Volume 92, Issue 48

Friday, November 27, 1998



Tense situation could be avoided

Re: PSA literature sparks conflict, Nov. 4

To the Editor:
The tension that has been created because of the literature the Pakistani Students' Association produced was bound to occur, but it could've been avoided. We are South Asian, a minority in Canada. We should stand together, not divided.

Our parents did not come to Canada so that we would worry about Kashmir, it was to provide us with a better life. The war is where it is, in Asia. Not here. Whatever happened in the past didn't directly affect us. We weren't there, we can't change it. I'm not saying that the events in Kashmir are of no importance but rather PSA could've approached the topic in a better way.

First of all, the executives of PSA and the Western Indo-Canadian Students' Association, being representative of the students here at Western, should've attended the round table meeting. It's your responsibility to do your job. I know an executive position looks nice on a resume, but how about actually doing your job?

Did Mr. Equity Commissioner not realize the tension that would result if fingers were pointed at certain religious groups? Being a member of the PSA as well, did you get a chance to read the pamphlet prior to printing?

Since you're the equity commissioner, I assume your major responsibility is Equity Week. I don't know what your other responsibilities entail.

Did you not think for one second that the subject of Kashmir would spark conflict? Wouldn't you be careful as to what information was passed out? After all, this was your week of "unity in diversity," as you called it.

The pamphlet was quite interesting to read. Whoever did the background research did an EXCELLENT job because the majority of the sources were newspapers. Now, I don't write essays that often so forgive me if I'm wrong, but aren't newspapers considered unreliable sources? The pamphlet also seemed to focus a lot on the tyranny of Muslims in Kashmir.

I thought there were people of many faiths living in Kashmir and according to the posters up in UCC last week "all citizens in a Muslim society are considered sacred whether a person is Muslim or not." So why weren't the other faiths who are suffering mentioned? Are they not as important? Or does the PSA only want to help out Muslims?

Why didn't they mention the fact that India occupied Kashmir after the Maharaja asked for help to fight off the invaders who had come with approval from the Pakistani government on Oct. 22, 1947? Why didn't they mention the Maharaja had signed a formal accession to India?

I'm willing to bet that a lot of people don't know the historical facts behind Kashmir. Before this letter I didn't and I still don't. But I didn't take that pamphlet word for word and jump on the bandwagon of finger pointing. I did a little bit of background reading. Unless we know all the facts, which is impossible, the only thing we can do to help Kashmir is join up with Unicef and Amnesty International to create awareness.

Mr. Karimuddin, I don't know what your personal vendetta against WICSA is. You probably think I'm a WICSA executive, trying to defend the club. Quite the opposite. In my years here I've only ever attended one meeting.

WICSA isn't entirely at fault. PSA didn't attend the round table meeting either. If PSA wanted to create awareness about the Kashmir situation, why didn't they go to WICSA and suggest it? WICSA may not be a club with a political agenda, but at least it has enough brains to stay away from religious confrontations. PSA might want to note that when the next pamphlet is printed.

Meenu Gaidhu
Biology III

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Copyright The Gazette 1998