January 2004 News

Kashmir be resolved through talks: experts 

12 January 2004
The Nation
Ishrat Ansari 

KARACHI: The world cannot be free from conflicts, but the violent implications of conflicts may be minimised by creating a situation through peaceful talks. Kashmir dispute is a flashpoint and needs to be tackled on priority basis through dialogue. This was the consensus of the deliberations at the workshop titled: 'EU perspectives on various Asian security issues and endeavors to build confidencebuilding measures, conflict prevention and conflict resolution. The workshop was organised by Area Study Centre for Europe (ASCE) under the EU sponsered JeanMonnet Project here Monday.' There are number of conflicts among Asian nations that may turn to war like situation or violent conflict. Major issues of Asia like Kashmir dispute, Tamil issue in Sri Lanka, internal conflicts in Afghanistan, Mindanao in Philippines, the Taiwan Straits dispute and the Korean border need proper attention and can be solved only through peaceful talks. In her welcome address Dr Naveed Ahmed Tahir, Director of ASCE said that the Jean Monnet awarded the Center in recognition of its contribution to the promotion of European studies will be completing its third and final year by the end of 2004. She said that only positive response from the two conflicting parties can resolve the conflict Doubtless that the East Timor and Kashmir disputes are similar in nature. In both cases the colonial powers abandoned the territories to the takers. India and Indonesia became the occupying powers. Both agreed to the referendum under UN auspices to determine the will of the people. While Indonesia allowed one to be held, India has denied it on one pretext or the other for last 56 years. The world has been crying foul over East Timor, but it conveniently ignored the blatant human rights violations in Kashmir why because India is no pushover. Might is right is still prevails in the world. While in her conclusion she said that religion has a lot to do that's why the Timorese had this referendum and Kashmiris are still being denied the plebiscite. Timoriese are Christians, while Indonesia is a Muslim country, said Uzma Shujaat, lecturer at ASCE in her presentation on the topic of The EU's role in resolving the issue of East Timor. Dr Moonis Ahmer, Associate Professor of Department of International Relations in his presentation 'EU and the recent confidence building measures in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent' said that India and Pakistan can learn a lot from the 'success story' of EU in building trust and confidence in different areas of cooperation. Dr Moonis said that there are number of agreements signed between India and Pakistan but yet have not implemented. The implementation of those agreements can prove helpful in normalization between the two country. He emphasized that Pakistan and India do not behave as a normal neighbours. EU can facilitate Pakistan and India but there are some obstacles that EU faces such as third party mediation, which India opposes and says that it Kashmir is a bilateral issue and should be bilaterally. Dr. Andreas Rieck, Resident Representative, Hanns Seidel Foundation presented his paper on the topic of 'The EU Endeavors to Rehabilitate Afghanistan in the international community: The Humanitarian and Political dimensions' Dr Rubab Hasan, Assistant Professor of ACSE presenting her paper ' The Issue of Nuclear Proliferation & Iran: The EU's perceptions and role in conflict prevention' said that Iran had started building up its relations with EU and EU's relations with Iran is of great complex significance in this complex global environment. EU has been attracted by Iran's economic potential, its geographical position and its market. She discussed the recent pressure on Iran's nuclear programme started followed by inspections by IAEA. Dr Albaradie in his report praised Iranian willingness to cooperate on nuclear issue in order to achieve a total transparency. France, Britain and Germany favoured a diplomatic approach in dealing with Iran. Large number of students and teachers attended the workshop while after presentations workshop was followed by question-answer session.


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