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The long road to free travel

Apropos of the report Travel nirvana: Karachi to Kanchenjunga (August 3), the talk of making travel easier across Saarc nations is ironical, given that a travel visa to visit India can take weeks.

india Updated: Aug 05, 2008 22:30 IST

Apropos of the report Travel nirvana: Karachi to Kanchenjunga (August 3), the talk of making travel easier across Saarc nations is ironical, given that a travel visa to visit India can take weeks. How much time might it then take to get all the visas to travel from Kabul to Dhaka? Let’s not get excited by all the big talk at summits. The ground reality will take a long time to change.

Saurabh Sinha, Gurgaon

Spoilers at the N-party

Apropos of the editorial Well begun, but not half done yet (Ourtake, August 4), though the IAEA has approved the India-specific safeguards agreement consensually, it’s possible that a few members of the NSG may not look too kindly at India retaining its nuclear weapons programme. One should also not forget that we have a neighbouring adversary whose one-point agenda is to trip India out of competition and be the region’s undisputed economic superpower. What would India do if asked to choose between nuclear armament and nuclear disarmament? A lot of concerted diplomatic effort would be needed to assuage the concerns of the hardcore anti-nuclear group within the NSG.

RK Malhotra, Delhi

Time for an intelligent approach

Srinivas Hebbar in All talk, no action (August 4) has rightly pointed out the lack of infrastructure and the varied answerability of our intelligence agencies leading to diabolical acts of terrorism in India. We need an independent intelligence agency, answerable only to the National Security Adviser. Visits to terrorism-affected countries can further help build a database on the changing nature of crimes committed by terrorists. The finance department should also open up its coffers for buying equipment for counter-insurgency operations.

HV Sinha, Jaipur

II

Srinivas Hebbar’s write-up is a persuasive analysis for creating awareness. Why can’t India match Western standards when it comes to dealing with State security? Is it that the government is too preoccupied with its own affairs that it has no time to look into national security issues? It’s hard to believe that a series of blasts ripped through Ahmedabad, just a few hours after a national alert was declared. It is time to stop paying lip-service and set up an adequately-empowered, independent intelligence network, with specially trained sleuths.

Prashant Malaiyya, Vellore

III

Despite the recent series of blasts in various states, the government is sitting idle, condemning the attacks and clamouring for unity. The existing loopholes and flaws in the Indian intelligence network have been seriously overlooked. If the central intelligence agencies keep failing to coordinate with the states, it won’t be long before this nightmare comes back to haunt the nation again.

Sushant kumar, Delhi

An avoidable tragedy

With reference to the report When will we learn? (August 4), the unfortunate mishap at the Naina Devi temple has once again proved that the administration has not learnt its lesson. The crowd did not suddenly assemble in the temple and the occasion of the festival was known well in advance, with its anticipated rush of devotees, yet no precautionary steps were taken to avoid such a mishap. During such religious festivals anywhere, adequate arrangements must be made under the direct supervision of the Chief Ministers concerned.

PK Srivastava, via email