Sunak As UK PM: Mehbooba Attacks NDA Over Minorities

As Rishi Sunak is now set to become the first Indian-origin Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday took the opportunity to attack the central government.

The PDP chief said the UK has accepted an ethnic minority member as its PM but India is still shackled by divisive and discriminatory laws like the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Taking to Twitter, Mufti said, “Proud moment that UK will have its first Indian origin PM. While all of India rightly celebrates, it would serve us well to remember that while the UK has accepted an ethnic minority member as its PM, we are still shackled by divisive and discriminatory laws like NRC and CAA.”

Hitting out at Mufti, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) IT cell head Amit Malviya said India need not learn about diversity and inclusivity from any other country.

“India, which has had three Muslim and one Sikh President, a Sikh PM for 10 years, minorities in top judicial positions and even the armed forces, need not learn about diversity and inclusivity from any other country. But Mehbooba must walk the talk and back a Hindu for J-K’s CM,” tweeted Malviya.

On Monday, Britain’s Conservative Party announced Rishi Sunak as their leader. Thereby, Rishi Sunak is now set to become the first Asian-origin person to lead the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Rishi Sunak on Monday and said he is looking forward to working closely together on global issues.

“Warmest congratulations @RishiSunak! As you become UK PM, I look forward to working closely together on global issues and implementing Roadmap 2030. Special Diwali wishes to the ‘living bridge’ of UK Indians, as we transform our historic ties into a modern partnership,” PM Modi tweeted.

Sunak’s change in fate was triggered by the resignation of Liz Truss as PM after high-profile sackings and resignations in her Cabinet, following a heavily criticized mini-budget that left the UK pound tumbling.

Following Truss’ short stint as British prime minister, Rishi Sunak and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson were seen as frontrunners for the UK PM bid.

But Boris Johnson ruled himself out of the Conservative party leadership race despite claiming he had the required support. The former UK PM said he had come to the conclusion that “this would simply not be the right thing to do” as “you can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in Parliament.”

Sunak is born in Southampton to parents of Indian descent who migrated to Britain from East Africa. (ANI)

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Truss Wishes Sunak Every Success As She Exits Power

Former UK Prime Minister Liz Truss on Tuesday wished new Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak ‘every success’ as she exits power.

The outgoing PM Liz Truss in a statement outside 10 Downing Street said that she wishes “every success” to Rishi Sunak, adding she looks forward to spending more time in her constituency and serving the country from the back benches.
She also reiterated UK’s support for Ukraine and said, “We must support Ukraine in its brave fight against Putin’s aggression. Ukraine must prevail and we must continue to strengthen our nation’s defences. That’s what I have been striving to achieve and I wish Rishi Sunak every success for good of our country.”

She also called for lowering taxes and delivering growth, Truss said, “We need to take advantage of our Brexit freedoms to do things differently. This means delivering more freedom for our own citizens and restoring power for our democratic institutions.”

“It means lower taxes so people can keep more of the money they earn. And it means delivering growth that will lead to more job security, higher wages and more opportunities for our children and grandchildren,” she added.

Truss said that her government had acted “urgently and decisively” to help hard-working families.

She said she had helped thousands of businesses to avoid bankruptcy, and taken back energy independence so we’re “no longer reliant on malign foreign powers.”

Truss started her farewell speech by saying it has been “a huge honour” to be Prime Minister and to lead the nation in mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II and welcoming the accession of King Charles.

Truss also quoted Roman philosopher Seneca, “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that things are difficult,” while reiterating that the UK is “more convinced than ever that we need to be bold and confront the challenges we face”.

Ending her speech, Truss said, “We continue to battle through a storm but I believe in Britain, I believe in the British people and I know that brighter days lie ahead.”

On Monday, former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak became the Conservative Party leader less than two months after he lost to Liz Truss in the Tory leadership race. Sunak’s change in fate was triggered by the resignation of Truss after her high-profile sacking and resignation in her cabinet, following a heavily criticised mini-budget that left the UK pound tumbling.

After she was forced to step down just 45 days into office, Truss became the shortest-serving British PM. Standing before 10 Downing Street, Truss said that she recognizes she “cannot deliver the mandate” on which she was elected.

