London, Jun 28: Pakistan People"s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has said that a peaceful and democratic South Asia has the potential to provide enormous benefits to the region. Zardari was speaking during a two-day Indo-Pakistan conference in London. He said the region including Afghanistan, had tremendous energy resources, which could assist in the development of the respective economies.
He called for a strengthening of ties with India through economic integration, trade, business co-operation, media exchanges, transportation links, energy requirements, sports, entertainment, information technology, medicine, education, agriculture and peaceful use of nuclear energy. “The PPP has made trade not conflict, a priority of its relations with India. After 60 years of independence and mutual acrimony, we must now pledge an end to war and terrorism," the Daily Times quoted Zardari, as saying.
“The PPP had also agreed to build pipelines for oil and gas to be pumped across Pakistan to India, he added.
Concerning the Kashmir issue, Zardari called for a viable peace and agreed with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh"s view of an autonomous Kashmir running most of its affairs.
Underscoring the importance of bringing the military under civilian control in Pakistan, he said it was important that the civilian government and parliament had an upper hand in devising and conducting the country"s foreign policy.