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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Khuda Hafiz Pakistan

Khuda Hafiz Pakistan
Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 4:58pm

I interact with people from India and Paksitan extensively and my experience has been positive, while giving room to a few radicals to spew their hate, it appears that hate is all they have to share. Years ago, one of the deputies at Indian consulate was sharing the hospitality story he received from Civilian Pakistanis in Islamabad and would like to go back there on another assignment. The Pakistanis have experienced the same hospitality in India. People to people exchanges are always good as it is between people.

This posting is dedicated to finding solutions. For a change, we will focus on Postings that offer solutions to show the goodness one has for his nation and the other. A stable Pakistan is in our interest and their interest and more importantly, it is in the interest of common people.

However the right wingers among Indians and Pakistanis thrive on the claps they receive from a few when they speak anti-India or anti-Pakistan rhetoric. The clappers do entertain themselves by encouraging these guys make a fool of themeselves. If we can discourage that behavior, may be we can see hopes of sanity to prevail.

1. There is an obsessiveness among a few Indians and a few Pakistanis to be hateful towards each other, a majority on both sides does not give a shit (sorry about the language) about the world or the nations while earning their daily bread to survive.

2. Not all, but the hardest of hard core RSS, BJP, Bajrangis, Sainiks, LeT's, Mujahedeens, Talibans, the ISI's, JI's and other outfits live and breath anti- Pakistan and anti-India, rather than pro-India and pro-Pakistan respectively. They get thrills in denigrating each other.

3. None of these men and women are free individuals, if the party chief says anti-India or vice versa they jump. Their Chiefs are their Gods to them. Even in the US, those men act like their bosses are pulling strings from over India or Pakistan. The sad part of this equation is that many of these slaves are Engineers, Professors, Medical and PhD Doctors with small minds. They fund hate campaigns and not campaigns for peace.

4. I am repeating Nirupamas' (aricle appended below) quote, "I would have heated debates with Pakistanis who consider themselves modern, enlightened, liberal and secular but would suddenly go all Islamic and religious when it came to an issue such as Kashmir" that has been my experience as well. The same goes with a few Indians, they do the opposite and feed like vultures on anti-Islamic rhetoric, as if there is a solution in going Islamic or anti-Islamic. Neither group can discuss issues without an increase in their bp or accusing every one everything and denying their own littleness.

5. Agree with Nirupama, when government pays, they are obligated to speak the Governmentese... If we want a change for the better, let's take it up from people to people... the movies, cultural exchanges, business and poetry and other things thing bring people closer and not Government, Government can play facilitators.

6. The third generation of Indians and Pakistanis perhaps would be safer to deal with than the ones who were close to partition, they are sunk in hate and malice, and obviously because of the suffering their folks have endured. Many of them are gone cases, and their insane rhetoric will sink us both.

7. These folks do not seek solution, they seek chaos and we have to be on their tails. Some of the discussion threads thrive on who says the worse things about each other... when will these guys get a sense to change it? If we want goodness, then stoke it.

We cannot not expect other people to be good, when our own hearts and words are ugly. We blame the Pakistanis and they blame us, it has become a game. Let's reverse it, find the solutions and they will be inclined to do the same. And if you really want to do some good, be agressive enough to speak out against evil forces that would take the position of chaos and hate.

I was visiting Memphis Cotton Musuem on March 19th, and was thrilled to see India included in the history of Cotton and guess what? Together India and Pakistan can become #1 cotton producers in the world, just like that, look at the figures below and create employment inside the federation to supply the fabric to the biggest consumer in the world; China.

Goodwill breeds goodwill as hate breeds chaos.
The choice is what we encourage.

Mike Ghouse is a frequent guest at the media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. He is a thinker, writer, speaker, optimist and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Co-existence, Peace, Islam and India. His work is reflected at 3 websites & 22 Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/
also: www.MikeGhouseforIndia.net


1. Finding the right map was difficult. A few Indians and Paksitanis will go off handle about Kashmir Map. I used to publish a weekly called Asian American Journal in Dallas, and one Pakistani Store owner threw the papers from his store because the Map showed Kashmir as India's part. Don't laugh at them yet, there was an Indian who threatened me with life for publishing information about Pakistan, all the nations had the same space in my paper. The idiot also had threated Ravi Kanth, TV Anchor of TV Asia for the very same reason.

Opinion Op-Ed
Published: March 20, 2010 02:05 IST
Khuda Hafiz Pakistan
Nirupama Subramanian

There is a Pakistani in every Indian; and an Indian in every Pakistani, President Asif Ali Zardari famously said two years ago. Those words rang in my head with new resonance as I packed my bags and left Pakistan recently after a nearly four-year-long assignment as this newspaper's Islamabad-based correspondent.

It should have been easy to leave a country that is by word and deed hostile to India, and where the state machinery treats every Indian as a “RAW agentâ€�, spending considerable human and material resources on the surveillance of the only two Indian journalists â€" from The Hindu and Press Trust India â€" that are permitted to be based there.

