Pakistan all-praise for Markandey Katju


Discussions about Justice Markandey Katju are slowly spilling over to Pakistan. Known for remarks that include calculations about the intellectual level of Indians and the non-seriousness of the Indian media, Katju has now been writing a monthly column in The Express Tribune, apart from occasional articles in other newspapers.

One of his recent articles has offended Pakistani readers, as is evident from the online feedback. His contribution to the release of fishermen arrested along the coastal areas on the border, on the other hand, has earned him praise from human rights groups of Pakistan.

Katju has remarked on Pakistan in India too. On March 5, at the Rajiv Gandhi memorial lecture organised by the Institute of Parliamentary in Thiruvananthapuram, he described Pakistan as "Jurrasic Park".

Former Pakistan foreign secretary Shamshad Ahmad wrote an article tilted 'May you live long, Katju' in The Nation on February 26, reacting to one of Katju's recent writings. Shamsad writes that Katju called Pakistan a "fake country" created through the "bogus" Two-Nation Theory, and that Katju predicted India, Pakistan and Bangladesh would reunite in the next 15-20 years; actually, the latter two would merge into India as it is only India that exists while the rest are part of it.

"One can only sympathise with Justice Katju for his 'reunification' illusions and pray he lives long to see that Pakistan is there to stay and grow in stature and strength," Ahmad wrote. This was followed by 'Katju's tirades' in The News on February 27. This time, Ahmad wrote, "Katju... is known for making stunning statements. He has been in the news for his 'words of wisdom' especially after his retirement from the Indian judiciary in 2011..."

Contacted by The Indian Express, Ahmad said: "I don't know him personally but read his articles in Pakistani papers and searched online. I gathered he can be quite a maverick, though not communal despite his odd remarks about Pakistan... Katju says a reunification of India and Pakistan will take place in 15-20 years, while calling 80 per cent Indians communal. If they are communal, how will they let this reunification take place? Such are his contradictions. He may be a well-meaning person but his views are not stable at times."

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