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Indo-Pak ties need of the hour

In response to the news headline "Sharif for warmer ties with India" (May 14), it seems that Pakistanis have finally found a man who can lead their nation in the right direction.

After having elected Nawaz Sharif as the new head of Pakistan's democratic government, a new era of peace and prosperity between the two neighbours appears to be on the horizon. Unlike all of his predecessors, he sounds sincere in improving ties with India and the plight of his countrymen. He seems to understand well that Pakistan has paid a very heavy price by playing the K-card and for exporting terrorism to India. A long-term friendly tie between the two neighbours is the need of the hour.


Nawaz’s victory

With reference to your editorial 'First Beginnings' dated May, 14, we congratulate the people of Pakistan for their judicious verdict in the recent elections. The success of democracy in Pakistan is in the interest of India. Nawaz Sharif's first priority should be normal and friendly relations between India and Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif is a Punjabi and we are proud of this fact.


Tough task ahead

With reference to your editorial 'Fresh beginning' (May 14), people in Pakistan have affirmed their faith in democracy. Nawaz Sharif, who is poised to become Prime Minister for the third time after a decisive victory in the elections, will have a tough task ahead. Besides, the endemic corruption, he has to improve the weak economy as well. Though, Sharif has made pro-India statements in his election rallies, it remains to be seen whether he will act against anti-India terrorist groups based in Pakistan. For this, he has to bring the Army and the ISI under civilian rule.

Since Independence, both India and Pakistan have paid the price for keeping alive the hostility across the border. The two countries now need to demonstrate the will to work towards lasting peace.

Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai

Hopes from judiciary

Whenever the executive is weak or corrupt, the judiciary must intervene to maintain a balance in a democratic setup. Otherwise, it will not sustain. For years, we have witnessed utter failure of democracy in Pakistan due to such reasons. When the Supreme Court of Pakistan asserted itself, the democracy also started getting oxygen. Digvijay Singh must appreciate this fact and accuse the strongest pillar of the democracy. Today, people have more faith in judiciary than Parliament and they still look towards the Supreme Court for the good health of the democracy in the country.

SANTOSH SONI, Himachal Pradesh

For secure environment

This is with reference to the article "China's assertion of power" (May 14) by Charan Singh exhorting the government of India to ensure a secure environment in the country so that our neighbours - small or big - can't bully us every now and then. It is only in a secure environment that we will be able to consolidate and further improve our economic gains of the last two decades.

Thus, no country can be expected to invest a large sum of money in our country in the form of foreign direct investment (FDI), as long as the security environment remains insecure. Sadly, our state of providing such fool-proof security isn't yet up to the required standard. No wonder, so far we have managed to attract only a measly sum of US $ 30 billion annually by way of FDI; as against US $ 80 billion FDI in Hong Kong and FDI of US $200 billion in China. We need to seriously upgrade our security infrastructure.

For doing so, the article makes two pertinent suggestions. First, there is an immediate requirement to define our strategic goals in short, medium and long term. Presently, these are missing from our security concerns. Like China, we too need to enhance our defence budget substantially because that is the only way to improve our infrastructure and military strength, especially along the long and harsh border areas in the north.

Secondly, the other advice is for strengthening and re-skilling of our diplomatic corps to meet the emerging challenges. This suggestion too is timely and relevant. We need to talk to China to resolve the long-pending border dispute that has adversely affected our relations for over half-a-century now. With the forthcoming visit of Chinese premier Li Keqiang next week, time seems to be ripe for this initiative to be commenced earnestly.


Create world-class universities

'Going beyond borders' by Shelley Walia (Education Tribune, May 14) is a beautiful article highlighting the need for establishing universities with international parameters. The fact is that transformation of regional universities into cosmopolitan institutions warrants the ingredients like world-class infrastructure, latest need-based inter-disciplinary curriculum, competent faculty and supporting staff.

To attract students from abroad, universities ought to have the best public relation cells and provision of liberal fellowship. Yes, it is essential that modus operandi of admission process should be as simple as possible and without the rider of entrance test. Let us blend our rich heritage with modern technology and world-class infrastructure to make create some of the best universities, on the pattern of Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge and MIT.

Dr V K Anand, Patiala



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