Kashmir Conference ends: Declaration urges free movement of people and goods across LoC
28 July 2007
The Daily Times
Washington DC: The seventh International Kashmir Peace Conference ended in the US capital on Saturday with a call to speed up the Indo-Pak peace process and acknowledge the people of Jammu and Kashmir as integral partners and stakeholders in the process. Organised by the Kashmir American Council (KAC) and Kashmir Centre, Washington, the two-day conference ended with a round table discussion at Capitol Hill titled Kashmir A Way Forward, chaired by Dr Karen Parker and co- chaired by Sareer Fazili Esq, who conducted the proceedings. KAC Executive Director Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, in his introductory remarks, asked the participants to brainstorm to work out a route to move forward in the peace process. Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan supported the peace process and said that any resolution of the Kashmir dispute would require the involvement of the Kashmiri people. He offered to provide jobs to professionals from the other side of the ceasefire line, as well as providing electricity and natural gas to Indian-held Kashmir as a confidence- building measure. Deputy Ambassador to the US Muhammad Aslam Khan said that Pakistan would never betray the trust of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Jatinder Bukhshi proposed that the issue be frozen for four years after demilitarising the state, and then the right of self-determination be given to the people so that they could choose their political future on their own. Prof Showkat Hussain said that the Indian civil society had failed to foster a public opinion against the human rights abuses by India. Ved Bhasin said, We must adopt a common voice and common strategy to move forward.