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US-Pak closeness detrimental to India’s concerns

Let us realise that Pakistan has carefully and wholeheartedly nursed its friendship with the US bureaucracy since the heavily polarised decade of the 1950s (editorial, “Pak, the favoured one: US largesse may be misused again”, March 27).

When India was professing itself to be a genuine leader of the non-aligned world, Pakistan successfully convinced the US decision makers that India was tilting heavily in favour of the Soviet Union. During the McCarthy era anything said against the Soviet Union was accepted to be true and credible in Washington D.C.

But things have changed in the new millennium. India is no longer an anaemic economic power registering a 2 to 3 per cent annual growth. Our economy is forging ahead at impressive rates ranging between 7 and 9 per cent.

India can use the leverage of its whopping purchase order for the Air Force and other military hardware. Pakistan’s economy cannot match the scope and magnitude of the potential Indian order. Our diplomatic corps sitting in the US must make it clear not only to the US bureaucracy but also to the manufacturers concerned that India’s economic muscle commands respect. With blunt talking, I am sure the proposed US-Pak nuclear deal can be prevented. Any weak-kneed policy will prove counter-productive.



The editorial has vividly depicted the insensitivity of the US towards Indian concerns. Undoubtedly, previous such aids to Pakistan have been misused against India and it would not be any different this time. It is appalling to note how the US is turning a blind eye to the incapability of the Pakistan Government to safeguard its nuclear arsenals from falling into the hands of terrorists. Headley’s confessions prove beyond doubt that Pakistan has been aiding and abetting terrorism.

Time and again the US has been erring. Now it is preparing ground for the supply of F-16s along with laser-guided bomb kits and sophisticated equipment. Consequently it would endanger peace in South Asia.

Capt SK DATTA, Abohar

Quota system

The quota system on the basis of caste and religion has led to widespread resentment among the hapless millions (editorial, “Bane of India: Quotas in perpetuity won’t do”, March 27). The basic perception that reservations would result in the economic empowerment of the marginalised has failed to stand the test of time.

On the contrary it has created creamy layers and a class within a class. It is time the country swallowed the bitter pill once for all and switched over to the quota for economically backwards families in areas of employment and education.

RM RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib

Fixed notions

Jupinderjit Singh’s middle “Reporter, editor and auditor” (March 25) made an interesting reading. I remember when I joined an insurance company 23 years ago, everybody used to ask me what was I doing. On my informing them that I was working for an insurance company they would ask inquisitively if it was the LIC.

When I told them that it is Oriental Insurance Company, they would persist with their query and say that it must be a private company. Most people have pre-set notions that are not easy to change.


Raw deal

Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (retd) has clearly brought out the discrimination against veterans in pensionary awards in his article, “Raw deal for veterans” (March 27). However, the worst type of discrimination has been suffered by pre-2006 disability pensioners, which has not been highlighted so far.

On representation from the armed forces, the Sixth Central Pay Commission had recommended that disability element of disability pension of armed forces be computed as 30/60 percent of the last pay drawn for 100 per cent disability as it was being computed for their civilian counterparts.

The government has accepted this recommendation in respect of post-2006 pensioners but pre-2006 pensioners are being given fixed amount as before which is a mere pittance as compared to the percentage of the last pay drawn. This violates even the modified parity principle which the government talks about time and again.

It is unfortunate that the government is functioning like a discriminating business house that pays to its employees as per their bargaining capacity. Veterans are being dealt with as irrelevant spent forces with no bargaining capacity.

Lt -Col H S GUR (retd), Hisar

Ensure quality

The editorial “More varsities, colleges” (March 26) has rightly pointed out that more importance should be given to qualitative job-oriented education, good infrastructure facilities and qualified teachers. Increasing the number of educational institutions will not put higher education on a fast track.

In India, the gross enrolment ratio is low and the quality of education is poor. When there is a shortage of basic facilities in the already existing educational institutions, increasing the number is likely to prove futile.

However, private investment in the education sector is welcome. But it should not be at the cost of meritocracy or only for profit motive.India’s growing economy needs quality education and more skilled manpower.

GARGI GHOSH, Panchkula



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