International Essay Contest on Kashmir

Washington, DC: Dr. Ghulam-Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center announced April 2 the holding of an international essay contest focusing on peace in South Asia and most importantly, peace in Kashmir. The theme of the essay is: "South Asian Stability Post President Bush's Visit” and one can even incorporate any one of the following sub-themes that will also be topics of discussion at the forthcoming conference: Kashmir: New hopes and aspirations; Is self-governance a means towards self-determination?; Demilitarization: First step towards setting a stage for settlement; and Kashmir: Human rights dimension.
Dr. Fai said that the Review Board will consider all perspectives and viewpoints, regardless of the inclinations of the writers, as long as their positions do support the ideals of democratic norms and international freedom. He also pointed out that the writers of the essay should also come up with recommendations for a peaceful solution of the Kashmir issue. However, he emphasized that the status quo was not an option to be discussed in the essay as a viable solution. Solutions and recommendations may include, but not limited to elements of conflict resolution, international mediation and negotiation, international law, engagement of indigenous militants in the peace process, earthquake disaster relief, religious tolerance and democracy. The Executive Director emphasized that writers of the essays should clearly address the theme and sub-themes as stated above, and that they should also constructively complement their arguments through the usage of proper objective criteria in support of their positions. All opinions and recommendations must exclusively be those of the writers only.
Dr. Fai pointed out that winners of the top nine essays would receive a cash prize based on the three categories of submission: undergraduate students [US $ 500.00] , graduate students [US $ 800.00], and professional [US $ 1,000.00]. Moreover, the winners of the top three essays would be invited to read out their winning essays at the Sixth International Kashmir Peace Conference to be held on July 20-21, 2006 at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. All travel [economy class airfare] and accommodation costs would be provided by the Kashmir American Council/Kashmir Center. Visa fees would be provided, but three top winning contestants residing outside the United States are expected to apply for their visa in their respective countries.
Dr Fai also mentioned that the deadline for submission of the essays by e-mail would be June 7th, 2006 and should be sent to or to



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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