NEW DEHLI: Neighbouring ministers, it transpires, are gaffe-prone too. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to intervene on Thursday when External Affairs Minister SM Krishna stumbled over a reply in the upper house of parliament on the issue of the release of Pakistani national Dr Khalil Chishty.
Eighty-year-old Chishty, a virologist sentenced to life imprisonment last December, has been languishing in Ajmer jail in Rajasthan on a murder charge. When asked by an opposition MP from Bihar Shivanand Tiwari what the government of India was doing about Chishty’s release, Krishna said the onus was on the government of Pakistan to release him.
Krishna said that this ‘particular person’ was detained in Pakistan and it was a question to be considered by the government of that country on ‘humanitarian grounds.’
As appalled and confused MPs got up to stop Krishna, he went on: “Dr Chishty is more than 80 years old, is wheelchair bound and we are sure the Government of Pakistan would take a lenient view about the case.”
He added that India would take this issue up at the level of High Commissioners, before being slammed by opposition MPs that the minister was confused about the identity of the prisoner and had little idea about Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails.
Manmohan Singh eventually stepped in to save Krishna’s bacon. He explained that Chishty was serving a sentence in a prison in Rajasthan, that he has received a request for his release and had referred the matter to the Home Minister who was in touch with the Rajasthan government. He also said he would report further developments to the house.
This is not the first gaffe by the Indian foreign minister. Earlier this year, he read the speech of the Portuguese Foreign Minister by mistake at a United Nations Security Council meeting. Three minutes into the speech he was interrupted by fellow Indian envoy.
Chishty was implicated in a murder case in 1992 while on a visit to India to see his ailing mother.
The criminal case was pending for 18 years, during which period Chishty was granted bail but with a stringent condition that he should not leave Ajmer, among other conditions. Tiwari, speaking to reporters later, said he was embarrassed to see that an 80-year-old national of a neighbouring country was facing this situation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2011.
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@Mirza: Don't worry! Hinaji was a hit with Indians. And Mr Krishna and the old generation have nothing against Pakistan. It is the new generation which is being fed lies by a country [ saat samundar paar se] and they are smug in the knowledge that if India is fine everything is ok. They are not bothered about their neighbour !
@vickram: I totally disagree with you Mr vickram that our government in pakistan is less corrupt than yours. Most of our prersent rulers have dual nationalities and overseas interest. They have posted all corrupt persons on all key posts in the establishment. So, who will point finger at whom? Every one of them is making money and a few honest and spotless government servants are victimised, marginalized and sent to posts where they have nothing to do. In such deplorable conditions who is to be blamed for this state of affairs in both the countries - THE BROAD MASSES OF PEOPLE who bring these corrupt leaders to power. Arise, 1.5 billion people of south asia to come out of the grip of the hereditary politicians. Both AICC and PPP had reaped enough for the sacrifices of indira gandhi and zulfikar ali bhutto.
I think HRK gave Krishna some long lasting Pakistani Blues. He's on cloud 9 and I bet every external affairs issue is seen by him in light of Pakistan, or equivalently HRK.
hello friends enough of bashing for Krishna sahib,......... the President of the USA Mr. Ronald Reagen was famous for his Fauxpas......................e.g. during a dinner on the occasion of a state visit to Brazil in 1982 Reagan spoke a toast to "the people of Bolivia". When he realized his mistake, he tried to iron out, ".There is where we go next," The other stops on his trip were Colombia, Costa Rica and Honduras. Reagan mixed up the names sometimes, he once called Princess Diana "Princess David."..........................the list is long!
Give Mr Krishna a break please. He is still recovering from Hina shock. And when you are eighty year old, it's not easy. Let's all wish him a quick recovery.
Arey this is not a big gaffe.There used to be one Prime minister H.D. Dev Gowda in india in late 1990s who used to sleep in parliament in front of live cameras and when reporters used to ask him about sleeping in parliament he shamelessly used to tell lie that i was not sleeping but was thinking with closed eyes. Coincidentally Present Foreign minister S.M Krishna and H.D. dev gowda come from same southern state Karnataka.It seems every politician from karnataka is gaffe prone.
@Delhi Belly: Thanks a lot. Yes I hear you loud and clear. One big difference stil remains that I did not feel unsafe while on business vists to India. Pakistan was so much better and peaceful than what it is now. Hopefully the younger generation can move the country in a positive direction. Regards, Mirza
This is embarassing. He should just retire.
Hahahaha, love our politicians (naturally for their comediac talents!) in South Asia!
Nice to see that Indians and Pakistanis are whole heartedly agreeing :-)
I am an Indian, and often I have wondered about the ability of the Pakistani civil society to distinguish between right and wrong. But, one thing, I am dead sure, is that, the Congress party of India is the worst and Pak can never surpass the corruption levels of Congress and their cronies like DMK. (According to some, DMK is the most corrupt party in the whole democratic world, even beating some of the parties in Africa.)
Do you know the scam of the century, Rs. 1.76 crores was perpetrated by DMK right under the nose of our great PM? While Sonia Ghandy watched, her coalition friends were looting the country. Kapil Sibal, Chidambaram, ...The list of corrupt and senile politicians of Congress is endless.
Dear Pakistani friends, be happy that you don't have a party like Congress in your country !
@narayana murthy: I agree with you 100%
One thing people need to understand is that Krishna is a very able administrator. It's perhaps the age and weariness that comes with the age.
