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Minute on India Pakistan

20 February 2004

Executive Committee meeting
17-20 February 2004

The Executive Committee recalled the statement of WCC Central Committee, August -September 2002, on the situation in South Asia particularly the heightened state of military confrontation between India and Pakistan. It called on member churches including those in the two countries to promote healing and reconciliation between the two nuclear neighbours. As a follow up to the Central Committee statement, WCC convened a Consultation of South Asian church leaders in August 2003, in Colombo, Sri Lanka that urged the churches in the two countries to engage in confidence building measures and actively participate in people to people exchange programmes.

The Executive Committee welcomed the statement made by India and Pakistan on 6th January after the meeting between Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and President Pervez Musharraf during the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Islamabad. It appreciated the agreement made between the two leaders to commence the process of composite dialogue in February 2004 and expressed confidence that resumption of such dialogue will promote progress towards the common objective of peace, security and economic development for their people and for the future generations.

The churches in India and Pakistan have welcomed this initiative and consider it a new chapter in peace-building in the region. Special prayers have been offered for the leaders as they prepare to engage in this historical process to usher in an era of peace and reconciliation after years of confrontation and hostility.

The Executive Committee taking cognisance of these developments:

  • reiterates the WCC's expression of solidarity and continuing prayers for the people and churches in Pakistan and India;
  • urges the two countries to sign and ratify the Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT;
  • reaffirms its support for the people and churches in Pakistan and India as they continue their efforts to promote peace and reconciliation;
  • calls upon WCC to continue to monitor developments and to support and encourage the churches and ecumenical bodies in the region in their efforts to promote a nuclear free zone to ensure just and lasting peace in South Asia.

Executive Committee meeting
17-20 February 2004

The Executive Committee recalled the statement of WCC Central Committee, August -September 2002, on the situation in South Asia particularly the heightened state of military confrontation between India and Pakistan. It called on member churches including those in the two countries to promote healing and reconciliation between the two nuclear neighbours. As a follow up to the Central Committee statement, WCC convened a Consultation of South Asian church leaders in August 2003, in Colombo, Sri Lanka that urged the churches in the two countries to engage in confidence building measures and actively participate in people to people exchange programmes.

The Executive Committee welcomed the statement made by India and Pakistan on 6th January after the meeting between Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and President Pervez Musharraf during the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Islamabad. It appreciated the agreement made between the two leaders to commence the process of composite dialogue in February 2004 and expressed confidence that resumption of such dialogue will promote progress towards the common objective of peace, security and economic development for their people and for the future generations.

The churches in India and Pakistan have welcomed this initiative and consider it a new chapter in peace-building in the region. Special prayers have been offered for the leaders as they prepare to engage in this historical process to usher in an era of peace and reconciliation after years of confrontation and hostility.

The Executive Committee taking cognisance of these developments:

  • reiterates the WCC's expression of solidarity and continuing prayers for the people and churches in Pakistan and India;
  • urges the two countries to sign and ratify the Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT;
  • reaffirms its support for the people and churches in Pakistan and India as they continue their efforts to promote peace and reconciliation;
  • calls upon WCC to continue to monitor developments and to support and encourage the churches and ecumenical bodies in the region in their efforts to promote a nuclear free zone to ensure just and lasting peace in South Asia.