April 2006 News

Now An Intellectual Way To Thrash Out Kashmir Imbroglio

9 April 2006
The Indian Express

Srinagar: The intellectuals at the Kashmir's highest seat of learning will, for the first time, discuss means and ways to solve the Kashmir issue. Kashmir University is coming up with the 'Centre for Kashmir Studies' to discuss peace and conflict resolution.The centre will focus on Kashmir,' Vice-Chancellor Prof Abdul Wahid told The Indian Express, adding, 'It will discuss all aspects of the life of the people in Kashmir- social, cultural, economic and political. The issues, like Kashmir imbroglio, peace and conflict resolution will also be discussed and debated.' The centre will be formally inaugurated by J-K Governor and Chancellor of Kashmir University Lt Gen (Retd) S K Sinha on April 22. Senior historian and retired professor of university's History Department Prof Ishaq Khan has been nominated as the first Director of the centre |by Sinha. 'We wanted to bring all the aspects related to Kashmir under one roof,' says Prof Abdul Wahid, adding, 'The Centre, though autonomous, will coordinate with the other departments of the university too.' It would collect material related to every topic on Kashmir and look for the old Kashmiri manuscripts. 'We will also develop a website,' adds Prof Wahid. The Centre - essentially a full-fledged research centre on Kashmir - will organise debates, seminars and conferences. 'The highly-distinguished features of the Kashmiri culture will be discussed,' says the Vice-Chancellor, adding, 'To start with we are taking four fellows from different areas of study.' An advisory committee of intellectuals from various sections of the society will also be constituted to look into the functioning of the centre and offer advice and suggestions. Prof Wahid says, 'There will be about 10 members in the advisory committee, most of them from outside the university and even outside the state.' The professors of the varsity, in the past, had been barred from making political comments or speaking to the press. 'This (setting up of the centre) hints at change in the government policy,' says Shahnawaz Ahmad, a research scholar of the university. 'It is a good step. It will help us to evolve a consensus on Kashmir dispute.'


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