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ACHA Bulletin 2/2

Posted by Kashmir Portal on June 16, 2009

kashmir-global-network : Message: [kashnet] ACHA Bulletin 2/2

ACHA Bulletin is being relayed to you as a part of ACHA’s South Asian
community service program. It is sent out on the first Wednesday of each
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ACHA Bulletin consists primarily of material selected from the printed and
the electronic media. It aims to highlight the news of peace and harmony in
the world, to shed light on issues of concern to South Asians, and to
provide them information of general interest.

The Bulletin is edited by Pritam K. Rohila, Ph.D. Its editorials and the
selection of its material are his sole responsibility and do not necessarily
represent the views of or an endorsement by any other Director, or member of
ACHA or Dr. Ingrid H. Shafer, who has graciously donated space for it on her
server and is volunteering her time to maintain our Web Page.

ACHA is a non-profit, non-political organization. It is dedicated to promote
peace and harmony among South Asians regardless of where they live. ACHA
Board of Directors appreciates people’s goodwill and support for this cause.

For more information about ACHA and comments about ACHA Bulletin, please
contact us at by telephone at 503.393.6944, or 503.251.0070, or by email at
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ACHA BULLETIN Volume II, No. 2, 02/02/2000 (Next issue on 03/01/2000)
*Harmony blesses and enriches me and all my relationships. From Daily Word
*Improvements in ACHA Bulletin format
*Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC)
*A new beginning in south Asia by Stephen P. Cohen, Brookings Institution
Policy Brief #55
*Battle for the Republic. By Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Associate Professor of
Political Science, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
*Pakistan in the year 3000 by Pervez Hoodbhoy, Professor of High-energy
Physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad
*Time to reassess policies, by M.B. Naqvi, Dawn 1/16/00
*Hijacking peace by Usmaan Raheem Ahmad, Council for an Independent Kashmir~USA
*Give peace a chance by Irfan Husain, Dawn 1/29/00
*Throw the rascals out by Irfan Husain (Dawn 01/08/00
*Review of the constitution of India, Dr. Ram Puniyani, Secretary- EKTA
(Committee for Communal Amity)
*India and Pakistan should abolish nuclear weapons, Glenn D. Paige,
President, Center for Global Nonviolence, Professor Emeritus of Political
Science, University of Hawaii
*Let us pledge to make the world a better place to live, Steve Rodman, Peace
and Freedom Forum
*Root cause Analysis, Dharmendra Vahalia

CONTENTS: Section B (This section will be sent only to those who request it
with a blank email to with words “Section B” as the subject.
*Satyagraha in America: The Political Culture of South Asian Americans,
UCLA’s Amerasia Journal
*Harvesting our souls, by Arun Shourie
*Human rights of Dalits: Societal violation, edited by R. M. Pal & G. S.
*Behind Mud Walls: The Village of Karimpur, 1925-1998, The Asian Studies
Monitor (Syracuse University)
*Her own medicine: A woman’s journey from student to doctor, by Sayantani


*Harmony blesses and enriches me and all my relationships. From Daily Word
1/22/2000 ()

Anger is an emotion that has an immediate, dramatic effect on the one
feeling anger and on the one to whom the anger is directed. Feelings of
anger can adversely affect the digestive system, raise blood pressure, and
interfere with the ability to think clearly.

How can I possibly feel good when I am upset or angry? I can’t. So I do what
blesses me and those who live and work with me: I am peaceful and harmonious
within myself and in my relationships.

I can pass along my feelings of serenity to others through conversations and
interactions. When we are all willing to accept harmony as the way we live
and work and communicate with one another, we make peaceful interactions a
reality in life.

Yes, harmony sustains, enriches, and helps heal my relationships.


Improvements in ACHA Bulletin format

In our continuing effort to bring information about issues of mutual
interest to our readers in a way that is most convenient and least intrusive
to them, we will no longer send you ACHA Bulletin with an attachment.
Instead we will send the sections of ACHA Bulletin usually included in the
attachment, separately, but only to those who request it. Also, to protect
the readers’s email addresses from misuse by others, we are exploring the
possible ways we can send the Bulletin to each individual separately.

In this issue we are featuring Pakistan Peace Coalition in our Peace
Organizations section. The Feature and Opinion sections contain writings by
important individuals. They urge people and governments of India, Pakistan
and USA to reassess their views regarding what’s wrong with South Asia, and
what should be done about is.

Please continue to send us your comments about what’s included in the
Bulletin as well about its format. Your feedback is very important to us.

Pritam K. Rohila, Ph.D.


* January, Mumbai, India: The strained relations between India and Pakistan
notwithstanding, the people of the two countries remain friendly. This was
evident at the inauguration of the four-day international seminar on humane
habitat, organized here by the Rizvi College of Architecture. Twenty-one
architecture students from Lahore arrived here on Friday to take part in the
(Full Story: http://www.timesofindia.com/310100/31mbom2.htm).

*January, Pakistan: “We didn’t find the Pakistan we were looking for,” said
a student from India. He was among the dozen history students from Ramjas
College, Delhi, who visited Pakistan for one freezing cold and foggy week
this month on their annual college excursion. They left Delhi on January 5
by SAMJHOTA EXPRESS and visited Lahore, Islamabad, Taxila and Peshawar. But
Madhuresh Kumar, whose family lives in Patna, Bihar and his fellow travelers
weren’t disappointed at the Pakistan they did find, even after Kargil and
hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane. “One thing was common: people were
kindly and the response was amazing when they heard we were from India. The
love and affection we received made me feel ashamed of what our brethren
think of Pakistan in their mental darkness.”

Having arrived during Ramzan, they respected the local norms and abstained
from eating an
d drinking all day while sight-seeing, led by someone they had
never met, Arif Usmani, a young history teacher from Government College who
dedicatedly showed them around when asked for his help by historian Dr
Mubarik Ali.

There was one tense moment in a “typical rang birangi Pakistani bus”
heading for Qissa Khawani bazar when a Ramjas student innocently sat down
on an empty seat next to a woman, only to realize that the entire bus was
staring at him, horrified. He was roundly scolded by the woman, and the
Pathan driver touched his ears in a tauba on learning where the offending
passenger was from. (From “Using the boundary as a bridge” by Beena
Sarwar, in the News on Sunday, via South Asia Citizens Web Dispatch

*January 2, Hyderabad, AP, India: In spite of the growing climate of anger
and outrage that was developing regarding the hijacking of Indian Airlines
plane from Khatmandu, Nepal, a group of courageous people, under the
auspices of Pakistan-India Forum organized CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL at the statue
of one of Andhra’s revolutionary poets on the Tank Bund, appropriately
opposite the towering and benign presence of the Buddha in the middle of the
Hussain Sagar Lake. Individuals carried placards and postcards in Telugu,
Urdu and English urging people to vote for peace. People
sang ‘Hum honge Kamayab, Hogi Shanti Charon Aur Aik Din” (“We shall
overcome; There will be peace all around one day”) (From a personal account
by Lalita Ramdas Via South Asia Citizens Web Dispatch: aiindex@…).

*January 3, Shepherdstown, W.V., USA: ISRAEL and SYRIA returned to the peace
table here today for the second time in less than a month. U.S. president
Clinton and secretary of state Madeleine Albright met separately with
Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and Syrian foreign minister Farouk
al-Sharaa (Statesman Journal ().

*January 5, Islamabad, Pakistan: Minister of Petroleum and Natural
Resources, Usman Aminuddin, announced that Pakistan is likely to allow
TRANSIT PIPELINES to its neighbors, particularly India, for natural gas. The
project is estimated to bring Pakistan about US$600 million in revenues
(From the Friday Times Via South Asia Citizens Web

*January 5, Washington, D.C., USA: “Violence begets violence.” “Peace
fathers peace.” “So the civilized world should choose the peace option.”
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director of the Kashmiri American Council
(KAC), today once again condemned the terrorist HIJACKING of an Indian
Airlines jet, the killing of a newly wed, and the use of hostages to obtain
the release of prisoners in professed pursuit of a political objective:
namely, self-determination for Kashmir. Dr. Fai declared that terrorism is
never an acceptable means for any political end, and that Kashmiris
themselves universally support peaceful means to obtain self-determination.”
He also called attention to the sharp condemnation of the hijacking by the
All-Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC), which styled it inhumane and a
setback to the cause of self-determination (From Kashmiri American Council
via NChang9999@…).

