Indian Diplomats in Pakistan harassed

New Delhi: Some Indian High Commission officials out for shopping in Islamabad’s main business district were aggressively followed and abuses hurled at them, the Foreign Ministry complained to the Pakistan government today. 

This is the second incident of Indian diplomats being intimidated and harassed over the last three days, Foreign Ministry sources said in New Delhi.

An Indian diplomat and his family on their way to a restaurant in Pakistan were chased by two men on a motorbike on Thursday this week, hours after India had called “harassment the new normal for Indian High Commission personnel in Islamabad”.

Pakistan: Land of the Impure

This segues into a discussion I had with my gym buddy (who is also a member of the Baha’i community). I have the opinion that one must constantly apologise and atone for the poor actions of one’s race & culture however my friend (born in the UK and much more Westernised) disagreed with me. I have the model minority approach that one must always be better than the best in every way possible (even though Pakistanis are hardly model minorities lol).

I feel that if any part of my identity let’s me down; then it’s very necessary to atone & apologise for it or to start disassociating from it. It’s the only way to self-improvement. It’s interesting to note that in real life my Pakistan & Iranian affiliations are at an all time low because those countries don’t fill me with pride, I find my wife’s Sindhi culture, with its mercantilism & cosmopolitanism, to be much more redeeming and fruitful.

When I started venturing opinions on Facebook about the poor, pathetic and shameful state of the British Pakistani community; all of my South Londonstan friends started to attack and unfriend me. I couldn’t understand why to be honest; if a Baha’i shamed the Baha’i faith in an ignoble way (murdered innocents etc), no matter who they were, they would have to be condemned & disowned.

Pakistanis & Muslims find that very hard to accept and become very defensive about bad behaviour in the community. It’s also rooted in the fact that the Holy Quran (like the Baha’i Kitab e Aqdas – the Book of Laws) is a revealed text, the word of God made flesh. That sort of thinking lends to dogmatism & defensiveness, which I suspect isn’t really there in Hindu/Indian society.

Hindu extremism isn’t intrinsic to Hindu society (maybe 2,000 years ago when there was a concerted effort to wipe out Buddhism). However it’s plainly obvious that so much of the right-wing Hindu mobilisation is down to the perceived threat of Islam & Pakistan.

22 thoughts on “Indian Diplomats in Pakistan harassed”

  1. I don’t think that one needs to apologize for the bad behavior of one’s “community”. I feel that people are only responsible for their own actions. If I do something wrong, then I will apologize for it. If some other “Pakistani” or “Muslim” does something criminal or offensive, that is hardly on me. As an American, should I apologize for Trump all the time?

    Harassment of Indian diplomats in Pakistan is wrong. To add context, I believe a Pakistani diplomat has also been recalled home because of bad treatment in Bharat Mata.

    The games these countries play….

    1. “bad treatment in Bharat Mata”, either say India or Bharat. What is this Bharat Mata? Even hardcore Hindutvavadi don’t write like this. ?

      1. But she is your Mata! Are you ashamed? I thought the original sin of Pakistanis was that we “vivisected” half your mother’s body! Which part exactly? Her left arm?

        I prefer the name “Hindustan”. That is the name that nos ancestres les Mughals gave to their empire:)

        1. No, I am not ashamed. But we don’t write like that. She is the personification of India.
          And I am not sure that the name Hindustan was given by Mughals. I think the name is older than that??

          1. I thought Hindu (people of the Sindh river) and Hindustan came from Persians and Pharsi from long before the birth of Muhammed pbuh.

          2. “The Mughal Empire (1526–1857) called its lands ‘Hindustan’. The term ‘Mughal’ itself was never used to refer to the land. As the empire expanded, so too did ‘Hindustan’. At the same time, the meaning of ‘Hindustan’ as the entire Indian subcontinent is also found in Baburnama and Ain-i-Akbari.[29]”


    2. Kabir, none of this is about you. It is the opposite. We are on your side against bad Pakistanis who misbehave like this in ways that hurt you and Pakistanis like you.

      You don’t have to take so much on you.

      1. “bad Pakistanis”– talking about “good” or “bad” Pakistanis/Indians is infantile frankly.

        I know it’s not about me. I was simply pointing out that both Bharat and Pakistan are recalling their diplomats home. I think we should just end this farce and snap ties. Pakistan can look towards the Ummah and Bharat can do whatever is in Bharat’s interest. This love-hate relationship serves no one. Sad for those with families on both sides of Wagah, but hey we can always meet in Dubai.

  2. “Amid allegations of harassment and intimidation of diplomats of both countries, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood on Wednesday said that “current approach and methods” only go against the diplomatic efforts to make progress, and a “rethink” is needed in the current circumstances.

    This comment came, even as it came to light that tension has been brewing between the two sides for a couple of months — one of the incidents involved the doorbell of the Indian deputy High Commissioner J P Singh being rung at 3 am. Since the Indian side felt that this was done by Pakistan’s security agencies, the Pakistan deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah’s door bell was also rung at 3 am in next few days.”

