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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Is Pakistan about to split again?


    by Fe'reeha on 17th March, 2006 at 1:29 pm    

    Are the events of 1971, when western Pakistan separated and became Bangladesh, about to repeat themselves?

    It’s not an easy question. Nor is it pleasant. But violence and instability in the provinces of Frontier and Balochistan may be strong indicators of a tragedy waiting to strike.

    President Musharraf constantly denies the unmistakeable resonance of the past. “It is not 1971,” he has repeatedly snarled to the reporters. But a state of denial is not new to Pakistani governments. Right until the split of 1971 the politicians kept playing the “all is well” card about Bangladesh.

    It has been two years since the conflict began in Pakistan’s federally administered tribal areas. Adorned along the border with Afghanistan, the region holds special significance. But despite the government’s continued reassurances and hordes of army personnel on the streets, the war is still on.

    The heavily edited and at times censored news from the region is not promising. In Waziristan, an Islamic school was destroyed yesterday by the Army.

    Meanwhile a new terror video is also circulating the region. The video praises “jihad” and warn Muslims against cooperating with ‘apostate’ regimes like Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf. Graphic images of beheadings are also shown.

    March has been the ugliest month in the recent blood-written history of Waziristan. Earlier this month more than 50 people were killed in heavy fighting close to the Afghan border. Also, hundreds of people were forced to flee from North Waziristan, clutching clothes and possessions to Banu, 30 miles away from their hometown.

    The death toll is not clear. Army gives an estimate of around 200 “militants” while the town people say many more civilian deaths took place. This catastrophic situation clearly reveals that Army is in action but not necessarily in control in this “tiny Iraq” in Pakistan.

    Most Pakistanis still dare not believe the presence of terrorists in the area. Some generously allow that there are old 1989 Mujahideens (mainly Afghanis) there who had married and settled there after the Soviets left Afghanistan. A large number of Pakistanis don’t follow the MMA (Majlis Muttahida Amal, the biggest Islamic party alliance) but take the MMA line that there was no such thing as Al Qaeda ever.

    However some think tanks are now questioning if the government’s military campaign is making tribal areas more radical and bringing in more terrorists. Sound familiar?

    The conflict has weakened the hold of bureaucracy and democratic powers (if any). Today, it is a direct conflict between the army and clerics with a no-win situation. With insurgent violence increasing and tension and confusion mounting, the consequences could be irreversibly damaging.

    There are really only two solutions. They could either draw back from the self inflicted military and political mess (Kargil?) and maintain some dignity or stay in with their eyes closed.

    The second option, as most Pakistani analysts predict, could result in a repeat of its 1971 misadventure with a breakup of Pakistan and Musharraf being labelled another over-confident general like his predecessor Tikka Khan, also called the butcher of the Bangladeshis.

    Once again, Pakistan stands at a historical cross-road.


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    Filed in: Current affairs,Pakistan,South Asia






    104 Comments below   |  

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    1. Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Pakistan: The future

      [...] Pickled Politics on the future of Pakistan, Musharraf and South Asia. [...]




    1. Aziz Malik — on 17th March, 2006 at 1:41 pm  

      There is no successionist movement in the region. They are not fighting to detached themselves from Pakistan. This is the key difference to 1971.

    2. shahnaz ahmed — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:20 pm  

      I would like to know who is funding and arming the rebels? They are using satellite phones and complex GPS equpiment by all accounts………

      Looks like a neighbouring country may be trying to give pay back to Pakistan for them aiding the Indian Sikhs in the 1980′s.

    3. Chanad — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:21 pm  

      Yep I agree with Aziz that the situation in the Frontier is different from 1971. There is no talk of secession right now. All the anger appears to be directed at the Musharraf regime, not at the Pakistani state. Furthermore, the Tribal Areas don’t have any significant history of separatism, as one might claim of the settled disctricts in pre-partition days.

      Balochistan is a different issue as there does exist a tradition of separatism there. Right now it doesn’t seem to have mass appeal, but if the army continues its ways, there may well be another uprising there similar to that of the mid 70s

    4. Jay Singh — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:32 pm  

      The big difference is that India will not go to war like they did in 1971 to help the Bengalis. So the Pakistani Army is free to deal with any insurgency as it likes. Not really comparable to 1971 because of that.

    5. Jay Singh — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:39 pm  

      shanaz ahmed

      Pakistan didnt aid ‘the Sikhs’ - they aided a bunch of mad seccessionist thugs with killing on their mind. If there is anything in the mind of subversive Indian agencies it is Kashmir - that is the persistent itch that people in India desire to scratch by paying Pakistan back in kind, if there are Indian agencies involved that is. All these things are murky and dark.

      Apart from a clan of extreme Indian nationalist half wits, nobody in India or the West wants Pakistan to split. That is another headache for India on its doorstep. America will not allow it to happen either. It might be crushed relatively painlessly, it might be negotiated and calmed down, or it might be a bloodbath. Either way, Pakistan will not split because of this.

    6. Jay Singh — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:41 pm  

      The Americans will look the other way whatever happens - they will not allow instability of that magnitude in nuke armed Pakistan, the instability it would cause on the border with Afghanistan, especially with Bin Laden free. They will not allow it to happen.

    7. Jay Singh — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:46 pm  

      Add China to the equation - they have lease on the Balochistan coast, right? To keep their navy docked there. That is a massive part of China’s military strategy and it is going to be long term. China sees it as part of its strategy for protecting its long term interests in the Gulf and South Asia. China will not allow a secessionist situation to arise because of that. So, India, America, and China are all opposed to anything like that happening. The Pakistani Army will have a free hand.

    8. shahnaz ahmed — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:47 pm  

      Jay:

      Sorry , I did not intend to make a sweeping statement about sikhs. I meant to refer to the miltant sikhs rebels that were fighting the Indian Gov’t in the 1980.

      I reckon the rebellion will be short lived, Pak is pumping money into the region to try to win over the locals whilist the cowardly rebels are in the hiding in the mountains. Only a matter of time until their leader is caught or handed over.

    9. Singh23 — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:47 pm  

      India is arming & training Balochis from afghanistan.

    10. raz — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:48 pm  

      No.

    11. dav — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:48 pm  

      The pakistanis have been blaiming Iran, India and now a ‘middle eastern country’ for their probs in Baluch

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4652882.stm

      Without naming any country, he also accuses the armed Baloch militants of playing into foreign hands.

      Senior officials in the security forces say they grew alarmed when intelligence agencies found more than one foreign country was involved in the province’s affairs.

