Stories about indo-pak

Indian ‘nationalism’: Why Kashmir won’t move on

Manu Joseph, a senior Delhi based journalist and the editor of Open magazine recently asked why it was obscene to accept that a historically wounded group of  people is ready to move on. He was, of course, referring to the people in Kashmir, where a war has left 70,000 people dead and 8,000 victims of enforced disappearances – in short, a gruesome trail of death and destruction which has few parallels in modern history. As Mr Joseph points out, it is difficult, almost impossible to convince the highly nationalist Indians about how merciless the war in Kashmir has been. If ...

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Lifestyle Pakistan: To India, with love

If India and Pakistan had to update their status vis-a-vis each other on Facebook, what would they write on their page? Would it be ‘divorced’, ‘separated’, ‘it’s complicated’, ‘single’ or ‘in a relationship’? Seeing their mood and bonhomie these days the most appropriate status update would be “in a relationship”. After the 26/11 Mumbai attack in 2008, the two neighbours almost separated and their relationship remained complicated for two years. However, with the passage of time the wound started healing and a new realisation dawned on them; that it’s futile to lead separate and complicated lives just because of some ...

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Hafiz Saeed: Missing pieces?

Hafiz Saeed, a mujahid and philanthropist in the eyes of many Pakistanis is basking in the limelight thrown on him by the US State Department when it placed a $10 million reward for information leading to his conviction under the Reward for Justice Programme. Saeed’s followers point towards the fact that because he demanded for the closure of the Nato supply route, the personal vendetta has been unleashed. The reality, however, is not that simple. Lashkar-e-Taiba, believed to be a militant arm of Jamatud Dawa, was designated as a foreign terrorist organisation in December 2001 by the US while its ...

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Why announce a bounty on Hafiz Saeed?

Why now? At a critical moment in the US-Pakistan relationship, with parliamentary debate raging in Pakistan about how to realign relations with Washington, and with the United States desperate to forge some level of cooperation with Islamabad to help move toward the elusive endgame in Afghanistan, why announce a bounty for “information leading to the arrest or conviction” of living-openly-in-Lahore Hafiz Saeed? This is, after all, a man Washington and New Delhi regard as a terrorist, yet whom many in Pakistan regard as a heroic symbol of defiance toward the United States, an essential strategic asset, or both. In short, Washington’s ...

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Why America won’t help with Kashmir

Media commentator Aakar Patel, who also co-owns a publishing and content outsource company in Mumbai, recently wrote for The Express Tribune about the Kashmir freedom struggle and how India gets away despite its reign of oppression and coercion in the valley. For a change, Aakar is one of the voices from the Indian mainstream who infuses fresh life into the waning secular Indianess. However, his skewed proclamations where he raises questions like “What does azadi mean? It means freedom, of course. But freedom from what? (sic)”, which are not new to the Kashmir discourse, stink of ignorance and self-righteousness, and ...

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For economy’s sake: Can India and Pakistan forgive and forget?

When geography and history become prisoners to politics, it’s destiny that becomes the real victim. A realisation is dawning on South Asian countries that by pandering to narrow political vision they have invited misery, backwardness and suffering for their own people. Their potentiality has become stilted at the altar of political bickering which stunts the economic growth of the region. How can these historical shortcomings be overcome? How can we rewrite a new history of economic integration? Representatives from all the South Asian countries gathered, in New Delhi recently, to mull over a new destiny for the region that shares ...

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Trade with India, for a better Pakistan

If the choice facing Pakistan is abandoning its claims on the Indian side of Kashmir in exchange for free trade with India, then I see it as an automatic choice: the economic future of 180 million citizens of Pakistan is not worth sacrificing for the sake of some vague political aspirations of a fraction of the 12 million or so who live on the Indian side of Kashmir. The hyper-nationalists that populate a surprisingly large segment of Pakistani cyberspace will no doubt argue that this is “selling Kashmir down the river”. Has anyone ever thought of the fairness of it ...

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India and Pakistan: Sharing one soul

Recently, I was in India to attend a course on environmental journalism hosted by a renowned New Delhi-based NGO. One day, I was at one of Delhi’s social clubs and ran into a retired Indian general, Maj-Gen Ashok K Mehta, to be precise. We ended up having quite an interesting conversation. He said that he was in the Indian Army during the 1971 Pakistan-India war and that he had been in contact with several Pakistani prisoners of war. One of them, he said, was a senior officer, who on the day the Pakistani forces surrendered to the Indians, wrote in ...

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Is the worst over for MV Suez?

It is really hard to decide which side to take whenever a debate ensues on whether the lives of captives on MV Suez should’ve been bought after paying millions of dollars to Somali pirates. But just yesterday I got a chance to speak to the captain of the released ship, Captain Wasi, in one of our broadcasts. His replies were full of zest and there was no sign of disappointment over the delay in reaching Salalah Port in Oman. That truly was indicative that nothing seemed big enough compared to the terror of death that had loomed over the 22 ...

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Mending ties with neighbours

Terror attacks have become routine for Pakistanis following the Bin Laden debacle. Just recently, the DPO office in Hangu was targeted by militants. Another in the series of terror strikes in Pakistan to avenge the killing of the former al Qaeda chief. Why is it just Pakistan that repeatedly keeps coming under attack? This is a question that is being put before many experts and analysts frequently on TV. The answer is complex. But sane voices at home, and now abroad, seem to be realising that resolving the dispute between Pakistan and India might hold the key to the solution. Pakistan would ...

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