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A strategic response to terror – “Balkanization” of Pakistan?

This is a “lazy” post…Lazy because it is actually a collection of posts by different bloggers/writers who I follow online. Yet, I don’t feel the need to be particularly apologetic since I believe this collection of measures are some of the most forceful, realistic, practical ways of dealing with Pakistan. They all centre around the need to dismantle the power structures in Pakistan primarily by following a strategy of balkanization.

Balkans Image Wikipedia

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

I have written on this theme before (in a long/ *must read* post)…but the recent attacks in Mumbai add a while new dimension (and a sense of urgency) to this thinking. Read on…

The first extract is from Countering Pakistan’s Salami Tactics by Offstumped (emphasis mine):

…what kind of a strategy would be effective against the many competing interests of Pakistan…(Such a strategy must):

  • recognize the many competing interest
  • never pose a common threat to Unify them
  • seek to isolate the State agencies from the Non-State actors
  • seek to insulate Chinese interests from the fate of individual groups
  • deprive the competing interests the shield of Nuclear Deterrence without directly threatening the nukes

Which leads Offstumped’s half baked thinking towards a path that

  • it has to precipitate a crisis within Pakistan
  • it must pit one competing interest against the other
  • it must raise serious doubts about the safety of Pakistan’s Nukes within the competing interests to the point where they dont trust each other but are also scared for their safety
  • it must culminate in governing interests within Pakistan calling for external intervention to ensure their very survival
  • the external intervention is conditional on the grounds of protecting various interests
  • the external intervention becomes semi-permanent to become the basis for balkanization and containment

Pragmatic has a great post on what finally prompted Pakistani government to ban LeT, Jamaat and allied organisations.

In that he writes (again, emphasis added),

Islamabad has acknowledged that it is acting against the jehadi organisations only under “friendly” international pressure. Does it mean that had this pressure not come, Pakistan would have continued with its policies of actively supporting or turning a blind eye towards these jehadi elements. This leads to the real question. As this report in the Time magazine suggests, organisations like the Jamaat ud Dawa have a huge groundswell of public support in their favour, despite their links with the jehadi and terrorist organisations being common knowledge. So, the increasing radicalisation of Pakistani society [and not only the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan] has provided support and legitimacy to the jehadi philosophy and mindset. Dismantling the infrastructure of terrorism inside Pakistan, as demanded by India, will be, at best, a temporary respite. It is much more than the terrorist organisations and their backers in the Pakistan army and the ISI. Does the only permanent solution lie in dismantling and reconfiguring the Pakistani society, rather than merely tinkering with the polity, economy and security apparatus in a nuclear-armed state?

That has to be a part of the long-term solution that India must persuade the international community to follow…. What should be done in the mid-term to allow India and the international community to bridge their short-term goals and the long-term vision?

Denuclearising Pakistan would be, perhaps, a good idea to begin with. But how?

Next, a post from The Acorn in which Nitin expresses a slightly nuanced view. He writes:

So while attempting to bring about a collapse of Pakistan is undesirable, many of Prof Vaidyanathan’s prescriptions lend themselves for coercive diplomacy. They allow India to pursue a variety of punitive and coercive policies in a calibrated manner, without raising military tensions. For instance, it would be untenable for the international community to disagree that all economic aid to Pakistan must be made contingent on its government meeting concrete deliverables, like extraditing terrorists that live in the open in its territory. In fact, The Acorn has long argued that the greatest failure of the “peace process” was that it distracted attention from the important objective of creating a range of flexible policy instruments that could not only be turned on and off, but also fine-tuned and targeted.

To modify B Raman’s words a little, the capability to cause “a divided Pakistan, a bleeding Pakistan, a Pakistan ever on the verge of collapse without actually collapsing—-that should be our objective till it stops using terrorism against India.

Next, some excerpts from Stable Pakistan not in India’s interest by Capt. Bharat Verma (Editor, Indian Defence Review). I had also quoted this in a comment to the Emergency in Pakistan post (emphasis mine):

…With Pakistan on the brink of collapse due to massive internal as well as international contradictions, it is matter of time before it ceases to exist.

Multiple benefits will accrue to the Union of India on such demise.

…The self-destructive path that Islamabad chose will either splinter the state into many parts or it will wither away—a case of natural progression to its logical conclusion. In either case Baluchistan will achieve independence.

For New Delhi this opens a window of opportunity to ensure that the Gwadar port does not fall into the hands of the Chinese. In this, there is synergy between the political objectives of the Americans and the Indians. Our existing goodwill in Baluchistan requires intelligent leveraging.

Sindh and most of the non-Punjabi areas of Pakistan will be our new friends.

Pakistan’s breakup will be a major setback to the Jihad Factory, which functions with the help of its army and the ISI. This in turn will ease pressures on India and the international community.

With China’s one arm, i.e. Pakistan disabled, its expansionist plans will receive a severe jolt. Beijing continues to pose another primary threat to New Delhi. Even as we continue to engage with it as constructively as possible, we must strive to remove the proxy.

At the same time, it is prudent to extend moral support to the people of Tibet to sink Chinese expansionism in the morass of insurgency. For a change, let us do to them what they do to us.

With Pakistan gone, the chances of Central Asia getting infected with the Jihadi fervour will recede. Afghanistan will gain fair amount of stability. India’s access to Central Asian energy routes will open up.

…Above all, the gathering threat from a united group of authoritarian regimes along our 14,000 km borders, orchestrated and synchronised by Pakistan, will dissolve.

…It is intriguing, therefore, to hear New Delhi mouthing the falsehood that stable Pakistan is in India’s favour. Perpetuation of such illogic for vote-bank politics is harming the consolidation and integration of the Union. Short-sighted politicians as usual are overlooking the national interest for the short-term personal gains of a few votes.

And finally, a brief excerpt from “Risk Factors” by George Packer, The New Yorker (thanks to Sanjay for forwarding me the link; emphasis mine)

A few days after well-armed men mowed down scores of helpless people in Mumbai, an American commission released a report on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. “World at Risk” is one of those conscientious, bipartisan efforts, its importance signalled by publication as a trade paperback, whose sober findings and pragmatic recommendations momentarily give you the sense that every problem—even one as alarming as the likelihood that “a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013”—has a common-sense solution. The report includes chapters on biological and nuclear risks, and one titled “Pakistan,” which would seem to suggest that the nation itself is a kind of W.M.D.

…In one sense, the most appropriate response—articulated by commentators and ordinary people after the terror was over—is to express solidarity with the victims, and also with the idea of Mumbai, which, like the idea of New York, represents a vision of society that is the opposite of the vision behind names like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hyderabad Deccan Mujahideen: impure, secular, modern, open. But moral revulsion doesn’t suggest an intelligent course of action. The attacks in Mumbai reveal the vexing complexity of the interconnected conflicts throughout south Asia. …Islamist radicalism is the main spark that keeps inflaming these conflicts.

Some commentators have simply demanded that Pakistan rid itself of the virus of extremism that threatens its own security as well as its neighbors’. But which Pakistan is going to do it? The weak civilian government of President Asif Zardari? The two-faced security services? The tribal leaders along the Afghanistan border? The huge, overwhelmingly poor, tumultuous population? The core problem is that Pakistan is no longer really a country, if it ever was. “Our Pakistan strategy is hopelessly at odds with reality,” David Kilcullen, a former counterinsurgency adviser to the State Department, said. “We treat it as an earnest but incapable ally in the war on terrorism.” In fact, some civilian elements of the government are American allies; some military elements are American enemies. The wild northwest, where Islamist militants have extended their control and created a safe haven for Al Qaeda, has thwarted those who would govern it for a long time. Lord Curzon, the British viceroy of India at the turn of the last century, fumed, “No patchwork scheme—and all our present recent schemes . . . are mere patchwork—will settle the Waziristan problem. Not until the military steam-roller has passed over the country from end to end, will there be peace. But I do not want to be the person to start that machine.”

Related Posts:

Emergency in Pakistan: Opportunity or Headache? Part-II

December 19th, 2008 Posted by | Current Affairs, Global Terrorism, India & Its Neighbours, Jammu & Kashmir related, Pakistan related, Politics and Governance in India, Terrorism in India | 55 comments


  1. Balkanization of Pakistan would be a good solution except for the fact that it has nuclear weapons. If we had had the foresight to take out their nuclear installations way back in the 1970’s we might have been able to further help in destabilizing Pakistan. Right now, I wonder if that would be a good idea simply because there is really no way to secure their nuclear weapons. Just imagine terrorists with WMDs instead of their AK-47s. Frightening.
    We need to help make Pakistan a strong democratic nation. Sometimes doing the right thing is the right thing to do.

