ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Calcutta Diary

October 11, 1986 Calcutta Diary AM LAST month's hijack episode at Karachi airport was a pot-pourri of tragedy and black comedy. Lives were lost, pointlessly, precious lives, mostly of Indian citizens, for the bulk of the passengers were Indians. The deaths apart, there were the usual scenes of agony and suspense. On the other hand, consider the irony of how the cockpit crew behaved. The lineage of the hijackers is not traceable, it can only be guessed. The plane was American, and the flying crew too were all American citizens. They escaped from the plane at the first opportunity, leaving the passengers and the non-American crew in the lurch. This they did, reportedly, according to standing instructions issued by the US government. Indian lives were lost, but your and my Prime Minister is inhibited from criticising the United States of America: were he to do so, the super-computer deal, which he is currently negotiating, could perhaps be in jeopardy. Therefore he chooses to light into the Pakistan government, charging it with incompetence and worse in handling the hijack. This is in lovely, impeccable feudal tradition: you do not have the guts to criticise to his face the landlord's crony who has done you a terrible injustice, you come home and take it out on the poor wife.

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