Indo-Pak peace process: Need for restraint

H.K. Dua’s article “The value of restraint: Peace process would need tender care” (Jan 22) puts a big question mark on Pakistan’s sincerity of purpose over the ongoing peace process between India and Pakistan. Over the years, India has been making sincere efforts to normalise relations with Pakistan. Steps on bus services on the Delhi-Lahore and Khokhrapar in Rajasthan to Munabao in the Sind routes are some examples.

Mr Tariq Aziz, President Musharraf’s National Security Adviser, has come with a proposal for opening the Jammu-Sialkot route. But Islamabad is not willing to give her consent to start bus service on the Srinagar-Muzzaffarabad route. India should open the Jammu-Sialkot route only when Pakistan endorses our proposal for plying buses on the Srinagar-Muzzaffarbad route.

Islamabad is running its terrorist training camps in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK). Perhaps, that is why, it is not willing to open this bus route, fearing that its terrorist activities will get exposed. India should not agree to the give-and-take approach at any stage. Pakistan has already annexed our territory called POK. Any attempt to resolve the Kashmir dispute must also include POK as well.




If Islamabad desires concessions from New Delhi, it must also reciprocate. Both sides should go slow and steady in resolving the outstanding disputes. Mr Dua has rightly remarked: “Slow, but steady progress will keep it on track and possibly achieve more assured results.”

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)


I agree that a give-and-take approach for resolving Kashmir is not convenient either for India or Pakistan. This is because people of both countries are emotionally attached to Kashmir. Besides, the hardliners in both countries are a stumbling block in solving the Kashmir problem.

The sudden mortar shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) by the Pakistan Army should not be taken lightly. Pakistan has a history of betrayals. Its four attacks on India are enough examples of its wicked and evil designs.

Pakistan has repeatedly assured India that it will wind up the terrorist camps in POK, but it has done little in this regard. Our men, women, children and security personnel are killed every day by Pakistani terrorists. This must be stopped immediately. The day Pakistan stops mindless violence in our territory, we will think that it is sincere in establishing cordial relations with India.

R.C. SHARMA, Kurukshetra


There can be no disagreement over restraint being valuable. A peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute, however, is improbable. The problem provides the Pakistanis with a cause to remain united. A solution would remove this diversion.

Baluchistan, the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Sindh could then have the leisure to demand separation from the country. Together they comprise 40 per cent of the national population. They feel discriminated against, if not also oppressed, by the Punjabi majority.

Qaid-e-Azam Jinnah’s hope that Islam would be sufficient to hold Pakistan together was finally belied when, in 1971, Bangladesh broke away. Apart from national unity, unresolved Kashmir helps Punjab to dominate the rest of the country and, in turn, its landlords, bureaucrats and others in the elite to keep a grip over the province. Above all, do not forget the Army which needs the tension and threat from India to justify its predominance. If there is no fear of war, the continuation of the Army rule itself may become a popular question.

PRAFULL GORADIA, General Secretary, Akhil Bharatiya Jana Sangh, New Delhi


Mr Dua has rightly emphasised the need to exercise restraint by both countries so that the ongoing peace process does not get derailed.

During the long troubled period between the two neighbours, there has never been such an upsurge and desire for peace as evidenced by the growing government-to-government and people-to-people interaction. The visits by journalists from both countries to Jammu and Kashmir as well as POK must have dispelled misgivings.

There are bound to be pinpricks and roadblocks on the long process of confidence building and mutual trust. The road to Muzzafarbad for increased travel and trade on both sides should be opened soon; it would act as a balm on the bruised psyche of the Kashmiris.

Greater autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir with adequate safeguards will further add to solving the vexed issue, given the goodwill of all parties concerned. As highlighted by Mr Dua, India will never accept the division of Kashmir.

Brig H.S. SANDHU (retd), Panchkula

Case for a two-party system

The Indian National Congress comprising many national leaders won freedom for the country from the foreign yoke. After attaining Independence, Mahatma Gandhi wanted to disband the Congress at it had no economic programme.

The Constituent Assembly was in favour of two or three parties, but that did not suit the leaders in power. They wanted no limit on the number of parties on the ground that most people are poor and illiterate.

After 57 years, the nation is facing the problem of over 600 political parties, most of which exist either on the signboards or letterheads. It would be better if we have only two or three political parties with a definite economic programme. The representatives and the people should be told to work hard. Only then, the nation can progress.



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