why Afghanistan & Pakistan must unite under a Constitutional monarchy

I do not understand why INDThings and Kabir waste their time and energy on arguing with Hindutva.

However there are some Pakistanis that are now verging on the ridiculous:

Why are some Pakistanis demanding a statue of Raja Dahir, the last Hindu king of Sindh?

I didn’t understand the desire to install the statue of the divisive Ranjit Singh. I recently saw the movie Kesari and frankly found it rather offensive that Bollywood chose to celebrate the Slave-soldiers of the Raj rather than the Pashtun freedom fighters.

I do feel a good solution to Pakistan’s identity dilemma would be a constitutional monarchy with Afghanistan (Union of the Crowns, which is what England & Scotland had from 1606-1707).

It would have to be solely Persian-speaking (I haven’t researched enough on what standard of Persian but Dari possibly approximate Sabki-Hind fairly well) but Sunni (in the manner of the Mughals being Sunni, which was eclectic but still distinct enough from the Safavids) and probably the last Afghan dynasty will do with enough Mughal Muslim nobility thrown in for good measure. This would offset the Punjabi-Sindhi dominance since frankly most of the notables would be the traditional ruling tribes of Muhajirs and Afghans (the only royal tribe in Pakistan that comes to mind are the B’s; Brahuis, Baltis and Bahawalpur).

As the last cricket World Cup showed it’s not the Radcliffe line that must be erased; after all it is a civilisational border of sort but rather the Durand line. The fact that Afghanis and Pakistanis were at each other’s throats while the Indians & Pakistanis were super-cordial demonstrates that the former is a familial relationship the latter is a formal one.

There is also a serious possibility that such a constitutional monarchy might have to accommodate the rising tide of Muslim migrants from Modistan.

Then statues of Ranjit Singh and Raja Dahir would make sense as the indigenous expression of Pakistan’s Indian provinces (Punjab & Sindh).

But like all things Pakistani, the national project is still half complete and we must look West to Turan. The Arabs only came once and only manage to transform Sindh; it was the Turanians who reshaped the map of India.

Of course this is constitutional optics and nothing would really change on the ground but the restoration of an Sunni Persian-speaking Afghan-Mughal Monarchy would solidify AfPak and tie it solidly into its Persian & Central Asian neighbours.

It would be a fitting tribute and victory to those noble Afghans who sacrificed their lives at Saraghari under the orders of the British and their Ghulams. Then we can be politically correct and build as many statues of Ranjit Singh & Raja Dahir as we like.

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63 Replies to “why Afghanistan & Pakistan must unite under a Constitutional monarchy”

  1. 1.) Raja Dahir is from the Chach dynasty; Hindu Brahmans who came to power via a coupe against the Buddhist Rai Empire, and who violently repressed the native uprisings by the largely Buddhist Sindhis who rose in resistance. Chach rule was neither loved nor missed. If anything, the Rai dynasty should be honored.

    2.) Kesari typifies how far right India is sliding. The British-Indian colonial soldiers fighting for imperialism are the heroes, the Muslims fighting to defend their native lands are the villains. The movie actually calls Pashtuns defending Pashtun-land in KPK, the “invaders”.

    3.) You are living in the past visa-vis Turan and Persia. Turan has zero prestige in the Muslim world ever since being neutered by Russia. Persia’s Shia zealotry and aggressive dislike of anyone not Persian has alienated most Muslims outside Iran, and a good number inside it as well.

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    1. Honor whoever you like. I’ll address point 3 where I break with you and Kabir.

      Your analysis is simplistic since a Persian speaking Sunni dynasty of Turko-Afghan origins were basically what the Mughals were.

      Pakistan is an incomplete project and the mistake the Pakistani government does in trying to maintain the Durand line instead of erasing it.

      To analogise the situation to the Tudor era. Afghanistan is our Scotland and India is France. While The Sun King was reigning in France, England was under the Protectorate and Civil War.

      For AfPak to be great, it must have a lasting constitutional settlement that is equitable to all parties.

      A Republican-Democratic form of government disproportionately benefits the Muslim Sindhis-Punjabis who have never really known Monarchy or Nobility for the past millennia. However it would benefit the Martial-Imperial lot.

      Finally our Entire High Culture is basically a derivative of Iran for better or for worse. Ghalib and Iqbal wrote predominantly in Persian with Urdu as a mere afterthought (that was certainly the case for Ghalib – I don’t know for Iqbal).

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      1. The Mughals are regarded highly in Pakistan because they represent Muslim rule in the subcontinent. That the ruling class happened to be Turco-Persian is considered a random (if not unfortunate) coincidence.

        Persian as a language/culture only ever had purchase in Pakistan due to it being more closely associated with Islam and Islamic-political power than Indic culture. Iqbal, Jinnah, and the Muslim secular upper-class of British-India may have appreciated Persian for its own sake, but they were the unrepresentative 1%, and their kind has been extinct for decades. English has long since replaced Persian as the global lingua-france, and Arabic has replaced it as the language of Islam.

        There’s also the issue that any kind of Persian-entity outside of Iran would need to be accepted at some level by the Persians, who as I said above, exhibit an almost bizarre hostility (verging on bigotry) towards anyone not ethnically Persian and/or Shia. Which would exclude virtually all Afghans and Pakistanis.

        I sympathize with the idea, but I can’t think of any way it could work.

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      2. Xerxes, I share some of your monarchist/traditionalist leanings, but feel there is a statute of limitations of sorts beyond which restoration of dynasties in untenable. Pakistan, for all its admiration of imperial mughal high culture, is probably more deracinated from its pre-republican polities than most of the subcontinent. It was largely administered directly in the colonial period. A true monarchy must be imbued with a sacred legitimacy of both the seat and the lineage. There is a reason that modern totalitarianism tends to manifest as dictatorship and one-party rule, and not new monarchs. Would pakistani islam allow for treating a family lineage as sacred? Is it possible to revive a hejazi or ottoman line and place them on the AfPak + Kash throne?

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    2. @INDTHINGS you raise a good point about the persistence of Brahmanism and Hinduism.

      I would say there is a natural division to the “Hindu Religions.”

      (1.) Jainism
      (2.) Buddhism
      (3.) Brahmanism

      We must remember that what we know to be Hindu was rapidly being codified in the 16th-17th century hence why the terms are foreign (Persian in origin; Iran is always stalking in the shadow of Indian History).

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    3. Tbh pretty much none of the Right-leaning Hindus I know are big fans of Kesari.

      I do know a Sikh physician who is fanatical about the film though.

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  2. “Chach rule was neither loved nor missed. If anything, the Rai dynasty should be honored.”

    Shouldn’t we leave it to the Sindhis who they wish to celebrate?

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    1. Pakistan is not only a geographic construct but an ideological one.
      It’s interesting the Sindhis, Punjabis and Bengalis were quite ambivalent about the ongoing religious cleaning of their provinces but at the same time are now demanding “national rights.”

      It is better in that case to reverse Partition entirely and let the original populations rebalance.

      In any case I’m a Damad of Sindh so I have some speaking rights LOL

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    2. Sindhis don’t want pre-Islamic statues, but then neither did Punjabis, and they got Ranjit Singh anyway. Ultimately neither will care much if such statues are constructed, as most view their pre-Islamic ancestors as almost a different species.

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        1. Sorry if it came off that way. Just trying to analogize how distinctly Pakistanis see themselves from their pre-Islamic ancestors. Not implying anyone is actually more or less evolved.

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    1. Rather What Must.

      Why shouldn’t Afghanistan and Pakistan be welded together in a Constitutional Muslim Monarchy.

      There is no need to be chained to the modern Orthodoxies.

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    2. “did i wander into soc.history.what-if?”

      A lot of Zach’s posts belong under that rubric. It’s like watching a fully evolved alternate universe take shape, like the Game of Thrones. 🙂

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      1. 85 years ago, not even a mile from where I sit, a man came up with a crazy name for a nation that did not exist.

        Beware of Cambridgstanis such as myself, Chaudhary Rahmat Ali & Allama Iqbal; our dreams are of the Deserts of the Ummah (and incidentally I do desserts too)..

