Why isn’t Pakistan on Obama’s travel itinerary?

Published: November 24, 2014

It would have been great had Obama’s Air Force One landed in Pakistan. It’s an opportunity lost.

Ever wondered why Pakistan is made to play a second fiddle role when it comes to US handling South Asian affairs? It’s only been a few months since Narendra Modi took office as India’s prime minister but he’s already captured the imagination of the West. He’s treated like a superstar wherever he goes. His visit to the US back in September this year was a tremendous success. He created a superb rapport with US President Barack Obama and his administration, and won admirers all over the US.

Obama is now scheduled to pay a visit to India and attend the Indian Republic Day celebrations in January. However, he’s not visiting Pakistan. Given the delicate geo-strategic balance in the region, it seems rather odd that a US president would go all the way to India but give a cold shoulder to the neighbouring country that has and continues to play a pivotal role in the war against terror.

Granted that India is by all accounts a global techno-economic power and the largest democracy in the world, Pakistan’s inability to ‘sell’ itself appropriately and get the attention it truly deserves is nothing but a diplomatic downfall. Since 2001, each successive government in Islamabad as well as the army leadership have stood by the US, supported its effort to end terrorism and now that the president has planned a trip to the area but Pakistan’s been given a woeful thumbs down treatment.

Apparently the Pakistani prime minister and Obama spoke over the phone recently whereby the president took Nawaz Sharif into confidence regarding his visit to India and assured him that he would ‘undertake a visit to Pakistan at an early date as soon as the situation normalised in the country’.

I’m personally at a loss to understand the validity of this argument.

What does normalisation imply?

Is there an apprehension about the president’s security in Pakistan?

Are the threats not the same everywhere?

The president, after all, is the world’s most protected head of state. He has a comprehensive security detail, one that is tried and tested and is essentially unflappable.

Back in March 2000, I remember how during the worst days of US-Pakistan relationship, post-nuclear test time, President Clinton was able to make a brief touchdown in Islamabad after a state visit to India. He appeared on national TV to address the people of Pakistan, at least ensuring that the US had not completely side-tracked Islamabad.

An Obama visit to Pakistan would have had a healthy impact not only with respect to US-Pakistan relations but also on the overall political scenario in South Asia. The US has repeatedly encouraged India and Pakistan to resolve their geopolitical disputes mutually which is a fair expectation. However, Washington’s interests in the region are of much greater importance to be just regarded as a mere keen observer. A stable South Asia is the key to ensuring that US economic, strategic and political interests are well looked after. America needs continuous cooperation from India and Pakistan on account of its own national interests.

While that reality is undeniable, there is this nagging feeling amongst South Asia watchers in Washington that Pakistan overplays the significance of the Kashmir issue and tries to involve the US rather unnecessarily. And the same exact thing happened during the Obama-Sharif phone conversation – the prime minister urged the president to take up the Kashmir issue with the Indian leadership to guarantee enduring peace in the area. That phone call could have been used as an opportunity rather than a tantrum-throwing skit.

The world is changing and a lot has happened since the UN passed the Kashmir resolution back in the 1940s. While one is not undermining the importance of an issue that can be regarded as the paramount pillar of the Pakistani foreign policy paradigm, there’s plenty more that policy makers in Islamabad can ponder over to readjust priorities that are suited to modern-day realities. There’s so much to talk about with India, probe into the possibilities of cooperation, look into options that can bring the two countries and their people together.

Why can Pakistan not leverage the awe-inspiring tools of diplomacy that can shape up a well-rounded policy vis-à-vis New Delhi?

Why not step out of the box and show the world that Pakistan is creative enough to think about proposing measures that can enable deescalating tensions in the area?

Pakistan can learn a lesson or two from India’s post-1980s strategy. New Delhi’s change of emphasis from a closed, socialist model to an open market economy, stress on exports and technological advancement turned around the country’s fortunes in the past two decades or so. While India has moved on and is now recognised as one of strongest growing global economies, Islamabad is still grappling with the problem of religious extremism and age-old redundant issues.

In light of the lively changes that India made that includes the export of their entertainment industry, the country’s phenomenal success model is something that Pakistan can implement in its own backyard. The main idea is to make the country appealing, more marketable to the world outside. At the time when Pakistan is suffering and reeling under the pressure of religious extremism, such measures are direly needed.

For instance, one often comes across Mahatma Gandhi being portrayed as the symbol of peace and non-violence. He is known the world over for his philosophy, practices and principles. How did this all come about? Whereas it undisputable that Gandhi ji was a genuine, peace-loving figure who believed in a humanitarian worldview, a lot of credit for maintaining such an image goes to the Indian people who decades after his assassination still spread his teachings and ideas to the global audience.