*January 5, Jerusalem: An Israeli officer shook hands with Palestinian
officials and muttered “Bye, folks,” before he led a convoy of jeeps out of
an Israeli army base in the West Bank today, as Israel started to implement
the latest agreement between both sides. The agreement yesterday ended weeks
of deadlock regarding Israeli WITHDRAWAL out of 5 percent of the West Bank.
Another withdrawal from 6.1 percent of the area is scheduled on January 20
(Statesman Journal ().

*January 5, Shepherdstown, W.V., USA: Talks between Syria and Israel today
turned to the key and the most difficult issue of a FORMAL BORDER between
them. The last internationally recognized border was a 1923 line between
then- French-controlled Syria and the British mandate of Palestine. That
gave the latter control of a 10-yard-wide strip of beach on the Sea of
Galilee. But the chief Syrian demand has been Israel withdrawal from Golan
Heights to where their respective forces stood on June 4, 1967, before the
start of the Six Day War (Statesman Journal ().

*January 6, New York, NY, USA: U.S. District Judge Shirley Wohl Kram
approved a $40 million settlement today between an estimated 1,000 HOLOCAUST
victims or their heirs and two Austrian banks accused of confiscating their
assets. The judge described the settlement as fair and adequate (Statesman
Journal ().

*January 6, Washington, Dc, USA: As the holy month of Ramadan came to a
close and they celebrated the festival of EID AL-FITR, U.S. President Bill
Clinton, in his message to Muslims across the United States and around the
worls, said “We hope and pray for a world where all faiths are respected;
where people of different beliefs and ethnic backgrounds can live together
in harmony, finding strength and joy in our differences and in our common
humanity. And we pray that the new moon will bring a new era of peace — in
the Middle East and all across the world — so people can emerge from the
shadows of violence and make better lives for their children”(From the
Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State, Via
Information Times ).

*January 7, Islamabad, Pakistan:”The LAHORE PROCESS must continue,” said Dr
Mubashir Hasan, former finance minister of Pakistan, here today. He pointed
out that there is no other option available to India and Pakistan but to
“make up”, as confrontation would lead them nowhere.”Top leadership, in both
the countries, and the proverbial man on the street, want peace. It is only
a minority which has a vested interest in hate-mongering and serving
interests foreign to the sub-continent,” he said. Dr Hasan emphasized that
the conflagration at Kargil and the hijack drama make it all the more
imperative to resolve the problem between the two countries (From News
Network International).

*January 8, New Delhi, India: In his Eid-ul Fitr message President K. R.
Narayanan hoped the festival would help foster BROTHERHOOD among people and
instill a sense of unity and pride in the composite culture of India (PTI,
via India West ).

*January 16, Chittagong, West Bengal: Stock exchanges of Bangladesh, Bhutan,
India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka have agreed to launch the South Asian
Federation of Exchanges to help develop the STOCK MARKETS and form common
standards. Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, president of the Chittagong Stock
Exchange, and Hiran Mendis, director general of Colombo Stock Exchange were
elected chairman and vice chairman, respectively (Reuters, via India West

*January 19, Algiers, Algeria: About 80 percent of the rebels fighting an
insurgency in Algeria surrendered under a PEACE OFFER made by president
Abdelaziz Bouteflika, announced the interior minister here today (Oregonian

*January 20, Ankara, Turkey: As another evidence of WARMING RELATIONS
between rivals, who nearly went to war three times in the last 25 years,
Greek foreign minister George Papandreou offered, during his official visit
here today to coach Turkey in its bid to join the European Union. Also, he
and his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem signed four agreements promoting
cooperation in tourism, the environment, the protection of investments and
fighting terrorism and organized crime (Oregonian ).

ary 20, Calcutta, West Bengal, India: Lahore Declaration should be
implemented in letter and spirit to bring about a lasting peace between
India and Pakistan, General (Retd) Mohammad Nasir Akhtar of the Pakistan
army told newsman here today after taking part in a PEACE MARCH in the city.
He added “If Lahore declaration fails to serve the desired purpose, the two
countries will have to find out a new way to normalize bilateral relations
that suffered serious jolt after the Kargil conflict and the hijacking of
the Indian Airlines Airbus to Kandahar”, reports PTI. Brigader (Retd) R A
Hamid of Pakistan army and founder-member of the Pakistan-India Forum for
Peace, said. said ”there is no alternative to peace efforts which will have
to be initiated afresh because the two nations can’t live with wars.”
Claiming that the “peace movement” in his country was “small but alive”,
Pakistani journalist N B Naqvi, a member of the Indo-Pakistan Peoples’
Forum, said that despite their fledgling state, Pakistani peace
organizations were making efforts along with their Indian counterparts to
resolve disputes between the two countries. Trinamool Congress MP Krishna
Bose stressed the need for establishing people-to-people contact for
normalizing relations between the two neighbors, and said: “Whatever
happens, we must continue dialogues with Pakistan.”

They were all in Calcutta to participate in three-day South Asia Peace Meet
and All India Constructive Workers’ Conference organized by Akhil Bharat
Rachnatmak Samaj and Harijan Sevak Samity. Inaugurating the meet, on
January 18, journalist and former diplomat Kuldip Nayar said after India and
Pakistan gained freedom, there had been only a change in the leadership and
not in attitude. Asserting that “there is no alternative to peace”, he
regretted that the two neighbors continued to increase their spending on
arms.” From Indian Express and Asia Pulse Via South Asia Citizens Web
Dispatch (www.mnet.fr/aiindex>).

*January 25, New Delhi, India: In the traditional speech given on the eve of
Republic Day celebrations, Indian president K.R. Narayanan said “We want to
live in PEACE WITH PAKISTAN. We want the relations to conform to the best
traditions of good neighborliness, eschewing terrorist interventions and
propaganda of hatred.” In Pakistan, the country’s military ruler
(Information Times, ).

*January 25, New Delhi, India, GENERAL PERVEZ MUSHARRAF sent Republic Day
messages to India’s leaders, saying Islamabad wants “good and tension-free”
relations with India (Information Times, ).

PEACE ORGANIZATIONS (In this section of each issue of ACHA Bulletin we
feature one organization that is engaged in promotion of peace and harmony
among South Asians. Please send us information at about
any such organizations that you know).

Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC) () is a joint Forum
of Action Committee Against Arms Race (ACAAR) in Karachi, Joint Action
Committee for People’s Rights (JAC) in Lahore and the Citizen’s Peace
Committee (CPC) in Rawalpindi Islamabad.

Amidst the religious, sectarian, political, tribal and other forms of
violence and intolerance prevalent in the country, the leaders of these
groups sensed increased insecurity and threat to life when the threat of a
nuclear holocaust in the subcontinent appeared after the May 98 nuclear
tests by the two countries. It was this realzation of the impending threat
of extinction which impelled some organizations and individuals to unite
into a national coalition of peace activists.

In August and September 1998, a Working Group consisting of I. A. Rehman,
Beena Sarwar, Shahtaj Qizilbash, Karamat Ali, B. M. Kutty, M. B. Naqvi, Omar
Asghar Khan, Jennifer Bennet, Zafarullah Khan and Saeed Ahmed met in
Islamabad to discuss the future strategies for the peace movement in Pakistan.

The responsibility to resist mass violence, conflict and death, and to seek
out support of civil society in the renewal of faith in life and peace led
to the formation of a national body, Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC) with the

1. To oppose nuclear weapons in all forms and in all countries, rejecting
weapons of mass destruction and nuclear deterrence as legitimate ways of
achieving national security;

2. To seek global nuclear disarmament, and for this purpose cooperate with
and seek support from movements, organizations and groups elsewhere in the
world that are engaged in this pursuit;

3. To pursue, as an immediate measure, nuclear disarmament and peace in the
region of South Asia, and for this purpose join hands with the regional
movements and organizations working for this goal;
4. To press upon the Pakistani state to reduce defense expenditure in order
to promote human development; and

5. To counter the increasing trends of intolerance and violence in Pakistani

A Co-ordinating Committee of PPC was constituted with B. M. Kutty (ACAAR,
Karachi) as the Convener, and Beena Sarwar and Shahtaj Qizilbash (JAC,
Lahore), Omar Asghar Khan and Jennifer Bennet (CPC, Rawalpindi – Islamabad),
M. B. Naqvi and Karamat Ali (ACAAR, Karachi) and Dr. Sarfraz Khan and Ms.
Bushra Gohar (CP, Peshawar) as members. 2 members from Quetta were to be
coopted later on when the peace committee there became functional.