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  3. I had a Pakistani buddy of mine recently remark that he considers Urdu as the national language to be one of the biggest mistakes made by Pakistan’s founders. He suggested that Arabic would be the best choice, so it seems this sort of sentiment is fairly common.

    I think if the political entity of India had been named something else, let’s say Bharat, then the Indic Pakistanis would be more ok with asserting a Muslim Indic heritage and Indianess.

    As it stands now there are too many associations with the current political entity of India, which has a better claim to Indic culture in the popular imagination just by virtue of the country’s name.

    Ironically if Indians keep disavowing Indo-Islamic heritage as part of the Hindu nationalist agenda they make it easier for Pakistanis to stake their claim to that heritage.

    If Indians want to hurt Pakistani identity they should start propagandizing the facts like For eg. India has the first metro rail system in the world with signage in Urdu (Hydrabad, Lucknow)

    Similarly if Pakistanis want to really hurt the Hindutva Identity then Pakistanis should start to lay claim their rich ancient Dharmic history in Taxila, Gandhara, etc, while still being proud Muslims. This would hurt the Hindutva worldview the most.

    I think India even under Modi is doing a lot better at claiming Indo-Islamic heritage, than Pakistan is at claiming its Dharmic heritage.

    And further it seems many Pakistanis think that snuffing out their Indic heritage and looking towards the mid-east as a source of identity is the path forward.

    I am not sure if Pakistan will succeed in this endeavour, but I consider the endeavor itself to be a win for Team India.

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    1. Ironically if Indians keep disavowing Indo-Islamic heritage

      We are once removed from our “Indo-Islamic” past already, as we are all children of the British Raj (or “Macaulay’s children”), like it or not. We are twice removed from our Hindu/Buddhist past. There’s a present quest among our self-styled elites to discover old roots for our culture and attach ourselves to old lineages, like the German Romantics tried to do in the 19th century. Given that most Indians are Hindu, and both the Hindu and Islamic past are somewhat alien to our present day experience, it’s natural that people would prefer to latch on to the former.

      None of this improves the lot of people in this country, so ultimately I think it’s of academic importance.

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  4. It seems to me that north-west is the ‘aspiration path’ for the entire continent that ranges from Europe to India.

    So south Indians wish they were more like north Indians. Most north Indians wish they looked like Punjabis. Punjabis wish they looked like Afghans. Afghans wish to be more Turanian.
    East Asians wish they did not have epicanthic folds and looked like they were from Xinjiang.
    Persians wish they were French. Arabs wish they were Turks. Levantines wish they were southern European.
    Southern and eastern Europeans wish they were like western Europeans. And western Europeans wish they were more like Scandinavians. And that’s where it stops.
    What do Scandinavians wish for?

    I guess central Asian steppe people are the only other ones who don’t have such aspirations. They just go in all directions and assimilate their genes everywhere.

    Throwing in a lot of assumptions here. Take it with a pinch of chaat masala.

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    1. Agreed but it needs to be contextualised that the NorthWestern people (Euros) have been winning history since 1492 and the Ultra NorthWesterners (Anglo-Saxons) since 1919/1947/1989.

      Is it any wonder that people aspire to the Winners?

      I don’t think Brits wish to be Scandinavians at all but it’s just that the cultural memory of the Norman Invasion is enormous in the presence of the Crown & the Aristocracy. The Church seems to be an Anglo-Saxon innovation (I think Celtic Christianity was forgotten in Britain if not Ireland, my memory is a bit hazy).

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      1. “I don’t think Brits wish to be Scandinavians at all but it’s just that the cultural memory of the Norman Invasion is enormous in the presence of the Crown & the Aristocracy. ”

        “The Mediterranean look (olive tan skin, sharp features, curly hair) is generally considered peak attractiveness.”

        I don’t know, man. I just see from Twitter and pop culture that Latinas and Med women are considered hot playthings but if western med had to sire children, they’d rather do it with someone who looked Nordic-er than Taylor Swift.

        Even seen Trad Portuguese tweeters complain how northern Portugal has more light haired beauties compared to south.