What about Pakistan? Has anyone marketed Mohammad Ali Jinnah as a secular leader who changed the course of South Asian history and single-handedly fought for independence from the British when the odds were heavily weighed against him? Gandhi’s statue proudly stands outside the Indian embassy in Washington.

How about doing the same for Jinnah?

One senses a disconnection in the Pakistani foreign policy setup. For the life of me, I cannot expect the prime minister to be the foreign minister as well. Nawaz is way too naïve and uptight for the job. He lacks the finesse and the confidence that is a critical prerequisite for being successful in the role. Chief advisor to the prime minister, Mr Sartaj Aziz is an economist by trade that makes him perfectly suitable to run country’s economy but not the foreign policy. Understood that it is essentially the bureaucracy that runs the show and hence, a lot depends on foreign missions abroad and the foreign secretary to look after the business of diplomacy. That begs the question – is the ambassador to the US active enough to grab on to the opportunities with respect to relationship building? He’s a career diplomat – he should know how to transform half chances into positive prospects.

All said and done, it would have been great had Obama’s Air Force One landed in Pakistan. It’s an opportunity lost. In this traumatically hectic and aggressive international environment, nations interested in making progress need to be on their toes and act at the spur of the moment. Plus, presentation and delivery make a remarkable difference. Pakistani foreign policy managers need to wake up and smell the coffee. The great Muhammad Ali used to say,

“Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”

That’s exactly how successful countries operate these days. The laidback ones are left behind the pack to get trampled upon and crushed. A speedily structured rational and pragmatic approach to global affairs now will bear fruit for future Pakistani generations. There is no quick fix. The dance of diplomacy is one difficult art to master. However, it’s not impossible to perform. What matters in the end is the commitment and appetite to make a positive change.

Ahson Saeed Hasan

Ahson Saeed Hasan

The writer is a proud American, a peacenik who has traveled well over 80 countries and lived in four continents. He likes to share his experiences and reflect on the worldly surroundings. He tweets @tweetingacho (twitter.com/tweetingacho)

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

  • observer

    Naive person. Knows not what he babblesRecommend

  • sharabi

    so what if Obama is going to visit Bharat, Do not forget Pakistan is always far ahead, Osama lived there.Recommend

  • vinsin

    Gandhi is famous for civil right movements in the west. Jinnah never shied to admit that he is follower of political islam. Secular is the most abused word in indian subcontinent. Secular government are different from secular persons. Pakistan movement was against democracy and secularism. Secular countries upholds human rights and in that respect india is not a secular country. Secular persons believe in all religion and gods.Recommend

  • Reddy

    “Mohammad Ali Jinnah as a secular leader who changed the course of South Asian history and single-handedly fought for independence from the British when the odds were heavily weighed against him”

    this is what makes indians chuckle,when did he or for that matter muslim league ever fought british…they are the sidekicks of british,held positions in british raj including jinnah,jinnah opposed the land mark event like quit india,left india to settle down in england,history won’t remember the cowards.Recommend

  • jay

    Pakistan for its life time will keep comparing itself to India….. Indian has marketed itself good , so lets do it,, India has nukes so we should have it too.. Mahatma is world famous so lets make Jhinnah world famous.. Man u guys need to step out of Indian shadow and stop chasing India…Recommend

  • Feroz

    Friend, you need to read history from neutral sources and not Pakistani textbooks to understand what India stands for and what Pakistan stands for. Having got Pakistan its rulers were never interested in welfare of its citizens but busy in finding ways to impede the rise of India.
    The world does not like negativity and unfortunately the obsession with India forced Pakistan to act in ways the world found repulsive. This product called Pakistan unfortunately could not satisfy any customer, thereby no marketer could ever market it, even if some wizard from outer space was called he would fail. A better product is needed that caters to the needs of the global market place, not the extremism and terrorism which is the main export.
    Pakistan may think Jinnah is great but the world has no respect for ideas and concepts that lead or led to the loss of a million innocent lives. Murder and mayhem is as difficult to sell today as it was in 1947.Recommend

  • Jor El

    “Why isn’t Pakistan on Obama’s travel itinerary?”

    Becoz until the rabit-out-of-a-hat-by-modi Obama’s republic day India visit was announced, Pakistan ddnt invite Obama to visit. Which begs a fundamental Q to be asked. Why does Pakistan’s foreign policy have to be reactive rather than pro-active ?Recommend

  • Vish

    Not sure where to begin, because this article is full of so many holes. Suffice to say, there are no Jinnah statues because the country, Jinnah founded, no longer exists, neither physically nor in principle.Recommend


    “Has anyone marketed Mohammad Ali Jinnah as a secular leader”. Sorry author but Mr JInnah was never a secular leader infact the whole concept of MUSLIM League & pakistan was based on a seperate state for muslims, cannt be called secular. he can nvr be marketed as a secular leader. Infact pakistan calls it self ISLAMIC republic of pakistan….. And Mr Jinnah nvr singlehandedly fought for independency, but singlehandedly divided INDIA.Recommend

  • Cameron

    Why isn’t Obama visiting Pakistan? Well why should he? What is to be gained by such a visit? You claim Pakistan is a key ally in the “war against terror” and yet Osama Bin Laden was found in a garrison city, you think Obama is ignorant to the games pakistan is playing? Of course not that’s why he ordered the mission without informing the PAKISTANI govt. You seem to have this rosy romanticsed view of what Pakistan is and how it is seen in the global community.

