World Kashmir Awareness Forum Secretary General Dr Ghulam-Nabi Fai on Wednesday said that third party intervention and mediation in Kashmir is indispensable.

Dr Fai, who met with the representatives of various political parties of Azad Jammu and Kashmir in Brooklyn, New York, said Kashmir conflict is not a border quarrel between India and Pakistan, or a fight between Hindus and Muslims and neither a struggle between theocracy and secularism. 

"It is primarily about the 20 million Kashmiri people, their human rights and right to self-determination under international law and still binding United Nations Security Council resolutions, he added.

Reiterating that the conflict needs a third party intervention, Dr Fai said Pakistan and India have negotiated for more than half a century without result.

"All the flowery declarations from Tashkent, Simla, Lahore and other scores of summits have proven sound and fury signifying nothing. To persist in the same course after 70 years of dismal failure conjures up many adjectives, but none are flattering to the cerebral faculty," he added.

The best candidates, Fai suggested, for outside intervention and mediation seem the United States or the United Nations, as in Northern Ireland, East Timor, the Middle East peace process, and Bosnia.

"The mediation can also be undertaken by a person of international stature, such as Kofi Annan, Bishop Desmond Tutu or President Mary Robinson," he said.

Sardar Sawar Khan, a former Kashmir diplomat who organised the discussion, said that the genuine representatives of the Kashmiri people must be senior partners in any negotiations over Kashmir's political future.

"No solution will endure which fails to command popular consent. Contrary to much of India's myth making, the Kashmiri resistance is overwhelmingly indigenous; outsiders or infiltrators who capture many headlines are marginal to the conflict," he added.

Earlier, Dr Fai held a discussion with Ambassador Yusuf Buch, former adviser to Secretary General of the United Nations, who said India cannot successfully fight a war against extremism in Kashmir while fertilising the sense of injustice that is one of the roots of extremism.

"You cannot overcome the religious extremists if you keep supplying them proof that, for redressing injustice, peaceful secular processes are but a pretense or a trap.

"What principles and instruments do Kashmiris invoke for the redress of the wrongs inflicted on them? Not any conceived and inspired solely by their religion," he added.

He said Kashmiris call for adherence to principles which are recognised by the UN Charter as basis to a peaceful and stable world order. "The documents the Kashmiris rely upon were not drawn in mosques. They were composed by western hands in the Security Council of the United Nations,” he added.

Buch also urged Kashmiri Americans to explore all humane and reasonable avenues to deliver the men, women and children of Kashmir from what he said is an acute and unbearable suffering.

"It is because of the manifest need to articulate the recognition that the situation in Kashmir is not frozen and, if at times it seems so, it will not stay frozen," he said.