Indian bishops appeal for peace

 The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India have issued the following statement: The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) urges India and Pakistan to refrain from the path of an armed conflict and appeals to the Government to work towards a solution of peace and dialogue to fight terrorism, which has claimed hundreds of innocent lives recently, especially in Jammu and Kashmir. The CBCI shares the concern of the people of our beloved country and that of the International community of the avoidable confrontation between the two nuclear powers of the sub-continent and appeals to both the Governments for restraint. The CBCI, while condemning terrorist attacks on our people, makes a special appeal to Pakistan to do everything possible to stop the infiltration of terrorists into the Jammu and Kashmir regions. Expressing the country's Bishops' concern, the Secretary General of CBCI, Bishop Percival Fernandez, said that "India and Pakistan must work towards diplomacy and dialogue to avoid the present situation at their borders. War, which ends only in the massacre of innocent people on both sides, should be avoided at all cost and both the countries should understand that they cannot afford a war at a time when millions of their people are living in poverty, social injustice, illiteracy and painful economic conditions". Archbishop Vincent Concessao of Delhi has joined his voice against war and has said that "war is never the solution to remove terrorism from India and Pakistan". Supporting fully the Government's efforts to root out terrorism and its roots, the CBCI appeals to the governments of both India and Pakistan to forsake the idea of war and to pursue the path of dialogue and international solidarity against terrorism. The CBCI is of the firm conviction that people of India and Pakistan are a peace loving people and they would never want a war between the two countries as a solution to fight against terrorism, which has affected both the countries at the cost of hundreds of innocent lives. Dr Donald HR De Souza Deputy Secretary General Catholic Bishops Conference of India

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