At Youth Meet, Call To Build A ‘better’ Kashmir27 March 2011
The Indian Express
Srinagar: As the first-ever youth leadership summit - One Young Kashmir - ended in Srinagar on Sunday, it had a message for the youth: ‘Begin to act for shaping a better Kashmir’. And as rapper MC Kash, in his song, vowed to make Kashmir a better place, hundreds of youth stood up in support. “This is a humble beginning. The aim is to mobilise youth to develop an effective voice, to build a better Kashmir,” said Ilyas Wali, one of the members of One Young Kashmir. “This is not the closing ceremony. This is stepping forward. The work starts now. It is time to act.” The week-long Youth Summit that started on March 20 at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) on the banks of Dal Lake concluded with around 2,000 boys and girls resolving to make Kashmir a better place. Over the past six days, the participants discussed several key issues facing the society, including rights, culture and economy. On the final day of the summit, the youth called for an end to the conflict and sought a resolution to Kashmir issue. “The Kashmir issue must be resolved with due respect to the aspirations of the people,” said Wali while reading the key points raised by the participants. As Wali talked of Kashmir resolution, the youth thumped the desks. “Dialogue process between India and Pakistan must resume. All parties should be taken aboard.” Though for the past six days, the youth were discussing various ideas within the four walls of highly fortified convention centre, they did not remain detached from what is happening on the streets of Kashmir and urged the government to release the detainees. “The government must take an initiative to release all detained youth and put an end to the crackdown launched against them,” they said. The youth summit is the first-of-its-kind in Kashmir. The summit is sponsored by Mercy Corps. Director of Mercy Corps Usman Ahmad said the summit was organised with nine preliminary goals: increased youth knowledge of issues, strengthen leadership skills, help youth to develop solutions, inform decision-makers about issues that youth are concerned about, create an opportunity for youth to inspire each other, showcase youth creativity, identify steps to make a positive difference and, finally, create an opportunity for Youth-to-Youth networking.