      The countries were said to be opposed to Gwadar becoming a major trading port for central Asian nations and China.

      One official said the biggest shock came when the interrogation of a group of militants revealed they had been trained in a friendly Gulf country, which allegedly feared it could lose its status as the region’s biggest trading port.

    12. raz — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:49 pm  

      I mean

      “No, Pakistan is not about to split” :)

    13. raz — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:51 pm  

      It’s a given that India is involved in Balochistan. Other countries may also be sticking their noses in - Gwadar port is ruffling a few feathers it seems.

    14. Jay Singh — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:51 pm  

      Shanaz

      No worries mate. Yes, I think that Fereeah is overstating the risks in her article a little, although of course she is right to worry about the effect heavy handed tactics might have on innocent people.

      But I really don’t believe this is on the magnitude of 1971. Musharaff should combine a military strategy with winning over the people with investment - as I understand it Balochi nationalists are worried that the investment and money being made there are leaving their land? In the long term Pakistan will have to deal with that perception so that they don’t feel overwhelmed by the Punjabi majority. But I don’t think there is a risk of Pakistan splitting up because of this.

    15. Jay Singh — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:52 pm  

      Might Iran be involved? Balochistan borders Iran.

    16. raz — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:56 pm  

      FATA and Balochistan are two separate issues.

      FATA has been infested with Islamic terrorists. They need to be wiped out.

      Balochistan is a reaction by the feudal Sadars who realise their power is going to be on the wane soon as Pakistan modernises. Very much a carrot and stick approach needed, the terrorists need to be dealt with but also there needs to be a demonstration that the people of Balochistan will no longer be ignored and will benefit from Gwadar.

    17. raz — on 17th March, 2006 at 2:57 pm  

      Iran and Pakistan don’t get on well - they may very well be causing trouble. Having said that, with India moving closer to USA, Pakistan starting to move even more towards China and Iran under pressure from much of the world, Iran may start trying to build bridges with Pakistan. They need all the friends they can get.

    18. ranj — on 17th March, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

      ISLAMABAD: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Sunday accused President Pervez Musharraf’s military-led government of “gross human rights violations” in Balochistan, where it said a “war-like situation” prevailed.

      http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/jan2006-daily/23-01-2006/main/main7.htm

      LEts hope these human right abuses die down!

      Last thing we need is another East Pakistan

    19. Geezer — on 17th March, 2006 at 3:05 pm  

      Well there was article out a few years back saying the same thing about the South Wazirstan situation and look how that turned out with peace coming to the region pretty quickly….

      http://pakistantimes.net/2005/02/08/top2.htm

      As for the demolition of the Islamic school this key part was left out by the article, the help of LOCALTRIBES showing the movement does not have the huge grass roots support to be threatening to the state.

      “Local tribesmen are said to have helped the security forces carry out the demolition of the Islamic school near the main town of North Waziristan, Miranshah”

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4807988.stm

      “Today, it is a direct conflict between the army and clerics with a no-win situation”

      Which large body of clerics are in conflict with the government? JUP the largest of all certainly back the government, JUI have remained more or less quiet and the MMA have only made verbal protests.

      This “conflict” like I mentioned before has little support amongst Pakistan’s population who see the rebels as dangerous and destabilising. My only concern is the government should go easy and not unleash their version of shock and awe and give negotiations a chance like they did in the South which worked out well.

    20. Geezer — on 17th March, 2006 at 3:08 pm  

      The “The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan” riddled with supporters of the PPP including the head herself Asma Jahangir. No doubt there is cause for concern but I hate when people use such incidents to score political points.

      I’d like to ask the question where was the concern for human rights when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto cracked down on the Baloch rebellion in the 70′s?

    21. ranj — on 17th March, 2006 at 3:27 pm  

      The HRCP may be anti-Musharraf, but to deny that there is a violent trend occurring in Balochistan goes against the facts.

      A lot of think tanks seem to be focusing on it for some reason.

      This is a paper written by Frederic Grare, a french diplomat and South Asian policy expert and is highly critical of the Govt and Army.

      I don’t see what interest Frederic Grare has in maligning Pakistan-in fact, the CEIP has been critical of US and other western countries foreign policy as well.

      There’s clearly a side that puts the blame more on the army and central government than the Balochi leaders so I dont think simply dismissing that any violations are going on (as India did in KAshmir) is going to get us anywhere.

    22. Sanjeev — on 17th March, 2006 at 4:45 pm  

      This is the lagacy of partition. The subcontinent is a myriad of ethnic groups and if anything suggests that religion can not be the major binding factor that stabilises a nation.

      Northern area, NWFP, Belochistan ans Sindh all have their movements, all potential nations and nations within nations.

      Balochistan is split half in Pakistan half in Iran, NWFP or Paktunistan is more contigous with Afghanistan than plains pakistani’s. Sindh grapples with its foreign mohajir population and the struggle to prevent their unique syncretic (once more hindu-muslim) culture from being destroyed in in the wake of decades of Wahabi madness. Karachi is no stranger to ethnic violence.

      Panjab, ethnically, lingusitically, politically , economically and militarilty dominates Pakistan to the detriment of its neighbouring provinces.

      Foreign investers look at Pakistan and see instability.

      Why else is Paksitan for the greater part of its existance been controlled by its army??

    23. Sadaf — on 17th March, 2006 at 5:32 pm  

      Anything could happen because there is a curious combination of fundamentalists (MMA and posse) who are opposed to Musharraf’s moderation drive and ‘democracy lovers’ - mainly PPP - who want power for themselves.

      Then of course there are all the regional issues re alleged prioritisation of Punjab over other regions (as in dam controversy) and control of resources in Balochistan.

      I’m pro-democracy, anti-dictators as much as the next person, but I think Musharraf losing power now would be the worst thing to happen. Democracy has failed time and again in Pakistan and anyone who has actually lived in Pakistan (and I have) will know that every ‘democratically elected’ governments have dealt with the fundamentalists by appeasing them. So to say that govt tactics are bringing more fundamentalists into the area doesn’t cut it - the fact is that there were fundamentalists way before Musharraf came on the scene and they were called the government (anyone remember that nice man Zia-ul-Haq?)

      I also think it’s a bit of stretch to suggest that Pakistan could be on the verge of splitting, it’s more that Musharraf could be forced out. In Pakistan a lot of the Urdu (read: fundi) press are out to get him, and obviously the liberal English-language press have a problem with having a dictator in power.

