Thursday, October 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Destroying terrorist training camps

Many people, even some experts, often talk of destroying terrorist training camps in Pakistan, PoK and elsewhere to combat terrorism. What is there to destroy in the camps?

These training camps do not comprise any elaborate or expensive infrastructure. Destruction of these camps, therefore, will make no material difference to the terrorists. They will be able to rig up a make-shift replacement of the destroyed camps in no time and at no significant cost.

What is needed is to force the sponsoring countries to close down these camps. Current scenario has thrown up an opportunity to achieve this through the proposed global anti-terrorism coalition of nations under the aegis of the UN.

In the first instance, we may impose an economic, social, diplomatic and military boycott of the sponsoring country and choking off its communication and supply lines to force it to stop aiding terrorists.

A military option may be exercised as a last resort, but it should then be a massive one, a combined effort, to maim the offending country so badly that it is forced to hand over the terrorists and close down the training camps for good.

Regrettably though, the USA for its own reasons has accepted the support of one terrorism-promoting state to fight against another such regime. This is a classic example of a co-offender turning approver to escape the wrath of justice.

Will the USA ultimately turn the heat on its guilty ally also or at least persuade it to shun the path of terrorism.

Wg Cdr C. L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar


School environment

This refers to the write-up ”Schools responsible for students’ safety” by Pushpa Girimaji. A healthy school environment with a good airy building and sanitary conditions is a must for the physical, social and emotional health of children.

An independent source of safe, clean and potable water, preferably continuous and distributed from taps, should be there. Separate toilet facilities are needed for boys and girls; one urinal for 100 children and one latrine for 100 children.

School teachers should be in a position to provide first-aid and emergency care in such situations as accidents, fainting, vomiting, diarrhoea or convulsions.

Ms Brinda fell into an open septic tank and was later found floating in the tank. Why was no search carried out at the same time?

Sound healthcare during the school-going period has a great bearing on the individual, his family and the community for years to come. Schools should also serve as demonstration centres of good sanitation to the community.

In villages, sites for schools and health centres are given by panchayats. The site should be on a suitable high land, but panchayats always give low-lying land situated near ponds or cremation grounds which are subject to inundation/dampness and cannot be properly drained. This is the position of all government buildings in rural India. What can consumer courts do for the eradication of this malady?


Need for another JP

I read “Jayaprakash Narayan symbolised humanity” (October 13) by Mr M.G. Devasahayam. The life story of JP will continue to inspire youths and social workers for generations to come. He forgot his personal life and worked for the common people in his own unique way.

The common people were conscious of his genuine and true love for them and that is why they always held him in high regard. He was the only leader after the death of Mahatma Gandhi who really appealed to all castes and communities of the country.

He was an original thinker and visionary. His concept of “Samagra Kranti” (Total Revolution) reflected his disappointment and disillusionment with the ruling elites. He could have become even the Prime Minister of India if he had ever desired so. His growth in public life was spectacular though he always maintained an honourable distance from the corridors of power.

His entire life was marked by simplicity and commitment to national interests. He had got a very sensible heart which could feel the pains and sufferings of the underdog. We need another JP in the present-day India who can pull us out of the morass of communalism, mindless consumerism and gross individualism.


US double standards

It is well said that “none is so blind as they who won’t see”. This squarely applies to the conduct of USA in the context of their apathetic attitude regarding Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism against India till date.

During the last two decades more than 60,000 innocent Indians have been killed by terrorists aided and sponsored by Pakistan. Those at the helm of affairs in America are neither innocent nor ignorant of these stark realities but knowingly they do not acknowledge.

Now terrorism has struck America. There was unprecedented gesture of India when the entire nation observed two minutes’ silence to mourn this tragedy. But even now there does not appear to be much change in the USA’s basic policy and its assessment of India’s troubles.

Taking advantage of America’s tragedy, Pakistan cleverly bargained.

In return for its support to America’s campaign Washington is providing very substantial economic aid and weapons to Pakistan knowing full well that Islamabad’s intentions are always to use weapons against India.

K. R. CHOPRA, ChandigarhTop

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