Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Terror and talks

Terror and talks cannot go together.
That was the BJP line when UPA was in power. BJP opposed talks with Pakistan. After BJP came to power there were talks with Pakistan for some time. Terror continued. Talks stopped.
Army controls Pakistan. Pakistan’s army does not want peace with India because it reduces the importance of army. Nawaz Sharif tried for peace. Once he was overthrown by the army. Second time army used judiciary to disqualify him. Army dictates to judiciary what orders to give. One judge said army and ISI should not dictate to judiciary. That did not make a difference. During Pakistan’s elections Nawaz Sharif and his daughter were in jail. They continued in jail for a month after Imran Khan became Prime Minister.
On 20/9/2018 MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said Sushma Kumar and Shah Mehmood Qureshi will meet in New York during United Nations General Assembly session. This came as a surprise as terror had not stopped. Pakistanis had shot dead and slit the throat of a BSF jawan. Raveesh Kumar repeatedly said the meeting was at the request of Pakistan. It was not dialogue. Repeating was unnecessary as if a favour was being done. To say it was a meeting and not a dialogue was playing with words. When two sides talk it is a dialogue.
On 21/9/2018 MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said the meeting has been cancelled. Two reasons were given. One, abduction and murder of three J&K policemen by terrorists. Two, Pakistan releasing 20 postal stamps honouring terrorists.
Imran Khan had talked to Narendra Modi and written about having talks. Modi agreed for talks though situation in Kashmir had become worse. Imran Khan wants Kashmir to be part of Pakistan. For him India’s terrorists are Pakistan’s freedom fighters. This was well-known.
Terrorists killing Kashmiris is a new phenomenon. Their targets used to be Indian soldiers and paratroopers from outside Kashmir. Kashmiris in army, paratroops and police force were spared. Now they are also targets.
Surgical strikes in 2016 did not have the desired effect. Modi’s talk of 56 inch chest before he became Prime Minister sounds hollow.
Government should crack down on sections of media that do not mention terrorists as terrorists but refer to them as militants or extremists. They should be warned and if they do not comply their licences should be revoked.
India does not allow bilateral cricket series with Pakistan. It allows cricket matches with Pakistan in tournaments like World Cup, Champions Trophy and Asia Cup. This time India is the host for Asia Cup. Government did not permit BCCI to invite Pakistan. BCCI shifted Asia Cup to UAE. Government should tell BCCI that when India is the host the matches should be held in India. Otherwise BCCI should not be host. When there are Lok Sabha elections BCCI shifts IPL matches outside India. Government should tell BCCI if they shift IPL matches outside India during any year they will not get security during other years.

2+2 Talks

On 6/9/2018 India and USA held 2+2 talks. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister represented India. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Defence Secretary James represented USA. The talks were postponed at least twice; once because Secretary of State Rex Tillerson resigned and second time because USA preferred talks with North Korea over India.
Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) was signed. It allows India to buy equipment for encrypted communications for US origin military platforms. It enables greater communications interoperability between militaries of India and USA. The agreement is effective immediately valid for 10 years.
India can buy Sea Guardian drones which can identify enemy targets fire missiles or drop bombs on them.
The representatives discussed Indo-Pacific area, cross-border terrorism, India’s NSG bid and H-1B visa issue.
USA wants India to stop buying S-400 missiles from Russia and oil from Iran. India should have told USA that it is its right to buy anything from any country. Instead it has asked for waivers. Successive Indian governments have allowed rupee to weaken against dollar. Today a dollar is around 72 rupees.
Michael Pompeo had gone to Pakistan to meet Imran Khan before coming to India. USA wants Pakistan to end support to terrorists. The joint statement after 2+2 talks mentioned Pakistan.
USA wants to reduce its trade deficit with India. In 2017 USA’s goods trade deficit with India was 22.9 billion dollars.
USA accusing Pakistan of supporting terrorists is pot calling the kettle black. USA, UK, Israel support terrorists in Syria. Idlib is occupied by Al Qaeda under a different name. USA does not want Syria to defeat Al Qaeda. When USA supports terrorists it calls them freedom fighters. When USA and allies bomb and kill civilians it is collateral damage. When other countries attack terrorists it is humanitarian tragedy. India has to fight its battle against terrorism and should not depend on USA. USA blows hot and cold with Pakistan. We have seen this movie before.
India should not plead with USA for H-1B visas. Our talented engineers can help India to develop. Americans don’t want their jobs to go to Indians.
Rupee should be strong against dollar. On 5/6/1966 dollar rate was 4.76 rupees. On 6/6/1966 it became 7.50 rupees. That was the official rate for many years. Later official rate changed and there has been continuous decline. Talk of overvalue of rupee should be treated as treason and those who want to weaken the rupee should be put in jail.
In the 19th century there was the Great Game between Russia and UK. Now there is the Great Game between China and USA. China has occupied Indian territory. There is trade war between China and USA. China has border disputes with Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. COMCASA was an attempt by USA to get India on its side.

Fall of Malcolm Turnbull

What goes around comes around.
On 24/8/2018 Malcolm Turnbull quit as Prime Minister of Australia. He had survived leadership challenge from Peter Dutton on 21/8/2018. Peter Dutton challenged him again for Liberal Party leadership. Malcolm Turnbull lost. There was three way fight for leadership. Julie Bishop lost in the first round. Scott Morrison got 45 votes. Peter Dutton got 40 votes. Scott Morrison became Prime Minister.
Julie Bishop was deputy leader of Liberal Party and Foreign Affairs Minister of Australia. Josh Frydenberg defeated Greg Hunt and Steve Ciobo and became deputy leader.
Speaking after the ballot Malcolm Turnbull criticised his rivals and said he was happy their campaign was not rewarded with victory for Peter Dutton.
“There was a determined insurgency from a number of people both in the party room and backed by voices, powerful voices, in the media. It was described as madness by many, and I think it’s difficult to describe it in any other way. In the party room meeting today I was impressed by how many of my colleagues spoke or voted for loyalty above disloyalty. How the insurgents were not rewarded by electing Mr Dutton, for example, but instead my successor who I wish the very best. Australians will be just dumbstruck and so appalled by the conduct of the last week. You know, to imagine that a Government would be rocked by this sort of disloyalty and deliberate insurgency – deliberate destructive action, at a time when, you know, there are differences on policy but frankly all of them were able to be resolved with a little bit of good will. In so far as there has been chaos this week, it has been created by the wreckers. I have done everything I can to maintain the stability of Government and the stability of the party. But, of course, if people are determined to wreck, then they will continue to do so. The critical thing is with politics, it’s not about the politicians. That’s why this week has been so dispiriting, because it just appears to be vengeance and personal ambition. You know, factional feuding, whoever you describe it. It hasn’t had anything to do with 25 million Australians.”
It is strange for Malcolm Turnbull to talk about loyalty. In 2015 he was an insurgent against then leader of Liberal Party and Prime Minister Anthony John Abbot. That time Anthony John Abbot had appealed to party members not to vote against him. Liberal Party may end up like Labor Party. Malcolm Turnbull did not heed the appeal. This time he had a taste of his own medicine and it was bitter. He was a wrecker then.

Revolt against party leader and Prime Minister began in Labor Party. In 2015 majority of Labor Party members in House of Representatives voted against Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard became Prime Minister. Three years later it was payback time for Kevin Rudd. He replaced Julia Gillard as Prime Minister.

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