Rajat Sharma

My Opinion

Hats off to PM Modi’s will power and courage

Prime Minister Narendra Modi first isolated Pakistan on the world and regional stage through diplomatic means, and then delivered a stinging reply by ordering the army to cross the Line of Control and destroy terrorist launching pads.

The people of India were expecting such a drastic step from Modi. If you carefully go through the details of the surgical strikes, one can understand that the task was not easy. Today is the day to salute our brave army jawans.

Today is also the day to appreciate Prime Minister Modi’s determination, will power and courage. The surgical strikes that were carried out across the LoC were the first since the 1971 War.

By carrying out surgical strikes, India has given a clear message to Pakistan that enough is enough. India will no more tolerate terror attacks.

For years, we have been discussing the need for surgical strikes. The locations of terror camps in Pak Occupied Kashmir were in the public domain.

Our army had commandos to execute these strikes earlier too, but it is because of Narendra Modi’s will power that a final decision was taken and the surgical strikes were successfully carried out.

So the slogan now is: Abki Baar, Sarhad Paar.

Pakistan isolated in SAARC

With Bangladesh and Afghanistan joining India’s move not to attend the SAARC summit in Islamabad, Pakistan’s isolation in the South Asia region is almost complete. All our neighbouring countries do know that terror training camps are being run in Pakistan. This is the first time Pakistan has been isolated in South Asia on the issue of terrorism. If Pakistan does not learn a lesson and stop “exporting” terrorism, the day is not far off when Pakistan will be completely isolated on the world arena. On the other hand, the Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has openly spoken of war and nuclear attack in his interviews to local TV news channels. Asif clearly said his army would try to “annihilate” India. The same minister also admitted that he had an “anti-India mindset”. If somebody does have such a mindset, then nobody can help.

Why leaders in Pakistan are now jittery?

Post-Uri attack, the political leadership in Pakistan had presumed, wrongly, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would call for an all-out war or a surgical strike, but Modi did not oblige them. Instead, our Prime Minister sought to create a gulf between the people and political leaders of Pakistan, by calling for a war on poverty. Recent remarks from political leaders in Pakistan indicate that they now appear to be jittery, and are trying to boost the morale of their people through jingoistic statements. The Pakistani leadership is worried after India clearly indicated it would reduce the flow of water from Indus river and review bilateral trade relations. The leadership is now at a loss as to how to respond. That is why its political leaders and army officials are now speaking of war and hostilities. We also hear jingoistic voices on Pakistan’s TV news channels. After External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the UN General Assembly that Pakistan has become the Ivy League of terrorism and was exporting terrorists, the Defence Minister of Pakistan spoke about his country getting ready for a war. The Pakistani minister apparently forgot that war strategies are not disclosed sitting inside TV studios. They are resorting to jingoism only to boost the flagging morale of their people. They seem to have forgot that war is fought on the field. Time has now come to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. India needs this. I have myself signed an online petition to the White House. As per rules, a petition requires one lakh signatures for the White House to reply within 60 days, but a petition from India should carry not one lakh, but one crore signatures! I, therefore, appeal to all of you to sign the petition. Just log in to http://petitions.whitehouse.gov/ go to We The People Petitions, and sign before October 21.

Security of Pakistani artistes in India is our responsibility

Voices had been raised in the past against Pakistani actors and singers performing in India, but now that there is widespread anger against Pakistan post-Uri attack, demands to boycott Pakistani artistes have been raised again. It is true that some of the Pakistani actors and singers are indeed popular in India, they have earned fame and money in India, but Indian artistes who are popular in Pakistan are either not allowed to visit or perform there. Therefore the anger against Pakistani artistes in India is justified. But we have to realize that these Pakistani artistes have come here after getting visas and proper permission. The security of these artistes in India is also our responsibility.

Pakistan Defence Minister’s antics to browbeat India

Pakistan Air Force is conducting routine annual air exercise, but their Defence Minister has posted pictures of some of the fighter planes on Twitter. His intention was to convey to the people of Pakistan that his Air Force is ready for battle, and to convey to India that if attacked, PAF fighter planes can take off from highways to retaliate. But the minister,, Khawaja Asif has himself become the butt of ridicule in his own country because of this tweets. He forgot that the Indian armed forces are not so naive as to be frightened by routine air exercises. He forgot history – Pakistan attacked India thrice and bit the dust thrice.

Time ripe for decisive action

The audiotape related to the speech of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar soon after the Uri attack, clearly shows that Pakistan has become a safe haven for terrorists, where they move around unhindered. In such a situation, nobody can trust Pakistan’s claim that it does not help terrorists. The truth is that the Pakistan government, the Pakistan army and the ISI – all three are aiding and abetting terrorists to launch attacks against India. The time has now come to take decisive action. As far as Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s remark, that Prime Minister Modi’s vow to avenge Uri attack will not remain just words, is concerned, there is no doubt that India will definitely retaliate, but not through knee-jerk action. Any action would be executed after proper planning. If that happens, the people of this nation will heave a sigh of relief.

