India should deal with Pak firmly

In his revealing article "Pakistan's strategic depth idea" (Aug 12), G. Parthasarathy has warned against Afghanistan going the Taliban way again after the ensuing elections. The late Gen Zia's "strategic depth" idea is still alive. The US does not mind if Pakistan-fed terrorism is used against India or elsewhere. It is worried only about Al-Qaeda and its Supremo Osama Bin Laden.

Pakistan has been anti-India since its birth on August 14, 1947. By means fair or foul, it is out to destabilise India. While Pakistanis are friendly and peaceful, Gen Zia's "strategic depth" idea is intact. Kashmir has been and will remain its core issue.

Pakistan will overshadow Afghanistan whoever is elected President. It will also spread its tentacles in Uzbekistan and Tazakistan etc., if India, Russia and Iran do not prevent it jointly. There are no moderate Talibans. All are created by Pakistan.



Once Kashmir is solved amicably, the "strategic depth" idea will evaporate automatically. Pakistan and India will live as good neighbours and brothers again. Afghanistan will revive its glory as the land of independence loving heroes. But American diplomacy will not allow this to happen, because it suffers from superpower ego and the Al-Qaeda terror-fear. The US wants to use Pakistan as its strategic ally. Pakistan continues to send terrorists across the LoC.

Only a kisan-jawan-oriented Indian government can deal with Pakistan firmly and keep America at bay. Pakistan's military rulers can indulge in anything as their only objective is to belittle India and blackmail the US. Once they know that they cannot intimidate India anymore because of India's strength, they will behave responsibly.

Prof. HARI SINGH, Kherijat (Jhajjar)

Celebrating freedom

I am young and old, rich and poor, modern and archaic and most of all, free and captive. Captive to the world that respects and despises me. My feet are burning and hands are cold. My tears are spilling over and face is dry. My pure heart aches of corruption. I am neither consensus nor contradiction.

Although, it has been 57 years since my birth, yet is there reason to celebrate? When arms blew up in Kargil, I felt decapitated. When Kumbakonam was in flames, my feet became tanned. When blood was flowing in Gujarat, my hands hurt. When Andhra and Punjab lay parched, I felt famished. When the rain clouds burst drowning hundreds, I wept.

Still, I recall passing through a beautiful era in my previous life. That period brought great wealth, spirituality and knowledge. However, as time passed, I was plundered and then, captured. I lay in chains for many years, till I was reborn and separated from my brother, who is currently my foe. But perhaps my biggest enemy lies within. I do not know if it is lack of patriotism or abundance of pessimism.

Now, I want to be young again. The youth in me has to stand up and be counted. My experience will guide my youth towards action. Action will help me resurge and rise like the bird that carries the message of a dove and has the power of an eagle.

When the promises are fulfilled and everyone proud of me smiles. When the world respects me not only for my past, but my future. When I regain freedom from narrow mindedness and hatred. Then, I shall truly celebrate.

Ironically, the world calls me Free India.

PRAKARSH SINGH, Undergraduate, London School of Economics, London

Factual errors

V.K. Kapoor's middle "Remembering a Governor" (Aug 17) has some factual errors. The name of the late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's mother was Lakhi Bai and not Nirmala. She belonged to a backward caste of Gujarat and lived in Shivdi area near Parel in Bombay before her marriage with Sir Phiroz Shah Bhutto.

Sir Bhutto had became a member of the Governor's Executive Council in Bombay Presidency in 1925 and married Lakhi Bai in 1926 and Zulfi was born on Jan 5, 1928, the eldest of the three brothers.

The astrologer mentioned in the middle was a famous astrologer of Pune. The astrologer's son was present when Lakhi Bai visited him regarding Bhutto's future in 1937 and perhaps still lives there.

R.K. KAUSHIK, Chandigarh

The Laloo effect

Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav has always hogged headlines and immense electronic media spotlight for various reasons. His simple, albeit complex, mental attributes and personality have prompted experts at both Harvard and London School of Economics, among many others, to assess his personality as a politician, as a Union Minister or as a remote control Chief Minister of Bihar, his home state.

The most recent Laloo effect, his punctuality check in New Delhi's Rail Bhavan, has been electrifying. The media reported long queues there the next day. Employees vied with each other to be at their desk right on time.

In case all the ministers at the Centre and in the states did similar surprise checks now and then and initiated deterrent action on late comers, it will improve the work culture.

I am not a Laloo fan. Yet I do not laugh at whatever he says or does.


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