SAPAN supports the Pakistani foreign minister’s India visit and condemns the Poonch attack

MediaSAPAN supports the Pakistani foreign minister’s India visit and condemns the Poonch...

Monitoring Desk: The Southasia Peace Action Network (SAPAN), strongly condemns the murderous attack on an Indian Army vehicle in Poonch last Thursday that killed five soldiers on the last day of the holy month of Ramzan, ahead of the auspicious festival of Eid.

In a statement issued on April 25, 2023, SAPAN reminds that the men whose lives were taken in the ambush were fathers, sons, and brothers, who leave behind families devastated by their loss — havaldar Mandeep Singh, lance naik Debashish Baswal, Lance naik Kulwant Singh, sepoy Harkrishan Singh and sepoy Sewak Singh.

The deadly attack came ahead of the upcoming visit of Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to India where he will participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meetings. This will be the most senior-level visit from a Pakistani official to India in seven years.

Southasia Peace Action Network supports Pakistani foreign minister’s India visit and condemns Poonch attack

Regardless of who was responsible, the tragic incident fits the pattern that has been observed through the past decades: whenever something positive starts to happen between Pakistan and India, a violent act takes place to vitiate any possible goodwill that might be developing as things move forward. We are also concerned that the investigations into the attack should not lead to harassment of local populations.

Representing different religions, nations, and regions of Southasia and diaspora across the world, we strongly believe in peaceful coexistence and promoting prosperity through a focus on health, education, trade, and science.

SAPAN believes that conflicts cannot be resolved through violence and dialogue is the only way forward.

SAPAN hopes Belawal’s visit will mark the beginning of many such future engagements, and liberalization of visas to family members, exchange of artists, cricket bilateral series, students, and pilgrims.

“Growth and prosperity of the entire Southasian region are dependent on peace between India and Pakistan. Therefore, we urge government heads of all Southasian countries to unite together in condemning this terrorist attack and support a dialogue between Pakistan and India. We remind them that the interests of the people of Southasia must remain paramount”, said the SAPAN statement.

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