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Published on May 6th, 2008 | by ksc


Seminar on Kashmir helt at the parliament

Seminar on Kashmir helt at the parliament

OSLO 06. May 2008: The Norwegian Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir urged the world community to continue its wholehearted support to the ongoing peace process between India and Pakistan and Kashmiris fate should not be decided without taking them into confidence.

Over dozens parliament members and noted figures attended a seminar on future of Kashmir and its relationship with Afghanistan held under the auspices of the Kashmir Committee of the Norwegian Parliament.

Dagfinn Høybråten, who heads the Christen Democratic Party as well as the Nordic Council, said the world is deeply concerned about human rights sufferings in Kashmir and hoes for an immediate end to their pain. He resolved that his group would take up unabated human rights violations in the upcoming parliamentary session.

The chairman also stated that the Kashmir group would play its role to strengthen ongoing peace and reconciliation process between Indian and Pakistan. However, he urged both New Delhi and Islamabad to carve out some space for the people of Kashmir on the negotiating table.

Victoria Schofield, the British expert on Kashmir and Afghanistan conflicts, noted in her presentation that to some extent, the Indian Government is winning its waiting game. For all the flexibility Musharraf has shown, India has stuck firmly behind its traditional position of propogating Kashmir as its integral part.

She said India has been promoting the idea that there can be no joint sovereignty and significant demilitarisation can only take place when militancy is eradicated.

Schofield also pointed out that India also alleges that the legal status of the one-third of the state which Pakistan administers has not been agreed. Maps issued to tourists from the Indian side fail to indicate the Line of Control because to do so would be an admission that the whole state is not legally part of India, she said.

Speaking on the occasion Executive Director of Kashmiri-Scandinavian Council, Norway, Sardar Ali Shanawaz Khan thanked the participants and panelists for discussing Kashmir issue.  He drew their attention to recently published report by a human rights watch dog, the Association of Parents of Disappeared People (APDP) wherein its workers found nearly 1000 nameless graves scattered in cemeteries across held Kashmir.

During a yearlong survey in the region around the town of Uri, north of Kashmir, Ali noted, the researchers of APDP found about 1,000 ‘nameless graves’, believed to contain the remains of victims of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other abuses which occurred in the context of armed conflict persisting in the state.

Ali Shahnawaz Khan also said that symbolic recognition of Kashmiris’ right to choose their future could be a major confidence building measures, which would vindicate the Kashmiris and in turn create atmosphere of trust, vis à vis India-Pakistan and the world community at large.

Besides Dagfinn Høybråten, the participants of the seminar included representatives and political figures of the different parties including, SV party’s member of parliament, Akhtar Chaudhry, Secretary of Foreign relations .committee (Krf) and Former secretary of state for foreign affairs Mr.O J Seter, Mr.Morten Høglund MP Foreign relations committee, Mr. J.H.Rytman MP and (FRC), Maritt Nybak ruling labors MP and member Defence committee, Kashmir Scandinavian Council Executive Director (KSC), Sardar Ali Shahnawaz Khan, General Secretary of KSC, Khurram Khan.

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