    As for the security situation being right in Pakistan to host a president of America this is laughable to say the least. At a time when pakistan is unable to host cricket matches at home you want one of the most at risk heads of state in the world to come to Pakistan? I don’t think so.

    Lastly stop comparing india to pakistan. Even if Pakistan adopted a similar policy of linroatarion and assertive foreign policy as india it would NEVER match india not in a million years. The world isn’t fair. There are haves and have nots. Pakistan can be a prosperous nation with peace but it won’t be on the same terms as the up and coming superpower next door.

    There is BELGIUM and then there is Germany. Canada and the U.S., do you get my point? Recommend

  • Furrukh Rao

    US is a Global Power and he want to show China that we will shift all the Contract Manufacturing to India and your Factories and People will die hungry. What Pakistan has to do with the Visit we have enough resources to make our country a better place than both China and India and if we played our cards sincerely we could be able to attract our people working abroad but how this is the question :) Pakistan Paindabad.Recommend

  • Lalit

    Jinnah was a secular leader….well, thats a great discovery.

    Btw Pakistan can learn a few things from Modi…first is not to let personal prejudices come in the path of National Interests.nobody can forget that US denied Visa to Mr Modi in 2005,when he was a CM. Mr Modi never took an offence.He could have been forgiven,if he gave a cold shoulder to US to return the favor.Rather Modi seems working very hard to take Indo-US relations to entirely a new plane…second thing to learn from Modi is going for ‘out of the box’ solutions to old problems..he has an uncanny knack for identifying solutions among the sea of problems and most of them are simple but untried.all his efforts seem impossible at first glance,but he makes it look so easy while doing it,just like Virat Kohli makes chasing a score of 300+ in an ODI look easy.Recommend

  • Asad

    we were the sidekicks ? you had Lord Mountbatten as your first governer-general (so that u could illegally get the land of Kashmir and Hyderabad), not us, and you have the courage to call us the sidekicks ? funny statement.Recommend

  • Asad

    hahaha.. u guys need to try to reduce your obsession of posting hate and derogatory comments for us.. that is what needs to be done.. and nobody made Jinnah famous just to compete with Gandhi .. no thank you, we never would like to see our leader being compared to GandhiRecommend

  • Saeed

    do you see anyone else is coming to Pakistan? he reads too.Recommend

  • Rahul

    I listen to Pakistani talk shows and read Pakistani newspapers. My family are refugees from what is now Pakistani Punjab and we are forever grateful that we were driven out of Pakistan. The narrative in this article and the talk shows is always that Pakistan is misunderstood. Actually the world has begun to understand Pakistan and they don’t like what they see. There are excellent books out there by authors such as Hussain Haqqani, Carlotta Gall, Christine Fair and Babar Ayaz which explain the Pakistani psyche. Findling OBL in Pakistan living a life of luxury was an eyeopener for the world. Today, anything the Pakistani establishment says is taken with a pinch of salt and policymakers look for their own independent sources. As bad as the reality of Pakistan is, the world actually believes that the truth is even worse, such is the credibility of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ramesh

    Mr Asad,

    Please mention one Muslim League Leader who was in jail for more than 24 hours for fighting again Britishers.Recommend

  • Prashant

    “Pakistan’s inability to ‘sell’ itself appropriately and get the attention it truly deserves is nothing but a diplomatic downfall.”

    You cannot simply go to the market and sell stuff unless the product is close to others available in the market.

    “Are the threats not the same everywhere?”

    An Imam rants and the bodyguard of a Governor goes mad enough to kill him, you cannot play cricket in your own country, Pakistan might not be as unsafe as some would make it out to be but for those who could be possible targets, Pakistan is the wild west.

    “The world is changing and a lot has happened since the UN passed the Kashmir resolution back in the 1940s.”

