The tense relations between India and Pakistan severely impact the life and livelihood of the fishing communities in both countries. The depiction of arrested fishermen by the other country gives a sad picture. The following details and analysis are only of Indian fishermen arrested by Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency (MSA) in the Pakistani waters. The details of Pakistani fishermen arrested by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) are not made available by the Indian Government. But, the scenario is not different from what Indian fishermen face.
As on today (13th Feb 2020), 207 Indian fishermen are in the custody of Pakistan and 99 Pakistani fishermen in Indian custody. Pakistan has given Consular Access (CA) to Indian High Commission officials in case of 107 Indian fishermen. Pakistan must provide CA to 100 more, also since most of the Indian fishermen have completed their sentences.
Shockingly, out of 107, India could confirm nationality of only 29 fishermen. Ideally Pakistan should have released them by now. At the same time, India need to confirm the nationalities of all those arrested fishermen. The delay in confirming nationalities hurt the arrested fishermen and their families, which are waiting for their return. Not confirming nationality even after 2-3 years is inhuman, to say the least. The cases of Venod Mirji, Sunee lPiyaray Lal, Rajo Vinod, Bachi Lal Ram Sehwak, Babu Piyaray Lal and others are shocking. Venod’s sentence got over in 23.05.2017 and he was given CA on August 2017 but still his nationality is not confirmed. Similarly, Suneel’s sentence was over on 21.02.2018 and was provided CA in December 2018; Rajo was provided CA in December 2017 and his sentence got over on 21.02.2018; Bachi was given CA in December 2017 and his sentence got over on 21.02.2018 and same thing with another fish worker by the name Babu.
The bilateral Agreement on Consular Access signed on May 21 2008 categorically says, "Each Government shall provide consular access within three months to nationals of one country, under arrest, detention or imprisonment in the other country." It further says, "Both Governments agree to release and repatriate persons within one month of confirmation of their national status and completion of sentences."
The fact is both governments are not implementing the agreement in letter and spirit. The experience shows that in most cases both India and Pakistan are not providing CA within the three months of arrest. Also they are not releasing and repatriating persons within one month of completion of sentences and confirmation of national status.
1) Both countries implement the agreement of 2008 in letter and spirit and also they must confirm the nationality of their arrested citizen within a period of three months of consular access. In a world of information technology, confirming nationality of arrested persons within a period of three months is not difficult
2) Pakistan must reciprocate the Indian Govt. in appointing the respective members of the Joint Judicial Committee on prisoners (the mechanism was instituted in 2007 but has been made defunct since October 2013).
Jatin Desai (Convener Sub-Committee, Fishers Release issue, PIPFPD India) +91-9869077718
Vijayan MJ (General Secretary, PIPFPD India) +91-9868165471
PIPFPD appeals to both India and Pakistan to immediately stop ceasefire violations
The ceasefire violations and firing taking place on the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir is a matter of grave concern. India and Pakistan are blaming each other for ceasefire violations and cross border firing that began on the night of Wednesday (October 1st) and is continuing till date.
According to reports published in Indian and Pakistani news papers, more than 18 civilians have been killed and about 60 persons have been injured – in this recent spate of ceasefire violations. While India claims that Pakistani troops violated ceasefire in the Poonch sector on October 1st, Pakistani side claims that on Sunday October 5, the Indian troops violated the Line of Control (loC) ceasefire and resorted to unprovoked firing in Jandroot Sector near Kotli. The Indian side alleged that Pakistani forces shelled the village of Arnia about three kms from the border on 6th. The violence has engulfed almost the entire Line of Control (LoC) from Krishna Ghati (KG) sector to Mankote, Balakote, Keriand even Bhimber Gali (BG). With Pakistani and Indian troops resorting to weapons fire and mortar shelling, thousands of villagers have been displaced.
Far away from the international border the waters of the Indian Ocean and the fishing activity their have been severely impacted by the increased number of orchestrated arrest of fishermen by India and Pakistan. In last one week Pakistan has caught 22 Indian boats and arrested around 125 Indian fishermen. Indian authorities have also arrested six Pakistani fishermen and one boat. This goes on to prove that the tension on the border is directly impacting fishing communities of both the countries.
With elections round the corner in key Indian states including J&K; and the domestic turmoil in Pakistan, ‘border nationalism’ is being resorted to by both nations. The wars and military actions have yielded nothing but death, destruction and misery for the people of divided Jammu and Kashmir.
The experience shows that the dispute will not be resolved through use of military means and can only be resolved through political dialogue based on mutual trust.
We appeal to both India and Pakistan to urgently stop ceasefire violations and implement ceasefire agreement in letter and spirit.
