South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, expresses grave concern at reports of the alleged beheading of two Indian soldiers in the Line of Control in the Kashmir region by the Border Action Team of the Pakistan Army on 01 May 2017. While Pakistan has strongly denied the allegations, SAHR believes that even suspicions that such an atrocity occurred and intermittent cross-border attacks which have happened in the past months have worsened the currently fragile relations between India and Pakistan even more.
The halt in peace talks and the minimal diplomatic engagement between the two countries has further exacerbated the volatile situation in Kashmir where people on both sides of the border undergo great suffering.
SAHR strongly recommends to both the countries to follow the Ceasefire Agreement of 2003 in letter and spirit, to resume back-channel dialogue and promote people-to-people contact to defuse the tensions from further escalating. SAHR also appeals to the media in India and Pakistan to prudently act by refraining from creating a war mongering ambiance.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights
Dr. Nimalka Fernando