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Happy Birthday, Pakistan

Posted By Sunny On 14th August, 2006 @ 6:52 pm In South Asia | Comments Disabled

On its 59th birthday, today, [1] Haroon Moghul writes an essay to ask questions about what could have been. When will we know if the ‘Pakistan project’ has been successful?

Those of you who follow this blog know that I used to be a very staunch supporter of the Pakistan project, and a defender of Jinnah’s plan and the ideal of a Muslim homeland. You may also be reminded hereby of my allusions to the Sunni minority in Iraq, whose course to separatism may not, in the short-term, be inexplicable, yet in the long-term may turn out to be a very bad decision. Which leads me to this question:

Was Pakistan a bad decision? Was Pakistan a mistake?

I am certainly not saying Pakistan has not done any good, nor that Pakistan was categorically and exclusively a mistake. I’m just thinking out loud and wondering: In the long-run, would it have been better for Indian Muslims to have remained in India, albeit with some sort of significant autonomy, than it was for them to strike out, ill-prepared and poorly led, into independence, not once – 1947 – but twice – 1971?

While India would not have been a Muslim state, its huge Muslim population, strategic location, cultural, historical and social wealth, and immense potential for superpower status (still potential, alas), the world would have been unable to ignore a powerful Asian state with a strong democratic tradition, key geopolitical position and a significant Muslim minority. So ask yourself these questions: Would Afghanistan have been invaded had the USSR had to contend with Pakistan as opposed to a much larger India, with a huge Muslim minority along its northwestern flank? Would India not have made a much stronger case for a seat at the UN Security Council, alongside the Permanent Six? Would hundreds of thousands of Bengalis have died at the hands of fellow Muslims? And would still hundreds of thousands of more have died in Partition?

[2] Read the post in full.

It’s always difficult to look back in hindsight and predict what could have happened, isn’t it?

Rather than taking his essay as way to question Pakistan’s legitimacy, I think it should be looked at another way - isn’t solidarity and unity much more powerful than constantly fighting for scraps over superficial identities?

What does it mean to say ‘I’m proud to be Pakistani / Indian / Bangladeshi’ and how do you differentiate between the three? There are languages and local cultures, but to be honest they are irrelevant. No two states in India or Pakistan are the same. There is much difference between people from Sylhet and Dhaka. So the cultural difference between a Pakistani and an Indian is as much as a Punjabi (east or west) and a south or east Indian.

In the context of modern Pakistan and India, much of the debate is more about what is best for the “country as a whole” rather than what would work for people on the ground. We have abstract conversations and arguments that do not take into account people’s welfare.

Wouldn’t both Pakistan and India be better off spending their defence budgets on education? When more people die or poverty and starvation, what is the point of spending billions on advanced weaponry when so many few people are actually affected?

To foster better relations in the sub-continent, it makes more sense to ask what policies and plans would be the best for the people who live there than on preserving distinct identities for their own sake.

This is not to say Pakistan should not exist. I look forward to the day when relations are so good between the whole sub-continent that people can move between countries without any hassle, like the European Union, and the countries aren’t constantly playing, or being played, in a global game of politics that have little regard for the ordinary poor woman (or man).

The problem are always the politicians and their pupeteers not the people.
Oh and happy birthday India for tomorrow.

And please don’t turn this into an India v Pakistan thread because I will delete your comments.

Update: [3] Ali Eteraz replies to Haroon, [4] Baraka adds her thoughts, [5] Sajshirazi has videos and [6] Tasneem provides a Bangladeshi perspective.
Adil Najam from [7] Pakistaniat wishes India happy birthday too.


Comments Disabled To "Happy Birthday, Pakistan"

#1 Comment By Leon On 14th August, 2006 @ 6:57 pm

Interesting post Sunny.

I think it should be looked at another way - isn’t solidarity and unity much more powerful than constantly fighting for scraps over superficial identities?

Not being Asian my knowledge is somewhat limited so forgive my ignorance; would you like to see re-unification and do you think it’ll ever be likely?

#2 Comment By raz On 14th August, 2006 @ 7:13 pm

PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!

Jinnah was truly one the greatest men in history.

#3 Comment By Gaz On 14th August, 2006 @ 7:15 pm

France and the US will unite before Pakistan and India ever do.

#4 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 14th August, 2006 @ 7:19 pm

I used to believe in One World until I realised it’d be run by One Party

I used to believe in Independence to All Nations until USSR split up into tiny bits of non-ententities

I used to believe West Pakistan were evil for raping us poor East Pakistani Bangladeshis so horridly

It’s all bollocks really. Any union, separation or loyalty to a bit of land is futile. Everyone hates their neighbours

#5 Comment By Bert Preast On 14th August, 2006 @ 7:28 pm

Many think the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was a prelude to an invasion of Pakistan anyway - they wanted seaports that weren’t frozen over for months of the year quite badly. So if the subcontinent were one perhaps Iran would’ve got the good news instead. So can we assume the mujahid saved us from WW3?

