Chitralekha Gujarati issue dated 8th September 2014
Watch “Editor’s Audio Note” on YouTube -
Is Pakistan On The Boil?
Amid speculation of yet another political coup, Pakistan seems to be on the boil once again. Also, in a strange coincidence-if at all it can be called one-the internal strife within Pakistan has bizarrely coincided with regular ceasefire violations on the border. In order to keep its Prime Minister on a tight leash, its army has ensured that the internal troubles and skirmishes along the border go hand in hand. Why does it happen with disturbing regularity? Hiren Mehta analyses the causative factors behind the current instability in our neighbouring country and examines its short and long term ramifications.
While the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is ensconced in the Red Zone in Islamabad, surrounded by his security men, the situation in the beleaguered country is alarmingly volatile. On one hand we have the cricketer turned politician Imran Khan who argues that the prime minister has no moral authority to continue and should therefore resign. On the other hand, we have the Parachute Baba-Maulana Taheer ul Qadri who has by now mastered the art of appearing on the Pak political landscape whenever he senses a political opportunity. The duo together have precipitated a crisis in Pakistan which may well snowball into a full-fledged conflagration and engulf the strife-torn country, if not reined in by the army.
Qadri however does not have much of political credentials to write home about. A decade ago, he fought elections on the plank of a promised revolution, but lost badly, which compelled him to return to his country of origin, Canada. He returned once again during 2012, this time bragging that his rally against Ali Zardari would involve four million people. Eventually, the rally turned out to be a damp squib and made the Maulvi bite the dust. Now recharged with new vigour and energy, he has joined ranks with Imran Khan and vowed to ‘oust the Sharif regime and save the democracy’.
While the unpalatable combo of Qadri’s antics and Imran Khan’s popularity has managed to cause a political flutter in the Pak capital, not many people are convinced about the reasons for this hullabaloo. These people are clueless and seem bewildered at the sudden turn of events like the rest of the world.
Insiders argue that Imran has no locus standi when he charges the Sharif government of having committed irregularities to grab power. The last election was possibly the fairest poll the country had witnessed in the recent history. Had there been any rigging as alleged by Imran Khan, the verdict would have gone in favour of Zardari.
Some analysts also find an uncanny relation between Pakistan’s internal crisis and the ongoing Border disturbances. In fact the ceasefire violations increased ever since it became clear that Modi would be coming to power in India. It is widely believed that the violations are aimed at embarrassing Sharif who had displayed ‘audacity’ to attend the Modi swearing-in ceremony, clearly disregarding the army’s wish. Apparently, the Pak prime minister was under tremendous pressure to decline the Modi invite, but Sharif ignored all warnings and chose to attend the function. Also, what appears to have incensed the army was the fact that he did not meet the Hurriyat separatists.
As if this was not enough, Sharif has advocated conferring on India the status of most favoured nation (MFN) to put the trade between the two countries back on tracks. It was likely that in September when the two leaders are expected to meet in New York, Sharif would take some proactive measures to normalize the relations much to the chagrin of the military top brass.
In a bid to take out the wind from Sharif’s sails, the Pak army not only kept the border heat on, they also had the Pak envoy call the separatists for a meeting just a week before the secretary level talks between India-Pak were to begin. Also, they orchestrated the street march by the Imran-Qadri duo so as to tie up the prime minister in the local strife and effectively prevent him from speaking on the issue. In the circumstances, it is obvious that Nawaz Shariff, besieged as he is, would opt to save his power-and his life-rather than prefer to comment on improving Indo-Pak ties.
So the ultimate control lies with the army. If Sharif repeats the dare for which he was dismissed during his earlier regime, the protestors may be allowed to overpower him. If Sharif behaves, Imran and company may be asked to call off the agitation and go back home.
The cover story brings you up to speed on the latest developments in Pakistan. A very engrossing and informative read.
Zarnai: The Gujju Girl who taught Priyanka Boxing
Passionate about making sports her chosen field, Zarna Sanghvi started with lawn tennis and was beginning to make her mark in this sports before she was forced to give it up because of a sudden turn of events. Undeterred, she put on the boxing gloves and punched her way into this field. Instead of choosing to brood over her curtailed lawn tennis career, she opted for a positive approach and acquired mastery in the boxing field.
Today, she has made all of us proud by tutoring Priyanka Chopra in boxing while the latter was preparing for her role as Mary Kom in eponymous film.
Hiren Mehta wrties about this Mardani fighter whose tireless pursuit of her goal makes for an inspiring read.
When The Twins Meet
In a hospital in Surat out of the 3500 children born through test tube method, as many as 500 kids are twins. In one of the rare meets, parents of nearly 200 such twins participated in a get together which must be first of its kind.
At the function, the parents who shared, besides twins, the agony of not having any child in the not very distant past, shared with one another the experiences of their past pains and their joyful present.
Faysal Bakili reports on this rare event.
Never the twain shall meet, but as we know now, the twins do meet.
Apart from the above, the issue carries an interesting story (Faysal Bakili) about a retired teacher Dr. Nayanaben Amrut Desai who for the past 6-7 years gives discourse on the Ganeshkatha (the tales of Lord Ganesh). We also have an update on the MCX-Jignesh Shah NSEL imbroglio by Jayesh Chitaliya.
Besides, the issue carries regular Political & Humour columns, Palak, Cardiogram, Priyadarshini, a new novelette starting from this week, Health Helpline, Jalsaghar and Mukhwas
Happiness is not the name of a camp or a destination; it is the name of a definite direction..!!