Red, White and Black


Pakistan not serious, says India
20 March, 2006, 8:30 pm
Filed under: India, Kashmir, Pakistan

The Indian National Security Adviser has declared that

Pakistan did not appear serious about finding a solution to the Kashmir problem and India was confused by suggestions emanating from Islamabad. “Pakistani suggestions will not lead us forward.”

I don’t like his statement. Primarily because it has no ground. Some things that have begun to bug me over the last few month:

One, despite acknowledging that infiltration from the Pakistani side has gone down drastically, there have been no attempts from the Indian side to normalise the situation in Kashmir. Musharraf had made a number of proposals over the last year or so. But I do not recall a single positive response to any of them from India. Why? They have always been declared ‘impractical’ and that’s been the end of the story. What was wrong about the latest demilitarisation proposal presented by Musharraf in his IBN-CNN interview? He was not asking to demilitarise just the Indian side, but also the Pakistani side? Was it not even worth a second thought?

Second, Saichen. Pakistan has been proposing that both India and Pakistan should demilitarise and remove troop from the glacier. Yet, nothing has come of it. The last meeting on the issue came out with no agreement. What could possibly be the sane objection that the Indian side has to this move? It is economically draining and strategically worthless. Why must the two countries be forced to indulge in this expensive hobby on the whims of India? Why?

Third, the Indian government seems to have shown little confidence in this whole process. Since the thaw in relations, both the Pakistani President and the Prime Minister have each visited India. But none of the high ranking Indian government officials have come across to Pakistan. And this has not been because of the dearth of any invitation from the Pakistani side. According to my informal count, an invitation has been extended to the Indian PM no less than five times. Why not then? I really don’t understand.
And still Narayanan is blaming Pakistan for the Varanasi bomb blasts.

Frustrating. Really.

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37 Comments so far
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Yes, I don’t think anything is going to happen. A future power does not come to the negotiating table until you compell them in some way. I don’t hate India but I don’t think it is going to do anything — they have nothing to lose. I personally feel a bit embarrased when Musharraf announces some offer and when it meets indifference. The CNN-IBN interview was the perfect representative of the frustrating picture and, I feel ashamed to say, our helplessness.

Comment by osmandin

I knew I’d see a post I’d disagree with pretty soon. Dint think it would be so soon.

Anyways, here’s the deal. (I’ll try and make the comment as compact as possible!)

The LeT(and its 4/5 myriad avatars) are all based in Pakistan. They get their funding from the Pakistani state(and perhaps Saudi Arabia, normal citizens as well).
In the past 6 months, counting just the major attacks they’ve killed AT LEAST a 150 people. (that is outside of J&K)

Even given the current Indian government’s sympathies and mollycoddling of Pakistan, and terrorists, it cannot afford to ignore so many people killed mercilessly, purely because our ‘peaceful’ neighbour desires disintegration of our country.

Most of the recent CBMs were initiated by India – and India had on offer a lot more than Pakistan eventually agreed to. Whether its access points across the LoC, whether its bus services et al.

Here’s what happened after the Bus services were opened:
The Hurriyat, which was only supposed to go into PoK, was allowed by Pakistan to break the CBM, and move to Islamabad and other towns of Pakistan – which was in violation of the agreement, AND not Confidence Building at all.

Just a couple of instances.

Comment by sukhi

This is exactly what Pervez Musharraf has been saying – that all we do is talk about the past. Now, it can be said that look, even recently PK has violated this and that, so how can we trust you guys. But this is the most dubious way to arrive at the solution. You must have some faith, and if you don’t have any, then kindly don’t talk about your desire to make peace. If one thinks that PKs will never be bound by their word, then don’t make statements asking Pakistan to take steps towards the process. You should know better, then, that we won’t do a thing. Now, Pakistan can raise similar issues, and we all know that there can never be an end to this finger pointing..

What Musharraf is offering amounts to nothing less than a fresh start. Again, if somebody does not want to believe it, that’s another story. And indeed, I think that is the case here. From my talks etc with scores of Indian students and professionals in the U.S., I find that the desire and intention is deficient/missing in general. I hear all sorts of complaints and justifications, and it’s impossible to find the desire to *actively* fix the situation. PKs are supposed to follow some vague program and be patient and cheerful and neighbor-loving until the other side feels that they are pleased with our efforts. That obviously is never going to happen. Jinnah’s sole fear was that Muslims might not be treated as equal, and ironically we are at the same page.

