Sunday, June 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Road blocks in Indo-Pak peace efforts

Mr Samuel Baid's “Will Vajpayee's peace initiative succeed this time?” (May 18) has not factored some of the road blocks in the Indo-Pakistan peace efforts.

The rationale of the two-nation theory would collapse if no bone of contention remains since Pakistan is the creation of anti-Indianism in the first place. “The Jang” had been absolutely candid in admitting that Pakistan needs external enemy, India, for its own survival.

Otherwise, how does one justify the people having the same culture, geography, history, religion and common relationships getting divided into two halves across the borders?

The military has been ruling Pakistan ever since Partition. Festering Kashmir remains the strongest alibi to perpetuate their rule.

Pakistan really has no locus standi in Jammu and Kashmir after signing of the Instrument of Accession. They have been clamouring for the right of self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir as proffered by our first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in the United Nations. But should not the armed forces in Pakistan first allow freedom to their own people from the military yoke?


Apparently, the apparatus of terrorism, mafia, drugs and jehadi elements created during the Taliban era has acquired a momentum of its own and could have spiralled out of control. This would be a great impediment to any peace process.

The Pakistani side would not be able to take any decision since their Prime Minister may not be having any leeway so vital for negotiations. He would be coming with a rigid brief from the General.

It is a fact that neither India nor Pakistan can give up their sides of Jammu and Kashmir nor either side can take over each other's portions.

If four wars and three initiatives — the Simla agreement, the Lahore accord and the Agra summit — could not resolve the Jammu and Kashmir tangle, the next round of negotiations or war would not be fruitful either.

Under these circumstances, the best option should be to convert the existing Line of Control into international border with some face-saving quid pro quo on both sides.

At the same time, we have to tackle crossborder terrorism on our own, without seeking any assurances from any quarter. The world needs us more than we need them.

Air-Cmde Raghubir Singh (retd), Pune

Joining the IAS

This refers to the debate on UPSC reforms under the heading “Should doctors, engineers be banned from joining the IAS?” (May 25). We need to pause and seriously consider the issue of wasting our national professional talent and resources in the generalist administrative cadre.

In the making of a doctor or engineer, the government has invested a lot of money and efforts by way of subsidies and infrastructure. Naturally, such a professionally trained human resource must be tapped to its full potential i.e. the society must benefit from their professional skills. Secondly, if one wants to be a bureaucrat, why follow a technical professional course and waste the precious resources, which could otherwise be utilised by a more serious and talented person?

This too is a wrong notion that doctors and engineers bring to the civil services a logical and dispassionate clinical precision. The truth is that their manner of working becomes rather mechanical and robot like which may not always prove useful in managing, controlling and administering the systems and people and to motivate them to achieve the national goals. In fact, the qualities inculcated in youth by the general education stream may not be found in the perfectionist atmosphere of professional education.

One serious issue that has been raised in the debate is why should talented professionals be attracted towards the administrative services? It is the power and influence one enjoys that has brought craze for IAS. Secondly, the technical professionals do not find sufficient opportunities of career growth and seem to rot at the level of second or third grade officers at the district level. The emoluments and perks, added to the socio-political influence, of the IAS cadre are definitely an allurement to the young professionals.

I agree with Dr V. Eshwar Anand's view that there is a great need to demarcate the role of the generalist administrators, as technical departments must be headed by specialists. Unfortunately, our system of bureaucracy superseded technocrats as they influence the political leadership in matters of planning and policy making.

Ved Guliani, Hisar

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