Pursuant to Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure
by Pasqualina Napoletano, Glyn Ford, Neena Gill and Emilio Menéndez del Valle on behalf of the PES Group
on Kashmir: access to humanitarian aid
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
European parliament resolution on Kashmir: access to humanitarian aid
The European parliament,
- Having regard to its previous resolutions reaffirming the right of victims of natural disasters to have access to humanitarian aid,
- Having regard to the report issued in October 2005 by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, according to which there has been a global spike in worldwide natural catastrophes, as well as those of the manmade variety. More than 254 million people were affected by natural disasters in 2004,
Whereas on 8 October a major earthquake measuring 7.6 in magnitude struck northern Pakistan and the disputed region of Kashmir, as well as parts of India and Afghanistan, killing some 87,000 people, with more than 100,000 injured, more than 3.5 million people affected, and more than 100,000 individuals who have not received any aid at all,
Whereas the material damage has affected 7,197 educational institutions, 3,837 kilometers of roads: 2,366km in Kashmir, and 1,471 in the North West Frontier Province; whereas shelter, health care, camp management, heating, sanitation, food and seed distribution are the main priorities,
Whereas the UN has called on the international community to provide $550 million to respond to the urgent needs of survivors on the ground. Three weeks on from the devastating earthquake, only around 20% of the total money needed has been committed
Whereas the delivery of humanitarian assistance has been constricted by the mountainous area, cold weather, and damaged or collapsed infrastructure, and the ‘logistical nightmare’ continues to reach countless high country settlements cut off by landslides as money to keep helicopters airborne is fast running out,
Whereas India and Pakistan have engaged in a constructive dialogue since the beginning of 2004 -concurrently with the accession to government of the Congress Party- in order to put an end to some of the disputes facing them,
Whereas India and Pakistan struck a deal to open five points along the Line of Control (LoC) to provide aid for survivors of the 8 October earthquake, and currently these crossing are opened only to relief supplies and not to civilians.
Welcomes the Commission's decision to allocate EUR 13 million to ECHO, 40 million via the emergency reserve and 20 million in redeployment to address the most urgent humanitarian needs;
Calls on the Commission, the Member States and the rest of the international community
to provide more aid to help the relief operations; and also demands for an effective and proper coordination of the aid.
Welcomes the first exchange of relief goods on 7 November 2005 facilitated between India and Pakistan, along the Line of Control, and asks the authorities of both countries to allow the crossing of civilians,
Welcomes the fact that ‘cricket diplomacy’ led to the holding of a summit in New Delhi between the Indian prime minister and the president of Pakistan (17 April 2005); welcomes the fact that both parties are making progress in consolidating confidence-building measures, through gradual bilateral normalisation which could lead to a political settlement of the Kashmir frontier question;
Welcomes the signs of progress in Indo-Pakistani bilateral talks on Kashmir and other mutual displays of flexibility, such as the recently launched bus service between the two, Indian and Pakistani, parts of the territory, or the visits by the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs to Pakistan and the President of Pakistan to India;
Welcomes the Indian Prime Minister's declaration, supported by President Musharraf, that the Siachen Glacier in Kashmir should be regarded as a "Mountain of Peace" and as a new symbol on the path to full reconciliation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, and calls on the EU to support this positive move in order to achieve, as soon as possible, a definitive agreement between the parties, including on redeployment and withdrawal of military forces in the area;
Welcomes the active participation of the NATO forces in the humanitarian and relief operations;
Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the
Governments of India and Pakistan, and the Secretary General of the United Nations,