Talks with Taliban
The manner in which the much touted talks between the Government of Pakistan and the militant conglomerate Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are developing is confusing to say the least. In the very first meeting with the negotiating committee, the TTP representatives had clarified that they do not recognise the Constitution of Pakistan. The cleric of the Lal Masjid, Maulana Abdul Aziz, a member of the committee nominated by the TTP for the talks has already announced that he would stay away from the peace process till such time that Government included imposition of Sharia in the agenda.
Very clearly on the back foot, the Government is now bending backwards to prove that all is well so far as the talks are concerned. On February, 12, the ruling party’s Parliamentary leader in the Senate, Mushahid Ullah Khan said that TTP engaging with the Government in dialogue clearly means that they recognise the country and the Constitution. This psychological game was taken a step further by the four member negotiating committee appointed by the Government by leaking out to the press that the Taliban has “almost” agreed to the framework laid down for the talks. The “almost” says it all!!
The Taliban, on its part, is maintaining a stony silence! An ominous signal of things to come is the grenade attack in a cinema hall in Peshawar that left nine people dead; even though no militant group has owned responsibility, the signal is quite clear that the Taliban is not averse to maintaining pressure on the Government even while sitting across the negotiating table. Imran Khan had predicted something of this nature in an interview in New York, “The most likely result is that the negotiations will start, there will be about three or four big explosions and terrorist attacks and the negotiations will be called off.”
Under the circumstances, the scepticism that many harbour about the future of the talks is not unfounded. There are many reasons for the same and not least among these is the lack of commitment of the Government to go ahead with the process. Not too long ago the Government was getting ready to launch an all out offensive against the TTP; suddenly it took a U-turn and opted for talks. Now also it is saying that it will adopt a military approach should the talks fail; by so saying it is giving an indication that it expects the talks to fail. Would it be wrong to suggest that the entire exercise is being done for the benefit of some international power centres like the US? It is surprising that the Government of Pakistan actually feels that it can get away with a deception of this nature.
A point about the participants in this dialogue; is it that the destiny of Pakistan will now be decided by a few fundamentalist clerics who probably have not gone through basic secondary school education? If this be the case then what future can be of the the intelligentsia? Much is being said and written about the role played by the US drone attacks in the creation of the Islamic militant organisations that form part of the TTP. Putting the blame of Pakistan’s ills on the US initiated drone attacks amounts to politicising the situation. It cannot be denied that the Taliban is looking for a change in the political dispensation from Democracy to an Islamic state and this has nothing to do with the drone attacks.
Democracy has seen many upheavals in Pakistan but even during the various phases of dictatorship it was never very far from the political landscape. If the Government of Pakistan seeks to protect its minority community it automatically loses leverage to open negotiation with the Taliban for a system of governance that is not secular and liberal.
Pakistan Government should not hesitate from military intervention should the need be felt; there is no point in maintaining a huge military force merely for a perceived danger from India when the country is breaking from within. Beyond this, the Government also needs to put its intellectual assets on board for chalking out the future course of action. Most importantly the popular aspiration of the people, especially the youth needs to be given due credence. Vacillation and clutching at straws is not going to get the Government of Pakistan anywhere.
Bangladeshi attacking Hindu Temples regularly
Attacks on Hindu and their religious sentiment are not new in Bangladesh. In past also, some unidentified miscreants damaged the images of Durga and other gods and goddesses. Last month some 10-12 unidentified miscreants desecrated 10 idols of Hindu deities including Laxmi, Saraswati, Kartikeya and Ganesha in a Jinardi union temple of Narsingdi’s. In a recent happening in Madirapur district of Bangladesh, some Muslims with Land mafia Hussian Sardar made an effort to demolish the temple of Durga Devi, after throwing out Swami Subhaschandra Balake and his family from the temple on February 6, 2014.
Because of the intervention by the police, miscreants run from the place but again they started demolishing temple after police went from there. Over 1500 Hindu temples and homes damaged by Muslim mobs in Bangladesh during January to march 2013. These terrifying events have been largely ignored by international news and media agencies. It is a vulgar and vicious attack on Indian Culture and Hinduism. The Hindu community is repetively ignored inMuslim-majority Bangladesh and therefore these serious incidents of targeting Hinduism are rarely filed by the police or covered by the media. Indian Government has to take a serious step on this all happenings for saving Hindu and Hinduism in Bangladesh.
Sushil Koirala, New Face of Nepal
A long wait after election Sushil Kumar Koirala, president of the Nepali Congress known and admired for his simple lifestyle, elected as the new Prime Minister of Nepal on February 10, 2014. Sushil Koirala was born to father Bodh Prasad Koirala and mother Kumudini Devi Koirala at Dumja of Sindhuli on Saun 28, 1995 BS. He began his active political life through the NC in 2007 BS and has been dedicated to democratic movement in the country for the past 50 years. He took the party membership from the hands of Jananayak Bishweshwor Prasad Koirala in 2012 BS. He believes that honesty is ´the power of the politicians´ and is taken as the leader living a simple life in the current political circle.He had also worked as a skilled journalist and was the editor of Tarun, the party´s mouthpiece.
Koirala had seen life of NC founding leader Tarini Prasad Koirala who sacrificed his entire life against autocratic Rana regime from a close quarter. Leader Koirala went on self-exile in India after the then King Mahendra dissolved the people´s elected government and parliament through a coup in 2017 BS and remained active on the movement against the Panchayat regime imposed by King Mahendra.
Sushil Koirala was elected with support from the communist UML party, which holds the second largest number of seats in Parliament, RPP and other small parties. The Unified CPN (Maoist), RPP (Nepal) and Madhes-based parties voted against him. Koirala needed to be elected by a majority in parliament and his Nepali Congress party controls 194 seats in the 601-seat assembly.
Koirala replaces Khil Raj Regmi, the Supreme Court Chief Justice who has headed a caretaker Government since March 2013. Mr Koirala said he would work towards strengthening relations with India and China and other neighbours. “I will work towards making our relations with our neighbours cordial.”
There is a rumor that after signing of a seven-point agreement between the two parties, NC proposed Koirala´s candidacy for Prime Minister and the UML supported the proposal. Senior UML leaders have accused the NC of violating a two-party agreement under which the UML was to head the Home Ministry. NC leaders claimed they never reached any such agreement over the key ministry. On deal with UML, Koirala denied the rumor that NC leaders never conceded the Home Ministry to the second-largest party.