Resume composite dialogue, Ban urges India, Pakistan

February 5th, 2009 - 2:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Feb 5 (IANS) In the interest of regional peace and stability, India and Pakistan should resume their composite dialogue, halted in the wake of the Mumbai carnage that New Delhi blames on elements operating from this country, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said.“In a meeting with (Pakistani) Prime Minister (Yousuf Raza) 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 socioeconomic transformation in South Asia,” Ban said at a joint press conference at the Prime Minister’s House here Wednesday.

Ban was on a daylong visit to Pakistan.

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

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

India had temporarily 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 document 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.

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