Ignore calls for war with Pakistan, pleads archbishop

September 28, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

New Delhi, September 28, 2016: A Catholic prelate has urged India’s political leaders to ignore calls for retaliatory military action against Pakistan that has been blamed for several terrorist attacks in the country.

“We should not entertain even the thoughts of revenge,” Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara of Faridabad told a press conference in New Delhi on September 27.

The prelate, a former Vatican diplomat, condemned the September 18 “dastardly terrorist attack” on an army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir state that killed 19 soldiers. India has blamed Pakistan for this as well as several earlier attacks in various parts of the country.

Archbishop Bharanikulangara, whose diocese spreads over 950,000 square kilometers from Jammu and Kashmir to Uttar Pradesh in northern India, said he was also concerned about the strident demand from some groups in India for “instant retaliatory action against Pakistan.”

According to him, such action would exacerbate the situation and lead to “war with disastrous consequences” for India. “And that is exactly what the terrorists want,” said the 57-year-old prelate who worked as a Vatican diplomat in Iraq during war years.

Asserting that war is no solution in the 21st century, he called for dialogue and diplomacy to resolve problems between the two South Asian nations. He foresees serious economic repercussions for India in the wake of a war with Pakistan.

At the same time, the prelate wants India to fortify its borders to prevent terrorist sneaking into the country. He said recent attacks at Indian targets exposed the laxity of the country’s intelligence department and security lapse.

He asserted the need for avoiding blame and boosting the morale of the soldiers and the defence machinery.

Archbishop Bharanikulangara wants India try to isolate Pakistan internationally. “In the long run, there is no weapon more powerful than this international isolation,” says the prelate who had served the United Nations for four years as a Vatican diplomat.

He called all to pray for peace on the border and those affected by terrorism exported from across the border. He also announced that his diocese will observe October 16 as a day of prayer for peace.

– matters india

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