    Comment by K. Harapriya | December 20, 2008

  2. Balkanize Pakistan NOW, this is what the Baluch believe.

    But we are sorry to note India has not stepped up to the plate to help the Baluch do this great work of delivering the world from terrorism.

    Ahmar Mustikhan
    Journalist and Founder,
    American friends of Baluchistan
    email: ahmar_scribe@yahoo.com

    Comment by Ahmar Mustikhan | December 24, 2008

  3. Balochistan, or Baluchistan is the largest province of Pakistan, which comprise about one-third of the geography.


    To my knowledge, Baluchistan, NWFP and even Sind didn’t wanted seperation from India (Hindustan). Only Punjabis in todays Pakistan supported creation of seperate nation out of India. Most others those supported creation of Pakistan are fanatic mullas from todays Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Bihar of India.

    Baluchistan share a thousands of years of common bonds with Bharat/Hindustan. It was part of the Sindhu/Indus civilization. It was/is duty of Bharat/India to help and support Baluchis to achieve their freedom, preserve their unique culture and restore human dignity. Creation of a seperate Baluchistan nation is good for Baluchis, good for Pakistan, good for Bharat/India, good for Iran, and good for the world.

    Comment by Bharat | December 24, 2008

  4. Excerpts from Life in a parallel universe by Irfan Husain, writing in “The Dawn” (emphasis mine)

    IF you do a Google search with ‘CIA + RAW + Mossad + Mumbai attacks’ as your parameters, you will get about 51,200 results.

    So clearly, there are thousands out there who have developed elaborate conspiracy theories to explain who was behind the recent terrorist atrocity in Mumbai. Some of these theories have even appeared in the letters column of this newspaper. Sadly, Hamid Gul, the ex-head of the ISI, is one of the chief proponents of such hare-brained theories. The fact that he rose to become a three-star general makes one wonder about the promotion policies prevalent in our army.

    …I had suggested that many Pakistanis are in denial about the extent of the terror networks active on our soil, and the threat they pose to our country. And while we have become accustomed to the growing mayhem they cause within our borders, other countries are not going to put up with their activities when their citizens are slaughtered by them. Despite the conclusive evidence that the recent attacks were launched from Pakistan by Pakistanis, many angry readers have asked me for proof. Others have accused me of betraying my country. Luckily, most of these diatribes have been poorly worded and argued, thus absolving me of the duty to respond.

    Nevertheless, it is a matter for concern that so many Pakistanis are simply not willing to face the truth. For unless they do, they will not demand the change of policy and direction that gave birth to these terror groups in the first place.

    …The ongoing crackdown against a handful of known terrorist leaders and groups will, I fear, result in little except to divert foreign pressure. We have seen that in the past, the same suspects were picked up for brief stints in jail or house arrest, and released as soon as the crisis was over.

    One problem that we do not examine closely enough is the fact that since Zia’s destructive decade in the 1980s, a climate of religious extremism has come to dominate the national agenda. In this environment, a generation of Pakistanis has grown up thinking it is perfectly acceptable to persecute religious minorities, marginalise women and kill in the name of Islam.

    It is this acceptance of an extremist mindset that has created limitless space for terror groups to thrive in. Add to this outlook the disputed border with Kashmir and the porous (and also disputed) frontier with Afghanistan, and you get a scenario for sanctioned mayhem. The final ingredient in this lethal cocktail is a tottering economy that is simply not capable of generating gainful employment for millions of young Pakistanis.

    …And here’s the rub: for over two decades, the military and our intelligence agencies have been using many of these militants to fight their proxy wars. Many retired officers have developed personal and ideological links with the groups they handled while in uniform. To expect all this to change overnight is to demand too much of the fledgling democratic government.

    Comment by B Shantanu | January 2, 2009

  5. Balkanization of Pakistan is a necessity which has been conveniently ignored by our imbecile political establishment. Driven by reckless hate & jealousy the Pakistani state has always had the self identity of an anti-india – an evil twin of india. Let there be no doubt that the ultimate aim of the pakistan movement, pakistan establishment and pakistani state is the disintegration , and amalgamation of India into an islamic state. This was as true 60 years ago as it is now. To expect purveyors of blind and irrational hate driven by religious supremacist ideology to suddenly change tack is to extremely unrealistic.
    One must pause and think that if this is how Pakistan currently behaves, how would it behave when China is a paramount power and america is nowhere near as powerful as it is now. China has constantly tried to destablize India – a weak or disintegrating india is to thier benifit.
    We have a window of about 10~20 years before china achieves paramount status – pakistan must be dismembered and made a manageable state before then – if we dont do that – it may as well spell doom for us.
    There is worry about pakistan’s nuclear weapons falling into wrong hands if it disintegrates. However people overlook the fact that the same problem may be manifold with the talibanization of pakistani military and society. And remember pakistan’s nuclear weapons falling into wrong hands is not just India’s problem. Other states would defintely be interested to act in concert to make sure that these weapons are captured, destroyed or adequately quarantined before such a situation occurs.
    Our long and short term strategic requirements are best met by destruction and dismemberment of pakistan with whatever means necessary in the next 10~15 years.

    Comment by Rajiv Chandran | January 2, 2009

  6. Excerpts from Seven years of missing the obvious by K. Subrahmanyam (emphasis mine)

    In his interview to Time magazine on December 29, 2008, President-elect Obama has spelt out his foreign policy priorities. He has said, among other things, “Managing a more effective strategy in Afghanistan will be a top priority. Recognising that it is not simply an Afghan problem but it’s an Afghanistan-Pakistan-India-Kashmir-Iran problem is going to be a priority.” It is strange that neither terrorism nor jihadi extremism figures in this formulation. Prima facie it would suggest that the incoming administration looks at the issue as a regional interstate problem.

    Let us remind Obama and his team that this phase of the Afghan problem started with ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ in October 2001 following the refusal of the Taliban regime in Kabul to surrender Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda cadres. The Taliban regime was cleared out of Afghanistan by the US Special Forces and troops of the Northern Alliance supported by US air power. As the operation was coming to a close and Osama bin Laden and remnants of Al Qaeda were cornered in the Torah Borah mountains, terrorists with links to Pakistan’s ISI attacked the Indian parliament. That compelled India to mobilise its forces on the border. Pakistan countered that move and by vacating its western borders permitted Al Qaeda and Taliban leadership to find safe havens in Pakistan. It is now quite clear that the attack on the Indian Parliament was a provocative ruse to trap India into a military move which would justify Pakistan’s convenient troop withdrawal.

    The same strategem has been employed in November 2008. The Mumbai terrorist attack was to provoke an Indian military response and provide an alibi to Pakistan to withdraw its forces from the western border and enable a Taliban surge into the tribal areas and Afghan territory to preempt and wreck the proposed US surge strategy. In 2001-2, the attention from Al Qaeda and Taliban consolidating themselves in Pakistan was diverted by raising Indo-Pakistan tension. Thereafter Iraq preempted all US attention. Now when the attention of US and the NATO are refocussing on Afghanistan, the same diversionary tactics are being employed.

    …Prime Minister Gordon Brown made it clear during his recent visit to Pakistan that in 75 per cent of the cases of terrorist activity in UK, links were traced to Pakistan. In 2002, for the first time religious parties won elections in Northwest Frontier province. …In the seven years when Pakistani army and the ISI wielded power publicly, the Taliban and jihadi organisations were allowed to gain in strength. Mullah Omar was living openly in Quetta and building up the Taliban and providing inspiration for the Pakistani Taliban built up in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

    …The former CIA analyst, senior National Security Council staffer under President Clinton, an Obama campaign advisor, Bruce Riedel sees the terrorist networks’ base in the mountains of Pakistan as America’s greatest threat….Riedel says in an interview to The New York Times, December 21 — “we had a partner that was double-dealing us.Anyone can be snookered and double-dealt. But after six years you have to start to figure it out.”

    According to him, the terrorist networks believe that the ‘bleeding wars’ offer the best opportunity to defeat the US. Winning in Pakistan , says Riedel, requires a tough love approach: overhauling the military aid to Pakistan and cutting sales of the big ticket weapons it has used to keep pace with India.
    …The continuing double-dealing is based on the basic belief shared by the jihadis and the Pakistani Army and Intelligence that, as Riedel points out ,’bleeding wars ‘ are the best way to defeat the US, as happened with the much larger Soviet forces in Afghanistan supported by a more effective Khalq-Parcham government in Kabul. Correctly understanding why a war fought by the US over seven years has not only not produced any successful results but has increased the strength of the adversary in the territory of the ally, Pakistan should become the foremost priority of the Obama administration.

