Planning Commission is dead. Its successor must focus on ideas over implementation.
Rajasthan’s decision to ‘target’ free medicines and diagnostics is contrary to the recommended role.
But will a nodal ministry at the Centre solve all issues in a federal structure such as ours?
Carlotta Gall’s book will be met by the same denialism that has gripped Pakistan for many years.
Pakistan, where over 80 per cent of people hate America, is greatly upset over the yet-to-be-published book by reporter Carlotta Gall — a woman and a Jew — who has written in The New York Times that Pakistan was keeping Osama bin Laden in a safehouse in Abbottabad; and that it actually faked shock followed by populist rage at “discovering” him there after America’s dastardly attack to kill him on Pakistani soil.
We say her lies are myriad, typical of a Jewish hater of Pakistan and Islam. She says “the madrasas in Quetta are a cover, a camouflage. Behind the curtain, hidden in the shadows, lurks the ISI. The Pakistani government, under President Pervez Musharraf and his intelligence chief, Lt Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, was maintaining and protecting the Taliban, both to control the many groups of militants now lodged in the country and to use them as a proxy force to gain leverage over and eventually dominate Afghanistan.”
She goes on to indict Pakistan further as an abettor of terrorism through proxy warriors it pretends not to know and claims to be helpless to curb. It pretends to “apparently” cooperate with America but covertly trains militants through its dreaded ISI to go to Afghanistan and kill Americans. She says Americans knew what its great ally was doing but refused to face up to it “for fear of setting off a greater confrontation with a powerful Muslim nation”.
She quotes a former chief of the ISI, Ziauddin Butt — a simple soldier, if you run into him at the Lahore Gymkhana, you will see him stuffing the heads of rich shopkeepers with stories of great derring-do against enemy America — as saying that “he thought Musharraf had arranged to hide bin Laden in Abbottabad”.
Of course, Butt has quickly denied what he said to Gall but he had already told a lot of foreign reporters about how Musharraf and the ISI’s Brigadier Ijaz Shah and ISI chief Shuja Pasha had actually placed him in Abbottabad.
Then Gall turns to the 2007 Lal Masjid affair in Islamabad when Musharraf ordered the attack on this al-Qaeda-linked mosque — and thus dug his grave by daring to go against the hardcore establishment within the army and represented in the ISI. She quotes a cabinet minister on the affair: “One hundred per cent they knew what was happening. The ISI allowed the militants to do what they wanted out continued…