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India and Pak must understand each other

Sadly, the recent talks between foreign ministers of India and Pakistan held at Islamabad ended in bitterness (editorial, “Setback to dialogue”, July 17). One fails to understand what prompted Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to get aggressive and evasive on India’s genuine concerns pertaining to terrorism, speedy trial of culprits of the 26/11, infiltration from across the border into Kashmir, revelations made by Headley about the role of the ISI in planning and execution of the Mumbai attacks and action against Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed for his role in masterminding 26/11 and whipping up anti-India sentiments. 

Even India’s proposals on confidence-building measures such as opening of trade centres and making the LOC more porous were not discussed seriously. Pakistan should have responded positively on all these issues. Both countries must reduce the trust deficit to normalise relations. Pakistan’s concerns also need to be discussed. In future, people-to-people contacts can further strengthen mutual relations.

The well-wishers of the Indo-Pakistan friendship feel disappointed and dissatisfied over Mr Qureshi’s behaviour. On the contrary, India’s External Affairs Minister S M Krishna exhibited patience and did his best to keep alive the chances for further talks. We hope, in coming days, both countries will try their best to understand each other’s viewpoint in the right perspective and proceed on the path of peace. Both countries must remain vigilant and guard against hawkish, feudal, fundamentalist and status-quoist elements who don’t want peace between the two countries.


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030. Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief

Media freedom

The electronic media has become quite proactive in bringing out news of public interest (editorial, “Assault on freedom”, July 19). But at the same time, certain channels have been exceeding their briefs and in the name of independence of the media have started encroaching people’s privacy. With immature reports they derive their own conclusions and just to make an incident big news start accusing people without ascertaining the factual position. This error of judgment has played havoc.

In the Arushi murder case, suspecting the parents without any formal investigation was totally unjustified and was done with a motive to boost the TRP ratings.

Television channels are being attacked for they are trying to encroach people’s privacy. Private channels must observe ethics of the media and refrain from forming their own premature opinions about incidents. In India, one is innocent till proved guilty.


History of military audit

The middle “Military audit” (July 8) by Brig A.N. Suryanarayanan (retd) was interesting. The Defence Accounts Departments, earlier known as the Military Accounts Department, is one of the oldest departments of the Government of India, comprising highly professional, motivated, committed and innovative work force responsible for the payment, accounting and internal audit of receipts and expenditure of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Ordnance Factories, the Border Roads Organisation and other defence-related organisations.

The Controller of Defence Accounts, Western Command, Chandigarh, celebrated the 250th raising anniversary of this department on July 30, 1998.

Its origin can be traced back to the Military Paymasters under the East India Company when Mr John Smith the first Military Paymasters was appointed in Madras on August 15, 1740. Regulation 17 of the “Article of War” adopted by the British Parliament in April, 1747, empowered the government to appoint Military Pay Masters for disbursing the pay and allowances of officers, non-commissioned officers and private men.

There were Military Accountant Generals in the presidencies of Bengal, Madras and Bombay. By 1920 all accounting functions relating to military works expenditure, marine accounts, Royal Air Force accounts and Army factory accounts were transferred to controllers working under the Military Accountant General. From 1951, the department head is known as Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA),


Fighting Maoists

Realising the gravity of the Maoist-threat, the Centre has done well by proposing a unified command and pledged to the seven Maoist-affected states more money, more policemen and more resources to take on the Maoists (editorial, “Battling Maoists: Can more money and men fight the scourge?”, July 16). Now the ball is in the states’ court to ensure that the additional resources placed at their disposal by the Centre are not allowed to be pocketed by the middlemen and power brokers, and are properly utilised to contain the menace of the Maoists and provide the tribal people with basic necessities.

It has rightly been observed: “The real war the government must wage is against the inefficiencies, injustice and corruption in the administration.” If the state governments succeed in implementing this agenda, there is no reason to believe that the Maoists would succeed in their evil designs of waging a war against the elected government.




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