Kashmir civil society decries ‘military adventurism’, urges Indo-Pak peace and dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir


Kashmir civil society decries ‘military adventurism’, urges Indo-Pak peace and dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir

Civil society groups and individuals from Jammu and Kashmir have expressed deep distress at the emerging situation in Jammu and Kashmir, “consequent upon the brinkmanship and belligerent policies and statements made by official representatives of India and Pakistan”.

In a statement released to the media, they say: “The recent reckless statement made by the Indian Army Chief where, inter alia, he said, ‘We will call the (nuclear) bluff of Pakistan. If we will have to really confront the Pakistanis, and a task is given to us, we are not going to say we cannot cross the border because they have nuclear weapons. We will have to call their nuclear bluff’.”

Pakistani authorities responded to this with combative statements including by the Pakistan Foreign Minister who said that this “… amounts to an invitation for a nuclear encounter. If that is what they desire, they are welcome to test our resolve…”

“We have seen in the past that these irresponsible statements lead to the immediate escalation of violence at the Line of Control (LOC) and accusations and counter-accusations. The same happened this time as well”.

Jammu and Kashmir is witness to and victim of Indo-Pak wars and unabated militarized violence for many decades, says the statement. “Because of their experiences of suffering, the people of Jammu and Kashmir are very conscious that these irresponsible statements can escalate into a full-blown war between the two nuclear powers and lead to terrible brutalization, primarily of the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.

“Further, soldiers from both armies become cannon fodder. Similar intransigence was witnessed between the years 1999 to 2002, during which India and Pakistan mounted a limited war in Kargil, but what remained invisible was the escalation of violence on the people of Jammu and Kashmir around this period. This military adventurism also took a huge toll on soldiers from both sides”.

Significantly, despite the three wars and all the military manoeuvres between India and Pakistan, they have been unable to resolve or end the conflict, says the statement. “Therefore, the civil society of Jammu and Kashmir earnestly appeals to the leadership of both the countries to end belligerence and replace it with rationality and dialogue to peacefully resolve the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir”.

The signatories draw attention to a Pentagon lead study which estimated that in the event of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan, 12 million people would die. “We appeal to the civil society groups of India, Pakistan and the world at large to not remain silent in this situation, which can lead to a major catastrophe. The silence of those who believe in dialogue, peace and justice will only embolden the vested interests that are keen on escalating tensions between the two countries”.

“We hope that the civil society groups and those who believe in non-violent conflict resolution will mobilize themselves by persuading both the countries to shun nuclear sabre-rattling and to engage in meaningful political dialogue, dialogue which is time bound and result oriented and leads to the eventual resolution of the Kashmir dispute”, concludes the statement.

Signatories

  1. Abdul Majid Zargar, Chartered Accountant, Civil Society Activist
  2. Adv. Parvez Imroz, President – Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society
  3. Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor – The Kashmir Times
  4. Dr. Altaf Hussain, Pediatrician, Civil Society Activist
  5. Dr. Ather Zia, Assistant Professor, Anthropology and Gender Studies Program, University of Colorado
  6. Dr. Gazalla Noor Amin, Secretary General, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industries
  7. Dr. Ghulam Qadir Allaqband, Consultant Physician
  8. Dr. Javid Iqbal, Writer, Civil Society Activist
  9. Dr. Mehboob Makhdoomi, Writer, Columnist
  10. Dr. Mona Bhan, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, DePauw University
  11. Dr. Mubeen Ahmed Shah, Ex-President Joint Chamber of Commerce and KCC&I
  12. Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, President – J&K RTI Movement
  13. Dr. Shujaat Bukhari, Editor in Chief, The Rising Kashmir
  14. Essar Batool, Author, Civil Society Activist
  15. Feroze Ahmed, President – Human Welfare Voluntary Organisation
  16. Gowhar Geelani, Journalist, Political Commentator
  17. Iftikhar Geelani, Senior Journalist
  18. Mehmood ur Rashid, Columnist
  19. Mirza Waheed, Writer
  20. Mohammad Ashraf, Ex-DG of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir
  21. Mohammad Junaid, City University of New York
  22. Mohammad Saleem Beg, Convenor – INTACH
  23. Mohammad Shafi Pandit, Ex-Chairman J&K Public Service Commission
  24. Monisa Qadri, Faculty IUST
  25. Nusrat Andrabi, Ex-Member JK Wakf Board
  26. Prof. Gul Mohammad Wani, Department of Political Science, University of Kashmir
  27. Prof. Hameeda Nayeem, Department of English, University of Kashmir, President – Kashmir Centre Social and Development Studies
  28. Prof. Noor Ahmad Baba, Dean School of Social Science, Central University of Kashmir
  29. Prof. Siddiq Wahid, Ex-Vice Chancellor, IUST
  30. Prof. Suvir Kaul, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania
  31. Riyaz Masroor, Senior Journalist
  32. Sanjay Kak, Filmmaker
  33. Sanjay Kumar Tickoo, President – Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti
  34. Siraj Ahmed, Kashmir Economic Alliance
  35. Syed Shakeel Qalandar, Ex-President FCIK, Civil Society Activist
  36. Syeda Afshana, Faculty, MERC, University of Kashmir
  37. Yousuf Jameel, Senior Journalist
  38. Zahir ud Din, Journalist, Author
  39. Zareef Ahmed Zareef, Poet, Civil Society Activist
  40. Khurram Parvez, Human Rights Activist



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