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Thursday, July 12, 2001

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Olive branch

N. Vijayaraghavan, Chennai

`Surveillance observers' over the half century of Pakistan's history comprehend that right from the military ruler Ayub Khan to the current President, Gen Pervez Musharraf, none have showed interest in the devolution of power to democratically-elected le aders. The happiness evinced by the people when the nation was taken over by Zia Ul Haq from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and later by Gen Musharraf from Mr Nawaz Sharif is proof that the majority of the people have absolutely no faith in democracy.

The prime reason for this undesirable state is the unscrupulous nature of politicians, whose main aim has been to amass wealth at the cost of the working class and the poor. When there is a growing feeling that suffrage does not reflect the true spirit o r passion of the people, democracy is instantly dealt a death blow. Booth-capturing, large-scale vote-rigging and bogus voting are common both in Pakistan and India.

It is hoped that the meeting between the Indian and Pakistani leaders resolves, to some extent, the differences over Kashmir. After all, Mr Musharraf is answerable to Pakistan after the meet.

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