x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

The Afghan attacks at the weekend indicate a resurgent Taliban

Readers comment on Indian property deals, challenges to the UAE's economy including labour issues and minimum wage, and the welfare of attendants at petrol stations.

Recent violence in Kabul and in other cities shows a new Taliban campaign, a reader says. Massoud Hossaini / AFP
Recent violence in Kabul and in other cities shows a new Taliban campaign, a reader says. Massoud Hossaini / AFP

If people are foolish enough to get carried away by Power Point presentations and then invest money without checking the claims of property promoters, why should the government spend its resources to help? (Kerala property investors call for top police inquiry, April 15)

Property dealings cannot be decided on presentations; there are a lot of issues involved. I have noticed that many of the builders double the price of the properties when they make presentations in the UAE. I have cross-checked this by asking friends in India to call promoters' marketing wings and find out the actual price.

Promoters here, or anywhere, are always trying to make a fast buck. We, the people and the investors, should read all the small print and also between the lines, and then consult with professionals before investing hard-earned money.

Haste does make waste.

KB Vijayakumar, Ras Al Khaimah

Agents' actions a disgrace to the US

I refer to Bad timing, miscues and scandal: Obama's foreign trips seem sidetracked by distractions (April 15th). It's unbelievable that Secret Service agents who were supposed to provide security for President Barack Obama during the Summit of the Americas in the Colombian port city Cartagena disregarded their first and foremost responsibility on duty.

The elite suit and earpiece-wearing agents were not trying to get as much information to protect the president, but rather, were fraternising with prostitutes and doing heavy drinking.

I believe that all allegations of misconduct should be taken seriously and the major blow to the service should not happen again.

Ali Sedat Budak, Abu Dhabi

Unique challenges to UAE's economy

The UAE is not the UK, Korea, Singapore or Finland; the UAE's culture is literally unique - despite the suggestions of your columnist (Top talent will help UAE industry take off, April 16).

Plans, visions, money, education facilities and expert opinions that don't take into account what makes the UAE different have all resulted in the development of a country that has unacceptable dropout rates from schools, little to no private-business employees, and low enrolment rates and success in undergraduate and advanced-degree programmes.

While I enjoyed the comments and admire Rolls-Royce the company, I cannot support your evidence or your conclusions.

Tom Pattillo, US


Here's a way to improve working in the UAE: the FNC should require a minimum wage for all workers, including maids and labourers. (Government jobs are not the answer - capacity building is, April 16).

This way there would be less difference between the private and public-sector jobs. Besides improving employment prospects of Emiratis this would improve the UAE's standing in terms of labour relations and rights.

The sooner ideas like this are implemented the better.

Name withheld by request

Policies to protect petrol attendants

I am often troubled by the treatment of workers here in the UAE, but one segment of the workforce gets little attention: labourers at petrol stations. Day in and day out they toil, during some of the hottest parts of the year. Construction workers get afternoon breaks in the summer, but petrol station workers never get time off.

Here are a few suggestions to make conditions for petrol workers better: First, it should be mandatory for every gas station to install a fan on top of each pump so that the worker can stand under it and cool off.

Second, every labourer should work during cooler parts of the day (as should construction workers). People might have to pump their own fuel.

I hope the government will look into these ideas and consider this vulnerable workforce.

AS Ahmed, Abu Dhabi

Afghan violence is proof help needed

Time has passed since the US-led international force announced plans to leave Afghanistan, but violence continues (Taliban launch suicide strikes on Kabul, April 16).

Coordinated suicide bombings by the Taliban have shaken domestic and foreign media and marked the start of the insurgents' spring offensive.

This may not be the boldest and most complex assault in years, but it shows that the country's insurgents still display a level of power - firing automatic weapons and grenades at embassies, government buildings and hotels. Taliban fighters are far from beaten by Nato forces and Afghan security.

Unless Afghans are able to develop and maintain a firm grip on security, challenging terrorism in all its forms, international forces should not leave Afghanistan.

Dilara Akay, Turkey