Kashmiri right to self-determination be recognised: PIPFPD
NEW DELHI: The rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to self-determination should be recognised, concluded the Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) on Tuesday. The forum also expressed concern about the treatment of minorities in India and Pakistan.
The three day conclave, attended by over 1,000 delegates, deliberated on several issues related to peace between the two countries and adopted a declaration demanding a nuclear free South Asia and a reduction of military expenditure to divert towards the social sector.
The conclave formed three sub-groups of Indian and Pakistani intellectuals and peace activists to separately deliberate the Kashmir issue, treatment of minorities and peace and reconciliation. The Kashmir group, lead by eminent journalist Ved Bhasin, recommended recognising the self-determination right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “Given the diversity of opinion, it is critical that people’s voices be heard, their right of self-determination be recognised and no solution imposed,” said the declaration.
Emphasising the right of people from both sides of the LoC to interact, PIPFPD claimed that it was in a position to offer a solution to the Kashmir issue. It also called upon all parties to renounce violence and expressed concern at the state agencies’ use of former militants in counterinsurgency operations to avoid accountability.
The forum stressed that Kashmiris should be included in discussions regarding water disputes between India and Pakistan. They also pointed out that people in Gilgit and Baltistan were experiencing the loss of state subject rights and were vulnerable to state induced alterations in their demographic structure.