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Pak must stop interfering in Kashmir

Pakistan has no locus standi in Kashmir because of its formal accession to the Indian Union (Kashmir is Pakistan’s jugular vein: Gilani, August 15). But Pakistan has illegally and forcibly occupied about 78,000 sq km of Jammu and Kashmir, and is not only infiltrating terrorists trained on its soil into the Valley, but also supporting the insurgents and secessionists there.

It was General Zia-ul-Haq, who induced Hurriyat leaders to raise the slogan of “azadi”. Likewise, Late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto declared that freeing Kashmir from India was an unfinished task for Pakistan. General Musharraf called terrorists Mujahideen fighting for freedom. Nawaz Sharif, when he was the Prime Minister, threatened to create many Kargil-like situations for India.

Recently, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar met separatist leaders of Kashmir before meeting her Indian counterpart, SM Krishna. Now, Yousaf Raza Gilani has declared that “Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan”, and that “it will continue to provide unhindered moral, diplomatic and political support to Kashmiris so that they get their rights”.

In fact, no regime in Pakistan, whether military or civilian, can remain in the saddle unless it keeps the Kashmir cauldron boiling. Those who expect friendly relations with Pakistan are living in the realm of reverie. There should be no dialogue with Pakistan unless it establishes its credibility, and promises not to interfere in Kashmir affairs.


Spirit of democracy

Now after the decision of the Supreme Court, ‘Aarakshan’ can be screened in all parts of India (SC lifts ban on ‘Aaraksahan’, August 20). The apex court has shown wisdom in allowing the film to be screened. If Indians want to mature, they have to engage themselves in discussions on social issues. The subject matter of the movie is something that is part of the reality of India, and hence it is not something that will make anyone angry. There is hardly a need to politicise everything. This is an unhealthy habit of Indian politicians, and this is against the spirit of democracy.

It must be kept in mind that if the people of India are cultured, knowledgeable and tolerant, democracy can thrive. If they become intolerant and do not allow others to speak, democracy will be harmed.


Anna’s agitation

You have rightly said in your editorial, “The escalating standoff “(August 17) that it is time for healing action, as anger of the people of India may lead to unrest across the country. In fact, Anna has become a symbol of conflict between people’s democratic aspirations and the dictatorial behaviour of the government.

It was expected that Anna’s fast, which began from August 16, would test the government. It is now clear that the government has failed the test as events unfold after August 16.One will be tempted to believe that Anna’s agitation has a nationwide impact, and most of the protesters are excited at the prospect of being able to do 



The editorial, “The escalating standoff” (August 17) has taken a balanced view regarding the standoff between Anna Hazare on one side and the government on the other. The crusade against corruption initiated by Anna has gained momentum.

He is trying to introduce logical ideas. It is now clear that the people of India are now fully prepared to fight against social evils like corruption.

One might agree with the government for not bringing the Prime Minister and the judiciary under the purview of the Lokpal Bill, but the other demands should be immediately accepted.

SOURABH BAMBA, Ferozepur City

Mercy plea

I fully share the tone and tenor of the well-argued editorial, and whole-heartedly endorse the argument adumbrated therein (Dealing with mercy petitions, August 12).

The delay — whatever the cause — in decision-making on mercy petitions is doubly cursed. It curses the hapless petitioner, as it indefinitely hangs over his head the proverbial sword of Damocles. It also curses the administration for their crass and callous attitude in the matter.

No doubt, the requisite guidelines on the subject, as also a definite timeframe for disposal of mercy petitions seem a crying imperative of the situation. Dilly-dallying over the issue any further would be absolutely inexcusable.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Woman’s prerogative

This refers to the article, “No dressing down, please” (August 22). I fully endorse the views expressed by the writer. It is a reality that people take it upon themselves to comment on a woman’s attire. This is unfortunate. How can an act of rape be justified by saying the victim’s dress provoked it? It only shows the existence of insensitivity and male domination. A woman on the street is nobody’s personal property. I don’t think how a woman dresses up has anything to do with sex-related crimes.

The truth is men feel women are subservient to their desires. They also feel that women are weak and can easily be ‘tamed’. Women do not need to be taught what dress to wear. She wears her dress for her own self and for her own satisfaction. She does not wear to attract men. She alone has the right to decide what she wears and what she decides not to wear. No one can deny her this right.


Sen’s impeachment

Justice Soumitra Sen’s impeachment is a necessary step otherwise people may lose faith in the judiciary (Editorial: “Shame of impeachment ”, August 20). But there are many known corrupt politicians and bureaucrats in our country who have also been guilty of misappropriation of funds.

All such culprits should also be punished. In fact, Justice Sen’s impeachment strengthens the hands of Anna Hazare’s team, which has been in favour of bringing the judiciary and the PM under the purview of the Lokpal Bill.

RAJIV ARORA, Ferozepur City

Love is God’s reward

This refers to the middle, “Inner beauty” (August 22), by Sanjeev Trikha. We associate beauty with external charms. How a person looks becomes a criterion to judge his beauty. But as they say, “ Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.” The observer’s state of mind also plays a role in decoding and interpreting the beauty of the observed.

In the middle, the writer bemoans that he does not possess “charming and attractive looks”. People have been critical of this aspect of his personality. But providence rewards him when a child comments, “Tau, your love is the most beautiful thing in you.” This came as a revelation, and the writer was happy and satisfied. He did not know till the child revealed it that he possessed the most beautiful thing on this planet — love.




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