Desperate!

Desperate situations call for desperate measures. Our neighbour to the West, The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is desperate. It is broke, and is getting financed by other broke countries who are now beginning to ask Pakistan to improve/increase tax collections.

It is easier said than done in that country.

Have a look at this hilarious story that was published in the New York Times. Since it is also a blog, please do not omit the comments.

Conspiracy Theories.

Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious,gaelikaa, Grannymar, Padmum and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get five different flavours of the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Conrad.

I am not surprised that Conrad chose this subject. He is a past master at hatching conspiracies, ably assisted and abetted by the inimitable Grannymar.

Let me explain.

After the last week’s LBC was posted, Grannymar and Conrad brainwashed Padmum into becoming a member of the LBC and that unsuspecting sweetheart succumbed to their charms and agreed. For those of my readers who do not know, Padmum is the nom de plume of my one and only blood sister Padmini. I make that distinction, before my other sister, also an LBC member, gaelikaa objects. The latter is my adopted sister is no less capable of conspiracies. I dread the day when the four of them. two Irish at that, hatch another conspiracy.

Now that Grannymar’s and Conrad’s proclivity for conspiracies has now been exposed, let me turn to some more mundane conspiracy theories.

The most popular one in our back yard, is our neighbour’s tendency to come up with conspiracy theories every time a suicide bomber kills himself and scores of other innocent bystanders, in their back yard. Since the Americans have started drone attacks however, the theories have taken off into orbit about how the Jewish American/Israeli/Hindu enemies have conspired to destroy Pakistan. Before Sri Lanka destroyed the LTTE, the conspirators inevitably included the Hindu LTTE till it was discovered that the LTTE was predominantly Christian in composition. After the Indian security agencies unearthed Hindu extremists setting off bombs, our neighbour has simply given up on India but the American/Israeli hand is seen in everything. The latest that does the rounds is that even the Middle Eastern uprisings are engineered by these very Satanic conspirators. I would not be surprised if the Japanese earth quake, tsunami and their after effects on the nuclear power situation is also attributed to this evil axis.

The Indian media has so far not started off on this kind of conspiracy theories, but I would not be surprised if they too start, if their ratings go South.

I have a paranoid relative, a very close one at that, who is convinced that all the others in the family conspire to badmouth him and to destroy his reputation. At an appropriate time that saga will unfold in my future blog posts.

Now, I better go off the subject before I become paranoid too. Or am I already paranoid?

India Pakistan Relations.

Last week was a particularly interesting one for me for two developments. Without embellishments, I simply take my readers to those two developments and leave them to come to their own conclusions.

The first one was a copy of a letter that my friend Sultan Fazelbhoy sent to The Secretary of State of the USA Ms. Hilary Clinton. I reproduce it here.

To,
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
Secretary of State, Washington D,C., USA
September 09/09/10 From SULTAN FAZELBHOY. India

AN INDIAN MUSLIM, and NOT a Muslim Indian
My considered thinking at age 82 for a revised
route to Indo-Pak relations in the fundamental
interest of the common man.

I was in DC recently after about 20 years, reading local media avidly and interacting with a variety of
persons. The situation in our sub-continent is most disturbing and frustrating, and getting worse. Having participated in our freedom movement over 60 years ago, I earnestly want to see a change for the better in our bilateral relations before I leave this planet.

I think with your talent and courage you are the very best person to initiate a new direction by your persuasive powers. I am confident the President will be supportive. Will you consider and use the aspects suggested below ?

1 Indian Muslims do NOT need the Pak umbrella to protect our interests. We can look after ourselves; for example our former Muslim President Abul Kalam was NOT a stooge of any political party, and was much loved for himself; Azeem Premji of Wipro (leading IT company) was a few years ago the richest individual in the country, on merits, though a Muslim. Our current star in the world of music, A. R. Rehman is a Muslim. These are but three symbols of the scope for talent and determination, regardless of religion, in our secular, composite India.

2 The main purpose of politics is the welfare of the people, not acquisition of more territory or more power. Political leaders are constantly sacrificing this fundamental moral principle by their deeds and in their thinking. Pak leadership has to be brought back to deciding and choosing their moral values

3 Pakistan lost it’s claim to Kashmir after initiating and losing two wars against India. The legal and technical battle ends there, not to be revived every now and then

4 India is certainly NOT enemy Number ONE for Pak. We do have a benign and spiritual leadership in our
country. A large part of original India was released to THE YOUNGER BROTHER over 60 years ago to fulfill their ambitions and since then India has not attempted to reclaim any part of it. IT IS NOT LIKE ISRAEL AND PALESTINE, warring over land.

5 India has returned 90,000 prisoners to Pak without much hassle and repaid large monies due to them out of a sense of moral duty

6 Economically India has made much faster and greater progress than Pak. WHY ? it is our “COMPOSITE SECULAR CULTURE”, however imperfect it may be. Pak needs to analyse why they have been left behind, and face the truth: a common faith can only do so much for unity and not endlessly.