    It is not the fault of the Pakistani leaders, they are simply toeing the line the masses have taken for whom giving priority to any other topic other than Kashmir is nothing less than treachery, there is not a leader in Pakistan who either believes or has the guts to tell the Pakistanis that they are fighting a losing battle on Kashmir.Recommend

  • Mayuresh

    While the author has attempted genuine “out of the box thinking”, just falls flat. For the life of me, please stop saying Pakistan is lacking in diplomacy. You have had better diplomats than India. But man, you can have the best sales person in the world but if your product is rotten, it does not matter. For once, do something not for the outside world but out of your own conviction. India does not market Yoga, it is a phenomenal science developed that stands on its own and discerning human beings can smell that power, same goes for Gandhi, there aren’t that many human beings who carved out strength out of non-violence. And please stop comparing Pakistan to India, the strategic interests of US are very different in both countries. This is like, Abbujan aap bhaiya ke ghar aye the baju mein, to hamare ghar kyon nahi aaye — this is not some family dramaRecommend

  • pankaj#1

    So you want to compare Pakistan to India? Well, well, you can. We have a state in Indian Union, which goes by the name UP. Apart from population, you will find many similarities there.Recommend

  • Pir Roshan

    When my grandfather asked Fahre Afghan Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan, why are you against Jinah. The answer was that Jinah speaks for Farangi(British rulers), while we fight angrez to get freedom.Recommend

  • Jor El

    “we never would like to see our leader being compared to Gandhi”
    U r right buddy, comparison is between comparables …Recommend

  • jazzman

    author is clearly hallucinating. bracketing india and pakistan in the same league is a thing of 50’s and 60’s. today, india’s economy is humongous compared to that of pakistan. world leaders make a beeline to india for trade, commerce, business opportunities. sadly these are not the agenda of leaders visiting pakistan. pakistanis would be wise if they can set their own house in order and stop trying to downplay indian achievements. pakistan would be wiser if they follow turkey, Egypt, models. as far as pakistan being with US on war on terror, pakistanis are getting paid in billions of dollars. does the author expect obama to gift wrap these billions of dollars and personally present it to sharif? i request the author (if his time permits) to take a tour of pakistan and india. i am sure authors future articles wouldn’t bracket india and pakistan in the same league (after the hypothetical tour). i am sure next article of his would be comparing bangladesh and pakistan. how bangladesh is beating pakistan in all fields(except cricket) despite huge challenges.Recommend

  • Raj – USA

    You are right. That is the reason Obama visited Afghanistan also but not Pakistan.Recommend

  • ab1990

    gandhi is incomparable to anyone in modern world history. He is head and shoulders above any leader who fought for independence for a country.Recommend

  • James

    We Indians don’t sell ourselves or our culture. We merely share it. I have only heard the word “sell/market yourself” from Pakistan. Pakistani state sponsors terrorism and everyone knows that, that is the main reason for your diplomatic isolation. Recommend

  • Zee

    “Up and coming superpower next door”. No one stops you to day dream but yes you can be proud on the world’s largest super slum, 3rd in HIV, very next to us in world hunger index etc.

    If above equates to Super power then wow, keep it with you.Recommend

  • Ranveer Singh Warraich

    Yes Asad! Let me give you a few examples All India Muslim League was formed in 1906, when the party was formed they laid out 3 major objectives for the parties.
    (a) To promote, among the Musalmans of India, feelings of loyalty to the British Government, and to remove any misconception that may arise as to the intention of Government with regard to any of its measures.
    (b) To protect and advance the political rights and interests of the Musalmans of India, and to respectfully represent their needs and aspirations to the Government.
    (c) To prevent the rise, among the Musalmans ofIndia, of any feeling of hostility towards other communities, without prejudice to the aforementioned objects of the League.”

    There were 2 parties whose members never went to jail, who never opposed the british 1 was the hindu right wing RSS, and other was All India Muslim League. Iqbal himself was knighted by King George in 1922, and Jinnah could barely speak urdu, never read the quran, and drank whiskey regularly. These are things you will never read in Pakistani Textbooks.Recommend

  • Ranveer Singh Warraich

    All India Muslim League was
    formed in 1906, when the party was formed they laid out 3 major
    objectives for the parties.
    (a) To promote, among the Musalmans of
    India, feelings of loyalty to the British Government, and to remove any
    misconception that may arise as to the intention of Government with
    regard to any of its measures.
    (b) To protect and advance the
    political rights and interests of the Musalmans of India, and to
    respectfully represent their needs and aspirations to the Government.
    To prevent the rise, among the Musalmans ofIndia, of any feeling of
    hostility towards other communities, without prejudice to the
    aforementioned objects of the League.”Recommend

  • Alba

    It’s not a Big Deal for Pak, that’s why!Recommend

  • Critical

    What about the movie “Jinnah” sponsored by Pakistan roping in legendary actor “Christopher Lee” to play as Jinnah just to appeal to the International audience hoping it would achieve the success of GandhiRecommend

  • Critical

    Looks like author finally smelt the coffee and realised that the rest of the world doesnt think that the entire world revolves around Pakistan and other than South asian immigrants,noone in the western world even heard of Jinnah,let alone admire him….

