We the following signatories from West Bengal are deeply concerned about the escalating tension between the two neighbouring countries, India and Pakistan, and the jingoism in support of armed conflict as the method to resolve this tension.
The recent civil unrest in the Kashmir Valley has cost nearly 100 lives, even more are injured and those blinded by pellets include children. Yet the leaderships of the two countries have used the tragedy as a political weapon to berate each other in the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. The attempt is to completely deny the legitimacy of the struggle of the Kashmiri people for cultural, linguistic, and social identity and self-rule.
As a result of armed attacks across the international borders, and irresponsible threat of nuclear reprisal, a war-like situation has been drummed up. This has deeply vitiated the atmosphere in the region leading to the cancellation of the SAARC summit. Evacuation orders, forcing villagers to flee their homes in border villages, have already resulted in the displacement of over 5 lakh people in India alone, causing immense hardship; land mines are now being laid out here, destabilising the border region. The Indian government’s threat to scrap the Indus Water Treaty is a gross violation of the rights of the lower riparian state and its cancellation will create a massive humanitarian disaster, affecting innocent civilians and leading to the collapse of agriculture and supply of drinking water in several parts of Pakistan.
We appeal to the governments of India and Pakistan to emulate the spirit of the grieving father, Onkar Nath Dalui. On hearing the news of the “surgical counter-strikes” after the death of his son, Gangadhar Dalui, a soldier from West Bengal killed in the attack on the Indian armed forces camp at Uri, he said that though his son is dead, he fervently hopes more loss of life will be averted through reconciliation and peace between the two countries. Wars are not known to resolve any issue, they only result in further devastation and misery for ordinary people. We urge the leadership of the two countries to renew the process of dialogue as there is no alternative to normalise the situation. Let us as citizens of the two countries raise our voices for peace so that future generations can enjoy freedom from the sub human levels of poverty, ill health and unemployment inflicting South Asia. Let us also resolve that if Kashmir is the cause of tension in the region, we will all shun war and carry forward on the path of dialogue involving the people of Kashmir for lasting peace.
1. Ranabir Samaddar, Vice-President, Pakistan India Forum for Peace & Democracy(PIPFPD), W. Bengal and Chair Professor, Calcutta Research Group.2. Sushil Khanna, Vice-President, PIPFPD W.B. & Former Professor, Indian Institute ofManagement Calcutta3. Prabir Sinharoy, Secretary, PIPFPD W.B.4. Rajashri Dasgupta, PIPFPD W.B. & Journalist5. Uttam Kr. Ray, PIPFPD W.B. & Advocate, Kolkata High Court6. Krishna Bandyopadhyay, PIPFPD W.B., Activist and Writer7. Amit Chakraborty, PIPFPD W.B.8. Nilanjan Dutta, PIPFPD W.B. & Activist9. Dr. Gita Chatterjee, PIPFPD W.B. & Medical Practitioner10. Kavita Panjabi, PIPFPD W.B. & Professor, Jadavpur University11. Salil Biswas, PIPFPD, W.B. & Author12. Subhashis Chatterjee, PIPFPD W.B.13. Dipankar Roy, PIPFPD, W.B.14. Swapan Sarkar, PIPFPD, W.B.15. Bharatjyoti Roy Choudhury, PIPFPD, W.B. & Writer16. Pulak Chanda, PIPFPD, W.B. & Writer & Editor17. Raktim Ganguly, PIPFPD, W.B.18. Vidyanand Jha, PIPFPD W.B. & Professor, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta19. Partha Chatterjee, Honorary Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta20. Amiya Dev, Former Professor of Jadavpur University & Former Vice-Chancellor ofVidyasagar University21. Amiya Bagchi, Emeritus Professor, Institute of Development Studies Kolkata andAdjunct Professor, Monash University22. Subhendu Dasgupta, Former Professor, Calcutta University23. Keya Dasgupta, Former Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata24. Sibaji Bandyopadhyay, Former Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata25. Aniruddha Deb, Consultant Psychiatrist26. Antara Dev Sen, Editor, The Little Magazine27. Santosh Rana, Writer, Activist28. Dipak Piplai, Social Researcher29. Anuradha Kapoor, Director Swayam30. Samudra Dutta, Editor, Sramajeebee Bhasa Patrika31. Anchita Ghatak, Secretary, Parichiti- A Society for Empowerment of Women32. Madhura Chakraborty, Researcher and Activist, Video Volunteers33. Aditi Roy Ghatak, Journalist34. Moinak Biswas, Professor, Jadavpur University35. Nilanjana Gupta, Professor, Jadavpur University36. Mallarika Sinha Roy, Asst. Professor, JNU37. Baidik Bhattacharya, Asst. Professor, University of Delhi38. Samita Sen, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University39. Soma Roy Karmakar40. Trina Banerjee, Asst Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata41. Samantak Das, Professor, Jadavpur University42. Parthasarathi Bhaumik, Asst.Professor, Jadavpur University43. Abhijit Roy, Professor, Jadavpur University44. Kalyani Chaudhuri, Former IAS Officer45. Sarmistha Dutta Gupta, independent researcher, writer and hon. secretary Ebong Alap46. Sanjib Mukhopadhyay, PIPFPD, WB & Medical Practitioner, Kolkata47. Mritiunjoy Mohanty, Professor Indian Institute of Management Calcutta48. Kirity Roy, director MASUM and PACTI49. Dolon Ganguly, Azad Foundation50. Madhuchhanda Karlekar, Founder- member of Sachetana, Women’s advocacy group51. Ratnabili Ray, Anjali52. Sipra Mukherjee, Professor, department of English, WB State University53. Nisha Biswas, Activist, Women Against Sexual Violence54. Ruchira Goswami, National University of Juridical Sciences and Nari Nirjatan PratirodhMancha55. Shampa Sengupta, Disability & Gender Rights Activist, Kolkat56. Sutanuka Ghosh, Assistant Professor, Jadavpur University.57. Srabani Sarkar Neogi, South Kolkata Hamari Muskan58. Sudeshna Banerjee, Independent Researcher, editor and publisher59. Rimple Mehta, Assistant Professor, school of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University60. Anuradha Bose PhD retd. Academic61. Debolina Dasgupta. Teacher (retd)62. Achin Chakraborty, Director, Institute of Development Studies Kolkata63. Saswati Ghosh, WSS, West Bengal64. Meher Engineer, Independent Scientist and Education Worker65. Biswajit Roy, Journalist66. Soma Marik, Associate Professor, RKSM Vivekananda Vidyabhavan67. Kunal Chattopadhyay, Professor, Jadavpur University68. Amitadyuti Kumar, Rights Activist69. Manas Bhattacharya, formerly of The Telegraph70. Mandira Sen, Director, Stree Samya71. Sujato Bhadra, Rights Activist72. Sabyasachi Deb, Poet73. Ishita Chakraborty, Assoc. Professor, Vidyasagar College & Writer74. Sitangsu Sekhar, Activist75. Sangram Banerjee, Activist76. Partha Banerjee, Activist77. Pranab Nayak, Editor-Ikshan78. Pritha Chatterjee, Singer & Activist79. Nirmalya Banerjee, Film Director80. Bolan Gangopadhyaya, Writer & Activist81. Promod Gupta, Documentary Film Director82. Prasip Das, Researcher83. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, Former Professor, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta84. Suleiman Khurshid, President, PIPFPD, WB ChapterIssued by Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD), West Bengal Chapter. Ccontact: Prabir Sinha Roy, Secretary, Phone: 983112338