Association of Humanitarian Lawyers
Washington D.C. July 15, 2005: Dr. Ghulam Nabi, Executive Director of the Kashmiri American Council, expressed his happiness for the unanimous consensus of the adoption of the Washington Declaration at the conclusion of the two-day International Kashmir Peace Conference taking place in Washington D.C. “To have consensus with such a diverse group of people and backgrounds has made this conference a definite success.” The two-day conference was sponsored by the Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center and the Association of Humanitarian Lawyers, and co-sponsored by Kashmir Center, Brussels, Kashmir Center, London, World Kashmir freedom Movement, on July 14-15th.
The declaration reads as follows:
2. The Conference welcomes the new dawn and manifested sensible approach to resolve the Kashmir dispute through a peaceful negotiated settlement on the basis ofexisting ground realities keeping in view the sensitivities and wishes of the Kashmiri people. The will and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir should be realized.
3. The conference resolves that the Kashmiri should be an integral component of the ongoing peace process as they are the primary stakeholders. They should be inclusive in the peace process, as it will facilitate permanent durable and honorable settlement of the Kashmir dispute.
4. The conference rules out war as an option and calls upon all the parties to the dispute to work for a comprehensive cease-fire and bring every form of violence to an end to improve the environment for a constructive and progressive dialogue.
5. It is resolved that the cease-fire line as an option is totally unacceptable. However, pragmatic routes to conflict resolution to be identified.
6. The conference calls for an intensive and comprehensive dialogue between different opinions andregions of the state on both the sides of the dividing line. This interaction will improve the level of trust and confidence, as it will also help to develop a consensus in the conflict resolution. The governments of India and Pakistan must facilitate the inter and intra-Kashmir dialogue.
7. The conference calls for cessation of all types of human rights violations and will help in developing the confidence of common people as they must perceive a change of attitude so vital for having a trust in the wisdom of political leadership pursuing the peace process.
8. The Conference calls for protection of all minorities. All the displaced persons including Kashmiri bandits should be facilitated to return to their ancestral home.
9. The conference welcomes all the Kashmiri’s specific CBM’s. A process of demilitarization will give a considerable boost to the process of peace and reconciliation. The release of political prisoners will strengthen the peace process.
The Draft Committee was comprised of the following people: