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Press for Peace welcomes UN Secy Gen statement on Kashmir

posted Jan 22, 2019, 4:41 PM by PFP Admin   [ updated Jan 22, 2019, 4:42 PM ]

Muzaffarabad (22 January 2019) Press for Peace (PFP) welcomes the statement of UN Secretary-General about Kashmir. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday hoped that India and Pakistan will engage in a “meaningful dialogue” to resolve their issues. The PFP thanked the UN Secretary-General for his commendable services and efforts to offer the good offices the world body in relation to the dialogue between the two countries. Guterres, earlier said during a press encounter at the UN headquarters in New York that he hoped the two countries will be able to engage in a meaningful dialogue. The UN chief was responding to a question on his repeated urging of dialogue between the two South Asian neighbors.
 In relation to the human rights situation, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has produced recently a very detailed report. So, the UN has clearly done its job in that regard, Guterres said.  The Secretary-General Guterres appreciates the continued commitment of opposing sides to finding a negotiated and peaceful solution to the long-standing issues of the world including Kashmir, Nagorno-Karabakh, and other conflicts. 
The PFP particularly welcomed the UNSC's recent steps in asking opposition parties in conflicts around the world to take concrete measures to prepare their populations for peace.



Press for Peace condemns Indian shelling and targeting of civilians in Neelum Valley

posted Dec 31, 2018, 1:17 PM by PFP Admin   [ updated Dec 31, 2018, 1:45 PM ]


Muzaffarabad , 31st December 2018 : Press for Peace- a Jammu and Kashmir (J & K) based peace organization has condemned the incident of cross-border shelling and targeting of civilians across the restive Line-of-Control (LoC) in Neelum Valley of Jammu and Kashmir. A woman was killed and several other people, including two police constables and a minor were injured on Monday as Indian forces resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling on villagers from border posts. The target of ammunition was Athmuqam, the district headquarters of the picturesque Neelum Valley, located some 80 kilometres northeast of Muzaffarabad.

The Press for Peace (PFP) has called for an immediate cessation of incidents of cross-border shelling in the heavily-militarised region. The Neelum Valley is comparatively a quiet and non-violent area along the LoC, where such incidents of violence rarely happen. While the border villages on Indian side of the LoC are known as bot-bed of violence, the Neelum Valley is famed for its natural beauty as a place of tourist attraction. 

According to media reports, the civilian life was on halt for several hours of the day as local people including hundreds of school children remained stranded inside their houses and school buildings and trade could not continue for the rest of the day. There was an atmosphere of fear and anger as local journalists made frantic calls to mainstream Pakistani and international media organisations to describe the alarming situation. The Line of Control (LoC) is a military-controlled de-facto border on Indian and Pakistani side of the divided state. The villages along the LoC face the brunt of heavy cross-border shelling between the rival troops from India and Pakistan.








Press for Peace (PFP) supports reunion of divided Kashmiri families

posted Dec 17, 2018, 6:37 PM by PFP Admin   [ updated Dec 28, 2018, 3:35 AM ]

The Press for Peace (PFP) has urged India and Pakistan to facilitate the reunion of divided families so that people can fulfill their shattered dreams of visiting birthplaces. In a statement issued here on Tuesday, Press for Peace (PFP) has appreciated divided Kashmiri families for sharing their experiences of partition on social media.
It appreciated Ms. Sharma Poonchi and other activists who highlighted tragic stories of migrated people from different parts of separated State. tefl funding

The PFP said that governments of both parts of Jammu and Kashmir should consider human aspirations of people who migrated from Poonch, Bagh, and Muzaffarabad to Jammu or migrated from Karnah, Uri, and Poonch to various cities in Pakistan administrated Kashmir.
The statement mentioned that Prime Minister Farooq Haider who himself belongs to a migrated family should support migrated people to visit their places of origin in Muzaffarabad (POK). "The partition has been a tragic incident of history, hence, peace-loving people on both side of LOC should work together to heal the wounds of divided people."He asked authorities to facilitated pilgrims to visit the historical and religious place of Sharda in Neelum Valley in Pakistan administrated Kashmir.