        Individuals can have their preferences. For example, I like the Mediterranean look but would prefer slightly darker than olive skin maybe ~Rajasthan types.

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      2. /cultural memory of the Norman Invasion is enormous in the presence of the Crown/
        True. Recently I went to Normandy invasion beaches and all the towns nearby; 75th Anniversary of DDay landings . In Bayeaux, from where William the conqueror set forth, there is a large plaque put by British forces, in French ‘ we have come to liberate the descendants of William the conqueror. and repay the debt. ‘ or words to that effect.
        Actually Norman invasion and subsequent decades were hell for Anglo Saxons, as the Saxon lords were brutally eliminated

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    2. The Mediterranean look (olive tan skin, sharp features, curly hair) is generally considered peak attractiveness. Northern-Europe is valued only for the blue-eyes and blonde-hair.

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      1. “!!!!!. Day dreams of a non SI.”

        It’s sad but true. SIs even compliment other SIs by saying they resemble NIs. Some SIs proudly gloat being confused for an NI at some point in their life.

        The other poster is unfortunately correct. The perceived hierarchy of races in Eurasia seems to range from Scandinavian to South Indian.

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    3. Just to refer to who ‘likes whom’. Your perception of Europe is very wrong. Southern Europeans don’t wish to be as western EU. They have very high opinion about themselves, they think that they are world champions, the best looking and dressed, smart, friendly and the most important, they think that their society is healthy and they are normal. They see western Europeans as stupid, hypocrites and asocial, Germans are dumb and idiots while English are eccentric and sneaky morons (even Germans think this and probably Frenches). One exemption could be Dutch. Scandinavians are a world for themselves. East Europeans used to have high opinion about abstract West but this thing changed in last 10-15 years. ‘Real’ i.e. historical nations are more confident and mature while a bunch of newly formed, recent banana nations, with many complexes and artificial languages but without own history and culture, are bound for their western sponsors who keep them alive.

      The colour in Europe is not so important as some people here think. Southerners like to date Scandinavian, German and East European girls (btw they are all genetically Serbs) but would not like to marry Scandinavians. English girls are for them non-attractive, neither for dating nor marrying.

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  5. I don’t think there is any reason for Pakistan to merge with Afghanistan. Getting more involved with a war-torn country is not in the national interest. Many Afghans would also agree that Pakistan’s involvement in their internal affairs has only been to Afghanistan’s detriment. The best thing is for everyone to accept the Durand Line as a proper border and move on. Pakistan and Afghanistan should treat each other with the respect due to sovereign neighborly states. Pakistan should not try to use Afghanistan for “strategic depth” and at the same time Afghanistan must not allow India to use it as a proxy against Pakistan.

    Anywhere from 10-20% of Pakistani Muslims are Shia. Imposing a Sunni dynasty on them would be extremely problematic. Already, there is a feeling that the State favors Sunni Islam. Persian is also a foreign language. It is far better to respect Pakistan’s regional languages and use them in the individual provinces while employing Urdu as a lingua franca and as a means of national integration.

    Regarding the statues, I don’t think there was any great demand for a statue of Ranjit Singh. Rather, the State is trying to appeal to Sikhs for its own reasons. On the one hand, it is good that we are honoring non-Muslims but on the other hand, Ranjit Singh was not a paragon of secularism but a typical warlike king. Predictably, some Sindhis now feel that if a Punjabi king can be honored, why not a Sindhi one? Honoring Raja Dahir is neither here nor there, though I am in favor of anything that counters the stupidity of Muhammad bin Qasim being the first Pakistani (a view which is as bizarre in its historical revisionism as anything that the Hindutva people say).

    Finally, representative democracy (not the current facade we have with the “selected” PM) would be far better for Pakistan than any monarchy, constitutional or otherwise.

