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Indo-Pak talks can normalise bilateral relations

The article, “The Mohali initiative: Seeking peace is a game of patience” (Apr 5) by H K Dua was apt and timely. Mr Dua has convincingly supported Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s initiative of inviting the Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for witnessing the India-Pakistan World Cup semi-final match at Mohali in a bid to engage Pakistan in talks to normalise the relations between India and Pakistan. He rightly defended Dr Singh’s move for seizing the opportunity for giving peace yet another chance.

Talks are the only way that can solve all issues, howsoever irritating, between the two countries. He cites the examples of the American-Vietnam talks in Paris that finally laid the way for ending the war. Even the Chinese and Americans resolved their disputes by talking in Warsaw and the dreaded Cold War between the then Soviet Union and America came to an end after holding hundreds of rounds of talks in Geneva. Why can’t India and Pakistan resolve all their disputes by sitting across the table?

We should not give up the process of talks irrespective of the fact that numerous previous talks have not yielded positive results. But we should be positive that one day talks will succeed.

Dr Manmohan Singh is keen in resolving the issues with Pakistan.

He doesn’t want to let any opportunity of holding talks with Pakistan slip out of hands. He knows very well that sooner or later, relations with India’s estranged neighbour have to be normalised for peace to prevail in the region. Hence, he continues to advocate the necessity of talks. Indeed, patience is the name of the game.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh


The semi-final match at Mohali united the people of both nations. The spirit of bonhomie and acceptability was palpable. Indian players proved their mettle, but also showed extraordinary sense of accommodation on the field.



I endorse the writer’s view that seeking peace is a game of patience for two nuclear neighbours. While trust deficit needs to be removed, the continuous dialogue can be fruitful only if there is a fair give and take. World over continuous dialogue has brought centuries old foes together. Indo-Pak relations can truly improve. The complex Kashmir dispute needs to be resolved.


Money for cricketers

Team India definitely deserves appreciation for winning the coveted World Cup (editorial, “A much-awaited euphoria”, Apr 4). The Punjab government announced a cash award of Rs 1 crore each to Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh on India’s historic World Cup win. Similarly other state governments are competing with each other to give huge cash awards to the players. This is unjustified.

The BCCI has already given cash awards for winning the cup. The states may honour players by conferring state awards. Politicians may give cash prizes from their own pockets. Players of some other sports like hockey deserve financial support more than cricketers.

In recently concluded National Games, Punjab was at the 10th position in medal tally. Politicians instead of playing political games should spend that money on improving basic education, healthcare and sports facilities.


Khalsa College

The management of Khalsa College, Amritsar wants to turn it into a private university. Most of the private universities charge huge fees from the students and do not pay teachers as per the UGC norms. The academic standards suffer vastly as the syllabus and examination are not privy to a higher authority and managements manipulate funds required for the healthy growth of the institutions.  Since the teachers and students do not have any recourse to remedy the situation, they suffer in silence.

The management of the Khalsa College should not be allowed to commercialise the institution that represents the rich cultural and educational heritage of Punjab. The original owners of the land, the teachers and students and many more organisations are right in strongly opposing the move. The management is now trying to victimise all those who dared to criticise their wrong doings.

Had the move been in the interest of students and teachers, they would have readily welcomed it. Under the circumstances, the governing body of the college would do well to resist the temptation of gross commercialisation and politicisation of the premier institution that has been Punjab’s pride for more than a century.

ANILA SARWAL, Chandigarh

Smokeless tobacco

It is shocking to note that about 28 components out of 3095 chemicals in smokeless tobacco are carcinogenic (news report, “Smokeless tobacco has 28 carcinogens” by Aditi Tandon, Apr 5). Smokeless tobacco is the cheapest, least taxed and most commonly used tobacco product in India. It is highly addictive and causes a broad spectrum of diseases; yet awareness about its ill effects is less. Chewing tobacco is reaching dangerously endemic levels in India. Students, professionals, taxi drivers, young and old, women — all consume it.

It is at times preferred over cigarettes mostly due to its smoke-free use and can be hidden inside the mouth. Although tobacco promotion is officially banned in India, it is well targeted through the use of advertisements of brand name non-tobacco products.

It has been recognised that smokeless tobacco use is associated with early death, cancer and linked with cardio-vascular diseases. There is an urgent need for regulation of smokeless tobacco to prevent mortality due to its uncontrolled use.

Dr SHRUTI K. CHAWLA, Chandigarh

Unwanted daughters

The editorial “The educated killers: Daughters still unwanted in Haryana” (Apr 7) was analytical and touched upon the sensitive issue of gender disparities. But there is a mix-up in the analysis with respect to education and literacy.

It is alright to say that “daughters are particularly unwanted in areas with a high literacy rate”, but to relate the imbalance with education is debatable.

Nonetheless, the crux of the analysis simply suggests that our education system is producing uneducated literates and unless we improve our education system many social evils in our society are not going to be removed.

Dr RAVI K MAHAJAN, Chandigarh



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