Monday, March 10, 2008

A Costly Celebration - The return of Kashmir Singh

Kashmir Singh was on news with his emotional release from the Pakistani jails, as he crossed the Wagah border last week after having spent 35 years on a death row. His return was celebrated, with the Government of Punjab, declaring him a national hero who had sacrificed his life for the sake of the nation and honored him and his wife with pension, and a job for his son.

But the same hero did probably a costly mistake just as the media approached him. Being 35 years in jail, might have made him unaware of the role of media in today's world and he failed to realize that a miscalculated statement could start a storm.
Quoting him ''My mission in Pakistan was not to explode bombs. I was in Pakistan to get the location of their Army and take pictures to get information about their tanks, their guns, their army divisions and brigade, their units and the names of the officers,''

Ansar Burney the Minister of Human rights in Pakistan's caretaker Government had managed to convince the release of Singh who was convicted of espionage. He managed however to get Singh released with the explanation that he was actually a business visitor, an electronic dealer with a lost passport. He thought that this release will pave the way for a new Indo-Pak relationship, releasing innocent prisoners from either sides of the border.

But Singh's retort has really changed things for Ansar Burney, the Government of India, the 600 Indian prisoners in Pakistani Jails, and 200 Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails. I doubt if Singh's statement of denial later that he was not in a stable state of mind when he made that remark, will do any good. At least not after one reads the rather acid remark in the Associate Press version of the story published in websites including the famous Khilafah. (Read the full report at http://www.khilafah.com/kcom/analysis/news-watch/indian-s-confession-disconcerts-pakistan.html)

In the face of the political change happening in Pakistan, where the elections have clearly shown for the first time, a desire for useful trade relationships between the rival nations, India has a question to answer. Will it remain content with the release of Singh at the cost of throwing a spanner on all the good things happening to erase the hostility between the two nations?
Or will India take steps to avoid running a stick into the spokes? Can India reciprocate by releasing more prisoners from the Indian Jails? (May be even some convicted of espionage?)

This decision can be critical; a soft decision as such can really boost the morale on either side to take the path of friendly economic development.

2 comments:

Sita said...

Kashmir Singh should have been more careful with his words. I think he should have been warned about the consequences by the foreign affairs ministry as soon as he got released.

He was too excited that he started describing his achievements and sacrifices. Unfortunately, in order to sensationalise the news,he commented on certain sensitive information.

Little did the poor old man realise that it would affect the many more prisoners on either side who are wishing hard to go back home and the future of indo-pak relationship itself in the future.

Sita said...

Kashmir Singh should have been more careful with his words. I think he should have been warned about the consequences by the foreign affairs ministry as soon as he got released.

He was too excited that he started describing his achievements and sacrifices. Unfortunately, in order to sensationalise the news,he commented on certain sensitive information.

Little did the poor old man realise that it would affect the many more prisoners on either side who are wishing hard to go back home and the future of indo-pak relationship itself in the future.