Geneva (Palais des Nations)
Photo: Kashmir Watch
In the opening plenary, Barrister Majid Tramboo, Chair & Executive Director, ICHR Kashmir Centre.EU, in his opening remarks offered inspirational words of welcome and encouragement. He outlined the role of the United Nations in contentious issues such as the
H.E. Ambassador Masood
The people of
This Convention being held in
We need to step up efforts to find a solution of the dispute that is acceptable to
Bilal A. Lone, Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference and a leader of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) said that it is regrettable that the government of
Photo: Kashmir Watch
Farooq Siddiqi, Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), analyzing the democratic values of the governments of
Advocate Nazir Ahmed Ronga, President of the
Dr. Z.U. Khan, Special Advisor to the President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir & Vice-Chancellor of the AJK University said that– "With Track 2 diplomacy and President Musharraf's four points formula of demilitarization, self-governance, irrelevant borders and joint control which seems to be most realistic, is expected to bring peace and prosperity without compromising anyone's belief or the spirit of the International agreement – UN Resolutions."
Photo: Kashmir Watch
Per Gahrton (Director of the Swedish Green Think Tank COGITO and a former Member of the European Parliament), P.J. Mir (Professional Journalist and the Head of the ARYONE World TV), Bashir Ahmed (Advocate and the Joint-Secretary of the Jammu Kashmir High Court Bar Association), Marjan Lucas (Senior Programme Officer on Kashmir on Kashmir at IKV), Ali Raza Syed (President of the Advisory Council to the Kashmir Centre.EU), Prof. Nazir Shawl (Executive Director of Justice Foundation Kashmir Centre), Syed Yousuf Naseem (Convenor of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, AJK & Pakistan Chapter), Mir Tahir Masood (Representative of the Jammu and Kashmir Ittihadul Muslimeen in APHC, AJK & Pakistan Chapter), Masroor Abbas Ansari (President of the Jammu & Kashmir Ittihadul Muslimeen and an Executive Member of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference), Mariana Baabar (Professional Journalist and the Diplomatic Editor of the Islamabad based newspaper "The News"), Khalid Farooqi (Professional Journalist and the Information Analyst and Consultant for GEO TV), Murtaza Shibli (Professional Journalist and the Editor of the Kashmir Affairs Journal), Ismail Khan (Elected Member of the Board of Director of the Mountain Forum and an Op-ed Columnist/Analyst of the Islamabad-based newspaper "The News"), Sheikh Tajammul Islam (Professional Journalist and the Director General of the Kashmir Media Service), Prof. Noor Ahmed Baba (Head of the Political Science Department at the Kashmir University) together with other European jurists and scholars urged the two governments to uplift the peace process and to involve the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the process.
At the closing plenary, the remarks of IHRAAM's chair Dr. Y.N. Kly were recorded in which he wishes the delegates to note that IHRAAM has a global interest in protecting and promoting the right of people to self-determination as a fundamental human rights foundation on which the charter of the UN also finds its niche.
Dr. G.N. Fai, Executive Director of the Kashmir Centre
Following two days of intensive presentations, discussions and debates that took place over five sessions, the following working paper was adopted at the convention:
"Geneva Convention on
For decades, India-Pakistan relation, in particular regarding the Kashmir Issue, have dominated
There is a need to improve existing condition so that the peace process can eventually address and find a peaceful and acceptable solution to the Kashmir Conflict. However, may questions and pitfalls remain as to how the current initiatives can translate into concrete steps so that a meaningful process to the
Most importantly, the leaders of
The Geneva Convention on Kashmir reiterates the position taken by the ad hoc Delegation on
"… that there are three parties with a legitimate interest in being involved in finding a solution – the Indian government, the Pakistan government and the Kashmiri people through their representatives, who should be freely chosen, coming from both parts of Kashmir".
It is fundamental to recognize that the
Following the Convention deliberations, the following key proposals are suggested:
Photo: Kashmir Watch
Proposal No. I: It is firmly believed that effective demilitarization will bring a increased sense of security, cessation of all violence and flexibility and tolerance.
With approximately, one soldier to every 10 inhabitants in Jammu & Kashmir (on the Indian side), the huge military presence is never far away. Therefore, it is extremely important that Kashmiris must, once again, feel safe and secure in their own land and homes. For this purpose a methodology needs to be devised by the governments of
· With regard to Jammu & Kashmir (on the Indian side), where there is an extremely strong military and paramilitary presence, it is vital that those should be withdrawn to barracks from towns, cities and all inhabited and populous areas; and
· Once ceasefire between the Government of India and the Kashmiri resistance forces is attained, the two governments in consultation with Kashmiri political & resistance leadership must devise a practicable plan to demilitarise the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
In addition, the demilitarization is vital for protection of environmental assets of global significance e.g. glaciers, waterbodies and forests.
Proposal No. II: It is strongly recommended that international organizations such as the European Union, or the United Nations to appeal to the Kashmiri resistant militant groups to declare ceasefire.
"The Geneva Convention on
The unilateral cease fire announced by then Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Zafarullah Khan Jamali on 26 November 2003 has largely held on the Cease fire Line (CFL) or Line of Control (LOC) and has increased a sense of security and safety to all those Kashmiri's living on both sides.
In order to make the entire
Proposal No. III: The effective remedies be made available to protect and promote Human Rights in
It is important to consider the prerequisites required to establish a socio-political and economic environment confidence building, reconciliation and goodwill negotiations. In this case, it is suggested that the starting point should substantially increase accountability for human rights abuses, for the provision adequate and effective remedies for victims of human rights violations, which may be as stated below:
· Victims be assured of the cessation of continuing violations, and there should be public disclosure of the truth behind the violations, accompanied by an official declaration of responsibilities and/ or apologisies, public acknowledgement of violations, as well as judicial and administrative sanctions against the perpetrators.
· These remedies and reparations include such things as restitution, rehabilitation, or compensation (this relates to compensating a victim for any pecuniary and non pecuniary assessable damage resulting from a violation, including physical or mental harm, emotional distress, lost educational opportunities, lost marital opportunities, loss of earnings, legal and/or medical costs);
· Given the large number of Kashmiri's currently in prisons and detention centres, it is crucial that their names be provided to their families, Human Rights organizations, legal aid agencies etc.
Further it is recommended to abrogate all such provisions, which violate international covenants and conventions.
The Geneva Convention on
A profound review of the legal framework to ensure that the dispensation of justice is duly provided for (right to a fair trail by an Independent Judicial body).
Proposal no. IV: Provision of enhanced and improved communication and free movement, between the different parts of the former state of
To reinforce the involvement of Kashmiris and with goodwill on the part of both
Trade, Commerce and Tourism be encouraged for the dwindling revitalization of the economy on both sides. Active cooperation on the preservation and good management of Kashmiri's natural resources (water, forests, minerals etc.) would benefit the whole of Jammu & Kashmir.
This will further reinforce the involvement of Kashmiris in controlling their own destiny.
Proposal No. V: Formation of European Kashmir Think Tank Group.
It is indeed, crucial to monitor and assess the "peace process" of
KESG may from time to time, as this matters may progress, engage in providing fresh, new and creative ideas to continuously encourage the two governments (
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