Jammu & Kashmir Youth Development Forum (JKYDF), a valley based youth organization, held a one – day seminar on 10th March 2011 at Hotel Zaberwan, Srinagar. The seminar entitled “Democracy – role of a citizen” was attended by a large number of people representing youth and educated members of civil society including lawyers, journalists and doctors.
The seminar was focused on the destruction of democratic set up in the valley as a result of violence perpetuated by Pakistan backed secessionist elements and the ways to redeem the situation. The speakers while deliberating on the current situation in the valley said that for the last two decades Kashmir has been engulfed in violence sponsored by secessionist leaders backed by Pakistan’s ISI. The violence has thrown entire life in Kashmir into turmoil with business activities including tourism, the backbone of states’ economy coming to a standstill. During summer months of 2010 streets had been turned into virtual battle zones where killings and arson was a norm. More than 100 persons mostly youth were killed during this unrest.
A unanimous resolution was passed in the seminar condemning Pakistan and secessionist forces in the valley for their evil designs to destroy the democratic institutions in the valley. The international community was urged to prevail upon Pakistan to stop its support to terrorism in Kashmir so that democracy prospers in the state. Pakistan was also criticized for denying democratic rights to the people in PoK and Gilgit – Baltistan. A memorandum to this effect was later presented by JKYDF members to UNMOGIP office in Srinagar.