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Declaration of IKA International Conference on Kashmir National Reconciliation held on 13/14 September 2005. We, leaders, political activists, journalists and members of Indian, Pakistani and Kashmiri civil society:


1. Reaffirm our commitment to continue our struggle for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute;


2. Strongly believe that there is no military solution to the Kashmir dispute, and continuation of violence will only result in loss of more innocent lives, suffering and destruction;


3.Unanimously declare that the State of Jammu and Kashmir is one political entity, and its division in any form or shape will not be acceptable;


4. While supporting the peace process strongly emphasise that no single Kashmiri political party or alliance has representative character to speak on behalf of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, hence the peace process must be all inclusive and broad based that all regional and ethnic leadership is represented at the negotiating table;


5.Emphasise that violence from all sides must stop; and urge Government of India and Pakistan to create conducive environment that the peace process could get support of all sections of Jammu and Kashmir;


6. Request authorities to make serious efforts for rehabilitation of those who have been evicted from their homes and properties, and compensation for families that have suffered at the hands of either the militants or the respective government forces; put appropriate safeguards in place that those who were uprooted from their homes because of trouble in Jammu and Kashmir, could return to their homes with dignity;


7.Request Government of Pakistan to respect and honour civil and political rights of people of Gilgit and Baltistan; and until the final settlement of the Kashmir dispute, establish a democratically elected Legislative Assembly in Gilgit and Baltistan that elected members could help local people with everyday social, political and economic problems;


8.Request further from Government of Pakistan to respect State Subject Notification of April 1927, and stop settlement of Pakistani Nationals in Gilgit and Baltistan; and also to stop upraising of illegal Mangla Dam to prevent uprooting of more than hundred thousand Kashmiris;


9. Emphasise to Government of India and Government of Pakistan to take more Kashmir specific confidence building measures, and open all traditional routes that people of Jammu and Kashmir can interact, socialize and trade with each other;


10.Takes note of efforts afoot to disturb territorial integrity of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. In this regard the reports indicate that Government of Pakistan is planning to annex areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, which is in clear breach of its obligations under United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan;


11. Wishes to seek clarification from Organisation of Islamic Conference whether it is supporting Rights Movement of the Kashmiri people or supporting Pakistan’s claim on Kashmir. If the support is for the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people, then the platform of the OIC should not only entertain one political group or party projected and patronized by Pakistan,


12. Call upon all the Kashmiri leaders on both sides of the divide to forget bitterness and hatred of the past, and agree on a common minimum programme for peace, stability and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir and South Asia. This august Conference further:

13. Urges both India and Pakistan governments to stop propaganda, which creates hatred and mistrust;

14. Appreciates the cease-fire along the LOC, and urges to evolve a mechanism for an internal cease-fire in Jammu and Kashmir;


15. Strongly emphasise to open all traditional routes for hassle free travel for all citizens of Jammu and Kashmir that they can interact, socialise and trade with each other. This house further requests that there should be a daily bus service between both parts of the State;


16. Emphasise that all political prisoners who have no criminal records should be released. Also urge both governments to facilitate early return of all those who crossed the LOC for one reason or the other, after 1990;

17. Urge government of India and Pakistan to facilitate Intra Kashmir Dialogue and to create conducive environment wherein people from all regions and shades of opinion could interact with each other;


18. Demands that the governments of Europe, UK, Canada and America to recognise and include their citizens originating from the State of Jammu and Kashmir in their ethnic monitoring and data collection systems as Kashmiris and not as Indians and Pakistanis;

19. Realises that external interference and flow of funds in to Jammu and Kashmir is not conducive to the on going peace process, and request that all concerned exercise restrain

​​United Nations Security Council Resolution of 17 January 1948

Resolution 47 (1948)
On the India-Pakistan question submitted jointly by the Representatives for
Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, the United Kingdom and United States
of America and adopted by the Security Council at its 286th meeting held on
21 April, 1948.
(Document No. 5/726, dated the 21st April, 1948).

THE SECURITY COUNCIL
Having considered the complaint of the Government of India concerning the dispute over the
Stat of Jammu and Kashmir, having heard the representative of India in support of that complaint and the reply and counter complaints of the representative of Pakistan. Being strongly of opinion that the early restoration of peace and order in Jammu and Kashmir is essential and that India and Pakistan should do their utmost to bring about cessation of all fighting. Noting with satisfaction that both India and Pakistan desire that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite, Considering thatthe continuation of the dispute is likely to endanger international peace and security,
Reaffirms its resolution 38 (1948) of 17 January 1948;

Resolves that the membership of the Commission established by its resolution 39 (1948) of 20
January 1948, shall be increased to five and shall include, in addition to the membership mentioned in that Resolution, representatives of... and ..., and that if the membership of the Commission has not been completed within ten days from the date the adoption of this resolution the President of the Council may designate such other Member or Members of the United Nations as are required to
complete the membership of five;

Instructs the Commission to proceed at once to the Indian subcontinent and there place its good offices and mediation at the disposal of the Governments of India and Pakistan with a view to facilitating the taking of the necessary measures, both with respect to the restoration of peace and order and to the holding of a plebiscite by the two (Governments, acting in co-operation with one another and with the Commission, and further instructs the Commission to keep the Council informed of the action taken under the resolution; and, to this end.

Recommends to the Governments of India and Pakistan the following measures as those which in the opinion of the Council and appropriate to bring about a cessation of the lighting and to create proper conditions for a free and impartial plebiscite to decide whether the State of Jammu and Kashmir is to accede to India or Pakistan.

A - RESTORATION OF PEACE AND ORDER

1. The Government of Pakistan should undertake to use its best endeavours: 

(a) To secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purposes of fighting, and to prevent any intrusion into the State of such elements and any furnishing of material aid to those fighting in the State;

(b) To make known to all concerned that the measures indicated in this and the following paragraphs provide full freedom to all subjects of the State, regardless of creed, caste, or party, to express their views and to vote on the question of the accession of the State, and that therefore they should co-operate in the maintenance of peace and order.

2. The Government of India should: 

(a) When it is established to the satisfaction of the Commission set up in accordance with the Council's Resolution 39 (1948) that the tribesmen are withdrawing and that arrangements for the cessation of the fighting have become effective, put into operation in consultation with the Commission a plan for withdrawing their own forces from Jammu and Kashmir and reducing them progressively to the minimum strength required for the support of the civil power in the maintenance of law and order;

(b) Make known that the withdrawal is taking place in stages and announce the completion of each stage; When the Indian forces shall have been reduced to the minimum strength mentioned in (a) above, arrange in consultation with the Commission for the stationing of the remaining forces to be carried out in accordance with the following principles:
(i) That the presence of troops should not afford any intimidation or appearance of
intimidation to the inhabitants of the State;
(ii) That as small a number as possible should be retained in forward areas;
(iii) That any reserve of troops which may be included in the total strength should be located within their present base area.

3. The Government of India should agree that until such time as the plebiscite administration referred to below finds it necessary to exercise the powers of direction and supervision over the State forces
and policy provided for in paragraph 8, they will be held in areas to be agreed upon with the Plebiscite Administrator.

4. After the plan referred to in paragraph 2 (a) above has been put into operation, personnel recruited locally in each district should so far as possible be utilised for the re-establishment and maintenance of law and order with due regard to protection )t minorities, subject to such additional requirements as may be specified by the Plebiscite Administration referred to in paragraph 7.

5. If these local forces should be found to be inadequate, the Commission, subject to the agreement of both the Government of India and the Government of Pakistan, should arrange for the use of such forces of either Dominion as it deems t(effective for the purpose of pacification.

B - PLEBISCITE

6. The Government of India should undertake to ensure that the Government of the State invite the major political groups to designate responsible representatives to share equitably and fully in the conduct of the administration at the ministerial level, while the plebiscite is being prepared and carried out.

7. The Government of India should undertake that there will be established in Jammu and Kashmir a Plebiscite Administration to hold a Plebiscite as soon as possible ()n the question of the accession of the State to India or Pakistan.

8. The Government of India should undertake that there will be delegated by the State to the Plebiscite Administration such powers as the latter considers necessary for holding a fair and impartial plebiscite including, for that purpose only, the direction and supervision of the State forces and police.

9. The Government of India should at the request of the Plebiscite Administration, make available from the Indian forces such assistance as the Plebiscite Administration may require for the performance of its functions.

10. (a) The Government of India should agree that a nominee of the Secretary-General of the United Nations will be appointed to be the Plebiscite Administrator. The Plebiscite Administrator, acting as an officer of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, should have authority to nominate the assistants and other subordinates and to draft regulations governing the Plebiscite. Such nominees should be formally appointed and such draft regulations should be formally promulgated by the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Government of India should undertake that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir will appoint fully qualified persons nominated by the Plebiscite Administrator to act as special magistrates within the State judicial system to hear cases which in the opinion of the Plebiscite Administrator have a serious bearing on the preparation and the conduct of a free and impartial plebiscite. The terms of service of the Administrator should form the subject of a separate negotiation between the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Government of India. The Administrator should fix the terms of service for his assistants and subordinates.

The Administrator should have the right to communicate directly, with the Government of the State and with the Commission of the Security Council and, through the Commission, with the Security Council, with the Governments of India and Pakistan and with their representatives with the Commission. It would be his duty to bring to the notice of any or all of the foregoing (as he in his discretion may decide) any circumstances arising which may tend, in his opinion, to interfere with the freedom of the Plebiscite.

11. The Government of India should undertake to prevent to give full support to the Administrator and his staff in preventing any threat, coercion or intimidation, bribery or other undue influence on the voters in the plebiscite, and the Government of India should publicly announce and should cause the Government of the State to announce this undertaking as an international obligation binding on all public authorities and officials in Jammu and Kashmir.

