Category Archives: International

Let’s do tit-for-tat!

As I went through the news of killing of Sarabjit, I felt bad and astounded. Today I woke up to another news of killing of another Prisoner of War, but this time it had happened in India. Was this a way of satiating the feeling of vengeance? Many questions need to be answered. 

At higher levels, the authorities may talk about ‘Aman Ki Asha’ but the never ending game of revenge has always taken over the peace efforts. Till how long we will make the prisoners a pawn and drive the people of respective countries for favorable voting? What kind of diplomacy is this, where one cannot exchange prisoners rather kill them brutally?

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What are you waiting for another day another dawn, somewhere we have to find a new way to peace. What are you waiting for another sign another call, somewhere we have to find a new way to peace!

The worrying fact is that many leaders on both the sides have accepted that such things do not have an end. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) had said in its report on 2nd May 2013, that “Sarabjit Singh was arrested on August 30, 1990 for bombing and his case is an example of a miscarriage of justice where mistaken identity was presented as the sole evidence of his crime. The victim’s real name was Sarabjit Singh but he was sentenced to death in the name of Manjeet Singh. The sole eye witness of the case told different television channels that he was forced through coercion and intimidation to give evidence against the victim by officials of the intelligence agency, the ISI. Mr. Awais Sheikh, the lawyer acting for Sarbajit proved in different courts that his client was not the accused person.”

As per Pakistan’s constitution’s Article 13-
Protection against double punishment and self incrimination

No person
(a) shall be prosecuted or punished for the same offence more than once; or
(b) shall, when accused of an offence, be compelled to be a witness against himself

So, if a person has served a term of 14 years he cannot be hanged or punished further since that would amount to dual punishment. However, in this case Sarabjit has already served 14 years. In fact he has been incarcerated for 22 years. Clearly there has been a huge travesty of justice, which the world must take note of and act upon strongly.

The way of treatment meted out to prisoners on both sides, has been dismal. Both the countries may count innumerable cases of their positive actions, but the truth is that the sate of such prisoners is dithering. Let us not forget that we are humans first, and enemies later. 

Without digressing from the topic, we must remember that it is us and only we people who can banish the hatred. On a number of sites like Youtube.com, Facebook.com, etc. the people of India and Pakistan keep commenting against each other on petty things mocking each other. When will all this end? Well, the perquisition for search its answer is on. Decision is yours!

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Let’s make news!

There’s a saying, “When a dog bites a man it is no news, but when a man bites a dog it is news.” Such is the importance of arbitrariness, unusualness or novelty in the values of news. Recently, Samajwadi Party minister, Azam Khan was in news for his detention at the Boston Airport, USA. But, was being a muslim was the reason behind it? Was the uproar and cancellation of trip justified? Well, it seemed no less than a political goal.

A less number of people would have remembered his trip to US, if it would not have been cancelled. This was a piece of hot cake and a fresh controversy for news channels, which will surely help SP to garner support in the upcoming elections.

Akhilesh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had to give a lecture on Kumbh Mela at the Harvard University. But detention/questioning of his colleague led him to cancel the program. Concerned that its appeal among Muslim voters was dimming, Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Samajwadi Party is on an overdrive to hardsell its boycott of a Harvard lecture.

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Pic: Azam Khan, Cabinet Minister of Uttar Pradesh, India

Azam Khan also went on to blame the External Affairs Minister of India, Salman Khurshid for persuading the US Customs and Border Protection wing of the Homeland Security to make such detention. This sounds really funny! I wonder the amount of influence India has on USA, and the time US authorities have to pay heed to such requests, if made. I can’t just figure out what sadistic pleasure will the Salman Khurshid derive through this!   

A SP functionary says, “Our minority vote bank had been dented owing to the killing of a Muslim cop and the 28 plus communal flare-ups but we hope all that would be a thing of past.” The party is making the most of the opportunity given to it.

SP national general secretary, Ram Asrey Kushwaha added that Akhilesh Yadav’s move “would send the right message among the Muslims”.

Ironically, when former Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam, was twice subjected to frisking at New York’s JFK Airport by US security officials, he didn’t create such a ruckus. India’s then ambassador to the US Meera Shanker was patted down by a security agent in Mississippi in December 2010. But they relented themselves from extracting gains from their experience of frisking.