Truss’ ascent to power was paved by the Tory leadership crisis following Boris Johnson’s resignation in July, after a series of resignations of cabinet members, who protested against his scandal-plagued leadership.

New UK Prime Minister-designate Sunak vowed to work daily to deliver for the British people.

“I pledge that I will serve you with integrity and humility and I will work day in and day out to deliver for the British people,” Sunak said at Conservative HQ in London.

He also paid tribute to former UK PM Liz Truss for her “dignified” leadership “under difficult circumstances abroad and at home”.

Sunak said that he is “humbled and honoured” to have the support of his fellow MPs and be elected leader.

Sunak’s change in fate was triggered by the resignation of Truss after her high-profile sacking and resignation in her cabinet, following a heavily criticised mini-budget that left the UK pound tumbling.

Following Truss’s short stint as British prime minister, Rishi Sunak and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson were seen as frontrunners for the UK PM bid.

But Boris Johnson ruled himself out of the Conservative party leadership race despite claiming he had the required support. The former UK PM said he had come to the conclusion “this would simply not be the right thing to do” as “you can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in Parliament.”

Sunak is born in Southampton to parents of Indian descent who migrated to Britain from East Africa.

Earlier in April, reports of Akshata’s non-domicile status and alleged tax evasion had created a controversy. Sunak had said his wife has been paying all taxes. Her spokesperson had earlier said that Akshata Murthy “has always and will continue to pay UK taxes on all her UK income”. (ANI)

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British Meltdown, Modi’s Promises & Rahul’s Yatra

Britain Ran Markets, Now Markets Run Britain

The once mighty Empire now seems rudderless, confused and in need of real leadership. So desperate is its position that it has promoted a person of Indian extraction to bail it out of its seemingly bottomless hole. Without saying aloud, many of the older generation are uncomfortable with this but with the world money markets pushing Britain towards the well of bankruptcy, it seems it had few choices. Rishi Sunak, Punjabi of course, has become the most unlikely Prime Minister of Great Britain.

What happened? Britain decided that it could still revive its old glory and power and reinvent ‘Rule Britania, Britania rules the waves’ (sound waves now). So it went Brexit. It decided to ditch its European partners. Why be tied to restrictive Europeans! Be free and promiscuous with any country and even polygamous with many at the same time. ‘Plenty of Fish’ etc was the thinking.

Times change. Powers change. But fallen Empires take a long time to come to terms with their shrinking status.

Britain’s posturing and its actions are classic. It happened to Rome. It happened to Mughals and it’s happening to good old Britain. The psycho drama of imperial loss is the same irrespective of how many psychiatrists a country can boast.

Not only did Britain think that it could unhinge from Europe and become Global Great again, it even decided to reincarnate Victorian era economic policies under the ‘we can again’. The Victorian period were halcyon days when indifference to poverty, planet destruction, industrial pollution, cruelty and making the rich richer by any means had led the Empire to its zenith and every English man a master of the world. In came the bombastic goddess, Liz Truss, in a puffed up vintage tank of dreams.

But Prime Minister Liz Truss was tossed out within six weeks. She campaigned on the slogan of ‘growth, low taxes, low spending’. Her 37 days in power have been a spectacle of comedy and parody.

It was crazy and unbelievable 37 days. Liz Truss was running after the money men with bags of money shouting, ‘Here, I am giving all this and more to you, grow grow grow Britain with it’. Her grin was unbearable to the parents of children who barely eat one meal a day in Britain, or to the disabled dreading further squeeze on their support packages.

It was a case of robbing and bonding the future of the poor and being benevolent to the rich, a bizarre proclamation under the nose of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

But the money men were running away from dizzy Lizzy. Fortunately many of the powerful money men have grown out of the Victorian era. While the Oil giants and energy companies were counting imaginary trillions coming their way by squeezing the needy, the powers who control the market, the investments companies, thought otherwise about promised windfall taxes from the poor.

They knew that there is nothing to invest in Britain. It has decimated its once dominating manufacturing industry in favour of financial institutions. Britain’s labour force is far more expensive than that of China, India and South America. In fact it doesn’t even have enough of a labour force, having kicked Europe out and ill with immigrant phobia. What could money invest in, perhaps more Universities and Royal family outings?