12. The Government of India should themselves and through the Government of the State declare and make known that all subjects of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, regardless of creed, caste or party, will be safe and free in expressing their views and in voting on the question of the accession of the State and that there will be freedom of the Press, speech and assembly and freedom of travel in the State, including freedom of lawful entry and exit.

13. The Government of India should use and should ensure that the Government of the State also use their best endeavour to effect the withdrawal from the State of all Indian nationals other than those who are normally resident therein or who on or since 15th August 1947 have entered it for a lawful purpose.

14. The Government of India should ensure that the Government of the State releases all political prisoners and take all possible steps so that:
(a) all citizens of the State who have left it on account of disturbances are invited and are free to return to their homes and to exercise their rights as such citizens;
(b) there is no victimisation; minorities in all parts of the State are accorded adequate protection.
15. The Commission of the Security Council should at the end of the plebiscite certify to the Council whether the plebiscite has or has not been really free and impartial.

C - GENERAL PROVISIONS

16. The Governments of India and Pakistan should each be invited to nominate a representative to be attached to the Commission for such assistance as it may require in the performance of its task.

17. The Commission should establish in Jammu and Kashmir such observers as it may require of any of the proceedings in pursuance of the measures indicated in the foregoing paragraphs.

18. The Security Council Commission should carry out the tasks assigned to it herein.

The Security Council voted on this Resolution on 21-41948 with the following result:
In favour: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Syria, U.K. and U.S.A.
Against: None
Abstaining: Belgium, Colombia, Ukrainian S.S.R. and U.​
S.S.R.

Declaration of IKA International Conference on Kashmir National Reconciliation held on 13/14 September 2005 at Belgium(Brussels).

UN Security Council Resolution of January 5,1949.

The United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan;

Having received from the Governments of India and Pakistan, in communications dated 23 December and 25 December 1948, respectively, their acceptance of the following principles which are supplementary to the Commission’s Resolution of 13 August 1948.

1. The question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite.

2. A plebiscite will he held when it shall be found by the Commission that the cease-fire and truce arrangements set forth in Part I and II of the Commission’s Resolution of 13 August 1948, have been carried out and arrangements for the plebiscite have been completed.

3(a). The Secretary-General of the United Nations will in agreement with the Commission, nominate a Plebiscite Administrator who shall be a personality of high international standing and commanding general confidence. He will he formally appointed to office by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.

3(b). The Plebiscite Administrator shall derive from the State of Jammu and Kashmir the powers he considers necessary for organising the freedom and impartiality of the plebiscite.

3(c). The Plebiscite Administrator shall have authority to appoint such staff of assistants and observers as he may require

4(a). After implementation of Parts I and II of the Commission’s Resolution of 13 August 1948, and when the Commission is satisfied that peaceful conditions have been restored in the State, the Commission and the Plebiscite Administrator will determine in consultation with the Government of India the final disposal of Indian and State Armed Forces, such disposal to be with due regard to the security of the State and the freedom of the plebiscite

4(b). As regards the territory referred to in A 2 of Part II of the resolution of 13 August, final disposal of the armed forces in that territory will be determined by the Commission and the Plebiscite Administrator in consultation with the local authorities.

5. All civil and military authorities within the State and the principal political elements of the State will be required to cooperate with the Plebiscite Administrator in the preparation for and the holding of the plebiscite.

6(a). All citizens of the State who have left it on account of the disturbances will be invited and and be free to return and to exercise all their rights as such citizens. For the purpose of facilitating repatriation there shall be appointed two Commissions, one composed of nominees of India and the other of nominees of Pakistan. The Commission shall operate under the direction of the Plebiscite Administrator. The Governments of India and Pakistan and all authorities within the State of Jammu and Kashmir will collaborate with the Plebiscite Administrator in putting this provision into effect.

6(b). All persons (other than citizens of the State) who on or since 16 August 1947 have entered it for other than lawful purposes shall be required to leave the State.

7. All authorities within the State of Jammu and Kashmir will undertake to ensure, in collaboration with the Plebiscite Administrator, that,

(a) There is no threat, or intimidation, bribery or other undue influence on the voters in the plebiscite.

(b) No restrictions are placed on legitimate political activity throughout the State. All subjects of the State regardless of creed, caste or party shall be safe and free in expressing their views in voting on the question of the accession of the State to India and Pakistan. There shall be freedom of travel and exit.

(c) All political prisoners are released.

(d) Minorities in all parts of the State are accorded adequate protection, and

(e) There is no victimization.

8. The Plebiscite Administrator may refer to the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan, problems on which he may require assistance and the Commission may in its discretion call upon the Plebiscite Adminstrator to carry out on its behalf any of the responsibilities with which it has been entrusted.

9. At the conclusion of the plebiscite, the Plebiscite Administrator shall report the result thereof to the Commission and to the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. The Commission shall then certify to the Security Council whether the plebiscite has or has not been free and impartial.

10. Upon signature of the truce agreement, the details of the foregoing proposals will be elaborated in the consultations envisaged in Part III of the Commission’s Resolution of 13 August 1948. The Plebiscite Administrator will he fully associated in these consultations.

Commends the Governments of India and Pakistan for their prompt action in ordering a cease fire to take effect from one minute before midnight of 1 January 1949, pursuant to the agreement arrived at as provided for by the Commission’s Resolution of 13 August 1948, and Resolves to return in the immediate future to the sub- continent to discharge the responsibilities imposed upon it by, the resolution of 13 August 1948 and by the foregoing principles.

Sheikh Abdullah's February 5, 1948, speech in the UN Security Council

Following India’s complaint to the United Nations, the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was discussed extensively by the UN’s General Assembly and Security Council. Participating in these discussions, the then Prime Minister of the State’s emergency government, Sheikh Abdullah made a speech in the Security Council on February 5, 1948, criticizing the Pakistan-sponsored tribal invasion of the State.


Following are excerpts from the statement.

I have heard with patience, attention and respect the statements made by the representatives of Pakistan and members of the Security Council, as well as the statements made on various occasions by the members of my own delegation... I have heard patiently to the debate in the Security Council, but I feel that I am rather confused. After all, what is the point in dispute? The point in dispute is not that the sovereignty of the Prince is in question, as the representative of Pakistan stated yesterday.....

The subject of the dispute before the Security Council is not the maladministration of the Princely State of Kashmir... the dispute revolves around the fact that Kashmir acceded legally and constitutionally to the Dominion of India... the tribesmen across the border have poured into my country. They have been helped and are being helped by the Pakistan Government, with the result that there is the possibility of a greater conflagration between India and Pakistan. But (the representative of Pakistan) completely denied that any support was being given by the Government of Pakistan to either the tribesmen or those who are in revolt within the State against the constituted authority...

But then this simple issue has been confused... Today Pakistan has become the champion of our liberty. I know very well that in 1946, when I raised the cry of "Quit Kashmir," the leader of the Pakistan Government, who is the Governor-General now, Mr.Mohammad Ali Jinnah, opposed my Government, declaring that this movement was a movement of a few renegades and that Muslims as such had nothing to do with the movement.

The Muslim Conference, which has been talked about so much, opposed my movement and declared its loyalty to the Prince. The representative of Pakistan now says that Sheikh Abdullah, once the supporter of "Quit Kashmir," has joined hands with the Maharaja of Kashmir....side..... But the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and its people, kept calm....

Why was that so? It was because I and my organization never believed in the formula that Muslims and Hindus form separate nations. We do not believe in the two-nation theory, nor in communal hatred or communalism itself. We believed that religion had no place in politics. Therefore, when we launched our movement of "Quit Kashmir" it was not only Muslims who suffered, but our Hindu and Sikh comrades as well....

The situation was worsening day by day and the minority in our State was feeling very nervous. As a result tremendous pressure was brought to bear upon the State administration to release me and my colleagues. The situation outside demanded the release of workers of National Conference, along with its leader, and we were accordingly set free.

Immediately we were liberated from the prison we were faced with the important question of whether Kashmir should accede to Pakistan, accede to India, or remain independent... We could not decide this all important issue before achieving our own liberation, and our slogan became "Freedom before accession." Some friends from Pakistan met me in Srinagar. I have a heart-to-heart discussion with them and explained my point of view....

While I was engaged in these conversations and negotiations with friends from Pakistan, I sent one of my colleagues to Lahore, where he met the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr.Liaquat Ali Khan, and other high dignitaries of the West Punjab Government. He placed the same point of view before them and requested that they should allow us time to consider this vital question, first helping us to achieve our liberation instead of forcing us to declare our decision one way or the other. Then, one fine morning while these negotiations were proceeding, I received news that a full-fledged attack had been carried out by the raiders on Muzaffarabad, frontier town in the Kashmir Province....

While the raiders came to our land, massacred thousands of people -- mostly Hindus and Sikhs, but Muslims too -- abducted thousands of girls, Hindu, Sikhs and Muslims alike, looted our property and almost reached the gates of our summer capital, Srinagar, the result was that the civil, military and police administration failed. The Maharaja, in the dead of the night, left the capital along with his courtiers, and the result was absolute panic. There was no one to take over control. In that hour of crisis, the National Conference came forward with 10,000 volunteers and took over the administration of the country. They started guarding the banks, the offices and houses of every person in the capital. This is the manner in which the administration changed hands. We were de facto in charge of the administration. The Maharaja, later on, gave it a legal form....

I was explaining how the dispute arose -- how Pakistan wanted to force this position of slavery upon us. Pakistan had no interest in our liberation or it would not have opposed our freedom movement. Pakistan would have supported us when thousands of my countrymen were behind bars and hundreds were shot to death. The Pakistani leaders and Pakistani papers were heaping abuse upon the people of Kashmir who were suffering these tortures.

