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India, Pak should make re-engagement process result-oriented

world Updated: Jul 11, 2010 22:58 IST

India and Pakistan should take effective measures to make their re-engagement process productive and result-oriented so that the Kashmiri people can own and support the peace process, participants in a civil society dialogue said on Sunday.

Civil society activists, politicians, legislators and former government officials from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and refugees settled in Pakistan took part in the debate on the Foreign Minister-level talks to be held in Islamabad on July 15.

The meeting expressed its support for the peace process and concerns regarding the resumption of the India-Pakistan dialogue process.

The dialogue was organised by the Centre for Peace, Development and Reforms and the Friedrich-Naumann Stiftung fur die Freiheit.

The participants "strongly urged India and Pakistan to take effective and assertive measures required to make the renewed process meaningful, productive and result-oriented so that the people of Jammu and Kashmir across the Line of Control could own and wholeheartedly support the peace process in the long run," said a statement issued by the organisers.

The participants also welcomed the resumption of contacts between India and Pakistan, which were suspended in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and said they would extend "full support to the upcoming India-Pakistan dialogue and re-engagement."

They "unanimously agreed that sustained and long term engagement, along with people-to-people interaction between the masses such as civil society, media and lawmakers of two countries, is a primary need essential to solve all outstanding and long-standing disputes in the region through peaceful means."

The participants felt a "favourable environment for talks and forward movement can be created when life, honour and property of people of Jammu and Kashmir is guaranteed."

In this connection, they condemned the recent civilian 'killings' in the Kashmir Valley.

They said the Indian government should protect the right to life in accordance with international law.

They also demanded the revocation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act to improve the ground situation and an independent inquiry on the use of "excessive force".