Showing posts from September, 2015

Battle cries

India and Pakistan ‘celebrated’ the fiftieth anniversary of the 1965 war last week. The celebrations on both sides of the border were at such large scale that it was nauseating to say the least. Those who questioned these celebrations were called ‘unpatriotic’, ‘traitors’, etc., when in fact they were the only sane voices out there. What are we trying to show by celebrating a war that resulted in thousands of casualties on both sides and put a dent in our economies?

Apart from the loss of lives, wars cause destruction, make people homeless, leave scars on the minds of those affected by wars, and push back countries for decades economically. No wonder civilised countries do not celebrate wars; they may celebrate the end of wars but they do not behave in a callous manner by ‘celebrating’ wars.

As Dawn editorial (‘Fifty years on’, September 6, 2015) notes: “A jingoistic Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to revel in India’s supposed military prowess. Meanwhile, …

To talk or not to talk

My last column was about Pakistan’s Independence Day and how we are not really free when there is so much apathy for a crime as big as child abuse in our society. This week, I want to revisit how we are still not free, but this time in the context of India and Pakistan. These two countries have a six-decade-old baggage. From a bloody partition of the Indian subcontinent to wars on the battlefield to proxy wars to going nuclear, these two countries have hurt each other much to the dismay of many people and at the cost of social development, healthcare, education, etc., of their own peoples.

Will they, won’t they? This is what happens before every proposed Indo-Pak meeting and this is exactly what everybody was thinking before the NSA talks between India and Pakistan in New Delhi. From border tensions to war of words to the Kashmir issue, everything was pointing to the fact that both wanted an excuse to cancel the talks and were waiting for the other side to blink first.

“Both sides h…