Therefore, I don’t think anything is possible until Pakistan approaches the problem realistically – that is by putting some pressure. It can be, should be done, before the U.S. gets more and more involved with India.

Comment by Osman

The difference, between India having/investing faith and being betrayed – to India not having faith is huge. And its the former that’s happened.

Osmandin, maybe everything I wrote above just bypassed your brain. Maybe it dint.

Either way, that is reality.
And the reality is that the Pakistani government has repeatedly betrayed India’s trust – and every single time its been Indian citizens that have had to pay for our government trying to forget the Pakistani govt’s sins.

Jinnah wanted 25% of the population to have the same amount of power as the rest 75% – a veto power, even. He didnt want equality.

anyways, coming as you are from an entrenchened “we are all good, you are evil” position, any further comment would be futile.

Comment by sukhi

As you yourself clumsily put it, Jinnah wanted 25% to have the “same amount” of power as 75% – now, that *is* equality, as it should be clear from the sentence itself. He wanted equal power — what else is equality? So I admit that he wanted equal power. A veto is something else entirely, and I’m surprised how the power resting with 75% was not conceived as a veto itself.

And I guess the same principle is being indirectly applied once more – it is said that because we are a larger power, the burden is on Pakistan. That obviously is the same 75/25 logic – back then the stance was that since Muslims are much less in number, they should get less power (“Don’t worry, we will protect them”). While the idea sounds right at first, it’s only another way of saying that might is right. Being in majority does not automatically make you a judge of who gets what.

I also didn’t say that PKs are free from blame. But, certainly, only an extremely foolish person would consider India to be an angel.

Hence the futility of these assertions and these arguments. It’s also useless to say that ‘you betrayed our trust.’ These are classic wolf/lamb arguments, and hence Pakistanis would be better off not wasting precious time in arguments/dialogs. At the very least, we shouldn’t make those desperate statements. Friendship is important, but it’s nothing compared to self-respect and principle.I don’t think we need to be confrontational, but there should be some discussion about alternative strategies.

Anyways, that’s that.

Comment by Osman

Heh, it’s not very often that you get to witness a catfight in your own blog. I am sorry, but I have been reserving my comments.

Sukhi, firstly the LeT was established with some state funding. But that was a couple of years ago. Since 2001, the Pakistani state has clamped down it. It’s has been banned a couple of time and its bank assets have been frozen. So all the rhetoric of the Pakistani state sponsoring militant groups is a little stale now. Also, let me remind you- the Indian government itself has acknowledgement that “infiltration” has gone down radically since the normalization of relations. It is a little childish then to keep crying about the betrayal of trust. Furthermore, I hope you do realise that some of the militant activity in Kashmir is home grown. The kashmiri people have some grievances which need to be addressed.

And then you mention the attacks outside J&K over the last six months. You know I do find it a little funny that 2 hours after an attack the government agencies start claiming that its the LeT or some other form of it that carried out the attacks. And then that’s all that we hear on it. A little convenient, don’t you think? Easy to generate a scapegoat and divert all attention away. And this is what the honoured NSA is doing yet again.

You say most of the CBMs have been started by India. Please remind me of them? The largest such CBM – the bus service post-earthquake was suggested by Musharraf. And even then just 1 of the 5 routes finalised was open on time. The reason behind the delay. Some unidentified Indian objections.

The Hurriyat thing. I don’t know what exactly was finalised with the Indian side when they came over. But I doubt the Indian side had any major objections. Their press was pretty mild and to me it was actually a brownie point for them in front of the Kashmiri people. They had let their leaders travel to the other side and hold political discussions with the Pakistani elements. Imagine the confidence building factor in front of the Kashmiris.

But please one thing. I have frequently come across complaints that Pakistanis are easily brainwashed by their government.. Frankly, the Indian side is no better. It is easy to convince the Indian public, of Pakistan wishing to break up India into a thousand pieces. Of Pakistan not being serious about it all. But what about the other side? No mistakes made there? No concessions to be made? Forgive me, but is it the high and mighty attitude?

Comment by ayesha

Ayesha,

Comments are a little late in the day, dont u think?

1.Infiltration has gone down != infiltration attempt have gone down. Infiltration attempts havent gone down, their success has been reduced, no thanks to Musharraf.

2.The JuD/LeT/ accounts were frozen when their bank balances were reading in tens, or at best hundreds of (Pak) rupees – not the millions that was otherwise in them. There are Pakistani folks who have documented it.

3.

