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Letters to the editor: Another Impasse

The separatists do not represent the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and have no locus standi other than as citizens of India residing in Kashmir.

Updated: August 25, 2015 12:00:54 am

The latest stand-off between India and Pakistan is not a breakdown. It is an impasse, which is the norm in India-Pakistan diplomacy. At the centre of the row is Pakistan’s insistence that Sartaj Aziz would meet leaders of the Hurriyat Conference, while India insisted that the talks should focus on terrorism and there should be no mention of Kashmir. The question to be asked after this latest diplomatic squabble is who has won and who has lost. India is correct on purely technical grounds. It is a fact that the India-Pakistan joint statement issued in Ufa, Russia, stated that the national security advisors of the two countries would meet and discuss all problems relating to terrorism. Clearly, Pakistan is at fault for wanting to expand the ambit of the talks. The separatists do not represent the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and have no locus standi other than as citizens of India residing in Kashmir. J&K has an elected assembly. If Hurriyat leaders had any following, they should prove it at the hustings.

J.S. Acharya, Hyderabad

Hazy Vision

This refers to ‘Under the rule of the army’ by Christophe Jaffrelot (August 22). Peace cannot be made with Pakistan simply because India-bashing has been ingrained in the minds of its people from the very creation of the country. Even if New Delhi tries umpteen times to persuade the Pakistani establishment to shed its antipathy towards India, it is not going to do so. While Pakistan is crystal clear about how to treat India, Delhi has no clarity on how to deal with its neighbour.

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Mrityunjay Mukherjee, Kolkata

A Second Tragedy

The Supreme Court’s decision to scrap the prison sentence imposed on the owners of Uphaar cinema and instead impose a fine of Rs 60 crore on them appears to be the second Uphaar tragedy. This gives the impression that criminal liability is a minor issue. The Ansals have been found guilty of gross negligence, which led to the deaths of 59 people and serious injuries to several. While the court’s points about the long delay in the case and the advanced age of the Ansal brothers is well-taken, it cannot be forgotten that the wait for justice for the victims has also been long.

C. Koshy John, Pune

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