Ex-Pak Soldiers in India For Peace

NEW DELHI: An 18-member delegation of retired Pakistan Defence officials arrived here today on a week-long visit for talks with Indian leaders in a bid to promote peace between the two countries.

The delegation, including officials of Pakistan Army and Air Force, is headed by Lt Gen Humayun Bangash who was Corps commander and later Pakistan Ambassador to Turkey and Macedonia.

The delegation which will be in Delhi till December 3, will attend seminars and discussions at Delhi University and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and are also scheduled to call on Defence Minister A K Antony, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

The visit organised by the India Chapter of the India-Pakistan Soldiers Initiative for Peace (IPSI), is part of the Track-II Diplomacy to promote peace between the two countries.

According to Maj Gen T K Kaul, Executive President of the IPSI, the aim of the visit is to promote peace and harmony between the two countries which have gone to war three times earlier.

Maj Gen Kaul has himself participated in the 1971 war and has commanded anti-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Soldiers are the best ambassadors of peace as they have seen both sides of the devastation which a ar causes”; Gen Kaul said.

The Pakistan IPSI delegation, accompanied by their Indian counterparts, arrived at Amritsar on November 24 from Lahore after crossing Wagah border.

The delegation was in Chandigarh and Shimla till November 28 and called on Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil at Raj Bhavan.

The delegation leaders briefed the Governor about their efforts and contribution to facilitate people-to-people contact building confidence measures for ever lasting peace between the two countries.

The Governor commended their efforts and said the soldiers are the right ambassadors of repute to initiate and get involved is such ground level peace efforts as the public has tremendous faith in them.

They also visited Punjab Assembly and had an interaction with Speaker Charanjit Atwal and Mr Sunil Jakhar, Leader of Opposition and other legislators. Agencies

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