Then, suddenly, Pakistan comes before the bar of the world as the champion of liberty of the people of Jammu and Kashmir....

I had thought all along that the world had got rid of Hitlers and Goebbels, but, from what has happened and what is happening in my poor country, I am convinced that they have only transmigrated their souls into Pakistan...

If Pakistan comes forward and says, "We question the legality of the accession," I am prepared to discuss whether or not the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India was legal. However, now they say, "We want a plebiscite; we want to obtain the free and unfettered opinion of the people of Kashmir. There should be no pressure exerted on the people and they should make the free choice as to the State to which they wish to accede."

Not only is this the offer that was made by the people of Kashmir to Pakistan long, long ago, but it is the offer made by Prime Minister of India at a time when, I think, he had not the slightest need for making it, as Kashmir was in distress.

We realized that Pakistan would not allow us any time, that we had either to suffer the fate of our kith and kin of Muzaffarabad, Baramula, Srinagar and other towns and villages, or to seek help from some outside authority.

Under those circumstances, both the Maharaja and the people of Kashmir requested the Government of India to accept our accession. The Government of India could easily have accepted the accession and could have said, "All right, we accept your accession and we shall render this help." There was no necessity for the Prime Minister of India to add the proviso, when accepting the accessiion, that "India does not want to take advantage of the difficult situation in Kashmir. We will accept this accession because, without Kashmir's acceding to the Indian dominion, we are not in a position to render any military help. But once the country is free from the raiders, marauders and looters, this accession will be subject to ratification by the people." That was the offer made by the Prime Minister of India.

That was the same offer which was made by the people of Kashmir to the Government of Pakistan, but it was refused because at that time Pakistan felt that it could, within a week, conquer the entire Jammu and Kashmir State and then place fait accompali before the world, just as happened some time ago in Europe....

After all, we have been discussing the situation in Kashmir. I should say we have been playing the drama of Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark....

The Security Council should not confuse the issue. The question is not that we want internal freedom; the question is not how the Maharaja got his State, or whether or not he is sovereign. These points are not before the Security Council. Whether Kashmir has lawfully acceded to India -- complaints on that score have been brought before the Security Council on behalf of Pakistan -- is not the point at issue. If that were the point at issue then we should discuss that subject. We should prove before the Security Council that Kashmir and the people of Kashmir have lawfully and constitutionally acceded to the Dominion of India, and Pakistan has no right to question that accession. However, that is not the discussion before the Security Council....

Pakistan, the Security Council must send a commission to the spot to see whether the complaint brought before the Security Council is valid or invalid.... Therefore, somebody must go to the spot. Then at that time it would be for us to prove that the charges we have brought before the Security Council are correct to the last word. That is the only help, we want, and no other help.

Source: United Nations

 

 

 Sino-Pakistan Agreement 

THE BOUNDARY AGREEMENT BETWEEN CHINA AND PAKISTAN, 1963

Art. 370 OF THE CONSTITION OF INDIA

UN Security Council Resolution of August 13,1948

“The United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan;

Having given careful consideration to the points of view expressed by the Representatives of India and Pakistan regarding the situation in the State of Jammu and Kashmir and, Being of the opinion that the prompt cessation of hostilities and the correction of conditions, the continuance of which is likely to endanger international peace and security are essential to implementation of its endeavours to assist the Governments of India and Pakistan in effecting a final settlement of the situation,

Resolves to submit simultaneously to the Governments of India and Pakistan the following proposal:
Part I – Cease Fire Order
Part II – Truce Agreement
Part III


Part I – Cease Fire Order

A. The Governments of India and Pakistan agree that their respective High0 Commands will issue separately and simultaneously, a cease-fire order to apply to all forces under their control in the State of Jammu and Kashmir as of the earliest practicable date or dates to be mutually agreed upon within four days after these proposals have been accepted by both Governments.

B. The High Commands of the Indian and Pakistan Forces agree to refrain from taking any measures that might augment the military potential of the forces under their control in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. (For the purpose of these proposals, ‘forces under their’ control shall be considered to include all forces, organised and unorganised, fighting or participating in hostilities on their respective sides).

C. The Commander-in-Chief of the Forces of India and Pakistan shall promptly confer regarding any necessary local changes in present dispositions which may facilitate the cease-fire.

D. In its discretion and as the Commission may find practicable, the Commission will appoint military observers who under the authority of the Commission and with the cooperation of both Commands will supervise the observance of the cease-fire order.

E. The Government of India and the Government of Pakistan agree to appeal to their respective peoples to assist in creating and maintaining an atmosphere favourable to the promotion of farther negotiation.

Part II – Truce Agreement


Simultaneously with the acceptance of the proposal for the immediate cessation of hostilities as outlined in Part I, both Governments accept the following principles as a basis for the formulation of a truce agreement, the details of which shall he worked out in discussion between their Representatives and the Commission.

A1. As the presence of troops of Pakistan in the territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir constitutes a material change in the situation since it was represented by the Government of Pakistan before the Security Council, the Government of Pakistan agrees to withdraw its troops from that State.

A2. The Government of Pakistan will use its best endeavour to secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistan nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting.

A3. Pending a final solution, the territory evacuated by the Pakistan troops will he administered by the local authorities under the surveillance of the Commission.

B1. When the Commission shall have notified the Government of India that the Tribesmen and Pakistan nationals referred to in Part II A 2 hereof have withdrawn, thereby terminating the situation which was represented by the Government of India to the Security Council as having occasioned the presence of Indian forces in the State of Jammu and Kashmir and further, that the Pakistan Forces are being withdrawn from the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the Government of India agrees to begin to withdraw the bulk of their forces from that State in stages to be agreed upon with the Commission.

B2. Pending the acceptance of the conditions for a final settlement of the situation in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Government will maintain within the lines existing at the moment of the cease-fire those forces of its Army which in agreement with the Commission are considered necessary to assist local authorities in the observance of law and order. The Commission will have observers stationed where it deems necessary.

C1. Upon signature, the full text of the Truce Agreement or a communique containing the principles therof as agreed upon between the two Governments and the Commission, will he made public.

Part III

The Government of India and the Government of Pakistan reaffirm their wish that the future status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be determined in accordance with the will of the people and to that end, upon acceptance of the Truce Agreement both Governments agree to enter into consultations with the Commission to determine fair and equitable conditions whereby such free expression will he assured.

​​Art.257 OF THE CONSTITION OF ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN AND THE SO CALLED  AZAD JAMMU AND KASHMIR INTERIM CONSTITION ACT 74 AND ITS DISCRIMINATORY CLAUSES AND OATHS

​​International Kashmir Alliance - IKA

Geneva Declaration Adopted at the Fourth Meeting On Monday 31 March 2003


As a follow up to the first two meetings exclusively restricted to those who have been associated with the Rights Movement of the People of Jammu and Kashmir since mid sixties, seventies and eighties and of non Kashmiri European sympathizers held in the evening of 18th February and the afternoon of 19th February in Geneva to discuss the post January 1990 and post 11 September 200 impact on the Rights Movement in Kashmir a third and fourth meeting was held in the afternoon on 30 March and 31st March 2003 in Geneva.

The meeting examined the roles of Muslim Conference and National Conference since early thirties and their behaviour in regards to the Rights Movement that formally emerged first time in 1877 when the suppressed people submitted their grievances in a Memorandum addressed to the Viceroy.

The meetings also focussed on other post 1947 political parties including Muslim Conference and National Conference and their respective roles in pursuing a power politics in the garb of a Rights Movement, in one shape or the other on either side of the line of control.

Post 1990 political alliance APHC, others outside the alliance and the militant resistance were also examined to ascertain how far the post 1990 politics and militancy has remained in consonance with the history and the discipline of the Rights Movement.

The roles of India and Pakistan were also examined and more so in the light of instrument of accession with India, Pakistan’s assumption of control of Azad Kashmir under UNCIP Resolutions, aggregate jurisprudence of UN Resolutions and Bilateral agreements between India and Pakistan. The history and behaviour of bilateral agreements was examined to ascertain as to why the two countries in general and Pakistan in particular nudge passed the need to consult and associate the people of Jammu and Kashmir in all the past bilateral agreements. And what was the assurance that the practice of using the people of Kashmir to inflate a crisis in self-interest and then bypassing them is not repeated.

The role and behaviour of Kashmiri leadership on either side of the line of control in relation to the practice of bypassing them in these bilateral agreements was aggressively examined. The role of self interest of the Kashmiri leadership on either side of the line of control was also debated and the change in their fortunes was fully examined and recorded.

The delegates took stock of the present political scenario in aggregate and of the gains and losses incurred during the last 13 years. They examined the ability, independence, and the vision of the leadership and their command-and-control of the movement on political and militant front.
Recognising

a) That Unfortunately the right of self-determination that could have stimulated an energising cohesive and a tolerant civil society in Kashmir, has failed to do so. The civil society in Kashmir is split down in the middle. With the passage of time the UN has shifted its focus from the title of the people to self-determination to an ever-uncompromising claim of India and Pakistan. The induction of nuclear capability in the military hardware of India and Pakistan has disturbed the priorities.

b) That the people of Jammu and Kashmir under the administrative control of three governments at Srinagar, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit, have a much less impressive and qualitative life than the life of the people in Pakistan and India. That they live as a divided people and are denied a right to a family re-union, family visits are subjected to rigorous scrutiny of respective intelligence services and administrations, “free lawful entry and exit” as guaranteed by the UNCIP resolutions is not complied with by the two governments, a dissent and an expression of a dissent sets in action a process of discrimination and victimisation and the record of human rights under the three controls merits a serious attention.

c) That in this overlap of administrative control on the people of Kashmir – national and international action to promote democracy, development and human rights has its own problems. India and Pakistan remain at variance to each other on the question of Kashmir and each vies the other in advancing their national sovereign interests. In this sovereign chagrin of India and Pakistan – the civil society in Kashmir has lost a generation during the last 13 years.

d) That the question of the violation of human rights by the security forces in the Indian administered Kashmir has been used excessively for exacting a political mileage and as a consequence the victim has been deprived of a ‘just relief’. There has been a massive violation of human rights and in addition to security forces, the militants too have committed serious violations of human rights. The killing of common man and woman as alleged ‘informers’ is a heinous crime. The culture of shared killings, although with a variance in proportion, between security forces, militants and the unidentified persons, has posed a grave threat to the civil society. This phenomenon practised against the life and limb of the common Kashmiri is used to exact a political mileage by the various actors in Jammu and Kashmir.

e) That on balance we should not nudge pass the human rights movement in the other two parts of Kashmir – Azad Kashmir and Gilgit and Baltistan. The jurisprudence of the violation of human rights in Pakistani administered areas may vary from the violations in the Indian administered part. But a violation and if committed on a systematic basis should attract a similar consideration in all parts. It is unfortunate that the question of the violation of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir is not being raised to ameliorate the suffering of the victims but is used as a sovereign chagrin by one country against the other.

f) That the three governments of Kashmir at Srinagar, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit have failed their common people. In particular the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir on the side of Pakistan in accordance with the Provisional Declaration of 24th October 1947 has failed to “entertain sentiments of the utmost friendliness and goodwill towards the neighbouring Dominions of India and Pakistan”, and remain “emphatically non-communal”. It has failed to position itself in the larger interests of the people and in accordance with the UNCIP resolutions jurisprudence towards India in particular and Pakistan in general.

g) That the issues of “Sovereignty in the name of the People”, “Free Will of the People”, “Democracy”, “ Rule of Law” and “Human Rights” stand out to distinguish our civilisation and in this regard each geographical region representing various forms of governments has its finger at different markings on the scale used by the Human Rights Machinery to measure the compliance. The common conscience of the civilised people around the world needs to be sensitised around the holistic regime of Human Rights in Jammu and Kashmir.

h) That it is therefore important that we addresses to (a) the history of violations of human rights in all the three parts of Jammu and Kashmir prior to the start of a militant movement in Kashmir and (b) the history of post 1990 violations committed by the Indian security forces and the militants. And if we fail to give a meaning to the sufferings of the common men and women living under the administrative controls of India and Pakistan, we shall be misdirecting our efforts in the cause of human rights in Kashmir.

i) That we need to consider the legitimacy of the will of all peoples on the one hand and on the other the enduring distribution of the people of Kashmir under various controls. A status quo or a rearrangement of the line of control to convenience India and Pakistan, would mean a failure in upholding the principle purpose of the UN, that is, to respect the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples and to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction. A lynching and destroying the geographical entity of Kashmir would consign the five generations of divided people of Kashmir to a future, for which no human civilization past and future shall have a reasonable explanation. Our civilization would be remembered for trading the Human Rights of a people by a civilization charged with a duty to secure and protect these rights.

j) That India and Pakistan are also locked in an unending game of mistrust – threatening peace and security on the one hand and on the other adding to poverty, hunger, disease, death, impoverishment, underdevelopment, fall in the standards of living and violation of human rights of three peoples.

k) Although India and Pakistan emerged as two sovereign States on the basis of the sovereignty of the will of their respective peoples, yet we find that they have failed to address the issue of the people of Kashmir under the Principles of the UN Charter and under the principles of bilateral agreements in aggregate.

l) Although the government of Kashmir at Srinagar on the Indian side has a duty under its Constitution of 1956 to work for the welfare of the people of the State on either side of the line of control and the government of Kashmir at Muzaffarabad on the Pakistani side too has a duty under its Constitution of 1974 to ensure the welfare of the people of the State on either side of the line of control, yet in practice the two government are used to syphon the chagrin of the two sovereign countries and as such betray the ‘peoples interests’.
Therefore it has been agreed

1. That since Justice and the Rule of Law is a civilization’s most potent weapon there is a need to reaffirm the spirit and the faith of early sixties, seventies and eighties [of a tolerant and non-communal society] and that all those who have remained associated with the Rights Movement need to be reached out for a broad based input to secure a Peoples Movement back and put it on the tracks of full popular participation, accountability, transparency and justice.

2. That the people of Jammu and Kashmir distributed under three administrations on either side of the line of control and are restrained in the enjoyment of their rights by four governments and four Constitutions. [It excludes the control under an undemocratic and primitive system in Northern Areas.] India administers one part and Pakistan administers two parts namely Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas [Gilgit and Baltistan] need to be educated and informed on all these phases of struggle and disciplines honoured and equally to identify the enemies of the Rights Movement who take upon the garb of leadership and advance their private interests in return of other interests beyond the borders of Kashmir.


3. That taking into consideration the non-compliance by the two governments of Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, of their Constitutional duties and the division of the people of Kashmir there is a compelling need to facilitate an arrangement acceptable to India and Pakistan and the people of Kashmir, so that the people of Jammu and Kashmir distributed under the three controls have an opportunity to meet and short list their grievances, for a negotiated and peaceful settlement of their future.

4. In pursuit of a ‘People Come First’ agenda and to achieve this aim an International Alliance namely International Kashmir Alliance [IKA] has been democratically set up at the fourth meeting on 31st March 2003 at Geneva. At the very outset a Governing Body [GB] comprising of 15 Members has been set up. To accommodate the representation of various geographies the number would increase subject to the approval of GB and fulfilment of the qualifying criterion set out in the preceding paras.

5. Representation from the people living under the three administrations would be a core input and would be sought rigorously on a pro-active basis. However, in view of the restraints of the habitat on the enjoyment of their rights, it has been decided to take their regular contribution in an Advisory Role, without prejudicing their composite interests by inducting them on the Executive Board. The regions shall have their advisory structures to suit their conditions of operation.

6. The First Elected Office Bearers of this alliance elected in Geneva are as follows:

Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani, Chairman -UK
Mumtaz Khan Esq, Vice Chairman - Cananda
Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, Secretary General - Switzerland
Dr. Shabir Choudhry, Spokesperson - UK
Abbas Butt Esq, Advisor Finance - UK
Mohammad Asim, Treasurer – UK

 

Tashkent Declaration

The Indus Water Treaty 1960

Resolution 38 (1948)
Submitted by the Representative of Belgium and adopted by the Security Council at its 229th meeting held on 17 January, 1948.
(Document No. S1651, dated the 17th January, 1948).

THE SECURITY COUNCIL
Having heard statements on the situation in Kashmir from representatives of the Governments of India and Pakistan, Recognising the urgency of the situation. Taking note of the telegram addressed on 6 January by its President to each of the parties and of their replies thereto; and in which they affirmed their intention to conform to the Charter of the United Nations. 

1. Calls upon both the Government of India and the Government of Pakistan to take immediately all measures within their power (including public appeals to their people) calculated to improve the situation, and to refrain from making any statements and from doing or causing to be done or permitting any acts which might aggravate the situation; 

2. Further requests each of those Governments to inform the Council immediately of any material change in the situation which occurs or appears to either of them to be about to occur while the matter is under consideration by the Council, and consult with the Council thereon.

The Security Council voted on this Resolution on 17-1-48 with the following result: In favour: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Syria, U.K. and U.S.A.
Against: None
Abstaining: Ukrainian S.S.R. and U.S.S.R.

DECLARATION OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT CONFERENCE ON "THE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF THE PEOPLE OF KASHMIR" AND FOLLOW UP OF THE RESOLUTION "KASHMIR: PRESENT SITUATION AND FUTURE PROSPECTS"

​​Freedom                             Democracy                        Equality

Pakistan has pushed the visionary leader of Jammu and Kashmir,the founder of the idealogy of United states of Kashmir and chairman UKPNP ,Sardar shaukat Ali Kashmiri into a forced infinite Exile since 1999....United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) Central Committee meeting was held on 30th September 2016 at Rawalpindi. As per the agenda, party organizational matters, ongoing tension between India and Pakistan on so called Line of Control, China’s involvement in so called Azad Kashmir affairs and other important matters were discussed. UKPNP Central committee has decided to dissolve its central, Zonal and overseas units in order to elect new office bearers. A central convention will be held within 90 days. Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri was elected as caretaker Chairman of party. Central committee also nominated its overseas organizers. 1. Sardar Zahid Khan Canada 2. Aftab Hussain Khan United Kingdom 3. Akhlaq Barlas United States 4. Iftikhar Ahmed Italy 5. Muhammad Zia Mustafa Switzerland 6. Sajid Abbasi Belgium 7.Engineer Touseef Muscat 8 Saalim Salam Ansari Sindh Zone 9. Israr Ahmed Greece 10. Sardar Rashid Hussain Punjab zone 11.Yasir Arafat Qureshi Spain 12.Sheikh Hammad Saudi Arabia 13.Anwar Hussain Khan Magray UAE UKPNP central committee has advised its zonal, districts, Tehsil, Local and overseas organizers to reorganize and restructure party units in their respective areas before forthcoming central convention. UKPNP CC members asked Pakistan and India to de-escalate ongoing tension between two countries on so called line of control and demanded that Kashmir issue should be resolved through dialogues and peaceful means as per wishes and aspirations of Kashmiri people. United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) Central Committee also showed its deep concerns over recent announcement made by so called Azad Kashmir government that she has decided to hand over large area of disputed of Kashmir to China on lease. Jammu and Kashmir State subject rule dated 1927 do not allow foreigners to buy or lease property in Kashmir. So called AJK government has violated Jammu Kashmir State subject rule. UKPNP will not tolerate and allow any country to colonized our territory and natural resources.

