October 2005 News

Yearning for peace in Kashmir

4 October 2005
The Hindu
Ignatius Pereira

Kollam: Terrorism is on the wane in Kashmir following the recent progress in peace talks initiated by the Governments of India and Pakistan, according to a group of students from the Kashmir University. The students, numbering 16, are here to participate in the National Integration Camp and Arts Festival being organised by the Nehru Yuva Kendra. 'Terrorism thrived because the Governments failed to address the Kashmir issue earnestly,' said Shabir, one of the students. He says that if the Kashmir issue is solved, terrorism has no choice but to vanish from Kashmir. The recent initiatives are promising and the Kashmir youth deeply appreciate the moves taken by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, says Shabir. The bus diplomacy is working wonders when it comes to carrying forward the peace process. The students say that they have quite a number of close relatives living 'on the other side called Pak Occupied Kashmir and we simply long to live together with them in one State as part of India.' They want trilateral talks for the purpose comprising India, Pakistan and the genuine representatives of the Kashmir people. The collective desire of Kashmir is to get the Kashmir issue solved once and for all, they feel. The youth of Kashmir have got fed up with violence. 'We want peace, we want decent jobs,' they said. Their whole intention behind studying at the university is to secure good jobs. 'We yearn for Government as well as private sector jobs. But for industries to come up in Kashmir, there should be peace and that is our dream. If decent jobs are available to the educated youth, terrorism will naturally get isolated.' The students from Kashmir, comprising eight men and eight women, staged a traditional Kashmiri folk dance before a crowded gathering at the arts festival.


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