Right time to solve Kashmir problem

HK Dua’s three front-page articles based on his recent visit to Pakistan provide valuable insights. The title of the first article, “The Man of the fleeting moment” (May 25), quite aptly suggests a measure of urgency to solve the vexed Kashmir issue. Though doubts have been often expressed regarding the General’s legitimacy, I feel the time is appropriate for achieving a breakthrough.

General Musharraf occupies a position at a time when the people of Pakistan have unequivocally expressed themselves for peace. Ironically, whenever Pakistan has been under democratic rule, the compulsions of competitive politics have not allowed any smooth sway of such sentiments. Earlier military regimes have also thrived on India-bashing but this time due to various configurations pointed out by Mr Dua such as the American pressure, Chinese apathy etc., the present military dispensation has been impelled to smoke the peace-pipe with India.



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Whatever the impetus behind their change of heart, this opportunity should not be missed and every effort should be made to arrive at an agreement on Kashmir within the span of a year as President Musharraf has suggested and which is quite reasonable a timeframe.


Double standards

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh and several others have been travelling a lot. The government has no paucity of funds for footing the bills of their foreign tours. The Punjab Chief Minister has gone to Canada to save himself from the sweltering summer heart here. About 35 Punjab MLAs are visiting Pakistan on a goodwill mission.

The government faces the problem of funds only when it has to consider providing income-tax relief to the common man. For this purpose, even the definition of senior citizen is interpreted differently. For most government departments, a 60-year-old person is eligible for concessions as a senior citizen. But Mr P. Chidambaram fixed 65 years for income-tax concession. No citizen raises his voice against this disparity. Hail India!

K.K. BHARDWAJ, Patiala


Ironically, while General Musharraf advocates the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir, he chooses to ignore the fact that he has denied the same to his fellow countrymen for so long quite ruthlessly and blatantly.

Make no mistake: Musharraf is a Machiavellian politician in uniform who wants to make history by finding a solution to the Kashmir problem. He is quite capable of conjuring up another Kargil, if necessary, courtesy the US-proffered most favoured nation status!

While the ongoing peace process should continue, we should not bite off more than what we could chew. We can’t afford to get caught napping, yet again.

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla


Mr Dua has very rightly raised some pertinent questions, one of which is, “How long will the Army continue to rule Pakistan? This country, from the beginning, has been ruled by the Army even when there was an elected government. That is the sad part of the story.

Whenever possible, the Generals took over Pakistan’s command. If that is the past and the present, the future will also be the same. Who cares for the Constitution and the judiciary?

It is time the people of Pakistan thought about good civilian governance. There is no dearth of intellectual thinkers and good politicians in Pakistan but the Army always keeps them at arm’s length.

Col J.S. CHANDEL (retd), Kalol (HP)

Hold the interview

The Congress Government in Punjab has failed to provide jobs after assuming power in February, 2002. The Punjab State Warehousing Corporation had advertised for the posts of Technical Assistants in ‘The Tribune’ on Feb 20, 2003 and results were declared on June 13, 2003. But no interview has been conducted till date.

Interview dates (July 10, 2003 and August 18, 2003) were postponed for no reason. It is the government’s duty to hold the interview soon to fill up the vacancies.

VINAY, Ludhiana

VAT bureau

We have launched Northern India VAT Consultancy Bureau in Chandigarh to help various sections, groups and trade associations concerned with the VAT system. The Bureau, consisting of senior retired government officers, legal and taxation experts, shall also deal with old sales tax laws and the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. For details, contact Phone No. 0172-5540437.


Corrupt politicians

This refers to the Tehelka case in which senior Army officers and the politicians were reportedly caught accepting bribes during defence deals.

The Army officers who are always ready to lay down their lives for the nation have accepted their mistakes like true soldiers and have been punished for that. Is the nation satisfied? But what about those politicians who continue to accept bribes and rule the country?



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