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Vanity of India, Pakistan responsible for tension: Pak delegation

Source: PTI
May 14, 2003 17:15 IST
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The 'vanity' of the governments of Pakistan and India is responsible for the continuing tension between the two countries, a Pakistani parliamentary delegation on a visit to India said in Kolkata on Wednesday.

"But people on either side of the border don't want war," Member of Pakistan's National Assembly M P Bhandara said in an interaction with members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in Kolkata.

"Governments don't come from the heavens or fall off trees. They are made of people like you and me. Then why are these evil winds blowing in the subcontinent?" the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam) member asked.

Bhandara said not only peace, but trade, tourism and cultural exchanges in the subcontinent were at stake due to the 'political warfare'.

Pakistan People's Party legislator Shakeela Rashid said regional peace and integration were gaining new ground in the world, but South Asia was still lagging behind. "When Europe is coming closer like never before, why not South Asia?" she asked.

Leader of the delegation and PML-Q legislator Ishaq Khan Khakwani invited a similar group from India to visit Islamabad for bolstering people-to-people contact.

The speaker of the West Bengal Assembly, Hashim Abdul Halim, who chaired the interactive meet, said despite the hype over nuclear capabilities of both countries, there was no fear of nuclear war in the region. "A nuclear war is never a possibility between India and Pakistan, none of us can afford it," he said.

Halim echoed the sentiments of the Pakistani delegation saying governments were engaged in 'political war' for their own agenda. "People certainly don't want this."

The delegation, in the last leg of its tour that began on May 9, met veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu at his residence in the morning and praised the communal cohesion of West Bengal. "Among all the places in this subcontinent, West Bengal is the most communally harmonious state and has been able to maintain its communal fabric despite many a Godhra in the country," Rashid said.

She said Basu's simplicity and constructive down-to-earth approach to the Indo-Pak issue had deeply impressed the delegation, which would make a special mention of the Marxist leader's thoughts in its inputs to the Pakistan government.

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