We urge immediate restoration of “flag meetings” and contacts between the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of India and Pakistan.
We call upon the governments of India and Pakistan to allow the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play an active role in monitoring the ceasefire. UNMOGIP is meant to supervise ceasefire line established under Karachi Agreement in 1949. Joint monitoring of the border is the best option in the prevailing situation. It is required at this point that a team of UNMOGIP brings out a status report after visiting affected areas on both sides of the border.
A team of senior reporters on both sides must hold visits to the border villages and help bring normalcy to the situation. We urge the media and journalists, reporting in India and Pakistan, to withhold from the one-sided reporting and trading of allegations.
We believe restoration of dialogue and peace talks at the highest level alone can bring back normalcy and peace to the thousands of suffering people, living in border areas and also the fisherpeople who have been a casualty to this increased hostility.
For further details contact: 09869077718, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pakistan Chapter HQ: 11, Temple Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Kashmir Flood Relief & Rehabilitation Initiative
(PAKISTAN INDIA PEOPLES’ FORUM FOR PEACE & DEMOCRACY – INDIA)
C/o: F-10/12, (Basement), Malviya Nagar, New Delhi
Contacts: 09811081240, 09818407882, 011-2671556 Website: www.pipfpd.org Email: email@example.com
friends and well-wishers of PIPFPD,
The Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace & Democracy is joined by many concerned people – comprising doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers, social workers, activists and students from across India and the affected areas of Jammu & Kashmir – in writing this appeal letter.
We have been watching with increasing concern and dismay the fast deteriorating situation in the ground – on both sides of the international border, especially in the Kashmir valley and the hill terrains of Jammu region. We understand that the scale of devastation is unprecedented and the armed forces are doing their best. However, we strongly believe that much more needs to be done that too on an urgent basis.
Towards this, as part of PIPFPD’s intervention, we have initiated a coordination effort between groups and individuals to see to it that the devastated people of J&K; get additional support, rescue and relief. This, we believe, will strengthen and reinforce the support extended by the state and central government agencies – including defence forces.
Relief and Rescue operations are still underway and is yet to reach far too many people in need. Our phone lines and information channels have been inundated by SOS calls and messages seeking basic assistance for water, food, and medicines. The calls and messages are coming from people in relief camps as well as from those still stranded on rooftops and upper floors of buildings and from hospitals.
We are repeatedly told that while all relief material is being collected at Jammu and Srinagar, the distribution of the same is too slow and inadequate. The death toll is rising by the minute. The spectre of epidemics looms large. Instances of the outbreak of some infections are being reported, pointing towards more disasters in the waiting. The carcasses of dead animals and no outlet for sewage in waterlogged areas is further compounding the situation.
On behalf of the collective of groups and citizens, we appeal to you to kindly contribute generously to the cause of the affected people of Jammu & Kashmir and stand in solidarity with them in this hour of great crisis. We are working in tandem with the young Kashmiri volunteers (http://jkfloodrelief.org/ and Kashmiri Volunteers in Delhi: Flood relief Facebook page ), who have done a fantastic job in both rescue operations and ferrying relief materials:
a) Monetary contributions: Many organisations and individuals are collecting aid and relief materials along with cash. PIPFPD does not intend to overlap such efforts, but feel strongly that there is a great potential in using the last 2 decades of our public credibility, to seek support for the people of J&K; at this stage, like what we did during the J&K; Earthquake time in 2005. We are receiving contributions and donations in this regard in the account of ‘Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace & Democracy’, payable at Delhi. You can make your Cheques or Demand Drafts and send across to our Delhi office address: c/o F-10/12, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi – 110017. If you want to wire money, please do call for further information on the numbers given below.
b) We need more life saving boats/rafts with relief materials, food, water, water filters, solar lights and medicines to the affected areas. If you have any access to such, or can make them available within a short time, do contact us. Kindly keep in mind that packed food (including bread & jam kind of common handy food) is the best way we can send across.
c) Medicines are in great demand (both first-aid related and other common medicines); allopathic or any other medical stream, with necessary clear instructions. The situation in Srinagar and Kashmir valley is such that doctors are struggling to save people’s lives, due to complete shortage of medicines. If you can contribute i towards this, kindly let us know.
d) Clothes (only new ones), blankets and Tarpolins are the other major category of things required. As water recedes, we will also require mosquito repellent creams, cooking and serving vessels and other such things that can help people deal with the new scenario.
We also appeal to you to kindly write and appeal through media to your respective state government to extend as much help as possible to the state government of J&K; in this crisis.
We can organise or get help to reach your stuff free of cost from any airport in the country to Srinagar by air. Kindly do let us know in the contact numbers provided or by email.
