Stories about Indo-Pak relations

Give up Modi, the US will never be on your side

Last month, a US petition to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism gained serious momentum. Having crossed the 100,000 signature threshold, the issue now awaits addressing by the Obama administration. The question then begs to be answered: is or has Pakistan been a state sponsor of terrorism in its checkered past? With all due respect and within all my patriotic sensibilities, I believe the answer to be possibly – nay, probably – yes. For as long as I can remember covering South Asian politics, Pakistan has been on the hook for spending nights in bed with the Americans with quickie afternoon siestas with home grown extremist groups. ...

Read Full Post

What Mr Modi can do to make life better for Indians

After the recent attack on the Uri military base, Mr Modi said that Pakistan and India should focus on the development of their own people. So I thought about what India could do to improve the lot of its citizens. Even after almost 70 years as an independent country, India is still an undeveloped nation. Estimates vary, but it can safely be assumed that at least 40% of Indians go to bed hungry every night.  That’s about half a billion people who need a dollar a day to survive, which translates into roughly $180 billion per year. This is something that should seriously ...

Read Full Post

An open letter to Indians

Dear Indians, As someone whose recent family history is very much a consequence of partition, I am no stranger to the divisiveness of Pak-India politics. Despite a shared history and culture, we stand today as two nuclear armed nations that have fought three wars against each other. Hatred for the other is fostered in both countries – neither India nor Pakistan is innocent as far as propagating hyper-nationalist aggression is concerned, but this time around, it feels slightly different. This time around, your government, sections of your media, and sections of your civil society (in concert with the government) are behaving in an exceptionally immature and dangerous manner. They ...

Read Full Post

Nawaz Sharif’s government is great for India

In a rare and candid admission, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, accepted complicity in the Kargil misadventure during a rally addressed by him at Muzzafarabad. It requires real courage and conviction for any leader to admit to their mistakes. Sharif also endorsed former Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s assertion that the Kargil incident was ‘a stab in the back’. His admission comes at a time when the Pathankot incident has derailed the peace process between both the countries. Following Partition and the three wars since then, both countries have adopted an ostrich like approach when it comes to engaging with one another. Strained India-Pakistan relations are ...

Read Full Post

When ‘Aisi Taisi Democracy’ meets its neighbour, ‘Aisi Taisi Hypocrisy’

It’s been seven decades since the Partition of Indian sub-continent in 1947, but the governments on both sides are still struggling to manage peace between the two so-called rival nations. The recent complicated dialogue process between India and Pakistan may have been revoked in the middle of the reciprocal accusations as officials argued over the core base of talk-itinerary. However, the public opinion of both nations contains the spirit of peace – and this will remain until reconciliation, tranquillity and good neighbourliness prevails in their respective motherlands. On August 15th, India’s Independence Day, Indian rock band, Indian Ocean presented a satirical song called Mere Saamne Wali ...

Read Full Post

Is Modi now credible and trustworthy enough to steer a peace process?

Dialogue has a long shelf life. It never gets old or fades away. Sooner or later it asserts itself. It renews itself. That is what has happened in the Russian town of Ufa on July 9th, when the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, shook hands despite indulging into acrimony for a year. The Indian government has termed the meeting a ‘breakthrough’ and counts it as a great step forward in dealing with Pakistan. The interaction has paved the way for both civilian and military engagement between the two neighbours in time to come, which will address all the ...

Read Full Post

Can Modi’s visit to China give India the power it craves?

Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, has been on a slew of foreign visits since his arrival at the helm in a bid to concretise India’s relations across the globe. Not only has he laid special emphasis on India’s immediate neighbours who lingered in oblivion during the previous tenure, but has also made efforts to project India as China’s competitor in the subcontinent. However, his visits have often been regarded as more about semantics and less about substance. China and India have been grappling hard to maintain their hegemony over the region, albeit China has outmanoeuvred India on almost every occasion. As part of ...

Read Full Post

16 photos that prove India and Pakistan are just the same

Conflict isn’t the only thing common to India and Pakistan. We are just like neighbours who might quarrel but always have each other’s back. We are like neighbours who may not be too happy with the noisy parties the other throws but who would still like to be a part of each other’s happiness. This article is an attempt to focus on the everyday, the little things which unite us as a people. Forgive me if I come across as stating the obvious. But sometimes, the best of us tend to forget the obvious. And then it’s always good to remember, and to ...

Read Full Post

When will India and Pakistan stop complaining to Uncle Sam?

In India, we live and grow with the belief that the ISI and several non-state actors in Pakistan are responsible  for terrorism in the country. That the trouble in Jammu and Kashmir is sponsored from across the border and people of the valley do not have their own grievances. That Islamic terrorism is spreading its wings in India, courtesy of our neighbour. That it is Islamabad which is responsible for the animosity between India and Pakistan and that the latter does not want to see peace in the region. Everything wrong on the security front is taken as a handiwork of Pakistan’s ...

Read Full Post

Can Pakistanis rise to the occasion?

It’s been a while since I last visited Pakistan; long enough that the kids I knew have now grown up to become functional, responsible adults. The friends I made are descending into the middle-age bracket. Many of the relations I had have either passed or are in the late stages of their lives. In a nutshell, a tremendous amount of transition and transformation has taken place as far as my personal life, as well as those I left behind, is concerned. I keep a close eye on a regular basis, thanks to the great tools of technology, on how the Pakistani ...

Read Full Post