Tuesday, January 2, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Hrithik’s misjudgment

IT is not clear what Hrithik Roshan said about Nepal or if he said anything at all but one thing is certain: the Hindus of Nepal do not have anything in common with the Hindus from across the border in that they are not going to take any insult — real or perceived — sitting down. If you have to abuse anyone, abuse the Hindus of India, for the only thing you will get in return is your glorification.

The Muslim terrorists have been raising hell in Kashmir for over a decade and what do we do? We respect them by calling them “militants” and feed them with “biryani” and send their leaders overseas to consult their masters in Pakistan to refine their terror strategy.

When terrorists kill our soldiers in the heart of the city, we keep quiet or downplay it but we have protests in the capital over the killing of a terrorist. We tell the terrorists how we track their cell phones and capture them so that they know our ways and can refine their strategy to avoid detection and capture.

Hrithik does not seem to be very smart. Smartness does not necessarily come with a pretty face. If he really wants to call names, he should have taken out his anger on the Hindus of India. His status as a star would have only gone up a few notches.



Need for trust

THE Kashmiri insurgency has taken a new turn after the recent attack by Lashkar-e-Toiba on Delhi’s Red Fsort. Cross-border infiltration and subversion have for long plagued both India and Pakistan, and with a military dictatorship in Pakistan with its fingers firmly on the nuclear button, South Asia will definitely remain a global trouble spot in the years to come.

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is usually held responsible for such covert acts of sabotage by India (and its counterpart, RAW, in Pakistan). However, the recent attack in Delhi is indeed an alarming event. If the ISI was actually behind the attack (it is regarded as the world’s best knit intelligence apparatus which during the Afghan war played a critical covert role), it did not have to wait for long to get a tit-for-tat response in Lahore and Faisalabad.

Moreover, Afghanistan’s Taliban militia, as it is widely held, also owes its genesis to the ISI, apart from some armed Kashmiri groups. Ceasefires will have no effect unless there is mutual trust on both sides which may, in fact, have been nipped in the bud by Pakistani generals after the historic Lahore bus ride of Mr Vajpayee last year.


Lashkar’s threat

ON December 26, the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba threatened a suicide attack on the office of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in New Delhi.

“Our Mujahideen, Allah willing, will storm Vajpayee’s office and carry out a fedayeen (suicide) attack there”, the Pakistan-based group said in a one-page Urdu press release.

The determination and drive of the Islamic terrorists is unquestioned. Statistically, there is a high probability of such a strike taking place, especially because the terrorists know that the Indian Government has never fought back tooth and nail.

After every massacre of our civilians and soldiers by Pakistani terrorists, the Vajpayee Government talks of peace. When nearly 100 persons were murdered in Kashmir recently, Mr Vajpayee said that the incident had made him redouble his efforts for peace. His government has responded to violence with a one-sided ceasefire.

If the PMO is actually attacked, and if Allah willing Mr Vajpayee survives, it will be interesting to see his reaction. Will he still strive for unilateral peace? Will we ever learn from history?

Dover (USA)Top



Pakistanis, not Kashmiris

THE Indian and western media invariably talk of “Kashmiri separatist” groups when describing the ongoing daily massacres and bombings in India by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists. It may seem a minor point to some, but I want to differentiate between Kashmiris and Pakistanis. They are not the same. Masood Azhar is a Pakistani and a large portion of the terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir are Pakistanis, Afghans etc.

Thus a group like Lashkar-e-Toiba is a Pakistani terrorist group, not a “Kashmiri separatist group”. It is based near Lahore in Pakistan Punjab. A large majority of its recruits are poor Pakistanis, brainwashed in its Jehad industry. Unfortunately, foreign and even Indian media sometimes confuse the facts and refer to all the groups as “Kashmiri separatist groups”.

Many of these groups have been organised, hosted, and financed by Pakistan to spread violence and subversion in India, which should be considered an act of war if any leaders with spine exist in India.


Tubectomy deaths

THE unfortunate death of two women who chose to undergo tubectomy operation has jeopardised the credibility of the family welfare programme in Punjab. This will adversely affect the confidence of men and women opting for sterilisation.

Complications arising out of surgical procedures are a part of the medical practice. Complications have been reported from top hospitals which have state-of-the-art gadgets and highly skilled personnel. The death of two women is no doubt a serious matter but it has been blown out of proportion by the media. The “policing” role of the media is undeniable but it also has a duty towards the nation. Reporting such events needs to be restrained and guarded so that it does not erode the credibility of such a vital programme. The confidence of the public must be maintained at all costs. The problems which the medical and paramedical staff in Sangrur will face in restoring the acceptability of their services will be numerous. No doubt they have themselves to blame for this.

The Health and Family Welfare Department needs to take certain confidence-building measures. An immediate appraisal of the facilities and availability of trained personnel must be undertaken at all operating centres in the state. Wherever the facilities are inadequate, sterilisation should be stopped till these centres are upgraded. Consultants from a health management agency should be commissioned to prepare comprehensive guidelines which must be observed at sterilisation camps. A few guidelines do exist but the service providers have to be reminded of them at regular intervals so that a sense of complacency does not creep in.

It is unfair to put the entire blame in such cases on the medical personnel. Many surgeons are already facing court cases on account of failed tubectomies or vasectomies. The failures in such cases are well documented in medical literature. Any unduly harsh action against the field officers and staff will demotivate them and further affect their performance and those of their colleagues.



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