Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement that it is the Army’s stand against diluting the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act that is preventing the government from making changes to the law is shocking. One shudders to think that the armed forces can actually dictate policy.

While nobody disputes the great service rendered by the defence forces, the fact that they put their lives in danger for the country cannot be used as the logic to let the security forces run roughshod over the lives of ordinary people. It is the government’s duty to seek and enforce a balance between the functions of the uniformed services and people’s fundamental rights.

Arjun Ramakrishnan, Hyderabad

It was because of disturbances in the north-east and Jammu and Kashmir that the army was sent to these areas. AFSPA was enacted by the Government of India. If governance in the regions is good and peaceful, let the Centre withdraw the army and repeal AFSPA. The army can train to defend the nation rather than control our own people.

But if the government feels the army needs to be used to control internal terrorism, it should listen to the Army Chiefs.

Air Commodore V.V. Nair (retd.), Manipal

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