THOSE OPPOSING TRIPLE TALAQ BILL: HAVE THEY FORGOTTEN WHAT RAJIV GANDHI’S ILL-CONCEIVED SHAH BANO MOVE DID?

Tamil Nadu’s ruling party AIADMK says it will not support the Triple Talaq Bill brought by the government in its present form.

They are demanding to remove the clause from the bill that criminalises instant triple talaq and has provisioned a jail sentence for three years.

In addition, the proposed bill, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, also makes the practice of instant triple talaq non-bailable and cognisable offence.

BJD, the ruling party in Odisha, is opposed to the bill as its feels there are several flaws and internal contradictions and needs amendment. The party like many others in the opposition camp including Congress, are questioning the provisions on criminalisation and jail term.

CPI-M says the move by the government is ‘unwarranted and politically motivated.” Its MP Mohammed Salim said, “When the Supreme Court has already banned the triple talaq, there is no need to bring such a law. If divorce has not happened in the first place, where does the need to criminalise the act arise?”

AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi is outrightly dismissive of the bill saying it violates the Fundamental Rights and is also legally inconsistent. He even moved a notice in the Lok Sabha to oppose the bill.

Parties like SP, BSP and RJD are also opposed to the criminalisation provision, a principal demand of Congress, the largest block in the Rajya Sabha, along with the BJP. Both parties have 57 RS MPs each.

And they all are doing so to address their political constituencies. But does it really help? History tells otherwise.

THE SHAH BANO CASE

Shah Bano was 62 when she filed a court petition in Indore in April 1978 demanding maintenance from her divorced husband, a well-to-do lawyer, for herself and her five children, two daughters and three sons. The divorce was not final yet as per Islamic law. Shah Bano demanded her right to alimony, Rs 500 a month, for subsistence under the Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1973 which deals with maintenance issue of wives, children and parents.

Her husband had thrown her out and was staying with his second wife. After he stopped giving the promised monthly maintenance sum of Rs 200, Shah Bano was forced to approach the court in April 1978. Irked by the move, the husband made the talaq irrevocable in November 1978 and claimed he was not liable to pay any monthly subsistence as per the Muslim personal law and what all he owned to Shah Bano was Rs 5400, the amount according to their marriage contract or Mehr.

Shah Bano won, both from the Indore local court in August 1979 and from the Madhya Pradesh High Court in July 1980. After the local court found that a meagre sum of Rs 25 a month was enough for her and her five children, she filed a petition in the high court to revise it. The high court upheld the lower court order and raised the monthly maintenance to Rs 179.20 a month. But it was still a mere pittance, much lower than Rs 500 a month demanded by Shah Bano.

Shah Bano’s husband immediately moved to the Supreme Court against the high court order. The first hearing in the Supreme Court took place in February 1981. They referred the case to a larger bench. Soon the case acquired a much larger social canvas with Muslim bodies like the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind joining the case intervenors.

The matter was finally heard by a five judge bench of the Supreme Court. The Justices included India’s 16th Chief Justice Y V Chandrachud, Justice Jangnath Misra, Justice D A Desai, Justice O Chinnappa Reddy and Justice E S Venkataramiah.

They delivered a landmark ruling on 23 April 1985 that not only upheld the high court verdict but also opened the way for awakening among the Muslim women, to raise voice against their commoditization and secondary status, in nuptial agreements, in family and in society. The long fight that has resulted in the Supreme Court banning the practice of instant triple talaq and the government coming up with bill to make it a criminal offence is a testimony of that awakening as the fight was spearheaded by individual Muslim women and Muslim women organizations.

RAJIV GANDHI’S SURRENDER

As was expected to happen, the Supreme Court verdict created a storm. The Muslim clergy vehemently opposed it. They took to streets terming the judgement an encroachment upon their personal laws governed by the Shariat. Political overtones of the protests were so strong that the Rajiv Gandhi Government had to surrender finally. It enacted a law in May 1986 that overturned the Supreme Court decision.

THE PRICE CONGRESS PAID – BUT HAVE OTHERS LEARNT FROM IT?

