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For Pakistan, time to try India as a friend


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A cricket fan gets his face painted with the colors of the Pakistan and Indian national flags ahead of the ICC World Cup semifinal match between India and Pakistan, in Gauhati, India, Tuesday, March 29, 2011. – AP Photo/File.

Is Pakistan set to implode in its exasperating persistence to define itself in only security terms vis-à-vis India as did the Soviet Union with the United States in a nuclear-shadowed Cold War that lasted 40 years, a numbing fear that consumed three generations, but ended in a barren inevitability 20 years ago of the former collapsing into 13 new countries?

It seems more likely than not, given the few signs that a fundamental rethink in underway in Pakistan in determining what it stands for rather than what it doesn’t stand for, which passes for its schizophrenic identity.

Two specific WikiLeaks cables published in Dawn in recent weeks reveal more than just what is already known about Pakistan’s paranoid obsession with India and the authorship and control of the policy of paranoia by the military establishment. In the first, President Asif Zardari, the commander-in-chief of Pakistan’s armed forces, counters the suggestion of Senator John Kerry that New Delhi is interested in pursuing peace with Islamabad by arguing that India has five times more tanks than Pakistan and that these are Pakistan-specific because the Sino-India border terrain cannot support a tank battle. In the second cable, severe civil-military tensions are revealed over access to and control of American aid flows to Pakistan with the army insisting for, and getting, direct aid and refusing to share details with the elected government even during drafting of the annual budgets.

The oversimplification of the link between military prowess and bilateral relationship – no doubt handed to Zardari in briefings from the military leadership – is disturbing. If Pakistan has to match India tank to tank, plane to plane, soldier to soldier, frigate to frigate and missile to missile before making peace, then it’s a lost battle in perpetuity. If matching military might was the precondition to peace then the world would have been blown up 200 times over because the unending Indo-Pak tensions and Indo-Pak like wars would have been replicated on every shared national border on the planet. What use was there to acquire super-expensive nuclear capability if it didn’t solve the problem of imbalance in conventional military capability? No two nuclear powers have fought a conventional war. Tensions are one thing but war is another. So why still sacrifice national prosperity at the cost of national dignity, as Army chief General Kayani said days after Osama bin Laden was taken out.

The farcical civil-military equation in Pakistan that has kept political forces emaciated and socio-cultural progress stunted is insulting enough it itself but for the military to have its cake (of American aid) all these decades and eat it too is going too far for even weak states. The military is twice richer and the elected governments twice the poorer when it comes to foreign aid. America has been Pakistan’s biggest civilian and military aid provider. In the last 10 years alone it has received over $21 billion in American aid. General Kayani and his corps commanders may have gingerly offered recently that the US military aid to Pakistan may be diverted for civilian development spending but it is neither here nor there since it managed to prevail on the government to secure the highest ever defense budget in the country’s history this year (over Rs500 billion).

Tellingly, seven of the last 10 years have been ruled by the military. So they have ended up getting $17 billion of this aid, whether military or ‘civilian’ (the “uniformed” Musharraf had a ‘civilian prime minister’). The civilian government – in place for the last three years only – has received barely $3 billion but the bulk of this too has gone to the military and spent on fighting a war on terror. No wonder there is nearly a trillion-rupee budget deficit crippling Pakistan at the joints – this is why the economy is tanking, social development is at a standstill and unemployment, starvation and poverty are soaring according to the government’s own statistics. Pakistan is fighting a war with its own proxies who also take money and dictation from al Qaeda.

The two WikiLeaks cables on Pakistan’s security obsession with India and the skewed civil-military equation are at the root of Pakistan’s sorry state. The deficit of trust between Washington and Islamabad that is so wide that despite being allies the former had to invade Pakistan militarily to eliminate bin Laden has thrown up for public debate – and pressure on the military – the need to define “sovereignty”, the concept that the military has traditionally used to reinforce its stranglehold over the national polity.

The military early on crafted a national security doctrine that helped it manufacture a national security state (as opposed to a national welfare state). This is based on the supposed “clear and continuing” danger from India to unravel Pakistan. The doctrine extrapolates that this “perpetual threat” is a projection of India’s supposed “capacity” to hurt Pakistan rather than its intention to make peace.

The problem with this contention is that India may have the same stance on Pakistan, which means this is a formula for an unending arms race and not a remedy to war, which should be state’s priority. India’s ruling elites may have been averse to the idea of Pakistan and hostile to the new country in the early decades but it follows that after the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Pakistan and their testing in 1998, the deterrent has demolished any existential threat to Pakistan from India. The Lahore summit between the popularly elected civilian governments of both countries (Sharif’s in Islamabad and Vajpayee’s in New Delhi) within a year of the nuclear tests was an affirmation of this new reality. So why no let-up in the paranoia even 15 years down the line?

If 9/11 (New York) was the moment America and 26/11 (Mumbai) that India changed forever, 2/5 (Abbottabad) could be Pakistan’s crossroads of opportunity to likewise choose the path of being a state that protects its own people by fighting terrorism unconditionally. Sovereignty is not about nurturing dubious proxies to fight your wars but to fight against the instinct to do so. The real violation of sovereignty is the imbalance in receiving foreign aid flows in-country and then not accounting for it. It is the civil-military imbalance within Pakistan that has distorted the nature of civil society and crippled the economy, thus opening up the space for non-state actors and terrorists to appropriate the sovereignty by propelling the country into a suicidal conflict with America and India instead of forces like al Qaeda and Taliban that espouse violence and extremism. Having plans in place in perpetuity to fight India and not even contemplating plans to fully and decisively fight the terrorists (foreign and local) in the border regions (particularly North Waziristan) of your own country – this is not stuff sovereignty is made of. A German delegation that met Kiyani last week was quoted by a local newspaper as saying to them that Afghanistan’s stability is not a priority for Pakistan Army if its strategic interests don’t match it.

Of course, like any country that has the resources to do so, Pakistan should have a robust military and adequate defense preparedness not only against an overarching India but also an unstable Afghanistan. But India throwing its weight around and building its military muscle is a function of its political, economic and cultural stability and durability, not the other way round. After all, doesn’t Pakistan do the same when it comes to the other six states in South Asia? Pakistan wants political and military parity with India (without matching the democratic and economic stability that India has) but how come it is in a virtually one-sided relationship with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan who can’t match it in military terms?

The only way to protect Pakistan against threats, perceived and unperceived, is to build trust, peace, trade and interdependence with India, Afghanistan and Iran and key global allies like America and Europe that have deep interest in the region’s stability. Safety and protection will not come from the military’s policy of paranoia to serve in ‘national interest’ which forces the unwilling country to weaken or leverage regional and international players by internal and external state and non-state provocations. These include supporting some militant organisations allied with al Qaeda and Taliban while going after others and by both doing little and seen to be doing even less to stem the involvement of people in attacks or attempted attacks in India, Afghanistan, the US and Europe.

There is no shame in acknowledging that some things are wrong and accepting that these need to be set right. Pakistan must stop equating sovereignty with defiance. Sovereignty is neither abstract nor absolute but a function of power, which in turn is also not absolute or abstract. Power is relative to the demonstrated power of others and dependent on the discipline of political and economic stability both of which elude Pakistan. Beneficial and lasting power flows from the social contract between a people and its rulers via a consensus constitution in which universal rights are adopted and elected civilian parliaments are supreme and empowered to make all policies, including security and foreign policies, both of which are the military’s handmaidens in Pakistan and therefore without public support or sanction.

Pakistan needs rigorous and sustained accountability of outmoded, unchanging self-serving institutional doctrines that don’t have public sanction and which have propelled Pakistan into an unsustainable arms race with India and are seeking to control Afghanistan, and which seek to leverage terrorist non-state actors against even allies. It is due to these policies that, according to yet another WikiLeaks cable published by Dawn, a French national security advisor told an American envoy “Pakistan is an army in search of a country.”

