Spoke and mirrors | india | Hindustan Times
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Spoke and mirrors

While we in India savour a statement that makes us rather pleased coming from where it does, it would be wise to remember that ‘saying’ is only 10 per cent of the gig. Doing is 90 per cent.

india Updated: Oct 07, 2008 23:30 IST

What is it about public gaffes and the direct or indirect involvement of Pakistanis? In 2005, L.K. Advani created a furore when, while visiting Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s mausoleum in Karachi, he described Pakistan’s first Governor General as a “secular leader”. The BJP leader was pummelled both by his own lot as well as those outside the Akhand Bharat Club. The only real consequence of the ‘debate’ that ensued was that Mr Advani was seen as getting a bit soft behind his ears vis-a-vis Pakistan in his more mature years. Now, it’s Asif Ali Zardari who’s just had his ‘Jinnah moment’.

The Pakistani President was quoted in The Wall Street Journal last week saying that militants operating in J&K are “terrorists”. Of course, a day later, damage control was conducted by Mr Zardari’s government when it issued the statement: “He has never called the legitimate aspirations of Kashmiris an expression of terrorism, nor has he undermined the sufferings of the Kashmiri people.” Yes, right. If that’s a U-turn, Mr Zardari’s car doesn’t seem to have turned from the precipice.

While we in India savour a statement that makes us rather pleased coming from where it does, it would be wise to remember that ‘saying’ is only 10 per cent of the gig. Doing is 90 per cent.