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,
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