NEW YORK-Former Pakistan UN Ambassador Munir Akram has called for the resumption of Indo-Pakistan dialogue and stepped up efforts to resolve the Kashmir dispute in a bid to curb terrorism in the sub-continent. "War is not an option," Akram while speaking at the Asia Society. The consequences of a conflict between the two nuclear-armed nations could be catastrophic, he said. The former Pakistani diplomat was participating in a largely-attended discussion on the Mumbai attacks and their implications on Indo-Pakistan ties. Last month, he was removed by the organizers from the panel of a similar discussion, making it a one-sided affair. As a result, Salman Rushdi and two other Indian authors denounced Pakistan without being challenged. On Wednesday evening, Munir Akram effectively countered the Indian propaganda. He also urged India and Pakistan to have a sober dialogue aimed at addressing the problem of terrorism comprehensively before the situation gets out of control. The two countries should try and deal with terrorism through the mechanism they have established, with sincere efforts, not posturing. There was urgent need to get to the bottom of the problem and to defuse the current tensions. In this context, Akram underscored the urgent need for resolving the Kashmir dispute. Pakistan had consistently supported the Kashmiri people's struggle for the right to self-determination. He spoke at length about how their liberation struggle took shape and referred to several occasions when India backed away as the two countries came close to a settlement. Unless there was a settlement, Akram pointed out, some groups would continue to act in support of the Kashmiri people suffering at the hands of India occupation forces. In the absence of any significant progress towards a final settlement, Pakistan would not be in a position to decisively act against such groups because the cause was too popular. Only a Kashmir settlement could empower Pakistan to finish them off. Other participants in the largely-attended discussion were Ashutosh Varshaney, an Indian professor of Political Science at Brown University and Nicolas Platt, a former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan. The discussion was moderated by Dan Harris, correspondent for ABC News. Responding to Prof. Varshaney's suggestion that Pakistan was sponsoring terrorist groups, Akram told him that India's record on this count was not without blemish. Terrorism was not a new phenomenon in South Asia, it has existed for decades. Akram reminded the audience of Bhinderwale's Sikh terrorist group which was created by the Indian intelligence as also the LTTE terrorists who were now biting back India. Now, he said, India was involved in destabilizing Balochistan. The Blochistan Liberation Army was trained and financed by the Indian intelligence and Pakistan had proof of its complicity. The BLA has been engaged in sabotage activities in the province causing death and destruction. He said most jihadi groups were the off-shoots of Afghan Mujahideen who were backed by the United States and Pakistan following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The U.S. abandoned the battle hardened and heavily armed Mujahideen after the objective was achieved, with some of them linking up with groups devoted to the Kashmiris' struggle. Following US invasion of Afghanistan, the Pushtuns, some of whom had taken refuge on the Pakistan side of the border, organized resistance. Under US pressure, Pakistan sent troops to its tribal areas and now they have turned their guns on Pakistan. Prof. Varshney insisted that Islamabad's anti-India stance was keeping the country united, not Islam, which, he claimed, was dividing Pakistan. But he said he does agree with the right-wing view that Pakistan should be disintegrated, with NWFP, Balochiatan, Sindh and Punjab becoming sovereign states, to bring about stability in the region. Platt, a former US ambassador, immediately rejected that notion, saying the disintegration of Pakistan was not on the cards, nor was it in any body's interest. He said the U.S. was not going to act as a mediator but would encourage India and Pakistan to settle their disputes through negotiations. He said he believed that the aim of the group that carried out deadly attacks in Mumbai was to set India against Pakistan when their relations were improving. He urged both sides to remain cool and communicate with each other. Platt praised the restraint shown by India and Pakistan, urging them to stay connected in this difficult period.