Unresolved Kashmir Issue Will Breed Extremism: Peace Icon

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SRINAGAR: A global peace icon has called upon India to allow the U.N. Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play a role in de-escalating tension over the Kashmir issue.

Jose Ramos-Horta, who won the 1996 Nobel peace prize for his role in resolving the violence in East Timor, has also impressed upon both India and Pakistan to address the “aspirations” of the Kashmiri people.

“The conflict over Kashmir is an absurdity or relic of the past. However, we at the high level panel for U.N. peacekeeping studied this and other conflicts in Sinai and Cyprus, and felt impartial military observers probably form the only mechanism that can separate the two forces of India and Pakistan. If there is nothing in between [India and Pakistan], then there can be escalation,” said Mr. Ramos-Horta who is visiting India to participate in the child slavery abolition programme of an NGO, according to Hindu newspaper.

India in 2014 had asked UNMOGIP to wind up its work in Kashmir and earlier this year the MEA spokesperson had reiterated that the UNMOGIP did not have the mandate to monitor situation in Kashmir.

Ramos-Horta said there was no substitute to dialogue to de-escalate tension over Kashmir and urged India and Pakistan to address the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

“There is no substitute to direct dialogue between India and Pakistan and both sides should try to de-escalate the situation in Kashmir. And as major regional powers, they should address the aspirations of the people in Kashmir,” he said.

He cautioned about the possibility of terrorism and extremism if old crises like Kashmir and the Rohingya issue between Myanmar and Bangladesh were not resolved.

Ramos-Horta  also said that world peace has not benefited from Nobel peace prize laureates like Bishop Desmond Tutu, Dalai Lama and himself as states should do the needful to address the rise of fundamentalism and terrorism all over the world.

 

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