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Don’t be scared of talks with Pakistan

The meeting between (H K Dua’s front-page editorial “Why be afraid of talks with Pakistan?”, July 18) Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh at Sharm-El-Sheikh in Egypt has sent positive signals, even though there have been different explanations for the joint statement.

There is a misconception in India that it has given more by way of de-linking terrorism from the composite dialogue. Our Prime Minister has clarified in Parliament; “The dialogue cannot begin unless and until the terrorist acts of Mumbai are fully accounted for and the perpetrators are bought to book.” He added that unless this happened “I cannot agree and our public opinion will not agree.”

The relationship between India and Pakistan is akin to the relationship that existed between the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. While the Cold War has ended, in the Indian subcontinent the tension between the two neighbouring nations, India and Pakistan continues, with all its dangerous ramifications.

It may be recalled that during the Cold War years the US and the Soviet Union went on talking through overt and covert diplomatic channels. This averted global war. Mr Dua has aptly stated “Wars are easy to start and always are avoidable. Peace- making is difficult and requires patience, wisdom and statesmanship of a high order”



War breeds conflict and is not a solution. Peace should be promoted as it can bring the people of India and Pakistan closer to each other. Besides peace can ensure that resources spent on defence can be used effectively on the growth and development of both nations.

Dr SANJIV GUPTA, Perth, Australia

BJP’s war?

Rashid Alvi, a Congress MP, has stated that Kargil war was a BJP war and therefore, the BJP can celebrate it and the Congress is not going to participate in it. It is a shocking statement that reveals a total bankruptcy of a feeling of national pride.

The soldiers, who sacrificed their lives, besides those who were seriously injured, did not fight for a particular political party. Such an irresponsible statement from an elected representative of the people is akin to denigrating the defence forces and the spirit of sacrifice of a soldier. Not only the armed forces, but also the nation stands humiliated.  

The erring MP owes an apology for making such a damaging statement. The UPA government should reprimand the MP and assure the nation that anti-national feeling is not taking root in its constituents.

Maj-Gen SATBIR SINGH (retd), Vice-Chairman, Indian  ESM Movement

Restrain guilty bureaucrats

I agree with the views expressed in the editorial “The corroded frame” (July 15) which has underlined the malicious and dubious role of certain IAS and IPS officers. Many such officers are heartless, arrogant and despotic.

It is a matter of shame that they grab lands, accept bribes and become a law unto themselves. What is happening to this class of officers? Do they act under the patronage of their political mentors? What is the use of their knowledge and efficiency if they lack moral values?

The guilty bureaucrats deserve severe punishment. In fact, there should be a mechanism to make them accountable. The media must assert and expose them. People’s participation, too, must be increased at all levels.


Incorporate new words

English language (middle, “The millionth word” by Shailja Ashok Yadav, July 11) has emerged as the biggest importer of words and this ever-developing language has lapped up many Hindi words. This is why English has become the most acceptable language even in our own country.

On the other hand, we are not open to adopting even those words, which have already become a part of our daily conversation. We are not even ready to use our own words that are simpler and easy to pronounce. Our language will certainly become richer by “importing” words from other languages.

B S BHATIA, Chandigarh

Inexcusable pay hike

The editorial “Pay hike unjustified” (July 11) was pertinent. It sided with the interests of the common man and opposed the upward revision of pays and perks of our elected “rajas” for whom charity always begins at home. These legislators never bother about the common man whom they represent. Strangely enough, even the opposition that otherwise considers opposing the ruling class its duty, tacitly agreed to the increase.

SWARAN SINGH SANEHI, Shahpur, Phillaur


The hefty increase in the salary, allowances and pensions of MLAs is unfortunate
and unethical. While the government can spend huge sums of money as it deems
fit, it has so far denied the increase in pension and family pensions to the retired
Punjab government employees, as per the recommendations of the Fifth Punjab
Pay Commission.

S K KOHLI, Ahmedabad


At one go and in one voice, the Punjab MLAs gifted themselves a hefty increase in their salaries and perks. Otherwise, on important issues of national interest, these MLAs are always at loggerheads. In case concessions are needed for the general public their standard refrain is “not viable due to the financial crunch.” More recently, requests to allow bus travel concessions to senior citizens were met with a similar response.




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