On 26/6/2012 around 7 p.m. news broke out that Sarabjit Singh was to be released as Asif Ali Zardari was to commute his death sentence to life which he had already completed as he was in prison for over 14 years he had spent 22 years in jail. Sarabjit Singh was in Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore. The news was too good to be true. The decision would have been unpopular in Pakistan.
On 18/4/2012 Pakistanâ€™s General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani called for resolution of Siachen and other issues. He said the two countries cannot keep spending on defence alone and forget about development. This came after Pakistanâ€™s 127 soldiers and 11 civilians were buried alive by an avalanche on 7/4/2012 and searches are on for them.
Kayaniâ€™s statement is welcome but India should not throw caution to the wind. India should not vacate Siachen in a hurry. We know what happened in Kargil. After Kayaniâ€™s retirement next General may have different ideas about peace with India. Nawaz Sharif wanted peace with India. Atal Behari Vajpayee took bus to Lahore. A few months later Kargil War happened. Then Pervez Musharraf deposed Nawaz Sharif and sent him to jail.
On 9/4/2012 Supreme Court granted bail to Khalil Chisti, a man sentenced to life for murder of one person. It had referred to the goodwill generated by Asif Ali Zardariâ€™s visit the previous day and hoped it would continue. The event makes one wonder whether India is governed by rule of law.
It is immaterial that Khalil Chisti is a Pakistani and the victim is an Indian. It is immaterial that Khalil Chisti is 80 years old and not in good health. What is material is that he is convicted of murder and serves life sentence.
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.
For long India said ISI was behind terrorist activities in India. USA was quiet. For some years Afghanistan said ISI was behind terrorist activities in Afghanistan. That included Indian Embassy. USA was quiet. When American Embassy was attacked USA spoke. Americans wanted Pakistan to take action against Haqqani group, veritable arm of ISI, or they will act on their own.
On 22/6/2011 on NDTV 24×7â€™s Left Right and Centre the issue of showing mercy to Khaled Chisti was discussed. PM had written to Rajasthanâ€™s Governor Shivraj Patil to release Khaled Chisti and Shivraj Patil had decided to seek legal advice. The question was whether India should show large-heartedness and release him on humanitarian grounds. The discussion led to some revelations.
Nidhi Razdan first asked audience members. One person said there are many Indians in Indian prisons in similar condition to that of Khaled Chisti. Nobody writes to PM about them. There should be common rule for all. One woman said she was fighting for justice and Pakistanis have carried out many terrorist activities in India. That meant he should not be released.
Many Indians want India to send commandos to Pakistan to kill Indiaâ€™s Most Wanted in Pakistan. Operation Geronimo by USA is the inspiration. When asked by journalists army chief and air force chief have said that India is capable to commando operations.
The idea is fine but needs to be tested. India is not USA. India does not have the technology that USA has. In Indiaâ€™s case there is no room for error. Every commando operation is not a success. USAâ€™s attempt to rescue hostages in Iran in 1979 was a disaster. Operation Geronimo was a success in that it achieved its aim of catching Osama Bin Laden dead or alive but one helicopter could not fly back and had to be destroyed. USA has inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that can hit any country in the world. Pakistan does not have ICBMs. India and Pakistan do not need ICBMs to hit each other. India does not have stealth helicopters that can evade radar detection.
The news of the death of Osama Bin Laden on 2/5/2011 (1/5/2011 in USA) in Abbottabad brought cheers to Americans and there were celebrations outside White House and Ground Zero. Barack Obama said it was a historic day for America and justice has been done. Osama Bin Laden was not hiding in some remote mountain but in a building next to military academy, or 500-800 metres away from military academy, in a city. America wanted Osama Bin Laden dead or alive for almost a decade. The building was a mansion without telephone or internet and with 12-16 feet walls built in 2005. For long Americans bombed Waziristan and some areas in Afghanistan hoping to kill Osama Bin Laden. Perhaps they were misled.
On 7/4/2011 Gopal Dass crossed the Wagah border and stepped into India. He was in Pakistani prison for 27 years. Prior to release it had been reported that Gopal Dass had inadvertently crossed the border and stepped into Pakistan. Gopal Dass after his entry into India said he was an Indian spy, had gone to Pakistan to spy, did not regret spying for India as it was his duty but the government abandoned him and did not want Indians to spy for the government. There are at least 30 Indian spies in Pakistani jails.
Sport is not war. Cricket is a game and should be treated as such. In football and hockey many times players get physical. Sometimes football players play karate or kick boxing for which they deserve red card. In cricket scope for getting physical is limited. Some people talk of cricket as of war. They talk of India-Pakistan match as mother of all battles or the biggest battle. That should be avoided.
In a tournament there is one final. There is no final before the final. Some people first talked of India-Australia quarter-final match as final before the final. After that they talked of India-Pakistan semi-final match as final before the final.