Pak PM condemns Kabul embassy bombing,says peace process progressed

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Colombo, Aug 2 (UNI) Pakistan, for the first time, today condemned the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul and called for fighting terrorism unitedly, observing that the India-Pakistan Peace Process had achieved ''noteworthy progress'' since the installation of a democratically-elected government in Islamabad.

''India and Pakistan are engaged in a peace process since the induction of an elected government in Islamabad. The Peace Process has registered a noteworthy progress which augurs well for both countries as well as the region,'' Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani said in his address at the 15th SAARC Summit here.

Condemning the terrorist attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Mr Gillani called for jointly fighting the menace and said terrorism and extremism challenged the entire value system in the region and needed to be fought ''individually and collectively.'' ''It is our joint responsibility to rid the region of this menace. We need to fight terrorism indiviually and collectively.

Pakistan has suffered the most (from terrorism) although it afflicts the entire region. We too have lost our great leader Ms Benazir Bhutto to terrorism,'' he added.

He welcomed the finalisation of the text of SAARC convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.

Mr Gillani said the meeting of the SAARC Police Chiefs and Interior Ministers later this year in Islamabad would be mutually beneficial to member countries.

Observing that the grouping had made some ''notable achevements,'' he said there was, however, no room for complacency and it had to be recognised that the gap between accomplishments and potential was still wide.

UNI RB RJ RP BD1510

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