Engage Pakistan’s army - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Monday 7 March 2011

Engage Pakistan’s army

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 8th Mar 11

The going-nowhere dialogue with Pakistan will restart later this month when foreign secretary, Nirupama Rao, meets with her counterpart, Salman Bashir. As our foreign ministry well understands, a fresh start does not guarantee fresh results. The dialogue is doomed to failure for the simple reason that New Delhi will again be talking to proxies, with the military --- the real power centre in Pakistan --- exercising its veto from the shadows.

Few would dispute that New Delhi must engage Pakistan’s democratic leadership, providing them credibility and building a constituency for peace. But Indian decision-makers have blundered in leaving all interaction with the Pakistan Army to the US and the UK, both of which are being manipulated with consummate ease by a Rawalpindi club that has perfected this art since the Cold War days of Ayub Khan. It is time for New Delhi to buttress its political dialogue with a direct engagement of the men in khaki. The best way to begin that is through military-to-military ties.

For two reasons, this is a controversial suggestion. The first is democratic India’s penchant for playing by the rules: political and diplomatic engagement, New Delhi reasonably believes, is the preserve of politicians and diplomats, not soldiers. The second reason is the outdated apprehension that allowing India’s military a role in engaging Pakistan might encourage praetorian pretensions of the kind that have politically eviscerated our western neighbour.

Ask a New Delhi bureaucrat about the possibility of the two army chiefs talking to each other and you will get the acid retort: “There is absolutely no question of General VK Singh discussing the Kashmir issue with General Kayani.”

But Kashmir is hardly about to head the agenda in any military-to-military engagement. Many Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) already exist, including a 1998 prohibition on attacking each other’s nuclear facilities; a 2005 agreement to notify each other before testing ballistic missiles; a 1991 agreement to notify each other about military exercises near the border; a 1991 agreement on preventing airspace violations; and agreements for border meetings and communications links, including a hotline between the two Director Generals of Military Operations, or DGMOs. What is needed now is an institutionalised system of visits and exchanges that will turn faceless, nameless, dehumanised enemies into rivals that one knows and meets.

Any form of interaction --- even a game of golf at a hypothetical Annual India-Pakistan Military Commanders’ Conference, held alternately in New Delhi and Islamabad --- would gradually erode the bitterness and mistrust that is the legacy of Kashmir, Bangladesh, Kargil and Siachen: names that symbolise perfidy and ill-intent on both sides of the border. To illustrate the extent to which distrust prevails: very few responsible Indians would consider invading Pakistan at short notice today; but the Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters (GHQ) at Rawalpindi has, despite assurances from India, decided against thinning out its defences against India to reinforce the troops operating against militants in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (the erstwhile North West Frontier Province).

This complete absence of personal knowledge was not always the case. Until the mid-1970s, senior generals on both sides had served together before independence. General (later Field Marshall) Cariappa could actually consider an impromptu road trip to Lahore at the height of the 1947-48 war to discuss an issue with a Pakistani general. Today, however, Pakistani and Indian soldiers known each other only as targets in the cross hairs of weapons. But when they meet and work together, for example on UN missions, wariness turns quickly into respect and camaraderie. Capitalising on this soldierly affinity, New Delhi must renew its offer to Islamabad --- made earlier in 2004-05, but turned down then by Pakistan --- of direct military-to-military CBMs.

The value of such contacts was evident during the 1999 Kargil conflict when, even as the two armies battled each other, the two DGMOs spoke to each other regularly. As Lieutenant General SS Chahal recounts, his conversations with his Pakistani counterpart, Major General Tauqir Zia, were always courteous and resulted in the defusing of several thorny issues, especially when the Pakistani Army was withdrawing across the Line of Control (LoC). Today, New Delhi must have more answers to that classic diplomatic question: “if there’s a crisis relating to Pakistan, who can I call?”

The need for engaging the Pakistan Army is especially important as “Zia’s children” rise to its highest echelons. The devout Muslims that Zia attracted in large numbers by making religiosity a criterion for promotion are now major generals and would soon become corps commanders, the arbiters of Pakistan’s destiny. General Kayani is not known for any love of radicalized officers. His predecessor, General Musharraf, who faced serious personal threat from radicalized officers, tried hard to weed them out from the promotion chain. Inevitably, though, fundamentalist generals will slip through the cracks and contribute to the radicalization of that army.

