LAHORE - The leaders of major political parties, intellectuals and civil society activists yesterday called for establishment of a joint security mechanism between Pakistan and India to fight the scourge of terrorism at the bilateral and regional levels.

They viewed that such an arrangement between the two countries was essential to preempt and bust terrorism through intelligence sharing. They also pleaded for out-of-box solutions to resolve all outstanding issues.

PPP Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, former foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, senior journalist, Ahmad Rashid, political expert Dr Muhammad Waseem of LUMS, Ambassador, Shahid Malik, General (Retd.) Ghulam Mustafa, Advocate Abdullah Malik and Secretary General SAFMA Imtiaz Alam were present at a seminar on Pak-India relations.

They endorsed a resolution demanding of the two countries to work jointly to confront the challenge of extremism plaguing the region at the moment.

The participants stressed that Pakistan and India must opt for out-of-box pragmatic solutions to all the outstanding disputes.

“We appeal to replace paradigms of conflict and animosity with a sub-continental detente and interdependence for the greater benefit of our people.”

Aitzaz Ahsan said that the two countries should not let the terrorists make Indo-Pak dialogue a hostage to their nefarious designs.

“They should keep it going uninterruptible”, he added.

Khurshid Kasuri affirmed that dialogue must remain uninterruptible, productive and immediately be resumed from where it was left last time. He also said that a conducive environment be created for peace, people to people contacts, trade and bilateral cooperation in other fields.

The speakers called upon media to avoid building hysteria and blame game and play its role to promote peace and understanding between the neighbours.

In a separate resolution, the participants demanded of Pakistan and Afghanistan to make a resolve not to let their territories be used by the terrorists without making the distinction of good or bad Taliban.

They also urged both the countries to evolve an institutional arrangement for joint management of border and coordinated operations against the terrorists. “They also must avoid blame game and work through four-nation forum for reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan”, said the resolution.

Expressing disappointment over postponement of Foreign Secretary level talks, the resolution urged that the two countries should take steps to set a roadmap for resumption of comprehensive dialogue. It said that an early meeting of national security advisers for essential for early conclusion of joint investigations to nab and prosecute the handlers of attack on Pathankot.

The declaration vehemently condemned all kinds of terrorism without any exception, including blatant terrorist attack on Bacha Khan University and Pathankot airbase. It also appreciated saner response by two governments and their resolve to fully cooperate in bringing the perpetrators of attack on Pathankot to book at the earliest. “We support the zero-tolerance policy against terrorism of any variety by Pakistan government and security establishment”, the resolution further stated.