The money men also know a country with a few enviable rich and the rest with deepening poverty, child hunger, pauperised wages and housing deficit will implode one day. Hardly a stable future for one’s investment. Not every country is like India with the ‘Ananis’ and ‘Amanis’ joining the world’s richest and walking indifferently over destitute people sleeping in the streets. Social scientists often say the marvel of India is that those with most expensive houses in the world live side by side with those who only have the pavement and sewers for home and yet no one thinks of a revolution! A marvel of contentment surely to promote along with yoga as Dharma Karma. Doesn’t work in most parts of the world though.

In Britain, Dharma Karma worked differently. The market took flight outwards. Grow Grow Grow Britain’s Victorian economic dream went into Blow Blow Blow Britain economy, blowing a hole the size of a continent in Britain’s financial health. ‘The Market’ told Britain, to get its act or look at the bottom of Mount Vesuvius crater.

Quickly the panicked powers that be, pushed the Grow Grow Grow Prime Minister and her Finance Minister out of Airbnb’s most prestigious potential temporary residence, 10 Downing Street, after only 37 days. Democracy be damned when it comes to money. She grew into the Guiness Book as the shortest lasting Prime Minister of UK plc whose tenure wasn’t shortened by death.

Britain once controlled the world’s markets. Now the markets run Britain. The markets told Britain’s Tory MPs to appoint Rishi, a money man with experience in Hedge Funds and handling money. From boisterous wannabe Churchill Boris to nationalist Penny Mordaunt, the Conservative Party bowed to the market. And so emerged the great Rishi Sunak, a thin wiry small man in a country that worships great warriors. This is Karma Dharma as opposed to Dharma Karma. Try work that out.

What next? The stony road of unBrexiting Brexit Britain.

Modi’s Achche Din Rainbow Glows Again

Modiji had promised millions and millions of jobs when he ran for Prime Minister. He promised every Indian family will have at least one member in a job and almost every graduate will have a job to look up to.

Achche Din (anyone remember that) also promised every person will have a house, lakh rupees in the bank, the cleanest streets in the world and world’s fastest train that would go from Mumbai to Delhi in 1 Modi hour.

To some extent this has happened with some political license on the dictionary. Every Indian does have a roof on his/her head. Those on the streets have a cardboard roof, those in the fields have leaves over their head and some lucky ones have tin roofs. Luckier ones have pukka roofs. One promise reached.

Every Indian also has a lakh. They have a lakh dreams in the Brain bank. When one has that, sometimes with help of ‘charas’ one has plentiful. Life is a leela. It depends on how leela is defined.

The streets are also clean. They have been cleaned off any remaining fresh air. Smog and pollution is everywhere and India has been cleaned off breathable air. The moaners can do yoga.

World’s fastest train is in fact faster. Sit on your laptop in Delhi and one can talk to another person in Mumbai within seconds on the zoom train. Whereas in the real iron train Modi 1 hour is different than Greenwich 1 hr. It’s how the hour is defined.

As for jobs, it’s the people’s refusal to take the one job Modiji has made available universal for all Indians. He has given them the slogan to chant, ‘Modi hai to mumkin hai’. This means that if ‘Modi is there, possibility is there.’ Unfortunately pesky uncontrollable democratic Indians don’t quite think alike and many have their own heroes other than Modiji. So very few are doing the job of Modi Simran, ‘Modi hai to mumkin hai’. And he didn’t say it will be a paid job.

Now Modiji is becoming realistic and promising just 10 lakh jobs (or 1 million) at Diwali. This 1 million is a promise to a population of 1.4 Billion, or 1,400 million.

Modiji hasn’t said whether this time he means the promise to be taken literally or is it still subject to political license.

Congress Divides, Congress Unites

The Congress party of India, called Grand Old Party (GOP) as Indian journalists like to copy western idioms (mimicking American word for Republican Party), has now embarked on gluing together the priceless vase it had wilfully broken into a thousand pieces during its rule.

For most of its reign, the Congress Party of India had engaged in divisive policies to ensure vote banks while bellowing the slogan, ‘unity in diversity’. It had pitched Muslim vote against Hindu vote, Hindu vote against Sikh vote, lower caste vote against upper caste vote and caste against caste, region against region, religion against religion.

