x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Kashmir requires an impartial and urgent solution

The media has reported on the atrocities committed by uniformed personnel. Guns and bullets and trigger-happy police are not the answer.

A young Kashmiri boy shouts slogans during a protest on the outskirts of Srinagar
A young Kashmiri boy shouts slogans during a protest on the outskirts of Srinagar

Anuj Chopra very aptly sums up the situation in Kashmir in Indian politicians meet Kashmiri separatists and Politicians divided over meeting the separatists (September 21 and 22). Kashmir has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan since the day of independence. Present-day problems are the byproducts of myopic and partisan attitudes adopted by politicians in the past. The time has come for the Indian authorities to look at the situation with an impartial and clear view.

Kashmir is an integral part of India, and Kashmiris are Indian citizens. Therefore, they must be treated with the dignity and respect that the constitution of India guarantees. The media has reported on the revolting scenes of the atrocities committed by uniformed personnel. Guns and bullets along with trigger-happy police are not the answer to these problems, and this has made the situation even worse.

The solution lies in looking at Kashmir from the point of view of an Indian towards another Indian with compassion. In this way, the separatist movement will die a natural death. Both governments should formulate a strategy to bring social and economic reforms to Kashmir and revoke this Draconian law of permitting uniformed personnel to take the lives of civilians on flimsy pretext. This has already brought a bad name to India, which is the largest democracy in the world and has championed the cause of those who are victims of socio-economic injustice.

A solution is possible if Kashmiris are given economic and social freedom as they desire within the constitutional framework. Shelving the issue will make it even worse and give anarchists an opportunity to step in and complicate the situation, further resulting in more violence and strife. 

Nazim H Khan, Abu Dhabi

Credit cards, not firewalls, can help 

TRA plans firewall law for internet shoppers (September 22) describes one way in which internet shopping can be improved. However, there is an easier and much more powerful method available. Shoppers simply need a credit card issued by a bank that will stand behind them.

I use a card that has a function on the website for disputes. If I buy something that is not as advertised or just a scam, I simply revoke payment. Using a charge back that is part of the vendor contract, the credit card company takes the money back from the vendor and credits my account. Problem solved. In the long term, vendors that experience many charge backs will lose their contract to accept credit cards. This prevents scammers from accepting credit cards at all.

Similarly, users that are involved in many disputes will have their credit cards revoked. The result is an economy consisting of reliable vendors and honest buyers. 

Terry Horton, Al Ain 

Property forecast is a good sign 

Finally, the forecast of stability in the Dubai property market has come true (Dubai property prices start to level off, September 24). Experts were right when they said prices would start becoming stable around the end of 2010.

Now, Dubai real estate is expected to get better in future and I hope that this holds true. 

Sara Martin, Dubai 

Islam should be a religion for all ages 

"Will Muslims begin to fear Islam as much? Will they begin to fear their own selves?" questions J Hashim Brown in Are Muslims afraid of their own shadows? (September 25). Such questions are applicable not only to Muslims in America, but to those in India, Pakistan and the Arab world.

When a religion is interpreted through a centuries-old lens without taking any socio or geo-political changes into account, it will appeal only to traditionalists. At the same time, it can be unbearable for those in newly emerging middle classes, educated and empowered youth and women, and also elites, who can distance themselves from the fold of traditional thought. However, Mr Brown also points out that when such Muslims distance themselves from their religion and culture, it creates the danger of leaving Islam entirely in the hands of militant and fundamentalist Islamists.

It is a fact that the Muslim world, especially the Arab world, cannot return to the period of the Prophet Mohammed, but can only go forward and find a meaningful place in the modern world. Besides being a set of faiths, practices and traditions, all religions are social organisations, too. Unless a religion is adaptable in a fast-changing world, it will become extinct through a process of internal crises and contradictions.

Dr Raju M Mathew, Al Ain