Being A SoftState Will Not Work

In the last month, the Government of India has given an impression of being a soft state. Not only did they appoint a Home Minister whose reputation is not very good for being strong and a disciplinarian,  but immediately on assumption of his office we  had a violent demonstration in Mumbai which is a part of his home state. The police thought a crowd of five thousand will come while a crowd of seventy thousand came. Intelligence failed totally. The Mumbai police was never known for such inaction or inefficiency. Similarly, there was the problem of  Hindus migrating from Pakistan. We believe in secularism and we had in good faith thought that Pakistan will treat the minorities like we treat our minorities. Mohammed Ali Jinnah said in so many words that the minorities of both the countries will be like hostages. If one country misbehaves with the minorities then we are afraid that their co-leaders will be mistreated by the other country. The time has come for the Government of India to talk properly to Pakistan.  This will not work. Dialogue should be open. We should not talk of war — that is certain, but neither can we afford to show that we are a soft state. Wherever something wrong is happening we must take action. We are spending a disproportionately large amount of money not only on our defence forces but also on the paramilitary forces which are well equipped and well trained. It is the political will which is lacking. If we do not let our security forces act according to their duty we will have more and more problems in the future. A tunnel is being formed on the Kashmir border which is horrifying. How can a tunnel be dug without anybody noticing it ? This is definitely complacency. Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev have temporarily withdrawn their agitation and the Government of India thinks it is a big victory. This shows that the Ministers in the Government of India have no clue to the mood of the people. Even during the Emergency people never came out at the streets, but when the elections were held, the Government was sucked out of power. The same thing will happen in 2014. People may be silent today. You can silence Anna Hazare and Ramdev by threats. But you will not be able to silence the people of  India when they speak through the ballot box.
Sarabjit Singh was a young man when he was arrested falsely. There were some small bomb blasts and as usual he was the nearest Indian they could find and they put him in jail in Pakistan. Nothing has been proven against him. He is to be hanged. But thank God Pakistan has abolished the death penalty. So now he cannot be hanged. So now they have found another trick. They humiliate him, harass him, punish him without food so that he dies a natural death. These are portents of a very bad future. If Pakistan keeps on behaving like this and the Indian Government does not act, we will only be too sorry.  It will be too little too late. There was a ‘Save Sarabjit Singh Committee’ formed under the Chairmanship of Justice Markandey Katju of which even I am a member. But we sitting in India cannot influence the Pakistan Government. However,  there are local people to take the lead there also. There is Mr. Burney who is very active and a staunch leader of the press in Pakistan and he is leading the Pakistan branch of the ‘Save Sarabjit Singh Committee’. All people who believe in human rights and civil liberties will agree that he should be released, Sarabjit should be released immediately. But the Government is not taking any formal position. The External Affairs Ministry should be in touch with Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. I think the Pakistan Government made up their mind to release him. The moment they announced it, there was such a hue and cry that they dropped their decision and released some other Surjit Singh saying that it was a mistake. It was not a mistake. They changed their decision which is not good. Even now they must re-consider and start the good will process. We have also released Pakistan prisoners from time to time to create good will. It is high time they did the same.

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