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Time to promote Indo-Pak cultural ties

It is important that both India and Pakistan should strengthen their ties in the interest of both countries (the editorial, Visible signs of bonhomie: Indo-Pak ties face the litmus test, November 12). They do not agree on many issues. But it is important not to allow these issues to dictate Indo-Pak relations. Pakistan’s recent move to grant MFN status to India is a step in the right direction. It will boost bilateral trade and if economic ties improve, the overall relations may also improve. The people of Pakistan need to benefit from India’s economic success. After all, they are our neighbours. Past hostilities should be forgotten, as nothing much can be achieved if we keep on raising those issues.

Prime Minister Singh knows that India can also develop further if there is peace in the region. There is, in fact, a need to gradually take Indo-Pak relations to another dimension. People-to-people contact should be encouraged. Our scholars and scientists can visit their educational institutions and interact with their students. Student-exchange programmes can be initiated. In this century people should talk about development and progress. War and terrorism cannot solve any of the world’s problems. No modern war has really been won anywhere. Yes, wars have resulted in large-scale destruction. Leaders may have political compulsions in their respective countries to slow down the peace process. So, let the common people of both the countries take the process forward. Therefore, cultural interaction between the two nations is important.



We must appreciate the meeting between our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the South Asian summit in the Maldives (the editorial, Visible signs of bonhomie: Indo-Pak ties face the litmus test, November 12). What is much more encouraging and satisfying is the fact that there was a heart-to-heart meeting between them without too much diplomacy. The common people of these two nations wish to live in peace as they share the same history, culture and blood ties also.

I applaud and support The Tribune’s realistic assessment of the emerging potential source of better relations between India and Pakistan.



This is with reference to the editorial, Row over AFSPA (November 14). Such periodic controversies regarding withdrawal of the so-called dreaded special powers vested in the armed forces while engaged in counter-insurgency operations in disturbed areas like J&K, Manipur and Nagaland have cleverly been resorted to by our politicians in the past. The intention is to divert public attention from their own acts of “omission” and “commission” leading to the pitiable state of “governance deficit” in their respective states. We must remember that AFSPA, which is essentially an “enabling provision” that is “not arbitrary”; was passed by our Parliament after deliberations through a democratic process. The Act has stood the test of time by showing good results on the ground. However, in J&K the time is not yet ripe for this Act to be revoked in the prevailing environment, as has also been amply advocated by troops on the ground. Their advice should not be overlooked.

No doubt, in a democracy the armed forces have to go by what the political leadership decides. It is equally incumbent on the political masters themselves, in the supreme interest of national security, to abide by the best professional advice proffered to them. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah should focus on development of his people who are facing other real challenges such as corruption, poverty, illiteracy, disease, unemployment, women empowerment and backwardness.


Kabaddi’s popularity

Like so many other areas, the Kabaddi World Cup seems to have failed to live up to the expectations it created (the editorial, The mess in kabaddi, November 14). Just when there was a feeling that the sport may see a renewed interest at least within the state, we hear the news of cases of dope test failure. It is amazing how players seem to ignore the regulations meant for international sportspersons. Kabaddi is still to become an international sport. To make this sport popular the various associations which have to do with the sport, should be affiliated with the National Olympic Committee. This is needed to ensure that players and their coaches do not resort to unfair means to secure winning positions. What is needed is a positive attitude with the firm belief that this sport can be popularised in other countries. For that the first thing necessary is to ensure that only recognised teams participate.

Where fairness is not ensured, the credibility of the sport suffers and as a result other countries may not want to participate. This scenario would be unfortunate not only for this sport, which seems to be making an effort to rise from the ashes, but also for Punjab where the sport is very popular, at least in the rural areas.

DEVESH JUYAL, Chandigarh

Child’s welfare should drive meetings

This refers to the middle, Parent-Teacher Beating (November 2). Parent-teacher meetings should not become a ritual if such interactions are to remain meaningful and eventually become fruitful. The concept is certainly commendable, as these meetings allow the parents to know about the progress of their children. Teachers also come to know more about a student. It helps in building children’s confidence and there is no need for them to lie to their parents.

But these meetings become useless when they fail to serve their purpose. That purpose is, of course, the welfare of the child. In fact, parents and teachers must work together if children are to grow up as healthy citizens.

However, it is also important that the child does not perceive such meetings as some kind of ‘conspiracy’ against him/her. Children these days seem to have greater ability to analyse any given situation. Mostly, teachers use parent-teacher meeting as a threat. Such tactics may not be in the interest of the child.




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