Tuesday, October 16, 2001, Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Don’t disturb the dead in Afghanistan

Strange are the ways of neocolonial powers, and countless are sins of the white man. The British drew the Durand Line in 1893 that divided India and Afghanistan (now read Pakistan and Afghanistan), that forced Pashtu-speaking Pathans to live in two different countries; and their US cousins are now waging a war of retribution against the most poor nation on this earth for harbouring Bin Laden, who is in fact the American progeny, produced to fight the Russian advance in Afghanistan, during 1979-89. This US baby is known to have gone astray; he financed, trained and directed terrorists to make an ozone-like hole in the unipolar world at New York on September 11.

But why should the world trust and line up with the USA that has financed and armed all types of undemocratic govts and military dictatorships all over the world, for the past 50-year, in sheer selfish economic interests, that lacked international morality? In its wordly depredations, driven by greed for the entire world wealth, it failed to comprehend that in the process of destroying economies of other nations, it was going to create a monster that would not only threaten its creator, but also set the entire world ablaze. Now the USA is face to face with its own creation, Bin Laden, the king of Taliban in Afghanistan. In fact, it is a case of reversal of roles of former friends and foes.



 


Baffled by the blow at the WTC and Pentagon, the symbols of economic and military power, Americans are now running for a map of Asia, to locate Afghanistan, that has frightened them. But they should not shiver because it was Afghanistan that proved a burial ground for communism and the cause for Russian disintegration, but a springboard for the USA to become a superpower and free to promote globalisation, which means ruthless plunder of wealth of other nations, and create ghettoes and slums for billions of people, what we also see around all Indian cities today. It is, however, an irony that the Taliban who won the first Afghan war for the USA are themselves going to graves at the hands of their patron today.

What is the USA going to destroy in Afghanistan? What was destroyed by it between 1979 and 1989? Now there are one million graves of dead Afghans, one million maimed people, three million starving Afghan refugees living in the open near the Pak-Afghan border, surrounded by ten million land-mines, waiting to be killed by US missiles. There are no roads, no school-college buildings, no dispensaries, hospitals, no powerhouses and dams, no farms and factories and no military complexes left to be destroyed. If it is not savagery of the so-called developed nations of the West, what else is it?

How can the USA stamp out terrorism in Afghanistan, which is similar to US MNCs that have spread their tentacles over all nations under globalisation and taken over the air we breathe, the land we stand on, the water we drink, the forests that feed us and we witness their “breaks” on the electronic media each day, with semi-nude women of all nations, recommending sale of products produced by US MNCs. The WB and IMF, the US money-lenders, are engaged in economic terrorism, supported by its military power, as also visible in the present Afghan crisis, supporting such depredations of MNCs to rob the gas and oil wealth of Central Asia. In such robbery, the plunderers are supported by the native Jai Chands and Mir Jaffars, for sheer selfish economic gains.

Is the USA willing to strike at the roots of terrorism? If yes, it must reverse its gunboat policy and disregard for non-American lives, stop brazen military intervention in favour of brutal monarchies and military dictatorships to enhance its economic interests, through the WB, the IMF and MNCs, the modern Dinosaurs, denying basic necessities of civilised life to billions of people all over the globe. Let these money-lenders be withdrawn within the US borders; and not feed on the blood of the people of the developing world.

Besides, the USA must share the wealth of this planet with all nations, as an equal partner, and also join them in their sorrow and grief. Unless the USA is prepared for this global role, and also seek attonement for killing of millions of defenceless people at the hands of its military, the CIA, brutal dictators and medieval monarchs, financed and armed by it in the past, from Vietnam to Cambodia, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Haiti, Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, Congo, Chile, Brazil, Cyprus, Nicaragua, Malaysia, Libia, El Salvador, Panama, Afghanistan and India, a few rich unselfish Bin Ladens are bound to emerge, to open up their wealth to arm the poor, exploited lot, and disillusioned youth, with the power of will to embrace death for a greater cause; and strike at the epitome of neocolonialism, vulgarity and decadence, wherever it exists, that no nuclear bomb can bar.

B. C. MAKHAIK, Shimla

Fleecing students

Students all over Haryana are being fleeced in the name of raising funds for the Red Cross. In a letter dispatched to all heads of educational institutions, the Deputy Commissioners have made it mandatory for them to collect lakhs of rupees through shows of "Jadu ka khel" by some conjurer in their institutes. And as the letter reads, the heads have been instructed to collect Rs 75 per head and pay the magician immediately after the performance.

Earlier it had been obligatory on the part of a head but now he is bound to comply with the order and is compelled to pay the performer by collecting money from students.

KARTAR SINGH, Fatehabad


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Army rebuttal

The letter “Many pay bribe to join Army” (Oct 7) is based on hearsay rather than facts. The author, Bhartendu Sood, who claims to have headed a unit, should have verified the facts before resorting to mud-slinging.

The recruitment procedure has undergone a sea change with effect from April, 1998. Recruitment is now done at open rallies in the presence of thousands of on-lookers, civil administration officials, policemen and the Press in a transparent and fair manner. Recruitment cannot be done by any recruiting officer in his area of jurisdiction. An RO belonging to a different area is nominated to conduct recruitment. In addition, the HQ Rtg Zone has launched a campaign against touts and agents. In the Amritsar area alone we have filed many FIRs and repeatedly brought to the notice of the local police authorities, suspicious activities of some of the coaching centres run in the close proximity of the BRO, Amritsar, where we suspect that prospective candidates are exploited by giving them false hopes of ensuring their selection on some consideration.

The DDG Rtg (Pb & J&K), Brig Arvind Treohan, himself makes it a point to regularly meet and speak to a large number of parents, guardians, as also media personalities at the rallies to emphasise that the recruitment in the Army is a free service and that no money is required to be paid to any one. In fact, we encourage candidates and their parents to inform us or the police about the nefarious activities of any person in their area so that chances of corruption in recruitment could be curbed and the guilty brought to the book. We are indeed committed to our cause and spare no efforts to achieve our aim of a transparent, free, fair and candidate friendly recruitment system.

We invite Mr Bhartendu Sood and the Press to visit any of our rallies in Punjab and J&K even without any advance notice to see for themselves the transparency, fairness and candidate friendliness where the tests are conducted openly.

Lt Cdr VARINDER IQBAL, RO,
Headquarters Recruiting Zone,
Jalandhar Cantt

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Why bloodshed?

Take a look around and you find there is not one country that can proudly claim being peaceful. So much of bloodshed and violence for what? For the sake of "freedom" or "getting back what is ours"? If everybody uses force to get back his possession or make a point, where will the world be? What will be left of it, except burnt monuments and disfigured buildings?

VAISHALI SINGH, Panchkula

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