It is a little childish then to keep crying about the betrayal of trust.


That might roll easy of your toungue, but, neither the folks whose kin were killed and maimed, nor the soldiers killed will think it so. If its childish, maybe you could help return those folks their lives back?

Furthermore, I hope you do realise that some of the militant activity in Kashmir is home grown. The kashmiri people have some grievances which need to be addressed.

Nope, not at all. JKLF was screwed by the Pakistani military when it got powerful, the Hizb was screwed when they got powerful – the chief reason LeT and JeM came into being, btw.

Oh, and Kashmiris are Indian citizens, the GoP should look at handling folks in Baloch, NWFP, and providing relief to the earthquake victims in PoK. Our elected govt sits in Delhi, not Islamabad, thank you.

4.

And then you mention the attacks outside J&K over the last six months. You know I do find it a little funny that 2 hours after an attack the government agencies start claiming that its the LeT or some other form of it that carried out the attacks. And then that’s all that we hear on it. A little convenient, don’t you think?

Pulled this off Google – a .
You’re welcome to take a look at
my other blog, at SATP. There are dozens of other places chronicling the Pakistani Govt’s and its footsoldiers’ misdeeds.

Easy to generate a scapegoat and divert all attention away. And this is what the honoured NSA is doing yet again.

Nah, its easier to dismiss available evidence and say one’s just looking for a scapegoat.

5.

You say most of the CBMs have been started by India. Please remind me of them? The largest such CBM – the bus service post-earthquake was suggested by Musharraf. And even then just 1 of the 5 routes finalised was open on time. The reason behind the delay. Some unidentified Indian objections.

The Bus service was suggested by the Indian side. The meeting points (across LoC) India suggested were 5 – reduced to 3 at Pakistani insistence.
Indian help to earthquake victims was reduced.
MFN status on trade to Pakistan.

I could make a whole post on Indian offered concessions and ones rejected/whittled down by Pakistan.

6.

The Hurriyat thing. I don’t know what exactly was finalised with the Indian side when they came over. But I doubt the Indian side had any major objections.

So, I specifically pointed it out, but that doesnt suffice, even though you admit you dont know about it?!

7.

But please one thing. I have frequently come across complaints that Pakistanis are easily brainwashed by their government.. Frankly, the Indian side is no better. It is easy to convince the Indian public, of Pakistan wishing to break up India into a thousand pieces. Of Pakistan not being serious about it all. But what about the other side? No mistakes made there? No concessions to be made? Forgive me, but is it the high and mighty attitude?

Yes it is easy to convince the public, after specific statements from your top dogs, and subsequent actions.

With 20,000 people killed(and more dying every passing day) because of your government, I think we have a right to be unforgiving. And its the reaction of a victim.

Comment by sukhi

Do comments need to approved? If not where’s my (prev) comment?

Comment by sukhi

need to be*

Comment by sukhi

No, comments are not set to be moderated. But for some odd reason, WordPress does forward certain comments for moderation. I have no idea what criteria. In any case a proper response will follow later in the night…

Comment by ayesha

I just figured it out. My comment had more than 2 links, and that, by default is set to be approved. Maybe you have the same setting as well.

A Proper response, eh? was your earlier one an improper a response?

Comment by sukhi

Sukhi,

improper response? nah, that last comment of mine was a hurried note and not a reply to your arguments. and thus said that will make a proper reply.

I think you probably missed my comment earlier. It was made over 20 days ago. 🙂

But after reading your response I am wondering, what on earth did i say that agitated you this much? Anyways, on to your comments then.

The infiltration bit.. So you would mean to say that all of a sudden, the Indian army has hit jackpot and it stopping more and more attempts? That it doesn’t have zilch to do with the fact, that Musharraf has actually clamped on such groups? It’s funny then that the Indian political and military leadership would admit to the fact that Pakistan has indeed brought down the infiltration level. Absurd in fact.

Frozen bank accounts. You know their bank accounts were frozen as early as 2000? Why you may ask? Maybe because they had turned into a menace within Pakistan as well? No, here the fact that they were banned is not good enough.

