'Peace possible only through institution building'
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'Peace possible only through institution building'

Jammu University VC says that SAARC didn't take off because of the absence of core set of common values, reports Faisul Yaseen.

india Updated: Dec 24, 2006 22:31 IST

Stating that Europe had become a model of peace despite the bitterness of World War II among the European nations, Jammu University vice chancellor Amitabh Mattoo on Sunday said that the same wasn't happening in South Asia.

"This is because the main stakeholders here don't have their interests vested in peace," he said in a lecture on 'Peace Building through Institution Building in J&K' organised here by the Jammu Press Club.

Referring to the holocaust during World War II by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, which included the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 8, 1938 and November 9, 1938 and the T-4 Euthanasia Programme, during which thousands of Jews were slaughtered by the German Nazi government, Mattoo, an expert in international relations and a think tank of the country said that even such animosity and hostility had not evaded peace in Europe.

"This was possible because the elites in Europe started building a network of strong institutions. The ones who invested in these institutions were the steel and coal industry tycoons. They had their stakes in peace and this way Europe emerged a model of peace," Mattoo said.

He also pointed out that SAARC didn't take off because of the absence of core set of common values adding that the institutions need to be Accountable and adaptable, Credible and show commitment and Empower and enlighten the stakeholder (ACE).

"Education creates bond beyond nations," Mattoo said adding peace in J&K can be build only through strong institutions.

"India can curb violence in J&K but will it be the real peace?" he questioned adding peace of the graveyard isn't the real peace. "Forces of violence can be isolated only by creating strong institutions," he stressed.

Giving example of the outbreak of armed insurgency in the state in late eighties, Mattoo said, "The insurgency supported by a our neighbouring country resulted in fear and violence. But had institutions in the state been strong, they wouldn't have withered away."

The JU vice chancellor felt that the trust deficit between New Delhi and Islamabad was just like the lesson of "dilemma of prisoners" taught in the International Relations. Explaining it Mattoo said, "Two prisoners arrested in a bank robbery are told that if one of them confesses and the other doesn't, they would get a jail term of three years and if both confess they would get five years rigorous imprisonment and if neither confesses they would go scot-free. But both confess due to the trust deficit. Same is true about India and Pakistan."

Mattoo opined that the Indian Ministry of Commerce was still caught in sixties. "If today they give trade leverages to Islamabad, Colombo, Dhaka and other neighbouring countries and continue to loose for a short term, say for 20-years, in the future India would dominate the entire region," he said.

Veteran journalist Satti Sahni presided over the function, Manu Shrivatsa delivered the welcome address while Press Club Jammu secretary Sohail Kazmi delivered the vote of thanks.

Email Faisul Yaseen: faisulyaseen@gmail.com

First Published: Dec 24, 2006 22:31 IST