The way Rajiv Gandhi surrendered before the compulsions of appeasement politics and overturned the Supreme Court ruling on a social malaise that was affecting and afflicting millions of Muslim women, it sent out a message that the government of the day was ready to go to any extent to save its votebanks.

The move by Rajiv Gandhi sent a powerful message that the Congress government that was totally appeasement centric and if it could overturn a historic decision of the top court of the land to appease the minorities, it could never be friendly to the interests of the majority. And there were many takers for this perception.

Senior BJP leader L K Advani, deposing before the Liberhan Commission on Babri Mosque demolition, in fact counted the Shah Bano case as one of the three factors that led BJP to launch the movement for Ram Mandir construction in Ayodhya, “If the Shah Bano episode had not taken place, if the Government had not actively participated or facilitated the shilanyas or opened the Ram temple gates, may be this would not have weighed with us when we were thinking of the Ayodhya Resolution in 1989.”

The step that Rajiv Gandhi believed would pay political dividend, in fact, proved a major drag on his legacy and the political dividend instead went to parties like BJP and Shiv Sena. Congress started shrinking and BJP started growing. And the consequences are there for everyone to see today. BJP is now in 19 states while Congress has shrunk to just four and the party has come down to a historical low in its Lok Sabha representation. It could win just 44 seats in the 2015 General Election.

And Rajiv Gandhi did it for a social malaise that that had made lives of Muslim women a hell. 95 per cent of the arbitrarily divorced Muslim women don’t get any compensation or maintenance from their husbands, a survey by the BMMA reveals. The BMMA survey also says 92 per cent Muslim women want triple talaq banned.

The Lok Sabha where BJP and its allies are in absolute majority passed the bill to ban instant triple talaq on 28 December. Now the Rajya Sabha will take it up on 2nd January for discussion and passage. If BJP and Congress can reach to a compromise, then opposition by any other party will not matter.

And history says Congress would not do so, reflecting in the fact that it was, in fact, a poorly calculated decision by Rajiv Gandhi, even if under the pressure of Muslim clerics, that became one of the rallying points for Hindutva politics.

Congress, it seems, has learnt its lessons after paying a heavy price. But can we say that about others?

©SantoshChaubey

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SHAH BANO CASE: WHEN SUPREME COURT RULED THAT RELIGION IS IRRELEVANT IN DIVORCE MAINTENANCE CASES

The proposed bill to outlaw the instant triple talaq (most used way by the Muslim men to divorce their wives by uttering talaq-talaq-talaq in one go), the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, that was passed by the Lok Sabha yesterday may have unnerved male dominated Muslim organisations, religious scholars and political leaders who are calling it anti-Shariat (hostile to the Muslim personal law) and un-Islamic, the fact is, the country’s apex court, had clearly ruled over three decades ago that religion is irrelevant for practices like divorce and the subsequent issue of maintenance for subsistence.

While delivering a landmark verdict in the Shah Bano case in 1985, Justice Y V Chandrachud, the 16th Chief Justice of India, observed that the Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) 1973 that deals with the issue of subsistence maintenance of wives, children and parents with provision of monthly payment included every wife irrespective of her religion, “Clause (b) of the Explanation to section 125 (1) of the Code, which defines “wife” as including a divorced wife, contains no words of limitation to justify the exclusion of Muslim women from its scope. Wife, means a wife as defined, irrespective of the religion professed by her or by her husband. Therefore, a divorced Muslim woman so long as she has not married, is a wife for the purpose of section 125.”

The former CJI emphasized that such provisions are objective and prophylactic in nature and were enacted to give protective cover to the aggrieved party, “Neglect by a person of sufficient means to maintain these and the inability of these persons to maintain themselves are the objective criteria which determine the applicability of section 125 and therefore such provisions, which are essentially of a prophylactic nature, cut across the barriers of religion.”

Countering the arguments that the verdict encroached upon the Muslim personal law, the former CJI said “true such provisions do not supplant the personal law of the parties but, equally, the religion professed by the parties or the state of the personal law by which they are governed, cannot have any repercussion on the applicability of such laws unless, within the framework of the Constitution, application is restricted to a defined category of religious groups or classes.”

