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Pakistan must rein in terror cells

The editorial 'Pakistan at it again!’ (June 22) rightly exposes the double standards of Pakistan on curbing religious extremist outfits. Before assuming office as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, during an election campaign in Pakistan, had said that insurgent groups had no role in the India-Pakistan affairs. But the release of the grant of Rs 61.35 million for the Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD) by the Pakistan's Punjab government of the PML (N) shows its affinity with the religious extremist outfits and that the official stand of Pakistan towards such outfits will not change.

It is known to everyone that the Sharif brothers have a soft corner for such groups and they cannot afford to lose their constituency. It is no secret that the JuD is a sister concern of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The LeT officially does not have any existence after it was banned by the UN Security Council for its involvement in terrorist activities. But the LeT is continuing its functioning under the cover of JuD which was founded by Hafiz Saeed who is also known as the founder of LeT. Apparently the Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD) claims to be a social welfare outfit and is engaged in charitable activities, but in fact it is a fanatical group and its motive is to spread hatred against Shia Muslims and disturb communal harmony in Pakistan. Its main objective is to promote terrorism in India and an anti-India feeling among the masses in Pakistan. If Nawaz Sharif really wants warmer relations with India, he must act promptly and should effectively neutralise the Lashkar-e-Taiba and rein in its parallel organisations like the Jamat-ud-Dawah and their chief Hafiz Saeed.


House tax

The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has announced to levy house tax from July 1. In the states/union territories which are levying this tax, the ex-servicemen are exempted from it. The ex-servicemen of Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are exempted from paying this tax if they are occupying their own houses. This ruling was given by the Ministry of Defence a few years ago.


Channelisation project

The approval of a massive channelisation project for Una district of Himachal Pradesh as reported in the news story ‘945 crore for taming Swan's tributaries’ (June 12) is indeed a great achievement for the hill state. It is going to be one of the biggest such projects in the country. The engineering staff of the Irrigation-cum-Public Health (IPH) Department needs to be complimented for their relentless perseverance and toil which saw the project through the Central Water Commission. This project will save some 6,000 hectares of arable land from the fury of floods and give long-term benefits to the public.

L R SHARMA, Sundernagar  

Ode to ‘taar’

Time was when the telegram service, popularly known as 'taar', was the only as well as the fastest mode of communication or delivering news to near and dear ones all over the country. One remembers the days when the arrival of a telegram triggered negative feelings in the recipient. As most of the people were illiterate and did not understand the language of ‘taar’, they started weeping without knowing its contents till the help of some educated person was sought. ‘Taar’ was so popular that most of the Bollywood films of yore included a cameo on ‘taar’. But in the present times, SMS, email and Facebook have pushed the telegram service into history.


Seeking brownie points

First of all, I salute our brave jawans for their major contribution in the rescue work in Uttarakhand. At the same time, I also ‘salute’ our politicians for being in their element — trying to use the Himalayan tragedy to score brownie points. Now the ruling and opposition parties are blaming each other for their inaction. As nobody can predict a natural calamity, it is unwise to indulge in blame game. Rather they should join hands and urgently provide all help to the victims.


ECI vs Pak EC

Comparisons are often odd and should be avoided, but these are sometimes necessary to bring home a point. The Election Commission of Pakistan seems to have scored over us in many aspects during the Pakistan polls held last month. It had simultaneous elections for the national as well as state assemblies. The polling was held on a single day throughout the country and the counting of votes commenced the very same evening, all in the face of serious threats.

In contrast, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has never thought of having simultaneous elections. It has always an overstretched poll schedule that halts all development works for months on end and the counting is often deferred for weeks keeping everyone on tenterhooks. Even our fears of poll violence are mostly imaginary, whereas threats in Pakistan were real.

We can learn a thing or two from the Pakistan EC’s quick poll process. We should also try to have simultaneous elections, a short and swift poll schedule and a prompt counting mechanism. If Pakistan can do it, why can’t we?




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