Over 700 Indian, Pak citizens call for “uninterruptible” dialogue

Published: May 18, 2017 - 18:01 Updated: August 1, 2017 - 16:53

In a joint statement, a group of people from both India and Pakistan urged their governments to resolve the issues straining the bilateral ties via uninterrupted dialogue

A group of intellectuals, artists, activists and journalists from both the sides of the border released a joint resolution calling for peaceful relations between India and Pakistan and stressed on the need to keep the dialogue between the two nations “uninterruptible.” The resolution, which condemned all forms of violence between the two nations, has over 700 signatories from both India and Pakistan and urges the government and security establishments to take steps towards resolving the bilateral issues and put an end to distrust and tension between New Delhi and Islamabad.

The resolution asked the governments of both the countries to develop an “institutionalised framework to ensure that continuous and uninterrupted talks between the two countries take place on a regular basis.” The resolution recommended making talks and discussions between the two nations on the sidelines of all international and multilateral forums mandatory.

The statement called for “recognising the Kashmir dispute which concerns the lives and aspirations of the Kashmiri people” and asked the government to “work to resolve it through uninterrupted dialogue between all concerned parties.”

Hitting out at the proxy war going on between the two nuclear states, the signatories urged India and Pakistan to “renounce all forms of proxy wars, state-sponsored terrorism, human rights violations, cross-border terrorism, and subversive activities against each other through non-state actors or with the support of separatist movements in each other’s state.”

Advocating an increase in people-to-people contact, the signatories called for the “removal of visa restrictions” and urged the governments “to allow visa-free travel between India and Pakistan to boost coordination between citizens of the two nations.”

The joint statement was signed by prominent people from India, including former parliamentarian Mani Shankar Aiyar, film producer Mahesh Bhatt, journalist Seema Mustafa, social activist Shabnam Hashmi, Secretary of All India Progressive Women's Association Kavita Krishnan, journalist Nidhi Razdan and lyricist Gulzar, among others.

From Pakistan, the prominent signatories include, poet Kishwar Naheed, Supreme Court advocate Asma Jahangir, ex-Senator Afrasiyab Khattak, Daily Times editor Raza Rumi, writer Ayesha Jalal, journalist Beena Sarwar, activist Bushra Gohar, academician Adil Najam, TV anchor Asma Shirazi and TV anchor Ahmed Quraishi, among others.