called a Taliban lover/Jihadi…just because I am presenting some facts to my Indian friends :) Recommend

  • http://syedaabidabokhari.wordpress.com The Only Normal Person Here.

    Regardless of India, a Pakistan Hindu shoud/MUST have all the rights to be one. A pakistani Hindu, Christian. jews etc is as Pakistan as any Muslim Pakistani.Recommend

  • Raj

    Your intentions are good but the answer is no.

    Forget the hindus as its a lost cause. I don’t think there will be any hindu left in Pakistan in another 20 years. The Number of hindus have a decreased a lot (2.5%) in Pakistan and its going down with each year. The remaining hindus either will migrate to India or West or will get converted in one way or the other. Even worse is the situation of Sikhs and Parsis.

    What Pakistan can ensure is that the Shias and Ahmedis and Christians don’t face the same fate as Hindus or Sikhs. That will be a good start in order to maintain whatever religious plurality they have currently. What is done with Hindus/Sikhs is done. You can’t get it back.Recommend

  • Zainab

    Pick on the basis of ability, not religion. Simple concept, but apparently too hard for us Pakistanis to grasp.Recommend

  • Umer

    can a Hindu ever be DG ISI?

    Only in dreams.Recommend

  • Nalwa

    This another attmept to undermine and delegitimize the TNT of Quaid .Pakistan is Islamic country directly under the supervision of Allah himself. Minority must live under the Dhimma rule and cannot be allowed to lord over Muslims. If these minority people have this kind of aspiration then they can convert to serve Islam and Pakistan. Recommend

  • John B

    Keep imagining. It is never going to happen because there was a man called Gandhi who tried his level best to bring sense to the people who formed today’s PAK but alas, there are now no minorities left in PAK political hierarchy to full fill the authors dream.

    Religious tolerance of India is not some post 1947 concept and if the author thinks that way he is mistaken in his understanding of the region he lives in.

    India has always been a refuge for those who sought sanctuary from religious persecution, whether they are Zorastrians, Jews, Sufis, or Shias, and she is always open in her religious philosophy in welcoming new ideas whether it is Christianity and Islam of later times or Buddhism of earlier times, or revival and reformation of Hinduism in middle ages or nurturing and creating Sikhism of modern age or assimilation of animistic rituals and gods and the early aboriginal practices.

    Diversity of religious tolerance is in India’s blood and thinking and those religious cultures who assimilated well within this philosophy of multiculturalism stayed and prospered and even ruled and those who resisted were shunned and withered away.

    While the authors wish may be laudable, it is not going to happen and that is the truth because even within a monocultural religious practices, PAK cannot form a consensus of tolerance despite three generations.

    The character of India is lost if she looses her religious tolerance and the character of PAK is lost if she looses her theocratic supremacy. So, how can minorities be in PAK government hierarchy? Recommend

  • Pessimist

    May I ask what is the point of this article?

    There can be two reasons why there are no minorities occupying prominent posts in Pakistan. One reason is that there are able & competent minorities who are not being appointed solely because of their religion. The other reason is that there are no able & competent minorities who can be appointed to such posts.

    What I believe is that the second reason is valid for Pakistan. This is nothing to be proud of. However, your article seems to indicate that the first reason is valid for Pakistan. I think you are wrong.

    Anyways, we have an abysmal record when it comes to minorities rights. You have mentioned some important posts held in India by Muslims. India did not appoint these men because they were Muslims, they were appointed on merit and because of their competence.

    Let’s look at some statistics. I don’t have the exact figures but I believe there are more Muslims in India than there are in Pakistan. India does not have any national religious identity, they are(for all intents and purposes) secular. There is some religious tension in the country, but it’s minimal. India did not come into existence because the Hindus of the sub-continent wanted a separate homeland, no, it was born because a few Muslims demanded a separate homeland. That is another topic which I don’t want to go into.

    What is the point of my incoherent comment? Please don’t compare pointlessly with India. This is bound to create some ill feelings and naturally this blog will attract some trolls from both sides of the border.

    What we need is a major overhaul in our dealings & attitudes towards minorities. This is not only for the lower class, but for us educated class. I worked in a respectable company in Pakistan and some of the words used to describe my Chrisitan & Hindu colleagues were nothing short of disgraceful. If we can somehow force ourselves to treat people based on their attitude & personalities, rather than on their religion & cast, only then can we progress. It took America more than 200 years to elect it’s first coloured President, perhaps one day we can elect a Hindu PM. Wishful thinking?

