WASHINGTON:A US-based Kashmiri group on Tuesday hailed the proposal of multilateral dialogue on Kashmir by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and said that India's insistence on it being a bilateral issue has failed to resolve the lingering dispute which is a major threat to regional peace.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of World Kashmir Awareness Forum, in a statement issued here, said that the people of Kashmir were heartened by reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said he would try to persuade both India and Pakistan to engage in a multilateral dialogue for a just and durable settlement of the Kashmir conflict.
"This is the most sensible, feasible and practical proposal put forth by the President of Turkey," Dr. Fai said.
In an interview with WION television channel this week ahead of his visit to India, President Erdogan offered to mediate between Pakistan and India to resolve the Kashmir issue . "We should not allow more casualties to occur, and by strengthening multilateral dialogue, we can be involved, and through multilateral dialogue, I think we have to seek out ways to settle this question once and for all," he said.
India has said that it has told Turkey that Kashmir was a bilateral issue which needs to be resolved peacefully.
Commenting on that, Dr. Fai said that experience of the past 70 years has showed that no bilateral talks between India and Pakistan have yielded agreements without the active role of an external element."The missing element is sustained and coordinated diplomatic persuasion by peace-loving democratic powers," he added.
"President Erdogan will hear in plenty from both India and Pakistan. The people of Kashmir would like to reiterate that the urgent goal of resolving the Kashmir dispute cannot be left to the two governments of India and Pakistan to achieve," he said while adding that it required the engagement of a multilateral effort -- one or two permanent members of the Security Council along with India, Pakistan, Kashmiri leadership and Turkey as the Chairman of OIC.
He said the proposal by the Turkish President may seem rather unconventional but "we believe that it would be a striking demonstration of the global statesmanship which the United Nations can summon in the cause of peace, international security and human betterment."
Dr. Fai suggested that the world powers have two choices before them. One is to continue confining themselves to warning both Pakistan and India against going to war with each other.
This policy, he added, bases the no-war prospect in South Asia on a very precarious foundation. "The prospect of a nuclear exchange in that vast Subcontinent cannot be dismissed in the event of hostilities breaking out between the two countries," he warned.
The second option, he said, is to play a more activist, mediatory role with regard to Kashmir as suggested by President Erdogan. "This can take the shape of a multilateral dialogue or an appropriate use of the newly-developed procedures and mechanisms at the United Nations. The U.N. would supply the catalyst that is needed for a settlement," he added. (APP)