Pakistan is a zombie nation animated by a virus. You can attack the zombie but only more will grow, it is only by curing the virus will the zombie came back to normality. India must show the world how to cure a virus like Islam instead of grinning every time it battles zombies.
I’m taking a breather from quite a hectic day since I’m beginning to feel that the only solution to the India-Pakistan quagmire is absolute separation.
I can’t but help love Pakistan in the same way a young child loves their parent, even if it has become a zombie. The only hope that child has is that the cure happens in time before the infestation is complete.
I learnt about the LOC groups from the Pakistani whatsapp groups. What shocked me is how nationalistic these secular, liberal and atheistic Pakistanis got as soon as India struck.
I went to a lecture last night at St. Johns given by Britain’s youngest parliamentarian (his constant name-dropping even made me blush).
His contention is that the “Asian Century” is almost wholly contingent on India’s growth. If India doesn’t grow then the Asian share of GDP (by 2050) is 30% of the globe, if it does reach its potential Asia will cross 50%.
India has a strange relationship to Pakistan. It just can’t quit Pakistan.
There is an irredentism to the India psyche that is wholly absent in the Pakistani one. I’m probably the last Pakistani who would like to see a unified Punjab but if Pakistanis did feel Indian then they would have name their country North India.
I’m convinced no Indian *gets* Pakistan except for Indira Gandhi. She coolly and calculatedly struck on Pakistan and delivered a lasting blow from which it never recovered. She played for time, built the moral case, let the situation develop to a boiling point and then struck. She also allowed the moral legitimacy to stay on India’s side by letting Bangladesh become independent (she could have Sikkimised it if she so wished). Her father on the other hand was a total moron, who squandered India’s izzat. The Father is the worst Indian of the century but the consolation is that the Daughter is the greatest India.
But this is not my point, India is fighting with a failing country. India has everything to lose and Pakistan has nothing to lose. India’s future is to dominate an Ocean, Pakistan’s is to be a chattel passed around an Arab & Chinese master.
However when India galvanises the Pakistani people, it also makes Pakistan an extraordinarily valuable chip to various geopolitical actors. It is entirely India’s failure that she hasn’t made 100mm Muslim Punjabis completely invested into the Indian growth story.
This latest incident has made me realise there is no hope whatsoever. It benefits me on a personal level because I can glide between two very different spheres effortlessly (one of the advantages of being a Kaffirstani; I’m kosher to Pakistanis because even though I find Islam repulsive to the touch, I’m very partial to Pakistan).
But India has messed this up since she has spawned Pakistan. By obsessing on Pakistan India has allowed the virus that is Islam to grow and fester in the Subcontinent. Pakistan is a zombie nation animated by this virus.
Instead of punishing Pakistan with each action, not by retaliating, but through a Kautilyan strategy of undermining India’s Muslim minority (like China).
- In response to this attack, the Muslim law code in India should have been immediately abolished.
- A second attack should have led to the imposition of Vande Mataram across all Muslim schools.
- A third attack should have led to the arbitrary appropriation of a hundred mosques.
- A fourth attack should have led to the nationalisation of the Taj (which is currently administered by a Waqf).
It would satisfy the izzat demand of an angry Hindu population but also humiliate Pakistan, which would be powerless (India would only need to show the housing of JeM to demonstrate that Pakistan should first clean up its act and the Ummah doesn’t really care about the welfare of brown Muslims).
Pakistan would have quickly figured out the score and for the sake of her Indian Muslim kin would have retreated back as she has done in Uighurstan (Imran Khan claims not to know what’s happening there). However these hysterics/jingoistics (there is a better word for this that I can’t remember) only hurts India’s rise and is an emotional sop.
Unfortunately India and Indians will never get it because they are disenfranchised by the Nehruvian trap. The only hope is that India avoids a nuclear exchange and focus on economic growth.
22 thoughts on “India needs to learn how to deal with Zombistan.”
