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Sarabjit must be released

IS Sarabjit Singh a spy or merely one who strayed across the international border? Or is he a live hero of the Hindi film Veer Zara, a case of mistaken identity? The truth is not known.

Our Ministry of External Affairs has stepped in following public pressure for pardon. Seeking pardon for Sarabjit on humanitarian grounds or in line with peace initiatives by NGOs may have wider implications.

Pakistan President General Musharraf may willingly grant clemency to Sarabjit, when officially approached by India. But India would find itself in a piquant situation if Pakistan too seeks amnesty for some of their nationals lodged in Indian jails for acts of terrorism. Nonetheless, I feel Sarabjit must be granted pardon and released immediately to join his family.

Lt-Col BACHITTAR SINGH (retd), Mohali

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

II

Sarabjit Singh had been recognised as a RAW agent and has been sentenced to death in Pakistan. But the correct identity of the accused has not been given to the courts. Sarabjitís legal representatives say, they have been approaching the government in this regard but in vain.

The Government of India should have defended Sarabjitís case properly in Pakistan and established his correct identity during the 15-year trial. At this stage, death sentence could be converted into life imprisonment. Otherwise, the innocent man and his family shall suffer.

DALIP SINGH WASAN, Advocate, Patiala

III

Death sentence for Sarabjit Singh is unfair. He has strayed into the border in 1990 and Pakistan branded him as a RAW agent. Strangely, while Pakistan hasnít been able to show the documents to prove his crime, he has enough evidence to prove his innocence. Therefore, the Government of India should try to save Sarabjit from the gallows.

ADITYA RANGROO, Mumbai

IV

The Vice-President of the Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC), Mr Vikramjit S. Bajwa, has requested the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington D.C. for an appointment with Pakistan President General Musharraf to discuss the issue of Sarabjit Singhís clemency and other issues concerning NRIs from Punjab.

We are hopeful that Sarabjit will be released soon. A delegation of INOC will also meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to New York in the second week of September to discuss these issues.

SUNIL SINHA, (Secretary, INOC), Washington D.C.

 

Strengthen the crucial link

INDIA has been pursuing flat technologies till date. We have been producing or developing the items on which research has been completed by the West long back. Itís time to shift our focus from flat technologies to rising technologies.

Rising technologies require universities, corporate houses and R&D institutions. The linkage between the three crucial pillars must be made stronger so that they are complimentary to each other. Corporate houses must adopt a few universities so that employees of these companies are given Ph. D degrees for on-job research by affiliated or adopted universities.

The universities must spot talent by interacting more with industry through seminars and discussions. There is a future in rising technologies. All engineering colleges must be affiliated to industry in their areas of activity.

Col C.J. PAL, Hyderabad

Landmark ruling

The Himachal Pradesh High Court has rightly quashed the appointment of Chief Parliamentary Secretaries (CPS) and Parliamentary Secretaries (PS) made by the state government. This is most welcome. It upholds the spirit of the Constitution 91st (Amendment) Act.

However, the verdict is not the last word on the subject. Some states like Punjab continue to have these posts. In the national interest, the Supreme Court must take suo motu notice of the matter and decide on the constitutional validity of these posts.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

II

The High Court ruling has not only put Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on the mat but also forced the government to set its house in order. These posts were created by the Chief Minister to keep disgruntled MLAs in good humour and to silence the critics. However, with the High Court ruling, things are back to square one again.

RAJINDER RANA, Patlander (HP)
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