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India lacks bargaining sense

Pakistan's U-turn on Sarabjit Singh has amply succeeded in deflecting media heat from Abu Jundal alias Zabiuddin Ansari, one of the key perpetrators of 26/11 which otherwise would have hogged the limelight to Surjeet-Sarabjit fiasco. While many more prisoners may still be languishing in Pak jails, showing magnanimity, India had volunteered to expatriate one lakh PoWs of 1971 war without even getting back our own handful of PoWs like Flt Lt VV Tambay and many others.

We bargained for peace, getting terror in return, which is now spreading in our country with the involvement of our own people being indoctrinated by Pak-based terror outfits. Apparently the two-nation theory miserably failed to resolve communal issues.

A country of our size, power and resources must fight out evil designs more resolutely instead of being taken in by glib talks always.



No one expected Pakistan to take a U-turn overnight over the release of Indian national Sarabjeet lodged in a Pakistan jail. President Zardari probably gave in to hardliners' objection including the Pak army. This sudden betrayal has not only embarrassed the government, but the Pakistani media as well.But it doesn't really affect the Pakistan government. In the backdrop of 26/11 suspect Abu Jundal's arrest in India, it is just a ploy being used by Pakistan to distract India and not a goodwill gesture.


AI at fault

I think the pilots' agitation is justified, if we look into the circumstances leading to it. The pilots are disciplined, hard- working and honest citizens who do their job sincerely and efficiently. The top posts in Air India are held by bureaucrats to facilitate convenient decisions.

The AI administrators who take decisions involving crores and crores are like 'guests' in the whole drama. It is these temporary 'guests' at the top level who took abysmally wrong decisions at the behest of their 'masters', which has cost Air India huge losses. Why blame the pilots for the present mess?

On the contrary, at every stage the IPG (Indian Pilots' Guild) consistently kept the AI management informed about the wrong decisions (merger, aircraft acquisition, promotion policy. etc.) adversely affecting the airlines.

ALAN R. CHATTERJEE, via e-mail


The government has failed to settle the issue with Air India pilots for over 50 days now, while both the pilots and the passengers continue to suffer. It is quite strange that the premier national air carrier is out of service and the government seems satisfied with its response. The harassed pilots, who were forced to work without salaries for more than six months, had to resort to a chain hunger strike. After all, they are also bonafide Indian citizens paying their tax. They too have families to support. How could the government be so insensitive to their plight? The prime minister should have intervened long time back. If we can initiate talks with hostile neighbours like Pakistan, why can't we sit down with our own people across the table to settle the issue?

AK SHARMA, Chandigarh


When Air India pilots take a stand demanding their pay and other work related issues, the media labels them as spoilt brats. TV news anchors seem to have an agenda of their own while grilling representatives of the pilots. They find it convenient to vent forth their own personal feelings and project a hostile attitude.

A TV reporter of a national TV channel had the temerity to call the pilots "terrorists"! How could he forget that these 'terrorists' are the ones who are entrusted the job to carry VIPs, respectable citizens, celebrities, common people from one place to another.

If AI pilots are the highest paid pilots in the world, I wonder why so many opt to join other airlines. The matter should be settled amicably and speedily.

NB BAL, via e-mail

Alzheimer’s & family support

To help old people suffering from Alzheimer's disease (AD), a friendly and respectful behaviour towards them at home and outside is very important. People should come forward to help families deal with AD patients by arranging for health care providers.

Usha Rai's article 'Forgetful, not forgettable' (June 21) was very informative. A large number of people are being affected by Alzheimer's and related disorders and their numbers are increasing at an alarming rate because people are living longer and have more stressful lives. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the stage between normal forgetfulness due to ageing and the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). People with MCI have mild problems with thinking and memory that do not interfere with everyday activities. They are often aware of forgetfulness. Not everyone with MCI develops AD.

Early detection can help in improving the quality of life of people suffering from Alzheimer's and related disorders. Although there is no cure for AD but proper management is necessary to control the disease and manage symptoms, such as behaviour problems, confusion and sleep problems.

Dr SHRUTI K CHAWLA, Chandigarh

Testing times

If one is determined enough to achieve something in life then sky is the limit of one's pursuit. Hats off to Dr Ruth and her insurmountable spirit which bore and sustained all odd adversities and braved a cruel blow, a debilitating road accident that had almost rendered her physically and mentally crippled (news item "A tale of a fighter and her soaring spirit", June 25). By propping up such accidents in one's life, God tests our faith and patience.


Increasing stress

If we compare the present system of entrance tests with the new proposed ones, neither of the two provides any relief to the students or parents from stress. The debate that has been going on for months has yielded no fruitful result. Rather, now the students will be under more stress — to perform in boards as well as in entrance exams, that too where performance in one decides the entry to the other. Opportunity for interested students is double as both AIEEE and IITJEE are independent. Also, coaching institutes at secondary level are serving far better than schools.




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