    Comment by B Shantanu | January 8, 2009

  7. Excerpts from Should Pakistan Exist? By Dr. Jack Wheeler (May 9, 2009):

    Let’s cut to the chase. The answer is no. Pakistan should never have existed in the first place. There is no reason for it to continue to exist now.

    …Pakistan is a make-believe country. Take a look at this official map which the Pak government delineates its borders:

    First look at the area in the upper right labeled “Jammu & Kashmir.” See that faint dotted line starting at the China border, goes across the area underneath Skardu and wraps around Srinigar? That’s the real border: below it (Srinigar) is India, above it (Skardu) is Pak. The Skardu-Gilgit area is composed of ancient tribal peoples such as Baltits and Hunzukuts who just want to be left alone by the rest of the world, including Islamabad.
    The NWFP, or North West Frontier Province is Pushtun, the same tribe that populates 42% of Afghanistan, forming that country’s largest ethnic group. That nice dark line between Afghanistan and the NWFP, which Islamabad pretends is its border, is an illusion. There is no border, the entire region on both sides of it are Pushtun, and Islamabad has never exercised any control over it.

    The pretend line continues, claiming to divide Afghanistan and Iran from the Pak province of Baluchistan, a huge region that takes up almost 45% of Pakistan yet contains only 10% of the country’s population, mostly split between Pushtuns in the north and wild Baluchi nomads in the southern desert wastelands.
    The Pak government has never controlled the Baluchis any more than the Pushtuns. It’s all Apache country over which it has little real sovereignty.

    So we come to the core of the country, Punjab and Sindh, and the unending hatred between Punjabis and Sindhis.

    …Sindh is a feudal region dominated by wealthy land-owning families (of which the Bhutto and Zardari families are among) who control the lives of 40 million poverty-stricken illiterate farmers.
    It also contains Pakistan’s largest city (12m) and business center, Karachi, where the Mohajirs are concentrated, the Indian Moslems who fled to Pakistan during 1947 Partition and their descendents. The hatred is mutual between them and native Sindhis.

    While Sindhis are farmers ruled by a land-owning aristocracy and Mohajirs are business folk, Punjabis consider themselves warriors. Half the Pak population is Punjabi, some 80m. 90% of the Pak Army officer corps in Punjabi.

    Not only is the Punjabi Pak military so politically powerful that , as Alex Alexiev observes this week in The Real Problem in Pakistan, “Pakistan is not a sovereign state with a military, but a sovereign military with a state at its disposal to use as it sees fit.” It is that the Punjabi Pak military is so economically powerful that it controls most business activity like a mafia.

    There is no way to untie this Gordian Knot of ethnic hatreds, fanatical stone-age Islamism, a heroin-smuggling mafia military, corruption at every level of society, feudal poverty, and an arsenal of nuclear weapons. The solution is to let India cut the Gordian Knot of Pakistan asunder.

    This is tricky. India has no desire to conquer and absorb Pakistan, which would double the number of Moslems within it (there are 160 million Moslems in each). It needs to rather break the place apart into pieces.

    The first object should be a quick in-and-out military operation to seize Pakistan’s nukes. They are dispersed so it’s complicated – and more so because there will be no help from the US military under Zero. So India will be smart about it and take advantage of the Pak military’s greatest vulnerability: it’s officers and key personnel are for sale, they can be bought.

    The Punjabis have always looked upon Afghanistan as theirs, and the Pushtuns as barbarian inferiors. (The disgust is returned. The greatest insult a Pushtun parent can give a misbehaving child is: “Stop that – you’re behaving as a Punjabi.”) Simultaneously, they are in constant fear of Pushtuns on either side of the border joining together to form an independent “Pushtunistan.”

    Yet Pushtuns don’t want their own political entity apart from Afghanistan. The solution is to move the border east, so that Afghanistan encompasses the NWFP and the Pushtun region of northern Baluchistan.

    This is not difficult to broker. The Pushtuns would jump at the chance to be unified, and it would deny the Taliban of the fig leaf of a Pak sanctuary. After India seizes the Pak nukes and engenders a period of chaotic destabilization, India has Kabul claim all of Pushtunistan and the Pushtuns declare for it. The US military, commanded by David Petraeus, is then free to nail the Taliban with no concern over violating “Pakistan sovereignty.”

    During the same chaotic time, the Baluchis can get the independence from Islamabad they’ve fought decades for. The capital would be Quetta, and the Baluchis could make a go of it, as one of the world’s largest gold and copper deposits is at Reko Diq in the west near Iran (it’s being developed by the Australian mining giant BHP Billiton). Further, the Chinese have spent $2 billion developing the Baluchi port of Gwadar (spelled Gawadar on the map) with state-of-the-art import/export facilities.

    What would be left is a rump state of Sindh-Punjab plus the Gilgit-Skardu northern territory. If the Sindhis and Punjabis and Mohajirs can get along sufficiently, they could still have a single country however reduced in size and power – for the chaos should be used to shrink concomitantly the size and power of the Punjabi Pak military.

    …Pakistan has become the world’s most dangerous failed state. It needs to be disarmed and dismantled.


    Read the article in full here.

    Comment by Suresh Anand | May 19, 2009

  8. Thanks for the excerpts Suresh…Very thought-provoking analysis.

    Comment by B Shantanu | May 20, 2009

  9. @Shantanu,
    The above comment #7 the article by Jack Wheeler in some context could be applied to India as well, with its diverse population. But why is India relatively successful, when compared to Pak, when both countries started off the race at almost the same position?

    Comment by Dirt Digger | June 15, 2009

  10. Good question DD…will respond later. I hope others share their thoughts in the meantime.

    Comment by B Shantanu | June 16, 2009

  11. A few practical questions before you venture on this grand plan!

    1. Which country/countries do you think would support you in this adventure and why? Which countries would oppose you? How would you deal with them?

    2. What happens to the balkanized states of Pakistan? Do they become more stable or do they create more instability in the region? What are your reasons to believe so?

    3. What happens to their nuclear assets? Who gets them? China? The US? India? Someone else? Why do you think any of these countries would accept the other country’s possession of these nuclear weapons?

    4. Why do you think ISI would cease to exist after the break-up of Pakistan? What are your reasons to believe that a stung ISI wouldn’t want to take its revenge? We created Bangladesh and they gave us almost a decade of trouble in Punjab! And whilst you are at it, why do you think Pakistan will keep quiet and let itself be ‘balkanized by India’? Do you think it’s likely that they will strike back? Would that make India safer or more dangerous?

    5. What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses in this venture? Do you think you have a strong enough intelligence apparatus to penetrate Pakistan to foment enough sustainable discord? (assuming it already exists in Baluchistan but what about the rest of the country?) Do you think you have enough ‘assets’ in Pakistan? Do you think your assets are stronger than the assets Pakistan has in India? What are the risks? What are the likely alternate scenarios?

    6. What are your reasons to believe that this balkanization would actually stem the spread of Taliban? Why would it not accentuate it?

    7. Now I know this last question is a bit too much for you to fathom, but have you considered any alternatives? How about playing a more constructive role than a destructive one? There are many liberal, secular people in Pakistan. How about working with the international community to enable them? How about creating an India-friendly community in Pakistan through image-management and better communication?

    Clearly, rationality doesn’t have a place in jingoism. So hurray, let’s go and get ’em!

    Comment by Ashish Deodhar | July 21, 2010

  12. Shantanu,
    I would disagree. The best way to contain Pakistan? Do not break it but encourage Baloch and Pastoons to realize their dream of homeland. That would keep Pakistan busy for a long time. Breaking up would not help anything. Pakistani military is Punjabi military anyway, so that would not be impacted. And the war it fights with India is funded by outside money and sometimes outsiders. That is not going to stop with the Balkanization either. We also need to remember how we burnt our hand with Bangladesh. The best solution is to keep the conflict burning. Learn from America.
    Also think about the number of jobs we may generate by producing low cost arms and exporting them to Pashtuns/Balochs. Just kidding :)

    Comment by Sid | July 21, 2010

  13. @ Ashish (#11): “7. Now I know this last question is a bit too much for you to fathom, but have you considered any alternatives?

