Recommendations on Kashmir
* We the members of Pakistan-India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) are deeply concerned at and condemn the atrocities committed in Kashmir by the Indian security forces against women, including rape and molestation in a systematic way, and on un-armed civilians through the use of arrest, detention, and torture. We similarly condemn violations by sections of the militants.
* We demand that the Government of India pull back its troops from the civilian areas and that the Pakistan Government should make efforts to stop armed activities of militants in order to put an end to military and armed actions which have led to violence and violations of human rights. This must be done to make third party mediation unnecessary.
* We also ask the governments of India and Pakistan to pull back their troops immediately from Siachen since the conflict there has caused loss of human lives and proved to be a burden on the exchequers of the two countries which runs into thousands of millions of rupees every year. Finally we urge the two Governments to finalise agreement on Tulbul Navigation and Wullar Barrage issue in accordance with the Indus Water Treaty.
Resolution/ Recommendations on demilitarization and peace
* We, the members of PIPFPD, reaffirm our commitment to a nuclear-weapon-free world, including South Asia. We unequivocally denounce the nuclear explosions by Indian and Pakistan and the jingoism that followed, and express our solidarity with the anti-nuclear movements.
* We believe that nuclear weapons enhance neither the security nor the power or the prestige of countries in a globalizing world. The Forum calls upon both the governments to make a dignified exit from the nuclear arms and missile race, adhere to the provisions of the CTBT, desist from deploying the weapons already in their respective arsenals, and divert their scarce resources from nuclearization to programmes for improving the lot of their own people who are victims of grinding poverty, ill health and illiteracy. Successful implementation of these programmes alone can ensure both India and Pakistan national security and global recognition as major powers. We reaffirm the following resolutions adopted in the previous conventions:
a. We urge the governments of India and Pakistan to work for mutual reduction of war-waging capabilities by 25% over a period of three years, simultaneously curtailing military spending.
b. We appeal to the governments of India and Pakistan to agree to non-use of military capabilities against each other, to stop cross border clashes, to prevent cross border support for insurgencies and proxy wars, to demilitarize Siachin, to pull-back heavy weapons to mutually accepted areas, to open military exercises to observers from the other country, to ensure greater transparency in the defence budgets, to strongly support and work together to promote all international efforts to achieve a nuclear-weapons-free world; not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against each other under any circumstances.
c. The Forum expresses deep concern over increasing internal militarisation of the two nations, and the use of armed force by the state against its own people as well as on various ethnic and religious groups to resolve disputes.
d. In pursuance of the Forums commitment to the outlawing of the use of force in the settlement of any bilateral dispute, the Forum urges the governments of India and Pakistan to sign a mutual peace treaty.
e. The Forum recognizes the great danger that the existing nuclear weapons pose for the security of the peoples of the two countries. We express our deep concern over the possibilities of an outbreak of nuclear war between the two countries as a result of accident, miscalculation or mis-perception. India and Pakistan must therefore immediately agree to enter into bilateral treaties to avoid an accidental nuclear war between the two countries.
f. The Forum condemns the Nuclear Club for its double standards, and demands that the members of the Club work towards genuine and total nuclear disarmament across the globe.
Resolution / Recommendations on Governance
* PIPFPD resolves that the peoples right to information should be scrupulously respected and constitutionally protected except where information is withheld in public interest and a competent court upholds such withholding. Right to information acts should be passed without further delay.
§ All decisions of Government at every level be transparent and this transparency be ensured by an act of parliament. All expenditures including defense be placed before parliament in detail.
§ We deprecate any attempt of governments to introduce religion in political, administrative or any other matters of public policy.
§ Due to the non-performance of political parties the people are becoming increasingly disillusioned with them. To regain public confidence, internal democracy within the political parties must be ensured. Legislatures should genuinely reflect the wishes and opinions of the people. Electoral processes be made completely free and fair, and separate electorates, wherever they exist, should be abolished.
§ The Forum notes with great concern that corruption is rampant at all levels of government, including administration and corporations, and is corroding the system of justice. No relief is available to the people. Fool-proof machinery should therefore be evolved to eradicate the menace of corruption.
§ All holders of public offices including legislatures, should be required by law to declare their assets at the time of assuming office, and annually thereafter. These statements of assets must be open for scrutiny by any citizen, and independent, quasi-judicial commissions should be set up to examine them. Bodies of vigilant citizens and NGOs should take upon themselves the duty of ensuring effectiveness of the process. They may approach the courts of law, too.
§ Decentralization and devolution of political and economic power relating to administration and development down to the grassroots level is extremely essential to good governance. Wherever such a system does not exist, it should be made part of the constitution. Where it exists, it should be strengthened and made free of bureaucratic interference.
§ Genuine autonomy in internal administration and development activities must be guaranteed to all states and provinces. Economic viability for all states/provinces should be guaranteed and the spirit of federation allowed to prevail in all centre-state relations. Regional economic imbalances should be corrected.
§ Representation be given to women and minorities at all levels of political parties, in legislatures and other organs of government and it should be done in direct proportion to their share of the population. Governments have to honour their commitment to implement the provisions of CEDAW and CRC.
* Resolution/Recommendations on Intolerance
We the members of the Forum strongly condemn all acts of intolerance and discrimination against women, and particularly the violent punishments" meted out to women in the "sacred name of religion" by the self-styled custodians of religion.
§ We call upon our respective Governments to repeal all legislation that discriminates against women, and to promote an atmosphere conducive to the attainment of women’s rights to equality, development and peace.
§ We call upon our respective Governments to ensure the freedom of expression and to stop the increasing incidents of violent suppression of any form of dissent.
§ We believe that there is need for space outside the religious discourse, where individual, rational, objective, scientific thought and the spirit of inquiry can flourish.