India-Pakistan: Can we ever be friends?

Sweet and sour

We have fought three wars since we achieved independence. Both countries continue preparations for the next military encounter. We describe it as trust deficit. There are people in both countries who do their best to reduce the trust deficit.

On the Pakistan side there is Asma Jehangir, who frequently visits India and stresses the need for friendlier relations between the two countries. On the Indian side there is Kuldip Nayar and many others who regularly display their goodwill towards Pakistan. Their efforts never change our respective governments’ attitudes towards each other.

Consequently there was little hope of change of attitudes with the visit of Pakistan’s new foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar. The first thing she did was to meet leaders of the separate State. It was a clear message that Pakistan was on the side of separatists in Kashmir. She did not meet Farook Abdullah nor his son Omar Abdullah, chief minister of Kashmir.

Nothing should have been expected from her visit. She spent the rest of her time visiting the dargahs of Hazrat Nizammuddin in Delhi and Mueenuddin in Ajmer. The outcome of her talks with our foreign minister S M Krishna is not known. However, he gave his Pakistan counterpart a very warm send off. Those who watched the farewell meeting notice how 78-year-old S M Krishna held 34-year-old Hina’s hand and went on shaking it as if he would never let her go. Hina is a very pretty young women and holding her hands must have been a very pleasant experience for him.

UP: A paradise?
He is the third top medical officer to have died
But since what UP government says cannot be denied
Dr Y S Sachan committed suicide
And in view of the ideal law and order situation in the state
The courts or CBI cannot otherwise decide
Abide by the highest standards of probity
Is by personal example taught by Mayawati
So not only in the health department
A scam of three thousand crores in UP
Just cannot be
No murder can take place, no criminal can escape
In UP have you ever heard of a rape?
No laws are violated and the farmers’ agitation
Or criticism about Noida Authority’s land acquisition
Is a ploy to defame Mayawati
Because the whole world knows that UP
Is the paradise of this country.
(Courtesy: Kuldip Salil, Delhi)

Air Travel
Many passengers from Kerala working in the Gulf countries have poor knowledge of English language. Few years ago, such a passenger at one airline check-in counter was asked if he wanted the smoking or non-smoking section. In heavily accented English he replied that he preferred a non-smoking window seat. He was told by the airline employee that the only window seat he had left was on the wing.

The Keralite looked at the airline assistant with a horrified expression.

“No, no!” he shouted, “Inside the aeroplane - inside the aeroplane.”

Laughing matter
Six-year-old Vicky came downstairs crying loudly
What’s the matter? asked his mother
Papa was hanging pictures and he just hit his thumb with a hammer, said Vicky
That’s not an serious, soothed his mother
A big boy like you shouldn’t cry at a trifle like that. Why didn’t you just laugh?
“I did,” sobbed Vicky.
(Contributed by Reeten Ganguly, Tezpur)

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