BBC NEWS
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: Monitoring: Media reports  
News Front Page
World
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 5 June, 2002, 06:58 GMT 07:58 UK
Indian papers see glimmer of hope

As the rest of the world fears a nuclear war over Kashmir, some of India's papers suggest there may be an easing of tensions with Pakistan over the disputed region.

The Economic Times says that India and Pakistan are "backing off from the fist-shaking belligerence that threatened to spiral out of control and drag South Asia to nuclear war".


India talks down war fever

The Times of India

"The voices of peace, reason and sanity have started asserting in both countries," an editorial in The Kashmir Times proclaims.

This new optimism stems from an apparent softening of the tone of comments from Indian officials in the past few days.

"India talks down war fever", is the headline on the front page of The Times of India.

It reports comments from Indian National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra, in which he said Delhi would take appropriate steps if Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's promises to curb infiltration by Islamic militants were implemented.

"We don't want to indulge in any loose talk about nuclear weapons," he told a press conference in Kazakhstan.

With the armed forces of India and Pakistan eyeball-to-eyeball on their border, Mr Mishra subtly laid down the conditions for de-escalation of tension, the paper said.

Diplomacy

Some papers suggest that diplomatic efforts from Western governments may have helped to defuse the situation somewhat.


Tempers have cooled and hopefully we have seen the last of the insanity of the past month

The Times of India

An editorial in The Times of India, entitled "Back from the brink", praises the decision of many Western nations, including the USA and United Kingdom, to withdraw foreign diplomats from the region.

The hype surrounding this gave both India and Pakistan "a way honourably to get off their respective high horses", it says.

This strategy appears to have done the trick, it adds.

"Tempers have cooled and, hopefully, we have seen the last of the insanity of the past month."

The idea that diplomatic efforts seem to be easing the tension continues in The Statesman newspaper.

The front-page headline "Soft stand, hard line", reflects the softening of the stance by the Indian government over recent days.

The article says this new stance stems from the success of "coercive diplomatic actions" and "the Western powers cracking down on Islamabad".

Military might


This thought, if nothing else, would tend to chasten Pakistani hawks who have been flapping their nuclear wings

The Pioneer

The Pioneer says that although "no-one can deny that the air is thick with apprehensions about a war breaking out one day", Pakistan's military weakness in comparison with India means that Islamabad would never trigger a nuclear war.

It says that India, though severely mauled, would survive a nuclear war, but such a conflict would wipe Pakistan out.

"This thought, if nothing else, would tend to chasten Pakistani hawks who have been flapping their nuclear wings."

An editorial in The Hindustan Times says the Indian military too is unprepared for a war with Pakistan.

"Bravado apart, the Indian army, committed for the past decade in internal security duties is hardly trained and equipped for a grand offensive."

The paper says there can be no winners from a war over Kashmir.

"No country has ever benefited from a protracted war."

First steps


Leaders from both countries must try and set people's jangled nerves at rest

The Economic Times

While the papers are cautiously optimistic that tensions have been relieved slightly, many report that officials are keen to stress that this can only be seen as the first step on the road to a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

The Economic Times urges talks between the countries' leaders "to try and set people's jangled nerves at rest".

The Kashmir Times calls on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to take advantage of the international security summit in Almaty, Kazakhstan to move the region closer to peace.

"Both sides need to trade incremental political gains and eliminate military or terrorist options."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

Click here fror background reports and analysis

Key stories

Eyewitness

BBC WORLD SERVICE
See also:

04 Jun 02 | South Asia
01 Jun 02 | South Asia
03 Jun 02 | South Asia
02 Jun 02 | UK Politics
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Media reports stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Media reports stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes