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Intelligence key to security

The article "What's wrong with our national security policy" by Lt Gen SS Mehta is excellent and the decision by The Tribune to launch a "National Security Forum" too is laudable. Intelligence is key to all aspects of national security. We need to dwell on this subject in detail. While some former police officers may cover internal intelligence, external intelligence can be better dealt with by a military officer. India has always suffered due to poor leadership, planning and execution of our external intelligence. It is neglected by the Army as well even though it is key to success in any war. Cyber warfare, and not just cyber security, is another topic of importance in today's world. It too needs to be debated.


Unique initiative

The letter is in reference to the article "What's wrong with our national security policy" by Lt Gen SS Mehta. With the word 'security' conveying just a single aspect of the national outlook, I suggest if you could consider replacing it with 'development' (National Development Forum/ Debate/Discussion etc). I also suggest inclusion of 'education' in the list for debate.

Dr (Col) VRK PRASAD, Nagaland

Involve the common man

The national security policy, however convincing it may be, will only work with the backdrop of a socialist ideology, and not just the ideology of our parliamentarians. The common man's involvement is also needed. For a country with mammoth population and limited resources like ours, capitalism acts nothing less than cyanide. Politicians and tycoons amass country's resources for their own benefit. So to start with, the 'COI' (Conflict of Interests) policy will be the only feasible solution. Accumulation of wealth at certain levels should be taken care of, and the benefits should be passed on to the poor. The yawning gap between the rich and the poor has to be completely annihilated if we want our nation to reach the zenith it would have reached if it were not for the corrupt.


Powerful agency needed

This is apropos the article "Wanted: National Security Commission" by Lt Gen SS Mehta. Our country is grappling with serious security threats, both internal and external. The threat of a nuclear attack from across the border, the problem of migrants in Bangladesh, Bodos in the East and terrorism and Naxalism in J&K and central states are some of the issues that require immediate resolution through a central agency. The members of this agency should be specialists from various fields rather than politicians and bureaucrats. Major powers such as the US, the UK and China already have a national security commission-like agency in place and a developing country like India also needs to have one at the earliest.


Won’t do any good

Nobody can deny the need for a National Security Commission but the framework suggested in this article may not achieve the desired results. In India, no commission works unless it is constituted by an Act of Parliament. Including more Generals may only be a re-hash of the existing security structure. Hoisting more stars at the top will mean lesser accountability.

If the commission is attached to the PMO, it may prove ineffective, as are more than 50 others that already exist. Among them, the NSA (National Security Adviser) set-up is the most futile one in the PMO. One of the NSAs had a battery of as many as 40 officials attached to him.

Also, the Ministry of Defence and Services may not achieve much while working together. Every General is aware of the fact that the real productive age is 35 to 45 years, a segment in which officers can produce out-of-the-box results. America had employed 25 stars in this age category with an annual budget of $100 million, thus producing the Army of the future.


Funds for Punjab on way?

I am happy that with Narendra Modi taking over as Prime Minister, Punjab will get truckloads of money from Delhi for the development of the state as had been promised by the Deputy Chief Minister. Now I can hope that the condition of roads in my city of Jalandhar will improve and I can have a comfortable drive on my scooter. Cheers to Modi and Sukhbir Badal!

Dr Avtar Singh, Jalandhar

Very salty khichri

The BJP has swept many states where the regional parties have been washed off, specially in Delhi, Harayana, Bihar, UP, J&K. In the BJP-ruled states, there is a clean sweep. But in Punjab, despite the SAD-BJP government, the alliance has received less than 50% of the seats. Surprisingly, AAP has opened its account in the Lok Sabha only through Punjab. Is it not an anti-establishment vote? Their khichri has excess of salt. Funds earmarked from the state exchequer or from Centre for social welfare do not seem to have been properly utilised. That is why the people did not vote for them. The Akalis will have to work for the people to win back their trust.

PKapoor, via email

Wanted: Educated MPs

With reference to the article “One in three newly elected MPs has a criminal record” (May 19), it is said that the youth are the future of our country, but going by the policymakers’ criminal records, it seems that the future is at stake. As per the National Election Watch (NEW) and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), 184 out of 541 or nearly 34% newly elected MPs have disclosed criminal records in their election affidavits. The current scenario has worsened as compared to the 2009 elections and shows that there has been a steep rise of 4 per cent in the criminal records of MPs in these five years.

There is a minimum education qualification for the appointment of government employees, officers and even that of a peon, but no such bar exists for the appointment of an MP/MLA.

The need of the hour is to enact a bar of minimum educational qualification for the elction of MPs and MLAs.

Ankita Kalia , via email

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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