Further elaborating his counter argument, Justice Chandrachud wrote in the landmark verdict, “Whether the spouses are Hindus or Muslims, Christians or Parsis, pagans or heathens is wholly irrelevant in the application of these provisions. The reason for this is axiomatic, in the sense that section 125 is a part of the Code of Criminal Procedure, not of the Civil Laws which define and govern the rights and obligations of the parties belonging to particular, religions like the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, the Shariat or the Parsi Matrimonial Act.”

And ruled that “the liability imposed by section 125 to maintain close relatives who are indigent is founded upon the individuals’ obligation to the society to prevent vagrancy and destitution” is the moral edict of the law and morality cannot be clubbed with religion.

Shah Bano was 62, with five children to look after, when she filed a court case for maintenance from her divorced husband in 1978. In 1985, after seven years of struggles, the Supreme Court finally upheld the verdict of the high court, recognizing her right to alimony irrespective of her being a Muslim womam as the Muslim personal law doesn’t provide for a maintenance post divorce. Instead, what it provisions is sort of one time package that the husband needs to pay for “Iddat” or the waiting period before the woman can remarry again, usually a period of three months in divorce cases.

The verdict created social storm in the Muslim community and political storm in the country. Muslim clerics were dead against it and their pressure worked when the Rajiv Gandhi government brought in the Muslim Women (Protection on Divorce Act), 1986 next year to overturn the Supreme Court ruling. The bill, though claimed to protect the Muslim women in divorce cases, let erring Muslim husbands go scot-free again. Primacy of the ‘Iddat’ period and thus the superiority of the Muslim men were restored. And instead of giving any direct remedy to the aggrieved woman, she was forced to take a circuitous route, from her close relatives to the Waqf Board to beg for subsistence maintenance.

©SantoshChaubey

TRIPLE TALAQ BILL PASSED: WHY INDIA NEEDED TO GET RID OF THIS SOCIAL MALAISE

The article originally appeared on India Today.

If Muslim countries including Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Egypt have banned the practice of triple talaq, then how is banning triple talaq in India an anti-Shariat and un-Islamic activity?

The Triple Talaq Bill or the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 that was passed in the Lok Sabha has divided the political class and Muslim organisations, even if the legal fight against it was spearheaded by many aggrieved Muslim women and their organisations like the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA).

The proposed bill aims to outlaw the practice of Talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq and criminalises the practice, making it a non-bailable and cognizable offence and inviting a jail term of three years for erring husbands. This provision has been objected by many parties and they are demanding its removal.

The government says, doing so was necessary as even after the landmark Supreme Court verdict on August 22, 2017 that banned instant triple talaq, the social malaise continued unabated. The top court in its verdict had put a six month ban on the practice and had asked the government to frame a law on it.

If we see available data, the government stand looks logical, the data which says the Supreme Court ruling has failed to deter the erring Muslim husbands from divorcing their wives by saying ‘talaq-talaq-talaq’ in one go.

Before the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court in August, 177 triple talaq cases were registered, i.e., 22 cases a month.

The situation has become worse since then. As Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad revealed in the Parliament today, around 100 triple talaq cases have been registered since the Supreme Court verdict, i.e., 25 cases a month.

POOR LITERACY LEVELS, NEGLIGIBLE WORKFORCE PARTICIPATION

Data show Muslim women are worst of all social groupings of women in India.

According to the Census 2011, Muslim women at 52 per cent are least educated among the women in India. Among those who are educated, only very few reach the graduation level as the overall share of the Muslim community among graduate students is just 2.75 per cent.

Something that reflects in poor representation of Muslim women in workforce. In 2001, there were just 14.1 per cent Muslim women doing some kind of job which only marginally rose to 14.8 per cent in the Census 2011.

A study by the Indian Institute of Public Administration quoting 2007-08 NSSO data found that there were just 1.5 per cent Muslim women who possessed qualification above higher secondary while majority of them were educated till the upper primary level (around 42 per cent).

UNDERAGE MARRIAGES AND INSTANT DIVORCE: TRIPLE TALAQ IS A SOCIAL MALAISE

Census 2011 also reveals that 13.5 per cent of Muslim women are married before 15 years of age and 49 per cent between 14 to 19 years.

