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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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M A I L B A G

He deserved life term, not hanging

Finally, Saddam Hussein got the punishment for his crimes. He was a dictator who killed thousands of innocent people. He deserved the punishment and the world community should welcome his execution (Editorials, Another kind of justice: Saddam’s hanging not in Iraq’s interest, Jan 1, and Don’t hang Saddam: It may worsen the Iraqi crisis, Dec 28).

However, I do feel that Saddam should not have been given capital punishment. He should have been kept in the prison and made to suffer for the crimes he had committed. He should have felt the pain the people faced, whom he tortured during his regime.

For persons like Saddam Hussein, life imprisonment and solitary confinement in the jail is a far better punishment than capital punishment. This, in fact, would have helped him realise his guilt. In this context, it needs to be mentioned that till the last moment of his execution, there was no sign of guilt on his face. Anyway, Saddam is dead now and the world should accept the fact that a dictator has gone.

JYOTI SHOKHANDA, Bangalore


 

II

The editorial “Another kind of justice” (Jan 1) rightly observes that capital punishment does not meet the ends of justice. We had bigger dictators like Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin, but no one faced execution like Saddam Hussein. The US has committed a heinous crime by hanging Saddam. Who will punish the US as many innocent people were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

The US and the UK invaded Iraq on the ground that it had weapons of mass destruction. The Bush Administration must tell the world how many WMDs were found in Iraq? Saddam’s execution shows the short-sightedness of the US and the allied forces. Clearly, it will harm the interests of Iraq, the US and the UK.

C. LALL S. CHANDER, Nangal

III

The execution of Saddam Hussein is most unfortunate. The situation in Iraq is becoming murky day by day. Reports do paint a gloomy and horrifying picture of Iraq. Let the US sincerely try to restore peace, order and democracy for another six months in Iraq, may be by pumping more money and men.

However, if the US fails even then, let it and the world at large realise that dislodging Saddam by force and then executing him by a kangaroo court was wrong and a big folly. Apparently, Saddam was dislodged by covert or overt support of others. But if it were not to succeed then, Iraq should have been left to its fate (and peace) under Saddam’s leadership.

It goes to Saddam’s credit that till he was deposed, he had ensured order in a faction-ridden society, maintained the secular credentials of the country and, more important, kept the terrorist groups at bay.

R.K. SHARMA, Pinjore

IV

Saddam’s execution is widely seen as a setback to the process of reconciliation and peace in the war-torn Iraq. The court ruling giving death sentence to Saddam by hanging was, apparently, dictated by the United States. Saddam had never sent terrorists to attack the White House. Nor did he kill innocent people of that country.

I would like to ask two simple questions to US President George Bush: how many innocent people were killed in Vietnam by his soldiers? And was the invasion on Iraq by the allied forces in the larger interest of the US?

MULTAN SINGH PARIHAR, Jalari (Hamirpur)

V

Saddam’s hanging is justified. But it looks like a murder by the so-called sovereign governments in the opinion of crores of people across the world. Definitely, the execution is a fitting lesson to all those rulers across the world enjoying absolute power but making no good use of it.

R.P. RAMMOHAN, Hyderabad

Missed opportunity

A number of parliamentarians like Shibu Soren, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Pappu Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav, have either been convicted or are facing investigation for criminal offences. Though they could have been role models for the youth, they have lost a golden opportunity.

In the next few months, elections are billed in four states — Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttaranchal and Manipur.  May I suggest to the Election Commission to introduce immediately a practice under which all candidates for election should be made to pledge while filing their nomination papers that “I will uphold the rule of law and will not do anything against the law of the land.”

The pledge may not make them law-abiding but it would certainly disturb their conscience when they think of crossing the Laxman Rekha.

K.S. BHALLA, New Delhi

ISI’s designs in Ladakh

During a visit to Ladakh and its Zanskaar Valley as a tourist, I stumbled upon some evidence on the basis of which I venture to conclude that the ISI is trying to spread its tentacles in the region by wooing the local population. At certain places especially at Khaltse (about 70 km from Leh towards Kargil), I found some posters with pictures of some fundamentalists of a Muslim country).

On the basis of all that I noticed during my fortnight-long stay in the region, I apprehend that the Zanskaar Valley and certain other areas of Ladakh may sooner or later become another hotbed of militancy like the Kashmir Valley. After all, Zanskaar is only a few mountains away from Doda and Pulwana. Our government does not seem to be taking cognisance of the developments there.

Prof V.R. SETHI, Chandigarh


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