September 2006 News

'Peace Process Fails To Bring Any Kashmir Solution'

5 September 2006
The Nation

Islamabad: The peace process between Pakistan and India is not bringing any solution to the dispute of Kashmir, as the people of the area have not been involved in this dialogue. This was stated by Ved Bhasin, Chief Editor Kashmir Times and Zafar Shah, former president of J & K High Court Bar Association during a seminar on ' Pak-India Peace Process,' organised here by Institute of Policy Studies. Ved Bhasin said that Kashmir was the major and core issue between both the countries and unless the people of Kashmir were not taken into confidence there could be no solution. He said that there were confidence building measures between the two countries but there were no CBMs in Kashmir. 'There are human rights violation, killings, search operations, prisoners languishing in jails, disappearances and exploitation of women in the Indian Kashmir,' Bhasin added. He suggested that to create an atmosphere for peaceful solution of the issue, India should unilaterally enforce cease-fire and withdraw its force so that concerns of Kashmiris be heard in democratic environment and without any fear. Bhasin maintained that the people of held Kashmir were forced to take up arms for their rights as their voices were suppressed. ' There is no proxy war. The Kashmir movement is indigenous,' he stressed. He proposed intra- Kashmir dialogue, free movement and free trade across LoC to build a consensus on the core issue. He said that there were no high hopes of any positive result of the peace process between Pakistan and India but there is still a chance. He called upon the civil society in both the countries to come forward and pressurise their governments to involve Kashmiris in peace talks. Senior Kashmiri lawyer Zafar Shah also expressed the same views and said that in the beginning they were very hopeful that the peace process would bring a solution to the dispute but it failed to invite Kashmiris to the table. He suggested that both Pakistan and India come up with a solution of Kashmir dispute and put it to the people of Kashmir or they should leave this to the people. Zafar Shah said that there were many dimensions of the issue but the real problem was that that it concerned Kashmiris. 'We are suffering from uncertainty and we demand this to be over,' he urged. He said that Kashmir conflict has passed through three generation and they would not want it to pass to the fourth generation. He called for the immediate solution of the issue as it is in the best interests of Pakistan, India and Kashmiris on both sides of 'artificial' Line of Control.


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