Institutionalised military-to-military interaction would allow Pakistani officers to travel to India, countering the widespread belief in Pakistan that Indian Muslims face severe religious persecution. While our Muslims lag deplorably in indices relating to economic and social development, they are far from the tyrannised community of Pakistani demagoguery. Pakistani officers would also get a chance to see India for what it is rather than what it is regarded as in Pakistani army messes.

Indian hardliners, who would oppose any engagement of the Pakistan Army, would do well to remember that the resumption of dialogue this month would not be possible without Rawalpindi’s concurrence. The only time the two countries have come near a compromise on Kashmir was when Musharraf, an army chief, spearheaded the dialogue. Like then, India may end up being surprised by the Pakistani Army’s willingness to talk and compromise.


  1. Parminder Grewal7 March 2011 at 19:05


    It is extremely interesting that a former member of the army seems to be suggesting that the army play a role in diplomatic overtures with the de facto rulers of another country (the Pakistani army). Whats next?
    Im no diplomat or bureaucrat. I am a 25 yr old student and I can see the problem in that.

    Are we talking about the Indian army fraternising with the Pakistan army?? That should be fine.

    Or are we subtly suggesting about Indian army negotiating with Rawalpindi. In that case does the army have the democratic mandate to negotiate with an external entity. I am not saying that it is wrong, all I am asking is , does it make sense in a democratic process for the armed forces(an unelected entity) to participate in such negotiations.

    The Indian govt could engage with Kayani and his entourage through diplomatic back channels but getting the Indian forces involved is a bit controversial.

  2. Your suggestions as usual are radical and make sense. But for this to happen there needs to be a political will to clear up the Kashmir mess and solve it once and for all.

    Unfortunately, all the Indian politicians are bothered about is saving their "kurchi" especially in the context of coalition politics. Of course, the opposition is anything but constructive.

  3. Please stick to writing on military toys. Leave international relations to others. Just saying.

  4. This should have happened 30 years ago when the generals most probably were erstwhile barrack mates.

  5. Col Shukla,
    Let me state in the beginning that I have been in support of India's engagement with 'The establishment' and that mean , Khakis in Pakistan, brought this view to people in power or senior bureaucrats often. I also have tremendous respect for men in uniform but I just can't help laughing at, "Few would dispute that New Delhi must engage Pakistan’s democratic leadership".

    Sir, I disagree with this dialogue process completely. You are smartly pushing Congress agenda of talks so that we have something to disrupt when the next 'Mumbai' happens otherwise public pressure will lead to an armed response. This dialogue process is pulling a fast one on poor SDRE Indians, foregoing national security implications and under pressure of Americans, for the American gain.

    Let's see what have India gained till now thru these 'Talks' and likely to gain through this 'Dance' ? Nothing ? Zilch, Nada?

    Yes, we must talk to the generals but the points of discussion are all wrong. Pakistanis, as Subramnayam used to say, have pathological hatred for India, it is not about Kashmir. It is about justification of their existence. You wnat Indians to talk with General Kiyani, Who is dubbed by Americans as the 'Most anti-India general of Pakistan Army'. the same ideology associates, 'unconditional offer of talks' as sign of weakness and one TFTA Mard = 10 Kaffir Hindus.

    Talks are pure appeasement and shall embolden the Paki army. Till we have strength in our actions and demonstrate the capacity to Punish the Khaki infrastructure for any act of terrorism on Indian soil, the talks with them will yield exactly the same - ZIlch, Nada, Niyat.

    Enjoy the Chai-biskoot sessions that bureaucrats have with each other.

