The United Nations have never been able to solve any serious conflict. The present crisis over Iraq has exposed it as an empty talking shop. But there is another conflict that has been festering for more than 50 years, that between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir. Lal Khan pints out the shortcomings of the UN on this issue and indicates the class struggle as the only way of finally solving the problem.

The sudden peace overtures sent out by Vajpayee on April 18 have stirred the political landscape of the Indo-Pak subcontinent. Most sections of the intellectual and political elites of both India and Pakistan, and even far beyond, are astonished. Yet, if we take a quick look at the post partition history of the subcontinent it is not surprising at all.

On Wednesday, millions of workers in India went on a national strike protesting against government plans to privatise state-owned firms. The one-day stoppage heavily affected sectors such as banking, insurance, oil, power, coal mining, telecommunications, engineering and textiles.

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