      But, in my experience the majority of Pakistanis are sick to death of the Mullahs, they just want them out, hence the thing about locals helping the army destroy the Madrassah. And everyone I spoke to on my last trip - taxi drivers, chowkidars, shopkeepers and friends and family - think Musharraf is the best man to take this issue on.

      I’m not for one moment excusing human rights violations, these people still needed to be treated as human beings. And don’t think that I’m an uncritical Musharraf supporter, but his record needs to be looked at in the context of Pakistan’s history (which is an embarassing catalogue of human rights abuses - Bangladesh, women, minorities). It’s going to take time to clean up.

      And for the record I don’t think the situation is comparable to 1971 - very different circumstances indeed.

    24. raz — on 17th March, 2006 at 6:13 pm  

      Of course, sanjeev, India has even more insurgency movements and internal bloodshed than Pakistan. It seems the whole subcontinent is fighting itself.

      Winston Churchill remarked in 1931 - “India is merely a geographical expression. It is no more a single country than the Equator.”

      Since then, India has splintered into three countries and countless separatist movements spread throughout the whole of the region. Food for thought.

    25. Sunny — on 17th March, 2006 at 8:27 pm  

      Ok Raz, try and resist the urge to make this into an India vs Pakistan thing again.

      India has tons of splintered groups and different ethnic and racial idetntities, however they do see themselves as one whole common country. I know this because I’ve travelled it extensively and everywhere I went people identified with being Kerelites or Tamils or Punjabis etc, but they also identified with being Indian. That common identity has been forged.

      I think the trick here is for Musharraf, and he hasn’t quite got the hang of it. On one hand he needs to decentralise more and let people government themselves because there are differences in the various areas. At the same time he needs to provide people the opportunities to forge a common Pakistani identity.

      Just having a common ‘Muslim identity’ does not do anything for these people because they still become tribal and then resent Punjabi dominance within the country.

      I would prefer Musharraf stay there and navigate the country to a stable future, but because he comes from an army background he assumes that people can be silenced through force. That cannot happen forever as Indira Gandhi found to her own cost.

    26. raz — on 17th March, 2006 at 10:33 pm  

      Sorry Sunny. I do try to control myself :)

    27. Vikrant — on 18th March, 2006 at 6:51 am  

      Haha razbhai half the “insurgencies” you read about in Jang and Daily Times exists on paper. In north east a peace process initiated in Nagaland and Manipur. While insurgency has died out in Megalaya, Assam remains a big problem though. Actually most Indians are ethnically closely realted to Pakistanis and Afghans than North-easterners. The more serious insurgency is the “Revolutionary corridor” from Nepal to Andhra Pradesh. Even then they donot enjoy popular support, all it needs is just some display of political will from Indian politicians and commies would be sent packing to their fatherland (China). But hopefully with India’s stellar growth, economic development would trickle down to these areas and these “revolutions” would die a natural death.

      As for Balochistan, i reckon babus in New Delhi are not as dumb as they appear. Last thing India wants is an fedual Islamic state in the Subcontinent. Surely not even the most nationalistic of twats would support Balochi militants.

    28. Vikrant — on 18th March, 2006 at 6:54 am  

      Once again, Pakistan stands at a historical cross-road.
      Isnt that a cliché. I mean like Pakistan is at the crossroads of history every other day (‘cording to Mushy’s speeches ofcourse).

    29. Sanjeev — on 18th March, 2006 at 10:36 am  

      India only comes into this in that it reinforces the problems of Pakistan i.e the Subcontinent being home to many hundreds if not thousands of different ethnic groups. However it is not the same as Pakistan in the make up of its politcal establishment and ideology. Ofcourse India will have more insurgney groups, more political parties, it is many times the size of pakistan and even more diverse. However its diverity is also a strong point. On the world stage other countries do not look at India and consider it as an unstable nation., on the contrary they are investing in it more than ever before and this is going to increase many times over.

      The only sinficant insurgency are the maoists and the NE, but the latter are so numerous they are fighting amoungst themseves as much as the state. ironically they are creating stability. moaism on the other hand is dieing in its stronghold. India and nepal are not going to be any new world order of communism. This is frustration of the very poor.

      Musharraf in Pakistan, a dictator yes, but proabaly a godsend. Pakistan cannot handle democracy at the moment and he is no islamic madman, unlike late uncle Zia

    30. shiva — on 18th March, 2006 at 2:14 pm  

      Raz re Churchill - the humble folk do not hold a monopoly on stupidity. On the matter of Partition, interestingly, Dr.Ambedkar favoured it. His analysis of the issue written in the late ’30s and updated about five years later is still the definitive work on the subject.

    31. Sunny — on 18th March, 2006 at 6:37 pm  

      That is true - Musharraf is no religious nutter. In that sense he has an ingrained tradition of being part of the Pakistani punjabi secular, liberal elite that these mullahs hate so much.

      I mean like Pakistan is at the crossroads of history every other day

      True, but I don’t think the country has had so much upheaval ever in such a short period of time. I’m surprised Musharraf has managed to keep it together for so long. He still has the army’s support.

    32. Fe'reeha — on 18th March, 2006 at 9:32 pm  

      On lighter note, Pakistan has dominance of Punjabis in every field. Doctors, teachers and yes Army. More than 70% Army officers are from Punjab. I have no idea why it is so, maybe because Punjab relatively has higher education level, and the largest population.

      Why am I writing all this? Only because there are so many Punjabis in the Army that even those who are not Punjabis start sounding like one after years of training with Punjabi speaking folk.

      For example, President Musharraf.
      He comes from the upper middle class of an educated Urdu speaking family (Muhajirs as they are called, meaning the people who migrated from India during the partition)
      His mum is always dressed up in a Sari, keeps her silver paan-box with her and has kept her Indian roots intact.
      If you remember his visit to India in 2001, he went to see his old “haweli” there.

      For those who have actually heard Musharraf speaking Urdu, it will be very hard to believe for her talks with a Punjabi accent, but that’s the way it is.

      Also, I really do not understand the concept of Muhajirs. It suggests peope who migrated from India during partition and speak Urdu? But a lot of Punjabis also migrated from India. So what exactly does it mean?

      I guess, it’s easier to put people in boxes and label them rather than take them on individual basis.

      I write all this because of your comment that Musharraf is from Punjabi elite class. Elite, yes, Punjabi, no

    33. laban — on 18th March, 2006 at 10:11 pm  

      Got any links, Sunny ? What, if anything, are the Baluchis fighting for - autonomy ? Or are they just ‘agin the government’.Do the Baluchis have a sense of being a people as, say, Pakhtun do despite living in two states ?