  3. Kabir, your repeated invoking of “bharat mata ” is bizarre. If you are taking the concept seriously, then you are unfamiliar with the society you are critiquing and the so called hindutva psyche. If its a rhetorical flourish, you are trying too hard for someone with your humanities credentials.

    1. Perhaps (not-so subtle) sarcasm is lost on you?

      I find the idea of “Bharat Mata” quite odd. But that is the crime that we Muslims of British India committed right? We chopped off half of mommy’s body in a quest for an independent country where we could live without those pesky Hindus. That’s the narrative that you guys sell isn’t it?

      Not that the Muslims of British India had some legit concerns about how in a “one man one vote” democracy we would always be outnumbered by Hindus and would always be treated as second-class. We asked for separate electorates and weighted representation (seems reasonable no?). Congress (a mostly Hindu party) refused. The League then said “OK, give us a nation of our own” (Upping the stakes, I don’t think anyone thought this was seriously going to happen). The Brits were desperate to leave and said “Cool”. Congress agreed to Partition Punjab, leading to complete ethnic cleansing in the province. That is reality. But no, we the evil Muslims were intent on “vivisecting” mommy! And that Mr. Jinnah with his Saville Row suits–what can be said about him? Sneering at Gandhiji! (Ref: the movie “Gandhi”)

      Are my facts wrong?

      Like I have made clear many times, Hindustan is the name that nos ancestres les Mughals gave to our country. You people chose Bharat. You made your bed, now lie in it.

      The two new dominions should have been called “Pakistan” and “Bharat”. “India” died on August 14-15, 1947. Congress, the League and the British killed it.

      1. I have no problem with your using the word. I am simply saying that you are using the word, Bharat Mata, wrongly. For example, you don’t say: “bad treatment in Uncle Sam”. That’s all.
        And this partition debate, I think, is futile. No one can change the past.

        1. But we vivisected your mother and we are never going to be forgiven right? And all the Muslims who stayed back in Bharat (w/o the “mata”) are really fifth columnists and should be treated as “Pakistanis”. This is what the great Yogi and the great Modi say. How can you argue with your heroes?

      2. by saying “you guys” you attribute things to me and my affiliations that you have no idea about. Which makes me think you randomly attribute political agendas to commenters at large and spend your time here tilting at windmills. At any rate, to use sarcasm or irony effectively, you need some insight into your audience’s psyche.

        1. If you found the words “you guys” offensive I do apologize.

          Sometimes the blatant Islamophobia and Pakistan-bashing does get irritating.

          This very post is a case in point. Zach’s headline is “Indian Diplomats harassed”. Well, it’s not like the Indians aren’t harassing Pakistani diplomats as well. We called our man home too. If your deputy high commissioner’s bell was rung at 3 in the morning, so was ours. Why is it that Pakistan is the one in the wrong here?

          There are people on this blog who are clearly Hindutva people and I am fed up with them. Perhaps you are a reasonable human being who votes for a reasonable party. In any case, I apologize for my bad attempt at sarcasm.

          The problem is not Hindus qua Hindus. We have Hindus in Pakistan. I’m sure they are very nice people. Rahul Gandhi is Hindu and he is a very nice guy. The problem is the right-wing who wants to make a Hindu Rashtra and send all the pesky Muslims to Pakistan unless they agree that they are culturally Hindu. Those guys are freaking scary.

        2. “Rahul Gandhi is Hindu and he is a very nice guy” . . . :LOL:

          Can I share a Hindustani saying? You can sing it some time with any instrumentation and Raga of your choice if you so choose:

          Khaney Ko Gaan say Jitna [Conquer hunger for this world through song]
          Peeney Ko Prema Kaa Rasa say Jitna [Conquer thirst for this world through the sweetness of love]
          Soney ko Dhyaan say Jitna [Conquer sleep through meditation]
          Marney ko Gyaan say Jitna [Conquer death through divine wisdom]

          This is Bharat. This is Hindustan. This is the Hindu Rashtra. This is culturally Hindu. This is Sufism. This is Sanathan Dharma Buddhism and Jainism. This is the sweetness of Imam Ali. This is Mahabharata and Ramayana and 18 Maha Purana Itihasa (plural)

          The purpose of the epics is to facilitate the listener experiencing deep spiritual emotions. Emotions that the key to paradise. The road is long, bittersweet . . . unlocked by a million tears of poignancy over how Allah can love us this much. Paradise is the meaning of the Hindustani saying above.

          You have very slightly touched this. Maybe keep touching and see what happens?

          The Mahabharata and Ramayana are not meant to be read. They are Gaan. They are to be heard. They are to be acted out, leading to deep emotions beyond our ability to contextualize, understand and process. Some say that the bhava of the Mahabharata is Vairagya; and that the bhava of the Ramayana is Karuna (sweetness). Your bhava will be different according to your gunas (qualities), and that is as it should be.