    I think I should stop now….. Recommend

  • Asok

    Pakistan is not a mirror image of India, with “Hindu” mapping to “Muslim”. India is a secular republic. Pakistan is an Islamic republic. That is all there is to it.Recommend

  • Daniyal

    Let’s not promote India’s picking of a Muslim for its IB too much . This is the same country where Narendra Modi is a state head… Recommend

  • http://www.thetrueperspective.com Hamza

    Wish it could happen. But it’s never going to. We have been bred and taught to hate the “paleed” “napak” Hindus of India. So yeah. Not gonna happen. At least not in the next 50-80 years until you’ve got the current 3-4 year olds generation in the power making seat and that too if they’re taught principles of equality, justice and humanity and not the crap we’ve been taught.Recommend

  • Raj Kafir

    Once upon a time forefathers of all the Pakistani politicians were Hindus. Grandfather of Qaid-i-Azam was a Hindu. Grandfather of Sir Mohammad Iqbal was a Hindu. The ball was in your court and all embraced the religion of peace.Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    Muslims and other minorities have also headed the Armed Forces in India. You must understand that it is not tolerance of religious minorities that is the issue here but one of insecurity. A country that is confident of itself, its secularism and pluralism does not look at its citizens through the lens of Religion. Merit should be the sole criteria for promotions and it is the right way to go for any country, whatever may be the countries policies. Recommend

  • Muhammad Ehsan Elahi

    Oh please come on. If Indian IB has a Muslim Chief then have you seen the population strength of Muslims in India. Let be the Hindus of the same strength here. Its about Minority rights in Pakistan but in India, Being Muslim is not a minority. One must “Read Facts………”Recommend

  • MuslimLiberalFromEU

    LOL, Good luck dude… and I dont hope either!!! Pakistan is not India, we have different history and we are different!Recommend

  • Ammar

    “Imagine a Hindu DG ISI.
    Imagine an Ahmadi prime minister.
    Imagine a Sikh foreign minister.”

    If this happens Pakistan will be a better county and perhaps a better country for the Islam! Recommend

  • Bilal

    If a hindu can be a chief justice of supreme court …so it means that a hindu can be a cheif of army staff ….Recommend

  • dr j tipu

    absolutely agreed, for me, rana bhagwan das already is a HERO…………totally for full merit on state institutions regardless of race, gender or religion.Recommend

  • F

    Just imagine…..history books without reference to evil Hindus; mosques absent of jihadi rhetoric; a Constitution offering equality to all and Hamid Gul not seeing conspiracies everywhere!

    But more than imagine…..do something concrete about it. Recommend

  • gp65

    “What Pakistanis across all stripes need to reflect on is that India as a government institution is becoming increasingly tolerant of religious minorities, and it’s time we do the same”.

    Great point. Except we do not label non-Hindus as minorities. They are seen as equal citizens. No one sees Salman Khurshid as a Muslim foreign minister. We justsee him a India’s foreign minister. Same with the others.

    Also you just named the Indian Muslims who have risen to the top. You might want to mention: our PM who is a SIkh, our COAS who is a Sikh, our chief of airforce is a Christian, our head of planning commission is a Sikh, our defense minister (who is actually the COAS’ boss in India) is a Christian, our finance minister is an atheist.

    But non-Hindus in top positions is not new. We have had 3 more Muslim Presidents and one Sikh President out of the 13 we have had. Scores of our COAS have been non-Hindu as also our CJ and CEC. Recommend

  • Milestogo

    Right now we should focus on making an Islamic welfare society, these PR items can wait…Recommend

  • http://USA Jim

    I’m glad someone in Pakistan noticed this and wrote about this. This will never happen in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It will go against the grain of its formation, which was falsely premised on Muslims not getting a fair deal in “Hindu-dominated” India. Yes, Muslims face plenty of issues and discrimination, but at the end of the day they now have better future in India than in Pakistan, were Muslims are slaughtering Muslims. Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/SohaibMalek Sohaib Malek
  • Allaisa

    Great, except for one problem. Pakistan wont find enough Hindus to appoint to these posts!Recommend

  • Pakiwi

    I think the answer is obvious – no Ahmedi, Christian, Hindu, or Sikh can now occupy any position of significance in Pakistan. It was not always so but now non-Muslims have no hope.Recommend

  • Ali

    You have been very ignorant, facts are altogether very different. Yes, If a hindu/Sikh is capable enough, he will be elevated definetly!!!
    Neither there is any such restriction in pak nor in military. You need to visit military and cabinet mission and you will witness miniorities holding few top positions. Recommend

  • mazhar

    contemporary environments prevailing in a country cannot be compared with our internal and external paradigm. we cannot and should not compare our institutions and their policy direction viz a viz their heads with India. It took 63 years to appoint a muslim head of IB which has nothing to do with external policies and simply an investigative agency. one indicator and we jump to conclusion.

