Perhaps the I.S.I. Really IS To Blame For Everything

On the News Tab, KXB linked to an article in the New York Times regarding the relationship between the C.I.A. and Pakistan’s notorious intelligence agency, the I.S.I. Most recently, the I.S.I. is thought by some to have been behind the dastardly terrorist attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul last month (see this story), though I don’t there is any conclusive evidence of that. Some in India have also blamed the I.S.I. for any number of terrorist attacks over the past six years, sometimes merely on suspicion.

But what is less talked about is the fact that American intelligence operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan have for years been deeply dependent on the I.S.I., even as Americans have known about the I.S.I.’s links to terrorists.

Given that history, it’s no surprise that the C.I.A. and the I.S.I. don’t trust each other at all:

But most C.I.A. veterans agree that no relationship between the spy agency and a foreign intelligence service is quite as byzantine, or as maddening, as that between the C.I.A. and Pakistan’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or I.S.I.

It is like a bad marriage in which both spouses have long stopped trusting each other, but would never think of breaking up because they have become so mutually dependent.

Without the I.S.I.’s help, American spies in Pakistan would be incapable of carrying out their primary mission in the country: hunting Islamic militants, including top members of Al Qaeda. Without the millions of covert American dollars sent annually to Pakistan, the I.S.I. would have trouble competing with the spy service of its archrival, India. (link)

The article does offer one interesting explanation as to why the ISI might have, to begin with, cultivated ties with questionable individuals in the NWFP — ethnicity and language:

Even the powerful I.S.I., which is dominated by Punjabis, Pakistan’s largest ethnic group, has difficulties collecting information in the tribal lands, the home of fiercely independent Pashtun tribes. For this reason, the I.S.I. has long been forced to rely on Pashtun tribal leaders — and in some cases Pashtun militants — as key informants.

Also, sometimes the I.S.I. has been incredibly helpful to American interests:

Veterans of the C.I.A. station in Islamabad point to the capture of a number of senior Qaeda leaders in Pakistan in recent years as proof that the Pakistani intelligence service has often shown a serious commitment to roll up terror networks. It was the I.S.I., they say, that did much of the legwork leading to the capture of operatives like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and Ramzi bin al-Shibh.

And, they point out, the I.S.I. has just as much reason to distrust the Americans as the C.I.A. has to distrust the I.S.I. The C.I.A. largely pulled up stakes in the region after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, rather than staying to resist the chaos and bloody civil war that led ultimately to the Taliban ascendance in the 1990s. (link)

As an illustration of how powerful the I.S.I. is inside Pakistan, the current commander of the Army, General Ashfaq Kayani, used to be the head of the I.S.I.

In addition to supporting terrorists even as it hunts them, the I.S.I. is sometimes accused of holding hundreds of prisoners indefinitely. This issue of “disappearances” came up a few months ago, in a story about Aleem Nasir, a German of Pakistani origin, who was suspected (with good reason!) of an Al-Qaeda connection. He was detained by the I.S.I. before being released by the Pakistani Supreme Court:

Mr. Nasir said he was being questioned one moment, and the next he was being whisked to the Supreme Court, where the chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, ordered him freed.

The Bush administration has pressed General Musharraf to do more in pursuing people suspected of being militants in the tribal areas. But General Musharraf is now facing critics who say the ISI has rounded up innocent people along with legitimate suspects and subverted the country’s judicial system.

Human rights advocates say that they have identified as many as 250 people they say are being held by the ISI as terrorism suspects, and that they will fight for their release. (link)

What one takes away from all this is, well, complete confusion. (For an in-depth look at the bizarre, and often shockingly inept, history of American intelligence involvement in this part of the word since the 1970s, see Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars. I don’t know of any comparable book that gets inside the I.S.I. in the same way…)

50 thoughts on “Perhaps the I.S.I. Really IS To Blame For Everything

  1. Most recently, the I.S.I. is thought by some to have been behind the dastardly terrorist attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul last month

    This may sound totally whacky and bordering on conspiracy theory…but why can’t the bombing of Indian embassy have been carried out by or in collaboration with the CIA ?

