Month: December 2011

Pakistan versus USA

The death of 24 Pakistani soldiers on 26/11/2011 in NATO air attacks has further deteriorated Pakistan-USA relationship. Pakistan has stopped NATO supplies to Afghanistan through its territory and has asked USA to vacate the Shamsi air base given to it in 15 days. Its army chief has vowed effective response. Pakistan has complained to UN and has decided to skip Bonn Conference on 5/12/2011 on the future of Afghanistan. China and Russia have come in support of Pakistan.

Pakistan’s double game in Afghan War has been clear for years. In recent months Americans have openly mentioned ISI’s role in Afghanistan. ISI has scuttled peace efforts. Afghan Taliban gets support from ISI. Afghan Taliban attacked American Embassy in Kabul and assassinated Burhanuddin Rabbani. Osama Bin Laden was in Abbottabad for six years. Pakistan claimed it was fighting Taliban without mentioning it was fighting Pak Taliban hostile to it and supported Afghan Taliban hostile to Afghanistan.

NATO forces are predominantly American forces. NATO wants to quit Afghanistan by 2014. It is better if they quit Afghanistan before that and leave it to Afghans to solve their problems. Afghans take money from whoever gives them. When Hamid Karzai was asked about getting money from Iran he said they take money from Americans also. Najibullah was betrayed by his people when he could not give them money. He took shelter in UN compound. When Taliban attacked UN compound and hanged Najibullah UN did nothing. USA and other NATO forces were quiet. Economy is the problem in USA and Europe. Let NATO countries spend their money to solve their people’s problems.

India should remain neutral in this hostility between USA and Pakistan. India has nothing to gain by taking any side. Pakistan has abetted terrorism against India. When India was the victim USA was not on India’s side.

If the army takes over Pakistan there should be sanctions against Pakistan. If China and Russia veto such a proposal in UN, other countries can impose sanctions on their own.

Parliament Paralysis

Since 23/11/2011 Parliament is disrupted day after day. MPs do not do work. There is talk of no work, no pay for MPs. No MP has openly opposed it but opposition MPs blame government for disruption and vice versa. Some say cutting 2,000 rupees of daily allowance will not make a difference to MPs as they have other sources and resources.

There are two points. First, it is immaterial whether cutting 2,000 rupees of daily allowance makes a difference to MPs or not. Parliament did not function and they should not get daily allowance.

Second, besides daily allowance there should be cuts in salary and other allowances. An MP’s salary is Rs.50,000 p.m., constituency allowance Rs.45,000 p.m., office allowance Rs.45,000 p.m. and there are other allowances and perks. For every day besides cut of 2,000 rupees of daily allowance there should be cut of 1,700 rupees from salary, 1,500 rupees from constituency allowance, 1,500 rupees from office allowance and so on. People do not lose money however rich they are. When Saturdays, Sundays and other holidays come in between they also should be counted. If a whole session is disrupted MPs should not get travelling allowance for the session.

Presiding officers should not adjourn houses. If the noise is too much they should put on ear plugs and sit. MPs who disrupt should be suspended for at least three days and marshals should be used to carry out those who do want to leave the house. That was the practice before and last year it was done in Rajya Sabha on 9/3/2010. Many years ago Raj Narayan was a heavyweight MP and marshals had a tough time to take him out.

Some say MPs do other work outside Parliament. When Parliament is in session MPs are supposed to attend Parliament and the work they do outside does not count.

India should switch over to presidential system. India has many political parties and parliamentary system which works best in effective two-party system is not suited for India.