A Christmas Present for the World? Maybe.


The British controlled the entire Indian subcontinent for nearly 200 years. In 1948, The United Kingdom wanted to finally rid itself of the difficulties associated with governing an area both many times larger than the British Isles themselves, and overwhelmingly hostile to British control. They hoped that by partitioning the subcontinent, and creating separate areas governed separately mostly by those who followed the Hindu faith, and by those who followed Islam, there would be little sectarian violence. They were wrong!
The British created two [now three] separate nations who distrusted each other so greatly that wars between and among them were inevitable. Millions have been killed fighting these wars. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/08/the-birth-and-p... The border between India and Pakistan is nearly 2000 miles long. It is heavily defended by troops on both sides. It is so brightly lit by floodlights at night over most of its length that, unlike any other border in the world, the line demarcated by the lights is visible from space! http://qz.com/516864/the-india-pakistan-border-is-so-closely-guarded-tha...

No nation, with the possible exception of Israel, has more bitter feelings against Muslims than does India. Yet, today, on Christmas Day, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, went to Pakistan and held a 90 minute private meeting with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif. It happens to be Sharif's 66th birthday as well. This surprise meeting may have been hatched between the two leaders when they spoke briefly at the climate change conference in Paris late last month. Who knows? Who cares? All that is known for sure is that Modi asked Sharif if he could stop and visit on his way back from trips to Russia and Afghanistan, and Sharif stated, "Please come. You are our guest. Please come and have tea with me." In conclusion the two leaders agreed to have more ties between the two countries in hopes of "moving forward" a peace process between the two nations. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/indian-prime-minister-narendra-modi-ma...

Now, this is a preliminary first step. But it is much better than the typical blustering and ranting in a hostile fashion, one against the other, which has characterized the relationship between the two long-time enemies for most of their history.
Merry Christmas! We can only hope and pray!

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in the world, with over 1 1/4 BILLION people, about 4 times the number of people the United States has, Pakistan is 6th, with almost 200 MILLION people! Together, they have almost 1/5 of the total population of the earth! Here's a link to the U.S. Census Bureau site: http://www.census.gov/popclock/print.php?component=counter
If these two long-time bitter enemies can talk peace, there is real hope for the world. If India can open a dialogue and search for peace with a Muslim nation which has been a cause of over a million Indian deaths over the course of their history as neighbors, we can all search for peace with the vast majority of Muslims in the world who also want peace. America should not morph a war against terrorism, which we did not seek, into a war against all of Islam.
Merry Christmas!

The more hatred we all show toward all Muslims, the hardier the extremists laugh. I am linking to an article from an Indian newspaper quoting from a news release by Hafez Mohamed Saeed, the founder and leader of a terrorist group located in the area. In the release, Saeed does his best to undermine Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's outreach for peace with India. Saeed ascribes the outreach to what he refers to as a "personal friendship" between Sarif and India's Prime Minister Marendra Modi.

"Personal friendship" is being used as a pejorative term -- as though a "personal friendship" is a terrible thing. If one is an extremist, and/or someone who hates others because of a difference in their religion, ethnicity, gender, and/or race, I guess that a "personal friendship," especially between two people who are leaders of nations with a history of venal hatred, is an unacceptable threat!

This is further evidence that blanket hatred -- negatively stereotyping a whole group for the deplorable actions of a few -- helps those who would do the most violence against any or all of us in the world. Here's a link to the article: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/sharif-shouldn-t-sacrifice-kashmir-f...

It is a sad world, indeed, when friendships are seen as threats. Which is a better world to live in? Is it better to be constantly worried that one may run into one of "those" people, with whom we share 99.98% of identical DNA, or a world where we emphasize the strong similarities and build friendships? We can either build walls of ignorance, bitterness, hatred, and fear, around ourselves and those closest to us; or build bridges of understanding as we reach out to others and learn about them. I prefer to live in a world of understanding and friendship, myself!

In the coming 20-30yrs the two major challenges to US world leadership will come from India and the PRC by virtue of population expansion. The resource most valuable will be food and water. The US has been at the point of recognizing and preparing for that eventuality. Not to do so slides the country back to second tier status and functioning. Friendships are friendships... survival requires steel in your spine. Not to change but rather add to the thread: why do the British persist in talking so funny? Don't they get any American TV over there?

That, and driving on the wrong side of the road!

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