    Is this question directed to me? Just seeking clarification. Thanks.

    @Sid: Good point…Hope to respond later…Still wondering where to begin on the “Hindutva Terror” post!

    Comment by B Shantanu | July 21, 2010

  14. @Shantanu

    That question, as all other 6 questions, were directed at anyone who’s kidding himself/herself with this idea.

    Comment by Ashish Deodhar | July 21, 2010

  15. @Everyone

    You may want to watch this. I am sure you’ve come across Zaid Hamid in Pakistan. Here’s a long lecture he’s delivered on India’s intentions against Pakistan. There are many parts to this video. Please do watch all of them.


    You’ll hear all the same arguments – ‘media is victimising us’, ‘the politicians are selling our country’, ‘India is out to destabilise us’, ‘we used to rule India’ and so on…

    And the same threats – we will destroy India and on and on and on…

    Let’s not turn ourselves into another Zaid Hamid. I am frightened by this thread not because I care for Pakistan but because I care for India. This will only extend the circle of hate and terror and don’t get us anywhere.

    Please, for heaven’s sake, let’s not seed such ideas in people’s minds.

    Comment by Ashish Deodhar | July 21, 2010

  16. @ Ashish: Sarcasm and genuine curiousity do not go well together, I think..

    Several commentators – many of them vastly more knowledgeable (and insightful) than me have written on this issue (assuming you read the post above); Within the last 24 hours, 2 additional voices have been added to them (see below).

    If the questions were asked with a serious intent, the implicit sarcasm in #7 is unwarranted; Worse, it smacks of intellectual arrogance (as in “…this last question is a bit too much for you to fathom…“). I personally know some of the people whom I have quoted in the post above. Let me assure you that the question is *not* too much for them to fathom.

    In any discussion (esp. one like this), there is a “spectrum of alternatives” which strategic planners consider – and as you and I both know, policy is never decided on open forums..The best we can do is to ask questions and suggest responses…

    But to ask a series of questions and then follow up with a “…anyone who’s kidding himself/herself with this idea” does not suggest an open mind, I am afraid.

    I will wait for your response on that.

    I hope to revisit this topic at some point (hopefully soon) but not sure when will I be able to do that…Top priority is to get some load off “Hindutva Terror”!

    For the sake of completeness, I am including below the two links that I posted on the Facebook page

    I think both writers make a similar point – that point is worth thinking about.

    Reproducing the final paragraph of Michael Hughes article:
    “If India continues … See Moredown too diplomatic a road they are going to lose out in Kabul as the U.S. continues down the path of least resistance until it finds a feasible remedy. India has stated they would not participate in full blown official diplomatic discussions with Pakistan until the extremist groups in Pakistan are fully dismantled, which would entail the dismantling of the Pakistani state. Perhaps it’s time for India to try and convince the U.S. a dismantling of this sort is the best remedy possible.”
    From: India Too Complacent About Pakistan Complicity in Mumbai Attacks http://huff.to/bp6P2L

    Just stumbled on “Dealing with Pak Taliban” by Prof R Vaidyanathan http://www.dnaindia.com/opinion/main-article_dealing-with-pak-taliban_1412011
    Concluding lines: “A stable Pakistan is more dangerous to India than a dynamic disequilibrium. As long as there is internal strife and civil war they will be very busy wallowing in their own mess.”

    Over to all of you. Thanks.

    Comment by B Shantanu | July 22, 2010

  17. @Shantanu

    I have encountered so much of masochistic jingoism on this forum over the last month or so that it’s very difficult for me to fathom that any non-military, non-violent solution is acceptable here. So my comment was hardly sarcastic. I said it very seriously and with a lot of concern.

    I have no doubt that the people you’ve quoted above have a lot of experience, perhaps even a lot of experience in foreign affairs and military strategies. But a lot of experience, on many occasions, is unhelpful at the least and counter-productive at the most. These ideas reflect old-school thinking, something that the ISI is trying on India for decades and I am sure India is trying on Pakistan with Bangladesh in the 70s and recently with Balochistan. The results of these last 6 decades of strife are in front of us!

    Having heard these commentators, and having tried all these ideas in the past with little benefit, shouldn’t we try something new? (sorry this may come across as arrogant, but trust me it is not!)

    But I hear you and I am sorry if I came across as arrogant. I will keep an open mind and wait to listen from others the answers to my questions.

    Comment by Ashish Deodhar | July 22, 2010

  18. Ashish,
    I am sure India is trying on Pakistan with Bangladesh in the 70s and recently with Balochistan. The results of these last 6 decades of strife are in front of us! – A typical liberal trash with balancing attitude. Facts are always in short supply with you.

    Comment by Sid | July 22, 2010

  19. @Sid

    We don’t pay RAW for hatching eggs (at least that’s the hope!). If they aren’t doing anything in Balochistan, and they definitely aren’t doing a great job in India, then they are just another highly paid, undeserving babus.

    But I will not let my opinion affect this debate. Shantanu has worked with the foreign office and I will leave it for him to refute me. I will take his word for granted if he does.

    And let’s not take this debate in another tangent. Calling me liberal trash doesn’t help without answering the questions I posed.

    Comment by Ashish Deodhar | July 22, 2010

  20. Shantanu has worked with the foreign office and I will leave it for him to refute me. I will take his word for granted if he does.

    Of course, I realized it as soon as I posted it. It’s unfair to get a civil servant to accept such a thing on a public forum when the official line is that India has nothing to do in Balochistan!

    Sorry Shantanu. You don’t have to answer that! :)

    Comment by Ashish Deodhar | July 22, 2010

  21. @Ashish,
    then they are just another highly paid, undeserving babus. – You appear to have a lot of faith on our babus. RAW had some tooth and nails during first Indira Gandhi administration. The succeeding non Congress government clipped some of it’s wings fearing that they would work in Indira’s favor and in the second administration Indira did not trust the agency as it refused to play in her hands during the time she wanted to extend the emergency. Ever since then we had lovers of peace who has not only politicized the agency (like every other tool of bureaucracy) but used/abused the agency as they saw fit (like Rajiv used it to promote LTTE and then blamed it for non-co-operation with the army when peace keeping operation ended in disaster in Sri Lanka).
    As far as I know, today they are active in North-East mostly (with some in Kashmir/Afghanistan). There is NWFP in Pakistan who are engaged in fighting for their Pastoon-land for a long time and no RAW hand is ever found there. Also, in 1970s, it was not RAW that asked Pakistani Army government to send army to Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) to help them cleanse Islam from Hindu influences. RAW entered scene much later after Pakistani Army began purging Bengalis.

    I called your comment liberal trash because that is what it is. You mentioned about ISI activity and just to ensure that every one can call you even handed, made argument for RAW hands. In my experience, I only saw liberals not having courage enough to take sides and apply forced even-handedness.

    Comment by Sid | July 22, 2010

  22. @Sid

    “As far as I know, today they are active in North-East mostly (with some in Kashmir/Afghanistan)” – Aren’t facts in short supply here?

    Very tempting to take this at a personal level again Sid but I won’t repeat that mistake.

    Let’s stick to the questions I posed. Do you have answers to those questions? If yes, we could consider them. If not, let’s wait till someone produces those answers.

    Let’s not get personal and take this thing in a tangent for a change.

    Comment by Ashish Deodhar | July 22, 2010

  23. Yes, agreed. I should not make claims which I can not back up. Please disregard that part of the statement.

    Let’s stick to the questions I posed. – I do not believe breaking Pakistan is a solution. My suggestion to anyone who is proposing such venture: do not get angry, get even. Strengthen the internal security and promote any Pakistani who is not happy with his/her country. In USA, the latter action is otherwise known as promoting freedom and democracy. :)

    Comment by Sid | July 22, 2010

  24. @ Ashish: You said, “..There are many liberal, secular people in Pakistan…How about creating an India-friendly community in Pakistan..?”

    This assertion about a (significant/sizeable/influential) India-friendly constituency in Pakistan is becoming harder to sustain as events of the last few years demonstrate (increasing and more brazen ISI support to terrorist activities in India; the roping in of “settled issues” back into the “dialogue” – e.g. Indus Water Treaty etc).

    If you intended the statement in the spirit of hope (i.e. lets hope there are some “India-friendly” people in Pakistan), sure we can hope but I am far more pessimistic than you are… It needs two to tango…Where are the equivalent (and equally “influential”) Wagah candle-wallas/ let-us-have-peace-between-India-Pakistan on the other side of the border?