  2. Nothing that Indians in India don’t know – it’s all old hat. But I guess Americans are just waking up to it now that the ISI is threatening their own national security interests. Not that I think that the American establishment can do much about it anyway. They created the monster in the 1980s jihad and alas, as monsters are wont to do, this one too is running amok. Only Pakistani’s who want change can break the stranglehold of the military on their country, but it will take some doing.

  3. Didn’t karzai’s office also suspect ISI in the assassination attempt on his life?

  4. 1 · budweiser said

    Most recently, the I.S.I. is thought by some to have been behind the dastardly terrorist attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul last month
    This may sound totally whacky and bordering on conspiracy theory…but why can’t the bombing of Indian embassy have been carried out by or in collaboration with the CIA ?

    I meant “….to discredit the ISI in this ongoing tussle”

  5. even as Americans have known about the I.S.I.’s links to terrorists.

    That’s like saying the Kremlin had links to communists.

    What one takes away from all this is, well, complete confusion. (For an in-depth look at the bizarre, and often shockingly inept, history of American intelligence involvement in this part of the word since the 1970s, see Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars. I don’t know of any comparable book that gets inside the I.S.I. in the same way…)

    Also Husain Haqqani’s Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military .

  6. Didn’t karzai’s office also suspect ISI in the assassination attempt on his life?

    Yes, the suspicion of an ISI link to an assassination attempt on Karzai is mentioned here

  7. 4 · budweiser said

    1 · budweiser said
    Most recently, the I.S.I. is thought by some to have been behind the dastardly terrorist attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul last month
    This may sound totally whacky and bordering on conspiracy theory…but why can’t the bombing of Indian embassy have been carried out by or in collaboration with the CIA ?
    I meant “….to discredit the ISI in this ongoing tussle”

    Well, because this one event doesn’t really have any effect upon the ISI’s standing with anyone beyond India and Afghanistan, and even then no concrete action will be taken against ISI/Pakistan from these countries. If a NATO country had an embassy bombed, many troops killed and the ISI was blamed, you perhaps would see the ISI suffer some effects. The main outcome of this is to hurt a country which is building a road network between Iran-Afghanistan and has setup many consulates and a large embassy in the country. No one benefits from this to the scale Pakistan does.

  8. Without the millions of covert American dollars sent annually to Pakistan, the I.S.I. would have trouble competing with the spy service of its archrival, India. (link)

    The author is wrong. The Indian intelligence or “spy service”s are organised very differently from the ISI. While the Dir. of Mil. Intelligence is a fairly comparable entity and finds counterparts in other states, the Research and Analysis Wing isn’t. The RAW as its name suggests is primarily – why entirely – concerned with analysis some of which begins with innocuous sources such as news reports etc., It does have some electronic snooping capabilities but in very sensitive situations relies upon simple human agency – v. old fashioned. Covert foreign field ops is generally directed by some desks within the Intelligence Bureau – which to confuse matters is also responsible for counter intelligence internally. Further in election season the IB is used extensively by the Central ruling party to collect field intelligence on political trends – some thing that state intelligence agencies within the police also conduct for their respective ruling parties. Beyond that foreign covert field ops is a vast unknown black box and draws upon staff from several agencies, and is conducted by special teams constituted for the purpose. Some of the oldest teams are >20 years old, while others have been disbanded within a year’s time.

  9. So jyotsana, are the Indian intelligence services any good or not? Are they doing a good job?

  10. Some in India have also blamed the I.S.I. for any number of terrorist attacks over the past six years, sometimes merely on suspicion.

    I am a blame ISI first person myself but India cries wolf way too often. Not that Pakistan government doesn’t blame India for everything.

