Pakistan India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD)
Selected Press Releases from the both the India and Pakistan chapters
Pakistan India Peoplesí Forum for Peace and Democracy
Press Statement, 23rd January 2003
PIPFPD India Chapter condemn the continuing harassment of the Indian Charge de Affairs Shri Vyas at Islamabad. The Pakistan Government now has counter-accused Indian authorities of similar charges. Such actions on the part of the Indian government or the government of Pakistan, certainly do not pave the way for a dialogue between the two countries.
We also urge both these Governments to take a more balanced and mature view to end this totally unacceptable and avoidable impasse in the current relations between the two countries. This is the least the peoples of both Pakistan and India deserve from their leadership.
Admiral Ramdas Sushil Khanna
Chairperson Gen. Secretary
B-14 (SF), Gulmohar Park,
New Delhi - 110 049
# (011) 2656 1743 / 2651 4847 / 2651 1504 (Fax)
o o o
Press Statement, December 31, 2002
Pak-India Forum slates visa curbs
Lahore, December 31: The Pakistan Chapter of Pakistan-India Peoples'
Forum for Peace and Democracy expresses its concern and dismay at the
new visa restrictions announced by the government of India on
Pakistanis visiting India. These steps amount to fueling the
confrontation between the two countries at the cost of ordinary
people, may of whom have legitimate humanitarian reasons to travel to
the neighboring country. The Forum was hoping that with the start of
troops' withdrawal from the frontlines, the two countries would find
ways of restoring air and ground travel links between them in
accordance with the wishes of the people on both sides. These wishes
have again been disregarded. The Forum reiterates its view that the
people of India and Pakistan have a right and a duty to maintain as
regular a contact as possible and to contribute to the return of
sanity to their benighted sub-continent. It therefore calls upon both
governments to facilitate travel between their countries. Instead of
devising new restrictions they should immediately reopen air and
Iftikhar-ul-Haq I. A. Rehman
Pakistan Chapter of Pakistan-India Peoples' Forum for Peace and Democracy
Pakistani-Indian Peace Activists Meet
Pakistan India Peoples Forum for Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD)
August 8, 2002
Prominent peace activists belonging to Pakistan India Peoples Forum for Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD) from both Pakistan and India met at Delhi on Wed. Aug 7, 2002 to discuss the current stalemate in the relations between the two neighbors. It included Mr. I.A. Rehman (Director Human Rights Commission of Pakistan) and Dr. Mubashir Hasan (founding chairperson of the Forum) of Pakistan Chapter, and Adm. Ramdas Retd (chairperson, India Chapter) and Prof. Sushil Khanna, General Secretary of India Chapter.
They noted with concern the hardships inflicted on common citizen -- with relatives and friends across the border -- due to suspension of road, rail and air links as well as the wastage of precious resources due to deployment of a million strong armed personal on the border. Though both the governments claim to be advocating the cause of democracy through elections, attacks on civil and democratic rights of common citizens have increased. Brutal carnage of Muslims in Gujarat and attack on Christians in Pakistan are a direct result of patronage provided to such extremist elements by the ruling elites in both the countries. The repressive impact of miltarisation and communalisation of society due to the current stand-off is most prominent in attacks and repression of women, where socially sanctioned gang rapes and barbaric practices like Sati have increased.
The PIPFPD leaders demand from the government of Pakistan and India:
(1) Immediate pullback of troops to peace stations, end to threats to attack each other and resumption of contacts between area commanders and Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs).
(2) Restoration of full diplomatic relations by allowing the High Commissioners to return to their posts and resumption of talks to settle all outstanding issues including Kashmir.
(3) Immediate restoration of rail, road and air links between the two countries and an end to all obstacles to people-to-people contacts, including liberalising of the visa regime.
(4) Take positive steps to promote contact between civil society groups, artists, journalists, etc. and an end to the policy that demonises each other through the media and other channels.
(5) Launch sincere efforts to put an end to medieval and barbaric social practices and mete out exemplary punishment through special courts to those targeting women, children and political and religious minorities.
I. A. Rehman
Dr Mubashir Hasan
Pakistan Chapter PIPFPD
Adm. L. Ramdas
Prof. Sushil Khanna
India Chapter PIPFPD
Joint Statement by
Pakistan India Peoples Forum For Peace and Democracy
Sat, 1 June 2002
We, who are committed to help achieve the aspirations of the common peoples of Pakistan and India, urge our respective governments to exercise restraint in the current surcharged atmosphere. The entire world is anxious that there should be no war between the two countries of Pakistan and India that need, instead, to work hard on economic development and cultural enrichment with a view to in1proving the lot of the majority of their peoples.
As of now, the threat of war from miscalculation or accident is quite serious. Regrettably there has been a deliberately cultivated war hysteria in both countries. Should a war break out, for whatever reason, it runs the grave risk of escalating to the level of nuclear exchanges.
We assert that no cause is worth fighting with nuclear weapons. Though both governments have painted themselves into a comer through their belligerent posturing, they must nevertheless beat a political retreat. Justice and sanity demand nothing less. Neither government should offer gratuitous provocation or insult to the other. In the face of stark danger of a possible nuclear war, it is of utmost importance that the armed forces of both sides simultaneously move back to their peacetime stations.