    Is it just a coincidence that “Aman ki Asha”‘s sponsor in Pakistan is a daily titled “Jang”?

    Try and reflect a bit on the psyche of the majority in Pakistan – which has been fed on so much of India-hatred that it is practically impossible for the current generation to conceive of a friendly, benign India. More hopefully soon.

    Just a quick comment on the questions: They are good but (i) assume a binary approach and (ii) some of them cannot be discussed in an open forum.

    For the more serious amongst you, I would suggest the forums on Bharat-Rakshak (also open but much more substantive than the discussion here)

    Comment by B Shantanu | July 22, 2010

  25. @Shantanu

    I don’t harbour any such hope in the short-term. And I don’t see any point in the “aman ki asha” initiative either. But there are many solutions in between.

    Let’s not forget that America didn’t win over the world through bombs and guns. It won over the world through coca cola, McDonalds and Hollywood! I am talking about an India-friendly community, not a friends of India network!

    But I guess the ‘Balkanisation of Pakistan’ could be discussed on this forum but not the many questions this idea raises. And from your invitation to the ‘others interested in a more serious conversation’, I assume you are happy to never discuss those questions at all!

    So hurray! Let’s keep reason aside. Let’s go get em! Jai Bharat! Vande mataram!

    Comment by Ashish Deodhar | July 22, 2010

  26. //This assertion about a (significant/sizeable/influential) India-friendly constituency in Pakistan is becoming harder to sustain as events of the last few years demonstrate (increasing and more brazen ISI support to terrorist activities in India; the roping in of “settled issues” back into the “dialogue” – e.g. Indus Water Treaty etc).

    If you intended the statement in the spirit of hope (i.e. lets hope there are some “India-friendly” people in Pakistan), sure we can hope but I am far more pessimistic than you are… It needs two to tango…Where are the equivalent (and equally “influential”) Wagah candle-wallas/ let-us-have-peace-between-India-Pakistan on the other side of the border?//

    very well said Shantanu.

    Comment by Gopalkrishnan Raman | July 22, 2010

  27. @Ashish: Re. your comment @ #11 (emphasis added): “I know this last question is a bit too much for you to fathom…” You appear to be very quick in forming a judgement – not just about me (and my ability to “fathom” things) – but also about the many well-respected and well-known commentators whom I have quoted in the post and in my earlier remarks.

    Since you have already made up your mind about my (and others) inability to explore (and comprehend) alternatives (and articulate our response), I am tempted to say I see no point in continuing this dialogue.

    A discussion about “Balkanization” of Pakistan is not an urgent priority for me. I will not be forced into a response by sarcasm, snide remarks or innuendo (besides I have, I think – developed a reasonably thick skin over the years!). I will respond as and when I have some time and if/when I feel the urge.

    Your point @ #25@: “..But there are many solutions in between..” seems to echo what I said @ #16: In any discussion (esp. one like this), there is a “spectrum of alternatives” which strategic planners consider..”. If you still want to ignore the nuances and shades of grey, that is your choice.

    Finally, please have some respect for certain phrases like “Vande mataram”. People have died with those words on their lips..and pl try and capitalise the “M” in “Mataram”, if you can. Thank you.

    Jai Hind, Jai Bharat!

    Comment by B Shantanu | July 22, 2010

  28. Shantanu, some people have so internalized the saint-and-the-scorpion story without any serious analysis, and have become not only masochistic, but sadist too, in that they want everyone else to simply imitate the saint’s behavior and keep ignoring the numerous stings of the scorpion, and continue smiling benevolently. Any other action – even if dictated by common sense – is taboo to them because it would go against their idea of how a saint is supposed to act, or their concept of what Hinduism is.

    Comment by Kaffir | July 22, 2010

  29. Pakistan is & has been a failed terrorist state for long. The Punjabi-infested security agencies (ISI) control both the Taliban and the Pakistani army, the break-up of both Afghanistan and Pakistan – will engineer, among other states, an independent Pashtunistan and an independent Balochistan and, at least in theory, will yield territories much easier to control.

    Comment by AkhandBhaarat | July 22, 2010

  30. *** COMMENT EDITED ***
    This chap Deodhar posts annoying stuffs which are on the narcissist and depressive side without any sanity. For example Deodhar says that question and six others ie seven questions but I am sure he can count the number of ? to Under Stand Up?

    Point 1:

    Sonia Maino or Roul Maino or Manmohan Singh should have the answer. Check if RTI can be invoked here.

    Point 2:

    No one can predict future but most of normal persons believe in moving ahead knowing that future comes with problems and cross the bridge on courage.

    Point 3:

    Fertility of imagination is good but can be answered by premiers of China/ US/ India/ Any other Country and also include the leaders of future from Al Quaeda, Taliban, Pakistani Taliban, LeT, JeM, JKLF, HuM, JeD, SIMI, IM who are now also interested in nuclear assets of Pakistan… Any one interested to explode one in India may get full support from Pakistan which may be of immense delight for your imagination

    Point 4:

    Seems you have better back up documents to claim link of Bangaledesh and Punjab. Please let us know what will you take as an advocate to prove this in international forum and bring culprits to justice.

    Point 5:

    That’s something again for the premiers of countries. Pakistan you have to figure out whether it is Kiyani/ Geelani/ Zerdaree/ Pasha/ Mulla Omar/ osama Bin Laden. India you again have to figure out Sonia/ Roul/ ManMohan/ Digvijay/ Shahi Imam/ Padre of Church etc

    Point 6:

    You tell us whether there would be a Taliban if there is no Afghanistan/ Pakistan

    Point 7:

    You tell us whether Taliban/ AlQuaeda/ LeT/ JuD/ Punjabi Taliban/ Other similar warriors of Allah would leave moderates and are they actually enabling their existence. Also tell us the number or %age of liberal secular people in Pakistan and what are their activities that resulted in preservation of the number or %age of non Muslims in Pakistan. And what has realty got to do with image management other than MBA?

    Clearly rationality will now come out from Deodhar… Hurray and Cheers!


    Any non Muslim/ Christian with likes of pessimists Deodhars on his side will be found licking dust and garbage sooner than any estimate. In Mahabharata, when Duryodhan was born (Event marked by unusual braying of donkeys,howling dogs and wolves etc) , Dhritrashtr was advised to abandon the child because he had all the hallmarks of evil which would bring annihilation of those associated with him… Dhritrashtr couldn’t. BTW Deodhar, I know your..views on Mahabharat/ Ramayan/ a innocent advise of Pandit to immature boy so don’t waste your time on the PS and least stick to 7 wonderful points filled with multiple questions which you call 7 questions.

    Shantanu it is not personal attack on Deodhar but answer in equal measurement to his question. In case some one feels this is personal, then sorry. Deodhar himself claims to be a person of blog for limited circles in his blog.

    *** NOTE by MODERATOR ***
    Pl avoid personal abuse and try and stick to civil, polite language. Thanks.

    Comment by JC Moola | July 24, 2010

  31. Here’s the latest on the Land of the Pure. Though it should come as no surprise to anyone, other than those who have been hiding their heads in the sand.

    Comment by Kaffir | July 26, 2010

  32. From Huge leak of secret files sows new Afghan war doubts By Jo Biddle (emphasis mine):

    The New York Times said in an editorial Tuesday the documents made public by the website WikiLeaks “confirm a picture of Pakistani double-dealing that has been building for years.”

    The Times said President Barack Obama will have to deal firmly with Islamabad in response to the most controversial files, which indicate that key ally Pakistan allows its spies to meet directly with the Taliban.

    “If Mr Obama cannot persuade Islamabad to cut its ties to, and then aggressively fight, the extremists in Pakistan, there is no hope of defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan,” wrote the daily.


    Sadly the leaks also underscore one of our most significant policy failures (I believe) – getting world opinion behind us on Pakistan’s “double-dealings” and its complicity in Jihadi terror.

    Also read this post which I wrote in Feb 2006, the concluding lines of which were:

    The message that we must forcefully repeat is this:
    * Pakistan is a state-sponsor of terrorism.
    * It is responsible for nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea.
    * The ISI has been the “god-father” of Al-Qaeda and continues to support and sponsor jihadi activities, including in Kashmir.
    * Pakistan’s madrassas harbour a growing number of jihadi terrorists and fanatics who will stop at nothing in their quest for total domination.

    It is high time that the regime is recognised for what it is – a supra-terrorist organization – and dealt with appropriately.

