Friday, August 17, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Strike at training camps run in Pakistan

In the article entitled “Government lacks political will” (Aug 10), Mr Hari Jaisingh has given a pithy eight-point prescription to cure the chronic Kashmir malaise. Permit me to add a couple of points.

One, mobilise Kashmiri youth to fight the mujahideen. There are any number of boys and girls, both among Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits, who have suffered irreparably at the hands of terrorists, and have seen their near and dear ones being butchered by them.

Why can’t we open training camps for them as Pakistan has done for the mujahideen, equip them and create a special task force to take the mujahideen head on? Give them even better security and financial rewards than are being offered to mujahideen by the ISI.

Second, strike at the training camps being run in Pakistan. Indeed, this is not my point. You mentioned it but did not elaborate, nor listed it in action points. I believe we have acquired missile launch technology to strike at specific targets. If not, we should obtain it from Israel. They recently struck at what they believed to be the headquarters of fundamentalist Palestinians, which of course resulted in a gruesome retaliation by a suicide bomber exploding in a restaurant in Jerusalem.

We should make no mistake about it. If we resort to missile strike, General Musharraf is not going to host a tea party to editors. We should be fully prepared for repercussions. But if we show precision and hit the camps only and nothing else, a clear message will go to Pakistan and the international community, and respect for India in the comity of nations would go up.

RAM VERMA, Panchkula


In his article Mr Hari Jaisingh has given eight suggestions to solve the Kashmir problem. Most of these are hypothetical and impracticable, and some contradictory also. How can the third suggestion — the “armed forces must be given a free hand” and the fourth — “Dr Farooq Abdullah has to be fully backed up” — be followed simultaneously?

Dr Abdullah will have to be sidelined if the armed forces have to be given a free hand. Again, what about the human rights organisations, pseudo-secular parties, Kuldip Nayars and I. K. Gujrals, who would make a noise about human rights violations the moment the armed forces take strong action.


Political will lacking: If we are to “take on the problem head-on,” we have to start with the premise that Kashmir is no longer a conflict between the two countries; it is a conflict between two religions, two ideologies, two ways of life.

Mr Hari Jaisingh complains of “soft options” adopted so far and would like New Delhi to tell the political groups in Kashmir to “either get into the mainstream of India’s established democratic process or get lost.” With a special constitutional status to J&K in place, that may not be very logical. Even today the Congress does not admit it as a mistake, leave alone the idea of correcting the situation.

The future course of action clearly lies in crushing terrorists with a heavy hand and giving the forces a free hand to achieve the objective of eliminating them.

L. R. SHARMA, Solan

Give Army a free hand: Talks with Pakistan may continue only as talks. But the Army must be given a free hand — and immediately. Time is slipping. Innocent men, women and children are being butchered by the men of the Kargil butcher day in and day out. Talks at the politician level and action at the Army level have to go side by side. Our Army is fit enough to stamp out cross-border terrorism, provided it gets a free hand. Over to Prime Minister Vajpayee.

S. S. JAIN, Chandigarh

Muslims unite: The Muslims in India should unite and condemn the outrage of terrorists. Their silence could encourage the militants to go on merrily with their agenda. Militancy and fundamentalism pose a serious threat to civilisation.


Act boldly: Whenever “they” kill innocent people in J&K, government officials in Delhi release an official statement. The so-called “iron-man”, Mr L.K. Advani, is doing the same. How can we believe that militancy will surely be crushed?

PRAMOD PANDEY, Sriganganagar

Action: The security and intelligence systems have to be geared up. We shall have to fight “jehad” tooth and nail and crush every form of terrorism. It will have to be done now and here. Gentlemen, still there is time to give a befitting reply to General Musharraf’s after-Agra outbursts. Time has come to translate the brave words into action.

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)

Wake up: I wish Prime Minister Vajpayee wakes up to do something about terrorism in Kashmir. I will be very surprised if the present government does anything in the near future.


No good neighbour: In view of the recent killings of Hindus in Kashmir, I firmly believe that it is right time for the Indian government to take the matter of Kashmir more seriously with hatred for India and Indians, Pakistan will never be a friendly neighbour to us.

ANIL P. PANDE, Sharjah

No proactive policy: The frequent massacres of minority communities in J&K is a shocking reminder of the cost the nation and its people have to pay for allowing the Kashmir problem to fester. One explanation is that India has had not any proactive policy towards Kashmir. It has tended to wait for things to happen before reacting. Such reactive posturing is of a pattern and not typical only of the Vajpayee government.


Phoolan yet to be born

Like a phoenix, she created and destroyed herself many times. From a defamed adolescent to a youthful murderess, from a “baghi” to a “samaj sevak,” she scripted her role and played just that. At no time did we witness any defeat or worthlessness in her. Her undying spirit and actions were proof of her inner and outer value system. Extreme love and hate were part of her inherent beauty.

Her life revolved around sex and violence. This crude power makes her fall and rise. She used ammunition and transformed from a victim to a victimiser. Then when all else failed she surrendered to an authority she did not respect and trust. She used grace and pardon.

To be killed and shot dead may be a violent act, but for Phoolan it was the most natural ending. Her tale of triumph and terror will live as an inspirational legend. It takes us beyond the confines of human struggle. Was Phoolan an exemplary figure or simply a mockery of human existence?

Could it be that there is a natural wildness in each of us waiting to express itself? Can we each live out our own dharma — be a Phoolan and yet be ourselves. Would we dare to allow our Phoolan to be born?

RUBY BEDI, Chandigarh


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