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The assault on Marriott Hotel

HK. DUA’s front-page editorial “The assault on Marriott Hotel” (Sept 23) is comprehensive. The assault on Marriott Hotel has shaken the whole world. This retaliatory action by terrorists has not come as a surprise. The way they were cornered by the Pakistan government and the American forces, such a nefarious act was in the offing.

Sadly, the home-brew has turned toxic. The jihadis are now a force to reckon with. The Taliban and other extremist elements are on a comeback trail in Afghanistan and thus acquiring their own strategic depth on Pakistan too.

For Pakistan, presently torn between a very powerful Army and weak political parties, it will be a Herculean task to combat the menace. Let us hope that the government is able to combat terrorism effectively.

O. P. COUSHIK, Kurukshetra


Those who have followed Zardari’s utterances minutely before and after he reached the august post of President of Pakistan can reasonably expect that he is keen to a trace his political path, despite heavy odds stacked against him. However, one cannot be sure of his success, caught as he has been in the uncertainties and also his remarks that what politicians say cannot be considered sacrosanct, thereby annoying his powerful ally, Mr Nawaz Sharif.

There can be no alternative to diplomacy which is the only tool to sort out differences. If India and Pakistan develop mutual understanding in trade relations and unite for regional security, the sub-continent will be a great force to reckon with.

Lt-Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana

Peace process

I agree with H. K. Dua’s core contention in “Peace process is a definite casualty” (Sept 17) that the serial bomb blasts in Delhi after similar blasts elsewhere have stonewalled the peace process between India and Pakistan. Countless people in India believe that Pakistan harbours and trains militants and ensures their safe infiltration inside India.

Mr Zardari’s words are nice and encouraging but he must help combat the cross-border terrorism effectively. If Mr Zardari is making sincere efforts to build a consensus on Kashmir by taking Nawaz Sharif into confidence in Pakistan, it is laudable.

However, this consensus must include some concrete proposals to dismantle the terrorist camps inside Pakistan because terrorists are neither helpful to Pakistan nor to India in any manner. Their creed is murder and mayhem which can scuttle all peace talks.



India should understand the gravity of the menace and tackle it in its own way instead of repeatedly asking Pakistan to cooperate. How can Pakistan help when it is in the grip of this monster which is ironically its own creation?

At present, the Army is breathing down the neck of the President. The ISI is influencing the Army and the ISI’s core group is holding the reins of the agency. The core group itself is controlled by the Taliban, Al Qaeda and their splinters sponsored by Osama bin Laden, Al Jawahri etc. It’s like a spider’s web. Therefore, as Mr Dua suggests, the peace process with Pakistan won’t serve much purpose at least for the present due to political uncertainty there.

R. K. MALHOTRA, Chandigarh


The peace process has always remained at the whims and fancies of Pakistani leaders. A proclaimed terror-promoting country, Pakistan may have claimed to be a peace-loving state, but both hyena’s laughter and crocodile’s tears have the same purpose.

Moreover, cross-border terrorism has increased so much that one doubts whether the normal parliamentary processes are adequate to deal with it. If the tide of terrorism is not controlled, internal peace will remain elusive. If Pakistan provides the means to perpetuate this ghastly violence, how can one believe its sincerity to tackle the most dreaded terrorist groups?

RAVI DUTTA, Dehra (Kangra)


We should try to study the ethnic side of the problem. After all why are Muslims against the US? We cannot shut our eyes before basic and fundamental truths. It is very difficult to win over the heart unless the opposite party responds.


Medical insurance

Unfortunately, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) remains preoccupied with petty chores like holding tests for the insurance agents, as often as twice a month, a job that can well be left to the insurance companies themselves as was the case earlier. In any case, they are the best judges of the type of stuff they need.

The IRDA should concentrate on bigger tasks like strategic planning for the development of insurance industry, spreading awareness about the importance of insurance and its scope and reach and formulating policies for the benefit of the masses. It perhaps needs to redefine its role.

Wg-Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar



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