      You’re right that the Punjab / NWFP area seem to dominate Pakistan as far as news coverage is concerned. We hear little about the southern and western areas -and all I know about the Baluchis is that they provided mercenaries to many a ruler in Gulf/Southern Arabia.

    34. nukh — on 19th March, 2006 at 1:43 am  

      A second dismemberment of Pakistan may just be what the doctor [Kautilya] ordered.
      A deftly handled scalpel should leave Pakistan confined to only Punjab and Sind for now.
      With the NWFP and Baloshistan realligned rightfuly to its pre durand borders. And finally affording Afghanistan a viable shot at survival. Access to ports, minerals, pipeline into India and beyond.
      Not only is this good for the Pakistan, it is also good for the region and the world.

    35. raz — on 19th March, 2006 at 10:48 am  

      Sickening. Even 50 years after partition, the Indian obsession with destroying Pakistan lives on in the likes of Nukh. It’s sad that while 400 million Indians rot on under $1 a day, people like nukh can only dream of waging war and violence, instead of bettering the sorry state of their own country. If I can misquote Golda Meir:

      “Peace will come when Indians love their own children more than they hate Pakistanis”

    36. Jay Singh — on 19th March, 2006 at 12:37 pm  

      He comes from the upper middle class of an educated Urdu speaking family (Muhajirs as they are called, meaning the people who migrated from India during the partition)

      It is a geat historical irony that the current leaders of India and Pakistan are both partition refugees, that Musharaff was born in India and Manmohan Singh was born in Pakistan.

    37. raz — on 19th March, 2006 at 12:42 pm  

      “Musharaff was born in India and Manmohan Singh was born in Pakistan”

      Facts like this just emphasise just how tragic it is that India and Pakistan have so much conflict with one another.

    38. Fe'reeha — on 19th March, 2006 at 2:01 pm  

      that Musharaff was born in India and Manmohan Singh was born in Pakistan.

      I think it is amazing and such a vital indication of what India and Pakistan have in common.
      I think if we thought more on what we share rather than what is different like the two-nation theory did, peace and stability could be maintained in the region.

    39. nukh — on 19th March, 2006 at 4:09 pm  

      Raz,
      With respect, My comment was not born of hatred - No, it was born of concern for the Pakistan in particular and the sub-continent, which Pakistan has the power to drag down into an abyss alongwith itself.

      American “benevolence” will only stave off the inevitable for so long. Once Bin laden is caught, all bets are off.
      Uncle Sam’s and EU’s primary concern will be how to liquidate Pakistan’s nuke ability.

    40. nukh — on 19th March, 2006 at 4:15 pm  

      And if anything, it is Pakistan that is obsessed with ending India as we know it.
      To wit - the murderous interference in my native land - Kashmir.
      Where, at one point, the Pakistani’s singularly managed to radicalise almost an entire population of Kashmiri youth.

      If that is not a misguided attampt to avenge Bangladesh, I do not know what is?

    41. Sanjeev — on 20th March, 2006 at 11:07 am  

      Erm… surely Musharraff and Manmohan Singh were both born in British India, Pakistan did not exist.

      Pakistan now is not what it was as India. Demographically it has radically changed in comparison to India.

      If anything it shows that there is still is a common cultural thread bretweeen the two nations, centred on Panjab.

      Raz, it is a strange comment, but I really do not think the common average India is concerned with Pakistan’s existance. The only real bugbear is Kashmir. There is also the minority issue, but that is more distant.

      As for feeding people, Pakistan needs to worry about that as well.

    42. Sanjeev — on 20th March, 2006 at 11:30 am  

      some info on Balochistan:

      http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/pakistan1.htm

    43. Fe'reeha — on 20th March, 2006 at 11:57 am  

      I am not sure we can deny that strong rivalry exists between the first generations of Indians and Pakistanis.
      Even though the grandparent’s generation might be a different story.
      My grandmother would always get into tears while talking of Jalindher, India, a place where she had spent her childhood but had to abandon in 1947.
      Once in my father’s parent’s home in Lahore, a Sikh family arrived. (This is more than a decade ago).
      They told my grandparents, it was their old home which they had left during partition, but it was a home they had always loved and cherished.
      My grandparents asked them to stay in with them during the visit. Thye moved around the house, visibly touched by emotion, and even told my grandmother about a secret door-way, which they had no idea existed.
      They then dug out an old pot from under my Uncle’s room, in which they had burried all their life’s memoirs. Unbelievable stuff!
      My grandfather, who was a civil servant in India and had to flee in a typical bollywood film style said: “At that moment, I felt almost guilty for taking their home.” But then, I am sure a lot of people would have gone from Pakistan to see their homes in India as well.
      I think it’s important to reflect on human element as well while getting all politically motivated. For politcal decisions in the end, effect ordinary lives.

    44. raz — on 20th March, 2006 at 12:12 pm  

      “mmon average India is concerned with Pakistan’s existance”

      Don’t make me laugh. The obessesion with attacking Pakistan demonstrated by Indians puts the Arab hatred of Israel to shame. In fact, there are many similarities between Pakistan and Israel on one side and India and the Arabs on the other. That’s a post for another time.

    45. Fe'reeha — on 20th March, 2006 at 12:47 pm  

      Raz
      Please do not imply Pakistan and Israel as two poor opressed states of the world.
      Even in Pakistan, the hatered-ridden maulvis would not want to be remembered in one breath with Israel.
      There are only two countries in the world established in the name of religion, Pakistan and Israel.
      They were formed within a year of each other. But Pakistani passport says very clearly “This passport is valid to go anywhere in the world but the state of Israel.”
      What you ignore conveniently is a MASSIVE fact that Pakistan was not established on the land of other people.

    46. Dr Shaaz Mahboob — on 20th March, 2006 at 1:47 pm  

      I think the political and security instability that Pakistan is facing these days due to the situation in Balochistan and NWFP is worse than the contry breaking up. Foriegn forces can only benefit by providing funding and expertise when local people are willing to side with them. If Indian Kashmiris were not willing to accept Pakistan’s help there wouldn’t be a separatist movement or insurgency. Similarly if Aghans would not have wanted to fight the Soviets through CIA and ISI funding, there would have been no insurgency in Aghanistan during the 1980s.
      India or other foriegn forces such as the Aghani government, are able to take addvantage of the situation in Balochistan only because the local Sardars are allowing them, all for the sake of retaining their power over the local poor people.

