Saturday, July 21, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Why no salute to General Musharraf?

I was surprised to read the news that Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis did not salute the Pakistani President because the latter had done the same when the Indian Prime Minister visited Lahore in 1999 before the Kargil battle.

The Air Chief should understand that he had gone to receive the Head of State who happens to be Gen Parvez Musharraf. The salute is given to a Head of State and the personality has nothing to do with this.

Air Chief Marshal Tipnis has not only flouted the protocol but also brought a bad name to the Services. How will he feel if his own officer does not salute him because he does not like him. A salute is given as a mark of respect to the rank (chair) and not to any individual, whosoever he may be.

Col P. K. VASUDEVA (retd), Panchkula

Commando Musharraf

India extended an invitation to Pakistan, thus shelving its nationally accepted stand of no talks till that country stopped its proxy war and pushing in Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in India. Gen Parvez Musharraf, from the time he received the invitation, has come across as a split personality — a President and a commando. It would appear that the commando element in his personality is the dominant one.


With India showing restraint and fortitude in not joining issue with the Pakistan ruler’s assertion that Kashmir is the core issue for any kind of dialogue at Agra, his moving towards backdoor “tripartiting” the summit by inviting Hurriyat for a meeting, albeit at tea, not including trade and commerce functionaries in his delegation, outright rejection and displayed cynicism on all pre-summit CBMs offered by India, the Pakistan President had set the stage for confrontation and not a summit. He must know the difference between plain speaking and confrontation.

Sometimes, one got the feeling that General Musharraf wanted to provoke India into calling off the summit or ensure its failure to gain better acceptance in his country as the President. In any case, it is apparent that the world needs to give more time to General Musharraf to mature as a head of a country before anyone can transact serious state business with him.

MAJ GEN K. KHORANA (retd), Panchkula

Only alternative: India is now left with only one alternative: it should make every effort, including hot pursuits in PoK, to defeat terrorism in Kashmir. Once Pakistanis are made to realise that their policy of aggression and intimidation is not working, they may be willing to give peace a second chance.




Politics at PAU

Apropos the editorial “Politics at PAU” (July 11), I agree with you that there should be no political interference in the institutions of higher education. However, politicians rule the roost in these institutions. PAU is no exception.

A few years ago Mr R.N. Gupta then Financial Commissioner, Development, Punjab, noted in his report on the allegations levelled against the then PAU Vice-Chancellor that selections for different positions are made on the basis of dialectical nepotism in which merit is only an incidental outcome.

Mr Gupta observed that though the PAU Act gives full powers to the Board of Management to appoint the VC, it is actually the government and the political party in power which decides who is to be appointed.

Dr K.S. Aulakh, VC, has started disciplinary proceedings against Dr H.S. Dhaliwal on the charge of using political pressure for appointment to the post of Director of Research. Dr Aulakh’s action is hypocritical. Everyone in PAU knows how Dr Aulakh himself has managed to get important posts in the university.

In 1989 Dr Aulakh, by dint of his clout in political circles, got the post of Dean, College of Agriculture, by superceding a dozen senior, meritorious scientists.

Again when he was appointed Director of Research in 1994, he pushed aside a large number of scientists of PAU, including Dr D.S. Dev, Dr Balwant Singh, Dr H.S. Dhaliwal, Dr S.D. Kheppar, and Dr M.S. Bajwa who were senior to him. Dr Dev, an animal breeder of international fame, resigned in protest.

Dr Aulakh’s appointment as Pro-Vice-Chancellor of PAU in 1999 was made by desecrating the PAU Act. At a special meeting on November 8, 1999, the Board of Management appointed Dr Aulakh as PVC against a non-existent post without observing any rule or procedure. Was this achieved without political pressure?

His appointment as Vice-Chancellor has also been made in violation of the provisions of the Act and the statute of the university. The special meeting of the Board held on January 25 this year did not have any agenda for the appointment of VC and yet Dr Aulakh was appointed.

Surprisingly, the procedure laid down in Section 15 of the PAU Act and clause 2 of the chapter III of the Statutes-regarding the appointment of VC was brazenly flouted. One member, the then Chief Secretary, proposed his name and another member seconded it and the rest gave their approval. There was no other candidate for consideration.


One-sided: The editorial “Politics at PAU” presented one side of the story. The fact that the most blatant politics was started by Dr K.S. Aulakh has been conveniently forgotten. Yes, it is very sad that ministers are going around influencing decisions.

But what about the injustice perpetuated by Dr Aulakh? The worthy VC has virtually forgotten about the position of Pro-Vice-Chancellor, a post he got created, with the help of a minister. Once he became VC, Dr Aulakh has simply chosen to forget that this key post is lying vacant. How can be blame others for the politics at PAU when he himself is the worst user of political influence for his personal gains.

DR AJAYPAL BRAR, Professor (retd), PAU, Ludhiana

Train to Haridwar

There is no super fast train between Jalandhar and Haridwar. There is only one passenger train, which takes more than 10 hours to cover the distance. Besides its arrival time in Jalandhar is 11 p.m.

MANU PRABHAKAR, Jalandhar City


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