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Walking the Indo-Pak peace track

HK. DUA’s article, “Walking the peace track: Slow motion is better than a stalled dialogue” (Sept 3), is timely. At present, both India and Pakistan want the peace process to continue, but the circumstances are not conducive.

In the meantime, it would be better if both countries made strenuous efforts through diplomatic and administrative channels to remove various impediments such as visa procedures, police vetting and huge bus fares which are responsible for the lukewarm response from people. If these problems are sorted out, there will be more people ready in both countries to travel by rail and bus.

If we want to continue the dialogue process and maintain cordial relations between the two countries, we have to remove the mistrust and suspicion at the grassroots level. Confidence-building measures would fructify only if people can travel to each other’s country freely and easily. This exercise will boost personal relations and help develop trade, tourism and economic relations.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh


 

II

The peace process between India and Pakistan seems to have been put on the backburner due to the compulsions of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Musharraf in their respective countries. The former’s boat has been rocked by the 123 Agreement endangering the perpetuation of his government and the latter’s position has become untenable because of the internecine squabbles among various groups hankering after power.

The General no longer harps on Kashmir. Rather he is trying to maintain his vice-like grip over the country’s polity. Hence both leaders are going at a snail’s pace as far as the peace process is concerned. It is heartening to learn that the peace process has not been stalled but decelerated. And that is no cause for concern.

Mr Dua has opined that the peace process cannot be reversed even if it remains in slow motion for the time being. What matters most is that peace between the two nuclear powers is vital for peace, prosperity, harmony and sense of brotherhood in the subcontinent. This is perceived now by both nations who understand the futility of polemical politics.

They are desirous of concentrating on economic development essential for removing ignorance, illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, diseases, misery and tension from the two countries. And that bodes well for both.

The continuation of the dialogue, albeit slow, gives the satisfaction that both are on the right track and this is what the people on both sides of the fence want. The Indo-Pak relations ought to be normal and friendly for the good of the people and world peace.

TARSEM S. BUMRAH, Batala

III

To transform the problematic Indo-Pak paradigm, both nations showed considerable determination on managing their problems and putting in place a confidence-building mechanism.

Mr Satinder Lama and Mr Tariq Aziz have put a lid on the decade-old border problem. Yet again, at a time when both sides have hurdles to cross, mist is gathering on the broad principles. The Satinder lama-Tariq Aziz team had worked out in keeping a very difficult relationship on an even keel.

Kashmir is a part of the process set in motion and it has to take its own time. Any hurry in this regard will be dangerous. The determination of both countries to carry forward the composite dialogue process has the backing of the general public. Slow and steady wins the race if the process is carried on with sincerity and full determination.

UMED SINGH GULIA, Advocate, Supreme Court, Faridabad

IV

It is good that the constituency of peace is expanding. And this must expand further in the positive direction for lasting peace on both sides of the divide. Track I or Track II, the end results for both countries seem to be the same — peace in the subcontinent and peaceful settlement between the two neighbours.

People on both sides of the divide should not be made to wait for peace due to the political compulsions of the leadership of both countries. To some extent, this amounts to selfish interests for retaining power at the cost of the peace process. And in this slowdown of the peace process, Pakistan leadership seems to be more at fault as the leadership has made unavoidable mistakes and hence is facing internal problems.

Let us hope that people-to-people contacts will not only increase in the days to come but also put the peace process on the fast track.

GURDERSHAN SINGH, Chandigarh

V

Mr Dua has very rightly pointed out in his article that slow motion is better than a stalled dialogue. In this regard, sincere efforts made by Satinder Lamba from India and Tariq Aziz from Pakistan are highly appreciable. They have tried their best to work out a plan to abolish war from the subcontinent.

Due credit should also be given to Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf and our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for creating this atmosphere which was lacking earlier.

SUBHASH C. TANEJA, Rohtak

Aping the West, as usual

Surprisingly, India has also started raising its voice against unfounded fears of the use of toxic colours in Chinese toys and products that are available here at a very low price. For, one knows pretty well how much our nation pays attention to check its own consumer goods. What to talk of ordinary consumer goods, there is no foolproof quality check even for locally produced medicines and food products.

Earlier, products were cheap in the US and conditions were brutal  for many American workers. After labour unions successfully lobbied for better wages, prices rose. As a result, the US consumer turned to Japan to find lower prices. Working conditions there too were poor and wages were low. In time, Japan emerged as a major economic leader in the world. The labour force started enjoying an improved working environment and wages increased again along with the prices of industrial products.

In search of a new way to secure low-priced consumer products, the US turned to China, Indonesia and India where abysmal working conditions prevail and wages are extremely low. Now the whole West, like the Americans, has started expressing its outrage against Chinese products for the same reason.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

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