    47. sanjeev — on 20th March, 2006 at 2:20 pm  

      Raz,

      oh dear, the only thing that is apparant or maybe even laughable is your own bent against India. It really would not have taken much for all out war, come on a country many times the size!! It has not happened because there was not the will. This is parannoia.
      If anything my experiance of Indians in India is similar to that of Fe’reeha’s post.

    48. Sunny — on 20th March, 2006 at 2:25 pm  

      The obessesion with attacking Pakistan demonstrated by Indians puts the Arab hatred of Israel to shame.

      Raz - you’re venturing into India vs Pak territory again, and exaggerating the situation. When I travelled India everyone thought I was Pakistani or Kashmiri because of my light skin, but never did I face any hostility because of that. Secondly, considering that Indians treated Pakistanis very hospitably when they came over for the Indian v Pak match in chandigarh, you underestimate the deep bonds between the two countries. There are issues over terrorism, Kargil and Kashmir, but they definitely do not put the Arabs to shame. At least Indians recognise Pakistan’s right to exist.

      Dr - you make some good points too.

    49. nukh — on 20th March, 2006 at 3:55 pm  

      Raz,
      Take a good look around. Check out the media, trust your own observations on the directions both India and Pakistan are headed. The paths could not be more diverse.

      Now pray tell, why would India be obsessed with Pakistan. Indeed, the biggest concerns Indian security experts have is that Pakistan may implode and drag the region alongwith into a quagmire of instability.
      The “dismemberement” I reccomended is so the world may be better able to manage the fallout when the inevitable occurs.

    50. raz — on 20th March, 2006 at 4:17 pm  

      Sunny,

      Don’t blame me for any flaming on this thread - Take a look at nukhs posts on this and his wish to ‘dismember’ Pakistan - a shocking indictment of the hatred and violence which is still directed towards Pakistan by these fanatics. It’s sad that while humanity moves into the 21st century, the likes of nukh would prefer to live in the dark ages.

      Fe’eerah,

      What’s your problem with Israel? Israel is one of the most advanced, prosperous and educated nations on earth, and one that has survived not only countless wars of agression from Arab nations but also decades of sickening terrorism. We can criticise their treatment of Palestinans, but remember there are far worse human rights abuses (e.g India in Kashmir) which are ignored. I believe the nation of Israel is a great role model for the rest of the world in terms of their courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds and their committment to progress.

      “But Pakistani passport says very clearly “This passport is valid to go anywhere in the world but the state of Israel.”

      Don’t worry, thanks to great President Musharaf this historical injustice will soon be righted. Not before time:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4203788.stm

      Mullahs can rant and rave all they want - their fundamentalism cannot stand up to the tide of progress.

      “Pakistan was not established on the land of other people”

      There’s plenty of BJP/RSS types who would disagree with that. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard Indians whining about the British dividing ‘their country’

      BTW, do you not agree Jewish people deserve a homeland?

      sanjeev,

      Size means nothing. Arabs are far greater in number than Israel yet failed to destroy the Jewish nation in battle.

    51. Sunny — on 20th March, 2006 at 4:54 pm  

      Take a look at nukhs posts on this and his wish to ‘dismember’ Pakistan - a shocking indictment of the hatred and violence which is still directed towards Pakistan by these fanatics.

      Does listening to someone else’s stupidity mean you have to join them in it?

    52. nukh — on 20th March, 2006 at 4:57 pm  

      Thanks, Sunny.
      so much for absence makes the heart grow fonder ……balderdash!

    53. Sunny — on 20th March, 2006 at 5:01 pm  

      Heh, I was hoping you’d come back a bit calmed down and more sensible nukh… that too was balderdash!

    54. raz — on 20th March, 2006 at 6:22 pm  

      “Does listening to someone else’s stupidity mean you have to join them in it?”

      Fair enough Sunny, but it should be noted that I have NEVER called for the destruction of India or anything barbaric like that. In fact, if you look at some of my recent posts e.g on the Bush visit to South Asia thread I have been advocating that Pakistan and India should make peace so that they can devote more resources to their own people instead of conflict (see my first post here) :

      http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/338

      Sadly, the likes of nukh (and FOB before him) have no hesitation in putting forward such repugnant views as dismembering Pakistan - is calling for the destruction of a soveriegn state something to be condoned on a progressive blog like this? These blatant anti-Pakistani trolls do Pickled Politics no favours at all.

    55. Sunny — on 20th March, 2006 at 6:33 pm  

      Freedom of speech raz, we stand by it. Its up to you whether to ignore trolls or take them seriously. The offence exists only if you choose to make it so.

    56. Bea — on 20th March, 2006 at 6:40 pm  

      Jeevay, Jeevay, Jeevay Pakistan
      Pakistan, Pakistan, Jeevay Pakistan
      :-)

    57. raz — on 20th March, 2006 at 6:42 pm  

      “Jeevay, Jeevay, Jeevay Pakistan
      Pakistan, Pakistan, Jeevay Pakistan
      :-)

      Now THAT’S more like it :)

    58. shiva — on 20th March, 2006 at 7:17 pm  

      raz,

      The obessesion with … Pakistan demonstrated by Indians…

      Interestingly The Jang If Pakistan increases its defence budget this year, to keep pace with India’s rapidly rising arms bill, where will it lead the country ultimately?
      http://tinyurl.com/rakbk and so does the person quoted here supported the suggestion that it was the Pakistani foreign office and army that had drilled India-centric ideas into the minds of the Pakistani people. He said the political leadership and media should try to remove their India fixation.
      http://tinyurl.com/pol7b

    59. Bea — on 20th March, 2006 at 11:51 pm  

      Just look at some of the Indian channels Zee, DD, Sahara etc etc, and you will notice an unbalanced obsession with Pakistan.

      Well, if Pakistan keeps India in the focus, that is understandable due to it’s inherent insecurity being next to such a huge and hostile country. But for India to keep Pakistan on top of its media front is hilarious,.
      Comeon guys, Pakistan is a small country compared to India for crying out loud. India is ten times bigger, with far too many problems of its own. Yet, all the discussion and talk shows (serious ones) are always full of Pakistan this, Pakistan that, and obviously nothing charitable. Come on, get a life.

    60. Rohin — on 21st March, 2006 at 12:00 am  

      I’m all in favour of Raz’s tempered opinions, but Bea now you’re being as risible as those you criticise.

      People here who have got to know my views know that I think India should be more concerned with China than Pakistan - so we’re agreed that India need relax its focus on Pakistan.

