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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Need to resolve the border problem

Kuldip Nayar’s article PM wishes Musharraf well, but says, I cannot change borders (Jan 16) was interesting. No doubt, borders cannot be changed, but they can be converted into permanent borders with our neighbours.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has to take India into confidence and should work for resolving the border problem. It may not be so easy. But then, the government has to work towards achieving peace.

India has done well by not getting involved in the peace talks between the LTTE and the Sri Lanka government. Yet, it has offered all support to the peace process because India wants to see Sri Lanka as one country and that is the Indian interest. Political parties should learn to rise above provincial and parochial considerations.

Col JASWANT SINGH CHANDEL (retd), Kalol (HP)



Dear readers

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed, upto 150 words, should be sent to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29 C, Chandigarh. Letters can also be emailed at the following address: letters@tribunemail.com

— Editor-in-Chief

 

II

What is India discussing behind the curtain without formulating a sound and firm national policy on Kashmir? Are the ongoing talks Kashmir valley- specific or covering other regions as well? Classified documents are released after every 30 years, but not so in India. Settled boundaries cannot vanish. Is India on the path of progress or regression?

Let not posterity say that Indian leadership followed Chamberlain-like appeasement policy, overlooking the sacrifice of her jawans and needling of the poor taxpayers. The Indian leadership should beware of President Musharraf’s deep-rooted political games. Unlike the Constitution of the former Soviet Union, the Indian Constitution has no provision for secession.

V.I.K. SHARMA, Jalandhar City


Bureaucrats as chess pawns

The peremptory transfer of Goa’s upright Chief Secretary, Mrs Kiran Dhingra, is unjust. Her successor J.P. Singh, who is equally competent and upright, will hopefully pick up confidently where Mrs Dhingra has left. Over the years, Goa has lost count of the number of Chief Secretaries and Directors-General of Police who have been sent packing for not succumbing to the illegal and whimsical orders of the government. Whether in the Congress or BJP regimes, honest officers are shuffled as chess pawns and they are forced to bear the brunt and humiliation of political arrogance. It is time our politicians realised that officers have to work diligently as they are accountable for their actions. Chief Minister Pratap Sinh Rane and his Cabinet colleagues would do well to remember that rule of law, not law of the jungle, has to prevail.

AIRES RODRIGUES, Mumbai

Safety at Haj

I refer to the editorial Improve Haj arrangements (Jan 15). If the authorities can’t ensure the pilgrims’ safety, why do they allow so many of them to visit Haj? This time, 1,47,000 Indian pilgrims went for Haj — 16,000 more than last year. Why? To earn foreign exchange? Why not screen the applicants thoroughly before allowing them for Haj?

Pilgrimage to Mecca and Madina is obligatory for a Muslim only once in his lifetime, that too, if he is well off to undertake the journey. Those visiting Haj more than once should be barred from going there again for at least 10 years.

Accidents mainly occur at the time of kissing the Black Stone or while stoning the Satan rite. Extra precautionary and security measures are a must. The security personnel should ensure smooth and peaceful influx and efflux of pilgrims during this ritual.

BILAL AHMAD SHAMIM, Qadian

Reviving sick units

The Himachal Pradesh government’s decision to hire private professionals to revive sick PSUs in the state is welcome. Apparently, for the first time since the start of economic reforms in 1991, the government has taken this step.

Over the years, as the units have been sold at throwaway prices, thousands of employees have been rendered jobless. If accountability and transparency are needed to face the cut-throat competition, there would be no need to close down any unit.

It would be more appropriate if the expertise of retirees is also made best use of in reviving the sick units. There is no dearth of professionals in the government departments.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh

Imported coal

Apparently, the Punjab State Electricity Board has decided to adopt use of imported coal from China at its thermal plants. But the cost of imported coal at thermal plants will be twice that of the one obtained from Indian pitheads. The people are entitled to know the reasons for the PSEB’s decision as we have enacted the Right to Information Act.

It has been known for quite some time that coal obtained from our pitheads needs to be improved (washed) to reduce the ash content to a reasonable value and also to improve its quality and value. A comprehensive study needs to be done expeditiously to check misinformation on the issue.

G.S. DHILLON, Chandigarh

Criminals in khaki

This has reference to the editorial Beasts in uniform (Jan 17). Every section of society — students, teachers, farmers, labourers and now doctors — has tasted the brutal behaviour of the police. The guilty PAC jawans must be dismissed to restore discipline in the force.

The Centre and the states should try to change the attitude of the police towards people. Steps to redraft the age-old Police Act should help evolve a humane police system. The police must be made responsible, accountable and efficient through proper training. There should be no political and bureaucratic interference in their functioning. We must strengthen police-public partnership to keep society crime-free.

SUDESH KUMAR SHARMA, Kapurthala
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