23.10.2019

Indian newspapers have commented that Pakistan’s use of deadly force on civilians is reprehensible. This is unacceptable and serves little purpose. It is aimed is to give covering fire to terrorists trying to cross the LoC. Abortion in Northern Ireland will no longer be a criminal offense, opines the dailies. Print media has said Virat Kohli’s men became the first Indian team to whitewash South Africa in a cricket Test series. India are now on top of the World Test Championship table.

THE PIONEER in an editorial IN THE FIRING LINE writes the military in Pakistan has always thought of civilians elsewhere as second-class citizens as was evidenced by the brutal genocides against Bengalis in 1970-71 or Indians. Proxy attacks by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists have cost thousands of Indian civilians their lives over the past three decades — be it during the height of the Punjab crisis or to this day, with Kashmiri terrorism being influenced by the likes of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed. However, Pakistan’s Army, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and the establishment have always had an answer. They were not directly responsible for the deaths. After all, anonymity is the advantage of proxy forces. However, the unprovoked firing of artillery and mortar shells over the Line of Control (LoC) in the Jammu region over the past few days has hit civilians hard, maiming and killing Indian villagers. This is unacceptable and serves little purpose unless the aim is to give covering fire to terrorists trying to cross the LoC.

THE HINDUSTAN TIMES in an editorial IRELAND TAKES A LEAP says the tragic death of an Indian woman, Savita Halappanavar, has influenced one of the most momentous changes in Ireland’s restrictive laws against abortion. She died when denied an abortion after a miscarriage in 2012. Her family’s pleas were ignored by doctors on grounds of the illegality of termination, triggering a debate on whether this was a violation of the Hippocratic oath. Last year, another woman won a legal challenge to travel to England for an abortion after she was diagnosed with foetal problems. Ireland’s laws so far prohibited abortion even in the case of incest and rape. So, the lifting of this 158-year ban on abortion in favour of decriminalisation is nothing short of historic. Attempts to scuttle this move by the anti-choice parties failed, bringing to an end the harassment of women for seeking autonomy over their own bodies and choices. The 66% vote against criminalisation is also a triumph for Prime Minister Leo Varadkar who pushed for it, despite the political consequences he could face. The State can now no longer intrude into the most personal of arenas.

THE INDIAN EXPRESS in an editorial KOHLI’S MEN opines after the 3-0 win over South Africa, India, under Virat Kohli, have been unbeaten at home for four years. Barring the odd instance of a Steve Smith-fuelled Australian resistance in 2017, no side has come even remotely close to arresting his stupendous streak that now reads thus: Played: 24, Won: 18, Lost: 1. Beating India in India has always been daunting. Only four teams have achieved the feat in the last 32 years. It remains world cricket’s final frontier, as Steve Waugh famously said. But few Indian cricket sides have made those defeats routinely clinical like Kohli’s. In this series, the seamers accounted for exactly half of the South African wickets, a rarity in Asia. Kohli’s India has a fine collection of bowlers, so well-stocked, versatile and skilled that they take the pitch out of the equation, literally and metaphorically. Kohli can unleash any one of his many prize-horses to hit the jackpot. And this series was achieved with his best bowler, Jasprit Bumrah, injured. He wasn’t missed, as Kohli let loose pacer Umesh Yadav, who ended up picking 10 wickets at less than 15 runs.