  11. Jyotsna – Sorry, but your information seems miles away from what are verily known to be ~facts about RAW.

    It was formed from the IB- very much like the roots of CIA. Its stated objective is ” To monitor the political and military developments in adjoining countries, which have direct bearing on India’s national security and in the formulation of its foreign policy.”

    RAW as opposed to its counter parts is generally much less in the folklore, is very stealth, and is highly effective. RAW and MOSSAD have been in bed for a long time trying to combat multi national corporation of syrian-saudi-pakistani terrorism, long before it became fashionable in the west. Some people accuse RAW of using the PMO to quash any news item item with regards to them, so it is only once in a while that you get to read anything.

    Kaw (the founder of RAW) was instrumental in using RAW to form and aid Mukhti Bahini back in the day.

    However, RAW is different than ISI set up, since they report directly into the PMO as a part of Cabinet Secretariat and while it is seen as a criticism at times (e.g. Kargil when their warnings were not heeded to) it keeps them far away from a nexus with Armed forces ala ISI-Pakistan Army.

    Also, RAW has a massive presence in Pakistan. They are known to be supporting Sindhi separatists by purely providing intelligence. There was a leak (quickly hushed out) a few years back, that RAW was providing information to Musharaff’s office to prevent him from being assassinated, since that would have left India with a very unstable neighbor. What frustrates Pakistani establishment is that ISI is more visible and less effective, while RAW runs all over, undetected.

  12. 9 · Amitabh said

    So jyotsana, are the Indian intelligence services any good or not? Are they doing a good job?

    No idea. Because “intelligence failure” in India means something quite different from what it does in some other parts of the world. Besides as a rule India takes its neighbours’ intentions for granted or simply ignores intentions. It is more interested in capabilities. India does not have the luxury of peaceful or secure borders and is alone among large organized states in having no system of personal identification apart from the ration card, voter ID, and now Income Tax ID #. So intelligence is concerned with anticipating long term threats and disbanding the numerous terror networks that crop up from time to time. But within these there have been some noteworthy successes. The penetration of the worldwide havala rackets that channel slush funds for terrorism financing and the uncovering of AQ Khan’s nuclear weapon materials racket are among these. As India’s command and control economy gradually disappears and a new innovation driven economy rises, India’s intelligence prioroties have also changed. No one knows what is being done about it, and no one will probably ever know. There are few secrets in India and that is why there won’t be a Da Vinci Code set in India. But the few things that are hidden are very deep and will never come to light.

  13. The government of India expresses most severe condemnation of the ISI’s dastardly acts. A committee will be set up to ensure that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes do not go free.

    Alright, can a peon bring me some chai around here?

  14. Jyotsna – Sorry, but your information seems miles away from what are verily known to be ~facts

    I am sorry. Jyotsana’s butt has never ever ever disgorged incorrectness. Ever.

  15. Last I check Afghanistan has become a drug capital of the world. Ironically UN and NATO combined forces can’t control it. World should invest the money in creating jobs for the destitiutes around the world specially in Afghanistan and Iraq instead on wasting it on deadly weapons. This is the only way to win over those Jahils who rules tribal Paksitan and Afghanistan.

  16. 12.”There are few secrets in India and that is why there won’t be a Da Vinci Code set in India.”

    At least a National Treasure then?

  17. 12 · jyotsana said

    But the few things that are hidden are very deep and will never come to light.

    so indira did have sanjay killed?

  18. The article covers old ground. It’s value lies in revealing the intelligence community’s re-appraisal of Kiyani, from someone wedded to rule of law to a master manipulator.

    …Covert foreign field ops is generally directed by some desks within the Intelligence Bureau…

    Definitely not true. See Open Secrets for details. It’s a miracle that IB even functions.

  19. 17 · anthorguy said

    12 · jyotsana said
    But the few things that are hidden are very deep and will never come to light.
    so indira did have sanjay killed?

    Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

  20. see Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars

    Another very interesting book by Steve Coll is the story of Bin Laden and his extended family in America – The Bin Ladens, Inc. Note according to Steve Coll – “…Despite many rumors to the contrary, Coll finds no evidence that Osama ever had formal ties to the CIA during this period, though he was linked to the Saudi intelligence world.

    Despite all the blame on Pakistan, the American media hardly talks about the nefarious role of Saudi Arabia right from the Soviet invasion days. Is it because the Saudis are very rich with oil unlike Pakistan ?

  21. 20 · Priya said

    The Bin Ladens, Inc.

    Oops, the book’s title is – The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century

  22. 11 · Paranoid Android said

    Jyotsna – Sorry, but your information seems miles away from what are verily known to be ~facts about RAW.

    Paru Andru, Nothing you claim is outside the RAW I have described. Excepting when Morarji Desai all but disbanded RAW, it goes about its work v. quietly like any other bureaucratic entity. Directors do not enjoy long stints and are subject to superannuation. A little is know about the few geographic desks RAW maintains, beyond that the links cimply disappear. How did RAW obtain tapes of the Musharraf-Gen.Ahmed conversation during the Kargil War? Any ideas? Where did they bug the line, in Pindi or Beijing or somewhere in between? What is not routine is the feretting out of such intelligence – every agency can claim such coups. But the RAW does these things like none other, and while its shell has been compromised at the top levels in and around Delhi, its field ops are unknown and v. unconventional and only to a limited extent directed from within. As for IB Dhar isn’t the first person to point out to its misuse. It is widely known. But the IB is much more than a ruling party snooper.

    As for secrets, there’s one particular IAF veteran recipient of a war honour whose commedation record has never been made public. Trace that out if you can.

  23. Who are they fooling?

    The ISI and CIA have very limited contacts. The ISI works with the DoD intelligence outfits. The Pakistani army has special relations with the Pentagon and not with civilian intelligence agencies like the CIA.

    Pakistan and the US signed defense pacts in the early 50s and the US DoD intelligence agencies helped set up the ISI. The old cold war era Cento and Seato are long gone but the contacts between the Pak army and the Pentagon were never broken. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Pentagon spent enormous sums of monies to train and upgrade ISI’s capabilities. US had the largest intelligence presence outside of the US, in Pakistan during the 80s reportedly managed by the CIA. DoD military intelligence presence in Pakistan was never disclosed.

    Currently, a US army Major General is in charge of DoD intelligence operations in Pakistan. He is stationed in Islamabd. Both the Iraq war and the US involvements in Afghanistan are managed by the Pentagon and not by the CIA or the State dept.

    There must be some reason for the NYT to push this story at this time. We will find out soon but let’s not be fooled by the press reports that CIA and ISI have some love-hate relationship. The Pakistan army and the ISI are Pentagon’s babies.

  24. Both the Iraq war and the US involvements in Afghanistan are managed by the Pentagon and not by the CIA or the State dept. The Pakistan army and the ISI are Pentagon’s babies

    Welcome to the real world of outsourcing. It maybe be Pentagon in Pakistan but there is no sacrosanct division between Pentagon, CIA and State dept. for people involved with intelligence. At various levels people from each of the organizations especially Pentagon and CIA mingle and merge. Many contractors for Pentagon are headed by folks from CIA for e.g. Blackwater in Iraq which is heavily patronized by State dept. and Pentagon and was started by ex-CIA guy.

  25. 26 · budweiser said

    Many contractors for Pentagon are headed by folks from CIA for e.g. href=”http://books.google.com/books?id=q6UxAgAACAAJ&dq=Blackwater” rel=”nofollow”>Blackwater in Iraq which is heavily patronized by State dept. and Pentagon and was started by ex-CIA guy.

    actually Blackwater was started by an ex SEAL. there are a few private intelligence companies founded by ex-CIA, but they are fewer in number and not hired as often by the US govt as they are by the corporate world and foreign govts. (Total Intelligence Solutions, Abraxas, etc.)