    Gandhi was made popular not MLK and Nelson Mandela’s speeches and no amount of campaign could have led to such a huge following…Recommend

  • Bad Mash

    How mean you guys are! Why are you shattering their illusions? That is all they have left!Recommend

  • Bad Mash


  • kafirmusafir

    The author, even though based in Washington DC shows enormous lack of knowledge of US foreign policy. His rants and sheepish groaning is an emotional Pakistani outburst not based in any factual ground reality about US vis-a-vis Pakistan.Recommend

  • kafirmusafir

    The reality is that there cannot be any comparison between Gandhi and Jinnah. The world knows that more today than in 1947. It is not about marketing Gandhi or Jinnah it is about being a Mahatma and not being a Mahatma.Recommend

  • vinsin

    Then why you didn’t have Lord Mountbatten as your first governer? Lord Mountbatten offered himself to you. Then why Kashmir is not part of India? Can you prove Indian got Kashmir and Hyderabad illegally? How come Pakistan got 15% population and 30% land, is that legal?Recommend

  • unbelievable

    Naive article which ignores harboring OBL, providing sanctuary to the Haqqani, blocking NATO supplies, and a host of other anti American activities. On the bright side at least Obama is talking to Sharif – something he stopped doing with Zardari.
    BTW the term “normalized” likely means that he wants to see Pakistan actually get rid of terrorist rather than talk about getting rid of terrorist.Recommend

  • Kolsat

    You really are silly. Many in the world have heard of Mahatma Gandhi but no one has heard of Jinnah. Why not remain happy that Jinnah has helped create Pakistan. Apart from this Jinnah has not given the world a philosophy like Gandhi has.Recommend

  • pissdrinker

    The Indians don’t know it but USA will come running back to Pakistan a Russia China Pakistan Iran alliance is better for Pakistan I hope Pakistan declares USA a non ally

  • SayWhaaa!!

    The farther Pakistan gets from the US the better it will be, one thing indians will understand soon is that the US always puts its interests first and any friendships last. Unless you influence congress like Israel does through AIPAC there is no friendship. These visits are for one reason only limit China and have “allies” fight battles for it. I think the US would benefit if they could have a permanent base setup in India. A US visit wouldn’t change anything for Pakistan, their lectures on do more is one thing we have had enough of.

    To the Indian trolls on here, I can really feel the love you have for Pakistan and we’re suppose to be obsessed with India.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    How is Mountbatten related to Raja of Kashmir siging the Accession Agreement? Please enlighten us.
    He signed it because Jinnah sent in tribals to capture Srinagar. They would have succeeded had they not indulged in plunder and rape and delayed their actual cause. This forced Raja’s hand and he went with India, only after which Indian troops landed in Kashmir, with support from National Conference.
    Also, Jinnah and all Muslim League members were British guests. Neither Jinnah nor Liaquat nor Suhrawardy spent a day in British jails.
    When Gandhi was in jail, Jinnah held meeting with the British, without having won any election.Recommend

  • wb

    Why not? Because Jinnah was a beef eating Martial? And Gandhi was a naked fakir?

    Does that make Jinnah superior to Gandhi?Recommend

  • Faulitics

    “we never would like to see our leader being compared to Gandhi”
    Absolutely! There is no comparison.Recommend

  • Asad

    so being behind the bars , in other words, being a criminal is a yardstick now ?Recommend

  • Asad

    can you please explain why Lord Mountbatten was your first governer-general if you really wanted ‘independence’ from the Britishers ?Recommend

  • Meshaguna

    Mr. Asad (or is it Assad?), you know a movie was made about both Gandhi and Jinnah. Guess which one won the Academy Award for Best Picture, produced and directed by the late Sir Richard Attenborough and made its previously unknown actor (father Gujarati and mother English) very famous. I searched for the Jinnah movie, and no one seems to carry it. A case of Jinnah, who? (I believe the actor was a Christian British actor – a sad case of unintentional irony.)Recommend

  • Meshaguna

    Not so fast, Lalit. Wait for a couple of years before pronouncing him a success.Recommend

  • Meshaguna

    An inapt metaphor since playing cards (gambling) is haram in Islam. :-)Recommend

  • Xoxo

    “Has anyone marketed Mohammad Ali Jinnah as a secular leader who changed the course of South Asian history and single-handedly fought for independence from the British when the odds were heavily weighed against him?”

    Thanks for the laugh.

