AFTER suffering humiliation in Kabul and elsewhere, India is trying to play a dirty game in Panjshir Valley by supporting the anti-Taliban forces. The game and gamble is to have a foothold in Afghanistan to ensure there is a constant irritant and tension for the Taliban government in Kabul to make it unstable and vulnerable.

In terms of history, it is the same game of fragmentation which brought the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, proposed two-state theory in Palestine, managed a foothold in the island of Formosa against China, divided Sudan into North and South, and divided Cyprus between Greece and Turkey.

We also saw this game when Gurdaspur was awarded to India with a view to providing access to Kashmir to bring a stalemate as was the case with the two Koreas as well as with Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Then there is the case of East Timor and many other places in the world where someone or the other wants to keep the conflicts alive in pursuit of their own vested interests.

Notwithstanding the above, every day is not Sunday. India will fail miserably in its sinister design, and Panjshir Valley will soon fall and get into the fold of the Taliban, who will close the door forever of any rapprochement between Kabul and New Delhi.

India is playing with fire. In itself, India is an unnatural and artificial union, which has never been one state in the true sense. It is in danger of its own disintegration in the presence of separatist movements in Punjab, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Bengal and Bihar. There are also calls for the revival of the states of Osmanistan and Junagadh. And, indeed, the liberation of the occupied Kashmir and its decision to join Pakistan is pretty much the writing on the wall.

Lt-Col (retd) Syed Iftikhar Ahmed
Karachi

STIPEND FOR ARTISTS: This refers to the report ‘Monthly stipend for artists’ (Aug 23). It is a laudable and welcome initiative of the government in Balochistan to give Rs30,000 stipend and medical grant to the deserving artists. This will encourage other provinces to follow suit and assist those who served the country well.

Muhammad Aslam
Hyderabad

NEGLECTED PROVINCE: Balochistan is blessed with natural resources, including minerals and gas reserves, and is home to several tourist spots, including the strategic port of Gwadar. But, unfortunately, the province remains neglected by the government, and the locals are unable to make the most of these resources. Only a few towns have sufficient gas supply, roads across the province are in a dilapidated condition, and the people are deprived of even the most basic of facilities. Balochistan deserves to be treated with due respect.

Shaymureed Jan Muhammad
Turbat

SAFETY POLICY: In the wake of recent frequent fire incidents in industrial units, and while the government is encouraging the manufacturing sector to go for sustainable development, it must prioritise the safety of the labourers. It should make a comprehensive zero-tolerance policy for workplace incidents to ensure better working conditions, and should make all the companies comply with that policy in order to prevent such incidents in the future.

M. Ilyas
Islamabad

FIRE FIGHTERS: This is with reference to the heart-breaking picture of the relatives of Korangi fire incident victims (Aug 28). While the authorities are showing callous attitude and trying to shrug off their responsibility, the fire-fighters deserve the appreciation for their effort to save lives. The incident was preventable if adequate safety measures were at place and the failure is that of the government and its various functionaries. If nothing else, the government should at least train and equip the fire-fighters to prevent such tragedies in future.

Munawar Hameed Mangalwala
Karachi

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2021

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