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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Spare a thought for the suffering Afghan people

Readers have their say on Kabul bombing, Indian child protection laws and North Korea

An Afghan police officer stands guard at a voter registration centre in Herat, Afghanistan. Jalil Rezayee / EPA
An Afghan police officer stands guard at a voter registration centre in Herat, Afghanistan. Jalil Rezayee / EPA

In reference to Ruchi Kumar’s article Fear and loathing in Kabul after ISIS bomb rips through election centre (April 23), this piece made for extremely sad reading. The disgraceful ISIS suicide attack that cruelly ended 57 precious lives and wounded 112 innocent people in Kabul has rightly received condemnation from all four corners of the globe.

Afghanistan has been facing a particularly tough time recently – even for a country with a history as violent as its own – at the hands of terrorists. US troops have taken an active role in training the Afghan army in recent years but the fact that the Afghan people are still suffering so acutely from the scourge of terrorism is unacceptable. Of course it is difficult to anticipate a suicide attack but it is high time the international community united to eradicate this menace and save the Afghan people, who have already weathered too much pain and suffering.

K Ragavan, Bangalore

Changing law for child rapists could raise fresh issues

I refer to your article India government approves death penalty for child rapists (April 21): this is a positive development but what statement does it send to those aged 16 and above who are not defined as children? The problem is that each state has its own law in India.

Name withheld by request

Maneka Gandhi, the minister for women and child development, who fought hard and succeeded in securing these legal changes, deserves a big salute.

Arif Khan, India

Give peace a chance when it comes to North Korea

I write in reference to your wise editorial Cautious optimism is required on North Korean thaw (April 21): while caution is warranted in light of the past record of North Korea persistently breaking its promises to the international community, US President Donald Trump should nevertheless give peace a chance by trying to be open and receptive to the idea.

Both North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Mr Trump have uniquely mercurial personalities, as you rightly underscored in your editorial and news coverage.

Hopefully both men will focus on creating areas of mutual trust so that the North Korean economy can be rejuvenated and its people are no longer deprived of basic essentials like medicine due to the current stiff sanctions.

It rarely happens but I can’t help feeling that the ordinary people of North Korea must come first on the agenda when the two leaders sit down to talk next month.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Investing in property comes with no guarantees of profit

In reference to your column My Dubai apartment is in negative equity. Can I hand it back to the bank? (April 22), this landlord doesn’t seem to understand he is running a business and there is no guarantee of profit. Negative cash flow is not the same as negative equity.

Chris Reid, Dubai