How Tourism Can Promote Peace - Part 4

posted Dec 11, 2018, 1:39 PM by PFP Admin   [ updated Dec 17, 2018, 8:02 PM ]

Mahboobeh Fahnadezh Saadi/// Mahboobeh is a Tehran-based writer and researcher. She is currently associated with Press for Peace (PFP). "How tourism can promote peace" is her 4-part series of articles on prospects of peace through tourism. 

Intra-Kashmir Trade and Travel 

India and Pakistan have already initiated a number of confidence-building measures in Kashmir, including the creation of a bus service and the limited expansion of trade across the Line of Control (LoC). Thee present cross-LoC confidence-building measures address primarily the divided families living on both sides of the LoC and thus are limited in scope and do not serve the entire region and all communities of Kashmir. It is imperative for India and Pakistan to expand cross-LoC confidence-building measures and add new initiatives that would address the imbalances in the existing interactions. Expanding tourism in Jammu and Kashmir and Azad Kashmir will result in economic development of the two sides. Cross-LoC tourism will be an important initiative in further expanding the present confidence building and will allow members of the broader civil society of Kashmir to visit and interact with each other. Cross-LoC tourism will expand the scope of interactions between the two sides, beyond the divided families, and include everyone in Kashmir. Cross-LoC tourism will also create constituencies of peace beyond the select group of divided families and businessmen who already benefit from the cross-LoC bus services and truck traffic.

The way forward

As a first step, India and Pakistan should develop a “package tourism” program that would include select destinations on both sides of the LoC. More important, both India and Pakistan should seriously consider further relaxing travel restrictions for people to travel across the LoC. Increase of commute between the two sides may have not dramatic impact, but certainly change the status of the conflict in this region. Tourism by its nature needs an atmosphere of peace and nonviolence. Tourism industry will replace industries like oil. Because oil industry is not renewable, but sustainable tourism is. As tourism can alleviate poverty, boost economy and empower women, all countries should use their tourism potentials to help the development of their own countries. Cross border peace will boost tourism and in turn will promote peace in neighboring countries. Countries like Pakistan and India that have conflict over Kashmir can use their tourism potential by promoting a tourism packages that include tourism attraction of both sides. They can also use sport event such as football to make the two nations closer. Indian and Pakistanis have many things in common and Kashmir is shared between them. Kashmir is called a heaven on the earth. With promotion of tourism in the region, both nations can help boosting their economic status and create job for their nations and improve the infrastructure of roads, hotels, transportations, etc. If governments care for their people, it is a must to forget old animosities and think of advancement of the region. War never make anything better, but peace do. For Comments & Suggestions : admin@pressforpeace.org.uk

How Tourism Can Promote Peace - Part 3

posted Dec 11, 2018, 1:37 PM by PFP Admin   [ updated Dec 11, 2018, 1:50 PM ]

By Mahboobeh Fahnadezh Saadi/// 

Success stories about peace through tourism

North and South Korea

Civilian visitors to the heavily fortified demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea will soon be able to cross the demarcation line that for decades has acted as the frontier between the two adversaries.

The case of the Netherlands - Dutch perceptions of Moroccans

The number of Moroccans in Netherland with their Islamic culture imposed prejudice in Dutch in relation to Moroccans. They associated Moroccans with crimes and illegal activities. The International Center for Tourism executed a project about the prejudice of Dutch people toward Moroccans. The result showed that after Dutch people visited Morocco, their attitude change.


Imagining peace tourism between India and Pakistan


After separation of Pakistan from India in 1947 that resulted in division of Kashmir between these two countries, a lot of unrest prevailed in the location of control (LOC). These conflicts affect on the economic potential of the two countries and people living in both parts of separated state.

If conflict in this region continues, both countries will be deprived of their potential to improve the life of their people. Because of these conflicts, people cannot trade with each other. In other hand, conflict in this region has other cost too. For example, a lot of money has been spent on defense when large population faces poverty, illiteracy and poor living conditions. This hostility has also affected foreign direct investment in the region.

