Srinagar, June 02, 2013 (PPI-OT): Prominent Indian journalist, political analyst and human rights activist, Praful Bidwai, has said that without Kashmir settlement there will be no reconciliation between Pakistan and India.
Delivering a lecture on Pak-India relations at a function in Srinagar, Praful Bidwai said that the Kashmiris had a huge stake and a special one in Pak-India reconciliation as they had been the biggest victims of the rivalry between the two countries which was going on since 1947. He said that without dialogue between Pakistan and India there would be no solution of Kashmir dispute. He said that demilitarization of Jammu and Kashmir was important to give boost to a productive dialogue and this was the need of the hour.
Bidwai strongly favoured making both parts of Kashmir a nuclear weapon free zone. “Ideally we need a South Asia nuclear free zone. To start with let us make a beginning with Kashmir,” he said, adding that such a move would be a massive confidence building measure.
The political analyst said that today Kashmir was at a very delicate juncture and the entire transition that took place from militancy to peaceful protests was under a threat because of the repressive policies of the Indian government. “It is very important that Indian citizens become aware of this situation, this delicate juncture in the history of Kashmir. It is very important that you interact with civil society groups in India and they come here and understand what is going on here,” he maintained.
Bidwai pointed out that peace was not only important for the people of Pakistan and India but for the whole world. “You must remember that 1.3 billion people in this part of the world constitute one-fifth of the humanity and no real progress in the world can be possible unless this one-fifth also improves.”
He said that military occupation of Kashmir had been going on since 1947 and thousands of people were arrested and detained without warrant. He also supported opening of Pak-India borders for trade and tourism.
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