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  6. Interestingly, an attempt to create an AfPak confederation of sorts has been made in the past, sometime in the late ’50s. It was during this time that more and more Afghans (Pashtuns) found increased representation alongside Panjabis and Urdu speaking Mojahirs of Sindh in the military and civilian bureaucracy. Some senior diplomats of Afghan (Pashtun) ethnicity were also very keen on this. The idea was to first address the internal Afghan problem for Pakistan, by addressing the Ipi Faqir led Jihad in Waziristan and reaching a political agreement with him, where he would be crowned Wali of Waziristan. This may or may not have included reconciliation with secular Pashtun nationalist parties such as National Awami Party of Bacha Khan Sb (now ANP) and Achakzai Sb’s Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, as well as Islamist parties with strong regional presence in NWFP and Balochistan such as Jamiat e Ulema e Islam. The second step would’ve been for a new constitution for Pakistan and Afghanistan, where Pakistan would democratize and remove the juntaesque regimes present since Iskander Mirza’s time and Afghanistan would follow up by abolishing the Constitutional Monarchy it had and becoming a democracy. The confederation was to have an Afghan Head of State and a Pakistani Head of Govt. One united military from Amu Darya near the Soviet Union to the Radcliffe Line near India. The US too was keen on promoting such a structure in return of the new confederation being a client state that thwarts Communism in Central Asia and possibly even in Red China (Sino-Pak ties weren’t higher than the Himalayas yet, and Uncle Tom was willing to help with everything from Patton tanks to reorganized divisions to building a new capital near Pindi and pumping in cash for the crony capitalist families of Chiniot). What the model would’ve looked like culturally is anybody’s guess. Most probably, there would’ve been a Persian cultural domination, if not outright imposition. More importantly, there would’ve been no need to rescue Haqqani, Hekmatyar, Massoud and Rabbani from Afg to sponsor Islamist miltancy against Kabul as a response to Kabul sponsoring communist or Afg/Baloch nationalist militancies. Do remember that Iran was under the Shah at that moment. The same Shah who later offered PAF jets to use Iranian airbases in ’71 and lent gunships to Pak army to crush Baloch nationalists during ’74-’78. This is the strategic depth Paki Generals at NDU have wet dreams about. It’s clear that having been the stronger army with a rich British tradition, the newer officer corps would’ve retained a strong Pindi, Jhelum and Attock recruitment base, but even as Afghan representation rose, the institutional apparatus would’ve been scattered mainly in Panjab, NWFP and northern Balochistan and maintained the strong Hinduphobia it cultivated soon after partition. One might give his imagination some more space and think of a better Pakistani response to Bengali nationalism and maybe even a different result to the ’71 humiliation. No need to bend over backwards to Mullah Omar and his band of illiterate refugee drug peddlers and Arab Salafist sandmonkeys to address fears of ‘Indian activities in Afghanistan’.
    Alas, none of that actually matured. Things moved so slowly, encountering so many disagreements that Muricans lost interest and the army’s idea of repressing NWFP and Balochistan while using regular/assymetric means to respond to Afghanistan’s fantasies prevailed.

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  7. Persians have highest IQs in all of Asia. So makes sense if we all learn Persian to communicate like all high IQ people do 🙂

    White-out Scandinavians are obviously the highest IQ people in the world, but given their extremely high IQs it is well nigh impossible for us Indic browns to pick their complex languages. However, since Persians have already graced us with their hifalutin verbal dexterity and the occasional bonking of somebody long ago in our maternal line (you’d be so lucky, granny!) we are, if I’d say so myself, better placed to partake in their linguistic high culture. Of course we might still seem like brown baboons babbling but better to be the brown baboon taught tricks in Persian than one left wild in the jungles of India 🙂

    #ProperSaffronWashing — no marks for guessing the leading producer of saffron in the world 😉

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    1. I hope you wrote this tongue-in-cheek. I believe IQ and PISA tests give the highest scores to East Asians (Japanese, Koreans, some Chinese), more so than Scandinavians (who I doubt are even at the European top, other than Finland, which has a model public education system.) Persians come nowhere close.

      Anyway, I’d take IQ scores with reams of salt when it comes to inferring the potential of peoples. There are so many factors that would have to be controlled for first. In India, childhood poverty and malnutrition is still a huge deal, as is the abysmal quality of our public education (if there were one silver bullet I would posit for the improvement of Indian society, I’d propose high-quality compulsory mass education.)

