We appreciate that 2012 was a year of progress in Indo-Pak relations during which the robustness of India-Pakistan dialogue was tested and despite challenges to the process, considerable headway was made on issues of trade and visa liberalisation;
The political question of Jammu and Kashmir remains unresolved. We urge that India and Pakistan remain engaged and the four-point formula devised in 2006-7 should be used a basis for further dialogue;
We urge that media be given unfettered access on both sides. The governments must allow the circulation of newspapers, distribution of television signals and increase in the number of accredited journalists in both countries;
We recommend that visas for journalists and their spouses should be facilitated without unnecessary delays;
We urge both governments to engage on the regional implications of the NATO pull-out from Afghanistan in 2014 through dialogue on regional cooperation;
We recommend that previously agreed proposals to resolve long standing issues such as Siachen and Sir Creek should be accepted immediately so that both countries can move forward in focusing on the core issues between the two countries;
We note that recent incidents on the Line of Control (LoC) underline the need to reinforce the 2003 ceasefire agreement and recommend that new mechanisms be devised such as increased demilitarised zones. There is an urgent need to reduce the eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation on the LoC;
We recommend that roaming cellular facilities should be provided to the people of both the countries;
We recommend that culture, sports and humanitarian concerns should be prioritised by both countries in the bilateral parleys;
We recommend that the governments of India and Pakistan should evolve a result-oriented and monitorable mechanism of dialogue. This mechanism should include representation from both sides of the LoC aimed at a mutually acceptable resolution of the Kashmir issue;
We demand the resumption of the suspended bus service and cross-LoC trade on Poonch-Rawalakot route; the stranded passengers must be allowed to return from the same route;
We suggest an urgent review of the performance and structural feasibility of cross-LoC trade by addressing two bottlenecks:
- Decentralisation of the LoC trade and travel by creating a single independent authority on the Indian side;
- Converting the existing barter trade to routine cross-border trade with sufficient checks;
- Opening up of the old Jammu-Sialkot and Kargil-Skardu trade routes; and
- Introducing smart card service issued on the basis of State Subjects Certificate to overcome the cumbersome procedures for cross-LoC travel;
We recommend that both governments should constitute a study group tasked to explore the potential for generating energy on both sides of the LOC, with a particular focus on exploiting the substantial hydro-electric potential of the region. This will benefit all parties involved and provide a much needed economic impetus in Jammu and Kashmir.
We recommend that the agreed Investment Protocol of 2012 needs to be operationalised through the following measures:
- The BOI and FIPB should ensure speedy approvals of projects;
- The liberal visa regime should be a prerequisite for the investment protocol. In particular, work visa category should be added to the new visa regime, including visas for technical experts and trainers. These should be one year multiple entry visas that allow up to ten cities, with exemption from police reporting.
In September 2012, the Joint Statement of the Commerce Secretaries had taken certain decisions which require full implementation. In particular, progress needs to be accelerated in the following areas:
- Non-Tariff Barriers;
- Framing of the rules on custom cooperation;
- Redressal of grievances and mutual recognition;
- Ports and land routes should be made functional for 24 hours. Routes other than Khokrapar-Munnabao should be explored for trade;
- The proposed joint business council should be put in place as soon as possible;
- Roaming facilities for businessmen should be provided and air connectivity should be enhanced;
- Sufficient numbers of banks should be allowed to operate on both sides;
- The potential of railways be utilised to enhance the volume of land trade. Adequate rakes should be made available on a daily basis. Electronic data interface (EDI) should be provided in land routes, both via road and railways.
We recommend that joint cooperation on energy projects need to be explored and prioritised given the energy deficit in both countries.
We recommend that both governments should display commitment to fight terrorism and not encourage instruments of terror to take root, develop and manifest themselves in any form or manner;
We urge the governments become more prompt, alert and transparent in briefing media, especially in wake of any incident of violence;
We recommend that de-radicalisation should be adopted as a policy by both governments;
We stress that cultural activities should not be affected in wake of a crisis;
We recommend that information sharing mechanisms are strengthened internally and externally and the existing structures be streamlined to achieve this objective;
We urge that both states should initiate several levels of counter terrorism mechanisms and bilateral dialogue which should include regular meetings between the heads of intelligence agencies, police officers, MEA-FO and media houses.
We recommend that legal frameworks are created to ensure that banned terrorist/extremist organisations do not re-group and restart operations.
We emphasise that both countries should check hate material in all forms and take necessary measures to arrest their circulation;
We recommend that the judicial review of laws to prosecute terrorists should be undertaken for counterterrorism results.
Amb. Aziz Ahmad Khan, former Ambassador and Hon. Vice President, Jinnah Institute
Dr. Asad Sayeed, Senior Academic and Member, Collective for Social Science Research
Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, Author, Columnist and Security Expert
Mr. Syed Babar Ali, Pro Chancellor, Lahore University of Management Sciences & Advisor, Packages Ltd.
Mr. Omar Qureshi, Op-ed editor, Express Tribune
Mr. Raza Ahmad Rumi, Director, Policy and Programs, Jinnah Institute
Amb. Shahid Malik, Former Pakistan High Commissioner to India
Mr. Salman Zaidi, Deputy Director, Jinnah Institute
Prof. Amitabh Mattoo, Director, Australia India Institute & Professor, International Relations, University of Melbourne
Mr. Bharat Bhushan, Senior Journalist & founding Editor, Mail Today
Mr. D. Sivanandan, former Police Commissioner of Mumbai
Mr. Junaid Mattu, Srinagar Head, Jammu & Kashmir People’s Conference & leading columnist
Mr. Kiran Karnik, Former Chairman, NASSCOM, Member, National Innovation Council
Ms. Mala Vazirani, Executive Director, Transasia Bio-medicals Ltd.
Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath, Principal, Lady Shriram College & Founder and Honorary Director of WISCOMP (Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace)
Mr. Prem Shankar Jha, Senior Journalist & Author
Mr. Pradeep Sehgal, CEO, Sinochem Impex
Mr. Rajmohan Gandhi, senior academic, author, historian and former Member of Parliament
Mr. Salman Haidar, Former Foreign Secretary of India
Mr. Siddharth Bhatia, Senior Journalist, author and commentator on current affairs
Mr. Shujaat Bukhari, Editor-in-Chief, Rising Kashmir
Ms. Suhasini Haidar, Deputy Foreign Editor & prime-time anchor, CNN-IBN
Mr. Suresh Vazirani, Chairman & Managing Director, Transasia Bio-medicals Ltd., & Chairman, Erba Group of Companies
Mr. Salman Soz, working for social, economic and political reforms in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities, Government of India
Mr. Wilson John, Vice President and Research Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi
Ms. Sushobha Barve, Executive Director, Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation