Indian-Pak ex-army officials to promote peace process

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{image-indo-pak kaikorkunnu_04052008.jpg}New Delhi, May 4: The Army officials of India and Pakistan who earlier trained guns at each other, are now strengthening peace efforts between the two countries.

As many as 24 retired army officials of the Pakistan Army will attend a three-day Convention in Mumbai on promoting people-to-people contact between the two countries and economic and social development in the sub-continent. The Convention being held from May 10-12 under the aegis of India-Pakistan Soldiers' Initiative for Peace (IPSI) coincides with the 10th anniversary of the founding of IPSI. According to Maj Gen. (Retd.) Tej Kaul, Vice President of IPSI and Convenor of the Convention, the objective is to nurture a climate of peace and friendship between the two neighbours who have fought three wars with each other.

Ironically, Gen Kaul was the Brigade Commander of Jammu area in 1997 when militancy was at its peak in the state. He also served as the GOC of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa before his retirement.

The Pakistani military delegation, led by Lt Gen M Nasir Ahmad, comprises three Lieutenant Generals, four Major Generals, one Rear Admiral, two Brigadiers and one Colonel.

Gen Kaul said the issues to be discussed include people-to-people contact : making border irrelevant, economic development : a necessity for peace in the sub-continent, social uplift : shared past and sharing future.

The Forum has been exchanging visits in the recent past by retired Officers of the Armed Forces of the two countries for fostering goodwill and better understanding since its inception in 1998, he added.

Among the VIPs expected to attend are Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, J and K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, former J and K Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, former Union Minister Suresh Prabhu and Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju.


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