Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-24-Speech-4-028"

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"I wish to thank everyone for the success in finally reaching an acceptable compromise. India, Pakistan and Kashmir do not constitute a traditional issue for me as a Swedish Social Democrat and Member of the European Parliament, but I felt very committed when I read the first draft and heard different parties’ representatives, mainly from the United Kingdom, engage in debate. Our task is not to live in the past or to adopt a position in favour of, or against, India and Pakistan. We have a responsibility for what is happening in Kashmir and for the human rights situation there. Our task as Members of the European Parliament is to see if we might play a role of some kind and then to offer our support and experience and in that way help resolve the conflict surrounding Kashmir. What is going on, and has been going on for such a long time, is a scandal. I believe that two civilised countries such as India and Pakistan should be able to take greater shared responsibility, devise a timetable for achieving practical results and, naturally, help each other to combat terrorism. If that does not happen, the United Nations and the European Union will have to intervene more seriously than in the past. The EU’s strategy is to exert pressure via agreements, aid and contacts. I should have liked us to have gone further and been prepared to support a referendum, but I appreciate that we are not yet in a position to do that. Kashmir’s wishes must be our guide in our future work and a guide for all those who wish to accept responsibility for the region. I want to call on everyone to think in terms not of prestige but of peace and in terms not of history but of the present and future. As Mr Leinen said, if France and Germany were able to create peace in Europe and found the EU, I am convinced that India and Pakistan have it within them successfully to bring about freedom and peace in Kashmir."@en1

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