29 July, 2021

To Understand Pakistan, 1947 Is The Wrong Lens

The hurt that moves Pakistan is from a wound more recent—1971

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To Understand Pakistan, 1947 Is The Wrong Lens

On a recent trip to India, I was moved by the genuine concern people have about Pakistan. As a Pakistani living in the United States, I am subjected daily to serious exasperation, courtesy the American media. Americans do not understand Pakistan because they do not care. And there is no real knowledge without caring. Indians certainly do care. Pakistan has been on the Indian mind since the moment of their co-creation. India and Pakistan are like two ends of a thread tied in a fantastic Gordian knot; their attachment magically survives their severance. And how the love grows! The recent Jaswant Singh controversy over Jinnah only partially unveiled how Pakistan is critical to the ideological coherence of Indian nationalism in both its secular and Hindutva varieties. But behind this veil, Pakistan has always been internal to Indian politics. It should come as no surprise then that establishment Indians (bureaucratic and political elites, intellectuals, media types, and the chattering classes) are well-versed in the nuances of Pakistani society....

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