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US must be firm and blunt with Pakistan

You have rightly commented in the editorial Fighting Taliban (April 10) that the US must understand that the real problem in the region is Pakistan, which is fast getting Talibanised. The only solution to the crisis in Afghanistan lies in forcing the Pakistan Army to take on the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and the elements associated with them in Pakistan’s areas bordering Afghanistan.

The Taliban cannot be fought with a half-hearted approach. Pakistan is reluctant to launch a war against these elements and has always adopted a soft approach, unmindful of the threat to the region and Pakistan itself. Terrorism in Pakistan has its roots in fundamentalism. In India, it is perpetrated by Pakistan.

Pakistan has been misleading the US to believe that Islamabad will be able to meet the challenges posed by the extremists in its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, if India eases pressure on it. India is doing nothing that can prevent Pakistan from launching a military drive in its Taliban-Al-Qaeda infested tribal areas.

You have rightly concluded that to succeed in Afghanistan, the US must be blunt with Pakistan and assert that it should remove all the “sanctuaries” of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban operating from its territory.

SUMAN KUKAL, Chandigarh

Politics of loot

This year of elections may pose a threat to democracy and the rule of law in our country. Political parties and their candidates are only interested in gaining power for their selfish ends. There has been a continuous degradation in the qualities of leadership.

There is a lack of democratic and national spirit in the present leaders. They have made politics a profession of loot and grab. They have injected poison of hate and discrimination. In the name of caste, region and religion all they want to do is garner votes. India is a great nation but is today threatened by its own leaders.

DAYA NAND, Bhiwani

Don’t return medals

Retired Vice-Admiral Premvir Das’s article, Agitations by military veterans (April 1) had wise counsel for all the military veterans. The case of “one rank, one pension” or any other grievance that we have may be genuine. However, taking to streets and returning the medals is certainly not the military way of doing things to which we all are wedded not only while in uniform but also after retirement.

The military veterans, however wronged they may be, must not act in a way, which may send wrong signals to our successors. We must remember that our politicians would do anything to exploit our sentiments to suit their ends and leave us in the lurch.

Let us give the suggestion of knocking the doors of the judiciary a chance so that we may get justice. We may win the war without losing a battle.


Role reversal

Dr Kiran Bedi has always been my role model. She is an epitome of success who preferred books to looks and educational degrees to gold ornaments. But today, seeing her endorsing a beauty product comes as a complete shock! Is this what she stands for? One should stick to what one truly believes in. The advertisement does not suit her character.

AJAB BOPARAI, Chandigarh

Infuse young blood

Mr Justice Rajindar Sachar (retd), whose article Cause of clean politics appeared on April 11 is right in suggesting a ban on corporate funding for political parties. That’s where corruption starts. Funding of political parties by top business houses is nothing but bribe in the garb of donation. Naturally, then, they want their pound of flesh, which ultimately comes from you and me.

I feel clean politics can best be achieved with the help of youngsters. Old- timers will find it difficult to discontinue what they have been used to for decades. So, now is the time to pump in young blood in politics. Let us vote for the young leaders who are competent and honest. It may take years for the overhaul, but the process of transfusion must start now. Each one of us holds the key to good governance and clean politics. Why not use it?


Reorient NATO

NATO is not winning in Afghanistan because the ongoing vicious cycle has brought tremendous devastation and destruction in its wake. The spectre of poverty looms large and civilians are being killed. Afghanis are tired of the actions of the NATO forces.

A divided NATO is at crossroads. In fact, the organisation has outlived its utility. New challenges of the 21st century are terrorism, climate change, international cyber crimes and a potential scramble for natural resources. Accordingly, NATO needs to re-orient and re-appraise its plans, policies and programmes.


Save the girl child

The growing menace of female foeticide is a serious concern. Here are a few suggestions to deal with this problem. The dowry system should be done away with. Illiteracy must be rooted out. Our attitude towards women and girl child in particular must change. The PNDT Act must be amended. The government should allocate more funds to propagate the cause of saving the girl child through the media. Finally, every woman must take an oath not to kill the female foetus.


Vote wisely

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the U S, gave us a very good definition of democracy —Democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. But in the changed Indian scenario, the definition of democracy is more like this— A government off the people, buy the people and far the people.

In Hindi, democracy is known as “Loktantra” but ordinary people call it “Jonktantra” (rule of bloodsuckers). Today, an ordinary person can’t even think of contesting elections. Votes are purchased and various malpractices have crept into our system.

Leaders’ “concern” for the common man is visible only during the election days. Dear voters, be alert and cast your vote only in favour of a deserving candidate. The future of the country is in your hands. If you choose right candidates, the country will progress.

Do not cast your vote in favour of a tainted, illiterate and undeserving person. Shun corrupt candidates. Do exercise the right to vote because you are a part of the world’s largest democracy. The real power is in your hands.




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