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  • sanju
    08-06 06:16 PM
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  • bajrangbali
    06-05 05:35 PM
    Your analysis is so spot on except for item #8 and item # 9. I have a question though.. The example you have given suits my scenario so well. I am planning to buy a house (310k ) very soon. The loan offers I have from my lender has interest rates pretty much the same for both 10% down payment and 20% down payment, 5.0 with 20% and 5.25 with 10% down payment. I can down pay 10% right away and the other 10% is also available in a risk free(can withdraw without penalty) cd which yield me a return of 3.5% . So which is better for me 10% or 20% down pay. thanks in advance.

    As for buying or renting..it is more of a personal choice - to me, buying a house has tangible benefits over renting.. like a sense of entitlement to call some place ur true home and most likely a good enviroment for raising the kids. Life has phases like education, marriage, kids, job, etc..Now that I am into my 30's, I would like to see
    what it feels like to have owned a home.

    If I were you..I would go with the 10% down payment option. Your monthly payment would not increase much and you would have more cash safe in CD for life events.

    Consider the rent you are currently paying and make a choice...buying a home should not burden you with more than 10-20% of you current rent payment. In my case I am more conservative and going with a mortgage < my current rent payment.

    If it helps, here are my details:

    Condo cost: 300K
    Down payment: 5% - 15K
    Using fed stimulus: 8K towards down payment
    Total payment: 7K+closing costs

    Current rent: $2200
    Mortgage: ~$1500-1600
    Price trend in the past 5yrs: down <20% from peak prices

    Estimate living time: 2yrs min

    Even if house value drops after 2yrs by 10%, the tax savings, equity, happiness would compensate more than enough for it...

    I agree everyone's situation is different, but please do not make the mistake of taking a huge burden of payment if you are buying. Always buy within/below your means...





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  • amsgc
    08-08 11:44 PM
    .





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  • thakurrajiv
    04-06 09:35 AM
    I think you missed my point. I was not trying to connect the ARM reset schedule with write-offs at wall street firms. Instead, I was trying to point out that there will be increased number of foreclosures as those ARMs reset over the next 36 months.

    The next phase of the logic is: increased foreclosures will lead to increased inventory, which leads to lower prices, which leads to still more foreclosures and "walk aways" (people -citizens- who just dont want to pay the high mortgages any more since it is way cheaper to rent). This leads to still lower prices. Prices will likely stabilize when it is cheaper to buy vs. rent. Right now that calculus is inverted. In many bubble areas (both coasts, at a minimum) you would pay significantly more to buy than to rent (2X or more per month with a conventional mortgage in some good areas).

    On the whole, I will debate only on financial and rational points. I am not going to question someone's emotional position on "homeownership." It is too complicated to extract someone out of their strongly held beliefs about how it is better to pay your own mortgage than someone elses, etc. All that is hubris that is ingrained from 5+ years of abnormally strong rising prices.

    Let us say that you have two kids, age 2 and 5. The 5 year old is entering kindergarten next fall. You decide to buy in a good school district this year. Since your main decision was based on school choice, let us say that your investment horizon is 16 years (the year your 2 year old will finish high school at age 18).

    Let us further assume that you will buy a house at the price of $600,000 in Bergen County, with 20% down ($120,000) this summer. The terms of the loan are 30 year fixed, 5.75% APR. This loan payment alone is $2800 per month. On top of that you will be paying at least 1.5% of value in property taxes, around $9,000 per year, or around $750 per month. Insurance will cost you around $1500 - $2000 per year, or another $150 or so per month. So your total committed payments will be around $3,700 per month.

    You will pay for yard work (unless you are a do-it-yourself-er), and maintenance, and through the nose for utilities because a big house costs big to heat and cool. (Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti:))

    Let us assume further that in Bergen county, you can rent something bigger and more comfortable than your 1200 sq ft apartment from a private party for around $2000. So your rental cost to house payment ratio is around 1.8X (3700/2000).

    Let us say further that the market drops 30% conservatively (will likely be more), from today through bottom in 4 years. Your $600k house will be worth 30% less, i.e. $420,000. Your loan will still be worth around $450k. If you needed to sell at this point in time, with 6% selling cost, you will need to bring cash to closing as a seller i.e., you are screwed. At escrow, you will need to pay off the loan of $450k, and pay 6% closing costs, which means you need to bring $450k+$25k-$420k = $55,000 to closing.

