Pakistan wants durable peace in region: Zardari
01 September, 2012
TEHRAN: President Asif Zardari on Friday said Pakistan wanted durable peace in the region and is engaged in a comprehensive dialogue with India and wanted a peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
Addressing the 16th Summit of the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on the concluding day, the president said that Pakistan would be pleased to actively contribute to strengthening of the movement, whose member states represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations' members and comprise 55 percent of the world population.
He said that the destinies of Pakistan and Afghanistan were interconnected as both had suffered conflicts for the past three decades.
He said Pakistan was fully committed to promoting peace in Afghanistan. He said that Pakistan would stand by its Afghan brothers through the various phases of transition and would continue to support an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process.
He also vowed to stand by the Afghan brothers in meeting the challenges of transition and transformation.
He said since inception, the NAM represented the aspirations of more than half the humanity living in the developing countries, served as a strong force and offered great promise to the future.
Currently, the organisation was passing through challenging times, he said and added that the world was witnessing a historic transformation that calls for reiterating the beliefs and principles of the United Nations Charter.
He said that NAM's greatest strength had been its unity as it defeated imperialism and apartheid in the 20th Century and called for showing the same solidarity, conviction and unity to face the new challenges.
President Zardari, who had a series of meetings with the leaders of Iran, India, Sri Lanka and Tajikistan during his two-day stay, said that Pakistan desired good relations and enhanced economic cooperation with all countries.
President Zardari, while expressing deep concern over the continued bloodshed in Syria, demanded in categorical terms its immediate end.
He said that the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people must be respected. He also strongly condemned the unilateral declaration of independence in parts of Mali and extended full support to the government and the people of Mali in their struggle for maintaining their territorial integrity. On the issue of Palestine, the president said that Pakistan fully respected the right of the people of Palestine for self-determination, as establishment of an independent state of Palestine was critical to peace.
Referring to the global issue of terrorism, he said that Pakistan had lost over 40,000 innocent lives and suffered over 80 billion dollars in economic losses.
Victory against militancy requires that the hearts and minds of people are won and it can be addressed by removing the feelings of helplessness and deprivation, he said.
"You must give a message of hope to the youth, and need to engage in an intellectual debate with them to counter extremism," he added.