  6. I would dis-agree!The officer corp of the Pak Army is their elite;educated,rich and aware.In the age of the net and global communications they are very well aware of the status of Muslims in India.And for sure it is not to their liking!!!The entire premise of Pakistan was based on a fact that Muslims cannot stay safe or free in India(read under non-Muslims).Take that away, and you take away the very rationale of Pakistan as a nation.Please go through their text-books,media,policy to see how deeply this is ingrained.EVEN if Muslims of India are seen in the best of conditions,it will be dismissed as a staged propaganda.Aspersions and doubts will be cast on how the real story of 'oppression is hidden'.Please do not underestimate the depth of anti-India feeling,long borne out of the very basis of Pakistaniyat!The much touted separateness, racial superiority of Pakistan as a culture, civilization and history which had only one logical answer for them,Pakistan!The ultimate security aim of Pakistan is only two fold,that there be no united India or it be under Pakistan.It sounds almost a joke,but hear their society at large and it does not sound so.The Pak army has always taken tactical decisions for its own benefit.How can one called Mushy a statesman.All that he did was derive short term benefits to propagate his own rule.I really find it hard to believe that the Pak army will behave better if we 'show' them around India.Perfidy and deceit are perfectly acceptable tools , legitimized and rationalized by Pak as logical steps against a bigger hostile neighbor.They are not going to give it up any time soon.And if Pak army were indeed mindful of the welfare of Pakista,it would not be in the deep sh** it is in today.Its barely been 60 odd years since partition.These things will take many many generations more to come about,IF EVER.Lets not be in a hurry about it.Pak went its own way,OK,Let them be.Lets be neighbors OK.But lets not feel guilty of having to walk the extra mile just because we are bigger!!!One of the most ridiculous things one keeps on hearing is that India should be more generous!!!FOR WAHT? Kargil,Mumbai???Let us be business like with them.They keep peace so do we,they trouble so do we.There is no need for anything extra. Peace has its own logic and time.History shows us,when it has to come,the dynamics are set off on their own.

  7. Col. Shukla - A nice stirring of the pot, sir! But not a chance in Pakistan that this will happen. Sadly true. The Americans have perfected the art of CBMs between militaries, but we stick to Nehruvian idealism.

    @t Chandrabhan... what was that "Niyat" in your line "ZIlch, Nada, Niyat" ?

    "Niyat"!!! ??? !!!!

    Anonymous @ 12:20 -

    You are wrong when you say that the upcoming crop of Pakistani military leadership is not Islamist in the worst possible way. They may be from rich families, but what Col. Shukla wrote is correct. Under Zia the dude, Pakistan spiralled into a society that grew far apart from its ideal of Ataturks Turkey. Their military academies and staff colleges had courses on mullah strategy and philosophy as part of the curriculum. What was formerly a professional institution (though anti- India), became a completely "fundoo" (Gen. Musharaffs words, in his memoir "In The Line of Fire) institution.

    I, like many of my ilk, am a believer in talks. But not merely talks... rather influenced by that proverb that was rumoured to have influenced the Monroe doctrine (that our Chinese neighbors have been trying to implement with Chinese characteristics)... "Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far". We should undo our ex PM Gujrals action in removing our capability for covert action... and give a little taste of the Pakistani medicine back to them. But then again, where are the balls?

  8. Historically Muslim Rulers cannot be trusted. Babur, Aurangzeb, Tipu Sultan, Nizam etc all had the same design to colonize India and its population. Pakistan's current breed of rulers in no different. Their long term stated agenda is re-colonization of India under Islamic caliphate. It is unfortunate that Indian cultures forgot/lost its own history of conquests and colonizations carried out under the Great Mauryan dynasty and other great kings of India. Islam needs to be humbled. Pakistan by its name would be a great starting trophy to behead in our future conquests heading Westward. We need more daring and agressive leaders not rapproachment seeking Gandhi-wadis. Anyway, one final chance should be given to Pakistanis (Army or otherwise) to stop and reverse their foolish agenda. Failing which India should take the initiative to dethrone the rulers of Pakistan (supposed and actual). This is "the" time India has to show its overtness and not shy away from conflict and problems of muslim sufferings. Why should India apologize for state of Muslims in India. They have befallen their own fate on themselves. India is a secular country, and Muslims are as free as anybody to pursue their happiness in India. Why do they complain, if they seek backwardness due to their faith!!! If they don't want to modernize, so be it. Why complain???

  9. Rahul(Kolkata)8 March 2011 at 01:20

    Shukla da, even I am of the view that the armies should talk to each other but the problem is even then Pakistan's fixation problem with India will not be solved. This is because the generals in Rawalpindi want to see that India is viewed in a negative light in Pakistan as it satisfies their self interests. So what they will do is appoint an army general who is inclined to the West and India i.e loves peace while talking with Indian army. Actually this army officer will not hold any power. Even if one assumes that he will have some power, the moment the prospect of ever lasting peace with India rises in the horizon,he will be thrown away to bring the whole process back to square one.... I don't believe that Musharaff being thrown away as a result of his standoff with Chief Justice of Pakistan and the subsequent protests is just a natural sequence of events as we now know that he was the only leader with whom we were closest to solving all outstanding issues.