    Comment by B Shantanu | July 27, 2010

  33. This is a slightly audacious attempt to expose the hypocrisy demonstrated on this blog. The reader should bear in mind whilst reading the following that

    a) I am NOT trying to prove that the ISI isn’t playing a double game; and
    b) I am simply trying to show how a lop-sided thinking makes one accept certain information as facts and other similar information as ‘sensationalism’.

    It is important that the following should be critically examined by the reader after reading through these links to get the right context of my argument: http://satyameva-jayate.org/2010/07/19/myth-of-hindutva-terror/ and http://satyameva-jayate.org/2008/12/19/balkanization-of-pakistan/ and http://satyameva-jayate.org/2006/02/17/all-roads-lead-to-islamabad/

    1) The about linked post was aimed at exploding the ‘myth’ of “Hindutva terror” by asserting that a) the mainstream media hasn’t understood ‘Hindutva’ and b) some Hindus, if they’ve done anything wrong, haven’t done it in the name of Hindutva or with the sanction of any political/religious organizations.

    Consider this

    The author says, “The one name that crops up in all these reports is Abhinav Bharat. A lot has been written about Abhinav Bharat as also its “links” with RSS. Yet no firm evidence has been offered to date regarding this assertion or the “links”; neither do any of the charge-sheets make this claim (to the best of my knowledge). http://satyameva-jayate.org/2010/07/19/myth-of-hindutva-terror/

    Please note that the author rejects the many accusations against Abhinav Bharat and its links with the RSS because “no firm evidence has been offered to date!”

    In light of that, consider this: “The news last week that IAEA is probing links between the disgraced Pakistani scientist (and father of Pakistan’s A-bomb programme), Dr A Q Khan and the Iranian regime underlined once again the need for the international community to have a credible, long-term containment strategy towards Pakistan � now all but officially confirmed as the “cradle of world terrorism”. – http://satyameva-jayate.org/2006/02/17/all-roads-lead-to-islamabad/

    There is “no firm evidence” here either to prove that Pakistan is the “cradle of world terrorism” (unless IAEA’s probing of links… is accepted as firm evidence, a mistake I hope the author wouldn’t make!) but unlike in the Abhinav Bharat case, the author is quick to brand Pakistan as a nation the “cradle of terrorism”!

    Here’s what Michael Semple, a former deputy head of the EU mission in Afghanistan, has to say about the Wikileaks allegations against ISI, “”There’s a pattern of using a dramatis personae of famous ISI officers and Afghan commanders, and recurring reports of dramatic developments such as the delivery of surface-to-air missiles, to give these reports credibility,” he said. “But most of them are simply fabricated.”

    Consider this:

    In his comment no. 32 on this post, the author says, “The New York Times said in an editorial Tuesday the documents made public by the website WikiLeaks “confirm a picture of Pakistani double-dealing that has been building for years.”

    Now considering that the author has taken to task the mainstream media on http://satyameva-jayate.org/2010/07/19/myth-of-hindutva-terror/, his over-reliance on just one such mainstream media to form sweeping opinions about a nation is a little surprising. What is not surprising, however, is the fact that this NY Times editorial has been chosen very carefully to present a fabricated opinion.

    Because if you read another newspaper of equal, if not greater, credibility, you would find a different story. Guardian, for instance, says of the Wikileaks, “for all their eye-popping details, the intelligence files, which are mostly collated by junior officers relying on informants and Afghan officials, fail to provide a convincing smoking gun for ISI complicity. Most of the reports are vague, filled with incongruent detail, or crudely fabricated. The same characters – famous Taliban commanders, well-known ISI officials – and scenarios repeatedly pop up. And few of the events predicted in the reports subsequently occurred. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/25/pakistan-isi-accused-taliban-afghanistan

    A question to the author – should someone who is so critical of the mainstream media take its editorial opinion for a fact so easily? Or does the credibility of the mainstream media change according to the acceptance of its stories to the author?

    Consider this:

    The author asks of the Hindu terrorists, “But were these people acting as part of a grand scheme of things? Sanctioned and blessed by a supra-organisational authority or were these autonomous acts of terror? No answers to such questions. Partly because they do not make “news”…and possibly because we do not know – yet.”

    However, the author was keen to claim that “Pakistan is a state-sponsor of terrorism.” http://satyameva-jayate.org/2006/02/17/all-roads-lead-to-islamabad/

    Don’t the same questions as the author asked above apply before making such outlandish claims against a sovereign country? “were these people acting as part of a grand scheme of things? Sanctioned and blessed by a supra-organisational authority or were these autonomous acts of terror? No answers to such questions. Partly because they do not make “news”…and possibly because we do not know – yet.”

    Here’s what the Guardian says of the Wikileaks docs accusation of one former ISI chief, “One name that frequently surfaces is that of General Hamid Gul, director general of the ISI between 1987 and 1989, who is referenced in eight reports. One has him smuggling magnetic mines into Afghanistan to attack Nato troops; in another he is plotting to kidnap United Nations staff to bargain for imprisoned Pakistani militants. A report from January 2009 has Gul meeting Arab militants in Pakistan’s tribal belt to send suicide vehicles into Afghanistan. “It was not known whether Hamid Gul was acting with the knowledge or consent of the ISI,” the report states.”

    So question to the author – does that make Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism? Does the author have credible evidence to prove that terrorist acts in India or anywhere in the world were sanctioned by the highest offices of the Pakistani establishment? Does the author have any evidence to prove that A Q Khan wasn’t proliferating the nukes on his own and had sanctions from the decision-makers in Islamabad?

    Consider this:

    The author says about mainstream media’s campaign against Hindu terrorism, “More worrying than the lack of details and unanswered questions though are the insinuations and attempts at subtle persuasion.” http://satyameva-jayate.org/2010/07/19/myth-of-hindutva-terror/

    But no such compassion for the Pakistani establishment. “The ISI has been the “god-father” of Al-Qaeda and continues to support and sponsor jihadi activities, including in Kashmir.” http://satyameva-jayate.org/2006/02/17/all-roads-lead-to-islamabad/

    I repeat what Michael Semple, a former deputy head of the EU mission in Afghanistan, has to say about the Wikileaks allegations against ISI, “”There’s a pattern of using a dramatis personae of famous ISI officers and Afghan commanders, and recurring reports of dramatic developments such as the delivery of surface-to-air missiles, to give these reports credibility,” he said. “But most of them are simply fabricated.”

    What I have sought to demonstrate above is the unmistakable hypocrisy in the author’s arguments on two different issues, albeit related through a common thread of the author’s world view that directs his opinions/beliefs.

    The fact remains that not all Hindus are terrorists just as not all of Pakistan is a harbor of terrorism. Terrorism in, and emanating from, Pakistan is as much a problem as the growing extremism that’s fomenting the Hindu terrorism. If we want to close our eyes to one reality, we may not be able to retain the credibility to open the world’s eyes to another!

    Comment by Ashish Deodhar | July 27, 2010

  34. This made me smile and then left me speechless (emphasis added): Terrorism…from, Pakistan is as much a problem as the growing extremism that’s fomenting the Hindu terrorism.

    I am choosing not to respond to this comment.

    Let readers form make their own opinion about “the unmistakable hypocrisy in the author’s (my) arguments”

    P.S. By the way Ashish your comment was held in the moderation queue because of a large number of links – not because I have barred you or anything like that (just thought it prudent to clear the air).

    Comment by B Shantanu | July 27, 2010

  35. @Shantanu

    1) By the way Ashish your comment was held in the moderation queue because of a large number of links – not because I have barred you or anything like that

    I know you wouldn’t do that!

    2) I am choosing not to respond to this comment.

    Now this has made me smile and left me speechless :) This is not the first time I have posed, what I believe to be fairly credible questions on this thread, that would go without a response! You may want to reply to my comments in private (through gmail) just to leave me at rest that my opinions about you are totally misplaced.

    Comment by Ashish Deodhar | July 27, 2010

  36. @Ahsish,

    Very entertaining..here is some feedback –

    1. try to keep it short so that people can quickly read it and move on.
    2. I would have loved to see that favorite line of yours at the end””SO Hurray, lets go get them..” I think this is how you should end all your posts..

    And thanks for mentioning, this is a big favor –
    The fact remains that not all Hindus are terrorists just as not all of Pakistan is a harbor of terrorism.


