Pakistan Peace Coalition
ST-001, Sector X, Sub-Sector V,
Gulshan-e-Maymar, Karachi-75340 [Pakistan]

January 28, 2002

JOINT STATEMENT ISSUED TO THE PRESS
By
B.M.Kutty and Karamat Ali


Two recent public statements made by President Musharraf deserve to be welcomed by all those who yearn for peace and stability in South Asia; one offering No War Pact to India and the other expressing Pakistanís willingness to work for the denuclearisation of South Asia.

It is regrettable that instead of reacting positively to President Musharrafís peace overtures, the Government of India has chosen this juncture of heightened tension between the two countries to test-fire a new version of its short-range nuclear missile "Agni". Against this background, one should feel relieved at Pakistan foreign ministerís assertion that Pakistan has no intention of changing its earlier decision to defer and postpone the testing of its "Shaheen" missile.

With the armies of the two countries poised against each other in a state of eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation and the world watching the two anxiously, it is high time that our governments broke themselves free from the hangover of the last fifty five years of mutual hostility and returned to the saner option of facing each other across the conference table. The peoples of Pakistan and India ardently desire peace, no matter what the biased information media of the two countries want the world to believe. They want to see the budgets of the two governments allocate a lot more funds for health, education, housing and other basic civic amenities and not for the murderous "Agnis" and "Shaheens".

As founding members and activists of the Pakistan Peace Coalition, which has been in the forefront of the movement for peace between Pakistan and India and the denuclearisation of the subcontinent, we call upon the Government of India to respond positively to President Musharrafís offer of a No War Pact and the denuclearisation of the subcontinent.

We urge upon President Musharraf and the Government of Pakistan not only to stand by their public commitment on a No War Pact with India and the denuclearisation of the subcontinent, but be bold enough to proceed unilaterally to cut down military expenditure in the forthcoming budget and take concrete steps to progressively move away from the suicidal path of nuclearisation of Pakistan., irrespective of what India does.
We appeal to the people of other SAARC countries to join us in calling upon the governments of Pakistan and India to stop playing with our collective destiny.



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