We feel it is important to take international community’s help and support on the face of such a mammoth disaster. It is also important that we pressurise the Indian Government to raise the concerns in all international media and forums, immediately. While security concerns and risks can be raised as objections to deal with the flood situation in J&K; – in comparison to other regions, it is important to realise that these concerns cannot be over and above the lives of our citizens and their right to rescue, relief and rehabilitation by the state. We also feel that it is important that we work in a consistent way committed to working on this in the long run and extend rehabilitation support once the relief operations are concluded like we always have.
We appeal to all of you to do your best to save the lives, property and dignity of the people affected by the worst ever floods in living memory in Kashmir region.
Contacts (Mobiles): 09419188389, 09869077718, 09582862682 . Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pakistan Chapter HQ: 11, Temple Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Kashmir Flood Relief & Rehabilitation Initiative (PAKISTAN INDIA PEOPLES’ FORUM FOR PEACE & DEMOCRACY- INDIA)
C/o: F-10/12, (Basement), Malviya Nagar, New Delhi
Contacts: 09811081240, 09818407882, 011-26687725 Website:www.pipfpd.org Email: email@example.com
We have been watching with increasing concern and dismay the fast deteriorating situation on the ground – on both sides of the border, especially in the Kashmir valley and the hilly terrains of the Jammu region. The scale of devastation is unprecedented though the armed forces are doing their best. We strongly believe that much more needs to be done on an urgent basis.
As part of the Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy’s [PIPFPD] intervention, we have initiated a coordination effort between groups and individuals to see to it that the people of J&K; get additional support, rescue and relief. This, we believe, will strengthen and reinforce the support extended by the State and Central Government agencies.
Relief and Rescue operations are still underway and are yet to reach far too many people in need. Our phone lines and information channels have been inundated by SOS calls and messages seeking basic assistance for water, food, and medicines, from people in relief camps as well as from those still stranded on rooftops, upper floors of buildings and from hospitals.
We are repeatedly being informed, that while all relief material is being collected at Jammu and Srinagar, the distribution of the same is too slow and inadequate. The death toll is rising every minute. The spectre of disease looms large. Instances of the outbreak of infection are being reported, pointing towards more disasters in the waiting. The carcasses of dead animals and no outlet for sewage in waterlogged areas are further compounding the situation.
The Prime Minister has been urged by the PIPFPD to swiftly act on the following:
We appeal to the people to do their best in order to save the lives, property and dignity of the people affected by the worst ever floods in living memory of the Kashmir region.
For further details contact: 09869077718, firstname.lastname@example.org
Realities of Freedom & Expression-Imprints from Pakistan and India Is what is happening in Pakistan & India because of the spread of fear? Or is it because of connivance?”
This is the most crucial question that we need to pose to the people of Pakistan & India when we talk in the context of freedom of speech and expression.
The Delhi Chapter of Pakistan India Peoples' Forum for Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD) held the State Convention on July 19, 2014 at the Jawaharlal Nehru National Youth Centre, New Delhi. Various future activities of the Forum were planned out along with a review of the Delhi Chapter’s work since the last convention. This was followed by a Public Meeting.
The theme for the Convention’s Public Meeting was ‘Realities of Freedom & Expression-Imprints from Pakistan and India’. The speakers who addressed the public meeting included Comrade B.M Kutty (Veteran Peace Activist and Founder Member PIPFPD), Meena Menon (Deputy Editor, The Hindu), Jawed Naqvi (Senior Journalist, The Dawn), Sumit Chakravarty (Editor, Mainstream), Shivam Vij (Journalist writing extensively on Indo-Pak issues), Jatin Desai (General Secretary, PIPFPD) and Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty (Senior academician and South Asia expert) chaired the public meeting.
A common thread of discussions at the Convention was that there definitely is a need for consistency and continuity in the track II and track III dialogue processes. It was observed that in the aftermath of Ved Pratap Vaidik’s meeting with Hafiz Saeed there is a systematic effort to undermine and negate the importance of track II and track III diplomacy. This is unacceptable since these help in primarily creating a conducive atmosphere for official dialogue. There is a need to understand that there is a difference between people talking and governments talking and that is important when we say that countries are talking. It is essential that people on both sides speak to each other and that has been made possible by public platforms, the journalists clubs, and Trade Unions and others. It is important to recognize these initiatives and not just the flag holding politics that the governments and its diplomatic communities hold.