    Comment by Anupam | July 27, 2010

  37. Ashish,
    A short question:
    In light of that, consider this: “The news last week that IAEA is probing links between the disgraced Pakistani scientist (and father of Pakistan’s A-bomb programme), Dr A Q Khan and the Iranian regime underlined once again the need for the international community to have a credible, long-term containment strategy towards Pakistan � now all but officially confirmed as the “cradle of world terrorism”. – http://satyameva-jayate.org/2006/02/17/all-roads-lead-to-islamabad/

    1. For your information, IAEA does not investigate terrorism, it investigates the charges of nuclear proliferation. They are just not comparable.

    2. Repeatedly you said that without any proof author considered Pakistan to be a craddle of terrorism. Then you also put a disclaimer that you were not saying that ISI did not play double game.
    What are you trying to present here? Or perhaps both the sentences can fit well inside the wonderful liberal mind of yours.

    Comment by Sid | July 28, 2010

  38. Cradle of world terrorism:

    1. Pakistan was instrumental in the beginning of Taliban.
    2. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.
    3. Faisal Shahzad.
    4. Dawood Ibrahim.
    5. Numerous terrorist attacks in India that have their origins in Pakistan.
    6. Richard Reid – spent time in Pakistan and was trained in Afghanistan.
    7. Attack on Sri Lankan cricket team.
    8. Daniel Pearl’s decapitation.
    9. Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.
    10. Mohamad Junaid Babar
    11. Some terrorists involved in London Tube blasts went to Pakistan and were trained there.

    Ashish, what else do you need? Do you really think anything that has happened in India is even remotely close to the above list? Seems to me that in your blind zeal to be “equal” and claim some kind of parity between Pakistan-supported terrorism and “Hindu terrorism”, you have really lost your perspective, and your recent comments are simply coming across as that from an unhinged mind.

    Comment by Kaffir | July 28, 2010

  39. @Sid

    Good second question. I know, as well as you do, that there are elements in Pakistan that continue to use Taliban and Islamic terrorism as a strategic asset and despite the lack of evidence, or at best poor evidence, we cannot discharge them of their crimes.

    And the same logic applies to those who seek to cause trouble in the name of “Hinduism”. The point I am trying to make here is that you can not discharge one set of people due to lack of evidence whilst at the same time implicate another set of people irrespective of the lack of evidence.

    I agree with Shantanu and everyone else that the extremism in and from Pakistan pose a huge problem, but my contention is that you will find it increasingly difficult to sell your point to the larger public because of your apparent defense of another form of extremism.

    The sooner we accept that there are people who are using “Hinduism” to meet their political agendas, and the sooner we denounce them, the sooner we could divert all our attention towards the more pressing challenges from across the border. What’s more, it will give you the credibility to raise your voice against extremism!

    With that, I rest my case.

    Comment by Ashish Deodhar | July 28, 2010

  40. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD-Nny3EP98&feature=player_embedded

    In above video, suicide bomber in Pakistan talks: they believe that even Muslims who are not joining jihad are kaffirs, and reason for their recent attacks and killing innocents in Pakistani muslims.

    Nothing will keep them at peace will end up …eating each other. last reply in video; “what to do with one on earth when many are waiting in heaven for me.” Kill kaffirs for getting many virgins in heaven proved!

    Silly me who thought no human with heart and mind can do harm to anyone for this silly reasons.

    Many Pakistanis fears and afraid of calling themselves from Pakistan. I have seen occupants of rented building hiding their identity of Pakistan and wearing the mask of Indian Nationality but hate Hindus!

    I call it as a fraud by good people of Pakistan outside Pakistan though they may not be terrorists! but at least they are fraud from the sovereign land of Pakistan!

    Comment by Indian | July 28, 2010

  41. The point I am trying to make here is that you can not discharge one set of people due to lack of evidence whilst at the same time implicate another set of people irrespective of the lack of evidence.
    You know quiet well that India and Pakistan are not the same country, neither their judicial process is same. Islamic terrorism is a strategic advantage for Pakistani military. The acceptance of this terrorism in the minds of a common illiterate Pakistani is sort of a psychological response to the trauma created by the humiliation of 1971 war. No evidence is enough in such a case, denial offers far more benefit than acceptance of those evidences. At least that is the case in the minds of Pakistani establishment and their supporters.
    Indian judicial process, on the other hand, tries to conform to the standards set by the British lords. The legal basis in this country is designed to avoid punishment of an innocent even if criminals go free in the process. Bollywood movies not withstanding, it is not easy to frame people and then get them prosecuted in Indian courts. But even before courts can decide here, media makes the decision. The story of Hindutva terror is not new. In 2005, when Jayendra Saraswati was framed up, media made similar noise. The case did not stand in the court. Another case is the rape of nuns in Karnataka. Media made the decision that it was an act of Hindutva terror, then culprits turned out to be Christians, suddenly Hindutva terrorists are no longer mentioned, few “bad apples” in certain minority community became responsible.
    Time and again, I am sick of noticing this trend: when Hindus do something deplorable (and they do, we do not have a billion of saints), it is attributed to the entire community. When Muslims and Christians do something, it is the work of few individuals (“bad apples”) and we can not blame the community or religion for this. Really? Very consistent world view.
    So, yes, when Shantanu questions whether those people are booked under correct evidences or not he was talking about Indian courts and Indian perspective. When someone talks about the “evidences” submitted by India to Pakistan, no Indian court or Indian system of laws are in the perspective here. Those evidences are details of the findings and India hopes that it would be accepted as per the laws of Pakistan. There is really no comparison. If you were not blinded by self-styled self-righteousness, you could have seen that.

    I agree ... but my contention is that you will find it increasingly difficult to sell your point to the larger public because of your apparent defense of another form of extremism.
    Nobody is defending extremism, the question is whether it is appropriate to call someone extremist before it is proven in the court (Indian court) and whether it is alright to call something as Hindu terror when the case itself is not concluded to show that any Hindus are involved or not. Even if any Hindu is involved, whether it is alright to call it Hindutva terror when the same media houses would attempt self-censorship when it comes to the mentioning of Islamic terrorism or even Muslims in general (take a look here for example: http://satyameva-jayate.org/2010/01/05/joke-indian-media-12/?comments=true ).

    The sooner we accept that there are people who are using “Hinduism” to meet their political agendas, and the sooner we denounce them,
    Hinduism means many things. It may mean a way of life or a religion (which is really a part of way of life) or an entire social-cultural-historical paradigm of a group of people. I do not have any love lost for BJP leadership, but when others who do not approve our way of life group themselves together to make an attack on our rights to our way of life, I do not see any problem in grouping ourselves according to the accpetance of the ideals we seek to protect. We, who seek to protect those ideals, do not need approval from any liberal although participation from anybody is really welcome, after all, we subscribe to one of the most matured and inclusive of all the socio-cultural paradigms in the world.

    the sooner we could divert all our attention towards the more pressing challenges from across the border. What’s more, it will give you the credibility to raise your voice against extremism!
    I do not believe that we are looking for any credibility to denounce an attack on ourselves. Self-styled Indian liberals need it, every now-and-then, specially from west. We are not part of them.

    Comment by Sid | July 28, 2010

  42. Thanks that you have rested your case Deodhar… You still did not lend proof to your claim that how Sovereign Pakistan created terrorism in Punjab to revenge Bangladesh before absolving the sovereign country of all misdoings and putting up a better case than Geelani does… But still stay put and at rest with half baked comments and discussions. I doubt if anyone would need your wisdom on Pakistan and what it has been doing since 1947 and before that except some hardline Mulla and his followers.

    Comment by JC Moola | July 28, 2010

  43. Ahh Moola!

    I was wondering where I attracted this highly abusive character to my blog from. This solves the mystery :)


    Comment by Ashish Deodhar | July 28, 2010

  44. Ahh Deodhar, I am struck! You didn’t provide proof to Pakistan, Bngldsh, Punjab link… I can start from the word Hindoo to take on your self gratified posts but I leave it as you don’t have anything beyond Communist/ JNU baked stories… For the time being I look forward to Deodhar providing proofs on Pakistan Bngldsh Punjab link

    Comment by JC Moola | July 29, 2010

  45. Pl read Nitin Pai on A strategic shift towards extremism: The silent majority in Pakistan is not moderate

    AND Pragmatic Euphony:

    “Pakistan is as much a victim of terrorism as are Afghanistan, India or other countries.” Indeed. Truer lies were never spoken. For as that Jewish saying goes, “A half-truth is a full lie.”

    The complete truth is this: Pakistan may be a victim of terrorism along with India but the terror that India suffers is owed completely to Pakistan. For decades now, Pakistan has used terror as an instrument of state policy against India — as a strategic tool of its diplomatic and national security policy. And it has not been merely limited to something that has been an outcome of an Islamist- jehadi ideology which has occupied the centre-stage in last two decades.