Misplaced bravado does not  make pride and there’s no shame in desiring peace with someone we’ve painted as an enemy. The only way the delusional mindset that ill-serves Pakistan will be righted is when the national security doctrine puts the people, not the military establishment, at the center of Pakistan's raison d 'etre. We have tried India as an enemy and it has cost us dearly. It’s time to try India as a friend because the cost of being a friend is far, far less than the cost of being an enemy. For this to happen, what we need to do in Pakistan is what Peter Feaver suggested as the perfect civil-military equation: “The civil-military challenge is to reconcile a military strong enough to do anything the civilians ask with a military subordinate enough to do only what civilians authorise”. Good luck Pakistan!

Adnan Rehmat is a journalist, analyst and media development specialist. He heads Intermedia, a Pakistani media support NGO.

Comments (167) Closed

Paras Vikmani Jun 20, 2011 07:07pm
Once again a masterpiece from Dawn. But who is listening?
Irshad Khan Jun 20, 2011 07:09pm
We have tried enemity for 63 years, let us try good relations for next few years forgetting the past as the whole world is doing now.
Laxmidas Sawkar/USA Jun 20, 2011 07:19pm
Very well written. Pakistan to prosper it has only one alternative to be more friendlier with India and follow the example of relations of Canada & USA. If it continues present path there is no light for Pakistan at the end of the tunnel and only will become self destructive. It is high time people in power and army realize this and change the course for its own survival.
Aimen Jun 20, 2011 07:19pm
Bravo Mr. Rehmat! Excellent article. Completely support your point of view.
sdas Jun 20, 2011 07:48pm
I would urge the Defense and Home departments and the leaders of both India and Pakistan to read this article. It is a masterpiece and necessary reading to start the dialogue.
DG Jun 20, 2011 07:50pm
Excellent post !!! Thanks from India. The sooner Pakistan realises this, the sooner this region will mint gold.
Bobby Jun 20, 2011 07:53pm
A very welcome approach. Such an initiative must be supported whole heartedly. It is a win win solution for the sub continent. But the question remains - is anybody listening?
Kaustav Das Jun 20, 2011 07:54pm
If Adnan Rehmat represents the voice of a New Pragmatic Pakistani in the post Osama era, there is hope for eternal peace and prosperity for South Asia. Adnan has a bold proposition, it needs bold steps to move in that direction. Will the Pakistan Military ever back such an idea? Doubtful. However, it's important that Pakistani Civil Society understands that the rapid economic growth over the last decade of development has ensured that Indian's by and large are in a mood to bury the hatchet. The argument is simple - who has the time to fight a war that sets us back economically by 5 years, we have a great life ahead, lets get there fast. If India and Pakistan were to bury the hatchet and trade flourished between the two countries Pakistan would be the biggest gainer. After all when Onion Prices shot up in India no Indian had an issue with Pakistan sending us tons of Onions to bail us out. And Pakistan did make some fat foreign exchange in the process. Win Win, isn't it?
Anwar Jun 20, 2011 08:04pm
This whole article is so - common sense. What is it doing in newspaper. India is today more interested in competing with US and China economically (Bank for Bank) rather than with Pakistan militarily (Tank for Tank).
M Nambiar, Princeton Jun 20, 2011 08:06pm
Bravo...excellent analysis. What % of Pakistani society understands or acknowledges this view? Does Dawn publish such analysis in Urdu or other common language dailies popular among the populace or is it limited to English reading elites? Once again keep up the good work Dawn and stay safe.
Shafiq Jun 20, 2011 08:39pm
Laxmidas, You could try different words. Even if you think it may not be true, you could say that Pakistan and India should be more friendlier with other, instead of only asking Pakistan to do more.
nadeem Jun 20, 2011 08:42pm
I agree with most of what is said but we need to keep our perspective right. More than 1 million Muslims from all over India migrated to Pakistan in 1947. These people had to bear loss of life, honour and finances just in the name of Pakistan. Many families were perished in the process and massacre of so many just because of being Muslim should not be forgotten. While I am not against making India friend, just remember that our forefathers were not fools! Nothing is going to change and flogging of armed forces by pseudo intellectuals sitting in air conditioned spaces should be stopped.
Kashif Jun 20, 2011 08:49pm
I agree with you that its time to reshape the whole relation and why can't we have a Asian Union just like european union. But I like to correct you in your saying "why still sacrifice national prosperity at the cost of national dignity", that making India a friend doesnot mean Pakistan has to compromise on her dignity.
Victor Jun 20, 2011 08:51pm
Once again a very nice article on Dawn. No wonder I see so many Indians reading this website. Aricle is very thoughtfull and well written.
Vidya Bhaskar Pathak Jun 20, 2011 08:59pm
I have started reading Dawn recently and find its editorials and features extremely well argued and balanced. This article too excels on these counts. Is Pakistani Urdu Press too has similar objectivity? If not then probably majority discourse would be quite different than presented by Dawn.
Sridhar Jun 20, 2011 09:05pm
Your column, together with "Pakista, 50 Years ago" by Hajrah Mumtaz in today's The Dawn, made a poignant reading. I was born a couple of years after our two countries won their independence. My parents and the extended family were Gandhians, and they inculcated the love of peace. I cannot recall a single textbook, all the way up to my Masters degree where they preached any anti-Pakistani venom. Since the advent of the Internet edition, I have become a regular reader of the Dawn to understand "the other" point of view. Though an avowed atheist, I still acknowledge the nuggets of wisdom in our ancient texts. Nothing captures the essence of your article as doe a verse from Bhagavad Gita: “Krodhat bhavati sammohah, Sammohat smriti-vibhramah Smritibhramsat buddhinaasho Buddhinaashat pranasyati.” Anger engenders delusion Delusion destroys discrimination. Loss of sense of discrimination results in insanity Insanity portends destruction I hope anger is replaced with a sense of hope and friendship and trust toward the world. As an incorrigible optimist, I see hope in essays like yours With Best Wishes, Sridhar
sujatha rangaswami Jun 20, 2011 09:44pm
bravo mr rehmat ....i hope india echoes your sentiment when pakistan initiates this friendship...or initiates the friendship if pakistan shows any interest in a new relationship ! and bravo dawn for walking down a brave path and creating the space for such a vision.
Irfan Jun 20, 2011 09:46pm
I agree that it is in Pakistan's intereset to have a friendly relations with India and it is also good for India as well. However, general public setniment in India does not support friendship with Pakistan. I say this because I frequently visit Times of India and the blogs/comments so anti Pakistan. I admit it is not the right basis to derermine this but still gives a glance at hawkish views of Indian population that is holding Mr. Manmohan Singh back and making it even more difficult to move close to peace with Pakistan. We have countless rounds of talks to resolve bilateral issues including Kashmir but no results to show for. We are talking about trade and commerce but avoiding 1000 pounds gorilla in the room i.e. Kashmir, why?
Seng Kally Jun 20, 2011 09:58pm
It is unbelievable that these kind of thoughts are coming out of present day Pakistan. Pakistan has more than required politicians. At every nook & corner of the country. But no true leader. A good piece from Mr. Adnan Rehmat & THE DAWN.............
Daoud Jun 20, 2011 10:00pm
It s very difficult to agree with this approach when one knows that Pakistan was broken into 2 parts by Indian intervention in 1971, Siachin in 1982, Sind Tas Agreement in 1956 after India stopped all the river flow to Pakistan and in present day India continues to block European Unions efforts to grant duty free Pakistani imports in order to help the flood ridden economy and dont forget India continues to build Dams and divert river flows ...It is on India to take steps to ease tensions and accept Pakistan as a reality and take actions to prove to the people of Pakistan that it is concerned. Friendships exist between people not countries... countries should have good working relations as long as their interests are same...
gaurav Jun 20, 2011 10:01pm
That's not going to happen. Pakistani civilian leadership has no control in making foreign policy and Pakistani military cannot rule without considering and propagating India as arch-enemy. Well written article, but I am sorry, no light in the sight.
Ismail Jun 20, 2011 10:07pm
First sane article in Dawn's website. Keep it up. It is balanced and more practical in approach suggestions.
Shakeeb khan Jun 20, 2011 10:10pm
