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Kashmir Belongs in S. Asia Peace Equation

July 5, 1994



This letter is in response to the opinion-page article ``US Efforts Can Cap India-Pakistan Nuclear-Arms Buildup,'' June 16, which accurately identifies the potential for nuclear conflict in South Asia, but miscalculates the solution for peace.

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The article correctly identifies the conflict over Kashmir as the source of ongoing and escalating tensions between India and Pakistan. Now, with both sides possessing the capability to assemble and deliver nuclear weapons, the rising tensions threaten to become far more than cross-border skirmishes. The Kashmir conflict threatens, as stated by President Clinton before the United Nations, ``to take on murderous proportions.''

It is therefore illogical and unreasonable to advocate a process for peace and denuclearization in South Asia that purposely ignores the Kashmir conflict. The two issues are inseparable, with resolution of the Kashmir dispute being the key to greater stability and confidence for resolving the larger regional issues. Just as peace in the Middle East became possible only with the inclusion of the Palestinians, peace in South Asia can only be achieved with Kashmiri participation.

Once peace is established in Kashmir, the governments of India and Pakistan will have eliminated a source of bitter resentment. Once confidence is established, the two sides can more easily be approached on the nuclear nonproliferation issue. Absent that confidence, however, neither side will have the incentive or the inclination to deter its nuclear weapons buildup. The result of that buildup in a region with rising tensions and no end to conflict in sight could be disastrous. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Washington Executive Director, Kashmiri-American Council

Kashmir Belongs in S. Asia Peace Equation

The author advances several scenarios to deal with the nonproliferation issue in South Asia. But he overlooks the fact that it is Indian posturing and intransigence that are impeding a nonproliferation agreement in South Asia. Pakistan has, over the years, tabled numerous proposals addressing this issue, at both the United Nations and other forums, only to be met by Indian stonewalling.The resolution of the Kashmir issue is a simple one: India should hold the UN mandated plebiscite adopted by the Security Council more than 40 years ago. Let the Kashmiri people decide their own political future. Syed Rifaat Hussain Washington Press Minister, Embassy of Pakistan

Bearbaiting: what, a sport?

The article ``Naturalists Aim for Unbearable Hunters Who Lure Bears With Bait Like Doughnuts,'' June 3, is right on the mark.

What sport is there in filling a large barrel with rotting animal carcasses and sweets, hiding behind a blind, and shooting an unwitting bear at point-blank range while he or she is feeding? There may be more challenge in shooting a caged bear at the local zoo.

Baiting conditions bears and other wildlife to human food sources, thus increasing human-animal conflict, such as bear raids on camp sites. Bear-baiters litter our national forests and public lands with their stations of rotting meat and jelly doughnuts - a de facto closing of that area to all others, who are offended by the legalized garbage dumps.

Luckily, bearbaiting is on the decline. In 1992, Colorado outlawed the practice with over 70 percent of the vote. This coming November, Oregon voters will have the same opportunity. Recent surveys in five states where bear-baiting is legal reveal that an overwhelming majority of residents oppose the practice. Even most sport hunters oppose baiting. They find the idea of shooting a feeding bear simply unthinkable. Michael Markarian, New York The Fund for Animals