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Politics shouldn't come in way of SAARC summits: J&K rights defender

By Our Representative
Syed Mujtaba, a well-known human rights defender from Jammu & Kashmir, has said that the Kashmiris are sandwiched between the unstable political relations between India and Pakistan, insisting, "For greater peace of the South Asian region, political issues should not be allowed to derail the South Asian South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summits nor it should be held hostage to the bilateral relations between India and Pakistan."
Mujtaba said this even as India declared New Delhi will not participate in SAARC summit, to be hosted by Pakistan, till Islamabad does not stop terror activities in India. Sushma Swaraj, external affairs minister, said this in reaction to Pakistan's statement that Modi would be invited to the SAARC summit.
He was addressing a roundtable meet at the India International Centre, New Delhi, organised by Centre for Peace and Progress founded by OP Shah on J&K: Road Ahead, attended by Round table discussion was attended by former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah, Prof Bhim Singh, member of Parliament Majeed Memon, Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Shafi Pandit (IAS), AM Watali , advocate GN Shaheen , Ashok bVhan, Arti Tikoo etc. various diplomats, politicians, journalists, activists and research scholars.
Mujtaba said, peace and cooperation between India and Pakistan must start with people to people dialogue, followed by cultural and transnational diplomacy, economic corridors, bilateral dialogues, backchannel lines of communication. Calling Kashmir as the “bloodshed capital of globe", Mujtaba added, "Peace in J&K is not possible unless gap in theory and practice is bridged", adding, "Several accords like Indira-Sheikh Accord, Rajiv-Farooq Accord etc. are on papers But unfortunately the reality on ground is different."

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