You do know that collective punishment is against international law right? What do India’s Muslims have to do with the actions of the Pakistani state? This is like if Pakistan punished its Hindu community every time India did something we didn’t like. The hostage theory is extremely unattractive.
As for Islam being a “virus”, religions cannot be blamed for the actions of some of their adherents. India has millions of law-abiding Muslim citizens. Characterizing their religion as a ” virus” is not going to improve their feeling of security. It would be best if a political and nationalist conflict between two nation-states is not given a religious color.
“This is like if Pakistan punished its Hindu community every time India did something we didn’t like.”
I mean you would, in first place, need to have a “hindu” community to do that right?
“It would be best if a political and nationalist conflict between two nation-states is not given a religious color.”
An Indian general once said that neither India nor Pakistan really know the meaning of war. What we have fought over the years is mostly “communal clashes with tanks” and not wars. Thats why we sort of dont understand the cost of war, and so eager to be @ each other throats.
Pakistan does have a Hindu population, mostly located in Sindh. The point is that Pakistani Hindus are not responsible for India’s actions just as Indian Muslims are not responsible for Pakistan’s. Collective punishment is immoral and frankly fascist.
The Pakistani minority population is sufficiently cowed. It would actually be better for Pakistani non-Muslims to now make Hegira for India; they would be much safer there..
Even the Ahmadis should do the same…
If India did follow Zack’s 4-point prescription, it would then truly have let Pakistan get into its system! India’s leadership over the decades have been way smarter than this. Such a plan of action could only come from a true Pakistani, someone who has completely bought into the fundamental assumptions of Jinnah’s TNT.
Actually found the piece quite insightful till reaching that prescriptive part.
Also doesn’t make sense in a narrow, tactical sense- Pakistan is doing really nothing to stop China’s persecution of its Muslims.
You are more concerned by proving TNT wrong than avoiding nuclear war?
Problem is your proposal will in no way avert a nuclear war if we are on course to have one.
Your proposals flow from an uncritical acceptance of TNT- Muslims in India are a enemy nation, and worthy candidates for disenfranchisement and persecution. Since TNT requires India to be a Hindu nation, it’s secular constitution and protections therein are meaningless Gandhi-Nehru impositions.
I think you fundamentally underestimate the resilience secular democracy provides India. In this, you strangely are like Pak army generals since 1947 who only see these as faultlines…and been fantasizing about breaking India into “56 different countries, from Nagaland to Tamil Nadu”.
There are some lessons from history. India as a nation state inherited most of the timidity of a millenia of empires of North India. These empires – Muslim or Hindu – could never break out of the confines of South Asia. The Delhi Sultans starting with Muhammad Ghori found easier pickings in South Asia and dynasties that followed used a familiar playbook. Even the Mughals who intermittently ruled over parts of today’s Pashtun regions of Afghanistan, failed to penetrate further into Central Asia. The Sikhs were a notable exception in pushing Afgan/Pushtun control back from the Indus to the Khyber. Else, there would likely have been no Pakistan as we know it today. The Marathas made a dash to Attock, but that was a flash in the pan as they lost the plot at the third battle of Panipat.
My point is that India similar to these earlier empires adopted a defensive posture against Pakistan starting with 1948, when it could have evicted tribal militias and Pakistani regulars from J&K. But the Congress had come to power through non-violent agitation and not through the barrel of a gun. They had no understanding of how to use all aspects of national power. They agreed to a role for the UN when they should have realized that gains on the ground are more important.
In 1962, Nehru’s “forward deployment” was all bluster and China taught Indian elites a lesson in hard power. A lesson that that India did not learn adequately from.
India’s naïveté was demonstrated once again during the Simla negotiations when India was holding 90,000 Pakistani army prisoners. The Simla agreement does not reflect the cards that India held.
