Had Benazir been alive, Indo-Pak relations would have been better: CM

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KARACHI – Had Benazir Bhutto been alive, India and Pakistan would have had better relations, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah said on Friday at the CM House where a 15-member Indian peace delegation of intellectuals, writers, parliamentarians, educationists and social activists called on the CM. Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that the need of the hour is to make efforts for resolving issues between India and Pakistan. Feelings of hatred should be removed from the hearts of the people of the neighbouring countries, he added.
He said that the spirit of goodwill of the Indian peace delegation is remarkable. He appreciated the efforts of the peace mission for organising an annual gathering on August 14 at the Wagah border where a large number of people from India and Pakistan celebrate the event. The CM said that as far as the Pakistan People’s Party is concerned, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto have always made all-out efforts for improving relations between both countries. The people of India and Pakistan have remained connected, and there is an acute need to further develop and maintain people-to-people contact on a non-political basis, he added.
He said that there are two important issues concerning India and Pakistan – the Kashmir dispute, and the fishermen’s issue. The office-bearers of the Human Rights Commission should especially pay attention to the fishermen’s issue and make efforts for the release of poor fishermen on both sides of the border, he added. Leading the Indian delegation, renowned journalist Kuldip Nayar said that it is the responsibility of the civil society to make efforts for better, cordial relations between the two countries.
Nayar stressed the need of dialogue on various issues and hoped that sound solutions could be achieved. “We have stayed with each other for many years, and our traditions, cultural heritage, languages and costumes are the same,” he said. India and Pakistan is separated by a border, but there should not be a barrier separating the people of both countries and the spirit of love between the people should be strengthened, he added.
The meeting was also addressed by Media Coordinator of Sindh Government Taj Haider, Secretary General of Human Rights Commission Iqbal Haider, Mrs Shamimur Rehman, Sanjay Nahar, Haris Kidwae, Krishna Rao, Ramesh Yade, and Lakshmi Prasad.
The CM presented traditional gift of ajrak to the participants of the delegation. Sindh Electric Power Minister Shazia Marri, Coordinator to CM Siddique Abu Bhai, Special Assistant to CM Waqar Mehdi, Secretary to CM Alamdeen Bullo, and Political Secretary to CM Nazar Muhammad Gaho also attended the meeting.