March 15, 2010

Conversations, #3

Third installment in the continuing email exchange of views between Beena Sarwar in Pakistan and me: here.

Comments, as always, welcome.

(Previous installments: #1, #2).

19 comments:

Jai_C said...

Dilip,

Apologies for long comment.

1. You have lots of co-ordinates for me and know I am a verifiable partner- as to constructive, I believe I was doing okay until a few months after 26/11.

2. "..the greater hostility that exists in India towards Pakistan compared to the other way around.."

The reason for this is that many of us believe that the Pakistani super-state (the military) thru ISI is hand-in-glove with the LeT and other forces that *openly* plan, fund and train for terrorism in India.

Until 26/11 I was ready to buy the argument of how elected govts in Pak had constraints going up against these guys. I thought, give them time. Now I think: how much time and how much of *our* blood are we ready to give until they get in control there?

3. Ms.Sarwar maybe right abt the Indian *superiority complex*.

Please excuse us Beena, its all we can do- try to feel smug and superior. We are having a hell of a time getting Pak to get or try the attackers. Forgive us this state of illusory superiority and power that we indulge in.

Every time you drive past Dawood's palace in Karachi, you can laugh at this attitude and that will more than recompense you guys :-)

3. Talking should offer "better than lottery" chances of something productive happening:
- measurable, verifiable decrease in the volume /intensity of attacks
- measurable, verifiable increase of seriousness in Pakistani action post-attacks

These are what I mean by "verify" part of the "trust but verify".

I dont want to "verify" Ms.Sarwar's intent to have a peaceful relationship with India, or Dilip's or my intent for likewise with Pakistan.

4. Sorry for the bad mood. I am currently running to the 'right' of Nitin Pai who supports talks. Notwithstanding the above points, you should obviously keep this going.

Thanks,
Jai

hari said...

hmmm, isnt that the whole problem, this lack of trust and the ability to believe conspiracy theories (that secret services or other organizations are so worried about an online dialogue between two journalists, important enough that they will try to sabotage it by posting random comments?)

This ability to believe in conspiracy theories or to see shadows where none exist is one of the banes of Pakistan I believe (I agree India has its share of this group but they are not the majority). A pertinent example would be the popularity of Zaid Hamid in Pakistan

Chandru K said...

Actually, another big problem in Pakistan, is that no one comes out openly and condemns such mass murderers as the Lashkar-E-Toiba, the Harkat-Ul-Ansar and similar groups. I'm not talking about discreet conversations in coffee houses, but openly in the media, on the streets, in the government etc. Which shows the character of their society- either complicit in murder, or outright scum.

Jai_C said...

Just to clarify, the talks I was and continue to be against are the *official Indo-Pak talks* that appeared to reward one of the worst backslides IMO of Pakistani "counter-terrorism" as they have it when directed against terrorism that targets India.

I have nothing against the conversation ongoing here; its likely to be futile but cant hurt.

For contrast, imagine a conversation btwn Kamila Shamsie and Arundhati Roy, after the parliament attacks:

Ms.Shamsie: surprise "...not one furl of an Indian politicians dhoti got unfurled..."

Ms. Roy: "13 questions for 13 Dec"

There would likely be a happy synchrony and consensus that India was responsible for the attack!

Again, AFAIK Ms.Shamsie (Burnt Shadows) is no rabbler in the crowd.

This conv is doing a lot better.

Thanks and all the best. Am over-commenting on this issue. Will stay away... promise :-)

Jai

Gurpreet said...

"no one comes out openly and condemns such mass murderers as the Lashkar-E-Toiba, the Harkat-Ul-Ansar and similar groups."

Coming from a guy who has consistently side-evaded condemning the mass murders in India like Sikhs in '84, that's rich. coming from a guy who will instead blame the Sikhs saying they provoked their own deaths, that's rich again.

Gurpreet

Chandru K said...

Don't change the subject from a localised( though vicious) riot in 1984, to Pakistan's relentless,rabid, ideological war against India, of which programmed murder groups like the Lashkar, are an integral part.

Dilip D'Souza said...

It is my hope that the anger in some of these comments will also someday be turned towards the egregious criminals right here in India. For example, the suggestion about driving past Dawood's house: perhaps it might be a good suggestion to laugh at attitudes whenever we drive past the Indian homes in India of Indians who cheerled mass murder in India and who have never been punished; who have, in fact, often enough been rewarded with election victories.

Hari, you say: This ability to believe in conspiracy theories or to see shadows where none exist is one of the banes of Pakistan I believe (I agree India has its share of this group but they are not the majority).

Perhaps so. But what would you call the ability to ignore shadows even where they exist -- such as those homes I mentioned earlier?

Finally, it never ceases to amaze me that the targeted murder of 3000 Indians in 1984 -- a toll 15 times greater than 26/11, let's not forget -- can be written off as a "riot".

Chandru K said...

"perhaps it might be a good suggestion to laugh at attitudes whenever we drive past the Indian homes in India of Indians who cheerled mass murder in India and who have never been punished; who have, in fact, often enough been rewarded with election victories."

But what do the two have to do with another? Let's say everyone of those individuals was 'punished'. How would it affect the present problem of Pakistani ideological, and relentless, terror against India? By the way, the number killed by this terror is far, far more than 3,000, even taking that argument about 1984, on board.

