Ceasefire fine, but infiltration must stop

Pakistan’s dramatic announcement on ceasefire can be interpreted in two ways. One, Islamabad has, perhaps, launched an image-building exercise in view of the January meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation for ensuring Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s presence there. Two, the Musharraf regime has realised the significance of confidence-building measures for bringing the two countries closer to each other.

But there is no absolute authority in Pakistan which can provide 100 per cent assurance to India or to any other country that the crossborder terrorism can be stopped. This ceasefire can last 30 days at the most or may be less, and we will be back to square one. We should deal with the real problems which are getting bigger every day. I offer the following resuggestions:

One, restore democracy in Pakistan first so that they have a legitimate authority to which India can talk with.

Two, liberalise the so-called religious rules through mosques, temples, churches, gurdwaras etc. People in general dislike others to dictate them of what they should do but if their own institutions come forward liberalising the rules etc, masses accept it and implement easily.

Three, business needs to be expanded in all directions, this will tie people up with one another leaving less of a chance of disturbances created by outsiders, which normally succeed with the help of locals.


Four, enforcement to oversee that very high moral and ethical standards are maintained in business is a must. Otherwise, we will lose the ground that we will gain.

Five, business must be easy to start, with as less rules as possible, but competition must be encouraged.

And finally, tourism can give birth to new thinking between the two countries.



Apropos of your editorial “Ceasefire is fine” (Nov 26), it is good that the military hostility and engagement in very inhospitable conditions on the Indo-Pak border have come to a halt. While this development should help both the governments to concentrate on issues of mutual trade and socio-cultural development, lasting and healthy relations will depend on the question of terrorist infiltration from across the border and the existence of terrorist training camps in PoK.

So long as Pakistan continues to harbour militants and provides facilities and funds to such outfits, no effort at mutual confidence building can succeed. It is not enough to just ban a few terrorist organisations on paper and allow them to flourish in a new re-Christened mode. While India has always made attempts and has welcomed any initiative to create a conducive atmosphere, Pakistan has often misread such gestures and has tried to torpedo them. It has only tried to please its Western masters.

It is time that Pakistan displayed a strong political will to curb terrorism and accept honestly and sincerely the Indian hand of friendship and mutual cooperation. It should be under no illusion that in times of difficulties its pampered organisations of terrorists or the Western masters will come to its rescue.



India-Pakistan ceasefire is good news, which I heard after a long time. This ceasefire between two nuclear powers should have come years ago. No doubt, it will help ease the strained relations between both countries. It can also result in a major breakthrough in peace talks. Hopefully, this time, politicians on both sides of the border will take a firm stand in the interest of peace.


Pot calling the kettle black

If loud braying counted for anything, says a Russian proverb, the ass would be the king of the world. High-flown speeches by our politicians are nothing but gimmick. Their fiery “bhashans” will not bring bread to hungry mouths. Hardly a day passes when the leaders do not make speeches from rooftops on communal harmony. Are they sincere about what they say? The politicians’ statements are nothing but the pot calling the kettle black.

The ticket for an election is given on the basis of one’s caste, community and religion. Seats in government services are reserved on the basis of caste. States are reorganised on linguistic lines. Yet we claim that ours is a secular state. In a way, all political parties are to be blamed for the communal violence in the country. In a real sense, politicians are villains of “peace”.

In this context, the words of Fred Allen are worth quoting: “Most of us spend the first six days of each week sowing wild oats; then we go to church on Sunday for a crop failure!”

D.V. JOSHI, Bartana (Zirakpur)

Dangerous hoardings

Hoardings or boards at NH-15 from Pathankot to Amritsar (for instance, the one by “Rai Foundation” at Village Kotli, 10 km from Pathankot, are very close to the bridge and canal, posing serious threat to passengers. I request the authorities concerned to remove such hoardings in the interest of passenger safety.



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