From Russia With Invoices



Vladimir Putin made the annual Russian president’s visit to India and it was with difficulty that the local media roused itself to pay any attention.

In theory, there was everything worth paying attention to the visit. Indo-Russia trade always has big multi-billion dollar deals. They are generally about the kind of stuff media like to headline with: nuclear reactors, big weapons platforms, and oil and gas. And there is little geopolitical conflict between the two countries.

But it doesn’t click. I would argue it doesn’t because there isn’t much more than exactly what is lifted above.

Indo-Russian trade is a pittance for two trillion-dollar plus economies. Indian exports to Russia were $ 1.1 billion exports and $ 4.3 billion imports in 2008-09. In 2011-12 these figures were $ 1.8 billion and $ 4.6 billion. Russia is India’s 36th largest export market, an inconsequential ranking.

As Russian and Indian officials admit, the trade is lumpy. It consists of the odd big billion-dollar deal and then long periods of nothing. And the areas where such deals happen – energy and reactors – are places where Russia is facing stiff competition.

The same is true for military sales, which don’t appear in the trade figures. Russia has a shrinking pie of Indian defence deals. And much of what they sell is effectively shells – airplanes with Russian wings and engines, but avionics and software from Israel or France.

The reason for these dismal figures is obvious. There is almost no private corporate sector trade. The big deals are G2G, government to government, sales. So it is Indian state-owned enterprises like ONGC Videsh, Gas Authority of India or the Nuclear Power Corporation of India which buy Russian – and sometimes one suspects because of some push from New Delhi which wants to keep the figures looking good.

Personally, I don’t think Moscow quite gets the new India. Putin and other Russian leaders still see the relationship through a Soviet prism in the sense they believe the Indian government can just order things to be better. Moscow does very little to encourage Indian private trade or investment. Indian firms have a nightmare time getting visas, finance and regulatory hurdles. This is not hostility, just indifference.

Some other governments who have analysed Russian behaviour towards India believe it fits in with a larger disintegration of Russian strategic thinking. Moscow and its kleptocracy basically think short-term. The tendency is to simply make hay while the Indian system is willing to pay. Thus Putin put Sistema, the telecom firm whose investment in Russia has become tied up in the 2G telecom scandal, at the top of his Indian agenda. Sistema, by all accounts, is important because it happens to be part of his personal corporate circle. But banging on about a single business deal is poor diplomacy – and indicates a lack of strategic thinking.

Events like the Admiral Gorshkov, an Indian-purchased carrier whose price has kept rising geometrically while its arrival date keeps getting delayed arithmetically, have soured the Indian military. Russia will always be part of the Indian military basket, but in a decade or two it will be merely one among many not primus inter pares as it has been.

If global oil and gas prices enter a cyclical downturn in the coming decade, Russia, which experienced nearly seven per cent growth for much of the past decade, will start to hurt. Its failure to develop an entrepreneurial culture and commercialize its many technological capabilities during the Putin years means it will, I suspect, be even more pushy about billion-dollar quick fixes in future.

This short-termism can also be seen in other aspects of its diplomacy. Moscow pushed the original Russia-India-China triangle and then lost interest in it. Then it pushed for it be expanded to include Brazil and, to India’s irritation, borrowed the Goldman Sachs report label to brand it. But today, Russia is the least constructive and most passive member of the BRICS.

But, as mentioned, there are no differences in the foreign policies of the two countries. Russia remains the most dependable vote among the United Nations Security Council permanent five when it comes to India’s interests. But keep an eye on Russia’s attempts to play footsie with Pakistan as the US withdraws from Afghanistan. On this, New Delhi may find it hard to look the other way.

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  • Edward Hyde

    For me, they would be Amar Chitra Katha comics.

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    Kushal Reply:

    Really, Hyde? Well, each to his own.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kanikadhupar Kanika Dhupar

    For me its, the Anne of Green Gable Series…
    Such good days

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    Kushal Reply:

    Oooh, I love Anne of Green Gables. But since I read them in my teens, they don’t qualify as sickness books.

