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Peace Activists Welcome the Joint Indo-Pak Statement

by sacw.net, 18 July 2009

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Released on 17 July 2009

We, the undersigned, welcome the Joint Statement of Indian Prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani signed at the Sharm-e-Sheih, Egypt on the sidelines of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit. The Joint Statement has put the Mumbai attack and terrorism up front unlike the impression sought to be created by hawkish elements in both the countries. The statement by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Gilani committing “that whosoever was behind the Mumbai attack will be brought to justice” is a positive development and we urge Pakistan to follow it up with appropriate and immediate action. India and Pakistan both need to work together on the issue of militancy as quickly as possible as both are victims of terrorism- mostly from the same elements.

That the statement de-links terrorism from dialogue is a positive sign, as the terrorists have the capacity to hijack and derail the peace process through their nefarious activities. The only way to isolate and defeat the terrorists is by both the countries engaging in constant dialogue and cooperation to root out this menace. A joint mechanism against terrorism is necessary.

We welcome the resumption of regular dialogue at the foreign secretary level and hope that all steps would be taken and an atmosphere is created that is conducive for an immediate resumption of the composite dialogue process. Prior to Mumbai terrorist attack, four rounds of composite dialogue were held on the identified eight issues and significant progress was made on all fronts and major breakthroughs were in sight when the Mumbai terror attack derailed the process. In hindsight it appears that Mumbai terrorist attack was perhaps enacted to scuttle such breakthroughs that appeared imminent.

The resumption of composite dialogue is the only roadmap towards permanent peace in the sub-continent. If the Joint Statement is implemented in letter and spirit the resumption of composite dialogue can take place as early as September when the leadership of both the countries meet on the sidelines of UN General Assembly.

  1. Admiral (Retd.) L Ramdas
  2. Kamla Bhasin, SANGAT, Delhi
  3. Mahesh Bhatt, Mumbai
  4. Prof. Kamal Chenoy, JNU, Delhi
  5. Nandita Das
  6. Jatin Desai, PIPFPD, Mumbai
  7. Mazher Hussain, COVA
  8. Varsha Rajan Berry, Focus
  9. Lalita Ramdas
  10. Ramesh Pimple, Peoples’ Media Initiative, Mumbai
  11. Sukla Sen, Ekta, Mumbai
  12. Manisha Gupte, PIPFPD, Pune

[For queries contact: Dr Mazher Hussain on 9394544244]