Last hurrah for Koiralas in Nepal?

Another Koirala is at the helm of affairs in Nepal after a gap of five and half years. Sushil Koirala’s election to the prime minister’s post comes after the last Koirala—Girija Prasad—left office in August 2008.

He becomes the fourth member of Nepal’s foremost political family and the first one other than the three brothers—-Matrika Prasad, Bishweshwar Prasad and Girija Prasad— to reach the post.

Nepal’s democratic journey over the past half century has been closely linked with the Koirala family. Matrika Prasad was Nepal’s first commoner to become prime minister—after end of the hereditary Rana hold over the post for close to a century—in 1951. He held the post one more time.

Matrika Prasad was also the first president of Nepali Congress, which was formed in 1950 in Calcutta following merger of Nepali National Congress and Nepal Democratic Congress, and played a crucial role along with his brothers for establishment of democracy in Nepal.

His brother Bishweshwar was the second one from the family to become prime minister. Bishweshwar ruled for a period of 19 months from May 1959 to December 1960.

The youngest of the five Koirala brothers—Girija Prasad—become prime minister for the first time in 1991. He held the post for four more terms handing charge to Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda in August 2008.

Till Girija Prasad’s death in 2010, he was the most influential player in Nepal politics and the most widely recognized outside. But since his demise, the Koirala family has gradually lost its prominent place both within Nepali Congress and in Nepali politics.

Absence of capable leaders to carry forward the Koirala legacy, emergence of several new power centres within the party and establishment of Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda as the central figure in Nepali politics are some reasons for this.

Though Sushil Koirala, who is the present Nepali Congress president, was elected unopposed to the prime minister’s post, he didn’t have an easy ride till Monday’s election.

His leadership of the party has constantly been questioned by Sher Bahadur Deuba, a senior colleague who has been prime minister thrice. Koirala managed to defeat Deuba by a slender margin to be elected as the party’s parliamentary party leader.

Seen as an honest politician, the 74-year-old bachelor isn’t a mass leader who possesses the charisma needed to unite the party and take other parties along to complete the task of formulating the new constitution within the self-imposed deadline of one year.

Koirala could face difficulty in holding on to his post. But what could be more worrying for the family is that there’s no one from the clan to occupy the vacuum once Sushil Koirala leaves both posts—-the prime minister as well as president of Nepali Congress.

Unlike similar families in South Asia—-Nehru-Gandhi in India and the Bhutto in Pakistan—-who have successfully passed the family baton from one generation to the next—there are no second or third generation Koiralas within Nepali Congress who have the dynamism and clout to control reins of the party like the elders from the family did.

Girija Prasad tried to promote his daughter Sujata towards the fag end of his political career. She held the dual posts of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in two governments formed after the 2008 election.

But her performance in both capacities didn’t give the impression of someone who is an able administrator and politician. The other members of the Koirala family who are still active in Nepali Congress don’t seem to have what it takes to assume control once Sushil Koirala leaves.

It may take Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala, who is granddaughter of Bishweshwar Prasad, and who enjoys lot of goodwill within Nepal to revive political fortunes of the Koirala family in coming years.

Since she has decided to stay away from active politics till date, Sushil Koirala’s election to the prime minister’s post could be the last hurrah for the Koirala family in Nepal politics.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This writer has not written much about Sarabjit or his release. Whole article
    is written in praise of his lawyer Awais Sheikh. Is he trying to promote his book ?

    [Reply]

    Har Gobind Bhukkal Reply:

    You said it my friend. Muslim Brotherhood of the intellectuals.

    [Reply]

