Saturday, June 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Towards a peaceful resolution of Kashmir problem

It is right time for the leadership of India and Pakistan to think outside the box in regard to Kashmir and its people. As the Kashmir-Line of Control (LoC) is the Line of Conflict (LoC), slowly, surely, and peacefully make it irrelevant for exploiters and bad elements on either side.

Peaceful resolution of Kashmir is crucial and critical for the present and future generations of the region. If Kashmir peopleís issue is not addressed, the safety and security of over one billion will remain uncertain. The people in the Indo-Pak region and the rest of the world should always be of our top concern and interest.

Everybody, every leader, and every institution should take it upon themselves to exercise extreme care and caution. We all should avoid any provocative, inflammatory, and rancorous language, acts, and activities in and around the sensitive region.

At the same time, we and the world cannot afford to ignore the plight and aspirations of the people of Kashmir. These people have been divided by the Line of Control and\or the ceasefire line. Like the Berlin wall, it needs to be slowly, surely, and peacefully removed, erased, and dismantled by firm and resolute involvement of all. A courageous and bold action is needed by true, caring and visionary leadership of the region.



 

The people of occupied and divided Kashmir have sacrificed a lot in last seven decades. The multiple promises, pledges, and commitments that have been made to the people of Kashmir over the last five decades need to honoured.

As a Kashmir-born naturalised American citizen and having spent equal parts of my life in each of the two countries of mine, it is my inherent duty and obligation to comment on this matter.

The question of nuclear weapons should be only discussed for denuclearisation. The aim and focus should be to address the plight and aspirations of the people of Kashmir with the ultimate goal of erasing the Line of Conflict.

COL. A. M. KHAJAWALL (retd.), (via e-mail)

 

Sardar Sarovar dam

During a visit to the villages affected by the Sardar Sarovar dam, I was rudely shocked to learn that construction to increase the height of the dam by five meters had already started, without even informing the people who will be forcibly displaced by the submergence this monsoon. Four lakh people will be displaced by the submergence caused by the dam, while the total number of people affected by various components of the project goes up to one million.

How will the responsible politicians and bureaucrats react if they were forcibly evicted from their houses, if their wealth was confiscated for the welfare of the poor, in the name of national interest?

Neeta Deshpande, Panaji (Goa)


Ball in Pak court

Apropos of Adnan Adilís front-page article ďNo ill feelings against IndiaĒ (June 12), having lived intimately with Pakistanis for several years, I fully agree with Mr Adil that ordinary Pakistanis do not hate their Indian brothers. It is equally true that ordinary Indians also do not hate Pakistanis. But these facts are irrelevant while discussing politics.

He is correct in saying that Pakistanis do not want to wage a war against India. He would have been more correct if he had said that Pakistanis do not want to wage a formal, conventional war because they are afraid of Indiaís strength. Instead they would like to continue the low cost proxy war.

He also forgets to mention about the minority Kashmir Pandits who were driven out Kashmir over the years and who are living in refugee camps. He also forgets to mention about Maharaja Hari Singh who volunteered to join India when Pakistan invaded Kashmir soon after the Partition.

Mr. Adil said that India has to resolve the dispute. But the ball is actually in Pakistanís court. Pakistan has to honour the Shimla agreement so that the dispute can be resolved.

UTPAL  CHAKRABARTY, (via e-mail)

Not a wise step

I really do not understand the ways in which our government is working. I am surprised by the decision to relax itís present aggressive stand against the Pakistan armyís involvement in infiltration. Our government has not learnt from itís past mistakes and is believing in the promises given by Pakistani leaders.

The only losers in this game are people living in the border areas. Hundreds of them have been killed by crossborder firing, thousands of them had to leave their homes; their homes have been destroyed; their routine life has been disrupted. This sort of tension and firing has become a routine and is severely affecting those people. How can our government believe the Pakistanis?

VIKAS GARG, Allahabad

Kalam & research

Prof A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is, no doubt, the best choice for President. He is an eminent scientist and has shown great achievement in nuclear missile technology. But he does not have enough knowledge of politics. Even if is elected as President, his professional skills should be utilised for further scientific development in the country.

AMIT, Chandigarh


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