Thursday, May 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



We must choose peace, not war

The initiative taken by Prime Minister A.B.Vajpayee should be appreciated by one and all, cutting across party lines. Political parties in both countries should rise above petty politics and think of a durable solution to this outstanding problem which can turn into a flashpoint in South Asia. Each side must be prepared to forget, forgive, accommodate and understand the ground realities of Jammu and Kashmir and PoK. Both sides should come to the negotiating table to solve the problem. They should realise the difficulties being experienced by people living across the line of control.

All political parties should join together to form an agenda with an open mind without any fear or favour. The attitude of give and take should be kept in mind. For this exercise, good homework needs to be done well in advance. The media and NGOs have a responsibility to educate the masses in both countries regarding the advantages of a mutually acceptable settlement. The politicians should be pragmatic in their approach.

Both countries have undergone heavy losses in terms of manpower, material, economic, cultural and industrial growth. Both in the past have diverted huge funds to tackle the problem. Let us forget the past and join hands to solve the problem, which shall enable us to divert our economic resources for employment, better healthcare, clean drinking water, communication and development of tourism. People on both sides of the border are living in tension and insecurity.


We have witnessed three major wars, Kargil and proxy war but ultimately we have to come to the negotiating table to resolve our differences. The wars are futile. They will push us back by 30-40 years and the nuclear option, apart from being devastating, shall only remain a deterrent. Those who believe that they can use this option are living in a fallacy. Anyone making use of this option shall invite the wrath of the comity of nations and universal brotherhood.

Pakistan’s latest proposal for joint patrolling of the LoC by the continents of various countries is not practical to check infiltration. In order to solve this problem, we have to approach the people of Jammu and Kashmkir and ensure that the fruits of development reached the common man. Their grievances must be resolved promptly. Tourism and industrial growth should take rapid strides to generate employment. The Kashmiris should be motivated to shun ISI agents. For this, they need to be trained and equipped with arms. The intelligence network should be strengthened to check hi-tech infiltration.

The media and NGOs should motivate the public opinion on both sides. We should understand the geographical problems. Pakistan is also an agrarian state: it doesn’t have perennial rivers to support its agricultural operations. Most of the rivers, which flow into Pakistan, pass through India. They should be reassured that their riparian interest will be borne in mind.

Certain adjustments in boundaries will have to be made to facilitate movement on both sides. The people in J&K should be permitted to move freely with proper checks. The present Line of Control should be accepted as the international boundary to resolve this dispute. The people of both countries should show maturity and follow the principle of live and let live. We have to choose peace and not war.

Lt- Col I.P.S.SOLENKEY (retd), Nahan

Service before self

Most of the ardent readers of The Tribune have positive and negative opinions about the heartless neighbours in Chandigarh. Now I must write one recent incident showing the helping hands of the neighbours and common people.

It occurred, when a goods carrying truck, (HP-07-3935) was caught in horrid flames, while going to Dharamsala at Shiv Nagar, Jwalamukhi, in Himachal Pradesh. Perhaps the fire was the result of a grave mistake by a smoking person.

But, there was something noteworthy about the incident. Raj Kumar, who drove the truck, was an example of bravery. The ladies in the nearby village ran with buckets of water to douse the flames. . Every one contributed his might to control the fire. Finally, they made it possible. A loss of Rs 2-3 lakh was estimated.

This incident shows that humility, love, respect and, above all, the help of the helpless and the needy are still parts of a civilised society. Caste, colour and creed are not the barriers and man-made boundaries. It may be Chandigarh or anywhere else.

DEV ROOP, Jwalamukhi

Clear our probation

The last batch of PCMS doctors joined service in March 1999. Their two-year probation period expired in March 2001. However, their probation has not yet been cleared by the Punjab Government. This has resulted in the denial of 3-4 annual increments to hundreds of doctors. Will the Punjab Public Service Commission, the Punjab Government, PCMS association and authorities concerned look into the matter and provide justice to the doctors?

Dr S. NATH, Mukerian


Burning of wheat husk

The practice of wheat husk or straw burning by farmers, after harvesting wheat grains, is posing a serious threat to the environment. This may also have dangerous repercussions in the coming years. The smoke produced by burning the “crop remains” in the fields will not only cause air pollution but also decrease the visibility for about 45 days in April and May. Minute-ash particles suspended in the air may give rise to respiratory problems. Burning also reduces soil fertility because friendly micro organisms and insects are killed by high temperature.

Therefore, the government should take immediate steps to ban burning of wheat straw. Alongside, the farmers should be encouraged to plough the wheat remains in the field as it will help make the soil more fertile and soft. The government should take immediate action in this regard as the harvest season is in full swing.

SARBJIT S. PADAM, Mand (Jalandhar)


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