Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Death of Sarabjit Singh

Sarabjit Singh was murdered. It was premeditated, cold blooded murder. The attack on him in Kot Lakhpat Jail on 26/4/2013 was preplanned. He died in Jinnah Hospital around 12.45 a.m. on 2/5/2013. It happened on the second anniversary of the death of Osama Bin Laden, close to the time of his death. Some say Sarabjit Singh’s ventilator was taken off.
It was disgusting on the part of Sagarika Ghose (Face the Nation – CNN-IBN) to bring the issue of hanging of Afzal Guru and link the two and equate India and Pakistan. Afzal Guru was executed. If Pakistan had executed Sarabjit Singh it would have been different. Pakistan’s Supreme Court had sentenced him to death as Manjit Singh and Pakistan’s Presidents had rejected his mercy petitions. His family claimed it was a case of mistaken identity. However he was found guilty and did not get pardon or commutation.
Markandey Katju has not spoken on Sarabjit Singh’s death. He was instrumental in getting Khalil Chisti released. The understanding was that Sarabjit Singh will be released in return for Khalil Chisti. On 26/6/2012 there were reports that Sarabjit Singh would be released and Katju had written a letter to Asif Ali Zardari thanking him for the pardon. Later it turned out that the release was of Surjeet Singh.
Dalbir Kaur, sister of Sarabjit Singh, said Ansar Burney wanted 25 crore rupees for the release of Sarabjit Singh. That raises questions about people who are known as human rights activists and oppose death penalty. Those who have paid money to such activists should go public about it.
Dalbir Kaur and other family members had gone to Lahore to see Sarabjit Singh. They had 15-day visas and had returned after three days. There was demand to shift Sarabjit Singh to India or a third country to get best medical treatment. She wanted to meet Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and other leaders. She had said she would fast for shifting of Sarabjit Singh out of Pakistan. She had blamed Indian government for Sarabjit Singh’s condition and had demanded Manmohan Singh’s resignation. During the night Sarabjit Singh died.
The criminals who attacked Sarabjit Singh were murderers who were sentenced to death. If they had been hanged they would not have murdered Sarabjit Singh. Death penalty is deterrent and preventive.
Pakistan has elections. It has caretaker governments at centre and in provinces. In Pakistan’s Punjab, Najam Sethi, who was editor of Friday Times, is caretaker chief minister. After elections there will be elected governments. India must review its relationship with Pakistan. India must withdraw Most Favoured Nation given to Pakistan as Pakistan has not reciprocated.
RAW and IB should be held accountable for their actions. If RAW blackmails people in Punjab and Rajasthan to go to Pakistan as spies it is a crime. Those who do that should be prosecuted. If some men willingly became spies and were caught in Pakistan, India should acknowledge them as spies and try for their release. India should stop sending spies to Pakistan.
In Pakistani jails Indian prisoners are kept separate from Pakistani prisoners. When Pakistan prisoners kill or murder Indian prisoners there is conspiracy and complicity.

Indian government has not been consistent in dealing with Pakistan. When terrorist or dastardly acts take place India says it will not be business as usual. After sometime it is business as usual. Pakistan’s leaders come here on “private” visits and Indian government entertains them.
There are people who say India should keep talking to Pakistan. Alternative to not talking is war. Their loyalty is suspect. They are wrong. Between not talking and war there are many options.
Those who attacked Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Haq in Jammu’s Kot Bhalwal jail committed a crime and embarrassed India. It gave an opportunity to Pakistan’s High Commissioner Salman Bashir to pontificate. The guilty must be punished.

Death of Caroline Stark

Caroline Stark’s death was tragic. She was two years old. Her five years old brother got a rifle from their father as birthday gift. The rifle was loaded. On 30/4/2013 Caroline Stark’s brother accidentally shot and killed her. It is said the boy was used to shooting the gun and often went shooting with his father on their property.
As long as USA does not repeal second amendment, such things will take place. Merchant of death want to sell guns and they do not care how many people die. They oppose gun control. They do not want background checks. They oppose ban on assault rifles. They glorify guns and have advertisements that promote gifting guns to five years old boys.
Ben Ferguson blamed dumb parenting for Caroline Stark’s death. He said he got guns and gifts on his sixth, seventh, and eighth birthdays and the guns were kept in his father’s room and he was not allowed to use them. His argument shows the obstinacy of merchants of death. If something is not to be used, it should not be given as a gift.
In USA laws on guns differ from state to state. NRA spends lot of money against gun control. Those who favour gun control should show equal or more determination.
I suppose second amendment will be repealed when all merchants of death are shot by the guns they sold.

BJP PM candidate

There is talk of who will be BJP PM candidate. Narendra Modi is most popular among BJP members. He has his rivals within BJP. L. K. Advani is prominent among them. He tries to undercut Modi by mentioning names of Sushma Swaraj and Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Advani does not have support of RSS. Support from Vijay Goel and Shatrughan Sinha does not count much. BJP President Rajnath Singh has said Narendra Modi is the most popular leader. That scuttles Advani’s chances.
Narendra Modi does not have support of RSS but he can manage without them. For a man who was blamed for BJP’s defeat in 2009 he has come a long way. Arun Shourie was the first to mention Narendra Modi as the next PM after Advani. That time not many supported Modi as PM. The turnaround came when Tatas shifted their Nano plant from West Bengal to Gujarat. After that Modi was the favourite of industrialists. At the end of 2012 UK lifted its ban on him. EU followed suit. Then three American legislators came to visit him. His international acceptability went up to the chagrin of his opponents in India and abroad. Then he became member of BJP Parliamentary Board.
JD(U), SAD, and Shiv Sena are partners of BJP in NDA. Nitish Kumar is opposed to Modi. JD(U) wants the candidate to be impeccably secular. Perhaps Nitish Kumar has prime ministerial ambitions or some in BJP are propping him up. Shiv Sena says Bal Thackeray wanted Sushma Swaraj to be PM. For Modi it does not matter if JD(U) and Shiv Sena part ways. JD(U) has not much presence outside Bihar. Shiv Sena had supported Congress candidates for President in 2004 and 2009. Modi can get MNS support. Raj Thackeray had met him.
It is difficult to predict election results. If BJP gets 272 seats it will not need an ally.

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