  26. How did RAW obtain tapes of the Musharraf-Gen.Ahmed conversation during the Kargil War? Any ideas?

    The CIA outsourced the transcribing business to RAW.

  27. 28 · amaun said

    How did RAW obtain tapes of the Musharraf-Gen.Ahmed conversation during the Kargil War? Any ideas? The CIA outsourced the transcribing business to RAW.

    Oh yeah! Elvis lives, and Paul is dead!

  28. Well, India armed, trained and funded the LTTE which has carried out more suicide bombings than all the Middle Eastern groups and it is the only terrorist group that has successfully assasinated two heads of state – Rajiv Gandhi of India and Ranasinghe Premadasa of Sri Lanka. So amardeep, let’s not just point fingers at Pakistan.

  29. Things are not so black & white. During the US invasion of Afghanistan, the RAW folks who had long term relationships with the Northern Alliance (Masood) helped with the US effort.

  30. 30 · Nirmal said

    Well, India armed, trained and funded the LTTE which has carried out more suicide bombings than all the Middle Eastern groups and it is the only terrorist group that has successfully assasinated two heads of state – Rajiv Gandhi of India and Ranasinghe Premadasa of Sri Lanka. So amardeep, let’s not just point fingers at Pakistan.

    The difference here is that there was conflicting support for the LTTE, with some intelligence officials backing Sri Lanka and some backing the LTTE. In the end, India recognized its mistake and wholeheartedly fought against the LTTE in its jungles losing many soldiers. The world as yet to see a full on assault of militant groups by Pakistan. Pakistani attacks on tribal leaders who fight on their own nationalist impulses and not related to the Taliban or terrorism do not count ie Bugti.

  31. Well, India armed, trained and funded the LTTE which has carried out more suicide bombings than all the Middle Eastern groups and it is the only terrorist group that has successfully assasinated two heads of state – Rajiv Gandhi of India and Ranasinghe Premadasa of Sri Lanka. So amardeep, let’s not just point fingers at Pakistan.

    I don’t care for the LTTE, but there terrorism is local. The ISI funded crazies spread their sickness globally. And they don’t have anything approaching a just cause. I just love it how Pakistanis living in the US talk about Kashmir as a grievance based on the “Muslim majority” argument and simultaneously argue that they have no problem living in a secular democracy.

  32. New Rule: Punjabi domination does not go with moderation – ISI, Pak Army, Bollywood, Delhi traffic etc.

  33. Interesting discussion. I have a Pakistani friend whose father was a life-time ISI officual but for some reason is not welcome in Pakistan currently. They migrated to the US when my friend was twelve. In any case, a short story that my friend told me once: In the late 70s and early 80s, my friend’s father was involved with the mujahideen operations on the Pak-Afghan border that India apparently had some interest in. This one time a young man servant at my friend’s house in Peshawar, whole of nine years of age, suddenly went missing. As did a box of audio cassettes from his father’s study which were apparently regular audio tapes. After much searching, the dead body of the boy was found near the railway tracks somewhere in Peshawar. The conclusion of the ISI was that he was employed the RAW to spy on their household and they killed him before the ISI could get to him. I don’t have any reason to doubt the veracity of the story since I know both my friend and his father well. Although, times have changed, they have left Pakistan, become naturalized as US Citizens and now apparently quite despite the idea of Pakistan.

    In any case, you all must check out this blog and contribute if possible: http://www.darjlocal.com

  34. No the ISI is not to blame for everything. Please dont be ridiculous. I’m really surprised (or maybe not really) by the type of comments posted. Everyone was so quick to agree. And I thought all those old world, old school prejudices were from our parents time and had no room in the great home of the free/land of the brave and beautiful. NO intelligence agency is a GOOD agency or somehow less evil than the other one. They’re all equally bad. No doubt the ISI creates shit but so does RAW and the CIA. What most people dont want realize is that pakistan ITSELF is a victim of terrorism. Or is it only terrorism when it happens to non-muslims?

    louiecypher said – ” I just love it how Pakistanis living in the US talk about Kashmir as a grievance based on the “Muslim majority” argument and simultaneously argue that they have no problem living in a secular democracy”

    whats your point? America is a Christian majority state AND it’s a secular democracy.

