Letters

Letters to the Editor — January 14, 2021

Rebooting SAARC

When the very same SAARC leaders, who had magnanimously demonstrated solidarity with India after the Uri attack, by boycotting the 19th SAARC summit in 2016 — that had eventually led to its cancellation — have now called for its revival through their December 8 Charter Day messages, it is only fair that New Delhi honours their sentiment and pays heed to their request (Editorial page, “Reclaiming SAARC from the ashes of 2020”, January 13). As much water has flowed under the bridge since Uri, it seems pointless that New Delhi should continue to hold the SAARC summit hostage to India-Pakistan hostilities. Doubtless, the vexatious issue of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism is continuing unabated, but little purpose is served by keeping away from the South Asian alliance that was formed with an intention to promote amity and mutually beneficial and comprehensive cooperation.

Breathing life into the almost moribund organisation will eventually promote the welfare of the people of South Asia, accelerate economic growth and increase collaboration in economic, social, cultural, technological and also scientific fields.

Nalini Vijayaraghavan,

Thiruvananthapuram

South Asia cannot afford to miss full-fledged regional integration, both economically and politically, and for that, both India and Pakistan need to cooperate. Compromising the importance of a pan-regional organisation such as SAARC for other subregional multilateral mechanisms will have adverse consequences on the long-term stability of the region. For India, the reality of China using the Belt and Road Initiative as a platform to mobilise almost all South Asian countries, except perhaps Bhutan and the Maldives, can be dealt with by initiating a fresh diplomatic dialogue with Pakistan with the aim of reviving SAARC’s stalled meetings. Just as it is effectively using vaccine diplomacy now, New Delhi can mobilise trade and investment to revive SAARC. Bilateral tensions between any two members should not be allowed to jeopardise the bloc’s normal functioning.

Bejoy Sebastian,

Kochi

 

China’s strategic move of making inroads into South Asia using the Belt and Road Initiative and forging strong economic links with most of the countries in the region is turning out to be a big challenge that India needs to tackle dexterously.

Reviving and reinvigorating ties with the neighbourhood countries should not be a difficult task, given the excellent relations India had earlier with all of them. Moving towards an idea of a cohesive economic grouping is the key.

Kosaraju Chandramouli,

Hyderabad

 

Top court and protest

The initial steps taken by the Supreme Court in “attempting to impose a compromise” in the farmers’ protests, seems to have resulted in debate. It is to be noted that the Court’s ‘interference’ is in the wake of the government’s failure to resolve the crucial issue. As a social gesture, the top court has come forward to awaken both the parties on the imperative need to sort out the grave national issue at the earliest and avoid further bruises. How can one cast aspersions on this good intention? The very fact that the Court has been severe in its criticism of the government speaks of its bona fide intent. As the constitutional court of the country as well as an advisory court, the top court has acted well within its domain.

Ram Mohandas K.,

Malappuram, Kerala

There appears to be a glimmer of hope in the top court’s intervention, although there is room for doubt about the intentions behind the stay and the committee being set up. The panel might only budge a little; besides this, some of its members have already expressed their choice in favour of the farm laws which does not instil confidence in us. One hopes that there is transparency and that the intent is not merely to ensure a trouble-free Republic Day.

S. Suhirthi Maharani,

Karur, Tamil Nadu

Vaccines on the way

 

The reports and images of the vaccine rollout bring relief that there is finally a solution to the novel coronavirus pandemic, that has only spelt misery. The efforts of our public health specialists are a source of confidence. Going forward, our (political) leaders must now ensure maximum vaccination publicity and see to it that all Indians are properly vaccinated.

 

A.J. Rangarajan,

Chennai

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 5:01:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-january-14-2021/article33570994.ece

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