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Start the dialogue process

H.K. DUA’s front-page editorial, “Put peace process back on track” (March 26) is timely. It reflects the voice of the people of India and Pakistan for restoring peace and harmony after years of rivalry and wars, including the continued proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Dua has rightly called upon the elected governments of the neighbouring countries to resume the stalled “composite dialogue” process in right earnest to strike the peace deal. Everyone will appreciate his noble sentiment and the global need for promoting friendship and peace. When Pakistan’s President, Prime Minister and Army Chief join the peace efforts, the civilian-military bureaucracy will not dare to puncture it.

In India, all the political parties and the general public crave for peace with Pakistan. Our religious, cultural, social and economic ties are all intact and peace will always conquer hatred.

Prof HARI SINGH, Kheri Jat (Jhajjar)



I endorse Mr Dua’s call for immediate settlement of the Indo-Pak disputes through negotiations. The peace-loving people of both countries have heaved a sigh of relief following the installation of a popularly elected government in Pakistan led by Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Neither India nor Pakistan has achieved anything from the wars fought after Pakistan’s birth. Those wars not only took a heavy toll of brave soldiers but also drained out huge funds on military hardware. Let us divert such expenditure towards poverty alleviation. Let us focus on providing the basic requirements like food, clothes and shelter to the needy people.

Mr Dua has rightly said that going ahead with the peace process by the new rulers of Pakistan can win them more public support. Wars are no longer a selling item in Pakistan. Both countries should sponsor tours to Lahore and Amritsar. Cultural exchange programmes, films, joint sports activities will all accelerate the process of friendly bonds.



Admittedly, time has come for India and Pakistan to look beyond the electoral politics and discuss peace in the larger interest of the one-fifth of humanity living in the sub-continent.

The peace process, which had been put on the backburner because of the compulsions of both sides, ought to be revived and pursued vigorously for the sake of the people living in both countries. Actually, the people of India and Pakistan should be brought together on a single plate. The moth-eaten mindset of the total pre-occupation with Kashmir must be smashed to explore fresh avenues of amity, peace, trust and friendship.

Both countries should open up the bigger frontiers of economic co-operation, commerce and trade, social and cultural interaction by getting to grips with a myriad problems that directly affect the future of the people individually and collectively of both sides. The pulse of the people must be felt as they want to come together sincerely on all fronts.

The bilateral talks should be resumed at the highest level. The five points referred to by Mr Dua should be considered and the people given a chance to live in peace and prosperity.



I refer to Mr Dua’s sagacious first-page editorial “Put peace process back on track”. Mr Dua has a life time experience of understanding how Indian foreign, internal and defence policies are crafted and implemented and at times he has initiated these policies or sat with policy makers in making them. Therefore, what he states about the change in the coming Indo-Pak relationship after the polls in Pakistan must be read with caution. He is optimistic about a détente in this relationship.

However, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) does not feel that way because Hinduism and Islam have been daggers drawn and are implacable foes for over a thousand years. Had this not been the case Hindu leaders Gandhi and Nehru and Muslim leader Jinnah would never have the British partition India in 1947 into an Islamic state-Pakistan and a Hindu state-India.

Since then, both these states are armed to the teeth with vicious nuclear weapons and on the international forums they go hammer and tongs at one another. Their suspicions of one another are so great that India has had to build a barbed wire fencing on the Indo-Pak border in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, the two states which have non-Hindu majorities, the former inhabited by the Sikhs and the latter by the Muslims.

But we in our party think that even if Kashmir is split into two parts as envisioned by Mr Dua, the Kashmir problem will not evaporate just as the Tibetian problem has not died down though India has accepted Chinese sovereignty over Tibet.

Moreover, no government in Pakistan can survive by putting Kashmir in the deep freeze. That government will die but not the Kashmir case. It’s good to be realistic and not wish away our problems. Thinkers and statesmen must have the stature of the late American President Woodrow Wilson who saw nationalities as living bodies and not inanimate objects.

SIMRANJIT SINGH MANN, President, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Quilla S. Harnam Singh


Unprecedented toll tax

The recent increase in the toll tax at Doraha tax plaza between Khanna and Ludhiana to Rs 65 a car is unprecedented and totally unwarranted. Incidentally, this is also the highest in the northern region. The toll tax at Shambu (Ambala) is only Rs 30.

In all fairness, the toll tax at Doraha should be fixed at Rs 30. If the tax is fair and reasonable, there will be greater compliance, the people will not hoodwink the law by taking other routes, and the government will also mobilise good tax revenue.

H.S. GHAI, Advocate, Khanna



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