JAMMU, Dec 16: The three-day cross-LoC civil society dialogue concluded today with the participants adopting 11-point resolution and seeking enhancement of movement of people, goods and services across the Line of Control.
Around 60 civil society members from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Jammu and Kashmir participated in the intense deliberations spread over three days. The participants unanimously adopted 11-point resolution during the concluding season of the dialogue which was organised by Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation.
Laying stress on the enhancement of movement of people, goods and services across the LoC, the participants said, “this is imperative for enhancing people to people contact and both the sides should arrive at decision in this regard at the earliest”.
They also demanded opening of Skardu-Kargil, Turtuk-Khaplu, Jhangar-Kotli, Jorian-Bimber and other traditional routes. “The cultural exchanges through joint literary events should be encouraged with special cross-LoC permit for artists, writers, students, and researchers. Moreover, visits to heritage sites should also be allowed”, they said, adding “exchange of books, magazines and newspapers at LoC should also be facilitated”.
Welcoming the forward movement in the ongoing India-Pakistan dialogue, the resolution said, “The political resolution of the Kashmir issue remains central to this process and should be addressed in a time-bound manner”. The participants, while welcoming the liberalised visa regime between the two countries, demanded that the same should be extended to the State subjects of Jammu and Kashmir.
“There are three principal stakeholders of the process— India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu-Kashmir on both sides of the LoC. The divergence in political opinion in Jammu and Kashmir can be overcome through consensus-building and this should be encouraged and made a priority”, they stressed.
The participants also demanded rehabilitation of all displaced people with special focus on those, who were forced to move after 1989. “We also urge the Governments to uphold the sanctity of human rights, civil liberties and tolerance for political dissent and also to ensure speedy justice for victims of human rights violations”, they added.
They also urged the Governments of India and Pakistan to lift the ban on television channels on either side of LoC and restoration of tele-communication channels.
Meanwhile, Minister for Consumers Affairs and Public Distribution (CA&PD) and Transport, Qamar Ali Akhoon asked the leadership of India and Pakistan to take the ongoing process of dialogue and reconciliation to its logical end so that all the issues are resolved amicably.
Interacting with a group of members of Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly led by Aamina Ansari accompanied by Anayatullah Khan Shumali, Mr Akhoon said that the people of both sides are yearning for revival of trade and cultural bilateral relations, which will begin an era of peace, development and prosperity in the region.
He also advocated for opening of Kargil-Skardu road on the pattern of Poonch-Chakan-da-Bagh and Uri-Muzaffarabad roads for trade and bilateral relations between the two sides, adding that the public representatives of Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly should pass a resolution in the legislature to impress upon the Pakistan Government to remove restrictions.
Mr Akhoon apprised the group about initiatives taken by him in this regard and said that he has already raised the issue with the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, who has shown positive response. He said that revival of people’s movement across Kargil-Skardu road would bring economic prosperity in Kargil and Leh districts also by way of trade and commerce activities.
MLC Aga Syed Ahmad Rizvi was also present.
Meanwhile, Mirpur Mahajan Sabha, Jammu organized a meeting with the visiting delegation. The dignitaries from the PoK were received by Sanjay Gupta, president of the Sabha, Amar Chand Gupta, Subash Gupta, S P Sharma, Prof B L Kaul, Kailash Chibber and Yashpal Gupta.
An interactive session was also organized on the occasion.