    Pl note that I am travelling with limited internet connectivity for the next few days and may be delayed in moderating and/or responding to comments. Thank you for your patience, understanding and support.

    Comment by B Shantanu | July 30, 2010

  46. Must Read – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/the-huge-scale-of-pakistans-complicity/article1657931/

    Comment by Anupam | August 2, 2010

  47. The Sun and the Sky: The Relationship of Pakistan’s ISI to Afghan Insurgents, by Matt Waldman


    Comment by Anupam | August 2, 2010

  48. Thanks for the links Anupam…will have a look.

    Comment by B Shantanu | August 5, 2010

  49. Looks like someone else is worried about a disintegrating – or a dissolving – Pakistan..

    A brief excerpt from The End of Pakistan? by Aaron Mennes:

    This is a miniature of the violence that has recently wracked Karachi – also fundamentally a conflict over land and resources. These riots are unfortunately endemic to Pakistan’s commercial capital. Just two years ago, on the weekend that the world watched as Mumbai suffered from an overflow of Pakistan’s internal disorder, Karachi was suffering its own outbreak of violence in which at least 40 people were killed, not unlike the recent fighting.

    The great fear of the West is Pakistan falling under the control of radical Islamists. The great fear of Pakistan’s leadership is the state fracturing (this is probably #2 for the West – a nuclear Yugoslavia.) But the endemic low level violence suggests another possibility, the state dissolving – a nuclear Somalia…

    The article’s concluding lines read (emphasis mine):
    It is possible, that all things considered, a Pakistan held together by duct tape and Western aid is the least bad option. But other possibilities should be considered as well.

    Comment by B Shantanu | August 19, 2010

  50. The concluding paragraph from the Newsweek report, More Dangerous Than Ever–Why the Pakistan threat is rising:

    Operating out of the space ceded to them, and by exploiting the country’s modern telecommunications, transport, and financial systems, the Taliban, the Lashkars, and the Harakats arguably can plant a bomb in New York, Mumbai, and Kabul almost as easily as they can send a suicide bomber to Karachi or Islamabad.
    As long as that remains true, Pakistan will be widely viewed as the country presenting the most danger to regional and global security—and to its own stability.

    Comment by B Shantanu | September 6, 2010

  51. Interesting read: If Pakistan splinters… by Bharat Verma

    Comment by B Shantanu | October 20, 2010

  52. From Osama bin Laden is dead, but how should America deal with Pakistan? by Michael Weiss:
    Obama’s point-man to review and revise American strategy in the Af-Pak theatre is a former CIA analyst called Bruce Riedel. He’s also the author of The Search for al Qaeda, where the reader will find Pakistan identified as the “most dangerous country in the world today.” Every nightmare of this century – from dirty bomb exportation, to Islamic terrorism, to failed statehood – combines in phantasmagoric detail.

    Comment by B Shantanu | May 3, 2011

  53. In response to my tweet, Acorn has tweeted some more links:
    My take is in these three pieces:

    Pl do read

    Comment by B Shantanu | July 15, 2011

  54. Excerpts from Drawing parallels between Balochistan and Kashmir BY MURTAZA HAIDER ON JANUARY 4TH, 2012:
    …Thousands have died in the insurgency in Balochistan in separate spats of violence that peaked at various points in time in the past six decades. The Baloch insurgency during the 70s reportedly caused the death of 5,000 Baloch insurgents and 3,300 troops when 55,000 armed Baloch insurgents faced off against 80,000 Pakistani troops. Even the Iranian air force joined in to bomb Baloch insurgents. The Shah of Iran was wary of the Baloch nationalist movement spilling into the Iran’s Baluchistan and thus dispatched his air force to pound Baloch targets.(1)

    Hundreds of Balochs have died in the current wave of violence, while hundreds of thousands of Baloch tribesmen have been forced out of their lands to take refuge in Sindh and Punjab. Analyst Alok Bansal estimates that as much as six brigades of Pak Army are currently deployed in Balochistan.

    Meeran Gichki while researching the conflict in Balochistan at the University of Arkansas argued that news media were used “to channel popular nationalism by the military-bureaucratic elite, which tends to exclude political minorities like Baloch nationalists as foreign conspirators, while using Islamic symbolism to create a sense of national unity within different nationalities in Pakistan.”(2) He further writes that “the segmentation of the media market in Balochistan, portrays the Pakistani government and its military as an occupying force.”

    The sham democracy in Balochistan deserves a closer scrutiny. The Baloch nationalist parties boycotted the elections in 2008 in protest against the murder of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti. The void left by the nationalists was filled by those who enjoyed the support of the establishment. However, the resulting provincial assembly has been mostly ineffective in asserting its writ in the province. Balochistan’s chief minister and the advocate general are on record accusing the Frontier Corps of running a parallel government in Balochistan.

    Even a bigger scandal, which puts in questions the very legitimacy of the Balochistan Assembly, is that of the bogus votes that were instrumental in electing the sitting parliamentarians from Balochistan to the provincial and national assemblies. A review of the electoral rolls by Pakistan Election Commission and NADRA has revealed that 65 per cent of the registered 4,520,766 voters in Balochistan were fake.

    Balochistan’s total population in 2008 was estimated at 8 million. The 18-years and older cohort, as per 1998 census, accounted for 46.2 per cent of the population. This puts the population of eligible voters in Balochistan around 3.7 million voters. How then did the voters’ list include 4.52 million voters in Balochistan? Furthermore with 65 per cent fake votes, the verified voter list in Balochistan shrinks to 1.58 million voters. The Election Commission in 2008 recorded 1.493 million votes casting the provincial elections. With 1.58 million real voters, the voter turnout in Balochistan was miraculously high at 94.3 per cent! That’s quite a turnout considering that the nationalist parties had boycotted the elections.

    An example of property right violations (in Balochistan) could be observed in Gwadar. Adeel Khan, while writing in Asian Survey references a scathing report published in Herald about the “great land robbery” in Gwadar.(3) He quoted Herald as follows:

    “Some observers share the view that the Gwadar project is one of the biggest land boondoggles in Pakistan’s history…[T]he local people owned the land through generations but lacked documents of ownership. The elite have bribed revenue clerks to register Gwadar land in their names; the land was then resold at rock-bottom prices to developers from Karachi, Lahore, and other major cities…illegally allotted to civilian and military bureaucrats living elsewhere. …[T]he poor and uneducated Baluch [i.e., Baloch] population had been shut out…Gwadar became a lightning rod for Baluch hatred of Punjabi-ruled Pakistan.”

    Between the construction of new cantonments in Balochistan and land being acquired through other means, Pakistan Army is expanding its foothold in Balochistan. Balochs, Pushtuns and others are weary of the expansion of garrisons and housing schemes, which the locals believe will turn them into a minority on their own soil. Herald in June 2008, as quoted by Adeel Khan, further stated:

    “The Pakistani army is the biggest land grabber…It is giving away the coast of Baluchistan [Balochistan] for peanuts, to the Punjabis…In Gwadar, the army is operating as a mafia, falsifying land records. They say we don’t have papers to prove our ownership of the land, though we’ve been there for centuries.”

    The real crisis in Balochistan is that of trust. Since the partition in 1947, Balochistan has been a reluctant constituting member in Pakistan’s federation. The establishment, and the rest of Pakistan, has done precious little to win their trust. Instead, several military incursions in the province have turned successive generations of Balochs against the federation. At the same time, Balochs have benefited little from the resources that have flown out of their lands. Balochistan produces much more natural gas than it consumes. Even when it is constitutionally guaranteed a greater share of natural gas for domestic consumption, Balochistan is still denied a fair share in the very riches it produces. With the land grab in Gwadar and elsewhere, it is no surprise that Balochs see no incentives in staying within the federation.

    Also watch: “Balochistan: Pakistan’s other war” http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/aljazeeraworld/2012/01/2012121372863878.html

    Comment by B Shantanu | January 8, 2012

  55. I dont think Balkanization is as bad as it is made out to be. Smaller state is more likely to be representative of the people’s wishes and the people representing are also likely to be more accountable.

    Even India needs balkanization but only in administration. The world has seen what happens to centrally managed economies. India’s structure in many ways similar to that of the Soviet Union. We know how that worked out. Until India regional governments get a LOT more independance, India will continue its march toward the fate Soviet Union met.

    Comment by RC | January 9, 2012

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