Overall, around 80 per cent of Muslim women are married by the age of 21 and most of them are either illiterate or barely literate to build independent careers.

Also, Census data shows we are staring at a social anathema where more than 50 per cent Muslim girls are forced in underage marriages. It seems as if they are raised only for this exclusive purpose, i.e., get married, become a housewife and spend the whole life under the threat of a husband who can divorce you at his mere whim.

Almost 80 per cent divorced among the Indian Muslims are women, i.e., four divorced Muslim women for every divorced Muslim man, IndiaSpend reports.

Most of them were divorced orally, an instant ‘talaq-talaq-talaq’ was spoken to almost 66 per cent of them.

7.6 per cent were sent letters by their husbands proclaiming divorce while 3.4 per cent were given the shock of their life over phone, the data available shows.

Around 1 per cent of Muslim men also used SMS and email to reveal their designs.

95 per cent of these arbitrarily divorced women don’t get any compensation or maintenance from their husbands, a survey by the BMMA reveals. The BMMA survey also says 92 per cent Muslim women want triple talaq banned.

The Supreme Court, while delivering its landmark decision in the Shah Bano case in 1985, that recognised a Muslim woman’s right to alimony, had commented, “Whether the spouses are Hindus or Muslims, Christians or Parsis, pagans or heathens, is wholly irrelevant in the application of the provisions on maintenance given to wife who is unable to maintain herself.”

Though the Supreme Court decision was overturned by the Rajiv Gandhi government within a year by enacting he Muslim Women (Protection on Divorce Act), 1986, the case became a rallying point for women voices from within the Muslim community for their rights.

©SantoshChaubey

DESPITE TRUCE, RAHUL GANDHI RAKES UP PM MODI’S PAKISTAN COMMENT AGAIN IN TWEET TO ‘MR JAITLIE’

The article originally appeared on India Today on 27 December.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he thanked Union Minister Arun Jaitley for reminding the nation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “never means what he says or says what he means.”

Rahul attached a video to his Twitter message. It containing clips of Modi’s controversial remark on former PM Manmohan Singh and former VP Hamid Ansari, and of a statement Jaitley made in the Rajya Sabha today.

The Congress alleged that on the assembly election campaign trail, Modi insinuated that his predecessor and the former vice-president conspired to derail the BJP in Gujarat, at a dinner party attended by former Pakistan diplomats. The Grand Old Party wanted an apology from the PM, and Manmohan said in a statement that he rejected “the innuendos and falsehoods.”

Office of RG ✔ @OfficeOfRG
Dear Mr Jaitlie – thank you for reminding India that our PM never means what he says or says what he means. #BJPLies
8:52 PM – Dec 27, 2017

“I sincerely hope that he will apologise to the nation for his ill thought transgression to restore the dignity of the office he occupies,” Manmohan said.

Today, Jaitley said Modi didn’t question or mean to question their commitment to the nation.

“We hold these leaders in high esteem,” Jaitley said.

In fact, the government and the Opposition reached a truce over the issue, thanks to some good old back room diplomacy.

©SantoshChaubey

PAK ARMY REJECTS INDIA’S OBJECTIONS OVER ILL-TREATMENT TO JADHAV’S FAMILY, SAYS IT SHOULD RATHER RESPECT ITS GESTURE

The article originally appeared on India Today.

Pakistan army has rejected India’s objections over ill-treatment meted out to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family. Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, DG, and Inter-Services Public Relations said in a press conference that the meeting was a humanitarian gesture and India should rather respect Pakistan’s move.

In response to a question on whether the decision to allow the Kulbhushan Jadhav family was taken under some international pressure, the spokesperson of Pakistan army said there was no such thing and the meeting being a humanitarian gesture and not a consular access is a proof of that.

Maj Gen Ghafoor also reiterated the routine Pakistani rant of freedom struggle in Kashmir and dismissed the reports that Indian soldiers conducted surgical strike inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and boasted that “India cannot lure Pakistan into such unprofessional undertakings.”

