Kashmir peace conference in Washington DC

Washington, July 23:  Tenth International Kashmir Peace Conference will be held today , 23 July 2009, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, at the Cannon House Office Building, Room 345, and on Friday, 24 July 2009, from 9 am to 5:30 pm, at the Rayburn House Office Building, Gold Room 2168, of the United States Congress in Washington DC, USA.

The Kashmir Conference and a special dinner meeting about the Kashmir issue - held at a hotel in Arlington, VA, on Wednesday, 22 July 2009 - were organized by Kashmiri American Council (KAC) - Kashmir Center Executive Director, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai (based in Washington DC) and by Association of Humanitarian Lawyers (AHL) President Dr. Karen Parker (based in San Francisco, CA), to internationalize the 62-year-long Kashmir conflict between the oppressed/enslaved people of Kashmir and imperialistic tyrants of India.

Several U.S. Congress Members and many eminent persons from the USA, Canada, UK, Pakistan, India, Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and Indian occupied Kashmir will address the 10th International Kashmir Freedom Conference at the Capitol Hill.

Those who arrived here on Wednesday included President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Raja Zulqarnain, Mushaid Hussain Syed, Secretary General Muslim League (Q), Maleeha Lodhi, former Ambassador US and UK, Harinder Bawaja, Editor New Tehalka, Tapan Bose, human rights activist, Gautum Navlakha, Economic and Political Weekly, Ved Bhasin, Editor in Chief Kashmir Times, Pandit Jitender Bakshi, President Jammu and Kashmir Forum For Peace and Reconcillation, Prof. G.R. Malik,  Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah, MNA, PPPP, Ambassador Muhammad Yusuf Buch, Z.G. Muhammad, Journalist , Dr. Idrisa Pandit, Educator and Independent Consultant, Sardar Ayza Sadiq, MNA, PML, N, Pakistan, Dr. Muhammad Najeeb Khan, Member AJK Assembly, Mr. Matloob Ansari, PPP, Azad Kashmir, Mr. M. Ismail Khan Expert on Media Public Policy and Development, Ms. Victoria Schofield, Dr. Angana Chateerji, Scholars, Dr. Karen Parker and Professor Richard Shapiro.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai made his following remarks about the Kashmir Conference while recently talking to the Information Press in Arlington, Virginia:

"This 10th International Kashmir Peace Conference aims at encouraging a peaceful resolution to the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir in which the aspirations of the people of Kashmir are paramount. The objective is to endeavor to achieve that in the pirit of reconciliation, not confrontation; equality, not discrimination, and hope, not despair. It is our firm conviction that wisdom will guide our decisions and that we will not be blinded by myth, superstition and deceit.

"We have invited distinguished delegates from India, Pakistan and from both sides of the Ceasefire Line in Kashmir. They do undoubtedly have varied and diverse experiences and expertise. We, therefore, do expect differences of opinions to surface during this Kashmir Conference. By having the distinguished speakers from India, Pakistan and Kashmir share the same podium, we look forward to the beginning of a meaningful dialogue that can truly lead us out of a quagmire into a peaceful and diplomatic solution of the Kashmir question.

"So the objective of the Kashmir Conference is to create an atmosphere for dialogue in an ambience that is free from fear, terror, intimidation and most importantly devoid of any blaming game and accusation. We urge all participants to listen to each other's point
of view with due respect.

"We laud the Kashmir peace process that has been initiated by both India and Pakistan. Leaders of these two countries have stressed the need to initiate confidence-building measures, increase economic trade and bus travel between Srinagar and Muzzaffarabad. Following the recent, first high-level meeting between the government officials of both countries, positive progress should be made in recognition of the following three key principles:

"(1) A commitment to peaceful methods of conflict resolution in South Asia.

"(2) Rejection of all forms of extremism that are engulfing Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Kashmir.

"(3) A just resolution concerning the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the will and wishes of the people of the territory.

"The importance of these Kashmir peace initiatives cannot be overstated, particularly when considering the link between stability and American socio-economic as well as geo-political interests. Sadly, the potential for violence is ever-present which could catapult South Asia towards uncontrollable destabilization.

"It is imperative that the Obama Administration along with all other stakeholders work towards preventing further destabilization of South Asia and fulfill their moral obligation to mandate a peaceful process in Kashmir so that this long journey - this long standing unresolved Kashmir dispute can be remedied once and for all.

"Real peace in the South Asian region and sincere settlement of the Kashmir problem depend squarely upon India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir to show some form of flexibility. We do appreciate the fact that it is almost impossible to find a solution for the Kashmir problem that respects all the sensitivities of Pakistan, that values all the sentiments of India and that keeps in tact the whole State of Jammu & Kashmir. But that does not mean that we cannot arrive at some innovative solution of the Kashmir conflict. However, that Kashmir solution demands flexibility, sacrifices and modification of the
stated positions of all parties concerned."  PR