Thoughtful.. Hope good senses prevail..
Waheed (USA) Jun 20, 2011 10:11pm
Mr. Rehmat, Please keep up the good work. Pakistan has suffered on the hand of poor political structure, utmost authority of Army and extreme poverty. The only hope is to have journalists like you, propagate peace and harmony. Politician’s need to address the needs of an average Pakistani, clean water, electricity, education and prosperity.
Arindam Gupta Jun 20, 2011 10:12pm
Several years ago when I first visited Europe and understood the concept of European Union, it struck me as the model for the sub-continent to follow. Alas, the powers on both sides of the border have too much vested interest to let that happen. In the 21st centuty the politics of the sub-continent is defunct - the sooner we move away from it the better it is - we still have the largest number of hungry people to feed - what good are the nuclear bombs? Who do they feed?
Praveen Gupta Jun 20, 2011 10:28pm
This is a refreshing article focusing on Pakistan instead of India. Pakistan must focus on itself for the good of its people, and its neighbors. India and Pakistan must mutually respect, especially, when they are part of a growing family as evidenced through culture, traditions and languages, as Shahid Afridi said. I hope Pakistan and India become allies instead of enemies for a thousand years.
Kirit Jun 20, 2011 11:04pm
What an end to the article! Wake up Pakistan and listen to the world if not to India.
shyam Jun 20, 2011 11:04pm
Its a well written article,rational,logical and practical.This is the only way forward for the people of subcontinent. Shyam
shafqat mir Jun 20, 2011 11:06pm
where those indian weapons are going to be used, against iran china or pakistan, many lies come from across the bordet thats the fact, pakistan army knows about it, so we need more weapons to inflict more damage, whether conventional or not
Rajendra M. Parikh Jun 20, 2011 11:19pm
Dear Readers, Very good article with excellent analytical skill. But who is going to talk to military establishment that your days are numbered. As long as military dictates to civilian government, nothing will change in Pakistan for another 50 years.It has been so late for so many things in Pakistan. For short term gain Pakistani military has really screwed up Pakistan. It is very difficult to develop civil institutions. I hate to see Pakistan is failed state. Nuclear arsenal does not give them a real security, it is an illusionist policy. Thanks Sincerely, Rajendra M. Parikh Arlington, Texas USA
Purusothaman A Jun 20, 2011 11:29pm
Excellent write up by Adnan Rehmat. Let we both countries be friends for the bright future of both peoples.
Radhika Jun 20, 2011 11:39pm
Fantastic article. We in India are also looking forward to friendship with Pakistan.
B Cherian Jun 21, 2011 12:12am
There should be total change of mindset in both sides. As I lived in India, and being a big country, I believe Indians will accept the friendship from Pakistan. There will be some who oppose and try to scuttle any normalisation. Let Pakistanis and Indians live peaceful life in future.
HZ Jun 21, 2011 12:14am
Typical approach of western propaganda. The article is totally devoid of Pakistani perspectives. Our water resources of Jammu and Kashmir are still being controlled by India, ten million Kasmiris are still bleeding under Indian army boots. Try India as a friend under these conditions? Only a lunatic could say so.
Kishore (Toronto) Jun 21, 2011 12:30am
This is a beautiful article. Firstly I believe Pakistanis are one of the most peaceful and friendly people I have ever come across. outside of Pakistan and India, Pakistanis and Indians have no problem in reaching out to each other and helping each other. Unfortunately the reality at home is different. I must admit that even the most hardcore "hindutva" guy would say that we should be friendly with Pakistan before 26/11 had happened. Post 26/11, to the best of my knowledge even the most peaceful guy in India has turned against Pakistan. The revelations by David Headley and Tawahur Rana are not helping either. Now In all this madness I still see positivity. The real catalyst in India-Pak relationship is the pakistan army. If they stop perceiving India as their enemy, the equation would be very different. Everytime we have come closer to resolving a major issue (Kashmir included), there has been some misadventure (Kargil, July 7 train bombings & 26/11). Every time the initial reaction from Pakistan suggests that some "non-state actors" have hijacked the peace process when in reality it has been proven otherwise. We are not holy cows who have done nothing wrong. After all, India should have behaved as a good neighbor supporting Pakistan in it's initial years which we have failed to do. We were against the concept of Pakistan. Now we have not only reconciled to it, we hardly get perturbed by it. The writer has done well to highlight the issue in a very factual and sensitive way. Remember if India and Pak fight, the only beneficiary is the powers that sell their weapons to us. Where there is unrest, certain powers exploit it and take advantage. The truth is well known to both sides. I only hope we reach a point where we are peaceful neighbors who dont spend a fortune on their weapons. Inshallah !! That day will come.
A Proud Indian Jun 21, 2011 12:39am
Awesome article, I hope every Pakistani appreciates the suggested mentalit and practises the same too. Let's give peace a chance...enough has been lost on both ends. Our next generations will not forgive if we don't still stop this non-sense ever going hate for each other. Live and let live other !!! With best wishes, A Proud Indian
vishnu Jun 21, 2011 12:43am
Great article in pure journalistic terms, whatever the suggestions are .Well written
A Khan Jun 21, 2011 12:58am
My Brother and Friend, You are right but the problem is Indian Government. If they want it then it will take no more than 6 months for everything to be corrected but unfortunately some elements in India Government and Society never want that to happen. But hopefully, if not this generation then the next generation will do it. Love you all.
PAKINDIA Jun 21, 2011 01:08am
Good proposition and a welcome thought. the question is , is it still possible do to so? Countries are like ships. it takes time for them to turn around and we are talking about taking a U turn this time. The last time Pakistan had taken a U turn was in the after math of 9/11. So for some people it might be easier to keep on hating India. Idealogies cannot be changed overnight.can this be taught to the generals in ISI who are still painfull about 1971, 90 etc??
raman Jun 21, 2011 01:12am
that's the way it should be ... but i bet you guys it'll never happen..else the military of pak and to a little extent india will die... i whish the initiative begins
Aftab Kenneth Wilson Jun 21, 2011 01:13am
You have said all in your last paragraph. I agree with you.
Abhijit ray Jun 21, 2011 01:18am
Excellent article. I trust the majority in India would welcome this. It is in India's interest that Pakistan develops as a stable and prosperous nation. No prosperous nation can afford a war. My own understanding is that the Indian Army and the Pakistani public will also support this view point.
AS Jun 21, 2011 01:20am
Wow! Well articulated and substantiated
ram iyer Jun 21, 2011 01:21am
Nice article. As an Indian, I would say a change in mind-set (just a shift from seeing as an enemy to lets see we talk and look at each other with fresh eye) is good enough to take a long way to go. India and Pakistan baring last 75 years were just same thousands of years with thought process, region, living, food, culture, languages and rest. A meeting of the security establishment people frequently with over-arc idea of being together can go long way. India should extend Pakistan with bonuses like talks in other fronts, free export options in expanded areas, a couple of billion dollar as initial grant for general social transitions to bring things forward.
G.A. Jun 21, 2011 02:02am
Lets not forget that there are hawks on both sides of the border. Perpetual military confrontation is big business in the arms bazaar. To blame Pakistan alone is unjust as we do know that Musharraf tried and was let down by hawks in India. Indian cricket fans crossing into Lahore in 2004 seems like a distant memory unfortunately.
SSM Jun 21, 2011 02:15am
very good article also very much appecited the courage to publish it....I see most of the comments provided by indians..looking forward the comments from my pakistan brothers
yash Jun 21, 2011 02:23am
excellent piece & introspection, admire the courage of author (heard some nasty stories about consequences for journalists writing against army!)anyway good luck Adnan, goodluck Dawn & goodluck Pakistan, p.s: 'Majority' of the people in the world are good, and they all want good things to happen to everyone, all one needs to do is make them count, make them heard, & make them aware, rest all will fall into place automatically.
Ram Jun 21, 2011 02:38am
