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Say it like it is

india Updated: Dec 14, 2008 22:11 IST

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard has reportedly said in a statement that Muslims who want to live under the Islamic Sharia law must leave Australia. This sort of plainspeak is rare in a politician. India needs a public who will back such a leader who renounces all kinds of ‘isms’, whose first priority is the country and not the ‘party’! In fact, such a leader can only emerge if the majority of citizens share common and rational values and are prepared to give up prejudices and partisan attitudes!

Purnima Toolsidass, via email

Waiting for UP, Bihar

Apropos of Rajdeep Sardesai’s article Voting with our heads (Beyond the Byte, December12) while it is evident that the Indian voter is maturing, the same is not true in states like UP and Bihar which send 150 MPs from their turf. Politics there is mired in caste and ethnicity rather than governance. The day voters wake up there as well, it will be a landmark event for Indian democracy.

Bal Govind, Noida

Don’t just ban, break them

The ‘initiatives’ taken by Pakistan against terrorist activities on its soil amount to nothing. After seven years of the attack on the Indian Parliament and despite worldwide pressure, The LeT still remains a potent force. The funds Pakistan has received for its ‘war on terror’ are reportedly being channelled to the jihadi groups — what else explains the use of state-of-the-art equipment by terrorists. Also, just banning the group is not enough. The LeT, banned in 2002, has reinvented itself as Jamaat-ud-Dawa. The need is to destroy the camps, the funding and the supply of arms to these groups.



Pakistan’s denial of receiving ‘adequate’ evidence from India on the terror groups is not unexpected, however unethical it might be. It has handed over terrorists to the US on far more tenuous grounds. But not to India. This is a serious mistake. For one thing, Mumbai is not Kashmir. Also, the international community is well aware that a major part of Pakistan’s establishment sympathies with the extremist fringe that exits in that country. The average Pakistani citizen deplores this fringe. As more evidence piles up, the people of Pakistan will want more accountability from the political establishment and will, hopefully, turn against their own politicians.

M. SUBRAHMANYAM, via email

Games Pakistan plays

Union Sports Minister M.S. Gill’s insistence that the Indian cricket team cancel its tour of Pakistan is a rational assessment. It is no secret that Pakistan harbours and funds terrorist groups that are trying to violate the idea of India. It’s time to put pressure on Pakistan to act on the terror suspects. The state of affairs is clearly not conducive to sport. Cricket can wait.

Ganesh V. Hegde, Karnataka