Pakistan, Indian lawmakers urge talks for peace in region

Eurasia News

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India need to resume dialogue process for sustainable peace in the region, a joint communiqué issued at the end the fifth round of the two-day Pakistan-India Parliamentary Dialogue said in Islamabad on Friday, Dispatch News Desk reported.

The lawmakers of both countries agreed to continue parliamentary level contacts and expressed satisfaction over progress on different issues including visa and trade.

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

“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,” Hussain said.

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

Hussain 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.

The chairman 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 said.

Hussain warned that a new cold war in the region would be destabilising for regional cooperation.

Moreover, 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.

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.

Meanwhile, 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.

Hussain 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.