Sunday, July 22, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Terrorism is the real issue, Gen Musharraf
Hari Jaisingh

THE Press conference by President Pervez Musharraf at Islamabad on Friday has reconfirmed the impression that his is a one-track mind. This may be advantageous to him as a General but not as a statesman he is desperately trying to project himself to be. A split personality can, at best, give split signals. Consciously or sub-consciously, this is what he did during the 130-minute encounter with the media. He talks of peace, but refuses to accept the composite ingredients for the purpose. He goes on repeating Kashmir without acknowledging the nature or genesis of the problem and the new factors that have complicated matters, courtesy Islamabad. He talks about a Kashmir solution without accepting the harsh ground reality of cross-border terrorism, officially aided and abetted by Pakistan with the help of Osama bin Laden's mercenaries. He praises Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh and indirectly points an accusing finger at certain other Indian leaders. Should we call it a psychological warfare or tactics to confuse and divide the Indian side? This is surely not a straightforward approach to solve bilateral problems with an open mind. Herein lies the challenge for the Indian leadership.

President Musharraf's is a closed mind. How does one negotiate with such a person? It is a different matter if he is using the media platform to establish his political legitimacy. This is what he did at Agra during his breakfast meeting with some Indian editors. Perhaps, President Musharraf does not seem to realise that by his conditioned approach, he has unleashed forces inimical to him. It will do him good if he takes a pause and learns from the failures of General Ayub Khan, General Yahya Khan, General Zia-ul-Haq and others who too tried to distort facts and suffered in the process. It does not pay to be clever by half. Though a well-focused and sharp person, wittingly or unwittingly, he is getting trapped in the web of his own making.

We passionately believe in an all-round upswing in India-Pakistan relations. The people of the two countries want to come closer and begin a new era of friendship. The problem here is of the General's fundamentalist approach of Kashmir first instead of responding to the people's desire for a tension-free atmosphere which will help sort out all the issues, including Kashmir. Well, Mr President, confidence-building cannot be treated as a "football match" to score points. It is a serious business of establishing peace and stability, not with the terrorist gun but through dialogue in a sporting spirit.


Vajpayee to get Pak invitation next week

Islamabad, July 21
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s formal invitation to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee will be handed over to the Indian Government next week, it was officially announced today.

The invitation letter will be presented to the Prime Minister by Pakistan High Commissioner to India Ashraf Jehangir Qazi. The contents of the invitation letter have already been finalised.

General Musharraf had extended an invitation to Mr Vajpayee at Agra during their first one-to-one meeting on July 15. It was promptly accepted by the Indian Prime Minister.

The officials said the Prime Minister’s visit to Pakistan would take place by the end of the year and it would be held either at Meeri Hill Resort, or in the Pakistan capital. UNI

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |