"Cultural and ethnic bondage will do what war cannot"Jammu, October 24: " With the end to cold war era , the traditional rivals in South Asia are moving towards peaceful resolution of disputes," said Professor Amitabh Mattoo , Vice Chancellor University of Jammu while interacting with the members of Civil Society in his office chamber here today.
Prof. Amitabh Mattoo who recently proposed "5R" formula for bringing long lasting peace in Jammu and Kashmir , said that this was not possible unless the civil societies of both the countries (India and Pakistan) should come forward and shed their misgivings and review their traditional brotherhood . "It was all the more Important as the unfortunate partition had not only divided the families where one brother lived in Pakistan and another migrated to India," Prof. Amitabh Mattoo said further adding that in certain cases the house located on the LOC had the Line of Control (LOC) running right through the centre of the house dividing it into two with one opening in POK and other on our side.
Prof. Mattoo said that he was of the strong conviction that much has been loosed yet if such people associated with civil societies come forward , things shall normalize in no time. "Doing away with Burlin Wall in recent times was another good example where people of both the country came forward and united themselves breaking political bearers. If civil societies of both the countries come forward and play an active role , the cultural and ethnic bondage shall do the rest and help south Asia to flourish," added Prof. Amitabh Mattoo
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Amitabh Mattoo said that the recent initiatives taken by India and Pakistan in reducing the tensions in the region has created an environment of a new opening for the civil society to play an active role in strengthening the peace initiatives and preventing any future situations in emanating to an armed conflict. "After nearly twelve years of deadly conflict, most protagonists in the conflict wish an end to the violence, as also the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Post-conflict situations call for physical reconstruction. But a well-developed civil society, along with an independent media and judiciary, are equally essential for sustainable growth and stability," Prof Amitabh Mattoo said adding that the importance of efforts to rebuild civil society by the establishment of the rule of law, stimulation of political dialogue and public participation must not be under-estimated, as they provide both formal and informal institutions for reconstruction in post-conflict situations.
Therefore, Prof. Amitabh Mattoo said that efforts to strengthen civil society is a necessity that can be facilitated by NGOs, both local and otherwise, in a number of ways – by assisting local communities and individuals in the design of programmes, providing capacity building services, access to financing, and establishment of legal entities like cooperatives. "The absence of a vibrant civil society, the bedrock of any state system, owing to the many years of conflict is apparent from the lack of social institutions and the failure of the political leadership to harness the energy of the people in a constructive direction," added Prof. Amitabh Mattoo