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Fighting the Taliban together

The dragon of Taliban is still far from being tamed. The editorial “Attack on Swat girl” (October 12) amply proves that the Taliban can strike at will and brook no criticism for medieval rules and reign of repression in modern times. Pakistani schoolgirl, Yousufzai Malala, was targeted by the Taliban to teach her a lesson for speaking against the terrorist outfit infamous for spreading fundamentalism under the wings of terrorism. Pakistan and Afghanistan provided conducive atmosphere for Taliban to grow. Osama Bin Laden was provided a save haven at Abbotabad in Pakistan and ultimately, the US killed him in this hideout. The epicentre of terrorism lies in Pakistan and Afghanistan who are bathing in bloodshed day in and day out.

US-led NATO forces are still in Afghanistan and doing their best to keep the Taliban under check. What will happen when they leave the country in 2014? Karzai is a caged ruler in Afghanistan whereas Zardari, Kayani and Raja have developed rickety knees to muster courage to take effective action against the merchants of terrorism who are foisting fundamentalism against democracy.

Taliban are a serious threat to peace in the world; if not tackled now, the epidemic can spread to neighbouring countries also. Maoism is spreading its tentacles in India via Nepal. Pakistan and India are on the radar of the Taliban. Democracy and Talibanisation can’t run parallel to each other. Either of the two will get the other destroyed.

A unified action by Pakistan, Afghanistan and India (though strategical) ably supported by the US and NATO forces can cleanse the area infected by the Taliban menace once and for all so that the world can live in peace and people in Afghanistan and Pakistan can heave a sigh of relief. Terrorism should have no place in the civilised societies of modern world.


Asian Union

In the backdrop of EU getting a Nobel Prize for maintaining 60 years of peace and prosperity, it is high time for Asian countries like India, China, Russia, Pakistan, et al to go back to the table and re-think their policies to maintain peace and prosperity in Asia. Gone are the ancient times, when these countries used to fight over religion, boundary, etc, now there are only economic boundaries, so there should be a change in defence strategy too. How small economic and peace ventures like SAARC have changed the economies of comparatively better-off countries like India and its economically weaker counterparts like Bhutan, Myanmar etc. is a lesson to be learnt. One can imagine what great wonders the whole “Asian Union” can do for people who constitute nearly half the population of the world.


Individual EQ

By 2020, depression would be the major cause of disability in India (editorial “Healthy minds”, October 13). In a study, it was also found that the patients with depression, when they were asked as to who has been responsible for their problems, put blame onto others (be it person or disharmony in relationships, situations or events, accidents etc.). Lack of emotional intelligence can be considered as the basic underlying factor for mental illnesses, especially anxiety and depression.

The Indian Government’s Mental Health Bill 2012 shows the concern the country is showing to deal with the issues related to mental illnesses. Are such Acts sufficient to control these illnesses? Strengthening of individual Emotional Quotient would play a great role in coping with stressful situations and thus prevention and control of mental illnesses.

Various stakeholders like parents, teachers, NGOs, social workers and policy makers need to come forward and play a role in building up the emotional quotient EQ and healthy lifestyle.


SC class war

Three categories of SCs have come into existence — first is the creamy layer, second is the middle rung and the third category is the lower middle class including BPL families.

The creamy layer has reaped the benefit of reservation to the hilt. They have annexed high positions and are pocketing all benefits, while their poor brethren are lagging far behind. Higher education has become costly and out of reach for poor Dalits because of which their wards hardly study beyond senior secondary school.

Based on success due to reservation, the elite SCs stop interacting with the poor Dalits. If the creamy layer is kept out of the purview of reservation, it would not be unjust.

BANSI RAM, Hoshiarpur

Bringing Kashmir closer

The British integrated the whole of India within 50 years from 1858 to 1907 by laying down railway and road networks across the length and breadth of the country. In spite of 65 years of Independence, the Indian democratic government has not been able to provide easy access to Kashmir.

Our leaders in Parliament and the J&K Assembly shout slogans about Kashmir being an integral part of India, but why do they become blind to basic infrastructural needs? People of Kashmir must have access to the rest of the country through four-lane roads, rail links, telecommunication, power and other vital arms of a developed country.

I have been travelling since Independence from Srinagar to Jammu. Nothing has changed much on this route, except the 2.5 km Banihal tunnel built in the ’50s. The Srinagar-Jammu road is narrow and dilapidated, with frequent landslides on the stretch from Banihal to Udhampur. Traffic on Srinagar road has increased a thousands times since Independence, so traffic jams, accidents, vehicle breakdowns and landslides keep adding to human misery.




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