Unsubstantiated charges against Pakistan, say political parties

December 3rd, 2008 - 2:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Dec 3 (IANS) While reiterating their desire for constructive engagement with India, Pakistan’s political parties have also taken “strong exception” to the “unsubstantiated” allegations “made in haste” against this country in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.The declaration came Tuesday after a conference on national security chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani that was attended by heads of more than 58 political parties, including those in the ruling coalition and the opposition.

The conference, which lasted more than five hours, issued a seven-point declaration stating that the leaders and representatives of the political parties of Pakistan unanimously condemned the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

“It said the political parties took strong exception to the unsubstantiated allegations made in haste against Pakistan and reiterated Pakistan’s desire to pursue constructive engagement with India in a comprehensive manner with a view to building confidence and mutual trust for establishing friendly and good-neighbourly relations with India on the basis of settlement of all outstanding disputes,” The News reported Wednesday.

The declaration said the people of Pakistan share the grief of the people of India and extend sympathies to the families of the victims.

Addressing the conference, Gilani said it had been convened to create “political consensus” on the situation in the wake of the Mumbai mayhem and the Indian allegations against Pakistan.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Adviser on National Security Mehmud Ali Durrani also briefed the leaders on the situation in the wake of attacks in Mumbai.

“Political leaders, in their speeches, urged the government to adopt such a stance that exhibits the will of the nation,” The News said.

Speaking to reporters outside the Prime Minister’s House after the meeting, Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan was willing to fully cooperate with India in investigating the Mumbai attacks.

“Pakistan’s approach is positive and the Indian leadership should also adopt a responsible attitude,” he added.

He termed terrorism a major challenge and a common enemy that needed to be tackled through joint efforts. He said the region was passing through a critical phase and both sides needed to show tolerance, seriousness and patience and avoid finger-pointing.

Qureshi maintained that the prevailing situation did not allow for any irresponsible act by any side, adding there should be no blame game and finger-pointing from any side. Pakistan’s response and attitude, he said, was balanced and conciliatory.

Responding to a question on the two letters received from India, he said New Delhi had not accused the government and state of Pakistan and termed this a positive development.

“We have replied to the letter received on November 29 and consultation on the second letter that was received the other day was going on and it would be responded soon,” he added.

According to the minister, the composite dialogue process between Pakistan and India was progressing at a “good pace” and it was important that the two sides continue it.
Qureshi said the entire political leadership of the country has shown great maturity in the wake of the Mumbai blasts.

“At the same time, I also appreciate the role of the Pakistani media, which acted responsibly while the Indian media jumped to hasty conclusions,” he added.

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