      However, you demonstrate a disappointing lack of objectivity when you say:

      “if Pakistan keeps India in the focus, that is understandable due to it’s inherent insecurity being next to such a huge and hostile country.”

      Huge yes. Hostile - are you trying to claim India is any MORE hostile than Pakistan? Look the history books. I am sensible enough not to try to claim either is less or more hostile. But if you are suggesting that hostility is a reason to be ‘obsessed’ with a country, then India should be as ‘obsessed’ with Pakistan and Pakistan is with India.

      And don’t watch those channels. Watch NDTV, I like it and think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    61. Bea — on 21st March, 2006 at 12:20 am  

      -But if you are suggesting that hostility is a reason to be ‘obsessed’ with a country, then India should be as ‘obsessed’ with Pakistan and Pakistan is with India.

      Rohin * That is already the case- that’s what I am saying. And my comment was directed at Shiva who was being uni-directional in his approach.

      -are you trying to claim India is any MORE hostile than Pakistan?

      * They are both as bad as eachother and this has got to stop. This offensive/defensive strategy is never going to give any solution to the problems in the area.

      -*About channels- you are right of course and thats the point. I mentioned widely viewed variety that shapes public opinions.

    62. Fe'reeha — on 21st March, 2006 at 12:56 am  

      When it comes to Art, Indians are more supportive of Pakistanis and you cannot deny it.
      In Pakistan, people love Indian films but they will never say it out loud. Even the darling Musharraf banned Indian channels during the tension-filled days border in 2001 much to the dismay of millions of viewers who loved Indian soaps.
      Mainly because of the government’s influence, Pakistani channels can never openly support Indian artists. Things have changed a bit by the new channel Geo, but that also for commercial reasons (because they want to capture Urdu speaking market in India).
      London based channels like PTV Prime DM Digital and ARY are still reluctant to get Indian artists on their shows.
      However, a completely different story on Indian channels. Even in the tension-pakced days Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Muhammed Ali, Zeba Bakhtiar and Adnan Sami got warm welcome in India.

      It is because India’s apprciation of art that you see Pakistani groups like Strings and Junnon in India’s top ten. Najam Shiraz’s song (from the film Murder) was I think declared the best song of the year. Fakhir was also in one of the top tens—-so is Atif. In fact late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan said he always felt more loved in India than in Pakistan.
      While we all know that Pakistani artists despite being brilliant are a very small fish infront of India’s music market.

    63. Bea — on 21st March, 2006 at 1:18 am  

      when it comes to art, common Pakistani is More appreciative of Indian talent than you can imagine. There are peolple who don’t watch Pakistani films(very rarely) but would definitely watch indian flicks because Pakistani cinema is Cbeebies as compared to Bollywood.
      However, the behind the scene propaganda is going on both sides and you can’t deny that either.

    64. nukh — on 21st March, 2006 at 3:29 am  

      Raz -
      In one breath you herald the genrallisimo as great and in anther breath you claim that you advocated peace with india.
      how does one trust the pronouncements of a musharraf fan?
      after all this is the man whose reprehensible misadventure
      in kargil resulted in the murder of scores of indians.

      plus the “sovereign” state you allude to has been belied since 14th august 1947. the whole world knows that islamabad’s writ does not run in the nwfp and now also is non existent in balochistan.
      thus my suggestion of reexaminig the durand line.
      i sincerely hope that blog stays in existence long enough to see me be proven right.

    65. nukh — on 21st March, 2006 at 3:37 am  

      sunny,
      i do not understand what is so offensive about my remarks vis a vis pakistan?
      it is not as if my wishing will bring the division of pakistan to fruition.
      and i only have used words, while the general and his nation have been using guns and murder to try dismembering india for nearly fifteen years now.
      i am only saying, which is being discussed by experts in the u.s. and india.
      thankfuly, pakistan is not only india’s headache anymore, it is the world’s.
      to wit: the a.q.khan, nukes are us mart, which is giving ulcers to all. albeit, they may not admit this in public.

    66. Fe'reeha — on 21st March, 2006 at 10:42 am  

      Nukh

      thankfuly, pakistan is not only india’s headache anymore, it is the world’s.

      You need to check facts before making statements like these.

      You must understand the issue of Kashmir was left unsettled in 1947 for greater political gains by the Brtish government.
      Pakistan was never more of a headache to India as India was to Pakistan.
      The self-imposed headachers on both sides have not served much to the people of both the countries, maybe, has been more damaging to Pakistan because on inetrnational map, Pakistan is far behind India.
      Also, I am very cynical about Pakistan’s so called role in the war of terror. But it has achieved Pakistan good name in the international world, and you cannot certainly say Pakistan is now headache for the world.

      If nothing else, the war on terror has atleast made Pakistan address serious problems of illiteracy in Pakistan’s religious sector.

    67. Sanjeev — on 21st March, 2006 at 1:09 pm  

      Raz,

      when it comes to India and Pakistan size means everything (before nukes). Israel on the other hand has the 4th Largest miltary budget on planet earth. There is a difference.

      You are name calling (Nukh), but you also chose to comment on India in Kashmir as being worse than human rights abuses than Israel against palestinians without qualification. Why India when there are other obvious examples. People have already made comments about you turning everything into India vs Pakistan, so who has the obsession with India I wonder???

      If anything a united, stable, non-islamofascist Pakistan suits India. It is Kashmir that is the proplem between the two countries.

      India and Indians have bigger fish to worry about.

    68. Jai — on 21st March, 2006 at 1:31 pm  

      It’s also worth mentioning that a number of Bollywood films based on enmity with Pakistan have flopped disastrously in India during the past few years, due to the changing climate between the two nations. Indians weren’t interested in any jingoistic propaganda against their neighbour — hardly indicative of endemic “hatred” towards Pakistan. Indeed the trend these days, both in the film industry and in the mainstream media, is to portray and promote good relations between Indians and Pakistanis, along with promoting cultural interchange and emphasising the shared history and cultural commonalities between the two countries and its inhabitants.

      To state that Indians have some kind of on-going, visceral hatred towards Pakistanis and desire the destruction of their country is not only an obsolete mindset, it may well be indicative of some kind of neurotic obsession on the part of the accuser.

      Times have changed. Move on.

    69. shiva — on 21st March, 2006 at 1:48 pm  

      Jai,

      …a number of Bollywood films based on enmity with Pakistan…

      There aren’t any movies with such a theme. Care to explain?

    70. Fe'reeha — on 21st March, 2006 at 1:49 pm  

      Times have changed. Move on.