          Just as the cultures, civilizations, literature and sweetness of the east belong to all humans (who are free to discuss it any way they wish); the Koran, Hadiths, Sira and Islamic literature belong to the world to and all of us are free to discuss it any way we wish. Allah is the infinite cosmos (plural), each of which have infinite cosmos (plural), each of which have infinite cosmos (plural), each of which have infinite cosmos (plural), each of which have infinite universe (plural) . . . . one such universe being our own. Nothing anyone says in this universe (let alone human beings on earth) can affect Allah. Allah’s greatness is unaffected. Muhammed pbuh is as the moon. The criticism of humans do not affect, impugn, or demean Muhammed pbuh.

          Let all painting, sculpture, music, song, poetry and art flourish freely . . . they are a partial emanation of the glory of Allah. Let all think, intuit and feel freely. They are an infinitesimal manifestation of the glory of Allah.

          None of this is an attack against you Kabir, or Islam, or Pakistan. Should we not try to follow the example of the prophet Muhammed pbuh and be unaffected by all criticism, blame and censor. Remember the story of the woman who use to drop garbage on Muhammed pbuh whenever he walked in the road along her house? One day she did not throw garbage and Muhammed pbuh was worried. He entered the house and cared for her, for she was sick. Isn’t this Islam?

          Be happy and honored that people love and respect you enough to share their hearts, feelings and thoughts with you. 🙂

          May Allah always manifest through your thoughts, words and deeds.

          1. I’m not the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). I think that much is clear.

            Please for the love of God leave my country alone. You can discuss a million other things. As Faiz says “aur bhi dukh hain zamany main….”. For you guys, Islam and Pakistan somehow are the center of all your problems. I am not “culturally Hindu” and anyone who insists I am is going to have huge problems from me. I am Muslim. As Vikram Bhai says people like me are “Perso-Arabic”. Perhaps, he is on to something (much as it pains me to admit that he could be right about anything).

            In any case, I’m going to detox from BP for the foreseeable future. Enjoy your blog and rejoice how you have driven even the most liberal Pakistanis away with your Hindutva.

            P.S. Discussing “post-modernism” with economists is a total and utter waste of time. You want to talk to me about it, then actually read the entire book “Orientalism”. Try to understand Edward Said. Then I will be happy to discuss it with you. If you need to understand subaltern studies, go learn from Gayatri Spivak. I think Vishal Bhai gave good advice on another thread: people should not opine on things that they are not qualified to speak on.

            Enjoy your blog. I’ll go find a place more congenial to my actual culture.


          2. Kabir, please stick around!

            Persians are awesome. Iranians are deeply proud of their Aryan culture and for good reason. Iranian culture is amazingly beautiful. Being called Perso is a compliment.

            Many tens of millions of muslims (I would argue hundreds of million of muslims) are culturally Hindu in many ways. That is a good thing! Every muslim charts their own course and is free to choose. You choose. You decide.

            Maybe give the eastern epic gaan another chance. Including Buddhist, Jain, Shinto, Buddhist, Taoist:

            It is like learning a language or type of programming or type of math. Once you learn it; it makes conversation with others much easier.

            For example I wanted to discuss Palestine Israel in terms of Eastern Epic stories; but couldn’t . . . since not enough people know them.

          3. Insisting that people are “culturally Hindu” when they have made it clear many times that they are Muslim (Indo-Islamic, Indo-Muslim, pick what term you prefer) is something the RSS does. It’s deeply offensive. We created Pakistan exactly so that we could have our own identity and didn’t have to be “Hindu” or “Indic” or whatever term we are using these days.

            I am frankly not interested in the Indian epics. You are welcome to them. I’m going to stick with “Hamlet: Poem Unlimited”. “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” is the greatest drama in the Western world (some would argue in the entire world but that’s hubris). Closer to home, I have Mirza Ghalib, Allama Iqbal and Faiz Ahmed Faiz. There is only so much time in the world and “The Ramayana” is really low down on my list of priorities.

            So this whole discussion has got me thinking a lot about nationalism (as Zach would say the “Pakistani psychosis”). I’m going to go back to the expert on this–Benedict Anderson and his notion of “imagined communities”. Perhaps I’ll express my thoughts somewhere. In any case, I need a break from BP.

  4. A possible solution to Palestine Israel Friends Forever:

    “Kirk” = Palestine.
    “Mountain” = Israel
    “Rock” = Israel

    Captain Palestine is climbing an Israel, why is Palestine climbing an Israel?
    To love the Israel, to envelope that Israel,
    That Israel, That Israel,
    Palestine wants to make love to the Israel,
    Tough young guys, sinewy bodies, and their fingers and tiney toes challenge the Israel, challenging death,
    Why does Palestine climb the Israel, because Palestine is in love,
    There is a passionate affair going on between Palestine and the Israel,
    Palestine is on the Israel,
    Now in order to create that illusion,
    sucking some of the most sensational men who not only climb
    but are voracious, fleeting, illusive and peripheral;
    and that is putting Palestine on the Israel,
    [Goes on from here]

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