No mercy for Afzal, please

The editorial President’s dilemma: Should a terrorist escape gallows? (Oct 3) is balanced. Mohammad Afzal Guru, the dreaded terrorist who attempted to blow up the sanctum sanctorum of Indian democracy and people’s representatives, deserves no leniency at all. Why talk about pardoning him? He should be hanged in full public view.

The Kashmiri leaders including Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad are vociferous in their demand for clemency for Afzal. Some leaders are not only supporting the demonstrations against his execution but also threatening the Indian government with dire consequences if the accused is hanged. This will only strengthen the terrorist activities in Kashmir and elsewhere in India. All the political parties must came forward and help the government to take a firm stand on the issue. President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is well aware of what action should be taken against India’s sworn enemies.




The arguments advanced by the political parties against Afzal’s execution are ridiculous. The rule of law does not in the criminal process system work in conformity with the Indo-Pakistan peace process nor has to consider the alienation of any section of society. The Supreme Court has upheld the punishment after considering the evidence at hand. Street protests and mob violence, public sentiments or political considerations should not be allowed to influence the law. Politicians have been trying to politicise the issue with an eye on vote bank politics.

A convicted person has every right to appeal to the President for clemency. But the President should not be influenced by political considerations, emotions or public sentiments. He has to examine the facts before arriving at the right decision. There should be no compromise on terrorism.

S. NARAYAN, Mumbai


I am a firm believer of the Sikh principle, Na ko beri nahe begana sagal sang ham kao ban aie (I have no enemy, I disown none, all are my own). Also I have a personal stake in the situation in the valley as both my sons are in the Army, one of whom is actively engaged in fighting the militants in Jammu and Kashmir.

Afzal’s death is not likely to make any material difference to the strength of militants but his execution will have a great bearing on the strength of our national character. Personally, I am for clemency, but with a condition that Afzal must first admit to his crime and prepare for penance for his doings.

If the above condition is not acceptable, Afzal must be hanged in full public view to demonstrate contempt for the forces who maintain that the situation in Kashmir will deteriorate if Afzal is executed. A knee-jerk reaction is no answer to the threat of militancy.

Col H.S. CHEEMA, Mohali

Bitter experience

The mobile phone service providers are violating the rules and guidelines of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Sept 9). I had a bitter experience with Spice Telecom. As per TRAI directions, the service provider should inform the customer within a week of activation of service. But Spice did not inform me in writing though I have three connections.

Secondly, the customer is free to move from one tariff plan to another without paying any fee. But the Spice charged Rs 250 to Rs 500 per migration whenever I changed the tariff plan. Thirdly, post-paid customer should be given on request the detailed bill for STD/ISD calls free of cost, but the Spice charges Rs 50 per request. I paid all the bills in time, but the company barred my outgoing calls many times even during emergency. The company has failed to provide me even a single printed bill of my mobile number 98147-13162 in one year. Reminders were in vain.



Bush threat to Pak did work

General Pervez Musharraf has said that Bush administration had threatened to bomb Pakistan back to Stone Age if it did not help in the US-led war on terror (Sept 23). In retrospect, it would seem that this threat did work, and Pakistan has, at least outwardly, been rendering help to the US in the war on terror directed against Uncle Sam. If Pakistan, on the other hand, has been for years promoting terror against India, is it because we are perceived as lacking in resoluteness, not holding out a credible warning of the type given by the US? Should one presume, then, that force or the threat of its use alone works particularly in relation to someone who does not understand the language of reason or friendship?

India must change its line of approach and policy options towards Pakistan to ensure the security, well being and honour of this nation. Our leaders need to act in time before it is too late.

Wg-Cdr S.C. KAPOOR (retd), Noida



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