L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Deal swiftly with mercy petitions

The excellent and effective editorial, “Dealing with mercy petitions” (August 12), deserves appreciation from every peace-loving citizen of this great country. The case of Afzal Guru falls under the incomparable and indefensible and even indescribable act of terror, as Afzal Guru had attacked the seat of our democracy. Such a heinous act is unheard of anywhere in the world. To my mind, once the highest court in the country rejected the mercy petition, there should not be any unnecessary delay.

As the editorial rightly says, it is in the fitness of things if the process can be speeded up. There is definitely a need for grit and determination for a strong deterrent against all forms of heinous crimes, particularly the act of terror. The process of mercy petition should be cut to the shortest possible time.

It is a political tragedy that the PDP is seeking mercy petition for Afzal Guru without shedding a tear for those who were killed in the attack while protecting Parliament.


PPSC Chairman

This refers to the editorial, “A judicial blow” (August 18). The Punjab and Haryana High Court should be appreciated for setting aside the appointment of Harish Rai Dhanda as Chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC). It is strange but true that there are specific guidelines for appointing a peon or a casual worker, but there are no specific guidelines for appointing Chairman of the PPSC. Politicians misuse the trust of the people when they indulge in such undemocratic, unethical and irrational practices by nominating an undeserving person to an important constitutional post.



The editorial, “A judicial blow” (August 18), commendably calls a spade a spade over the appointment of a very significant post made with a “pre-conceived mind”, as observed by the court while quashing the appointment of Harish Rai Dhanda as Chairman of the PPSC. There should be a laid-down procedure for the appointment, and slipshod and ham-handed approach to appease the cronies, or political beneficiaries, should be disbanded in larger public interest. Only persons of proven probity, rectitude and experience should be chosen, who will act without any bias or extraneous considerations, not least the MLAs. 



Hats off to the Punjab and Haryana High Court for issuing guidelines to Punjab and Haryana to ensure that persons with impeccable personal integrity, calibre and qualifications are appointed to coveted posts of Chairperson and members of state Public Service Commission (PSC) (PPSC chief’s appointment set aside, August 18). Without prejudice to the right of these two state governments to move the Supreme Court against the ruling of the court, one may hope that from now on, the successive regimes in the region will no longer treat the elite institution of a PSC as a “parking place” for their political favourites. 

HEMANT KUMAR, Advocate, Chandigarh

A laudable step

The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet recently decided to enact a law that provides for confiscating assets, both movable and immovable, of public servants acquired through corrupt and illegal means. The law would also provide for establishing special courts for speedy trials of such category of offences.

Only two other states, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, have enacted such a law. It is time for other states to follow suit and enact such a law.

Prof YP MAKKER, Malout

CAG report

When a “legally illiterate person” spoke in the Lower House, he indicted the PMO and the Delhi government for flaws and financial losses in the conduct of the Commonwealth Games. His report did not spare anyone under the scanner.

Presenting the epic CAG report on the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Vinod Rai, who was given the epithet of “a mere accountant” by A Raja, unfolded all the failings of the government pertaining to the event.

To begin with, the report pointed out the making of the Commonwealth Organising Committee as a “non-government registered society”, outside government control and without accountability and controls to ensure transparency. Heartening! The committee paid Rs 1.5 lakh just for an Ashok Chakra painted on the cloth. An amount of Rs 46,833 was spent on a garland, which could have been bought for Rs 20. Imagine! With the huge sum, what could a common man do? I guess with this amount, one could have dreamt of becoming the owner of a roadside flower shop.

Now, the CWG might as well be called “cheap wastage games”, for the wastage of money the event caused to the national exchequer. Now, the “legally literate” are crying for their innocence.


Pakistan’s policy

This refers to the editorial, “Military in Pakistan” (August 19). Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s comment that the role of military is sometimes overrated has either been made without prior thought or she wishes to project her country as a successful democracy. Whatever may be her intention, she has not succeeded in proving her point.

Pakistan’s history shows the might of its army in deciding the course of the nation. As the editorial says, Nawaz Sharif had no inkling of the Kargil war. The army had decided it, and the civilian government was not even informed. It came to them as a surprise. The government was, in fact, considering friendly relations with India.

It is also true that the army in Pakistan is not in favour of good relations with India. The Pakistan Government favours good relations with India, and as the reports show, even the people of Pakistan have the same desire. But the army decides Pakistan’s foreign policy, and the civilian government has to accept it. If the government does not accept it, which in any case it cannot, we all know what happens to the government in Pakistan.


Attitude matters

The middle, “It’s all in the mind” (August 9) by Sunit Dhawan has beautifully driven the message through two different examples that it is our attitude that matters during the course of our life. And our life is what we make it. People from similar backgrounds behave differently. One looks at the goal and finds the opportunity to work efficiently, while the other in similar circumstances sees only misery.

We often lose faith when in trouble and become addicted to alcohol. God has given all of us the ability to think and act accordingly, but very few of us make the best use of this generosity. Hence life is what we make it.




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