SRINAGAR: National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah addressed an august gathering of analysts, faculty and students at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. As a panellist on a panel discussion titled ‘Kashmir – Breaking the Impasse’ held during the 2017 India Conference at the prestigious university, Omar Abdullah said both India and Pakistan owe Kashmiris a credible peace process that would result in a sustainable solution of the Kashmir Issue.
“India and Pakistan should stop trying to beat each other at diplomatic fora and claim victory but rather allow the people of Kashmir win from a peace process. Kashmiris have suffered a lot due to the fact that India and Pakistan have failed to initiate a comprehensive and sustained peace process that would simultaneously facilitate dialogue at both external and internal fronts. For what Kashmiris have gone through, they deserve the uninterrupted and undivided attention of both India and Pakistan with a demonstrated intention and political will to resolve the political issue”, Omar Abdullah said while speaking in Boston.
The NC Working President said trade, development and operational processes through administrative mechanisms can’t replace a lasting political solution to the Kashmir Issue. “The issue in Kashmir is inherently one of a political nature and requires a broad-based and credible political approach based on the tenets of empathy and statesmanship.
The conventional investment in a policy of diplomatic one-upmanship or containment and operational management of the political sentiment in Kashmir has created a prolonged and dangerous phase of political vacuum and uncertainty in Kashmir”, the National Conference Working President said.
“The institution of dialogue has unfortunately been discredited by rare initiatives taken as fire fighting steps only to be abandoned later. There is a strong perception in Kashmir that such rare political initiatives were taken only to buy time till relative peace was achieved, only to be left midway and abandoned later. This has resulted in an atmosphere of skepticism and hopelessness – which makes the issue even more complex. The first challenge is to restore faith in the institution and processes of dialogue and engagement”, Omar Abdullah said.