Yet, saying goodbye to Pakistan was much more difficult than I imagined. Like other Indians who have experienced Pakistan first-hand, I gained a vast number of friends for life and multitudes of warm memories. Against this reality, it seems absurdly unbelievable that these two countries are not even talking properly to each other, that I cannot visit my Pakistani friends easily, that they cannot come and see me. Even texting, one of the easiest and cost-efficient ways of keeping in touch these days, is not possible â€" or erratic, at best â€" between India and Pakistan.

Huge distance

Walking across the Wagah border into India took me less than five minutes. But as I turned at the gates to wave to a Pakistani friend who had come to see me off, the distance between the two countries seemed huge and daunting.

At home, family and friends greeted me with relief, and asked me how I had managed to survive four years in “a country of terrorists.� Despite the close geographical proximity of the two countries, and the reams written and spoken in India about Pakistan, there seemed little patience for or understanding of the complexities of, an important neighbouring country, the shades of political, social and religious opinion among Pakistanis on such issues as terrorism and extremism.

There is similarly much in the way Pakistanis react to India that can send even the mildest Indian's blood pressure rising. For instance, even well-educated Pakistanis continue to believe that the Mumbai attacks were staged by RAW to defame Pakistan with the ultimate aim of snatching its nuclear weapons or dismembering the country. Young and old alike will assert that India is behind the wave of terrorist attacks in Pakistan because “no Muslim will kill fellow Muslims�, even though they have no explanation for why Shias routinely get killed by Sunni extremists.

I would have heated debates with Pakistanis who consider themselves modern, enlightened, liberal and secular but would suddenly go all Islamic and religious when it came to an issue such as Kashmir, seeming no different from their ultra-conservative compatriots who protest against the clamping down on Islamic militancy in Pakistan as harassment of “brother Muslims.� They could tout jihad in Kashmir as legitimate even while condemning the Taliban who threaten their own modern, liberal lifestyle, despite the knowledge that the distinction between the two kinds of jihad, or the two categories of militants, is at best an illusion.

But at the end of the day, the goodwill I experienced in my daily interactions with ordinary Pakistanis, even during the most heated debates, was overwhelming and more powerful than anything else. Despite the heavy hand of the state in every sphere of life, I found people who were willing to set aside long internalised stereotypes and prejudices about Indians and Hindus to try and understand me and my point of view, and they accepted with good faith that I was trying to do the same. We may not have entirely convinced each other every time but we managed to build little bridges of our own and find our own modus vivendi.

If there is anything I learnt from those personal experiences in Pakistan, it is that these little bridges are the key to peace. And for this reason, peace-making cannot be left to rulers. It is the people on both sides that have to take charge of it. What the people have now is a unique and contradictory chemistry of love and hate, curiosity and suspicion, friendliness and antagonism, admiration and envy, not to speak of nostalgia and convenient memory lapses. Forget about which of these is natural and which deliberately created. What is required for a stable relationship is a rational middle-ground between these emotional extremes.

If we acknowledge that war or even just a simmering long-term enmity is not an option, that middle-ground would be easy to locate. There, on that middle-ground, we need not be the best of friends, but we need not be the worst of enemies either. We can just live as two civilised neighbours.

It is evident that the political leadership of both countries, which includes the military in Pakistan, cannot be entrusted with finding this middle-ground. The political class on both sides has specialised in hyping the emotional in India-Pakistan relations over the rational, finding it a useful instrument for domestic political gain. Blame communally driven politics on the Indian side, and in Pakistan, the tight grip of a military that needs to perpetuate its predominance in national affairs.

Narrow prism of state

Most of the celebrated India-Pakistan people-to-people contact since 2004, including the interaction between the media, film and fashion worlds of the two countries, has tended to be driven by the governments on both sides, or blessed, encouraged or sponsored by the two states in some way. With rare exceptions, such contact has mirrored the official point of view, providing no room for building genuine bridges. No wonder they fell apart so easily in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks to a point where goodwill seems almost irretrievable.

But even now, the first thing that Pakistanis and Indians ask each other is: “We eat the same food, speak the same language, we even look the same, so why can't we be friends?� The short answer to that is that we cannot be friends as long as we continue looking at each other through the narrow prism of our respective states. Pakistanis must locate the Indian within themselves, and Indians must discover their inner Pakistani. It would help understand each other better, and free us from state-manipulated attitudes. In our own interests, it is up to us, the people, to find ways to do this.

For now, Khuda Hafiz Pakistan.

I think that propagation of anti-Pakistan culture in India and anti-India culture in Pakistan is done by the parties that have vested interest in maintaining tension between these two neighbors. People with Sangh Parivar mentality in India and groups with Jehadist mentality (that seems to include Pakistani ISI establishment) thrive on status quo; for peace between India and Pakistan will be detrimental for the existence of these hate mongers. The governments of India and Pakistan have absolutely no interest in Kashmiris in both parts of Kashmir.

