Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-24-Speech-4-016"

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". Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, I should like to start by expressing my thanks to the rapporteur, Baroness Nicholson, for her report. I also wish to thank those Members who helped steer this difficult and very controversial report clearly in the direction of a compromise, and thus helped us all make considerable progress. I do think, however, that we have some way to go in today’s vote before we have a report that – without also attracting censure from India, Pakistan or anyone else – ultimately serves our common aim of helping Kashmir to finally become a region characterised by peace, prosperity, and respect for the environment and human rights. We can make an important contribution to this today, if together we find the willpower and focus on the heart of the matter. This is a report on Kashmir, not one on India or Pakistan. We are perfectly justified in drawing up similar reports. I should like to point out that much of the criticism levelled at India or Pakistan in the report is undoubtedly legitimate – in the case of Pakistan, in particular, much more could have been said. Yet this is not the place for a debate on Pakistan, as we are talking about Kashmir. Since time immemorial, Kashmir has been a bridging point and intersection between the Near East, Central Asia and South Asia. The region, which has even been the subject of a rock song by Led Zeppelin, can once more be a region in which people from all parts of Kashmir can live together in peace and prosperity. Let us contribute to this today. This would be the best contribution we could make towards the fight against terrorism. The region does not need more armed forces; it needs fewer arms, fewer armed forces. Parliament would then send out a signal to India and Pakistan today that they should continue to go down the route of peace; that they should do everything to increase the irrelevance of the border, so that Kashmir may one day be a region of prosperity and peace."@en1

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