Indian, Pakistani churches welcome new dialogue

Published February 1, 2004

Thrissur, India

Church leaders in India and Pakistan have welcomed the thawing of relations between their countries following meetings of the two rival neighbours at a summit of South Asian countries, held in Islamabad last month.

“The Churches in India consider the agreement to start dialogue between India and Pakistan as a new chapter of peace-building in South Asia,” said the National Council of Churches in India, a grouping of 29 Orthodox and Protestant churches.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee met during a South Asian summit for regional co-operation. They issued a joint statement announcing a timetable for bilateral talks on issues such as Kashmir, a region bordering both countries that has dogged their relations for decades.

The year began with restored air links between India and Pakistan. Trade treaties were signed during the seven-nation summit.


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