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Peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue a key to regional peace: Zardari

15 August, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday said a peaceful and honourable resolution of Kashmir issue held key to regional peace and stability.

He said this during a meeting with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon here.

On Afghanistan, the President reiterated that it has abiding interest in stability, peace and development of the neighbouring country.

He lauded efforts being made under umbrella of United Nations for global peace and security, support to democracy and global economic and sustainable development.

Briefing about the meeting, a Spokesperson to the President, Senator Farhatullah Babar said the UN secretary general was accorded a very warm welcome at the Presidency by President Asif Ali Zardari.

He said the President thanked UNSG for his visit to Pakistan at the most auspicious occasion when the nation was rejoicing over Independence Day celebrations.

The Spokesperson quoted the President as saying that the participation of UN Secretary General in the Independence Day celebrations has not only added to our rejoicing but has also afforded us an opportunity to highlight before the highest office of the nations of the world some of the most pressing issues of the region.

The Spokesperson said the two leaders discussed host of issues ranging from Pakistan's engagement with the UN to the role and contributions of the organization, the progress on UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the areas such as education, gender

equality, poverty reduction, sustainable development and environment and from the regional situation to promoting peace and stability in other conflict ridden areas.

Discussing Pakistan's commitment towards United Nations, President Zardari said that upholding UN Charter has been cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy.

The President said during our presidency of the Security Council, Pakistan focused on building consensus on peacekeeping and counter terrorism as critical subjects related to global peace and security.

He said Pakistan had been a leading Troop Contributing Country to the UN peacekeeping missions and our armed forces, police and civilian personnel have performed their roles with honour and dignity. Their sacrifices are testament to Pakistan's commitment towards United Nations and the ideals it espouses, the President said.

Talking about the situation in the region, President Zardari said Pakistan remains committed to regional peace and stability and has been making sincere efforts to improving its relations with India through dialogue and cooperation.

He appreciated the work of the UN in Afghanistan and said that Pakistan believes that UN's role in future Afghanistan is increasingly important, especially in the wake of withdrawal of international forces.

"We hope that unlike the '90s, Afghanistan will not be left to fend for itself," the President said and added that Pakistan has provided logistic support to the UN presence in Afghanistan and would continue doing so in future.

Discussing terrorism, President Zardari said the region and people of Pakistan in particular, has been the worst sufferer of the menace of terrorism and militancy.

He said, "We are committed to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as it also poses a serious threat to our own security."

He said Pakistan has suffered huge human and financial losses in its fight against terrorism. But, he continued, our people are committed to fight the scourge till its logical conclusion.

The President also appreciated the role of UN in developing legal instruments on counter-terrorism.

End.

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