Letters

India and Pakistan Search for Solutions

Please allow me to congratulate the writers for articulating their concerns on the state of tensions between India and Pakistan in your opinion-page articles, "A New Generation, and Future, for South Asia" (Aug. 22).

We couldn't agree more that the huge expenditure gobbled by defense allocation does no service to the welfare of the people of both Pakistan and India. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for new thinking on the Kashmir issue bedeviling Pakistan-Inda relations..

Specifically, he has called on India to resolve the Kashmir issue on a priority basis. The response has been more saber-rattling by Indian politicians who have instead urged a jingoistically harder line on Kashmir - the unfinished business in the subcontinent.

Don't forget, Pakistan is not the instigator of the arms race. It is India, who since its independence 50 years ago continues to threaten the national security of Pakistan. And to put teeth to its perennial threat, India has unjustifiably acquired nuclear weapons and brushed aside all entreaties to drop its accelerated nuclear weapons program.

This development, together with the constant threat to Pakistan's security, has to be taken seriously by Pakistan.

Considering India's track record in initiating three wars against Pakistan, we have no choice but to be ready to respond with a well-equipped military.

The solution to the arms race in the subcontinent remains in India's hands through the implementation of the UN Security Council's resolutions, which demand that India hold free and fair elections under UN supervision in Jammu and Kashmir to allow the Kashmiri people to once and for all decide their political future.

What is the world's greatest democracy afraid of?

Mohammad Azam

Washington

Press Attach

Embassy of Pakistan

US economy's bedrock is oil

Although I am writing in regards to "Cheap Labor Ripples Through Global Economy" (Aug. 20) about deflation, the exasperation I felt on reading that article is common to all news reports on inflation and interest rates. I don't understand why Alan Greenspan is "puzzled" by the "combination of low unemployment and stable consumer prices," and I don't understand how anyone can discuss inflation without a mention of the word "oil."

A review of economic statistics and the price of oil over the last 40 years reveals this: In the 5-year segments when oil prices were stable, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose either 4 or 6 points. In 1973 OPEC raised oil prices, causing a 6 percent increase in gasoline prices, while the cost of heating oil doubled. The CPI for 1970-1975, therefore, shows an increase of 15 points over that of 1965-70.

In 1979, an oil embargo was imposed on Iran after Americans were taken hostage in our embassy there. Oil companies promptly raised prices, causing both gasoline and heating oil prices to triple. The CPI for 1975-1980 rose 28 points over that of 1970-1975.

Oil prices now are lower than they were in 1980; therefore we do not suffer from inflation. Oil is the fundamental basis of the Ameican economy - providing factory fuel, agricultural fertilizers, transportation, and heat. When the costs of commodities rise, wages are also increased to allow people to continue to maintain the economy via consumption.

Mr. Greenspan and other economists live in a theoretical world which takes scant notice of daily life. It is unfortunate that journalists present us only with the worldview of experts rather than a more encompassing, faceted version of reality.

Kate Bradley

Issaquah, Wash.

Your letters are welcome. Letters for publication must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number for verification. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. All letters are subject to editing. Letters should be mailed to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, faxed to 617-450-2317, or e-mailed to oped@csps.com

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