Anonymous said...

Finally, it never ceases to amaze me that the targeted murder of ????? Indians prior to 1984 in Punjab, Haryana, HP, UP and MP -- a toll XX times greater than 1984, let's not forget -- can be written off COMPLETELY!!

Anonymous said...

> "written off COMPLETELY!!"

You mean to say that all that violence and killing has not been punished, that the terrorists have not been either jailed, killed or driven away, that the entire full Khalistan agitation has not been defeated and give up??

Wowww, I guess you're right!

Gurpreet

Chandru K said...

The insecure, immature idiots,morons and fanatics in Pakistan are not allowing the film "Lahore" to be screened in their country. And look at the reason: the scene where a Moslem girl asks forgiveness from an Indian( horror of horrors) and the title itself, Lahore! This is the mentality India is up against. Why have relations with these idiots at all? Now, watch some Indians try to show that India is just as bad, by naming a few instances of censorship in India. Equal-equal, as they say. Good luck, but there is unlikely to be anything this idiotic.

from the Times of India:
"Pakistan censor board objected to
certain scenes: especially one where a Pakistani girl asks for forgiveness from an Indian character. Also the title 'Lahore' didn't go down well with the board."

hari said...

Dilip,

I agree and support you with your views against the sikh massacre, yes the perperators need to be punished, and yes it is ridiculous that they have stayed free so long.

That being said, I dont understand how is that relevant to this discussion, where the commenters are trying to highlight or criticize the issues that Beena is bringing up in her correspondence with you.

If I may, I have a suggestion, can you tackle 1 issue by 1 issue in your email responses. From the Indian perspective you can start an issue, let her respond, let that conversation end, either clearing up our misunderstanding or closing it, then she can bring up an issue from the Pakistani perspective and you can respond.

The current format IMHO is all over the place with each email having minimal relation to the earlier transaction

Dilip D'Souza said...

Hari, believe me I think it is relevant. The reason peace is so hard is because it necessarily involves introspection: simply pointing fingers and criticizing only prolongs hostility.

I think if we ask something of Pakistan (punish people who masterminded the massacre of Indians) it is equally vital and necessary to ask it of ourselves (punish people who masterminded the massacre of Indians).

As for being all over the place, there's truth in that. But there's just so much to get to, and I feel I want to at least raise as much of that as I can rather than try to narrow in on one issue to the exclusion of all else.

Chandru K said...

"I think if we ask something of Pakistan (punish people who masterminded the massacre of Indians) it is equally vital and necessary to ask it of ourselves (punish people who masterminded the massacre of Indians)."

Perhaps, but one situation doesn't explain, let alone justify, the other. To put it differently, even if every single person who rioted and killed were punished in India, it wouldn't affect Pakistan's policy/behaviour toward India. You can always find incongruities/inconsistencies in a country. If it's not the events of November, 1984, it could be a village in Bihar or district in Orissa, or intersection in Delhi(hit and run?).

Introspection is fine, but it's not an excuse for inaction.

Jai_C said...

Dilip,

I didnt see this part-response, so let me respond:

I dont know where you picked up the idea that I supported in any way the crazies who cheerled the massacres and unmitigated terror attacks that are somehow euphemized as riots. Esp when I have time and again ranted and railed against them not just here, but on places a bit friendlier to their worldview.


Clarifying the scenario with a swap:

Assume Pakistanis sound arrogant and superior in many if not most exchanges with Indians. They keep harping on democracy and claim to be powerful, a regional superpower entering the big league. they also accuse us directly or indirectly of fomenting terror attacks in *their* country.

I seriously would puncture the balloon by inviting this Pakistani friend for a drive and take him past the mansion of the pakistani ganglord-cum-terrorist that has sheltered here and flourished.

While it would prove a point or two of *his*, it would be a treat to watch the PowerMan fume impotently and would put him in his place :-)

thanks,
Jai

Dilip D'Souza said...

Please, I didn't suggest that you support the crazies.

I'm just saying, let's laugh at our own attitudes to our own criminals too. It might just be a step towards getting them to justice.

hari said...

Dilip

Is the point you are trying to make "Lets clean our house thoroughly and punish our own terrorists (yes they are) before we ask our neighbors to clean their house?"

If so, I dont agree with that. I agree our terrorists must be punished and it is a shame for a country calling itself a democracy that the perpetrators are free to this day.

Hari said...

Dilip

Is the point you are trying to make "Lets clean our house thoroughly and punish our own terrorists (yes they are) before we ask our neighbors to clean their house?"

If so, I dont agree with that. I agree our terrorists must be punished and it is a shame for a country calling itself a democracy that the perpetrators are free to this day.

Jai_C said...

Dilip,

re. "The idea that something like Kargil could have happened entirely as a venture of a military man, without the head of state knowing about it, seems crazy to us"


Here's PAF Air Commodore (retd) Kaiser Tufail (Director of Operations of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) during the 1999 conflict):

"...Now based in Lahore, Tufail says the entire operation was planned by Musharraf but had the tacit approval of then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who, after a presentation, said “‘General sahib, Bismillah karein’... not withstanding the denials we hear from him every new moon.” ..."

http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Pak-commander-blows-the-lid-on-Islamabads-Kargil-plot/475330/

Thanks,
Jai