  10. And now the uncle has directed you to support Congress's giveaway moves ?

  11. Col Shukla,
    I am reminded of what Vidur told Krishna when he was Going for last talks with Kauravas, "Duryodhan , Instigated by Shakuni and emboldened by Karana and Dushashan will see this overture as weakness. he will insult you too"

    We have a Shakuni in China and other two are filled by America and Saud family money. The same Krishna said to Vidur, "Shanti agar samman ki keemat par mile to aswikar hai"

    Where are those grand talks of, "Nothing moves till punishment of mumbai perpetuators" ? Alas, We seem to have forgotten so much and so soon. Moreover, what saddens me is this sentence sad by our PM, "No Indian is part of Alqaeda" as if they are the gold standard of terrorism and Let (ISI by other name) can keep killing Indians (around 9000 in the past decade itself) but they are small fry onlee sir.

    Sir, Pakistan army is Jehadi in Uniform. They just need to shed uniforma nd there is no difference in them and LET/JEM. Then why not talk with Hafeez syed itself?

    @ Heberian

    'Niyat' is a Russian word for No. I may have misspelt it.

  12. Your question should not be who to talk to in Pakistan, but how to counter certain advantages they currently have before even talking to them.

    Pakistan is now positioning itself as the conduit of energy reserves either from central asia to India or Iran to China. Whichever way that goes it has ensured its relevance for a few more generations.

    Pakistan also respects a strong/no-nonsense adversary[e.g. Richard Armitage missive to Musharraf post 9/11] and is also intelligent enough to sense weakness and incompetence[e.g. current diplomatic/shooting crisis with US citizen which they will milk for money].

    What is our track record with them, a flawed decision by Nehru in 1948 that gave pakistan a land border with China. If not for that, today we would have had a land border with Afghanistan and a window to central asia. Another political blunder in '65 when the armed forces were knocking on lahore. In '99, though Kargil is remembered as a victory[which it is], no one talks about how paki regulars got up there. That was an Intelligence and operational failure. So the only pure victories we had were Siachen and '71 when our leadership was determined and proactive. This fact is probably not lost on them.

    P.S. By the way continuing research on the Thorium based PWR will be a good slap in the face to that cocky state.

  13. Hi Ajai,

    I'm inherently incapable of not being a devil's advocate, so the first thing that struck me on reading your suggestion was that as a Pakistani General, what is there in it for me. Why should I waste my time on this dance? What benefit could it bring me?

    I found that far from bringing any benefit, something like this could result in a significant reduction in the power of the Pakistani Army.

    Here are my thoughts:

    - Its suicidal for the Pakistani Army to entertain the notion that the Hindoos are anything but a devious bunch of immoral, rapacious, cunning, twisted savages whose sole purpose in life is to capture the land of the pure. Even admitting that we are a respectable enemy is not acceptable, for that would mean that there is no imminent, urgent danger of the extinction of Pakistan, which would make their claim to power and their claim to a disproportionate share of resources questionable. Why would the top brass embark on a course of action that would weaken the hold of their organization on the state and its resources.

    - How can the PA smile and forgive and forget the army that has in the past comprehensively defeated them in front of everybody's eyes, and today is several times more powerful. Forgiving and forgetting in this case is more likely to feel like surrendering and giving up. Its like a peasant in Ukraine standing up in 1948 and saying, I forgive Stalin for the time he wiped out my family. People who still had the capability to laugh in those terrible times, would laugh their guts out at this joker. Would PA agree to become a joker?

    I realise I might be exaggerating significantly, but I just wanted to bring forth another angle to this issue to help you finetune your argument.

  14. Quoting "names that symbolise perfidy and ill-intent on both sides of the border."...

    Col Shukla,
    Care to elaborate ill-intent on the Kaffir's side please?

  15. Anon@1400-

    You are a pile of horse shit. Creep back under whatever ISI psy ops group you crawled from. I cant believe they have gone down so low in standards as to employ idiotic cretins like you. What do you think, that your camel shit will demonstrate how nonsecular and communal Indians are? Elementary, elementary... go back to the ISI psy-ops courses and get your theory right. They used to be better.. Sigh.