And a hippy pappy biffday to Pakistan. \o/

#6 Comment By Sunny On 14th August, 2006 @ 8:01 pm

Leon - I’ve amended my post a bit. Yes, I do want to see something approaching unification where people in both countries are not paranoid of each other and where they can visit each other with ease. Most Sikhs I know have a desire to visit Pakistan to check out the Sikh Gurudwaras there etc.

I think the European Union provides us a good model to follow. But the only way to achieve that is for the people there to have a high standard of living.

#7 Comment By mirax On 14th August, 2006 @ 8:02 pm

Best wishes to the people of Pakistan. August is the month that many ex-colonies celebrate their independence days - What is that coincidence about?

#8 Comment By Zak On 14th August, 2006 @ 8:03 pm

Sigh no other nation suffers as much existential angst as Pakistan. It’s potential in terms of natural resources, locations and other things was always enormous and yet it has failed to live up to that..is that surprising? Are Pakistanis too harsh in their assesment of their own country? After all which nation has truly lived up to its highest ideals?

Pakistans tragedy is as a nation it is forever asking itself ..what are we supposed to be doing?

And yet Pakistans greatest truimph is its ability to survive against all odds. As a state its survived corrupt democrats, brutal military rulers, powerful and aggressive neighbours and still surivived when other nations would have fallen.

So happy birthday Pakistan!

#9 Comment By Bert Preast On 14th August, 2006 @ 8:03 pm

The Imperial power was on some Costa Blanca beach at the time?

#10 Comment By Zak On 14th August, 2006 @ 8:05 pm

mirax a lot of it is to do with August being Victory over japan month and the end of WW2

#11 Comment By mirax On 14th August, 2006 @ 8:15 pm

I liked the whimsy of Bert’s answer better but Zak’s probably right. So the brits just signed off as many new nations they could the first spare time they had after WW2? Unseemly haste or what!

#12 Comment By Shambu On 14th August, 2006 @ 8:43 pm

Zak, Pakistan survived carrying out a genocide of Hindus and Muslims in 1971 and still to this day is in denial and does not acknowledge it. Bangladesh’s freedom is something Pakistan has never recovered from. It needs to come to terms with it’s bloody past.

#13 Comment By Simon Benjamin On 14th August, 2006 @ 9:02 pm

Was partition inevitable? It’s hard to say. Gandhi and Nehru would have preferred to have kept India united. Had that occurred, it was inevitable that civil war would have broke out. Also, had it not been Jinnah championing a seperate state, another Muslim would have emerged. As we have seen throughout history, and of course with current events being played out in front of us, there is almost a visceral desire for land based on a collective identity. It’s almost inescapeable.

What does the future hold? It’s very uncertain. Despite the end of the cold war between US and Russia, and a brief improvement in relations, much hasn’t changed between the two nations. American ideology conflicts with Russia ideology and vice-versa and both flex their powers in different ways - US with weapons and Russia with fossil fuels.

India and Pakistan’s long conflict - a cold war in itself - is today most visibly voiced and channelled through the dispute over Kashmir. Along with the DMZ between North and South Korea, the West Bank and Chechnya, Kashmir is one of the most dangerous places in the world. Those in Kashmir would rather both sides pissed off yet both nations persist in their claim over Kashmir. Why? Who knows? I don’t think Pakistan nor India do. To all intents and purposes the land is of no tangible wealth. It’s merely a symbolic struggle of stupidity.

And this is the history of man… defined by stupidity.

I

#14 Comment By Simon Benjamin On 14th August, 2006 @ 9:03 pm

The US/Russia thing was an analogy for Pakistan/India relations just in case you thought I kind of deviated there.

#15 Comment By northern_scum On 14th August, 2006 @ 9:04 pm

What does it mean to say ‘I’m proud to be Pakistani / Indian / Bangladeshi’ and how do you differentiate between the three?

KASHMIRI?!

#16 Comment By northern_scum On 14th August, 2006 @ 9:08 pm

Those in Kashmir would rather both sides pissed off yet both nations persist in their claim over Kashmir.

Us Kashmiriz don’t think of ourselves as pakistani OR indian BUT Kashmiri…

Free Kashmir!

#17 Comment By leon On 14th August, 2006 @ 9:09 pm

Those in Kashmir would rather both sides pissed off yet both nations persist in their claim over Kashmir. Why? Who knows? I don’t think Pakistan nor India do. To all intents and purposes the land is of no tangible wealth. It’s merely a symbolic struggle of stupidity.

