The people of Kashmir must help shape peace

Regarding "Slim signs of cool off in Kashmir" (May 28): I was born in Kashmir but am now an American citizen and have seen the vast difference between the two countries. Thank you for educating your readers about the issues currently facing Kashmir, and the immediate, serious, and substantial threat of major escalation in the conflict in that region. An active diplomatic initiative to address the Kashmiri people's issue is needed.

The people of Kashmir have to play the key role in their current situation. It's all right that we focus on the governments of India and Pakistan. But it's equally important that we draw attention to the plight and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

We must recognize the necessary role the people of Kashmir should play in finding a peaceful solution to the Kashmir conflict, let alone the right of the people of Kashmir to shape their own destiny and fulfill their own aspirations for freedom, peace, and justice, and to find an end to military occupation and oppression.

We must consider the families, friends, faiths, funds, and future of Kashmir in this endeavor.
A. M. Khajawall
Diamond Bar, Calif.
Kashmiri American Council, Founder

Rebuild the FBI from the ground up

Regarding "Pressure mounts to overhaul FBI" (May 28): Sept. 11 has pushed us toward the reform of the FBI as it exists today and to question what reforms should be made. As a former FBI counterintelligence officer, I believe that a blue-ribbon commission should be set up to determine how to rebuild the agency from the ground up. In my experience, the FBI has little sense of mission other than criminal convictions and is unsuited for the sophisticated business of averting terrorism.
William W. Turner
San Rafael, Calif.

Music or electronic alteration

Regarding "Turning the tables on music," (May 24, Arts & Leisure): You raise the question of whether or not people involved in changing recorded music by manual adjustment of turntables or electronic alteration of music and other sounds are musical artists or "simply disc jockeys." Based on my experience as a musician and radio broadcaster, I think the answer may be somewhere in between by labeling these artists as "sound engineers."

As a musical accompanist involved in traditional music performance, I do appreciate musicians who are able to play music as a composer intended. But as a broadcaster, I notice that some radio programmers are too experimental. Musicians and broadcasters using updated techniques should find more of a middle ground.
Mark D. Luttrell
Bakersfield, Calif.

Parents – leave the kids at home

Regarding "Suddenly, it's hip to go to the movies en famille" (May 21): While the rediscovered activity of families attending movies together is winning cheers from the studios, the practice is earning jeers from some long-time solo audience members. Sometimes it's hard to hear the feature over the stream of yammering, shrieking, and crying from the underage audience. Perhaps we should expect or even tolerate this at a Harry Potter matinee. But, more and more parents are bringing their children to see age-inappropriate material like "Unfaithful" and "Murder By Numbers." Because of this, I find the trend isn't so much born of the desire to spend quality time with the kids, but from the inability of a growing number of parents to believe that raising children demands a change in their lifestyles.
Dan Berkes
Hayward, Calif.

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