Aatish’s personal fire

Ejaz Haider in The Express Tribune:

ScreenHunter_03 Jul. 19 15.05 The father was killed because he supported a Christian woman. How does that fit in with the article’s thesis that the father hated India (and Pakistan has to hate India and be Muslim) because that religious distinction lies at the core of its ‘other’-isation of India? Or is Pakistan more complex than is hinted in the article?

Aatish’s father did not ‘hate’ India. He was one of those who did much to open up Lahore — to Indians — by using the Basant festival. There is not a single viable political party in Pakistan that does not want to normalise with India. That is a matter of record. But Salmaan Taseer (Aatish’s eye for detail doesn’t inspire much confidence since he gets the spellings of his father’s name wrong), like others, was a proud Pakistani. We don’t need to ‘other’ India to be Pakistanis but neither can we ignore real problems that need to be addressed. Tackling those problems requires mature analysis, not reducing everything to Pakistan’s identity crisis vis-a-vis India.

But what of the Pakistani military, the villains in all this? Since Aatish began with India’s failed GSLV rocket test, let me put in some facts here for him.

The Indian Army, standing at over 1.1 million active-service personnel and 1.8 million reserves, is configured under six area commands (operational) and one army training command (ARTRAC). Three of these area commands — western, northern and southwestern — are totally Pakistan-specific. A fourth, central command, with one corps (1 Corps) is also primarily Pakistan-specific. The Indian Army has 13 corps, out of which eight, including one from the central command, are specific to Pakistan.

More here.