New Delhi should reject Islamabad’s call for talks on the recent skirmishes along the Line of Control. It should pressure Islamabad into returning the head severed from Lance Naik Hemraj’s body.

That said, India should refrain from escalating the tensions. But it should tell Pakistan in strong terms that it will explore all options, including war, if they are thrust on it.

K.R. Viswanathan Pillai,

Chennai

Time and again, the Pakistan army has violated the ceasefire. We have only protested and condemned it for its cowardly behaviour. Unfortunately, India’s maturity and patience are being interpreted as its disability. There is no scope for forgiving the latest gruesome act on the LoC. We must retaliate. But we must do so in a prudent and decisive manner, through diplomacy. Our foreign policy should be aimed at building pressure on Pakistan to dismantle its terrorist training camps.

Rakesh Raushan,

Pune

Thanks a lot for speaking from the hearts of Kashmiris (“Beware the dogs of war,” Jan. 17). Those who say no cost is big or high for retaliating against Pakistan are those who have never heard the sound of bullets. They have never seen live shelling on the LoC. We, Kashmiris, know what the shelling means — shells reach as far as Gulmarg. We know how many get killed, maimed and displaced.

Many say we should sever all contacts with Pakistan. What if the terrorists there decide to push fearsome Mehsoods and others into Kashmir? We could not stop a 70-year-old woman from crossing over. How will we stop the dreaded militants? Who is responsible for over 50,000 Kashmiri lives lost in the militancy? Do we want another 50,000 to perish before going to the negotiating table?

We can choose friends; we cannot choose neighbours. Whether they are good or bad, we have to coexist. If Pakistan becomes stable, it will forget everything — even Kashmir — because a prosperous nation becomes wary of losing what it has. The jihadis have nothing to lose. I am sure they are responsible for the inhuman act of beheading our soldier.

Syed Mushtaq Ahmad,

Vizhanjam

Making art the casualty of cross-border tensions in the name of law and order is unacceptable (“Another casualty: 2 Pakistani plays cancelled,” Jan. 18). The brutality with which the two Indian army jawans were killed is no doubt condemnable. But art is different. It should not be mixed up with political or administrative issues. It is unfortunate to see the recurrence of such incidents, which are a hindrance to artistic growth in both India and Pakistan.

Kusumika Sarkar,

Aligarh

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