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April 1, 2008 9:27 AM

The India-Pakistan dialogue must be supported, but peace will only come to Kashmir if the Kashmiris themselves are more involved, according to speakers at the Global Discourse on Kashmir 2008, being held at the European Parliament in Brussels this week.

Liz Lynne MEP (ALDE, UK) is a European Parliament delegate to the countries of South Asia and a member of the Parliament's Human Rights and Development Committees who has campaigned for many years on Kashmiri self-determination. Chairing the first session at the Global Discourse today, she said:

"I have always believed that the dispute over Kashmir can only be truly resolved by listening to the Kashmiri people. Of course, we must listen to both India and Pakistan equally, but the product of these discussions must be to enable the Kashmiri people to speak with a strong and united voice. Self-determination is not about party politics, it is a right for all people which can be achieved through a plebiscite.

"I am encouraged by the continued dialogue between India and Pakistan and credit must be given to both sides. I very much hope that following the recent elections in Pakistan and with the newly formed Pakistani Government a fresh and hopeful dialogue can continue.

"We must build upon the positive steps already taken and allow for cooperation and dialogue, with the Kashmiri people at the heart of negotiations. I hope that, at last, a just solution to this 60-year dispute over Kashmir can be found, involving both Pakistan and India but, above all, the Kashmiri people who have suffered enough already."


Notes to Editors:

Liz Lynne MEP has for many years campaigned for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Kashmir. She has travelled to the region and also discussed the issue with Pakistani leader General Pervez Musharraf and the Prime Minister of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan. She also submitted many amendments in favour of Kashmiri self-determination for last year's European Parliamentary report on the troubled region.