I would say that the common man needs to identify such tactics and should not get maneuvered according to the whims and fancies of political parties. Because they are not worried much of the populace but are relieved of the fact that they made news. 

 

Spare the Sport!

ImagePic: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalithaa

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalithaa seems to have scored political runs on the Chennai wicket against the Sri Lankan players, in an attempt to garner public support ahead of elections. Her decision to call for protests against the participation of Sri Lankan players in the Indian Premier League is becoming a hot controversy. By declaring that the State government will permit the matches to be held in Chennai only if the organisers provided an undertaking that no Sri Lankan players, umpires, officials or support staff would participate in these matches, she has mixed up the two far apart poles- sports and politics.

But what’s astonishing to note is that, the IPL governing council has given into the demands and favored Ms. Jayalalithaa’s idea. Such a decision was least expected from the “good-samaritan-outlook” Council.  

Undoubtedly, there will be long-term repercussions on this gentleman’s game. It is pertinent to note that India’s foreign policy has become shaky nowadays and is influenced by the state ministers. Ms. Jayalalithaa appears too eager to surrender her responsibilities. Far from extending assurances on the law and order front, she voiced her apprehension that the participation of Sri Lankan players “will aggravate an already surcharged atmosphere and further offend the sentiments of the people” of Tamil Nadu.

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Pic: Sri Lankan players who played in the last IPL

Why wasn’t this issue raked up in 2012, 2011 or 2010 during the then IPL matches? Just because the elections are scheduled in a couple of years, such ballyhoo has been created? Incidentally, DMK Supremo, M. Karunanidhi has voiced in the same line. If such is his plan of action, then he should prompt his grandson Kalanidhi Maran, to disband all Spicejet flights flying to Sri Lanka.

Sports is a medium where people come together and celebrate with each other. Why does one need to stop it? How are the International issues and this game of cricket connected? The effects of such divisive politics will surely deteriorate the game.  

Ms. Jayalalithaa’s interference in a sporting event and its organiser’s meek surrender will only create more animosity between New Delhi and Colombo and will do little against the Rajapaksha regime. Former Sri Lankan cricket captain, Arjuna Ranatunga has already raised his voice on this and has expressed desire for pulling out of Sri Lankan players from the whole tournament. The tit-for-tat politics will achieve nothing at the end of the day. We will only end up creating another Kashmir-like situation in south. The human rights violation in Sri Lanka is for the Sinhalese and the Tamils in that country to settle and not the responsibility of populist Indian parties who do nothing but create more controversies for the country.

Mush’s mush for Pak

Such is the love for the corridors of power, the sentiments for native place or call it a well thought of plan for hegemony, former Pakistan president, Pervez Musharraf has returned to Pakistan after spending 4 years in exile in Dubai. Seeking a possible political comeback in defiance of judicial probes and death threats from Taliban militants, Musharraf has made a big decision.

As intrepid and gutty he may sound, he says- “I don’t get scared by anyone except Allah, the Almighty. I have come back by putting my life in danger.”

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Pic: Pervez Musharraf at the Karachi Airport  

The journey from Dubai to the southern port city of Karachi was intended as the first step in his goal of rebuilding his image after years on the political margins. But the former military strongman was met by no more than a two thousand people at the airport, who threw rose petals and waved flags emblazoned with his image.

Since, the former general stepped down in the face of mounting discontent, Pakistan’s civilian leadership has struggled with a sinking economy, resilient Islamic extremist factions and tensions with Washington over drone strikes and the May 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

His arrival could further complicate Pakistan’s attempt to hold parliamentary elections in May and stage its first transition from one civilian government to another.

He is viewed as an enemy by many Islamic militants and others for his decision to side with America in the response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. On 23rd March, the Pakistani Taliban vowed to mobilize death squads to send Musharraf “to hell” if he returns.

ImagePic: Pakistani Taliban members who have threatened him openly

Musharraf has a number of charges, including some originating from the probe of the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who also spent time in self-imposed exile in Dubai before returning.

So will he too face the doomsday, following the route of Bhutto?

The flight from Dubai came after several failed promises to return in recent years. Musharraf announced in early March that he would lead his party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, in May elections.

Let’s hope for the best for the country’s future. May the almighty bless them with a promising and peaceful future, which is in the thick of tensions at present.