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Giving peace a chance

In his front-page editorial, “Put peace process back on track” (March 26), H.K. Dua rightly says that the elected government in Pakistan must be bold enough to jump onto the peace wagon with people following them in large numbers.

Of course, the road to real democracy is long. For the first time in Pakistan’s history, the civilian government has got the best opportunity to chart out a new foreign policy to restore the peace process with India. Hopefully, grasping the hand of friendship offered by India will be one of its major inputs.

Could anyone imagine a decade ago that there would be a wave of sympathy following the earthquake in the Kashmir area under Pakistan? The Pakistan government conceded that it couldn’t resist the pressure of people-to-people contacts between two countries.

Be it for contact, cricket or a colloquium, a new type of equation is emerging between the two sides. There is no tension and the fear to go across the border has disappeared. Instead there is ardent desire to visit both countries. Things will definitely improve. The peace dialogue and Track II diplomacy continue despite constant irritants.

The post-poll scenario in Pakistan too is conducive for better ties. Asif Ali Zardari has declared that Pakistan and India must be friends in all spheres, keeping the Kashmir issue aside. The Gillani government must be allowed space and time to take its own decisions.




Mr Dua has rightly expressed the hope that with the installation of the new government in Pakistan, peace will get a chance on both sides of the divide. History is witness to the fact that whenever the military rulers in Pakistan have feared that the situation in the country is going to slip out of their hands, they create a war hysteria to divert the people’s attention from the real issues. Encouragingly, the new Pakistan government intends to take up the most burning problems of the people in the beginning, putting issues like Kashmir on the backburner.

Much water has flown from the Indus during the last 60 years. The new rulers in Pakistan must learn from the past mistakes. Pakistan has lost much and gained nothing by raising the Kashmir issue in various world fora and waging four wars against India since the Partition.

It is not too late to resume the composite dialogue that was abandoned about a year back due to turbulent events in that country. What is needed is sincerity of purpose to recommence the dialogue. The need of the hour is for the two nations to forge cooperation in the economic, educational, cultural and trade areas, besides encouraging the people-to-people contacts.

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)


Now that the elected government of Yousaf Gillani has taken charge, the peace process and the talks started earlier by President Pervez Musharraf should be given a push to usher in a new era of friendship between the two countries.

The pangs of partition and scars should be forgotten. It is hoped that the US and the Army lobby will play a constructive role in building lasting peace and containing the radicals.

The peace loving people of both countries are eager to welcome it. Further, the new government should be magnanimous to release all the prisoners, including 54 POWs of the 1971 war from Pakistan. India should also follow suit.



Both India and Pakistan should heed Mr Dua’s advice. The people of both countries want everlasting peace. When the wars fought so far have not brought any fruitful result, we should go ahead with the peace process and become friends. The Kashmir problem can also be solved if there is political will on both sides.

The proposition of having a confederation of the two countries with a no-war treaty should also be considered by the ruling coalition government to ensure enduring peace along the borders.

Six decades is too long a period since the partition of the sub-continent and we must now live in perfect peace so that both countries can focus on development.

G. R. KALRA, Chandigarh


Increase the train frequency

According to a news-item (March 21), instead of a Garib Rath between Chandigarh and Jaipur, as announced in the Railway Budget, a special train has been cleared just for three months from April 4 on this route. It has been further announced that this special train (Nos. 0990 and 0989), covering 260 km, will run only thrice a week.

Parts of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh that will be served by this special train are not well connected so far with eastern and central Rajasthan. It is an urgent need that the frequency of this special train is increased; the train should run on all days of the week.

More important, the train should be extended up to Ajmer which has great religious importance. Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav should heed this suggestion.

Dr L.K. MANUJA, Nahan (HP)



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