​ United Kashmir People's National Party

Simla Agreement

Thursday, 24 May 2007 - Strasbourg Final edition
Kashmir: present situation and future prospects






















Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri with Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne (Rapporteur  and author of the European Parliament resolution on Kashmir)



​​European Parliament resolution of 24 May 2007 on Kashmir: Present situation and future prospects

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to its recent resolutions referring to Jammu and Kashmir, in particular its resolutions of 29 September 2005 on EU-India relations: A Strategic Partnership(1) , of 17 November 2005 on Kashmir(2) , of 18 May 2006 on the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2005 and the EU's policy on the matter(3) , of 28 September 2006 on the EU's economic and trade relations with India(4) and of 22 April 2004 on the situation in Pakistan(5) ,

–   having regard to the Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Partnership and Development(6) , the conclusion of which was approved by Parliament on 22 April 2004(7) ,

–   having regard to all the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council on this issue between 1948 and 1971(8) ,

–   having regard to the concerns expressed by various working groups and rapporteurs of the United Nations Human Rights Council and its predecessor, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and by international human rights organisations regarding breaches of human rights in Kashmir,

–   having regard to the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960,

–   having regard to the report on the visits of Parliament's ad hoc delegation to Jammu and Kashmir adopted by the Committee on Foreign Affairs in November 2004,

–   having regard to the devastating earthquake which struck Jammu and Kashmir on 8 October 2005,

–   having regard to United Nations General Assembly Resolution No A/RES/60/13 of 14 November 2005 praising the governments and peoples involved in the earthquake relief and reconstruction efforts,

–   having regard to the visit of President Pervez Musharraf of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the Committee on Foreign Affairs on 12 September 2006,

–   having regard to the 7th EU-India Summit held in Helsinki on 13 October 2006,

–   having regard to the renewed peace efforts in Kashmir since the truce agreement came into force in 2003, followed by President Musharraf's pledge in January 2004 that Pakistani territory would not be used for cross-border terrorism, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's forward-looking vision that "borders cannot be redrawn but we can work towards making them irrelevant" and a further round of peace talks which started on 17 January 2007,

–   having regard to President Musharraf's recent four-point plan to resolve the Kashmir conflict (no change in the boundaries of Jammu and Kashmir, free movement of people across the Line of Control (LoC), staggered demilitarisation, and self-governance with a joint supervision mechanism representing India, Pakistan, and the Kashmiris), and also to Prime Minister Singh's suggestion that there be a comprehensive treaty of peace, security and friendship,

–   having regard to the visit of Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Pakistan on 13-14 January 2007, during which four agreements aimed at confidence-building were signed,

–   having regard to the International Crisis Group's Asia Report No 125, of 11 December 2006, and the reports by Amnesty International, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch and the US State Department on human rights,

–   having regard to the visits made by Parliament's rapporteur to both sides of the LoC in June 2006,

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0158/2007),

A.   whereas the disputed territory which constituted the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir is currently administered in separate parts by the Republic of India, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of China, and has a total population of 13.4 million,

B.   whereas much of Jammu and Kashmir, in particular Gilgit and Baltistan, suffers from extreme poverty and neglect, with enormous deficiencies in basic literacy and numeracy and in access to healthcare, a lack of democratic structures and major deficiencies in the rule of law and justice; and whereas the whole of Jammu and Kashmir suffers from exceptional economic decline,

C.   whereas the question of water resources is also a factor exacerbating the dispute between Pakistan and India over Jammu and Kashmir and is an important element of any definitive resolution,

D.   whereas Jammu and Kashmir has been a source of conflict for nearly 60 years, a period punctuated by armed conflicts between India, Pakistan and China; whereas this dispute has allegedly claimed more than 80,000 lives; whereas the conflicts between India and Pakistan now include international terrorism; and whereas China, India and Pakistan are nuclear powers, although India and Pakistan have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,

E.   whereas there is considerable evidence that over many years Pakistan has provided Kashmiri militants with training, weapons, funding and sanctuary and has failed to hold militants accountable for atrocities they have committed on the Indian-administered side; whereas, however, according to Indian government reports, since 11 September 2001 militant infiltration into Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir has decreased noticeably, and whereas the Government of Pakistan should put a definitive end to any infiltration policy,

F.   whereas a ceasefire has been in place on the LoC since November 2003 and, despite a few breaches, has continued to hold,

G.   whereas the ceasefire has enabled India and Pakistan to engage in an ongoing dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir which is now starting to be modestly successful; whereas a number of Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) are being implemented as part of the peace process; and whereas the Kashmiri population is striving to reap the benefits of those CBMs and is actually implementing them at a local level; whereas Kashmiris on the Chinese side remain outside that process,

H.   whereas the India-Pakistan joint statement on Kashmir of 18 April 2005, issued at the conclusion of President Musharraf's visit to India, has helped to strengthen the process of rapprochement between the two countries, in particular by reaffirming the irreversibility of the peace process and focussing on a non-military solution to the Kashmir conflict,

I.   whereas economic development is vital for building up the physical and social infrastructure and improving the productive potential of Jammu and Kashmir; whereas the EU-Pakistan Joint Declaration of 8 February 2007 is a positive new step in strengthening their relations, and whereas both sides are looking forward to moving ahead with the implementation of the 3rd Generation Cooperation Agreement, in the belief that it may help to promote socio-economic development and prosperity in Pakistan; whereas the EU and Pakistan have reaffirmed their commitment to the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with international law, bilateral agreements and the principles of the UN Charter,

J.   whereas the current wide-ranging EC-India 3rd Generation Cooperation Agreement, in existence since 1994, has as its institutional basis a joint political statement which fixed annual ministerial meetings, and opened the door to a broad political dialogue,

K.   whereas on the morning of 8 October 2005 an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 on the Richter scale, the most devastating international earthquake in living memory, struck a broad swathe of territory from Afghanistan through Pakistan and India, but with by far the greatest impact felt in Jammu and Kashmir, with exceptional losses in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province (NWFP),

L.   whereas in minutes the earthquake claimed over 75,000 lives in AJK, later rising to 88,000, and claimed 6,000 in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, and left tens of thousands of people injured and millions entirely displaced, with minimal basic needs provision and without permanent shelter, employment, health care and education, on the Pakistani side; whereas dozens of towns and villages have been partially or totally destroyed, agriculture decimated and the environment contaminated, and whereas levels of development have been severely set back,

M.   whereas both state-armed forces and opposition armed groups in the Kashmir dispute should abide by the 1949 Geneva Conventions and customary international humanitarian law, which prohibit attacks against civilians, and serious violations of which constitute war crimes which states have a duty to prosecute,

N.   whereas more than 2,000 soldiers have died on the Siachen Glacier in the last ten years, and whereas the ceasefire in the Siachen region since November 2005 is welcome,

Introduction

1.  Stresses that India, Pakistan and China (to which Pakistan ceded the Trans-Karakoram Tract in 1963) are important EU partners, the first enjoying strategic partnership status; believes that a resolution of the continuing conflict along the LoC can best be achieved jointly by a constant engagement between the governments of India and Pakistan, involving the peoples of all parts of the former princely state; nevertheless thinks that the EU may have something to offer based on past experience of successful conflict resolution in a multi-ethnic, multinational, multi-faith context; therefore offers the present resolution and any meetings that may come out of it as part of a shared experience from which the EU can also learn; reiterates the importance of continued EU support to both India and Pakistan as they implement the 2004 peace process;

2.  Draws attention to the fact that India is the world's largest secular democracy and has devolved democratic structures at all levels, whereas Pakistan still lacks full implementation of democracy in AJK and has yet to take steps towards democracy in Gilgit and Baltistan; notes that both countries are nuclear powers outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; emphasises that, while India's nuclear doctrine rests on the principle of "no first use", Pakistan has yet to make such an undertaking; notes, too, that President Musharraf has not been able to implement his undertaking made in 1999 that "the armed forces have no intention of staying in charge any longer than is absolutely necessary to pave the way for true democracy to flourish in Pakistan";

3.  Very much regrets the negative chain of events set in motion by the suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry and, while recognising that the suspension has in fact opened a new debate on democracy, constitutionalism and the role of the military in Pakistan, deplores the recent outbreaks of violence; stresses the overwhelming need for a secure and independent justice system to address the situation of the people of Pakistan and particularly those of AJK and Gilgit and Baltistan;

4.  Calls on representatives of the governments of both India and Pakistan to take the opportunity, afforded by the statements of Prime Minister Singh and President Musharraf, to inject a new impetus for exploring options for increased self-governance, freedom of movement, demilitarisation and intergovernmental cooperation on issues such as water, tourism, trade and the environment and to promote a genuine breakthrough in seeking a resolution of the Kashmir dispute;

5.  Notes that the impact of the earthquake on the people of AJK has gravely exacerbated the already sparse needs provision and has dramatically impaired institution and capacity-building potential; urges the European Union to help and support the Kashmiris in this regard;

6.  Urges the Governments of Pakistan and India to resolve the crucial riparian issues affecting the headwaters and the use of the rivers flowing through Jammu and Kashmir (the Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers) as swiftly as possible, with reference to the existing mechanism provided for in the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960; nevertheless, as, for example, in the case of the upgrading of the Mangla Dam or the construction of the Baglihar Dam, underlines that addressing the agricultural, fishing, livestock and human water requirements of the people affected must remain a key priority and appeals to both governments to commission comprehensive environmental and social impact assessments before taking future decisions on any further dam project;

