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Does the valley’s fate hang in balance?

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By K.N. Pandita – As Chinese troops crossed and routed Indian border post in North East in 1962 war, President Kennedy began responding to Nehru’s startling request for military equipment. He sounded Pakistan not try to fish in troubled waters by contemplating indirect support to China in opening another front with India on her western border. Ayub Khan responded that such a commitment was contingent upon a just solution of Kashmir issue. Pakistan always hinged Indo-Pak relations to Kashmir.
Moving away from the policy of not hinging its relations with Pakistan on Kashmir scenario, Kennedy, in unison with the British, encouraged Kashmir dialogue between the two countries. The ground was prepared by unpublicized joint visits to New Delhi and Islamabad by President Kennedy’s rowing Ambassador Averell Harriman and Commonwealth Secretary Duncan Sandys in 1963. Looking far beyond the immediate disaster of the Chinese incursions into India, Kennedy administration would make Pakistan realise the consequences of a big change in Asian geo-strategy and convince Ayub Khan about the feasibility of providing military hardware and other assistance to New Delhi.

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As Iran gears up for important elections in December, members of the country’s political elite are focusing on domestic politics. Aliakbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, perhaps Iran’s wiliest politician, has thrown President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s neo-conservative allies on the defensive with a well-coordinated campaign to discredit the country’s Revolutionary Guards. (Read the whole long article on



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The Tribune, Chandigarh India

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Letter to the Editor, Pakistan Democratic Forces:

Dear Sir, This is with reference to Bhutto, Sharif hint at poll boycott (Tribune, 20 Oct). Presidents of two leading political parties of Pakistn, both in exile at the moment, would want Pakistan’s 2007 elections to be conducted under interim and not the military regime, failing which they would boycott the elections. Obviously, at the root of this mistrust is that Pervez Musharraf government is not a democratically elected government and does not enjoy the public support despite feigned exercise in democracy. Therefore by the same token the top leadership of both the political parties of Pakistan should convey to Kashmir separatist and dissident leadership like those of APHC (both factions) that they should decline to talk to the unconstitutionally formed Presidential government of Pakistan on Kashmir issue because any agreement arrived at during these deliberations would not have the concurrrence of the majority of Pakistan’s civil society. Conveying their view to the Kashmir separatist leadership becomes very urgent in view of the rumour that the two contesting countries have almost arrived at an agreement of dividing the valley and making the Wular lake as the watershed between them. K.N Pandita, Geneva, 23 Oct 2006.

Kashmir Diversity, of Christian Science Monitor

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Letter to the Editor of the Christian Science Monitor:

With reference to Beldauf’s ‘Once diverse Kashmir is now valley of Muslim’, 22 Oct. 2002:

The fundamental misunderstanding is about so-called ‘peaceful co-existence’ among the people of various faiths in Kashmir. The Hindus of the valley remained persecuted, oppressed and suppressed under Muslim domination from 1339 to 1846, a period of nearly five centuries. It is only for one century, 1846 to 1946, that they had some respite. After 1946 down to 1990 till their finat exodus, they suffered blatant discrimiantion and deprivation in a so-called secular democratic Kashmir, for whose freedom from autocratic rule the Pandits had made no less valuable a contribution. The Pandits just 3 per cent of total population miserably defenceless, unarmed and harmless, lived a life of total subjugation, which the Muslims call “peaeful co-existence” and more ironically “Kashmiriyat”. If a Hindu in minority remains subjugatied he is “paceful” to the Muslims and if he asks for his rights, he is “communal” to the Muslims. If the Muslims asked for partition of India as their right to have a life and personality of their own, it is justified. But if the Pandits ask for their Homeland in Kashmir for the same reason, it is unjustified and “betryal of Kashmiriyat”. Islamization of Kashmir has been the agenda chalked out by the Wahhabi ideologues in Saudi Arabia, and the money flowed from their ar-Rabita. What is the cry of diversity of Kashmiri culture raised by some flamboyant Kashmiri Muslims? India knows, and if she does not know she must know, that Muslim Kashmir has been radicalised and what they are protecting and perpetuating is a theocratic state within a secular union or a gross contradiction in terms. K.N. Pandita, Geneva, 23 Oct 2006.

Afzal Guru will never be hanged

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By K.N. Pandita – Delhi High Court has found Afzal Guru guilty of conspiring a murderous attack on the Indian Parliament and awarded him capital punishment.

A former election commissioner of India T.N. Seshan once said that more than half of the total number of members of the Indian parliament were criminals.

The old sadistic axiom applies here “set a thief to catch a thief”.

Therefore the question is when none of the criminal parliamentarians is sent to the gallows for his known and blatant crimes why the one who was out to pay them back in their own coin has been given capital punishment? It defies logic.

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