Highlighting the shrinking space of democracy in both the countries, the recent case of Indian journalists was mentioned. Meena Menon of the Hindu and Snehesh Philip of PTI were told to return from Pakistan, an act for which no reason was given, was seen as disappointing and shocking since the journalists community has for decades been one of the strongest threads that has continued to enhance peace processes between the two countries. It is to be noted that there are no Pakistani journalists in India since last few years. The Forum has demanded that both the governments should immediately take steps to facilitate the journalists coming to each others countries. Also, it is necessary to give them multiple entry and multiple city visa.
Intolerance in both countries has been on the rise and there is a need for the governments to not just talk of peace but engage with the critical issues that the people in both countries are facing. Journalists, lawyers, human rights activists, common people using social media, writers, poets are all voices of the people and attempts at restricting such voices is a reflection of the kind of society we are building. Moreover, attacks on common people, purely because of their belonging to a certain community or attacks on school children wanting an education are undoubtedly the reflections of a repressive society.
Two Months ago in Multan, renowned human rights lawyer Rashid Rehman was brutally murdered. Around the same time, Senior Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir was shot at in Karachi. These are stating just a few of the many incidents where repression and silencing of democratic voices seems to have become the norm. Some of the worst effects of this are also seen on children not being allowed to get an education, especially cases of girl children being attacked.
In India, in the past some time, at least three cases have been filed for criticising the PM on social media. In June this year, a 28 year old Mohsin Mohammad Sadiq Shaikh, was brutally murdered by members of an extremist communal group, Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) in Pune. He was killed on the basis of nothing but his attire and the groups anger over morphed pictures of Shivaji and late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray that had appeared on Facebook. The very night Shaikh was killed, another Muslim, Amin Harun Shaikh, was attacked by the same mob.
Along with all this an attack on freedom of expression is also at the forefront, where a campaign against books like those of Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus; An Alternative History have taken place; Megha Kumar’s Communalism and Sexual Violence: Ahmedabad since 1969 has been withdrawn by the publishers Orient Blackswan. This kind of capitulation before threats and attacks, driven by vested interests has contributed to muzzling of freedom of expression.
Freedom of expression and the space for dissent within a democratic framework are critical and are under threat today. The situation in both the countries is different but with new governments being formed in both, it is important that democratic voices are allowed to echo and strategic political interventions be made.
For further details contact: | Jamal Kidwai - 09810676740 | Bhargavi- 09582452343 | email@example.com.
March 12, 2014
This is not just about cheering for the ‘wrong’ cricket team
The recent case of charges of sedition, spreading enmity and mischief imposed on some students from Kashmir at the Swami Vivekanand Subharti University, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh and their expulsion from this University after they cheered for Pakistan post a cricket match between India and Pakistan on March 2, 2014 has evoked a lot of responses, anger from some, judgements on what the students should have or should not have done and a lot of debate.The students were booked under section 124 A (sedition), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 427 (mischief) of IPC after a complaint by university chancellor. After severe opposition, the UP government dropped the charges of sedition against the students on March 8, 2014 but, the other charges remain and the order by the University administration to expel these students still stands.
However, the one thing it all boils down to is the fact that a bunch of Kashmiri students were not only expelled, attacked and thrown out of their hostel rooms for cheering for Pakistan’s cricket team, but this incident is a reflection of a sense of jingoistic nationalism that is being promoted since years and in this case, students are being made subjects. There is no law that says that it is necessary for one to cheer the official sports team of the ‘motherland’ and hence it is important to understand that this is not just about bad sports persons spirit. Many of the matches between India and Pakistan where India wins, have been times when massive rallies with anti- Pakistan and anti-Muslim slogans have taken place from University areas and in fact, from almost every second locality in various parts of the country, which all go unnoticed. But, is this allowed to go unnoticed because it feeds into the kind of nationalism that this country endorses?
The Indian Constitution needs to be followed by the Indian Government. The students cheered for a cricket team. There is no evidence that shows that they engaged in vandalism, hooliganism, held arms, were a threat, disrupted government functioning. Thus, the case does not stand and instead of going to the root of the problem, looking at the intolerance of the fellow students, the unacceptable action taken by the University authorities and the UP police; different political parties and politicians are trying to score points over one another. Demands for dropping sedition charges came mainly from Mr Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and the Peoples’ Democratic Party but Mr Abdullah on the other hand has said that they should not have cheered for Pakistan, they were ‘misguided’. However, the fact of the matter is that the students have been harassed, attacked, have had to hear taunts in the past, one Kashmiri student was also stabbed earlier and this is the light in which the incident on March 2nd took place.
PIPFPD condemns the action taken by fellow students, the University administration and the Meerut Police.
Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal & Asha Hans
Co-Chairpersons, PIPFPD India Chapter
For further details contact: 09869077718
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 07:29
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