Lahore/Mumbai, February 28 (KMS): The members of Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD) while strongly condemning the violation of the Line of Control by India have stressed the governments of India and Pakistan to initiate meaningful dialogue involving Kashmiri leadership from both sides to resolve the Kashmir dispute.

The PIPFPD in a statement released from Lahore and New Delhi said, “We note with seriousness and strongly condemn the Indian air strikes and bombing in settled districts of Pakistan beyond the Line of Control. We demand both governments of Indian & Pakistan to show restraint and avoid any war-like situation. We further demand immediate measures from both sides to de-escalate the situation and de-militarize borders by withdrawing troops to the peace time level.”

PIPFPD, from India and Pakistan expressed shock and pain at the number of human lives lost in the Kashmir valley.

“It is perturbed about the increasing incidents of violence and vindictive action against Kashmiris in particular and Muslims in general by state and non-state actors in India. Ironically, senior members of the Indian government have not shown any meaningful or strong signs of resolve to discourage such violent elements and occurrences.”

“The Forum recognizes that failed policies ….in addressing the Kashmir issue is at the core of the problem. It has led to militarized means being prioritized over political dialogue and resolution. This has led to continuous loss of lives and has created war like situation in both civilians’ areas as well as border areas. A large number of lives have already been lost to this.”

“The Forum believes that Kashmir is not a territorial dispute between the two countries. India and Pakistan must recognise Kashmiri people’s aspirations and must allow Kashmiri people belonging to all ethnic and religious communities and regions to participate in a dialogue to find an honorable and a dignified solution.”

Till that dialogue happens, a ceasefire based peace process must be initiated to prevent future loss of lives.

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