Swiss Heaven, Shaming Rapists, and Serving ADG Absconder.

Pakistan’s Beats India. A news item that is enough to raise hackles of most Indians. So bitterly competitive feel many belonging to the two uneasy neighbours that every triumph of the other side is greeted with crestfallen disbelief. That “spirit” is what Indian Express headline wished to cash on: Pakistan beats India, has more money in Swiss accounts.
When it comes to money in Swiss banks, Pakistan has a slight edge over India with total funds amounting to 1,441 million Swiss francs (about Rs 9,200 crore) held there by Pakistani individuals and entities. However, this was the lowest level for such funds ever since Switzerland’s central bank began compiling this data in 2002 and was less than half of the record high amount of over 3 billion Swiss francs recorded in 2005… Still, the quantum of money held by Swiss banks for their Pakistani clients was about 1.5 per cent higher than the equivalent figure for Indians at 1,421 million Swiss francs (about Rs 9,100 crore) at the end of 2012, the latest data compiled by Swiss National Bank (SNB) shows“. A Pakistani, who became “famous” as “Mr. Ten Percent” during his wife’s premiership, and was arguably one of the largest depositors with Swiss Banks, must have heaved a sigh of relief though. Pakistan’s Supreme Court Chief Justice, Iftikar Chaudhary, was gunning relentlessly for Asif Ali Zardari, who had managed to become President of Pakistan when PPP won after assassination of Benazir Bhutto, by asking Pakistan government to request Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against the latter. He even had forced prime minister Yousuf Gilani to resign for refusing to send necessary request letter. Though there is a regime change in Pakistan and now bête noire of Bhutto/ Zardari, Nawaz Sharif, is in power; in a relief to Zardari the Swiss authorities have expressed their helplessness to reopen graft cases. “A letter written to Pakistan by Switzerland Tuesday revealed that the corruption cases cannot be reopened against President Asif Ali Zardari in any Swiss court of law, a media report said. The report quoted sources as saying that the Swiss authorities made it clear the graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari and others could not be reopened as they have died down forever being ‘time-barred’.  The letter was opened by the Minister for Law, Zahid Hamid, said sources“. This stance of Switzerland must be music to the ears of the ruling elite of the subcontinent cutting across the borders.  
A thirty-eight year old woman was gang raped in a car moving on the streets of Kolkata on 5 February 2012. The lady came to be identified as “Park Street Rape Victim”. The mercurial Mamta Banerjee, who had just come to power in West Bengal after over three decades of left rule, had extremely callously described the heinous crime as “cooked up” matter framed by the Opposition to malign the image of her administration. Later, Banerjee was also joined by her party colleagues who also openly used derogatory words about the victim“. Banerjee has continued with her paranoia and insensitive behaviour when she went to visit Kamduni village to meet the family of a woman, who was brutally raped and murdered early this month.
Banerjee yelled at the protestors when women surrounded her and shouted slogans about the lack of security while she was visiting the gang-rape victim’s family Monday at Kamduni village, 25km from here, 10 days after the incident; and branded the accused and the protestors as “CPM people”“. While Banerjee showed that she learns nothing and forgets nothing; in probably a first for India; the “Park Street Rape Victim” has marshaled exceptional courage and fortitude to discard the stifling shame of near anonymity to come out into open. Entire India should stand up to applaud this brave woman. The Indian subcontinent is probably the worst violator of a woman’s dignity in the world through its overbearing patriarchal culture, which holds woman responsible for every reprehensible and abusive act committed by man. A woman is not safe at home, in the workplace, or on the streets. Instead of shaming the perpetrators of rape, molestation or physical violence, the society heaps shame on the victim already traumatized by physical abuse, and thereby adds insult to injury by inflicting psychological abuse as well. Therefore, what the “Park Street rape victim” has shown is nothing less than Himalayan courage. **I was tired of being called a Park Street rape victim. I am really so done with it. I was raped but that was not my fault. I am not ashamed, so I decided to come out of the shell,”… On the reaction of Mamata Banerjee, she said, “I forgive her. In fact mistakes are made by human beings only. I am now getting all sorts of help from the public prosecutor who is doing a good job.”… Her decision to come out in the open came in the wake of brutal gang-rape and murder of a 20-year-old college girl at Kamduni in North 24 Paraganas’ Barasat, about 25-kms off Kolkata… has been involved in a job of helping others like her through tough times at a help-line called Survivors for Victims of Social Injustice since May this year**. The woman has shown not only exceptional courage, but great sagacity to move on and not be bogged down by stupid posturing by Chief Minister Banerjee, and to be proactive by helping others who suffer and share her misfortune. We salute you.
In another first, a high ranking and serving IPS officre of Gujarat Police has been declared absconder yesterday by Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate of the special CBI court H S Khutwad in Ahmadabad. “Additional Director General of Police – CID (Crime)Pruthvipal P Pandey, a 1982-batch IPS officer, has been made an accused in the fake encounter case for providing “so-called crucial intelligence inputs” to fellow policemen that Ishrat and three others were LeT operatives and were on a mission to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi. He was Joint Commissioner of Police of the city heading the crime branch when on June 15, 2004, Ishrat Jahan, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter with the Gujarat police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad“.

PS: Surjit Bhalla’s economic wisdom always invited this blog’s special scrutiny. His latest column is about the “S”, word -Secularism, and is titled, Tell Me I am Mad. One who was described as the brilliant columnist by the brilliant editor in chief of Indian Express has been rather late to board the bandwagon of *Congress is a worse violator of minority human rights (1984, Sikh pogrom) than BJP (Mumbai-Godhra)*. In his enthusiasm he calls Post-Godhra riots in Gujarat in a misleading (or mischievous) shorthand, Godhra Riots. What use is the perverse logic that allows kettle to claim snow white  charm by declaring pot to be blacker. I am happy to tell Bhalla he needs no one to tell him he is mad.
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