Geneva, Sept.24 : A well known supporter of the Kashmiri cause for self-determination, has said that the ongoing composite dialogue between India and Pakistan, is a good avenue for realizing this cherished goal.
Dr Shabir Choudhry told a conference in Geneva on Tuesday that the peace process, confidence building measures, and cease fire along the LOC have provided some relief to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially those living near the Line of Control.
He, however, warned that terrorist activities in both India and Pakistan are on the increase, and that it is necessary to nip this looming threat sooner than later.
Speaking on the topic "Kashmir Issue, Terrorism and Human Rights"; Dr. Chaudhry said: "Violence and terrorism are not new to human society. In fact, they are as old as human civilisation. But it is only after 9/11 that world opinion has dramatically changed against terrorism. If there was no 9/11 we might have seen Pakistan, the US and some other countries, in one way or the other still supporting terrorist groups in various parts of the world."
He suggested that terrorism was a factor that had made both the USA and Pakistan heroes during the 1980s and 1990s, but added that in the last two decades or more Washington was pursuing a policy of self-interest, which everyone in Asia should be wary of.
He cited a Wall Street Journal report of May 23, 1997 as saying: "The main interests of American and other economic elites is making Afghanistan a prime trans- shipment route for the exporting of Central Asia's vast oil, gas and other natural resources......like them or not....the Taliban are the players most capable of achieving peace in Afghanistan at this moment in history".
As far as the Taliban was concerned, Pakistan and the US have succeeded in creating their own Frankenstein.
"I also told them that one-day they will have to pay heavy price for promoting politics of communalism, extremism and hatred, but they did not listen, and accused me of being anti Pakistan, anti jihad, anti Islam and pro India," Dr. Chaudhry said.
"Where ever there is terrorism or armed struggle it surely has more than one impact on society -- it seriously damages local economy and frightens investors and tourists. Victims are generally ordinary people and it gives excuse to both militants and armed forces to violate human rights; and above all, it creates a class of people who make this a business. These merchants of blood ensure that violence and terrorism continue and that they keep on getting rewards from this human tragedy," he added.
He also said that former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was rightly accused of many wrong doings, and added that his policies like policies of General Zia ul Haq, proved to be disastrous forakistan.
His proposals on Kashmir were designed to divide Kashmir on religious lines, but His proposals on Kashmir were disliked and opposed by true nationalists.
He concluded by saying that all parties needed to seriously consider Kashmir centric measures if they wanted the vexed Kashmir dispute to be solved.