    So you stand to lose:

    1. Your down payment of $120k
    2. Your cash at closing if you sell in 4 years: $55k
    3. Rental differential: 48 months X (3700 - 2000) = $81k

    Total potential loss: $250,000!!!

    This is not a "nightmare scenario" but a very real one. It is happenning right now in many parts of the country, and is just now hitting the more populated areas of the two coasts. There is still more to come.

    My 2 cents for you guys, desi bhais, please do what you need to do, but keep your eyes open. This time the downturn is very different from the business-investment related downturn that followed the dot com bust earlier t his decade.
    Jung.lee very good second post from you. People still think it is very easy to keep on holding onto your home for long time till turn around happens.
    But life events can cause you to sell like
    1. Job loss and not able to find job in the same area till back up money runs out.
    2. Kids grow up and you need to pay for college and you have little saving as you are holding to see turn around
    3. Hope not but some medical emergency.

    There can be many more situations. Do you know what people are currently doing in these situation ?
    Get money from Home equity ATM machine !!

    Personally I will be scared to buy now as my payment will be more than 50% of my salary and any of above situations will cause me to sell.
    The prices have to become saner ....
    This is very different from anything we have seen. Wall street will change, money will be harder to come by.
    I think time to say " Welcome savings again ". Long term very good for US as country.



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  • Gravitation
    03-25 03:59 PM
    Could you explain property tax a little more? i.e. when you own it what % of your house is the tax? Is it a state tax? Is it fed deductible?


    Property tax is paid to the town you live in. It pays for the public schools (primary and secondary education). If your town provides trash collection services etc, all that comes from property tax. It's usually different for residential and commercial and industrial properties. Typically, the better the schools in a town, the more is the property tax.

    Percentage is determined by the town/city. For the purpose of this tax, town determines what is called "assessed value" of a property. This is done by the town-clerk by simply looking at the specifications of the property (lot size, number of bedrooms, living space, etc). This assessed value can sometimes vary wildly from the market-price. The assessed values are usually adjusted to match the town/city budget. it's not even intended to be anywhere near the market-price.

    Just for an example, my house is worth $540,000 (market price), the tax is $6000/year.

    Yes. property tax is fed deductible. I save ~$1000/month in fed taxes. Most of the mortgage loan payment is interest in the beginning and that's also tax deductible. My mortgage+property tax+insurance is about $2400. I used to pay $1500 in rent. For me, the only real financial implication of buying a house has been in the form of: New Furniture, increased heating bill and lawn-care. In lieu of that it has four times as much living space, a acre+plus flat yard for my son to play in. On the flip side, it's far out in the suburb. BTW, I put 25% down, otherwise my mortgage payment would have been higher.

    Buying a house is not everybody's cup of tea. but it can work very well for some, depending on requirements, taste and future plans.





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  • unitednations
    03-26 08:41 PM
    So then lets take an example

    1. Company Files H1b from NJ
    2. Consultant gets a job in NY or OH or xyz state. Employer files 'amend location' each time. The work and keep on moving like that
    3. Time comes up for renewal of H1, if the employer gives the current client's contract in a different location, it will definitely trigger USICS to possibly deny the extension? Since the original H1 petition did not mention this place or since they filed amend its ok?
    4. When they file for amend, do they need to give a contract/client letter to justify the amend? If yes then will it trigger an RFE?

    According to you anything is possible with USCIS these days.

    My original request still stays. I want some advise, I will definitely use an attorney but wanted your opinion on it..

    -cheers
    kris

    Every time you amend the petition; it technically would be another h-1b; when you come up for extension (assuming when you amend the petitoin that you are not requesting for more time); you would be extending the latest h-1b that has been approved. You would have been complying with the terms and conditions of that particular h-1b so you shouldn't have any issues.