Good one bold to be more precise However it is easier said than done, Dictators over paid of time created psyche on many Pakistani generation about India for their own advantage, Like anything in Pakistan withou Millitary leadership nothign will change and unfortuently friendship with India means end of Millitary grip on its own people Only People of Pakistan can make this change they need to reject the millitary propaganda and work with civilian government, again this is long road
Nathan Jun 21, 2011 03:47am
I am an NRI for the last 40 years, and I am very understanding of Pakistan's self-inflicted wounds of the past 60-plus years. Now, with the entire world calling upon Pakistan to shed its India-centric security obsession, it is time to show good sense for self-preservation. Muslims and Hindus have co-existed in India for centuries, and the hatred was created due to the violence during the partition on religious lines. But how long are we going to call each other as arch enemies? We have many common food habits, similar cultural moorings and common aspirations. Why not respond to the hearts and minds of the people on both sides, and create friendship to bury the dissonance of the recent past. If war is not a solution to the mutual problems, as the Pakistani leaders keep claiming, why are the policies framed on the basis of hatred? I think that genuine friendship can lead to real problem solving because when borders become soft, the lines don't mean anything. The time has come to solve the problems through trust and understanding. If Pakistan begins to support the common interests of South Asia, the solutions to problems will be easy and achievable.
Masood Zaidi Jun 21, 2011 03:49am
Million dollor question is whether powers be in Pakistan would be willing to listen to this sane advice. We wish all the good luck to Adnan Rehmat and like minded colleagues from India.
Vidyut Jun 21, 2011 04:02am
I find it curious that sovereignty is considered only as an integrity against attack. It could be argued that there are other kinds - financial, territorial, social, ideological, etc. Sovereignty as I read in Pakistani news is a tail that wags the dog. It could also be something that inspires - self-sufficiency, dignity for all, government authority over complete terrain, independence from policy pressuring ties...
Nsaini Jun 21, 2011 04:02am
Excellent article, I can bet that most of the indian population will support that.WE were made fools by Brits before... "Divide and Rule" and now others who wants to sell arms. No body cares if an average person dies. I salute Dawn for sucha brave and stimulating solution for a win win situation. If we become like CANADa/USA we all will benefit. HOPE the youger generation is listening....wake up
Akil Akhtar Jun 21, 2011 04:24am
Can the writer pelase tell this to India also that they should give up their hate obsession about Pakistan and accept it as a reality. Even today one of their major political party has it in their official policy to eliminate Pakistan. Give us a break why have so many of our so called liberal writers suddenly started regurgitating the indian propoganda after sep 11. Our so called obsession with india is not in isolation so be truthful.....
rahuldravidfan Jun 21, 2011 06:22am
adnan……. I admit I would hate losing to pakistan in criket, but the truth is, a pakistani hates losing to India more… I admire your article. I have good pakistani friends, But we always avoid discussing countries. ( we discuss criket though!!) We know heart to heart we will defend our nations to hilt. But we would not like to debate to just to save our friendship. The things can work out together……….I hope
Tara Jun 21, 2011 06:23am
The author of this article should be made the Prime Minister and the editor of Dawn the army chief of Pakistan and we will have peace between India and Pakistan before the year end.
Vikash Jun 21, 2011 06:29am
Adnan Rehmat, you are quite intelligent. Very good analysis. Bravo. Let's hope that there are few people who could read and understand your point and agree. I bet, entire India would support your idea. We know the advantages of peace. We think and follow what is good for our children and that is in love and peace.
nizamuddin khan Jun 21, 2011 06:29am
Could we for a moment ask why India needs to make peace with Pakistan? Is the permanent UN security council seat dependent on pleasing China? Are there economic/trade related reasons why India would want to be friends with not. India is very careful about why it wants to show that there are peace efforts. Peace with Pakistan means Kashmir will not be openly discussed at UN. Peace with Pakistan means USA will be able to lean on Pak Army to take military action in N Waziristan. tell me again why Pakistan badly needs to amend ties with India?
Shekar Jun 21, 2011 06:48am
Excellent analysis. Pakistan should compete and "win" the economic and social competition. The challenges are formidable but perhaps less compared to India. Pakistan should aim to be a new South Korea. Economic superiority, social development and a civil free society society where basic needs of its citizens are met would be the envy of the world. India for all its touted economic advances has millions in poverty. No basic infrastructure, health care, sanitation, or corruption free politics or basic education for its masses. Why not shame them on all those fronts? Matching India in the cricket field or in the missile or tank count should be the last priority.
Rakesh Jun 21, 2011 06:50am
Great and thought provoking article. However, in the current Pakistani setup, milliatery calls the shots. It has been such for majority of Pakistan,s existence. So why would the same military reduce it's own importance by allowing peace between Pak and India? Secondly, running a low level conflict with a bunch of jihadis is fairly a low budget operation with maximum effect. Only way to break this thought process is for the common Pakistani to realize that they can not be held a slave to history. Confrontation with India will hurt them more than it can help. For India, it has to start treating Pakistan like a younger brother who may be a little rebellious but a brother all the same.
Kiran Kuppa Jun 21, 2011 06:58am
I am an Indian. I really appreciate not just the content but the spirit of the article. I have lost one of my friends to terrorism that emanated from Pakistan, in a blast in southern city of Hyderabad. I don't have much sympathy for the current state Pakistan finds itslef in, it was it's own doing. I wish the best in it's recovery, though. Frankly, I would just want that both India and Pakistan just shut doors on each other and mind their business, in silence.
Anant Jun 21, 2011 08:16am
Well written. Let us give peace a chance. Extend a hand of friendship and you will see your imaginary enemy extending two. Promote secularism and drop the words "jihad" and "infidel" from your lexicon.
Rao Jun 21, 2011 08:20am
I hope I live to see that day. Nice article...Hope somebody in the leadership is reading this stuff
Ajay Jun 21, 2011 08:27am
A good thought to be true....factors deep within needs to be changed and that would take lots of time....
dr k das kalani Jun 21, 2011 08:36am
Enemity with neighbours and friendship with seven seas far flung nations.Naturally it not possible. War always creats problems but yet not solved any is my humble request to both countries that pl one time beleive in LOVE ,PEACE, N, PROGRESS and SEE the RESULT.I can say with gaurunty that majority of INDO-PAK Subcontinent people wants LOVE,PEACE ,N ,PROGRESS.
vikram Jun 21, 2011 08:38am
If wishes were horses beggars would ride. Does the Pakistani establishment(Govt and Army) care for its own people?If it did then maybe saner elements would take peace with India a little more seriously.The average pakistani is brainwashed that it would be better to starve than make friends with India
boby Jun 21, 2011 08:39am
But are top brasses in the Pak Army and ISI intrested? I dought very much.
Amit Singh Jun 21, 2011 08:44am
This would be a master stroke, to develop Indo-Pak region into an economic powerhouse, contrary to a terrorist house as it is sliding towards gradually. Pakistani leaders have always been a step shrewd, they should grab this opportunity to seek up a role for new Pakistan, or other options lead to a fissure in the state of Pakistan – and time is running out!
Haresh Shahani Jun 21, 2011 08:52am
Great article. I hope that such pieces are translated and printed in the regional language newspapers so that the reality is understood by the masses. There is one thing, however, that I would like to point out, which I think most Pakistanis misunderstand. There is NO existential threat to Pakistan from India, and this is NOT because Pakistan has nuclear weapons....I don't know how to explain this, maybe other Indians reading this can explain.
Sanjay Sharma Jun 21, 2011 09:03am
To send such a message of friendship requires great courage and conviction. Vajpayee and Nawaz started peace process against all odds. Government should take a cue from this article and initiate debate on this issue. Once public opinion is framed, things will become easy for changing hearts on both sides. India then will not be in a position to ignore Pakistan and certainly come to terms.
Anupam Jun 21, 2011 04:55am
Quite refreshing...!!
Zohair Alam Jun 21, 2011 09:55am
