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Myanmar: Intellectuals attack jingoist sentiments

PTI 16 Jun 2015, 17:14:06 IST
PTI

New Delhi:   A group of eminent intellectuals have expressed deep concern over the the "thoughtless articulation of jingoist sentiments" by high-level representatives of the government and BJP in the wake of the army operation in Myanmar and urged it to disassociate itself from them.

They also asked the goverment to take advantage of the first opporunity available for resuming dialogue with Pakistan.

The statement did not refer to any minister but was apparently referring to remarks of Minister of State Rajyavardhan Rathore suggesting that Indian could carry out surgical strikes across the border in Pakistan after the Myanmar strike against north east insurgents.

"We are profoundly disturbed by the thoughtless articulation of jingoist sentiments by high-level representatives of the government, prominent spokespersons of the ruling party and strategic thinkers and experts associated with the think tanks close to policy makers, following the Indian army's seemingly successful operation against the militants in the north east along the Indo-Myanmar border.

"We are deeply concerned about its dangerous implications for peace and security in South Asia and for relations with our neighbours, particularly Pakistan," said the statement by the group including journalist diplomats, jurists and journalists.

They said this ran counter to the policy of peace and amity with the neighbours spelt out time and again by the leaders since independence.

"The threats implied in these statements can be a prescription for disaster in a region which is heavily armed including with nuclear weapons.  Such statements can but jeopardise the prospect of resuming dialogue with Pakistan, a goal which we presume is shared by the government," they said.

The group urged the union government to publicly disassociate itself from such statements, reiterate its objective of promoting cooperation and goodwill among the governments and peoples of South Asia in general, and India and Pakistan in particular, and take advantage of the first opportunity available for resuming dialogue with Pakistan free from frictions, preconditions and accusations.

"Only by adopting such a course of action shall we be able to effectively defeat the designs of terrorists perpetrating violence in and spreading hatred among the peoples of the two countries and strengthen the constituency of peace across our western border," the group said.

The signatories included Kuldip Nayar, Muchkund Dubey, Justice Rajindar Sachar, Mrinal Pande, Manoranjan Mohanty, Zoya Hasan, Johan Dayal, N D Pancholi, Mohammad Salim Engineer, Seema Mustafa, Jawed Naqvi and Sumit Chakravartty.