  • Helix

    Indian institutions are strong and well grounded. They do not depend on individuals. Pakistan is a nation without national institutions. The army, over the years, has played havoc with Pakistan’s framework and continues to do so in the name of Qadri yet again.Recommend

  • Timorov

    The largest non Muslim minority in Pakistan are Christians. Way to not mention them. Pakistan has had Christian Generals, and Zoarastrian Generals well before any other country in the West had a Muslim general (the first one was a British 1 star admiral a few years ago). I am optimistic & buoyant that one day we will have a Christian ISI chief, Parsi Foreign Minister etc etcRecommend

  • jay verma

    You know what you Pakistanis forgetting ? All those names you have mentioned above, they are ALL Muslims. There is no doubt of that. But one thing did not came to your heads– and that is that they are INDIANS.
    And like in every home there is fight between the people, even during the time of IndoPak Wars, except a very few, they were all Indians – No Muslims and No Hindus. Only when the p-i-g politicians use them, there is fight like in every home.
    Can you Pakistanis match this ? Even a fraction of your ever growinng population, ccaan you take a Hindu at any of those posts ? Can you daare ?Recommend

  • Javed Baba

    I think for Pakistan the bar is much lower – we should celebrate having Ahamadi, Sikh and Hindus for that matter Shia Muslims stay alive in Pakistan Recommend

  • vivek

    Well Written. No country or economy can develop with radical thinking. Most of the developed countries and cities have world’s most diverse population and religion. Though one may argue that how come few of the arab countries are so developed but i believe they developed out of their natural resources so i treat them as exception. Education, secular mindset, respect and affection can only help people achieve greater heights. Its time for the islamic countries to introspect and achieve the path of peace and harmony. Recommend

  • Vikas

    That’s the difference between hindus and muslims, dear.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Very well said. But the truth is actually a step further from this – it is that we think of the religion of these individuals only when we are reminded by articles such as these, it does not come naturally to us, and this is what I am most proud of. I would hate for any of these positions to be occupied by a muslim just because he/ she is a muslim. Manmohan Singh is a Sikh, Sonia Gandhi is a Roman Catholic, AK Antony is the defence minister, Chidambaram (an atheist) is the Finance Minister – who cares, as long as they do their jobs; this is one reason why I love the concept of India.Recommend

  • Aftab Khan

    Why has a religious condition be made for qualification to be the president or prime minister of pakistan?Why has it been compulsory for president or PM to be a Muslim? Why can’t an atheist be president of our country?
    We scream and cry all the time about how Western countries allegedly mistreat muslims but their laws don’t discriminate on the basis of religion,whereas ours do.We have told the world that Muslims are the best,all the rest of you sinners are second class citizens,you’re inferior just becuase you’re atheist or you were born into the wrong religion.
    It’s high time atheists and non-muslim theists were allowed to become president or prime minister of Pakistan.Recommend

  • SKChadha

    ISI is already having Hindu heads ….. :-)Recommend

  • zeeshan

    Not only Hindus,but the non religious should get the opportunity to be DG.Rationalists,agnostics,free thinkers,atheists are as much Pakistani citizens as the 97%.
    This state sanctioned bigotry against the non religious must end.Recommend

  • Baba Ji

    No !!!Recommend

  • Concerned citizen

    I hope your article is written with utmost good intentions and an understandable urge for better ‘implementation’ of laws to ensure minorities in Pakistan have freedom to worship, are not sunbject to prejudice and do not consider their respective religions a liability. But just to refresh your memory, a key component of democracy is the will of the majority or in our case parliamentary constituencies. Keeping in view that muslims in India are 15% of the populations and other minorities a confirmed 5% seems to me that they are under represented quite contrary to the theme of your article. Whereas non muslims are less than 2% of Pakisans population and Hindus are even less than a percentage. So mister, I share your optimisim, but undoubtedly you lack practicalityRecommend

