100 Days of Modi Sarkar – Day 91
A few days back the Indian Government had decided to call off its secretary-level talks with Pakistan scheduled for August 25 following the Pakistani envoy’s meeting with Kashmiri separatist leaders despite India’s repeated warnings. There was one more reason that contributed to the cancellation of the Indo-Pak talks. And that is the continued violation of ceasefire by the Pakistani side across the border in spite of all the efforts by India to normalise the relations with its neighbour.
India puts onus of easing tensions on Pakistan
Now India has stated that it is the responsibility of Pakistan to make sure that the tension between the two countries does not escalate and to an extent, this demand can be said to be a justified one.
Rajesh Sharma, who serves as the inspector-general of the Border Security Force that is working on the frontiers in Jammu, has stated that the ball is now in the court of Pakistan. Sharma has also warned that if the firing continues as it is India will be forced to retaliate as well. His comments assume further significance given the unabated exchange of gunfire across the Indo-Pak border of late. There is a common saying that when two kings fight it is the common people who suffer the most. One can only empathize with the condition of the people living in these areas and imagine how their lives have been brought to a grinding halt by the refusal of both the countries to stand down.
General Sharma has also revealed that ever since tensions arose between the countries India has made efforts for 16 meetings at the sectoral level but that has come to no avail since Pakistan has never shown any interest to sit down for talks. Even when there have been flag meetings between the countries Pakistan has always denied that it initiated the firing, as per Sharma.
He has also enumerated that whenever India has sent across protest notes to Pakistan in the last couple of instances they have deemed them unworthy of providing any reply. Of late, firing from Pakistan has mostly chosen the RS Pura Sector as the intended target. The Inspector General believes that this is because it has a lot of people and also for the reason that many of them are presently out in the open because of this being the harvest season.
Sharma also has another theory for Pakistan resorting to fire. He believes that through these activities Pakistan is trying to convey that it has suffered more casualties since the resumption of firing on July 16. Till now only one BSF jawan has lost his life and if reports in Pakistani media are to be believed then three Pakistani rangers, two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants and three civilians have been killed in firing. As per Sharma, among the 30 odd instances of recent ceasefire violations, in 25 cases Pakistan has indulged in some excessive firing. He has also said that it is possible that the Pakistani army is aiding the Rangers in this.
What perhaps Pakistan needs to understand is that with its antics it is hardly giving the peace process a chance to resume. So far, one can hardly falter India in the chain of incidents. It is for Pakistan to control the divisive elements inside its territory and make sure that it can achieve the peace that is so crucial to its own progress as well as that of the entire region.
Maharashtra Governor resigns after being transferred to Meghalaya
Right after assuming the reins of the government the Modi-led administration had opted to toss around the governors of various states in India by firing some of them and reshuffling some others. To start with, Kamla Beniwal was first asked to vacate the post of Gujarat Governor and then sacked with a few days left for the tenure to end. This was one of the many gubernatorial decisions of the BJP that had invoked a less than favourable response among ones acquainted with the workings of the political scenario in India. Now, the Government has been dealt a slap of sorts with K Sankaranarayanan, Maharashtra Governor, who has decided to step down after being asked to leave his present post and take up the duties in Mizoram.
Interestingly enough, he said that he will be working for the Congress from August 25 onwards and stated figuratively that his tongue will be a couple of inches longer, “so that there will be no restrictions for expressing views.” It implies that he will have greater freedom to voice his opinions and will not be chained down by protocols or formalities, which he was supposed to observe as Governor. He has commented at this juncture that he was bowled over by the affection and love showered on him by the people of Maharashtra.
However, the former Governor of Maharashtra has desisted from criticizing the national administration for the way he was treated and the manner in which his term was suddenly brought to an end. He has stated that it is a prerogative of the Central government but, at the same time, he has also pointed out that the post of governor is one sanctioned by the Indian Constitution and thus its sanctity and prestige has to be maintained by the national government itself. The octogenarian has also stated that in his capacity as the Governor of Maharashtra or even before – he had served as the Governor of Nagaland and Jharkhand – he has never indulged in petty politics and treated all the parties equally.
When Anil Goswami, Home Secretary, asked him to put in his papers over the telephone on June 11, he had taken strong objection on the ground that he believed such a request to be beyond the limits of Goswami’s authority. On June 15 he had stated – and rightly so, if one may add – that since a governor was appointed by the President of India, only the President had the right to annul his/her appointment or inform him/her about a removal.
It was his stand that also acted as inspiration for other governors who were supposed to be disposed of by the Prime Minister’s Office and they too decided that they shall be standing their ground.
It is clearly understood that the main aim of the NDA behind removing governors like Beniwal and Sankaranarayanan is to clear away people whom it considers to be the political appointees of the previous administration. By shooing them away the NDA probably wishes to put in people who it thinks will help it control the administration in a state. However, what the alliance is not realizing is that with its actions it may be throwing the entire administration at the state level off balance.