Chairman of Kashmir Policy and Strategy Group and senior advocate, Ashok Bhan, on Thursday said that peace is the sine qua non for democracy and promotion of human rights.
According to a statement, Bhan said during the 2nd “Kaath-Baath (Inter-community dialogue) that was attended by galaxy of prominent civil societies persons from both communities of Kashmir.
As per the statement, the speakers vocally advocated the doctrine of peaceful coexistence and promoting human rights values among the communities. “The civil society personalities unanimously said -the Kashmiri collective conscience has rejected bigotry, terrorism and the radicalised narrative,” the statement read.
In his speech, Bhan said that it was high time ,after the three decades of death and destruction suffered by all the Kashmiri communities, to look beyond the blame games and seriously discuss the ways and means for standing up unitedly against “demons of doom and save the Kashmir by promoting our proud heritage of coexistence, societal cohesion and progressive narrative.”
“We all have to strive for democracy for enjoyment of the peaceful right to life. Peace is the sine qua non for democracy and promotion of human rights. The strength of our civilisational ethos has defeated the evil forces those tried to thrust the alien socio-cultural narratives on Kashmiri Society.”
Bhan said that Kashmir is the cradle of civilisation, innovation, science and technology from thousands of years. “No terrorism and radicalism will ever succeed to obliterate that.”
Former chief secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Mohammed Shafi Pandit, in his address, said a peoples truth and reconciliation commission may further strengthen the doctrine of reconciliation between the communities which has fallen apart for variety of reasons and circumstances.
“Terrorism and exodus of Kashmiri pandits has sharply divided the communities and there is a dire need to bridge the gulf and unitedly rebuild our robust plural society in the times ahead,” Pandit, as per the statement said.
Prof.Irshad Ahmed ,Political scientist said that peaceful coexistence between the communities has been the societal pride of Kashmir. “Any effort to bring back the glory of Kashmir more so unitedly by the Muslims & Pandits is always welcome and We are awaiting to welcome our pandit community to return back home.”
He said such efforts at some point of time would require a huge political support across the spectrum.
Javed Kakroo ,Secretary Kashmir Voice International said that Kashmiri diaspora is in support of intra communities engagement to build up a united approach towards bringing in peace in Kashmir.Kashmir calls for justice and revival of its age old plurality, mutual trust and a life of coexistence.
“KVI is in touch with various NGOs working towards many society issues and we should involve all the civil society NGOs and activists in promoting the KPSG initiatives.”
Dr.AQ Aashob, Eminent Oncologist said that there is a perceptible yearning with the majority community to welcome native Kashmiri Pandits back home.
“KPSG initiative for intra communities engagement is laudable.Other NGOs with which I am associated are striving to build up a robust and plural societal cohesion.”
Javed Beigh ,a Civil Society activist, as per the statement said that “terrorism in Kashmir has devastated the societal and demographic profile of the valley. Consequently the social evils like casteism, haves & have nots strife Dowry and drug menace have seeped in deeply. To help revive our plural ethos it becomes necessary to welcome back home the exiled Kashmiri Pandits.All religious leaders and youth leaders should urge and appeal KPs to return and unitedly rebuild the healthy and prosperous Kashmir.”
Rahella, another speaker, said there is a dire need for youth to youth and women to women frequent meetings between both communities.
“Joint sports and cultural events will also go a long way to bridge the artificial gulf between communities created by vested interests.”
Ashok Aima,Former Vice Chancellor, said that communities engagement shall bring convergence in the public response to the situation that can eventually help in revival of plurality and coexistence has had suffered the most in last three decades.
“The sense of insecurity prevalent had to defeated by a planned and uninterrupted dialogue within the communities.KPSG efforts are laudable and deserve all support institutional levels.”
Ashok Ogra , Journalist & author, said that there is a need to decentralise the communities dialogue to district level civil society and to the schools and colleges teachers.
“The religious preachers at the local mosques shall be urged to promote the doctrine of peaceful coexistence of the communities in accordance with religious mandate. We must look towards the achievable goal and not what appears to be desirable.”
BL Saraf, former Judge, in his speech said the yearning of civil society of Kashmir to welcome the exiled natives back home is visible on ground and encouraging. “The peoples reconciliation committees or commission is desirable for putting in writing the stories of victimhood and suffering. Kashmiri’s are living up to high humanitarian values by welcome accorded to Yatris Enroute to Holi cave.”
The statement read that KPSG records its appreciation towards Kashmiris for according warm welcome to Yatris enroute to Holy Cave.
“The rich ethos of Kashmir and the humanitarian values are on display during the Amar NathJi Yatra. The revival of our rich heritage,plurality,peace and human rights values is the befitting answer to enemies of Kashmir. Plurality is the keystone of our proud heritage and we shall unitedly endeavour to save it and revive it with the societal unity and mutual trust and deep commitment.”