Open Letter to General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff, India

CC to Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, COAS, Pakistan Army

Subject: The possibility of the miracle of friendship between enemies post-death of Asifa Bano – [ ]

Dear General Rawat,

Salam / Namaste,

I am a writer on peace, anti terrorism, good governance, women empowerment and in general giving hope for the poor which make up the majority of our planet.

I hope you are in the best of health. I have read your public profile on Wikipedia and admire your family’s generation to generation commitment to protecting your nation.

I am writing this letter on behalf of the girl Asifa Bano brutally raped, tortured and murdered in a temple in Kathua Jammu & Kashmir. Trust me, while this case has every element of genocide, and Islamophobia, I would have been equally concerned had she been a Hindu or any other faith.

She was human, Sir, a human being, a child, a beautiful child like the children I am sure in your own family. She deserved to read, go to school, learn tolerance, and love for mankind. Yet she was drugged, raped and battered to death in a House of God! A Temple, where people reach out to the divine with their worries and pain!

She ironically was abused, dishonored and murdered right there sir! Just a few months back young Zainab was raped by a Muslim man in Lahore. Rape and killing, murders and crimes, these are things that upset me, not national boundaries or nationalistic thinking, those are things that can be talked through. But criminals need to be stopped, along with crime.

I think her case can have a positive outcome, it MIGHT open your eyes / Indian Army and those of your counterparts’ in Pakistan. It MIGHT help you realize that the enemy is WITHIN, our own politicians, our corrupt judiciary, our corrupt police (they were rapists in this case Sir as you must be well aware and as the shocking article in the British newspaper reflects) – and our excuse filled bureaucrats.

Sir I have, personally, nothing against yours or my national constitution or democracy as a concept, but you know as well as your counterpart in Pakistan VERY WELL that practically it is a different story. Our nations with good, hardworking, peace loving people in GENERAL are hijacked and abused by their own governments most. That is why they run abroad to get measly jobs, legally or not. Our religious leaders sow seeds of hate then create love of the divine and a LINK to all humans based on that love!

As a Pakistani, I do not consider you, or any other nation, or faith my enemy. In fact I hold your army in respect as I do mine, because you, like them, have gone through the same British developed training programs, ethics and values. You are men of honor who kill or die for your nation worthy and deserving of respect.

The sad part hence is that you and your counterpart in Pakistan are manipulated by your and our corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, and in general “civilians” – I often joke with my army friends in Pakistan that “either you are Pakistanis or we are, both of us cannot be, the value sets are so divergent” the same holds true for India.

My father and mother migrated from India, I live in the Gulf, have travelled the world and met many Indians and find no difference, for better or for worse, between them and Pakistanis.

And why should there be? We converted to Islam didn’t we from Hinduism? Lived together for thousands of years or not? Share even today the same culture, jokes, movies, music, food you name it sir! I am sure an evening at a Pakistani General’s house will leave you more delighted than any other nations’.

You very well know the reason why – we are one and the same. And whether in the Arabian Gulf, or the EU, or US, or UK, Australia, NZ Indians and Pakistanis are generally quite close to each other. So why this enemy mindset at home in spite of so much in common?

Must we fight brother to brother or think beyond as the EU did? After warring in WW2? You know the military history of that region better than I sir, their conflicts and hatred for each other then and their exemplary love and cooperation today. Am I wrong there sir?

Our differences in faith are simply our routes to access the divine using different names and methods. Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism have all created fine people, your own Sri Sri Ravishanker of Banglore (Art of Living) too!

The problem is not in a religion, mostly at least. There indeed are religious teachings one can term inciteful and hateful and are found across all faiths. The challenge is not to abolish religion (as my atheist friends would vouch and I disagree) but to control hate tendencies in all religions using sound laws as in developed and good nations all over the world. I have created a framework for the same at

Sir, I am a firm believer that while you and I cannot bring Asifa back to life, nor the Delhi Dr Jyoti Singh Pandey, we can ensure these abused people living in the nuclear powered states of India and Pakistan, impoverished, hopeless, and enslaved still practically deserve a better deal.

If you and your counterpart engage in a dialogue, leave aside Kashmir, which is a small issue if you ask me to resolve, you would together be able to use your elite intelligence agencies and able-bodied serving and retired forces members to bring hope to these billions of people.

My only request to you is to think for the people, not for “national interest” as that is truly a MYTH. It does NOT matter WHO rules us, what faith he or she has, what color or nationality he or she is, as long as they provide good governance to the people, justice, safety, economic opportunities, education, healthcare, positivity and hope.

I wonder if my words will fall on deaf ears sir, I would be delighted to hear from you, as an individual who loves the poor, abused and victimized and feels their pain, beyond what passport I carry and what passport you carry.

You just happen to be in a position where one small step of yours and your counterparts’ can be a giant leap for the people of this region.

Trust in your armies, on either side, they are good, honest, patriotic people, who, if on the same page, will deliver your nation and mine from poverty, abuse, crime, hopelessness. A dialogue between these two great armies in a positive sense can result in the positive utilization of their excellent human resource in the RIGHT direction, one the British or Americans or others had they been our masters would have taken. Let us rise above petty differences and focus on the larger picture, if you may…

Lovingly for (wo)mankind,

Crystal Heart Kazmi (Imran Owais Kazmi)

general bipin rawat.
General Bipin Rawat

Imran Owais Kazmi is a an expat Pakistani vocal on change locally and globally through good governance and tolerance.