On being childish. No, I was not being childish when i made that statement and no having a little trust will not bring back the lives of those who are lost. But it will certainly prevent any further loss of such nature. Or are you assuming that its only the Indian side that has suffered losses? Or that there has been no loss on the other side? The reason that its rolling off so easily from my tongue is because I have experienced it upfront – what it means to be in war or in a war-like situation. Trust me, its not something that you would cherish. Maybe that is why I am more hopeful for peace- of the hope that the two side will stop seeing everything in black and white and realise that neither is an angel in this game.

on JKFL and local grievances. My friend, you need a crash course in the events of 1980’s Kashmir. Do you think that the kashmiris are so gullible and the Paksitanis so canny (sigh, as much as we would like to wish) that they can instigate unrest in the vale that can span over 2 decades? Do you remember what kicked off the uprising in the late 1980s? Was it not extensive rigging by the central government in the local elections? Was this not the pattern since 1950? Think over it.

and yes the Kashmiris are supposed to be Indian citizens, probably that’s why Sheikh Abdullah had this to say back in 1968:

“The fact remains that Indian democracy stops short at Pathankot. Between Pathankot and Banihal you have some measure of democracy, but beyond Banihal there is none. What we have known in Kashmir bears some worst characteristics of colonial rule.”

This quote was taken from this publication: Kashmir Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace by Sumantra Bose. Look, this dispute cannot be resolved if you continue to see it in black and white. We will not even get close to leading normal lives. Pakistan is not the sole culprit here. Get over that misconception. The Indian government has mis-stepped aplenty too.

btw, i loved your line “Our elected govt sits in Delhi, not Islamabad, thank you.” Go calm down, really. :- )

Oh bleh, its getting late and I have to work now. More later, maybe. Parting words though, Pakistan was the one that proposed the bus service. Musharraf in Muzaffarabad, more precisely. And Pakistan was the one that wanted 5 points opened, India cut it down to 3. And then on the d-day only 1 point was opened. Do you recall why? Because suddenly, the Indian intelligence had some concerns with those two points. So let’s us not even go that way. And yes, Pakistanis are very much aware of both sides of the story – contrary to what you might want to believe.

Dude, give peace a chance. Please.

Comment by ayesha

No, my last comment was toungue-in-cheek. Was referring to comment #6.

Will respond later, dont worry, am pretty calm at your response. Standard fare that I have seen often enuf.

Comment by sukhi

The infiltration bit.. So you would mean to say that all of a sudden, the Indian army has hit jackpot and it stopping more and more attempts?

Its a fence our army built – over sometime, and now its complete. You’d know if you followed the news often enough.

That it doesn’t have zilch to do with the fact, that Musharraf has actually clamped on such groups? It’s funny then that the Indian political and military leadership would admit to the fact that Pakistan has indeed brought down the infiltration level. Absurd in fact.

They’ve said infiltration has reduced – and qualified it with the number of attempts that have increased. There hasnt been a single instance where they have expressly said “yes, Mushy has clamped down on them”.

Frozen bank accounts. You know their bank accounts were frozen as early as 2000? Why you may ask? Maybe because they had turned into a menace within Pakistan as well? No, here the fact that they were banned is not good enough.

Maybe you should check your facts and on the stories. They were frozen in ’01, not ’00. And my referring to the amount they contain was via info obtained from Pakistani journos chronicling it.

On being childish. No, I was not being childish when i made that statement and no having a little trust will not bring back the lives of those who are lost. But it will certainly prevent any further loss of such nature.

Really? At least 70 people died in just one terror attack last year. There have been at 2 least major ones this year – one took away 30 lives or so. And our goverment is locked in a peace process with you. and Mushy’s pledge in Jan ’04 was that “No terror acts against India would be launched from Pakistani soil”.

By the time End-’05 came, and in the CNN-IBN interview, he was talking of peace in 3 towns. How’s that for keeping our trust?

on JKFL and local grievances. My friend, you need a crash course in the events of 1980’s Kashmir. Do you think that the kashmiris are so gullible and the Paksitanis so canny (sigh, as much as we would like to wish) that they can instigate unrest in the vale that can span over 2 decades? Do you remember what kicked off the uprising in the late 1980s? Was it not extensive rigging by the central government in the local elections? Was this not the pattern since 1950? Think over it.

(yawn).
So, some Kashmiri elections were rigged. So what? you’re telling me that those guns manufactured themselves, and those kashmiris suddenly became afghan, pakistani, etc.,? DNA transplants?

On the Sheikh’s quote – that points to bad governance at worst, and probably was from the times when he was just about to be sent to jail or so. So what? He was unequivocally for India. Peruse the other range of quote widely available.

Oh, and the losses on your side, its like Adolf Hitler complaining of losses due to WW2. Hollow, ridiculous and very insulting – especially if you are on the receiving side.