    You are calling Jinnah secular, in the same breath touting his biggest accomplishment of breaking India into two countries by religion. A secular person, who does not believe that people from two different religious groups can live together :)

    Do Pakistani really believe that Jinnah “single-handedly fought for independence from the British”? So all other Indians (Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Christians), and all leaders (Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Patel, Maulana Azad, Lal/Bal/Pal) and freedom fighters (Bhagat Singh, Bismil) didn’t exists?Recommend

  • My Take

    It is all because Pakistan have its own dignity… we are not a puppet who tails behind US every time as India do with tailing behind US and saying yes yes… all this can be proved from the recent shameful act done with their davyani episode… they are always treated as a banana republic and will be treated like this as always.Recommend

  • Eshel Dapez

    Well stated for US, “Float like a butterfly and sting
    like a bee.” This phrase actually well answered the US behavior towards every
    Non-American country. There is a sharp distinction and in fact over lapping of
    friends and foes in US foreign policy. It is not the Indian Modi interesting share
    of the pie but actually it more focused inherently to contain the Russian and
    Chinese spheres of influence by pleasing Indians. It is a matter of logic that
    how US can forget its old Cold War rival Russia and make it actually allows
    India to have cooperative ties. For Pakistan, US is not trust worthy at all as
    history well depicts the US level of trust. Pakistan has actually widen its horizons
    which is well evident in very recent Pak-Russia defence deal.Recommend

  • Anon

    Jinnah and secular……..from which angle you see the word “Muslim League” as a secular party…Recommend

  • Asad

    yeah, there is no match for Gandhi.. he was also the only one leader who had such a low character that he stole from his own motherRecommend

  • Malti Chaturvedi

    of course …. jinnah was a proud SHIA..Recommend

  • Malti Chaturvedi

    they got a tit for tat response for what they did to devyani ….. scores leveled now move onRecommend

  • Prashant

    Gandhi/ Nehru and Patel must be criminals for asking freedom without using violence as means, for some random killing is a synonym of freedom and not spending a single day in the Jail, having a million killed and giving the call for direct action is a yardstick to become the Quaid of a Nation.Recommend

  • Prashant

    “no thank you, we never would like to see our leader being compared to Gandhi”

    Of course not, you have a special taste for anything which has remotely to do with violence.Recommend

  • Jahil hamid

    LOL Pakistan does not have slums, or HIV or hunger or polio of grave minority persecution or useless education of target killings or drone attacks or shooting of crickters or LOL Get real all countries have all the problems and yet they rise well, most do except Pakistan which reaches a new low everytime.Recommend

  • Jahil hamid

    Problem is that this same paragraph or something like it has been trotted out every so often that rest of the world has stopped believing it.Recommend

  • S A P

    Hardwork and only hardwork pays – whether it is an individual or a community or a nation or a civilization…

    I am a mediocre Indian – but mighty proud of where my country is heading, beating the mediocrity that everybody thought it is cut out for…Recommend

  • Prashant

    “”Up and coming superpower next door”.”

    Did you get Cameron’s point? Read it again if not.

    He is not talking of present but future, India might not be a superpower for next 50 years if it is not lead properly but is inevitable it would some day, sooner or later.

    The issue with blind hatred is you will read what you want to and not the writing on the wall. Take a chill pill.Recommend

  • Prashant

    “It is all because Pakistan have its own dignity”

    Is it a typo error, I mean, did you type Pakistan in place of India by mistake in the above statement?

    If you stick to your statement, let me know and I will be happy to prove you wrong.Recommend

  • human

    The very conversation in comments validates authors analysis that We the Pakistanis have conditioned our existence with being re active to India and for that sole reason we are in a miserable condition infront of world. We need to be proactive and find a rational course to be a respectable member of international community. Nations succeed because they keep on evolving. Being obstinate and narrow focussed has not brought any good to anyone but being persistent in evolving with time has always brought enviable success.
    So please wake up my country men and have the courage to face reality.Recommend

  • Gp65

    For someone living in Washington, it is surprising that you did not check the official whitehouse press release about the Nawaz Obama call. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/21/readout-president-s-call-prime-minister-nawaz-sharif-pakistan

    Neither did Obama mention India or his plans to visit India nor did he promise to visit Pakistan when situation becomes normal. Further Kashmir was not discussed.

    A large part of your blog is based on the chest puffing by Pakistani foreign offfice about what transpired on the call rather than actual fact about what was discussed.Recommend

  • Parvez

    The author seems to think that the sun that shines over Pakistan comes out of Obama It is thinking like this that has held Pakistan back and there are many who disagree with this concept.Recommend

  • Pacman Wiseguy

    What is wrong with America ? We are not a perfect country. We are better than China, Russia, Saudi Arabia or Iran in the way we treat our citizens and foreigners.

