July 2005 News

Kashmir moot rejects LoC as solution

16 July 2005
The Daily Times
Khalid Hasan

Washington DC: The Kashmir Conference, which ended here on Friday, rejected the Line of Control as a solution of the Kashmir dispute.The Washington Declaration, the name given to the nine-paragraph document released by the Conference, called the Line of Control option 'totally unacceptable,' but called for identifying 'pragmatic routes to conflict resolution.' The document referred to the Line of Control as the Ceasefire Line.The declaration said it welcomes the new sensible approach to resolve the Kashmir dispute through a peaceful negotiated settlement on the basis of 'existing ground realities,' keeping in view the sensitivities and wishes of the Kashmiri people. The will and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir should be realised, it added. The declaration said, 'The Conference resolves that the Kashmiris should be an integral component of the ongoing peace process as they are the primary stakeholders. They should be inclusive in the peace process, as it will facilitate permanent, durable and honourable settlement of the Kashmir dispute.'The declaration also ruled out war as an option and called upon all the parties to the dispute to work for a comprehensive ceasefire and bring every form of violence to an end to improve the environment for a constructive and progressive dialogue. It called for an intensive and comprehensive dialogue between different opinion and regions of the state on both sides of the dividing line. 'This interaction will improve the level of trust and confidence, as it will also help to develop a consensus in the conflict resolution,' it pointed out, while asking the Indian and Pakistani governments to facilitate an inter and intra-Kashmir dialogue.The declaration also called for cessation of all types of human rights violations to help develop the confidence of common people as they 'must perceive a change of attitude so vital for having a trust in the wisdom of political leadership pursuing the peace process.' It also called for protection for all minorities and the return of displaced persons, including Kashmiri Pandits, to their ancestral homes.


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