South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional, democratic network of human rights defenders welcomes the meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on 10 July 2015. The two Prime Ministers held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit to discuss, among other issues, the status of bilateral ties and a host of common issues.
SAHR commends the timely decision and joint statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, announcing the release of all fishermen of Indiabeing held in Pakistan jails within a period of two weeks whilst repatriating Pakistani fishermen held in Indian prisons. In the past, thousands are arrested at the borders or while fishing in the deep sea. SAHR further calls upon the governments of India and Pakistan tofind a joint and lasting solution to resolve this ongoing issue.
Issues of terrorism, religious extremism, sectarian violence and communalization are major threats to peace, democratic development and security in India and Pakistan as well as in South Asia. SAHR emphasizes that state responses to terrorism which have not respected human rights, have contributed to insecurity, instability, militarization and encourage impunity for intelligence agencies and security forces.
SAHR calls upon the governments of India and Pakistan to build upon this meeting of Prime Ministers to establish peaceful relations and continued dialogue and discussions between the concerned parties to seek ways for non-violent resolutions.
Further, severe visa regulations have become an impediment to the free movement of people between India and Pakistan. SAHR urges the governments of India and Pakistan to work towards mutual cooperation and in addressing visa restrictions and promote the facilitation of free movement of people between the two countries.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights
Hina Jilani Dr. Nimalka Fernando