    IMO Pakistanis have a unrealistic expectation that America can solve their problemsRecommend

  • Sinclair

    The stories of Gandhi that made the most impression on me were the ones where he erred (lied, stole), and then confessed and repented. It is the humanity that connects more than divinity. You may think otherwise. Did Jinnah not do any of these by the way? How is he a good Muslim anyway – he ate pork and had alcohol, didnt he? I guess that would make him a less of a hypocrite for me, and definitely not evil.Recommend

  • Asad

    not even 1 out 20 Indians on this thread can answer my question about why a British army personnel was your first governer-general if you really fought for independence.. all i keep getting is ‘no jail’ ‘no jail’ comments… says alot about your hypocrisyRecommend

  • Asad

    i didnot ask for your version of what happened in Kashmir and what did Gandhi eat in jail.. i asked a simple question, why was Lord Mountbatten your first governer-general.. just say you dont have any lame excuse for it rather than beating around ‘jail-is-proof-of-loyalty’ theory.Recommend

  • Reddy

    you are a colony of british until 1956 and had a queen , ya, you faught british by vehemently shining their shoes even after ur independence ….Recommend

  • Ivar the Driver

    Do you understand the concept of “transition of power”? I hope you realise it was an administrative necessity for the erstwhile Emperial officer to oversee the transition of the power in the manner agreed between the states. For example the first army chief of Pakistan was not a Paksitani Muslim but Frank Messervy followed by Mr. Douglas Gracey.Recommend

  • Asad

    yeah, i was expecting such comments when i asked the Mountbatten question which none of you can answerRecommend

  • A Sad

    only making Pakistani people more angry that an actor playing the character of ‘count Dracula’ was selected for the role of the protagonist.Recommend

  • SamSal

    What resources do we have that make us powerful enough to make us better than China (and India)?

    Please don’t say Imran Khan, please!Recommend

  • raw is war

    because Nehru was having affair with Lady Mountbatten. As simple as that. Also Mountbatten was not a bad person.Recommend

  • Lalit

    Last when i checked Pakistan was being bombed left right and centre via Drones and their Military posts being flattened and one gentleman of Saudi origin being target practiced near a Pakistani cantonment by US Forces…so much for ‘dignity’…..Recommend

  • Riya

    Why should one look forward to Mr Obama’s visit to Pakistan? Just because India invited him? Is this how a mature state works?

    More interesting is the craving for western recognition (present on the otehr side of the border too). May be Mr Jiinnah was as secular as Gandhi. Does that get sanctity by getting his statues erected in London and Washington? Surely, there must be other yard sticks? May be one should look hard for an equivalent of Martin Luther King or Albert Einstein who were profoundly influenced by Gandhi? Or even better, exhort the Pakistan society to follow the tenets of secularism propounded by Mr Jinnah?

    Just look at the inherent contradictions. Pakistan — The pure land — depends on Godless, anti-religious communist China, its closest friend. It depends on the “decadent” west, represented by the United states for its arms and ammunition. Clearly, these are merely geopolitical arrangements of convenience. Just the same way, while every Muslim killed in India or elsewhere is prominently condemned, the sectarian tensions (involving Muslims) in China are conveniently overlooked.Recommend

  • Xyz

    Wow in one statement you trash all those people who gave their lives to get us freedom. Shame on youRecommend

  • نائلہ

    Lol Pervez, you’re a funny one :)Recommend

  • Striver

    You preach neutrality but seem blind to want neutrality is. You need to learn that yourself before you preach others.
    You guys have your head in the cloud because your new masters are visiting you and paying you a lot of attention.
    He is a reality check: Europe and America want access to Indian only because of your large population. Nothing else. There is nothing great about India. Now put that in your pipe and smoke on it.
    The rest of your comment is just total trash that exists in your mind hammered in everyday by your idiotic media.Recommend

  • Prashant

    This is what the daughter of Mountbatten says later:

    “”My father thought that the whole thing was nonsense, the whole thing was unworkable… the partition of India seemed crazy to him,”

    Partition of a country does not seem fancy to everybody. Your question is irrelevant and you seem to justify your own hypocrisy by claiming others hypocrites.Recommend

  • Prashant

    “He is a reality check: Europe and America want access to Indian only because of your large population. Nothing else. There is nothing great about India. ”

    The author is a Pakistani too, go tell him the same.

    A billion population is a large one but not 180 million? Have you ever compared your countries population with Japan and South Korea and wondered why even they get more attention?

    “You guys have your head in the cloud because your new masters are visiting you and paying you a lot of attention.”

    Do you know how many times your leaders have been saved from being hanged by the Saudis, that must be friendship, Is not it?Recommend

  • Prashant

    Yeah ideally it should not, the visit of Obama does not make or break a country but the noise coming out of Pakistan suggests otherwise.Recommend

  • Farhan

    The view of Jinnah in the West has been shaped to some extent by his portrayal in Sir Richard Attenborough’s 1982 film, Gandhi.
    The film was dedicated to Nehru and Mountbatten, and was given
    considerable support by Nehru’s daughter, the Indian prime minister, Indira Gandhi. It portrays Jinnah (played by Alyque Padamsee)
    as a scowling, villainous figure, who seems to act out of jealousy of
    the title character. Padamsee later stated that his portrayal was not
    historically accurate.