This divisive tactic ensured Congress rule for over 40 years with communal violence, casteism, sectarianism, nationalism becoming a norm. The delicate fabric of thousands of years of a civilisation which was pluralist with enviable foundations of coexistence of polar differences, was shred apart by Nehru dynasty.

Now every broken piece has its own leader, its own party, its own agenda and its own political identity.

Having broken this priceless vase into a thousand pieces, the crown prince, Rahul has decided he will glue the pieces together. He started his Bharat Jodo Yatra. What cruel farce upon a civilisation that could have taught the world so much but was torn apart by this family. Somebody needs to show the family mirror to him.

A broken vase never recovers when glued together. The cracks are too visible. The legacy of Nehru family is a divided, sectarian violent India where coexistence is daily forced by draconian laws, police and armed forces. The politically blinkered still follow him.

Indian British Prime Minister

Rishi Sunak Becomes First Indian Origin British Prime Minister

In a historic development, Britain got its first Asian-origin Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to lead the nation. Sunak also becomes the first Indian-origin British Premier.

Liz Truss, who stepped down as the PM of the United Kingdom on October 20, congratulated Sunak on being appointed as Leader of the Conservative Party and the UK’s next Prime Minister.

“Congratulations @RishiSunak on being appointed as Leader of the Conservative Party and our next Prime Minister. You have my full support,” tweeted Truss.

Here is a quick guide to the UK’s next PM Sunak.

The former chancellor of the exchequer made a high-stakes gamble. He launched an attack that helped to end Boris Johnson’s premiership, put himself forward as his replacement, but ultimately lost to Liz Truss. Admitting defeat, he retreated to the parliamentary back benches.

He lost to Liz Truss in September, but she resigned six weeks later. In the latest leadership contest, Sunak racked up the support of his fellow MPs early, and fast.

He crossed the 100 nominations he needed long before the deadline – including from MPs that had previously backed Truss or Boris Johnson.

He will become the first Indian-origin person to lead the UK – and at the age of 42, he is also the youngest person to take the office in more than 200 years.

Sunak first publicly declared on Sunday morning that he would be standing in the contest. In a tweet, he wrote, “The United Kingdom is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis. That’s why I am standing to be the Leader of the Conservative Party and your next Prime Minister. I want to fix our economy, unite our Party and deliver for our country.”

Sunak, whose parents came to the UK from East Africa in the 1960s, is of Indian descent. His father was a local doctor while his mother ran a pharmacy in southern England, something Sunak says gave him his desire to serve the public.

He will also be the first Hindu to become British prime minister, securing the position on Diwali, the festival of lights that marks one of the most important days of the Hindu calendar. Sunak himself made history in 2020 when he lit Diwali candles outside 11 Downing Street, the official residence of the UK chancellor.

He has faced challenges over his elite background, having studied at the exclusive Winchester College, Oxford and Stanford universities. He is known for his expensive taste in fashion and has worked for banks and hedge funds, including Goldman Sachs.

Sunak’s election on Monday marks the pinnacle of what has been a speedy rise to power. He was first elected as an MP in 2015 and spent two years on the back benches before becoming a junior minister in Theresa May’s government. Johnson gave Sunak his first major government role, appointing him as chief secretary to the Treasury in 2019 and promoting him to the chancellor in 2020.

He was the first person who ‘predicted’ financial problems under Truss. He clashed with the former PM during the previous leadership race, claiming her plan to borrow money during an inflation crisis was a “fairytale” that would plunge the economy into chaos.

Sunak was first elected as an MP in 2015 – for Richmond in north Yorkshire – but rose quickly, and was made finance minister – or chancellor – in February 2020 under Boris Johnson.

Sunak was in charge of Covid support cash, the financial aid during lockdowns – including furlough payments and the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme for restaurants.

His wife is Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Indian billionaire Narayana Murthy.

He faced controversy over his wife’s tax arrangements.

Over the summer, it emerged that Akshata Murthy paid no UK tax on big earnings abroad – which is legal. Sunak defended his wife saying, “to smear my wife to get at me is awful” – but eventually she agreed to start paying extra taxes. It was also found he temporarily had a US green card, allowing him to live permanently in America while he was the UK’s chancellor.

