March 07, 2010

Conversations, #2

The second installment of my email exchange with Beena Sarwar is here.

Comments and thoughts welcome.

(Conversations, #1.)


Anonymous said...


"...I would disagree that Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were ‘distinctly "anti-India"’..."

1. Benazir: I rewind to our conversation on BB's: "Jagmohan ko Jag-jag, mo-mo, han-han kar denge" (clear hand demos of intention)

and your comment there:

"..more to the point, why should we have expected Benazir to be different? She sought to lead a particular constituency: she did it by saying the things she believed would appeal to that constituency. As any good politician should..."

Would 72% of Pakistanis (per Beena Sarwar) have disagreed with you on that? Were you talking about the 28% remainder that BB hoped to win over with such pleasing dialogue.

Did Indian leaders campaign this way? I remember some "naani yaad dilayenge" stuff from Rajiv but no itinerant butcher-in-waiting.

2. Nawaz Sharif: Maintaining some fuzziness over who takes decisions seems quite the norm for Pakistan. Per many of the posters on INI, and other media, Nawaz Sharif was aware of the Kargil op.

Maybe he was in no position to call it off given a ready plan about to be executed, but the idea was something like he wanted in on the credit if it worked but none of the blame if it backfired.

3. Trust but verify: your old dictum on Pak.

My trust is broken ( I cant think of a more deserving candidate for a breach of trust award) but good luck to you with your trusting. Hope something comes of this.

How about the *verify* though? When do you plan to get around to that?

There are those in India who would like to know :-)


Chandru K said...

D'Souza omitted very important, one might say critical questions. He could have asked Sarwar what's holding up Pakistan declaring itself a secular state; openly calling Hinduism as valid a path to salvation as Islam; making open belief in atheism or agnosticism legitimate; welcoming Salman Rushdie and other dissidents to walk freely in Pakistan; ending the role of the military in politics; exposing the demogogic, violent methods used by the Moslem League to create Pakistan in the first place; conducting mass public demonstrations against Islamic terrorists and fundamentalist, including those using violence against India.

Just trying to convey that 'both countries' have an animus against each other is so inane and silly, without going into the issues more.

Anonymous said...

Bhai logo, d'souza ko nisha-e-pakistan dilwa do.. uski life ki tamanna poori ho jaayegi

Dilip D'Souza said...

More reason in some comments here to start, and then keep this conversation going.

Chandru K said...

"More reason in some comments here to start, and then keep this conversation going."

Just uttering the "both sides are equally guilty" line may get you some approval in Pakistan. But little else. Until the character and ideology of Pakistan undergoes a sea change, or at least a very significant one, there's scant hope of any lasting peace between the two countries.

Anonymous said...

Chandru K: While your comments about Pakistan are on target, how will you bring about that change to which you are referring? If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem, as they say. While the equation of "both sides are equally guilty" may not hold strictly, shouldn't the older, wiser, stronger, larger of the two countries lead the way? Anon2020.

Chandru K said...

What does 'leading the way' mean, in terms of bi-lateral relations? There is no perfect democracy, perfect secularism or perfect human rights anywhere in the world. What is possible, and what India is certainly doing, is to strive to do better and progress within the framework of democracy, secularism and pluralism, and rationality. Pakistan doesn't even accept these values as legitimate right from the outset. So how can a common ground be established, unless Pakistan dispenses with its ideology-fanatic, bigoted, exclusivist and obscuranist- and its power structure, dominated by the military and fundamentalists.