7.  Expresses its great concern over the negative consequences which the long-standing conflict has had on the environment in Jammu and Kashmir, to the extent that the economic future of Jammu and Kashmir is at stake due to serious soil degradation, air pollution, pollution of the rivers and, most dramatically, of the ancient tourist magnet Dal Lake, deforestation and extinction of wildlife;

8.  Notes the importance of water, security and sustainable and secure energy supplies to the stability and growth of the region and notes in this regard the importance of developing irrigation and hydroelectric projects; considers it imperative that the Governments of Pakistan and India continue their constructive dialogue and consult representatives of the Kashmiris over riparian issues, and urges them to adopt a holistic approach to water resources, recognising the key links between water, land, local users, the environment and infrastructure;

9.  Underlines the common heritage shared by India and Pakistan, exemplified in the ancient culture of Jammu and Kashmir; recognises and values the pluralism, multiculturalism and multi-faith nature and secular traditions of the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir, which have been kept alive in the Indian part of Jammu and Kashmir;

10.  Believes that the EU's respect for regional identities and efforts to ensure that its own decisions are taken at the most appropriate administrative level (i.e. closest to those affected) are relevant to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people for devolved decision, making structures and recognition of their unique cultural identity;

Political situation: the aspirations of the people

11.  Commends and supports India and Pakistan on the peace moves currently under way, and welcomes the fact that bilateral talks, put on hold for three months after the July 2006 bombings in Mumbai, have re-started; stresses the need for the region, the EU and the international community to support the current bilateral talks and for a further strengthening of exchanges about conflict resolution, thereby ensuring a prosperous future for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and its neighbours, and for finding a solution to the Kashmir dispute which is acceptable to all the parties;

12.  Calls on the European Union to support the involvement of local civil society in the peace process and, above all, to sustain people-to-people projects in order to promote dialogue and collaboration among Pakistani, Indian and Kashmiri NGOs;

13.  Has warmly welcomed the CBMs initiated by India and Pakistan, which are achieving a certain degree of success in reducing tension and suspicion on both sides and have allowed families on both sides to unite after years of separation; emphasises that greater efforts should be made by the governments of India and Pakistan to involve Kashmiris in the resolution of the core issues;

14.  Draws attention to the fact that ordinary Kashmiris, by virtue of the humanitarian situation after the earthquake, are now benefiting progressively from the peace process, through the exchanges taking place and the political commitment by both the Indian and Pakistani Governments to the free movement of people, goods and services (albeit still limited) across the LoC; calls for renewed efforts to enable all Kashmiris, irrespective of political affiliation, to become intimately involved in the modalities of the peace process and CBMs;

15.  Emphasises that the crises and conflicts of recent years have enhanced, not diminished, the relevance of the United Nations, and that the UN remains an important forum for dialogue and diplomacy; recalls the large number of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Kashmir, from 1948 to 1971, which have sought to encourage both the Government of India and the Government of Pakistan to take all measures within their power calculated to improve the situation, and which have expressed the conviction that a peaceful settlement of the dispute will best promote the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, of India and of Pakistan; draws the conclusion, in the light of all the above and of subsequent violations of points set out in the various UNSC resolutions, that the preconditions for invoking the plebiscite have not been met at present;

16.  Reaffirms that, under Article 1.1 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all peoples have the right of self-determination, by virtue of which they may freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development;   reaffirms that, under Article 1.3, all parties to the covenant must promote the realisation of the right of self-determination, and must respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations; notes, however, that all UN resolutions on the Kashmir dispute explicitly and only acknowledge the right for the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir to become part of India or Pakistan; welcomes, within the context of bringing the Kashmir conflict to a permanent solution, which would bring enormous benefits to the entire region, the new ideas that are currently under consideration within the Composite Dialogue and India's Round Table discussions (in which context the reopening of dialogue by the Indian Government with the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) is especially welcome), and in particular ideas related to making boundaries permanently irrelevant, a system of self-governance, and institutional arrangements for joint or cooperative management; strongly encourages both India and Pakistan to further explore these concepts in joint discussions and with Kashmiris on both sides of the LoC and in Gilgit and Baltistan;

17.  Deplores the continuing political and humanitarian situation in all four parts of Jammu and Kashmir; welcomes, however, the role of the composite peace process in moving towards a durable settlement for the Kashmiris based on democracy, the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights; supports the "second track" approach as well as wider dialogue involving eminent persons, academics and other relevant experts from all sides of Kashmir and from India and Pakistan, who are putting forward practical suggestions for closer cooperation; congratulates India and Pakistan for bringing together these groups, and suggests that the EU offer practical support wherever invited to do so by both sides and within the composite peace process;

18.  Regrets, however, that Pakistan has consistently failed to fulfil its obligations to introduce meaningful and representative democratic structures in AJK; notes in particular the continuing absence of Kashmiri representation in the Pakistan National Assembly, the fact that AJK is governed through the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs in Islamabad, that Pakistan officials dominate the Kashmir Council and that the Chief Secretary, the Inspector-General of Police, the Accountant-General and the Finance Secretary are all from Pakistan; disapproves of the provision in the 1974 Interim Constitution which forbids any political activity that is not in accordance with the doctrine of Jammu and Kashmir as part of Pakistan and obliges any candidate for a parliamentary seat in AJK to sign a declaration of loyalty to that effect; is concerned that the Gilgit-Baltistan region enjoys no form of democratic representation whatsoever; furthermore, draws attention to the fact that the Government of Pakistan's 1961 Jammu and Kashmir (Administration of Property) Ordinance transferred the land controlled by Pakistan and which belonged to the State of Jammu and Kashmir on 15 August 1947 to the Federal Government;

19.  Very much regrets the continuing ambivalence of the current Government of Pakistan with regard to the ethnic identity of Gilgit and Baltistan, whereby statements made by the President are contradicted by official government communications; strongly recommends that the Government of Pakistan endorse and implement the judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan of 28 May 1999 which validates the Kashmiri heritage of the people of Gilgit and Baltistan and states that the Government should implement their fundamental human rights, democratic freedoms and access to justice;

20.  Recognises that Pakistan finds itself in a particularly complex situation with pressure from many sources; nevertheless:


   – deeply regrets that the lack of a sufficient political will to address basic needs provision, political participation and the rule of law in AJK has left women there in a desperate situation following the earthquake;
   – recalls the signature of the EC-Pakistan 3rd Generation Cooperation Agreement in 2001, Article 1 of which includes respect for human rights and democratic principles as an essential element, and urges the EU to play its part in upholding those principles when implementing the Agreement; is particularly concerned, therefore, that the people of Gilgit and Baltistan are under the direct rule of the military and enjoy no democracy;
   – notes the approval of the Protection of Women Bill to reform the Sharia-based Hudood decrees on adultery and rape as a positive step in ensuring better protection of women's rights in Pakistan, and appreciates the commitment shown by President Musharraf and reformist parliamentarians in pursuing these amendments despite attempts to derail them; stresses, however, that it is pre-eminently clear that Pakistan needs to do more to live up to its commitments in the human rights field;
   – remains concerned about the difficult situation faced by all minorities throughout the region;

21.  Urges Pakistan to revisit its concept of democratic accountability and minority and women's rights in AJK, which, as elsewhere, are key to improving conditions for the people and tackling the menace of terrorism;

22.  Expresses concern regarding the lack of freedom of expression in AJK and reports of torture and mistreatment, of discrimination against refugees from Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir and of corruption amongst government officials, and calls on the Pakistani Government to ensure that the people of AJK can exercise their fundamental civil and political rights in an environment free from coercion and fear;

23.  Further calls on Pakistan to ensure free and fair elections in AJK, considering that the general elections of 11 July 2006 were characterised by fraud and vote rigging on a massive scale, and that any candidate who refused to uphold the position of the accession of Kashmir to Pakistan was barred from running; also calls on Pakistan to hold elections for the first time in Gilgit and Baltistan;

24.  Urges the Governments of Pakistan and India also to transform the ceasefire in place in Siachen since 2003 into a lasting peace agreement, given that, on this, the highest battlefield in the world, more soldiers die every year for reasons of climate than of armed conflict;

25.  Calls on the European Union to support India and Pakistan in negotiating a zone of complete disengagement in the Siachen region without prejudice to the position of either side, in particular by offering assistance in providing monitoring technologies and verification procedures;

26.  Calls on militant armed groups to declare a ceasefire to be followed by a disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process; calls on the Governments of Pakistan and India to facilitate such a ceasefire;

27.  Encourages the Pakistani Government to close down militant websites and magazines; suggests that the Pakistani and Indian Governments consider introducing a law against hate speech;

28.  Notes that Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir enjoys a unique status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, granting it greater autonomy than other states in the Union; is pleased to see recent moves in Jammu and Kashmir to strengthen democracy (as evidenced by the 75% turnout in recent local elections), and the moves by Prime Minister Singh to reopen dialogue with the APHC; however, notes that there remain deficiencies in practice with regard to human rights and direct democracy, as evidenced by, for example, the fact that all candidates standing for office in Jammu and Kashmir (as in other states) have to sign an oath of loyalty to the Constitution of the State of Jammu and Kashmir which upholds the integrity of India; urges India's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to exercise its full mandate with regard to any suspected or documented violations and, to lend it even greater credibility, urges the NHRC to make good the absence of any human rights professionals on its governing board; looks forward to enhanced progress in this area, and to positive outcomes from the new laws on child labour and on women and violence; notes with concern reports that large numbers of Kashmiris are detained without due process;