On December 31, 1999, PPC held a seminar, “Prerequisites for peace in the
21st century and the role of Pakistan,” at the Press Club, Karachi,
Pakistan. M.B.Naqvi, and Pervez Hoodbhoy, chaired and Dr. Nayer, Hasan
Abidi and Mr. Karamat spoke at the seminar. Also they passed the following

“At the millennium’s end, it is completely clear that five decades of
confrontation between Pakistan and India have led to nothing but misery,
deprivation, and war. Apart from draining resources away from the needs of
our peoples, the nuclear tests of May 1998 have put the subcontinent under
the shadow of nuclear catastrophe. Kargil was a disaster for Pakistan and
has worsened our relations with India, as well as further decreasing
Pakistan’s credibility and support internationally. India has lost much, but
Pakistan has lost still more. There is no solution to the Kashmir problem in
sight, and economic collapse has been a constant possibility since the
nuclear tests. In view of the seriousness of the situation, the Pakistan
Peace Coalition calls upon the people and leadership of Pakistan to:

“Recognise that Pakistan is now at the mercy of international lending
organizations. This is nobody’s fault but or own. We have consistently
diverted resources away from the real needs of our people towards heavy
consumption by the country’s elite, and towards military spending. If
Pakistan is to prosper, it will have to cut down military expenditure
sharply. We welcome the recent reduction by 5% of the defense budget, but
this is insufficient.

“Recognize that nuclear war is not just an abstract possibility but
something very real. Pakistan and India must enter into negotiations on
nuclear issues, initially with the aim of creating confidence-building
measures to decrease the chances of the accidental use, but with complete
denuclearisation as the ultimate goal. Pakistan should sign the CTBT

“Recognize that our position on Kashmir has not brought us any closer to
winning the rights of the Kashmiri people. Pakistan and India must be
willing to move away from their maximalist positions towards some compromise
that respects the wishes of the Kashmir
i people as well.”

On January 31, in cooperation with the Movement in India for Nuclear
Disarmament (MIND), PPC
released a statement urging the peoples and governments of both countries
“to urgently forge a bold plan of action to reverse the present process of
sliding into a political deadlock that may justify continuing ‘limited wars’
at the expense of greater amity and security for the peoples of South Asia”
South Asia Citizens Web ).


*A new beginning in south Asia by Stephen P. Cohen (From Brookings
Institution Policy Brief #55, January 2000, Via South Asia Citizens Web
Dispatch . Request the full version from
with the word “Beginning.”) Stephen P. Cohen is a Senior
Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is also
the author of many books and articles on India and Pakistan, including the
forthcoming India: Emerging Power; The Pakistan Army (second edition, 1998),
and Brasstacks and Beyond: Perception and Management of Crisis in South Asia

A U.S. policy that responds only to the region’s development of nuclear
weapons and the risk of nuclear war will fail, and forfeit other important
American interests in the process. A heightened engagement with India and
Pakistan, dealing with the causes of regional conflict and not only its
symptoms, might not only reduce the risk of war but also could promote
important American economic, strategic, and humanitarian interests. Such a
fresh start in South Asia would accord India a more important place in
America’s world-view, but would not ignore Pakistan. It could begin with a
high profile visit by the U.S. president to the region, an
institutionalization of the strategic dialogues between Washington and New
Delhi, and the strengthening of economic and strategic ties between the two
democracies. As for Pakistan, which faces the prospect of instability to the
point of chaos, the United States should take the lead in helping develop
its civilian institutions by responding positively to the new Pakistani
government’s efforts to eradicate corruption, reform its economy, and over
time restore democracy.


*Battle for the Republic. By Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Associate Professor of
Political Science, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. (From the Hindu,
1/30/00 via South Asia Citizens Web Dispatch . Request
the full version from with the word “Republic”).

What must also be remembered and lauded is the relative success of the
secular experiment, after the horrendous communal conflagration of the
Partition and the assassination of the Mahatma by Hindutva zealots. The most
multi-lingual country moved both towards linguistic States and linguistic
federalism with constant but substantial accretions to the list of official
languages in the Eighth Schedule. But this secular, multi- cultural fabric
is now under sustained assault. The continuing attacks on the tiny Christian
community as well as the Hindu Kabirpanthis in Jammu, coupled with strident
Hindutva rhetoric along with the sustained infiltration of Sangh Parivar
activists into State
institutions, especially in the educational and media sectors, threaten the
republic and its future. The NDA regime sponsored attempt to rewrite both
Indian history and the Constitution is part of the same communal project to
convert the republic into an authoritarian, upper caste neo-Brahminical
Hindutva state.

