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Taliban threat has to be countered

H K Dua in his Editor’s Column “Obama’s AfPak” (May 4) has rightly held that instead of Pakistan acquiring a “strategic depth” in Afghanistan, it is the Taliban that has acquired a “strategic depth” in Pakistan. The Taliban is posing a threat not only to the NATO troops in Afghanistan but also Pakistan and the entire region.

Pakistan appears dazed and confused, as the Taliban is steadily gaining strength. People bow to their diktat, not just in the Swat Valley but elsewhere in Pakistan, too. The Pakistan army and intelligence agencies are obsessed with the presumed threat from India and are ignoring the homegrown menace. As a result of the Taliban attack many Hindu and Sikh families have been evicted out of their homes. Hope, the US will prevail upon Pakistan to ensure peace and harmony in South Asia.

S S JAIN, Chandigarh


Mr Dua’s column was perceptive. While the US is aware of the gravity of the situation its comprehension of the problem is flawed and is often influenced by effective lobbying. Pakistan is an adept master in the art of lobbying. It has taken the US for a ride and managed to get a generous aid from it. It is high time India took a hard look at the prevailing situation. It must decide its strategy accordingly. Otherwise, the consequences will be horrendous and the Mumbai carnage may look like a dress rehearsal.



The situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan is very grave. India has to be vigilant and needs to guard its frontiers with alacrity.

R K MALHOTRA, Chandigarh

Unfair criticism

The CPM and the BJP are vocal in branding Dr Manmohan Singh a weak Prime Minister. Incidentally, they have never pointed out any weakness of his. Their only grouse is that he is alleged to be getting directions from Ms Sonia Gandhi, Congress Party President. If a party president is authorised to nominate a candidate for the Prime Minister’s post, why should she not give some directions to the Prime Minister?

Left parties conveniently forget that in communist countries, the party president reigns supreme. In India they don’t want the party president to have any say. But Mr Prakash Karat, General Secretary, CPM, doesn’t allow anybody in the party to speak on national issues. Such criticism of the Prime Minster is unwanted and undesirable.


Drug addiction

The problem of drug addiction is no less than the problem of terrorism.

The existing laws and rules need to be implemented forcefully. The state police and other departments concerned should be answerable for any laxity.

If politicians are truly interested in the welfare of its people, they must curb this menace. The distribution of drugs and alcohol during elections must be stopped. The media, too, can play a major role in the campaign against drugs. The government must fight the menace of drug addiction tooth and nail.


Dirty politics

Politics has become a dirty game in India. Voters know that they have no option but to choose a lesser evil. The need of the hour is to enforce a strict code of conduct to ensure that tainted persons do not enter politics. Today politicians are “millionaire models”. Instead they should strive to be role models for millions. India is said to be a rich country inhabited by the poor, for a large majority of government schemes meant for the downtrodden remain on paper.


PM should be popular leader

TWO articles carried together on “Prime Minister as an MP” (May 2) by KN Bhat and M Rama Jois were interesting. I agree that we need “educated and decent people” in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to run the Union Government in unison. Under unavoidable circumstances, the Prime Minister may be from the Rajya Sabha.

Dr Manmohan Singh was the right choice for the Prime Minister’s post, but he had to face a lot of inconvenience in controlling his Cabinet colleagues, who at times did not bother to listen to him.

Dr Singh was able to manage the glaring contradictions in the UPA because of his modest and upright behaviour. Still, besides being educated and sincere, the Prime Minister should be a popular leader of the nation with a clear-cut majority in the Lok Sabha.

India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahwarlal Nehru, embodied the finest traits of a popular leader. But then, everybody cannot be Pandit Nehru. Nevertheless, the PM must be from the Lok Sabha with a powerful mass base.




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