Saturday, March 21, 2009

Slap on the face

The terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricket team, whoever did it, is a slap on Zardari’s face and thereby on Pakistan’s face. Of course, if Zardari is sensitive enough to care. It is evident that Pakistan is a terrorist state even if not declared so. What more proof than this terrorists attack on Sri Lankan team, and that too in a city like Lahore.

When the entire world, cricketing world that is, had refused to visit Pakistan fearing the worst, Sri Lankans extended their hand of friendship and paid the price for it. That worst fear came true. The security provided by the government was not enough. Of course the security personnel escorting the team did their job well and gave up their life to defend the Sri Lankan team. And defend they did. Zardari- Gilani & co. should take a lesson or two from these men. The presence of mind and courage of the coach driver saved the Lankan team. They escaped with minor injuries.

Either Zardari doesn’t care enough or the situation is no more in his control. Several terrorist groups are calling the shots. Zardari is only a bystander and barely able to save his chair .How long he will servive is anybody’s guess. But one thing is for sure. Cricketing days in Pakistan are over. Even security equivalent to Fort Knox will not tempt any cricketing team to visit Pakistan, at least not for a long time to come. I guess Imran Khan will agree with me.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Politically incorrect-Big loser

President Zardari has lost the game and with that, he has lost his face and much more. Under pressure, he had to agree to reinstate Chief Justice Choudhry. Earlier too, he had to give in to Taliban in Swat valley. This is his second blunder or defeat, which ever suits you.

Zardari is no Benazir Bhutto. He does not have that political sense, perseverance, public support and that guts. He gave in to Taliban, he gave in to Nawaz Sharif and it appears he will go on giving to the army and ISI too, till he is ousted. His days are numbered. When he became President, the first thing he should have done is to invite Choudhry to be the Chief Justice of Pakistan, as promised earlier. Instead, he chose to ignore all promises he had made. Zardari does not have farsightedness. He doesn’t have the ability to mobilize opinion which Nawaz Sharif has in plenty. Zardari’s own manipulations are harming him and his nation.

Now that Chief Justice Choudhry will be back in power on 22nd March, Zardari may face further trouble if Justice Choudhry decides to end immunity granted by Musharraf for graft charges. If that happens, Zardari won’t have any leg to stand on, let alone retaining President ship.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Is it really Pakistan?

Pakistan is in complete chaos. There are at least three parallel governments in Pakistan, if not more. One Taliban, second ISI and third, Zardari government, the last being the least important, it seems. The very fact that that the Zardari- Gilani government had to compromise with Taliban in Swat valley is proof enough that the Zardari-Gilani& co. are not in complete command. One wonders if Pakistan is just a name, nothing more .It should be state of Taliban. It will not be surprising if Taliban takes complete control of Pakistan. Zardari is aware of that. He himself has confessed this on more occasions than one.

The manner in which Zardari has behaved after 26/11, frequently changing his versions shows his inexperience and lack of political wisdom. On the one hand he refuses to accept that Pakistan was involved in Mumbai attacks. On the other, he asserts that it may be possible and asks for more evidence from India. And then he accepts that the attackers were from Pakistani soil but not their citizens. And after all that, house arresting some people under US pressure.

US too is playing game in its own interest. US warns Pakistan to take action against terrorists and at the same time increasing financial aid to Pakistan, thereby financial aid to Taliban. Why then the name Pakistan? Why not Taliban?

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Forced truce

A few days back it was reported in news papers that LTTE had offered negotiations of truce to Sri Lankan government and the President and the army chief laughed it off. Way to go. The Lankan government realized that the LTTE was buying time as it was cornered. Years of negotiations had failed and now there was no reason to believe that the LTTE had good intentions. Sri Lankan government is out to wipe it out of existence. Whether it will succeed is a different matter. But the decision is absolutely right.
The will is there.

The same is true of India & Pakistan. Where Pakistan is intentionally applying delaying tactics, India is satisfied with Pakistan taking little actions against terrorists after three months of attack. With that Pakistan also asserts that it is not satisfied with evidence provided by us so far and wants further questions answered. While war, probably, is not the solution at present, India doesn’t need to supply further evidence or answer any further questions from Pakistan. The whole world is satisfied that Pakistan is involved. India should unrelentingly put pressure on Pakistan to accept responsibility and behave. There should be no negotiations, no exchanges, no trains or buses, no embassies. Pakistan has more to lose. We should stick to one word: ACTION.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Inevitable split

It is widely reported that the Slumdog star Frieda Pinto has dropped her boyfriend (now ex) as the relationship might hamper her rise as world renowned actress. (Hindustan Times,dt.19th Feb.’09.) Now it is proved beyond doubt that Rohan Antao was indeed her fiancĂ© and they were engaged. Freida had an incredible opportunity but would not be able to make most of it if she was tied down.

Is Rohan better off? Most certainly. It is said that Frieda was very unassuming, shy & invisible in college. Being a simple and ordinary girl then, she may not have thought of or expected to be in limelight. That too on this scale. So now sky is the limit for her. Earlier, she may have wanted emotional support from Rohan, not now. She has left him behind.

I admire Rohan’s silence, dignified silence at that. Frieda has moved up in life and Rohan remains where he was. Even if Freida had not broken ties, would they have been happy together? Probably not. Rohan is certainly better off. He should continue to maintain his silence and with that, his dignity.

The gap now is wide. Where Rohan is still an ordinary boy, Freda, an ordinary girl from Malad now thinks in terms of settling in New York because she can gather her thoughts only there. That’s how wide the gap is.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Crime-Juvenile delinquency

Juvenile crime is on alarming increase. Latest victim being Mukim Khan, 17, and accused being Amir Shaikh and Sarfaraz Shaikh, just 19 & 17 respectively. This is not an isolated case, it is one among several others.

It is reported that the accused said during interrogation that they had committed the crime as they wanted money to bribe someone to pass their HSC exams. There lies the point. Who is that someone? The boys should know. Both media and police should go after that someone. Though that person is not directly connected to either kidnap or murder, he is equally responsible, in fact more so, for the crime committed. That someone demanded money from the boys knowing fully well how young the boys were, that they could not lay their hands on that kind of money without committing some kind of crime. The police should seek that person. He should be put to trial before the boys. In a way, he instigated the two young minds to commit that crime. Had he not offered to pass them in exchange for money, probably the crime would not have been committed and Mukim would be alive today.


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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shocking Reliance

In his letter dt. 3rd March in Hindustan Times, MR. Hansraj Bhat has written that money-hungry power supplier Anil Ambani robs consumers every month.

Anil Ambani’s greed knows no bounds. Till it was BSES there were no fixed charges.Minimum charges were Rs. 10 then. The day Anil took over, and BSES became Reliance Energy, Anil started fleecing consumers. He introduced fixed charges, reliability charges, security deposits etc. What are fixed charges? It’s a loot. Fixed charges should be for those who are not using electricity with 0 unit consumption, that is, minimum charges. But when you are using electricity, you are charged per unit along with all other taxes. Why then fixed charges? He makes millions by way of this one charge.

Reliability charges? What are they? No body knows. He charges for fuel adjustment, when fuel is at it’s lowest throughout the world. In these four-five years, Reliance has called for security deposits at least two or three times. With millions of consumers in his fold, he must have minted several hundred crores of Rupees by way of this one loot.

This trend should be controlled. Administration should allow other players in this field. It should be remembered that along with rich, ordinary people can’t do without electricity. Like in Telecom, other players should be invited in order to make it competitive.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

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Header image credit: adapted from David Niblack

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