10th International Kashmir Conference Held in Washington
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai
Washington , DC: The right to self-determination is an alienable right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It was high time that people of the state are allowed this right and the Obama Administration facilitates that this sixty-two year old dispute is resolved. This was the dominant view on the first day of the two-day tenth International Peace Conference titled ‘Kashmir Issue: Regional and International Dimension’ organized by Kashmir American Council and Humanitarian Lawyers Association at the capitol.
Hailing candidate Obama’s forthright perception that Kashmir was the gateway to peace in South-Asia, the speakers called upon President Obama not only to appoint a special envoy but also to impress upon the India and Pakistan leadership to resolve this issue that continues to be a nuclear flashpoint between the two countries.
The Conference was inaugurated in the glittering Cannon Hall of the Capitol Hill by Congressmen Jim Moran, Congressman Don Burton, Congressman John Conyers, Congressman Kucinich, Congressman Joseph Pitts and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke.
On its first day twenty-five presentations were made by academicians, authors, scholars, journalists, political leaders, diplomats and human rights activists from both sides of Jammu and Kashmir, India, Pakistan, Britain, United States, Canada and other parts of the world.
Amongst those who made their presentations were: Raja Zulqarnain, President Azad Jammu, Dr. Karen Parker, Ms. Victoria Schofield, Ms. Harinder Baweja, Professor Ghulam Rasool Malik, Amb. Hussain Haqqani , Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Mr. Zahid G. Mohammad, Ambassador Howard Schaffer, Mr. Tapan Bose, Senator Mushahid Hussain, Amb. Yusuf, Dr. Khalid J. Qazi, Prof. (Dr.) Angana Chatterji, Mr. Ved Mr. Ejaz Sabir, Mr. Gautam Navlakha, Pandit Jatinder Bakhshi, Dr. Idrisa Pandit, Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah, MNA-PPP, Dr. Naseem Ashraf, Dr. Mohammad Najib Khan, and Mr. Matloob Inkalabi.
The subjects covered included India-Pakistan Relations Breaking Deadlock over Kashmir, Militarization and Impunity in Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir Issue-Centrality of Kashmiris rights. The conference participants agreed to respect and support the inalienable right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by both India and Pakistan and endorsed by the United Nations.
In his welcome Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director Kashmiri American Council and Kashmir Centre, said the 10th international peace conference aims at encouraging a peaceful resolution to the disputed territory in which the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir are paramount. He said the objective is to endeavor to achieve that in a spirit of reconciliation not confrontation; equality not discrimination, and hope not despair.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai also reminded the Obama Administration of resolution # 45 which was adopted by the United Nations Security Council on April 21, 1948, and was not only co-sponsored but also co-authored by the United States. He appealed for serious engagement of the United States with both India and Pakistan for a speedy resolution of the festering Kashmir problem that has so far consumed more than hundred thousand human lives, besides incalculable loss of property and brutal violation of the honor of women.