India, Pak should make re-engagement process result-oriented

India and Pak should take effective measures to make their re-engagement process productive and result-oriented.

Islamabad: India and Pakistan should
take effective measures to make their re-engagement process
productive and result-oriented so that the Kashmiri people can
own and support the peace process, participants in a civil
society dialogue said on Sunday.

Civil society activists, politicians, legislators and
former government officials from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,
Gilgit-Baltistan and refugees settled in Pakistan took part in
the debate on the Foreign Minister-level talks to be held in
Islamabad on July 15.

The meeting expressed its support for the peace
process and concerns regarding the resumption of the
India-Pakistan dialogue process.

The dialogue was organised by the Centre for Peace,
Development and Reforms and the Friedrich-Naumann Stiftung fur
die Freiheit.

The participants "strongly urged India and Pakistan
to take effective and assertive measures required to make the
renewed process meaningful, productive and result-oriented so
that the people of Jammu and Kashmir across the Line of
Control could own and wholeheartedly support the peace process
in the long run," said a statement issued by the organisers.

The participants also welcomed the resumption of
contacts between India and Pakistan, which were suspended in
the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and said they would
extend "full support to the upcoming India-Pakistan dialogue
and re-engagement."

They "unanimously agreed that sustained and long
term engagement, along with people-to-people interaction
between the masses such as civil society, media and lawmakers
of two countries, is a primary need essential to solve all
outstanding and long-standing disputes in the region through
peaceful means."

The participants felt a "favourable environment for
talks and forward movement can be created when life, honour
and property of people of Jammu and Kashmir is guaranteed."

In this connection, they condemned the recent
civilian `killings` in the Kashmir Valley.

They said the Indian government should protect the
right to life in accordance with international law.
They also demanded the revocation of the Armed Forces
(Special Powers) Act to improve the ground situation and an
independent inquiry on the use of "excessive force".

The participants appreciated the confidence-building
measures taken by India and Pakistan and sought "creative
steps" to make them more meaningful and hassle-free.

They also asked the two countries to facilitate
intra-Kashmir travel and trade.

They also felt the intra-Jammu and Kashmir dialogue
has helped people of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir to
broaden their understanding about each other`s aspirations and
develop a "common minimum agenda to arrive at a consensus."

The participants also urged the political leadership
of Kashmir to develop consensus, narrow down their demands and
come up with clear vision.

In this regard, dialogue should be facilitated by
both Delhi and Islamabad, they said.

The participants noted that the existence of
multiple power centres in PoK not only caused mistrust but
also hindered the smooth running of government and delivery of
services to the people.


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