Mumbai: Appealing the governments of India and Pakistan to slash their respective defence spending, a media conclave here called for channelling the funds for socio-economic  development in both the countries.
   
"We have talked enough about building peaceful relationships between the countries, now let us concentrate on the real issues affecting the people of both the countries", observed speakers at a media conclave held in Navi Mumbai at the fag-end of the Mumbai visit of a 14-member media delegation from Pakistan.
   
"Increasing tension between India and Pakistan, piling up of arms worth billions of dollars helps only arms merchants from the US and other countries and is not at all in the interests of poverty-stricken India and Pakistan," said Tahir Hasan Khan, president of the Karachi Press Club which is leading the media delegation of scribes from Karachi and Sindh.
   
"We (the Pak delegates) have seen homeless people sleeping on the pavements of Mumbai and it is the similar situation in Karachi and other cities there," he said, adding that the governments of both the countries should spend more on poverty alleviation and creating jobs rather than "mindless spending" on purchase of arms that helps only the western powers "at the cost of our own people".
   
Journalists from Mumbai threw pointed questions at the Pakistan media on their opinion and role over the US using Pakistan as its base and strengthening arms buildup in the region.
   
"It is not just Pakistan, the US has been successfully fooling even India to suit the western super power's arms manufacturers," said Karamat Ali, Executive Director of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER).
   
PILER, along with Karachi Press Club, hosted the Indian media delegation's trip to Pakistan in November and also the current visit by the scribes from the neighbouring country.

(Agencies)

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