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Bring PoWs home

The victory of December 16, 1971, came at a price. The fact that our 54 brave officers and soldiers are still in Pakistani jails seems to have been forgotten. The country has been made to believe that there are no PoWs in Pakistani jails. Except for the Missing Defence Personal Relatives Association (MDPRA), perhaps no other entity is concerned about the fate of these 54 men.

They might be suffering from ailments, might have become disabled or might have lost all hope of returning home. Their crime is that they took on the enemy to defend their country. Why have we become so insensitive to the painful realities of life and war? Why can’t we form a pressure group at the national level to force Pakistan to come out with the truth?I wonder where those generals and defence personnel are, those who earned respect and positions by virtue of the sacrifices made by these unsung and unknown heroes. Sahir has aptly said, “Jinhe naaz hai Hind par, woh kahan hain?”

Let us be proud of our brave 54 men, whose contribution in the 1971 war raised our stature in the comity of nations. They are our blood. Let us bring them home, let us honour them.


Plastic hazards

Apropos the editorial Plastic lives (December 28), Himachal Pradesh, known for its scenic beauty and pollution-free environment, is not free from the menace of plastic. Though the BJP government has banned the use of plastic carry bags and packaging material, it could enforce the ban only partly because of the fear of losing votes.

The banning of polythene bags by the HP High Court is a welcome step. The public needs to be sensitised against littering. The law should be implemented with impunity.

Dr K.D. LAKHANPAL, Bilaspur

Release pension dues

This is with reference to the report Give pension to PSU staff: HC (December 20). The Himachal Pradesh High Court has rightly reprimanded the HP Government for withdrawing the notification of October 1999 granting pension to the employees of the state public sector undertaking. Rejecting the government plea, the court observed: “It was the sovereign responsibility of the state to garner revenue for welfare measures, including pension.” The order has provided relief to the employees, who have been put to financial hardships all these years, fighting the legal battle.

However, the government seems to have politicised the issue. It has decided to reverse all decisions taken by the erstwhile government without realising that by putting vulnerable sections of society in financial jeopardy, it may earn the wrath of the state employees.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh should release the dues of the retired employees within the 12 weeks’ timeframe fixed by the court.

R.M. RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib

Ban acid sale fully

It is unfortunate that we come across incidents of acid attacks. But what are the authorities waiting for? They seem to lack a sense of belonging towards society. That’s why they don’t react to certain important social requirements. The court has enforced a procedure to procure acid by disclosing one’s identity. But there is a loophole in its sale. Acid is commonly used to clean lavatories. The same can be done with detergent powders or other liquids available in the market and are equally effective. A full ban on the sale of acid and its forms is required. Death sentence must given to acid attackers and there must be a provision for the medical treatment from the pocket of the convict.

Deepjot Singh Thukral, Ambala Cantt

GSK decision ethical

The practice of paying doctors by pharmaceutical companies to promote their products is unethical. The government and the MCI should make strict laws to ban it. This is cheating with patients. The initiative taken by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to no longer pay doctors to promote its products and remove individual sales target for its marketing staff is praiseworthy. Other companies should follow GSK. This would be beneficial for doctors as well as the patients. The doctors also have a moral duty to shun this practice.

Ranjit Chandan, Balachaur

Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com



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