    California service center when adjudicating person B's H-1b asks for payroll reports of all employees. They will cross reference the h-1b's filed for other employees from the list and if they see even one person who has been paid lower then what their h-1b was filed for then they will deny person b's h-1b. California service center is relying on a case precedent that if a petitioner has not complied with a previous petition (even if it is a different persons petition) then they can't rely on their certification in the instant petition and deny it. Funny thing is that when I looked up that case precedent that they continually site; it is a marriage base case when a person tried to file a second petition. Another example of uscis doing what it wants to do.

    Now; I think everyone will start to understand why so many companies are cancelling h-1b's; revoking h-1b's for people on bench and generally not filing many h-1b's in this year quota or filing h-1b transfers for people without projects. I wans't too vocal when some members on the forums were trying to gather support for lifting country quotas; contacting media; etc., because I was well aware of what was going on behind the scenes and we are definitely in a defensive mode right now.



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  • smisachu
    12-30 10:01 PM
    Why should we waste our resources when Pakistanis are doing the damage by themselves??? The joke is Pak blaming some poor Indian for a bomb blast which was quickly owned up by a domestic terrorist organization!!
    Pakistan is a begging bowl which is trying to blackmail US by threatening to pull out troops from Afgan border..so US and UK are trying to pacify India telling them that they will put pressure on Pak to do something.
    And you know what a bigger joke is? your slum dog cum president who told Larry King that no one from "his part of the country" were involved in the attack!!! What is his part of the country? his toilet seat??? It has not been 1 year since he killed his wife he was jumping all over Sarah Palin like a horny dog!! Barking dogs seldom bite, so don't just thump your chest just yet. When the fox has to die it runs towards the lion. That is what Pakistan is doing by pretending to pose as if it will go to war with India. If India attacks Pak will fold it's tail between its legs and run to US, like Nawaz sherif did during the Kargil war. We have beaten you in 4 wars, how may more beatings will it take for it to sink into your thick skull that Pakistan can NEVER beat India. Period!!

    Pakistan will disintegrate with in the next few years if they don't seek India's support in whacking them Jehadi SOB's. Baluchitan, NWFP, Sindh are all going to be independent countries and the Pak president can easily rule " his part of the country"

    Buddyinsfo you might try to bring friction among Indians by pitting people from different states against each other, but remember when it comes to any outside force we are all Indians first and we will Kick your Ass...

    This is like an ant taking on an elephant, if half the men in Punjab, Guj and Rajastan stand on the border and Pee; Pakistan will be washed away in a flood of Urine...If you poor people want to get killed, there are better painless ways than enrage India. So it is in Paks best interest to request India to come in clean up the terrorist camps which are now turning against Pakistan itself!!


    Pranab Muks, the foreign minister needs to be applauded (?) for creating a drama of sorts by setting up the army against Pakis assuming that the Pakis will give in to the pressure and return the militants that India is looking for. On the other hand, the Prime Minister ManMohan Singh was consistently giving out statements that India is not in favour of war and never was (completely contradicting Pranab Muks' moves) and as per the latest news that emerged out of nowhere (???) there seemed to have been some kinda communication between the military officials of both the countries and they've come to some sort of understanding that war was not in the best interest of both the countries and only dialogue was as India was apprehensive as to what Pak's response to a military strike wud be...the drama continues and its a big joke. With China playing the mediator and India (silently and 100% dependent on US and UK put pressure on Pak but to no avail) had to succumb to the boomeranged efforts by playing the peace game now. One only needs to wait to see what happens next. But one thing is for sure...India will never strike Pakistan at a point when there is really no open support from anywhere. At some point (yesterday?) the honorable Prime Minister was looking for Iran to pressurise Pakistan (by calling Ahmadinejad) and this in itself speaks volumes !!! India is making a joke of itself...Had it been US, they'd have made a strike at Paki's terrorist sites in no time (as they did after 9/11). Its been over a month of Mumbai strikes and the way India is showing its weakness makes us wonder if they really have solid evidence against Pakistan. The latest news goes like...The Mumbai Govt has ordered probes into the attacks...Wonder what needs to be probed now(after one month) and that too after the entire nation has been made to believe that it was always Pakistan and claiming and shouting at the top of their lungs that they had SUFFICIENT evidence!!!!