  2. Amarish Misra says:

    While the Delhi Police is patting itself on the back for the deportation and subse-quent arrest of Abu Jundal, one of the alleged 26/11 mastermind, whose voice apparently was instructing the terrorists on the fateful day of the attack on Mumbai, sections within the Maharashtra Police, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and other security agencies do not think Abu Jundal is a prize catch.
    “Abu Jundal’s arrest is a sham. He has nothing to do with 26/11. He is either an informer of the Mumbai Crime Branch or the Maharashtra ATS or any other agency connected with the Maharashtra Police. He helped the police in the Aurangabad arms haul of 2006. The Delhi Police are settling scores with the Maharashtra Police—that’s all”, an IB source revealed on the condition of anonymity.
    Another source in the Maharashtra Police said that “there are so many underworld figures living in Saudi Arabia. But they are never deported. To me, it seems that Abu Jundal’s story is a frame-up. It is designed to enforce an Indian link in the 26/11 attacks”.
    This indeed is a serious allegation. Pakistan is already talking of an Indian link in 26/11. This goes against the Indian case—buttressed by revelations made by David Headley—that the 26/11 conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan, by Pakistanis—with or without the knowledge of ISI, Mossad and CIA—with sections within the Pakistani establishment keeping the Government of Pakistan probably in the dark.
    It is incredible that some major figures of the Indian establishment are gleefully rejoicing at Abu Jundal’s deportation. In fact, the incident might end up helping Pakistan to establish an Indian hand in 26/11 and thus, wash their hands off the entire affair.
    Let us expand this argument further: the Indian government is trying hard to get to the truth in the murky 26/11 saga. Till now, on the basis of revelations made by David Headley and Ajmal Kasab, it was assumed that during the 26/11 attack, Pakistani handlers were talking to terrorists fighting Indian Police and commandoes in Mumbai. Kasab had allegedly taken the name of one Abu Humza, whose voice was supposedly heard on the transmissions during the 26/11 attacks—Abu Hamza’s identity was till now not clear; most security analysts had painted him either as a Pakistani national or an ISI mole gone rogue.
    Now suddenly, out of nowhere Abu Jundal, a native of Beed and an Indian national—whose real name is Zabiuddin Ansari and who has an established, positive connection with the Maharashtra Police—emerges as the one whose voice samples are supposed to match those of Abu Hamza! So at least for now, officially as per the Delhi Police Special Cell, Abu Jundal is Abu Humza!
    To understand the counter view that Abu Jundal’s arrest has nothing to do with 26/11—and that it is related to the intense turf war currently being waged between various Indian security agencies—one has to bring in two more personalities—Naquee Ahmed and Qateel Siddiqui—into the equation.
    On January 2012, the Maharashtra ATS arrested Naquee Ahmed, a resident of Bihar, in connection with the July, 2011 blasts in Mumbai. The Delhi Police Special Cell protested officially claiming that Naquee was their man—their source—who was helping them nab Yasin Bhatkal, an alleged IM operative, wanted in several terror related cases, including the 2011 Mumbai blasts. The Home Secretary went on record to say that though Naquee could have been a Delhi Police Special Cell informer, it is more likely that he is also a terrorist who got caught by the Maharashtra ATS.
    What is going on? A Delhi Police Special Cell informer is arrested as a terrorist! The home secretary does not rule out the possibility of him being a police informer! Going strictly as per the statements of the home secretary himself, Indian Police forces are actually harbouring terrorists as informers—if that indeed is true, why wasn’t any action taken against the handlers of Naquee in the Delhi Police Special Cell? Home ministry officials cannot have their cake and eat it too—it is unethical to say that Naquee was a police informer and a terrorist.
    Now, during the David Headley saga, US authorities too claimed that Headley might have been “their man” who then went rogue and helped Lashkar-e-Toiba in executing 26/11 attacks!
    As mentioned above, Abu Jundal too is being seen as a Police informer who turned rogue!
    Are we ordinary Indians fools? Can’t we see through the game being played here by Indian security agencies, US authorities, ISI, Mossad and God knows who all?
    So many innocent and precious lives were lost during the 26/11 attacks. So many Indians have died in innumerable bomb blasts and terrorist activities. Whomsoever, is arrested, emerges as an informer of some agency or the other. So, even if we go by official versions, most blasts and terrorist actions are being undertaken by people known to security forces and various state police forces. So basically, our brothers, sisters and children are being butchered mercilessly by these modern bhasmasurs—demons created by security agencies who then turn against their creators—but wait—no, not against their creators but the ordinary people of India! At least, I have not heard till date of any near relative of a security official dying in a major terror incident!
    But then there is the other angle—it can also be said that these bhasmasurs are only paper tigers—that, instead of going after the real perpetrators, Indian security agencies have made it a habit to implicate their own informers in terror related cases!
    Some years back, a Delhi Court ordered a CBI enquiry into a case where the Delhi Police had claimed that it caught two terrorists. The CBI enquiry confirmed what the accused had been saying all along—that they were not terrorists but informers for the Delhi Police!
    In the December 2000 Red Fort attack case too, the man who was held guilty went on record stating that he was actually a Pakistani citizen working for RAW who was implicated, in the Red Fort case simply out of nowhere. The Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) also took up this case.
    The icing in the case of course concerns Qateel Siddiqui, the alleged IM operative belonging to the so called “Darbangha module”. Officially Qateel was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell, made an accused in the Jama Masjid firing and other terror incidents. Then the Maharashtra ATS sought his custody. Subsequently, Qateel was murdered inside the Pune Yerwada Jail premises.
    The manner, in which Qateel was bumped off, through Hindu underworld figures, carries the unmistakable stamp of some high ranking Mumbai Police officers, including Rakesh Maria, the current Maharashtra ATS chief. It is well known that as many as seven Muslim accused in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts were assassinated extra-judicially by members of the Chota Rajan gang. This gang supposedly split away from Dawood after the 1993 blasts on “patriotic grounds”. Then it went on a killing spree.
