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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Paki terror .. .. and call for talks


Imran Khan’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was debated hotly.  The Cricketer turned politician claimed to have written  “Pakistan remains ready to discuss terrorism... I wish to propose a meeting between Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj before the informal meeting of the SAARC Foreign Ministers at the sidelines of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly in New York. The summit will offer an opportunity for you to visit Pakistan and for us to restart the stalled dialogue process.”  ~ there were some negative comments on Indian response as well !

The neighbours have played Cricket – Imran is a known figure in India, Navjot Singh Sidhu attended the swearing-in.  ..  remember, there were  no series between Pakistan and India from 1961 till 1978. Both the countries had played three 5-Test-rubbers from 1952 till 1961, but none for the next 17 years. The Indian touring squad in 1978  was led by the classic slow left-arm leg spinner, BS Bedi.   At that time, 5 Pakistani players who had joined the WSC had been banned. They were -  Mushtaq Mohammad, Asif Iqbal, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas and Imran Khan.  The embattled Pak Cricket board decided that they would take back them and suddenly, the outcasts got rousing welcome.. Kapil Dev made his debut then

India, not so strong in limited overs Cricket, won the first ODI at Quetta, thanks to Mohinder Amarnath’s all-round efforts. A four-pronged fast bowling attack helped Pakistan square the series at Sialkot.  At Sahiwal, Mushtaq Mohammad won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a flat track. Karsan Ghavri, Srinivasan  Venkataraghavan and Mohinder Amarnath  bowled well to confine Pakistan to 205 for 7 wickets in 40 overs.  Sunny Gavaskar did not play and openers were Anshuman Gaekwad and Chetan Chauhan, then came leftie Surinder amaranth.  Indians were   183 for the loss of 2 wickets at the end of 37 overs, requiring just 23. Sarfraz Nawaz  ran in, and bounced. The ball went too high and landed in Wasim Bari’s gloves. The batsmen stared in astonishment as it was not called a wide. Perhaps it was a one-off error of judgement, the Indians thought. But Sarfraz bounced yet again. Once again it was too high for anyone to reach. Yet again, the umpire stood unmoved. Sarfraz did it for a third time — with the same response from the umpire. And, incredibly, for a fourth time in a row he bounced so high that even the six-foot Gaekwad, batting on 78, had absolutely no hope of getting anywhere near the ball. The Pakistan game plan was clear — to bowl beyond the batsman’s reach. Equally clear was the complicity of the Pakistani umpires — this was before the advent of neutral umpires — to help the home team achieve their goal .

The bewildered batsmen looked at their captain Bishan Singh Bedi in the pavilion. Bedi saw the futility of the situation and called the batsmen, Gaekwad and Viswanath, and conceded the match, which was reduced to a farce. Just like he had declared India’s innings prematurely at Kingston in protest to Clive Lloyd’s ruthless bouncing tactics in 1975-76, Bedi was not afraid to bring put an end to the farce of a ODI at Sahiwal. Pakistan’s tactics won them the series 2-1, and Sahiwal never hosted another international match. So much so, for Paki antics on field and off too .. .. !!

Elsewhere, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated his pledge to tackle corruption, saying the accountability process will not end until justice catches up with corrupt elements. Addressing the inaugural ceremony of ‘Pakistan Citizen Portal’, an application developed for citizens to register their complaints and suggestions with the government, Imran Khan said corrupt elements will not be spared. Referring to the workings of the application, the prime minister said that the portal would enable the government to understand the performance of ministries and departments. “Every citizen will know how much time it will take to respond to their query since each case is different. We will publish all the complaints data coming in, so the public holds provincial governments accountable too.

A simple search on the Captain reveals that PM Imran Khan’s sister is among 44 prominent political and government figures owning benami properties in United Arab Emirates, revealed a Federal Investigation Agency list submitted to the Pakistan Supreme Court. The list was part of the annexure submitted to a three judge SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, seized with a case relating to illegal transfer of money from Pakistan to foreign countries, the Dawn reported. The list has identified those who owned properties registered in the name of other people, the report said. It contains the name of Aleema Khanum, a sister of Khan, who has been identified as ‘benamidar’ of a property. A notice has been issued to her, but her servant said she is abroad. The list also includes the name of government spokesperson on economy and energy issues Farrukh Saleem’s mother.

There is another interesting media report too ! The Supreme Court of Pakistan has reintroduced the ban on Indian content on local channels in the country. All Indian content including films and television shows have been banned from playing on TV channels, as per a report by news agency PTI.  The judgement was passed by the apex court as Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar observed that the channels should "only air appropriate content". The hearing was for a case filed by the United Producers Association pertaining to the broadcast of foreign content on local television channels, as per a report by Dawn.   “They are trying to (obstruct the construction) of our dam and we cannot even ban their channels?” Pakistan Chief Justice Saqib Nisar is quoted as saying.  

Getting back to that letter of Imran – one need to read the current affairs -   BSF Head Constable Narendra Kumar was abducted and tortured before his throat was slit by Pakistani Rangers in Ramgarh Sector of Jammu along the International Border (IB). His body—with three bullet wounds and slit throat—was retrieved from a spot ahead of the India-Pakistan fence after the Pakistani side did not respond to calls for six hours to maintain the sanctity of the IB and ensure that the BSF search parties were not fired upon. Second, Pakistan issued 20 commemorative postage stamps portraying slain terrorists and some others as victims of atrocities by Indian troops in Kashmir. And third: To India’s insistence that “terror must stop before talk”, Pakistani Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa said a few months ago: “Ultimately they (India) will have to talk !!

The message from Pakistan is explicit: We will continue using terror against you and you will continue to talk to us whenever the amnesia strikes you. Some are of the view that this meeting of foreign ministers is a diktat from the United States, but that may not be true because the US recently admonished Pakistan for not doing enough to curb terror and said that Pakistan does not favour a stable Afghanistan.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Oct 2018.



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