Resolving the basic disputes between the two countries is necessary and will take time. But the immediate prerequisite is the return of normalcy and resunlption of dialogue, not only between politicians or bureaucrats but even more importantly, between the concerned citizens of the two countries who must be free to meet and communicate with each other whenever they wish. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that along with the mutual disengagement of the two armed forces, the recent extraordinary restrictions on means of communications that prevent people-to-people dialogue and cultural exchanges from taking place, be removed. Indeed, they should be promoted through easing of visa regimes.
We urge the two governments to take all necessary steps to achieve this disengagement of armed forces and restore normal relations and appeal to the international community to support this process. Politics in both countries must be de-militarised as much as possible. It must be redirected, first and foremost, towards fulfilling the human needs and aspirations of the citizens of our two countries. There must be no support to terrorism, direct or indirect.
We oppose it in all forms whether cross-border or within our countries, whether carried out by individuals, groups or governments. We declare our common commitment to promote secularism, democracy, justice and peaceful co~existence.
Signatories from India: Tapan Kumar Bose, Admiral R. Ramdas, Achin Vanaik, Latha Jishnu, K.S. Subramanian, Joseph Gathia, Syeda Hameed, Prakash Louis, Vijayan M.J. Ranjana Padhi, Vineeta Bal, Jawed Laiq, Suneeta Madhu Prasad, Gautam Navlakha, Sagri Chhabra
Signatories from Pakistan: I.A Rehman, M.B. Naqvi, B.MKutty, Dr. Haroon Ahmed, Karamat Ali, M. H. Askri, Rahat Saeed, Zaheda Hina, Anis Haroon, Naseem Gandhi, Shahid Fiaz, Omar Farooq, Saleem Raza, Baseer Naveed, Aqeel Billgrami, Iqbal Alvi, Zameer Niazi, Brig. Abid Rao, Dr. Tariq Suhail, Dr. Zaki Hassan, Tahir Mohammad Khan, Gul Rehman
Pakistan - India Peoples' Forum For Peace and Democracy [ India Chapter]
PRESS RELEASE, 6th Oct. 2001
The 'fedayeen' attack on Jammu & Kashmir Assembly on September 30 by
Jaish i Mohammad in which 38 persons, including children, lost their
lives is a despicable act. No grievance or anger justifies killing of
civilians in any conflict by any side. While there is little that can
be done to prevent "suicide attacks" it is worth pointing out that J
& K has a very high concentration of troops maintaining an obtrusive
presence and operating under extra-ordinary laws.
The Indian security forces and army personnel posted in Jammu &
Kashmir, in the present circumstances, while taking steps against
such terrorist acts, should demonstrate extreme caution and make
distinction between innocent citizens and the terrorists. The
government of India, instead of ad hoc responses to terrorist
attacks, should initiate a dialogue with all the involved parties and
the citizens of Jammu & Kashmir, for a long term solution of the
problem of its people.
The Kashmiris are definitely very unfortunate to have been caught in
the fire of two countries but the call to attack Pakistan by the
Chief Minister, Mr. Farooq Abdulla is uncalled for especially at this
time when the threat of war in our region is so real and imminent.
For the Secretariat
The Other Media, B-14 (Second Floor) Gulmohar Park, New
Delhi-110049. Tel: +991-11- 6163830. Fax: + 91-11- 619804
Pakistan-India Peoples' Forum for Peace & Democracy
14 June 1999
A General Body meeting of Pakistan-India Peoples' Forum for Peace & Democracy, Sindh Chapter, held on 13th June 1999 at Hotel Embassy, Karachi expressed grave concern at the fast-deteriorating state of relations between Pakistan and India. In a resolution adopted unanimously, the Forum expressed dismay at the fact that so soon after the much-applauded Delhi-Lahore bus ride of Vajpayee and the Lahore Declaration of friendship by the two Prime Ministers, the two countries are engaged in a mini-war along the LOC in Kashmir.
The Forum noted that irrespective of which of the two governments made the first move in Kargil Sector, one thing that cannot be denied is that neither the people of Pakistan nor the people of India were taken into confidence by their respective governments in triggering such a dangerous development along the LOC that has the potential to spark a nuclear war in South Asia with all its horrendous consequences, for the more than 1 billion human beings inhabiting the subcontinent.
The Forum called for an immediate ceasefire, withdrawl of all combatants to their original positions, and strict observance of the Line of Control and the provisions of the Simla Accord. The Forum urged the Governments of Pakistan and India not to engulf the subcontinent in a nuclear holocaust but resume the bilateral dialogue to find a peaceful solution to all disputes, above all the Kashmir issue based on the freely expressed will of the people of Kashmir, because peace between Pakistan and India is the key to democracy, freedom and progress in South Asia.
Released by, B. M. Kutty, Secretary, Pakistan-India Peoples' Forum for Peace & Democracy, Sindh Chapter
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