The report 24 killed in Pak blasts (October 24) shows how our neighbouring country is slowly moving towards complete chaos. Bomb blasts and terror attacks have become routine in the country. The critical question for India now is how best to ensure our safety and security. The recent attacks in Pakistan contradict Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari’s assertion that his government is doing its best to curb terrorism. In the face of these attacks, Islamabad and the international community should make sure that the country’s nuclear arsenal is kept out of the reach of terrorists.
Deepak Chikramane, via email
BJP has its work cut out
With reference to Two cheers for the Congress (Our Take, October 23), it is clear that the BJP has suffered a major setback in the just-concluded round of assembly elections. However, the result should not come as a surprise to its leaders as well as party members. The party failed to exploit any of the shortcomings of the Congress governments in the states where they rule. If the BJP wants to make a comeback, then its leaders will have to solve its internal problems and work together for the welfare of their party.
Kanika Tiwari, via email
It is true that the Congress’s victories in the Haryana and Maharashtra assembly elections were mainly due to the lack of a strong Opposition. The BJP made a mistake by dumping its long-time ally, the INLD, in Haryana. The Shiv Sena in Maharashtra also made a mistake by not sewing up an alliance with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Sena leaders — Uddhav and Balasaheb Thackeray — didn’t learn a lesson even after the Lok Sabha poll debacle.
Achyut Railkar, Mumbai
In the red on development
With reference to the editorial Rage against the machine (Our Take, October 22), a war of representation is underway in the under-developed parts of India between the Maoists and the State. Unfortunately, both parties are using the common people as cannon fodder. It is a fact that the Maoists remain true to their indoctrination and blame only others for any problem, especially the State. The State, in turn, cannot explain why public funds meant for development are robbed by netas, babus, engineers and contractors. The best way to defeat the Maoists is development, which is not possible unless public money is spent on development.
Balram Misra, via email
Ramachandra Guha in Crushed in the middle (History Matters, October 23) superbly documents the tragedy that has unfolded in the tribal areas of the country. For generations, all arms of the State have exploited the tribals and it is only understandable that they would support anti-State organisations. Instead of targeting the Naxals, the State should launch a war against its corrupt officials who pocket funds meant for the development of these regions and the land mafia that operates in these places without any fear.
Alakh Nath Upreti, Delhi
Different set of rules for Karzai
With reference to the report Afghan poll run-off (October 21), the West, led by the United States, seems to have a different yardstick when it comes to judging election irregularities in different parts of the world. In Afghanistan’s case, as the incumbent President Hamid Karzai is a crucial political ally in the offensive against the Taliban, his electoral transgressions are being glossed over despite evidence to the contrary.
Amitabh S, Dubai