      I AGREE!

    71. Jai — on 21st March, 2006 at 2:04 pm  

      Shiva,

      I said “during the past few years”, not at present. I was specifically referring to movies such as LoC.

    72. Sanjeev — on 21st March, 2006 at 2:27 pm  

      Anyway back to ‘Is Pakistan about to split and show its underpants…or does it even wear any’??

      No at least not in the near future. It has a thread and needle, when the thread runs out who knows maybe.

      In the past pakistan had an under represented ethnic majority, but that was concentrated in an enclave 1000 miles away. It was always wishful thinking to believe that such an arrangement would remain united.

      Here we have a lump of land centred on an over represented ethnic majority, it dominates the country in all its institutions. Instability and fraying crotch maybe, but Iran is not interested in a united Balochistan and Afghanistan is too weak to do or demand anything other than be a thorn (painful though, I would imagine).

      Anyway I feel for the Asiatic Cheetahs.

    73. raz — on 21st March, 2006 at 2:32 pm  

      “To state that Indians have some kind of on-going, visceral hatred towards Pakistanis and desire the destruction of their country is not only an obsolete mindset”

      Funny how you’ve conviently missed someone calling for Pakistan to be ‘dismembered’ on this very thread.

    74. Sunny — on 21st March, 2006 at 2:48 pm  

      Raz for FFS - there’s a difference between one guy on here saying it, and characterising a whole nation to do the same.

      Now.

      Get. Over. It.

    75. Jay Singh — on 21st March, 2006 at 3:28 pm  

      Not that I am a defender of Raz, but if he must be asked to get over it and move on it is only fair to say that whenever a an individual posts provocative extremist Indian nationalist discourse like nukh does, they also need to GET A LIFE

      Just for the sake of balance.

    76. raz — on 21st March, 2006 at 3:34 pm  

      “Not that I am a defender of Raz”

      Hey, there’s no need for any disclaimers :)

      Seriously guys, this topic has run its course. Maybe I overreacted to some blatant trolling. Whatever. Here’s a symbol of Indo-Pakistani peace for everyone to enjoy:

      http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/6329/lahorecricket20eu.jpg

    77. Jay Singh — on 21st March, 2006 at 3:38 pm  

      Damn, I never get tired of seeing photos of female Lahori cricket fans, what a babe on the right!

    78. Rohin — on 21st March, 2006 at 3:51 pm  

      Wow, she really is a babe. Raz and I have previously realised that hot girls are usually the only way to settle these sorts of things. Hot girl diplomacy.

    79. raz — on 21st March, 2006 at 4:00 pm  

      “Hot girl diplomacy”

      Indeed. I believe this thread (now updated with new pictures) should be the standard for defusing flamewars on PP:

      http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=216698&page=1&pp=20

    80. Vikrant — on 21st March, 2006 at 4:19 pm  

      classic raz, flame then say “sorry”. Btw that was some hottie there. Nee-ways Raz i’ve Sindhi blood in me, Pakistan technically is my country as much as yours.

    81. Jai — on 21st March, 2006 at 4:27 pm  

      I reckon Raz is part of some secret ISI plot to get all the Indians on PP fired for (ab)using their employers’ internet facilities in order to look at hot women ;)

      *joking*

      Pakistan appears to have some insanely beautiful women. Pakistani music videos are generally more stylishly & artistically shot than their average Indian counterparts too. I also think their television soaps/serials are better, on the whole (especially compared to the psychotic Saas-Bahu genre that India has become lumbered with during the past few years).

      Anyway, back to hot desi women. Carry on.

    82. Vikrant — on 21st March, 2006 at 4:29 pm  

      Raz man we gotta meet sometime. Say do you ever come to good ole london?

    83. nukh — on 21st March, 2006 at 4:31 pm  

      God bless you, Raz. For posting the picture with these fine, very fine ladies………made my day.
      All is forgotten..

    84. Jay Singh — on 21st March, 2006 at 4:32 pm  

      Vikrant is just hoping that Raz knows a few Lahori hotties like the above that’s why he’s asking him if he wants to meet up when he comes to London ;-)

    85. Vikrant — on 21st March, 2006 at 4:33 pm  

      Pakistani music videos are generally more stylishly & artistically shot than their average Indian counterparts too.

      Not to speak of actual music. Man Indian bands are a *shame*. “Strings” rocks in desi music.

    86. Vikrant — on 21st March, 2006 at 4:37 pm  

      btw Jai, which Pakistani soaps do you recommend. The only Pakistani channel is have access to is Q Tv (at the Pakistani cornershop where i do part time on weekends). I swear SET Asia is “&*^(*%(&” i forced to endure Indian Idol everyday!

    87. Jay Singh — on 21st March, 2006 at 4:43 pm  

      Some great Pakistani singers on my stereo at the moment:

      Naseebo Lal (Great Punjabi folk singer)

      Atta Ullah Khan (Soulful voice)

      Humera Arshad (Especially the song ‘was wey dhola’ - beautiful arrangement and voice)

      SK1 (Can’t believe he is not Sikh)

      =========

      Crap Pakistani Singer Definitely Not On My Stereo:

      Tariq Khan of Legacy (oh dear)

    88. Jai — on 21st March, 2006 at 4:45 pm  

      Vikrant,

      =>”btw Jai, which Pakistani soaps do you recommend”

      Anything with Humayun Saeed is usually very good.

      Also, about 5 years ago he starred in a short-duration soap which was focused on (Pakistani) Sindhi zamindars; I can’t remember the name of the show but it was excellent. The guy who played his feudal-lifestyle father (universally referred to as “Sai” in the serial) in particular was brilliant — his entire personality, mannerisms, way of speaking. Great stuff.

      It might be slightly before your time, Vikrant, but I’m sure many of the other Asians on PP remember it, especially the Pakistanis.

      And yes you’re right about Strings etc.

    89. Jay Singh — on 21st March, 2006 at 4:48 pm  

      Is it easy to get visas to Pakistan? The next time I go to India I wouldnt mind visiting - Lahore is not far from Amritsar is it? Be a nice trip.

    90. Jai — on 21st March, 2006 at 4:52 pm  

      Jay Singh,

      re: Humera Arshad (Especially the song ‘was wey dhola’ - beautiful arrangement and voice)

      Is she the one who did that desert-based music video a little while ago (and that more upbeat “Matrix-style” video a few years ago) ?

      If so, then I agree with you there too — her music is great, quite poignant stuff sometimes.