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  • Purnachandra Rath

    Russia’s indifference in economic diplomacy is not only for India, but also for most other countries. It has a large industrial base, and by participation with other countries, it can be a manufacturing hub. But due to boom in hydrocarbons, it just does not care for other sectors. It is also a sleeping tiger.

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  • india

    it is good for politicians not for public as they will eat lot of money in this deal already sonia must have had its cut so why public should be bothered when they are struggling with people in there own country.

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  • sam

    yor sucking loser, man grow up, your hatred shows towards the people of Gujarat and NaMo, man please go and make a living in Pakistan, India does not need you.

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  • Indian

    Every HITLER has his day. Period

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  • Anonymous

    How and why did Jehadi journalist Zia Haq missed Akbarudding episode? Is the deliberate or oversight? The answer is obvious. Our media is now infilterated by terrorists pretending to be journalists.

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    Impi Reply:

    That’s exactly it. Modi and Akbaruddin are two sides of the same dumb rightwing coin.

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    raj Reply:

    a stupid n uncalled comment by impi………… there is no comparison…infact Modi cannot b compared with a mindless demon like owaisi

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  • pankaj#1

    Last Friday, at Modi’s ritzy investor carnival, Ambani publicly professed that Modi’s birth in 1950 was an event equal in importance to Mahatma Gandhi’s in 1869. Greatness was never this small and flattery never so daring.
    Zia, My child, have you forgotten, a fellow Assamese, immortal words: India is Indira and Indira is India: Grow up. intellectually, you are a pigmy. you just wear that victimhood. Can you engage with me?? I will show you the mirror.

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  • kanishka

    Zia you are acting like a Jehadi with rabid anti-Hinduism. You have no idea that Gujarat today is the largest employer in India. Every month more than 40,000 skilled and non-skilled labor force migrates to Gujarat for job opportunity from states like Bihar, UP, Rajsthan, Odisha, WB, NE states and even Maharashtra. All are welcome with open arms and live their amicably while enjoying the fruits of Modi’s Gujarat is developing every year. Modi has not declared that Gujarat is a developed state; it is still developing and has long way to go but it is NOT Somalia. It is much better managed than your model states like WB, UP, Kerala or many other states run by UPA.

    Based on per capita, Gujarat state contributes the largest money in the central government in the form of Excise, Customs, Income tax and other fees which exceed rs 60,000 crores in 2010-11 and numbers increasing on daily basis. This money is used by the UPA government to susidise J&K, UP and WB states while giving less to Gujarat. This is the miracle of Modi. This is in addition to the salaries that migrants sent to their native places. Many of Gujarat statics are skewed by the constant migrant workers majority of whom are poor and do not want to spend in the state where they make money.

    How many migrate to Kerala? Keralites are spread all over in search of jobs. The development starts step by step starting with peace, development of infrastructure (roads, power and skilled labor), good governance, corruption free system, willingness of indusustry to establish big units followed by meduim and small scale industries, education institutes, etc. It does not happen otherway round as Jehadis like you think. Once there is enough income to spread, people would spend on health and other social indicators.

    Another point I would like to mention that there is an ANTI-MODI industry which has fudged many statistics to feed pseudo-secularist and jehadis like you. So take a chill pill and talk about OWAISI BROTHER and stop villifying Modi and Gujarat. You have been proven wrong and bigot many time before on the issue of MODI.

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  • Aarti

    Well in most of Muslim world, when Muslims had a chance to elect a government after decades of dictatorship, their choice was Islamists like Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Is Modi worse than Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas that openly calls for genocide of Jews and second class status for non-Muslims… etc?

    Would Muslims in India prefer Muslims are treated they way they treated native Hindus in Kashmir?

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  • Arun Kumar

    Such morons will never alter their mindset, which is stuck in the 7th century. That is the time when a complete totalitarian ideology was born, so the less Mr Haq talks about totalitarianism, the better. As regards the progress, the state is making, it needs no certification from such sceptics, who peddle outdated statistics. I suggest he read Bibek Debroy’s latest treatise on Gujarat and its development story. Mr Haq, you can choose to remain in an Ostrich mode, if you wish, but the world is passing you bye.