Unfortunately Muslims in India have become a pawn in this tussle and orchestrated attacks on them (such as the pogrom in Gujarat) are viewed as "collateral damage" in the struggle for political dominance.

.Written about a week ago · Comment ·LikeUnlike
-'anisa Rahmah, S Farman Ahmad Naqvi, John Ishvaradas Abdallah and 4 others like this...Mike Ghouse - Kamlesh and Hanif , thanks

First of all, we are placing all our cards on the table, we are going to agree on many a common things, disagree on some and have to think about on others. We will develop a consensus as we slowly place all the cards, but most certainly move towards cystallizing the consensus, differences and debatable issues.

Our focus is India and Pakistan now, we can cite other examples to develop a comprehensive understanding of our own, and avoid broadening the focus. ... See More

Kamlesh, here is my presonal opinioin on this one issue; and I prefer it to remain it to be a personal opinion until a consensus develops for it.

"Indeed, no nation should be divided or created on the basis of religion, race or ethnicity today. What was done in the past is a fact now and we have to live with it as it is established, the two nations that were created on the basis of religion are Pakistan and Israel. Several other nations have evolved as religious per the desires of the population in the past, but I hope the world at large participates and supports the rule of the people for the people by the people for the good of the people.

Let's be humble with our opinions, meaning, all of us would be advancing our ideas without the arrogance of being the only right solution or my way or no way. You will be amazed what we all can do with it.
March 24 at 7:35am · .Saurabh Sengupta Governments are supposed to be, most informed institution with best available experts and advisors. In spite of the fact, both countries seem to be feeding on diplomatic nonsense. India says, that they have pouting dossiers; one after another for at least two decades —— Pakistan on the other hand feels that it's not enough. Information brickbat is way too much to be discussed. Of course, we know that executive decisions between countries are not dependent on them alone — Big entities pray in ...

People like us can also make a change ... perception i.e. if you feel that changing perception is part of the big objective through whatever means you like to achieve.

Mike, how much of this is plausible?... See More
March 24 at 8:00am · .Saurabh Sengupta खुदा, "काफ़िर" को देख क्या सोचता होगा? ▬▬ सदका तो ये भी करते है| ...
March 24 at 8:04am · .Mike Ghouse - Saurabh,

Let's begin with an open heart and an open mind with one objective - peace and prosperity for the people of the subontinent with all the doubting thomases, nay sayers and yes we cans. A lot more crap will pile up before we can see that we have to fix ourselves as individuals, clean up our own minds before we ask others to clean. All of this will happen within the next few weeks of conversation, clarity will emerge.

Let's not have any agenda but peace as the motive.
March 24 at 8:07am · .Saurabh Sengupta Thanks Mike :)
March 24 at 8:28am · .Saurabh Sengupta If we examine the physical map of the world, we'll find that there's very little green-plain areas around; 80% is all deep waters, the rest — either deserts or plateaus. Of course you can add wastelands too. Natural composition effects habitat.

fine ... I'm there :)
March 24 at 8:35am · .Amrita Dasgupta We have to shed our all inhibitions. Come with a clean heart only to attain peace among people. No conflict, no animosity, no bias, no prejudice. Mike, we shall overcome..... I have a dream like Martin Luther King Jr. to see world of equal opportunity, full of love. Mike, help me to achieve.
March 25 at 5:41am · .Mike Ghouse Amirta, thanks for sharing about your dream... Let me add my own - Mahatma Gandhi has been in my dreams twice - 1971 and again around 2003 - all he says "You have work to do" and I take that as a cue to do the work, same dream as yours. We will move forwards on the India Paksitan, Darfur, North and South Korea, Palestine Israel are the other frontiers. I am with you Amirta.
March 25 at 8:42am · .Faizan Haider Naqvi - I was not around due to working assignments and guess I am little late here.

- I thought of different content seeing the title of the article ie. little sarcastic / offensive but chances the author had some other intentions of using 'Khuda Hafiz' as she was leaving Pakistan.

- Debate is endless, if you sum up all the problems, the real culprit is injustice. Prevail Justice... See More

- You can not restore peace ignoring justice & righteous irrespective of religion & land.
March 25 at 11:59pm · .Nilofar Suhrawardy I have two points: One, Pakistan Day (March 23) was marked this year Delhi, with an Indian - Nirmala Deshpande being conferred Sitar-e-Imtiaz. It was the first time that an Indian was given the award in Delhi. First time that it was conferred- posthumously.
Secondly, Indian Muslims cannot be viewed as pawns. They are the ones who, at the time of ... See Morepartition, preferred partition of their families by choosing to stay here and move to Pakistan.
Also, the hype raised over Indo-Pak tension - politically and diplomatically- has had little impact on their ties- culturally as well as economically.

March 26 at 12:10pm ·

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