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Can anti-terror bodies co-exist harmoniously?

In India, the powers of arrest and search are vested in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at the Centre and the police in the states.

By giving these powers to the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) also, there would be confusion in the investigation and prosecution of terrorism-related cases. It would be an unwise step which could further politicise handling of counter-terrorism measures.

Home Minister PC Chidambaram wanted the entire counter-terrorism plan, including the proposed NCTC, to function under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs till his idea of a Ministry of Internal Security is accepted and implemented. He wanted the National Security Advisor to be divested of all counter-terrorism responsibilities.

JS ACHARYA, Hyderabad


The political row over the creation of NCTC by the Centre and strong dissent by the states is not in the interest of the country. The National Intelligence Grid, aimed at keeping handy the data base of terrorist related intelligence which is available in bits and pieces with various concerned agencies, would be a strong umbrella body, quick and effective to negotiate probable terror strikes. The parochial attitude of the states to undermine the country’s safety and security in the name of threat to federalism is against the spirit of the Constitution.

The Constitution has made the Centre liable for safety and security of the people which gets priority over state subjects and federalism.

It is therefore imperative that petty politics should not be allowed to over-stretch the issue which may enable it to throw the baby with the bath tub.

RM RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib


Maintenance of law and order is a state subject. Protection against internal disturbance and outside aggression is on central list. Therefore, setting up of a National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) by the union government is not against federalism. NCTC should have been established much earlier. Nevertheless the concerns of chief ministers regarding its functioning should be addressed. It is rightly mentioned in the editorial ‘New counter-terror agency’ (Feb 20) that it would be a folly to stall such a move for relatively minor issues which can be sorted out. The US established a strong Department of Homeland Security following the 9/11 strike and there has not been a single major terrorist attack since then.

GK KALRA, Chandigarh

Bad business

The Kingfisher Airlines controlled by liquor baron, Vijay Mallaya, has lost the confidence of business class travellers and common passengers because of cancellation of a large number of scheduled flights. The passengers have not been refunded for failed stand-offs. Its employees have gone on strike because of non-payment of their salaries for the last two months.

Kingfisher has come to symbolise the dismal performance of private airlines in India. The Civil Aviation Minister, Ajit Singh, has rightly refused to bail out the airlines. The government, and indirectly the tax-payer, cannot and should not be expected to pay for bad business decisions.



The view that Kingfisher has landed into a financial mess entirely of its own making does not hold much ground. The entire aviation industry is reeling heavily under debt and losses with Air India leading the pack at Rs 79,000 cr, followed by Jet Airways at Rs 18,500 cr and Kingfisher at Rs 13,600 cr.

The government must constitute a committee of aviation, finance and management experts which would advise ways and means to resurrect the aviation sector. Till then, taxes on ATF, landing, navigation, parking charges, etc must be rolled back to affordable levels.

Banks and financial institutions should restructure their loans and the airlines must cancel orders for the aircrafts they cannot afford. FDI, soft loans, mergers may enable the revival of the ailing sector. Cash starved airlines may be allowed to skip loss making routes till they recoup.

Air Cmde RAGHUBIR SINGH (retd), Pune

Media hype

A 15-1 goal victory over lowly-placed Singapore in the Olympic hockey qualifier was an ordinary victory but our TV anchors started talking of the revival of the golden era of hockey. Singapore enjoys 41st rank in world hockey, but our so-called experts consider Singapore to be as mighty as Australia, Germany and the Netherlands. There was nothing triumphant about another 8-1 facile victory over Italy either. We are yet to play Canada (14), France (18) and Poland (19) who have often upset us in the past. The TV channels make the common man see a mountain of a mole-hill.

Why can’t we be realistic, natural and normal in our behaviour, attitude, expectations and reporting. Since TV channels have nothing to report objectively 24x7, they start their analysis and counter-analysis on every mundane issue. Reporting time of TV channels need to be curtailed substantially to make them more objective and factual.


Respecting artists

Artists and players do not belong to any country. Whenever any of them achieves anything in India, Pakistan celebrates their achievement. The legendary Mohammad Rafi and ghazal king Jagjit Singh are household names in Pakistan. Pakistani ghazal magnets Mehdi Hassan and Noorjahan are respected by music lovers in India.

Veteran actor Dalip Kumar alias Yusuf Khan is an institution in himself. It is a praiseworthy decision taken by the Pakistan government to preserve his parental house in Pakistan and give it the status of a heritage building.

Dr NARESH RAJ, Patiala



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