Saturday, June 21, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Musharraf threatens another Kargil

THIS has reference to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s recent TV interview, wherein he said that India’s strategy is to put the Indo-Pak “core” issue of Kashmir “under the carpet, to sideline it”. He repeated, not less than five times, that “we don’t trust you”, and that “we don’t trust the Indian government”.

Not only that, he even denied that “Kargil hurt Pakistan”. In a bid to twist facts, he, in the first instance, tried to pass the buck on to the Mujahideen. When Prannoy Roy persisted about the latest Indo-Pak peace moves, Musharraf admitted categorically that “we obviously did get involved because of the Mujahideen, the action of the Indian troops, because of Indian aircraft intrusion into Pakistan”.

Proclaiming himself to “be a person who stands by his words”, he even went to the extent of threatening “another Kargil”. To him, the net gain of Kargil humiliation is that the Kashmir issue “is in the limelight now”.

His remarks over Kargil, over the free and fair polls in J&K and much more will not help in creating a conducive atmosphere for an Indo-Pak peace and amity dialogue. He seems to believe that he is “the fox”, but forgets that “the hedgehog knows one great thing” than the fox. His Kargil adventure has not made him a wiser man. He has not taken “to pursue the best ends by the best means”.

Deepak Tandon, Panchkula


End of a glorious era

Apropos of “PEC set to become deemed university” (June 16) the issue came up only 3-4 years back when the regional engineering colleges were given the name of National Institutes of Technology. It is factually incorrect to suggest that the issue had been hanging fire for more than three decades. Probably it is to highlight that something very big is being given to the PEC.

The pros and cons of the issue must have been thoroughly considered as to what are the drawbacks of the present PEC status? What will be advantages of the deemed university status and change of college name. There must be numerous benefits to some categories of people but there is one category which will suffer the most and that category is the student community. The PEC graduates have made a mark the world over, earned a professional reputation for themselves and their alma mater. It will not be an exaggeration to suggest that PEC-Panjab University makes a deadly combination in the employment market. Will that reputation and goodwill the new name, National Institute of Technology, be able to retain is a big question? Will it be lost in the crowd of NITs? All the appendages with the new name may not help its students.

H.S. Nigah, S.A.S Nagar

“Noble” doctors

ONE cannot agree more with what Dr Naresh Raj has to say in his letter, “Fleecing Patients” (June 17). Avaricious mentality, which is holding all sections of our society in its vice-like grip has not spared even the medical profession which paradoxically, still continues to be referred to as “noble”. The writer’s observation regarding government doctors is indeed true. In both Punjab and Haryana and other states of India, doctors in rural areas remain absent most of the times which encourages the paramedics and others to do likewise. Most of the health institutions are, therefore, in a state of utter neglect as they remain unattended for days together and are at the mercy of elements, and the ailing public at the mercy of charlatans.

Most of the government doctors either practice at home or are attached with private hospitals and nursing homes for hefty considerations and pocket the non-practising allowance as well.

The disturbing question, therefore, is as to what the authorities (who cannot be unaware of this widespread practice) are doing? Your guess is as good as mine.

M.K. Bajaj, Yamunanagar



Higher education

Your editorial Empowered by Education (June 17) on 17-6-03 generates hope for a happy future for all those who wish to work hard to grow by educating themselves. Your appreciation of the motivating teachers, principals and support by corporate institutions and other positive people is also encouraging.

The government should make higher education environment friendly for poor but shining students. Otherwise you may have to write another editorial a few years later saying: “working as peons despite being toppers”.

Krishan Garg, Chandigarh

Dowry discrimination

Much is being made of the baraats being turned back on dowry demands. Of course, the valiant girls need to be commended and given all support for the courage. But if one looks critically into the background of the much maligned dowry system it would turn out to be highly discriminatory and more of a ploy to deprive the girl child a share in her parental property. Our social system is heavily loaded in favour of the male children. Not only dowry but also the present distortions in our marriages need to be addressed. The best way out should be:

Marriages must be made a sober affair instead of extravaganza of wastage. Number of guests can be limited to say 25 to 30.

The religious/community leadership, social activists & intelligentsia must lay down simplified norms for the marriages. Possibly it could be a religious ceremony followed by registration of the marriage.

Dowry should be out in any case. No gift — not even flowers or bouquets — be accepted at the time of reception.

Air Cmde Raghubir Singh (retd), Pune

Police and intelligence

Apropos of news item “Depoliticise police, revamp intelligence: Vohra”, (June 15) Mr N.N. Vohra’s views about internal security arrangements of the country are thought provoking. Today, the police seems to have become the puppet in the hand of politicians.

Mr Vohra’s concern about growing nexus between crime mafia and terrorist network is justified. It is certainly a serious threat to the internal security of the country.

It is also important that the intelligence wings of the states and the Centre must be revamped and made more effective by changing the obsolete and irrelevant policy acts and be replaced with new acts with sharp teeth.

M.L. Pandit, Barsar (Hamirpur)

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