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  • prem

    lets have look at Modi “ he has a big mouth on him but no Idea what he taking about he model his self on the Nazis, dose he not know the Nazi were most blood thirsty people in Europe. they murdered million and millions of Israelis, they gassed them? they started the second world war.

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  • ge

    Modi is a low life murderer

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    Pakko Reply:

    stop looking into the mirror …. we are not talking about you here. ;-)

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  • TRUTH

    MODITVA MODITVA MODITVA….AND JUSTICE FOR BHARAT MATA….THE REST, LIKE THIS “JOURNALIST” DON’T EVEN EXIST.

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  • Pradeep Tumati

    The author should explain what India is paying now?… remember, India went in the way the author aspires for the past 60 yrs and achieved nothing and now, when Modi is trying to make a change, he is being compared to Hitler.

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  • Rahul

    Thanks Zia ul Haq (or whatever), I’m rooting for for Modi. Had enough of your Pakistani bro Mickey Mouse Singh.

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  • zia haq

    The grapes are so extremely sour that we have no recourse, but to resort to lies. lies amd more lies – like our Maha Mad taught us 1400 years ago.

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  • K.C.sekhar

    OK sir agreed . Gujarat is bad – most backward state – and the people there are dumb – in fact it is very very bad and most inconvenient as well as it is very dangerous to live in Gujarat. One does not know how people live in such conditions that can be compared to Uganda as compared to other states which resemble the rich Texas or California in US.

    All the industrialists who come to the states are dumb and foolish and they are wasting their precious money which they got from their parents by investing in Gujarat. Unfortunately almost all the industrialists fall in this category – even Tata – who has taken over foreign companies in their country.

    what a shame – you see the Gujaratis in this state live their life in darkness unlike other states in India – no electricity – no power and live in medieval times.

    Very good analysis. let us all urge people to leave Gujarat.

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    aryan Reply:

    ha ha ha ha …………… i feel pity on the IQ level of such generalist…. i wonder whether they have any brain or not

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Varadaraj/1243167347 Tony Varadaraj

    Last I heard, Ratan Tata, Godrej and many others who attended the summit and are singing Modi’s praises are Parsees who practiced the Zoroastrian faith that was decimated in their home country of Persia by, you guessed it, Muslims. There are many, many industrious non-Muslims and Muslims like the Bohras who are benefiting from the Gujarat experiment that puts industrialization, infrastructure, development in the forefront to achieve prosperity rather than the utterly failed policy of re-distributing the economic pie through electoral maths based on caste, religion etc.. These very same Muslims would be blown to bits like the Hazaras in the land of the pure. But take it from a Muslim crab to turn it into a Hindu hate-fest in disguise. Muslim extremists have learned the art of Goebbelsian propaganda very well to use any and every method, including the pretense of “oppression” if their obsession to make their ideology dominant is thwarted like it has been in Gujarat.

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  • Dr.V.Mahadevan

    HT has in its stables horses like this author. Obviously he cannot stomach the appreciation showered on Modi by the industrial elite of India, How to denigrate and downgrade the same ? Development is not the be all and end all of lifeTHe unholy partnership of nationalism and . religious fundamentalism is what has propelled many cultures, but our author has only Nazi Germany in mind and ipso facto Modi is a Hindu HITLER!!Mind you similar idiots have in the past derided the Hindu rate of growth in India !The author wiill find it difficult to point to any Islamic regime which has developed without allowing its natural resources being exploited by the West. Poor in resources and the Islamic countries are prone to dictatorship and the richer ones are dependent upon slave labour..Clearly the desire to make Islam the central force in the world has been stymied by historical factors. Reversing them by force is one cause of terrorism which is funded by rich Islamic dictatorships.Muslims in India are a restless lot for in their case there is a nostalgic desire for times past when Islamic rule prevailed here.That the British created one Islamic state when they left, which divided itself in two, is not consolation enough as both have become failed entities. Animosity and hatred of India is the driving force in Pakistan and acquiring more living space is the motivation in Bangladesh.In the middle India is doing relatively well despite the many problems ,,some created by our neighbors is cause for heartburn, for our ‘friends’..

