Major International Conference On Kashmir On Capitol Hill This Week
23 July 2007
Associated Press of Pakistan
Washington DC: An international conference on Kashmir on the Capitol Hill this week will bring together international experts, diplomats and political leaders from both sides of Kashmir to explore all possible options for a fair resolution to the long-standing dispute, widely recognized as crucial to lasting stability of South Asia. The two- day conference on July 26-27 will span over four sessions focusing on Pakistan-India Peace Process: Various Perspectives; CBMs between Pakistan and India: Impact on Kashmir; Resolving Kashmir Dispute: Learning from Various Models; and Kashmir: Human Rights Dimension. In the inaugural session, to be chaired by Karen Parker, chairperson, Association of Humanitarian Layers, members of US Congress will present their remarks. The conference will conclude with perspectives by leaders from both sides of Kashmir on what lies ahead as AJK Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan and Chairman All Parties Hurrieyt Conference from Indian occupied Kashmir, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, will speak. According to Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director of the Washington-based Kashmiri American Council, the primary objective of the conference is to explore all possible options to settle the issue of Kashmir to the satisfaction of all the three parties - Pakistan, India and in particular the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Dr Fai stressed there can be no peaceful negotiated settlement without the full and active participation of the legitimate and accredited leadership of the people of Kashmir and expressed the hope that all sides realize this. He said the Kashmiri Americans note with satisfaction that leadership in India and Pakistan realize that the status quo in Kashmir is not an option. Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Mahmud Ali Durrani will speak on Pakistan-Pakistan peace process in the first session, which will also include speeches by Dr. Rodney Jones, President Architecture International, Prof. Kamal Chenoy, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi, Laar Mart, former Prime Minister of Estonia, Sherry Rehman, Member, Pakistan National Assembly, AJK prime minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, chairman, All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Ambassador Yusuf Buch, Former Senior Advisor to the UN Secretary General. Pakistan and India have been engaged in a peace process and composite dialogue aimed at resolution of all outstanding disputes including Kashmir. A series of confidence building measures between the two South Asian countries in the last few years has improved the atmosphere but substantial progress towards resolution of the Kashmir remains to be achieved.