Complete Victory For Imran Khan

Pakistan is offering to return the pilot as a gesture of goodwill. Huge humiliation for India on every level.

I’m extraordinarily impressed with Imran’s handling of the crisis. This is the end of Modi, who should have been the Indian Benjamin Nethanyahu.

Pakistan has been cool, strategic and conciliatory while India has been bombastic, hotheaded and bloodthirsty. Completely outfoxed and to lose in a dogfight with Pakistan is a big shame on the Indian air-force.

(1.) The citizenship amendment is dead in the water; Pakistani and Bangladeshi non-Muslims aren’t going to swell India’s non-Muslim population any time soon.

(2.) India has galvanised the Pakistani people, burnished Imran’s leadership and brought the army & people together.

(3.) The global sympathy for India post the terror attack has dissipated.

(4.) India wants to play clean in a dirty neighbourhood. Pakistan cheats to win as it has done this time. Pakistanis are the ultimate survivalists, India do not understand the Pakistani or the Muslim mindset whatsoever (that’s why we have BP).

(5.) Kashmir is close to some sort of endgame. India cannot vent on Pakistan for its own quagmire in Kashmir. Two Nation Theory is THE dominant ideology of South Asia; Muslims cannot live in non-Muslim countries unless they are a single digit minority. Either Kashmir goes to Pakistan or it becomes Hindu.

(6.) Sikhs sympathy for Pakistan and Muslims is interesting to watch; there is a divergence in their views with the Hindu mainstream (Indian Muslims are a fifth column of course).

This is quite sad since if India had played its hand correctly, stayed the course and instead redoubled it’s activities in Kashmir; it could have scored a major victory.

India focuses on Pakistan, which is harmless and only dangerous when provoked, but refuses to zero in on Islam, which is the real villain in all of this.

Islam is a rigid absolutist faith that indoctrinates its followers to believe that there was once a Pedophile, who was blessed with Perfection. All Muslims are hardwired to defend this pedo at any cost. This is a threat to the liberal order and the only way to deal with it is to side-step them. Muslim societies cannot create prosperity (Turkey had Ataturk, Malaysia has the Chinese).

I don’t have any personal animosity towards Islam but what is shocking to me that over the past few decades Muslims have managed to silence any criticism of the religion and deem it Islamophobic. It’s important to flout this blanket ban since it’s a straight line to Hazrat Asia’s imprisonment, where Pakistani liberals have been complicit in her torture and imprisonment.

India must go for Zombistan’s kryptonite, which will always be Islam. Iqbal & Jinnah played with fire when they created a nation state on these lines but that is not India’s problem; Pakistan left to its own devices will fail. But these moral and tactical victories means that Pakistan gains a new lease of life. This is probably the first time since 1962 that Pakistan has won a victory against India.

48 thoughts on “Complete Victory For Imran Khan”

  1. “Muslims cannot live in non-Muslim countries unless they are a single-digit minority”– There is so much wrong with this blog post but this particular bit is just egregiously false. There are millions of law-abiding Muslims living in mainland India (outside Kashmir). They are not exactly clamouring for secession. Most of them are just trying to live their lives and practicing their religion however they see fit (anywhere on the spectrum from orthodox to liberal).

    Kashmir doesn’t have to either go to Pakistan or “become Hindu”. All that’s needed is to address the legitimate grievances of the Kashmiri people. Autonomy within the Indian constitution could be a workable solution along with soft borders with Pakistani Kashmir.

    Your advocacy of the TNT is ironic given your feelings about Pakistan. Many of Pakistan’s problems stem from its exclusionary basis while India has historically been a more open and liberal society. It would be sad to see India go the same way as Pakistan.

      1. Sure, settling a population that is linguistically, ethnically and religiously different from the natives of the land is going to go well.

        Not to mention that it is totally immoral.

  2. Couple of years from now when the dust settles, it will actually be seen as a victory for India. The details like how far the bombs fell from the indented target will be forgotten, but the important lesson will be remembered – that the bar had been raised. A precedent has been set and the LOC or even the international border is not sacrosanct. India can, and will send its jets across international border to take out hostile entities. This is the key take away of the whole episode.

    The optics of an Indian pilot in Pak custody does look bad for India, but that probably has got something to do with the age of Indian fighter planes. I am sure in the coming days we will hear more about the air worthiness of MiG fighter jets.

    By all account the pilot conducted himself admirably well when in custody. Even going by the account of Pak newspaper Dawn, he comes up as an epitome of courage. Even after being shot down from the sky, being injured and surrounded by hostile population, he made a bid to escape, kept on firing from his pistol till he ran out of bullets, and had the presence of mind to destroy sensitive papers. I am sure Indian military needs more men of his kind.

    And by the way, I am sure Pak air force downed just one Indian jet, and not two or four or fifty as claimed by various social media forums. In these days of youtube journalism, citizen journalist are swarming all over the place armed with a smartphone in hand. Had a fighter plane crashed on any side of the border, rest assured that its video would have emerged within half an hour on youtube. So, no video no kill.

    PS. Pakistan does have one “win” under its belt which most people are forgetting. Pak army has got rave reviews from the Indian pilot saying that they make great tea. Alternate profession! 🙂

  3. (1.) The citizenship amendment is dead in the water; Pakistani and Bangladeshi non-Muslims aren’t going to swell India’s non-Muslim population any time soon.”

    If you havent noticed just before the the lapsing of the bill, the Govt quite cheekily allowed all N-Indian states to allow and accept hindu refugees to convert their status to Indian citizenship. This was missed under the Hullabaloo of the lapse of the bill. The only people who will now be affected are bengali hindus and to be fair, they dont vote for the BJP and BJP is under no pressure to support them either.

    (4.) India wants to play clean in a dirty neighbourhood. Pakistan cheats to win as it has done this time. Pakistanis are the ultimate survivalists, India do not understand the Pakistani or the Muslim mindset whatsoever

    Agreed. i just said that yesterday , about how artificial this line India takes(which no one has asked us to , but we still do) b/w Pakistani people and Pakistani state. As long as India takes that line it will lose. But here again its not a foreign thing. Its India own people who have made this distinction/

    5) Kashmir is close to some sort of endgame. India cannot vent on Pakistan for its own quagmire in Kashmir.

    Well if there is anything India is good at that’s keeping its territory intact. Its not run by twitter folks who cant hold their nerves but by folks who have been dealing with this issue for the last 70 years. Sad as it may sound but India will actually fight Kashmir to the last Kashmiri. If it could not be wrested back in the 90s where international opinion was against India (collapse of Soviet, USA-Pak alliance), its nigh impossible today.

  4. 1. The issue of Martial races needs to be buried. A curd rice eating madrasi chased the Pak Jets!!.
    2. The lack of strategic depth of Pak is real and will be problem for them.

  5. The only thing i took away from the whole incident politically is that the only Dravidian who might have just put an end to “North Aryan” empire of Modi might be the captured Indian pilot (who has questionable facial hair choice).

    1. Interestingly, Dravidian languages have been a strategic tool against Pakistan. Not many remember that during Operation Bluestar (against Khalistani Bhrindanwale in the Golden Temple), it was Malayali army officers and soldiers operating the wireless system….which apparently outfoxed Bhrindanwale’s handlers listening in, as it was unexpected and led to the successful storming that followed.

  6. Sorry, IMHO:

    1/ This sounds like hurt Savarakarism. And assumes as universal truth that Modi is a great executor- NOT. This guy gave us demonetization and the GST meltdown, and earlier Vibrant Gujarat summits that collected only 10-20% of investments that were propagandized.

    2/ Savarkarites talk a big game and sadly have never delivered, except within their own online bubbles. These online bubbles also severely misunderestimate (thanks GWB) the centrist Congress-deep-state if you will, that has a/ survived India as a unified country for seven decades, b/ broken off Pakistan literally into two, and c/ retained Kashmir (and Punjab and Nagaland, to a lesser extent) as part of India despite unending international hostility.
    As many people have said on twitter, Modi is expending the credit MMS and INC have accumulated over time. We still have few months to go and hopefully we won’t have another instance of Ajit Doval flying out more terrorists over to Kandahar.

    3/ Literally millions of Muslims are living within India and never make it to the news . Yes, Kashmir is an exception. Kashmiris have not appreciated the genuine efforts the Indian state had made in the early decades to truly accommodate their interests and the “freedom struggle” there is pure Islamism. In this, Kashmiris are with the Pakistani state and Savarkarites in uncritically endorsing TNT. One would have expected they would have known better esp. after the Bangadesh liberation war, which destroyed that theory to most thinking observers.

    4/ That said, despite losing the PR war, India has done 2 things with the airstrike: a/ escalated Pakistan’s costs for a future terrorist attack by striking deep within Pak, and 2/ demonstrated if it needed any demonstration that China will not show up when Pakistan actually needs it in a crisis against India. That will hopefully give the Pak generals some pause next time they think up something clever.

  7. “As many people have said on twitter, Modi is expending the credit MMS and INC have accumulated over time.”

    LOL. Yeah bro, the banks are bursting with those credits. I mean i understand whole right wing trying to turn this as some sort of a win, but lets not now go the other way and try to turn MMS “pusillanimity ” to some sort of grand “credit accumulation” theory.

    Perhaps if tomorrow we settle the boundary with China than we might as well credit Nehru losing the war in 62 as some sort of “credit accumulation” with the Chinese as well.

  8. In the midst of all the din and jingoism, we are missing the fact that India and Pakistan have been left to their own devices to sort things out. There is no US special representative making the rounds of Islamabad and New Delhi using carrot and stick to cool passions. Other than a stray comment by Trump there is a deafening silence.

    From the US perspective, if India and Pakistan trade blows, the Pakistani Army is weakened and distracted. They have a better chance to make a cleaner exit from Afghanistan. India has to turn to US corporations to rearm once Army and Air Force supplies are depleted.

    Russia has offered its good offices, but nobody has paid it much attention. It too will only gain from arms purchases by both India and Pakistan.

    China has played a low key role. Perhaps it is playing a bigger role behind the scenes but not sure to what end.

    I guess this is what the new world is going to look like. The US is no longer the global policeman. China unable and unwilling to play that role. Expect lots of small conflicts to break out.

  9. “There is no US special representative making the rounds of Islamabad and New Delhi using carrot and stick to cool passions.”

    I think that’s a good thing for India at least. No longer India has the “some other country putting pressure on us” alibi anymore which was used after 2008,2001 parliament attacks etc. Now your decisions are your own and you have to own up. Hopefully it remains the same in future, but i am not optimistic.

    Afghanistan is a lost cause for India. The time to do something to retrieve the situation has long passed, and the sooner India gets out of Afghanistan reconstruction activities the better. Or else another captured mallu nurses in Syria/captured Indian pilot episode will be replayed day in and day out there.

    1. Saurav we completely disagree on Afghanistan.

      Over 45,000 ANSF heroes have died bravely in combat in just 51 months. Would India like the Taliban to fight inside India? Would India be able to politically absorb 45,000 dead Indian Army soldiers?

      The Afghans are tying down the best and brightest of the Pakistani Army and much of the Pakistani defense budget.

      Jash e Mohammed is one of the main militias fighting inside Afghanistan now and has killed thousands of ANSF heroes.

      The Afghans are brave and patriotic. They will fight for their freedom and independence from Pakistan.


      Trump [and Afghanistan for that matter] is cheering India on. This is why there is no US special representative. Trump is hoping that India takes out some of America’s most powerful and dangerous enemies.

      India and America have an almost 100% correspondence in long term interests and values with respect to Pakistan, Afghanistan and global Islamism. It makes sense to work together.

      India has to show global leadership. Partly because Trump does not want to. India can rally China, Japan, Asia, the muslim world, Europe, North America and Australia together and India should.

    2. I think it is unwise to extrapolate from a present moment to a long term pattern. Certainly now USA is far disengaged in Indo-Pak affair. I think it is mainly because the civil administration in Washington (Trump admin) is just M.I.A and pentagon generals running US strategic affairs as best they can and they can handle only a few things without all cylinders of US government functioning.

      In the long term, a closer US-India strategic relation certainly look more likely than USA trying to shelter Pakistan from consequences of its rash actions. However, the present age is very uncertain for India, hopelessly outclassed by its main strategic rival China and adrift in a very fluid world with only good but not totally reliable friends, India is going through a tough time.

      Another point, I fully expect Pakistan, playing as junior partner to Saudi Arabia, try to befriend Israel as much as possible and weaken the India-Israel cooperation. The internationally ambitious Muslim countries (Pak, Saudi, Turkey, Qatar, Iran etc etc) have given up on Ummah ideas (tough luck Uighurs, Palestinians) and now only seem to have proximate interests. I do not know if the less ideological countries will be less spoiling or more dangerous.

      1. Shafiq, from what I can gather Trump is cheering India on.

        Trump has fired or publicly humiliated most of the inner circle. Why would the remnants of the ediface around Trump risk defying Trump for Pakistan? Everyone in US policy circles in Washington (other than a few influenced by the “Arabist Lobby”) hates Pakistan. The same terrorist organizations attacking India are also attacking almost every other country in the world.

        Trump needs India. India can lead an alliance that includes Russia, Iran, Israel, China, Japan, Europe, South Korea, Australia, Canada. Trump can join India without appearing as a Russian asset or Putin poodle. [Trump can also be accused of excessively close personal relations with China.] Sadly American internal politics are completely “NUTS.”

        India needs to step up while Washington dysfunction continues. China lacks the legitimacy and trust to play this role directly (except in close collaboration with India). Europe lacks the unity. Indian leadership can facilitate European unity. Japan lacks the “people skills” and deep understanding of global diversity, and China does not want Japan to play this role. Japan can only lead as India’s partner.

        Brazil’s president has been demonized by the global post modernist marxist thought control crazies as a nazi fascist alt right racist imperialist colonialist hegemonic oppressor. However Jair Bolsonaro can lead globally as a partner of India.

        Plus Brazil has her hands full handling Venezuela and the psychotic schizophrenic Maduro. Brazilian troops might need to enter Venezuela to restore stability. Several other Latin American countries including Haiti need Brazilian attention. So do crisis in Africa.

        The US has global legitimacy, trust, capacity . . . but is politically “INSANE”.


        I think the Israelis see India as their most important long term ally and won’t risk jinxing it. [Germany, Russia and to a lesser degree the US are seen as declining powers. And the US is becoming unpredictable, unstable and unreliable.]

        Any Israeli relationship with Pakistan can be seen as an extension of India’s deep Pakistan policy.


        China appears to be de facto backing India.


        I think Indonesia, Malaysia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Turkey will likely de facto back India . . . whatever they claim in public.

        What interests me is what role Bangladesh will play.

        Saudi Arabia is a wild card.

        1. I don’t think India can and will step up. Very few Indian rulers (and the elites who kept them in power) demonstrated strategic depth and the ability to follow through on strategic imperatives. There are notable exceptions, the most notable being Chanakya/Kautilya. Among more recent historical figures one can include Shivaji and Tipu Sultan.

          Strategic thinking OTOH has always been a hallmark of the Chinese ruling elite. This is the reason that India will continue to play second fiddle be it to US/China in the foreseeable future. Fortunately for India, its demographic heft will be felt no matter what.

  10. “Islam is a rigid absolutist faith that indoctrinates its followers to believe that there was once a Pedophile, who was blessed with Perfection. All Muslims are hardwired to defend this pedo at any cost”

    LMAO. dude. we need to do a podcast on your cognitive revolution.

    *blink* and you’ll miss the transformation.

    1. Zach, you realize that the vast majority of Hindus would be horrified by a direct criticism of Mohammed pbuh, right? This is not done.

      There are major Sunni and Shia sources that claim Aisha was older than 9. How do we know these sources are not true?

  11. Looks like Zach’s account has been hijacked by some troll from BJP’s social media team.

    Zach, what is the secret passphrase? Prove that it is you! 🙂

    1. I accidentally cleared the spam so lost this comment by Satya. Our spam filters are hyper-active:

      India needs to up it’s PR and communication game. Pak has been able to successfully create doubts about Indian claim of shooting a Pakistani F-16.
      In this age of social media, the one who speaks first sets the narrative.
      I don’t have hopes of India fixing this – Indian babudom is sclerotic and jugaadu.

