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Jointly patrol border: Pak delegation

Source: PTI
May 13, 2003 18:27 IST
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The border between India and Pakistan must be jointly patrolled by the armed forces of the two countries in order to tackle cross-border terrorism, the Pakistani parliamentary delegation visiting India suggested on Tuesday.

"Time has come to address the issue of cross-border terrorism face-to-face. Our point is there is no such thing, but India says there is. So we should have joint patrolling from both sides or establish a neutral body, which India and Pakistan can trust, to oversee this issue," leader of the delegation Saleem Jan Mazari said at an interactive session organised by Indian Merchants' Chamber in Mumbai.

G G Jamal, a member of the delegation, said, "Maybe terrorism exists in India but we also have seen such activities. French engineers building submarines for Pakistan were blown away in one such incident. We have it on both sides so it does not mean that we go on blaming each other. We have to sit and start talking."

The delegation also suggested a union between India, Pakistan and Bangladesh on the lines of the European Union to develop trade. "This is just a suggestion but it is ultimately for the governments to chalk out modalities for such an initiative," Mazari clarified.

He insisted the delegation is on an unofficial visit to India with an aim to drive home the message of peace, love and friendship to Indians.

"In my mind, Pakistan occupied Kashmir cannot be taken away by force and same is the case with Kashmir here," he said. "This issue cannot be solved by war."

"There are certain people across the border and over here whose benefit lies in both countries not coming together and we have to be aware of them," he added.

The people should come together and encourage both the governments to go along with the mood of the masses, Mazari said. He, however, added the issues, which cannot be solved overnight should be kept in abeyance.

Mazari said the life of majority of people in both countries has not changed even after independence. "They are still living in despair and poverty and governments have failed to address their problems."

"Governments have been busy in inter-fighting and they lost their energy and wealth in this process," he said.

On South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation, he said if relations between India and Pakistan improved then even this alliance could become more effective.

Mazari said the delegation will convey the feelings of Indian people to the government back home and in future delegations on education, medical and technological facilities could also be exchanged. "By coming here, we have taken the first step and would like a similar gesture from India," he said.

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