Terror: Let’s fight to the finish

Vijay Singh Mankotia’s article "War on terror" (Perspective Sept 17) was thought-provoking. With our dismal record of fight against terrorism all along, his advice “to beat Musharraf at his own game” and “fight terrorism to the finish”, are timely and worthy of careful consideration by policy-makers at the highest level.

Our preparations to defeat the terrorists’ challenge need a complete overhaul. Ironically, there has been very little public debate in the country on how to fight terrorism, especially the “cross border” variety from Pakistan. No wonder, we have remained mute spectators and suffered incalculable loss both in terms of human lives and prestige.

Mere rhetoric would no longer do, concrete action is called for. Our political bosses, security forces, intelligence network, trial of terrorists and even the masses have literally miles to go before all necessary anti-terrorist safeguards are put in place. The question remains: How far have we progressed in that direction?

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla



The writer’s deep insight is realistic and convincing. As usual, he speaks the language of a fearless soldier which, in the present context, the ruling elite in Pakistan understands.

President General Pervez Musharraf is a military dictator. The political double game he is playing suits his personal survival and the army rulers. The worsening conflict in Baluchistan shows that the General is seeking a military solution to a political problem. The killing of Baluchi popular leader Nawab A.K. Bugti speaks volumes about his democratic credentials.

The Kargil misadventure followed by ISI-sponsored terrorist attacks on Akshardham, Red Fort, Parliament House and the latest bomb blasts in Mumbai plus the asylum extended to Dawood Ibrahim, Aghar, Salauddin and other outfits expose the Pakistani military rulers’ nefarious designs.

Add to the balance-sheet the two deposed, once democratically elected Prime Ministers of Pakistan. General Musharraf himself is a part of the universal problem of terror which he vows to fight on world forums. The chronology of events in India and around exposes his double talk and hypocrisy.



It is not only wrong but also unethical to hold Mohd Ali Jinnah responsible for India’s partition. Jinnah was by far the most courageous nationalist, true Congressman and secular to the core. It was the Congress party’s prejudice against the Muslim minority when their leader’s genuine demands were seen through the prism of mistrust which pushed Jinnah into the lap of the Muslim League.

As for the creation of Pakistan, it was Jawaharlal Nehru who spurned the sane counsel of Mahatma Gandhi to let Jinnah take over the rein of power to avoid partition of the country. But the then Congress leadership (read Nehru) consented post haste to the partition than to lose the leadership race to Jinnah.

Jinnah is as revered in Pakistan as Mahatma Gandhi is in India. Twisting historical facts and laying blame for all our ills at Pakistan’s doorsteps and at Jinnah’s graveyard would be counter-productive to the healthy relationship between our two countries.

Lt (IN) S.S. GILL (retd), Jagraon

SGPC should strive for the betterment of Sikhs

I refer to S.S. Dhanoa’s article, “Reforming the SGPC” (Perspective, Sept 17). It is a thought-provoking article, giving a timely advice to the Sikh community in general and the management and members of the Sikh Parliament in particular to work as per the tenets of the Sikhism for the advancement of the Sikhs.

The SGPC has become a hotbed of politics and plagued by a number of controversies. Political interference has led to the mismanagement of the SGPC affairs.

If state level functions are organised to celebrate some important Gurpurbs by the government, the SGPC never extended its cooperation wholeheartedly, rather it organised parallel celebrations (it happens only whenever there is a non-Akali government).

Many times, the SGPC has acted in a manner that was contrary to its objectives (i.e. presentation of siropa to the dignitaries, show of muscle power in gurdwaras during holding of meetings or organising functions for the welfare of the community by the opposite faction etc.)

The SGPC members at present are politicians. They are neither gurmukhs nor guru-centred. How can we expect selfless service from such politico-religious members?

The current crisis in the Sikh community is due to lack of mutual trust and coordination between the various social strata. Though they have the same objectives, they act with different approaches.

It is time the SGPC concentrated on religious preaching alone. It must shed off its political mask. The members must be a role model for the youth. The committee ought to be more impartial in its functioning and decision-making.

It is a universal fact that religion has a cohesive nature to cluster the community whereas political convictions are of fission in nature.

The SGPC, various Sikh religious organisations and the Akali factions would do well to draw conclusions from Mr Dhanoa’s views and work for the betterment of the Sikhs.

R.S. TAGGER, Gurdaspur



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