Mumbai Bloodbath: A Statement by Concerned Citizens of India and Pakistan

This Joint Statement was released to the press simultaneously in Pakistan and India on November 30 2008.

We are deeply shocked and horrified at the bloody
mayhem in Mumbai, which has claimed more than a hundred and ninty lives
and caused grievous injuries to several hundred people, besides sending
a wave of panic and terror across South Asia and beyond. We convey our
profound feelings of sorrow and sympathies to the grieving families of
the unfortunate victims of this heinous crime and express our
solidarity with them.

As usual, all sorts of speculations are circulating
about the identity of the perpetrators of this act of barbarism. The
truth about who are directly involved in this brutal incident and who
could be the culprits behind the scene is yet to come out and we do not
wish to indulge in any guesswork or blame game at this point. However,
one is intrigued at its timing. Can it be termed a coincidence that it
has happened on the day the Home Secretaries of the two countries
concluded their talks in Islamabad and announced several concrete steps
to move forward in the peace process, such as the opening of several
land routes for trade - Kargil, Wagah-Attari, Khokhropar etc -,
relaxation in the visa regime, a soft and liberal policy on the issue
of release of prisoners and joint efforts to fight terrorism? Again, is
it just a coincidence that on this fateful day the Foreign Minister of
Pakistan was in the Indian capital holding very useful and productive
talks with his Indian counterpart? One thing looks crystal clear. The
enemies of peace and friendship between the two countries, whatever be
the label under which they operate, are un-nerved by these healthy
developments and are hell bent on torpedoing them.

We are of the considered opinion that the continued
absence of peace in South Asia - peace between and within states -
particularly in relation to India and Pakistan , is one of the root
causes of most of the miseries the people of the region are made to
endure. It is the major reason why our abundantly resource-rich
subcontinent is wallowing in poverty, unemployment, disease, and
ignorance and why militarism, religious and sectarian violence and
political, economic and social injustice are eating into the very
vitals of our societies, even after more than six decades of
independence from colonial rule.

At this moment of unmitigated tragedy, the first thing
we call upon the Governments of India and Pakistan to do is to
acknowledge the fact that the overwhelming majority of the people of
India and Pakistan ardently desire peace and, therefore, the peace
process must be pursued with redoubled speed and determination on both
sides. The sooner the ruling establishments of India and Pakistan
acknowledge this fact and push ahead with concrete steps towards
lasting peace and harmony in the subcontinent, the better it will be
not only for the people of our two countries but also for the whole of
South Asia and the world. While the immediate responsibility for
unmasking the culprits of Mumbai and taking them to task surely rests
with the Government of India, all of us in South Asia have an
obligation to join hands and go into the root causes of why and how
such forces of evil are motivated and emboldened to resort to such acts
of anti-people terror.

It is extremely important to remind the leaderships of
Pakistan and India that issuing statements and signing agreements and
declarations will have meaning only when they are translated into
action and implemented honestly, in letter and spirit and without any
further loss of time. It assumes added urgency in the prevailing
conditions in South Asia , with the possibility that so many different
forces prone to religious, sectarian and other forms of intolerance and
violence may be looking for ways to arm themselves with more and more
sophisticated weapons of mass murder and destruction. The bloodbath in
Mumbai must open the eyes of our governments, if it has not already

We urge upon the governments of India and Pakistan to immediately take the following steps:

  1. Cessation of all hostile propaganda against each other;
  2. Joint action to curb religious extremism of all shades in both countries;
  3. Continue and intensify normalization of relations and peaceful resolution of all conflicts between the two countries;
  4. Facilitation of trade and cooperation between the two countries and in
    all of South Asia . We welcome the fact that the Srinagar-Muzaffarab ad
    and Poonch-Rawlakot borders have been opened for trade and that the
    opening of the road between Kargil and Skardu is in the pipeline.
  5. Immediate abolition of the current practice of issuing city-specific
    and police reporting visa and issue country-valid visa without
    restrictions at arrival point, simultaneously initiating necessary
    steps to introduce as early as possible a visa-free travel regime, to
    encourage friendship between the peoples of both countries;
  6. Declaration by India and Pakistan of No First Use of atomic weapons;
  7. Concrete measures towards making South Asia nuclear-free;
  8. Radical reduction in military spending and end to militarisation.



  1. Kuldip Nayar, journalist, former Indian High Commissioner, UK., Delhi
  2. S P Shukla, retired Finance Secretary, former Member, Planning Commission, Delhi
  3. PEACE MUMBAI network of 15 organisations, Mumbai
  4. Seema Mustafa, Journalist, Delhi
  5. Manisha Gupte, MASUM, Pune
  6. Dr. Ramesh Awasthi, PUCL, Maharashtra
  7. Jatin Desai, journalist, Mumbai
  8. Prof. Ritu Dewan, University of Mumbai
  9. Prabir Purkayashta, DSF, Delhi
  10. Prof. Pushpa Bhave , Mumbai
  11. Paromita Vohra, filmmaker, Mumbai
  12. Achin Vanaik, CNDP, Delhi
  13. Meena Menon, Focus on the Global South, Mumbai
  14. Romar Correa Professor of Economics, University of Mumbai
  15. Anjum Rajabally, film writer, Mumbai
  16. Anand Patwardhan, filmmaker, Mumbai
  17. Kamla Bhasin, SANGAT, Delhi
  18. Dr. Padmini Swaminathan, MIDS, Chennai
  19. Sumit Bali, CEO, Kotak Mahindra Prime Limited
  20. Dr Walter Fernandes, Director, North Eastern Social Research Centre, Assam ,
  21. Rabia, Lahore Chitrkar
  22. Rakesh Sharma, filmmaker, Mumbai
  23. Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy, JNU, Delhi
  24. Prof. Anuradha Chenoy, JNU, Delhi
  25. P K Das, architect, Mumbai
  26. Neera Adarkar, architect, Mumbai
  27. Datta Iswalkar, Secretary, Textile Workers Action Committee, Mumbai
  28. Madhusree Dutta, filmmaker, Majlis, Mumbai
  29. Amrita Chhachhi, Founding member, PIPFPD
  30. Mazher Hussain, COVA, Hyderabad
  31. Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty, Delhi
  32. Prof. M C Arunan, Mumbai


  1. Mr. Iqbal Haider, Co-Chairman, Human Rights Commission Pakistan and former federal Minister of Pakistan
  2. Dr. Tipu Sultan, President, Pakistan Doctors for Peace & Development, Karachi
  3. Dr. Tariq Sohail, Dean, Jinnah Medical & Dental University , Karachi
  4. Dr. A. H.. Nayyar, President, Pakistan Peace Coalition, Islamabad
  5. Justice (Retd) Rasheed A. Razvi, President, Sindh High Court Bar Association
  6. Mr. B.M.Kutty, Secretary General , Pakistan Peace Coalition, Karachi
  7. Mr. Karamat Ali, Director, PILER, Karachi , Founding member, PIPFPD
  8. Mr. Fareed Awan, General Secretary , Pakistan Workers Confederation, Sindh
  9. Mr. Muhammad Ali Shah, Chairman , Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, Karachi
  10. Mr. Zulfiqar Halepoto, Secretary, Sindh Democratic Front, Hyderabad
  11. Professor Dr. Sarfraz Khan, Area Studies Centre ( Central Asia), Peshawar University
  12. Syed Khadim Ali Shah, Former Member National Assembly, Mirpur Khas
  13. Mr. Muhammad Tahseen, Director, South Asia Partnership (PAK), Lahore
  14. Mrs. Saleha Athar, Network for Women's Rights, Karachi
  15. Ms. Sheema Kermani, Tehreek-e-Niswan, Karachi
  16. Ms. Saeeda Diep, President, Institute of Secular Studies, Lahore
  17. Dr. Aly Ercelan, Pakistan Labour Trust, Karachi
  18. Mr. Suleiman G. Abro, Director, Sindh Agricultural & Forestry Workers Organisation, Hyderabad
  19. Mr. Sharafat Ali, PILER, Karachi
  20. Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, PILER, Karachi
  21. Mr. Ayub Qureshi, Information Secretary , Pakistan Trade Union Federation
  22. Ms. Sheen Farrukh, Director, Interpress Communication Pakistan , Karachi
  23. Mr. Zafar Malik, PIPFPD, Lahore
  24. Mr. Adam Malik, Action-Aid Pakistan , Karachi
  25. Mr. Qamarul Hasan, International Union of Food Workers (IUF), Karachi
  26. Prof. Muhammad Nauman, NED University , Karachi
  27. Mr. Mirza Maqsood, General Secretary, Mazdoor Mahaz-e-Amal
  28. Ms. Shaista Bukhari, Women Rights Association, Multan