Re “Leaders of India, Pakistan Agree to Hold Peace Talks,” Jan. 7: The friendly meeting between the leaders of India and Pakistan that took place in Pakistan is indeed welcome news. The vexing issue of Kashmir can only be solved by negotiations and not by military means. For its part, Pakistan must stop cross-border terrorism, while India must show its willingness to be fair with its neighbor in the negotiations.
Though political expediency might demand a hard line in both countries’ negotiating stances, each must realize that, by reaching a just accord, millions of poor people in both countries will reap enormous benefits. Though India is emerging as an economic power, it has millions who live below the poverty line. Pakistan, which is spending a large chunk of its budget on defense, has even more to gain by peace. It can divert its scarce resources for the benefit of its millions who are illiterate, poor and destitute. The whole world hopes and prays that this new peace initiative will bear fruit and will turn into a lasting peace, which the people of the subcontinent have long deserved.
Rancho Palos Verdes