  • http://gilgit khan

    Great idea, wish this dream comes true soonRecommend

  • cut

    No.2 in cabinet i.e. Defence Minister is a christian.Outgoing chief justice was Zorastrian. Indians have passed out of the mindset of Hindus/Muslims/Christians.
    It would be strange to Pakistanis,but caste/language is much stronger than religion in India.A Muslim from Maharashtra would prefer a Hindu Marathi as neighbor rather than a muslim from Bengal or Kashmir,with whom he has no connections.Similarly a Hindu from Tamil-Nadu would prefer a Christian from Tamil Nadu as his neighbor rather than a Kashmiri pundit.
    Pakistanis should change their mindset and,and must not see India through Islamic lens.It is not only hilarious but also deplorable,when Pakistanis are killing their own muslim brothers(shias,hazaras,ahmedis);they make a hue and cry about the situation of muslims of other countries.Now that Pakistan is Islamic country,carved out of ‘Hindu” India fine.Live your life comfortably.But to cover your weakness please don’t gloss over imagined atrocities of Muslims in India.I am a Hindu and vote for Shiv-Sena,but I have neighbor who is a Muslim.He teaches my son Chess,and I teach his son Mathematics;we are good friends.But adhering to different faiths,or political views does not mean we slit each others throats.In a family we have different views,but do we kill other members for his different view??Similarly in a society we have to adjust and respect others views even if we do not accept it…………………………Recommend

  • Mazher Mehboob

    Offcourse, India is not as prjudice and discriminatory as Pakistan is. It is never too late, Pakistan should shun hatred love mankind and starts its journey towards proseprity.Recommend

  • Sinclair

    One correction. SY Qureshi completed his term as CEC. Now it is VS Sampath.Recommend

  • Sonam Shyam

    Why just single out Muslims only; there are members of other minority communities who are holding top positions. We have a Sikh PM, a Sikh army chief, a Christian Defence Minister, a Christian Air Chief etc. As far as Pakistan is concerned, I think you can not even name a roundabout in Bhagat Singh’s name and you are talking about naming a Hindu as ISI chief! Wake up is all I can say.Recommend

  • AXE

    Hamza your blog makes a valid point, but most of the “names that shine bright on the first line” are staunchly anti-Pakistan, and that seems to be the over-riding factor in their success. Hence India does give some of its Muslims access to some top slots, but they really have to hate Pakistan to get there.Recommend

  • isloo boy

    i know there is a three star christian general noel israel but no himdu in hihher post because hindus have been allowed to join the army 6 _7 years agoRecommend

  • Khalid Pathan

    Pakistan is an Islamic country and the experimentation is an ongoing process, as such any non Muslim for that matter cannot head the ISI. Whereas India is a democracy based on secular principles, as such a Muslim, A Sikh, A Parsi or a Christian can head the top intelligence position without any difficulty. No civilized society could be based or be run through religious doctrines or edicts. Religion is something exclusively personal between a person and his God. Recommend

  • Optimist

    India claims to be secular so it has to do such service.
    Question is not the top guy: Question is what is the percentage of Indian Muslims in Army? Answer is less than one percent.
    People like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khurshid (minister), Amir Khan etc all have married Hindus. Even Salman Khan’s mother is a Hindu. So if a Muslim leaves his religion (practically), he becomes ‘poster boy’ of India.
    Again, it is not ‘poster boys’ that should matter!Recommend

  • Liberal Tribune Reader

    Pakistan sadly encourages the opposite:

    Shia genocide
    Ahmadi genocide
    Christian blasphemy
    Hindu abduction
    Baloch nationalist murders
    Sindhi nationalist murders

    The only positive over the last few years has been Rana Bhagwandas.

    Although, it Sindh Hindus do occupy high positions in public offices, I am not sure about the rest of Pakistan.Recommend


    @Liberal Tribune Reader:
    Well said & I agreeRecommend

  • Philosiraptor

    13.4% of Indians are Muslims.
    1.85% of Pakistanis are Hindus.

    Not a fair wish, is it?

