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India, Pak should not allow non-state actors to derail peace process: Britain

Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond speaks during a news conference with his counterpart, Pakistan's advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz (not pictured) in Islamabad, Pakistan March 8, 2016.  REUTERS/Caren Firouz - RTS9R8Z
Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond speaks during a news conference with his counterpart, Pakistan's advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz (not pictured) in Islamabad, Pakistan March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Caren Firouz - RTS9R8Z

Islamabad: British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Tuesday urged Pakistan and India not to allow non-state actors and other pressure groups to derail the peace process between them.

“I urge both Pakistan and India not to allow non-state actors and other pressure groups to derail the peace process. Settling the Kashmir issue should not be a precondition for starting the dialogue process,” The Express Tribune quoted Hammond as saying while addressing a joint press conference with Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

Hammond advised Islamabad to accelerate the investigation of deadly terror- attack on the Indian Air Force Base.

The British Foreign Secretary lauded Islamabad’s role in the fight against terrorism and said Britain will continue its support to Pakistan in war on terror.

Meanwhile, Aziz assured Hammond that a joint investigation team was in process to complete its probe into the Pathankot attack.

“The team will visit India in the next few days and hopefully then a meeting between the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries will take place. The Indian High Commissioner himself stated that Foreign Secretaries’ meeting is not linked to the Phatankot investigation,” The Express Tribune quoted Aziz as saying.

Soon after the Pathankot attack, Pakistan set up a six-member Special Investigation Team to follow up on the leads which India had provided.

Aziz on being asked about the Afghan reconciliation process expressed that Islamabad was hopeful that the Afghan peace process with the Taliban will start in coming days.

Pressing that Pakistan is commitment to fight terrorism, Aziz confirmed that the government shared intelligence with New Delhi about possible terror attacks in India. (ANI)

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