Monday, December 31, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Running with India & hunting with Pak, US style

Apropos of Mr Hari Jaisingh’s front page editorial “Message in India’s diplomatic offensive” (December 23), India’s decision to recall its High Commissioner from Pakistan and to terminate the Delhi-Lahore bus service as well as the Samjhauta Express, though belated, is absolutely correct. It is a step in right direction. It aims at sending Pakistan a strong and clear-cut message that India means business in the wake of Pak-sponsored terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament. But much more than this is required to make Pakistan see reason. Casting off its soft state image India will have to make General Musharraf, who is shedding crocodile tears after the invasion on the Indian Parliament, swallow some other bitter medicine to exorcise his obsession with cross-border terrorism, being sustained in J&K with his patronage. Only then he will come to his senses. A concerted propaganda campaign should be unleashed against him to expose his ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing image’.

Also the reported camps of terrorists being run by Gazi Baba, who masterminded the attack on Parliament, in J&K ought to be smashed ruthlessly. For this army should be given a free hand to strike at the hideouts of the terrorists. No internal or external pressure should be allowed to obstruct the army from wiping out terrorism from J&K. The Air Force should be used judiciously to assist the army. The right to strike across the LoC should be reserved with the Army.


Actually India’s task can become easier if America abandons its dual policy of running with India and hunting with Pakistan. India should use all its diplomatic might to persuade America change its perception towards India and its bad neighbour. America should exert tremendous pressure on Pakistan to make it desist from supporting Jehadi elements if it really wants to eliminate terrorism from the face of the globe. If not, India should go and tackle the problem with all its means following the policy of a bullet for a bullet and an eye for an eye.


Sobriety in diplomacy: The Government of India has rightly played its cards in the wake of crossborder terrorism let loose by Pakistan so far. The suicide raid by the Pak-sponsored terrorists on our Parliament on December 13 was in reality an attack on our democracy.

Now the patience of Indian citizens has fully exhausted. The recall of our High Commissioner in Islamabad, termination of train and bus services between the two countries are the steps that are quite in order. What is use of maintaining such links with a nation where savagery is the rule?

The US response to the brutal acts of terror by Islamabad against India recently, has been cold and half-hearted. President George W. Bush must recall his words at the height of US action in Afghanistan that terrorism has global dimensions and it will be fought globally. The author rightly points out: “We hope President Bush will understand Indian sensitivities and come out of his goody-goody approach which can hardly serve America’s long-term interests in the subcontinent and elsewhere”.

The fight against terrorism is not yet over. It will be a long drawn-out war. This problem is deep-rooted. It is no secret that Pakistan has terrorist training centres on its soil. Almost everyday terrorists are losing no opportunity to strike at soft-targets in India — more so in the Kashmir valley. Nevertheless, international concern even on the terrorist attack on our Parliament has been only lukewarm and not genuine. The US action to nab Osama bin Laden dead or alive has not been completed. So is the action against his Al-Qaida outfit. The USA ought to complete its unfinished task.

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)

Regular power cuts

Power cut on each Thursday is a regular feature at Jalandhar for the last so many years. The areas affected, however, vary each week with prior notice through local papers. The cause of cut is attributed to maintenance and repairs of machinery. As a result, all productive activities connected with electricity come to a standstill almost for the full day.

Similar might be the situation in other cities of the State. Thus, thousands of mandays are lost and the huge losses have to be borne by the electricity department itself. Could the government give proper attention towards tackling this problem by bringing necessary technological improvement in electrical equipment to avoid loss of allround productivity due to weekly power cuts?

S.L. ARORA, Jalandhar

Cautious approach

India should adopt a cautious approach. It will earn more respect if it refrains itself from baseless statements. If the need arises, it should formulate its policies in a systematic manner; there should be a cohesive policy of which India should be capable enough to execute. India can take a lesson or two from Israel. There was a suicide bomb attack in Israel, in which a soldier and 25 others were killed. However, unlike Indians, they never uttered a statement. Their PM cancelled a foreign visit, and next day a missile attack was launched on Palestine in which they destroyed all the choppers of PLO chief Yasser Arafat and a couple of other places were razed to the ground which were suspected to be hideouts of terrorists. It sent Palestine into defensive and they made them cry for mercy. Israel never talks of hot pursuit, or brand terrorists as coward. What difference will it make if a terrorist is coward or desperate. They will simply strike with determination to send a clear message and take the wind out of the sails of criminals.

Was there any necessity of declaring unilateral ceasefire in J&K? The terrorists regrouped, taking advantage of the ceasefire to launch a bigger offensive in J&K. Our Parliament was attacked in broad daylight. India should speak soft but at the same time, carry a big stick with enough courage to wield it when the situation comes to such a pass. The Press should act in a responsible manner. It should clearly distinguish between casual opinion and a serious policy matter.

G.K.S. SIDHU, Barnala

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