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Taming Pak through water treaties

The article “There’s a way to tame Pakistan” (Jan 2) by Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (retd) suggests that the way to tame Pakistan is to give it six months to reform, failing which annulment of treaties led by the Indus Water Treaty should follow. This is easier said than done.

The World Bank is a third party signatory and any arbitrary action taken by India will invite international condemnation just as India was condemned when it stopped the flow of water to Pakistan on April 1, 1948, and had to restore the supply on May 4, 1948, after inviting international censure.

This incident led to the signing of the Indus Accord in 1960. The question also arises as to how we will respond if China diverts the waters of the Tsangpo (Bhramaputra) before it descends into India from Tibet, as it has vociferously been threatening to do.



I fully endorse the suggestion that we should give Pakistan six months to stop terrorist activities. If it does not do, we should divert the water of the Chenab and simultaneously we should start building dams on the rivers Chenab and Jhelum. Then only will Pakistan understand that India means business.


Terror in Northeast

The serial bomb blasts in Guwahati on the first day of the New Year conveys only one message that the terror organisations in north-east, whatever their objective may be, are not going to stop. Concrete steps have to be taken.

First of all stop the inflow of migrants. Then cut off the funds to the terror organisations in the northeast and destroy their intelligence networks. There should be greater coordination amongst the state police, the army and the paramilitary forces. To expedite justice, fast track courts need to be set up.

What we require is strong determination and affirmative action supported by political leadership. No nonsense attitude must be displayed at the highest level of operations. We must learn to reject all forms of terror.


Give farmer’s due

I agree with Sarbjit Dhaliwal’s report “Punjab farmers nation’s heroes in 08” (Dec 31). Although increasing agricultural productivity remains a top priority in the country, but those who toil day and night to meet the production targets are rarely recognised. They are not fully compensated for their produce by excluding the hidden charges while fixing the minimum support price.

In a state where cropping intensity is nearly 200 per cent, rising pressure on producing more and more is fast depleting its land and water resources. Poor farmers who are trying hard to secure the survival of their family are compelled to lose sight of needs of tomorrow.

In economic terms, the costs of over-exploiting the soil and water resource and using environment beyond sustainable levels are not internalised by the government while fixing MSP. By not attaching the monetary cost values to these effects, the government is cheating the poor farming community in the states of Punjab and Haryana..

The farmers in the states should not only be adequately compensated for the environmental costs of production but the government should also support agricultural research in the state.

N S PASRICHA, Ludhiana

Recruitment charade

I fully endorse the views expressed by Dr I M Joshi in the letter “ Stop the recruitment charade” (Dec 20). Leaders of all parties, including a ruling party MP, have severely criticised the recruitments made by the state governments to public posts and services. The recruitment agencies are impervious to any suggestions for transparency.

Thus, the RTI Act has virtually failed in Haryana. It is, therefore, well suggested that instead of going about with the recruitment charade, public posts in Haryana should be filled by public auction officially.

I D KAUSHIK, Panipat

Missing girls

With increase in cases of female foeticide, the population of girl child is decreasing. Despite the laws, the situation in Punjab is quite alarming which is a matter of shame for society. The religious bodies can play a vital role in eradicating the evil of female foeticide. Preachers of different religions must come forward to denounce this abominable practice.


Unjust pay hike

The three-fold increase in the salaries of the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts is not justified. After all, the entire burden is borne by the public exchequer and ultimately the common man and poor have to suffer.

Moreover, the hike can in no way ensure that more talented persons would be coming to the bench. In fact, it is very difficult to find dignified, honest and talented persons in any sphere, be it the legislature, the executive or the judiciary.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana

Books as teachers

The middle “Beneficial clashes” (Dec 30) by A.J. Philip was very interesting especially for the students who aspire a career in sociological science. Indeed, books are one’s best friends and go a long way in shaping one’s way of thinking. Now, my faith that a book can be a real teacher has been further affirmed.

RK MALHOTRA, Chandigarh

Inventor of ‘comedy of menace’

Harold Pinter (1930-2008), the British playwright and director, who died on the Christmas Eve, was greatly influenced by Samuel Beckett. Trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Pinter is better known as the inventor of a new kind of comedy, sometimes called the “comedy of menace.”

The majority of his plays are set in a single room, whose occupants are threatened by forces or people. With “The room” as well as “The birthday party”, Pinter made his debut as a dramatist. Then came “The caretaker” which ran for many months at the West End. The “Homecoming” is, perhaps, the most enigmatic of all his works. For many critics, it marked the climax of his dramatic career.

Though Pinter’s later work lacked the theatrical excitement, zest and humour of his earlier work, he will be remembered as a vocal opponent of the Iraq war. He went to the extent of likening President George Bush’s administration to the Nazis and calling Mr Tony Blair as a “mass murderer”. His second wife, Lady Antonia Fraser, is also a British writer and is known for historical works and biographies.




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