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Kashmir: A forgotten conflict

Gowhar Nazir

Bonn , June 03, 2008:

World renowned journalists, academicians and writers from 96 countries are participating in a three-day international conference titled ''Role of Media in Peace buliding and Conflict Prevention'' here in Bonn, the UN city.

In one of the panel discussions, Director Generals of international broadcasters and media houses debated whether or not media had any role in the conflict prevention and peace-building.

Jan Hoek, Director General, Radio Netherlands Worldwide suggested that international broadcasters should pair and work together to promote peace in the conflict regions across the globe.

Some participants said media should not act as peace preacher, as its role is not to preach.

Director, BBC World Service Trust, Stephen King said that world media channels should encourage dialogue between conflicting parties.

''International media should pressure on governments to resolve conflicts and try to be as fair, accurate, and objective as possible while covering stories from the conflict-ridden areas of the world.''

The first day of the conference was dominated by the discussions on the Israel-Palestine conflict, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and the policies of Chinese government vis-a-vis Tibet.

Surprisingly enough, Kashmir conflict did not figure in any of the discussions held so far.

Shirin Ebadi, Lawyer and Nobel Peace Laureate, Iran in her keynote speech at the conference elaborated on the digital gap between the industrial and non-industrial countries.

''In European nations every two individuals have one computer while as in Angola a single computer caters to 3,000 persons,'' Ms Ebadi said.

She said in today's world “we have an uneven race”.

Ebadi was very critical about the freedom of press in the country ruled by anti-US President, Mehmoud Ahmedinijad.

Talking about the press ''freedom'' in Iran, Ebadi said that censorship has always existed in Iran.

''Irani regime doesn't believe in the equality of men and women and think that feminism is a western phenomenon. Topics like nuclear energy, possible military attack on Iran and its consequence---are almost a taboo for Iraqi journalists.''

International conference is being hosted by Deutsche Welle and co-hosted by Foundation for International Dialogue of the Savings Bank in Bonn.



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