India’s attempts at detente with Pakistan have not ended well. As long as the Pakistani Army is in power, there can be no lasting peace. Modi’s strategy of isolating Pakistan is not working as China and Saudi Arabia are falling over each other to come to Pakistan’s rescue while the Pakistani Army continues to leech off the Pakistani nation.
The only alternative is for India to use covert means to actively subvert Pakistan. It needs to play this game carefully, but should aim to bleed Pakistan till such time as the cost to China and other Pakistani allies starts becoming too high. Yes, it is a high risk strategy, but a strategy that is mired in a defensive posture has not paid dividends. It is time to change tracks.
And this does not mean that India needs to victimize its own Muslim minority. It has much to lose and little to gain from doing so.
Indians have always underestimated the strength of the Pakistan state.
The only exception was Indira, who strangely enough is deeply disliked by Indians in the same visceral way Maggie Thatcher is.
Zack, you are wrong about Indira being disliked in India. She is admired by most sections for her role leading up to the 1971 war with Pakistan. She is also well regarded for leaving Bangladesh to its own fate, else India would have been bogged down in Bangladesh for decades. It is Indira’s overreach in imposing the “Emergency” that is widely criticized in India.
I think both India and Pakistan have underestimated each other’s strengths. The only thing the Pakistani Army respects is military strength. Despite the dismemberment of the country in 1971, the Pakistani Army believes that the Indian state is soft and that 1948 and 1965 wars could have been won. The Pakistani Army is also able to blame Nawaz Sharif for the climbdown from Kargil heights. It takes great pride in being able to tie down large part of the Indian Army at relatively small cost in J&K.
It is only when India is able to inflict actual significant pain on Pakistan and its Army will there be a change in behavior of the Pakistani Army. India has to do this with skill and plausible deniability when required and use overt means when there is adequate justification. The unfortunately part is that the Pakistani people will get an even smaller share of the pie as this drama plays out.
JT, hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis starved and dehydrated in the Bangladeshi economic depression and famine of 1972-1974. It is comparable to the Bengal famine of 1943.
It is India’s shame that India did not do more to socio-economically help Bangladesh, surge Bangladeshi capacity and institutions, and tide Bangladesh over the depression and famine of 1972-1974.
It was a difficult call to make for India and Indira. Remember India had its own economic ills and had borne the brunt of supporting millions of Bangladeshi refugees. There was also a communist movement that was brewing in West Bengal that the Indian Govt. wanted to tackle. Involvement in Bangladesh would have complicated the pursuit of that goal. What if West Bengalis and Bangladeshis had decided that they should reconsider some sort of a closer engagement??
[What is very often missed is that a very large % of Bangladeshi refugees were Hindus as they were targeted by the Pakistani Army and collaborators during the pogrom in ’71. India suppressed this information because it could have set off a domestic blood letting. India wanted to try and close the virtual Pandora’s box.]
I also know from anecdotal information that for a period of time after the liberation of Bangladesh, there was virtually no functioning border between West Bengal and Bangladesh. People moved freely across the border. This gave rise to enterprising Indian traders going across in search of business opportunities. If this process had continued, I would have expected Bangladeshis to start feeling the same resentment towards Indian traders and businessmen as they did towards West Pakistanis. Indian would be viewed as exploiters, carpetbaggers, and occupiers. Given all this it was prudent on the part of India to withdraw its troops and leave Bangladesh to its own devices.
“Modi’s strategy of isolating Pakistan is not working as China and Saudi Arabia are falling over each other to come to Pakistan’s rescue while the Pakistani Army continues to leech off the Pakistani nation.”
No longer true. China and MBS would rally behind a stronger Indian response.
The way to bleed the Pakistani Army is through Afghan NDS, MoD, MoI. Let them engage in mass covert activity inside Pakistan in a way that gives India (and everyone else) plausible deniability.
“And this does not mean that India needs to victimize its own Muslim minority. It has much to lose and little to gain from doing so.”
Couldn’t agree more. Most Indian muslims are pro Indian and anti Pakistan. This is one of India’s greatest strengths.
