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Tuesday, 25 January, 2000, 12:43 GMT
India and Pakistan: Should the world be worried?

As relations between India and Pakistan plunge to a new low, the two have accused each other of crossing the ceasefire line in the disputed Kashmir region to carry out attacks.

The two nuclear-capable states have engaged in a bitter war of words ever since last month's hijack of an Indian plane by suspected pro-Kashmiri militants, and there is no sign of any let-up in the rising tide of rhetoric.

Is rising tension between India and Pakistan a cause for concern?

Or is this simply another round of name calling between two long-standing rivals which will eventually fizzle out?

Your Reaction

The way out is an undivided India.
Srinivas Bangarbale, USA / India
Kashmir is the legacy of Mountbatten, Jinnah and Nehru, who for selfish reasons decided to partition India. But for the partition, there would have been no Pakistan, no Kashmir dispute. The actions of a myopic few have cost innumerable lives and caused tragedies of a sub-continental proportions. The way out is an undivided India. The drama that British foisted on India is still being played out, while the strategists for the continental divide are laughing from their graves.
Srinivas Bangarbale, Indian in USA

I think the world (west) has many more basic issues to worry about. The west has no moral grounds to worry (interfere) in the matters of India & Pakistan after what is going on in Chechnya, Bosnia, etc. A look at the 20th century that has just passed us by would teach us that most of the wars were initiated and fought by the "educated west" and the "illiterate east & south" were just sucked in for no fault of their own.
Mukesh Agarwal, Russia

It would be advisable for policy makers in both India and Pakistan to take measures to reduce tensions along the LoC. Both the countries are presently facing severe economic and social problems whose redressal should be given priority. India should realise that for a long lasting peace in the Subcontinent, the Kashmir issue must be resolved to the satisfaction of the Kashmiri people.
Umer Khalid, Pakistan

It is sad that our country, where people are dying of hunger and each new born is under debt, should indulge in a proxy war. We should try to fix corruption at home and then seek issues of secondary concern.
Naveed, USA

Kashmir issue is not about Islam or terrorism but it's about people of Kashmir not being given choose to decide their future. Why is India afraid of holding elections monitored by the UN? Pakistan is willing to do that. And they are calling Pakistan a terrorist state! India does not want to loose Kashmir so they are calling freedom fighters "terrorists' and Pakistan a fundamentalist country.
Mairaj, USA

Don't see any early resolution of the problem. Later or sooner there will be a war. Can't say 'may God help us'. For I don't believe in divine intervention.
Sunil Kumar, USA/India

The war in Kashmir is not one sided. India has suppressed many minority groups over the years, including the Sikh religion by attacking the Golden Temple.
Kasim Choudhry, Pakistan/USA

Peace of cake. Blair, Albright and the gang will just bomb the one who they think doesn't fit into their global picture. Done deal. Next subject.
Squid, US

It is very important that both countries reconcile their differences, and there has to be give and take on both sides, but that is hard to do when one country is an unstable military dictatorship on the verge of economic collapse. I also think it's unfair to characterise this as a battle between Hindu fundamentalists in India vs. Muslim Fundamentalists in Pakistan. Firstly Hinduism has historically been the world's most tolerant religion. Secondly India has more Muslims than Pakistan does and is a much more pluralistic society. And thirdly though the BJP party has ties with certain fundamentalist groups, the Prime Minister of India is definitely not a fundamentalist.
Vic Vadi, US

The world should declare India of terrorist state because of her terrorism in Kashmir. The escalation of India's bloody repression is an attempt to muzzle and terrorise Kashmiris. It has resulted in crackdowns, house-to-house searches; burning and demolition of entire neighbourhood; rape; disappearances; arbitrary detentions; custodial killings; extra judicial executions; politically motivated carnage of minority community; looting and plunder; extended curbs on political activities, freedom of movement and free speech. Moreover, since October 1989, almost 70,000 innocent Kashmiris have been killed. So who is the Terrorist?
Ahmad Khan, Canada

The CTBT has some in too late. After the "big 5" nations have already developed nuclear weapons and are in a position to "test and maintain" their nuclear stockpile using "computer simulation". Though the morals behind the CTBT is good, it just a ploy to hold on to their nuclear weapons and prevent other countries from developing them. No country should have nuclear weapons or be testing them (even through computer simulation). A new treaty should not only prevent ALL countries from testing nuclear weapons, but also to reduce and eliminate all nuclear weapons in a specific time frame.
Jateen Patel, India

