Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Article excerpt

At the heart of India-Pakistan relations

Your May 8 editorial "Breaking ice in South Asia" correctly appreciates the thaw in the cold war between India and Pakistan, but on two counts your perspective is off the mark. First, India's defense posture in general, and nuclear program in particular, is Pakistan-specific. One only needs to look at the deployment and posture of Indian conventional and strategic forces to ascertain this fact. Furthermore, the current deployment and ranges of Indian missile systems place all of Pakistan within striking distance, while China is nowhere on India's strategic horizon. Second, India's problems in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir are not simply an exogenous phenomenon, but are of its own making. One only needs to study the findings of international and Indian human rights organizations to verify what has been happening since 1989.

Blaming Pakistan is a convenient excuse for decades of denial and severe suppression of the fundamental and civil rights of the predominantly Muslim population of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Asad Hayauddin WashingtonPress Attache, Embassy of Pakistan

Your May 8 editorial suggests that Pakistan should halt terrorist infiltration into Indian territory as a confidence-building measure. Indeed, Pakistan must permanently end its support of the terrorist groups afflicting Kashmir for any peace effort to stand a chance.

But the key is for the US to apply strong pressure on Gen. Pervez Musharraf to make that happen. Despite his promise to crack down, General Musharraf has avoided taking meaningful measures in that direction. Banned terrorist groups have reappeared under different names. Their arrested leaders have been released with no cases against them. Some have even found their way into the parliament. This time around, the US must insist that Musharraf follows through.

Without a compete and permanent halt to Pakistan-supported terrorism, peace talks are destined to end in failure. Kaushik Kapisthalam Atlanta

Draconian drug laws

Regarding Idea's "Soundings" May 8 column "A hard time for a hard line": I was a first-time nonviolent offender who served 12 years of a sentence of 15 years to life under the Rockefeller drug laws of New York State. …

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