I am an avid follower of Dawn. I read it's articles and columns daily and watch the news at home. Dawn should really consider TRANSLATING its articles and column into Urdu. They are written by one of the most enlightened Pakistanis and it is unfair that this content does not reach the general public. While Dawn tried to reach out to the masses through its Urdu channel, i'm afraid that channel really lacks in quality that upholds Dawn, and has decreased mine and other like minded folks' attention.
Azhar Jun 21, 2011 09:58am
Sir Winston Churchill once said "It is better to Jaw-Jaw than to War-War".
Amrish Jun 21, 2011 10:07am
Excellent....applaud this piece
Tushar Jun 21, 2011 10:32am
Good Article. All though most of the Indian's consider Pak as their enemy. But on business point of we most Indians does not mind importing material from Pak, Like we have imported onions last summer suger etc. But other hand PAK importing items from India through UAE which cost them more then if they import directly. To be friend with India Pak has to forget the word T-Terrorest & importantly the K for Kishmir.
Bhadrinath Jun 21, 2011 10:33am
A nice message indeed to the people of Pakistan. Pakistani people must realize that majority Indians like to have good relationship with Pak. Its basically a hysteria that Indians hate Pak. There is nothing Pak can achieve in maintaining this hostility towards India, even for next 63 years. The Pakistani people must realize that its biggest enemy is Pak army and not India. India in no sense have the dareness to conquer a country as Pakistan which is in total mess. Its for funds and riches that Pak Army potray India as an enemy and inturn receive huge funds and starve rest of Pak. When a little in rest of the world can understand this logic, why not is a common Pakistani?
Sushant Kumar, Sydne Jun 21, 2011 10:34am
In the picture you see the green colour the most dominating. Give friendship a chance. Sushant Kumar
Abhay Bora Jun 21, 2011 10:51am
What a breath of fresh air!!!!!!!
Amit Sudan Jun 21, 2011 10:53am
It is in the best interest of Pakistan to have a good friendly relations with India. The time has come to forgot everything and start a new chapter. India can become a great friend of Pakistan because it has got all the potential to delivered. Keep aside some major issues to have a good start. Just focus on those issues which can be resolved at the earliest. People of India and Pakistan are not against each other it's just the government policies are keeping away the citizens of Pakistan and India. Someone have th stand up and deliver but the only question remains who will be that one. Is it civilian government in Pakistan or India?
ajay singh Jun 21, 2011 10:59am
Great views, hope good sense prevails
Alok Jun 21, 2011 11:00am
Very nice article with extremely valid arguments. I hope leadership in two countries read this article to make South Asia a better place for all. In long term, an EU type set up in south asia is not impossible, although unlikely in next few years.
suren singh sahni Jun 21, 2011 11:02am
Brilliant thought provoking article another logical and rational concept must be heeded by misguided politicians .Thanks DAWN
James Jun 21, 2011 11:04am
Bravo... A Great initiative. Hope for good.
Kautiliya Jun 21, 2011 11:17am
Well written. Its time to bury the hatch so that both people can prosper.
Bhavin Jun 21, 2011 11:22am
Isnt it Strange that such an amazing article is receiving more comments from India rather than its own country. India is and will always there for Peace. Reducing the Defence budget can do wonders for a country and divert the money in prosperity. Live and let Live. Kudos to Dawn for publishing such gem of articles.
Aditya Vikram Jun 21, 2011 11:50am
Brilliant article! But let's not do a cost analysis of being a friend / enemy. A peaceful relationship has its inherent positives and is badly needed for the development and 'security' of the majority poor population in both countries!
Vaibhav Jun 21, 2011 11:56am
Amazing read !! Great article... completely agree with the writer !! Wish the word spreads to the general public and we see some change in Indo-Pak relations !!
SHARAT GUPTA Jun 21, 2011 11:57am
An essay worth the Nobel Peace Prize. So candid and forthright, that it can be a potent tool for lasting peace. I always believe that if only the political and military ruling class of the Pakistan could show & share even half of the wisdom being given by the articles of DAWN, many of the problems of the country could be resolved. We in India are now least obsessed with Pakistan than it used to be a decade ago. The reason being the rapid growth in economy, social sector, education, democracy etc. The idea behind writing the aforesaid is that people of this country have very little time to think bad about Pakistan and even lesser time to severe or attack that country. Indian Military preparation are now more China centric, which has threatening postures on the border which is longer than the border of Pakistan. India is already a huge country. Just think why India would like to take Pakistan and its numerous problems, into its fold, when it has its hand full of own. Under the present circumstances the peace and friendship with India will help Pakistan for inner soul searching. Amen and all the best for the people of Pakistan.
cssingh Jun 21, 2011 12:01pm
I read Dawn news daily.Well written.There is a big difference from Indian civilian govt and its army than Pakistans. Military takes lions share of aid and cvilians get peanut.Why should India conquor nuclear armed and unstable Pakistan for their biggest headache after Indepenndence.
Temur Jun 21, 2011 12:19pm
I agreed with Bhavin. Most population in our country are un-educated.. how many of us in Pakistan reads English Newspaper (Unlike in India) ? Well.. it is a high time for us to make friend with India, but we must revoke supreme power from our military establishments. It does not matter Musharraf or Nawaz or Zardari, civilian govt must decide what is best for our country.
Denis Nazareth Jun 21, 2011 12:23pm
Adnan Rehmat you are beacon of light in the middle of darkness. I am an Indian who has worked with number of Pakistanis it is amazing you take the religion and border out of the equation most of the Pakistanis sound just like you sensible, intelligent, resonable and most importantly aspiring for a better and peaceful life for themselves and their families. what our countries need is a non aggression/interference pact for 10 years guaranteed by someone trustworthy and use this period to totally devoute all the resources for socio economic development. Good luck with that!!!
Fuad Jun 21, 2011 12:42pm
I don`t understand why Pakistan and especially the military is being shown as somebody against peace.Is the Indian military and govt.really very sincere about peace with Pakistan.Why then are spending billions of dollars on defence.Please my Indian friends!! you also have to ask your establishment to correct themselves.Every Pakistani knows who is bent upon destroying our country.
Sujith Jun 21, 2011 12:44pm
"There is no way to Peace, Peace is the way"-MG
Binu Jun 21, 2011 12:44pm
New generation has grown in both countries,they do not have direct experience of partision and all. Religion feelings also will become less once people are educated and starts think rationally... So I hope it will be easy for new generation to forgive each other and start a new relationship which is good for both countries. Actually, I was having food from a Pakistani shop in Taiwan last friday and it tastes same as Indian food.. :-) -Binu from India
Nagaraj Jun 21, 2011 12:55pm
India & Pakistan must freez all outstanding issues for 10 years and start cooperation in other fileds as a trial. If this new experiment benefits both nations, then they can try for another 10 years.
avi Jun 21, 2011 01:00pm
i dun know how and when i ended up opening this e-paper version of dawn but since then the experience has been nothing less than amazing.(thanks my instinctive or to put it this way impulsive act)lollz.. i have always found articles of great value and meaning since then i have been intrigued with and needless to say it;s in my daily priority list to go through it's ever valuable articles and i am not surprised there r more indians like me making it a point to read this on a regular basis and also share their line of thinking through their comments.well,being a staunch supporter of peace dialogues between the two arch-rival countries, i feel very strongly that dawn should reach masses across the length and breadth of the pakistan.i say very strongly because it comes from the space of understanding around me that it is far from reaching the common masses.and beleive u me,if the newspaper makes itself a bit more accesible to public ,it will instigate a sea-change in people's attitude and the peace process which at the moment seem like a pipedream will translate into reality. once again full marks to the article for being so rationale.kudos for ur efforts mr adnan rehmat.
Shoab Jun 21, 2011 01:29pm
irfan you make a very notable point. the question is should we put kashmir on the back burner (for now) so that we can recoup national strength or continue to make it a major piece of our national identify at the cost civil war or even breakup?
Rajputana Jun 21, 2011 01:33pm
