Indo-US ties: PM deserves support

THIS has reference to Mr H.K. Dua’s front-page editorial “Parliament must support the PM” (July 29). It is, indeed, in our national interest to maintain cordial relations with the US.

For world peace and promotion of democracy globally, the world’s two democratic giants should move closer and act in unison. In fact, we should have woken up to this vital necessity long back or at least soon after the gory events of 9/11.

Pakistan President General Musharraf adroitly grabbed that opportunity by making a U-turn from all his machinations, both in Afghanistan and against India. In the process, he impressed the US and became its “front- rank ally” and also got the MFN status. We remained ambivalent.

Nonetheless, there is a window of opportunity now. By striking a chord of friendship and understanding with President Bush, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has taken the first step towards enduring Indo-US cooperation without sacrificing our strategic concerns. With the US promise to help India emerge as “a major power in this century”, it’s time we developed self-confidence to realise this enhanced status expeditiously.

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla



As ours is a parliamentary democracy, the government is the creature of Parliament. If the ruling party has a comfortable majority, Parliament’s role in shaping the foreign policy is almost negligible. But since the present Congress government is dependent on outside support, the Prime Minister’s US visit is bound to come under greater parliamentary scrutiny.

As Mr Dua has very rightly pointed out, the external reality within whose framework foreign policy must be executed is constantly changing. Often, a foreign policy is addressed not to the reality of the moment but to a reality that has become obsolete. The US has grudgingly accepted that reversing Pokhran II is not politically feasible and the path charted by Agni II irreversible.

It seems after five wasted decades of sterile debate, a new epoch has suddenly been ushered in Indo-American relations. Parliament should stand to the occasion.

AMREEN RAI, Chandigarh


The suggestion to parliamentarians to support the Prime Minister’s agreement with the US is constructive and convincing. This bold initiative will engage India in a qualitative leap on a range of critical bilateral issues pertaining to economy, energy, security, hi-tech and space technology.

The significance of the joint argument is the US’ virtual recognition of India as a nuclear weapon state. The mutual trust has now been firmly established. The quid pro quo principle guides most bilateral dealings. However, Dr Manmohan Singh has assured that India’s rights and obligations are the same as those of any nuclear power and that India’s interests are fully protected. Sceptics, of course, have a tendency to look for a needle in a haystack.

Brig H.S. CHANDEL (retd), Una


India’s nuclear policy has been a matter of public record and its reiterations have been much more than ritualistic. It has been often emphasised that while India is basically averse to exploitation and its use of nuclear energy will be only for peaceful purposes, it cannot remain oblivious to threats to its security, unity and integrity.

There is no need to cast aspersions on the Prime Minister’s intentions. Instead, his visit to the US has enhanced India’s prestige. We are indeed thankful to Dr Manmohan Singh for bringing the two nations closer.


Victims of food adulteration

This has reference to the news-item, “Unbranded milk unfit for human consumption” (Aug 2). I am happy that The Tribune is doing a service to society by bringing such reports to public notice. The government officials entrusted with the task of checking the quality of such items have failed to do their work.

The earlier news-item on contamination of bottled water also highlights the same failure. We do have the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. There is a full-fledged department to enforce this. However, owing to the official failure to collect samples at regular intervals and get them checked, the people are at the mercy of vendors who sell such adulterated food items.

We are eager to know what action has been taken against the officials concerned for dereliction of duty.

S. SAMUEL, Dalhousie


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