Ms. Yoana Barakova (Research Analyst EFSAS) and Mr. Junaid Qureshi (Director EFSAS) attend and speak at a conference held at the European Parliament House in Vienna (Austria). The title of the conference was, ‘Cross-border Terrorism, Kashmir-Issue and Indo-Pak Relations’.
Pertinent issues and hot topics of discussion such as cross border terrorism, human rights violations, Indo-Pak relations and the overall Kashmir situation were the main subjects of debate. A variety of speakers took part at the event while many South Asian diaspora and individuals from various social backgrounds from Vienna joined the event. The organizers reiterated that the conference was not against any country’s interests, but was aimed at promoting uniform peace in South Asia. Other speakers included Ms. Claudia Stadtler (Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs of the Austrian Green Party), Mr. Senol Akkilic (Representative of the Vienna Literacy Academy), Ms. Nurten Yilmaz (Member of National Assembly and Member of the Committee of Human Rights, SPÖ), Mr. Peter Florianschütz (Member of the Vienna Provincial Assembly and Spokesperson of Foreign Affairs, SPÖ), Miss Alev Korun (Member of National Assembly and Chairperson of the Committee of Human Rights, Green Party). A consensus was reached that harmonious coexistence through means of dialogue and diplomacy are necessary prerequisites to guarantee stability in the region.
Ms. Yoana Barakova (Research Analyst EFSAS) and Mr. Junaid Qureshi (Director EFSAS) addressing the audience in Vienna
Ms. Yoana Barakova stressed that there is an urgent need for the Pakistani Civil Government and its military establishment to be on the same page regarding the country´s stand vis-á-vis terrorism. She highlighted that the Pakistani Army is the seventh largest army in the world and should be put to use to ensure the objectives of peace and stability in the region instead of fostering terrorist and religious extremist groups under the pretext of National Interests.
Ms. Yoana Barakova speaking at a conference at the European Parliament House in Vienna
Ms. Yoana Barakova further added that in the global war against terrorism, all of us must ensure that the political and security perspectives of the Pakistani military establishment are comparable and compatible with our own views regarding terrorism and that an equal commitment and dedication is exhibited from all players involved.
Mr. Junaid Qureshi, member of the panel, speaking at the conference.
Mr. Junaid Qureshi stated that the Kashmir-issue along with its many interrelated layers like proxy warfare, political and historical sensitivities and the contention over water resources remains the biggest threat to peace and development in South-Asia. He reiterated that the people of India, Pakistan and Jammu & Kashmir continue to suffer the heaviest losses because of the hostility between the two nuclear neighbours. He added that it is the responsibility of the International Community to facilitate an atmosphere of tranquillity, mutual trust and dialogue between India and Pakistan which could pave the way for alternative solution-oriented narratives in the future to their disagreements.