Why has idea of allowing Kashmir (under UN supervision for e.g.) a free vote on it’s future not a major question (atleast from my understanding of the area); Indian rule with automony, Pakistan rule with autonomy, rule by either with no automony or full independence from both.

#18 Comment By Simon Benjamin On 14th August, 2006 @ 9:16 pm

Kashmir is kind of like east and west Berlin. Neither side wants to relinquish it and neither side recognises Kasmir as an independent entity. Nobody wants to to give up land. This is along with religion and ideology the reason for most of history.

#19 Comment By northern_scum On 14th August, 2006 @ 9:28 pm

To all intents and purposes the land is of no tangible wealth.

oh come on mate Kashmir is simply beautiful…haven’t been since the quake…sigh….most of my relatives have died. It annoys me that many pakistaniz treat us like scum yet they want to possess OUR land.

I am British born but i am still in touch with my origins.
Maybe one day i will be the run as the first future female PM of Kashmir, lol.

#20 Comment By northern_scum On 14th August, 2006 @ 9:33 pm

Excuse the bad grammar picklers…I’m tired

#21 Comment By Simon Benjamin On 14th August, 2006 @ 9:36 pm

I’m talking in terms of political reasons northern scum - interesting name by the way, as I am a northerner myself - I’m sure kashmir is, and I have seen via national geographic how beautiful it is. would you advocate Kasmiri independence and if so, why?

#22 Comment By Simon Benjamin On 14th August, 2006 @ 9:39 pm

I’m sure Kasmir is beautiful is how it’s meant to read.

I too am fatigued.

#23 Comment By northern_scum On 14th August, 2006 @ 9:50 pm

That’s good to hear, i’m proper manc ;) and proud and of course kashmiri and proud.
i’m just bitter because i was dating a cute paki guy (a hunky rugby player while @ uni) but his mum told him that he had to finish with me because my origins are Kashmiri…AND HE DID! Since then i’v been bitter and proud and i have never dated a stani guy since (shallow arses)

Is that a good enough reason…?

And of course because my grandad (who is now dead bless his soul…)used to tell me some interesting stories.

Anyway Free Kashmir!

#24 Comment By northern_scum On 14th August, 2006 @ 9:53 pm

mate your fatigued…i’m the worse for wear…working in an airport as a customer services advisor is shite esp with everythin that is goin on at the moment. The amount of crap i have had to deal with today!?

oh well at least the threat level has dropped…

#25 Comment By Simon Benjamin On 14th August, 2006 @ 9:57 pm

sounds like a proper bollywood romantic tragedy. kyar baat. yeah, I’ll allow you that reason - you can cite when you’re Kashmir’s PM - I’m sure that’ll go down well with the Pakistani’s.

#26 Comment By northern_scum On 14th August, 2006 @ 10:03 pm

lol…benji ol’ man. My life is one BIG drama…:)

#27 Comment By Sahib On 14th August, 2006 @ 10:11 pm

Leon

As I understand it, the UN position is exactly that - a referendum should be carried out. Pakistan and particularly Musharruf have repeatedly tried to press India into excepting this but to no avail. India has little incentive as it is the major player and it would almost certainly lose control if there was a vote (although its possible ofcourse that Pakistan would also lose control of the parts of Kashmir that it controls)

#28 Comment By thabet On 14th August, 2006 @ 10:12 pm

Pakistan’s two greatest heroes are Jinnah and Iqbal; two men who have distinctly different backgrounds and beliefs from the coutrymen who adulate them.

#29 Comment By raz On 14th August, 2006 @ 10:14 pm

Check this thread for some great pictures of Pakistanis celebrating Independence Day:

[8] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=380882&page=1&pp=20

It’s funny, from the moment Pakistan came into existence, people have been predicting its demise. And yet, almost 60 years later, superpowers like the USSR have fallen and Pakistan is alive and kicking and not going anywhere! PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!

#30 Comment By raz On 14th August, 2006 @ 10:23 pm

Some beautiful pictures from Pakistan’s Northern Areas:

[9] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=360122

[10] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=345932

Pakistani cities:

Lahore:

[11] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=289818

Karachi:

[12] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=292585

Islamabad:

[13] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=139178

Multan:

[14] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=334532

Minority citizens of Pakistan:

[15] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=370494

#31 Comment By raz On 14th August, 2006 @ 10:25 pm

And seeing as we are in a festive mood, might as well pull up this old thread for those that didn’t see it before,

Beautiful women of Pakistan:

[16] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=216698

#32 Comment By Sahib On 14th August, 2006 @ 10:32 pm

Sunny - i think its an interesting question that you pose (and an excellent post by Haroon). Its almost certainly true that solidarity and unity would have produced better results. As you say, the Indo-Pak nuclear arms race could have been avoided - and the money spent on so many other vital areas.

But at the same time, I understand why Muslims like Jinnah felt the need for a separate Muslim homeland, however regrettable Partition was.

I hope that the Iraqis learn some lessons from what happened in India/Pakistan. Not only the huge trauma of Partition but the wars and emnity that has plagued both countries since. Being Shia myself I think its vital that the Iraqi Shias ensure that the Sunnis have an equal stake in the future Iraq. But with violence its currently experiencing - who knows, in fifty years time there may three former Iraqi states celebrating their own independence.

#33 Comment By Sunny On 14th August, 2006 @ 11:21 pm

It’s difficult to imagine what the political leadership of the time wanted to be honest, which is why I still cannot properly argue whether the state was needed or why it was needed and what people said or what their intentions were.

Read an interesting post earlier about Jinnah:
[17] http://watandost.blogspot.com/2006/08/book-reviews-jinnah-ideological-or.html

What’s done is done. To be honest it’s rather like Israel - it exists and trying to turn back the clock would only lead to even more violence. I’m not even sure who wants Pakistan to disintegrate, I certainly don’t.

But I think its important to ask questions as Haroon does, and as Indians should do, if only to set ourselves more loftier aims than simply building the longest flying and biggest nuclear weapons.

#34 Comment By Candymarl On 14th August, 2006 @ 11:58 pm

My thoughts: I don’t know. i watched a documentary that left me with the impression that Jinnah wanted a united India. It also implied that Ghandi wanted a united India. If I had my way I would wish that people (on an alternate planet) would stop killing each other. Dead is dead. Death has no geographical, religious, ethnic, or cultural lines. Flags, armies, countries, patriotism. Nothing stops death. Perhaps humility will stop the killing. After all, the universe was here before us. It will be here long after we are a distant memory. It’s how we treat each other in between that matters.

#35 Comment By Bikhair aka Taqiyyah On 15th August, 2006 @ 12:04 am

Raz,

I dont want to hate, these women are very pretty but they all look alike to me. If I didnt know better I would think they were different shots of the same woman. There must be a beauty patter in Pakistan.

#36 Comment By Sahib On 15th August, 2006 @ 12:07 am

Mirax: So the brits just signed off as many new nations they could the first spare time they had after WW2? Unseemly haste or what!

Mirax - in relation to India (and possibly other British colonies) the independence movements had been growing for many years/decades. Britain had agreed in principle to grant Independence to India for a while but wanted to wait until the war was over. It also had to resolve the issue of what sort of India would be granted independence (e.g. united or partitioned).

But i imagine it may have been similar for other colonies and hence why the many new nations after the war.

#37 Comment By Sunny On 15th August, 2006 @ 12:13 am

Are you saying Asian women look all the same to you Ms Taqiyyah?

#38 Comment By Amir On 15th August, 2006 @ 12:14 am

Raz,
While reading this thread, I nearly wrote… ‘Happy Birthday Raz’ instead of Pakistan.

Thus is the power of your patriotism! :-)

#39 Comment By Old Pickler On 15th August, 2006 @ 1:14 am

Jannah had the right idea in wanting Pakistan to be a secular state for Muslims, not an Islamic state. Just as Israel is a secular state for Jews. But in Pakistan the hardliners took over. Musharraf is OK, but he depends on the army - not very democratic.

I know and get on with a family from Pakistan who are not untypical. My generation (thirties) are secular politically and either wear western clothes or the shalwar khameez, sometimes with a headscarf. But the younger ones, in their teens, are more strict and, depressingly, the women wear the ghastly Arab niqab. This is not part of the culture they are from, or the culture they are now in.

Happy Birthday, Pakistan - give your descendants in the West some of the pluralist values you were founded on.

#40 Comment By Sunny On 15th August, 2006 @ 2:01 am

Forget the ISI or Musharraf. The best thing that Pakistan can have is a [18] free and outspoken press.

#41 Pingback By Eteraz » Blog Archive » Response To Avari’s Pakistani Independence Post On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:24 am

[…] Related: A Video From 1947 from my newest favorite Pakistan-centric blog; A discussion at Pickled Politics; This Indian-American guy disses the Pakistani blogosphere (these would be the guys who continue to choose to ignore me) - the best they could do was dig up this old uncle, seriously Sidhartha, where do you stroll, man; finally, I am linking to this Muslim brother who hates Pakistanis (”Pakis”) and says we all smell (before he should diss he should learn how to write). […]

#42 Comment By Desi Italiana On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:46 am

“What does it mean to say ‘I’m proud to be Pakistani / Indian / Bangladeshi’ and how do you differentiate between the three? There are languages and local cultures, but to be honest they are irrelevant. No two states in India or Pakistan are the same. There is much difference between people from Sylhet and Dhaka. So the cultural difference between a Pakistani and an Indian is as much as a Punjabi (east or west) and a south or east Indian.”

Nicely put. I wholeheartedly agree.

