Islamabad Dialogue II Joint Resolution

Islamabad Dialogue II Joint Resolution

3-4th June, 2012: Key opinion makers from India and Pakistan, including former diplomats, policy experts and practitioners, mediapersons and academics met for the second round of Islamabad Dialogue from 3-4thJune, 2012, organized by Jinnah Institute and Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation.
The Islamabad Dialogue is an Indo-Pak Track-II initiative that brings together stakeholders from both sides to discuss bilateral issues of strategic security, conflict mitigation, emerging non-security threats, opportunities for cooperation and peacebuilding through non-traditional initiatives and economic integration.

(To see podcasts of the conference participants, please see weblink)

Participants of the Islamabad Dialogue II issued the following Joint Statement:

Joint Resolution

Islamabad Dialogue II


Reviewing the Indo-Pak Peace Process

We hold that this is a watershed moment for the bilateral relationship and it is vital that both governments use this opportunity to further enhance and deepen bilateral cooperation;
We appreciate that both governments have demonstrated statesmanship in their willingness to move forward on resolving all issues;
We hope that the upcoming Secretary level meetings on Siachen will result in demilitarization of the glacier and enable the creation of a “˜Peace and Ecology Park’. Similarly, it is hoped that the forthcoming meeting on Sir Creek will lead to aresolution of the issue;
We hold that the imminent withdrawal of ISAF and NATO forces from Afghanistan provides an opportunity for Pakistan and India to cooperate towards establishing durable peace in the country. The effectiveness of people oriented development projects undertaken by both Pakistan and India in Afghanistancan be greatly enhanced through cooperation and consultation;
As India and Pakistan have a shared interest in combating terrorism, there is a need for more frequent and in depth sharing of information and intelligence between both countries; increased qualitative investment in training and capacity-building of law enforcement agencies; laws and measures to protect witnesses and human rights in general; elimination of sources of hate literature and material that promotes violent extremism; initiatives to deweaponize civilian populations.
Opportunities and Challenges in Economic Integration

We support the initiative taken by both countries to remove NTBs, with India taking the lead. We recommend that India should continue to remove all NTBs as soon as possible and Pakistan should reciprocate by implementing the MFN in letter and spirit, including putting in place a reasonable negative list;
We hope that trade liberalisation would be the precursor to a broader economic relationship between the two countries, spanning investment, trade in services and exchange of skilled professionals. We recommend that a business friendly legal framework be created that facilitates trade and the broader economic relationship. Mutually recognized chambers of Commerce and Industry should take the lead in designing such a framework, especially for cases of dispute resolution where primacy is given to mediation over arbitration;
We recommend that appropriate institutions be strengthened to address the concerns of the SMEs in Pakistan (especially the light engineering sector) that may be adversely affected in the short run by cheaper Indian imports under a liberalised trade regime. However, we see the trade liberalization as a market enlarging opportunity for most SMEs in India and Pakistan, where Pakistani SMEs stand to benefit as buyers of Indian raw material and machinery;
We welcome signing of the Redressal of Trade Grievances Agreement, Mutual Recognition Agreement and Customs Cooperation Agreement. However anomalies still remain such as Reserve Bank of India’s blacklisting of Pakistani companies that prevents Indian FDI (including portfolio investment) from coming to Pakistan. We urge that these be redressed at the earliest;
We appreciate the decision to trade oil, petroleum products and LNG, as well as the decision to construct the Bhatinda-Lahore pipeline;
We recommend that all 12 border crossing points that were utilized for bilateral trade in the early years after 1947 should be re-opened. Furthermore, the Integrated Check Posts (ICPs), such as the one at Wagah, be set up, ultimately, at all 12 border crossings. We recommend that the current air connectivity must be improved with more frequent flights to more destinations in both countries and the Karachi-Mumbai direct shipping route should be restarted;
Priority must be given to the liberalisation of the business visa regime in order to meet the upsurge in bilateral trade. We propose that one-year multi-city multiple entry visas be issued to the business community. Consulates in Mumbai, Karachi and Lahore should be reopened and additional ones at Jaipur and Hyderabad be set up to accommodate the expected large volume of business and recreational travel. Labour movement facilitation should become part of trade facilitation process between India and Pakistan;
We recommend that cellular phone connectivity between both countries should be improved and roaming facilities should also be initiated;
We recommend that banking restrictions be lifted and that Indian and Pakistani banks be allowed to open branches in each others’ countries. We support moves towards an integrated capital market in SAARC.
Water Security and Scarcity

