Ever since the Congress Party’s crushing defeat in the recent Lok Sabha election, many acolytes of the Nehru-Gandhi family and Congress sympathisers are bemoaning the fact that the leader of this party, which has just 44 seats, cannot be designated Leader of the Opposition (LOP) and consequently, will not be entitled to the status and perks that go with it. Under rules formulated by Mr.
H. Trevor-Roper, a British historian, wrote a seminal book called “The Last Days of Hitler”. Hitler and his close colleagues were sheltered in the Hitler bunker buried deep within the bowels of the earth in Berlin. From the West, the British and American Armies had swept through Germany and from the East the Soviet Forces under Marshal Zhukov had entered the outskirts of Berlin. Germany had virtually lost the Second World War and Hitler, the megalomaniac, no longer held sway except over the bunker itself.
On May 1, 2014, the Congress Party’s Vice-President, Mr.Rahul Gandhi, made an extraordinary prediction while addressing a rally at Solan in Himachal Pradesh. He said if Mr.Narendra Modi became India’s Prime Minister, 22,000 people would be killed in violence. And from where on earth did he get this insight? From Japan! According to him, the Japanese told him that they were ready to help us build roads, but they feared violence if Modi was at the helm. Mr.Gandhi told his audience that he agreed with the Japanese and his own estimate was that 22,000 people would die!
The Bill on Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and on Commission of Inquiry on Disappearances (CID) was tabled in the Legislature-Parliament on April 16, 2014 for discussion, which was finally approved by the majority of the members on April 25, 2014. In fact, the Bill was long overdue as it was expected to address conflict related cases between the period 1996 and 2006 with a view to ensuring long-term peace in the country. Though late, the Bill in itself is important as Nepal's future largely lies on its implementation.
No technology, however complex and challenging it might be, is beyond India’s capability to develop and deploy from ground zero. And this truism was amply demonstrated by the spectacularly successful flight of the heaviest ever Indian rocket, the three stage 414.75-tonne Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), the “crowning glory” which was the home grown, upper cryogenic engine stage. The January 5 flawless mission of GSLV, which placed into orbit the 1982 kg GSAT-14 communications satellite, has verily boosted India’s prestige sky high in one quick sweep.
The subversive war in Jammu and Kashmir is not only about keeping the destabilizing internal security challenges alive through calibrated terrorist attacks from time to time. In the recent past, it has been more about successfully deploying blinkers on the policy making about internal security by using the democratic space and the fault lines in the nation building processes in the country. The separatist establishment through its subversive tentacles has forced the government at the helm to focus primarily on managing public perception more than the impending security challenges.
In a speech on the occasion of Martyrs Day, the Pakistan Army chief, Gen Raheel Sharif, parroted a nearly seven decade old, and by now tired and worn out cliché that Kashmir was Pakistan’s ‘jugular vein’ and demanded a resolution to the issue in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and ‘aspirations of the Kashmiri people’, adding for good measure that there can be no ‘durable peace’ in the region if the Kashmir issue is not resolved, presumably according to Islamabad's wishes.
Slowly and surely, the middle kingdom seems to be emerging as a preferred “soft target” of terrorist violence spearheaded by a radical outfit with its alleged links to the notorious Al Qaeda. For the communist China, which not long back was least worried about the devious doings of global terrorist networks, disturbing developments in its home-turf in recent months have brought home the looming threat of terrorism in all its manifestations.
The attack on one of the best known Pakistani journalists, Hamid Mir, has only reaffirmed Pakistan's reputation as one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. Mir, who took six bullets, barely survived the well planned ambush carried out in broad daylight on a busy road in Karachi when he was heading from the airport to his office. The attempt on his life created a veritable storm in the Pakistani media, more so after his brother alleged that the ISI chief, Lt. Gen Zaheerul Islam, was responsible for the attack.