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Continue peace talks: Pakistan political parties

Source: PTI
July 28, 2006 17:19 IST
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Several mainstream Pakistani political parties have asked their government against giving room to extremists to subvert the Indo-Pak peace process and urged the authorities in the two countries to stick to their commitment to continue with the dialogue.

Pakistan should not give any room to extremists based in its territory to disrupt the peace process, said a resolution passed at a meeting on Terrorism and Peace Process, organised by the South Asian Free Media Association.

The meeting, which comes close on the heels of the Mumbai train blasts, was addressed among others by Pakistan People's Party General Secretary Pervez Ashraff, senior Pakistan Muslim League (N) leader Iqbal Jhagda and Muttahida Majlis Amal General Secretary Fazlur Rehman, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly.

Moving the resolution at the conclusion of the meeting on Thursday, SAFMA Secretary General Secretary Intiaz Alam said India and Pakistan should fulfill their commitments on the dialogue process and referred to the January 6, 2004 joint statement reached at talks between then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and President Pervez Musharraf. The statement says that Pakistan will not allow its soil to be used for acts of terrorism against India.

He also referred to the April 2005 statement released at the end of Musharraf's visit to India in which both countries agreed not to let acts of terrorism disrupt the peace process.

The meeting, which condemned the Mumbai blasts and observed a minute's silence to mourn the dead, urged the two countries to resume peace process. SAFMA also announced peace marches on both sides of Wagah border both on August 14, Pakistan's National Day and August 15, India's Independence Day.

Alam said Pakistan must assuage India's concerns over terrorism and implement in "letter and spirit" the commitment made in Vajpayee-Musharraf statement.

Without referring to Islamabad's demand that New Delhi should provide evidence of involvement of Pak-based terror groups like Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Rehman termed as unfortunate the suspension of the talks following the Mumbai blasts and said the move could strengthen those elements who didn't want peace in the region.

He appealed to India not to give into 'lobbies' which are attempting to derail peace process and said the two neighbours should resolve their bilateral disputes through peaceful means as wars could not resolve conflicts.

Referring to Kashmir issue, Rehman said while it was considered as a national issue in Pakistan cutting across all sections of political opinion, successive Pakistani governments kept it as an emotional issue by inserting it in various India-Pak statements and agreements including the Shimla Agreement without making any effort to resolve it.

Rehman, who had the image of a pro-Taliban politician, said he wrote to the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad immediately after the blasts to strongly condemn them.

"Neither a religion nor law of the world empowers a person to kill innocent people. Particularly the religion of Islam is against the act of terrorism carried out by states, groups as well as by individual in all manifestations," Rehman said.

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