As long as the world does not make India stick to the commitment it made in 1948 to give the right of self-determination to the Kashmiris, Pakistanis have every right to fight for it.
A.R.Khan, USA

The world should be very worried. So long as no outside, third-party intervention is allowed to intervene in the Kashmir crisis, the conflict will continue forever. India is against negotiation (which will lead to discussions of 'self-determination' and 'democratic principles') and thus a plebiscite in Kashmir. Pakistan's position is ambiguous but leaning more towards outside intervention. Bilateral negotiations will never achieve anything since no one will give anything up. With a military junta in one country (Pakistan) and a pro-nuclear Hindu religious fundamentalist group in the other (India), with the added factor of nuclear capability, it surprises me that the world has looked upon the subcontinent so apathetically in recent times.
T. Fancy, UK/Canada

If Pakistan wants Kashmir be freed, then let them declare, the Pak occupied Kashmir free. Pakistan's motive is to accede Kashmir to itself, not its freedom. If freedom is the need why do they call it a jihad?
Cheliyan, USA

Nuclear weapons possessed by Hindu fundamentalists or Islamic fundamentalists (or even Christian or Jewish fundamentalists) are extremely dangerous to the rest of the world. The real issue here is that both Pakistan and India are immature nations with one of the highest illiteracy in the world. Its high time that the individuals from both countries looked at their own prejudices and dislikes and figure out a way of extending a hand of friendship to each other. Unfortunately, I feel that in this case it is going to be an impossible undertaking as it takes a lot of courage to look at ones own prejudices.
John Darcy, UK

Having read most of the comments sent in so far it seems that there is not much agreement between the two sides. Indians commentators are simply blaming the Pakistanis while the Pakistanis are blaming the Indians. Neither side can see any good in the other. Pakistani's must understand that the Indians consider Kashmir an integral part of their country. However the Indians must realise that Pakistanis feel that Kashmir is their birthright, something they were cheated out of in 1947 by the combination of Mountbatten and Nehru. Until there is a respect and understanding of each others mutual feelings then there is indeed little hope.
N. Khan, UK

The issue of Kashmir is not "terrorism", or "Islamic fundamentalism" as India would like the world to believe. It is about the right of "self determination" as envisaged in the UN resolutions of the 1940's. I repeat, for the "not so bright" Indians that the "Issue of Kashmir, is the right of self determination of the Kashmiris to decide their future." Until, this right of self-determination is exercised as per UN resolutions, there can simply never be any hope of peace in South Asian.
Mohammad Ghafare, UK

I think its right time to unite India and Pakistan. Instead of making Kashmir as a dispute between Indians and Pakistanis, both should work towards uniting this country. Both Indians and Pakistanis love Kashmir, lets unite Kashmir first then the countries.
Prasad, USA

The world should very much be worried about the Hindu fundamentalism and the expansionist regime ruling India whose actions are a threat to the smaller neighbouring countries. Instead of trying to hide from the problem and labelling the Kashmiri people demanding freedom as terrorists, India should realise that there is no other solution to Kashmir than to give the Kashmiris their right of self-determination.
Ahsen, USA

Terrorism in Kashmir is largely inspired by religious extremism supported by the residue of Afghan war. India with its own huge Muslim population can not give in to religious terrorism. The rest of the world will not be immune if terrorism for political purpose is allowed to win. The subcontinent needs all the support from the west to deal with this scourge of religious terrorism.
Vinod Dawda, UK

I fear that the present tensions will erupt into a nuclear war, every effort possible should be made-by everyone! Nuclear war is too horrible to think about. I intellectualise that a UN-US led peace-keeping force has to be deployed in the region-BEFORE anything happens.
Peter Crawford-Bolton, UK in US

