MAY 18-19, 2006

1.1 This Conference envisages the future of Jammu & Kashmir and of the wider South Asian region within the context of non-violent patterns and structures of resolution, and condemns without qualification any use of terrorism as a method of political redressal.

1.2 Isolationism, communal, ethnic or regional exclusionism and ghettoisation militate against the empowerment of their target communities and undermine the future of the people of Jammu & Kashmir, as of the people of the entire South Asian region.

1.3 The growing interdependencies of the modern world are recognized, and the future of Jammu & Kashmir must be envisaged within the economic, social and political imperatives of integration, while recognizing the primacy of and safeguarding the diverse and plural aspects of the identities of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

1.4 The future of Jammu & Kashmir must be defined within the context of a farsighted, just and non-discriminatory order, in harmony with standards of civil, political and social rights, the framework of a constitutional democracy, universal adult franchise and the rule of law, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

1.5 The aspirations of the people cannot be met by a mere political redistribution of power between regional or factional elites, but requires the establishment of clear mechanisms that ensure access to developmental opportunities and safeguarding economic and natural resources for the benefit of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

2.1 Any solution or meaningful perspective on Jammu & Kashmir must accommodate the multiple identities of the State, the significance of every constituent community and sub-region, and the imperatives of an integrative approach to the resolution of conflicts.

2.2 All the communities of the State and those from the State living abroad must be identified and areas where detailed census has not been carried out must come under such a census, so that a correct assessment of demographic distributions can be made.

2.3 The aspirations of the various constituent communities and peoples of Jammu & Kashmir, including Gilgit-Baltistan, must be met within their traditional homelands. No community is to be forcibly evicted, displaced or artificially reduced to a minority through violence or experiments in demographic re-engineering.

2.4 A framework for the protection of cultural identities, based on mutual respect, non-interference, and fullest ideological freedom, should be evolved. Such a framework must be free form the brittle structures of communal, regional and ethnic exclusion, ghettoisation and violent ideological impositions.

2.5 Effective steps should be taken to formally recoginize the identity of people of Jammu & Kashmir living abroad.

3.1 Until a final resolution of the conflict over the status of Jammu and Kashmir is reached, a legislative, constitutional and judicial structure that guarantees the rights of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan should be statutorily enshrined and enforced.

3.2 All political and judicial institutions in the entire State of Jammu & Kashmir should be duly empowered.

3.3 Immediate measures for relief should be adopted for people who have been specifically targeted and displaced through violence in the entire State.

3.4 Education and the future of the children must be put on the highest priority, and education must be conceptualized within the framework of creating skills for employment and absorption into the modern economic sector.

3.5 The imposition of particular sectarian and religious curricula must be brought to an immediate end, as also the systematic inflammation of communal and sectarian passions and violence by State and non-State entities.

3.6 The political and democratic rights, the constitutional guarantees and access to an independent and impartial judiciary must be available to all the people of the State.

3.7 Political prisoners in the State should be released.

3.8 Special economic zones and close working environment with an emphasis on cooperation between different regions should immediately be established without reference to our assumptions relating to the nature of a future and final solution to the multiple crises and conflicts of the region.

3.9 People-to-people contacts must be deepened, going beyond current symbolism and familial contacts, to comprehend meaningful trade and economic cooperation. Trade routes, including the Leh-Tibet, the Kargil Skardu, Noshera-Kotli, Jammu-Sialkot routes, should be opened and fullest opportunities for the interaction of families and people provided.

3.10 Employment and opportunities in all sectors should be nondiscriminatory and must not be provided or denied on the basis of religion, sect, ethnicity, region, or political opinions.

3.11 The rights and privileges granted under the State Subject Rule should be restored immediately to the people of Gilgit Baltistan.

3.12 The Government of India should provide openings in higher professional and technical education institutions to deserving students from Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan Administered Kashmir, who are denied necessary facilities for such education.

3.13 The people of affected areas in the entire State must be taken into confidence before major developmental projects, including dams, are planned, executed or modified.

4.1 As a prelude to a settlement of the Kashmir dispute, we propose the rejection of violence, a recognition of the instrument of dialogue as the only acceptable means of settling disputes, acceptance of the plural and composite character of our society and the responsibilities incumbent upon the two sovereign states of India and Pakistan to assure the best interests of the people as enshrined in their respective constitutions, bilateral agreements with each other and bilateral agreements with the people and other commitments in this regard for the just and equitable solution of the dispute.

4.2 Recognising the best interests of the people, both India and Pakistan should accord due primacy to the welfare and development of the people in their respective territories while dealing with the natural resources embedded in these disputed territories.

4.3 Recognizing the plural character of the State, due and equitable regard should be accorded to all communities, political persuasions and the Jammu & Kashmir Diaspora, in all future processes of resolution.

4.4 Till a final settlement is reached both India and Pakistan are urged upon to honour the common responsibilities to preserve life, rehabilitate dislocated people and accept obligations to utilize and develop the resources of the State for the benefit of the people of the State, and without prejudice to the title of the people of the State.

4.5 Both India and Pakistan are urged upon to respect and guarantee the full regime of civil and political rights of the people.

Dr.Shabir Choudhury
Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri
Zafar Manhas
Nazir-Ul-Haq Nazish
Prof. M.A.R.K.Khaleeque
Pintoo S. Narboo
Sardar Ishtiaq Hussain
Sabir Kashmiri
Mumtaz Khan
Mohd. Nasim Akhtar
Fazal Mahmood Baig
Arif Shahid
Mirza Wajahat Hussain
Haji Gandal Shah
Rasheed Shaheen
Farooq Khan Niazi
Shafqat Ali Inqalabi
Muzaffar Ali Relay
Hashim Qureshi
Dr. Agnisekhar
Ejaz Nazir
Abbas Butt
Manzoor Hussain Parwana
Ashghar Karbalaie
Dr.Syed Nazir Gilani
Adalat Ali
M.Yusuf Tarigami
Choudhury Talib Hussain