A conference on Kashmir titled “From Paradise to Ideological Battleground” – A Report by Asian Age June 12, 2001
Fremont (California), June 12: While Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistan Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf’s forthcoming meeting may not yield a “perfect solution”, policy experts, academics, two former US ambassadors to South Asia and a prominent Democrat Congressman agreed that just sitting down together was an essential component in diplomacy between India and Pakistan.
“The impulse for peace is very strong,” Washington Democrat Congressman Jim McDermott told an audience at a daylong conference on Kashmir here on Saturday. “There is no perfect solution (to the problem in Kashmir), but if we keep waiting for one and don’t talk, we will never get anywhere,” said Mr. McDermott, a co-chairman of the congressional caucus on India.
The conference, From Paradise to Ideological Battleground: A Symposium on the Kashmir Conflict , was organized by the Indo-American Kashmir Forum. Former US ambassador to Sri Lanka and director of the South Asia program at the Washington D.C. based Center for Strategic and International Studies, Ms Teresita Schaffer said while it was easy to get cynical about a lengthy negotiation process, this was necessary.