Saturday, January 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



No peace till gunmen control system in Pak

Much has been said on the BBC regarding Kashmir, but some significant points have been left out.

First, we must remember that Pakistan internally blames India for the dismembering of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) from West Pakistan. They feel that had not India interfered, West Pakistan would have managed to control the uprising of East Pakistan. Though unsaid, Pakistan has taken a vow to dismember Kashmir from India in retaliation, whatever the costs.

Second, the world over governments rule in two ways:

(1) Where there is economic growth, no corruption, legal ways like democratic elections etc control the system. Discipline becomes an integral part of the system.

(2) Where there is abject poverty, corruption etc, sheer muscle power is used to control the country. Indiscipline becomes an integral part of the system.

Apply these rules worldwide and you will find that it is more than 80 per cent true.

While India totters between the two situations, Pakistan is in the latter category. We have a situation where gunmen control the system in Pakistan, whose survival depends on sadism towards others, and who have a score to settle with India. Religion being a very easy selling point. In such a situation expecting a reconciliation is living in a fool’s paradise.


For a short time you can round up people, do what you like, but in the long run if the gun is destined to rule Pakistan then there are only two alternatives.

(a) either India keeps absorbing the daily pinpricks as it has been doing all along. Or (b) all out violent settlement.

As a small example, there are no Ph.Ds in most engg colleges in Pakistan. With such low levels of education and technology, most educated Pakistanis feel frustrated that they have missed the bus. An ideal situation for selling violent fundamentalism.



Power of prayer

Zauq’s couplet by K.L. Batra in his write-up on Prayer — a source of strength (Dec 13) has been corrected to some extent by Bhagwan Singh of Qadian. I think the word “Kishti” should be read as “Kashti”.

I have great regards for Bhagwan Singh, being a great Urdu knowing person and a great litterateur. May I take the liberty to quote Tennyson correctly: “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of”.

Then there is Wild(e) (Oscar) school of thought also. “When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers”, said Oscar Wilde. And further as per Osho, a prayer is godmanly way of telling God that He is a fool. He cannot provide a suitable match for my daughter, does not cure my sick wife nor arranges a job for my son.

Let me end up with Mirza Ghalib’s couplet:

Gar tujhko hai yaqueen-e-ijabat, dua na maang

Yani baghair yak Dil-e-beymuddaa na maang.



Islam bans terrorism

In his interview, Saudi King Fahd has said that Islam prohibits terrorism, which “sets out to spread evil on the earth” and called for its eradication (Islam bans terrorism: Fahd, Dec 31).

There is no doubt that Islam preaches peace, love, mercy, justice and tolerance towards other faiths.

In his last historic sermon, addressed to 1,25,000 devotees, Prophet Mohammad (peace be on him) declared: “Harken O’ mankind! Your Lord is one God. .. No Arab has any supremacy over a non-Arab and no non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab ... I crush under my feet till doomsday any desecration of human life ... Usurp no one’s rights ... I terminate blood-letting of the days of ignorance for ever ...”

Even the salutations of “Salaam alaikum” (peace be with you) and “Va alaikum us-salaam” (and peace be with you) enjoined by him, remind his followers of peace and not of violence.

Are not, therefore, the Pak-supported terrorists, indulging in bloodbath of innocent people in Jammu and Kashmir, bringing disgrace to Islam?

Apparently, Pakistan has no regard for the Islamic injunction on terrorism. Even a terrorist leader, Masood Azhar, has the brazen boldness of naming his outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (Army of Mohammad) after the Prophet, who preached peace.


Using the right spellings

You do not spell the name of one of the Pakistani terrorist organisations correctly. You keep on using “Lashkar-e-Toiba”, which does not convey the meaning intended: Army of the Pure. I may point out that some newspapers have changed their spelling to "Lashkar-e-Tayyaba" to connote the right meaning and for proper pronunciation.

H. L. TREHAN, by e-mail

Haryana pensioners

The Government of Haryana has paid little heed to the genuine demands of retired government officials aged of 65 and above. The Punjab Government has recently decided to grant 5 & 10 per cent of the basic pension as old age allowance w.e.f 1.1.2001 in pursuance of the recommendations of the Fourth Pay Commission.

Pensioners aged 65 and above migrated from Pakistan in 1947 and have suffered a lot. They face hardships in the last phase of their life due to different ailments and in certain cases having been ignored by their kith & kin. Thus the increase in the medical allowance is the first requirement of such persons. The medical allowance of Rs 150 to 200 is too inadequate to meet the increasing cost of medicare these days. The medical allowance should, therefore, be raised to Rs 300 at least.

The recommendations of the Fourth Pay Commission should also be accepted and followed by the Government of Haryana.

A. N. BHANDULA, Panipat

International airport

The demand raised by certain MPs to upgrade Chandigarh airport to the international level is appreciable. Most of the Punjabis abroad are from Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Ludhiana and Moga. If Chandigarh is made an international airport, it will solve a lot of problem of NRIs, who are often harassed on their way to Punjab. We hope the government will definitely consider this proposal,


Rule vs misrule

The write-up "Revenge of the enlightened" by C.L. Gulati is commendable. Our Hindu mythology and history reveal the victory of good-doers over evil-doers. Alas, a few despotic politicians fail to foresee the devastating effects of terrorism at this critical juncture.


Call ’em terrorists

The Indian media, including your organisation, comes up with all sorts of terms to describe terrorists. Militants, fidayeens, mujahideen, guerrilla fighters, etc are the terms that are loosely employed by the media. This is disgraceful. These people are terrorists and should be called terrorists.


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