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SAFMA hopes their efforts would take shape one day
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SAFMA hopes their efforts would take shape one day

A Pakistani delegation comprising about 25 members, including leading parliamentarians and eminent journalists, crossed into India via the Wagah border checkpost to participate in the Second South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) Parliamentary Forum to be held in Shimla on June 2 and 3.

By Ravinder Singh Robin

Wagah, May 31 : A Pakistani delegation comprising about 25 members, including leading parliamentarians and eminent journalists, crossed into India via the Wagah border checkpost to participate in the Second South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) Parliamentary Forum to be held in Shimla on June 2 and 3.

Former Pakistan Law Minister and Senator S.M. Zafar is leading the delegation and it was received at the India-Pakistan border by the Punjab chapter of SAFMA.

Members of Pakistan's National Assembly and journalists of that country are expected to speak at the conference. On their arrival, they said that they were hopeful about the ongoing peace efforts being made by both Islamabad and New Delhi, and added that they were visualising a scenario when South Asia would constitute a union like the European Union to faciliate both greater socio-economic development.

A member of the SAFMA felt that the peace dialogue would take some time to show tangible results, as those opposed to it, including fundamental elements, needed to tackled and brought on board in a convincing manner.

"Gurbat ko khatam karna to asli mudah hain (to get rid off the poverty from the both countries is the main issue)," said Senator Zafar.

Tehmina Daultana, a Pakistan Muslim League member of the National Assembly, said that there was a need to stress on resolving the core issues between both countries. She said that efforts should be made to provide relief to the Kashmiri people who are suffering.

Hailing the a sizeable participation of SAFMA for the efforts made for establishing peace in South Asia, she said India and Pakistan should endorse the efforts of SAFMA and implement its suggestions in the larger interests of regional peace and prosperity.

"We are trying to establish a democracy in Pakistan," Hafiz Hussain Ahmed of Mutahida Majlis e Amal said.

He emphasized that to solve the Kashmir issue, the people of Kashmir should be taken into confidence, and added that conferences like the one being organised in Shimla, could make this objective a reality.

Satnam Manak, a senior member of SAFMA's Indian chapter, said that External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee would deliver the keynote address.

ANI

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