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Varadaraj/1243167347 Tony Varadaraj

    On another note, I remember Indian socialists of the ’60’s and ’70’s who wanted every private industry in India to be nationalized (a policy that nearly bankrupted India in the early ’90s). They were holding their noses at the emerging South-East Asian economies like Singapore, Taiwan, Hong-Kong etc. and ridiculed them for practicing screw-driver technology of just assembling things for the rich West. Today those countries have moved into the first world and India is now looking up to their story as a model for growth. Even forgetting the obvious “oh-we-poor-Muslims-are-so-oppressed-in-India-by-evil-Hindus” slant of this article, this is similar attempt to pull down anyone who is actually leading so that those who are incapable of leading but want all the fruits of leadership continue to prosper in India.

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  • sanjay vikram

    agreed….she should ask this question from Sonia and her congress party…who has ruled this country for almost 50 years…..they had and have all the inpowers..to change this nation for better…..why ppl like Zia have problems with the concept of hindu and hindutva…this is comedy and farce in India ..when I say I am hindu and believe Hindutva is being dubbed as communal

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    aryan Reply:

    No need too feel ashamed of that………..the more mindless owaisi speak …the more n rigid we will become…………. I always considered myself as Indian first n everything last……………but now I have to change this attitude….. Let me remind myself that I am Indian n Hindu…. n proud to be that………….. I am happy that I am not any convert (by fear from gulf looters) unlike many of convert mindless owaisis who r spreading the hatred in our beloved country without realising that their history doesnot begin 1400 years ago……. n time has come to remind these mindless convert that learn from the mistakes which their forefathers commited by converting out of fear from gulf looters n recall their trueself

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  • sanjay vikram

    Not sure what prompts Shobhana Bhartiya and her joker editor _ Vir Sanvghi to allow traitors like Zia to publish her blog in “”HINDUSTAN TIMES”"…

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  • Ankit

    I was hoping Zia will follow up on the Owaisi episode this time. It was an opportune moment to denounce his hate speech in no uncertain terms- to tell us he does not believe in insulting Lord Ram or Hindus- and to make a case for why people like Owaisi should be marginalized in the Indian society. However, Zia is on his usual rant.

    This is revealing, because it tell me Zia is not about better community relations. In fact people like him are more dangerous than Owaisi, because their hatred in cloaked int the sophistication of English columns and blogs.

    I hope the youngsters of our country can see people like Zia for who they really are.

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  • Abu Ahmed

    When so many of our industrialists are singing praises of Narender Modi, surely Modi must have done something worthwhile to earn such accolades. My problem with Modi is regarding the way he opted for to grab power – it was a very sinister plot indeed. He sacrificed the lives of Hindu women in that train at Godhra through a mercenary mob; then, within no time (as it was all pre-planned) attacks on Muslims took place in a very organized manner. This type of large scale and wide spread murder established Narender Modi as a champion of Hindus. With the BJP in power at the state and center in 2002, every aspect of the pogrom was minutely stage-managed, with all the requisite cover-ups in place. Dawood Ibrahim does the same thing too; he is ruthless in all executions and as a businessman – legal, illegal, legimate or illegimate they are basically businesses – he is more efficient than Ambani, Tata or Birla. The issue therefore boils down to that age-old question : whether end justifies the means – that is the big moral, ethical question facing us all.

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    Tony Varadaraj Reply:

    Over 45,000 Muslims have been blown to bits in the land of the pure over the last decade to make it even purer most of it with the connivance of authority. Just two days ago, over a hundred Hazaras were sent to kingdom come in Quetta and their kith and kin are even willing to commit the sacrilege of not burying their dead according to Islamic rights to seek justice. And yet, the only hate you can pour is about a fraction of it that happened 10 years ago that was instigated by the same kind of Muslim hatred that does not overflow like next door because it is kept in check by authority. Go shed a few of your crocodile tears across the border; maybe they’ll serve some useful purpose.