7 KASHMIR : as a businessman since over 50 years, if my enterprise was loss making, would I add another unit which is also loss making and troubled to my own business? and to what purpose ?

8 The millions of Rupees poured into defense and attack has only resulted in lost lives, destroyed families, led to frustration and fear. The cancer continues to daily corrode our body politic

9 Seeing the economics of Pak, the Kashmiri is NOT NOW interested in merging with them, which may have been the case in the early years after Partition due to religious sentiments and fervour

10 Friendship between India – Pak, with no border disputes as between USA and Canada, will yield far better fruit to the common man than the seemingly endless “war” for what is increasingly a lost cause

11 Earning Kashmir from India will NOT be a panacea for all problems between the two countries as mooted by them. In fact it will encourage them to fight long and hard and with violence for other benefits too, as for example the water sharing situation.

12 I do feel that only a hard headed and experienced diplomat like you, with the backing of an understanding and visionary President, can bring about a change in mind set in the younger brother.

13 At stake is the long term benefits of friendship with a stronger power, (Pak should accept they are not equal as of now,) with no enmity for them. There will be greater availability of much needed cash flow for the upliftment of the common man, specially in these recession times which most likely will not be over too soon. This can bring votes for far thinking parties.

14 Whatever business acumen I have after a working life of over 55 years, tells me to cut my losses as fast as possible, restore a healthier cash flow, and concentrate on success in priority areas (first things first)

15 FINALLY THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS: India has over a 100 warheads, Pak around 60. Are these necessary even in times of major differences in perspectives? Even 5 or 10 bombs would cause enough damage to cripple both countries. Then why the continuing expense in cash starved economies on hundreds of warheads that will never be used ?

16 I would like to see India announce an immediate UNILATERAL reduction of at least 50% in nuclear weapons. Even if Pak does not follow suit, what will it matter in terms of national security, when common sense says we will never use 5 to even 10 % without mutual destruction.

17 I think democratic India can do this without harm to the politicians hunger for votes by any and every means. Fear should not be the mainspring in this decision. (This can apply to USA & Russia too)

18 I hope I have spoken some sense and look forward to your country’s forceful influence over our difficult and perhaps misguided neighbour. History teaches that economics and merely the pious practice of one’s faith do not always blend well.

19 I pray in all earnestness for “Aman ki asha” — hope for peace, good health, security, jobs and
mutual love in our sub-continent . . .

SULTAN FAZELBHOY

Sultan is an activist even at this age!

The next one is a BBC news item which kind of brings hope to Indians like me.

That they lost in the finals is of no consequence. That they went up to the finals in one of the toughest tournaments in the world is heartening.

A Mail From A Pakistani Friend.

I reproduce below an extract from a mail from a Pakistani friend with Indian relatives. This is not unusual and many families on both sides of the divide have relatives on the other side. We were one country once after all.

“Rummy, I know that you follow Thomas Friedman and am surprised that you have not blogged about his article. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/opinion/01friedman.html?_r=1)

What is the problem dost*? Don’t tell me that you have become a dove in your old age.”

*Dost is Urdu for Friend.

I have had other regular readers asking me why I have stopped writing about Pakistan and terrorism.

There is no big mystery here, nor any change of heart.

Other, more capable writers, in the recent past, have been using many platforms to convey what I have been proclaiming for years about Pakistan’s establishment and its duplicity.

I have other things to write about.

Shoaib, does that answer you adequately?

I am not one however to let an opportunity slip out of my hands.

The problem with Pakistan has been highlighted by recent events now better than I or Thomas Friedman can ever do. Pakistan’s establishment has been shown to be what it is. Broke, without any credibility in the rest of the world and still prevaricating on India’s intentions. After some nudging from other sources, it has graciously accepted India’s offer of aid.

I still believe that if Pakistan stops being belligerent about India and drops the India bogey which helps the establishment remain in power, and most important, smashes the officially supported terror net work within its borders, Pakistan can take its rightful place in the community of nations of the world. Shoaib, will your establishment listen?

The Latest On Pakistan.

As my readers know, I am totally against any kind of talks with the Pakistani establishment. That it speaks with a forked tongue is known to just about every Indian, bar a minuscule minority who wish to establish direct contacts with it to try and bring about peace in the subcontinent.

I do not understand how the West can commit such a Himalayan blunder by arming Pakistan which supplies the same arms to the forces that are fighting the US, British and Nato forces in Afghanistan.

Don’t read me. Read independent news from tsources. Take the one from the BBC on Pakistan’s double dealing and the one from the Guardian on an interview with an insurgent commander from Afghanistan.

Throughout its existence, Pakistan has been doing this. Quite when the West will realize that they are backing the wrong horse, is the mystery that no Indian is able to solve.