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Osama is gone, Al-Qaida is still around

The editorial “Billion-dollar question: Did Pakistan know about Osama?”(May 4) has discussed Pakistan’s predicament following the killing of Al Qaida Chief Osama bin Laden in the US blitzkrieg in the garrison town of Abbottabad near Islamabad.

It is unbelievable that Pakistan’s two most important establishments — the military and the ISI, which keep track of happenings in the region, do not know about activities taking place in their own backyard.  The most wanted fugitive and his large family had been living in the their neighbourhood for over five years and the US operation using fire arms and helicopters lasted  about 40 minutes.

Now the billion-dollar question is whether Pakistan will mend its ways. If not, whether the US will keep it at an arm’s length  and re-jig its strategy for Afghanistan. In international politics, it is always useful to keep all options and channels open for protecting the country’s interests.

 It is interesting to note that with its goose cooked, Pakistan has lost a goose that used to lay golden eggs. This country extracted   financial help from the US as a quid pro quo for being its ally in the latter’s war on terror unleashed by Osama. Only God knows how it will now recoup the losses.



The special mission conducted by Navy Seals of United States in which terror king Osama bin Laden was killed will become an integral part of world military history for the young tacticians to learn fundamentals of such operations. Starting from collection and collation of information to the completion of task everything was planned and executed in a copybook style.

The world community cannot digest the official view point of Pakistan that it was unaware of the hideout, especially when it is located next to Military Academy, a sensitive organisation of the defence forces. It is unlikely that the ISI and the military establishment were not aware as to what was happening in their backyard. A fort like hideout could not have been constructed in the area next to a military training establishment without the knowledge of military commanders and the ISI. Since Osama was sick who could have provided him medical help? Obviously it was the Pakistan Army.

The Indian leadership is on a high. Even General VK Singh has been tempted to brag that the Indian armed forces are capable of conducting a similar operation in the Pakistan territory. The ground reality is that we have not been able to replace the “flying coffins” as yet.

Osama is gone but remnants of Al-Qaida might be looking for leadership which LeT is ready to provide. In the next few months we might see more violence erupting in the Valley After this incident Pakistan may experience unrest in the country. In the prevailing scenario we need to tread the path with caution.

Col KULDIP SINGH GREWA (retd), Patiala


Overnight, the US President has been catapulted to fame (article, “Implications of Osama’s death”, May 5). He may now have the keys to the White House 2014 out of a 40-minute raid in Abbotabad. The wars on Iraq and Afghanistan have suddenly acquired a legitimacy, hitherto suspect. The ongoing people’s movement in Egypt, Libya, Syria and elsewhere will come to be recognised as the true nationalist movements that they are.    Pakistan unfortunately will never learn and would search for embers in Abbotabad, to rekindle a pseudo jihadi spectre. This will help them to come with new wish lists to confront the US, all in the name of war-on-terror. The sad part is that the US known to look after its own interests above all else, will play along and keep Pakistan in good humour. Its assistance will never stop.

Where does all this leave India? The list of fugitives from India, enjoying patronage on Pakistan’s soil will remain merely a list as no action will be taken against them. For the US, democracy and war on terror have seldom been universal. It starts and ends with America. Trust them to do nothing to leverage their power over Pakistan on this.

R.NARAYANAN, Ghaziabad

Examination system

The education mafia needs to be exposed and punished (editorial, “Leaking exam system”, May 3). It should be remembered that the incidents of leakage of question papers are not only those which are exposed but many such incidents don’t become public. In an examination of such a large magnitude the presence of a single black sheep can mar the fair process of selection and play havoc with the careers of a large number of students.

Online tests as have been successfully conducted by prestigious institutes like BITS Pilani are a good alternative. If the authorities concerned are sincere in their efforts, loopholes in the existing examination system can be plugged.

Prof ANUP K GAKKHAR, Haridwar

A retiree’s life

In the middle “The Neem Tree and I” (May 3) Kaycee Verma has highlighted the true picture of a retired man in his own family. It is also a fact that one starts living only for his family after the age of 40.

Facts have been conveyed in a comic vein.

K K CHAWLA, Kurukshetra

Daughters’ status

Nonika Singh’s middle “Oh brother…..”(Apr 23) has aptly depicted our abnormal urge for a son and that too in a modern age. A girl is a persona non grata for the literate and the illiterate; the educated and the uneducated and the poor and the rich alike.

First of all a girl is not allowed to be born as if she is an evil which deserves to be nipped in the bud. If she survives this ordeal, she has to face discrimination inside and outside the family. Finally she is married off by giving her dowry as if to incentivise her husband to accept her.

One fails to understand why women are not treated with the same respect and importance as men when they all are the creation of the same God. Even our religions, which claim to stand for the equality of all human beings, do not come to her rescue. True, some women have reached very high positions in the public life. But their number is minuscule. One swallow does not make a summer.

There are no dearth of laws and policies for women’s welfare and raising their status in society. But these exist only on the paper and are seldom implemented effectively. India cannot progress if one half of its population is shackled and not involved in its development. 



Sai Baba’s teachings

The teachings of Sathya Sai Baba have been described pithily, tellingly and in a forthright manner by Raj Chengappa in his column “Ground Zero” titled “Sathya Sai Baba and life after death” (Apr 29). He rightly says, “Many of his followers are waiting for him to be reincarnated. They may not need to do so, if they practice what he preached.”

He preached love, compassion and the universality of all religions. The path towards self-realisation lies in shedding one’s ego. Seeking solution to the problems by his devotees in Baba’s miraculous powers is a negation of his philosophy of spreading the message of love.

He was an embodiment of love. It is deification of Baba’s personality by his devotees that has eluded them to view him in the right perspective.

KULBIR SINGH, Kurukshetra



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