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    Indian Reply:

    i feel pity on ur IQ level……………. u don’t want to digest the fact that muslims can also do the train burning episode….. u don’t accept the fact that muslims looters from gulf destroyed so so many temples and looted crore of property from our country…….. Infact u may not b digesting the fact that ur forfathers might have been converted to islam due to fear of death from muslims looters of gulf…………….Recall ur history …. it is not just 1400 years old but millions of years…. n feel pride in that history which is millions of years

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Varadaraj/1243167347 Tony Varadaraj

    An article in 2011 about the man who supposedly hates Muslims. I am guessing that the Bohras are persona non-grata in the eyes of their brethren who are instigating such hatred not only in the sub-continent but around the world. It just goes to prove that there is no contempt towards Muslims but it is towards those Muslims who cannot live peacefully not only amongst non-Muslims but those that they think are not Muslims in the first place:

    Chief minister seeks bigger role of Bohras in Gujarat development
    Published: Sunday, Feb 20, 2011, 15:30 IST
    By DNA Correspondent | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA

    If, ‘He came, he spoke and he conquered’ can sum up the one-and-a-half hours that he spent at the Burhani Expo, chief minister Narendra Modi did a Caesar on Saturday morning.

    Members of the Dawoodi Bohra community participating in the event from across the country as well as the globe seemed very impressed with Modi after he finished his 20-minute speech. In between showering praises on spiritual leader Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb, Modi spoke at length on how the Bohra community had contributed to the state’s growth and appealed them to continue doing so.

    While saying that development was the only answer to all social ills, he urged
    Bohras to play a bigger role in the state’s development.

    The two-day expo is a trade exhibition of Dawoodi Bohra community, the first
    of its kind in the country where more than 150 exhibitors from various industries are taking part.

    Modi began his speech by praising the Bohras who he said have brought a good name to Gujarat from every place they have been to. Describing Syedna Saheb as a karmasheel person the CM said that the community has been fortunate enough to get Saheb’s blessings and good wishes every year.

    “Today Vibrant Gujarat Summit has become a big event but few people know that first Vibrant Gujarat Summit in 2003 had started off in Surat with Syedna Saheb’s
    blessings,” Modi said.

    Earlier, Saheb’s son Huzefa Saheb praised Modi for taking Gujarat on the fast track of progress. He asked the Bohras to be a part of the state’s development and that the Burhani Expo will strengthen the community links. This will serve as a platform for
    Bohras to grow.

    Textiles, chemicals, hardware, pharma, machine tools, construction, glass, metal and jewellery are some of the sectors which were presented at the expo.

    More than 2,000 Bohra community members were rapt in attention as Modi delivered his speech, and frequently lauded the CM’s words. This, even though, most of them had to remain standing, on account of limited seating arrangement.

    Modi said that Syedna Saheb’s 100th birthday (on March 25 as per Islamic calendar) was being celebrated in the state’s Golden Jubilee Year.

    He said that Syedna Saheb was turning 100, and he had requested him to remain in Gujarat for his birth centenary celebrations.

    The CM praised the importance Dawoodi Bohra community had laid on education. He noted that while Mahatma Gandhi established Gujarat Vidyapith in 1930, Syedna Saheb’s father had established Arabic University in Surat long before that in 1920 itself.

    He praised the community for having been able to keep itself away from various ills, and attributed it to the spiritual guidance provided by Syedna Saheb. He said that the Bohras, while being open to change, had managed to retain their culture and preserve the Gujarati language.

    He said the community had vigorously taken up the task of building check-dams in the state. He urged Bohra community women to educate pregnant women about the importance of proper nutrition to prevent malnutrition among them. Modi also released a souvenir of the Expo at the end of his speech.

    It was announced that Burhani Foundation India would distribute 52,000 bird feeders on March 6 to protect sparrows and other small birds which were on the verge of extinction. He also took a round of the stalls showing keen interest in the businesses exhibited.

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    Faulitics Reply:

    But Zia wouldn’t consider bohras as Muslims but heretics to be in line with his ummah.

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    Tony Varadaraj Reply:

    Indeed, when you consider what the Hazaras, Shias, Ahmediyyas and others are going through in Pakistan having to face the threat of being blown up by the hundreds, the Bohras wouldn’t stand a chance at the hands of the jihadis if they are not protected by the rule of law in India.