      There was another famous Pakistani singer a couple of years ago who had some overlapping stories in some of his videos — I can’t remember his name although he’s very well-known, but one of the songs was “Ranjha”. Great songs, strong Sufi influence, brilliantly-stylish videos too. You’ll remember what I’m talking about — his girlfriend has killed herself or something, but he keeps following her around and even gives her water to drink, but only finds out she’s a ghost right at the end.

      Junoon’s feudal-themed music videos were superb too, and of course their music speaks for itself.

    91. Rohin — on 21st March, 2006 at 4:56 pm  

      Now now Raz, you’re recycling hot girls. I’ve seen these ones before, courtesy you. I want NEW women, these are used.

      Vikrant, I can bow to superior knowledge of soaps, films and music. But music videos are my speciality and it’s a bit simplistic to say Pakistani vids are more artistic than Indian. Indian music has a far wider range of styles, from slutty softcore porn to artsy fartsy. Pakistani videos also have very nice vids, but more than their fair share of tacky rubbish as well.

      Indian music video production values are on the whole higher, I’m often surprised by the poor resolution and quality of Pakistani videos. At the end of the day, both have the odd impressive and original video, but the vast majority on both sides is shit.

    92. Jay Singh — on 21st March, 2006 at 4:57 pm  

      I’m not sure about that video by Humera Arshad, Jai. I don’t really like Junoon or that style of music.

    93. Jai — on 21st March, 2006 at 5:06 pm  

      Rohin,

      You seem to be having fun on your trip to the US ;) I read your recent posts on SM too.

      Anyway, I was referring just to the videos we see on B4U and Zee Music. I agree that Indian videos have a broader range — but Pakistan is a more conservative society, so most of the risque stuff is obviously going to be a no-no.

    94. Rohin — on 21st March, 2006 at 6:01 pm  

      Jai what the thing you mentioned a few weeks back about you having an interesting time on SM? I wasn’t sure when to check, so I don’t know what happened. Email me if you prefer - rohin at pickledpolitics dot com.

    95. raz — on 21st March, 2006 at 6:15 pm  

      Bloody hell, a few pics of girls and it’s turned into an Indo-Pakistani love fest on here!

      Rohin, check the last 5/6 pages of that thread, its been updated with lots of new girls for you to ‘use’ :)

      Jay, Lahore is my home town. It’s a cool place, and I believe Guru Nanak’s shrine is there as well. Worth a visit if you can.

      Vikrant, how’s the revision going? Work hard, I’m sure you’ll do well :)

    96. raz — on 21st March, 2006 at 6:34 pm  

      If any of you guys can watch PTV on SKY, and want a good laugh, check out the talk show Maachis. It’s like a Pakistani Jerry Springer, and some of the subject matter can be pretty racy (by Asian standards anyway). The woman who presents it is hot as well:

      http://www.janubaba.com/lollywood/models/females/Zainab/Janubaba_43586_zainab2_REOV.jpg

      http://www.janubaba.com/lollywood/models/females/Zainab/Janubaba_43588_zainab4_B6NN.jpg

    97. Jai — on 21st March, 2006 at 7:33 pm  

      Hello Rohin,

      =>”Jai what the thing you mentioned a few weeks back about you having an interesting time on SM? I wasn’t sure when to check, so I don’t know what happened.”

      It basically involved some people (mainly Hindu Punjabis, I think) arguing with me about some basic Sikh religious tenets — they kept insisting that the distorted interpretation of the faith’s basic principles depicted in some Indian serials and indeed as practiced by some real-life individuals back in India was not actually a distortion of Sikhism at all, even though this is not true — and the whole thing rapidly escalated into foaming-at-the-mouth rants by certain other parties which stretched across multiple unrelated threads, with topics subsequently being repeatedly shut-down by the people running SM. Go to the “archived topics” section on SM and check out “You call that a knife ?” followed by “The Fresh Prince of Bombay.” Kush T tried to intervene at one point too, but certain other people refused to let the matter drop despite our best efforts and indeed despite the subsequent intervention of Ennis and Anna. Even poor Anna ended up being on the receiving end of some verbal abuse by one of the culprits.

      It was a pretty nasty experience actually and left a very nasty taste in my mouth.

    98. Jai — on 21st March, 2006 at 7:49 pm  

      PS. Ironically what triggered it was a very brief off-topic exchange between myself and another commenter who I know from another internet discussion forum, mainly regarding the aforementioned Indian TV serials. We had considered the matter closed, but a couple of people pounced on it and refused to let it go, and when threads began to get shut down due to them being hijacked, the individuals concerned then started ranting at me (and the SM guys) for “getting topics closed”, along with diatribes about “freedom of speech” and so on.

      Check out the threads concerned when you have some spare time anyway, I think you’ll find it interesting reading — with regards to some commenters’ behaviour and their deliberate attempts to escalate and inflame the situation.

      It was the first time I’ve been on the receiving end of that on SM — I suspect our old friend Punjabi Boy (along with our new friend Jay Singh) would have been able to retaliate in kind and handle the situation pretty quickly & effectively — but hey, it’s all a learning experience ;)

    99. Tariq Siddiqui — on 21st March, 2006 at 9:35 pm  

      fari its a good attempt u need more research.

    100. Rohin — on 21st March, 2006 at 9:35 pm  

      Nothing like a good flame war, to coin a yankee phrase. I enjoy them from time to time! I’ll check the threads out at some point.

    101. Jai — on 21st March, 2006 at 9:40 pm  

      Okay Rohin, I’m sure you’ll find it interesting reading. It was certainly a revealing experience with regards to what’s “really” going on inside certain other people’s heads and what their personalities/attitudes are really like.

      Anyway, like I said — a learning experience. Onwards and upwards, as Kush would say ;)

    102. Vikrant — on 22nd March, 2006 at 7:21 am  

      Ahh i missed most of the discussion yestaday, actually my gf had a glimpse at our nice lil’ hottie girl chat, shes one of those feminist typos who frown at slightest hint of sexism! =( . Btw raz thanx for the luck, i need it all. Btw wasnt it hypocritical of you to accuse Indians of Pakistan-bashing while you yourself come across to me as an India-basher. Its always a mutual hatred you could say Pakistanis hate India/Indians with same intensity.

    103. nukh — on 22nd March, 2006 at 2:46 pm  

      the article [link below] is so compelling as to warrant an exception to my rule of letting dead discussions lie…..
      i chalk up this exception to that age old caveat of - “to be fore- warned is to be fore-armed”

      http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/HC23Df05.html

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