  35. louiecypher said – ” I just love it how Pakistanis living in the US talk about Kashmir as a grievance based on the “Muslim majority” argument and simultaneously argue that they have no problem living in a secular democracy” whats your point? America is a Christian majority state AND it’s a secular democracy.

    Ummm….no. The US has a Chistian majority but has a secular constitution. Pakistan is constitutionally defined as a Muslim nation and is most definitely not secular. Their argument is that since Muslims are a majority in Kashmir, they have a right to become an independent Muslim nation or integrate with a Muslim nation (i.e. Pakistan), the rights of the minorities be damned. This is sheer hypocrisy on the part of Pakistani Americans who as religious minorities enjoy the freedoms of this secular country while seeking to deprive Kashmiri Hindus of theirs. Have you sought employment with the Pakistani Foreign Service? Wou would be brilliant….

  36. louiecypher – Why are you ignoring the fact that KASHMIRIS THEMSELVES want to be either independent or join with pakistan? Thats their own FREE will which India doesnt want to accept and is brutally suppressing. Yes I said brutally suppressing. But thats ok because India is a “democracy” and an economic powerhouse so the rights of minorities be damned to use your exact words :) sucks when they come back to bite you in the ass huh?

    It’s interesting to note how you automatically assume that if kashmir was to be integrated into pakistan or became independent, the rights of minorities would be in danger. Perhaps they would. My point is you need to stop pretending that when the rights of muslims in india are violated thats somehow acceptable or a non issue but when a christian or a hindus rights are violated thats 10 times worse. Hate and prejudice exist in ALL communities and I’m sick of the taunts and not so subtle hints that it’s only a muslim characteristic.

    you said – “Pakistan is constitutionally defined as a Muslim nation and is most definitely not secular” this wasnt your original point to which i responded. You werent talking about the state of pakistan you were talking about pakistanis in america. You were making it seem as if being a muslim and living in a secular democracy were somehow mutually exclusive. Well they’re not. A pakistani american can live in a secular democracy and support kashmirs right to self determination. why not? Sepia mutiny is the perfect example of looking out for your own no matter where you live. There is a deep rooted desire to see your own community prosper and do well. If kashmir were a hindu majority state dont tell me you’d be sitting in america saying oh let the pakistanis have em.

    you also said “And they don’t have anything approaching a just cause”. How can you be so blase` about what a just cause is or isnt?! Only the people living the hell can determine that.

  37. 30 · Nirmal Well, India armed, trained and funded the LTTE which has carried out more suicide bombings than all the Middle Eastern groups

    You can have an opinion, but you should state it as such instead of phrasing it as it were a fact. Your statement is extremely incorrect when it comes to facts and statistic. For example, the number of bombings in Tel-Aviv and Jersualem alone, just by the HAMAS, in the period between the second and the last intifada alone, are more than all the LTTE numbers. When (IF) you find a credible source to back up your statement, I will take the time, look up and provide an appropriate response.

    39 · Meriam It is interesting to note how you automatically assume that if kashmir was to be integrated into pakistan or became independent, the rights of minorities would be in danger. If you look at the percentages of the Hindu population after Partition and the percentage at the last census, you will find that his “assumption” is actually based on precedent and existing evidence. Muslim kingdomns offered Jews better treatment than any others in the History of the middle east until the formation of Israel. There was actually a push during the Mughal times to justify the Hindus as Dhimmis and not Kaffirs! But those days of moderate Islam were transitory especially when it comes to the contemporary view of the Hindus. As it is rapidly becoming one of the most fundamentalist Islamic nations in the world, Pakistan will NOT treat Hindus any better than it has in its 60 year history. Perhaps they would. My point is you need to stop pretending that when the rights of muslims in india are violated thats somehow acceptable or a non issue but when a christian or a hindus rights are violated thats 10 times worse. When I did live in India I was a peacenik & an apologist, mostly due to my lack of research experience on global affairs. If you’ve ever lived in India, you will find that it is actually the other way around. A contemporary issue in the global media regarding Hindu “nationalists” is the Godhra coverage, everyone talks about the atrocities in great detail but no one talks about the reasons why it started.

