Pakistani-Americans Say No ‘Capitulation’ in Peace with India

Washington, DC: A number of Pakistani-American organizations while welcoming the recent thaw in Indo-Pak relations have cautioned that the a “final settlement” between the two countries must be made on the “principles of peaceful coexistence.”
The organizations, including the Chicago Council of Pakistani Organizations, the Pakistani American Council of Texas, the Pakistan American Democratic Forum, the Pakistan Association of Riverside and the Pakistan League of America, have come together to express their support for peace in South Asia while opposing “all forms of capitulation.” In a joint statement they said, “We welcome and support the current negotiations between Pakistan and India aimed at establishing just and lasting peace in the region.
“We believe that the final settlement between India and Pakistan should be based on the five principles of peaceful coexistence, namely, sovereign equality, non-aggression, non-interference, reciprocal and mutual benefit, and peaceful co-existence.
“The final settlement should also enshrine the 10 principles of the 1955 Bandung Conference with particular emphasis on ‘settlement of all international disputes by peaceful means, such as negotiation, conciliation, arbitration or judicial settlement, as well as other peaceful means of the parties own choice, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations” and on “respect for justice and international obligations,” the statement said.
The organizations stressed that any creative, out-of-the-box, peaceful, just and lasting solution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue must incorporate five key factors: genuine interests of all parties, rights of religious and ethnic minorities, equitable distribution of resources, most importantly water, overall stability, and regional cooperation. “Respect for existing treaties will be paramount in building confidence and finding a lasting solution. The Indus Water Treaty signed by India and Pakistan in 1960 assigned the three eastern rivers, Ravi, Sutlej and Beas to India, and three western rivers, Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab to Pakistan. This treaty provides a useful framework to resolve serious and substantial differences over India’s 11 water management projects on rivers Chenab and Jhelum,” the statement said.
It asked the Pakistani-American community to remain engaged with discussions about the shape of peace in South Asia. A frank dialogue with Indian-Americans could help connect the peace process to a shared vision, mutually agreed criteria, thoughtfully identified milestones, and measurable outcomes. “Those seeking to help build peace in South Asia must also remain committed to restoration of democracy in all countries of the region,” the joint statement declared.
The organizations said that while “we respect the democratic right of each individual and organization to choose any position on a given issue, we wish to prevent the false impression that the honor bestowed upon extremist BJP leader Mr. Lal Kishan Advani by the president of the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA) represents the majority opinion of Pakistani-Americans. Given the vigorous and widespread opposition within APPNA, it may not even be a majority decision of that organization.”


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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