Nawaz Sharif’s betrayal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been clearly betrayed by Nawaz Sharif. The manner in which the Pakistani Prime Minister attended Modi’s swearing-in ceremony and spoke of friendship, the way he further extended his hand of friendship by inviting Modi to Lahore, the promises that he made on jointly tackling terrorism — there was no reason on part of India not to disbelieve his gestures and promises. But, the moment the ground situation changed, with turbulence in Kashmir, Nawaz Sharif changed his tune. For India, it has now become difficult to talk peace with Nawaz Sharif any more. The situation has now come to a point where Prime Minister Modi may not be visiting the forthcoming SAARC Summit in Islamabad, and the summit is bound to fail with Bangladesh and Afghanistan indicating their desire not to attend. On the issue of isolating Pakistan after the Uri attack, there are three options before India – one, to isolate Pakistan diplomatically at world forums, the second option is to carry out a surgical strike on terrorist camps inside Pakistan, but to execute that, adequate intelligence inputs and planning are needed, and this may take time. The third option, according to experts, is to wage all-out war, but one should never forget that Pakistan, too, is a nuclear power, and India may suffer more losses in the event of a full-scale war, because a failed state like Pakistan has not much to lose.

Mulayam’s balancing act

In the present internecine war in Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family, the patriarch is doing an intricate balancing act. His decisions boil down to this: neither you win, nor I lose, it’s a win-win for both.

On Tuesday, Shivpal Singh Yadav looked cheerful after meeting his brother Mulayam Singh for three hours. My information is that Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had removed UP chief secretary Deepak Singhal on his father’s instructions.

He had also taken his father’s advice before dismissing two of his ministers. The confusion arose over taking away key portfolios from Shivpal Singh. When Mulayam Singh decided to make his brother Shivpal the chief of the UP unit of Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh took away seven out of ten portfolios that his uncle was handling.

On Tuesday, Mulayam Singh Yadav told his brother that one should understand, the party forms the government, the government does not form the party, so his stature would be greater than that of the Chief Minister.

That is why when Shivpal Singh Yadav came out, he claimed, he has been promoted and he was happy on being given a bigger post.

However, that does not mean that all is hunky-dory in the Samajwadi Party. There has only been a pause in the battle, the embers of fire are still there.

Delhi’s health woes

The Lt. Governor of Delhi is presently away in USA. It is also correct that the MCD did not do its work properly to get rid of mosquitoes. The one or two AAP ministers of Delhi government who have rushed back to the capital are however not speaking on the main issues like Dengue and Chikungunya. They are stressing more on why the media is highlighting the issue. The ministers are saying Prime Minister Modi’s government has taken away their power, the Lt. Gov did not allow them to work. In that case, these ministers should also say that there are impending elections in Punjab and Goa, and the party would first think about the people living there. It needs their votes. The party will think about the fever of Delhites later. The conditions in Delhi’s hospitals are too bad. Four patients are sleeping on a single bed. There are long queues of patients waiting for diagnosis, shelling out Rs 1500-Rs 2000. Each doctor is handling as many as 200 patients, but the Health Minister at the Centre thinks his work is over by sending advisories to the state government. It would have been better if he had visited the hospitals himself and found out the ground realities for himself. If the Delhi government is unable to take care of the patients, he should have at least ensured that the hospitals run by the Centre in Delhi worked satisfactorily.

An appeal for peace in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu

Those indulging in arson and vandalism on the streets are neither helping Karnataka, nor Tamil Nadu. One can never achieve anything by setting fire to buses, trucks and other vehicles, and by beating up people from other states. People who are vandalizing are not many in number.

The governments in both states must detain such vandals and take stringent action against them. But in reality, governments in both the states are viewing them in terms of vote banks, and there seems to be little possibility of any strong action against rioters and vandals.

I sincerely appeal to all sections of people in both the states to maintain peace and abide by the law.

Kashmiri protesters being instigated in the name of Islam

Reports that are filtering in from the valley reveal that most of the youths who have taken to the streets have been instigated in the name of Islam, and that too, of the Wahabi kind. Kashmir valley used to be famous across the world because of its Sufi tradition of Islam, an all-inclusive synthesis of different religions, but now, the conservative Wahabi tradition is dominating. Girls are being forced to wear burqa and hijab. Boys have been asked to keep beards, and all these are visible on the ground. Today Syed Ali Shah Geelani issued a statement exhorting people to keep their shops closed in the name of jihad. He is telling people that to think of opening shops and going for jobs at the time of jihad is against Islamic tenets, rather people should be prepared for sacrifices in the name of jihad. However, the truth is that the same leader who is exhorting people to stay away from jobs and business is himself allowing his children to stay and study in foreign lands. He never asked his children to offer sacrifice. The Centre has now decided that it will show no sympathy towards separatists and the battle will be fought on an ideological level. The government cannot allow people to be instigated in the name of extremism and Islam.

Kashmiri youths should have computers, not stones in their hands

It was Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti who had said that the people of India always welcome and help youths from Kashmir whenever they go to other states for education and jobs. People of the rest of India do have love and affection for the youths of Kashmir. Students from Kashmir, who had met the Home Minister Rajnath Singh and HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday also said the same thing. These students can become the brand ambassadors for other Kashmiri youths. They can be the role models for youths in the Valley who should realize that stonethrowing at security forces or staging violent protests will lead to nowhere. The youths of Valley should have computers, not stones in their hands. This will be the best best for Kashmir’s future.