  16. Contemporary interpretation of "Not a chance in hell" is "Not a chance in Pakistan".

  17. I don't see any point in solving kashmir problem at this point of time, however rude, inhuman and cruel it may sound but, as an Indian I want this problem to settle in my favour, looking at the way Pakistan is crumbling in future it shall become weaker thus more eager and ready to give us more discounts rather expecting from us

    Col does it makes any sense

  18. Sir,
    Even a much secular new paper like dawn carried an article commenting on recent godhra judgement, which made it look like a judgement passed against muslims by hindus not against criminals how do you expect such a country having a history of 60 yrs of brainwash will be able to welcome an Indian general? I'm living in a developed country and I've seen Pakistanis all my life here, even Pakistanis born here feels exactly same about Indians what Pakistanis born in Pakistan feels, for them India is nothing but Hindu...these guys r at such an extreme that it is impossible to expect ny intelligent thinking frm them ..they r only good fast bowlers..nothing more than tat

  19. The army of Papisstan is worth engaging only in the chain of wars and destroyed and is not worth discussing anything.

  20. Its true that political dialog has resulted in nothing last 65 years, its still in square 1, however if you ponder the reason, its mostly been India trying to extend an olive branch, and pk biting that hand everytime,remember how they dismembered our brave sourav kalia's team in kargil,,,they are not human beign, have no values, morals or ethics,, so the question arises, why even bother trying to engage them, they wont give you anything other than some CBM's but snatch much more from u, take advantage of us been a democracy, this is like having dinner with only pickels minus rice-sambhar,,,there is no point to it. I would say we should invest in intelligence gathering inside and outside,,tackling them in all possible ways,they are doing it day and night to us(example: fake currency thru nepal)by smart thinking, blocking them economically, breaking thier friendships, isolating them internationally, lableling them as bad seeds everywhere,cutoff their tourism and investment,we should get them to be bankrupt,,and also holding a big stick if they try to play smart next time,,this is the only way to deal with a hard headed fool who doesnt want to live peacefully,who is bent on eliminating u, by extending friendship and olive branch, we dont get any respect by that,,,only way to get respect is by strenght,,applies to Chna also...

  21. Ajai Shukla has now become wajib-ul-qatal for writing such blasphemy.

  22. hi,

    I am not in favor of any dialog with Pakis, as their government has no power and their army is always behind every terrorist attacks happen in India.

    You were talking about Mussaraf, he is the person who planned Kargil war. The Current military leadership has planned 26/11 Mumbai attacks. How can you forget these thing while suggesting for engaging Pakistan's army.

  23. it is amazing when indians are offered the chance of peace they start doughting, back tracking on everything and then few years later they blame the otherside. Look at your article, you start of implying blaming on pak/army and then end with mushraf's offer of peace...we all (europe) know that it was the indians getting cold feet that stopped the process then. How can there be peace between a nation that is not afraid of being cornered and a nation that is afraid of its own shadow, but will try to screw the other at every opportunity? I do not see peace coming anytime soon.

  24. It may be true that dialog is the only way to change the status quo in relations between the two countries. However, an honest dialog requires two earnest parties. The problem is that Pakistan is as perfidious a party in negotiations as you can get. The increasing rule of Sharia in the country and the 'elected' government's inability to counter the all-pervasive religious doctrine by more secular ideas portends to an even worse situation. The ruling elite of Pakistan are well aware of India's secular principles and equality for all its citizens. Today India is more open to the World through diverse media channels, becoming an open book for anyone who wishes to know her better. Pakistani generals are not going to learn anything more than they want to know already if they toured the country. While it is true that demographics point to an unfavorable economic balance for the Muslims in India, it is not due to any institutionalized or social bias against them. The Muslims have just as much a chance to make it in India as any of the other classes. We know how much the GOI has spent to raise these people up from penury and discrimination. The GOI to its credit is uniform in its ineffectiveness in social reform as it is in infrastructure building. That's just the state of modern democracy in a developing nation, not institutionalized discrimination.

    My point is that India just cannot trust Pakistan today, and its not going to get any better unless Pakistan can get away from radical religious institutional bias against non-muslims. The talibanization of Pakistan is gaining ground and yes, it may have already infested the Pakistani military.

