Indo Pak track-II diplomats condemn Mumbai blasts
Srinagar, July 16: Jinnah Institute and Australia Indian Institute on Saturday condemned the Mumbai blasts.
In a joint statement issued by the heads of the Indo-Pak Track-II Dialogue Group, President of the Jinnah Institute, Sherry Rehman and Amitabh Mattoo, Director of the Australia India Institute condemned the triple blasts that ripped through Mumbai on July 13, 2011 killing 21 persons and injuring 140.
Both Rehman and Mattoo expressed solidarity with the victim's families in the wake of such grievous personal tragedy. They condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and hoped that the perpetrators would be brought to speedy justice.
They hoped that this unfortunate incident would not affect dialogue between India and Pakistan and this attempt to derail the peace process will not find any takers among the people or establishments of the two nuclear armed states.
Sherry Rehman said that the people of Pakistan stand in solidarity with their Indian neighbors in the time of this grave tragedy, the likes of which have already caused severe damage to the people and state of Pakistan.
They took this opportunity to remind policymakers that Pakistan and India had been making steady progress in the bilateral dialogue process recently and were poised to hold substantive talks at the ministerial level on key issues including “trade, terrorism and Kashmir.” “Progress on fronts for mutual cooperation is more likely to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure on both sides of the border rather than aggressive posturing or an escalation of tensions between the two neighbors,” they said.
They urged both countries to work hard at confronting “terrorist forces” together and sapping them of the hate-based ideologies these groups draw strength from.
The Jinnah Institute and Professor Amitabh Mattoo have been leading a program of track II dialogues between high level policy makers from India and Pakistan where policymakers from both sides of the border had consistently warned against the possibility such events.
Based on recommendations from these dialogues, Rehman and Mattoo stressed that this is just the kind of “upturn in peace that terrorists wish to sabotage.” And a post-Mumbai like break in cooperation and communication between the two countries would benefit neither state. They stressed that it is essential to keep channels of communication open and encourage intelligence and information sharing between the two states.
Echoing the sentiments from senior analysts on both sides of the border they also emphasized the need to develop joint counter terrorism strategies and crisis protocols to “combat the network of terrorist groups working in the region.” The heads of the Indo-Pak Track II Dialogue Group said, "Violence is the one option that both states have eschewed consistently for a while, despite crisis that sparked conflict, so non-state violence must be met with decisive responses in both countries.” Reiterating the message from a series of track II dialogues between India and Pakistan, Sherry Rehman and Amitabh Mattoo both urged restraint and responsible reporting instead of sensationalism from media practitioners on both sides.
Given the immense power of public platforms as either peace multipliers or threat escalators, they advised all public figures to demonstrate responsibility and restraint and work towards constructive ways forward.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 17 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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