November 2007 News

Peace Conference On Kashmir

27 November 2007
Associated Press of Pakistan

London: The two-day third International Peace Conference on Kashmir commencing at the Palace of Westminster here from Wednesday will focus on various themes for resolving the contentious issue hanging fire for the past 60 years and which has also bedevilled relations between Pakistan and India. The conference has been arranged by the Justice Foundation Kashmir Centre and is titled as 'The quest for peace in Kashmir-Challenges and Prospects'. President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Zulqarnain and Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Dr.Maleeha Lodhi will be the main speakers in the Plenary Session on the opening day. A number of other speakers will discuss the four themes including the Role of the United Kingdom and the International Community over the Kashmir issue, the impediments of the India and Pakistan Dialogue. Prof.Nazir Ahmad Shawl, Executive Director, Justice Foundation Kashmir Centre, said 'We are holding this conference not as a routine exercise we desire it to be useful and a milestone for guiding the peace builders, particularly in the two governments of India and Pakistan. We also intend it to provide a collective forum for all the well wishers of the Kashmir cause'. Shawl said it is his candid belief and perception that countries like India and Pakistan require a goodwill and international facilitation in order to reach an amicable agreement. 'The world of sanity on both sides of India and Pakistan desire to see the present engagement of the composite dialogue a success. It therefore becomes pertinent to identify the loopholes and cleavages which need a rational objective and incisive introspection. 'Flexibility of Approach' has to be the catchphrase for positive development; if the rigid stances of all the parties to the dispute remain entrenched there is no possibility of progress,' he noted. Shawl said in this conference they propose to bring together the political leadership, civil society, activists, voices of the international community, peace practioners, conflict resolution, Members of the British Parliament and the European Union, conflict resolution experts and the voices of the Diaspora for an inter and intra dialogue. Those who are expected to participate in the conference include Margret Moran, Chairperson All Parties Group Parliamentary Group on Kashmir, MPS Martin Salter, Lyn Brown, Dave Anderson, Paul Goodman , John Cushnahan, former Chairman Foreign Relations Committee European Parliament, Fabian Hamilton, Michal Hammer, Andy Carl and Brendan Macalister. The top leaders from different political parties invited for the conference included Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Chairman All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Tahreek Hurriyat, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Chairman, Democratic Freedom Party, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Nazir Ahmed Ronga President Kashmir Bar Association and Omar Abdullah, President Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, AJK Prime Minister Sardar Atique Ahmad Khan, Senator Mushahid Husain, Prof. Ashraf Saraf, Dr.Ghulam Nabi Fai.


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