  12. Zach, all this is going to have no effect on the election. Which is why the BJP is keeping up its election campaign momentum. There were elections in Maharashtra after 26/11 and the Congress actually gained seats.

    Indian electorate is way past such short termism. We know Pakistan is a defeated enemy, whose best and brightest have little investment in its national project.

    1. Yes, even more than USA, Indians are a very internally focussed country, probably because of its very diverse population and lack of national platforms like Fox, CNN, Nytimes in USA. Thank providence for that.

  13. To me the curious part is on twitter the pro Modi gang has resolutely stayed behind the leader, the anti Modi “liberal” gang is divided in the middle. While for some of them, hatred from Modi sort of pushed them to #ThankyouImran group altogether, there are some (including surprise, surprise our very own Tony “Aryan-slayer” Joseph) who are still like lets not go overboard with this.

    1. If a substantial number of Indians openly criticize its government on failure or unwarranted belligerancy during this kind of emotionally heightened international crisis, that is a very good sign. let us not forget how America, Democrats and Republicans, shamefully gave the Bush administration carte blanche for many months after 9-11. Only with the Iraq war many people recovered their moral spine.

      1. Shafiq, what would you critique in Afghanistan about US and the world’s policy?

        The Northern Alliance defeated the Taliban while less than 500 US special forces and intelligence operatives were on the ground.

        [Note that India, Russia, Iran, Europeans, Turks also had advisors on the ground.]

        The US for the most part ignored Afghanistan or considered it the UN’s problem, the world’s problem, NATO’s problem, Afghanistan’s problem until 2007. Only in 2007 did the US start to get involved in a more serious way. Even then with extremely short term time horizons.

        No major attempt was made in Afghanistan to build the ANSF. Albeit some attemps were made to build civilian governance institutions.

        Afghanistan showcased almost a hundred countries stepping over each others toes spreading chaos and confusion. Most of them knew almost nothing and were deeply incompetent, even stupid.

        Many of the international troops were lower quality than the Afghan National Army troops and had to be protected and looked after by the Afghans. Many of the “advisors” and “trainers’ were jokes.

        Afghans looked on in horror at the freak show that is the international community.

        The UN unanimously created ISAF (International Security Assistance Force” or “I saw Afghans fight”. Many of the ISAF troops were busy sunbathing on bases, watching movies, surfing the internet or committing adultery. Only a small fraction of ISAF troops actually bothered to fight alongside the Afghans.

      2. Shafiq, I would add that stupid criticism or ignorant ranting is worse than silence.

        What dialogue do you see that is say above the maturity of a two year old?


        On Iraq, the entire dialogue almost everywhere outside Iraq has been at the 2 year old maturity level. It has been distinctly unhelpful.

        People ranting and raving without knowing anything solves nothing. Fortunately the Iraqis were able to build up their security forces after 2003 and now finance the ISF through oil revenues. Because of this Iraq is slowly improving. [After a long horrible time since 1968 when Saddam came to power]

    2. Hadn’t heard of this trend, but on searching found #ThankYouImranKhan trending in India, mostly among Tamilians / TN, likely because the WgCmdr is from there. With the occasional minor Tamil celebrities chipping in.

      Any major pan-Indian well known anti-Modi folk trending this? Didn’t find any.

      Tony Joseph is an out-and-out centrist, ex business editor, maybe socially liberal, AFAIK. His position on current events has been similar to many others who do not want Modi’s politicking and unverifiable exaggerations to affect India’s long built credibility or national interest (as may already have happened). I could have predicted his stance even before this incident.

      What made you surprise-surprised at this? His Christian name, maybe? Or do you believe everything Modi-Amitsha are doing is in selfless Indian national interest, and anti-Modi=anti-India?

      1. These are very low resolution analysis. What value does it add?

        How is this helpful constructive feedback?

        1. Adds as much value as the argument it is countering / questioning.

          If that is low-resolution, this is.
          If that wasn’t, this wasn’t.

  14. Bro you literally took the “#ThankYouImran ” group thing or what. I was mentioning the whole “Imran is now a statesman” talk on twitter by Indian liberals which you can find innumerable instances. If you still unable to find it, i can help by posting it next time around.

    “What made you surprise-surprised at this? His Christian name, maybe? Or do you believe everything Modi-Amitsha are doing is in selfless Indian national interest, and anti-Modi=anti-India?”

    The divide i gave was anti Modi and Pro Modi, not anti India-pro India. Pretty sure we know which side Joseph falls.
    I am not that naive who thinks that politicians do anything for “national interest”. They do not, they do everything(mostly) for their own interest , including sometimes things which actually just happens to be in “national interest”.

    1. “Bro you literally took the “#ThankYouImran ” group thing or what.”

      Oops ?

  15. Wing commander not yet handed over. Paper work being blamed.
    Nobody can beat our systems.

  16. I need to vent here. Fuck the media circus surrounding Wing Cmdr. Vardhaman’s release. POW exchanges are an obligation under international law. They are not an excuse for gaudy made for TV visuals. I feel for the man and what he must be going through right now. Total unprofessionalism on the part of the Pakistani military with their milking him for videos and that Wagah spectacle. What was wrong with a flag meeting + debriefing at some non descript border post away from the media glare? Also, I don’t think I have enough curse words in my vocabulary for the Indian MSM.

    1. Man just be thankful that he has returned at all. The subcontinent is not exactly a place where we follow “Geneva Conventions” and all. POWs have seen worser fate….

  17. I dont really understand what exactly is the issue here. Its totally possible that IAF might have missed the target by some distance, and no one (very few) died. Does that mean Modi asked them to specifically go 80kms across the border and “make sure just hit trees, you know i have a election to win, nothing major” and the IAF folks were like “Yes sir, we totally get it”. Why is there is no nuance from “Modi did in national interest” to “All this is for public approval”. Is there a space left for just some good old fashioned “operation failure”

    Also as Omar said on the podcast there is no way to know really how many have really died (or not). All this is beside the point, India wanted to show it can cross the IB even for terrorist attacks, while Pakistan wanted to reinforce that under no circumstances it should be crossed. Depending who you ask , looks like all objectives have been met by both sides

    1. The theory that the strike was possibly deliberately ineffectual relies on the assumption that the air strike was designed to maximize political points while minimizing the potential for escalation. That is to say, the act to violate Pakistani air space would have shown Indian resolve and Pakistani weakness. That the strike itself did nothing would dampen potential Pakistani desire for retaliation because there would be nothing for the Pak military to retaliate for aside from face saving. If this theory is true, it obviously failed because Indian politicos underestimated Pakistani vindictiveness and their desire for izzat which honestly confuses me because considering how similarly sub-continentals think and behave whether Indian or Pakistani. Operational failure, the other potential cause, is generally politically unsavory because it would tarnish the reputation of the armed forces which is the singular government institution (undeservedly in my opinion) both in India and Pakistan that isn’t held in contempt as corrupt and dysfunctional.

  18. The gravest sin that Pakistan army has now done is to force our Dravidian brother (with those things on his face which he calls mustaches) to force him to talk in Hindi for a full minute and captured it on video!! WTF

    Might have just taken Kashmir man. This is totally not done. Pak army you will soon face the wrath of our Lemurian god Periyar and soon we will unleash him upon you. Just you wait and watch.

  19. The “Completely Victorious” Pakistani Prime Minister has some urgent things to do.

    Answer to his American Masters about the misuse of their F16s

    “”We are aware of these reports and are seeking more information,” a State Department spokesperson told PTI when asked about report that Pakistan has violated end-user agreement with the United States in this week’s border clash with India. ”

    and even more importantly pay his due respects to a fallen hero who sacrificed his life for his country.

    “Wg Cdr Shahzaz Ud Din of No 19 Squadron (Sherdils) flying F1 .. ”

    Unlike Wing Commander Varthaman, Wing Commander Shahzaz unfortunately could not be saved from an angry mob on the ground after ejecting from his aircraft.

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