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World Social Forum to kick off from March 24

The six-day forum begins in Islamabad with delegates from 58 countries participating.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2006 15:45 IST

A six-day World Social Forum focusing on important global and regional issues, including the ongoing India-Pakistan peace process, begins in Islamabad on Friday with participation of delegates from 58 countries.

"This forum will be very important in a sense that it will discuss in detail regional situation, including the ongoing composite dialogue process between India and Pakistan," Forum spokesman Shamimur Rehman told the agency on Wednesday.

Rehman said leaders from Kashmir, including Mir Waiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, were also expected to attend the moot, which is to focus more on regional issues.

"Issues confronting the developing world such as poverty reduction, militarisation, health problems, food sovereignty, water issues in South Asia, gender equality and health, child rights in Asia will be some of the major topics of discussion at the forum," Rehman said.

India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Indonesia and Iraq are among the 58 countries sending delegates to the forum.

"There is a very serious business, awaiting the delegates," said Mr Rehman when asked about the logic behind holding the forum in Karachi.

"They are of course not coming here to play football or hockey. They have to discuss serious issues, confronting the developing countries," he stressed.

He said that delegates from several European countries and America were also likely to attend the forum.

First Published: Mar 23, 2006 15:31 IST