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Text of Joint Statement at a Civil Society Round Table on India Pakistan Peace Process

21 March 2011

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[A 10-member Indian Peace Delegation, led by veteran peace activists and journalist Kuldip Nayyar, which arrived in Karachi on 17th attended a round table with Pakistani peace activists at Hotel Beach Luxury, Karachi on Sunday (20th March). On the occasion a draft Joint Statement was issued, which would be endorsed by other peace activists in Islamabad and Lahore and then in India.]

Joint Statement

March 20, 2011

The Round Table on “Strategising Civil Society’s Role in Peace Process: Identifying Priority Issues/Areas and Interventions” held at Hotel Beach Luxury, Karachi on March 20, 2011 unanimously demanded that the Indian and Pakistani governments should release all the civilian prisoners including fishermen as a good will gesture. Both the countries should also liberalise visa regime, revive the India-Pakistan Judicial Committee on Prisoners, open trade, reduce military expenditure and urgently implement the already resolved disputed issues like Siachen, Sir Creek.

The conference also appealed to Pakistan government to give Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India. The Indian and Pakistani delegates requested both the governments not to arrest each other’s fishermen. Instead of arresting fishermen and confiscating trawlers/launches of each other country’s fishermen, only warnings be issued to fishermen in case of crossing of each other’s borders into the sea.

The participants demanded to prepare a list of divided families in both the countries and the members of such families should be given five-year visas with multiple visits. Both countries should include tourist visas category and should be made easily available. Visas should be issued to senior citizens and children on their arrival.

Students and youth of both India and Pakistan should be encouraged to study in the each other countries’ colleges and universities. For this purpose visa conditions should be relaxed for students and teachers.
India produces world class and cost-effective medicines, where as Pakistani surgical industry produce export quality surgical goods, so Pakistan should allow import of Indian medicines and Indian doctors are encouraged to buy Pakistani surgical goods.

The Interior secretaries of India and Pakistan will be meeting in New Delhi on March 28. The participants demanded the governments of both India and Pakistan to evolve a joint mechanism to combat terrorism, militalization and extremism in their respective countries and the dialogue needs to be uninterrupted and uninterruptible.