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Indian delegation in Pak for conference on peace dialogue

PTI | Last Updated: Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 17:22

Lahore: A 14-member Indian delegation, including former ministers Mani Shankar Aiyar and Salman Khurshid, is in Pakistan to attend a conference for discussing steps to bolster the Indo-Pak peace dialogue.

The delegation, led by former petroleum and natural gas minister Aiyar and former external affairs minister Khurshid, arrived in Pakistan yesterday to attend the `Pakistan-India Bilateral Dialogue` in Islamabad.

The dialogue has been organised by former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri`s Regional Peace Institute. The Indian delegation travelled to Pakistan on Kasuri`s invitation.

Kasuri received the delegation at?the Wagah border yesterday.

Former ambassador and high commissioner N N Jha is also part of the delegation.

Talking to reporters, Aiyar, Khurshid and Kasuri said they had been actively working for the promotion of peace between India and Pakistan in their capacities as the ministers but "there were certain limitations."

"Now, we?have resumed the work in our?personal capacity and without the limitations of the former offices," they said.

Aiyar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s government had already taken the first step towards peace by inviting Pakistan`s Premier Nawaz Sharif to attend his swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi.

"Both the leaders held a dialogue and it looked the peace process will move forward," he said.

Aiyar said both the countries could help each other in many sectors and also jointly take benefit of the vast natural resources in the gas-rich Central Asian states.

"There is a need to remove misunderstandings and promote peace," he said.

Khurshid said the delegation had come to Pakistan for promoting peace and the process would continue to go forward.

Kasuri said that both the countries had fought five wars and they would not be able to eliminate poverty if they continued to fight with each other.

Kasuri said during the (Pervez) Musharraf regime, when he was the foreign minister, both the countries had come closer to peace.

All major conflicts like Kashmir, Siachin and Sir Creek had come closer to a resolution, he said.

The delegation will return home tomorrow.

First Published: Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 17:22

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