    Sources in Mumbai Police allege that Chota Rajan’s killing spree had the blessings of officers like Rakesh Maria who is credited with cracking the 93’ blasts case. Salim Khan Durrani, one of the accused in the 93’ blasts—later exonerated of the charges of conspiracy and harbouring by the TADA special court—is on record for having stated that in 1994, he too, like Qateel in 2012, was lodged in the anda (high security) cell of a Maharashtra prison (Arthur Road Jail, Mumbai). In 2012, the entry to Qateel’s cell in Pune Yerwada jail was left unguarded and he was murdered by Mohol and Bhalerao, two heinous criminals. In 1994, the jail authorities `forgot’ to lock the inner gate of Salim Khan’s cell. Members of the dreaded Ashwin Naik gang tried attacking Salim Khan at night. He was saved literally by divine intervention as his screams attracted other inmates.
    Rakesh Maria has been accused of horrifying human rights violations, including parading Muslim women naked, making men drink urine and eat human faeces’ and forcing incest during interrogations.
    All of this is documented in a book called `Voices’ written by an anonymous victim of what Amnesty International termed then as fourth degree tortures (far more brutal than the horrible third degree torture, the usual norm in Indian jails!).
    But why was Qateel killed? A possible answer might lie in the turf war between the IB and the Delhi Police Special Cell. Sometime in 2010, some IB officers were probing a fake currency international network (FCIN) network in West Bengal. They were looking for a person named Qateel Siddiqui, whom they thought was a key person in the network.
    The IB took help of the West Bengal Police in this operation. They raided Qateel’s house in Darbhanga in Bihar once, but he managed to escape. Later they kept watch on certain mobile numbers from the FCIN operators. Success followed as some persons associated with the FCIN were arrested in 2010. One of them happened to be Yasin Bhatkal—the most wanted IM operative. But as per the official version, as Yasin’s pictures were not available then, the IM operative was jailed for a while in the fake currency case and later released.
    The IB team chasing Qateel was not aware of this. In October 2011, the team managed to get leads about Qateel and found out that he was holed up in Delhi. Naturally, the IB team sought help from the Delhi Police Special Cell. This innocuous request made to the Delhi Police proved costly for the West Bengal police and the IB officers.
    Initially, according to sources, the Delhi Police Special Cell detained Qateel Siddiqui as a person wanted by West Bengal police. But after a brief interrogation Qateel became an IM operative with an association to Yasin Bhatkal! The Delhi Police arrested seven IM suspects from Darbhanga, keeping the West Bengal police in dark.
    Not just that, local media in Delhi carried reports, apparently leaked by Delhi Police, on how West Bengal police let Yasin Bhatkal escape. This was a blow which was difficult to digest for the West Bengal police and the IB group associated with them. They now started looking for an opportunity to teach Delhi Police a lesson. The Mumbai operation of the Delhi Police (the Naquee Ahmed affair cited above) came in handy.
    It is equally interesting to understand why the West Bengal police and a section of the IB, decided to pit Maharashtra ATS against the Delhi Police Special Cell. The Maharashtra ATS comprising of some former senior officers of the Mumbai crime branch do not see eye to eye with the Delhi Police Special Cell.
    Seeds of distrust were sown far back, as Mumbai crime branch did not take Delhi Police in confidence while looking for fugitive IM leaders Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal when they were holed up in Delhi in 2008. When the Delhi Police came to know that a prized catch was holed up in their domain, they launched the notorious Batla house encounter in which some terrorists’ were killed but the Bhatkal brothers were nowhere in the picture! Mumbai Police has since blamed the Delhi Police of highhandedness and spoiling their operation.
    Of late, just before Abu Jundal’s arrest, Delhi Police blamed the Maharashtra Police of circulating pictures of dreaded Pakistani terrorists who later turned out to be Lahore based traders!
    Several lessons can be drawn from the Abu Jundal and related operations:
    1. It is obvious that a strange anti-terrorism competitiveness (the race to catch an alleged terrorist) between various Police organs of different States, is violating all constitutional procedures and penal codes of Indian law. This race has reached absurd proportions.
    2. The unhealthy competitiveness is producing a phenomenon where in a game of one-upmanship, the various security forces are arresting innocents, particularly Muslim boys, often their informants, and showcasing them as terrorists.
    3. A lot of tax payer money is thus being wasted while ordinary Indian citizens are getting killed frequently. There is no accountability on part of the security agencies.
    4. Indian security agencies cannot be trusted. The Police charge-sheet filed in Sadhvi Pragya/Raj Kumar Purohit 2008 Malegaon and Samjhauta Express blast case shows that Mossad and ISI have penetrated Indian security forces with the help of RSS type organizations .
    5. The Maharashtra ATS arrested Naquee Ahmed, an informant of the Delhi Police. So has the Delhi Police done a *** for tat by arresting Zabuiddin Ansari, an informer of the Maharashtra Police, and presenting him as Abu Jundal, the terrorist?
    6. An impartial, judicial enquiry should be set up to probe the Naquee Ahmed/Qateel Siddiqui/Abu Jundal cases.
    7. The focus ought to shift back to the line taken by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), wherein the hand of Sangh Parivar related terrorists was found in major blasts and terror attacks that shook India. The NIA probe was leading to the involvement of Indresh, a high ranking RSS functionary—why has this line of investigation not progressed? Is it because the current Home Minister is being blackmailed by the BJP-RSS (to shift the limelight away from Sangh Parivar terrorism back to innocent Muslim boys) in exchange for letting the Home Minister breathe easy in the 2G case and other allegations of corruption against his family members? If BJP-RSS are actually tolerating corruption where the Home Minister is involved, only to save their skins in terror cases, the Sangh Parivar hypocrisy needs to be exposed.
    Finally, there can be no compromise on National Security. Hindu/Muslim/Sangh Parivar or any x, y, z entity, cannot be forgiven. Neither can one community (in this case the Muslims) be singled out for persecution. WE—HINDUS, MUSLIMS, CHRISTIAN, PARSEES, JAINS—AS A PEOPLE—HAVE LOST OUR DEAR ONES IN BLASTS AND TERROR CASES. WE CANNOT TOLERATE THE BUFFONERY OF OUR MAJOR SECURITY FORCES. WE CANNOT BE HELD HOSTAGE TO TURF WARS AND SECRET DEALS BETWEEN THE HOME MINISTER AND THE BJP-RSS. WE DESERVE THE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.