    If you do want Kashmir sent to Pakistan because of its Muslim majority, a cause I actually happen to agree with as I believe it should never have been a part of modern India, then you should want it to be divided on the religious lines. But these religious lines HAVE disappeared due to the fact that the residents there who would have sided with India are all but gone, not because of gentle political prodding but due to sponsorship of their “Kashmiri Brothers” by many in the Ummah from London through Riyadh and Lahore in their actions which quite often involved simple math such as “shoot 100 to make 10,000 flee.” Such tactics have resulted in the loss of moral ground that invalidates solely politically sanctioned means (plebiscite) in the pursuit of Kashmiri Muslim Self-Determination. It has also given the Indian government more cause to justify the use of torture. If you kill Indians, Indians will kill you, thats how it works.

    And outside of Kashmir, its mostly Indians killing other Indians – not unike any other time in our history outside of the Muslim invasions and early periods in the rule.

  38. The Kashmiri Pandits should get over their expulsion from the valley. As they are already Indian citizens they should strive to make new life in Delhi and other areas. Maybe the government of India needs to tax the Kashmir Valley to pay for the resettlement of Pandits in other parts of India. People at some point need to move on with their lives. For example, its ridiculous to expect that the millions of Palestinians who are now citizens of the US, Jordan etc. should get to go back, live in Israel and vote in Israeli elections. The Kashmir solution should not be put aside till the Pandits return to the valley which may never happen. Pakistan also needs to forget about Kashmir. The whole Kashmiri independence struggle has been manufactured by Pakistan. There is no evidence of Kashmiri oppression by the Indian government till the mid-80s. Non-Kashmiris cannot buy property in Kashmir and most of their state institutions, businesses, legislature, police are controlled by Kashmiris. Once the terrorism ends, the Indian military will step back as well and normalcy will return.

  39. Why are you ignoring the fact that KASHMIRIS THEMSELVES want to be either independent or join with pakistan? Thats their own FREE will which India doesnt want to accept and is brutally suppressing.

    Under International Law, not all people have a right to self determination. You first need a ‘seperate people’ and then ‘internal oppression of the seperate people by the government’ before you arrive at a right to self determination. Before the Kashmir Independence struggle erupted in the 80s, there was little to no oppression by the Indian government for the past 40 years. I do understand that Kashmiris does have a right to self determination in accordance to UN mandates of the 50s. However, that right was accorded to Kashmir based on their status as Kashmir and not Muslims. Asking for a seperate state based on religion makes little sense now. Do Indian Muslims living in UP have a right to a seperate state? Do Shiites in Pakistan have a right to a seperate state?

  40. When I did live in India I was a peacenik & an apologist, mostly due to my lack of research experience on global affairs. If you’ve ever lived in India, you will find that it is actually the other way around. A contemporary issue in the global media regarding Hindu “nationalists” is the Godhra coverage, everyone talks about the atrocities in great detail but no one talks about the reasons why it started.

    So you learnt about the plight of Indian Muslims by researching global affairs. Hmm, it does make sense. I guess you must have figured out that all the Muslims massacred in Gujarat were ISI or other foreign agents. Makes as much sense as me learning about the role of the Marines in Iraq War by watching Generation Kill on HBO.