The problem is not that Pakistani side doesnt know, the problem is their steadfast refusal to acknowledge.

Comment by sukhi

My comment is simple.

We cannot trust the Pakistani Government. They have, currently are and will always support militant groups in kashmir, and then distance themselves from the militants. I think there is one solution to this conflict or problem. India and Pakistan must go to war, i particularly am not a war monger, but this problem has been going on for the past fifty five years, and it needs to end.

Whoever wins the war wins the argument. being an Indian by origin, i would say that Pakistan should accept what it has got, otherwise one day the whole world will back india to take back all the land it lost in 1947. I have read in online discussions and general research, that people prefer india to take back pakistan and bangladesh and be an even more united country. As theses forums and highly known journalists, professors etc, have said that pakistan is the enemy as it has sold Nuclear Technology to many countries, so you tell me why Indian should not feel betrayed by pakistan. India has more Muslim in its country that pakistan and Bangladesh put together. Also when Jinnah, wanted a separate Muslim state, the league knew that even with the creation of pakistan, there will be more muslims in india, but that did not bother them. Furthermore, why is it that Indian muslims that i know of, say that they would prefer to be and indian muslim rather than a pakistani muslim. why did jinnah not ask all the muslims in india at the time, to move to pakistan, there must be a reason.

Finally, i believe that in the future pakistan will start a conventional war, it will not use its nuclear asernal, why well, if is does then, pakistan will not survive to see another day, due to the destruction of the country and destruction to india, so i think a nuclear will not happen, however, i believe that a conventional war in southasia, will result in india winning purely on the basis of indian superior fire power.

Thanks

Comment by Yogs

@ Yogs:

come on man, lets start a war. it sounds like so much fun.

*day dreams*

Comment by ayesha

and I dont get an invite to start a war? 😐

Comment by sukhi

hehe. sukhi, you are but a rookie in comparison. arrange for some lessons with Yogs and then we shall see! 😀

Comment by ayesha

indian soilders have fought and died in kashmir we must never give it up to a terrorist nation

Comment by fisal

actually its amazing, how my blog seem to only attract hardline indian views…

[just a thought]

Comment by ayesha

Mine isnt a hardline Indian view(I wouldnt say so, anyhow) – and BD’s aint either, is it?

Comment by sukhi

“But please one thing. I have frequently come across complaints that Pakistanis are easily brainwashed by their government.. Frankly, the Indian side is no better. It is easy to convince the Indian public, of Pakistan wishing to break up India into a thousand pieces”

Press in India is FREE. Press in India is not Censored (except in times of communal violence). Blogs in India are not BLOCKED. (I heard blogspo.com is inaccessible in Pak!!). & we do not have military rule at the center or the state level. Now, present the facts to any logical person and watch which side he/she picks for “public mindwashing”!! (notice “MINDwash as against brainwash. The pak propaganda machine *morally* directs its populace against India”)

The last I heard, Bollywood was banned in Pak, Indian news agencies wer e banned on Pak cable networks ……

In contrast, PTV is freely available in India, Pak news-papers are available in big cities and the Pak movie industry has no sactions on our soil.

Now get why Paki opinions are suspect with Indian bloggers / public? To be honest, YOU are the most liberal voice I have ever read from the other side of the border! Keep up the good work. And please read a daily dose of Indian news (good sources http://timesofindia.com http://deccanherald.com ) with your daily doe of paki papers. I read the Dawn for what the other side thinks on contentious cross border issues, and am regulary disappointed by the “convenient censorship” imposed by the govt. on certan matters! The B’bay blasts is the most recent development.

Comment by IamMine

The B’bay blasts is the most recent development that disappointed me as far as coverage in the paki press goes.

Comment by IamMine

IamMine, I don’t have much time for all this currently. But I will just make this one post. A few things:

a. You are highly mistaken and you know preciously little about media in Pakistan. Do you happen to know that media under Musharraf is the most free it has ever been? If you can get away with this and this – the media has to be free. There are over 20 private channels function in Pakistan today. But of coruse, you wouldn’t know that or would you?!

b. Yes, blogspot was banned but that was hardly because of India – there were other reasons. But I suppose you haven’t heard of pkblogs.com have you?

c. Who told you Bollywood is banned in Pakistan? Three indian movies were recently screened in Pakistani cinemas. I personally watched one of them. Or haven’t you ever seen any of the Chintoo candy CDs of Hindi movies that are manufactured here and smuggled across the border. Or that you would find every Hindi movie on DVD in the markets a week or two after its release? All of this would hardly be the case if Bollywood was banned in Pakistan.