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  • Raghavendra

    Mia Zia Haq what the hell you mean by a MYSTERIOUS FIRE in that train in GODHRA?

    you dont want to blame MUSLIM mobs for setting that train on fire in GODHRA but you have already decided HINDUS as CULPRITS in riots that followed?

    you betray your bias towards your community so openly by writing like this.

    i advise you to grow up MIA dont be a baby.

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    Anonymous Reply:

    What he is trying to say is that-
    1. Karsevaks burnt the coach themselves.
    2. or Some hindu elements from Godhra burnt the coach.
    3. or martians carried out this act.

    4. Muslims are clean and can never do such this as non-violent mohammad never killed a fly in his life.

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  • Faulitics

    Zia is a coward and always goes for low hanging fruits. Strange that a “Muslim affairs” writer could not write about the treacherous akbaruddin Owaisi story but focus on a Hindu nationalist whipping boy instead.

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  • Raj

    no wonder you are called a muslim..zia, you epitomise what a muslim is.

    1. muslims cant see the truth. truth for them is what is convenient to their religion. They can lie through their teeth without a shame all in the name of religion – al takiya.
    2. muslims do not have sense of gratefulness. They do not have any sense of allegiance to the country that gave birth to ther fathers and forefathers in the past and going to feed them and sustain their future generations.
    3. Patriotism is an alien concept to muslims. Muslims can never be patriots. If they are patriots they can never be muslims.

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  • vijay !

    Fantastic article in DAWN by a Pakistani Punjabi. It just details why Pakistan is a failed ideology. In fact it frankly admits that the mohajirs had just no chacne of being treated as equals. While the Bengalis were thoguht to be short, dark and Ugly.

    ———– to quote DAWN———–

    The educational level of India’s Muslims had been generally poor, but that of the Punjabi Muslim was simply pathetic, particularly the business community and the army men had no taste for useless pursuits such as learning and intellect; wealth came as Fazl-e-Rabbi, self-confidence came from the success of the Pakistan Movement, aggressive attitudes were genetic to us as Muslims.

    It has been natural for us to dismiss all our other nationalities with contempt if they disagreed or challenged us. So we evaluated our national diversity like this: Bengalis are black, small, ugly, disloyal crooks, Sindhis are lazy, hateful parasites living off our hard work, Balochis are unclean, lazy, ignorant, pagan fools whom we feed, God knows why. And well, Pathans? They are funny homosexuals and deeply jealous of our high merit. We never stopped our loud claims of everything good and right.

    We lost the defining part of our identity with disgrace and shame in 1971, although we have never admitted to this day that the Bangla Pakistanis were Pakistan’s identity much more than we were. We supported an illegal and immoral massacre by our army, which was illegal because it acted under orders of an illegal government and immoral because it attacked the elected majority. We externalised our guilt instead of bowing our heads in shame; we blamed India and the world for our disgrace. Today, we are again at a similar crossroads with deeper internal chaos and greater international isolation.

    We do not lose an inch of our honor if we submit to the wishes of the units that form tha

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    Tony Varadaraj Reply:

    Don’t expect our indigenous Muslim crabs to embark on such a self-critical exercise any time soon because every ill that they suffer from is always the fault of the Hindus. Remember those of them who emigrated to Pakistan now are making a nuisance of themselves there too, blaming the hapless Sindhis for not adjusting to them in Karachi.

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    vijay ! Reply:

    Don’t know why bangladeshis shud favor pakistanis as the pakis think them to be short dark and UgLY
    !
    Sent from my BlackBerry® on Reliance Mobile, India’s No. 1 Network. Go for it!

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  • agnivesh

    KILLER MODI IS EX-TEABOY OF ROADSIDE RESTRANT IN GUJRAT.heis darling of international and local copitalist media brcause he is selling our land to multinational.riots are perpetuated tovacate muslims and dalits frm prime land so that their land can be sell to foreigners.corporates brings hunger and poverty not prosperity.read the history of latin america.americam president cannot go anywhere.

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