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Terrorism, talks do not go together, UN forum told

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan stressed on Friday the importance of talks as part of efforts to eliminate terrorism and said the process must be pursued in good faith to accomplish the objective.

`Dialogue is not a tool of appeasement; it has to be pursued in good faith, as talks and terrorism do not go hand in hand, Ambassador Masood Khan told a panel of the UN Alliance of Civilisations (AoC).

Launched in 2005 through the initiative of Spain and Turkey, the AoC seeks to promote better cross-cultural relations worldwide.

Mr Khan said the government had initiated talks with militants because it was its constitutional obligation to relieve people`s fear, protect their life and honour and ensure their safety.

`To achieve this objective, dialogue in different forms must be given a chance,` he said while participating in a discussion on `Strengthening In te rn ation al Cooperation in Preventing Terrorism` organised by the AoC`s Group of Friends panel.

Mr Khan said that in order to eliminate terrorism Pakistan had always called for a comprehensive approach comprising deterrence, development and dialogue.-APP