Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

European Union Parliament Resolution on Kashmir (24th May 2007)

“Resolution on Kashmir: overwhelming backing from the European Parliament”

Strasbourg, 24th May 2007

Press Release from Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE)

Kashmir: European Parliament calls for confidence building measures before plebisciteBaroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (UK, Lib Dem) welcomed the overwhelming support (522 in favour, 9 against and 19 abstentions) from Parliament for her report on the present situation and future prospects for Kashmir which was approved today in Strasbourg.

The report is directed primarily at the governments either side of the Line of Control (India and Pakistan) to pursue the bilateral talks which were temporarily suspended last year following the Mumbai bombings and to explore options for increased self-governance, free movement and demilitarisation. However the report suggests that the preconditions for holding the long-promised plebiscite on final status do not yet exist. Instead it calls on the international community and parties concerned to boost confidence-building measures in the region in areas like tourism, environmental action, trade and academic exchange.

The report notes the extensive damage, both to infrastructure and human life, of the October 2005 earthquake which left 17,000 children dead and hospitals, schools and buildings in ruins. The humanitarian disaster compounded the problems of the region already weakened by conflict and terrorism, further undermining stability and security and fuelling organised crime and activity of terrorist cells.

Baroness Nicholson, commented after the vote:

“I am pleased by the overwhelming backing from the Parliament for this report as well as the messages of support from Kashmiris and others including Imran Khan and Benazir Bhutto.”
“The European Union has a strategic and growing interest in the region and although it has no specific mandate to intervene, it can engage constructively through solutions that have been effective in resolving conflicts in Europe’s own turbulent past.”

“The report rightly highlights the important peace process that India and Pakistan have now undertaken, which is essential for Kashmiris to have hope for a better future. One of the keys to this is the opening up of opportunities for trade which makes the commitment given by all South Asian states within SAARC to pursue the goal of a South Asia Free Trade Area so vital.”
For more information please contact:Neil Corlett: +33-3-88 17 41 67 or +32-478-78 22 84also consult:

European Parliament

Resolution on Kashmir

European Parliament resolution of 24 May 2007 on Kashmir: Present Situation and Future Prospects (2005/2242(INI))


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