what according to u is the solution to kashmir problem.....hand it over to pakistan???????????
Naveed Hussain Jun 21, 2011 01:34pm
There are not many planks on which politicians and military can thrive such as perceived threat from India. If India threat is not in the forefront, the miserable performance in economy, problems of poverty, collusion between intel and terrorists etc will surface. So just continue tirade on India so we can continue with what we do.
arjunsharma Jun 21, 2011 01:38pm
You should know that Indian army has no say in any political and foreign affair decision,but in case Pakistan Their govt has no final say in matter of foreign relation.Pakistan govt works under influence and sometimes under dictation of pakistan army.
sheikh muhhamad Jun 21, 2011 01:44pm
brilliant article, its time for pakistan to think about the world from a new perspective. Its not only India but we have conspiracy theories against the whole world, we have made to think that the whole world is against our identity as a nation; and moreover our education system and text books also teaches us to look at the world from dark glasses. Why not to try a different approach and try to compete with India on economic front, why not to better them in Information technology? why not the better them in FDI? why not to ask apple, intel to open their manufacturing plant in Pakistan? why not to ask power companies across the world and start the power generation operations and sell the electricity to SAARC countries and strengthen the economy? why not to beat India on ultra broaband technology? but to do all above it will take sincere efforts from senior pakistani politicians and military who are happy to get cut of ten percent from any fund generated in pakistan. Hope this article also gets published in all URDU newspaper.
Imran Haider Jun 21, 2011 01:51pm
Excellent article, this shows that Pakistan media is free but won’t get the acknowledgement it deserves. You don’t see these types of article in Indian media. I do agree friendship with India is the way forward but Pakistan has to carefully assess and establish the friendship with India on the terms which suites it national interests not to allow India to become an absolute regional power.
Deepak Talwar Jun 21, 2011 01:52pm
Brilliantly put. They should make you President. Or better still, Chief of Army Staff !! The problem is your Army. They, and not India, are your worst enemy. Thay have to keep on war mongering just so they can hang to their power.
bpshah Jun 21, 2011 02:01pm
Adnan, you have to fight this mindset...
Ahsan Jun 21, 2011 02:04pm
Articles like these are written once in a blue moon. The problem is that when ever some one tries to put some sense he or she is immediately marked as an enemy of the state. I am surprised to see that not a single Pakistani has appreciated or written anything on this column so far. Fact is that politicians and military elite on both sides of the border have their personal vested interests in keeping the tensions high. Pakistan and India both have this disadvantage on route to economic prosperity. These "elements", for whom Peace is a hurdle for their interests, are too strong on either side of the border. Is'nt it strange that Muslims and Hindus survived in harmony, for centuries, as one nation in sub-continent, and have been unable to survive with each other as neighbors in the last 60 years. Its strange,, very very strange.
nb Jun 21, 2011 02:07pm
Europeans fought among themselves for nearly thousand years. Today they share same currency. China, Taiwan and South Korea have lot of old memories about Japan. But today things are normal. Religion can sometimes be a dividing factor. But Turkey and Japan are friendly with Europe. If these can happen then Pakistan and India can be close friends too.
sharma Jun 21, 2011 02:33pm
Dear Naveed we also forget that jihad in tself is a big industry. The common people are cannon fodder and passionate and blind but the leaders are not in it just for religion. It is based on a very sound business plan however nefarious that might be. I dont think it is possible or even good for Pakistan to just fold up the terror camps and tell the jihadis to go home. There is no home for them!! The are porfessional fighters and until they are assimilated in the system they cannot be wished away. The question is how to assimilate them in the civil society and also avooid their fundamentalistic apporach. Not an easy job at all and thus just wishing that fundamentalists will disappear is being naive.
Param Jun 21, 2011 02:35pm
Going by the response to the article, there are more responses from India than from Pakistan. Also, from the Pakistani response, it is evident that there is still a tremendous degree of suspicion within the common Pakistani's mind, which is borne out of successful indoctrination of India-centred insecurity being force fed into the people by successive military governments. But it is so heartening to note that men like Adnan have the courage to speak the truth in the face of imminent danger, which courageous journalists have paid for, by giving their lives. Its not in the hands of Indian or Pakistani people, but it is only the Pakistani media, which can save Pakistan today. Kudos to Adnan once again and respect to Dawn.
Wellwisher Jun 21, 2011 02:46pm
Ok friend continue your way... you must be content with current Pakistan affairs I guess.
Romesh Jun 21, 2011 02:50pm
Very well said, Kishore. Vast majority of people in both Pakistan and India are peace loving and want friendly relations between the two nations. A strong, prosperous and peaceful Pakistan is in the best interest of not only India, but for the rest of the world. Governments on both sides should be sincere in solving the long standing problems. Sixty four years have already been wasted. Let us not waste any more time. All problems can be solve, but there has to be give and take. Peace and friendship between Pakistan and India is the need of the hour. All best wishes to the great people of Pakistan and India. My hats off to the writer for writing this timely article and Dawn Newspaper for publishing this bold and courageous article.
Kurrilla Jun 21, 2011 03:04pm
So long as Mullhas and religoious fanatics have a following in the country, we have hardly any chance of peace and friendly relations with our neighbours Rest of the goody goody talk is all hogwash.Thats the reality.
Satya S Issar Jun 21, 2011 03:12pm
Mr Adnan Rahmat has written a hard hitting article and for that matter there are a number of Pakistani Journalists and political commentators who have written similar article over the recent past. We congratulate them because the essence of such thoughts is drawing towards prosperity and away from the destructive policies of the Military which is the one way street towards 'self destruct'. But how many people read such decent articles? One more argument I wish for Military to understand is that how will India benefit from attacking Pakistan? If it is to weaken Pakistan, it is already so from the view point of army, educational and economic development. Nuclear parity is a misnomer as Soviet Union and USA found out during the prolong Cold War. Secondly, if the military in Pakistan feels that India will conquer and occupy Pakistan that is the farthest thing from logic. Why will India benefit from occupying an economically weak , deeply hostile population and find another hostile frontier towards Afghanistan or Iran etc?
R.Kannan Jun 21, 2011 03:17pm
If the issues were related only to the cricket field, many things would be easy!!!
rahul db Jun 21, 2011 04:48pm
I see a sea change in the Pakistani media against the 'India/Hindu mortal enemy' mindset propagated by the Military establishment. Luckily for us in india the propaganda moved in the other direction telling us that Hindus and Muslims have all lived together in harmony for over a thousands of years and it was the dirty white guy who created divisions among us to rule us. Our text books focussed on secular rulers like Akbar and down played the deeds of the not so nice others. So we are always left wondering why the Pakistanis hate us so much, for us the natural position is one of friendship and not enmity.
Talha Jun 21, 2011 04:52pm
People should stop being delusional and ask India or its government to resolve Kashmir issue and then talk about peace. There are atrocities committed against people of Kashmir on daily basis and what is more alarming is that all this is state sponsored. Also the writer can inform me about the growing presence of India in Afghanistan and there are many reasons for bigger powers to be in control of the region Pakistan is in (due to warm waters). As a Pakistani citizen, I am the one for peace and would give everything to achieve it but the feeling should be mutual. As far as Indian people are concerned I can understand that they might be in favour of peace but the statements from their politicians don't help.
Nitin Jun 21, 2011 04:56pm
The author has written what I believe is well known to all parties including the military - the war like situation is an economic model serving a select few incumbents - in this case the military. That this tension between India-Pakistan does not make sense to anyone and does not serve anyone else other than military is a no-brainer (Like in India the political class does not want eradication of poverty and universal literacy). The question is who will bell the cat.
