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Mainstream, VOL LIV No 41 New Delhi October 1, 2016

Voice of Sanity in the Midst of Insanity PIPFPD’s Joint Statement

Monday 3 October 2016

In the wake of the heightening of tensions between India and Pakistan, the Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy issued on September 23 the following Joint Statement with the objective of restoring peace, normalcy and cooperation between the two neighbouring states of South Asia.

The PIPFPD expresses its concern over the growing tensions between India and Pakistan following the militants’ attack on a strategically important Army base in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir. The leaderships of both the countries need to urgently act towards defusing the tense scenario rather than fuelling it.

 We appeal to the saner voices of both the countries to play a pro-active role in bringing some sense to the rulers. There cannot be any other option to bring peace in the sub-continent but dialogue. Islamabad and New Delhi need to take some serious and sincere efforts to build an atmosphere of trust and initiate that process. While Pakistan needs to be more convincing in its fight against terrorism and terrorists operating from its soil, India needs to shun the policy of dealing with Kashmir militarily and brutally.

 The Indian Government needs to begin dialogue with all the stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir to normalise the situation. To create a conducive atmosphere for dialogue, the Indian Government needs to end human rights violations in Kashmir, stop the use of pellet guns and release all innocent prisoners including the human rights defender, Khurram Parvez, who was re-arrested under the PSA after the High Court directed that he be released.

 We strongly feel that a sectarian approach for domestic consumption will harm everyone in the long run. Sentiments are running high in India since Uri was attacked. Rather than ‘exploiting’ the sentiments of the people, India and Pakistan should come forward and see that such dastardly attacks do not happen again.

Jatin Desai (General Secretary, PIPFPD India), Anuradha Bhasin and Asha Hans (Co-Chairpersons, PIPFPD India), I.A. Rehman (Chairperson, PIPFPD Pakistan)

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