The report Taliban a common threat to India, Pak, US (February 17), is a matter of grave concern to the international community and India. Pak-occupied Kashmir and Northern Areas under illegal Pakistan occupation are a safe haven for the Taliban who, under the patronage of the Pakistani military and ISI, want to convert the Kashmir region into another Swat valley. While India is capable of meeting this challenge effectively, the virus of Taliban-inspired terrorism can only be checked if the Pakistan army is divested of its illegal possession of PoK and adjoining areas, and is replaced by a strong international force.
Onkar Nath Saxena, Noida
With reference to the editorial It’s not time to count the cost (Our Take, February 17), given the present economic scenario, there was disproportionate hype created around the interim budget by certain lobbies. Keeping in mind that the global economy needs time to heal, Pranab Mukherjee’s budget presentation was not unexpected. We have, as a mature economy, managed to keep our problems well within focus. Let us not be taken in by select interest groups who, worried about past overindulgence, are criticising the budget as it does not serve their interests.
Janaki Narayanan, via email
The Union budget came as a rude shock to millions of middle-class families during these times of economic hardship. This being the election year, it was expected that the government would be in a mood to appease. This did not happen when Pranab Mukherjee, citing constitutional constraints, made no concrete gesture towards stimulating the economy and helping the share market recover. With the economy sitting on a potential time-bomb, let us hope that it is not beyond redemption by the time the next government comes to power.
Ratan Sharga, via email
It was expected that the budget would offer more to not just the farmers but the urban population as well. People want proper measures to curb rising prices, help for the pink-slipped worker and those affected by the slowing economy. It is not enough to alleviate the suffering of the people who continue to be plagued by high tax rates.
Md. Ziyaullah Khan, Delhi
Punish the rowdy politicians
Apropos of Debashish Mukerji’s write-up Here comes the cheerleader (February 17), ministers always try to get cheap publicity at any cost. It’s their misunderstanding that making a fuss about anything and everything will help them. By creating problems they are wasting the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. It’s time that strict laws are enacted and people responsible for creating any kind of chaos during the parliamentary sessions are heavily fined.
Komal Gupta, Delhi
India must be vigilant
The statement of the US representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, equating India with Pakistan on the issue of Pakistan-based terrorist threat to India, is unfair. The fact is that by using US economic and military aid, Pakistan continues to aid and abet a section of foreign terrorists on its soil in order to destabilise India. The situation demands that India be vigilant in order to safeguard its geo-political interests at all times — with, without or despite the US and not be misled by claims that Pakistan is as threatened as India.
R J Khurana, Bhopal
Hope around the corner
This is in reference to the editorial Missing the bus, again (Our Take, February 16). The recent surge in support of ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party is most unfortunate, especially because US President Barack Obama is taking an active interest in resolving the Palestine-Israel problem. Let us hope that this window of opportunity is also not lost because peace can only come politically and not by violence in West Asia.
Ikram Naqvi, Australia