29.  Deplores documented human rights violations by the armed forces of India, especially if the incidents of killing and rape continue in an atmosphere of impunity; notes with concern that the NHRC has no power under its statutes to investigate human rights abuses perpetrated by the Indian security forces; is nevertheless encouraged by the NHRC's recommendation – which is being observed – that the army nominate senior military officers to oversee the implementation of fundamental human rights and the rule of law in their military units; notes the commitment given by the government of India in September 2005 that human rights violations will not be tolerated; and urges the Lok Sabha to consider amending the Human Rights Protection Act in order to allow the NHRC to investigate independently allegations of abuse by members of the armed forces;

30.  Stresses the risk of maintaining the death penalty in a complex political situation, such as the Kashmir dispute, where the right to a fair trial does not appear to be guaranteed; notes with concern that South Asia continues to have a poor record with regard to the death penalty and deeply regrets that both the Indian and the Pakistani Governments are in favour of its retention; welcomes the fact that key abolitionist voices in the region include President Kalam and the newly appointed Chief Justice to the Supreme Court in India; welcomes UN Human Rights Resolution 2005/59 on the question of the death penalty and reaffirms the EU's human rights guidelines on the death penalty; urges India and Pakistan to consider acceding to the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, and similar regional instruments with a view to introducing a moratorium on the death penalty, and to move towards complete abolition;

31.  Welcomes in this context declarations by Prime Minister Singh calling for "zero tolerance for human rights violations" in Kashmir, and calls on the Indian Government to put an end to all practices of extrajudicial killings, "disappearances", torture and arbitrary detentions in Jammu and Kashmir;

32.  Notes that widespread impunity both encourages and facilitates further human rights abuses across the State; calls on India and the State Government of Jammu and Kashmir to repeal all legal provisions providing effective immunity to members of the armed forces and to establish an independent and impartial commission of inquiry into serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by Indian security forces since the beginning of the conflict;

33.  Urges the governments of India and Pakistan to allow international human rights organisations (such as Freedom House, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch) immediate and unrestricted access to all parts of the former princely state in order to investigate the human rights situation there and to compile regular independent reports on this; urges both governments to commit themselves publicly to full cooperation with such international human rights organisations;

34.  Urges the EU to take a firm stance in upholding the democracy and human rights clause in its agreements with both India and Pakistan, seeking an intense political dialogue with both countries on human rights including within Kashmir, and examining the possibility of setting up a specific human rights dialogue with Pakistan, as is the case already with India, and the establishment of specific human rights subcommittees dealing with both countries, as in the case of certain other countries;

35.  Recognises the difficult living conditions of a number of groups, such as the forcibly displaced Pandits of the Kashmir Valley; urges that discrimination against them and other groups, particularly in employment, be addressed head-on; suggests that such groups seek to empower themselves by establishing committees of their own elected representatives, ensuring that women and under-25s are properly represented;

36.  Suggests that India review the degree of success enjoyed by the setting-up of the Autonomous Hill Council in Ladakh in 1993; hopes that the Kargil-Skardu trade route can be re-established as part of the CBM process and that the Ladakh/Northern Areas division can be bridged by crossing-points similar to those already established elsewhere along the LoC;

37.  In particular, welcomes the general increase in the issue of visas for travel between India and Pakistan, and the reopening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus route; notes that, according to the latest statistics, its use has been limited to fewer than 400 persons on each side of the LoC; and calls on the Indian and Pakistani authorities to ease restrictions in relation to the issue of travel permits;

38.  Compliments India on its efforts to promote the socio-economic development of Jammu and Kashmir through special packages for the state, and its emphasis on job creation and measures to promote tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, and proposes an examination of how the (forthcoming) EU-India partnership could help with the creation of new skills-based jobs, especially for women and young people; encourages the European Union to support the initiatives of local NGOs to set up projects for capacity-building for women, both for production and for marketing; believes that the European Union could address equal opportunity concerns by increasing trade in products which traditionally provide livelihoods for women, such as textiles and handicrafts, and facilitating trade in services in sectors which employ women; recommends that economic relations between the European Union and Pakistan be strengthened in a similar manner;

39.  Calls on both India and Pakistan to examine the potential role of increased security and respect for human rights in attaining the goals of job creation and increased tourism across the whole of Jammu and Kashmir;

Combating terrorism

40.  Recognises that, without an end to terrorism, there can be no real progress towards a political solution or in improving the economic situation of the population throughout Jammu and Kashmir; notes that, while there has been a steady decline in the number of victims of terrorist attacks over the past five years, the activities of constantly mutating AJK-based terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Harakat ul-Mujahedeen have caused hundreds of deaths in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir and beyond;

41.  Deplores documented human rights violations by Pakistan including in Gilgit and Baltistan, where allegedly violent riots took place in 2004, and the all too frequent incidents of terror and violence perpetrated by armed militant groups; urges Pakistan to revisit its concepts of the fundamental rights of freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of religious practice in AJK and Gilgit and Baltistan, and notes with concern allegations by human rights associations such as Amnesty International of torture and detention without due process; strongly urges all parties involved to do all they can to address these violations; welcomes Pakistan's public commitments to curb infiltration across the LoC by militants operating out of territory under its control, but believes it must take much stronger and more effective measures; urges a continuing and determined commitment by President Musharraf to fighting terrorism, which, it is widely recognised, presents enormous challenges; approves and supports multilateral and bilateral EU Member State aid to assist Pakistan in fighting terrorism and in making determined efforts to improve the lives of the people of AJK and Gilgit and Baltistan; furthermore, calls on the Government of Pakistan and EU Member States to intensify their efforts to identify and apprehend potential terrorist recruits coming to Pakistan from EU Member States; welcomes the recent establishment by the two governments of a joint panel, the India-Pakistan Joint Mechanism on Terrorism, to combat terrorism and share intelligence, and notes that the first meeting of the panel took place in Islamabad on 6 March 2007;

42.  Strongly supports the International Crisis Group's recommendations of 11 December 2006 calling on Pakistan to take decisive action to disarm militants in AJK and Gilgit and Baltistan, shut down terrorist training camps, stop terrorist recruitment and training on its territory and end the flow of money and weapons to the Taliban and other foreign or local militants on Pakistani territory;

43.  Recognises and supports the aspiration of the Kashmiri people for a significantly reduced military presence on both sides of the LoC; points out, however, that meaningful demilitarisation can only take place in parallel with genuine action to neutralise the threat of infiltration of Jammu and Kashmir by militant outfits operating out of Pakistan, and alongside CBMs such as putting an end to mutual recriminations, full implementation of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus line, communication and trade links, and other measures defined in close consultation with Kashmiri people on both sides, and notes the beneficial impact that this will have on their mental health and sense of security, particularly for children and young people; stresses that only fresh initiatives which look to the future can bring about a virtuous circle;

44.  Emphasises that, in order to create an atmosphere of confidence and goodwill in the region, it is vital to remove all obstructions and hindrances so that all Kashmiris may travel freely to the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir;

Confidence-building measures

45.  Warmly welcomes the most recent signs of renewed efforts, including, even, considerable policy shifts to resolve the Kashmir dispute on the part of the Pakistani and Indian governments;

46.  Particularly welcomes the steps taken to reunite families divided by the LoC through the opening of five crossing-points; is aware that the opening-up of meeting points on the LoC has been described as being demonstrably slow and not responding to the urgency of the situation on the ground; none the less, encourages and looks forward to increasingly frequent crossings; would like to see these extended to all citizens on both sides and recommends that India and Pakistan instigate measures to facilitate all travel, be it within the former princely state or internationally, by means of fast–track administrative and consular services;

47.  Believes it is vital to increase the frequency of cross-LoC exchanges at all levels of civil society and across all walks of life; suggests that exchange programmes be created between law associations, schools and universities, including a common University with a campus on either side of the divide; to help reduce levels of mutual suspicion between the armies on either side, suggests that military-to-military dialogue be initiated;

48.  Calls on the Governments of India and Pakistan to make the restoration and conservation of the environment in Jammu and Kashmir one of the focal points for common activities and joint plans of action across the LoC, and urges the EU and the Member States to lend strong support to any such projects;

49.  Recommends that consideration be given to the establishment of a joint India-Pakistan monitoring cell for the sharing of data on weather patterns and seismic activity in order to provide early warning of natural disasters originating on either side of the LoC;

50.  At the political level, recommends that a Joint India-Pakistan Parliamentary Committee be established to foster greater parliamentary exchanges and dialogue; similarly, that joint local government working parties be established to explore trade and tourism issues;

51.  Encourages EU businesses to recognise the investment and tourism potential of all of Kashmir, and in particular the existence of a highly motivated workforce; suggests that European businesses might enter into joint ventures with local companies and that investment insurance schemes be created to boost investor confidence; calls on all parties to support and facilitate the representation of the respective chambers of commerce at international trade fairs in the European Union in order to allow them to promote their products for export;

52.  Further supports the call for Pakistan to develop human resources by investing in tertiary education, including vocational training schools and technical colleges in the federally administered areas, including in the Gilgit-Baltistan areas of Kashmir;

53.  Notes that India is the single largest beneficiary of the Generalised System of Preferences scheme (GSP); urges the Commission automatically to revisit the GSP+ scheme, and other appropriate trade measures, in the immediate aftermath of large-scale natural disasters, such as earthquakes; welcomes the commitment given by all South Asian states within the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to work effectively towards making the South Asia Free Trade Agreement a political and economic reality which will maximise the benefits for four parts of Jammu and Kashmir, and calls on the Government of Pakistan to end the "positive list" system; notes positively that, although trade between the two countries has fluctuated over the past decade, the overall level of official trade between India and Pakistan has increased from USD 180 million in 1996 to USD 602 million in 2005 and, given that the high level of informal trade indicates the latent trading potential between them, that this trend has the potential to continue and should be encouraged;

