Miandad Matters (Pic Miandad
Eversince he has taken charge as the country’s Home Minister, Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde is in the news for different reasons. From the controversial visit of Pakistan’s Interior Minister Mr Rehman Malik to granting of visa to former Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad, he is hard pressed to explain the North Block’s compulsions behind all such moves. Granting visa to Miandad to visit India to watch the ongoing India-Pakistan cricket series, has assumed more seriousness on account of the fact that he is closely related to the underworld don and prime accused in Mumbai blasts case Dawood Ibrahim. Coupled with the poor performance of the India cricket team the issue has also assumed an element of sarcasm as it also reflects total lack of coordination between  different wings of the UPA Government. The External Affairs Minister Mr Salman Khurshid immediately clarified that his ministry had nothing to do with granting visa to the controversial cricketer.
The fact that Miandad also holds an import post in the Pakistan Cricket Board, granting visa to him is being jocularly described in terms of a Confidence Building Measure between the two countries. The defeat of the star-studded Indian cricket team at the hands of Pakistan is also being accredited to the CBMs. What could be a better CBM than this victory of the visitors that will shore up their image back home and give fillip to bilateral ties? This is how the gossip mill is describing the emerging scenario.
By the way, this is not the first time that Miandad has figured into such a controversy. His request for a visa was rejected last year also. At that point of time he wanted to visit India to watch the cricket world cup final in Mumbai the city that witnessed bomb blasts allegedly triggered by his son’s father-in-law Dawood.

Mukhrjee’s Memory (Pic Pranab Mukherji
He may have moved to Rashtrapati Bhawan where his duties as President are less taxing, but President Mr Pranab Mukherjee is not the one to change his old habits and take the task lightly. The stickler for rules in him is extra cautious about the regulations particularly the information about visiting dignitaries and other issues being brought before him. The Ministry of External Affairs mandarins are in a tizzy these days. Mr Mukherjee’s penchant for greater details about the visiting VVIPs and other foreign guests has resulted in the MEA officials having to put in extra effort to live up to the expectation of Dada’s sharp memory. The officials were recently caught on a wrong foot after Mr Mukherjee’s counter queries on information provided by them regarding a visiting dignitary whom the President had met 25 years back in a different capacity. The officials were swept off their feet when countered by Mr Mukherjee that the information provided by them pertained to the current phase and did not reflect on the past history of the gentleman. The Ministry circles immediately went into a huddle and dug out more information about the visitor. To their utter surprise the officials discovered that the tips provided by the President about the individual were true bit by bit.
Old habits die hard. This message has been sent loud and clear by the incumbent President to the Government quarters. Deal with me carefully, seems to be the border line.

Optimistic Prakash ( Pic Mohan Prakash)
The AICC General Secretary in charge of important states such as Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir Mr Mohan Prakash is in the news for different reasons. The old socialist who had joined Congress few years back is no different from old Congress hands when given to projecting the party’s chances at the elections. In the run up to the recently held Gujarat Assembly he was his usual optimistic self about the Congress prospects in the state. To the chagrin of many visiting central leaders and Union Ministers to the state for campaigning, Mr Mohan almost assured them that the party will form the Government.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 4 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 4 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 5 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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