How Tourism Can Promote Peace - Part 2

posted Dec 11, 2018, 1:30 PM by PFP Admin   [ updated Dec 11, 2018, 1:53 PM ]

Mahboobeh Fahnadezh Saadi ///

How People Can Contribute  

 

People can pursue peace through their association with tourism. For instance:  


1-Respect and work for the development, protection and support of traditions, cultural heritage sites and sacred places;

2-Acknowledge and protect cultural diversity, and encourage travel for all (including those with disabilities);

3-Reduce poverty by favoring local communities in employment and business development;

4-Eliminate the conditions which lead to acts of violence and work to restore damaged areas;

5-Plan carefully and adopt sustainable practices with respect to the environment;

6-Involve local people in decision-making; and

7-develop visible symbols such as peace poles, peace parks and peace gardens

How peace and tourism mutually negate violence and conflict?

 

Peace through tourism refers to the reduction and hopeful elimination of conditions that lead to violence. Researchers Kim and Crompton (1990) suggested that peace is a state which “removes logistical barriers to travel and psychological notions associated with fear for personal safety and antipathy from prospective hosts”. 

 

Active war discourages tourists, but the prospect of war and widespread violence equally deter all but the most courageous travellers.These scholar investigated the proposition that tourism has some potential to reduce tensions between divided countries. The fact is that as tourism needs a peaceful environment to encourage tourists, in turn, tourism can promote peace by reduction of tension between neighboring nations. 

 

Nations that are divided may have many things in common. For example, they may have a common language, common rituals and traditions, common relatives and so on. These elements are keys by which can promote tourism and ultimately develop the economic status of the countries that may have dispute for many years. 


 

How Tourism Can Promote Peace - Part 1

posted Dec 11, 2018, 1:06 PM by PFP Admin   [ updated Dec 11, 2018, 2:22 PM ]

How Tourism Can Promote Peace 

Mahboobeh Fahnadezh Saadi///



Mahboobeh is a Tehran-based writer and researcher. She is currently associated with Press for Peace (PFP). "How tourism can promote peace" is her 4-part series of articles on prospects of peace through tourism.


Tourism is among one of those industries that can create jobs, alleviate poverty, empower people and boost economy. It can also promote peace in a conflict situation and bring a positive change in peoples' lives by making way for political settlement of a longstanding territorial issue. A plenty of work has been done to promote tourism in both sides of Kashmir in recent years. Unfortunately , a little progress towards attainment of sustainable peace in the region has been made. Besides, there is a significant improvement in international peace making efforts to find an amicable solution of Kashmir issue. 

What is the Scholastic View?

There is a consensus among scholars and peace promoting organisations around the world over interrelationship of peace and tourism. A constant contact among individuals from conflict groups creates opportunities for reduction of inter-group prejudices, tensions and misunderstandings. Tourism provides prospects of hope and understanding between foreign visitors and the host communities. This results in provision of opportunities that can overcome prejudices.

What is the cultural view?


Tourism is a modern social phenomenon with potential to unite people through intercultural exchanges. The World Tourism Organization emphasis on importance of tourism in preparing for and safeguarding peace. The organization describes tourism as a vital force for peace and defines it as an intellectual basis for international understanding and interdependence.

What is the historical perspective?


Historically, a relationship between tourism and peace dates back to 1980s. First ever, the UN year of peace was celebrated in 1986. This was an initiative that followed several other instances of terrorism around the world, many of which were aimed at tourism. Many scholars have since argued that tourism can significantly promote cross-cultural understanding. 

World Travel and Tourism Council


In 2016, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) published a report in collaboration with the Institute of Economics and Peace, highlighting that countries with a more sustainable and open tourism sector tend to be more peaceful. Tourism can help support peace by ‘putting pressure on governments to cease fighting or establish harmonious relationships between citizens in order to attract tourists.

How it benefits economy?

This is particularly important if tourism is an important sector for the economy’. Examples provided in the report include Rwanda, where efforts to clear land mines were in part driven by increasing gorilla tourism, and Kashmir, where cross-border tourism is a significant factor in reducing friction between India and Pakistan in the disputed territory.


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