Wednesday, May 9, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Pakistan-Bangladesh nexus?

India has not only failed to learn any lesson from the wars of 1962 and 1965 but has also ignored the recent experience of Kargil and Kandahar. The cold-blooded and torturous murder of BSF men in Bangladesh captivity vexes the average Indian not as much for their barbarity as for our lack of political will and a sense of national security.

The so-called 'friendly relations' with Bangladesh is no more than a misnomer. Our political leadership's lack of vision has only encouraged hostile and criminal adventurism even from a small, militarily insignificant and a so-called friendly neighbour.

Our intelligence agencies and political leaders have failed to understand Pakistan's politics of revenge for its dismemberment in 1971. We have even ignored the fact that in the past four years more than 1700 Bangladeshis have been apprehended while trying to cross into Pakistan from the international border between India and Pakistan. The possibility of some kind of nexus between Pakistan and Bangladesh to destabilise India has not dawned on our leaders and bureaucrats.

Our clean chit to Ms Sheikh Hasina, even before she or her government expressed any regrets for the ghastly killings only reflects our inadequacy in meeting the demands of diplomacy and statecraft.



PTU affairs

The Tribune has done a service to the people by bringing out the state of affairs in the Punjab Technical University (PTU) where complete adhocism prevails as far as the appointment of officials and administrative staff is concerned. It has led to malpractices in examinations, evaluation of answerbooks etc. The committee appointed by the Punjab Government had also pointed out some other irregularities.

For several years, the university had no permanent Vice-Chancellor. Parents of students admitted to engineering colleges under the PTU are distressed to see that the results are never declared in time though the semester system adopted by the university should mean that the academic session should move systematically and smoothly. The odd semester results have not been declared while the even semester examinations are drawing near. It will make things extremely hard for those who will be told just a week or two before the examination that they have to reappear in a certain paper.

Though the academic fees are hiked year after year, yet there has been no efficiency in the functioning of the colleges and the university. A common complaint of the students is that hardly 50 per cent of the syllabus is covered, and for rest they have to fend for themselves. Let the Vice-Chancellor and the college Principals apply their minds to these problems so that the students do not suffer.

G. V. GUPTA, Chandigarh

Security of borders

Every day at least 10 to 15 security persons are killed on our borders in J&K, the North-East and now Bangladesh. Reasons given for this are, improper demarcation of the border, lack of intelligence etc, and the responsibility is fixed on the Army, the BSF, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the CRPF, the Assam Rifles, and other para-military forces posted in those areas. However, one factor which is the main cause of such military mishaps is seldom highlighted, and that is the lack of coordination among these forces and their integration into a single command structure.

In no other country the security of its borders is entrusted to non-security ministries such as the Ministries of External Affairs and Home, as it is done in India. In countries like the USA, Russia and China, border security is the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence. Our para-military forces which act under the jurisdiction of the Ministries of External Affairs and Home were created by the British in the North-East for political reasons — to govern that area as an entity separate from India. There is no reason for continuing this practice now. It is only causing confusion. No one agency is held responsible and accountable for the security of our borders.

Brig N.B. GRANT (retd), Pune

Vacant posts

The Himachal Pradesh Cooperative Bank advertised some posts of clerks about two years ago. The bank held a test but the result has not been declared even after one year. Hundreds of posts lie vacant and work in the bank is suffering. The Managing Director of the bank whenever contacted has given the reply that the case is pending. The Minister for Cooperatives should look into the matter and direct the bank to fill the posts without further delay. If the posts are being abolished, then an announcement should be made to that effect.



Why restraint?

I disagree with your editorial comment ‘The Bangla Tangle’ (April 20) advocating restraint even after 16 of our BSF men were murdered in cold blood by the Bangladeshis. Every Indian’s blood is boiling after the incident. It is not enough for the Bangladesh Government simply to say that it is not fully aware of the facts and that an inquiry would be held. It is a matter of grave concern that a nation which took birth from the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers should behave in this manner which amounts to stabbing a friend in the back.

World opinion should also strongly condemn this inhuman and brutal behaviour of the Bangladesh Rifles. Indian security forces should be given a free hand to deal with such intrusion, rather than wait for orders from above.

India should demand adequate compensation from Bangladesh for the families of the victims. Besides, the culprits should be punished suitably.

R. K. SHARMA, Shimla

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