Project Reports

INAUGURAL SESSION - Report of 2 Day International Conference on Kashmir: Challenges and Prospects


A two-day international conference on “Kashmir: Challenges and Prospects”, was organized by the think-tank MUSLIM Institute at the Islamabad Club Islamabad on Wednesday & Thursday 26 & 27 March 2014. The conference was addressed by numerous Pakistani and international luminaries and experts on issues of global politics and international relations. The conference was divided in five different sessions with different topics. The report of first session is given below.

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Welcome Address
Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali
Chairman MUSLIM Institute

On behalf of MUSLIM Institute, I welcome all the participants and honorable speakers for sparing time to participate in today’s conference. Among the four desks of MUSLIM Institute, the Kashmir desk exclusively works on keeping the Kashmir issue alive on national and international level for its peaceful resolution and today’s international conference is also part of these efforts. India made international commitments for resolving the dispute through a democratic plebiscite in accordance with UN resolutions but afterwards became hurdle in providing right of self-determination to the people of Jammu & Kashmir. It is unfulfilled agenda of United Nations since 1948. The credibility of international institutions is at stake due to their continued failure to play an effective role in resolving the Kashmir issue. International community must also play its role to ensure that the issue is resolved to deliver the recognized right of self determination of the Kashmiri people. India has committed state-sponsored violation of universal human rights in Indian Occupied Kashmir for decades by making Draconian laws to crush the will of people. These violations have been widely condemned but only condemnation is not sufficient. If India does not abolish these steps, international community should place strict economic and political sanctions on India to prevent further atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Kashmir issue should not be treated as territorial dispute between two countries. It is oldest as well as greatest human crisis. This issue has implications for the region as well as the entire world. Continued Indian oppression can escalate reaction of Kashmiris, triggering hostility between the two nuclear states which both the countries, region and the whole world cannot afford. In this situation we cannot turn blind eyes to the sufferings of people of Occupied Kashmir.

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Guest Speech
Ghulam Muhammad Safi
Convener Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Jammu & Kashmir

There are systematic human rights abuses by Indian troops including custodial killings, rapes, disappearances, mass graves and draconian laws in Indian Occupied Kashmir. People are raising voices across the valley for their basic right of self-determination and India is crushing them. Due to tension in Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, there is tension between India and Pakistan and also armed race between two countries. The unsolved issue of Jammu & Kashmir The unresolved issue of Jammu & Kashmir will keep this tension going on, also rendering South Asia as an unstable region. Due to Indian intransigence and obduracy, Kashmir issue is unresolved despite numerous resolutions of UN Security Council. According to UN resolutions, plebiscite has to take after withdrawal of armed troops under UN monitoring. The intense military zone of the world also poses question on the international court of justice. We the people of Jammu & Kashmir are determined and will not surrender and we have transferred the resistance against India to our next generation which we got from our elders and this struggle will continue. Sane voices have been emerging within India and we have to build upon these favorable voices who are feeling pain of Kashmiris. This is an international issue and should be solved internationally. In any process of dialogue people of Kashmir must be involved otherwise dialogue cannot be meaningful.

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Guest Speech
Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan
Former Prime Minister Azad Jammu & Kashmir

Kashmir is nuclear ring surrounded by three nuclear states Pakistan, India and China and fourth proxy nuclear state Afghanistan. Asian summit should be organized as early as possible and heads of states or government should sit together and try to see how they can resolve issues like Kashmir and Palestine. Bilateralism has failed miserably in this case as Pakistan and India have hardly solved any issue bilaterally until there is third party foreign assistance. Right from day one the infamous massacre of people in Jammu was not properly reported in Pakistan and India but Newsweek reported that two hundred and fifty thousand people were massacred in Jammu during transition period. Almost all the international leaders have shown their keen interest to solve Kashmir issue politically and peacefully and that has been position of Kashmiris. The Kashmiris are not against any country or civilization; they are simply interested to get Kashmir issue properly resolved. It is not a dispute of land or case of real estate but a question of life and death of more than sixteen million people. Six hundred thousand people have laid down their life seeking their right of self-determination. It is against law of nature that all these lives go in vain; sooner or later these have to come to a logical end. Until and unless actual sufferers are involved for the solution, there cannot be reasonable solution. Until there are friendly relations between two states, region cannot become stable and peaceful and it is impossible until the solution of Kashmir dispute with association of Kashmiris. Military leadership should also be given a chance for a close contact and dialogues. Time bound process of dialogue with association of Kashmiris can lead to logical end.

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Chief Guest Speech
Ch. Muhammad Barjees Tahir
Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs & Giligit Baltistan, Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Kashmir dispute is the central issue between Pakistan and India since 1947. Kashmir is primarily a struggle of people of Kashmir to demand their basic human rights. Thousands of youth have been martyred, women widowed, children orphaned as a direct result of their struggle for rights. It is high time that this issue is resolved and settled to bring the sacrifices, of thousands who laid down their lives, to a logical end. Pakistan has always supported the peaceful struggle of the people of Kashmir diplomatically, politically and morally for delivery of their fundamental right. Quaid-i-Azam declared Kashmir to be Pakistan’s jugular vein. Kashmir is not only geographically linked to Pakistan but also politically, socially, culturally and spiritually a part of Pakistan. The current government is raising this issue on international level for its resolution according to UN resolutions. We appreciate Ban Ki-Moon’s statement that struggle in Kashmir is not the act of terrorism. The movement in Kashmir is not separatist movement as Kashmiris have never recognized themselves as Indian. It is duty of entire international community to ensure that UN resolutions on Kashmir are implemented for peaceful settlement of dispute. I will request foreign participants to play their role around the world for spreading greater recognition and awareness regarding the Kashmir dispute for attaining a peaceful solution. It will help this part of world to overcome differences and continue to progress the global peace. I am delighted that MUSLIM Institute is working in this regard and congratulate its Chairman and organizers for such an event.

At the end of the session, conference memorabilias were presented to honorable speakers. Among representatives of all sections of society, the conference was attended by renowned analysts, professors and students of various universities, parliamentarians from the Provincial and National Assemblies, foreign diplomats, members of various research organizations and a large number of journalists and academics.

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