(Released jointly by the India & Pakistan Chapters of Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and democracy)


17 June 2015


We, the members of Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy appreciate the welcoming news from the Prime Minister’s Office regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call with his counterpart Nawaz Sharif to extend his best wishes for Ramzan which starts on 18th of June, 2015. We also welcome the decision by the Indian Prime Minister to release the Pakistani Fishermen from Indian jails to spend the blessed month of Ramzan with their families. While we appreciate these welcoming decisions by the PMO, we strongly feel that these efforts to maintain friendly relations with Pakistan should be consistent and not in fits and starts.


The NDA government, in the past one year has been sending across confusing signs and gestures when it comes to dealing with Indo- Pak relations. While on the one side, we feel happy that a return gesture is finally shown from the Indian side by releasing Pakistani fishermen, we are also worried about the double standards of the Indian government. The recent war of words initiated by the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi himself which was followed by insensitive statements of his colleagues in the cabinet Mr. Manohar Parikkar and Mr. Rajyawardhan Rathore about Pakistan on various occasions are clear indications of these double standards.


This clearly is a portrayal of lack of diplomatic etiquette of the leaders who are issuing such intimidating remarks. These warmongering remarks are not only creating a hostile situation, it is also encouraging a culture of hatred and hegemonic depictions of masculinity implied by the increase of the military budget and strength & by highlighting each other’s weapon stockpile.


Some of the best lessons learnt from wars across the world are about how best to avoid them in future and opt for peace instead. We urge the leaders of both countries to immediately cease and desist making jingoistic comments. And, to walk the real talk on building peaceful, friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries and not alternating it with bellicose rhetoric.


Asha Hans, Anuradha Bhasin, Jatin Desai, Tapan Bose, Sumit Chakravarty, Manoranjan Mohanty & others – on behalf of the India Chapter


Dr Mubashir Hasan, Khawaja M. Waseem, Anis Haroon, Asad Iqbal Butt, and I. A. Rehman – on behalf of the Pakistan Chapter


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