March 2006 News

Kuldip’s formula on Kashmir

21 March 2006
The Dawn

Lahore: Veteran Indian journalist Kuldip Nayar has presented a step-by-step formula for Kashmir solution. “The governments on both sides (of the Line of Control) should first end visa restrictions for the residents of Kashmir within the valley,” he said while delivering his keynote address at the peace conference in connection with the 10th anniversary of the Pak-India Peace Initiatives at a local hotel on Tuesday. The valley should be demilitarised, infiltrations must be stopped, assurances in this behalf should not only be given but proven and autonomy to the state administrations should be granted in all fields except foreign affairs, defence and communication, he said. Parliaments of both the countries, he said, should pass resolutions, regretting what happened at the time of partition and seeking apology from the affected people on both sides. “The people elected from your part (of Kashmir) should sit in our Lok Sabha while the persons chosen by our people should attend the sessions of your parliament,” said Mr Nayar. People-to-people contacts, he said, had been a wonderful thing which played an important role in reducing Indo-Pakistan tensions. The contacts had also helped people of the two South Asian neighbours closer. Former chief justice of Pakistan Dr Nasim Hasan Shah said both India and Pakistan lacked behind in poverty alleviation. “We cannot solve a number of other problem unless we joined hands. The ongoing peace process should continue till the resolution of all issues, he said and added the visa restrictions for the citizens of both the countries should be libralised. Mr Shah said collective wisdom of the people had brought the two governments on the dialogue table to resolve outstanding issues. Punjab’s ex-governor Shahid Hamid said both the peace process had become more difficult now. “Both countries missed a golden chance in July 1999 when they were equal in many terms. It is easy to establish peace between two equal countries. Now the situation is altogether different. The tendency of amassing conventional and nuclear weapons by India is furthering the gulf of inequality between the two states which would make the objective of achieving peace difficult.” Kashmir, he stressed, is the core issue and peace in the region cannot be ensured without resolving it” Pak- India Peace Initiatives president Awais Sheikh in his welcome speech said the problems of poverty, unemployment, diseases, corruption, ignorance and health care could be overcome by putting in joint efforts. The core Kashmir issue should be resolved in a peaceful manner, especially according to the aspirations of the people Kashmir. “The agenda of the dialogue under way also includes the issue of Kashmir which is a matter of great satisfaction for us. The Kashmiris should also be included in the dialogue process,” he said.


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