The story behind the sabotage operation
Pakistan’s ISI thwarted the dream of this Punjabi, reveals Pak scribe
- PT Bureau
Pakistan’s ISI thwarted the dream of this Punjabi, reveals Pak scribe



THIS IS the story of how Pakistan's ISI thwarted the efforts of a Punjabi to set up a futuristic think-tank in Lahore that would have brought Islamabad and Delhi closer. So few know of this Lahore-born Punjabi and hardly anyone knew till date why his dream did not come true.
 
Now, a top Pakistani journalist has revealed the story behind the sabotage operation.
 
Madanjit Singh, who served as India's Ambassador in Asia, South America, Africa and Europe, and was also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, carried perhaps a rather rare distinction – he was one of the most well known Punjabis in the world, and one of the least known in Punjab, or even in western Punjab. 

Having studied at Lahore's Government College – it is a university but the nomenclature stays – Madanjit visited the campus in 2004 at the invitation of its then principal, Vice Chancellor Khalid Aftab (principal and also vice chancellor - nomenclature stays, again). 
  
Forever in love with his alma mater, he proposed that the Lahore GC set up an Institute of South Asian Studies and was ready to pay top dollar for the venture. He offered $120,000 as seed-money. Late Khushwant Singh and Indian actor Dev Anand had earlier visited the campus as part of the then premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s delegation to Lahore.

Now, in a sensational disclosure, Pakistan Newsweek's consulting editor Khaled Ahmed has revealed that Madanjit’s dream venture got stuck because top echelons of Pakistan's foreign ministry wanted a clearance from the ISI for the proposed think-tank.

Vice Chancellor Khalid Aftab was loathe to approach and woo the ISI for a purely academic exercise. If Madanjit Singh's dream had come to fruition, the proposed Institute would have had only regional intellectual stalwarts.
--------------
Madanjit Singh, who served as India's Ambassador in Asia, South America, Africa and Europe, and was also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, carried perhaps a rather rare distinction – he was one of the most well known Punjabis in the world, and one of the least known in Punjab, or even in western Punjab.
--------------
Madanjeet Singh's South Asia Foundation (SAF) was the prime force behind the launch of the Institute of Kashmir Studies in Srinagar, the Kabul-based Madanjeet Singh Institute of Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage, and several other similar ventures.

Madanjeet Singh, born in 1924 in Lahore, passed away in 2013, but his philanthropic work across borders would have been complete if only the Pakistan foreign ministry had not kowtowed to the ISI.

Khaled Ahmed's revelations came today in an article he wrote for a leading English language daily, Indian Express. 

Among famous Punjabis who engaged with the world of knowledge at Lahore's Government College was Balraj Sahni. Sahni, himself from Rawalpindi, edited the college magazine Ravi, and dabbled in theatre, as Khaled Ahmed recalls, "with the great principal, Guru Dutt Sondhi, and actor-teacher Patras Bokhari."

The Institute Madanjit planned was to work under a SAARC faculty to discuss South Asian issues with internationally acknowledged scholars, but alas, thanks to ISI, it was not to be. 

"The trajectories followed by India and Pakistan condemned the minds of their people to abandon memories of living together peacefully," the Pakistan journalist wrote, and called Madanjit Singh "an extraordinary human being."
 
(An earlier version of the story had inadvertently left out the name of the newspaper, Indian Express, in which Khaled Ahmed's piece was originally published.         – Ed.)
 
-------------
Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged. 
— Team PT






Comment

your name*

email address*

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div> <a> <img>

verification code*
 







MOST VISITED
You may also Like

TOPIC CLOUD

TAGS CLOUD

ARCHIVE



Copyright © 2016-2017







NEWS LETTER