Letters

Pakistan's spy agency didn't play a role in Mumbai train bombings

This refers to the Oct. 2 article, "Pakistan said to play both sides on terror war."

Pakistan strongly rejects the allegations of Mumbai (Bombay) police that Pakistan's top intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), masterminded and funded July's train bombing in Mumbai. It is an old methodology of the Indian government to divert the attention of Indians from the chronic problems of poverty and disease by externalizing the issue. The government of Pakistan has demanded the evidence of such involvement.

These baseless accusations, we hope, will not affect next month's talks between India and Pakistan as part of a composite dialogue process aimed at resolving all outstanding issues between the two countries. During a talk in Havana, President Pervez Musharraf and the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, had expressed their firm resolve to pursue the composite dialogue with sincerity and commitment. The baseless allegations are contrary to the spirit of the joint statement issued in Havana.

The correspondent who wrote the article seems to be oblivious to the role of ISI in defeating the Soviet Union and the foiling of the London plot hatched to blow up civilian airliners in midair during transatlantic flight.

On the question of resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, the United Nations report released on Sept. 24 amply describes the center of gravity of the Taliban movement inside Afghanistan. It states: "The insurgency is being conducted by Afghans operating inside Afghanistan's borders. The insurgency's current center of gravity falls in and around the provinces of Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan and increasingly Farah. The Taliban southern command has recently begun to establish parallel civil administrations and courts in its area of operations."

The UN report is enough proof of the source of insurgency which also highlights the nexus between the warlords and drug barons, and the money they are getting to finance the fight against coalition forces.
M. Akram Shaheedi
Washington
Press minister, Embassy of Pakistan

Protecting property rights in Pakistan

Regarding the Oct. 10 article, "Another Pakistan winter without a roof," about earthquake survivors in the mountains: Part of the problem, as I understand it, is that many people are unwilling to move to a warmer climate for the winter because they fear they would then lose their claims to house and property. As I see it, America is in an ideal position to solve that problem more quickly than it takes to move adequate food and building materials into those remote villages. Using our global positioning satellites and satellite imaging, we could survey the villages and establish records of ownership. Once established, these records could be used to safeguard property titles while the owners escaped to a warmer climate. If implemented, it might not only allow villagers to escape the cold during winter, but provide a lasting tool that would reflect positively on America.
Michael Ernstoff
Los Angeles


Iraq has suffered more than the US


I write in response to John Hughes's Oct. 11 Opinion column, "Problems in Iraq should not deter US commitment to freedom." Mr. Hughes writes of the Iraq war, "Britain was a sturdy ally, committing substantial forces, and there was nominal support from a few others, but the US shouldered much of the burden and is taking most of the casualties." The people of Iraq are shouldering almost all of the burden and are taking almost all of the casualties! And the vast majority want the US to leave now.
Carl Fisher
Chiliwack, British Columbia

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted will appear in print and on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to (617) 450-2317, or e-mail to Letters.

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