SAHR Welcomes Indo – Pak Talks

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR)

 

SAHR Welcomes Indo – Pak Talks

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) welcomes talks between the Foreign Secretary of India Ms. Nirupama Rao and Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Mr. Salman Bashir which is scheduled to be held on Thursday, 24th June 2010 in Islamabad Pakistan.

India and Pakistan are to commence a set of back-to-back meetings, starting with the talks between their foreign secretaries. The talks are to cover an entire gamut of bilateral issues, including terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, confidence-building measures and the Indus water dispute. The aim is at bridging the trust deficit which was created after the Mumbai Attacks in 2008 and exploring ways to revive dialogue between them.

SAHR believes that the talks will provide a much needed opportunity to bridge the differences between the two countries and take positive steps towards peace between India and Pakistan. It is imperative that countries of South Asia overcome their hostility and sustain a dialogue to address the contentious issues and misunderstandings that have threatened peace and cooperation in South Asia. SAHR hopes that through these talks there will be a reaffirmation by both sides of their intention to promote regional cooperation which can establish better relations between the two countries to move towards a composite dialogue that will have a positive impact in South Asia.

SAHR is of the view that both countries must engage in a fruitful process of confidence building so that serious issues facing them as well as the rest of South Asia can be resolved,

SAHR hopes that the delegations of both countries will make serious efforts to resolves problems in the interest of peace and cooperation in South Asia and thus make peace a reality for the people. It also calls on both governments to encourage people-to-people contact by making travel easier between the two countries.

SAHR Secretariat

HRCP urges inclusive, transparent compensation plan for conflict-hit areas

Lahore, June 24, 2010: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has asked the government to inform the people as to how the plan for compensation for damage to houses in the conflict-hit zones of the country is progressing.

A statement issued by HRCP on Thursday said: “HRCP welcomes government’s move to start assessment of damage to houses in the conflict-hit northwestern parts of the country with a view to giving compensation to the affected people. However, while damage to totally or partially destroyed houses has been assessed in Buner, Upper Dir and Swat districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa and at least estimates of damages calculated in Bajaur and Mohmand regions in FATA, HRCP regrets that the same has not happened in Upper Swat and Lower Dir, Shangla, Hangu and Kohat districts in Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa and South Waziristan, Kurram and Orakzai agencies in FATA.

HRCP cannot emphasise enough the importance of early payment of compensation to the affected people, which is crucial for individuals to return to their communities and rebuild their homes and lives. It would also mitigate anger over damage to property in security forces’ operations and garner support for government action against militants.

HRCP strongly suggests that the government consult representatives of the affected people during the decision-making process to ensure that their concerns are addressed.

The government must also explain to the people how transparency would be ensured in the distribution of compensation and what mechanisms have been put in place to ensure accountability.”