Sartaj Aziz, adviser to Sharif on national security and foreign affairs, made the statement while interacting with a group of visiting Indian MPs on Thursday.

If the Pakistan-India peace process became a victim of domestic politics, it would not augur well for future relations, a foreign office statement said.

Aziz, who hosted lunch for the MPs at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, underscored the importance of a dialogue at all levels between Pakistan and India.

The 13-member Indian delegation, representing 11 political parties, is in Pakistan for the fifth round of the Pakistan-India Parliamentarians Dialogue arranged by the Pakistan Institute for Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), the foreign office said.

Aziz said that durable peace was essential for the stability of the South Asian region, and this was only possible through a sustainable dialogue process. He expressed the hope that the expected meeting of Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly would give impetus to the peace process.

The leader of the Indian delegation, Mani Shankar Aiyer, said that they were in Pakistan on a goodwill mission and that both countries wanted peace. Aiyer said there was a need for both sides to develop a better understanding, clear misperceptions and work together to resolve difficult to develop a better understanding, clear misperceptions and work together to resolve difficult issues.

(Agencies)

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