Readers’ Letters: UK should stop sending millions to Pakistan

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Kremlin in Moscow on 24 February this year

If they want to help Vladimir Putin by buying his oil and gas, let Putin take over their aid programme.

James Watson, Dunbar, East Lothian

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There have been demonstrations in every major Russian city and also in neighboring Belarus opposing Putin’s attacks on Ukraine. Tens of thousands of Russians have protested, too, against the war on Ukraine with letters from their professional organizations as well as several dozen Russian women’s organisations. Along with 15 other organisations, such as doctors and health workers, more than 15,000 IT workers wrote: “We are categorically opposed to the military action that has been started by the armed forces of the Russian Federation on Ukrainian territory.”

We must applaud the public demonstrations in cities across Russia, despite many Russians being beaten and arrested, for their opposition to Putin’s vicious war against the people of Ukraine. A defeat of Russia will be a warning to all imperialist adventurers, such as China or USA, and make a safer world for most people.

Although it might not be obvious, getting Nato to impose a “no fly zone” or any other direct military intervention cannot be a good idea. It is likely to escalate the war and to make it more widespread and dangerous. It is only those who are aware that the people’s main enemy is usually at home who will stop this escalating dangerously. We have to support the Russian people who oppose Putin.

While a huge, nuclear-armed country like Russia might be expected to impose the dominance of Putin, the popular resistance in Ukraine, combined with dissent at home, may yet topple Russia’s oligarchy. So Russia, get out of Ukraine, but also not to Nato intervention.

Norman Lockhart, Innerleithen, Scottish Borders

It was disappointing not to hear condemnation of Mike Russell and Michelle Thomson from our First Minister. To equate Scotland to Ukraine is an insult to the many people suffering cruelly over there at the hands of their disgraceful neighbor while, here in Scotland, we enjoy freedom and prosperity in conjunction with our neighbour. Our thoughts and attention should be with Ukraine, not idiots over here.

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What message was sent by MPs this week as they stood united in the House of Commons, giving the Ukrainian Ambassador a standing ovation. Question after question, challenge after challenge addressed to the PM at PMQs. MPs furious at the UK government’s inaction regarding sanctions, sanctions that are going nowhere near far enough, sanctions that have too many escape routes.

The EU has opened their hearts by opening their borders to the humanitarian crisis, so what is the UK’s response? Shockingly, we ask, do you meet the earnings criteria of £25,600 or do you qualify to come to the UK on a Seasonal Workers Visa (picking fruit), or if you have family living in the UK, you can come for a year – an absolute outrage as war engulfs their country. Call after call from MPs for the Westminster Government to open up their borders to scrap the need for immediate paperwork, in light of the seriousness of the situation. So, what message does the Ukrainian Ambassador take from the standing ovation and the debates that followed?

Catriona C Clark, Banknock, Falkirk

Dr Alison Smith asks why Putin is interested in Scotland (Perspective, March 3). I believe Russia in interested, if that is the word, in Scotland, and Alex Salmond, for one reason only. That reason is that some in the Kremlin believe helping to create instability and eventually assisting in the break-up of the UK would be a win-win situation for them.

The present situation in Ukraine perfectly illustrates that we would unilaterally abandon our nuclear deterrent at our extreme peril. Has humanity really learned nothing in the past 75 years?

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

Yet one more excuse to attack Westminster. Leah Gunn Barrett’s letter suggesting that the right to protest is being denied by the UK Government is totally exaggerated (March 2). There is no ban on peaceful protest. If she cares to look back at the reason for the recent legislation she will note that protests blocking passage by ambulances taking critically ill people to hospital, interfering with the free passage of other necessary vehicles and general obstruction of day-to-day business were the trigger for the legislation in question. If she thinks that such protests are acceptable I suggest she look carefully at her priorities.

Have there been any cases this week of protests against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine being stopped? Perhaps our “looming police state” is failing in its duty.

D Mason, Penicuik, Midlothian

This barbaric Russian invasion of Ukraine is being condemned almost universally, usual suspects excepted. Some believe that the Russian people may bring down Putin, eventually, if somehow the truth can get to their ears and eyes showing Russian soldiers invading and killing their own relatives in Ukraine instead of being fed propaganda spewed from the state owned Russian TV, radio and other state media.

However, it is just possible that China might recognize an opportunity to polish its credentials and help its Russian pals to come to their senses. It is also conceivable that the free world’s resolve to confront the thug in Russia may give China’s president, Xi Jinping, pause to consider the economic storm that could be in store for China if he persists with his desire to invade Taiwan.

Stan Hogarth, Strathaven, South Lanarkshire

I have just completed the Scottish census and answered questions relating to knowledge of Gaelic, Scots and whether I am trans.

I also had to choose between being Scottish or “Other British” – whatever that is.

The overwhelming impression was of a nationalist-tainted census, catering to the hobby horses of the SNP. I can already imagine the SNP trumpeting the number of people in Scotland who identify as Scottish rather than “Other British”.

Our census has been hijacked by a political party for its own purposes. This is wrong.

(Dr) Bruce Halliday, Dumfries

The latest, dare I say inevitable, problems with a government website were experienced by Mrs J Montgomery in her attempt at census return (Letters, March 1). Given that there was a year’s delay as we Scots, unlike the rest of the UK, were deemed incapable of form-filling during the pandemic, we might have hoped for a fully functioning system. Adopting Mrs Montgomery’s pigeon-post suggestion would at least avoid the need for the original “knock on door” method, the latter being not at all conducive to getting the gender/sexual boxes ticked!

Jim Douglas, Penicuik, Midlothian

Kate Forbes launched her economic strategy for the next ten years this week and while I would like this to succeed, I have my doubts. The Finance Secretary says she wants to give entrepreneurs, businesses and people the tools they need to succeed. Perhaps if we could have faith in her announcement that the Scottish Government is firmly focused on using the powers they have to make Scotland an entrepreneurial nation and one of the best places to start or grow a business, it might be achievable.

Unfortunately, the record in government shows that the SNP Scottish Government would rather create grievance and division with Westminster than do anything they can to bring people out of poverty, help businesses prosper and create wealth that benefits all.

As long as the SNP keep harping on about independence, many businesses thinking of setting up here will hold off indefinitely. Instability is a business’s worse fear and when that instability rears its head with every reference to independence from the Scottish Government, why on earth should companies like Nissan and Just Eat, who last year created more than 3,600 new jobs in Sunderland between them, move here ? These are just two examples of companies that have either expanded or created new business opportunities in NE England.

Furthermore, the tools businesses need are security that their investments will be long term and an ability to attract the best candidates for the job. Indeed, one of Ms Forbes’ aims is to “Implement a focused Talent Attraction program to attract key skills and talent from the rest of the UK”. Why would talented staff come to Scotland where they will be taxed at a higher rate with an infrastructure that does not give them easy routes to the other parts of the UK to visit family, etc? If only the SNP would work together with the UK government on the implementation of the Union Connectivity Review rather than throwing their toys out the cot.

I fear this is another consultation document that will disappear to the back of a drawer very soon, never to be implemented as long as the SNP seek an ax to grind with the UK government.

Jane Lax, Aberlour, Moray

I had a strange and disturbing experience today (March 3). Perusing, as is my wont, the Letters to the Editor I found that I agreed with all of them! I am quite shaken.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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