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Taliban a threat to peace in Afghanistan

I agree with the views expressed in the editorial “Peace with Taliban: Karzai still groping in the dark” (June 14) that despite the military offensive launched by the US-led multinational forces the Taliban are still a potential threat to peace and progress in Afghanistan. All efforts by the US, its allies and the Karzai government have failed to bring political stability in the war-torn country.

In fact, not only Mr Karzai but all the concerned “forces” are groping in the dark. Recently, the US toyed with idea of dividing the Taliban into “good” and “bad” ones and intended to win over the “good’. What is the progress on it, nobody knows. But we know drone attacks don’t distinguish between the “good” and “bad”. The Taliban are being wooed in Pakistan also.

As observed in the editorial, the Taliban are themselves worried over the retention of their followers. These days Mr Karzai is not so happy with the US administration. He has not yet forgotten the role played by the US and the UK in the Presidential election-2009. He wants to do “something” independent of the foreign forces. He has invited the Taliban of all hues to renounce arms and hold talks. He has offered job opportunities and other facilities for their rehabilitation.

India is worried about the straining of relations between Afghanistan and the US. India has made huge investments in Afghanistan. The Afghan government needs to improve governance. Opium production and corruption usually paralyse the administration. It is good that the US and its allies are allowing Mr Karzai to find a stable solution. He organised jirga despite the opposition by the Afghan clerics who wanted the withdrawal of foreign forces first.

The need of the hour is to bring the Taliban on the peaceful path. The UN should play a role with the active help of the Muslim countries. The country cannot be handed over to the regressive Taliban. There is a need for the development of a civil society that believes in stability, peace and progress.


Anderson’s escape

The Congress is certainly in an embarrassing situation over the issue of late Rajiv Gandhi’s name being associated with the unfortunate escape of Warren Anderson, the main accused in the Bhopal gas tragedy case (editorial, “Anderson burden: Congress neck is hurting”, June 14). It is true that “everyone knows that there was no way that Mr Arjun Singh could have taken the decision on his own without a signal from the top.”

Yet, strangely, the successive governments at the Centre remained silent over the issue. Fearing that Mr Singh may hit back, the Congress is trying to divert the attention of the nation by saying that the government, and not the party, will have to clarify its “wrong action” in letting Anderson slip out of the country in a secretive manner.

Efforts should be made to unfold the truth and bring the guilty to book. The Congress needs to explain the truth to the nation and the steps being taken to get Anderson back in India.

RK KAPOOR, Chandigarh


It is a fact that the common people in India feel cheated the way Warren Anderson was able to flee the country in December 1984 in the wake of the Union Carbide gas leakage with the active cooperation of the then Congress government in Madhya Pradesh as well as at the Centre. Though it is graceless to drag the name of the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi into this controversy, still it is clear from the sequence of events that the then Congress leaders mollycoddled Anderson in an unpatriotic and objectionable manner.

It is meaningless on the part of Law Minister Veerappa Moily to lay the blame at the door of the judiciary. In fact, we as a nation lacked the political will to detain Anderson. It is useless to fume and fret now but in future at least, we can be more cautious.

The Civil Nuclear Liability Bill shouldn’t be implemented in a huff because of safety concerns. Rajiv Gandhi is dead and we ought to be courteous to the departed soul. But those who are alive and hobnob with Uncle Sam at the cost of welfare of the people must be exposed.

Dr RAJ BAHADUR, Fatehabad

Justice denied

The editorial “Too little too late” (June 8) aptly described the verdict of Bhopal gas tragedy. Warren Anderson the then chairman of UCIL has gone scot-free.

Two-year imprisonment for 15,000 lives is not justice but mockery in the name of justice. The slow pace of trials and verdict such as the Bhopal gas tragedy are  unacceptable.


More resources for panchayats 

Ranbir Singh’s article “Making panchayats work” (June 15) reveals interesting facts about the just concluded panchayat elections in Haryana. While relatively less turnout in reserved seats is not a healthy sign but more turnout in panchayat elections than the Assembly and the Lok Sabha polls is a clear mandate that more powers and resources be given to panchayats.

As panchayats are closer to the “aam admi”, giving them extra resources and powers to manage the police, education, water and local administration will ensure better management and accountability.

Panchayati raj being a state subject, panchayats in different states have different powers. Making them work is the only way to end institutional corruption.




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