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Washington Conference seeks nuclear-free-zone in Kashmir


Jammu : An international conference of Kashmiri leaders from the two sides of the Line of Control (LoC) in Washington has called for making Kashmir a nuclear-free zone.

"India and Pakistan should negotiate a treaty to create a nuclear weapons-free zone in all of Jammu and Kashmir," a nine-point declaration adopted during the seventh International Peace Conference on Kashmir in the US capital said.

The Association of Humanitarian Lawyers and the Kashmiri American Council, Washington, had organised the conference Friday.

Kashmir has often been viewed as a nuclear flashpoint by the world powers, though India has discounted such a possibility.

Both India and Pakistan had gone in for tit-for-tat atomic tests in 1998 triggering international outrage. India and Pakistan were believed to be close to a nuclear war during the Kargil conflict in 1999 and the 2002 stand off on the borders when the two nations mobilised their armies to the frontiers, immediately after the Dec 13, 2001, terrorist assault on the Indian parliament.

The conference, attended among others by Prime Minister of Pakistan-administered Kashmir Sardar Attique Khan, resolved "the process of reconciliation and peace building between India and Pakistan be expedited, and the people of Jammu and Kashmir be acknowledged as integral partners of the process and as its primary stake holders".

It also demanded that all sorts of violence must come to an end and free movement across divided Kashmir be reinstated, all traditional routes across the LoC may be reopened and made operational.