He campaigned for Brexit and deregulation. “Free ports” are one of his long-time favourite ideas: areas near ports or airports where goods can be imported and exported without paying taxes, to encourage trade.

In 2016, he told a group of schoolchildren that he originally wanted to be a Jedi Knight when he grew up. His favourite Star Wars film is The Empire Strikes Back.

However, Sunak faces an enormous task. The UK is in the midst of a deep cost-of-living crisis and soaring inequality. Financial markets are still spooked after Truss’ disastrous economic policy missteps.

The Conservative party, already unpopular after 12 years in power, has plunged itself into a state of utter chaos over the past four months and is now well behind the opposition Labour party in opinion polls. The only comfort for Sunak is that he doesn’t have to call an election until January 2025. (ANI)

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Rishi Sunak As PM

UK Ex-Home Secy Priti Patel Backs Rishi Sunak As PM

Former Home Secretary Priti Patel on Monday came out in support of Rishi Sunak taking over at 10 Downing Street as the Conservative Party leader after her former boss, Boris Johnson withdrew from the leadership contest.

“In these difficult times for our country, we must unite by putting public service first and working together. We care about our country and with the enormous challenges upon us, we must put political differences aside to give @RishiSunak the best chance of succeeding,” tweeted Patel.

Notably, earlier she supported former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“I’m backing @BorisJohnson to return as our Prime Minister, to bring together a united team to deliver our manifesto and lead Britain to a stronger and more prosperous future,” tweeted Patel.

She added that Johnson has the mandate to deliver an elected manifesto and a proven track record of getting the big decisions right.

“I am backing him in the leadership contest,” she said.

However, on Monday she said that the Tories must put political differences aside to give Sunak the best chance of succeeding as the new leader.

It seems now that this Diwali, the UK could get its first Indian origin and Hindu PM Rishi Sunak who is the favorite in the conservative leadership.

Earlier, Boris Johnson ruled himself out of the Conservative party leadership race despite claiming he had the required support. Johnson said he had come to the conclusion “this would simply not be the right thing to do” as “you can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in Parliament,” reported Independent. ie.

He also added that this was due to the failure to reach a deal with Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt. “I am afraid the best thing is that I do not allow my nomination to go forward and commit my support to whoever succeeds,” he said.

It is pertinent to note that Johnson’s campaign team has earlier told supporters they have secured the 100 nominations needed from MPs for the former prime minister to get on the ballot paper.

The contest was triggered by outgoing leader Liz Truss’s resignation on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Sunak as per media reports had crossed that threshold by Friday night, ahead of declaring his candidacy on Sunday and amassing nearly 150 public nominations from Tory lawmakers.

He is a wealthy Hindu descendant of immigrants from India and East Africa.

Sunak is born in Southampton to parents of Indian descent who migrated to Britain from East Africa.

An Oxford and Stanford University alumnus, Sunak is famously married to Akshata Murty, the daughter of NR Narayana Murthy, the billionaire businessman who founded Infosys.

Earlier in April, reports of Akshata’s non-domicile status and alleged tax evasion had created a furor. Rishi Sunak claimed that she has been paying all taxes.

Her spokesperson said that Akshata Murthy “has always and will continue to pay UK taxes on all her UK income”. (ANI)

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Biden says US Work With UK Govt

Biden: US Will Continue To Work With UK Govt

Shortly after British Prime Minister Lizz Truss resigned from office, US President Joe Biden on Thursday said he will continue close cooperation with the UK government to meet the global challenges that the two nations face.

“I thank Prime Minister Liz Truss for her partnership on a range of issues including holding Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine. We will continue our close cooperation with the U.K. government as we work together to meet the global challenges our nations face,” Biden tweeted.
On Thursday, Liz Truss’ resignation as UK Prime Minister threw the country into political turmoil and left it scrambling for a stable government, as the opposition reiterated its demand for a general election.

Truss became the shortest-serving British PM after she stepped down, stating that she recognises she “cannot deliver the mandate” on which she was elected. Truss said she would step aside for a new leader to be chosen within the next week. “

“I recognize though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party,” she added.

Following Truss’ resignation, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer issued a scathing statement that ripped into the Conservative Party and called for a general election.