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  • a_yaja
    05-16 09:46 AM
    I do grasp the concept of consultancy, thanks. You know as well as I that we are not dealing with a 'narrow group' of people misusing the current H-1B system to enter the United States as 'consultants'. The concept of consultancy businesses is great. Most of the consultant companies in the U.S. in general are well respected companies. They can even be great companies when H-1B status employees are involved. That is, WHEN THE H-1B VISA HOLDERS ARE EMPLOYED FULL-TIME, RECEIVING A FULL PAYCHECK FOR A JOB THEY APPLIED FOR WITH THE COMPANY BEFORE FILING THE H-1B APPLICATION. If a consultancy firm is not able to do that, they shouldn't plan on hiring people on H-1Bs. Likewise, people shouldn't (mis-)use H-1Bs as a means of access to the U.S. using body shops, resulting in multiple law violations such as bench time and accepting below average wages.

    In your examples you suggest that I say consultancy in general is not a good thing. Of course it is a good thing. But consultants should be EMPLOYED ON A FULL-TIME BASIS TO ADHER WITH H-1B VISA REGULATIONS.

    I think the H-1B visa program is a great one! It is simply sad to see it abused to the point it is today. What congress is doing is closing a very exploited loophole. Kudos to congress for seeing the real issue instead of, say, shutting the H-1B program down entirely!

    I am not sure what your point here is. On the one hand you say that consulting is OK as long as it is on a "full-time" basis. On the other hand, you are supporting this bill which bans all forms of outsourcing and consulting. Does not matter if you are a "full-time" consultant or a "permanent employee consultant". If you are going to perform work for someother company (all the cases I mentioned in my previous posting - although case 2 and 3 are directly related to people on H1B) through the company that hired you - you will not be eligible for H1B renewal. This applies to all companies - Microsoft, Oracle, EDS, small and big engineering firms that perform safety audits, etc.



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  • pappu
    07-13 11:37 AM
    My thougts are, writing letter would not help, It will go to deaf ears. EB3-I status is not hidden to any one DOS/USCIS/DOL, but looks like no one is doing any thing for that.
    When USCIS can interpret so many things why cant they interpert to recapture unused visa numbers ?
    I guess they will find some other way to mess up.

    IV already met DOS, USCIS on visa recapture during our admin fix campaign. IV even met this official mentioned in the first post this thread in the letter. There was a long conversation with this official. IV even went higher up in the hierarchy of DOS to meet officials. Visa recapture needs to be done via a bill at this time.





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  • jvordar
    08-03 12:36 AM
    I refer back to my earlier posting where I said I just read the memos and the law and thought this stuff was pretty simple. USCIS quite often goes above and beyond (tax returns rfe's, pictures of company inside/outside).

    I'll give you some examples of what they have done of which I have intimate knowledge of:

    1) Questioned company on I-140 why they had more 140's pending/approved then the number of people on payroll. Asked for all 140 info., h1, L1 and even the people who got employment base greencard and asked company to justify where they are

    2) Department of state for visa stamping; if they don't trust client letter; they refer the case to department of state fraud unit in Kentucky. They will then contact signer of letter and HR of company to verify that person signed the letter

    3) Department of labor is on a real war path of checking companies compliance with h-1b based on referrals made by department of state. I can tell you that there is no way any company who is h-1b dependent can be 100% compliant with h-1b. Patni got fined $3.5 million for violations.

    4) Department of labor made a home visit to an HR person who was no longer working with the company to ask and verify her signatue on labor applications in a fast processing state when they weren't registered to do business there

    5) Department of labor verifying that people were paid the greencard wage upon greencard approval (this was in conjunction with h-1b investigation). I can tell you that some states have very high eb2 wages and people aren't even close to the labor number; companies do it anyways to keep you happy but do they run that number once you do get the greencard?

