Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

India and Pakistan

Delivered in Plenary - January 12th 2004

Mr President

On a point of order. Last week at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, India and Pakistan announced that they will meet again in a month's time to take bilateral confidence-building measures, including talks on Kashmir. This House will welcome an easing of tensions at the most dangerous flashpoint in the globe which only two years ago was on the brink of a nuclear war. Both countries have recently announced a ceasefire along the line of control in Kashmir, restored airline and bus links and signed a trade agreement.

In March, India's cricket team will be visiting Pakistan for the first time in a decade. Sport and friendship go hand in hand. I urge President Musharraf, nevertheless, at the same time to ensure an end to cross-border terrorist infiltration and I welcome the news today of the arrest of those accused of attempting to assassinate him. I am sure this House will wish to express its encouragement and support for the peace process.