‘Accept Kashmiris as principal party, revoke AFSPA’
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON KASHMIR IN PAK
Muzaffarabad, May 26: An international conference on Kashmir organised by the University of Pakistan Administered Kashmir has stressed for accepting Kashmiris as the principal party of the long-standing dispute and revocation of special powers to troopers including APSPA.
A large number of experts from various countries including India and Pakistan participated in the two-day conference “Kashmir in Emerging Global Perspectives,” which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, on Monday
Chairman of the organizing committee, Prof (Dr) Nasim Akhtar, said participants were unanimous that it was not possible to find a sustainable solution to the lingering dispute without the participation of the Kashmiri people in the peace process.
“The participants also acknowledged sacrifices of people of Jammu and Kashmir in keeping up the momentum of freedom struggle and assured them full support. There was a broad consensus that India and Pakistan should talk to the Kashmiris and facilitate intra- Kashmir contacts,” Akhtar said.
He said the participants also stressed for initiation of intra-Kashmir dialogue and encompass all regions, religions and political orientations.
“This is the first step towards facilitation of a permanent settlement of the dispute. For this purpose, it is essential that the Kashmiri leadership, social activists, and civil society representatives should get together from both sides and identify the common goals that may be followed with unity and strength,” he said while quoting the participants.
“There was consensus among the participants that Kashmiris should be accepted as the principal party in the dispute. They also underscored the need for respecting the human rights of Kashmiris de-militarization of population centers. Besides, all punitively misused laws, particularly AFSPA and PSA, must be repealed,” he said.
The participants also underlined an urgent need to implement and expand Kashmir-specific Confidence Building Measures including free travel of Kashmiris within their state using own vehicles and intra-Kashmir trade and educational contacts.
The participants suggested that a smart card or State Subject Certificate should be made basis for trans-LoC travel. They also demanded opening of new routes including Mirpur-Akhnoor and Kargil-Ladakh road links.
He said the participants appreciated the role of PaK University for bringing intellectual and scholars from across the LOC and other countries on a common independent and impartial platform for the scholarly discourses on Kashmir.
Pertinently, the conference consisted of two plenary lectures by Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai from Kashmiri American Council (USA) and Prof. Kamal Chenoy from Jawaharlal Nehru University (India).
Besides, an open panel discussion, five academic sessions were held in which 28 papers were presented on various aspects of Kashmir dispute.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 26 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 26 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 27 May 2011 00:00:00 IST
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