    Looking at Singapore, a developed forward looking country which replaced a Singaporean Malay General because he was Muslim and ties with Malaysia even though Muslims in Singapore makeup 20% of population.Recommend

  • Raj – USA

    It cannot happen in Pakistan. The reason being, even today, every muslim of Pakistan considers it his religious duty to convert all non-muslims. Whenever a muslim in Pakistan gets acquainted to a non-muslim, the first thing he would think is how to convert the non-muslim. He would constantly try to convince, persuade or coerce. Months ago I read in the Pakistan daily “The Dawn” that a Chinese engineer on an assignment in Pakistan said to his Pakistani muslim friend that the main reason he liked his Pakistani friend was because he had not tried to persuade him to convert. All other muslims he had known in Pakistan had tried to convince him to convert to Islam within a few days of acquaintance. Conversion is so popular in Pakistan that Maya Khan had a Ramzan special to increase her channels ratings. We also saw other prominent talk show anchors who claims to be moderate also present at the show. We also saw 1000’s of gun wielding mob encircle the young girl. Not one muslim in Pakistan would say that conversion, even by persuasion is bad or not required. If the non-muslim wants to convert without any inducement or persuasion, there is no bias or problem. When muslims of Pakistan want all others to convert, how can they consider the non-muslims as their equals? In India, Muslims can reach high positions because hindus never try to convert others and hence have no bias against them. So long as the muslims consider themselves as Indians first, they can reach any level. Not so in Pakistan. Recommend

  • http://www.snayyar.com Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad

    Hope the writer watched the Yesterday’s match between India and Pakistan, played in Calcutta. There he must have observed that not a single Pakistani, was visible in the stadium to support his team. This proves that no visa was issued to any Pakistani despite Indian commitments to the contrary. Indian establishment is so cynical about Pakistan and the writer is drawing absolutely wrong analogies, to malign the image of Pakistan. We are not like BD, but a declared Muslim State and comparison of apples with oranges is never correct. Have a heart please. Recommend

  • Raj – USA

    Rana Baghwandas was never appointed as or held the post of Chief Justice of Pakistan. He was just the Acting Chief Justice filling the post for just few days, not even months, when the Chief Justice was out of the country.Recommend

  • SM

    what you are talking about happened way back in history. we need to look at the dire state of affairs now. minorities are persecuted on a daily basis. they are constitutionally banned from occupying the posts of president or prime minister. CONSTITUTIONALLY! that is where the difference lies. i know of ahmadi students studying with me, who know they could never get a job in the atomic energy commission or other sensitive institutions. Why? because we treat our minorities as suspects a priory, not as full-fledged and equally patriotic pakistanis. Recommend

  • hi

    tell the nameRecommend

  • Ali

    everyone who is commenting on here, you are not reading what hamza is saying.

    india is becoming more tolerant AS A GOVERNMENT INSTITUTION. maybe not indian society, but government is. Recommend

  • fazal

    I would simply say NO coz there is a big difference between Indian and Pakistanis.
    I’m sure every one knows that what I’m trying to say.Recommend

  • Sane


    How faith could be ignored in politics and for important positions like DG ISI, President, Prime Minister etc. This country, being a Muslim state is made to be ruled by Muslims. We can not replicate ideas of any other country. They must their own reasons. We have different dynamics of politics and administration. I know many opposing comments by so called Liberals and Secular shall start pouring against what I said. But, truth remains UN-changed.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Asad Shairani: “However, please consider that India has around 21% of its population which you would call minorities. Pakistan on the other hand, has little over 2% minority population. Not taking anything away from the more religiously tolerant society of India – I think your comparison is a bit naive.”

    At the time of independence, Pakistan had 20% of popualation as non-Hindu. They were killed, forcibly converted or driven out due to lack of opportunity which is why so few currently exist. Anyway, Parsis are less than 1$ of Inida’s populatio and we have had a Parsi CJ, COAS. Sikhs are 2 % of our population and we have had Sikh, President, PM, COAS. No the comparison is not naive.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Ovais: “Rana Bhagwandas … CJ of Pakistan”

    He was never allowed to become CJ of Pakistan because he was Hindu. He was only acting CJ.Recommend

  • Shilpa

    Really? As much of a chance as anyone else??? And a much greater chance of being abused, trodden on and attacked and killed or would you not agree with that?Recommend

  • gp65

    @Pessimist: “There can be two reasons why there are no minorities occupying prominent posts in Pakistan. One reason is that there are able & competent minorities who are not being appointed solely because of their religion. The other reason is that there are no able & competent minorities who can be appointed to such posts.

    There wer 20% non-Muslims in PAkistan in the present day PAkistan at the time of indepndence . This has now been brought down to less than 3%. Why? By deliberately depriving them of opportunity so that they were either forced to convert or leave the country. Secondly there are some posts where non-Muslims are not even allowed constitutionally i.e. President, PM, COAS, CJ (Rana Bhagwandas was never allowed to become a CJ , he was an acting CJ only).

    Have you seen what happened with Shezaan juice? In a country like that how can you havebillionaire non-majority businessmen like India which has Tata and Azim Premji?

    Al the people speaking about 15% Muslims in India being the reason that there are sp many Muslims in key posts need to realize 2 things:
    1) At independence India had 8% Muslims which has grown to 14% now. present day Pakistan (not including Bangladesh) had 20% non-Muslims which has now shrunk to less than 3%. Why do you think that happened?
    2) PArsis are less than 1%, Sikhs are less than 2% and they too have had key positions in India.Recommend

  • naive

    @Raj – USA:
    ” He was just the Acting Chief Justice filling the post for just few days, not even months, when the Chief Justice was out of the country.”

    Even such a minor concession was not tolerable. There was a huge hue and cry against he occupying that dummy position for few days.Recommend

  • gp65

    @mazhar: “It took 63 years to appoint a muslim head of IB which has nothing to do with external policies and simply an investigative agency. one indicator and we jump to conclusion.”

    We had a Muslim PResident in 1960s in India dude.Recommend

  • Lala Gee

    Is ignorance a bliss? Looks like so in case of the author. But the problem is he is allowed to spread his ignorance to misguide the vulnerable. Please read the summary of Sachar Committee Report “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sachar_Committee_Report” on Wikipedia giving the real statistics of the condition of Muslims in India. Here is a summary of findings:

    * The presence of Muslims has been found to be only 3% in the IAS, 1.8% in the IFS and 4% in the IPS.
    * Muslim community has a representation of only 4.5% in Indian Railways while 98.7% of them are positioned at lower levels. Representation of Muslims is very low in the Universities and in Banks. Their share in police constables is only 6%, in health 4.4%, in transport 6.5%.
    * In the field of literacy the Committee has found that the rate among Muslims is very much below than the national average.
    * The access to government schools for children of Muslim parents is limited.
    * Bidi workers, tailors and mechanics need to be provided with social safety nets and social security. The participation of Muslims in the professional and managerial cadre is low.
    * The average amount of bank loan disbursed to the Muslims is 2/3 of the amount disbursed to other minorities. In some cases it is half. The Reserve Bank of India’s efforts to extend banking and credit facilities under the Prime Minister’s 15-point programme of 1983 has mainly benefited other minorities marginalizing Muslims.
    * Muslim concentration villages are not well served with pucca approach roads and local bus stops.
    * Substantially larger proportion of the Muslim households in urban areas are in the less than Rs.500 expenditure bracket.
    * Most of the variables indicate that Muslim-OBCs are significantly deprived in comparison to Hindu-OBCs. The work participation rate (WPR) shows the presence of a sharp difference between Hindu-OBCs (67%) and the Muslims. The share of Muslim-OBCs in government/ PSU jobs is much lower than Hindu-OBCs.

    Full report is available here “http://www.minorityaffairs.gov.in/sachar”.Recommend

  • Shilpa

    By “TNT, I assume you now mean Three-Nation-Theory because that’s what it is now in effect. And going by what caused the TNT, the word ‘Three’ might even increase. Most Pakistanis cannot see that Jinnah was not only a rabidly communal and vile person, he also totally lacked the vision necessary to take decisions about such a diverse and myriad group as the subcontinent’s people and one can see the results of his stupidity in evidence today and by no means is this the end – these results will continue to unfold over the next century and more.Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    @Noor Lodi:
    Noor, I am forced to shatter your dream that Jawaharlal Nehru made Jinnah believe that Muslims and Hindus could not live together. It was Jinnah that made the World which includes Muslims and the British believe the same. We need not debate where you got your information but the source is very suspect if not totally fraudulent.Recommend

  • http://seenu.blogspot.com SeenuSubbu

    Around partition Pakistan’s Hindu and Sikh population was in the 25% zone. It’s now less than 3%. First work on that. Everything else would then fall in place.Recommend

  • http://seenu.blogspot.com SeenuSubbu

    What was the percentage of Hindu, Sikh and Christian population in Pakistan, around Partition time. And what is their percentage now? From around 25% to less than 3%. First work on that, everything else will fall into place.Recommend

  • Zeeshan

    Hamza Mannan,

    Please remove your rose-tinted glasses. Just yesterday an Indian newspaper

    wrote about a Muslim neighborhood named as “Chotta Pakistan”in Maharashta.