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      1. numinous, wouldn’t you think the silver bullet would be nutrition and hygiene to get that potential iq up? I don’t think any amount of money can buy high-quality mass education in india. Even in a relatively forward region, the school teachers I’ve interacted with, my own relatives among them, are often remarkably incompetent. In fact most college lecturers here are less capable of mentoring a developing mind than most primary school teachers in the US.

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        1. wouldn’t you think the silver bullet would be nutrition and hygiene to get that potential iq up?

          No, nutrition is a necessary but not sufficient condition for progress and self-development. Without good nutrition, kids are going to grow up mentally and physically stunted. But proper education is needed beyond that.

          Hygiene I believe is not a prerequisite but an outcome: of a society of people who realize what is good for one and for all. Such a realization cannot come in a country of malnourished peasants and slum-dwellers, nor even among decently-fed people with no knowledge of the world other than their rustic backgrounds.

          I don’t think any amount of money can buy high-quality mass education in india.

          Then I’m afraid we are doomed. Every country that has evolved from a collection of tribes, or a loose empire, into a nation has relied on mass education to uplift and enlighten its citizens. In the absence of proper education, people learn folk wisdom from their relatives and friends, and a survival mentality. That was enough for sparsely populated village societies 2000 years ago. It isn’t today.

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  8. I’d think Parsis rather than Persians or even Chinese have the highest IQ in all of Asia.

    The politics and industry of India and Pakistan are in any case mostly a product of visionary Gujarati speaking peoples.

    So we should all learn lightly-middle Persian infused Gujarati.

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  9. Pakistan is a civilisation of the Indus Valley and does not need to truck with the theocratic dictatorship of Iran, the constitutionally ungovernable Afghans or the Central Asians still recovering from decades of Soviet misrule. It could do with its military opting to reject jihadist meddling abroad and making peace with India with who we share much closer ties of blood, history and culture. Which Persians quote Ghalib, Iqbal, Amir Khusro or Mir Taqi Mir? How many of them are even familiar with the Pakistani writers who publish in English like Kamila Shamsie, Mohammed Hanif or Mohsin Hamid? The last received a great reception when he first visited India. As far as monarchs go, we do not need such ornaments.

    Don’t be awed by Urfi because he is from Shiraz

    Don’t be captivated by Zulali because he is from Khwansar

    Come into the Somnath of my imagination, so you can see,

    My soul-illuminating eye brows, my sacred thread covered shoulders.

    ∼ Ghalib

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    1. Ghalib spent much energy writing in Farsi, a cruel joke played upon him by history.
      One hopes history does not play the same joke on today’s anglophone writers. 🙂

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      1. Sharp. But I think its a bit different with English. Its status is ultimately democratic, not imperial, and is embraced by nearly all sections of society.

        I think its likely that Indian English will become its own cluster of dialects, functionally unintelligible to the Anglo countries.

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    2. Agreed. Pakistan has its own distinctive identity and doesn’t need to merge with Afghanistan or any other country. We need to solve the problems of our 210 million citizens without taking on the additional problems of the Afghans. We should have good neighborly relations with Afghanistan, but that should be the extent of the involvement.

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  10. “Sindhis don’t want pre-Islamic statues, but then neither did Punjabis, and they got Ranjit Singh anyway. Ultimately neither will care much if such statues are constructed, as most view their pre-Islamic ancestors as almost a different species.”

    ” The Arabs were the most successful imperialists of all time; since to be conquered by them (and then to be like them) is still, in the minds of the faithful, to be saved”

    ~ V.S. Naipaul

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          1. Good right up on the Magyars. What do genetics of the Turks in Anatolia show? Are they similar to Magyars (Culturally Turan but genetically no that different from their neighbors) or more like Indo Aryan (both genetically and culturally significant Aryan)?

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          2. In today’s Hungary Serbs were majority until 1848. Atila was a Serb and whole his family had Serbian names, he was not a Magyar as it is presented in western Europe, Bulgars came intially with Serbian ruler permission to today’s Romania and after 150 years crossed the Danube to today;s Bulgaria where also indigenous Serbs lived (Slavs did not exist at that time). They spoke Serbian until 19th cAC when artificialy and slightly changed the language. Sarmatians were also Serbs. In all these areas lived Serbs (Hungary, Romania, Moldavia, Bulgaria, Asia Minor, future Slavic countries) before Magyar, Turks and Greeks came.

