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Concrete plans for disaster management

In the editorial No road to Almora: Make more effort to provide relief (Sept 28), problems of people of Uttrakhand have been correctly recognised. The area is geologically sensitive having difficult terrain and environmental features. It requires well-thought of measures to lessen the damage due to disasters. More plants should be grown to strengthen the cohesiveness of soil and for controlled water flow to prevent the landmass from slipping.

The quality and design of roads needs improvement. Lane width, verge, camber, gradient, curves are not conducive to safe driving. Pavements and road drainage are almost non-existent. These factors cause landslides during the rains and also contribute to road accidents. China has made all-weather roads in a similar terrain. Contingency plans and emergency arrangements should be in place to meet disaster situations and to avoid the loss of precious lives. 

S C VAID, Greater Noida

Kashmir crisis

The editorial AFSPA in Kashmir (Sept 22) has aptly observed that the demand by the hardliners on the one hand and the PDP chief and the Chief Minister on the other to dilute some of the allegedly draconian provisions of or withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act “appears designed to deflect attention from the core issues” of governance deficit and the continued disturbances in the valley which are being planned and abetted from across the border. In such a situation, it would be naïve to take any decision in haste or on emotional or political grounds.

The assertion by the Army Chief that the incidents of infiltration have increased during the past two months and the fact that the Army has been involved in only one or two clashes in the cities during this period, the state government must resist the demand for any concessions in the AFSPA. It is an established fact that the Kashmiri people are suffering enormously but it is not because of the AFSPA rather because of the ISI-engineered stone-throwing activities, which compel the state police and the paramilitary forces to open fire.

The strategy is simple —to create chaos in the valley and rebut the Indian claim that constitutional democracy prevails in Kashmir under a government elected in a free and fair poll. It is, therefore, imperative that the AFSPA needs review but no dilution.



The editorial “Few options in Kashmir” (Sept 15) has rightly pointed out to the government to get tough if it really wants to bring under control the critical situation in Kashmir. From the very beginning we have been too soft with separatist elements that are out to create hell in Kashmir as per the directions of their masters sitting in Pakistan.

Instead of withdrawing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the government should quell the violence with an iron hand. Our soft approach is proving counter productive. Dithering has emboldened the enemies of Kashmir. All political parties must act in cohesion with the government to take firm action to save Kashmir from the jaws of Pakistan.



The lingering Kashmir problem is largely of our own making. Our first folly was when we went to the UN. We often say that Kashmir is an integral part of India; but in practice we do otherwise. Kashmir has a special status. Aren’t we unwittingly supporting separatists?

Our public relations management is also very poor. Pakistan keeps befooling the world with lies and misinformation but we do little to counter it. Pakistan and its supporters in Kashmir repeatedly harp on plebiscite but we fail to highlight the point about the precondition in the UN resolution that calls for the withdrawal of the Pakistan forces from POK before holding any plebiscite.

The best solution both for Pakistan and India is to accept the LOC as the permanent border with minor give and take. Pakistan should give up its unjustified claim over the valley. Besides, there is no harm in seeking informal help from outside since we have not been able to solve the issue bilaterally all these years.

Wg-Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar 

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

Remember Bhagat Singh 

The appeal to make a pledge to fight the forces which have kept India poor and backward is a sincere message to the youth who are the future of India. (article, “The phenomenon of Bhagat Singh” by Manpreet Singh Badal, Sept 28).

Shaheed Bhagat Singh occupies a special place in people’s heart. Clarity of vision and determination of purpose distinguished him from other leaders of the national movement.  

Remembering Bhagat Singh on his birthday will definitely carry forward his revolutionary teachings. The words of Bhagat Singh “Any man who stands for progress has to criticise, disbelieve and challenge every item of the old faith” are inspiring. He was undoubtedly one of the most prominent revolutionaries of India. 

But there is little recognition at the government level and Kuldip Nayar in his article “Sacrifice transcends borders” (March 23) has also rightly shared his grievances with regard to the attitude of the government. 

Some institutions have prefixed the name of Shaheed Bhagat Singh but they hardly care to remember him on his birthday or the martyr’s day. Such institutions are only concerned with getting government grants. Merely declaring a holiday on March 23 would not suffice.  

In view of serious external and internal threats to India there is an urgent need to understand Bhagat Singh and to keep the spirit of nationalism alive among the youth.

 HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepur



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