    Godhra incident is irrelevant to the pogrom in Gujarat. People dont complain about Gujarat because of what the Hindu mobs did. People like me complain because the whole government apparatus in Gujarat was itself complicit in the riots. That was the problem with Gujarat. That problem had nothing to do with what happened at Godhra unless you believe that the Government was justified in taking revenge. India is the only ‘democracy’ I can think of in the last 25 years where the State machinery is actually used to kill minorities. The Sikhs were massacred by Congress Party thugs on the streets of Delhi after Rajiv’s momma was killed and their killers now sit in the Parliament (Salute to the delhi voters for their barbarism in voting for these killers)

    First clean up your own house before you give righteous lectures to others.

  41. Re: Kashmiri Pandits. I think a fair solution would be to re-settle them in Jammu. Plus they need to be fairly compensated for their loss of property and business. The Government should award them FMV for their lands and assets. As the Kashmir valley is under J&K, they need to come up with a way to tax the valley for the compensation. Japan paid up for the comfort women and Germany paid back the Jews. Similar solution is warranted here.

    More importantly, the people who killed and expelled them need to brought to justice. This has only happened in the last 15-20 years, so the killers should be around along with witnesses. I am not sure why this is not being done.

  42. 42 · Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery

    Under International Law, not all people have a right to self determination. You first need a ‘seperate people’ and then ‘internal oppression of the seperate people by the government’ before you arrive at a right to self determination.


    LOL to the n’th degree!! What is this “international law” of which you speak? More pertinently, what is your theory of what is “law”? Under any (plausible) theory of the latter, what is trendily today called “international law” in the malpractice shops of (large segments of) American legal academia is truly nonsense on stilts, other than, perhaps, that one is (1) allowed to kill pirates and (2) badly disfavoured if one harms diplomats.

  43. 45 · rob on July 28, 2008 03:59 AM (1) allowed to kill pirates http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Shepherd_Conservation_Society

    43 · Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery So you learnt about the plight of Indian Muslims by researching global affairs. Hmm, it does make sense. I guess you must have figured out that all the Muslims massacred in Gujarat were ISI or other foreign agents. Makes as much sense as me learning about the role of the Marines in Iraq War by watching Generation Kill on HBO.

    How did you get to that from what I said? I was commenting on the way topics are disproportionately reported and the fact that since Hindus aren’t really a global presence or a persistent threat and consequently there is no real coverage on any issues such as the Pundits for example, in the global media. My research has been mostly on the way Insurgent Groups associated with Islamic ideology function and the things I’ve learned have greatly changed my perspective.

    I do not confess to have a belief in the intellectual capabilities of most of the plebes of the VHP and even if there exist, any I doubt they cared if someone was an agent or not as long as they were a Muslim. What in the things I said made you believe that I referred to Muslims as ISI agents? FFS I didn’t even equate Islam with Muslims.

    You have to stop equating every person, that presents an POSSIBLE explanation of the greivance (even if it is an imagined greivance) of the Hindutva brigade or presents a rationalization, to someone who hates Muslims…there are a million shades of gray.

    I think the treatment of the Sikhs was evil and wrong and reprehensible in every way! The Congress was/is a cult of sorts…I don’t know why that was relevant to what I said.

    How was I being self-righteous? You constantly read things in my comments that I can’t even get from my own words! That seems to be a trend I’ve seen on several threads where you’ve responded to me, and it always involves an insult of some sort.

    Maybe thats the “represent” that some other poster was commending you for on the recently closed thread…

  44. 43 · Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery said

    India is the only ‘democracy’ I can think of in the last 25 years where the State machinery is actually used to kill minorities.

    Yeah but there were also people helping the Sikhs. Many of you love to harp on the BJP because of their so-called “genocide” tactics but many of its politicians offered the Sikhs shelter during those riots.

  45. 49 · NYC Chatwala said

    Many of you love to harp on the BJP because of their so-called “genocide” tactics but many of its politicians offered the Sikhs shelter during those riots.

    oops. yeah, you’re right, that makes it all ok. nothing to see here, let’s move on.