SOFT TO PULP : A VIEW­POINT

In mock­ing its mil­i­tary, the pulp govern­ment should heed for­mer US Pres­i­dent Dwight D. Eisen­hower’s fa­mous words, “As the na­tion’s fi­nal safe­guard, the army can­not af­ford a fail­ure in ei­ther cir­cum­stance. Fail­ure of army can lead to national catas­tro­phe,

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE - The views ex­pressed herein are the per­sonal views of the author.

Post Sal­man Khur­shid rush­ing to Jaipur to host a ban­quet for Raja Pervez Ashraf who was on a per­sonal visit to Ajmer, the lat­ter dis­played his tremen­dous grat­i­tude by head­ing a mo­tion in Pak­istani Par­lia­ment de­nounc­ing the hang­ing of Afzal Guru be­fore demit­ting of­fice.

In­dia’s tran­si­tion from a ‘soft state’ to a ‘pulp state’ was com­plete when Home Min­is­ter Sushil Kumar Shinde re­ferred to Hafiz Saeed in Par­lia­ment as “Shri Saeed” de­spite he be­ing wanted in the 26/11 Mum­bai ter­ror at­tacks hold­ing open anti-In­dia ral­lies. This was topped by Omar Ab­dul­lah re­fer­ring to Afzal Guru as “Afzal Sa­heb” in Jammu and Kash­mir Assem­bly. Ear­lier, Rehman Ma­lik was in­vited against bu­reau­cratic ad­vice. He in­sults you in your own house and you grin and grasp his hand. So pul­verised was Shinde that he did not even have the spine to re­but the in­sid­i­ous joker equat­ing 26/11 Mum­bai ter­ror at­tacks to Babri Masjid de­mo­li­tion and brand­ing Abu Jun­dal an In­dian agent. De­spite all this, Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh still met Ma­lik and Shinde tamely said in the Par­lia­ment that Ma­lik was “ill in­formed”. New catches emerged in the Samjhauta blast case per­fectly syn­chro­nised with Ma­lik’s clown­ing—de­spite the US in­ves­ti­ga­tors clearly blam­ing the LeT and Al-Qaeda for the Samjhauta blast.

If CBI can be pres­surised what is great about the National In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency (NIA)? B. Ra­man, for­mer Ad­di­tional Sec­re­tary, Cabi­net Sec­re­tariat, wrote in 2010, “Ac­cord­ing to Amer­i­can in­ves­ti­ga­tors, LeT and Al-Qaeda were re­spon­si­ble for the Samjhauta Ex­press blast and the HUJI for the Mecca Masjid blast. If the Amer­i­can in­ves­ti­ga­tors, who have bet­ter sources in Pak­istan, are cor­rect, how can our in­ves­ti­ga­tors claim that some ar­rested Hin­dus were re­spon­si­ble for th­ese in­ci­dents? ……. Both can­not be cor­rect”. But why should a ‘pulp state’ bother about US in­ves­ti­ga­tions when vote bank­ing has over­taken ev­ery other form of bank­ing and money laun­der­ing (read black money) tops all agen­das. The GFI study (co-au­thored by GFI Lead Econ­o­mist Dev Kar and GFI Econ­o­mist Sarah Fre­itas) ti­tled Il­licit Fi­nan­cial Flows from De­vel­op­ing Coun­tries: 2001- 2010, re­leased dur­ing De­cem­ber 2012, states il­le­gal fi­nan­cial outflows from In­dia dur­ing this pe­riod amounted to $123 bil­lion (an­nual aver­age of $12.3 bil­lion). So where is the ques­tion of tar­get­ing cor­rup­tion and crime? Look at the state of crime in the coun­try’s cap­i­tal but then you can hardly blame the state Chief Min­is­ter who had made the re­mark­able state­ment that a fam­ily of five can live ‘com­fort­ably’ for a com­plete month in ` 600 ($10.94), declar­ing it openly—sur­pass­ing even Mon­tek Singh’s Ah­luwalia’s ge­nius of ` 32 ($0.58) a day for a be­low poverty line Delhi cit­i­zen. Are the No­bel Foun­da­tion, United Na­tions and Govern­ment of In­dia lis­ten­ing?

It is amus­ing to see govern­ment spon­sored ar­ti­cles in me­dia say­ing we should only look at pos­i­tive as­pects of Rehman Ma­lik’s visit —eas­ing visa norms et al. Hope­fully, the same logic will not ap­ply to Si­achen and Sir Creek; In­dian withdrawal, pos­i­tive as­pect be­ing it will make both China and Pak­istan ‘very happy’. But has the govern­ment turned to ‘to­tal’ pulp? Not by any chance. The pulp takes so­lace in be­lit­tling its own mil­i­tary. Note the re­sponse to Rehman Ma­lik’s rea­son­ing for mu­ti­la­tion and killing of Cap­tain Sau­rabh Kalia’s patrol; timid state­ment by De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony that we will take it up with Pak­istan (what about UN and ICJ – vi­o­la­tion of Geneva Con­ven­tions?), decades long de­bate on the war me­mo­rial and pug­na­cious ap­proach in deny­ing le­git­i­mate en­ti­tle­ments and jus­ti­fied de­mands of mil­i­tary per­son­nel, both serv­ing and vet­er­ans. Lit­tle won­der me­dia chan­nels still in­vite Gen­eral Pervez Mushar­raf for lead­er­ship sum­mits and Chi­nese say “what to talk of nu­clear forces, In­dia does not even know how to use their con­ven­tional forces”. In mock­ing its mil­i­tary, the pulp govern­ment should heed for­mer US Pres­i­dent Dwight D. Eisen­hower’s fa­mous words, “As the na­tion’s fi­nal safe­guard, the army can­not af­ford a fail­ure in ei­ther cir­cum­stance. Fail­ure of army can lead to national catas­tro­phe, en­dan­ger­ing the sur­vival of the na­tion.”

Raja Pervez Ashraf

LT GEN­ERAL (RETD) P.C. KA­TOCH

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