Saturday, August 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


Basic change needed in strategy

Apropos of Mr H.K. Dua’s front-page editorial “Limits to patience” (July 24), the Akhnoor attack brings cross-border terrorism into sharp focus. Our leaders have condemned this incident. But they will again approach Uncle Sam for earning some brownie points. The whole exercise of adopting the so-called coercive diplomacy has come a cropper with the situation on the ground remaining as grim as earlier.

There will be no long-term gain by making agreements on trade, travel and other issues as long as Pakistan’s proxy war continues. The Kashmir problem should be resolved expeditiously. If Pakistan is not ready for give and take, we should continue dealing with it more proactively on the ground and through diplomacy.

What is needed is a basic change in our military strategy to deal with the proxy war not only by re-deploying our forces on the Line of Control and the international border but also altering our day-to-day tactics in meeting the challenge.

Brig H.S. SANDHU (retd), Panchkula




It was a cowardly act. But our peace process with Pakistan need not be disturbed by this unsavoury incident. Whilst our hearts grieve for the precious lives lost and the brave who suffered injuries in the Akhnoor attack, it is time we focussed our attention on the overall security preparedness in our country.

To fight a terrorist anywhere, it is vital to elicit massive public support. Security forces alone cannot successfully fight the terrorists and other antinational elements unless there is full support from the general public. Unfortunately, in this field, we have a long way to go.

Our present standard of security preparedness is almost at the rock bottom. In order to strengthen our preparedness our national leaders, the media, the public-spirited intelligentsia and the academia will have to come forward and work overtime. Then only our efforts will be synergised. Similarly, cutting across party lines, our politicians should put their heads together in creating the desired public awareness on national security. Only then, we can defeat the terrorists.

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla


There is no excuse for security lapses, particularly at the tactical level. It is sad that a Brigadier was killed and two Lt-Generals injured in the Akhnoor attack. We should never allow such a thing to happen again. We have seen time and again that terrorists always come out with something new. They use innovative skills to achieve their tasks. Our security forces have to beat them at their game by exercising greater mental mobility.

India has got to be tough with Pakistan because that is the only language it understands. No diplomacy or talks would help as in the past. Peace, love, goodwill are okay with a country which reciprocates and not the one who considers it as your weakness. The earlier we realise it, the better it would be for India and its people.



The Pakistan military rulers never want peace in their own country because they can further their interests only in a war and not in the barracks. The Pakistani rulers always talk first about the “core issue” e.g. Kashmir within and outside their country. Kashmir has become a sticky issue which cannot be resolved by talks.

Of the other options available to solve the Kashmir issue, the one on adopting the line of control as international border is ideal if the rulers of both countries really want to solve the issue and see both countries prosper.

Dr R.K. JAIN, Yamunanagar


The dilly-dallying tactics of the Centre have proved ineffective. There is no use of groping in the dark. The dithering and indifferent approach will have to be abandoned. Actions speak louder than words.

The need of the hour is to act to prevent Akhnoor-type attacks. Uncle Sam should be told that enough is enough and stringent measures should be taken to root out out terrorism.



The spasmodic fidayeen attacks on our jawans prove beyond doubt that Pakistan is bent on bringing India to its knees. Mere talking about peace will not achieve results. India’s enemies should be paid in the same coin.

JAI DEV SUMAN, Ferozepur Cantonment


Lack of vigilance and vision has given impetus to terrorist attacks day after day. There is an urgent need to review these security lapses and suitable measures are required to combat the suicidal attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. The Kashmir problem should immediately be settled by way of liberating the POK. This would put a vigorous check on the sinister designs of the ISI and end the cross-border terrorism.

RAM PARSHAD BALI, Kalsera, Nangal

Rolling back the fee hike

The Punjab Government’s decision to roll back the fee hike has come a little too late. Can we now admit those students, who exasperated by the hike, have committed suicide? Can those students who have sought admission to private institutions be called back to colleges? How many students’ careers have lost direction? One wonders why the government was so apathetic about the plight of the students, particularly those belonging to the poor strata?

In this game of nerves, there are some shining spots. Chandigarh’s Panjab University is the only one in the state which has shown real courage against the stormy wind and Vice-Chancellor Dr K.N. Pathak’s decision not to implement the fee hike has shown that this university has democratic culture as a result of which the issue of fee hike was debated threadbare. Compare it with Punjabi University, Patiala, which lacks this democratic fibre and Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar which hastened to implement the decision as if these universities were just two other departments of the government. Their apathy towards the students, the most important component of education, was appalling!

Capt Amarinder Singh has, sooner than later, risen to reality and seen the writing on the wall. The rolling back of the fee hike now necessitates an open discussion on the future of education. The government must constitute a study group involving statesmen, educationists, parents, and students (all those parties which are affected by government’s decisions as we have seen in relation to the fee hike) to decide on its policy regarding the funding of higher education as also to stop the commodification of education which is now taking place at a reckless speed.

Dr J.S. ANAND, Bathinda


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