Try Mumbai perpetrators, resume composite dialogue: Ban Ki-moon (Roundup)

February 5th, 2009 - 7:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Feb 5 (IANS) Urging Pakistan to cooperate with India in prosecuting the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage that New Delhi has blamed on elements operating from this country, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has asked the two countries to resume their composite dialogue process in the interest of regional peace and stability.”I have urged the prime minister (Yousuf Raza Gilani) that the Pakistan government should have a full investigation into this issue and fully cooperate with the Indian government,” Ban said at a joint press conference here Wednesday along with the Pakistani leader.

Ban, who was on a daylong visit to Pakistan, hoped the composite dialogue process would soon resume.

“I would strongly urge again, even though you have suffered because of this Mumbai terrorist attack in your relationship with India, engage in composite dialogue as you have been very sincerely discussing all aspects of bilateral relationship, this is what the UN and international community wants,” Ban maintained.

India halted the composite dialogue process following the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that claimed more than 170 lives, including those of 26 foreigners, and injured over 300.

India Jan 5 submitted a detailed dossier to Pakistan pointing to the involvement of elements from this country in the Mumbai mayhem. Gilani said on Sunday that Islamabad had examined the dossier and would submit a report to New Delhi through diplomatic channels. He has also said that Pakistan was willing to amend its laws to enable prosecution of its nationals who were responsible for terror attacks outside the country.

Ban welcomed the statement while Gilani reiterated it at the press conference.

“My interior adviser told the cabinet today that the law exists and, if needed, it could be improved. I want to make it clear that we will not allow anyone to use the Pakistani soil against any country,” Gilani maintained.

Ban repeatedly spoke of the need for improving India-Pakistan ties.

“In a meeting with Prime Minister Gilani, I had asked for maintaining and strengthening the rapprochement between India and Pakistan that has taken its own momentum during the last several years as regional cooperation will pave a new era of cooperation, a peaceful co-existence and socio-economic transformation in South Asia,” Ban contended.

He also hoped Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani would move forward with the resumption of the composite dialogue.

Terming Kashmir an “important issue” between the two countries, the UN secretary general said the international community wanted both countries to resolve this and other long-pending disputes through their composite dialogue process.

“All these issues should be addressed peacefully through dialogue,” Ban maintained.

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