Ravi Jun 21, 2011 05:11pm
Indian establishment is not spending on Defence at the cost of other Institutions. Indian Defence expenditure is still 2% of its GDP. Moreover, Indian defence preparedness is not geared towards Pakistan, at least not any more. It is driven by its threat perception vis-a-vis China. India does not pose any threat to Pakistan. India stands to gain more with a friendly Pakistan than otherwise.
Ranjit Jun 21, 2011 05:22pm
A serious, thought provoking and well written article for which I congratulate the writer. It has generated a significant response from readers and it would be interesting to learn of it's impact on the Establishment. Ranjit.
Arun Jun 21, 2011 06:42pm
I think this line sums it up "You have tried enmity with India now try friendship" , It can't be any bad than enmity. For the people who are paranoid about why India spends so much in military, we have another big neighbor in the north whom we did have history of war.
Bashir Jun 21, 2011 06:42pm
India is too busy to bring millions of its people out of poverty. The PM of India that came closest to resolving Kashmir with Mr. Nawaz Sharif was the leader of the "political party" that has been referred to.
Anwar Jun 21, 2011 06:55pm
This is the feeling most of us has. But the moot point is how do we overcome the strong mental hold our armed forces have over us? I only hope that all of us come together and ask for accountability from our military.
RAJ Jun 21, 2011 07:10pm
Beautiful thought ! If we all will consider Adnan Rehmat's intention our SAARC region will become one of the wonderful places in the world.
santosh Jun 22, 2011 11:23am
India and Pakistan do not get along, not because Hindus and Muslims cannot live together. India has more muslims than in Pakistan, spread across the country, who for the most part have lived in harmony with their Hindu brothers even after partition. Yes, there have been occassional riots, but not at the frequency that happens in Pakistan between sunnis/shias/ahmediyas etc. I believe, the discord between the two nations has got nothing to do with religion, but of the sense of a lack of purpose in Pakistan. To put it simplistically, The raison d'etre of Pakistan's existence seems to be that Hindus cannot live together in Harmony with Muslims, which is totally false as evidence shows. The elite(military) of Pakistan, as the writer argues in this brilliant piece, should rethink their narrative. For once, put the cause of the people at the fore front instead of serving their own narrow power hungry goals.
Chetan Jun 22, 2011 11:26am
Excellent article.kudos to the writer.Its high time pakistan thinks whats good for them and peace with us i.e. India is the only way forward...Pakistan has to start cleaning up the mess if they want a bright future for their coming generations.As long as we Indians are concerned,we hardly look at pakistan as an enemy coz we have understood that economic & social development of our own country is the only way forward...thats why we are a major growing economy in the world and hope pakistan also walks on the same path..
Prasenjit Jun 22, 2011 11:29am
Let the process begin man. These issues can be solved by talks not by absolute yes or No like Afghanistan is mine don't dare to come here etc. adding such thoughts will only complicate the issue.
Pranshu Jun 22, 2011 11:52am
The article is very well written and should be an eye opener for one and all....Pakistani friends should come out of their suspicion and should not make their opinion based on the majority, i think resuming the peace process is a landmark step and should be appreciated but the fact still remains the same!!
JFU Jun 22, 2011 11:55am
A brave thought in today's reality. It's a path that should be seriously considered - which deserves atleast one try. India's PM has has time and again said, he is willing to come more than half path for a friendly and warm relation with Pakistan. This is the best time for both nations to capitalize on the good will and work out a bright future in the interest of its people. Let people alone matter, not pride and prejudice. As the author has bravely written, let this be tried for atleast once. I am sure there are many many voices on the both sides who will speak with lot of love and warmth. I congratulate the author for bravely bringing up this article.
murli Jun 22, 2011 12:03pm
It’s nice to see such a wonderful piece of writing and it’s even heartening to see more responses from India.This indeed shows the common mindset that India has about Pakistan. We are not your enemies. Friendship with India not only strengthens Pakistan politically, it will open up a new arena of prosperity. lets live in piece and progress. India and Pakistan have lot many things to achive.
Vijay Jun 22, 2011 12:08pm
We use our army to help farmers to develop the road network(engineers), improve farming skills(agriculturists), help in improving milk production(veterinary), vaccinating the population(Doctors). These are just some of the services. Disaster relief and control among others.
pandit vishnu lakshm Jun 22, 2011 12:08pm
good article.
Indian Jun 22, 2011 12:19pm
Excellent analysis and very well said. For India now main enemy is on north east side not on west side. I think in last 10 yrs most of Indian diplomatic decision were taken keeping China in mind not Pakistan, and India is trying to improve their relationship with other neighbor including Pakistan. But in Pakistan almost every thing is controlled by Army not by government so they are keeping Pakistani people in dark and trying to spend more money on defense in name of India.
Zaka ud din Jun 22, 2011 12:50pm
The article reflects the importance of Indo-Pak Friendship. Well i must say that only " Hain kwakib kuch nazar aatay hain kuch".
Raj Jun 22, 2011 01:09pm
Just Wishful thinking and nothing else ! Nice Article though....
padmasekar Jun 22, 2011 01:22pm
good thought, but what we require is baby steps towards peace, not another bravdo before world media.
silentsoldier Jun 22, 2011 01:25pm
if india so desperate for peace then whe every step they have taken increases the tensions b/w both the countries.
Tonmoy Jun 22, 2011 01:39pm
A very good article. Although I agree with a comment 'wishful thinking', I think this can happen if we change the way we look at each other. Look at how propserous the EU countries are. Not a long time back some of them were at war with each other. But then, things transformed. People became mature. There was people to people relationship. Respect for each other. I have made a few Pakistani friends outside India. Away from our countires, we realize our mistakes that we can work upon. We have to co exist no matter what.
ravi Jun 22, 2011 01:43pm
good practical article. when decision makers consider institutions interest in mind rather than public for which the institutions are made, nation travels path of war/ path of brink. primary objective of state is welfare....that is food, shelter,eduction,health, of a country lies in good relationships with war ever solved any problems....path of peace takes nation to prosperity.... government should be ruled by elected representatives....
imkhalid Jun 22, 2011 01:55pm
so why india every year in their budget, increases defence budget???????
Raoul Jun 22, 2011 02:06pm
Pakistan as a nation is heavily indoctrinated. It was done by the elite, by the govt, by the army, after the ;71 loss, which caused tremendous insecurity in West pakistan. The idea was to talk more religion and becoming homogeneous, so that further break ups don't happen. Basically the whole disc was against the original constitution as per Jinnah and founders. But was overlooked by charismatic leaders with no idea of history and how it repeats herself.
jayaprakash Jun 22, 2011 08:58pm
I am an indian, and i always like reading dawn, its really constructive newspaper,, wonderful to see such an optimistic media mogul at the times when pakistan is being looked upon with suspicion by word. I feel Dawn should be taken as example by some of stupid indian news sits like Timesofindia. I have never seen a constructive article like this in TOI. Hope politicians and civil society looks at this and put efforts to wipe religious extremism, terrorism off the world map
Ashish Jun 22, 2011 10:49pm
Well no offense dude but India doesn't care much about pakistan's defense now. We only care about cross border terrorism. And Indian increases it's budget because it has China to consider. I am sorry if I sound rude but pakistan is not in India's legue anymore.
Usman Aftab Jun 23, 2011 12:54am
Excellent article! I would love to see the two neighboring countries becoming best friends and setting an example. But I would regard picture portrayed by the writer as a ‘fairytale’ since the ground realities are extremely complex. The Pakistani nation wants to make peace with India but it is hurting when we are told that Indian intelligence and the army is funding the unrest in Baluchistan province from across our eastern border with Afghanistan. A peace-loving but concerned Pakistani!
Ram Narayanan Jun 23, 2011 01:27am
India's defence budget is increasing because of the threat from the godless commies in China who want to conquer Asia, including Pakistan.
Anup Jun 23, 2011 02:43am
Read his first sentence please.
safia naz Jun 23, 2011 11:59am
we have been waiting for long for the time when India and Pakistan begin to live like good is the wish of every Pakistani to live with India in peace.
Khalid Siddiqui Jun 23, 2011 12:20pm
Peace is not one sided matter. The persons who are going to India to visit their families they put in the jail for a long period of time, and when they came out they are mentally disturbed.
pravin shastri Jun 23, 2011 02:05pm
I have only one question for my Pakistani friends." How does India benefit by having a destabilized or weak Pakistan?" On the contrary it has everything to lose if such thing becomes a reality.A destabilized Pakistan will surely pave the way for the 'Fundos ' to take over which any sane Indian Govt. would like to avoid. India has no strategic interest in Pakistan. In terms of 'realpolitik' It has nothing to gain and everything to lose by going to war with Pakistan. For the street-smart Indian politicians (including the BJP)Pakistan is not a 'vote-bank' issue. Notwithstanding the Mumbai attack an average Indian does not perceive Pakistani nation as a threat ( he certainly fears China.)India does not feel threatened by Pakistan either on economic or on military front.So why would we go in for any military adventure against your country? Under these circumstances we in India are not quite able to understand Pakistan's threat perceptions about us. Can any Pakistani friend provide an objective and non-ideological explanation ?
Hermi Jun 23, 2011 02:15pm
Nice to see such an article I agree with your views would love to see India and Pakistan at peace with each other its high time the grudge is dropped.
moh Jun 24, 2011 08:41am
good article, i think slowly Pakistan started to have free thinkers and if ppl like this come to power in Pakistan, it will be a developed state with 20-30 years..its a no brainer that competing with a country with 1 billion consumers and 10 percent gdp growth isn't sustainable esp when we haven't got a sustainable political or economic system..ppl in two countries want peace start ignoring media and politics then we have a future.
Suresh Jun 24, 2011 10:51am
Congratulations, Adnan Rehmat. You may be articulating the gut feelings of many many people in Pakistan. I can not understand why and how Pakistan can not trust the good sense of their common people even as 'educated' elite keep on messing with the country. We in India have seen the 'educated' elite have brought the infamous Emergency while the collective wisdom of uneducated masses have put the country back on rails every time there has been an aberration. I believe common people of Pakistan are equally practical.
raja Jun 24, 2011 11:14am
Excellent analysis and very well said. For India now main enemy is on north east side not on west side. I think in last 10 yrs most of Indian diplomatic decision were taken keeping China in mind not Pakistan, and India is trying to improve their relationship with other neighbor including Pakistan.
Upendra Jun 24, 2011 11:27am
Yes you are right. If you are facing such type of problem then contact with the media as you know in India you can not trust a politician or a police man. As we know from both the sides there are some elements who are responsible for these then why not co-operate with each other and left those disturbing elements.
Upendra Jun 24, 2011 11:29am
I want to request to all the Journalist that please help these two nation and make the peoples of two countries live happily. I know the media can change the Relationship.
Abdullah bin Umar Jun 24, 2011 11:51am
Excellent article! i believe Kashmir is the main problem between India and Pakistan , but our real problem is poverty.we have to increase our economic corporation ,which could help our economy. India knows it's strength is it's economy ,Pakistan has to understand that a powerful economy can protect them not the nuclear boom. today Pakistan's image in the world is not very good. which is known for mostly bad things. The time has gone when Pakistan dominated the India's foreign policy. now India's foreign policy has been shifted from Pakistan to china and USA. good relation between India and Pakistan will benefit both the countries.for that we need trust and business.
Prachi Jun 24, 2011 05:54pm
Indians and Pakistanis have the same blood, same lineage and same history. The only thing that is different is Religion. Think about it!!
John Samson Jun 24, 2011 08:37pm
Excellent article and analysis. It is refreshing to see this thought process from the media in Pakistan. For decades the Pakistan military has conspired to keep its pockets lined by drumming up the security threat with India and have used every opportunity to foment trouble and derail any peace process made by the civilian political population. This has left the economy in shambles, poverty has grown and the general populace has become disenchanted and takeup up terrorism. When the military trumps civilian authority this always happens. Until the political leadership grows a backbone and stops being subservient to the military Pakistan will always be a troubled state with its people in a vortex of poverty and neglect. In order for economic prosperity, pakistan needs to cut its military buget and moves resources/aid to development. For that the security bogeyman has to go away. The writer is correct - the very survival of the country of pakistan depends on it being able to make friends with India. it should not be so hard when the people share everything - race, food, and culture.
Saiful Jun 24, 2011 08:38pm
Please someone let Zaid Hamid to read this article . He is promoting war and violence among youth in pakistan in the name of religion.
Aditya Jun 24, 2011 09:43pm
Look you probably don't read enough Indian newspapers. Secondly, you should understand that Indian media doesn't need to exhort people to try to see Pakistan as a friend because of two reasons. Indians, as it is, spend little time worrying about Pakistan. And even if there is a discussion, a majority of people already know that peace is the only way.
Citoyen Jun 25, 2011 07:16am
Agreed JP. Dawn is a 1st class paper, it has changed my views of Pakistan. Also agree, that TOI is a blot on journalism. I've switched to The Hindu. I hope we resolve our problems ourselves. If not, an outsider will force a solution on us.
Kalees Jun 25, 2011 10:44am
I live and work in Dubai, last week one of my pakistan friend was talking about his native near swat valley. He showed me the pics of mountains and valleys and i was so curious to visit with my indian friends. After a while, we are so concerned to have a pakistani visa stamping in our passports. I was really worried that i cant go to the place. I wish pakistan comes out of all the challenges, the pakistan military will only worsen the things but the people of pakistan can.
R C Desai Jun 25, 2011 11:17am
Excellent article and suggesion. Wish the politicians and people persue the proposal. Us let us try friend ship instead of enimity
sanjay sharma Jun 25, 2011 11:43am
I am afraid that the majority of comments on such positive articles in Dawn are invariably from Indians,what abt readers in Pakistan. Does it mean there are no takers fr such optimism??
Avi Gore Jun 25, 2011 06:46pm
I am Indian American and a regular visitor of Dawn, just to set the record straight! Beautifully written article and wonderful thoughts. It started in China in 1970 and in India in 1990s. Questioning our approach from a view of our people and their life. In 30 years China was making waves and so was India in 20 years. It is easy for Pakistan to do it too in say 15 years or so. There is enough talent in our South Asian genes! Only way is democracy, freedom of thought and tolerance to differing views. Democratic evolution is a long term better bet than Military revolutions. I pray that the vast majority of of our Pakistani cousins receive blessings and wisdom from our maker in this path to societal prosperity. Prosper and live long!
Indian in America Jun 26, 2011 04:44pm
Excellent article. I am excited to see that the Pakistani press is finally beginning to question what sovereignty really means in this context, questioning the military's obsessive security concern and urging its people with a logical and fact based argument. Bravo!
Abhijit Jun 26, 2011 07:35pm
This needs to be published in Urdu & other languages also. This may help to change the mindset of the aam admi. Pakistanis need to focus less on religion & more on culture.
srini Jun 27, 2011 03:45pm
Article which is full of sense.But what is the use... Dawn's readership is restricted to English-speaking minuscule minority in Pakistan. And response from even this tiny group is almost negligible.
shyam mishra Jun 27, 2011 10:35pm
Excellent article . Grasp of common pakistani people mind. There is much common between us but still due to differences , preoccuption and wars between us in past, we forget one thing common man in both country Is suffering from same problems.
raja Jun 28, 2011 11:31am
you are very very much right