Pugwash

Letter to Dr. Swaminathan:

Dear Dr. Swaminathan, I am Dr. Kashinath Pandita, General Secretary of Asian-Eurasian Human Rights Forum based in Geneva. May I help you remind that in the context of the last Pugwash meeting at Kathmandu, I had written to you that the group (Pugwash) is not represented by a member of the Kashmiri Pandit internally displaced persons.

The Pandits of Kashmir are the indigenous people of Hindu faith and in a minority. In 1990, they were forced to flee their homes and hearths in Kashmir and seek shelter in about 15 refugee camps in different parts of the country. Nine refugee camps continue to be in place in Jammu region alone for last 16 years.

The Kashmiri Pandits are a part of Kashmir history and her cultural construct. It s rather meaningless to hold a meeting of the Kashmir representatives in order to find a solution to the vexed problem f Kashmir without the participation of the genuine Pandit representatives./

We know that some ethnic Pandits from Kashmir do participate in Pugwash. But they are employees of the government of the state or of the centre and are not representing Pandit civil society.

You had kindly promised to look into the matter. We understand that a meeting of Pugwash is going to be held in Brussels in September. In this connection I have to submit that I as a genuine Kashmir internally displaced person, and one having represented the community at the UN Human Rights commission in Geneva for last 16 years am invited to participate in the meeting of the Pug wash.

With profound regards, Kashinath Pandita, General Secretary, Asian-Eurasian Human Rights Forum

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