WASHINGTON: Concern over India-Pakistan relations and lack of concrete steps towards the resolution of Kashmir dispute dominated the first day of the two-day International Peace Conference on Kashmir organized by Kashmiri American Council and Association of Humanitarian Lawyers, in Capitol Hill. The conference was thrown open by three important Congressmen- Joseph Pits, Jim Moran and Vette Clarke.
Describing the Conference as first step in the long journey towards peace in his opening statement, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai- Executive Director of Kashmiri American Council- said, “The silver linings had started appearing after India and Pakistan engaged themselves in peace process. Demanding inclusion of legitimate leadership in the ongoing peace process he said aims and aspiration of this conference are not to speak against one government or the other but main purpose is to facilitate a sincere dialogue in the form of peace process that will liberate Kashmiris from their terrifying predicament.”
Number of intellectuals, opinion makers, political leaders from India, Pakistan and both sides of Kashmir made their presentations in three sessions on subjects like India-Pakistan Peace Process various perspectives, India-Pakistan relations Breaking Deadlock over Kashmir and Kashmir Dimensions in the Human Rights and Justice.
Justice Rajindar Sachar, President Peoples Union for Civil Liberties exuded with optimism on the prospectus of India and Pakistan peace process. He said, “Indo-Pak friendship was firmly founded that partial drawbacks cannot in any way halt the march to total Indo-Pak amity.”
Ambassador Muhammad Yusuf Buch, former Senior Advisor to Secretary General United Nations, in his marvelously written presentation stated that breaking deadlock on Kashmir between India and Pakistan would be greatly facilitated by the presence of a mediator who would define obligations of the parties under agreements concluded between them, spell out contentious position and conflicting positions and remove confusion about what needs to be done to narrow the gap.
Amongst those who made their presentations included Bharat Bushan, New Delhi based senior journalist, Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister of Education Islamabad, Farzana Raja, Member Pakistan Assembly, Maj Gen Jamsheed Ayaz Khan, (Retired), Victoria Schofield, Prof. Rodney Jones, Prof. Richard Sharipo, Prof. Angana Chateerji, Prof Nazir Ahmed Shawl, Executive Director, Kashmir Centre London, Prof. Taqdees Jeelani, Azad Kashmir University, Dr. Waleed Rasool, Dr. Hamida Bano, Kashmir University, Jatinder Bakshi, Ved Bhasin, Senator Aneesa Zeb, from Pakistan and Dr. Farhan Chak from Durham University, England. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who was expected to make his presentation in the inaugural session had to return to Srinagar from Dubai for the prevailing situation in Kashmir.-SANA