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News ::
Indians Preparing Ground for Musharraf Visit to USA (english)
27 May 2003
Preparing Ground for Musharraf Visit to USA -- Shame to Sharmila Bose Shame to Sharmila Bose Shame to Sharmila Bose Shame to Sharmila Bose Shame to Sharmila Bose Shame to Sharmila Bose Shame to Sharmila Bose
Sharmila Bose Preparing Ground for
Musharraf Visit to USA
==============================================================
Disturbing article in the Daily Times by an Indian www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_27-5-2003_pg3_4

Sarmila Bose, an assistant editor and columnist for Ananda Bazar Patrika and The Telegraph newspapers in India, writes "For the hypothetical
choice between Narendra Modi of Gujarat and General Musharraf, it's no contest really - the truly disturbing sign of the direction India's
democracy has taken is that the 'Paki in khaki'would get my vote any day over the saffron-draped Hindu nationalist peddling the politics of
hate". This article, again is an example of clear obfuscation of facts and hate-India attitude of the extreme left wing that has managed to embed
themselves in positions of influence in Indian media. The question that one has to ask, is why did she feel it necessary to write this?

Blank Check to Musharraf

I'm personally not a fan of Modi but consider the following facts about Musharraf, which Ms. Bose chooses to hide:

1. In May,1988, the Shias, who are in a majority in Gilgit, rose in revolt against the Sunni-dominated administration. Zia put an SSG group
commanded by Gen. Musharraf in charge of suppressing the revolt. Gen. Musharraf transported a large number of Wahabi Pakhtoon tribesmen from the NWFP and Afghanistan, commanded by bin Laden, to Gilgit to teach the Shias a lesson. http://www.jammu-kashmir.com/insights/insight20000206b.html .These tribesmen under bin Laden massacred hundreds of
Shias. In its issue of May,1990, "Herald", the monthly journal of the "Dawn" group of publications of Karachi, wrote as follows: " In
May,1988, low-intensity political rivalry and sectarian tension ignited into full-scale carnage as thousands of armed tribesmen from outside
Gilgit district invaded Gilgit along the Karakoram Highway. Nobody stopped them. They destroyed crops and houses, lynched and burnt people to death in the villages around Gilgit town. The number of dead and injured was put in the hundreds. But numbers alone tell nothing of the savagery of the invading hordes and the chilling impact it has left on these peaceful valleys."
[ http://www.geocities.com/charcha_2000/essays/Musharraf_terrorism_link.ht #General%20Musharraf ]

2. Musharraf started the Kargill conflict, which caused the death of at least 533 Indians, injuring many more.

3. Musharraf, as COAS has directly controlled the jihadi terrorism against Indians killing tens of thousands over the last decade. In fact,
his belief in jihad is captured by his own statement as ""the acquisition of Kashmir by Pakistan can wait. What is more important is to keep the Indian army bleeding in Kashmir just as the Afghan Mujahideen kept the Soviet troops bleeding in Afghanistan".
The US state department in 2001 said " Pakistan's military government, headed by Gen. Pervez Musharraf, continued previous Pakistani Government support of the Kashmir insurgency, and Kashmiri militant groups continued to operate in Pakistan, raising funds and recruiting new cadre."

4. Musharraf as COAS and then President directly helped the Taliban kill tens of thousands of Afghans in a brutal war. In fact, the air-lift of
Kunduz after the US invasion was started to move out key Pakistany army officers amongst the ranks of the Taliban.

5. Musharraf scuttled plans to capture Osama by the US, thus leading to eventual the death of many innocent civilians in US and Afghanistan. In fact, in the last 3 years all major international terrorist attacks can be seen to have a Pakistani hand (led by Musharraf, of course).

6. "General Pervez Musharraf says the press in Pakistan is free. Journalists' experience and reports by independent sources on this issue
suggest there is not much truth in this claim. Green Press' report too - State of Press in Pakistan - finds there is no "press freedom" in
Pakistan. Besides attacks against the press, the report has also chronicled all violations against freedom of _expression and curbs on
entertainment from May 2002 to May 2003. The report documents more than 50 cases that it says amount to "crimes" against press and other
freedoms. Most of these actions were allegedly masterminded by the state to suppress dissenting voices. None was probed or culprits punished" - Friday Times also available at http://www.pakistan-facts.com/article.php/20030502121837343

Of course, all this is "much" preferable to any unproven accusations on Modi. (Please note the recent Nanavati report). Preferable, to an extent that she chose to hide all the facts.

Hindu Nationalism far worse than Pakistani terrorism

Bose claims "Finally, even General Musharraf's bitterest opponents do not think he is a religious bigot. How ironic that the self-appointed
autocrat of an 'Islamic' country actually harbours no religious prejudice, while the democratic government in 'secular' India is driven
on the fuel of Hindu nationalist ideology!".

Of course, she is talking about an army which when Musharraf was part of it has perpetrated at least 3 major genocides in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Kashmir. In fact, the army (when Musharraf was COAS) buried Tikka Khan, the butcher of Dhaka, with full national honors. This "secular" country, India has seen minorities in its minority population grow, while the Pakistan where Musharraf has had a strong national say for the last 15 years has seen its minority population completely disappear. I do not know, what all she's implying by the "Hindu Nationalist ideology", but one thing is clear from her writing - genocidal, terrorist actions of Musharraf are preferable to the actions of
democratic Vajpayee government (in the above statement of hers, the comparison is to India, not Gujarat).

Half-truths on the Economy

Bose further claims "The reality is that in terms of these crucial issues, the military dictatorship of General Musharraf from 1999 to 2002
arguably provided better governance, not only compared to previous elected governments of Pakistan, but also compared to the democratically elected government of India during the same priod". She further adds "Secondly, General Musharraf seemed at least to try to deal with pressing policy matters including economic problems. Some of his economic successes are directly related to his decision to do a policy somersault in Afghanistan and become America's ally in its 'global war against terrorism' - a practical move most certainly in his country's best interest. In India the economic reform programme is adrift while issues of temple-building or 'cow protection' take centre-stage."

Of course, this period of governance seen Pakistani editors regularly flee the country due to risk to their families, openly threatened the
life of one of the most visible editor in Pakistan. Almost civilian organizations are now run by military men. Bernard-Henri Levy's recently
published book says "Pakistan is the most delinquent of nations" and claiming that Pakistan was the real key to all Islamic-led international
terrorism, he said that the US had solved only 1% of the problem by deposing Saddam Hussein. This is about Musharraf's Pakistan. Sehbai in
SA Tribune says the following:

"Last week the Inter Services Agency (ISI) of General Musharraf kidnapped the Deputy Opposition Leader of Punjab Assembly, Rana
Sanaullah Khan, beat him blue and black, shaved half of his head and half of his moustache and abandoned him on a deserted road, all for
criticizing the Army Generals.

In another move the bold and brave Lahore newspaper "Weekly Independent" was directly threatened with a senior official warning the publisher: "Enough is Enough"." - SA Tribune

Further, Dr. Assad Sayyed writes in May 2002, "This assessment of Pakistan's economy - based for the most part on official data - shows
that economic indicators pertaining to the lives and livelihoods of the Pakistanis have performed dismally in the last few years. In fact, some
of them are even worse than those in the 'lost decade' of the 1990s. More importantly this deterioration in the economy apart from the
drought - is in large part due to the policy framework adopted by the government."

India in the same time period, has done some of the following:
Fact #1. "Citing the 18.05 per cent rise in exports, Jaitley said, with this India share in the world exports in merchandise goods
has increased from 0.4 per cent in 1992-93 to 0.7 per cent in 2001-02 and 0.8 per cent in 2003.If the present trend is maintained, we might
even reach one per cent share in world exports before the target year of 2007," he said." - IE

Fact #2. "Despite an overall sluggish growth, many sectors in the economy are growing. And, growing at very handsome rates too. According to an ET Intelligence Group study, a large number of industries are growing at rates over 10%. Iraq or not, and SARS be damned. Compared to the growth rate of the real economy, that's stupendous" - TNN

Fact #3. "Auto part exports to rise over 100% to $2bn in 2 years" - ET

Fact #4. "Agricultural and processed food exports rose . 23% during April-October 2002" - ET

Fact #5. "Electronics components' exports have posted a 20.35 per cent rise in 2001-02 to Rs 2200 crore compared to Rs 1,828 crore in 2000-01, according to an estimate by Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council." - ET

Of course, her agenda would not allow her to "expose" the following truth about the adrift economic reform program:

"The winter session of India's 12th Parliament adjourned on Dec 21,2002 after setting something of a record for the legislative business carried out. Lok Sabha the lower house, had passed 42 pieces of legislation and Rajya Sabha,the upper house had approved more than half of them. A few dead laws were repealed. Some were fine-tuned.The reach of the legislators has been wide.Commentators say that the bills passed will reform the markets, strengthen the economy and make life a little more equitable." - goodnewsindia.com

" In the last three years, a total of 77 global firms have established their R&D centres in India as direct subsidiaries, according to a study
done by the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), here." - Hindu ,Business Online. How many R&D centers for major MNCs were setup in Pakistan in the last 3 years? WHAT IS AMERICA'S INTEREST IN THE SUB-CONTINENT?

Do we really want to compare Indian economic successes with Pakistan's terrorism extortion-money based economic bubble? From the above evidence, it appears not. But, what stopped Ms. Bose?

To Ms. Bose, who probably trusts non-Indian sources of information - please read Farukh Saleem's article "WHAT IS AMERICA'S INTEREST IN THE SUB-CONTINENT?" in the Friday Times, for a comparison between Indian and Pakistani economic successes in the last few years.

Why was this necessary at all?

Clearly one of the goals seems to be, to make Pakistani terrorism that Musharraf spearheads, come out smelling like roses compared to what she perceives as "Hindu nationalist ideology". Not only has she ignored Musharraf's illustrious past and rabid present, but she actually feels
that people like Musharraf should come to power in the Indian sub-continent; she calls it South Asia, of course. She says "the
challenge for democracy in South Asia and around the world is to devise a system that allows Pervez Musharrafs to come up through the democratic process".

Please note, that as an editor, Ms. Bose was clearly aware of the above information, truths and comparisons, but she consciously chose to hide all this and publish an exclusive article for a publication in Pakistan. The big question is "Why?".

She also obviously understands that, such an article published in a Pakistani paper with few truths and no "balancing" facts, will be used by the Pakistani media and the media friends of Pakistan in the US to bash India and felicitate Musharraf during his visit to the US in June.
Any attempts to moderate these with facts, will be seen as coming from the right-wing fanatics. Musharraf will ride this to beat up on India in
the international media during his visit, while hiding his own perfidy. Or is it possible, that she wrote this article because she "understands"
this.
Why do we need Time, to do a hatchet job on India, when the Ananda Bazar Patrika's assistant. editor would do?
=====================================

PLEASE CIRCULATE AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE !
See also:
http://india.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=5163&group=webcast
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