We recognize that water is a major issue of concern to both India and Pakistan and this calls for concerted study and action;
We recommend that that the Indus Water Treaty should be operated in a spirit of constructive cooperation, as it is a useful and necessary instrument;
We recommend that appropriate academic and research institutions in the two countries should undertake joint studies to:
establish whether there are reduced flows in the Western Rivers and identify the factors behind them;
study the cumulative impact, if any, of a large number of Indian run-of-the-river projects on the Western Rivers; and
ascertain the ecological flows required in the Eastern Rivers
4. We urge collaboration between institutions conducting the aforementioned research and government agencies.
Best Practices in Healthcare

1. We propose that a unified healthcare cooperation agency be established on both sides of the border that should include members from the home, external affairs and health authorities. This agency in each country will facilitate cross border healthcare in the following areas:

Healthcare delivery for patients who need cross border reference and assistance for medical visas;
Training of paramedical staff, technicians, healthcare workers and medical education;
The agency website will provide information about treatment opportunities and procedures as well as information about the cost of treatment in hospitals (registered and approved by the agency) that meet international standards.
We hold that knowledge sharing through exchange visits, electronic seminars, tele-medicine and mobile e-health systems should be promoted;
We support measures that will lead to institutional collaboration for capacity building by creating partnerships between colleges and training institutes;
We recommend that healthcare professionals on both the sides should identify additional areas of collaboration, including engagement between the pharmaceutical and medical equipment industry;
We propose that more private sector involvement be garnered in setting up highly specialized centres in organ transplants.

We urge that CBMs relating to cross-LoC travel and trade are not selectively applied to “divided families”. The CBMs have been misinterpreted in this regard and this has hurt the basic objective of this facility which envisaged greater interaction among people of the undivided state. The concerned authorities on both sides must iron out differences in interpretation to fulfill the objective of promoting people-to-people contact and improving dialogue and interaction among various segments of society. Furthermore, there is need to streamline and simplify the process for applying for cross- LoC travel;
While recognizing the visible improvement on ground in Jammu and Kashmir, we emphasise the need to address issues of civil liberties and human rights. Systemic apparatuses for accountability and dispensation of justice have not been functioning up to the desired level. We urge that accountability must prevail over the existing tendency towards impunity;
We recommend that the process of dialogue and interaction on bothsides of the LoC needs to be promoted by all concerned to bridge differences. We hold that such differences can be can only be reconciled through vigorous and continuous interaction;
We find that participation and involvement of youth can go a long way in building a durable basis of mutual understanding between different segments of society, on both sides of the LoC. Possibilities of formulating exchange programmes in the fields of education, sports, health and culture would be of immense value to strengthen goodwill. Other segments of civil society also need to be encouraged towards this objective.

Pakistani Delegation

Aziz Ahmad Khan (Honourary Vice President, Jinnah Institute)

Javed Jabbar (former Senator and Federal Minister)

Khalid Mohtadullah (Country Director, Pakistan IWMI)

Ijaz Nabi (Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Law, LUMS)

Sardar Khalid Ibrahim (former parliamentarian AJ&K, President JKPP)

Dr. Sania Nishtar (founder Heartfile)

Zaigham Habib (water expert)

Majyd Aziz (President MHG Group of Companies, former President, KCCI)

Naeem-ud-Din Mian (CEO, Contech International)

Muhammad Latif (Director, Centre for Excellence in Water Resources Engineering)

Sardar Attique Ahmed (former Prime Minister AJ&K)

Raja Zulqarnain Haider (former President AJ&K)

Raza Rumi (Director Policy and Programs, Jinnah Institute)

Indian Delegation

Sushobha Barve (Executive Director, Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation)

Salman Haider (former Foreign Secretary)

Prem Shankar Jha (renowned author and columnist)

Ramaswamy Iyer (former Secretary Water Resources, water expert)

Dr. Rajan Sethuratnam (Director Cardiac Surgery, Madras Medical Mission)

Jyoti Malhotra (Consulting Editor, Business Standards)

SiddharthVaradarajan (Editor, The Hindu)

Arunabha Ghosh (CEO, Council on Energy Environment and Water)

Shakil Romshoo (Head of Earth Sciences Department, University of Kashmir)

Rekha Chowdhary (Professor of Political Science, Jammu University)

Mohammad Sayeed Malik (Chief Editorial Consultant, Kashmir Times)

Manvendra Singh (former Member Lok Sabha (BJP))