ISLAMABAD: Thought leaders from Pakistan and India have called for a sustained, uninterrupted and uninterruptible dialogue between both the countries to resolve contentious issues. In a joint statement issued on Sunday, around 250 intellectuals, journalists, writers, poets, educationists, filmmakers, professionals and students reminded that the people of Pakistan and India have seen too many conflicts and the loss of many valuable lives.“Those who suffer particularly are ordinary people denied visas and those in the conflict zones, especially women and children as well as fishermen who get routinely rounded up and arrested for violating the maritime boundary”, the statement said. The signatories have condemned all forms of violence regardless of its objectives and have expressed their deep concern at the current rise in animosity and antagonism between the two countries. They urged the governments and their security establishments on both sides to take all steps possible towards improving relations.“Whenever it seems that relations might improve, some form of disruption takes place ranging from jingoistic statements to militant attacks”, the statement noted. They advised both the states to observe caution and refrain from repeating traditional response to such disruptions, which they believe, only strengthens those who want continued tensions between the two countries.They urged both the governments and security establishments to develop an institutionalized framework to ensure that continuous and uninterrupted talks between India and Pakistan take place in all circumstances; ensure that political leaders, diplomats and bureaucrats from both countries conduct talks on the side-lines of all international and multilateral forums; recognize that the Kashmir dispute above all concerns the lives and aspirations of the Kashmiri people, and work to resolve it through uninterrupted dialogue between all concerned parties; implement the 2003 ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan; renounce all forms of proxy wars, state-sponsored terrorism, human rights violations, cross-border terrorism, and subversive activities against each other including through non-state actors or support of separatist movements in each other’s state; support and encourage all forms of people to people contact, and remove visa restrictions and discrimination faced by citizens of both countries; and finally, to increase trade and economic linkages and cultural exchanges between the two countries.The journalists among them pledged to uphold the principles of impartial reporting and urged media houses on either side to prevent the growing militarization of debate. “We must act responsibly and stop broadcasting hate speech and creating public hysteria aimed at the other country and/or vulnerable communities”, they resolved.The prominent names among the signatories from Pakistan included Kishwar Naheed (poet), Asma Jahangir (advocate Supreme Court), Afrasiyab Khattak (ex-Senator), Sheema Kermani (Director Tehrik-e-Niswaan), Raza Rumi (Editor Daily Times), Dr Pervez Hoodhboy (physicist/teacher), Karamat Ali (Executive Director PILER), Dr. Ayesha Jalal (Writer / Professor of History), Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa (scholar), Beena Sarwar (journalist), Bushra Gohar (politician, activist), Anis Haroon (activist), Jibran Nasir (activist), Adil Najam (academician), Asma Shirazi (TV anchor), Air Vice Martial Shehzad Chaudhry, TV anchor Ahmed Quraishi and Nasim Zehra (journalist / TV anchor).From India, the prominent signatories included Mani Shankar Aiyar (writer, former parliamentarian), Mahesh Bhatt (film producer), Prem Shankar Jha (journalist, columnist), Seema Mustafa (journalist), Shabnam Hashmi (social activist), Kamla Bhasin (activist), Kavita Krishnan (Secretary All India Progressive Women’s Association), Anuradha Bhasin (Co-chair Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy), Jyoti Malhotra (journalist), Maya Mirchandani, journalist (India), Nidhi Razdan (journalist), Nirupama Subramanian (journalist), Admiral L. Ramdas (former Chief of Naval Staff) and Gen. Tej Kaul (Executive President of India Pakistan Soldiers Initiative for Peace (IPSI).