​​​Freedom                             Democracy                        Equality

Islamabad Declaration passed in All Parties Conference, title of which was, ‘Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan in the state of limbo and future prospective.’ This important Conference organized by United Kashmir Peoples National Party (UKPNP) in Islamabad, in which renowned leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan, Gilgit Baltistan, human rights activists, thinkers, lawyers, journalists and authors with forward looking approach, assembled to discuss situation of peace and human rights in forcibly divided State of Jammu and Kashmir; and formulate appropriate strategies to counter threats to peace and human rights. Honorable leaders and delegates of this Conference unanimously: 1. Pronounce that the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir is a separate political entity; and its unification, stability, prosperity and independence is our ultimate goal. 2. Declare that Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan are legal and constitutional parts of the former State of Jammu and Kashmir. 3. Caution the Government of Pakistan to refrain from unilaterally changing the status of these areas, as that would seriously affect the Jammu and Kashmir dispute; and could prove to be counterproductive. 4. Reiterate that the Jammu and Kashmir is not a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan; therefore, it could not be resolved bilaterally. As the Principal party to the dispute, the people of Jammu and Kashmir must have the final say on the future of our motherland. 5. Enunciate that the right to life is a fundamental human right, and this right is violated on both sides of the Line of Control in the divided State of Jammu and Kashmir. We request people with guns to exercise restraint, as guns do not provide any solutions, and they add to misery and suffering of the people. 6. Assert that people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir have been victims of aggression, extremism and violence since 1947. They are forcibly divided, and continue to suffer on both sides of the Line of Control. This forced division and suffering must come to an end, as people deserve to enjoy their fundamental human rights. 7. Express their strong resolve that human rights must not be selective. Equality, human rights and justice must be for all the citizens. 8. Announce that there is no military solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, and dialogue is the only way forward; and to support the dialogue and peace process among all three parties to the dispute, politics of gun, fear and intimidation must end. 9. Acknowledge that India and Pakistan have interests in Jammu and Kashmir, but we do not concur with them; as our interests must be paramount, as we are the principal party to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. 10. Emphasis that people of Jammu and Kashmir, and all oppressed nations in Pakistan should unite, and work together to promote peace and tolerance, and help to establish a conducive environment where people can feel safe. 11. Strongly condemn growing ‘Land Grabbing’ in Azad Kashmir and in Gilgit Baltistan, where military, non-state actors and other influential people are illegally and forcefully seizing private and public property, hill tops and tourist resorts like Peer Chanasi Hill Top in District Muzaffarabad. These holiday resorts belonged to the people of this region, where people freely went with their families. After seizing these holiday resorts, military and non-state actors restricted access to the entire area by erecting barbed wire, and no one is allowed to enter. If someone ignores their instructions, orders are to shoot him on sight. 12. Critics policy of systematically plundering our natural resources, and constructing mega dams and diverting natural flow of rivers in this disputed territory. This illegal construction and diverting of rivers result in serious environmental problems for the local people, including access to clean drinking water. 13. Notify government of Pakistan that continued oppression and injustice may compel people to rise against Pakistan; therefore, it is prudent to stop exploiting our natural resources, and give us the ownership of the dams already built within the territory of Jammu and Kashmir State. 14. Demand construction of all mega dams should stop as they are anti – people and anti- environment. Construction of mega dams is against the interests of our people. Before the construction of mega dams, the authorities must take local people into confidence. 15. Recommend the government to take effective measures to control activities of those who promote extremism, violence and intolerance in Azad Kashmir and in Gilgit and Baltistan, and in various parts of Pakistan. Also, they must ensure that religious and ethnic minorities in Pakistan must not become victims of intolerance and hate. 16. Starkly opposed brutality perpetrated on unarmed civilians who were peacefully protesting against high prices, lack of electricity, lack of clean drinking water, and systematic exploitation of our natural resources. 17. Remind the Pakistani authorities that we are also human beings, just like people of Pakistan. We also need clean water, electricity and other necessities. Azad Kashmir produces around 3,000-megawatt electricity, and our consumption is less than 400 megawatts, at least, provide us that. Our people suffer without electricity for long hours, and they still pay hefty bills and taxes. 18. Demand that all Citizens of the State who hold State Subject Certificates should be allowed to freely interact with each other; and for this purpose, some area along the LOC should be reserved where people can meet and socialize with their friends and relatives. 19. Urge the government of Pakistan and India to respect the State Subject Notification of 1927, as that Ordinance grants a special status to people of Jammu and Kashmir. In this context, demand Pakistan to stop violating this law, and stop settling people in Gilgit Baltistan to change the demography of the area. 20. Observe that hundreds of thousands of people who are uprooted due to different military operations and mega projects must be rehabilitated, and resettled according to the constitution of Pakistan and international norms forth with. 21. Worried about continuous practices of enforced disappearances, extra juridical killings and torture by the secret agencies, and law enforcement forces. The government of Azad Kashmir is a silent spectator and is not doing anything to protect people. We demand that witch hunt of political opponents, the cases of enforced disappearances, extra – judicial killings and torture must end now. 22. Exceptionally disturbed about this policy of using religion as a weapon and violence as a tool to advance political and strategic agenda to suppress the democratic and progressive voices. 23. Recognize that we should formulate strategies to educate people about fundamental human rights, and empower them with skills and relevant education that they can protect their rights; and challenge those who promote extremism, religious intolerance, violence and hatred. 24. Advocate this demand of the people that there must be free, totally impartial and transparent elections in Azad Kashmir and in Gilgit Baltistan; and the clause of ‘accession’ must be removed that all people can participate in elections without any fear or intimidation. 25. Highlight the importance of people to people contacts as that helps to build bridges of confidence, and help to resolve disputes. Therefore, it is imperative to open all traditional routes of the forcibly divided State of Jammu and Kashmir so that people can interact with each other and eradicate misunderstandings, differences and hatred. 26. Understand that South Asia has a turbulent history where interests of many other countries also clash with the interests of countries of the region. We must ensure that our forcibly divided Jammu and Kashmir and South Asia should not become a battleground for the ‘new cold war’ or a ‘new Great Game’. We all have to live in South Asia and face challenges of 21st Century; and work together to counter threats of terrorism, violence and xenophobia. 27. Call on governments of India and Pakistan to respect and honor civil and political rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir State; and also request the government of Pakistan to refrain from annexing areas of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, as that will further exacerbate the situation. Instead, we request the government to grant autonomy to both areas under their control so that the elected members could help the local people with everyday social, political and economic problems.

​​​ United Kashmir People's National Party

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