* THIS refers to Pakistan calls off May 14 talks on Sir Creek,wants to discuss Siachen first (IE,May 10). Recently,about 140 Pakistani soldiers were killed in an avalanche in Siachen,triggering public outrage in Pakistan. Soon afterwards,Pakistan army chief,General Ashfaq Kayani,called for the demilitarisation of Siachen. However,India must approach the call for a withdrawal of troops with suspicion.
* THIS refers to Blackmail (IE,May 10). As in the past,any bailout for Air India will go down the drain. The ministry of civil aviation needs to go in for a complete overhaul of the airline. In response to the CAGs defence of AI,I would say that the airline is a national carrier and a symbol of the state only because it is pampered and patronised by the powers that be for their own comfort and convenience. Otherwise,it is a white elephant.
* REGARDING No closure (IE,May 11),the apex court rightly sought the assistance of an amicus curiae and he has done precisely what was expected of him,that is,elaborate on areas of import and relevance. The final verdict is less significant than the dexterity,openness and the speed with which it gets treated. The SIT may be held up in poor light,but our judiciary,in six decades post Independence has rarely ever,let the nation down.
* APROPOS Will press Pak on Hafiz Saeed: Hillary (IE,May 8),it is ridiculous that all US officials who visit India say that Pakistan must take a tough stand on terrorists but never speak in the same tone when in Pakistan. Why can they not toughen their stand on Pakistan first? Is it because the US aids Pakistan so that the latter can survive in a region that is of strategic importance to the US?
* OUR Parliament has turned 60. Notwithstanding the strength of our parliamentary democracy,the people of the country have their doubts about the functional efficacy of our Parliament. Precious time is often wasted by MPs from all parties for various reasons. At 60,one becomes a senior citizen. Our parliamentarians should also behave responsibly to show the world that we are now a mature democracy and parliamentarians are the conscience keepers of the masses. Symbolic gestures like issuing commemorative coins do not matter much to the masses. They have sent their elected representatives to Parliament so that these representatives can draft legislation that will provide them relief from economic drudgery.
Brij Bhushan Goyal