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Pakistan, India urged to resume dialogue process

September 20, 2013
Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz receiving the head of Indian Parliamentary delegation Mani Shankar in Islamabad on Thursday. – Photo by Online
Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz receiving the head of Indian Parliamentary delegation Mani Shankar in Islamabad on Thursday. – Photo by Online
Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in a meeting with Indian Parliamentary delegation headed by Mani Shankar in Islamabad on Thursday. – Photo by Online
Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in a meeting with Indian Parliamentary delegation headed by Mani Shankar in Islamabad on Thursday. – Photo by Online

ISLAMABAD: Parliamentarians of Pakistan and India have called upon the two governments to resume dialogue process for sustainable peace in the region.

The call was made in a joint communiqué, issued at the end of their two-day talks in Islamabad on Friday.

The lawmakers of the two countries agreed to continue parliamentary level contacts.

The two sides expressed satisfaction over progress on different issues including visa and trade.

Chairman Senate Defence Committee Senator Mushahid Hussain, at the start of the talks earlier on Thursday, called for cooperation between India and Pakistan to “create new regionalism.”

Addressing Pakistan India Parliamentarians' Dialogue, a fifth in the series of dialogue initiated by PILDAT in 2011, he said: “Today, a greater South Asia is emerging as a new geo-economic entity which is not limited to SAARC countries but includes China, Myanmar, Iran and Afghanistan.”

“This New Regionalism should be knit together by cooperation in economy and energy, railway, roads and pipelines.”

The chairman, Defence Committee pointed out that the most important regional challenge is the upcoming US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 and which would have spill over impact on the region.

He stated that it is crucial that India and Pakistan work together to make bold decisions which may be unpopular yet are necessary.

“We should not repeat the mistakes of the past in future by carrying out proxy wars and revival of a cold war mindset that is detrimental to all regional players.” He warned that a new cold war in the region would be destabilising for regional cooperation.

He endorsed the sentiments of Mani Shankar Aiyer, member Indian Congress who was heading the Indian delegation, that the parliamentarians and common people on both sides should work together to create an atmosphere of good will and dialogue.

Senator Mushahid Hussain reiterated that the dialogue process should be fostered by the parliamentarians, political leaders and the media; a task that is beyond the capabilities of bureaucrats who are trapped in their traditional and outmoded mindset.

He extended full support, on the behalf of the Senate Defence Committee, in cooperation on any possible dialogue with its Indian counterparts, similar to the two dialogues conducted by the committee in Afghanistan and China this year.

Mushahid Hussain Syed argued that peace was indivisible and cannot be compartmentalised; hence, peaceful and just settlement of the Kashmir dispute would be a major plus for peace.