HUMANITY SHAMED, MOCKERY OF JUSTICE

The ill-treatment of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife has outraged India and the nation’s sentiment was reflected today in the Parliament when all political parties came together to denounce the Pakistani act of using pain and suffering of a family to further its anti-India propaganda. Pakistan had allowed Jadhav’s mother and wife to meet him earlier this month and the meeting was held on 25 August.

The meeting that lasted for 40 minutes was arranged in a container with a glass barrier between Jadhav and his family. They were not allowed to speak in Marathi and Hindi. Before the meeting, Pakistani authorities forced Jadhav’s mother and wife to change their clothes and remove their Mangalsutra, bindis and bangles. And after seeing their son and husband, who is on death row, they were allowed to be heckled by an insensitive Pakistani media that addressed them with phrases like ‘mother of a killer son’ or ‘a husband who had killed thousands of innocent Pakistanis’.

Kulbhushan Jadhav is a former Indian Navy officer who was on a routine business trip in Iran from where he was abducted by terrorists and later sold to Pakistan’s notorious intelligence agency ISI. Pakistan, on its part, claims Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan. Seeing an opportunity to further its anti-India propaganda, Pakistan declared the innocent Indian a spy engaged in subversive activities and after a sham trial, sentenced him to death.

Pakistan, the country that has been declared a terror haven by the US, didn’t respond to the multiple demands made by India for consular access to Jadhav. India moved to the International Court of Justice in May against Pakistan which stayed Jadhav’s hanging till the matter was decided.

©SantoshChaubey

RAHUL GANDHI THANKS “MR. JAITLIE” FOR CLARIFYING NARENDRA MODI’S PAKISTAN REMARK AGAINST MANMOHAN SINGH

Congress president Rahul Gandhi took a jibe at finance minister Arun Jaitley for his clarification on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks against former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Vice-president Hamid Ansari.

During an election rally in Gujarat, Modi had alleged Manmohan Singh and other Congress leaders of colluding with Pakistan to defeat the BJP in Gujarat. Jatiley said in his clarification that was nowhere close to being apologetic, “PM in his speeches didn’t question, nor meant to question the commitment to this nation of either former PM Manmohan Singh or Former VP Hamid Ansari, any such perception is erroneous, we hold these leaders in high esteem, as well as their commitment to India.”

Tweeting a video of Modi’s election remarks and Arun Jaitley’s RS clarification side by side, Rahul addressed the Finance Minister sarcastically as “Dear Mr. Jaitlie” and in an equally sarcastic tone, thanked him “for reminding India that Narendra Modi never means what he says or says what he means.”

Office of RG @OfficeOfRG
Dear Mr Jaitlie – thank you for reminding India that our PM never means what he says or says what he means.
#BJPLies
https://twitter.com/OfficeOfRG/status/946038581306441728

The remarks made by Modi created storm in Indian politics. Manmohan Singh reacted sharply on it and demanded an apology on what he perceived as Modi’s ill thought transgression, “I reject the innuendos and falsehoods as I did not discuss Gujarat elections with anyone else at the dinner hosted by Mani Shankar Aiyar as alleged by Modi. I sincerely hope that he will apologize to the Nation for his ill thought transgression to restore the dignity of the office he occupies.”

Congress launched a well mounted campaign to denounce it and made Modi’s apology a pre-condition to run the Parliament and with today’s compromise there seemed to be an end to the stalemate finally as Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Leader of Opposition in RS and a Congress MP, thanked Jaitley for his clarification “on what had been issue of contention” and also distanced his party from any comments made against Modi during the Gujarat election campaign.

©SantoshChaubey

CHINA WARNS JAPAN AGAINST ACQUIRING ADVANCED FIGHTER JETS, EVEN IF TIMES HAVE CHANGED

The article originally appeared on India Today. 

China has warned Japan against efforts to acquire F-35B stealth bombers and modify its existing Izumo class helicopter carriers to host them. Though there has been no official confirmation from Japan on the move, global media including Reuters have confirmed the development citing Japanese government sources.

