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PM stays firm on talks with Sharif

Despite stiff opposition at home and jibes from Pakistan's camp, there was no let-up in the determination of Dr Manmohan Singh to sincerely proceed with the talks with Nawaz Sharif. Our PM is in favour of friendly and peaceful relations with Pakistan, though this gesture is mostly met with hostility from across the border. The editorial ‘Win for diplomacy’ (October 1) has rightly mentioned the most important aspect that the sanctity of the LoC must be maintained and there should be no violation or violence there. The Pakistan Prime Minister will have to produce the results accordingly. The peaceful environment on the LoC will, hopefully, pave the way for encouraging results in other fields and an overall improvement in India-Pakistan relations.



The meeting of the premiers of India and Pakistan in New York has surely defeated the evil designs of the terror merchants based in Pakistan, who in fact, had left no stone unturned in preventing the same by carrying out attacks on a police station and an army camp in the Jammu area, killing 12 persons. Such meetings held over the past many years have hardly yielded any concrete results. The status quo is likely to continue until and unless Nawaz Sharif’s government is able to exercise its control over the Pak army, which continues to target Indian army's positions on the border, despite both the premiers agreeing to establish calm on the border. The onus now lies on Sharif's government to tackle its army or else improvement of relations between both the countries will remain a distant dream.


Lalu’s conviction

The conviction of Lalu Prasad in the fodder scam is on expected lines, with the perfect timing obviously chosen by the Congress to eliminate a former ally which has been necessitated by the new equation of the Congress with the JD-U in Bihar. The misuse and disuse of the CBI by the Congress is an open secret, which is very dangerous for the sustenance of multi-party democracy. Lalu may have been guilty of the crime, but has it not been the same Congress which provided immunity to him all through these long 17 years?


Communal riots

The Muzaffarnagar riots in UP are a blot on the country's democratic credentials. Some political parties have been actively fomenting communal disharmony in the state. The government did not take action nor did it check the provocative panchayat assembly as it would consolidate the Muslim vote in its favour in the 2014 elections. It is our duty to combat communal forces and never to vote or support person or parties creating communal disharmony.


Negative voting

The Supreme Court has delivered a landmark judgment on a PIL petition filed by the People's Union for Civil Liberties in 2004, by asking the Election Commission to provide the ‘None of the above’ (NOTA) option in the EVMs. The editorial ‘The right to reject’ (September 30) has rightly termed it yet another attempt by our apex court to clean up the murky political process in the country.

But one should not forget that the political process in our country has been vitiated to an extent that piecemeal judgments by the apex court are not going to clean it up. In recent months, has not the Union government, with the help of Parliament, shown the tendency to undo what the apex court is trying to do?

It would be better if the President on the advice of the Cabinet sets up a reform commission comprising experts to study and recommend changes in the whole electoral system. Parliament should discuss these recommendations and come out with necessary changes in the legal system. Until leaders show political will to clean up our political and electoral processes, no real change can be expected.


Shinde at it

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's advice to the states not to harass Muslim youth is yet again a ploy for Muslim appeasement before the 2014 elections. It once again reiterates the belief that most of the Islamic terrorists caught get released because the administration and the police are under political pressure to render cases weak which results in their release in courts.

This, in turn, fuels the call not to harass Muslim youth. We have seen before the Muzaffarnagar riots the Muslims responsible for teasing and killing were released on the instructions of powerful leaders. By the way, now we can visualise how a terrorist so easily managed to escape from Shinde's home state where his party is in power.


Gen VK Singh episode

The revelations by Gen V K Singh may be true but they are certainly untimely. Such statements do not match his designation and service, especially when he has demitted office. Ever since he has been denied extension, he is doing everything to teach the government a lesson. The media and opposition parties have made it a topic of debate. Social networking websites have become another forum where visitors are divided into groups that speak for and against General Singh. His statements are doing nothing except creating a steep divide between the civil and army relations.

Army personnel feel insulted when their ex-chief is sidelined by netas but they do not ponder that Gen VK Singh had jumped the line. I request him to limit his presence in the media. If he has political ambitions, he is free to join any political outfit but such statements are not welcome. General Singh seems to be involved in a war of egos. He has already created a bad precedent of dragging the political bosses to the court of law for vested interests. Let the olive greens be worshiped in our country for their sacrifice and loyalty and not for bringing state secrets in the open.




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