Panel in UK debates Kashmir situation, calls for Pak, India talks
London, November 08, 2019 (PPI-OT): Strategic experts during a discussion in London have urged the international community to play its role in diffusing tension in occupied Kashmir. During a panel discussion ‘The Cost to Britain of the Kashmir Crisis: Is There a Solution?’, organised by Strategic Advisory Group CTD Advisors in London, experts had a lively exchange against the backdrop of India’s action of revoking the special status of occupied Kashmir.
“Nobody wants to see a further escalation in the region. We are on the cusp and brink of a much bigger crisis and the international community must stop being a fire brigade and intervene to find a peaceful solution,” said Maleeha Lodhi, most recently Pakistan’s Representative to the United Nations and also former High Commissioner to the UK and ambassador to the US.
Indian journalist, Nidhi Razdan, was critical of the unprecedented communications curbs imposed by India in occupied Kashmir since August 5. She said, “The Indian government maintains that ending the special status is all for the good of the people and for the development of the region. It’s ironic that the people in whose name this has been done were not consulted at all. And that political leaders who carried the Indian flag all these decades are in detention. All this hardly burnishes India’s credentials as the world’s largest democracy.”
Abdu Rehman Chinoy, a London-based entrepreneur, said, his company, Chinoy Group, decided to organise such a panel discussion in the UK because the South Asian community here is not only dynamic and tolerant but can also influence policy and ideas back home in India and Pakistan. Chinoy said: “We need to have dialogue to resolve the Kashmir dispute, so the South Asian community continues to live in a more friendly way outside India and Pakistan.”
He said, his humble message to Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, is that both leaders represent around 1.5 billion people globally; while it is easy to head towards confrontation, dialogue can definitely bring more stability and eventually prosperity in both countries.”
Other panellists included Jack Straw, former UK foreign secretary, and Sir Mark Lyall Grant, National Security Advisor to former British Prime Ministers, Theresa May and David Cameron, as well as a former Representative of the UK at the UN.
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