*Pakistan in the year 3000 by Pervez Hoodbhoy. (Request the full version
from with the words”Year 3000″). Dr. Hoodbhoy is
Professor of High-energy Physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. He
is also a featured writer at Chowk. Visit him at Particle Politics.)

Human intervention is compressing eons into millennia, centuries into
months. Comes the year 3000. How then shall the world look? The Smarts will
be merrily flying around the solar system, occasionally taking a vacation to
Mars, establishing contact with distant civilizations, and perhaps traveling
by way of worm-holes and time warps to distant galaxies. The primitive
Internet that existed a thousand years ago will have been replaced by a vast
system of distributed Quantum computers with protein molecules serving as
memory chips. The Smarts will have conquered disease, modified the aging
gene, devised beautifully nuanced modes of expression far subtler than
exists in the best of today’s poetry and music. With minds symbiotically
connected to massively parallel systems, they will create ever more
beautiful systems of mathematics and resolve problems of physics much too
deep for us to even imagine today.

And the Dumbos? They will be the neo-Taliban of all faiths, religions, and
countries. This bunch of fragmented and fractious groups, consumed by hatred
for the Smarts as well as each other, will fight out blood feuds and
disputes with origins thousands of years into the past. They shall be
helpless in the face of global pollution and drug resistant microbes because
their education shall be no more than singing of past glories and
safeguarding ideological frontiers, even as the rest of humankind is
crossing frontiers of outer space. Like the present ones across our western
border, who shoot down supersonic aircraft with American Stingers and run
jeeps fueled by Shell gasoline, the Dumbos will continue to live off what
the Smarts invent and are willing to part with. Their morality will
continue to center on matters related to procreation. As always they will
blame fate, believe the cause of their misery is deviation from the True
Faith, energetically purge unbelievers from their midst, and revel in the

*Time to reassess policies, by M.B. Naqvi (From Dawn 1/16/00 Via South
Asians Against Nukes . Request the full version from
with the word “policies”).

The fact of the matter is that it is time for Pakistanis to reassess basic
policies, including the validity of the assumptions and attitudes underlying
them. This has been necessitated by the accumulating evidence that none of
Pakistan’s basic policies is working with a reasonable expectation of
achieving the stated aim….Pakistan has to assert, for once, that it does
not need or want a war – no matter for what reason. War must be avoided.

*Hijacking peace by Usmaan Raheem Ahmad (From Council for an Independent
Kashmir ~ USA . Request the full version from
with the word “Hijacking”).

Kashmiri society rejects extremism. Kashmir’s Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist
population share an ancient heritage of pluralism and tolerance unparalleled
in the region. Simply put, Kashmiris want to see an end to the Indian,
Pakistani, and Chinese occupation of their homeland. They hope that their
freedom can finally mean an end to the nuclear-charged Kashmir conflict and
the type of crises and violence that incessantly spawn from it. Furthermore,
the rising threat of terrorism in the region must be attacked at its roots.

*Give peace a chance by Irfan Husain (From Dawn 1/29/00 via South Asia
Citizens Web Dispatch Request the full version from
with the word “Chance”).

Given the pre-eminence of the army in our dealings with India, it makes
eminent sense for New Delhi to agree to negotiations now. The Indian
leadership is well aware that ultimately, it is the army high command that
will determine the course of any future talks from the Pakistan side,
irrespective of who is occupying t
he Prime minister’s House in Islamabad….

*Throw the rascals out by Irfan Husain (Dawn 01/08/00, Via South Asia
Citizens Web Dispatch . Request the full version from
with the word “Rascals”).

By keeping the region in a constant state of turmoil, they have diverted
attention from the real issues of poverty, and prevented the people from
demanding decent governance and a measure of prosperity. If there is indeed
a conspiracy, it has been hatched jointly by the politicians and the ruling
elites of South Asia in an effort to conceal their incompetence and venality.


