Why neither India nor Pakistan won the 1965 war

(This article first appeared in DW.com on 27 August 2015.)

India will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its 1965 war with Pakistan from August 28 to September 22. (Pictured above: Indian soldiers patrol the Line of Control). A lot of nationalism will be on display, including a “carnival.” India and Pakistan both claim to have won that war. for its part, Pakistan celebrates September 6 as Defense of Pakistan Day. Continue reading “Why neither India nor Pakistan won the 1965 war”

Pakistan police finally admits: we got Mumbai Romeo who came looking for Pashtun girlfriend

First published in Scroll.in on 5 January 2015.

The police in Pakistan have told the Peshawar High Court that they had indeed detained Mumbai resident Hamid Nihal Ansari in 2012, and handed him over to intelligence officials. This is the first official word about what happened to Ansari, went from Mumbai to Kabul and illegally crossed over into Pakistan to look for a Pashtun woman he had fallen in love with through the internet.

Ansari had disappeared soon after he had checked in to a hotel in Kohat, a town near Peshawar, on November 14, 2012, and has since been missing.

But in an affidavit to the Peshawar High Court, made in September but released to Ansari’s parents only recently, the Kohat police has said that the young man was “netted down by local police” on the “information and pointation [sic] of Inspector Naeem Ullah of IB [Intelligence Bureau], Kohat”. Continue reading “Pakistan police finally admits: we got Mumbai Romeo who came looking for Pashtun girlfriend”

Of Nationalism and Love in Southasia

(First published in Himal Southasian on 19 June 2012.)

The predominant emotion with which jingoistic Indians and Pakistanis view each others’ misfortunes is schadenfreude. They count each other’s conflicts and rebellions to keep score. The Indian will talk about sectarian violence in Pakistan, and the Pakistani will ask about the treatment of Dalits in India. The Pakistani will complain against Indian atrocities in Kashmir and the Indian will point fingers at Balochistan.

When I see such Indo-Pakistani interactions online, I am reminded of these words:

Dushman mare te khushi na karey
Sajna vi mar jaana 

(Rejoice not the death of the enemy
The beloved may also die) Continue reading “Of Nationalism and Love in Southasia”