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        1. Arabs exist. Where are Aryans?
          Genetics can’t prove culture, i.e. what was borrowed and what was home made.

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          1. modern indians and iranians have nearly as much claim to be ‘aryan’ as egyptians and moroccans do to being ‘arab.’

            Genetics can’t prove culture, i.e. what was borrowed and what was home made.

            this is close to ‘not even wrong’

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      1. I think the view of Saurav is that north and west Indians (who in his view are the most significant Hindus) have no recollection of having a pre-Indo-Aryan past and a conversion event from older Indus religion (if there was something of the kind) to Hinduism. So the analogy with the spread of Islam (which I know relatively nothing about – some say Islam is very strongly beyond all kinds of ethnic factors like associations with Arabs, Persians, etc. but some say there are still fascinations with Arabs, Persians, etc. inherent to most Muslims; I suspect the former is true (though may not be as non-cultural and universal as Christianity perhaps) but I don’t know) may not apply to the northern and western Hindus in his view.

        Somewhat more modernised people like me who also very think very stereotypically and uncreatively, do indeed face this conflict with our old Indo-Aryan lords haha. My natural inclination is kinda to be a Dravidianist extremist (the type that goes almost recapture Indus valley or at least Maharashtra lol) but I slowly killed that off because at least the Indo-Aryans produced Vaishnavism while the Dravidians did nothing and they are completely useless. Now I think almost fully like a typical Abrahamic in the matter and try to remove Hinduism of its association with the Aryanness of whatever kind in its practitioners and make it more universal. The initial Aryan invasion I deal with similar to Abrahamics too, by way of treating original Indo-Aryans as light-givers to the living-in-India Indian ancestors of the period.

        But there are other very creative ways Hindus can deal with this problem too. For example, history is not a big deal at all to Hindus: in some other parallel world or life, the stupid Dravidians easily could have been the Hinduism-givers to Indo-Aryans. It’s all about cycles of the stupid Dravidians and Indo-Aryans in Hinduism lol. Everything is mohamAyA indeed lol. These sorts of things ultimately do not matter to Hindus to any meaningful degree. Which I suspect may be true with other religions also but some say that is not the case and what do I know more about them.

        Edit: Lol I don’t know what to think now after reading Saurav’s comment below haha.

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  11. Pakistan’s communion with Afghanistan is a fait accompli, since Karachi is the natural available sea link for Pashtuns and other Central Asiatic peoples. Industrialization is coincident with urbanization, and Karachi will drive urbanization in Pakistan. Islamabad, as a capital territory will be second, which is also close to Afghanistan.

    Between 1981 and 2011 the Pashtun proportion of Karachi’s population increased one and a half times, and they will continue to grow as a group.

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    1. Pashtun doesn’t mean Afghan. The Pashtun population of Karachi mainly comes from KPK and the former FATA. They are people who came to Karachi for economic opportunities or because they have been displaced from FATA.

      This post suggests a merger of Pakistan and Afghanistan. I think that is a complete non-starter. The borders of sovereign states are not going to change, especially since there is no demand from either side to do so.

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      1. Teach a Punjabi Urdu and you make him a Pakistani; teach him Dari and he becomes a Turanian.

        To leap frog to Rumi, Saidi, Attar, Hafiz and a welter of Central Asian speakers is no mean legacy.

        Kabir please read my words precisely I’m proposing a Union of Crowns a la a 1606-1707 model not the United Kingdom following that. Pakistan & Afghanistan would remain separate nations in a Personal Union (initially I wrote Persian, droll such Freudian slips).

        It is a Master Stroke; would provide strategic depth and calm the entire region.

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        1. “Strategic Depth” didn’t do the Afghans any good. It reflected the Pakistani state’s colonialist thinking towards a sovereign state. Afghans need to sort out Afghanistan and Pakistan needs to deal with our own issues.