*Review of the constitution of India

Sir, President K.R. Narayanan’s views on the review of the constitution,
expressed on the 50 anniversary of the republic need to be taken with utmost
seriousness (www.rediff.com/news/2000/ jan/27pres1.htm). Dr. Narayanan feels
the present attempt to ‘review’ the constitution is totally unwarranted as
constitution’s basic premises of, responsibility and answerability should
not be touched at all.

Our present constitution is the product of National struggle for freedom
drafted through the constituent assembly, which had the representative
character. It is based on the laudable principles of Liberty. Equality and
Fraternity. These principles are the core of our democracy. The current
instability, which is being projected as the major problem of our country,
should be understood as the sign of turmoil in the society rather than as a
sign of failure of the constitution. We also have to question as to whether
a panel, whatever be its ‘level’ can have a representative character to
review a document which is the product of the representative body-the
constituent assembly.

The present move of the BJP Govt. to appoint a ‘high level’ panel to review
it is a motivated attempt to work towards its long-term agenda of Hindu
Rashtra. Some years ago BJP’s affiliate VHP’s highest body- Dharma Sansad
passed a resolution calling for a change in the constitution. As per them it
is an anti-Hindu constitution so it should be changed and a Hindu
constitution should be brought in. BJP’s parent body RSS has been clamoring
for Hindu Rashtra right since its inception.

In the light of these facts the BJP’s move’s dangers are very apparent. We
call upon all those valuing the democratic values to come forth and call for
the scrapping of this sinister move of the BJP Govt.

Dr. Ram Puniyani, Secretary- EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity), B-64, IIT
Qtrs, Powai, Mumbai, Phone-5775045, 5783522,

*India and Pakistan should abolish nuclear weapons

Dear Dr. Rohila: Perhaps you would like to see the full text of the talk
(Cited in Peace & Harmony New, ACHA Bulletin 1/5/00) I gave at the India
International Centre in Delhi on November 20, calling on the military
leaders of India and Pakistan to take the audacious initiative of jointly
declaring their intention to completely abolish their
genocidal-suicidal-ecocidal nuclear weapons during the year 2000. Suppose
they did so! What honor this would bring to Indian and Pakistanis as they
traveled around the world over the coming century! Whereas America will
always be remembered as the first country to kill with atomic weapons, the
people of India and Pakistan and their descendants would be globally
esteemed as those who first abolished and refused to kill with them.

The Times of India story from which you took the excerpt had four principal
errors. First the talk, as you will see, called not for the abolition of all
weapons but specifically focused only on nuclear weapons. Second, Syngman
Rhee’s government was not democratic. It was ousted by a democratic student
movement in 1960. The democratic government of Chang Myon was overthrown by
a military coup in 1961.

Third, most regrettably, the reference to Indonesian Muslims and to
Abdurrahman Wahid as being unsympathetic to the idea of Islam and
nonviolence is completely in error and misleading. We held an international
seminar on “Islam and Nonviolence” in 1986 in Bali. It was co-sponsored by
our Center’s then planning project at the University of Hawai’i (we have
since then become an independent nonprofit organization), the UN University
in Tokyo, and the Pesantren organization Nadhatul Ulama headed by Aburrahman
Wahid who contributed a paper on “Islam, Nonviolence, and National
Development” to the seminar. The seminar was officially opened by the
Indonesian Minister for Religious Affairs who came from Jakarta
specifically for that purpose.

Fourth, 47 countries have accepted conscientious objection to military
service while 67 countries have abolished the death penalty.

As for immediate audience responses to the talk, most thought that military
leaders were professionally incapable of such an initiative, that in India
the military was under Civilian Constitutional control and legally could not
take such an initiative, and that in any case Pakistan was incorrigible and
rejects all good Indian peace initiatives. Others thought that the talk
reached into cultural roots to transcend the India-Pakistan dichotomy, and
might plant a seed of thought among military thinkers.

I still think India and Pakistan, despite all past bloodshed, have the
spiritual and civilizational resources to lead the world in abolition of
nuclear weapons and to shift the “colossal waste” of associated economic
resources to meet the pressing needs of their peoples. Let us hope that some
military figures will think about their potential for local and global moral
and economic leadership.

Congratulations on your effort to communicate good news about Asian Harmony
to counteract the self-fulfilling pessimism of the conventional
violence-accepting or pro-violent media. Some friends in Colombia have begun
to publish a monthly paper called Good News From Colombia for the same
purpose. Information can be obtained from Sr. Alvaro Vargas at email
globalav@…. I am sure he would like to learn of your work.