    India has a REAL problem with Pakistan. And its within the very psyche of the country, which is a biased irrational hatred of Hinduism and every other religion (except Islam of-course) that finds home in India. We have to face this fact and deal with it head on. Sadly, India has a lot of people who wish us ill and the one's that are most dangerous (ignoring China for the moment) at this time have one thing in common, they are Muslim.

    Sorry Colonel, but we may have to confer more with Israeli army generals than Pakistani, on this one.


  25. Sir,

    You are correct. I have long held the view that this is something we have to do if we are to get anywhere with dialogue. The so called 'civilian government' is merely a front and cannot deliver on anything. I do not however, advocate military to military talks. I think the only way we can make this work is for the two power centres to engage directly. This means direct talks between the GOI and the pakistani army. We should cut the charade of even recognizing the so called pakistani government and deal directly with the generals.

  26. Stick to China border Shuklaji.

  27. Ajai sir

    Lets keep the Pak army out of this. If we talk to them on the lines we talk to Pak politicians or bureaucrats we will unknowingly legitimize their presence and then to develop CBMs we may have to many a times bow their outrageous demands.

    Their is a saying "You can bring the horse to a water hole, but cant make it drink water". This saying basically summarizes what you are proposing however controversial it may be.

    By the way where on earth you find the words like 'praetorian pretension', 'demagoguery', 'perfidy'; by looks of it I must say you should have studied literature and become a english professor, instead of a amry soldier.

    Joydeep Ghosh

  28. Good out-of-the-box thinking!

  29. Is there any precedent of sworn enemies moving past their antagonism and suspicion on the basis of "talks"?

    Enemies have more commonly become allies driven by war. The whole WW2 bunch of nations.

    Even the French and the British overcame their hostilities when they fought together against a bigger threat - Russia for example in the Crimean war.

    So I would say there is potential for peace, but it would come only under three conditions, India defeats Pakistan militarily and effects a regime change with a focus on detoxification of the Pakistani mindset. OR - Pakistan defeats India and reduces it to a colony. OR - India partners with pakistan to save it from aggression from a third party. OR - Pakistan partners with India to save it from aggression from a third party.

  30. Dear Sir

    Infact the two Armies did interact On Siachen

    Indian Army demanded the AGPL to be the border Pak Army refused

    When the Americans are NOT ABLE to make the Pakistan Army do its bidding against the Afghan Taliban AND when the Pakistanis are openly supporting Taliban while pocketing the aid money HOW can we trust those EVIL Pakistanis

    Your idea is impractical

    Will Pakistan accept evidences against ISI
    It will only go on harping about KASHMIR KASHMIR KASHMIR

    Pakistan Army is hell bent on destroying India through its thousand cuts theory

    Zaid Hamid and Hafiz Sayeed are ALL Pakistani Army creations

    The Green Flag on Red Fort is STILL ALIVE

  31. Guess I am late here.

    Everybody seems to have pointed that the PakArmy will not try to weed out its own raison d'être.

    The PakArmy/ISI is under no illusions about India and India's treatment of our muslim populace.

    The India demonising is strictly for public consumption only.

  32. I totally disagree.Pakistan army and political leadership both are cunning enitities which can never be trusted. Make pakistan bleed economically by making it spend more on military.One day it would break up and all issues resolved.

  33. Extremely interesting and a lucid article. Makes absolute sense. Kudos. It will do well for the Indian Govt. to try this out.

  34. Gents, tell me how many of your neighbours actually like you? India is stuck and unless they are prepared to compromise they will always be stuck...it is dawning on you guys. You have been wishing that Pak will go away.....this is what your ancesters thought...all those centuries ago...guess what we are still here. If you want to make peace it has to be just and acceptable to Pak, kashmiri's and india.

  35. The whole logic behind the article is misplaced. Pakistani army influence in Pakistan's society and politics is due to mistrust and issues with India. That is pakistan army's lifeline. Why would it let it go. All these issues with India ensures more funding for the pakistan army and its influence in the country.