d. Umm – ever heard of the popularity of Star Plus in Pakistan? Ever? You really need to visit Pakistan and see how things stand and not whatever your free and unbiased media tells you. Incidentally, have a look at this. Ekta Kapoor was here to recruit and notice the amount of people who showed up to audition?! Would that be the case if no Indian channel was allowed transmission in Pakistan?

e. It is presumptuous of you to say that I am not aware of the Indian perspective. But heck, I don’t have to prove that to anyone. Also, if I am the first ‘liberal’ Pakistani voice you have seen, then your interaction with Pakistanis and the Pakistani blog sphere is rather limited. Kindly pursue my blog roll.

f. Pray tell me of any incidents where “convenient censorship” by the government was employed after the Bbay blasts! I am all ears. And what exactly is your grouse with media coverage of that incident here? That it was rational and did not jump to immediate conclusions about the perpetrators?! Yes, of course the Indian media acted with such responsibility in that respect. They are not one for sensationalism and plotting scapegoat. But, hey!

Comment by ayesha

Ayesha,

Star Plus is not a news channel. Lets start with how many Indian news channels you receive? Star News, CNNiIBN, NDTV…. For that matter, I want to know if BBC and CNN are freely available. Having 20 pak channels is good for fair reporting of the news that the govt. allows to be shown, does not imply a free press.

You do know that the Pak Supreme Court has a mandate to censor the internet right? Much like China!! And Blogspot.com is only the tip of the iceberg! You offer ways of getting around the govt. ban on blogspot by citing pkblogs.com but that doesn’t change how your govt. still restricts information not in line with govt. propaganda.

“Who told you Bollywood is banned in Pakistan? Three indian movies were recently screened in Pakistani cinemas.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4095232.stm

FYI, Bollywood releases more movies per annum than Hollywood!! So three movies that the administration deems fit does not prove ANYTHING!

As for Indian (pirated) DVDs being available in Pak after a week/two of release, shows how much the govt. is doing with regard to Intellectual Property rights and protection. And yeah, I know the ‘quality’ of the prints. One would get a nosebleed trying to watch them!

And, if you had a FREE press you would know bout the bollywood ban!!

Here is a bit about internet censorship:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_Pakistan

“The Freedom House, which monitors freedom of speech, has placed Pakistan among countries where the press is “Not Free” in 2004 and 2005.”

Read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_South_Asia#Pakistan

“Pray tell me of any incidents where “convenient censorship” by the government was employed after the Bbay blasts!”

Believe me Ayesha, I would love to scourge through google and compare coverages by both nations on the inssue, but am in no mood for digging for evidence off hundreds of news clips.

“It is presumptuous of you to say that I am not aware of the Indian perspective.” My suggestion on the daily dose of Indian media did not imply your ignorance of the other side, it did ask you to form opinions about your press’ freedom and its coverage of issues, thats all.

And to get past the govt. censorship of the Internet, I strongly suggest that you use a proxy/anonymous surfing system like http://www.the-cloak.com

Comment by IamMine

IamMine,

Yes, shockingly, BBC, CNN and the whole ilk is freely viewed in Pakistan. Yes, shockingly. Yes, even more shockingly, CNNIBN Live and NDTV are NOT banned. Shocked? tsk. I just quoted Stat Plus as one of the Indian Channels to show you that Indian channels and are not banned. My bad, I ought to have been more thorough.

So to support your allegations that the press is not free – how about you waste a couple of your hours and find me incidents where the government curbed a free press. How about that? Let’s hear it.

Oh if I remember correctly, blogspot was banned in India too, very recently. Tsk. Yes, it has been removed, I know that and I am hoping the same will follow here soon. The link to pkblogs was simply to show you that in reality the ban had no impact. Shockingly, all those blogs are still accessible. So the Pakistani public is not ignorant and supressed as you would like to believe. Talk about the SC mandate? Huh, have a look at this. Funny, no?

Dude, the bollywood ban was lifted. Period. Take it one step at a time. Three will soon multiply into 30. If you were such a keen reader of the Pakistani press, you would know what a strong lobby exists here for the release of all Indian films. Sure, you may get a noosebleed watching those prints, but again the bottom line is that all of that stuff is NOT beyond the reach of the public. The so-called ban is not really a ban.

