The retired colonel’s letter

Raw nerves

A Pakistani newspaper publishes an open letter by a retired Indian army officer—that doesn’t say anything that many Pakistani commentators are not already saying—and you witness some very interesting reactions.

First, several people, including retired Pakistani army officers, write to the editor, defending their army and shooting the Indian messenger. For how dare an Indian, not least a retired army officer, have the temerity to ask the Pakistani army chief not to surrender to the Taliban! Surely, shouldn’t India put its own house in order first?

Then the Daily Times’ Ejaz Haider makes a bizarre point about the “consensus” in the Indian media about national security issues, and how this rules out the publication of a Pakistani officer’s open letter to the Indian army chief. It appears that Mr Haider has not heard about the invitation extended by one of India’s leading magazine publishing house to a certain retired Pakistani army officer, one General Pervez Musharraf, to speak at an exclusive high-profile event.

Update: And after receiving more outpourings of outrage, the editor of the newspaper apologises, alleging that “some of its content was false.”

The News recently published an article by Harish Puri on its op-ed pages. The piece did not merit publication as some of its content was false and malicious and ran counter to the policy of the newspaper. The article did not go through the regular and rigorous process of vetting and was printed without clearance from senior editors of The News. The feedback received from the vast majority of our readers has also been one of indignation at the distorted presentation of facts, and indeed, at the publishing of the article itself.

The article should not have been published by The News and we sincerely regret that it was. –Editor [The News]

10 thoughts on “The retired colonel’s letter”

  1. Ejaj Haider is hilarious. The third paragraph is the best, IMO. (*)

    India has managed to develop, and credit is due her on that score, a sense of nationalism that not just binds its various institutions, civil and military, in the formation of the state but also draws its civil society into that nexus, at least those sections that matter in the initial evolution of such a consensus. This helps India in behaving as a unitary actor in formulating and pushing policies, especially those catalogued under the generic rubric of national security.

    Just goes on to show how completely clueless he is about India and Indian media. Indians doesn’t even have a consensus on keeping Kashmir within India’s fold! A major, and very recent, national security issue was the nuclear deal.. and the national government almost fell in the process of signing it. And all this is when the Indian media can’t even claim to be completely free.

    I would have said that I haven’t seen such idiocy in a long time, but I had just read some financial rags saying that Indian stock market will open flat on “weak global cues” today. So much for that.

    (*) I only managed to read the article about half way through. There might have been better stuff later on.

  2. The best comment is
    “Let it suffice if I tell him (and our enemies) to stop hatching conspiracies against our nationhood (and our strategic weapons), as this time we have the Taliban on our side, against whom no known antidote exists. A country governed by the Taliban and armed with nuclear weapons has the potential of becoming the next real superpower of the 21st century. No wonder our opponents look terrified. And no wonder General Kayani is abiding by “national interest.”
    Shabbir Ahmad
    Islamabad”

    So that is the mind set across the border?

  3. Yes, you learn a lot more by reading the letters to the editor than the op-eds and editorials. If you read the papers, the usual letters express horror and shock at the Taliban encroachment; and anger and disgust with the US encroachment.

    Anti-India prejudice is the mainstay.

  4. Just goes on to show how completely clueless he is about India and Indian media.

    Actually the guy is very well-informed and smart too. Sometimes though he goes off on these supposedly “intellectual” rants that hurt my little brain. Poor sucker needs to make sure his job and life are not put at risk. Just staying alive in Pakistan today is a special kind of blood-sport 🙂 … which is why it’s so morbidly fascinating – it’s wild west where anything can happen as the rules of the game (where there _are_ rules) are constantly redefined! In India the limit of our entertainment comes from cricket, elections – we’ve done these like clockwork for decades – and the occasional Satyam scandal.

  5. I think our colonel went a little overboard with condescending attitude. I am no apologists for Paki cocksuckers..but man..he was rude. Its like going to deathbed of your brother dieing a painful cancer (who tried to kill you and ur family..take Pravin Mahajan for instance) and ranting about what he did..
    But the point is the brother is (deservedly) dying..and its not ‘Indianish’ to do that kind of rubbing it in. But that do not take away from the fact that..the whole point of Indian media’s “conformity” counter-allegation by Haider(who is a fairly decent guy..except that he is a paki..which is an oxymoron..but..;-))..you know..
    Do I make sense..I hope I do..:-)

  6. I think our colonel went a little overboard with condescending attitude. I am no apologists for Paki cocksuckers..but man..he was rude. Its like going to deathbed of your brother dying of a painful cancer (who tried to kill you and ur family..take Pravin Mahajan for instance) and ranting about what he did..
    But the point is the brother is (deservedly) dying..and its not ‘Indianish’ to do that kind of rubbing it in. But that do not take away from the fact that..the whole point of Indian media’s “conformity” counter-allegation by Haider(who is a fairly decent guy..except that he is a paki..which is an oxymoron..but..;-))..you know..
    Do I make sense..I hope I do..:-)

  7. @kannan,

    Rude?

    On the contrary it was very graceful and gentlemanly. Considering the situation and the need to act urgently, it was well done, I would think. He was *not* rubbing it in.

    Dude, he called the Pakistani army ‘professional’…the *Pakistani* army, for Gojakuja’s sake, and you say it was rude?

  8. Nitin

    More proof, if any was needed, of why an unstable pakistan rife with internecine conflict is good for india.

    If upper class pakis are fighting lower class pakis, or the shias with the sunnis, or the afghans with the sindhis, or any other permutation, that can only be good for india. They have that much less energy and capacity left to go after some distant infidels.
    link

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