Indo-Pak ties: Need for a radical shift

In his front-page editorial “Will Musharraf play cricket, or go the Agra way?” (April 11), H.K. Dua has laid emphasis on solving boundary issues with Pakistan by accepting the China model. While the proposal is salutary, its implementation is doubtful.

First, there is a fundamental difference between China and Pakistan as sovereign nations. While the former has a robust economy coupled with sound principles of governance, the latter is a fragmented and rogue nation having no principled stand on its international policies that could withstand the test of legality in terms of international law.

Secondly, Pakistan is not interested in having Kashmir physically; its entire focus being to bleed India in some form. That is the ideology behind the creation of Pakistan. While China’s policy vis-à-vis India has been to blow hot and blow cold in the same breath, China would never give what India desire from its proficient neighbour simply because such a step would compromise its status of regional power. At the same time, it would desist from adopting confrontational attitude towards India because of India’s standing in the comity of nations. So instead of China model, there is need for a radical shift in Pakistan’s foreign policy vis-à-vis India.

RAJIV BHALLA, Chandigarh





The front-page editorial is realistic, based on the past experiences regarding the Indo-Pak peace talks held from time to time. The significance of the Muzzafarbad- Srinagar bus service can be helpful to defuse tension in Kashmir. In this context, Mr Dua aptly said that the people of Kashmir love peace rather than the culture of the gun.

General Pervez Musharraf will have to withdraw his views regarding the “freedom movement in Kashmir” and refuse to extend “moral and political support” to the militants in Kashmir. The ball is indeed in his court now.

SIMMI MOHINDRU, Jalandhar City


Successive military regimes of Pakistan have consistently used the Kashmir card for whipping up anti-India sentiments as a recipe to stay in power usurped through military coups. General Musharraf’s statements in the recent past to the effect that “Kargil was a lesson for Indians”, “Kashmir is a nuclear flashpoint” and so on indicate his dubious intentions and do not augur well for the ongoing peace process.

During his talks with General Musharraf in New Delhi on April 17, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should tread with caution.

Wg-Cdr GURMAIL SINGH (retd), Chandigarh


Mr Dua raises a pertinent question in the heading of the front-page edit itself: “Will Musharraf play cricket, or go the Agra way?” We expect General Musharraf to act like a statesman and do his best to further the peace process through more confidence-building measures.

His visit to India on April 17 will be an historic opportunity for General Musharraf to earn the goodwill of millions of people who want lasting peace between India and Pakistan.



Though General Musharraf seems to be in the habit of blow hot and blow cold, this time he would hopefully act like a statesman rather than a politician in uniform, going by the small but positive steps like encouraging people-to-people contacts on both sides of the divide.

Good sense demands that one must learn from past mistakes. Both countries should create an atmosphere of trust and confidence by encouraging more and more people-to-people contacts. This will usher in a new beginning in the annals of the two countries.



The launch of Srinagar- Muzaffarbad bus service, however laudable, may not help resolve the Kashmir problem. Pakistan may feel that it has an inalienable right on Kashmir. But India cannot — and should not — give it up as the Valley is culturally, traditionally and legally an integral part of India.

India must tackle the Kashmir question with firmness. By revoking Article 370 of the Indian Constitution (special status for Kashmir), India can show to the world that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Everything else will fall into line in due course.

GEETANJALI KORPAL, Advocate, Amritsar

Screening of VIPs a must

In what sense is Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee’s trust betrayed, VIP status demeaned, and India’s reputation tarnished if he, like all the other departing airline passengers, places his personal luggage on a conveyor belt for X-ray scanning and then to walk through a metal detector?

Just last year, Senator Edward Kennedy, brother of the late President Kennedy, and easily recognised, was pulled aside and put through secondary screening before being allowed to fly out of at Boston’s Logan International Airport. He, unlike Mr Chatterjee, handled it all with good nature.


Relax visa curbs

The peace march on foot led by noted social activist and Magsaysay award winner Sandeep Panday from Delhi to Multan is laudable. I met the 35-member team at Ludhiana on April 9. I was stunned to know that they were told to end their peace march at the Wagah border. This is unfair on the part of the Pakistan government. If the people march through the roads, streets and corners of their cities, peace and democracy will blossom.

It is nice to hear from a peace activist in Lahore that she will continue this march from Wagah to Multan in Pakistan. I request India and Pakistan to relax visa curbs on both sides and allow people to meet freely in the interest of peace.

Dr JASVINDER SINGH, Malaud (Ludhiana)

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