    The director himself said that he had misrepresented Jinnah.Recommend

  • hypocrisy?

    Of course you are an expert on Pakistan ,its people and their tastes.

    Remember my conversation with you about another violent young man whom Indians and not Pakistanis admire?Recommend

  • Dune

    This was in 1906. No Indian was asking for independence then.
    The major objectives sound pretty reasonable to me for the time.Recommend

  • Zoro

    Subhash Chandra Bose? Do you know that he was a nazi supporter? I don’t want to go into details.Look it up yourself. The one shaking hand with Hitler.

    I didn’t know Indians respected traitors like him.

    According to your logic Hitler was an Indian freedom fighter too!!!Recommend

  • Roon

    “Pakistan may think Jinnah is great but the world has no respect for
    ideas and concepts that lead or led to the loss of a million innocent

    Unfortunately for you:

    Ali Jinnah is a constant source of inspiration for all those who are
    fighting against racial or group discrimination.’ (Nelson Mandela had
    come to Islamabad in 1995 and had insisted on including Karachi as a
    destination to visit Jinnah’s Grave and his house in Karachi where upon
    reaching he drove straight to the Quaid’s Mazar) At another occasion
    while addressing the ANC Mandela mentioned three names Ali Jinnah,
    Gandhi and Nehru as sources of inspiration for the movement against
    (Nelson Mandela, Ex-South African President)Recommend

  • Zee

    Future super power! Certainly not! On the contrary China will be taking the hot seat.

    And pl don’t lecture on Hatred since we are far behind from the Indians in this regard.Recommend

  • Zee

    You tried to hide your ills in the pretext of LOL but failed miserably. We are not in self denial and all the blogs you read is a reflection that how openly and boldly the very ills in Pakistani society are debated.Recommend

  • abhi

    ok man you have asked this question 100 times by now. Please tell me why Mountbatten was governar general of India? BTW may I ask one more thing who was first COAS of pakistan army and why?Recommend

  • Yo2Da2

    Sure he did: “Not-Hindu” and “Not-Indian” Modern-day Pakistanis still follow it.Recommend

  • Yo2Da2

    Well, both spilled a lot of blood.Recommend

  • Yo2Da2

    Unless Mountbatten was a closet gay or into open marriage (he was a Victorian), an affair with his wife would have pushed him in the opposite direction. No?Recommend

  • Yo2Da2

    So, Truth has different versions? Innerestin’, that!Recommend

  • Yo2Da2

    And there is also a circular reasoning that is annoying: Pakistan is an ally in the war on terror. And pray tell, who abetted and enlarged that terror, if not single handedly create it? Do remember it was Musharraf – the guy who usurped power in October 1999 by force and helped further weaken Pakistani democracy – who had a natural knack for double-dealing and double-talk and backstabbing. He quickly signed on to the American “war on terror” when now-retired General Zinni made him an offer he could not refuse: Join or be bombed back to the stone age. (Just a month ago on the Bill Maher show, Zinni said he never did and still does not trust Musharraf and the Pakistani Army.)Recommend

  • Ram

    Mr Hassan, you seems to be based in Washington DC so before questioning itinerary you should answer why you are in Pakistan that seems to care so much for.
    If you look at the reality Jinnah made Pakistan for Dawood Ibrahim, Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh, LETs and other terrorist organization that bares Islam religion.

    Stop calling Jinnah a secular which he was not, his two nation theory is settled once for all by division of Bangladesh.

    Since you are in US I suggest you read books from Ayesha Jallal your fellow pakistani who suggest that Pakistan was created to serve few landlords of punjab is still doing it, How dare you call Jinnah a freedom fighter, give us one incident where he was fighting with British, he stayed in comfortable banglow in Bombay playing politics with poor Indian muslimsRecommend

  • Yo2Da2

    Oh, Striver, you are such a charmer. Maybe your head is somewhere other than in the clouds, but large populations, especially of middle class purchasers, is attractive to companies who have products to sell. Just look at the example of China. If this were not so, why would your nation be hell-bent on surpassing Indonesia’s 200-milllion Muslim population? And what about the growing population of nuclear bombs that we keep on reading about? Large populations of people and bombs are incompatible.Recommend

  • gaurav

    both countries were new and and inexperienced so they needed someone to guide them initially and bring some stability. Indian learned well from them and within a decade after independence they established a constitution and even had completely democratic elections.Recommend