25 February, 2021

Wash The Khaki

Don’t blame the security forces, work to reform them

Wash The Khaki

Punjab is in ferment again. Resentment is building up against the state on a plethora of issues: there was anger over desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib; there’s worry and turmoil over the pervasive drug trade, in which “the state’s political elites are complicit”; unemployment is rife; and rampant corruption has eroded faith in the establishment. No wonder Pakistan is again fishing in troubled waters, patronising a host of radical Sikh leaders. The July 27 attack on Dinanagar police station in Gurdaspur betokens ISI plans to launch terror attacks in Punjab. Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has blamed the Congress for encouraging secessionist elements, and maybe there’s some truth in his allegations, for the party has played this nefarious game earlier. But the government cannot escape responsibility for facilitating fertile grounds for terrorism.

Any assertion, however, that the methods employed to def­eat terrorism in Punjab in the 1980s are returning to plague it would be wide of the mark. Harsh methods were no doubt...

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