While we have been huffing and puffing at every gust of wind, the wife and daughters of Sarabjit Singh have come to Pakistan, encouraged by the example of Kashmira Singh to hope that he may live, and in search of another Ansar Burney to sponsor them and get Sarabjit Singh off. The victims of Sarabjit are silent, and so are their heirs. Those who wish to see Sarabjit hang are those with relatives in Indian jails.
The Indians recently let off a child, probably to prepare us for Sarabjit. Look, this is a simple soul who took the subedar’s money to carry out blasts over here. He only realized he was unlucky when he was caught, with the blast he had caused had cost some lives, and he was unable to go back to India. Now he wants a release like Kashmira Singh got. But for Kashmira Singh, the Shaukat Aziz government was dissolved, and Kashmira’s biggest fan and biggest supporter in Pakistan, Ansar Singh Burney, was made a caretaker minister by Kashmira’s second biggest supporter, the President, who used his eight years of rule to promote friendship with India as much as possible. Kashmira’s release should have proved the last great advance he had achieved in Indo-Pak relations, until Sarabjit cropped up, with the first case after, meaning that the price of getting caught after bombing Pakistanis out of their skins was some years in a Pakistani jail, followed by a release. This would be absolutely delightful to the subedars across the border, who could tell recruits that in Pakistan, for practical purposes, there was no death sentence, not as long as Ansar Singh Burney was alive or Pervez Musharraf President of Pakistan. I wish it could be said that Sarabjit will surely hang, but I have my doubts about Shah Mehmood Qureshi. I hope that, despite like the PM belonging to Multan and liking to spit a lot on floors, he has the sense to let the law take its course, and leave it alone to hang whoever is guilty of capital offences. Indian subedars should be sent a clear signal, even if the present President has got them so confused.
Hanging Indians depends on getting them to that stage. As we have shown recently, we’d rather a hoarding fell on them. To judge by recent events, it’s one of the risks of spring, or as we like to present it for purposes of earning foreign exchange, Basant. Y’know, wind blows after rain, hoarding falls over, and on top of someone passing by, and that person is no more. Most, well so far all, of the time it’s some Pakistani, but it’s one of the risks of visiting Lahore in spring. It’ll only become an international story if it sets off an international incident, which will only happen if an Indian is killed. Indian diplomats will go to town, and our authorities will try to prove that the incident did not happen, and anyone reporting that it did is a foreign agent. Probably Nepali, because Indian, Afghan and American are woefully out of fashion. That’s the wonderful thing about the Musharraf era; we have run out of countries on which to blame the state we are in. Not particularly slowly, Musharraf eliminated all of those on whom we would instinctively lay blame. But the really classic prohibition was on calling people Indian agents. Very, very suddenly, it was not just out of fashion, but against the national interest, and the work of er… umm… whatever agents you preferred. So if anything happens, we won’t blame a foreign hand as before, but most likely terrorists… and then turn around and ask for more dollars to carry out the fight on terror, which of course is also in Pakistan’s national interest, as well as of the country with a lot of dollars.
Meanwhile, Parliament has prorogued. This was supposed by all to be the session in which the judges were supposed to be restored, but the prorogation occurred without the restoration. One could probably forgive Yousaf Sain if this had happened for purely technical reasons, but there you have the PPP and the PML(N) still wrangling over the draft of the resolution that must be passed before the judges can be restored. If this is how they plan to run the coalition, we the ordinary citizens have the right to ask how they plan to run the government, which is after all responsible for the solution of our problems. Well. This government is the one which will put petrol above Rs 60 per litre. And this does not factor in loadshedding of about what seems like 18 hours a day in big cities. All voted by Parliament, all grounds for the dissolution of Parliament by the President, not to mention the restoration of judges, which on its own is proof of how evil this National Assembly is. We will keep on having dissolutions till we the electorate pick a Q majority to form the government, and let the President pick a good PM, not a Sain who does so much damage to floors, preferably someone with foreign banking experience.
Courtesy: The Nation, 28/4/2008