54.  Stresses that tourism has considerable potential to bolster the local economy; therefore encourages the governments of the EU Member States to keep a close eye on the security situation, with a view to ensuring the provision of up-to-date, coordinated travel advice to those wishing to travel to Jammu and Kashmir;

Impact of the earthquake of 8 October 2005

55.  Strongly emphasises that the earthquake has had an immense impact on the lives of the Kashmiris on both sides of the LoC, and that the overwhelming humanitarian situation has degraded the fragile institutional capacity on the ground in AJK and NWFP; underlines that day-to-day survival is now the overwhelming priority for the people;

56.  Regrets that, in addition to the massive loss of life, AJK suffered incalculable material damage to its infrastructure (hospitals, schools, government buildings, communication channels) and to what were in many cases already fragile basic institutions and services;

57.  Is deeply saddened that the earthquake had a disproportionate impact on children, with 17,000 children killed according to UNICEF figures; is highly concerned about reports of child trafficking in the aftermath of the disaster and calls on the Government of Pakistan to specifically address the issue of children's rights and protection in AJK and Gilgit and Baltistan and to target child trafficking more effectively;

58.  Draws attention to the plight of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and people in severe and continuing need created by the earthquake; in the absence of a convention on the rights of IDPs, welcomes the UN's "Guiding Principles", which offer the basis for a humane response to the insidious assault of forced displacement on human rights, and demands that all relevant authorities with an interest in Kashmir respect those principles; calls on the Government of Pakistan to do everything in its power to assign land to the inhabitants of those villages that disappeared in landslides as soon as possible, in order for them to be able to reconstitute themselves as villages and to rebuild permanent housing facilities; strongly recommends that the EU focus consistently on the above principles, as well as on broader issues of democracy, justice and human rights in all four parts of Kashmir; notes also that on both sides of the LoC long-standing 'refugee' camps should be dismantled, and proper attention paid to their occupants' protection, needs and social integration, and the occupants either allowed to return home speedily or be permanently resettled; notes that the international community should offer continuing assistance in this regard;

59.  Stresses that the disaster struck a region already weakened by conflict and terrorism, and where fundamental institutions and regional stability have been constantly undermined by organised crime and infiltration across the LoC by radical Islamist networks exploiting the rugged terrain;

60.  Is appalled that the already minimal basic living conditions experienced in AJK before the earthquake (in terms of food, water, shelter, sanitation, schools and barely adequate health-centres) have been seriously affected as a consequence of the earthquake; urges the authorities concerned, when millions are in basic need, to concentrate their energies on fighting the corruption that has wrongly diverted the flow of funding away from the intended recipients, including disturbing allegations that UN-banned terrorist organisations have been operating in the earthquake zone in AJK; calls on the Commission, Member State governments, the governments of India and Pakistan and aid agencies to continue to concentrate on the basic needs of earthquake victims;

61.  Notes that the size and impact of the earthquake had a much greater effect on the Pakistani side of the LoC, devastating whole swathes of local government infrastructure and unavoidably delaying services needed to respond to the emergency; congratulates the governments, armies and local populations on both sides of the LoC for their dedication, determination and commitment to respond to the manifold challenges which the earthquake caused;

Response to the earthquake of 8 October 2005

62.  Acknowledges that the response to the earthquake from the international community, India and Pakistan was swift and positive in the circumstances prevailing: there were immediate contacts at the highest level between India and Pakistan; domestic and local NGOs responded well, working with the local and central administrations; fully recognises that unprecedented solidarity was shown by the international community and international NGOs in relation to the earthquake survivors and victims, and welcomes the forging of new partnerships; recommends that the European Union look favourably on further requests for additional assistance for reconstruction in the areas affected by the earthquake, and asks the Commission to provide up-to-date information about requests already made in this regard;

63.  Notes, with concern, that the preliminary damage and needs assessment prepared by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, to which the Commission contributed, estimates the total loss of employment or livelihood as a consequence of the earthquake at 29%, impacting on approximately 1.64 million people, over half of whom were estimated to be under the age of 15; welcomes the Commission's EUR 50 million project, Earthquake Early Recovery and Reconstruction Support to Pakistan; emphasises that this project should focus on protecting the most vulnerable in the short term, restoring economic activity in the affected areas, including reviving small businesses and replacing lost assets in agriculture, and creating employment opportunities through training and skills enhancement programmes; recommends that, in the medium and long term, measures to rebuild and secure livelihoods should include microfinance and skills enhancement, and urges the Commission to support such strategies in the long term;

64.  Notes with satisfaction the funds released by the Commission for urgent relief operations for the earthquake victims in AJK and Pakistan; however, urges the Humanitarian Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid to accede to the request of the Prime Minister of AJK to release further funds for rehabilitation and reconstruction purposes that will go a long way towards removing the after-effects of this human disaster;

65.  Congratulates all those involved in identifying and addressing the public health needs of earthquake survivors in camps, which, despite the challenges associated with the provision of clean potable water and appropriate sanitation facilities in post-disaster situations, have not seen major outbreaks of water-borne diseases; congratulates the Pakistani Government on having provided shelter and supplies to more than two million displaced persons to sustain them through the winter, and congratulates India on having now re-housed the 30,000 people who were made homeless on its side of the LoC; is concerned that there are reports of thousands of people still living in tents, as witnessed during Parliament's SAARC delegation visit from 15 to 22 December 2006 to AJK;

66.  Notes that Pakistan established a Federal Relief Commission within days of the disaster to coordinate search and rescue and relief operations; regrets, however, that Pakistan was unable to accept Indian offers of helicopters, on the grounds of their pilots' nationalities, as well as cross-LoC joint relief operations, medical relief teams and repair of telecom infrastructure, all of which could have significantly contributed to reducing casualties; regrets, therefore, that the earthquake has not been an opportunity to show the political will to prioritise the humanitarian needs of the Kashmiri population and to overcome political differences;

67.  Welcomes the funds so speedily pledged by Pakistan's neighbouring states (India, China, Iran, Afghanistan) and, on a wider regional basis, by Turkey and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and by the international community as a whole; congratulates the European Commission, and, in particular DG ECHO, already present in Pakistan, for its immediate and effective response; encourages donors to deliver as swiftly as possible on their original pledges;

68.  Congratulates the Commission in particular on its programme of rolling funding in response to the earthquake, which has now provided EUR 48.6 million, and which is delivered in partnership with NGOs, the Red Cross and UN agencies; calls for a continuing EU commitment towards reconstruction in Kashmir;

69.  Stresses that reconstruction funds should be significantly focused on initiatives to conserve the remaining forests, notably through the availability of alternative fuel sources, reafforestation, environmental education programmes and, possibly, compensation schemes allowing the AJK government to provide compensation for loss of income resulting from curbs on timber sales;

70.  Regrets that the Pakistani Government insisted that all Indian labels be removed from the humanitarian aid delivered by India before it was distributed;

71.  Highlights the fact that the initially hesitant reaction to the disaster by the Pakistani military created a needs vacuum in the immediate aftermath, which was exploited by militant organisations on the ground, such as the Jamaat-i-Islami, and Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the renamed Lakshar-e-Tayyaba (declared a terrorist organisation and, as such, banned by the Musharraf government in 2002), who swiftly became de facto providers of food, lodging, schooling for children and welfare for widows; is very concerned that this has bolstered the credibility of such polarising groups in the eyes of the local population, further undermining any potential for genuine democratic representation;

72.  Urges the governments of India and Pakistan together with the international community to do all they can to implement safeguards and to monitor closely the use of funds delivered;

73.  Warmly welcomes the landmark agreement of 2 May 2006 to revive trade and commerce across the LoC between the divided regions of Jammu and Kashmir by launching a truck service on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route, as well as a second cross-Kashmir bus service, linking Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir with Rawalakot in AJK; suggests the establishment of a road network between Jammu and Sialkot and Gilgit-Baltistan; also suggests the introduction of a rail link between Jammu and Srinagar and improvement of the road connecting the two cities; welcomes Prime Minister Singh's pledge on 23 May 2006 to create an environment of freer trade and freer movement with "soft borders" to create a climate for a Kashmir settlement; strongly encourages both sides to move rapidly to significant volumes of official trade; urges swift agreement on the modalities of road freight, with an emphasis on simplifying them as far as possible; suggests the establishment of an integrated market development plan, with several agri-processing units, cold chains, small-size container services and bonded trucking services;

Conclusions

74.  Urges the EU and its institutions not to let the plight of the people of Jammu and Kashmir disappear from the radar screen and to ensure that aid and other programmes are designed and implemented with long-term recovery and institution-building in mind;

75.  Underlines that, as the EU's own experience demonstrates, one of the keys to improving relations between countries is through increasing bilateral trade flows; believes that, in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, cross-LoC trade is particularly vital to the generation of economic growth, development and the unlocking of its economic potential; recommends that transportation and infrastructure projects be made a priority;

76.  76 Strongly supports continuing initiatives by the political establishments on both sides and at all levels, and urges them to give priority to the needs of the people of Kashmir, both materially and institutionally, so that their political, economic, social and cultural disadvantages can be redressed; recommends that the EU be available to respond to requests from either government;

77.  Recognises the outstanding work being undertaken by the Commission's delegations in Islamabad and New Delhi;

78.  Notes that natural disasters sometimes create the political conditions for peacemaking; that nature knows no borders and that it is only by Pakistan and India taking sustainable action together that they can offer the people of Kashmir any hope of rebuilding a future;

79.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States, to the Governments of the Republic of India and of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the competent authorities or governments of Indian and Pakistani–administered Jammu and Kashmir, and the People's Republic of China, and to the United Nations.