The Baltimore Sun

Dispute over Kashmir key to region's peace

It is not enough for Pakistan to move against its militants and their supporters ("Pakistan moves against charity tied to attacks," Dec. 12).

To prevent future attacks like Mumbai in India and bombings in Peshawar, Pakistan, these two neighbors must settle the Kashmir dispute. The two nations cannot possibly have normal relations without first resolving this 60-year-old, festering sore.

Without the strong involvement of the United States leading the international community in helping to resolve that issue, very little will be accomplished. However, the Bush-Cheney administration has been clueless about the significance of Kashmir and its symbolism to the people of Pakistan.

In today's Pakistan, the military-age young number more than 20 million. And many of them are nationalistic, schooled in madrassas and fertile for recruitment to the cause of Kashmir.

In India, we see the resurgence of Indian nationalists and their growing strength in the nation's political life.

This is the volatile mix that the incoming Obama-Biden administration must tackle to prevent the nightmarish scenario of two nuclear powers confronting each other.

Fariborz S. Fatemi, McLean, Va.

The writer is a former staff member for the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Wrong to defend attack on president

One does not have to like President Bush; one may even hate him.

But, I found the letters supporting someone who tried to harm him (in the shoe-throwing incident) difficult to understand ("Shoe-thrower sends an overdue message," letters, Dec. 16).

Richard L. Lelonek, Baltimore

Newspapers aren't only source of news

I take exception to the view offered by the writer of the letter "Decline of newspapers dims our democracy" (Dec. 15).

My adult son hardly ever reads a newspaper, but he is better informed than 90 percent of the people in this country because he reads the news on the Internet.

He has proven that you don't have to read a newspaper to be informed.

Alan Blank, Pikesville

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