“Wouldn’t both Pakistan and India be better off spending their defence budgets on education? When more people die or poverty and starvation, what is the point of spending billions on advanced weaponry when so many few people are actually affected?”

Indeed.

Great post, Sunny. I too would like to see some sort of re-unification that you propose.

Happy Independence Day.

#43 Comment By Desi Italiana On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:57 am

Raz:

Gorgeous pics of Lahore- would like to make it there one day if it ever is possible.

I was really psyched to about seeing pics of Karachi, since I know that some of my Gujarati relatives used to live there pre-Partition- but, um, those pics you linked were of the airport :)

#44 Comment By Vikrant Surreykar On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:58 am

Pakistan was an idea whose time had come. Though partition was hasty and haphazard, i was a necessary evil. History has shown that its IS very difficult for Hindus and Muslims to exist together. For all its pretensions of secularism, India is a fragmented society. Many India\’s coexist, Islamic India of the old-city ghettoes is a world apart from boomtowns of Bangalore nad Cyberabad.

As for Kashmir, it think many Muslims on Indian side support Pakistan, Muslims on Pakistani side would like a free Kashmir, Buddhists of Ladakh and Hindus and Sikhs of Jammu would go with India. Kashmir has become essential for the very survival of Pakistan and to some extent Indian Union. If Kashmir becomes independent, Pakistan would unravel like a pack of cards, with other subjugated ethnicities vying to break away from Punjabi dominated Pakistan. I guess sames the case with India. India wouldnt disintegrate as quickly as Pakistan since there are two distinct centres of power in India (Punjabi-Hindi heartland and South India with everybody else fucked in between). But losing Kashmir will sound the death knell for \”Secular\” India paving the way for a Hindu Rashtra and hence Indian Muslim stand to face the brunt of these competing nationalism in South Asia.

I daresay maintaing the status-quo in Kashmir is the best possible solution for South Asia.

P.S INDIA ZINDABAAD

#45 Comment By Vikrant On 15th August, 2006 @ 5:02 am

btw guys shoudlnt we have yet another PP meetup sometime soon?

#46 Comment By Baraka On 15th August, 2006 @ 7:31 am

Hello Sunny & Picklers,

Thank you - and great point Thabet. The reality of Allama Iqbal & Jinnah is often forgotten in the myth-making.

As to a free and outspoken press Sunny, the Urdu press, which most people read, is pretty darn opinionated and outspoken - far more so than the English one. They have some catching up to do.

And (since it’s almost midnight in California) a happy Indian independence day to all!

-Baraka

#47 Comment By Tasneem On 15th August, 2006 @ 12:34 pm

Pakistan dived towards becoming a huge mistake once 3 ‘A’s: Allah, Army and America, took charge of navigating its destiny. Till date, that remains the problem. I spoke briefly about this [connecting the emergence of Bangladesh] here: http://www.iwrnews.org/tasneem/archives/mullahism-military-and-mujib

#48 Comment By sonia On 15th August, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

“Wouldn’t both Pakistan and India be better off spending their defence budgets on education?”

Aye - and same goes for any other country!
If we don’t have a happy birthday india post are people going to make a fuss? :-)

There’s not much point going back and saying if this then that = people would probably have found some other ways of killing each other.

Still, what is relevant: if the question were posed with the context of how people wanted an ‘Islamic State’ and look at what they have now - I for one would suggest that the people who go on about an @islamic state/HuT types take heed of what sort of thing goes on in Pakistan now. Is it more ‘moral’ than anywhere else? No. A good example of putting theory into practice is much harder than some people would think. this was a situation where a ‘Muslim’ homeland was created - and now we still have calls for a ‘Muslim’ homeland blah blah - so i’d like people to explain what they’d do differently when they set up this new Muslim Homeland compared to what was done back in the day with reference to Pakistan.

#49 Comment By sonia On 15th August, 2006 @ 1:21 pm

if you ask me - “What does it mean to say ‘I’m proud to be Pakistani / Indian / Bangladeshi’ and how do you differentiate between the three?

well to me it means zilch. and it’s pretty clear that the ‘nationalities’ in use now have been created very recently and what significance i see now - as in the significance these nationalities hold to others - is the political significance of Partition or the 1971 situation. So whilst i’m quite happy just saying i’m ‘bengali’ to a lot of my ‘compatriots’ that’s a big no-no - no you must say you’re Bangladeshi. Which i do as well - but I’m fully aware that in my immediate family, only I and one of my sisters was born Bangladeshi. When both my parents were born, it was all British India. Then we were ‘East Pakistan’ and now we’re Bangladesh. So in my mind the nationality aspect is somewhat superfluous - and had my family come from a little bit more towards the East than they did, I’d be Indian today. I can see how the struggle with Pakistan made a big thing of the ‘Bangladeshi’ identity - and I respect that - but again, it’s a ‘nation-state’ and as such means very little to me personally. I’m Bengali and tomorrow the nation-state could collapse/become something else and my Bengali identity would still remain. ( i know a lot of bangladeshi’s woud think i’m negating their struggle by saying this but it isn’t the case at all. So no offence to anyone! i’m just explaining my own personal take and understanding of social identity rather than ambition/aims tied up with a political entity. Obviously had i been born before the struggle for independence it would have some sort of difference.Of course, it doesn’t mean that i’m not proud to be Bangladeshi - i’m happy to be whatever i am, i just don’t stress about that aspect much )

