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A response to the India by Marjan Lucas

The Netherlands, 11-2-2010

Condemning the Kashmir Discourse of 26th January 2010: India’s democratic deficit                 
It is unfortunate that India, claiming to be the largest democracy in the troublesome Asian region, condemns the fact that an international seminar on Kashmir took place, on 26th of January, in the heart of Belgian Democracy, being the House of National Parliament?
Two days before the International Conference on Afghanistan in London of January 28th , we as international scholars and members of Belgian and European Parliament, gathered in Brussels in the seminar titled: ‘Kashmir, Key to peace in Afghanistan’.  IKV Pax Christi co-organized the seminar that was eagerly welcomed and warmly applauded.
We aimed to identify essential roadblocks for international strategies to stabilize the South Asian region, interconnecting the debate on Afghanistan with the Kashmir Dispute.  The fact that the Kashmir Dispute is a serious roadblock in the way forward to stability and peace in South Asian is a notion any no longer denies in Europe. The European Parliament adopted various Resolutions on Kashmir, acknowledging Kashmir as India’s democratic deficit and disputed Indo-Pak nexus. 
A wide variety of sections of European political and civil society often formally and informally reiterate the urgency to keep Kashmir on the agenda in international discourses as, inter alia, the London Conference on Afghanistan.   Therefore, we (co-)organized the seminar ‘Kashmir: Key to Peace in Afghanistan’ on the very eve of that London conference: 26th of January, a day known a Black Day for anyone who advocates to resolve the dispute over Kashmir according to the promises that were, over six decades ago, given to the people living, working and dying in the very region of Kashmir.
As IKV Pax Christi we would expect a democracy like India to cherish and encourage debate and dialogue, and acknowledge our genuine democratic endeavors for conflict analyses and conflict-resolution.  It is sad however to be informed that India condemns our successful and well performed seminar, an evidence of democracy, in Brussels on 26th of January.        
We are grateful for, and pay respect to the Belgian Parliament to host us and participate in the session and thus show their support for dialogue as roadmap to peace.       
Signed as co-organizer of the seminar:
Drs. Mrs. Marjan Lucas
Senior Programme Officer
PO Box 19318, 3501 DH Utrecht
The Netherlands

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