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  12. On a side note – the image which is being touted as the artist’s imagining of Raja Dahir is obviously of a ruler of some princely state from British times. Looks suspiciously like a former Maharana of Mewar (Fateh Singh?). Just kind of found it funny that Dahir would so proudly display the order of star of India on his chest.

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  13. If you guys are redrawing global borders, I would like to restore Khwarazmian empire encompassing Iran and central asian stans.

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  14. ..divisive Ranjit Singh..

    And how exactly is Ranjit Singh divisive? To the best of my knowledge nobody in Pakistan actively hates him. Pakistanis just ignore him, as they do to all the other Hindu rulers of the land that became Pakistan. That is not same as being a divisive figure.

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  15. “And how exactly is Ranjit Singh divisive?”

    I mean if you compare it to some of his muslim predecessors like Aurangzeb then yeah, Ranjit does comes across as divisive 😛

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  16. This Raja Dahir stuff reminds me of the first time I heard about this dude. I was on the train from Mumbai to Pune and this random Sindhi uncle-ji started giving me a lecture on the greatness of Sindhudesh and the provenance of Sindhi civilization. Now being a college freshman I had to respectfully nod in mock approval to this boring spiel from an elderly gentleman (Indian middle class values and all!) but I couldn’t for the life of me understand why I was chosen for this lecture session. That is until the train pulled into Pune station and the uncle-ji said he was proud of kids like me carrying the Sindhi culture forward 🙂 At which point I had to tell him I wasn’t Sindhi and had no knowledge/context of whatever he was speaking about. The look on the man’s face was priceless and every mention of Dahir triggers the funny memory…

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  17. Some interesting historical perspective on the prejudices and affinities of an era gone by. There was no love lost between Afghans and Mughals in the days of Mughal empire. In fact as late as 1857 during the Indian uprising, the labors of Afghan commander of the rebel force Bakht Khan were scuttled by the Mughal nobility of Bahadur Shah Zafar’s court. A most ludicrous charge was laid against him that he was secretly plotting the downfall of Mughal empire as a revenge for Lodi’s defeat at the hands of Babar 3 centuries ago!

    Then, the rivlairy between Iranian and Turanian nobles in the Mughal court was well known.

    Modern state of Afghanistan also includes a significant Uzbek population, and only contribution of Uzbeks towards the foundation of Mughal empire was that they kicked Babar out of central asia and forced him to seek his fortune in India

    Your project of founding a modern day Iranian-Turanian-Afghanian- Mughal empire opens up the possibilities of some interesting geo-political drama.

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  18. As per wikipedia – “In 1932, Ali moved to a house in Cambridge, on 3 Humberstone Road. It was in one of the rooms of this house that he is said to have written the word ‘Pakstan’ for the first time.”

    And now Zach – also residing in Cambridge – has come up with the idea of the United State(s) of AfPak 😉

    Seriously now, it is very unlikely that we are going to see nation states merge to form yet bigger national entities. We are much more likely to see smaller nation states as various regional, religious, and economic divides widen.

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  19. Cantabrigian I think not Cambridgian.
    That aside, the idea of an Af-Pak monarchical union is fascinating. It takes the idea of Pakistan into orbit. Not that I oppose the partition of India apart from the human dimension – but the AfPak union is an idea born in extremis.
    Hindutva fascism may take over India, but bad as it is, it is by no means guaranteed to fail, at least in the short run. Such as it is it remains less quixotic than the monarchical union of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Afghans have a clear sense of their own identities as Pashtun, Tajik, etcetera; the Pakistanis having tried to efface their own, at least the Punjabis among them, will find it hard to convince the others that the return of a Durrani monarch makes them ersatz Turanian no matter how much Dari they may imbibe.
    Literate Hindu Punjabis knew Urdu, and some still do, but that did not make them into Pakistanis. This chameleon’s trick is a speciality of Muslim Punjabis. We are well rooted in our Indianness, have long forgotten our Central Asian origins, and do not aspire to be anything other than what we are, unlike Pakistanis who would rather not be what they are, and strive to forget the past, or like the Kashmiri Muslims who disconnect even with the present.

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