The title would be better if it were to be phrased as, "Pakistan - Should India and the world be worried?". The issue is not the mere division of India and the creation of Pakistan. Pakistan, created on the basis of religion, will feel that it has not attained an ideological success until it sees India fragmented. Furthering this mentality is the statistical figures that tend to show that India is better off than Pakistan. The clash is one of civilisations - one theocratic and the other pluralistic. Kashmir is a mere symptom of the clash. Culture clashes cannot be wished away as they have been repeated umpteen times in history and the only way it has ended is by the termination of one civilisation by the other. Pakistan is obsessed with India. Neighbouring Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal do not seem to have much qualms over the "hegemony theory" put forth by Pakistan.
Natarajan Ramachandran, US/India

There is no solution other than both countries sitting down together and finding a real outcome to this on going problem. Obviously the root cause of this is Kashmir. No matter what Pakistan or India thinks there is absolutely no alternative but to listen to what the Kashmiri people have to say by letting them decide their future. By settling this matter there would be peace and harmony with India, Pakistan and China, making the whole area a safe place to live in. Which in return would also bring better prosperity and future for the people of the region.
Shahid Bhatti, Germany

Pakistan is suffering from myopia. It is adopting measures of terrorism and inciting violence to attain it immediate goals of distancing people's attention from failures of past 50 years. The world should be and must be concerned about the support to terrorism which may display itself in form of hijacking of IA plane or even the bomb blasts in Spain. Terrorism needs a global attention of all the international community and must be curbed.
Vivek Gupta, India

I am a young Kashmiri and I want others (India & Pakistan) to respect our will. Our will is to decide our destiny by ourslves. Why should India and Pakistan put their large populations on risk of a nuclear war for Kashmir?
Ehsan, Pakistan

I think the core issue between Pakistan and India is Kashmir. And the solution looks very simple to me. Let the Kashmiris decide their future. Lets arrange a voting on both sides of Kashmir, so that they themselves can decide their future. And the UN should supervise it.
Aamir, Russia

Whatever happens in one part affects another country in some way or another. Lets not also forget that millions of Indians and Pakistanis are also scattered everywhere. I'm just a 12-yr old kid but even that part of the world that I live in seems to be affected by the growing rivalry and events that are taking place since the time we got Independence. Both countries have acquired nuclear power as well to add to this. If these countries are so inefficient and incapable of solving their problems by their own, I strongly feel that it is high time that a foreign power intervened.
Jyothsna, Oman

Given the history of aggression between India and Pakistan, the western world would not be so worried were it not for the nuclear factor.
Jonathan, London

Yes, the world needs to worry about Islamic terrorism and insurgency and not the geography issue between India and Pakistan. Britain and Ireland have similar problems, and Britain too has nuclear weapons borrowed from USA. I think the world should be equally worried about the Northern Ireland problem. Why can't the well-educated Brits solve this problem? Or is it just so much fun in advising others with similar problems?
Shastri, India

It is very obvious that the Islamic terrorism is growing world wide. The World should take strong decisions against this. Islam is becoming a big threat to the world.
Praveen, India

India has to understand that it is not 1965 or 1971. Although India is controlled by Hindu fundamentalists, they can't escape the realities of real life. If India will not announce a date for referendum in Indian held Kashmir then sooner or later the Indian economy will bleed to destruction.
Kiladar, Sweden

Tensions cannot fizzle out instantly. It must be recognised by people in India, that many in the powerhouses in Pakistan have family in Indian occupied Kashmir. Nawaz Sharif though elected from the Punjab, is originally from Kashmir. It is ABOUT TIME India faces the issue. People in Kashmir are fighting for the very freedom that Gandhi sought to offer in the 1930s. In fact Mohan Gandhi, his grandson has at many times raised this very issue of liberty and vouched that the Mahatama would be outraged with India's present tyranny in the Kashmir valley.
Muneeb Idrees, USA

Yes, the tension between India and Pakistan is cause of concern to world. The fact is that Kashmir is integral part of India and Pakistan as a nation should appreciate it. The Kashmir issue should be settled once for all. No US or third party mediation is required since both nations are mature enough to settle this issue.
Dattatray, UK

Is there anything to talk about? Did Lord Mountbatten make the division of India and moving entire populations across a line on the map in 1947 really necessary? The policy of divide and rule really left a scar and an impression on a people. Which was and has been absolutely unnecessary. A very expensive price to pay for India's independence. It shows how spiteful Britain can be.
Devashis, USA

The tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir should be considered a bilateral issue between the two countries. Pakistan should stop promoting terrorist activities against India. Kashmir should remain an integral part of India. India should invest money to promote growth and prosperity in Kashmir. Ordinary Kashmiris have suffered enough.
Percy, USA

Yes we should be concerned about the current tensions that presently exist between both countries. The current rhetoric is not helpful on either side but tends to be inflammatory. The US has no business being a mediator as it has never been an impartial broker in this conflict. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan is concerning. The issue of Kashmir will only be settled by the Kashmiris in an atmosphere of democratic elections.
Lawrence Gernon, USA

Yes it is a worrying situation, but the reason for this worry is that Pakistan is the culprit whereby they are supporting terrorism, hi-jackings, etc. When did the world ever hear that India was supporting such activities? Never! It is Pakistan that has to grow up and stop going on about Kashmir.
Rohit Prabhakar, Netherlands

India has made an attempt to distort reality and truth. By staging an Aeroplane hijacking drama. Why they let the plane flew from Amritsar (Indian Airport)? The truth is that Kashmiri people want freedom from the clutches of Indian rule. Why India does not allow them to give them their right of self-determination? The world has to realise that Kashmir is the core issue and without solving Kashmir problem, there will never be a peace in the subcontinent.
Tahir Khan, Canada

It is time Pakistan dealt with the real issue, and this is helping the people of Pakistan and not worrying about people across the border. Its time both sides stopped using this Indo/Pakistan problem for their benefit. It's time both sides start helping the poor, and stop causing more hate. Its time we stop learning and start acting.
Mr Daljit Gandhi, Holland

These two immature nations should examine their own considerable internal problems: overpopulation, starvation, poverty and disease. Instead, they prefer to waste their resources on military strutting. Politicians in both countries should grow up.
Carl, UK

After the events of past decades and acquiring the nuclear capability every one should be worried because these days you cannot limit yourself to your own country, what happens in one country effects another and it has been proven after the past few years conflicts. Personally, what I can't understand is why the corrupt politicians of both countries don't concentrate on the peoples welfare, rather than indulging in terrorist activities or wars.
Haq, Scotland

Pakistan's political leaders don't have anything to give to their people except the threat of India. This is the easiest way of keeping a country united where people have little tolerance.
Anupam, India

Both Pakistan and India have to decide whether they want to go on with this huge soap opera that tries to provoke violent sentiments in the common people. What do the people get out of all this? There is an increasing amount of mistrust in the entire region. It's time that both India and Pakistan try to negotiate over a time period to resolve the issue of Kashmir.
Nasifa Bano, USA

Yes, the rising tension between India and Pakistan is a cause of concern for world peace. We must not forget that they are nuclear powers and they have already fought three wars. There is no reason why India should oppose the mediation from the outsides. India should realise we no longer live in an isolated world. I believe it's time for the international community to intervene and put pressure on India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue. The west particularly the United States may play a facilitator role like what they are currently doing for the cause of peace in the middle east.
Asfi Siddiqui, Norway

To start with the last point, the tension won't fizzle out long term. As long as Pakistan has a sizeable chunk of Kashmir under it's control. The world should be concerned to the extent of not increasing the nuclear capability of Pakistan
Vijayaraghavan, UK

It is a cause of concern. More over I don't think the Government of India supports any terrorist activity. Now since the tensions are increasing between India and Pakistan it would be better to close the Indian High Commission at Islamabad and Pakistan Commission at Delhi until the guilty are punished.
Meher, India

Both India and Pakistan should grow up, this sibling rivalry is not funny anymore. India should take the lead as a real big brother and seriously resolve the Kashmir issue which is lingering on for over five decades. Let Kashmiri's decide their own destiny. Open the borders with Pakistan, Bangladesh andNepal.
Ashok Pundit, USA

YES. The World should be very worried. Islamic fundamentalism is the biggest threat to World Peace today. Islamic fundamentalists armed with nuclear weapons are the ultimate nightmare scenario. A nation claiming that what they do is "God's will" cannot be argued with. It is very scary indeed.
Neil, Scotland

The international community should ask both countries to sit and talk. As long as there is outside intervention (directly or indirectly) in Kashmir from Pakistan, it's hard to control the heat exchanges between the two countries.
MurLee, US

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