Saturday, October 27, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Musharraf outplays Vajpayee

In the last four decades, we saw a number of hockey encounters between India and Pakistan. There are a few encounters, when Pakistan completely outplayed India and one of these being the final of 1982 Asiad at Delhi, India getting worst drubbing with 1-7 margin. That particular encounter seems to have been repeated again, with the difference that this time it is not on the hockey ground, but it is the 40 days period after Sept 11 events in the USA.

Mr Vajpayee started the attack, but soon found himself and his entire team in their own 25 yards area and thereafter it was Gen Musharraf, who continued to dominate, scoring one goal after the other. Events have proved that Mr Musharraf is not only an administrator, but a business executive par excellence and for that matter his country’s CEO in its true sense. He has not allowed himself to be overtaken by the problems on the Pak — Afghan border or by numerous protests by the fundamentalists. To start with, he has a team of matured and young ministers, who know their jobs and are not occupying the positions because of political considerations and compulsions. He himself has proved to be very dynamic, flexible, go-getter, who knows how to carry the people with him.

He quickly drew the priorities after the Sept 11 events. He was very clear that it was the time to extract maximum economic benefits for his country. He lost no time in putting his finance, commerce and foreign ministers on the job and they were always on the move. Results are before us. After 40 days of the events, Pakistan has extracted all what it could aspire. Almost all developed countries have advanced financial aids and packages, which are going to boost the Pakistan’s economy. The last and most crucial being the preferential trade package from the European Commission, aimed at improving access for Pakistani exports to the European Union. On one side, while it will boost the textile exports from Pakistan which constitute 63 per cent of their total exports and account for 38 per cent of total industrial employment, on the other side, it will prove to be the death knell for the already hard hit Indian textile industry.

Indian textile exports are already down by 30 per cent in this financial year and this additional dose of generosity from European countries (can soon be followed by the USA) will put Indian exporters further in to a position of great disadvantage.

We will be fooling ourselves, if we console ourselves by saying that Pakistan has circumstantial advantages and he is being helped because the USA and the UK need Gen Musharraf and Pakistan in their war against Taliban. No, it is the man at the top who has made the difference.

Everybody in Gen Musharraf’s team seems to be clear about the business objectives and those who do not are shunted out. Above all, he has come to understand the ingredients of business like any other successful businessman.



“Momentary madness”

This has reference to Mr Maharaaj K. Koul’s write-up, “Looking at anger calmly”..

Anger is one of the vices regarded as most loathsome by right-thinking people. Horace called it “momentary madness”. It causes many diseases and spoils the tranquillity of mind.

Irascible persons flare up even from most trifling matters. A highly anger-prone person sometimes becomes revengeful and commits a heinous crime, even a murder, in a fit of violent rage.

One day, during his stay at Delhi, Persian invader Nadir Shah’s anger flamed forth on seeing the dead bodies of some soldiers. He ordered a general massacre and within seven hours more than 30,000 innocent persons were slain. Once in a paroxysm of rage he had the eyes his son, Raza Quli, torne out.

Sometimes, even a saint, who ought to be exceptionally calm and patient, loses temper and, instead of uttering a blessing, calls down a curse on a person, who incurs his wrath.

Blessed are the people, who remain calm even under provocation. Josh Malsiani has rightly said: “Chhor do ghussey kee baatein ishteaal achchha nahin/ Itna ranj itna gilah itna malaal achchha nahin. (“Ishteaal” means provocation).


Ruling elites

After reading Mr D.R. Choudhry’s article, “Diagnosing a sick system — true face of India’s ruling elites” (Oct 16), I fully agree with him that a strong nexus between political, administrative and business elites has led to overall degradation and demoralisation in social and political fields.

In every department corruption is rampant and has touched a new high. Politics has been made a profession or a business rather than a mission to serve the common man, who seems to be nowhere in the agenda of these corrupt leaders. There is steep fall in the moral standard of leaders in every walk of life.

All the leaders have been making false promises to transform India into a welfare state but have failed the people miserably. In spite of socialistic declarations, a yawning gap between the rich and the poor has widened so much that it staggers our imaginations. Persons at the helm of affairs are quite insensitive to the woes of the poor, the downtrodden whom the former buy at the time of elections and then forget about them. Political leaders as well as the bureaucracy have only one-point programme: amassing of wealth and leading a luxurious life. Moral values are alien to them, and integrity, honesty, dedication, commitment, etc, have become things of the past. Gone are the days of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Jayaprakash Narayan who lived and died for the people. They held the principle of simple living and high thinking in high esteem.

Now we have pygmy leaders. They have a casual and callous attitude which is very dangerous. We must save the system from such people.

(Prof) K. L. BATRA, Yamunanagar

Clear the backlog

This has reference to the report “Workload on judiciary concerns Supreme Court” (Oct 23). Justice Ashok Bhan of the Supreme Court is not the first person who has voiced concern about the workload in the courts. Around 2.35 crore of cases are pending in different courts of the country. A criminal case normally takes about eight years to reach the final stage of the judgement. Whereas a civil case some time takes 40 years to reach the final judgement.

The dispensation of justice is under heavy load. Sadly no government has ever been serious to fill the existing vacancies, in the high courts. In addition, the procedure to fill the vacancies is cumbersome. This system needs streamlining. The need of the hour is to double the strength of judges in the district courts and High Courts. The policy of the government to introduce fast track courts to clear the backlog merits a fair trial.

Maj NARINDER SINGH JALLO (retd), Kapurthala

Strike it when it is hot

One should strike the iron when it is hot. So India should avail itself of this opportunity to set crooked Pakistan right. All the time our country remains on the defensive whereas at present we are ought to be offensive with Pakistan to have an upper hand and promote peace in this region.

S. K. MITTAL, ShahpurkandiTop

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