“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.
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.
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.