Be well, in peace,
Glenn D. Paige, President, Center for Global Nonviolence, Professor Emeritus
of Political Science,
University of Hawaii,

*Let us pledge to make the world a better place to live

The world has become a lot less desirable to live in. In fact it has become
impossible for many to live with peace, respect and freedom.

We as American have a special blessing of God and thus have a special
responsibility towards humanity. Most of us, unfortunately, have stopped to
think and act like normal human beings. We tend to act more like politicians
and power players rather than like a father or a mother, brother or sister,
husband or a wife.

Let us respect all people, their right to live in peace, respect and
freedom. Let us work to end intolerance, prejudice against others point of
view, against other religions and civilizations and live like all equal
members of universal manhoood.

We the Americans have made difference in the world. We have done so in the
past, and have done so now. We have made impossible to become as possible.
In Europe, in Middle East we did it. In Chechnya we are making a
difference. In South Asia we trying to do the same.

Let us help our president and support him to take American initiative on
Kashmir. We want both India and Pakistan as our friends. India is the
largest democracy we cant ignore. Pakistan is a long time ally we can’t
abandon. And both are now nuclear states. We cant afford to let them fight
it out over Kashmir. US has to g
uide both of them to a peaceful resolution
of the Kashmir conflict.

Let us resolve to help both India and Pakistan in finding a peaceful
settlement in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people, and both
India and Pakistan should respect these wishes and the decision made by the
people of Kashmir.

Let us exhort both India and Pakistan to stop all violence in fighting in
Kashmir, withdraw the troops, have a UN-US administration in Kashmir to
supervise a peaceful referendum in Kashmir under the UN, as we have done in
East Timor and then ensure to respect and implement the Kashmiris decision
whether they wish to join India or Pakistan.

Let us support peace and freedom all over the world. We the Americans have
lived on principles and we must continue to do so to maintain our honor in
the world. We have the resolve and we have the capability – and the world
respects us for this and expects aus to paly the most important role of the
peace-maker. Let us live to uphold humanity and uphold the American
principles of justice, freedom and equality.

Let us write to the President what we want him to do in the world.

Steve Rodman, Peace and Freedom Forum,

*Root cause Analysis

Pritamsaab: ‘Boond-Boond paani se banta hai ek mahasagar’ ‘Uniform
Instruction’ may not be feasible in our homelands but is definitely possible
away from it. Under the umbrella of ACHA, we need to bring together Indo-Pak
groups with more secular leanings that can research, discuss, and document
the various facets of our common history. While the low points of our
history such as exploitation under the brahminical order or Aurangzeb’s
tyrannical attitude towards minorities may be dissected to reflect reality
in reference to context, there may be a substantial portion dedicated to the
common struggle for our Independence.

As an engineer, I have often resorted to Root Cause Analysis as a technique
towards solving nagging problems. Can some amongst us organize ourselves as
a group of well-informed individuals with limited bias to lay the foundation
of this Encyclopedia of Blood & Tears?

Sir, despite ACHA being an avowed secular grouping we need to reach the
abyss of each heart and soul within our own organization to cleans the
misunderstandings arising primarily from misinformation. Can there be a
heart-to-heart session beyond the structure of a symbolic event (Memorial
proposed by Pakistanis for Peace & Alternative Development) at Wagah for
victims of 1947 Partition) to delve into the issue of commonality and
differences? I believe that if we did that and came out with unified
knowledge of our history, it will go a long way towards mending centuries
old mistrust between the two major communities. Only if we are pure in our
approach, we will be less gullible into supporting separatist programs of
our other affiliations.

I have been sympathetic towards the cause of Akhand Bharat propagated by the
RSS, not for the sake of communal homogenization, but more for the sake of
national unity that was destroyed by the partition in 1947, the wounds of
which are still bleeding. I have recently joined VHP to support their local
youth awareness programs and camps to instill in them the Hindu values of
life in our coming generations. Since both the RSS and VHP have been
branded to have extreme right leanings in the Indian political spectra, can
ACHA help me become better informed so that I can become one moderate
element in the above organizations?

Best Regards,
Dharmendra Vahalia

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