Dictatorship no longer acceptable

H K. Dua’s concerns as expressed in his front-page editorial “Insecurities and illusions of dictators” (Nov 6) on the prevailing state of affairs in Pakistan are real and genuine. In fact, whatever happened in Pakistan, it was expected. There is an inherent contradiction between democracy and dictatorship.

People all over the world were under the illusion that Pakistan was on its way to resolve the contradiction and political power would soon be in the hands of the democratic forces. But for a democratic switch-over, the “necessary conditions” were not there. There was a need to groom the democratic forces and institutions.

General Musharraf’s deal with Benazir Bhutto was a step towards strengthening the democratic forces. The President must know in today’s world no one accepts dictatorship. Politics is an instrument to transform society and if President Musharraf wants to indulge in politics, he must come through an accepted democratic process.




H. K. Dua has stated: “With one cruel stroke Pervez Musharrf has snuffed out what could have marked the birth of democracy in Pakistan”. I disagree. I don’t remember any democratic set-up ever working independent of the army at any point of time in the history of Pakistan.

Perhaps democracy worked for a couple of years after the birth of Pakistan but ever since the death of Liakat Ali Khan we have seen one General in mufti after another usurping power on the pretext of saving the country!

ARUN HASTIR, Babehali (Gurdaspur)


It is unfortunate that every time a coup takes place or a situation like the onestan occurs, the other nations merely condemn the move or at the most impose certain sanctions, which fail to prove as a deterrent. It is the common citizens of the affected country who are the real victims for no fault of theirs. In the case of Pakistan, even the apex court has not been spared, leave alone the fourth estate.


Good English, bad English

In its present state, English reflects very accurately crises and contradictions of which it is a part (“Bad English is not English” by A. J. Philip). In Britain, its first home, it has become standardised and centralised in the South, apparently cautions of the change. The English of the US has become the voice of the developed nations in finance, trade and technology.

In the British Commonwealth independent traditions of Australia, Canada and New Zealand have breathed a new life into the English that was exported from Britain more than 200 years ago. In the Caribbean, it is the focus of an emergent nationalism.

In Africa it is used continent-wide as a tool of communication. In South Africa it is a medium of black consciousness. In India and South-East Asia English is associated with the aspirations of the developing nations. Reflecting the confidence of these Asian countries, it is making its own distinctive forms.

CHHAVI, Panjab University, Chandigarh

No assets of nation

The reported remarks of the Delhi High Court (Oct 26) on VIP security are very appropriate. The government should review the VIP security set-up. MPs, MLAs, deputy ministers, deputy speakers and parliamentary secretaries should not be given any security. The junior IAS/IPS/PCS officers should also not be provided with any guards. At best, they may be given attendants with sticks only.

At the time of elections politicians behave as servants of the public. When elected, they become masters and “nawabs”. Many a time VIP gunmen beat up ordinary people over minor issues like not giving the way immediately to the VIP. The state and central governments should take note and implement the observations of the High Court.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana

Prisoners’ release

This refers to the humane order of the apex court to release certain categories of prisoner from jails and mental asylums. However, I may be permitted to say a word of caution, particularly about the mentally affected category. Many of these unfortunate beings must have been written off by their families. Their long absence from the scene must have created vested interests against them to stand in the way of their rehabilitation. This makes it necessary to evolve a mechanism to ensure that the boon for them does not turn out to be a curse.


Foreign visit

The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has been make untiring efforts to arrange the visit of its 30 councillors along with some officials to Singapore and Bangkok. How do they justify the tour of so many councillors when all types of information can be obtained from across the globe on the internet?

Instead of wasting the taxpayers’ money on foreign tours, the councillors should pay attention to the maintenance of services like water, electricity, sanitation, roads and parks, which are in bad shape, especially in the southern sectors of the city.

S. K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh



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