Centre for Peace and Progress which organizes seminars, discussions, dialogues and conferences all over India to promote the cause of peace and understanding held a round table discussion on Indo-Pak relations in Srinagar on Tuesday in which politicians, journalists, Civil Society and pro-freedom leaders participated.
Speaking on the occasion, Peoples Democratic Party leader, Nizam-u-Din Bhat said that India and Pakistan must get into a sustained dialogue for better relations between the two countries as the improved Indo-Pak relations only can ensure stability in the sub-continent.
As per a local news agency, CNS Bhat has said the improved Indo-Pak relations are most beneficial for the people of Jammu and Kashmir particularly those staying in the border areas and this he said can be achieved by a consistent, sincere dialogue process where both sides give confidence to each other by just not words but deeds to build a bond of trust and mutual confidence. He said more trade routes must open between the two sides of Kashmir and the people-to-people contact must be promoted alongwith cultural, educational and economic exchange.
Awami National Conference Senior vice president, Muzafar Ahmed Shah said that conflicts and wars never yield positive results, but add to human miseries and make the situations complex. “The people in general and those living on borders have to bear the brunt of wars and have to suffer a lot”, he said and urged upon both the countries to take measures for improving better relations.
“People of Kashmir have suffered immensely and the time has come now that both India and Pakistan come forward and have a meaningful dialogue. This long pending issue has made people of Kashmir hostage from last six decades and now the people of Kashmir want this issue to get resolved once for all,” Shah said.
Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami urged India and Pakistan to take bold initiatives and make serious efforts to turn a new leaf in their relations by addressing the protracted Kashmir issue.
He said, “People of Kashmir are forced to bear the brunt of disruptions in Indo-Pak dialogue. Now time has come when New Delhi and Islamabad should make serious efforts to turn a new leaf in their relations. For this, the leadership has to exhibit will and capacity to move forward and revamp the stalled peace process.”
“I urge India and Pakistan to reverse the self-destructive path and take bold initiatives to address the vexed Kashmir issue,” he said.
Democratic Liberation Party chief, Hashim Quereshi said that dialogue should be always meaningful and it should not be kept limited to photo sessions only. “People have lost faith now in dialogues because they have bitter experience of the past. Whenever the representatives of both the countries meet, they stick to their agenda and no flexibility is shown on both sides which ultimately mars the dialogue process,” Quereshi said adding that only a viable dialogue process can take us on board.
Senior Supreme Court lawyer, Shabnam Lone said that rigidities must be replaced with flexibilities and both leaderships and people of the two neighbouring countries should realise the urgency of the commitment to address the Kashmir issue.
“Addressing the issue is in the interest of both countries and to bring peace and prosperity in South Asia,s he said adding “It is ironic that the money which both countries should have utilized for the welfare of the poor and the hungry, is being utilized to keep vigil on glaciers. The two countries should end the path of confrontation and go for reconciliation to resolve all outstanding issues including Siachen, Sir Creek and Kashmir,” she said.
Jammat Islami spokesperson, Advocate Zahid Ali said that unless and until Kashmir issue is not resolved as per the aspirations of Kashmir people there would be no peace between India and Pakistan. “It is the issue of people of Kashmir who have been suffering from last six decades. India and Pakistan must take them on boards and solve the dispute as per their will and aspirations,” he said.
Noted Journalist Ved Bhasin said hoped that change of guard in Pakistan would help in making the relations between the countries normal and better. He said that some serious measures should be taken to have a meaningful dialogue so that Kashmir issue could be resolved amicably.
Abdul Rashid Kabli and others expressed the same views during the discussion.