    6) h-1b rfe's from california service center. when quota finished in one day; there was some rumors from california service center that they would be treating h-1b transfers/quota cases very harshly in that companies were engaging in speculative employment. These days if you are involved in software and you file an h-1b transfer or even extension with california service center; you have a very good chance of getting a four page rfe. One of the things they have started to ask for is a table of people whom h-1b's have been filed for. Table has to list name, social security number, receipt number, date of birth, joining date, termination date, no show, future joining date. California service center then intertwines this information with company unemployment compensation reports. I have actually seen 3 recent denials where USCIS examined the unemployment compensation reports and looked at people who may have been paid a lower wage and pulled those people's h-1b files and denied the present case saying they can't trust the company to comply with the h-1b, lca.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    These days; uscis/dol/dos really means business. I refer you to earlier posting of how evertime a company files a case; it gives uscis a chance to go through entire immigration history of a company. They have the resources and tools.

    ok now i'm really confused between AC21 and future employment debate....
    AC21 can be used after 6 months of 485 filing to change the job but then once u get GC you have to work for the original company that filed your 485 for few months?? so for e.g. if i change my job after lets say 1 year of 485 filing and lets say my 485 is approved after 3 years so now do i have to quit my new job and go back to my old employer to work for few months to get my gc? am i understanding this correct? i think i'm not... can you please clarify?? thnx



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  • kotlareddy
    07-19 02:38 PM
    UN, you are genius in immigarion matteres and better than any of this screwed up attorneys, Pls help this community as much as you can. I didn't come across any one close to you in immigration matters





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  • validIV
    06-26 02:47 PM
    I don't know what else to tell you except what I've already stated. Frankly I am surprised that this debate has gone beyond 1 page. I am tired of beating a dead horse.

    If you are renting for 1500/month thats 18,000 a year, or 540,000 in 30 years that you lose with no chance of claiming as a deduction or ever using for anything. Rather than losing that money, why not use it to own the property you are living in?

    As a homeowner, you can use that 540,000 to own the home. The interest and property taxes you pay are tax deductible, and the principal means that at the end of the 30 years, the home is yours (20 if your loan is 20 years). Even when you are paying the mortgage, you are saving. You are getting bigger tax returns and you are owning the home that you live in. No amount of rent will guarantee either.

    Through a combination of tax deductions, home equity, and property value, I am willing to bet you that I can save the same amount you do by renting, but still be ahead by owning the property I live in in 30 years. Just take a look at any home owner's history and tell me someone who hasn't doubled the value of their home (home only, not including their savings) in the past 30 years or more.

    Everyone here that is dead-set on renting, by all means continue to throw your money away. And it REALLY is throwing your money away. How you wish to justify doing so is fine by me as long as you can sleep at night and explain to your family, friends and kids why you chose to rent for 30 or so years.

    If you buy - and take a mortgate - you end up losing (the same way you "lose" your rent)
    1. Interest you pay
    2. Property taxes you will pay forever.
    3. Maintenance you will pay forever.

    On the other hand - if you rent and,
    A. IF you pay less in rent than #1 + #2 + #3,
    B. IF you invest the remainder plus your mortgage principal amount in some other investment vehicle with superior investment returns than real estate.
    .... Then you will come out ahead renting.

    The tipping point is whether your rent equals interest + property taxes + maintenance. Based on which side is higher - either renting or buying could be good for you. I don't think there is a clear cut answer. This does not take into account the flexibility associated with renting - which is important for non-GC holders. If you assign a non-zero dollar value of $X with that flexibility, then your rent needs to be interest + tax + maintanance + $X to get to the tipping point. On the other hand, if you are not forced to save (in the form of mortgage principal payment every month) - you may just spend that money instead of investing that. If you assign a dollar value of $Y with that (probability multiplied by actual dollar value) - then the tipping point is at
    $rent = $interest + $tax + $maintenance + $X(dollar value for flexibility) - $Y(dollar value for probability of spending money instead of saving).

    Now as soon as you plug in the numbers in this equation - it will give you your tipping point and will tell you whether it is right for you to rent or to buy.

    Think about it. It is not as clear cut as you think it is. :-) Based on your earlier posts - you got an absolutely faboulous deal on your house (maybe because of your timing) and the tipping point equation would probably highly favor buying in your case. For many other (specially for those without a GC) - it may not be so clear cut.



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  • calboy78
    08-06 12:18 AM
    Before I start - I must say that I am EB2 - and I still don't agree with the idea.
    Before joining the job, most newbies don't understand that if job requirement is B.S. and they will be shoved to EB3 . It wasn't their fault. I think they deserve a second chance.
    I think EB3 people should automatically be upgraded to EB2 if : they already had a masters; or if they received a masters during the process; or if they completed 5yrs of experience.

