Pakistan committed to regional, int'l peace: Mamnoon
24 October, 2013
ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Wednesday said Pakistan stands firmly committed to peace at regional and international levels and will continue to support all efforts aimed at restoring peace and stability in the world.
Addressing the inaugural session of "International Seminar on Peace and Conflict Resolution" at the National University for Sciences and Technology (NUST), the president said Pakistan has always been at the forefront in complementing the efforts of United Nations for peace and has actively been engaged in various peace missions.
President Mamnoon said Pakistan's commitment to international peace had been duly acknowledged by the international community and the world leaders including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
He said Pakistan considers peace and stability of vital importance, a key towards promoting socio-economic stability and a source of promoting a sense of security among societies. The president said Pakistan has been contributing soldiers, policemen and civilians for peacekeeping in 41 countries over the last 53 years.
At present, about 11,000 Pakistani peacekeepers are engaged side by side with the international peacekeeping forces in various countries, he added. The president said it is only through developing greater understanding of various dynamics involved, and through dialogue and negotiations that durable and long-lasting solutions to the longstanding issues can be worked out.
President Mamnoon said that the international situation had drastically changed in the recent past, particularly in the post 9/11 scenario. "Being a part of one of the most volatile regions of the world and being a direct affectee of various developments at regional as well as international level, peace and stability is of great significance to us," he added. He felicitated NUST for establishing Centre for International Peace and Stability and initiating academic programmes in peace and conflict resolution. He also commended NUST for imparting training to the peacekeepers who participate in various peacekeeping missions of the United Nations.
President Mamnoon expressed confidence that this forum would not only help them develop greater understanding of various issues involved in Peace and Conflict Resolution but would also help them appreciating Pakistan's role towards facilitating peace and conflict resolution.
He hoped that the seminar would be of great relevance to the country's policymakers, intellectuals and students to develop comprehensive understanding of the issues and finding durable solutions to the existing issues and the emerging situations. Rector NUST Engineer Muhammad Asghar quoted a Congressional Research Service Report that pointed that the cost of Global War on Terror to the US till 2012 was about 1.4 Trillion dollars.
He also mentioned a RAND Study that stated a non-military option by the US to 9/11 attacks would have cost the US much less than what they have actually spent. It showed that several alternatives to military response had been more effective in eliminating future attacks. He said there was significant space for peace and conflict resolution strategy, provided the peacemaking effort takes into account the ground realities, socio-economic imperatives and cultural sensitivities of the people involved in the conflict.
Mamnoon said some of the future possible sources of instability included environmental degradation, climate change, natural disasters, changing migration patterns, trade disparities, governance and non-sustainable development. He said the future conflicts of social upheavals were likely to be of different nature and would require comprehensive response by individual states and entire global community.