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Books written by B G Verghese

Books written by B G Verghese

Books written by B G Verghese

Nawaz Sharif, who was only partially informed by Musharraf but was opportunistically fired by his own ambitions, has now urged an inquiry into the Kargil folly which had unpleasant consequences for Pakistan

Exposure, Denial, Exposure

Interviewed on Indian TV barely 10 days before Lt Gen Shahid’s tell-all Kargil intervention story broke, Musharraf had one again repeated the balderdash he served up in his autobiography.

By B G Verghese

10 February, 2013

When Pakistan’s Lt Gen Shahid Aziz, with the ISI in, writes in his new book that Musharraf conspiratorially plotted the Kargil caper with a few other cronies and lied about it being a Muhajideen-led strike for freedom in J&K, he says nothing new but only further confirms known facts. The first of these exposures was the Musharraf-Aziz-Nawaz Sharif tapes of Indian intercepts of conversations between the trio from Beijing, where Musharraf had gone to drum up Chinese support, Army Hqrs, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The diaries of Capt Hassan, captured on the Kargil heights, also disclosed that elements of Pakistani troops were dressed as mujahideen and filmed by his unit for propaganda use later. The Government of India has at its secretive best, classified these revealing Annexures of the Kargil Review Committee Report.

Interviewed on Indian TV barely 10 days before Lt Gen Shahid’s tell-all story broke, Musharraf had one again repeated the balderdash he served up in his autobiography. The man is a consummate liar, a commander who disowned his own troops whom he led to death and disaster. Some tribute is, however, owed to those Pakistani officers who distanced themselves from Musharraf even if they were not strong or bold enough to stop his aggressive adventure.

Nawaz Sharif, who was only partially informed by Musharraf but was opportunistically fired by his own ambitions, has now urged an inquiry into the Kargil folly which had unpleasant consequences for Pakistan. It is doubtful if this will happen as an inquiry could open a can of worms going back on a whole series of belated revelations after furious initial denials of terror attacks against India by the military-ISI-LeT/jihadi complex over decades. The deceit and denials started from 1947-48, through 1965, the destruction of Charar-e-Sharif, Siachen, and the attacks on the J&K Assembly building, the Red Fort, the Indian Parliament, etc, to 26/11 and thereafter.

In all those years of cross border violation, UNMIOGIP did nothing and its one damning report, that of Gen Nimmo, its Australian commander on Operation Gibralter, was conveniently shelved by Pakistan’s comforters in the UN Security Council.

In each case the cry has been, ‘let’s move on, let the peace process proceed, do not look back’ And India has repeatedly responded only to be stabbed in the back yet again. The Pakistan establishment is openly colluding with the J&K separatists who have been warned that jihad may intensify after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. Nevertheless we must keep trying as Pakistan civil society is beginning to realise that it cannot continue to breed the monster devouring the nation that it fed with a false ideology of Nazar-e-Pakistan from its very creation by denying any identity bar being the “Other” to hated, Hindu India. Kashmir is a fiction, a bogey and a chimera on which the military and mullahs batten.

It is necessary to repeat and explain this sorry narrative as the Pakistani establishment still thinks it can befool the world by evoking UNMOGIP or the OIC, neither of which commands much credibility. What the Government needs to consider is bringing all this damning material together in a White Paper which authoritatively documents Pakistan’s brazen deceptions and confessions, including its patronage of the Taliban and AQ Khan’s nuclear-rocket roguery. The conclusions and follow up on investigations pertaining to Benazir Bhutto’s assassination by the UN Inquiry Committee that was sought by Zardari and the more recent internal inquiry into the Osama bin Laden Abbottabad safe-haven retirement home mystery, are awaited. The truth may be too dangerous and embarrassing to reveal.

If Pakistan has gone the way of medieval political Islam, India is not free of a similar menace in the form of an exclusivist, backward-looking, divisive and chauvinistic Hindutva that has nothing to do with Hinduism, an eclectic faith. This in turn has spawned counter Islamic radical movements, throwbacks to the past or seeking revenge for perceived Muslim victimhood, real and imagined.

Recent weeks have seen the BJP caught in a fractious struggle between those like the RSS and VHP and sections of the BJP who would rally behind the banner of Hindutva for the 2014 polls, and the moderates who realise that this would not consolidate but divide the Hindu vote and ensure failure at the polls by frightening away present or potential NDA allies. Meanwhile Narendra Modi has been projected as the next BJP prime ministerial face with his development model for making India a world power. He came to Delhi to address college youth and visited the Kumbh mela to acclaim.

Modi’s development model in Gujarat has certainly delivered, despite some failings. But the man’s singular flaw lies in his terrible human rights record. Yes, cases are going forward in Gujarat as his supporters argue, but only after herculean efforts and Supreme Court orders to ensure a modicum of due process regarding the 2002 pogrom which he has studiously sought to deny at every turn. This is the CM-cum-Home Minister whose message to his traumatised people over Prasar Bharati at the very commencement was, “If you want peace, do not seek justice”. What he wanted was that the upstart “miahs” should kow-tow to him as second class citizens Is this the man being projected as a possible BJP prime minister? God forbid, for he has shown no sign of remorse or shame.

The truth is closing in on Modi and maybe his own party may disown him before the 2014 poll as the wheels of justice keeps moving. As for the Ram temple, if it is to be built, let this be by consent and with grace and not by the kind of crusading brute force with which it was crudely demolished by an act of calculated political deception.

Far better to pay homage to faith by working dedicatedly – and not by tokenism – to get rid of caste, a terrible blot on the nation. The recent Dalit-Brahmin caste-hostel clashes in Patna, in which the Dalits were abused in the most shocking terms, are a reminder how much caste is still embedded in Bihar’s feudal structure which Nitish Kumar has been afraid to take on frontally. He backed down on both land and school reform, pigeon-holing the recommendations of two committees he himself had set up. His opposition to Narendra Modi is shallow when he presides over the most caste-ridden state in India.

The Centre and Congress too have been pusillanimous in fighting caste and communal hatred as witnessed by their current stand in limiting promised equal opportunity legislation solely to minorities rather than across the board as recommended. And is only after much protest and prompting that Praveen Togadia of the VHP, that arch Hindutva communalist, has been booked for hate speech.

In J&K it is good that Omar Abdullah has cracked down on the Grand Mufti who, in his profound ignorance of Islam, Kashmiriyat and sufi traditions, decreed that music is un-Islamic and shut down a girls rock band in Srinagar. A lawyer plans to challenge the less-than-Grand Mufti’s self-appointed status as an arbiter of 21st century secular Islamic conduct.

One overdue closure was Afzal Guru’s execution.

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