Otherwise, compared to hundreds of thousands of politicians in India, he's a very able guy. Very well educated also. He has had very long friendships with the Clintons and other western leaders, even before he became the FM. Even in the current government, he's one of the good workers, if could not commit gaffes (which are not big mistakes, by the way), he could be better.
If he feels that it's the age, then perhaps, he should gracefully retire and resign.
In India,the compulsions of Coalition Govts mean that dumb people like Krishna need to be accomodated too....proud Pakistan tipped Hina for the job....smart,articulate,will get better...Pakistan has always had brilliant Foreign Ministers (Zafrullah,Sahibzada Yaqub,Kasuri,Shah Mehmood). I am from India,but really delighted Hina has the job.
@Dr. Ali Ahmed: Yes thats true. Quite embarrassing to me, lekin kya karne kya? In the post Mumbai attack era can you blame us for being suspicious? So many reasons for hate.
Someday in the near future we'll get our stuff together and maybe live like US/Canada.
he did nothing wrong, just followed the rule... blame PAKISTAN.
This octogenarian has committed so many gaffes that it's not even funny any more. It's just sad.
He needs to retire and go look after his tomato garden or something.
this guy is worse than sarah palin, atleast palin is delight to watch..these are people, who come to power by hook and crook, nepotism and have little knowledge abt world affair..it just those talented bureacrats who handle day to day affair, and all these thugs have to do is read the paper....what a piece of s**t this guy is...an absolute embaraasement to the nation..The thing is this stupid congress have so many such stupid ministers, that outsiders have little knowledge, and we have been seeing on day to day affair of the nation..
between, i dont concede either that khar is a better replacement, in any given day, shah mehmood is a far far better miniter...you need people who have absolute knowledge on day to day affairs, handle media pressure, can answer any question on foregin policy related matter at any given matter, have excellent command of english, and brave and smart enough to conduct onself in public, just like Ms condoleezza rice.she is such a seasoned , brave foreign secretary i have seen recently.
It is time MMS replaces senile old Krishna. He is bent upon embarassing INdia both inside the country and outside.
In our part of the world normally 80 yrs old person gets weak both internally and externally. Even his grand children and his own kids stop taking any advise from him. So time for you Mr. Krishna to step down and give chance to some fresh blood as we did in our case. This time perhaps some unconscious was working on your behalf.
again hell !!!!! this will weaken India's fight against terrorism one more step, pakistan is waiting for these kind of blunders to counter,, re-brand congress as terrorist friendly, impotent party
Clueless yes. Idiot, also yes. Both sides have politicians that are clueless, bumbling etc.
But that's still a LOT LOT better than having military-terrorist people running the country!
Pakistani Bhaiyon,keep the faith!
Lets face it we are the same DNA. Just like us, you will probably get dumb, corrupt elected officials, but you are still a DEMOCRACY!
Signed: Indian who wants to see our neighbor grow and prosper.
@narayana murthy: Rahamn Malik OR Krishna? Bring it on. Lets have both of them face to face. Jetay ga bhai jetay ga, Pakistan jetay ga.
presently only two ministers are running india (other than sonia gandhi) - Pranab and Chidambaram !! rest all are just there for time pass ...
Indian FM was referring to this guy whose real name is Khalil Chishty..
Indian FM was referring to Indian trained terrorist 25 years old Khalil Chishty who was caught by Pakistan security forces last week. Remember Pakistani security officer was pointing a gun at this poor Khalil Chishty..
At 80 its actually a lot more difficult to even think about affairs. Well done Krishna, atleast you gave it a shot. way to go.
I,25 sometimes forget things.He is 80 yr old FM .Does he indeed deserve it ?
Krishna is our answer to your Rahman Malik.
The entire Congress Party is way past its expiration date.
We Indians have lost it. It's time we stop our anti-Pakistan rhetoric.
Honest politician, but age is telling on his ability to work, may be time to step down.
To all Pakistani's and Indians.
You do realize that one of the major reasons for us still having such a hate filled relationship are the bumbling politicians both countries keep on electing.
I dont care if you're Indian or Pakistani, but this was a FAIL.
Seriously, Mr. Krishna should stop the use of wig because it's evident that the wig is affecting his ability to think.
If irony was made of gold, we'd all be pharaohs by now.
Maybe this is why 80 year old's should not be External Affairs Ministers.
krisha is an embarrasment.infact UPA is an embarrasment for india.
He is not only "Clueless" but also "Useless".
This guy don't even deserve to be clerk and he is India's FM.He did such mistake earlier in UN and other foreign joint statement.
Wrong Speech ... Wrong Answer ..
Whats new Mr.Krishna :)
Shameful. But on a side note, what is the GOP doing about Dr Chisty's release anyway? Or as is usual, the GOP does not give a damn?
All Congress ministers have a serious IQ problem. Not only are they dumb, they also are corrupt to the core. Loyalty to Sonia Ghandy is the only criterion in Congress for anyone to make it to the top and get license to loot.
The only thing they are good is in doing chamchagiri to the Ghandy family !
I am very much sure that Mr. krishna does not know that he is a foreign Minister of India. Time to resign Mr. krishna.
come on....give old man a break...we all make mistakes ..:P
Entertainment free of cost just like ejaz butt :)
And some people were opposed to the promotion of Hina as a young foreign minister. Like India, do we want to keep senile and old men with a lot of baggage and mindset of 1947 hatred? The foreign ministers should be young and mentally very active and presentable.