Let the India-Pakistan friendship express serve as an example

A Pakistani soldier stands guard at the Line of Control, the de facto border between Pakistani and Indian administered Kashmir. EPA
A Pakistani soldier stands guard at the Line of Control, the de facto border between Pakistani and Indian administered Kashmir. EPA

I refer to your article Amid all the turmoil, peace could break out between India and Pakistan (March 4). It is quite disturbing to read stories of continuing animosity between the people of India and Pakistan. In reality, ordinary people stand to lose, because amid conflict the true wealth of these two lands cannot be realised. People in India and Pakistan should be able to live in a friendly atmosphere and showcase their goodwill, especially to younger generations. Neighbours cannot live with hostile minds, whereas a trusting friendship will improve the lives of all.

After the recent incidents, I read several articles about the Samjhauta Express train, which runs between India’s capital city and Lahore in Pakistan. The “friendship express” is a true reflection of how deeply intertwined these two nations are. If you read the stories of people travelling on the Samjhauta Express, you cannot imagine a conflict between their two homelands.

Suffice to say a nuclear conflict between these two would be unthinkably awful.

But we now have a situation in which peace and stability on the subcontinent are mostly dependent on how India and Pakistan lead their people. We can only hope that the youth in both countries take a different approach to bring about a safer future. History shows that the repercussions of war live on for decades and even centuries in the communal memories of people.

Let’s hope the beauty of the Samjhauta Express can be realised elsewhere and that the train runs smoothly to continue connecting the people of India and Pakistan.

Ramachandran Nair, Muscat

Arab nations can help give new life to war-torn Syria

I write in reference to your article Arab nations must be part of Syria’s future (March 7). I congratulate you on an impressive editorial. The ongoing crisis in Syria will soon enter its eighth year, in spite of international community intervention. As a country known for its rich cultural heritage, values and trade, particularly in fruits, the state of Syria today is nothing short of a tragedy.

The UAE’s decision, reiterated last week by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, to re-open its embassy in Syria is a good one. Its main intention is to help redevelop Syria and for Arab nations to play a role in that. Sheikh Abdullah’s ­solidarity to lift the beautiful city of Damascus once more is laudable.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

ISIS recruits could be useful informants if rehabilitated

I refer to your article New Zealand ISIS runaway Mark Taylor: I feel betrayed by the group I joined and the country I left behind (March 7). Let this be a lesson for others who act on impulse without considering the consequences. Still, hate the sin and not the sinner.

Rehabilitation could turn Taylor into a helpful individual who could prevent others from joining such terrorist groups as ISIS.

Name withheld by request

Published: March 9, 2019 07:07 PM


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