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Govt Must Set Its Priorities Right

SAMIR KHAN, MAPUSA

While violence has engulfed Delhi, leaving many in sorrow over the death of their dear ones and property lost, US President Donald Trump has returned to Washington in a happy mood. And why he should not be happy? After all, he has struck gold for his country by finalising defence deals worth $3 billion. The controversies over scams in defence deals like Bofors and Rafael are still afresh in people’s minds. Nevertheless, in his public speech at Ahmedabad, Trump left no stone unturned to shower elusive praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He went to the extent of even calling him a hard negotiator. This entire gimmick apparently was to give credence to the weapons deals by raising the threats of cross-border terrorism. One can argue that procurement of weapons will strengthen our defence forces. Yes, but at what cost is it coming? The question is should this be our priority when the economy is in doldrums? There are sectors like education, health and agriculture, which are crying for attention and this amount could have been diverted there. In this backdrop, Trump’s offer for mediation between India and Pakistan to defuse tension seems to be another gimmick as that would go against the interest of arms manufacturers. They are into business of manufacturing weapons, how will their business run if there is no tension between countries. Most of the time tensions are created so that their interest remains safeguarded. If these world leaders had clear hearts then most of the world conflicts would have been sorted out and this would have been a great service to humanity. But that hardly happens. Why are we spending such a huge amount on buying weapons? If sincere efforts are put in, we can have better ties with our neighbouring countries, especially Pakistan. Both countries need to set their priorities right. But the irony is that leaders of the countries want to keep the pot boiling by showing threat on the borders so that people’s minds can be diverted from issues affecting them.

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