Nawaz Sharif bats for peace, economic integration with India

Advocating peace and economic integration with India, former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said the bilateral peace process required strong political will, which his PML-N party was determined to provide if voted to power.

Sharif said if the PML-N is voted to power, he would push forward the peace process with India from where it was left during his last term as premier in 1999.

"My party is clear that the peace process requires strong political will," he said.

Sharif was premier of Pakistan when the then Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee took a bus journey to Lahore to boost the bilateral peace process. However, the Kargil war erupted immediately afterwards, turning the peace efforts sour, and Sharif was then disposed off by Gen Pervez Musharraf in a military coup.

Sharif said his PML-N was determined to provide much needed political backing to peace and economic integration in the region, he added.

"My party and I are committed to bringing change because that is the only way forward open to people of this region," Sharif said.

Sharif condemned violations of the ceasefire along the Line of Control. "Such incidents can sabotage the peace process," he remarked.

Civil society and media had played an important role in bringing the people of India and Pakistan closer, he said.

Earlier, speaking at the event on 'South Asian vision for economic union', organised here by the South Asian Free Media Association, Sharif said the SAARC countries should realise that there could not be peace in one country while the rest of the region was burning.

Talking to reporters after the event, Sharif said granting Most Favoured Advocating peace and economic integration with India, former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said the bilateral peace process required strong political will, which his PML-N party was determined to provide if voted to power.

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