    [Reply]

    bharadwaj Reply:

    26/11 was hindutva game to kill karkare and drown india in hindu muslim voilence.

    [Reply]

    vijay ! Reply:

    There is a RSS hand behind ur bhund, making you squeak lies :)

    [Reply]

    nickknock Reply:

    If I recollect correctly, the person in the Control Room goading on the killers at Chabad House spoke perfect Punjabi. How a person from Beed in Maharashtra can speak such chaste Punjabi is beyond me.

    [Reply]

  3. rao says:

    APIn this Oct 15, 1979 file picture, Pakistan’s first Nobel Prize laureate Professor Abdus Salam reacts, after hearing the news that he was joint winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physics, in London.
    The late Abdus Salam, Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate is no hero at home, where his name has been stricken from school textbooksThe pioneering work of Abdus Salam, Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate, helped lead to the apparent discovery of the subatomic “God’s particle”, last week. But the late physicist is no hero at home, where his name has been stricken off from school textbooks.Praise within Pakistan for Salam, who also guided the early stages of the country’s nuclear programme, faded decades ago as Muslim fundamentalists gained power.Salam, a child prodigy born in 1926 in what was to become Pakistan after the partition, won more than a dozen international prizes and honours. In 1979, he was co-winner of the Nobel Prize for his work on the Standard Model of particle physics, which theorises how fundamental forces govern the overall dynamics of the universe. He died in 1996.Salam and Steven Weinberg, with whom he shared the Nobel Prize, independently predicted the existence of a subatomic particle now called the Higgs Boson, named after a British physicist who theorized that it endowed other particles with mass, said Pervez Hoodbhoy, a Pakistani physicist who once worked with Salam. It is also known as the “God’s particle” because its existence is vitally important toward understanding the early evolution of the universe.“This would be a great vindication of Salam’s work and the Standard Model as a whole,” said Khurshid Hasanain, chairman of the physics department at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad.In the 1960s and early 1970s, Salam wielded significant influence in Pakistan as the chief scientific adviser to the president, helping to set up the country’s space agency and institute for nuclear science and technology. Salam also assisted in the early stages of Pakistan’s effort to build a nuclear bomb, which it eventually tested in 1998.Salam resigned from his government post in protest following the 1974 constitutional amendment and eventually moved to Europe to pursue his work. In Italy, he created a center for theoretical physics to help physicists from the developing world.Although Pakistan’s then-president, Gen. Zia ul-Haq, presented Salam with Pakistan’s highest civilian honor after he won the Nobel Prize, the general response in the country was muted. The physicist was celebrated more enthusiastically by other nations, including India.Despite his achievements, Salam’s name appears in few textbooks and is rarely mentioned by Pakistani leaders or the media. Officials at Quaid-i-Azam University had to cancel plans for Salam to lecture about his Nobel-winning theory when Islamist student activists threatened to break the physicist’s legs, said his colleague Hoodbhoy.“The way he has been treated is such a tragedy,” said Mr. Hoodbhoy. “He went from someone who was revered in Pakistan, a national celebrity, to someone who could not set foot in Pakistan. If he came, he would be insulted and could be hurt or even killed.”Keywords: God’s particle Higgs Boson, Pakistan Nobel laureate, Abdus Salam, Islamic fundamentalists

    [Reply]

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