He also said that within South Asia , Sri Lanka has the highest allocation for social security, has the highest literacy rate and the condition of women there is much better than the rest of South Asia.
He criticized that even in times when hundreds of thousands of people live below the poverty line, and hundreds of peasants commit suicide in India,there exist people who defend increasing the military budget. “War is never the solution for a conflict..”
To keep the things going as they were, "authoritarians try to find a military solution for every matter which can clearly be resolved through dialogue. One way to change this trend, is to reduce the military expenditure by 40 per cent. If we do reduce the amount of defense expenditure, the army will still be able to function effectively, though the military elite will have a little less for their comfort and indulgence." He suggested that 3 per cent of the GDP be given for the welfare of the 40 million officially poor people in Pakistan. He also put forth the idea of instituting a South Asian Dispute Court for resolution of conflicts.
Shahida Wizarat spoke on the issues of regional peace against the
backdrop of the political situation in Afghanistan, Wazirstan, Wana
, Swat and the inter-provincial conflicts. Ms. Wizarat said that Afghanistan
was attacked by Soviet Union in 1979 and then the US and NATO in 2001.She
then compared the two situations and said in the former situation,
dialogue took place at the international level but in the present
invasion of Afghanistan nobody questions the presence of the US and
Nato forces She said, whether it is Swat or Waziristan, Wana or Balochistan
, the indigenous people must identify the core substantive issues.
If the army itself has to conquer its own people…. it shows their
Dr. Wizarat told the audience that according to a CIA Report published 8 years ago, in 2015, Pakistan Government will only exercise authority over two provinces of Punjab and Balochistan.The question arises: How did the US know this years ago?
Dr. Wizarat said the NATO is sitting in Afghanistan with the permission of United Nations . Aliens exist on both sides of the borders…What is never talked of is that every where in the Muslim world …the countries have been divided into secular versus religious groups and then these forces are made to constantly fight. Behind the smokescreen of war on terror they are fulfilling ulterior motives of the US.
Ibrar Kazi, of the Sindh Democratic Forumthat overtime, Sindh has
become a poor province . He quoted Kaiser Bengali’s, SPDC 2004 Report,
that except for Karachi , which is least deprived district , and Hyderabad’s
27th rank, the rest of the 19 districts of Sindh were ranked below
the 50th rank of the deprived regions of Pakistan. The total number
of districts is 100. What is ironic is that Sindh is a resource rich
land. The richest districts of Tharparker and Badin, are the most
deprived. He said Sindh supplies 50 per cent of the natural gas to
all Pakistan,its coal reserves are the sixth largest in the entire
world. “Yet we don’t have water to drink in Sindh…. Every fifth person
in lower Sindh suffers from hepatitis.“
Muhammed Tehseen, SAP, commented that , “The absence of war is not peace… 4000 to 7000 people are missing in Balochistan. The phenomenon is so pervasive that in popular discourse phrase “miss ho gaya” has been coined to indicate the status of the disappeared person..
“Our army has been training the Srilankans for killing Tamils in coordination with RAW and Moss’ad and this must be stopped”. He said that whenever the authorities should be appreciated we must laud them, but when they do something wrong, we must not hesitate to criticize them for their errors. He suggested that Ayesha Siddiqa’s phenomenal book Military Incorporated must be translated into Urdu and Sindhi for the masses to understand the dichotomy of what the army claims to be and what it actually is. He stressed that we have to seek for consensus of all political parties so that the future generations can live secure and respectable lives.
Summing up the morning session, Ibrahim Joyo, well-known intellectual and senior political activist, noted that within Pakistan, each constituent province too has its own peace issues to deal with. “The key to a peaceful transition into a democratic state is by way of first identifying the issues within each province and resolving them."
Ibrahim Joyo said that there could be peace in the state only if all federating units were given their constitutional rights. He said that the federating units were demanding social and economic justice. Besides, he said, there were some domestic issues of each nation in these units.
Naila Qadri told the audience that “I am putting forth my grievances by sugar-coating them because if I open my heart you will surely drive me out of this conference”. She said that extra judicial arrests were being made in Balochistan. According to an estimate 8000 people have been arrested, as a result of which migration from Balochistan towards Afghanistan and Iran was taking place. She said that it is not just a made-up story or a piece of fiction: she herself had been arrested and two people from her family are still missing. She said we do not have much faith in the current provincial parliament as the indigenous Baloch parties did not constitute it: they boycotted the elections.
The youth of Balochistan do not see a united Pakistan nor think like a united Pakistani. They (the youth) ask, “Why should we?” They see their women being abused, raped, young men arrested, respected leaders bombed..
She said that people of Balochistan were apprehensive of change in their demography in the wake of purchase of land in Gwadar by outsiders. She said we are wary of civil society and media for not completely highlighting the problems of Baloch and for not giving it full coverage. She said Baloch constantly feel that they are neglected … “for example we all know how the October 8th earthquake was covered and how scant coverage is given to the military operations in Balochistan."