“After 12 years of Tory failure, the British people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos. We need a general election now,” he said and added that “Each one of these crises was made in Downing Street but paid for by the British public. Each one has left our country weaker and worse off.”

Truss stepping down was preceded by the sacking of UK Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng and the resignation of Home Secretary Suella Braverman tendered her resignation.

Liz only remained in power for 45 days after succeeding Boris Johnson last month. (ANI)

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Liz Truss Resigns As UK PM

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned on Thursday, after being in power for less than two months, stating that she recognizes she “cannot deliver the mandate” on which she was elected.

“I came into office at a time of great economic and international instability. Families and businesses were worried about how to pay their bills, Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine threatens the security of our whole continent and our country has been held back for too long by low economic growth,” she said in a statement.
“I will remain as prime minister until a successor has been chosen. Thank you,” Truss added.

This comes a day after Indian-origin Home Secretary Suella Braverman tendered her resignation, citing “technical infringement of the rules” she committed while sending official documents to a parliamentary colleague.

“Pretending we haven’t made mistakes, carrying on as if everyone can’t see that we have made them, and hoping that things will magically come right is not serious politics. I have made a mistake, I accept responsibility; I resign,” Braverman said in a letter posted on her Twitter handle.

In the letter addressed to PM Truss, she also expressed concerns about the direction of the government and said key pledges made to voters have been broken.

Braverman said she committed “technical infringement of the rules” by sending official documents from her personal email to a parliamentary colleague.

Braverman’s resignation comes less than a week after UK Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng was fired after serving for even less than six weeks. Kwarteng was sacked after the new government’s September 23 plan of massive tax cuts resulted in the plunging of British government bonds.

Truss succeeded Boris Johnson as PM last month. (ANI)

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Queen Elizabeth II Appoints Liz As UK’s New PM

Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday appointed the Conservative Party leader Liz Truss as the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

“The Queen received Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle today. Her Majesty asked her to form a new Administration. Ms. Truss accepted Her Majesty’s offer and was appointed Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury,” The Royal Family tweeted.

Truss was elected the head of the UK’s Conservative Party on Monday after defeating former chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak.

Truss became the first prime minister to be appointed by the Queen in Scotland, and not at Buckingham Palace, as tradition requires .

After meeting the Queen, the new prime minister will return to London and speak outside the Downing Street office.

Forty-seven-year-old Liz Truss became the third female prime minister of the UK.

Truss defeated Rishi Sunak through a postal ballot of all Conservative members. She secured 81,326 votes while Sunak got 60,399 votes.

“I am honoured to be elected Leader of the Conservative Party. Thank you for putting your trust in me to lead and deliver for our great country. I will take bold action to get all of us through these tough times, grow our economy, and unleash the United Kingdom’s potential,” Truss wrote on Twitter. (ANI)

Weekly Update: Khan Loses Match; BJP Stunt On Chandiargh; India Tells UK To Move On

Khan The Pathan Brought Down: The great Khan Pathan, Imran Khan, has also been shafted back to earth and his assumption of invincibility punctured by the real power of Pakistan, the Army. Khan was toying with outsmarting the Army. When on the verge of being removed from office, dismissing the C in C of the Pakistan Army seems to be the favourite last desperate preoccupation of many Prime Ministers of Pakistan. But they soon realise their office is a clerical extension of the Army and not the throne of power. They get into a habitual error of thinking that because they got the mandate through votes, they must be more popular and powerful than the Army. The Pakistan Army, like armies elsewhere, does not have a single vote nor does it seek any. It has the tanks and the finance, both of which tend to be more powerful in any political set up.

Now why our westernised anti-west star, the great Imran, international cricketer and once sought after by every socialite lady in the west, thought he could become pro Kremlin and at the same time recruit the democratic mandate in his favour is a mystery. Democracy wallahs are supposed to side with USA and authoritarian leaders on the side of China and Russia. In Pakistan, it is a bit topsy turvy. The Army that hasn’t a single vote, is pro USA, while the democratic elected leader is pro authoritarian Russia.

Pakistan’s perennial problems has been a failure to institute a constitutional structure that reflects the real structure and distribution of power in the country. But it was forced by the United Kingdom to adopt a democratic constitution. The UK calls itself as mother of democracy.

