Friday, October 12, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Thus far and no farther: a chance for Pakistan to mend its ways

Apropos of Mr Hari Jaisingh's "Thus far and no farther" (Oct 5), it is now an established fact that the civil administration cannot cope with the problem of terrorism in Kashmir. The terrorist trauma engineered by Pakistan has already caused massive deaths and huge loss of property. The author rightly observes that militancy in the valley is on the rise only because persons in power are averse to taking strong steps against the outlaws. Political parties in general lack perception and are interested only in grabbing power.

If we are to save the people of the valley from frequent massacres, armed forces must be deployed in the sensitive areas with a clear instruction that not a single terrorist should be left unpunished. The prevention should be carried in special constituted army courts under special laws which should not be subject to review. There is an urgent need for enacting a new anti-terrorist law under which the army should be fully empowered to take whatever action it deems fit to curb terrorism in the valley.

So far New Delhi has been following a policy of appeasement and reconciliation which has proved futile. There is need for stern measures. We should not forget that offence is the best defence. Deterrent action is must for successful combating operations against terrorism. Instead of opening dialogue with the outlaws, let the armed forces take hold of the situation and deal with it in the best possible manner.



About-turn: The West's policy towards Pakistan, in the face of strong evidence of its being a perpetrator of terrorism, defies all logic and belief. Overnight Pakistan has turned from a "terrorist state" to a darling of the USA and the European Union. Every state of the EU is trying to outdo others in easing and rescheduling Pakistan's debt. The USA has even agreed to supply military hardware and sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment, apart from Powell's offer of helicopter gunships. The perpetrators of terrorism in Pakistan have received their message in the US declaration that it has "no immediate programme" to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Is it also not ironical that the UN, after five days' debate on the issue, has failed to adopt any resolution on terrorism? It may be Mr Bush's political compulsion to extract vengeance on Osama bin Laden at whatever cost. But for India it is nightmarish that the West should boast of fighting terrorism and turn a blind eye to terrorism in Kashmir at the behest of Pakistan.

If Mr Bush can attack Afghanistan for harbouring Osama bin Laden, why can't India destroy the "Laden-making camps" in Pakistan? Afterall, a civilised world of peace cannot survive on double standards of the powerful and influential.


Foreign leaders: Shame on us that we smile on the speeches of foreign leaders on our soil in support of our cause but forget what the same leaders speak when they are in Pakistan. Depending upon foreign countries’ help to defend us from terrorism is to disgrace the daring deeds of our brave soldiers and the security personnel. It is a political tragedy that at some places, according to some dailies, some Indian Muslims shouted slogans in favour of Osama bin Laden and also the President of Pakistan. Had such slogans been shouted in Pakistan or Afghanistan by a non-Muslim, they would have been hanged from the nearest poles.


Pak support: Pakistan's offer of support to the so-called US war against global terrorism is actuated mainly by two considerations. First, it is anxious to revive its once sweet relationships with the USA. Second, it desires the superpower to exert pressure in its favour on the Kashmir tangle. Uncle Sam has amply rewarded Pakistan by lifting sanctions on it. It is anybody's guess that the so-called Operation Enduring Justice is not likely to go beyond the witch-hunt of bin Laden.

Under the circumstances, India needs to remain geared up for its major offensive against trans-border terrorism.


Attack on Assembly: The monstrous attack of Jaish-e-Mohammad on the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly complex shook the entire nation. We helplessly watched the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, sobbing on television. He couldn't control his heart-felt grief at the death of more than 40 Indians in the high grade RDX explosion.

There is nothing wrong in expressing our solidarity with the USA in its fight against terrorism at the international level but we must think about our own national interests. We have to stand by Dr Farooq Badullah and the common people of Jammu and Kashmir with all our might.


Leadership: I do not agree with Mr Jaisingh's view that India is unable to contain terrorism because of the poor quality of its leadership. The monster of terror — that has global dimensions — cannot be fought by India alone. Even a most powerful country like America is seeking cooperation of other nations now when it has been struck recently by terrorist attacks. India's step to pledge its support to the USA to fight terrorism is commendable.

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari, Hamirpur

Shahi Imam: I was aghast to read in the media that the Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, has asked the Indian Muslims to be part of the Advisory Council of the clergy in Afghanistan. Is the Imam really an Indian? Will Indian Muslims pronounce their verdict?

There exist a fertile ground for fomenting trouble in Sind, Baluchistan and northern areas in equal measure. While we can handle trouble being created in J&K by Pakistan, the latter will find it hard to cope with what could be in wait for it in these strife-torn provinces. As India bleeds, Pakistan must bleed profusely. It's time the Indian Army is given a free hand to deal with our rogue neighbour. General Musharraf needs to be reminded that the so-called Azad Kashmir is a Ghulam Kashmir and that Indian Muslims outnumber the entire population of Pakistan.

S. S. JAIN, Chandigarh

Mother of terrorism: It is the USA which is the mother of all terrorists. It produced the Taliban and defended Pakistan, the creator of terrorism in India, on every occasion. And now the USA itself has become a victim of terror.

D. P. JINDAL, Mandi Gobindgarh

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