Then again, on an amusing note, according to some dodgy database at the University of Sheffield - Dhaka is in Bangladesh which is in East Pakistan - ;-) Perhaps that negates the struggle for independence!

***

Had i been around in Jinnah’s days i would have told him his precious project was likely to end up very far from what he idealized it as, and pointed out the ‘divide and conquer’ aspect of it which clearly seems to have escaped the lot of them at the time.

#50 Comment By sonia On 15th August, 2006 @ 1:24 pm

of course its very brave of this Haroon Moghul fellow to bring up this topic - why just think of all the people shouting about being a self-hating pakistani or something like that..

#51 Comment By sonia On 15th August, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

oops - my post no. 48 when i said….”had my family come from a little bit more towards the East than they did, I’d be Indian today” - I meant ..’towards the West’.

hoho sorry my sense of direction is APPALLING!

#52 Comment By Vikrant On 15th August, 2006 @ 2:16 pm

Had i been around in Jinnah’s days i would have told him his precious project was likely to end up very far from what he idealized it as

Not many people know thism but Jinnah\’s only daughter Dina choose to stay back in India. Her son Nusli Wadia is an eminent businessman in Bombay

#53 Comment By mirax On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:05 pm

And best wishes to the people of India today!

#54 Comment By raz On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

desi italiana,

Here are some more pictures of Karachi for you:

[19] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=374401&page=3&pp=20

Yes, you must visit Lahore, if only to check out the (IMHO) finest ladies of the subcontinent :)

Here’s another excellent site you should all check out for some wonderful photos:

[20] www.beautifulpakistan.com

Congrats to all Indians today.

#55 Comment By Zak On 15th August, 2006 @ 6:58 pm

If you guys wanna meet up in mancs I am game :p

#56 Comment By Desi Italiana On 15th August, 2006 @ 7:27 pm

Raz:

Thanks for the pics of Karachi :) I’d like to visit Pakistan one day, if it ever becomes possible.

I’ve noticed you’ve linked to pics of Pakistani women. Now… for the sake of balance, could you include pics of Pakistani men?

“Then we were ‘East Pakistan’ and now we’re Bangladesh. So in my mind the nationality aspect is somewhat superfluous -”

This is an excellent point. When I was writing my post on Indian American history in the US which roughly started in the 1900’s, I had to note that I call those Indians “Indians” because it was pre-partition. Then, post partition I had to switch to the other nationalities. These nationalities are indeed fluid, because pre partition it was one thing, post partition it was another; then, what if you have relatives who live in Pakistan while you live in India? Or if you’re a Bangladeshi who has relatives in India? I recently read an excellent opinion on this that stated all these complicated nuances, but I can’t remember where I read it.

#57 Comment By Desi Italiana On 15th August, 2006 @ 7:29 pm

Raz:

“Yes, you must visit Lahore, if only to check out the (IMHO) finest ladies of the subcontinent”

Well, I’ve heard that Lahore ALSO has the finest men of the subcontinent….

not that this has anything to do with my request above (ahem)….

#58 Comment By Desi Italiana On 15th August, 2006 @ 7:31 pm

Also, I agree with Sonia’s point that our nationalities are a product of circumstances. Like if you had lived either a little bit more to the west or east, you would have had another nationality.

#59 Comment By Desi Italiana On 15th August, 2006 @ 7:43 pm

“Had i been around in Jinnah’s days i would have told him his precious project was likely to end up very far from what he idealized it as”

I may be wrong about Jinnah, but I’ve understood it as what Candymarl said:

“i watched a documentary that left me with the impression that Jinnah wanted a united India. It also implied that Ghandi wanted a united India.”

If I’m not mistaken, originally Jinnah had actually protested a partition plan and subsequently, homeland project. Then, Congress backed out on a prior agreement between the Muslim League and Congress about representative politics and religious groups, and I think that’s when poo hit the fan. Also, I have come across information suggesting that a couple of Hindu groups pushed for the Partition plan as well. Sunil Khilnani speaks of this in his book “The Idea of India.” And I believe Ayesha Jalal also takes up this theory.

Anyway, Happy Independence Day to both India and Pakistan!! Check out the nice pic that I put up:

[21] http://www.passtheroti.com/?p=160

Isn’t that nice? If only we had more Independence Day celebrations of this kind :)

#60 Comment By Refresh On 15th August, 2006 @ 8:50 pm

Nice pic DesiItaliana.

Congratulations India and Pakistan.

#61 Comment By raz On 15th August, 2006 @ 9:19 pm

desi italiana,

“Well, I’ve heard that Lahore ALSO has the finest men of the subcontinent….”

well, I’m from there you know….

#62 Comment By Winrock On 16th August, 2006 @ 4:14 am

Hi…

I want to ask, when you wished pakistani community on thier Independance day, why you didnt wished Indian community? YOu talk about Asian in Media? So I guess Indian is also comes in Asian community? I guess its a part of discrimination from your side. Let me know if you got any genuine and valid reason for it. Dont run away :)

#63 Comment By Winrock On 16th August, 2006 @ 4:14 am

oops sorry to wish, Happy birthday Pakistan , Happy Birthday India

#64 Comment By Desi Italiana On 16th August, 2006 @ 5:22 am

Raz-

“well, I’m from there you know…. ”

Well, I heard that Baroda has some of the finest women of the subcontinent….

BTW, those pics of Pakistani women you linked to, I couldn’t help but notice that they were fair as hell-almost the color of dood- in comparison to the many Pakistanis I know. Just like the contrast between Indian female stars and the majority of Indians.

Does this occur in Bangladesh and other parts of South Asia as well?

See how many things we Indians and Pakistanis have in common?! Our famous people hardly look like the common folk. Re-unification, hurry up!!

#65 Comment By Desi Italiana On 16th August, 2006 @ 6:24 am

Sunny:

“I think the European Union provides us a good model to follow.”

Look no further- there have been attempts. One is the South Asian Union which wants to model South Asia on the EU:

[22] http://www.southasianunion.net/

They say to “join them,” so for those of you who dream of a South Asian Union, here is one group for you.

#66 Comment By sonia On 16th August, 2006 @ 11:27 am

vikrant - no. 52 - yep. Reading Jinnah’s history was very interesting. apparently Dina was almost born in a box at one of the West End theatres! there’s been the usual trouble of people getting aggressive when some of Jinnah’s family suggested that he would not have been pleased with the way democracy’ has been handled in Pakistan. Of course certain types of nationalists can never handle any criticism.

#67 Comment By sonia On 16th August, 2006 @ 11:28 am

64 - desi - yep it happens in bangladesh as well. definitely we in the indian sub-continent have more things in common than not.

#68 Comment By sonia On 16th August, 2006 @ 11:38 am

i wonder if raz would be so keen to point out not so attractive pakistani girls?

yeah Desi, it’s interesting reading about the twists and turns of what Jinnah actually wanted before ending up with the Pakistan project.

#69 Comment By sonia On 16th August, 2006 @ 11:46 am

northern_scum - i like your name

“Those in Kashmir would rather both sides pissed off yet both nations persist in their claim over Kashmir.”

yeah too right - i don’t know where they get off thinking either side has a claim - really i think sometimes when i hear some of my indian and pakistani friends get into ‘heated debate’ ( to put it mildly) about Kashmir methinks they don’t really care about it except they want to piss the other lot off and/or don’t want to be seen as the ones that ‘backed’ down.

imperial ambition - disgusting. 2002 summer when the two countries were at the brink of war i was really disgusted to hear so many of my friends actually saying they’d be happy to go to war just to show ‘the other side’. MADNESS!

#70 Comment By raz On 16th August, 2006 @ 2:43 pm

“i wonder if raz would be so keen to point out not so attractive pakistani girls?”

Certainly. Here’s the most repulsive Pakistani woman of all time:

[23] http://dailytimes.com.pk/images/2003/09/19/19_9_2003_006%20benazir%20bhutto-3.jpg

Anyway, what would a unified Pakistani-Indian country be called? Pakdia? Indistan? :)

#71 Comment By Sunny On 16th August, 2006 @ 3:11 pm

To be honest that SouthAsianUnion guy is on a different planet if he think the likes of India and Saudi Arabia will be partaking in a union anytime soon. There cultural, economic and social differences are way too great. Likewise the rest of the middle east and outer-Asia. I’m thinking just South Asia right now, maybe including Afghanistan but only after it has had lots of investment and people with stable jobs etc.

Unions do well on stability. If everyone in South Asia decided to migrate to India to find jobs it would not work.

Winrock - Simple answer. I wasn’t really going to post happy birthday India or Pakistan but having being forwarded that brilliant essay by Haroon, I thought i’d post it. It does not reflect any anti-Indian sentiments, it’s purely an editorial decision. I didn’t read anything as interesting on India’s independence yesterday so I didn’t mention it, instead adding ‘Happy Birthday India’ to this post.

