As was to be expected, Mr Modi waded into the "Dehati Aurat" controversy, reported earlier, in his speech at BJP's Delhi rally:
"How dare you (Sharif) address my nation's Prime Minister as a village woman? There cannot be a bigger insult of the Indian Prime Minister. We can fight with him on policies but this we will not tolerate. This nation of 1.2 billion will not tolerate its Prime Minister's insult"
He went on to add:
"The journalists who were sitting in front of Nawaz Sharif when he was insulting our Prime Minister should also answer to the people of my country".
"I want to ask those journalists, I don't know who were they but journalists of my country who were having sweets sitting with Nawaz Sharif when he was abusing our Prime Minister calling him village woman, I expected those Indian journalists, the country expected them, to refuse the sweets and walk out"
Reportedly at Mr Sharif's initiative, Pakistan got into damage control mode:
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Pakistan journalist Hamid Mir is heard in the above TV programme as saying that Mr Nawaz Sharif called Barkha Dutt of NDTV and him for a breakfast meet and among other things, smilingly told Barkha Dutt that it seemed Mr Manmohan Singh had gone not as the Indian Prime Minister but as a "dehati aurat" to complain about him to President Obama
Literally, "dehati aurat" would mean a "village woman".
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The intercepts of the chilling conversations that the 26/11 "handler" 'Abu Jindal' had with the terrorists were widely heard around the world and documented in various excellent documentaries and there is a renewed interest in these intercepts now with the arrest of Zabiuddin Ansari aka Abu Jindal aka Abu Jundal aka Abu Hamza, a co-conspirator of the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai, who is alleged to be the handler whose voice has been identified with one of those voices on the intercepts. A quick recap from our blogs:
Intercepts of the Phonecalls with Handlers
Excerpts from the transcript of conversation between "Abu Jindal" and one of the terrorists at Chabad House:
Handler: Remember that every one person you kill there is like taking 50 lives.... Handler: Listen
TerrorisTerrorist: Yes, yes
Handler: Get rid of these people. Kill them
Terrorist: By Allah's wish it is all quiet. There is no movement
Handler: No, no wait. Shoot. If firing starts, you won't know the timing, direction and intensity
Terrorist: I've run out of grenades
Handler: Do it
Terrorist: What? Shoot them?
Handler: Yes. Make them sit up and shoot them in the backs of their heads
... [After some time]
Handler: Have you done the job or not?
Terrorist: No, I will do it in front of you. I was waiting for you
Handler: Do it in the name of Allah. (Woman screams: Please don't kill me!)
Handler: You killed one?
Terrorist: Both together
Terrorist: Allah willing, today is Friday. Today will be the final fight
Handler: Use all of your might. Do it. Shoot them. Get them
Terrorist: Intense fire has started. Firing has started in our room
Handler: Take cover
(A little later)
Handler: Yes, what happened?
Terrorist: I've been hit
Terrorist: On my side and leg
Handler: May Allah protect you
Terrorist: Pray for me, so that I attain martyrdom
For more context, some of the documentaries:
Channel 4's Dispatches: Terror in Mumbai:
CNN-IBN: 60 Hours:
Pro Publica: A Perfect Terrorist
Watch A Perfect Terrorist on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.
AlJazeera 101 East: Terror in Mumbai Part I
AlJazeera 101 East: Terror in Mumbai Part II
Also See: Jason MotlagHandler: Sixty Hours Of Terror
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Pakistan is in the throes of an existential crisis. Pakistan has always been in the throes of an existential crisis. Pakistan’s interminable existential crisis is, in fact, getting to be a bore. But while faraway peoples can indeed get away from this topic and on to something more interesting, Pakistanis have little choice in this matter; and it may be that neither do Indians.
The partition of British India was different things to different people, but we can all agree on some things: it was a confused mess, it was accompanied by remarkable violence and viciousness, and it has led to endless trouble. The Paknationalist narrative built on that foundation has Jihadized the Pakistani state, and defanging that myth is now the most critical historic task of the Pakistani bourgeoisie.
Well, OK. We don’t actually all admit any of those things, but all those are things I have written in the past. Today I hope to shed my inhibitions and go further.
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Pakistan’s predicament continues to draw comment from all over the world; in the Western (and Westoxicated Eastern) Left, the narrative remains straightforward (to such a degree that one is tempted to share an essay by Trotsky that Tariq Ali may have missed): US imperialism is to blame. In this story, US imperialism “used” poor helpless clueless Pakistan for its own evil ends, then “abandoned” them (it’s very bad when the imperialists go into a third world country, it’s also very bad when they leave) and they have now returned to finish off the job. I have written in the past about my disagreements with this Euro- centric and softly racist narrative and have little to add to it. In any case, no one in authority in either the imperialist powers or Pakistan is paying too much attention to the Guardian or the further reaches of the Left. But even among those who matter (for better and for worse), there seems to be no agreement about what is going on and what comes next. Everyone has their theories, ranging from “let's attack Pakistan” to “let’s throw more money at them” and everything in between. I don’t know what comes next either, but I have been thinking for a few days about an outcome that many in the Pakistani pro-military webring think is around the corner: What if we win?
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