Friday, February 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Pragmatic diplomacy

THIS refers to Mr Hari Jaisingh’s article, “President Clinton’s visit: pragmatic diplomacy key to future”, Feb, 11. If a banker is asked to lend money for rebuilding a house and which had got burned down several times with a terrible loss of life, he would, I think, refuse to oblige unless modern fire preventives are introduced. He would be morally condemned if he supports in rebuilding a proven fire trap.

By aiding and supporting Pakistan, America has been acting like such a banker who helps in rebuilding a proven fire trap. To prove his moral aspect, it has now shown some interest towards India. But neither the President nor his Secretary of State has come out strongly and clearly on the issue of Kashmir. America should not share or trade morality for a mess of pottage.

  To change the mood of India about the actionless standpoint of America in the Kandahar crisis is, I think, the primary purpose of President Clinton’s visit. India must give its opinion where it can and where it is wanted. America would never want a large market like India to slip out of its hands. The language of business should be used while dealing with the USA.


Golden principle: The remarks given in the first paragraph that the USA “strictly goes by what they perceive to be US interests” are very realistic.

In my opinion all the countries throughout the world follow this golden principle, except India, whose rulers allowed India’s interests to suffer all these years. In the process we spoiled our relations with the USA also. It would not be proper to blame the USA in this regard.

It is certainly good that for the first time after Independence the USA has tilted towards India. While US President Bill Clinton has finalised his tour to India, his visit to Pakistan, though not cancelled, is still undecided. Credit for this certainly goes to the Vajpayee government.


American attitude: The writer has rightly pointed out that the USA has always considered Pakistan as its strategic ally. The relations between India and the USA have not been cordial due to the USA-Pak deep relations. As a matter of fact, Washington has used Islamabad to promote its economic and political interests in the larger global context to prove its supremacy in the region. On the other hand, India is lagging behind in its diplomacy and shows an indifferent attitude in the case of Kabul.

The USA would have never given any weightage to India but after seeing its skills in scientific and technological fields it has extended its hands for friendship. Now the USA has a soft corner for New Delhi.


Dangerous intentions

The editorial “Credentials first, Gen Musharraf” (Feb 9) was timely. Pakistan’s military ruler talks blow-hot, blow-cold. He is Kashmir crazy. Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee rightly snubbed him a few days back.

The Pakistani General’s talk about the “ambiguous delineation” of the LoC is full of mischief, dangerous and unacceptable. This may force India to cross the LoC to cut Pakistan’s supply line to the invaders. Even new fronts may have to be opened if the Army strategy so needs. We must teach our belligerent neighbour a lesson — once and for all.

The USA, the UK, Germany and France have now shown a tilt towards India when Washington in the past had always been for its client state, Pakistan. We must fully exploit the western powers’ tilt.

India must stop the USA giving any more loan to Pakistan. We have to see that Pakistan is declared a terrorist state.

A word for our young men. They should come forward in large numbers to marry the young war widows many of whom are just in their twenties. These unfortunate women are society’s daughters, the nation’s daughters.


All-time deterrent for Pakistan

At present what can be the most appropriate proactive policy against Pakistan? Pakistan has entered into two agreements with India. (i) The Indus Water Treaty of 1960 which allows Pakistan the use of the entire waters of the Sind, Jhelum and Chenab. (ii) The Simla Accord of 1972, which binds it not to cross the LoC. The latter was violated by Pakistan when it sent its disguised forces to Kargil. The question is: Why should India not retaliate by violating the former ones to its advantage at a time of its choice?

For this, all that India has to do is construct a tunnel and keep it ready for diverting the waters of the Chenab into the Ravi somewhere in Himachal Pradesh. India has already constructed a similar tunnel for connecting the Beas and Sutlej near Mandi.

Unlike terrorism, it will be a bloodless activity, will be carried out entirely on the Indian soil and will not mean the violation of any international law. My regret is that so far it is an idea only.

Such a tunnel, even when not commissioned, will be an all-time deterrent for Pakistan and its impact will be no less than that of an atomic bomb. The very news of it is bound to create a storm in Pakistan and rattle its military regime. If an opinion poll is held in India, there is bound to be an overwhelming support for this. This can be a very good opportunity for India to shake off its image of being a soft state.

Formerly Engineer-in-Chief,
Panchkula Irrigation Deptt, Haryana


For speedy justice

Mr Rajendra Swaroop Mittal, in his article “Changing the judicial system: a cry for speedy disposal of cases” (Feb 7), has rightly stressed the need for speedy disposal of cases by courts. The writer touched only civil cases.

The need for speedy disposal of criminal cases is all the more essential. It’s humbug that cases like bride burning, dowry deaths, rape, communal violence and election-related crimes are decided in years and decades. They need to be decided in days and months. That is what democracy demands.

On the need to observe promptitude in the disposal of criminal cases, Justice Ramaswamy said: “Delay in the administration of criminal justice weakened authority, encouraged crime, induced corruption and paved the way for the lynch law.”

Undue delay in the disposal of cases encourages the resort to the lynch law by the police in various ways. It was partly desperation on the part of the Bihar police in putting down the crimes repeatedly committed by known dacoits which led to the Bhagalpur blindings. In saying this, I am not the least justifying the crimes committed by policemen, who deserved to be punished.



What distinguishes Ph.D. from other degrees?

Answer: One can get it even without earning it!



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