Obstacles in Indo-Pak peace efforts

Apropos of Gurmeet Kanwal’s article “Pervez Musharraf under pressure” (Dec 26), I share his concern over lack of sincerity on Pakistan’s part in carrying forward the process of negotiations with India. In Pakistan, Jehadis and the Army, who are the dominant elements, do not relish any peace move with India. They perhaps consider it a blow to their survival. Its Army has a vested interest in continuing confrontation with India. Pakistan’s economy is in shambles. It is surviving with American support and Gen Musharraf has nothing of his own except his uniform. The US is also using Pakistan for promoting it’s own national interest by indulging in hegemonistic adventurism. In fact, both are least bothered about a lasting solution for enduring peace with India. The deadlock in Bagilhar project is a case in point.

Despite so many CBMs initiated by India, Pakistan’s response is not encouraging.  Only a democratically elected government in Pakistan can promote peaceful relations with India. Its policy of hostility towards India and its covert support to anti-Indian elements would remain unchanged. Hope better sense will prevail in the Jehadi mindset.  Otherwise peaceful ties between India and Pakistan will remain a dream.

K. LALL, Yamunanagar



What ails Punjab schools?

Apropos of the two reports on the state of government primary schools in Punjab (Jan 9 and 10), I am distressed to learn about schools without teachers, schools with temporary untrained teachers and even a high school headed by an art and crafts teacher. Though there are thousands of qualified teachers with JBT, B.Ed., M.Ed degrees, their services and talent are not being utilised. Instead, unqualified and untrained teachers on a paltry salary of Rs 1,000 are being appointed. What a shame!

Amazingly, such a situation prevails in the most progressive state. A World Bank report says that Punjab’s primary schools record the highest percentage of absenteeism of teachers. This shows lack of supervisory and monitoring system. When there are no qualified regular heads in high schools and no officers to supervise the primary schools, no discipline and efficiency can be expected from the teachers who must be kept under watch. Teachers guilty of dereliction must be given exemplary punishment to send the right message that shirkers have no place in the temples of learning. The government should come forward with liberal funds for education so that teachers are paid well, imparting quality education to the children.

K.L. BATRA, Yamunanagar

Shocking incident

I was shocked to read the report about the abduction and rape of a minor girl allegedly by a Haryana official at Palwal and the police officials’ attempt to shield the accused (Jan 7). Rape is a heinous crime and it haunts the victim forever. In most cases, the victims find themselves isolated from their friends and families. When the case goes to the court, they are further embarrassed during interrogation. For this reason, many rape cases go un-reported. Some victims even commit suicide.

In America, rape is taken very seriously. Police and the prosecution act swiftly and use all their professional skills to bring the accused to justice. Law provides lengthy terms for the rapists, especially when a minor is involved. After completing the jail term, the convicts are required to register themselves with the local police as to where they live and are forbidden to have any contact with the children. Sometime, a judgeasks a convict to wear a shirt with the label ‘Convicted Sex Offender’ as a pre condition of his release on parole.

The authorities concerned must ensure that the victim and her family in this case are not coerced and harassed by the police to shield the accused.


Tiger conservation

Tiger conservation has become very important today because never before has the tiger been under greater threat than now. The tiger faces a dual threat — from the habitat loss to poaching and illegal trade. In the years to come, tiger conservation will become a major problem. Consequently, there is need to understand the interrelationship between man and animals. This may be the only chance to conserve tiger. I am sure, we won’t let the tigers go extinct.


Educational shops

As schools are mushrooming in Himachal Pradesh, the standards are falling day by day. Schools have become educational shops.

The owners of these shops are doing roaring business. Is this the way to make India a developed country? The state governments should not recognise these shops in the interest of the student community.

D.S. MOUDGIL, Kullu (HP)


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