And you may notice that the ONLY incident your wiki censorship link quotes is the blogspot ban following the Danish Cartoons. Please if you want your allegation that the press isn’t free here to hold true at all, you’ll have to do better than that.

And yes, I still feel that the press here is free enough – unless of course you can point out incidents where the government has actively censored stuff. The ball is in your court.

ps. Why do I need to use an proxy server?! I can access everything without it. But ohhh wait, the govt is out to bust me?! No freedom of press, oh yes.

late night, bad headache. so pardon anything you may perceive as rudeness. Bottom line here is that Pakistanis do NOT live in a supressed controlled society. Give them a little credit and get off that high horse.

Comment by ayesha

List of banned sites in Pak:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_Pakistan#Websites_reported_as_blocked_in_Pakistan

“Wikipedia article on Islamic Emirate of Waziristan earns a threat of a internet ban” .. from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_Pakistan

Here is a map of countries with free press. Ones in green are Free, Yellow-partly free and Blue, not free.

The Pak govt. took censorship to a whole new level with this one: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=17053

In Conclusion, may be the western media paints a bleak picture of Press freedom in Pak, and may be you paint the exact opposite. For an outsider, it is easy to believe the neutral west as against a patriotic Paki. s for the night making you RUDE, dont worry, I’ve been there, I understand.

Comment by IamMine

IamMine, please make up your mind. You had started off cribbing about the lack of freedom and biased reporting in Pakistani press and now you are down to internet censorship in Pakistan?! Bravo.

Those sites are banned just as similarly as the Indian government banned a host of sites after the Mumbai blasts. I don’t see you cribbing about that. But of course, the press is free in India.

The balochi journalist is all you can pick out?! Is that ALL?! One isolated incident. Of course, you wouldn’t be aware about the power of the press here – or that the government had to release two detained journalist within 36 hours after reports of their incarcenation hit the papers. Voila, the next day those men were free. THAT is freedom of press – the government gets a lot of flak over it. And surprise surprise the the editors survive after writing the damning words. But of course, if you were such a keen follower of Dawn you would know – as it was one of the paper at the forefront of that campaign. But hey.

Frankly, I don’t care what the Western agencies thing. I live here – and my freedom of expression is not curbed – the press and media here have a free reign – if they can bash the government 10 times a day and still live to tell the tale – I would take that as an indication of a free press and media. I wonder though if you ever took the chance to follow the two links I provided in my first response to you. If you had seen them, you would not be cribbing about the lack of a free press in Pakistan.

But of course, if you would rather believe the bad – that even BBC and CNN are banned here [ummm, whaat?!] – you are more than welcome to do so. I have had my last say here.

Comment by ayesha

Ayesha, hats of to your patience in dealing with pugilits. This is why I went off all the Indian history communities. Its hard to have a dialouge the other person is not listening.

I agree that President Musharaff’s proposals have been novel and showy. Howeever even as a liberal-aman-shanti-wagah-border-candle-lit-march-type of Indian, I would hesitate to take him at his word. Not necessarily because I trust his sincerity, but because I trust his longetivity. Very few Indians are confident that they can trust his successors to follow his policy (and we all know his domestic opponents run into legions). Even BB in her interview with Karan Thapar refused to move beyond the Shimla Agreement and even brought up the UN resolution.

Also, the Kargil war close on the heels of the Lahore feel good factor, was a huge huge setback. I don’t think grand gestures on Kashmir will work. India and Pakistan need to move beyond Kashmir in their relations. Improve trade, create economic interdependence, improve movement across borders, settle silly things like Sir Creek and eventually there will be no choice to be settle over Kashmir.

I am all for the proposal to convert Sianchen into a Wildlife Sanctuary/Heritage spot and demilitarize it, but I have heard senior foriegn service officials say, Mushy says lets withdraw, but the moment we retreat, they will step in and capture the heights.

PS: Do you know that I never actually managed to track down Chintoo Candy in Lahore. Shopkeepers just stared at me.

