Letters to the Editor — September 9, 2021

On the Taliban

The newly announced interim government in Afghanistan is a disappointment and is certainly non-inclusive (Page 1, September 8). If it is composed of UN-designated terrorists and has a stamp of Pakistan all over it, one cannot expect peaceful, prosperous, progressive and friendly rule. Given its doubtful credentials and fanatic history, there is bound to be trouble. Pakistan may be the only nation that is satisfied with the turn of events as it can fish in troubled waters. The international community should act as one without any bias in dealing with the new rulers of Afghanistan. There cannot be a sprouting of terrorism again.

Dr. D.V.G. Sankararao,

Nellimarla, Andhra Pradesh

The suggestion that the world community should strive to restore peace in Afghanistan, which would include putting pressure on it in the form of imposing conditions on financial grants which the Taliban badly require, is welcome. But international pressure, without sufficient military backing, will have little impact on recalcitrant groups such as the Taliban. Besides, every nation engaging with the Taliban in Afghanistan has its own agenda to fulfil. The question is who will bell the cat dispassionately?

Dharmarajan A.K.,

Thalassery, Kerala

We are indeed struck by the incongruity of the situation in Afghanistan: those who have been in the ‘wanted lists’ with multi-million dollar bounties announced on their persons now take up leading roles in the new Taliban government. The tasks of launching an insurgency and sustaining it for two decades and running a government require different commitments, skills and priorities.

The Taliban have to reinvent themselves as an organisation that respects human rights, divergent opinions and ways of life, women’s autonomy and prioritises economic renewal above religious agenda if they are to succeed as a government and gain international recognition.

G. David Milton,

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

It is clear that Pakistan now wields tremendous influence. The cabinet formation in Afghanistan is sure to be dominated by or controlled back stage by the Haqqani faction. Therefore, it is time to bid farewell to the idea of an all-inclusive government. The situation now is going to be very dangerous and will ensure that terror casts its dark shadow over the whole region. The puppet string master, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, must be forced to withdraw.

Pankaj G.,

Panchkula, Haryana

For the U.S., Afghanistan was too distant till the felling of the Twin Towers iin 2001, by inspired terror elements. It then stormed into Afghanistan with massive troop strength in revenge. In these two decades it has suffered some losses with no palpable economic or political gains except for a macho image.

It is Pakistan that has thrived all the while on big U.S. grants while China has quietly built its politico-economic web around the region which it would like to encash. In delayed wisdom, the U.S. has now walked away and could well suffer criticism, domestic and international. But time will vindicate U.S. President Joe Biden’s pragmatism and resolve.

R. Narayanan,

Navi Mumbai

One of the aspects of the U.S.’s long and disastrous war in Afghanistan is its “gifting away” a vast amount of military gear and equipment “that have made the Taliban better armed than ever”. Reports say that the Taliban and its associates are believed to control sophisticated armoured vehicles, military drones and other high-technology hardware and ammunition. The havoc all this can cause in the wrong hands is unfathomable. There is also the factor of China in all this which would be waiting to reverse engineer much of this sophisticated technology. Is the U.S. planning to do something about this ?

Anuvansh Rawat,

New Delhi


Reforms, not refining

The reservation policy needs reforms and not merely refining as the article (OpEd September 8) “Refining the reservation policy”, proposes. Reservation today, is more a political instrument than a social justice tool. The makers of the Constitution never intended that the reservation pie should expand infinitely.

A farcical regime of affirmative action will create a new underclass of discontents. If we go on creating more backward classes years after Independence, there is something wrong with society and our notion of progress because it presumes backwardness persists across generations. Limiting the reservation scheme to two generations is the least one can think of in infusing a degree of fairness into the principle of compensating for historical injustice. The argument that economic advancement has no impact on social status is questionable.

V.N. Mukundarajan,


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