    And yet here at Tribune, a Pakistani praising India.

    what does ISI have to do India’s IB? One is external and another is internal. But for a better idea of RAW and IB, one has to quote an Indian newspaper and not a Pakistani one:

    “”The RAW does not have a single Muslim in its 10,000-strong manpower pool while the IB has a small number of Muslims.
    “These operatives did a sterling job of raising new informer networks in Jammu and Kashmir during the 1990s… Despite their performance, the IB and RAW remain averse to employing Muslims, preferring to invest in technical collection.”

    Read more: http://india.nydailynews.com/newsarticle/e9dc1cd29c2114f811b3e1480ff29360/fearing-recruitment-india-restricts-contacts-with-cia#ixzz2GzPGW9k4Recommend

  • Javid

    Whats to imagine? An Ahmadi was the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan.Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    You need to grow up and learn to separate Wheat from chaff. In 1947 %age of minorities in Pakistan was 15% and the same in India was 16%. Today the %age of minorities in Pakistan is 3% and in India it is 21%. Yes, India has destroyed its minorities as seen from the facts. For some people in South Asia the World is FLAT.
    Thanks for entertaining us readers, it was really funny. Recommend


    Dear Friends, we should treat every one as PAKISTANI, should not care for the religion, same we we also need to update our figures, as Minority in Pakistan is upto 5%, and we need to grow as PAKISTANI…..if we want a developed PAKISTAN.Recommend

  • No name

    lolx very innocent question author, we dont need any hindu muslims are doing good enough :pRecommend

  • Ovais

    And the liberals are now disliking and liking each others comments on this joke of an article which is factually and logically incorrect …. ET why do u always try to promote one side of viewRecommend

  • Sane


    We are looking stupidity now very clearly. In crystal ball Narandra Moodi is seen a a ‘Great Leader’ of India, turning it to a Hindu (fanatic) state causing many Pakistans to emerge. The legacy and like mindedness of Bal Thekry, Col Prohot has already pointed the future of India.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Javid: “Whats to imagine? An Ahmadi was the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan.”

    At that time Ahmadis were still considered Muslims – remember?Recommend

  • http://Brisbane,Australia Raza Khan

    Only a Punjabi Muslim can be a DG-ISI! Recommend

  • leave it

    from partition muslims in india increase two folds or even more and in Pakistan hindus reduced to 2% from 15%.. who is hypocriting…You or the author…??? Forget of giving any bureacratic position to minorities you just bear them to live peacefully will be more than enough.

    Here pupils from minority sects are forced to study Islamiat in school and when asked to provide alternate subject instead constitutionally.. are either forced to quit school or face discriminatioin from teachers, principal and fellow class mates.Recommend

  • Ayesha

    For that the % of Hindus in Pakistan should be equal to % of Muslims in India. Recommend

  • Aziz Bhatti

    Excellent. You nailed it. One of the most needed steps we need to take to send strong signals to the society that we, as a nation, stand together, no matter what religion, color, creed or sect we belong to. I bet if this happens (appointment of an Ahmadi or Hindu to any upper post) will bring lots and lots of criticism from every corner in today’s Pakistan! Recommend

  • SKChadha

    If President/ PM are to be Muslims, how DG ISI (a post above them) can be non-Muslim?Recommend

  • Rakib

    Intentions of the Author are noble but the comparison with India for emulation may be hard to make. Once the State has its own religion it is no longer possible to entrust very senior & sensitive positions to men that do not take oath in a particular manner or command loyalty of subordinates. In India there is no compulsion on any functionary to subscribe to any particular sets of beliefs. An IB boss may never touch an ordinary Indian’s life but the most important thing is a deserving man was not denied or chosen because of his religion. For most Indians information as provided by the Author & others is part of fun trivia useful for quizzes. One is not conscious of such things. Not many Indians would even be bothered to know for e.g. that that at the height of 1971 conflict the Chief of Staff of Eastern Command of army was an Indian Jew (JFR Jacob) & Assistant Chief of Air Staff was a Muslim (Idris Hasan Latif), let alone the population figures, minuscule indeed, of Indian Baghdadi Jews or Sulaimani Bohras respectively.Recommend