Thursday, July 23, 2009

India’s interests betrayed in Egypt

The Prime Minister of the Union of India is oath-bound to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of the nation. And also to faithfully discharge his duties towards all manner of people in accordance to the Constitution and the law without fear or favour, affection or ill will.
Now India is no stranger to terrorism. Terrorists have been ripping us apart for decades and thousands of innocent lives have been lost under jihadi attacks. These only increased in intensity and frequency in the last few years. Bomb blasts became a routine and the people, appalled at our leaders' inaction, accepted it as a fact of life. Then 26/11 happened. This attack on Mumbai was no routine bomb blast. But we had professionally trained fidayeen attackers wrecking havoc in India's commercial capital. They held the city hostage for over 60 hours and by the time they were neutralised over 300 innocent lives had been lost. Landmark buildings were in flames, many lives were disrupted. People were enraged at this assault on their lives and the PM addressed the nation. Condemnations and promises were a part of it -
The dastardly terror attacks that took
place in Mumbai last
night and today leading to the loss of many precious lives and injuries to many
others have deeply shocked the nation. I strongly condemn these acts of
senseless violence against innocent people, including guests from foreign
countries. I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and
sympathies to those injured. The Government will take all necessary measures to
look after the wellbeing of the affected families, including medical
treatment of injured.
[...] We are not prepared to countenance
a situation in which the safety and security of our citizens can be violated
with impunity by terrorists.
[...] We will take the strongest possible
measures to ensure that there is no repetition of such terrorist acts. We are
determined to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the safety and
security of our citizens.
[...] We will take up strongly
with our neighbours that the use of their territory for launching attacks on us
will not be tolerated, and that there would be a cost if suitable measures are
not taken by them.
Link] (Emphasis added)
In the seven months since then, all we saw was a bunch of files exchanged between us and Pakistan. Leave inflicting costs on our neighbour aside, even diplomatic measures weren't forthcoming. When Singh and Gilani met in Egypt last week, this resulted -
Both Prime Ministers recognized that
dialogue is the only way forward. Action on terrorism should not be linked to
the Composite Dialogue process and these should not be bracketed.
Prime Minister
Singh said that India was ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan, including
all outstanding issues. [
Link] (Emphasis added)
We had Singh assuring the nation, all the while, no dialogue would take place unless Pakistan acted credibly on ending terrorism. And now we have the same Singh agreeing to de-link terrorism from discussions with Pakistan. It gets even worse -
Prime Minister Gilani mentioned that
Pakistan has some information on threats in Balochistan and other areas. [
Balochistan featured in the joint statement. When it is India that is among the worst affected by terrorism in the world and clearly was the victim in the Mumbai attacks, thanks to Singh, Pakistan manages to paint itself as a victim. It was Singh's responsibility to ensure keeping pressure and onus on Pakistan. But what really happened, in his presence, was that both the nations came out as equally aggrieved parties. It is astonishing that images of destruction and innocent blood did not come to Singh's mind when he met Gilani and issued the joint statement in Egypt. And this is the same person who is known to have lost sleep on at least one other occasion. So much for guarding India's interests. Singh's attempt of passing the buck and seeking refuge under "bad drafting" is juvenile to say the least. It lends all the more credence to the fact that he was not being diligent in Egypt.
Singh, being the PM, ought to realise the responsibilities of his position and the potential implications of his actions on nation. He has demonstrated an inability to do so on multiple occasions. This particular joint statement has grave implications. Singh's judgement is a suspect. Until he proves otherwise, it must be concluded that Singh is incapable of keeping our national interest above all else.

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