“Though we do support the Lawyer’s movement, we ask you what has the supreme court and the Chief Justice done for the missing Baloch?”. She ridiculed the idea of launching bus/ train services for reducing tensions between India and Pakistan…she asked the audience can you really believe these buses and such tourism links can bridge the gaps in the minds of the people living on both sides of the borders? So many buses run daily between Punjab and Balochistan & Punjab and Sindh. What difference do these make?
Yusuf Masti Khan contended that gas was being produced in Balochistan but the people of Sui do not have it. He argued that Nawab Akbar Bugti wanted negotiations but he was murdered and his relatives were not even given access to its padlocked coffin. Militarization is not the way out.
He said that this was a state comprising of four nations who had protection under international laws but if they were deprived of their civil rights then they have the right to take extreme actions. “We are not against development but we abhor slavery and you need to review your policies”, he said.
Akhtar Hussain said people needed right over their economic resources so that every nation could advance. He said that feudal class and religious forces were the allies of the establishment. He emphasised need for gathering all secular forces so that industrial development could be ensured. He said that the country doesn’t have agriculture policy although we are an agrarian country.
Karamat Ali of PILER said that all the people of the federating units were concerned over issues and were complaining against each other. Obviously, he said, there was no war but the condition was fraught with risk.
It was announced that on the 3rd and 4th of May, 2008 there will be a preparatory meeting of People’s SAARC in Lahore, which will highlight issues like freedom of movement , militarization especially Pakistan’s role in the suppression of Tamils and regularization of emigrants working within South Asia (around 5 crore).
Executive Director of South Asia Partnership (SAP) Mohammad Tahseen urged the civil society organisations to support present government but play a role of watchdog because present parliamentarians include feudal lords who promote slavery. He said that such a check by people could ensure communal justice.
Mr. Ibrahim Joyo said that KSA, Dubai and even China, all have legal clauses to limit the influx of migrants within their countries. “They do not give citizenship to emigrants based on these laws.”
Speakers at the National Peace Conference have demanded an end to military operation in Balochistan and asked for an increase in spending on social structure for welfare of people instead of maximum allocations for military expenditures.
Based on all the demands and observations, a declaration was passed at the conference titled as “The Hyderabad Declaration”. The adopted resolutions called upon the government to fulfill promises it had made. It called for provincial autonomy, economic freedom and removal of social disparities, constitutional resolution of contentious issues including water sharing among provinces and NFC award, judicial independence and reinstatement of judges; cuts in defence expenditures and diversion of funds to health, education, poverty and welfare and an end to military operation in Wana and Balochistan.
detailed copy of the Hyderabad Declaration and the List of the names
of the contending delegates is attached with this report. The proceedings
of the conference went very close to the planned schedule. The event
was quite successful and was given coverage in major newspapers like
the Dawn , the Daily Times in English , Jang and Express in Urdu ,
Koshish and Sobh in Sindhi.
For complete story go to the following links:
20 April 2008
We also affirm and commit ourselves to the vision of a just political, economic, social and cultural system free of all discrimination and distinction; free from exploitation and oppression--a system that provides opportunity to all individuals to realize their basic human rights.
We express our disagreement with heavy military expenditures by the establishments of Pakistan and other South Asian countries and commit ourselves to campaign for reduction in defense expenditures so that ample funds are available for social development.
However, we also recognize the reality that ruling civil and military elite have kept people apart by creating walls of suspicion, hostility, intolerance, disinformation and ethnic and religious divide aimed at maintaining the status quo.
and fraudulent concept of national security has been used to terrorize
own people to encourage militarization. This system has created a
favorable environment for para-military forces to curb democratic
debate and dissent on vital issues.
We demand from the new democratic government to immediately stop military operation in Balochistan and properly investigate motives behind the operation. We also demand immediate release of all “missing people” and action against those who are involved in this illegal act.
We recognize the right of local people over resources and stress the need of having a just and acceptable system of distribution of resources at local, provincial and federal level.
We believe that economic insecurity is a big threat to peace and we demand from the government to ensure that entire population is provided social security coverage.
NWFP: We recognize that people’s rights have been suppressed in NWFP and northern areas in the name of so-called war on terror. We think that it is not Pakistan’s indigenous war but an imported war, which has threatened Pakistan’s foundation. We warn the new government that its being trapped and lured to continue the war by accepting dollars. We demand immediate withdrawal of foreign forces from Pakistani land and provide people an opportunity of peaceful life.
Sindh: We also recognize that Sindh is facing worst law and order situation and demand the government to establish writ of law in the province. We recognize the threat of ethnic divide in Sindh and resolve to live together peacefully and act in a way to brig mind and souls together for a peaceful and prosperous Sindh. We also recognize that Sindh is facing worst law and order situation and demand the government to establish writ of law in the country.
Punjab: We condemn recent bomb blasts in Punjab and believe that the majority of population in Punjab is peace-loving people who have been wrongly portrayed due to the actions of a group of civil military officials. We resolve to work together for provincial harmony.
demand from the South Asian states to
Additional points forwarded by the participant for inclusion in the Hyderabad Declaration:
We condemn the killings of the lawyers in Karachi, and demand an independent
inquiry to apprehend the culprits.