Ardeshir Cowasjee – enfant terrible of Karachi

Ardeshir Cowasjee’s latest columns on the Pakistani perspective of the Hindu-Muslim issue makes interesting reading.

I think there has been a generational change in most of India – in that Pakistan is seen as a separate country, separated ‘a long time ago’ from India. India’s hostility to Pakistan is only a result of the latter’s stand on Kashmir and its sponsoring of terrorism. If Pakistan were to change its ways, India would have no cause to harbour any hostile intent.

However, I do not see a similar generational change in Pakistan; from my reading of the Pakistani press. The Pakistani mindset is preoccupied with completing the ‘unfinished business’ of Partition, including the final ’emancipation’ of all Indian Muslims. As the Bobby Jindal case has shown, Pakistanis continue to harbour age old prejudices even in a different time and place. This is a cause of deep worry.

There is a need to reach out to the Pakistanis and explain that the fear they have of India, of encirclement, of a Pak centric arms race, of an India-Israel-USA alliance is only a response to their own revisionist agenda. Unfortunately, past and present political dispensations in Pakistan have consistently worked to prevent this from happening.