Seminar Calls For Inclusion Of Kashmiris In Indo-Pak Talks
2 January 2005
The News International
Mirpur: An international seminar on Kashmir unanimously called for the inclusion of Kashmiris in the ongoing talks between India and Pakistan to ensure objectiveness of dialogue vis-a-vis the early peaceful settlement of the Kashmir problem in accordance with the UN resolutions. The seminar titled 'Kashmir Peace Initiatives and Future Strategy' was organised on Sunday by the Kashmiri think-tank- the Institute of Peace and Development. It was aimed at discussing importance of early peaceful solution of Kashmir issue, besides progress on composite dialogue process between Pakistan and India. Veteran Kashmiri leader and former AJK prime minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan was the chief guest while two of seminar's sessions were chaired by visiting Lord Nazir Ahmed, Member British House of Lord and Khurshid Ahmed, Commissioner of the British Commission of Racial Equality and Chairman of the National Association of British Pakistanis. Speaking on the occasion, Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan said the ongoing Pak-India talks should not be kept confined only to the meetings of the divided Kashmiri families from both sides of the Line of Control (LoC). 'Rather these should be focused only to resolve the issue of Kashmir - which was the major cause of tension between the two countries,' he added. He criticised the Indian foreign secretary's statement in Islamabad claiming that the Kashmir people as Indian citizens. Qayyum referred to statements of President Musharraf about the Kashmir and for its early resolution in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiris. He called for the national consensus on Kashmir. He said collective efforts should be made by the overseas Pakistanis and Kashmiris living abroad, especially in the US and Britain, to counter negative propaganda of India on the Kashmir issue. He called for the formation of a high- level Kashmir Committee by the overseas Kashmiris to highlight the importance of early solution of the Kashmir problem. Other speakers expressed their views over the ongoing CBMs and peace initiatives by Pakistan and India for the settlement of all outstanding issues, especially the core issue of Kashmir. They called for the inclusion of the Kashmiris in talks from both sides of the LoC to ensure early settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with their aspirations. They said the Kashmiris' right to self-determination should be recognised and sincere efforts should be made for early settlement of the Kashmir issue.