Contrary to popular myth, the UK is really a monarchy and power exercised by some powerful business interests. The System is all in the name of the Monarchy. The Queen has a Government to do the running around and manage the country. The Government is elected. But the leader that pleases Mr Murdoch and a few other British Barons, usually gets the seat of power. The one they don’t like, tends to get hammered in the media, owned by powerful barons.  Even though elected, the Government rules and acts on behalf of the Monarch, not the people. In effect, the Monarch asks the people to elect among themselves a leader and a party to manage her country. Brilliant. Its rule by the Barons, for the Monarch, with the people.

Pakistan on the other hand was bullied by this Monarchical -Baronial UK to adopt a democratic system to be consistent with the requirements of that other non-democratic institution, the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth insists that all member countries be democratic as Britain supposedly is. But it has a permanent non-elected leader, the Queen. And no one has asked when will Britain become a truly democratic State, except for the Sikhs. Once in Britain when the Government patronisingly lectured the Sikhs to become modern and adopt elections in their Gurdwaras, the Sikh leaders told the Government that when the head of State in UK is elected, then they will also pay more attention to Government sermons. The Government backed off.

So we have perpetual issues in Pakistan. Power is with the Army. The Army has set up a democratic front to shut the Brits and Americans up. Meanwhile Pakistani people think they are democratically holding power to account. It serves everyone. When things go wrong, the Army blames the elected leadership and people get a chance to elect another leader who can’t sort the mess either. UK and USA are happy that the country is listed as ‘democratic’ and can tick the boxes. A bit like medieval crusades, when the converted could do anything such as rapes, pillages etc, as long as they called themselves Christian. But if they weren’t Christian, they were called the devil incarnate, child eaters, witches and any grotesque character adjective that the pious Vatican could think of for non-Christians. In modern times, the UK-USA alliance does the same for countries who are not ‘democratic’. India therefore is saved from this name calling.

Time changes but nothing changes. Let’s hope one day Pakistan will have the ability to set up a constitutional structure that reflects the levers and distribution of power as it really is. In the meantime Mr Khan has been bowled out. We hope he has enough money to go into exile in Dubai.

Chandigarh For BJP?

Well, who would have thought that one day the nationalist Hindu party, BJP would be screaming for Chandigarh to be recognised as capital of Punjab? ‘Qudrat’ (Nature) indeed is ironical.

During the militant days of Akali run Anandpur Sahib Resolution campaigns in the late 1970s and then Khalistan campaigns of 1980s, one of the key demands was that Chandigarh should solely be the capital of Punjab. The Punjabi Hindus opposed it.

Ever since the family run Akali Dal Badal came to power, the issue of Chandigarh seemed to have evaporated just as the rest of Anandpur Sahib resolution did. Now that Akali Dal can only be seen with the Hubble Space telescope from outer space, as otherwise it is no where to be seen in the levers of power, the BJP decided it was going to raise the issue of Chandigarh. Obviously it is to start a headache for Aam Admi party in Punjab, but the irony is too much not to be commented on. Fact is that in reality all BJP Punjab has to do is ask its Daddy BJP in Lok Sabha to hand over Chandigarh to Punjab. But where is the fun if it does that?

Britain Told To Look Around

The Indian Foreign Minister is not as much of a rottweiler as the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is, but S Jaishankar certainly gave the British Foreign Minister an earful. In reality Jaishankar is not aggressive at all in dealing with other leaders. He is the epitome of a diplomat. Lavrov, on the other hand can get annoyed and throw put downs with ease.

When the British Foreign Minister, Liz Truss, went over to India to give a colonial dressing down to Jaishankar reminding him that India is part of the democratic block and further told him to get in line and oppose Russia, the mild mannered Jaishankar did a Lavrov.

He told her that times had moved on and the world is in a period of multipolar power blocks. India will make its own decisions and not be dictated to by the Brits. Liz Truss, who likes posing as Ms Rambo in tanks, quickly belted up, took the next flight home and sat mopping in her toy tank in the back garden, firing soap bubble shots at the Indian Foreign Minister. That has not been reported or verified yet, but not one beyond possibility. Liz Truss always has the look of a Captain Britain with raised eyebrows.