We don’t need non-NATO status

The conferment of non-NATO ally status on Pakistan by the United States should not surprise anyone except our over-enthusiastic mandarins in the Ministry of External Affairs. The latter don’t get tired harping on the strategic relationship with the US.

It has been the policy of the US to keep the pot boiling in one or other part of the world and then create an opportunity to poke its nose in such an imbroglio and sell military hardware on terms quite detrimental to the recipient nation. In fact, the US has to blame itself for the creation of Islamic terrorism which is deemed an answer to its hegemonic attitude towards other nations.

The US offer to Pakistan at this juncture could be seen as a crude attempt to foment disharmony in the subcontinent when the relations between the people of India and Pakistan are improving. Possibly, this new situation might have gone contrary to the hidden schemes propounded by the US for this region. The US has been supplying huge shipment of armaments in the past which have done no good to Pakistan nor the conferment of the present status is likely to improve its lot. India needs no such status.

Sanity demands that the leaders of both countries listen to the views of the people from Peshawar to Kanyakumari and Quetta to Kolkata and pursue their aspirations faithfully without caring for the discordant notes emanating from the West or elsewhere.

S.B. SINGH, Jalandhar City




Apropos of the news-item “India objects to US making Pak major ally” (March 21), why should we throw up tantrums and complain every time the US either pats Pakistan or feeds it some crumbs? Considering that the US has always had a dual policy towards its relations with our region, why should there be any doubt about its intentions and priorities now?

Sadly, India fails to learn lessons from history. Keeping the US foreign policy in mind, holding joint defence exercises is frought with the risk of exposing chinks in our armour.

Is it not our duty to keep our national interests and integrity zealously guarded against all forms of invasion of privacy? We must take appropriate steps to protect our interests. A pigeon, as they say, does not fly into an open mouth.

Vivek Khanna, Panchkula


The question is whether Pakistan has been awarded or reprimanded for its nuclear proliferation and leaking out confidential information to Libya and other countries.

We are compelled to understand that the US has not yet learnt any lesson after 9/11. It obstinately clings to its obsolete role of an international policeman. This is amazing as the US goes on bowling googlies at both India and Pakistan.

The conferment of non-NATO status to the rogue country known for promoting terrorism and fear in the sub-continent speaks volumes for its direct interference in the bilateral talk process.

Undoubtedly, India and the US enjoy the status of celebrated democracies in the world. But its decision of according non-NATO status to Pakistan and then inviting India too looks like an act of undaunted mediocrity which would directly affect the peace efforts in South Asia.


Powers of caretaker govt

Ever since the dissolution of the Lok Sabha, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government has been functioning as a caretaker government. In addition, state governments in four states where assembly elections are due — Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa and Sikkim — have also been functioning in caretaker capacity. However, considerable confusion exists on the powers of a caretaker government — at the Centre and in the states — mainly because the Constitution is silent about it.

In the absence of clear-cut guidelines, there are reports of misuse of powers by the caretaker governments to further the interests of the ruling parties in the elections. How can we expect free and fair elections if the government of the day misuses its powers and boosts its electoral prospects?

The new Lok Sabha should formulate comprehensive guidelines on the powers and functions of the caretaker government at the Centre and in the states. Only then, there will be no confusion and the scope for misuse of official machinery for partisan ends can be checked.

Dr U.S. BANSAL, Chandigarh

Five rupee coins

The Reserve Bank of India has sufficiently printed currency of the denomination of five rupees. But the problem of five rupee coins continues, tearing the pant pockets and bulging the shirt pockets.

If banks are asked to collect the disliked minted product, the same can be re-used for smaller denominations which will save fresh purchase of metal for the purpose.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |