Please keep the other posts on topic. Use this for talking about whatever you want to talk about.
Month: March 2019
Afghan Peace Process; Postscript
From Dr Hamid Hussain
Following was an exchange with an old Afghan hand of ISI. It may be of interest to some. His comments in normal font; mine in bold.
26 February 2019
Thanks Sir for opening more windows; My comments essentially of a wandering dervish in red in your main text;
A very thought provoking analysis with indepth knowledge of situation in Afghanistan. My take:
- No party can have total control over Afghanistan particularly psuedo democracy.(You are correct that no single party is strong enough to impose its will on the whole country. In good old times, a chap like Amir Abdur Rahman put the fear of God by beheading a large number of tribal leaders and exiling others far away from their homeland. In this way, he was able to impose a central state on reluctant Afghans. Times have changed. It is time for a grand bargain and compromise although I’m not sure whether Afghans are ready for it.)
- Taliban will emerge as the largest group but will not be allowed total control by big powers. Fear CIS & Russians from fundamentalists will keep them supporting tajik and uzbek groups.(Correct. Interests of many countries are divergent and each state will support its own proxy. It is fine as long it is for political jockeying but all need to be mindful that one heated argument after endless cups of green tea can tempt one to reach for AK-47. This urge needs to be controlled. If not then;
aur ja’am toteein gein; iss sharab khane mein)
3.hazaras & other shia gps having tasted part powers will not easily succumb to Taliban rule. (Another reason for all Afghans to go for a bargain. Like many highlanders, Afghans of all ethnicities have a distorted sense of honor. They are willing to settle scores with gun for whatever perverted reason. However, their grandmother is begging on the street, young son is molested in coal mines of Baluchistan (Shahrag mining town in Baluchistan is the most heinous place in this regard where boys as young as 8 or 9 from FATA and Afghanistan are being molested on daily basis) or daughters going into prostitution to put food on the table in Pakistan & Iran, and their honor is nowhere to be found. Reminds me the words of an American who had worked in Afghanistan. He lived with his family among Afghans and worked in 1970s in Jalalabad for several years. In mid 2000s, he went back for a trip to Jalalabad. He said that Afghans were poorer then but had honor. Now they are richer but have lost their honor”. Hegel defined courage and bravery as “Courage among civilized peoples consists in a readiness to sacrifice oneself for the political community) Continue reading Afghan Peace Process; Postscript
Against being an intellectual subaltern
Over at my other weblog, The blood on brown hands is a legacy of all of history. Basically, a long essay where I fire broadsides at reductive postcolonialism in the context of Indian history and communal divisions. The motivation was straightforward: twitter is not really good to outline more subtle or detailed perspectives. But, it is a good platform for people to pepper you with many, many, questions.
Below is the first paragraph of the post:
Yesterday I put up a tweet which went a bit viral (I won’t embed since it has a vulgarity). It was the result of my frustration with a very liberal Indian American who was using unfortunate tensions in the Indian subcontinent to attack “white supremacy.” My frustration was due to the reality that a major conflict between India and Pakistan would not just impact India and Pakistan, though that is dire enough. In a globalized world, a war involving the world’s fifth largest economy, situated athwart the southern flank of Asia, would impact many people outside of the subcontinent. In the midst of this, the fact that someone was using this to promote their own ideological hobbyhorse was offensive to me.
Arundhati Roy on Kashmir; Pakistan is simply another Bantustan
A quick note on Ms. Roy’s thoughts:
NEW DELHI —With his reckless “pre-emptive” airstrike on Balakot in Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inadvertently undone what previous Indian governments almost miraculously, succeeded in doing for decades. Since 1947 the Indian Government has bristled at any suggestion that the conflict in Kashmir could be resolved by international arbitration, insisting that it is an “internal matter.” By goading Pakistan into a counter-strike, and so making India and Pakistan the only two nuclear powers in history to have bombed each other, Modi has internationalised the Kashmir dispute. He has demonstrated to the world that Kashmir is potentially the most dangerous place on earth, the flash-point for nuclear war. Every person, country, and organisation that worries about the prospect of nuclear war has the right to intervene and do everything in its power to prevent it.
I followed another link to this article, In Pulwama Bomber Adil Ahmad Dar’s Village, It’s Another Day, Another Death, and I was shocked to see that the bomber was a native Kashmiri.
Kashmir is on fire and the Indian government doesn’t seem to have realised just how much of an own-goal this incident has been.
India should be viewing Pakistan and Bangladesh as the West Bank & Gaza Strip of the Subcontinent. These Muslims Republics are a great place for India’s demographics to be absorbed and in retrospect 1971 was not the great victory for India.
India pretends to be Israel but Israel has a strict Jewish First policy whereas India is territorial focussed. Israelis don’t hunker for a land between the Sea & the Euphrates but stay within defensible borders and hold on to their cantonments.
India shouldn’t be fighting corrupt Pakistani generals and businessmen; it should be bribing them. If Pakistan tomorrow becomes 5 banana republics; the Punjab border would be overwhelmed with Muslim refugees.
Post 1971 India was left with:
An estimate made in the year 2000 placed the total number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in India at 1.5 crore, with around 3 lakh entering every year.
I imagine the majority of these illegal Bangladeshi immigrants are not Hindu.
Like Israel, India will soon have to decide whether it wants to have a solidly Hindu future (with compliant Hindufied minorities) or a “Akhand Bharat.”
But deep down Indians, of all stripes (Hindutva included), cannot bear to part with Pakistan & Kashmir. There is an atavistic bond Hindus/Indians have to this mythical Mughal fantasy, that they just can’t quit Pakistan.
Any sensible Hindu leader would be advocating partition upon partition to isolate and quarantine these bantustan Pakistans. Isolated, weak, divided and led by a corrupt Muslim elite drunk on Indian money; these little Pakistans would have been wonderful pawns of India.
Instead India’s loss will be China’s gain; Israel doesn’t do such mistakes.