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Outswinger: Navjot Singh Sidhu has been Run Out by Aam Aadmi Party

Through Outswinger, I deliver my opinion on a wide range of issues

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Navjot Singh Sidhu. Wikimedia Commns

As one friend from London said: In Cricket, the batsman may strike hard on a ball, but cannot make a run unless the batsman on the non-striking end is also willing to run!

And that is what is precisely happening to Navjot Singh Sidhu! He was pitched to join the new party on August 15. The media is abuzz that his talks with AAP have gone sour and that he is unlikely to join AAP now.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has made him Run Out!

While so much has been written on this, there are some noteworthy observations that I bring to you.

  1. The cricketer turned commentator and politician made some wrong calculations. No doubt! Sensing the groundswell goodwill for AAP in Punjab (that was until a few months back. Since July 2016, the graph is going down for the one-man party and it will further keep sliding down), Mr. Sidhu thought that he would join the bandwagon and ride his way on to becoming the CM of Punjab.
  2. Well, what Sidhu missed was the internal struggle of AAP and ambitious career plans of Kejriwal:
  3. The way I know the Aam Aadmi Party, half of the energy of Mr. Kejriwal is invested in ensuring that no credible leadership develops within the party. Giving a high platform to Sidhu does not do anything good for Kejriwal himself.
  4. AAP also gave a reason that Sidhu was demanding a ticket for himself and his wife and the party does not let 2 members from the same family hold positions in the party. Naturally, this ‘rule’ suits AAP to deny Sidhu’s demand. But, look at the Haryana convener of AAP. A few months back, Naveen Jaihind was ‘thrust upon’ Haryana as a state convener by Kejriwal. His wife is Chief of Delhi Commission for Women. So much for the principle of ‘Swaraj’ that the party keeps professing!

India makes its official: Pakistan’s atrocities in Balochistan cannot be ignored

On this August 15, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation from Red Fort on Independence Day also broached the issue of Pakistan carrying out atrocities in Balochistan.

In the past, India has always desisted from raising the issue of Balochsitan demanding ‘azadi’. India has also turned its face to the blatant human rights violations and atrocities committed on Baloch people by Pakistan.

Credit: TheLineoffreedom.com
Credit: TheLineoffreedom.com

No more! In a complete reversal of a long trend, Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister who has spoken on this issue. Before the Independence Day address, Modi also expressed India’s resentment on the issue of Pakistan’s human rights violations in Pak-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Balochistan in a all-paty meeting in Delhi.

Modi’s gesture has sent a wave of excitement among Baloch leaders fighting for a separate Baloch nation.

Balochistan constitutes 46 % of Pakistan’s total geographic area. Despite its rich natural resources, it continues to be an under developed and a poverty-stricken area. Baloch nationalist guerillas fighting for its freedom from Pakistan maintain that Balochistan had always been an independent nation and was made a part of Pakistan by deceit and manipulation.

In recent years, there has been a surge of Indians voicing their support for a free Balochistan, particularly through social media.

What is the next step, Govt of India can do? Subramaniyan Swamy has given a good starting point.

 

Next Story

Women of Pakistan Protest Against Workplace Harassment, Child Marriage

Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif lauded "the incredible work our women are doing to strengthen their families, communities and the country"

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Following this, a National Security Committee was also held to discuss Sharif's
Pakistan Flag, wikimedia commons

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, women took to the streets across Pakistan on Friday to protest against sexual harassment in the workplace, child marriage ‘honour killings, wage inequalities and limited political representation.

Organisers hope that the “aurat march” (women’s march) and “aurat azadi march” (women’s liberation march) will draw attention to the struggle for reproductive, economic, and social justice across in Pakistan, reports the Guardian.

The first “Aurat March” was held last year in Karachi; this time, the rally has been extended to more cities, including Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Larkana and Hyderabad.

The aim is to reach ordinary women in factories, homes and offices, says Nighat Dad, an “aurat march” organiser in Lahore.

“We want an organic movement by women demanding equal access to justice and ending discrimination of all kinds.”

Speakers at the Lahore march ranged from a woman fighting to reform marriage laws to the women who worked on the landmark Punjab Domestic Workers’ Act — a legislation that outlaws child labour in homes and provides maternity benefits to workers.

Another activist, Leena Ghani, noted that Pakistani women have a history of taking to the streets, famously during military dictator Zia ul-Haq’s martial law in the 1980s.

Krishna Kumari works in her office in Hyderabad, Pakistan, Feb. 12, 2018. VOA

While Pakistan has made major strides towards gender equality, poorer, marginalised women and transgender citizens continue to struggle, Ghani added.

Designer Shehzil Malik created a series of striking posters for the “aurat march” that counter typical representations of Pakistani women as docile and subservient.

Women are also protesting against discriminatory policies in universities, where male and female students are afforded different levels of freedom, the Guardian said.

A Pakistani university recently caused a furore on social media by banning women from wearing skinny jeans and sleeveless shirts.

Also Read- Originality is a Dichotomous Terminology, Says Megastar Amitabh Bachchan

In his message on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed his government’s commitment to providing women a safe environment so that they could contribute to the country’s development, Dawn news reported.

“We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring women a secure and enabling environment to play their rightful role in our nation’s development.”

Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif lauded “the incredible work our women are doing to strengthen their families, communities and the country”. (IANS)