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Thursday, November 16, 2006

arundathi roy - afzal guru

In 'And His Life Should Become Extinct' Arundhati Roy investigates the trial and tribulation of Afzal Guru. It is long and well researched:

Eventually, both the high court and the Supreme Court set aside Afzal's confession citing 'lapses and violations of procedural safeguards'. But Afzal's confession somehow survives, the phantom keystone in the prosecution's case. And before it was technically and legally set aside, the confessional document had already served a major extra-legal purpose: On December 21, 2001, when the Government of India launched its war effort against Pakistan it said it had 'incontrovertible evidence' of Pakistan's involvement. Afzal's confession was the only 'proof' of Pakistan's involvement that the government had! Afzal's confession. And the sticker-manifesto.Think about it. On the basis of this illegal confession extracted under torture, hundreds of thousands of soldiers were moved to the Pakistan border at huge cost to the public exchequer, and the subcontinent devolved into a game of nuclear brinkmanship in which the whole world was held hostage.

Big Whispered Question: Could it have been the other way around? Did the confession precipitate the war, or did the need for a war precipitate the need for the confession?


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