Holding the Line of Peace

HK. Dua’s front-page editorial, “Holding the Line of Peace” (July 17), is timely. The poser made in the conclusion is pertinent. A clear-cut policy is vital as regards the aspirations of the constituents of Jammu and Kashmir. Any off the cuff arrangement will not work. Isn’t it the time to confront our fears and failures of past? The polity has failed the country not only on the social front but also on real secularism because of caste and class politics. Instead, the country is steeped in corruption and greed of those in power.

The leadership should not venture into new scenarios without correcting the fault lines in the system as it has turned democracy on its head. The Centre should not see Pakistan through the prism of trade only as trade and business are inherently based on self-interest which, in most cases, turns into violence. What prevents violence is a shared understanding for the common good of the people of both countries. This is the only practical way to live and flourish in peace and amity.

Lt-Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana



The baffling thesis is too complex for average Indians to comprehend. If borders become irrelevant, nations are bound to lose their exclusive identity and sovereignty.

Despite heavy deployment of the Army and paramilitary forces, we seem unable to check the influx of terrorists, arms, ammunition, narcotics and foreign money into Kashmir. Through Kashmir, terrorism reached New Delhi, Mumbai and now Bangalore.

If a small hole can sink a big ship, what about the 700-km open border with Pakistan, which is committed to having waged a thousand-year war with India? Be ware of the diplomatically shrewd Pakistan which has nothing to lose where as we are fighting with our back to the wall.

With sealed borders, we couldn’t prevent bloodshed in Kashmir and the painful exodus of Kashmir Pandits. Consequently, with open borders, Kashmir’s fate can well be imagined.



Mr Dua has rightly stressed the need for peace and prosperity which the people of both countries are waiting for. I am confident that Gen Musharraf can take difficult decisions as he has the Army’s full support to implement the peace process. Gen Musharraf will survive the latest crisis in Pakistan. His political survival is an added advantage for India as he and Dr Manmohan Singh have started the peace process on the right track.

Bombs and bullets will only destroy us; they will never help solve our problems. Let both India and Pakistan spend the money allocated for bombs and bullets on giving a glass of milk to every child so that they can grow with dignity.

I am reminded of Sahir Ludhianvi’s famous Urdu couplet: Is daur-e-taraqqi ke andaaz nirale hein/ Zehno mein andhere hein sarkon pe ujale hein.



Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s yet another olive branch to Pakistan is laudable. However, time is not ripe to convert the Line of Control into a Line of Peace with free flow of ideas, goods, services and people in view of the present situation in Pakistan, as Mr Dua has rightly mentioned in his front-page editorial.

The Prime Minister has already formed five special groups to tackle different problems including a key group on the Centre-State relations even though Jammu and Kashmir enjoys special status under Article 370 of the Constitution. Steps for free flow of goods and people by rail and road have also been made.

There is no point in waiting endlessly for the Hurriyat whose outfits are working in different directions. They boycotted the three round table conferences organised by the Prime Minister. A negotiated settlement is very difficult without the active participation of the leadership and the people of Kashmir including the Hurriyat. It remains to be seen how the Prime Minister will help solve the tangle.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh

Roots of Naxalite violence

The editorial “Naxals on the prowl” (July 12) aptly expresses the ground realities prevalent in the fast spreading Maoist-affected areas of 160 out of 600-odd districts in the country. The Centre has failed to grasp the magnitude of the problem. By treating it as a mere law and order problem, the Centre and the states would be making a grave mistake.

Maoists should not be treated as criminals or terrorists as they are products of an inefficient, corrupt and decaying socio-economic system. They have a cause and have tapped successfully into a deep well-spring of anger and desperation of poor, deprived people. If the government provided economic security, equal land distribution and corruption-free environment together with food, shelter and employment to the poor, Naxalism would not have born in India at all. The Centre and the states should solve the basic problem of poverty, unemployment and social justice rather than branding Naxalites as anti-national and suppressing them ruthlessly.

Dr VITULL K. GUPTA, Bathinda




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