Death of a stalwart

Updated 05 March 2017
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Death of a stalwart

With the death of Indian Muslim leader Syed Shahabuddin, a stalwart is gone. A great intellectual is no more. He articulated Indian Muslim causes with both pen and speech that left people dumbstruck.
When he contested the Bangalore North Lok Sabha seat decades ago, I had many occasions to interact with him. On election day when anyone reported to him that people were voting for him multiple times by erasing the ink stains, and by faking identities, he would go into a rage. As head of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, he would not only work for free, he even refused reimbursements for his fuel.
He once told me in Riyadh that one should never take money for public service, and not get into it unless one was fully financially independent. At that time he was 70, and was still working tirelessly. For 25 years as general secretary of the Janata Party, he drew no salary.
His fiery temperament did cause discomfort to many of his friends as well, but his integrity was not questioned by even his worst detractors. When people say that all politicians are corrupt, they will have to make him an exception. Syed Shahabuddin was a very notable exception. As also was his dear friend, the late Ibrahim Sulaiman Sait. He loved India and would not tolerate anyone who showed any signs of treason, even in the most trying moments in the community’s history.
An era has ended. May Allah grant his soul peace and comfort in gardens prepared for the upright and the strugglers in His cause.


Spies deserve ‘harsh punishment’

Updated 17 April 2017
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Spies deserve ‘harsh punishment’

This refers to the story “Pakistan’s army sentences alleged Indian spy to death” (April 11, 2017). Since the announcement of the death penalty for Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian intelligence agent who was involved in various terrorist activities in Pakistan, the Indian media are making false allegations against Islamabad.
We are citizens of a sovereign country. No one can dictate to us how to ensure the security of our people. Jadhav’s confession regarding his activities in Pakistan is available on YouTube. That should be enough for the Indian authorities.
A spy that conducts and masterminds terrorist activities that result in the death of many people has to face harsh punishment.
I firmly believe that if the death penalty is waived in Jadhav’s case, the consequences will be worse and terrorist acts will escalate in our country.
This must come to an end.
As Sartaj Aziz, adviser on foreign affairs to the prime minister, pointed out in his recent statement, Jadhav was tried according to the law of the land, in a fully transparent manner, while granting him his rights, as per the constitution of Pakistan.
Due process has been followed in the proceedings against him.
Jadhav, a serving commander in the Indian Navy, was apprehended on March 3, 2016, having crossed into Pakistan from the Saravan border with Iran.
He was found in possession of an Indian passport issued by the government of India on May 12, 2015, and valid until May 11, 2024.
He confessed that he is a resident of Mumbai, India, still serving in the Indian Navy and that his retirement is due in 2022.
New Delhi should not underestimate the fact that the entire Pakistani population is behind the Pakistan Army.
We, Pakistanis, have been victims of massive terrorist acts for decades.
I am sure that our government and armed forces understand that there shall be no compromise where Jadhav is concerned. — Farheen Ayub, Taif