Struggle between Pak Govt and Military

Tension between Pakistan civil government and military is not likely to go down any time soon. On one side where Military doesn’t seem to have faith on government, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani sacked defence secretary, retired Lieutenant General Naeem Khalid Lodhi, on Jan 11 with an allegation of "gross misconduct and illegal action which created misunderstanding between institutions”. Next day Army announced it would not acknowledge Nargis Sethi as Lodhi's replacement. An army officer also made it clear that they would not react violently to the appointment of new defence secretary but at the same time, would not cooperate with the secretary. Lodhi was the most senior civil servant responsible for military affairs, who acted as the bridge between government and military. Lodhi’s suspension came amid Kayani’s warning to Gilani against allegations leveled against him and ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha. Gilani alleged that affidavit filing by army and ISI chief in Supreme Court on memo scandal without the permission of government was unconstitutional.
{What is Memogate scandal? There are allegation that Hussain Haqqani, close aide of Zardari and former Pakistani Ambassador to US had sent a memo to the former U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Mike Mullen in May, seeking US intervention in preventing a coup in Pakistan after the Abbottabad operation. Haqqani had to resign amid controversies. Probe has already started to identify reason and role of Zardari in the memo scandal.}
In response, Kayani warned Gilani that his statement would have dire consequences on the country and he needs to clarify or withdraw his statement. Kayani’s warning lead to sacking of Defence Secretary Lodhi which further worsened the tussle.
Gilani was summoned on January 19 in the case of contempt for not obeying an order to reopen corruption probes into the country's president. Supreme Court wants Gilani to write to Swiss authorities to reopen corruption case against Zardari which government had refused to earlier. He got two weeks breather from Supreme Court as he presented before court. “Zardari has complete immunity inside and outside the country. It will not give a good message to proceed against a President elected by two-thirds majority. A president could not be handed over to foreign courts,'' Gilani told the court, referring to approaching Swiss authorities. Controversies have left several questions unanswered. Will same Government continue to rule? Will it lead to early elections? Is Military coup an option?

Google Vs Vinay Rai

Scenerio goes like this… Kapil Sibal invites chiefs of Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft etc. and asks to remove the cartoons of politicians uploaded on these websites. IT companies refuse to comply with his direction. Matters cools down with Kapil Sibal backward step. Suddenly, a 39 years old journalist of weekly Urdu newspapers Akbari files plea in Supreme Court against the content on these websites. Does it look self motivated or a conspiracy by Government or just a publicity stunt?

We spoke to Mr. Vinay Rai, man who filed plea in Supreme Court. “Pictures uploaded on these social networking websites are objectionable, in the form of cartoons and comic pictures of God and Goddess which hurt religious sentiments of people and can cause communal violence. Nudity and obscenity are common on these websites”, said Mr. Rai. He also added that every website should review the content before it be uploaded as they do with the feedback that they receive about their websites. On being asked why he filed plea on Jan 17 after Kapil Sibal episode, he replied, “I approached Kapil Sibal five months back and in December also along with Muslim leaders. Sibal was only concerned about cartoon pictures of politicians such as Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, etc. He backtracked when he got no positive response from website owners.” If Mr. Rai is to be believed, then he is self motivated and has no influence of Kapil Sibal or any other political leader.

Then we contacted Mr. N.K. Kaul, an advocate representing Google. As per him, it’s not technically possible to block these websites in India or to remove all the content already uploaded on websites. “If Mr. Rai or any other individual finds something objectionable on websites, then he should report the content as spam/obscene to website itself instead of moving to court. “Sex” is an objectionable word but in our passports, voter ID cards, gender is written as “Sex”, that doesn’t mean Google will block important information pertaining to passport or voter ID cards. Same goes for “virgin”. This word is also part of virgin airlines. Google can’t block as it will deprive surfers of important information”, said Mr. Kaul. Mr. Kaul refused to comment on the motive behind filing of plea against these websites by Mr. Rai.

 In today’s world, people are smart enough to decide what is right and what is wrong. Any sensible man would report the objectionable content to website. If each person moves to court, then court would be too small to accommodate all. It has been observed that websites take action on reported content. In terms of IT knowledge, India is advancing at a very fast pace. Almost every person has an account on Facebook and similar social networking websites. Important is we regulate ourselves, instead of trying to regulate websites. Generation Y is much smarter and faster than Generation X. Any content cannot remain hidden for long.

Tie up; No tie up

Mamata Banerjee, chief of the biggest ally of UPA government has kept Congress on tenterhook. Since Trinamool has joined UPA, clouds are hanging over government. It’s a party, UPA can’t depend upon. The most crucial time when UPA needed it the most in parliament in its support over Lokpal Bill, Trinamool was standing with the opposition with its demand to remove Lokayukta clause. Mamata said that centre was framing laws which were binding on state and centre should not impinge on state matters. Centre should be concerned about Lokpal at centre and not Lokayukta at state as that’s the matter of state and should be left to be dealt by the state only. Trinamool has 19 members in Lok Sabha and 6 in Rajya Sabha. The moment Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced FDI in retail sector, Mamata attacked back saying decision had to be rolled back and she didn’t pacify until Pranab da gave her assurance. She said it was a unilateral decision of UPA and announcement was made without consultation with allies. Mamata even threatened to withdraw support at UPA’s decision to hike fuel prices. Before this, Mamata even refused to accompany Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his visit to Bangladesh where he was initially likely to sign treaty on equal water sharing of Teesta river with Bangladesh. Despite Manmohan’s assurance to Manmohan that treaty would not be signed, Mamata remained firm on not being part of the trip scheduled for Sep 6 and 7. Mamata was among five chief ministers of Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya, who were to accompany Manmohan in Bangladesh but Mamata pulled out at the last moment and government had to face embarrassment. The latest one was the dispute over renaming Indira bhavan in Kolkata after the poet Nazrul Islam. All limits were crossed when both parties came out in open with their arms up. Congress staged protest against Trinamool decision over renaming the Bhavan. Responding to this, Trinamool accused Congress of having colluded with CPI(M) which is the main opposition party of Trinamool Congress in West Bengal and ruled for 34 years before Trinamool Congress came in power in 2011. Mamata said, “ Congress is protesting over renaming of Bhavan but it never protested when the Bhavan was being used by Jyoti Basu as CPM party office during his regime of 34 years. Despite all this I have never used strong words against Sonia or Manmohan Singh”. It’s just the beginning. There is more to see in future. Big question is whether Trinamool would remain with Congress or move separately!