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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Ceasefire a must in Lebanon

Terrorism is and always will be a show of inhuman ferocity that, precisely for this reason, will never be able to solve conflicts among human beings. Only reason and love are the valid means of surpassing and resolving disputes between people. No situation of injustice, no feeling of frustration, no philosophy or religion can justify  such an aberration.

The recent cycle of blind violence we are witnessing in Lebanon is the result of scandalous injustices and imbalances that create conditions favouring an uncontrollable explosion of the desire for revenge. When fundamental rights are violated, it is easy to fall prey to temptations of hatred and violence. Nonetheless, we must keep in check our base impulses and together work to build a global culture of solidarity that restores hope in the future to the young.

Presently we must raise our prayers for an immediate ceasefire to the fighting in the Middle East, for humanitarian corridors to be opened to bring help to the suffering peoples, and for international leadership in new efforts to open negotiations that could lead to a lasting settlement.

In reality, the Lebanese have the right to see the integrity and sovereignty of their country respected, the Israelis the right to live in peace in their state, and the Palestinians have the right to have their own free and sovereign homeland.

PAUL KOKOSKI, Hamilton (Canada)


 

Pak’s true colours

It looks like Pakistan has decided to shed the veneer of a civilised state and be bold about its terrorist credentials. This is borne out by its Foreign Minister’s recent reaction to the Mumbai blasts, when he said that such heinous acts could recur unless the unresolved Kashmir issue was sorted out.

The logical conclusion one can draw from this statement is that Pakistan is behind the terrorist acts and would desist only when the Kashmir issue was resolved to its satisfaction.

Something similar had taken place earlier also when the issue of release of Sarabjit Singh was taken up with Pakistan. At that time also, it had demanded the release of the accused in the Red Fort terror attack case. It is another matter that Sarabjit’s relatives had also refused to support the ill-conceived demand.

All this shows that Pakistan is behind all the terrorist attacks in India. The world must take note of its changed attitude and recognise Pakistan as a state that regards terrorism as a state policy.

Dr JAGDISH BATRA, Sonepat

HSIDC’s losses

The Indian National Lok Dal activists’ protest near Parliament House on July 24 against the transfer of HSIDC’s land to Reliance Industries is amusing because it was like the pot calling the kettle black. The late Haryana Chief Minister Devi Lal had allotted a 17-acre plot in Gurgaon’s Udyog Vihar to Badals at throwaway price of a few lakhs of rupees.

When the HSIDC resumed this plot for non-construction and the matter went before the Supreme Court, the new Chautala government withdrew the case and returned the plot to Badals. A draft para of the AG, Haryana, is still pending against this allotment.

Before Mr O.P. Chautala came to power in 1999, the HSIDC’s policy was to sell the Gurgaon plots through auction. The new government changed the policy. All the plots were allotted to the kin of the powers that be, causing huge loss to the HSIDC.

RAJ SHEKHON, Panchkula

Follow HC order

The Haryana government is aware of the Punjab and Haryana High Court having declared the cut off date of April 1, 1995, mentioned in its instructions issued on March 8, 1996 under the State Government Pension Rules, for treatment of dearness allowance linked to (AICPI) 1201.66 as dearness pay for reckoning emoluments for retirement/death gratuity and other pensionary benefits as irrelevant and discriminatory. It has also been held that those who retired earlier or after April 1, 1995 would be entitled to the revised pensionary benefits.

The Haryana government, instead of waiting for individual representations, should promptly implement the court ruling. It must issue suitable instructions promptly to all the Heads of Departments for re-fixation and disbursement of revised pensionary benefits of the retirees concerned.

R.S. TOMAR, Faridabad

Chemicals harmless

H.K. Parwana’s article, “Chemical onslaught on human life” (Oped Page, June 3) may whip up unnecessary fear among the general public. People today depend upon toothpaste, soaps, detergents, clothing, food, fuel for transport, pharmaceuticals etc, all of which are derived from chemicals.

The core message of the article is that chemicals are dangerous and they cause all kinds of diseases. If the writer feels the world would be better without chemicals, let him revisit Indian history.

In 1900, the average age of Indians was less than 30. There were no chemicals then. Now in the era of chemicals, our life expectancy has gone up to 65 years! Empirical evidence shows that in the era of chemicals people are living longer and healthier than before. Per capita consumption of chemicals is the highest in Japan. They live the longest!

The writer alarms public with statements such as “the exposure of chemicals starts even before the child in born”. If he expects that there should be no chemicals in our body, it only shows his/ naivety in the science of biology and chemistry.

We expect scientists to allay the unfounded fears of common man about products of science and technology and not add to and nurture unnecessary fears. We must have scientific temper.

D. P. MISRA Director General Indian Chemical Manufacturers’ Association, Mumbai 

Make Barnala a district

Tarn Taran is Punjab’s 19th district. The Congress, which was against the division of old Punjab, up to 1966, has subdivided the new Punjab from the original 11 districts to 19. However, Barnala has been neglected.

Barnala was a full-fledged revenue district in PEPSU state. Since then, the court of Additional Sessions Judge has been functioning from there. Barnala is already a police district; it conforms to the geographical parameters of a revenue district. It is the cultural hub of the state’s Malwa area.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh hardly needs to be reminded that the historic city of Barnala was the first capital of his illustrious ancestor ‘Baba Ala Singh’ from where he expanded the borders to form the Patiala state. To meet the age-old aspirations of the people, Barnala sub-division should be upgraded into a district.

SANTOKH S. BENIWAL, Chandigarh

 


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