Reminding Japan of its pledge to follow the path of militarization only for self-defence, Hua Chunying, the spokesperson of China’s foreign ministry, said Japan must not forget the commitment made to the international community, “We urge Japan to adhere to the policy of “exclusive defence”, stay committed to the path of peaceful development, act cautiously in the area of military security and do more to enhance mutual trust between regional countries and promote peace and stability in the region, instead of the opposite.”

CHANGED TIMES

But while it may be convenient for China to quote a historical development to press Japan from acquiring advanced military capabilities like aircraft carriers and stealth fighter jets, the truth is, times have changed. While Japan has proved itself as a peace-loving country in order to pay for excesses committed by its imperial forces that ended with the World War II, China has emerged as one of the most hardliner nations on earth with an expansionist mindset and is engaged in territorial disputes with many countries including Japan and India.

No one can forget the repeated war threats by the official Chinese media during the 73-day long Doklam standoff between China and India where China tried to usurp a disputed territory in Bhutan to build a road near the Indian border in order to gain strategic advantage.

What makes Chinese threat even more serious is the fact that the country that is run by an iron grip of dictatorial power, is now a major global power, both economically as well as militarily. In post-World War II era, it has fought wars with India and Vietnam to expand its borders, has built artificial islands to further its claims in the South China Sea in spite of global opposition, claims other islands and territories that are part of other countries and has been involved in countless skirmishes with its neighbouring countries on the issue.

THE NORTH KOREAN THREAT

Additionally, Japan is also facing a heightened threat from North Korea, a rogue country with China as its only ally. North Korea has already conducted almost half a dozen nuclear and ballistic missile tests including a hydrogen bomb and is threatening the world with nuclear war in response of the mounting pressure of global sanctions imposed on it for continuing with missile and nuclear programme.

In September, North Korea fired a missile over Japan. In October, it warned Japan of nuclear cloud over its skies if the country continued with its mission of pressuring North Korea to give up missile and nuclear programme. And in November, it launched its most advanced inter-continental ballistic missile that landed in the Sea of Japan. To add to the North Korean threat, there are credible intelligence reports that the country might be on the verge of starting production of biological weapons on military scale.

JAPAN CHINA RIVALRY

Japan and China has been traditional rivals. They have fought two full scale wars, in 1894-95 and from 1937 to 1945. The second Japan-China war was the largest Asian war of the 20th Century that cost millions of lives, especially in China. It has been such a sensitive issue in China that the country still observes state memorial for war victims and calls for a Japanese apology are routine.

And these two traditional rivals are vying for leadership role in Asia-Pacific. If China is trying to place itself at the centre of Asia-Pacific, its rivals, the US, Australia, Japan and India, are pushing for an Indo-Pacific vision of the reason. In his first national security strategy that he unveiled recently, US President Donald Trump, in fact, has termed China a strategic competitor while Japan, Australia and India as strategic friends.

The proposed quadrilateral has been a brainchild of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and can further increase Japan China rivalry, replacing the recent events of thaw in Japan-China ties based on points of mutual economic interests. Shinzo Abe and Xi Jinping recently agreed for a new start to mend the bilateral ties as the peace and friendship agreement between the countries enters its 40th year in 2018.

Another issue that potential derail any Japan-China dialogue is China’s contentious claims in East and South China seas. China claims Japanese Senkaku islands in the East China Sea while Japan has been a vocal opponent of China’s militarization of South China Sea islands. Japan has been wary of China’s growing assertiveness in the East China Sea and Western Pacific and earlier this year, it had to rush a record number of fighter jets, significantly higher than the previous year, to Check Chinese activities.

CHANGED REALITIES

The interplay of these factors make it essential for Japan to acquire military capability to act in self-defence on a scale that can counter missile and nuclear threat. And it cannot be done without advanced defence technologies like F-35A and F-35B fighter jets and the systems to host and launch them, i.e., the aircraft carriers.

Japan is acquiring 42 advanced F-35A stealth jets that require long runways and conventional take-off and landing. But to meet contingencies like a military hostility where missile attacks have destroyed its land runways or as is the case with remote Japanese islands, where only short runways are available, Japan’s ruling establishment is thinking to include F-35B stealth jets as well as these jets require short runways and can take-off and land vertically. The Izumo class helicopter carriers, that are 248 meters long, are designed in such a way that they can be modified and refitted to operate F-35Bs.

And doing so should not violate the spirit of Article 9 of Japanese constitution, as also interpreted by the Japanese establishment from time to time. Though the Article, shaped by the experiences of the World War II and the atomic bombs attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, literally means that Japan cannot maintain armed forces and war cannot be a mean to address international disputes, governments in Japan have reinterpreted it to raise a commendable self-defence force.

But, still Japan has no aircraft carriers. “Under its strictly defence-oriented policy, Japan has maintained that it cannot possess “attack aircraft carriers,” saying the vessels can be deemed offensive weapons that exceed the minimum capacity Japan needs for self-defence in light of the Constitution,” writes Japan Times.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is trying to change that and “China’s growing maritime assertiveness” is central to the efforts, said Japan Times quoting government sources. Japan is currently debating if the Article 9 can be reviewed and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party “is weighing both moderate and drastic revisions.”

©SantoshChaubey

CONFLICT OF INTEREST? RETIREMENT POSTINGS OF SOME FORMER CBI DIRECTORS

AP SINGH

CBI DIRECTOR, NOVEMBER 2010 TO NOVEMBER 2012

UPA GOVERNMENT APPOINTED HIM MEMBER, UNION PUBLIC SERVICE COMISSION (UPSC) IN 2013 AFTER HIS RETIREMENT

RESIGNED IN JANUARY 2015 AFTER HE WAS ALLEGED TO HAVE LINKS WITH CONTROVERSIAL MEAT EXPORTER MOIN QURESHI

ACCUSED IN A CORRUPTION CASE, THE MEAT EXPORTER WAS ALLEGEDLY GIVEN UNDUE FAVOURS BY AP SINGH

CBI REGISTERED CASE AGAINST HIM, MOIN QURESHI AND OTHERS IN FEBRUARY 2017

ASHWANI KUMAR

IPS OFFICER, CBI DIRECTOR, AUGUST 2008 TO NOVEMBER 2010

AMIT SHAH WAS ARRESTED IN SOHRABUDDIN SHEIKH FAKE ENCOUNTER CASE DURING HIS TENURE

APPOINTED GOVERNOR OF NAGALAND IN MARCH 2013, RESIGNED IN JUNE 2014

P C SHARMA

IPS OFFICER, CBI DIRECTOR, APRIL 2001 TO DECEMBER 2003

AFTER REITREMENT FROM CBI, WAS APPOINTED MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION (NHRC) BY THE THEN NDA GOVERNMENT IN MARCH 2004

VIJAY SHANKER

1969 BATCH IPS OFFICER, CBI DIRECTOR, DECEMBER 2005 TO JULY 2008

AFTER RETIREMENT FROM CBI, HE WAS MADE MEMBER OF THE COMMISSION ON CENTRE-STATE RELATIONS

M L SHARMA

IPS OFFICER FROM RAJASTHAN CADRE, WAS SPECIAL DIRECTOR IN CBI, RETIRED IN 2009

HE WAS CONTENDER FOR CBI DIRECTOR POST

BUT WAS APPOINTED CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION (CIC) MEMBER AFTER RETIREMENT

RK RAGHAVAN

TAMIL NADU CADRE IPS OFFICER, CBI DIRECTOR, JANUARY 1999 TO APRIL 2001

HEADED THE PROBE WHICH CLEARED NARENDRA MODI IN 2002 GUJARAT RIOTS

SC APPOINTED SIT UNDER RAGHAVAN IN 2008 – ITS REPORT CAME IN 2012 GIVING CLEAN CHIT TO MODI

APPOINTED INDIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER TO CYPRUS IN AUGUST 2017

©SantoshChaubey

ACT OF WAR: NEW SANCTIONS, NEW NORTH KOREAN THREAT

North Korea, the world’s war propaganda factory, has come with new threats of annihilating its enemies after the fresh round of crippling sanctions imposed on it by the United Nations Security Council. The latest round of sanctions is, in fact, very harsh as they target the lifeline of any country, its energy security.

They cut export of petroleum products to North Korea by 90 per cent. To cripple the country even more on this front, export of transportation vehicles, machinery, and industrial equipment has also been banned.

And to complete the economic blockade, as North Korea has termed it, all North Korea immigrants who are working in other countries, are to be repatriated within 24 months. These sanctions, in fact, will be far reaching in isolating North Korea, if Kim Jong-Un, Donald Trump’s rocket-man or madman, doesn’t launch a missile or nuclear attack before that, as his country threatens every other day.

Building up on its war rhetoric, the desperate nation that has been on a spree of testing missile, nuclear and biological weapons, has termed it an act of war, “We define this ‘sanctions resolution’ rigged up by the US and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our Republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean peninsula.”

And in the routine North Korean way, they say they are going to punish everyone who is acting its interests. “Those countries that raised their hands in favour of this sanctions resolution shall be held completely responsible for all the consequences to be caused by the ‘resolution’ and we will make sure for ever and ever that they pay heavy price for what they have done,” said a release by KCNA, the official North Korean news agency.

The recent advances made by the country in acquiring lethal weapons and strategic capabilities have emboldened its war rhetoric to unprecedented levels.

After a series of nuclear capable missile tests including the one last month that is being touted as its most sophisticated one and a hydrogen bomb detonation, North Korea has declared itself nuclear power and in fact has termed the demands of terrified US, of North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons, a pipe dream, “The United States, completely terrified at our accomplishment is getting more and more frenzied in the moves to impose the harshest-ever sanctions and pressure on our country.”

©SantoshChaubey

PAKISTAN HITS BACK AFTER HARSHEST US WARNING, DRAGS INDIA IN ITS RETORT

The article originally appeared on India Today on 22 December.

Pakistan has hit back after the harshest warning from the US on terror havens in the country. Its Foreign Office has released a statement objecting to the language used by US Vice-President Mike Pence that President Donald Trump has put Pakistan on notice on terror havens including Taliban and Haqqani network.

The statement released by the spokesperson of Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign said the comments made by Pence were “at variance with the extensive conversations Pakistan has had with the US administration” on the issue.

Earlier in the day, US Vice-President Pence, while making a surprise visit to the Bagram Airfield, the largest US military base in Afghanistan, had bluntly warned Pakistan that it could no longer escape the writing on the wall that either act on terror havens on your land or face the wrath of Donald Trump, “For too long Pakistan has provided safe haven to the Taliban and many terrorist organisations, but those days are over as President Trump has put Pakistan on notice.”

Reacting on Pence’s remarks, the statement from Pakistan further said that “allies do not put each other on notice” adding that “on notice should be those factors responsible for exponential increase in drug production, expansion of ungoverned spaces, industrial scale corruption, breakdown of governance and letting Daesh (ISIS) gain a foothold in Afghanistan.”

Pakistan is also peeved at US putting India in a pivotal position in its new Afghanistan strategy that Donald Trump revealed in August.

Pakistan has time and again ranted about that it cannot accept an increased Indian role in Afghanistan and today’s remarks by Pence again gave it a chance to vent out its frustration on that front.

While terming Pence’s warning worrisome, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua urged “the US to treat both Pakistan and India on an equal footing.” Reiterating the usual Pakistani stand that it has destroyed all terror havens from its soil, the foreign secretary called US statements on the issue ‘one-sided’.

Relations between Pakistan and the US are going through a rough patch these days with US putting its ally in war against terror on tight notice to crack down on terror network on its soil including the Haqqani network that harm US interests in Afghanistan.

To counter the US pressure, Pakistan has resorted to lame rhetoric that it has no terror havens, that it doesn’t need US financial aid, that it will not tolerate Indian footprint in Afghanistan and that the US, in frustration on its own failures in Afghanistan, is trying to sift blame to Pakistan.

The anger and disappointment on Pakistan’s attitude has gone on to the extent that the US has stopped the part of its economic assistance to the country to take action against the Haqqani Network and has even threatened to end its US ally status. In spite of Pakistan’s claims and reassurances, the Trump administration has refused to budge from its stand on Pakistan that the country is a terror haven and is involved in double-dealings and treachery on terror emanating from its soil that carry out regular attack on US and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

©SantoshChaubey