  36. @Anon 10 march 02:46.Back centuries!!!!!!I thought Pakistan came about in 1947!!!!TYPICAL, all muslims even hundreds of years ago were and can only be 'Natural Born Pakistanis' LOL.Paks have to stop thinking that they have a natural 'theka' for anything Muslim or islamic.Ergo,just because a parts of Srinagar and valley have protesters who also happen to be Muslim it does not give Pak a divine right on 'muslim Kashmir'.The other typical BS, Paks wan a just peace acceptable tp them and Kashmir.Basically what it means is ,unless you hand over Kashmir to us lock ,stock and barrel Pak will continue in its antics.It is this pathological mindset of the pak that one keeps on talking about.What can you say of a nation that takes to begging as an entitlement and an absolute right.So if the USA gives it billions of aid,it is because USA is weak and it needs Pak and hence Pak is entitled to it. When India (or any other) gives any concession to Pak,do you think its taken as such?IN Pak it is shown as an achievement or an extraction by a strong Pakistan .And the ultimate 'lulliyapa'!!! See how your neighbors do not like you!!LOL!!Lets see the Pakistan fan club!!!!!!
    And as to 'we Paks are still there!!Congratulations,that is what we want.FOR YOU TO BE THERE!!!Why the hell and **** do you want to be here.

  37. The Pakistan Army and its attitude towards India and Kashmir is akin to a compulsive Gambler.The guy despite losses will keep on putting up stakes until he loses everything.
    Because a compulsive gambler never places the blame for his losses on himself.Every loss of his is due to some extraneous factor and has nothing to do with him.It is not that he may be weaker,or not adept or the opponent stronge, as far as he is concerned he is not to balme and in the NEXT try,he will win the jackpot.
    This is the story of Pak vs India.They have lost half of themselves,brought them selves to utter ruin, mortgaged themselves to the IMF,USA , China,Saudi-Arabia etc etc.

    But,like the compulsive gambler, in its quest for the jackpot of Kashmir,parity with India,Ghazaw-e-hind,divine mandate for a caliphate,_________. (Fill with whatever else feel nice!!!!) Pakistan,its army gamble on oblivious to its inevitable fate.

  38. A known devil is any day better than an unknown one

    If India can hv military to military ties with China, a much bigger and powerful neighbor and a very much possible 'enemy';
    then why not Pakistan!

    And most people forget to realise- that the third most powerful group in Pakistan- The Mullahs- already have a mullah to mullah contact with even the Deoband in India. Maybe we can formalize that as well!

  39. @Anon 2:46,

    Trust me, We want you to do well, prosper and Propagate 'Pakistaniyat' well beyond your borders. This is the typical troll mindset when 'other guy' is simply not convinced of your intentions till you die. If India is growing, pakistan has lot of Takleef, We we have lifted 300 million out of poverty in the past 20 years, It is taking away the old Dialogue pawkistani leaders and the Landlord class used to give, " India is poor, 900 Million people live below poverty line, 999 million are homeless and sleep hungry. Every gets food in pawkistan and we are rich".

    You are not important for the educated of this nation. Our youth are more busy, creating next NGO, teaching street kids, taking care of Animals, planning to play IPL or seeding the capital for a new dotcom. We are busy saving the forests, environment and right to Information. We are simply busy making money.

    We have no time for you guys. We have China to catch up. This year we shall grow faster than them and shd be the same for next 10 years. we want to fulfill the 'tryst with destiny'.

    Col Shukla,

    I recommended to an ex foreign & defense secretary to start celebrating Aug 14th as , "Getting rid of Riff -Raff Day". I propose it again.

    Sarvenu Bhavantu Sukheen, Sarvenu Bhavantu Niramaya..

  40. We ought to have started engaging the Pak army long long ago, infact even way back from the 90s. It makes a lot of strategic sense. Even at the height of cold war, the americans and the soviets had their back channels open, though they were pitted against each other overtly.

    The U.S and iranians have always been in touch as well via switzerland, ever since the revolution inspite of all the lofty statements by the conservatives and the Ayatullahs. In geopolitics it happens all the time.

    proactive, and On the face diplomacy, and negotiations on each other's interests would have derived benefits. afterall dont we do business with the myanmarese junta and generals? why should we shy away in case of pak? what matters is our interests. if that can be secured by talking to ur adversory(so-called) directly, why cant it be done.

    Thats something a great-power wanna be ought to do for sure.

    it need not be the case that our army be leading the discussions wth their pak counterparts. but a small seasoned team from MEA, Intelligence & MOD, could fit the bill.

  41. great article and great job i'm sure you already know but just found this on the news:



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