Friday, January 19, 2018
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War in 2018?
By Ali Ahmed
By now it is de rigueur that there would be a war of words with Pakistan on a few landmark days each year. The usual tit-for-tat responses begin with army day since that is the first one on the calendar. It is followed by the acrimony on the commemorative day of the other two services and the by now annual India-Pakistan spat in the General Assembly. The last year saw the army chief owning up to the Cold Start doctrine at his first press conference in the run up to army day. This met with the predictable Pakistani response - described by an analyst - that even if the war's start is cold, the ending would be hot. On air force day, the air chief claimed that the air force could put out (in his words, 'locate, fix and strike') Pakistan's nuclear capability by conventional means using air p...
Kashmir Times News Report
We Need Reforms but..!
By Robert Clements
"Bob," said an editor, "About these reforms the prime minister keeps talking about, find out if people want reforms or not." "Of course we want reforms," said Pandu the office peon, "I want editor sahib to be reformed. Today I have both ulcer and blood pressure, because editor sahib and you and all the staff think Pandu has ten legs like octopus. Pando go to post, Pandu bring, tea, Pandu answer phone! And if Pandu be slow, Pandu fired. If Pandu sick, Pandu's pay cut. Pandu is all for reforms, please write down Bob sahib, Pandu all for reforms!" I walked out of the office to the road below, I looked at the high rise buildings and to the slums that nestled next to them. The slum dweller brushing his teeth with a twig gave me a dirty look as I ambled to him. "Yes, yes, I want reforms," he ...
Kashmir Times News Report
A Judiciary Made to Measure
By Teesta Setalvad
It is barely eight days since the 40th anniversary of the Emergency was commemorated. A dark period in independent India's history, the formal declaration of Emergency was preceded by a period when the government of the day, bit by bit, in a sinister manner, eroded the independence of India's Judiciary. The separation of powers on which the basic structure of the Indian Constitution squarely rests, is firm in the fundamental formation of both Judicial Autonomy and Independence. It is this judicial integrity, autonomy and independence that are under direct assault and severe threat today. The tone and tenor employed by the current Attorney General, when he made his arguments in support of the National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) are not only unbefitting of the post, but reflect...
Kashmir Times News Report
National anthem by force
By Kuldip Nayar
When I was in Sialkot city, now a part of Pakistan, I used to visit cinema halls in the cantonment regularly. What I resented then was that I had to stand up for the British national anthem, "God save the king…" The cinema halls did not bolt the doors and left it to an individual how he or she behaved. There was no compulsion, but you were expected to stand up when the British national anthem was played. The British rulers were sensitive to the people's rights and did not make it compulsory or impose any penal action against the public that did not stand up. Significantly, the practice of playing the British national anthem at the end of Indian films was gradually avoided, lest the viewers' dishonour the king and later the queen. Even otherwise, they wanted to avoid the spectacle. There...
Kashmir Times News Report
No Room..!
By Robert Clements
"You'll have to move out, the building is unsafe," the municipal engineers had told her, as they stood at her doorstep staring unashamedly at her buxom form and as she cradled the baby in her arms. "Where?" she had asked silently as she quietly nodded her head and closed the door. Bleary eyed she walked into her kitchen the next morning. Her one year old still clutched to her arm. She had cried herself to sleep last night and still dozing she was startled by the sudden tremor, the awesome rumble and then the deafening crash, as the building tumbled around her. She fell, her baby cradled between her protective hands. The dust that rose smothered her, the shrieks she heard frightened her and then she struggled to her feet, knowing she was alive. She looked with agony at what was once he...
Kashmir Times News Report
Governance in India needs immediate overhauling
Integrity and credibility of SC at stake
By Gyan Pathak
All the three wings of governance in India - the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary - suffer from a general disbelief of their being neutral and honest. People are helpless against the irregularities and injustices done by the legislators, top officials and ministers in the executives, and the judges from the judiciary. People have only limited scope of remedy for injustices, and for many of them they are absolutely helpless, a truth that has been spilled over as the four senior most Supreme Court judges, next to the Chief Justice of India, accepted before the press. They went to the extent to allege 'assigning of cases to benches of preference' breaching court rules. It is for the first time in India we have the 'real head' of the executive, and the 'actual head' of the judici...
Kashmir Times News Report
We Writers Are Pranksters..!
By Robert Clements
Ever so often the serious-minded people of this world look at writers and say with condescending attitude, "Can't you be a little mature?" I smile and tell them that it is this childlikeness of writer that works his creative juices. "Not childish, mind you, not immature, but a child-like quality that asks, and questions and wonders, that feels and cries and laughs and finally emotes into prose and poetry. That child-like quality is also what gives them a whacky sense of humour that makes so many of them great pranksters! Perhaps, Mark Twain was one of the greatest pranksters of the literary world. One day the young Mark Twain and his friends caught a raccoon. The boys skinned it and Mark Twain was delegated the task of selling the skin to the local dealer, from whom he received much to ...
Kashmir Times News Report
The Triple Talaq Conundrum
By Moin Qazi
Of all the lawful acts the most detestable to God is divorce. - Prophet Muhammad [This an authentic saying recorded by Abdullah ibn Umar, a highly respected companion of the prophet in an authoritative treatise "Divorce (Kitab Al-Talaq)" of Sunan Abu-Dawud (Ref. 63-2173)] India is currently mired in a war between theology and law as it tries to articulate an appropriate policy response to the controversial triple talaq issue. With the triple talaq already been declared invalid by the Supreme Court, the government's haste in trying to criminalize it reeks of a misplaced agenda. Muslims have welcomed the judicial verdict and are themselves keen to build a cultural environment conducive to it to take firm roots. Wisdom demands that we wait and see how the law translates on the ground. ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Communist Takeover in Nepal
By Gwynne Dyer
The Communists are taking over in Nepal, and nobody cares. Thirty years ago it would have caused a grave international crisis; fifty years ago there would even have been talk of foreign military intervention. Today - nothing. Outside Nepal, it has barely made the news at all. In the grand old Marxist tradition, Nepal's Communists have split and split again over fine points of doctrine and strategy. Recently, however, the Communist Party of Nepal - Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) managed to form an electoral alliance that swept the recent national elections, the first since 1999. Various Communist leaders have held office in the revolving-door coalitions, none lasting much more than a year, that have governed Nepal since it began its de...
Kashmir Times News Report
What's inside is what matters..!
By Robert Clements
There's two young men, twins, who've come into my life, and as I hold either one or the other of my daughter's newborns in my hands, I hear voices, "He's got your nose and cheeks Bob!" or "He's got his father's chin!" There are some who swear they look like either my daughter or her husband, and others who sigh, and say, "Aren't they so cute!" In fact, I must admit I joined the vanity brigade when I suddenly left the room, stood in front of a bathroom mirror and came back and announced to my wife and all in the room, "I think one of them has my smile!" Never mind that nobody gushed or exclaimed, "Yes Bob, you're right!" Its just that as I held them this morning, helping in their feed, I suddenly understood, and told them, "What's inside is what matters!" I'm not sure they understood, po...
Kashmir Times News Report
Trump does to Pak what Modi did Put on notice
Game of nerve with limited objective of bringing it around
By Aditya Aamir
Neither the US nor Pakistan wants a complete breakdown of ties, but it is game of nerve. Trump risks ridicule at home if he caves in first and the build-up to suspend aid to Pakistan took months. It is too late to withdraw. The US is already on the escalation ladder and in no mood to step off. It is no longer business as usual between United States and Pakistan as it has not been between India and Pakistan. With US President Donald Trump's tweet and subsequent US actions, US-Pak ties went into a "tailspin", as had Indo-Pak relationship after the Narendra Modi government took over in 2014. Whatever little warmth was there in Indo-Pakistan relationship went south after India chose not to hold talks with Pakistan until and unless cross-border terrorism stopped. Now, the United States has...
Kashmir Times News Report
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