About 40% of Gujarati muslims voted for Modi in the last election.
” India as a nation state inherited most of the timidity of a millenia of empires of North India. These empires – Muslim or Hindu – could never break out of the confines of South Asia. The Delhi Sultans starting with Muhammad Ghori found easier pickings in South Asia and dynasties that followed used a familiar playbook. Even the Mughals who intermittently ruled over parts of today’s Pashtun regions of Afghanistan, failed to penetrate further into Central Asia.”
I don’t want to elaborate here, but I do not agree. Keep in mind that the Mughal empire and Iran were close allies and friends. The Persian empire helped put Humayun in power. The Persian empire wanted to intermarry with the Mughals.
If the Mughals were serious about combining Persia and the Mughal empire into one kingdom the solution was simple.
Crown Jahanara Begun as the Queen Empress Regnant of the Mughal Empire [Shah Jahan would continue to de facto reign as her “regent” in India.] Marry her to Soltan Mohammad Mirza [Abbas II of Persia] when he was 5-9 years old. He would be brought to India and raised by Jahanara (and Jahanara’s loyal younger brother Dara Shikoh, and obedient father Shah Jahan).
Their child would be the uncontested ruler of both Persia and the Mughal Empire.
Jahanara would move to Persia with her 9 year old husband in 1642 and rule Persia directly while Darah Shikoh and Shah Jahan would reign as her regents in India.
Two empires would merge.
when did you go from being a pak nationalist to a pak anti nationalist? we need to do a podcast on this…
Zack, this no-holds-barred Hindu nationalistic rhetoric coming from a non-Hindu is causing even the bonafide Hindu nationalists to giggle embarrassingly. 🙂
Are you enrolled in too many BJP whatsapp groups?
I’m continually surprised by Zack’s penchant for collective punishment (maybe I shouldn’t be).
I don’t believe in shedding blood at any cost.
However India must respond and she must release herself from the shackles of the Nehruvian Settlement.
Indian Muslims are Indian citizens. Kashmiris are Indian citizens (we are always told Kashmir is an “integral part” of India). Punishing your own citizens for the actions of a foreign country is beyond bizarre–not to mention completely immoral.
Zach, honestly I have never met any smart Hindu with this kind of “no-holds-barred Hindu nationalistic rhetoric”.
Several Hindus have asked about you. They are confused.
“In response to this attack, the Muslim law code in India should have been immediately abolished.”
Umm. This should be abolished right now anyway. This is a way to support moderate muslims against Islamists.
“A second attack should have led to the imposition of Vande Mataram across all Muslim schools.”
Muslim schools already sing Vande Mataram. Not all of them. But many of them. Most muslim schools would gladly sing it if they got enough money. Sadly too many Indian muslims schools are dependent on the Saudis. Do you think Modi should ask MBS to tell all Saudi backed Indian schools to sing Vande Mataram? I think MBS might do this if asked. But this happen independently of what Pakistan does.
“A third attack should have led to the arbitrary appropriation of a hundred mosques.”
You mean only the most extremist mosques? Do you want to give them to the Chistie, Qadiriyya, twelver and sixer orders close to PM Modi?
Zach, you should talk to more of India’s sufi and twelver leaders. You would be shocked at how much you have in common with them in private.
“A fourth attack should have led to the nationalisation of the Taj (which is currently administered by a Waqf).”
I have a better idea. Why not give it jointly to the Chisties and Qadiriyya. This would likely be more in keeping with the intent of Jahanara Begum and Dara Shikoh.
Zach, do you want to interview leaders of the Chistie, Qadiriyya and twelvers? Get some serious Indian muslim perspectives?
This Zack is on good track. Only, the list needs an extension with couple additional steps. Been there, seen that.
“even though I find Islam repulsive to the touch, I’m very partial to Pakistan”
What is left of Pakistan if you take out Islam from it?
process of discovery for Paks to find out..
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