Need to normalise Indo-Pak relations

It is heartening to note that India has extended a handful of proposals to normalise our relations with Pakistan. We should go ahead with the process of normalisation. Let the people from both sides visit India and Pakistan.

There is no danger from Pakistan to India. Unemployment in Pakistan may be more serious than it is in India. They also know this. The trade in both the countries will get a boost. It will be a boom time for Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Import and export will increase. This will open up the areas beyond Pakistan’s western and northern borders by road.

The landlocked countries beyond Pakistan like Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Turkey will benefit from trade by road and rail. The pipelines for shipment of oil and gas will become a reality. This will reduce tension on both sides of the border.

kartar singh hothi, Chandigarh



India has correctly assessed from the feedback received during the exchange of visits by intellectuals, politicians, journalists and other dignitaries of both India and Pakistan to each other’s country. A fresh impetus needs to be given to people-to-people contact. Feeling the pulse, India has launched a real offensive in this direction.

Pakistan, on its part, has promised to “respond positively”. The real “positive response” expected from Pakistan ought to be the role it now plays to prevent crossborder terrorism and infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir. It must also cease the ongoing terrorist violence in the Valley. President Musharraf would do well to avail himself of this opportunity to usher in an era of meaningful dialogue and peace in the region. Let us hope that Pakistan will help improve the relations.

Lt-Col Bachittar Singh (retd), SAS Nagar

Birthday gift for Chandigarh

Chandigarh’s most prestigious constituent, the Sukhna lake, has been losing its capacity by silting. Till now it has lost two-thirds of its silt and the remaining is facing a serious challenge. This has happened mainly because the principle of maintaining a balance between the input and output of silt was overlooked.

In fact, this lake has input only and no planned output. As a result, efforts to remove it by machines and shramadans have miserably failed. The silted lake stands as a sad reminder of engineering failure in the age of high technology. The only option now is to preserve its balance capacity and reduce its input of silt to zero. This implies filling the lake with filtered water and thus tackling the root cause of the problem.

This is an entirely new concept which has not been tried anywhere in the world so far. It may sound strange but it is quite easy to construct an innovative and absolutely foolproof filter house at a cost of Rs 40 lakh. Let every well-wisher of Chandigarh do his or her bit for getting this model constructed soon. This is bound to act as an oxygen for the dying lake. I cannot think of any better birthday gift for the City Beautiful on its 50th birthday.

S. P. MALHOTRA, Former Engineer-in-Chief, (Irrigation), Haryana, Panchkula

Liquor vends

Apropos of the report on fatalities caused by speeding vehicles near liquor vends on national highways (Oct 29), liquor shops too near road or schools, colleges and places of worship are in gross violation of the Supreme Court’s orders.

The Supreme Court has banned the use of pressure horns on city roads or the high decibel loud speakers at night or too near schools and colleges. Smoking at public places, in buses and trains was banned long ago by the Supreme Court. But it continues with impunity. The administration has done little to enforce the orders, much less punish the violators.

New Delhi is perhaps the only city that has derived maximum benefit from the court orders on air and water pollution. Elsewhere, notably in Amritsar, no heed is paid to check rickety and rejected heavy four-wheelers (coming from Delhi?) from finding their way on to state highways and city roads and belching out concentrated pollutants into the air, jeopardising the health and lives of the residents. Most three-wheelers mix kerosene in diesel/patrol and overload their vehicles. The list of such blatant violation of court orders is very long.

The need of the hour is for the apex court to set up some monitoring agency to enforce strict compliance of the well meaning directives and guarantee of life worth living.

Prof Mohan Singh, Amritsar

Ban on sex tests

This has reference to the editorial “Welcome clampdown” (Nov 1). No doubt, the ratio between girls and boys is becoming alarming day by day. This will increase further, if a proper check is not put on sex determination tests. The Pre-Natal Diagnostic Test Act should be enforced in letter and spirit.

The Haryana government has done well in seizing 35 ultrasound machines. But this is not enough. An exemplary punishment under the provisions of Act should be awarded to the defaulters.

Unfortunately, people don’t understand that the girl has the same right as that of the boy in any field. In fact, girls are more sincere to their parents than boys and everyone should happily accept the girl child. “Ladoos” should not be distributed on the birth of a boy as taking birth itself is a privilege on this planet earth. Irrespective of the sex, we should greet the new born baby with equal enthusiasm and give all opportunities to develop and prosper.

It has rightly been pointed out in the editorial that an awareness campaign should be launched to change the public attitude. The government alone cannot check this menace. NGOs and others should be involved in the campaign against female foeticide.

Harish K. Monga, Ferozepore

Snubbing of DGP

The open snubbing of Punjab’s Director-General of police by the Chief Minister shows his political immaturity. By doing so, he has not only harmed the Congress party but also the people of Punjab.

Posting and transfer of top officers are a matter of administrative necessity. The transfers do help prevent abuse of their authority, but the police is a disciplined force and hence they need to be handled with grace, tact and firmness. Political interference in police administration cannot be justified on any ground. Arbitrary and whimsical transfers of top officers will demoralise the rank and file of the police machinery and ultimately affect law and order in the state.

Lt-Col Daya Singh (retd), Bathinda

Correct village name

There is a village “Kharar Rawal Bassi” (Hadbast No 73) in Garhshankar tehsil of Hoshiarpur district. It is generally known as “Kharar-Achharwal” due to the adjoining village Accharwal. The Government Secondary School, Post Office, Co-operative Society, Punjab and Sind Bank and Manka Foundary Works all use the name “Kharar-Achharwal”.

The village is famous for its national and international footballers. The Revenue Department shows the Hadbast No. 73 village as “Kharar-Rawal Bassi”. But to our surprise, the electoral rolls and panchayat boards use the name “Kharabal Bassi”. I appeal to the authorities to correct the mistake.

Ajit Singh Gill, Kharar-Rawal Bassi (Hoshiarpur district)

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