#72 Comment By winrock On 16th August, 2006 @ 5:04 pm

Hi Sunny,

Thanks for responding, my question, but its not about interesting essay, its simple matters of thinking.To wish or grieve on some ones birthday and death, you don’t wait for some sort of invitation or essay or email, it just come out automatically if you really care about them. I do appreciate you editors Idea to appreciate and wishing Paksitani community on their Big Day, but at the same time we should realize that We dont miss out any other community, like loads of other politcal parties do and every one knows they do it knowingly. It becomes more important when you deailing with Asian community becuase of relations between them. Atleast for second I did felt that this total ignorance but now you cleared your point so I am happy to understand your point.

#73 Comment By Desi Italiana On 16th August, 2006 @ 6:01 pm

Sunny:

“To be honest that SouthAsianUnion guy is on a different planet if he think the likes of India and Saudi Arabia will be partaking in a union anytime soon.”

Sweetie, it was a joke :)

Did you guys at least enjoy the music that starts playing once you click on the website? GOOD TIMES.

But on a serious note, there WAS an attempt years ago- I think in the late 90’s. The meeting had been held in Malaysia (I think) with all of the representatives of South Asia- well, basically India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The plan had been thwarted. I read it in Time Asia or some other similar mag.

Sonia:

“yeah Desi, it’s interesting reading about the twists and turns of what Jinnah actually wanted before ending up with the Pakistan project.”

Yes :) Also, I don’t think Jinnah was single-handedly responsible for Paritition. I think other factors and actors were involved as well.

History has a way of creating a clean cut story- so and so did this, and then this happpened.

Did you know his wife was Parsi?

Speaking of Partition, has anyone ever read Bapsi Sidwha’s “Cracking India”?

“yep it happens in bangladesh as well. definitely we in the indian sub-continent have more things in common than not. ”

Yeah, that’s what I’m sayin’. We have more things in common than differences. Which is why I propose a federal style re-unification, which brings me to…

Raz:

“Anyway, what would a unified Pakistani-Indian country be called? Pakdia? Indistan?”

Let’s not forget Sonia and Bangladesh :)

I don’t know… “The Desh”? “Ekta”? Or the old name that abounded in pre-partition times: “Hindustan”? Or, we can create an entirely new name: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh= “BIP”. Or, “PIB” If someone asks you, “what are you?” you can respond, “I’m Pibbian.”

Oh, then there’s Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives: shall we include these countries also?

#74 Comment By raz On 16th August, 2006 @ 6:25 pm

Ah, might as well call the whole lot Pakistan ;)

JUST KIDDING!

So, any pictures of Barodan women for me? :)


Article printed from Pickled Politics: http://www.pickledpolitics.com

URL to article: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/708

URLs in this post:
[1] Haroon Moghul: http://avari.blogs.com/weblog/2006/08/pakistan_at_59_.html
[2] Read the post in full: http://avari.blogs.com/weblog/2006/08/pakistan_at_59_.html
[3] Ali Eteraz: http://eteraz.wordpress.com/2006/08/14/response-to-avaris-pakistani-independence-post/
[4] Baraka adds: http://rickshawdiaries.blogspot.com/2006/08/happy-birthday-pureland.html
[5] Sajshirazi: http://sajshirazi.blogspot.com/2006/08/pakistan-independence-day.html
[6] Tasneem: http://www.iwrnews.org/tasneem/archives/mullahism-military-and-mujib
[7] Pakistaniat: http://pakistaniat.wordpress.com/2006/08/15/jinnah-gandhi-india-independence/
[8] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=380882&page=1&pp=20: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=380882&page=1&pp=20
[9] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=360122: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=360122
[10] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=345932: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=345932
[11] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=289818: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=289818
[12] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=292585: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=292585
[13] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=139178: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=139178
[14] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=334532: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=334532
[15] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=370494: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=370494
[16] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=216698: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=216698
[17] http://watandost.blogspot.com/2006/08/book-reviews-jinnah-ideological-or.html: http://watandost.blogspot.com/2006/08/book-reviews-jinnah-ideological-or.html
[18] free and outspoken press: http://www.dawn.com/weekly/ayaz/20060707.htm
[19] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=374401&page=3&pp=20: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=374401&page=3&pp=20
[20] www.beautifulpakistan.com: http://www.beautifulpakistan.com
[21] http://www.passtheroti.com/?p=160: http://www.passtheroti.com/?p=160
[22] http://www.southasianunion.net/: http://www.southasianunion.net/
[23] http://dailytimes.com.pk/images/2003/09/19/19_9_2003_006%20benazir%20bhutto-3.jpg: http://dailytimes.com.pk/images/2003/09/19/19_9_2003_006%20benazir%20bhutto-3.jpg