600 prominent Indian citizens appeal to Indian, Pak govts to "refrain" from further hostilities

As many as 600 citizens of India, “deeply concerned” at the recent escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan leading to “climate of intolerance”, have appeal to the two governments to “refrain from further hostilities, overt or covert, and to resolve their differences within the framework of international law and human rights.”
In a statement, they have said, while “nothing can justify the act of terrorism that took the lives of more than 40 CRPF personnel in Pulwama on February 14, 2019”, nor can “anything justify the Pakistan government’s covert support of armed groups that have carried out this sort of attack in Kashmir”, they insist, “India’s response to this incident must abide by international law in letter and spirit.”
In a statement, they have said, “The history of war across the world has repeatedly shown how easily and speedily an armed conflict can escalate well beyond what was initially expected”, adding, “It would be easy for seemingly “safe” strikes and counter-strikes between India and Pakistan to lead to a major confrontation, possibly even nuclear war, with disastrous consequences for both sides.”
Pointing out that “even a limited confrontation would resolve nothing – neither the tensions between India and Pakistan, nor the Kashmir dispute”, the statement says, “On the contrary, it would aggravate tensions and delay the process of conflict resolution.”
According to the statement, “The principal victims of this conflict are the civilian residents of Kashmir, who have endured immense suffering over the years, including gross human rights violations. In recent days, Kashmiris have also been a target of brutal attacks across the country.” It adds, “If the conflict intensifies, this hostility is likely to be extended to other minorities and dissidents.”
It continues, “Perhaps the biggest national damage is the erosion of democracy including the freedom of expression and dissent. Unfortunately, the climate of jingoism that tends to develop around this sort of situation is obscuring these simple truths. Even reasoned demands for a peaceful solution tend to be conflated with anti-national sentiment.”
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Click HERE for list of signatories

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