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Why was Rasool not allowed to play?

It appears to me that Kashmir's relations with the rest of India are jinxed, more of course because of the stupidly of the government than by the quirks of destiny.

Some time back when it was announced that Parvez Rasool, a cricketer from J&K, had been included in the Indian team for a series of matches with Zimbabwe, a wave of pro-India sentiment in J & K could be visible. Recognition of a cricketer from J&K certainly sent a message to the ordinary Kashmiris that in sports fairness and equity still determined the choice, especially for cricket team.

So Rasool went with the excitement of a life-time chance - only a sportsperson can appreciate the excitement of a selectee. India knew from the start that the Zimbabwe team was no match. We won the first three - Rasool was not in our team - I take it that there were better players and India had to be cautions. But then Rasool did not get a chance, not in the 4th, and not even in 5th match (when India was 4-0). I cannot explain his exclusion - the gains by his inclusion far outweighed the imagined disadvantage of loss in the 5th test - a single change in the team could not have damaged India's prospects.

But the insensitive indifference of the selectors and even of the high-profile politicians in the BCCI let go an opportunity of appreciating the sensitivity of the minorities and the troubled area of Kashmiris.

RAJINDAR SACHAR, Chief Justice (retd), High Court of Delhi, New Delhi

Adopt tough policy

Repeated attacks and intrusions into Indian territory by Pakistan and China have kept our country on tenterhooks and weakened us financially. Many soldiers have lost their lives. It seems that the Congress has no guts to take strict action against the enemy. It has also failed to devise a successful foreign policy for the country's defence. What is the point of raising the defence budget when we are not interested in taking concrete steps?

Akhilesh Chourasiya, Amritsar

Stop killings

I read your balanced editorial 'Soldiers' killings'. It is regrettable that a soldier's death is usually used as a means to flare up the passions of the nation, thanks to opportunist political parties and the irresponsible media. We fought three or four wars post-Independence, and the number of soldiers lost in skirmishes far exceeds than those lost in these wars. It is time to check the loss of lives of soldiers.


Colleges need aid

The concern expressed by Dr Arvind Kalra in his letter 'Punjab lets down unaided teachers' (August 1) should be taken note of by the Punjab government if it is really interested in saving educational institutions of Punjab, currently floundering in a dismal financial condition. But the apathetic attitude of the Punjab government towards higher education does not bode well for the future of private educational institutions in the state.

Being a principal, I feel that fleecing the poor students by charging exorbitant fee and filling the coffers of teachers, many of whom have no sense of commitment and loyalty to the cause of education, is not good.

The DPI (C) has time and again asked only for the data of unaided teachers but has done nothing to help them. The DPI used to send its nominee to select these unaided teachers and also accord approval but now most of the colleges make only ad-hoc appointments to teach even post-graduate classes. When will the government wake up from its slumber?


Install elevators

The lengthy staircases (at the railway platforms of the Amritsar station) leading to the over-bridges are invalid in today's fast-paced life. These need to be replaced with elevators seen at some major railway stations in the country. The elevators will be useful for children, senior citizens and handicapped persons. Northern Railway must install these at major stations of Punjab.

K S LUDHAR, Amritsar

Time for retaliatory action

The killing of five Indian soldiers at the LoC is really saddening. Now major political parties and the media are trying to resolve the issue by scoring points. Surprisingly, Defence Minister A K Antony's speech seemed to be more brutal an act (especially for the BJP) than the killing of our soldiers and BJP leaders, in their fiery speeches, lashed out at Antony for his remarks.

But the major factor which most people fail to notice is that the Pakistani government, its army, ISI and terrorists hardly work harmoniously together. Each does the opposite of what the other wants.

The Nawaz Sharif government has no control over the army and terror groups which keep creating hurdles for it and make peace talks unsuccessful. We have to deal with the Pakistan government with best diplomatic techniques and its military with military action. Our government should give field commanders a free hand to tackle such skirmishes. It has been observed that our military commanders are restrained from taking retaliatory action against the enemy.




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