Giving peace a chance in Kashmir

In his article Autonomy for Kashmir: It is better not to delay it further (Dec 13), H.K. Dua has correctly analysed the perennial Kashmir problem and thankfully, this time there was a sketch for a lasting solution to this problem.

More autonomy seems to be the only respectable solution that can be applied under present circumstances. India, Pakistan and all the Kashmiris concerned need to show some flexibility to give peace every chance to succeed.

There has been growing disillusionment amongst various states. Those in the North-East and Kashmir in particular have been feeling left out from the national decision making process. Successive governments have done precious little to rectify this imbalance. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seems to be the right person for the job. There has been considerable movement in the right direction at addressing such issues since he assumed office.

The most important aspect in giving autonomy is to honour the commitments towards Kashmir and Kashmiris. Winning the hearts is a long drawn process and should be persevered with.

RAJIV BHALLA, Chandigarh


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has very rightly told Pakistan and the people of Kashmir that another division of the state is not acceptable. He has invited each and everyone for talks but without any pre-conditions. He has made his point clear by maintaining that any solution based on changing the existing borders is not acceptable to India.



Pakistan started the Kashmir trouble with the aim of occupying it and is in no mood to solve it. India has been trying its best to promote good relations with Pakistan by starting buses and trains to Pakistan, organising cultural exchanges, games and so on. Pakistan should understand that the world opinion has titled towards India.

India must realise that the Hurriyat leaders are not spokesmen of Kashmiris. They can join for talks once they are ready but the government, in consultation with the people, should decide fast the quantum of autonomy. However, Jammu and Ladakh should not be neglected in the process as they are also a part of Jammu and Kashmir. Any solution should be within the framework of the Indian Constitution and acceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.



One way to tackle the Kashmir problem is to have an Indo-Pak confederation that includes an autonomous and united Jammu and Kashmir. The pre-partition Jammu and Kashmir must be revived. It need not join either Pakistan or India, nor get independence. It can be autonomous within an Indo-Pak confederation.

A South Asian Union (SAU) will pave the way for a united Jammu and Kashmir (that includes what is today the Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir) as an autonomous unit which is neither independent nor part of India or Pakistan.

It is a win-win situation in which the hopes and desires of all the three India, Pakistan and autonomous Jammu and Kashmir can be fulfilled. In my opinion, without Indo-Pak confederation, mere autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir is not practicable.



I do not know why Kashmir should be accorded special status under Article 370. This needs to be scrapped forthwith. Kashmir should be treated on a par with all other states of the Indian Union. Pakistan should be taken to task for instigating the people of Kashmir against India and for abetting terrorism in the Valley.

D.P. JINDAL, Mandi Gobindgarh


Pending resolution of all other problems, both India and Pakistan should continue to promote people-to-people contacts. These will definitely help improve the ongoing peace process. The people of both countries have shown a lot of interest in the meetings organised by the governments at various levels. The people want the peace process to continue and restoration of normal relations between the two countries. This will promote peace in South Asia.

MAMTA MALIK, Chandigarh

Help for a neglected school

I was deeply touched by your front-page report No teacher, Class V student runs school at Soyemajra, Ropar (Dec 9). My salute to the students who are working as pillars to the already demolished school.

For the past 51 years, we have been running a chain of five educational institutions under the banner of Ajanta Group. We also run a free school for slum children where free education and other basic amenities are given to the students.

I offer my services to the school in question. I would like to give students education and take care of all their educational needs.

VIKRANT KAPOOR, Principal, Ajanta Sr. Secondary School, Dhab Khatikan, Amritsar


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