n The dreaded Al-Qaeda has threatened India with more 26/11-like attacks if India should decide to attack Pakistan (Al-Qaeda warns India: Hands off Pak or else,IE,February 11). Is this in any way surprising? Along with the Taliban,Al-Qaeda has always been aided by the ISI,which has always been hand in glove with them. Since the ISI is the intelligence arm of the Pakistani military establishment and has been the architect of low-intensity conflicts with India,it is natural that Al-Qaeda would verbally threaten India sooner or later.
n Perhaps the only option open to India with regard to Pakistan is a severing of ties. The US is involved in its own economic crisis thereby relegating the Pakistan issue. The US has made comments on Pakistan and the need to curb terrorism,but what is needed is something more drastic and more concrete than words. The US should issue a statement that Pakistan is no different from anarchic Afghanistan.
n Iran is a sovereign nation and thus has every right to pursue its nuclear ambitions (Another spring,IE,February 11). This does depend on the nature of its nuclear goals however; if Iran wishes to use it for peaceful purposes,the international community should accept Irans choice. Further,how is Irans pursuit of a nuclear programme more threatening when Pakistan possesses nuclear weapons?
Lose some,win some
n Both the UPA and the NDA,as they are constituted at present,face an uphill task in working out the permutations and combinations that will get either major alliance the next government at the Centre (Polls apart,IE,February 9). Obviously there will be ideological improvisations and oversight in driving such hard bargains. Trade-offs mean everybody loses something,and what is lost might just be ideology. Nevertheless,troubling times await both the UPA and NDA,which will test their ability to steer their formations to a stable government. What seems increasingly certain though is the possibility of both the Congress and the BJP losing ground within their respective alliances.
n The makeover of Mumbai as suggested by the Maharashtra government seems to be getting nowhere. Consider the simple issue of roads. For all its wealth and ability,Mumbai appears to have no money for basic infrastructure. This could be because substandard materials are used without quality check,leading to rapid deterioration of roads. New flyovers are so shabbily constructed that older ones look better. Where does all the tax we pay go?
Amjad K. Maruf