THE Mumbai Press Club (MPC) and the Karachi Press Club (KPC) welcome the process of easing tensions on the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir. It is indeed good news that the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of both India and Pakistan today spoke over the hotline and discussed ways to reduce tension on the LoC and the international border.
The Mumbai and Karachi Press Clubs have for the past 3 years shared sisterly relations, and both the prestigious Clubs have jointly undertaken to help promote peace in the region. We therefore appeal to both the governments to respect the ceasefire agreement of 2003 and implement it in letter and spirit. We have watched with dismay the ceasefire violations and subsequent firing leading to the displacement of thousands of civilians living on both the side of the border. The recent ceasefire violations, which began on October 1, 2014, have resulted in the death of more than 25 civilians and injuries to many more.
We sincerely believe that for the progress and development of both the countries, and for South Asia in general, enduring peace between India and Pakistan is necessary. The statements of Nobel peace prize winners Malala Yousufzai and Kailash Satyarthi are a positive step in this direction. There is a no way to move forward but dialogue. There is no issue which cannot be resolved through dialogue.
We appeal to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to meet on the sidelines of South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) summit in the last week of November in Kathmandu to resolve the immediate issues of tension.
We take this opportunity to request both the governments to allow journalists of the other country to work and travel freely in order to encourage the free flow of news and information. Today unfortunately there are no Pakistani journalists in India and Indian journalists in Pakistan. This has been a step back. We urge that free reporting and movement by accredited journalists will help us advance to a better understanding of each other.
Gurbir Singh (Chairman, Mumbai Press Club) and Aamir Latif (Secretary, Karachi Press Club).