The Institute for Peace & Secular Studies believes in, and promotes good relations between Pakistan and India. We believe that majority of the people in both countries who are poor cannot afford animosity and conflict between their respective countries. Thus we support all initiatives (socio-cultural and political) including pak-india diplomatic dialog to resolve all issues, people to people contact, cultural exchanges and trade between the two countries.
Independence & Partition: The fires of hatred stoked during the genocide of millions during 1947 still haunts us. But we can’t be slaves to our history and can rise above our past to respect each other and form a functioning regional union (SAARC) for the betterment of our collective people as all other nations have already done for their collective benefit (EU, MERCOSUR, etc.). The people of Pakistan and India share history, many traditions, languages, religions, a river basin, climate, geography and much more. It is just a matter of outlook. Do we look at what binds us or what divides us?
Kashmir: We believe that all peoples have the right to struggle for self-determination and freedom. But struggle has to be through peaceful means as violence only begets violence. Thus we urge both the Pakistani and Indian leadership to open up aggressive diplomatic negotiations with the Kashmiri leadership to resolve this political issue rather than allowing Kashmir to be used by warmongers in both countries.
Mumbai & Terrorism: IPSS condemns every act of terrorism whether it is in the name of patriotism, religion, nationalism or other. We consider the conflict/animosity between Pakistani and Indian State as fueling terrorism as it has allowed the growth of non-state militant actors. Thus we urge both States to resolve their difference and negotiate their regional interests diplomatically rather than fueling proxy wars to the disadvantage of both peoples.
Visa: In principle, IPSS supports a visa free regime for all countries of South Asia. Taking into account the current reality of terrorism, IPSS urges both countries to lift restrictions and ramp up their visa offices to allow for quick and efficient visa processing. We believe that trade and people to people contact would best counter the extremist forces on both sides of the border. The cultural exchange especially through artists, musicians would bring the two nations together.
Nuclear Weapons & Military Spending: IPSS support a Nuclear Free South Asia. We consider poverty in both countries as an outcome of respective State’s unproductive investment in nuclear weapons and large standing armies. We urge both States to declare peace by starting an unconditional dialogue to resolve mutual differences and re-prioritize State spending from war machines to human development (Education, Heath, Clean Water etc.)
Water: IPSS supports the Indus Basin Treaty as a mechanism to resolve water issues between the two countries. IPSS urges both countries to collectively plan for Climate Change projected increased glacial melt and river flow changes for the Indus River Basin.
Media: IPSS supports that Pakistani & Indian news channels be shown in both countries. Though it would highlight the prejudice that each society has for the other, it would also allow people of both sides of the border to hear the other’s opinion and participate in a dialogue.