Experts Urge Early Resolution of Kashmir Issue at International Seminar in Colombo
Colombo: The speakers of the International seminar to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day in Sri Lanka unanimously emphasized the need for early resolution of Kashmir Issue in accordance with wishes of Kashmiri people and United Nations resolutions of 1948 and 1949, as lasting peace in the world, especially, in the South Asian region cannot be guaranteed unless Kashmir Issue is resolved.
Several high profile Sri Lankan and Pakistani experts including Dr. Zulfiqar Qureshi, Head of International Relations, Preston University, Prof. Dr. Amanullah Memon, Muhammad Jamal ud din Chairman Kashmir Study Forum Sri Lanka, Ameen Izzadeen, Senior Analyst, and Mr. Saeed Minhas, Phd. Scholar presented papers on various dimensions of the Kashmir issue.
The event was attended by the Minister of State for National Integration and Reconciliation A.H. M. Fowzie, Ven. Thiniyawala Palitha, Deputy General Secretary Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka, a cross-section of diplomatic corps, members of academia, dignitaries, Pakistani community in Sri Lanka, large number of Sri Lankans and a heavy contingent of media personnel.
While speaking on the occasion, the High Commissioner of Pakistan Maj. Gen. (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain highlighted the significance of the Kashmir issue and said that it was the main stumbling block in making SAARC an effective entity.
He noted that the Kashmir issue is more relevant today, as it involves the principle of self-determination and human rights of the Kashmiri people. The international community is far more conscious of these principles today, than it was at any time in the past.
He explained that the purpose of this seminar was not to vilify any party to the dispute, but to draw attention towards the miseries of the Kashmiri people and to appeal to the international community to take cognisance of the urgency of resolving the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiri people.
Chairman Kashmir Study Forum Sri Lanka Jamaluddin decried the human rights violations have been committed by the Indian armed forces in occupied Kashmir for the past six decades. He said it was the obligation of the world community to ensure a United Nations sponsored plebiscite in Kashmir according to the wishes of the people of Kashmir. He recalled that the complaint relating to Kashmir was initiated by India in the Security Council; however, India is reluctant to implement the resolution for past 65 years.
Speaking on the occasion, Senior Analyst Ameen Izzadeen stressed that the peace loving people around the world were concerned about the sufferings of the Kashmir people. He said that the UN resolutions, which called for a plebiscite in Kashmir, warranted attention of the international community. He said that there was no legality in the claims that Kashmir is legally Indian Territory.
Saeed Ahmed, a PhD Scholar in International Relations from Preston University, Islamabad presented a paper on Climate Change and Water Issues in South Asia and their relationship with Kashmir issue. He highlighted the importance of regional cooperation for better water governance, disaster management systems and human development. By asking for respecting each other and understanding the global impact of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, he called upon the regional countries to promote economic and social cooperation for avoiding not only water wars but impacts of climate change.
Tariq Riaz Minhas, another PhD scholar in International Relations presented a paper titled “Regional Cooperation in South Asia is overshadowed by regional conflicts”. The paper highlighted benefits of socio-economic cooperation in a comparative analytical approach and how it is applied to the regional countries by linking it with Kashmir issue. He said that Kashmir is a source of pivotal hurdle in regional cooperation and growth highlighting the factors that Kashmir is not merely a bilateral border dispute between India and Pakistan. All countries of South Asia must play a constructive role to ensure a better future, welfare and uplift of their people, he added.
Dr. Zulfiqar Qureshi, Head of International Relations, Preston University summed up the seminar and said that the Secretary General of the United Nations must encourage, facilitate and support efforts leading to a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions, as well as exercise the mandate entrusted to him by Charter of the United Nations and under relevant international instruments to safeguard the fundamental rights and freedoms of the oppressed Kashmiri people.
The message of the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on the occasion of Kashmir Solidarity Day was read out to the audience by the Deputy High Commissioner Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra.
After the conclusion of seminar, the High Commissioner of Pakistan formally opened the photographic exhibition on Kashmir Solidarity Day, for the participants, who took keen interest in the photographs depicting the prevailing situation in the Indian held Kashmir. A video documentary related to the Kashmir situation was also screened for the participants.
Kashmir Solidarity Day is observed every year by Pakistan and Kashmiris around the globe on 5 February since 1990 to remind the international community and the United Nations of their promises made to Kashmiris decades back for holding a plebiscite and respecting aspirations of Kashmiri people.