Comment by Red

@Rohit:

A familiar face finally! : )

On your point about his longevity: One, Musharraf is not going anywhere unless he is assassinated or removed by the American – so for the immediate future (for a couple of years, i mean) India will have him to deal with. Secondly there is another factor – of which I don’t believe there is enough appreciation on the Indian side. And that is the fact the Pakistan Army has realised that a solution to this problem can no longer come through military means and consequently, it has ruled out adventures like Kargil. This realisation stems from a) the failure of the Kargil approach b) cognizance of the fact that India is the ascendant power in the region and very soon the balance of power will be titled quite heavily in her favor. In such a scenario, it would be disastrous for Pakistan to even dream of continuing this Cold War. So my point is that Musharraf’s new policies are not spur-of-the-moment utterances – rather they stem from some hard soul searching within the Pakistani establishment and the Army. Also even when Pakistan had democratic governments, the Kashmir policy was the domain of the Army. So if BB didn’t go beyond Simla, it was because the Army did not want her to. But it’s a different story now. So Musharraf should be given some serious consideration. Oh incidentally, we have Robert Wirsing speaking on this very issue at my workplace in a few days. His perspective would be very interesting to hear. Will try to manage a write-up later.

On the Siachen distrust issue: Yaar, that’s very same problem that kept Pakistan from removing its forces from Pakistani part of Kashmir back in 1948… Deficit of trust is the hallmark of the Indo-Pak relationship. The first step has to be taken somewhere.

On chintoo candy: I do believe it’s gone out of market, now. 😛 Any plans to visit Pakland soon?

Comment by ayesha

[…] was reading a post yesterday and it was about the righteousness of nations. Debating are two passionate bloggers – […]

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Both India and Pakistan should cut out this fight and instead of investing in defense, put their money into infrastructure. There used to be a rumor that current Tamil LTTE issue in Sri Lanka was really funded by Singapore to prevent Sri Lanka from becoming the “ideal” port and what Singapore has become today.

India and Pakistan need to learn to play by their rules and not by the rules of arms dealers countries such as US, China, France, UK, and Russia.

Comment by mumbaiKar

Interesting debate. But Ayesha, I’d disagree.

Seriousness is something that has been missing at both ends – no one side can cap itself with more feathers than the other on that count. There have been transgressions aplenty – and it’s not too difficult to see, why? All this peace rhetoric is just that – rhetoric at best.

Ostensibly, the point that we are missing is that peace is NOT on the agenda. Since the agendas being pursued here are farcical, in the spirit of “I can fool you better”, no real results are expected. It’s naive, even incredulous at a certain level, not to mention that it’s absolutely amazing the way we keep hoping something would come out of these talks. Hasn’t it been going on for too long, for any such expectation to cast serious aspersions on one’s intelligence?!

Comment by Nidhi

@Nidhi
Completely agree with your explanation. Seriousness has been absent on either side. In the present real situation, giving peace a chance sounds just too poetic, Something that I am sure I wont be seeing in my tife-time.

@Ayesha
Normalizing the situation in Kashmir is not a one-sided game where Indian Armed Forces do all the work. There have to be mutual co-operation from the local people as well. The latest fatwa prohibiting asking/receiving help from the Indian Army to restore shrines and mosques, the mindless suicide bombings and the brain-washed local population – where is India at fault in not taking a first step towards peace? But we should get a positive response as well, isnt it?

Now Musharraf’s idea of de-militarising both sides in J&K. Think from a very very practical point of view, all fantasies of peace aside. The level of trust on both sides will never allow this to last even a day. Both side will suspect the other of moving in and grabbing the whole chunk in a whiff. In my personal opinion, noble as the de-militarising idea may sound, this will put both the nations on the brink of sudden war.

To your point about Siachen, I think the same explanation, more or less, holds good.

“Third, the Indian government seems to have shown little confidence…..”. Here again, it depends which side of the border you re on. Media plays an important role in our opinion-forming process. Now I am not saying that media on either side reports false news, but the tone of the news may greatly influence one’s opinion, even though the gist remains the same. So for us, its the Pak leaders who come here on a sight-seeing tour and do nothing good. I dont see the need of Visits if the Will is not there (speaking for both the sides).

Comment by Oemar Rehmaan

The comments section reminds me of soem grand table tennis championships. Major ping-pong matches at various tables in one large hall. And Ayesha is often playing on two tables simultaneously.
I loved reading it as much as rued the display of distrust, animosity and ill-spent passions.

Comment by Pankaj Molekhi

Just have to say one thing.. kashmir is in India.. I really dont understand Why Pak needs that.. It is so Sad that pak does not have give a place / food for its own people.. see Nawaj sharif ..
In india .. we give food to all indians + all those pak people who are hiding in india too..
Give a break.. be happy in your own world.. I am from kashmir.. but because of you people roaming here and there all over india.. give a break..

Comment by Mishradk

[…] was reading a post yesterday…about the righteousness of nations. Debating are two passionate bloggers – an […]

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