    Let's not be selfish. Instead try to come up with ideas which is good for all legal immigrants !!!





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  • chanduv23
    02-15 10:58 AM
    As we are not voting public and voting public are against us, and employers do little for us, what is the basis in which we can influence politicians buy our cause?



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  • NKR
    08-06 03:15 PM
    speaking of DOTs..how do you give Dots?

    Send a PM to soni and ask, he/she gave me one.





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  • Rolling_Flood
    08-05 08:22 AM
    A person's skills don't decide EB2/3........the JOB REQUIREMENTS do........how many times does someone have to repeat this till you finally get it??

    And as i am re-repeating myself, if someone is not satisfied with EB3 wait times, they should of course try to file EB2 or EB1, but NOT at the expense of EB2 filers, they should NOT BE ALLOWED TO JUMP THE LINE.

    Thanks.


    What a Bull Sh** ?? Are you saying that ppl who have applied under eb2 are the only ones who satisfy the eb2 criteria and eb3s can not satisfy the eb2 criteria ??? Come on ...this eb2 and eb3 thing is highly abused by lawyers, employers or employees .. I guess, you are in eb2 but I am sure if you go line by line of the law to recheck your eb2 eligibility, you might not even qualify for eb10,11, etc ....



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  • gk_2000
    07-29 05:51 PM
    100 thousand is not for a president to worry about. But 11-12 Million is a different story..





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  • Rolling_Flood
    08-05 08:35 AM
    Why did they not take the employer to court? Why make the EB2 line suffer for these employer's faults?

    If an employer wrongly files your case under EB3 instead of EB2 or EB1, then the onus is on you to challenge them and take them to court if need be.

    So an employer cheating him into applying in EB3 is an honest way?





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  • pappu
    04-07 05:29 AM
    My understanding H1 B employers (mostly desi companies) are root cause of this situation by abusing H1 b program, they have made enough money by sucking H1 employees blood, now hey are equally affected it is time for them to share some of it and fund all the efforts to curb these kind of Bills.

    Please forward the text of this bill to all your employers and ask them to join hands with IV.
    Members working for consulting companies can talk to their employers about this. Let us know their response.





    SunnySurya
    12-22 03:43 PM
    With all due respect XYZGC, I never said Kashmir should be gifted to Pakistan. What I have said is for a UN supervised solution. And I did not change my mind on that. We have fought three major wars and spending crores to maintain the status quo but to what end. It just a pain in @$$.

    I share you concerns about Hindu minority in Pakistan and other Islamic society. But to make it clear neither I am against Islam (Though I DO NOT support the present Islamic Leadership structure) nor I beleive that it is not even remotely possible to covert India into a Islamic Society. But one should be prepared just in case.

    On the other hand , I do beleive that by declaring Pakistan a terrorist nation it will force them to take some drastic steps.



    I think SunnySurya changed his mind. People and their opinions change. Let's ignore what he said in earlier posts.

    Gifting Kashmir will not solve anything. Now they want Kashmir, tomorrow they will want South India. Before long, we may all be converted to islam because Pakistan is an islamic republic not a secular democracy and the country is ruled by military dictators and hardliners.
    Yes, in India, there have been attacks by Hindus on innocent muslims but imagine the plight of Hindus, if it had been a muslim majority and an islamic republic of india!

    There are many good thinkers and hard-working folks in Pakistan but you can never trust the hardliners there and these hardliners seem to be grabbing power in the country all the time.

    Did you know that the original demand for Pakistan 1947 was a long stretch of corridor stretching the north and the south and the east and the west, connecting different muslim dominated pockets together?
    Which meant India was to be divided into 4 quadrants and to get from one quadrant to another, an Indian had to cross Pakistan...it was simply ridiculous!!





    Refugee_New
    01-07 03:54 PM
    Thank you so much for the information although I think I never asked about the trinity or salvation or the return of the messiah (only said the yearning for that return should not be used to justify one people displacing another and taking their land).. I respect jesus.. all muslims do.. let god deal with us for not accepting jesus as his son and just please stop using him as a scarecrow and leave Mohamed alone too..
    peace.

    bfadlia, i sent you a PM. Respond me when you have time.