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Musharraf’s authority weakening

Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf’s decision to deport former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia soon after his plane landed in Islamabad is most unfortunate (Editorial, “Sharif’s journey back”, Sept 11).

The deportation proves that General Musharraf is scared of the former premier’s influence in the run-up to the impending elections. The General feels weak and shaky and his authority is slipping. There is no law and order in Pakistan today. Mr Sharif is a popular leader, whether the General believes it or not. Neighbouring countries, instead of dismissing the deportation as an internal affair, should help restore democracy in Pakistan.

SHAILESH KUMAR, Bangalore


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II

Heavens would not have fallen if Mr Nawaz Sharif had been allowed to enter Pakistan. His return would have helped strengthen the political process, encouraged other leaders in exile to return and paved the way for the general elections in Pakistan.

This opportunity has now been lost. After all, who will fail to note the lack of an election schedule even now, the continued uncertainty about General Musharraf’s re-election as a President in uniform or otherwise and the unabashed involvement of foreign powers in Pakistan’s domestic affairs?

Essentially, it is lust for power, family fame and fortune and self-aggrandisement that appear to be guiding the Pakistani leader’s actions and policies.

J.S. ACHARYA, Hyderabad

III

The political drama that kept millions across the subcontinent glued to their TV screens on Monday unfolded itself as per the script written by General Musharraf. Mr Sharif’s deportation proves that the troubled and yet wily General’s vice-like grip on Pakistan is still fairly strong and that he will not leave things so easily.

The much-talked-about deal between the General and Ms Benazir Bhutto is a non-starter and even if it materialises, the “Daughter of the East” will have to contend herself with a secondary role and Gen Musharraf will continue to call the shots. Since he enjoys the unstinted support of his buddy, Mr George Bush, it is more than likely that he will get himself re-elected as the President.

Dr M. K. BAJAJ, Zirakpur

Floods in the Charan Ganga

The problems caused by the floods in the Charan Ganga near Sri Anandpur Sahib this year attracted the Punjab Chief Minister’s attention. He visited the flooded areas and announced compensation to the victims. He also promised that a master plan for checking floods would be prepared.

The problem posed by the Charan Ganga is of local nature requiring attention at the micro level. Here the clearance available between the silted bed of the stream and the rail-bridge deck is too small and this causes flooding. The removal of silt near the railway bridge provides little relief. The problem needs to be looked into greater detail. This may require change in the level of the road and the railway track.

Dr G. S. DHILLON, Chandigarh

 


Asia Cup victory

The Indian hockey team has clearly indicated to the IHF that the country’s national sport, hockey, be given its due importance. Hats off to coach Joaquim Carvalho who took the responsibility of training the team which was always under fire due to its poor performance in the past tournaments.

The Asia Cup victory will, certainly, act as a confidence booster for the team. I only hope the team now gets sponsors and good quality sports equipment which will enhance their performance in the upcoming tourneys, like the World Cup.

ANIKET SINGH, Mohali

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I am very happy that India played a magnificent game and clinched the Asia cup by defeating South Korea with a big margin. Our players deserve praise for having kept their spirits high.

It is a matter of regret that Mr K.P.S. Gill invented a new thesis which is not in the interest of the players and the game. Mr Gill should be told not to implement his plan.

D.R. SHARDA, Chandigarh

Teachers’ demands

I read the news-item “Teachers invited for talks” (Aug 26). It is good that Punjab’s Higher Education Minister has called the private college teachers’ representatives for talks. In fact, a number of demands of the teachers have been pending for a long time. They were once agreed upon but somehow could not be implemented.

The SAD-BJP government led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal seems to have a positive approach to the teachers’ problems. The Higher Education Minister should sympathetically consider the teachers’ demand for pension, gratuity and leave encashment.

Prof P. K. GUPTA, Bathinda
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