Making peace with Pak an uphill task

In his two-part article “Making peace with Pakistan I & II” (Jan 9 and 10), Mr H.K. Dua has critically analysed in detail the past, the present and the future of Indo-Pak relations. Let us hope that General Musharraf will take effective steps to wipe out the terrorist networks in Pakistan. But three power centres in Pakistan have always spoilt peace initiatives.

Making peace with Pakistan has become altogether a difficult mission as there is no stable and accountable system of governance in that country. Ever since the creation of Pakistan, there has been an endless tug of war among the three power centres — the civil government, the military and the terrorist outfits. And what happens there has a direct bearing on India, particularly over the Kashmir issue. As long as these power centres pursue a common agenda to destablise India, they operate as a nexus in perfect harmony.

Successive regimes in Pakistan have never honoured agreements or accords. In fact, they are yet to learn to honour the importance of a given word. Making peace with Pakistan seems to be an uphill task not because we cannot work out solutions but due to the internal turmoil there. In fact, we have a long history of failures owing to the instable and unaccountable system of governance in Pakistan.




The peace efforts initiated by both countries are praiseworthy but we should not expect miracles as it is again a “new beginning”. I am reminded of T.S. Eliot’s famous lines: “In my beginning is my end, in my end is my beginning”. These lines are apt in the case of Indo-Pak relations.

Prof. AJAY KAHOL, Dhaliara


Mr H.K. Dua’s two-part article on Indo-Pak relations is timely. He has rightly mixed his optimism with healthy skepticism and has correctly observed that while the body language of Gen Musharraf, after some positive statements, exuded hope, only time would tell how sincere he is in his declarations. This perception was proved right when some path-breaking declaration by the General was immediately set at naught by his Foreign Minister as being “quoted out of context”.

More important than the body language is the mindset of the General and the team of advisers around him which appears to be ossified into a set mould. Pakistan has a backward, farm-based economy and an unbroken record of an unstable government that lurches from the corrupt political leadership to military dictatorship. With its appalling record of political torture, denial of basic human rights, especially of minorities, and frequent banning of political parties, any change in the mindset of Pakistan’s rulers appears to be merely a triumph of hope over experience.

R.C. KHANNA, Amritsar


Apropos of Mr H.K. Dua’s articles (Jan 9 and 10), the pragmatic moves by both India and Pakistan to restore cultural, business and communication relations are a giant step forward to bring peace and prosperity in the subcontinent. There is no acrimony between the two countries except on the issue of Kashmir. So, wisely, the leadership of both countries avoided referring to it during the SAARC meeting at Islamabad.

For the first time in 56 years, the leaders of both nations have embarked on a realistic approach to create a congenial atmosphere which will immensely benefit both neighbours. The super powers have always exploited the strained Indo-Pak relations. Mutual understanding and cordial relations between India and Pakistan will go a long way in eliminating terrorism which is threatening peace in the subcontinent.

KARNAIL SINGH, Ranjit Sagar Dam

Chanalon area cries for help

The Tribune report on the Chanalon Industrial Focal Point (Jan 12) should serve as an eye-opener to the authorities on the continued neglect of this area. It is mainly because of official apathy that there are no infrastructural facilities here. Worse, the huge funds spent by the government on the development of the Focal Point have gone down the drain due to the total neglect by the PSIEC and the local municipal council for the past many years.

This is most unfortunate because the municipal council raises more than 60 per cent of the octroi revenue from the industries. The endeavour of the state government to build an industrial climate and promote industrial growth in this region is being defeated by such neglect. The Tribune report should serve as an awakening call for the authorities concerned to do something at least now.

Col JATINDER SINGH (retd), President, Chanalon Industries Association, Industrial Focal Point, Kurali

Incorrect report

This refers to the news-item “Two held under Copyright Act” (Dec 16). Based on a press release by the Batala SSP’s office on Dec 15, the report carried the names of Ashok Sachdeva and Varun Sachdeva as the persons named by the accused held by the police.

Aggrieved by the report, we immediately took up the matter with the SSP’s office to check its authenticity. We also wrote a letter on Dec 18 to him. He told us that no press release was issued on Dec 15, 2003. A press release was issued around Nov 20, 2003, on the basis of preliminary investigation and statements of the accused. There was nothing on record to substantiate any involvement of Ashok Sachdeva and Varun Sachdeva and no credibility could be given to such uncorroborated preliminary statements of the accused. It was an attempt by some people to tarnish our image.

Ashok Sachdeva, Managing Director, Sachdeva and Sons’ Rice Mills Ltd., Amritsar


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