SHARIF CAN WAIThttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/sharif-can-wait/

SHARIF CAN WAIT

Both Sangh Parivar weeklies have carried cover stories on Pakistan’s historic democratic transfer of power.

Both Sangh Parivar weeklies have carried cover stories on Pakistan’s historic democratic transfer of power. But their common message is one of caution with regard to Nawaz Sharif’s overtures. “Any haste dealing (sic) with Pakistan can again prove costly. Nawaz Sharif should be waited (sic) till he takes some concrete steps on the ground. It has to be seen whether he reins in the radicals and ISI or continues to follow their anti-India agenda,” the Organiser argues,while expressing surprise at the “haste” demonstrated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in extending an invitation to Sharif even before he formally took charge. The Organiser suggests the Indian government communicate to the new Pakistani government in “clear words” that “talks and terrorism cannot go together”.

The cover story in Panchjanya suggests that “entire Kashmir including PoK is an integral part of India” must be one of the many preconditions before setting off a process of normalisation of relations with Pakistan. The editorial in Panchjanya highlights the mismatch between “words and deeds” of the Pakistani establishment and cites A.B. Vajpayee’s initiative versus Pakistan’s Kargil misadventure. It warns the Indian government against making hasty moves and suggests weighing developments within Pakistan carefully and extracting commitments on terror before extending the hand of friendship.

CBI-ED AGAIN

A number of recent developments — the CBI chargesheet linking Rajasthan BJP leader G.C. Kataria to the Sohrabuddin encounter case,the CBI director’s remarks claiming no evidence against Pawan Bansal,and the constitution of a GoM on CBI autonomy — has once again stoked the Parivar’s anger. The Organiser expresses serious apprehensions about the CBI’s impartiality in the Kataria case: “The Congress-led UPA Government seems to have taken no lesson. Instead of showing in deeds that it really wants to free the ‘parrot’ from the ‘cage’,the Congress misses no chance to misuse the country’s premier investigative agency for political gains. Its latest victim is senior BJP leader of Rajasthan Gulab Chand Kataria,” argues the cover story. The editorial in the Organiser alleges that the CBI’s move against Kataria,ahead of the Rajasthan assembly elections,was a “well-planned” attempt by the ruling Congress “in a bid to impress that the BJP leaders are also equally tainted”. CBI director Ranjit Sinha’s reported remarks denying direct evidence against Bansal,even as the investigation goes on,has added to the Organiser’s criticism of the CBI.

Both the Organiser and Panchjanya express doubts about the UPA’s intentions regarding the CBI’s autonomy. “If they are serious they need not to (sic) start from the scratch. There are nine parliamentary committee reports on improving the agency’s functioning and granting it autonomy,” points out the editorial in the Organiser,adding that “the Government so far is only moving one step forward and two steps backward”.

BURDENS OF UP

Although the BJP has been out in the dumps in UP’s political battlefield,the Sangh Parivar appears to be keeping an eye on developments in the politically crucial state in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. The Organiser has focused its spotlight on recent attempts by Mayawati’s BSP and Mulayam Singh’s SP to woo the Brahmins in the state. A report belittles their attempts claiming that the “SP and BSP [are playing gimmicks by holding Brahmin sammelan”. A report in Panchjanya highlights the SP’s alleged minority appeasement to project the Akhilesh Yadav government as “pro-Muslim”. It expresses satisfaction over a local court’s dismissal of the state government’s plea seeking the withdrawal of charges against a Muslim youth charged in a 2007 serial blasts case.

Compiled by Ravish Tiwari