Pak has no locus standi on Kashmir

DURING the recent Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks, Pakistan, inter-alia, once again insisted that in order to solve the Kashmir dispute, “wishes of the Kashmir people” must be taken into account. This is contrary to the basic provisions of the Mountbatten Plan of June 3, 1947. This Plan not only led to the Partition of the British India into two Dominions, India and Pakistan, but also clearly provided that the 562 princely States were at liberty to join either India or Pakistan vis-a-vis their geographical congruity. This Plan nowhere provided that the wishes of people of any princely states must be taken into account.

Though Maharaja Hari Singh initially toyed with the idea of Independence, and later signed a “Standstill Agreement” with both the Dominions, subsequent circumstances, such as (a) Sir Cyril Radcliff’s awarding Gurdaspur (a Muslim majority district in Punjab to India, thereby providing Jammu and Kashmir with a road link with India); (b) tension and hostility in Poonch principality; and (c) Pakistan’s resorting to grab the state by force through incursions by armed bands of frontier tribals etc., forced the Maharaja to finally sign the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947, which the Governor-General of India, Lord Mountabatten, accepted the next day.



Thus, the accession of Jammu and Kashmir was valid legally, constitutionally and politically. It was and is cogent, conclusive and bona fide as per the provisions of the Mountabatten Plan. Ipso facto, Pakistan’s demand that “wishes of the Kashmiri people” must be taken into account has no locus standi or give Pakistan a right to intervene. In fact, the people of the state have made their choice through fair and free elections and that should clinch the issue.


Cheap entertainment

Television has become a part and parcel of our life. When we talk of entertainment, the focus is on television programmes. But then, it can be a double-edged sword. Seldom do we realise the havoc the idiot box can play with young budding minds, if not regulated properly. Consider, for instance, the ever increasing number of daily soaps. These so-called family-oriented serials are showing all sorts of filthy stuff in the name of entertainment. Affairs are shown so casually that one can only imagine the image they leave on the young minds.

The television industry has a moral duty towards its customers. I would like to suggest a few remedies to tackle this menace. First, parents should keep a strict check on the kind of programmes being watched by their children. Secondly, there should be a strict regulatory authority to monitor the programmes beamed by the various channels. Programmes which do not fall in the category of healthy entertainment should either be banned or telecast late in the night.


Consensual politics

IT is good to see that political parties of different ideologies such as the Congress, the Left and others have come together to form a new government at the Centre under the leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh. More important, the ruling United Progressive Alliance has resolved to follow the Common Minimum Programme in letter and spirit. Though the real motive of these political parties was to grab power, they have proved successful in checking political instability following the franctured verdict in the Lok Sabha elections.

This exercise could be extrapolated to reaching a broad consensus among all political parties including the two major coalitions in framing long-term policies, say for a term of 15 years, on matters of vital national importance like economic and foreign policies.

This way the country won't be subjected to jerks and tremors after every change of guard at the Centre. If there is consensus, the country will have to give a mandate only on the pace of achievement of these mutually agreed goals.

If the incumbent government succeeds in achieving the goals with minimum corruption and scams, it can be voted back to power. Otherwise, the other coalition led by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance can take over till this hit and trial brings a clean, well meaning and far-sighted government at the helm.

AJAY GOEL, Sonepat


No end to accidents

Apropos of the news-item “Sacred Heart student dies in accident” (July 2), I am shocked to know that helmetless Jaspreet Kaur, a shining student, has lost her life in a road accident near Fun Republic in Chandigarh. During the last three years, many brilliant students were killed in such accidents. The dividing road near Fun Republic is very dangerous and is an accident-prone area due to heavy volume of traffic.

Though vehicles have been increasing many fold, there are no proper traffic lights and police personnel. Most Chandigarh roads are dangerous. Consider Madhya Marg Road. Trucks are allowed on the dividing roads of Sectors 47-48, 46-49 and 50-45 in day time. The drivers do not bother and cross the speed limit. Trucks should not be allowed in day time as a number of housing societies have come up in Sectors 48 and 49. These could run during nights at slow speed.

In Chandigarh, 61 people were killed in road accidents this year (till this week) as against 135 last year. This is mainly due to heavy traffic. The UT Police had fixed speed limits for all the vehicles but truck drivers never bother to obey them. Moreover, it has become a habit for the young to violate the rules such as riding scooters etc., without helmet or a valid licence, tripple riding, jumping red lights etc. Broken roads should also be repaired. Typsy drivers should be booked.

M.L.GARG, Chandigarh

Welcome ban

The Himachal Pradesh Government has rightly banned the use of polythene bags in the state. This ban, first of its kind in the country, has been appreciated by the people and the tourists visiting the state. It would go a long way in protecting the environment and the virgin nature of the state.

The authorities concerned should now focus their attention on the collection and proper disposal of plastic bottles of mineral water and cold drinks. The people of the country should play a leading role in this venture. They should not expect the government or the NGOs to do everything.

V.K. SHARMA, Shimla

Tips for Montek

As noted economist Montek Singh Ahluwalia has joined the Planning Commission as Deputy Chairman, I have a humble suggestion to offer. He should focus on both plan formulation and implementation. For instance, though the Plans sanctioned in 2003-04 accounted for over Rs 33,000 crore, their execution has been far from satisfactory.

India is the only country having two agencies for fiscal transfer, namely, the Planning Commission and the Finance Commission. We expect the best from our planners. Proper division of work shall set things right.


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