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India and hate - Ahmed Quraishi
The terrible gang rape of a college student on a public bus in the Indian capital might end up having an impact beyond the country’s borders. Although an internal matter, this particular incident concerns India’s neighbours like Pakistanis, Sri Lanka, China, Bangladesh and Nepal.
India is a country beset by virulent hatreds of all types: political, historical, religious and social. These hatreds are so potent that they led to the 21st century’s first genocide. More than 2,000 Indians were butchered and burned across Gujarat, a major trading state in western India near the Pakistani border.
The murder of 2,000 Indians spread over just three days was no small matter, taking place as it did in the 21st century, and not in the 20th or 19th centuries. The fact that almost all those who were killed were Indian Muslims; men, women, elderly and children – eliminated on the streets by mobs representing the majority religious group, meant that this was a ghastly incident of ethnic cleansing and religious extermination.
In less than seventy years, since the creation of India in 1947, New Delhi managed to provoke a war and several border clashes with China, four wars with Pakistan, invade Bangladesh, fight a proxy war in Sri Lanka and indirectly interfere in Nepal.
The Indian military invasion in 1971 of what is now Bangladesh is a good example of how the combustible mix of hate motivated by history and religion poisoned India’s foreign policy.
In 1971, there was no armed freedom movement in Kashmir. There were no pro-Kashmir groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). In that year, Pakistanis were busy in messy and chaotic elections. Less than 40,000 Pakistani soldiers were stationed in East Pakistan, mostly in their barracks and posing no threat to India.
Despite this peaceful Pakistani posture, the Indian army crossed international borders in December of that year in an unprovoked war of opportunity.
Several indisputable evidences that emerged in the following years show how India meticulously planned the invasion at least two years in advance, if not more, recruiting agents and saboteurs and deploying a psy-ops strategy.
Until 1971, Kashmir was the only dispute between Pakistan and India and was contested in a largely peaceful manner inside the UN Security Council. But India created a permanent blood feud with Pakistan by planning and executing the one-sided, unprovoked invasion.
India’s domestic and foreign policies appear to be entrenched in the cultural ethos of the Hindi-speaking belt of northern India. The Hindi-speaking minority enjoys disproportionate control over the country and deciding its policies. These policies were responsible for wars with neighbours, for prolonging the Kashmir conflict, and for feeding hate against India’s Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Dalit and Assamese minorities.
Modern India needs to be peaceful from within and without, and this is in the interest of all of India’s neighbours. There is something wrong in India and its opinion leaders need to end the state of denial. There have been many recent warnings. The 2002 Gujarat ethnic cleansing is one. There are riots against poor Assamese migrant workers. The Indian interior ministry blamed those riots on alleged Facebook posts originating in Pakistan. The ridiculous accusation caused embarrassment to India as television footage showed ordinary Indians beat and humiliate the Assamese workers on the streets prompting a mass exodus by the Assamese from Indian cities back to Assam.
We in Pakistan continue to be at the receiving end of hate originating from India. In 2007, a group of Pakistani families were blown up aboard a ‘friendship train’ travelling from Pakistan to New Delhi. Recently, Pakistani artists, businessmen and sportsmen visiting India complained of harassment by local extremists.
On Twitter, Pakistanis increasingly complain about Indian trolls who dedicate time and human resource to spam Pakistani news threads.
The protests by the Indian civil society show there is hope that India will be able to defeat the multifaceted hatreds that pollute Indian society and politics.
Can any Commission set up by the prime minister who himself is prime accused in Rental Power Projects (RPPs) scam be expected to remain impartial or deliver justice?
Why Justice (R) Javed Iqbal is always the hot favorite to head any government sponsored Commission? If the retired justice took almost 18 months to complete Abbottabad operation inquiry and his ‘missing persons’ Commission continues merrily, there seems little hope for a speedy and conclusive investigation in Kamran Faisal’s case.
One can easily smell a rat in government’s quick announcement of Justice Javed Iqbal Commission as well as Chairman NAB’s reported decision to suspend further RPPs probe until conclusion of investigation into Kamran Faisal’s death. The indifferent attitude of NAB’s top leadership in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy gave the impression of a planned cover-up, till NAB’s internal ‘revolt’ and media’s ‘breaking’ reports caused panic in NAB’s hierarchy.
It was expected that as Chairman NAB, Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari, with his past Naval accomplishments and being the one who is respected for his impeccable integrity, would rise against corruption mafia and bring accountability in country back on track. Admiral Fasih’s lack of assertiveness and commitment to crack down on the corrupt government politicians and conniving bureaucrats is clearly visible, despite the tremendous powers that he enjoys under National Accountability Ordinance (NAO- 1999).
Instead of implementing the Supreme Court’s directive to arrest the RPPs high-profile accused, the retired Admiral obstructed rule of law by protecting them either willfully or remained powerless before invisible RPPs stakeholders. In displaying such weakness, he not only earned Supreme Court’s wrath but failed to live up to the trust that goes with this sacred public position.
Should Chairman NAB not take the high moral position to accept responsibility for the ‘rebellion’ by his investigators and resign from office? When junior NAB officers asked their Chairman to act on Supreme Court ‘s directives and arrest the RPPs culprits including the incumbent Prime Minister, then the retired Admiral should either act or lose face permanently before his subordinates.
Under provisions of UN Convention Against Corruption ( UNCAC) and international cooperation request for mutual legal assistance’ in NAO, both Admiral (R) Mansurul Haq of Augusta submarines kickbacks fame and ex-Bank of Punjab President Hamesh Khan were successfully extradited by NAB from US in recent past.
Admiral Fasih must explain the criminal failure to nab ex-OGRA Chief Tauqir Sadiq within country and later from UAE? Will NAB arrest PPP high-ups who helped OGRA chief flee abroad? Is NAB in collusion with ruling party in this affair simply because of Tauqir Sadiq’s close relationship with a PPP senator who is also party’s senior leader?
Admiral Fasih cannot absolve himself from the politically motivated inductions in NAB during his 16 months in office. A former PCO judge and controversial ex-Director General NAB Punjab, whose extension period was declared illegal by Lahore High Court in 2011 on petition lodged by NAB Punjab officers, was recently inducted as NAB’s Additional Prosecutor General.
The current Director General Financial Crimes Investigation Wing (DG FCIW) in NAB Headquarters, a fast rising banker with reported connections with powerful people managed repeated comebacks into NAB despite his suspected credentials and poor reputation within the bureau.
If Chairman NAB was aware or in any way involved in DG FCIW’s pressure tactics on Kamran to change RPPs report in favor of Prime Minister, then the Admiral may be guilty of violating NAB’s code of conduct.
For NAB to resume normal operations, the prevailing sense of insecurity and fear that gripped NAB’s upright investigators must be removed.
As an immediate step, contractual appointees on NAB’s regular Grade 21 positions need to be replaced with NAB’s permanent cadre officers. Similarly NAB prosecutors with political connections must be removed so that honest and efficient investigations yield positive results.
Like in General Musharraf’s time, NAB’s intelligence setup should be strengthened with ex-ISI/MI officers to monitor unethical practices by NAB personnel especially influential senior officials having links outside.
If a few junior NAB officers were held accountable under NAO on corruption charges and sent to jail during Musharraf’s era, similar standards of discipline need to be enforced in respect of senior lot.
The Supreme Court has no option but to enforce its writ and ensure that NAB’s top leadership implements Court’s directives in letter and spirit. The Javed Iqbal Commission should be dissolved and replaced with an independent Commission preferably under a serving Supreme Court judge.
Whether suicide or murder, the finger of suspicion in Kamran’s death points towards the evil nexus between the powerful RPPs elite and their cronies in NAB’s higher echelons.
To prevent a cover up by Islamabad police, a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) comprising ISI/ MI, IB and police experts be entrusted to probe Kamran Faisal’s death. If the suspects are handed over to Army’s dreaded SIB (Special Investigation Branch), the case may be resolved in no time. The Army Medical Corps, too, may be asked for Kamran Faisal’s fresh autopsy report.
The last five years proved how sham democracy led to sham accountability in the country.
While a neutral Chief Election Commissioner is in place and search for neutral caretaker Prime Minister is in progress, a truly impartial Chairman NAB is required for the cleansing job once the caretaker setup takes over. Coming weeks will show whether Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari submits to Court’s orders or is shown the door by Supreme Court .
The writer is a former Director NAB. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the first time, NAB shows his cards but what to its integrity?
According to story in national press;
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) expressed its distrust both on the Supreme Court (SC) and the bench hearing a case regarding death of Kamran Faisal in mysterious circumstances.
Justice Jawwad S. Khwaja headed the two-member bench hearing the case to adjudicate if Faisal's death was a suicide or a murder.
Appearing before the bench, the NAB’s Prosecutor General K K Agha expressed distrust of not only the bench but the apex court itself.
Justice Khilji Arif Hussain asked the NAB’s official to leave the apex court and come directly to the bench. On this, K K Agha said the NAB is also mistrustful of the current bench.
Directing K K Agha to present his reservations in writing, Justice Khwaja remarked: “Rule of law and the constitution is important for the court, come what may.”
Justice Hussain said the court will not insist if there is some valid reason for the NAB’s mistrust. On this, K K Agha pleaded for time to present reservations in written form.
The court also called the notification of Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal Commission. Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan Qadir told the court that the commission has been set up. He also produced a letter from the interior ministry. However, the court said there are many things in the letter that need explanation.
Meantime, the court appointed Anwar Kamal as amicus curiae. On this Prosecutor General NAB Agha took exception, saying that Anwar Kamal assisted the court in rental power projects (RPPs) corruption case.
The court adjourned the hearing till February 01 (Friday).
Down with demands?