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Bishops of India warn against war

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) has appealed to nuclear-armed India and Pakistan "to refrain from the path of an armed conflict and to work toward a solution of peace and dialogue to fight terrorism."

The appeal from the bishops came as war clouds gathered over the Indian subcontinent, with India asking its uneasy neighbor Pakistan to end its support for the terrorist groups operating in the disputed state of Kashmir, or face Indian attack.

"India and Pakistan must work toward diplomacy and dialogue to avoid the present situation at their borders," said the CBCI statement, issued by Bishop Percival Fernandez, the CBCI secretary-general.

Asserting that the CBCI is of the "firm conviction that people of India and Pakistan are a peace-loving people", the statement said the people "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."

"War-- which ends only in the massacre of innocent people on both sides-- should be avoided at all costs, 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," the CBCI statement continued.

CBCI appeals for a peaceful solution to the current conflict between India and Pakistan (text of statement)
Catholic Bishops Conference of India


28 May 2002