Suicide attack not to deter peace talks: India, Pak
The assertion comes in wake of a blast at an Islamabad hotel where the Indian High Commission held R-Day reception.india Updated: Jan 27, 2007 02:15 IST
Describing Friday's suicide attack at a local hotel where the Indian High Commission held its Republic day reception as a "dreadful terrorist act", India and Pakistan on Friday night said such incidents would not deter them from carrying on with the peace process.
"There has been speculation about what might and might not be the target of this attack but what it establishes really is that it (terrorism) has no borders and it is a common enemy," Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Satyabrata Pal said while addressing the reception in which a senior minister from Pakistan attended as the chief guest.
Earlier in the day, a suicide bomber and a security guard of Marriot Hotel were killed when the unidentified bomber tried to storm the hotel several hours before the reception was held.
After joint consultations, the two sides decided to go ahead with the reception in which over 100 guests from different walks of life attended.
"We must fight this common meance together in order to defeat it," Pal said. If there was a message that was being sent by those who sent this man (suicide bomber) to kill others here, it is that the terrorist will stop at nothing to destroy lives and disrupt lives," he added.
The Indian envoy said by "holding this reception we are sending a message back to them that we will not be cowed and we will not be frightened and disturbed".
Referring to the vast gathering of top politicians, officials, diplomats and the media at the reception, he said their presence is an act of solidarity not only for India "but also for the government and people of Pakistan in what is clearly a trying moement for them," he said.
Reciprocating Pal's assertions, Pakistan's Education Minister Gen (Retd.) Ashraf Jehangir Qazi said he fully endorsed the High Commissioner's views.
"We ourselves are victims of terrorism that is why we are fighting terrorism and continuing to do so until this scourge is eliminated from our country," he said. "We have been in the forfront of the terrorism because it takes innocent lives and knows no borders. Those who are targeting us must also realise that on such occasions when terrorist strikes they not only kill innocent people but also thwart peace between our countries," Qazi said.
"This peace process, Inshallah, (God willing) will go on untill we have all people in the region living in peace and working together for prosperity of all people of this subcontinent," Qazi, who was also a former chief of ISI, said.