Kashmiris from two sides hail peace process
14 December 2004
Kathmandu: The Pug wash meeting on the disputed territory of Kashmir ended in the Nepalese capital on Tuesday with a call to continue such meetings in the future and welcomed the present Indo-Pakistan dialogue. The four-day meeting held behind closed doors in Kathmandu was a rare chance for Kashmiris from both sides of disputed Kashmir to discuss the Himalyan region's future among themselves. 'The conference attended by 50 individuals from Jammu and Kashmir, India and Pakistan discussed ways of ending more than five decades of conflict and establishing a secure and prosperous future for the peoples of this vital region of South Asia,' said Paolo Cotta- Ramusino, secretary-general of the International Pugwash Foundation which organized the meeting. 'The participants welcomed the resumption of the composite dialogue between India and Pakistan in the hope that a sustained dialogue between the two countries will lead to enhanced confidence and greater cooperation,' Cotta-Ramusino said. 'For the first time in many years, members of political parties, non- governmental organizations and civil society from both sides of the Line of Control were able to meet each other in an atmosphere of trust and reconciliation,' Cotta-Ramusino told reporters. Pugwash holds conferences around the world to seek solutions to global problems. He said the participants discussed issues in a closed forum to hear different viewpoints. 'The meeting did not adopt any resolution as it was not intended to put specific proposals for the parties to decide on the Kashmir issue,' he said. Pug wash, which is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, hopes to hold further meetings, but hasn't set a date or venue. 'This open hearted discussion among the participants is expected to help a lot in building confidence among the people of Jammu and Kashmir, promoting contacts and communication between all parties concerned over the issue lingering for the last 57 years,' he added.