Kashmir "peace park" proposed
Former foreign secretaries and foreign affairs experts from Pakistan and India declared that the entire Siachen glacier area in the disputed Kashmir region should be turned into an international peace park under the supervision of United Nations. The three-day Track-II dialogue on conflict resolution and peace-building held recently in Bangkok was funded by Ploughshares Fund, following a stall in the talks in the wake of Mumbai attacks. The 11-member Indian delegation of former diplomats and researchers was led by Maj-Gen (retd) Dipankar Banerjee of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS). The seven-member Pakistani delegation comprised former foreign secretaries Riaz Khokhar and Najmuddin Sheikh and former diplomats and academicians. They discussed a number of issues, including confidence-building measures, cross-border interactions, Siachen dispute, sharing of Indus river waters, possibility of forging a common strategy for Afghanistan, expansion of trade and the challenge posed by religious radicalism and terrorism.