MAKKAH: President Asif Ali Zardari has urged the Muslim Heads of States and Governments to join Pakistan in appealing all the groups in Afghanistan to join the reconciliation and peace process.
Addressing the fourth Islamic Summit here in Makkah on Thursday, President Zardari said that Pakistan has been seriously affected by the unrest in Afghanistan adding that the fallout of the Mujahideen resistance to the former Soviet Union was still haunting Pakistan.
Reiterating Pakistan’s support to Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process, the President said that peace and stability in Afghanistan was vital for the peace and stability of Pakistan. Indeed, it is vital for peace and stability of the region and the world, the President remarked.
The President said that he remembered Afghanistan as a tourist attraction and now the world has seen what war has brought to that beautiful country.
He said that through past experience Pakistan knows what war means.
The President further said, “We have been the allies of the world in the war against rival ideology and we have witnessed the introduction of heroine as a war weapon.”
He added that there were more than three million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and expressed the hope that these refugees will soon return to their homeland to rebuild their country.
The President said that his brother President Karzai and he himself were determined that these efforts succeed.
President Zardari said, “Afghanistan has taught us that while thinkers and philosophers talk of changing the destinies of nations, they must also have knowledge of the societies they wish to change.”
Commenting on other issues of major concern to the Muslim world, the President said that Muslim communities in different parts of the world continue to suffer denial of their human rights.
He said Kashmir issue continues to fester. Reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to a just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions, he expressed the hope that Pakistan’s engagement with India will be result oriented and purposeful.
The President said that unresolved Palestinian question was a deep wound in the heart of Middle East.
He said that Pakistan fully supports the creation of an independent and viable Palestinian state.
Referring to some recent developments in Middle East and other parts of Muslim world, the President said that fast moving and far reaching developments have been taking place in North Africa and the Middle East.
He said, “Over the past two years we have witnessed youth aspiring for change and democratic transformation.”
The President said that Egypt and Tunisia have completed peaceful transformations in their countries and we wish them success in their difficult transformation.
Calling for putting an immediate end to the bloodshed in Syria, the President said, “Pakistan is deeply pained to see Syria bleed”.
He said, “Pakistan desires that Syria must forge its own destiny in accordance with the aspirations of its people.”
The President said, “We must respect Syria's sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.”
He said the international community must respect the principles of non interference and non intervention.
He said that the OIC should continue to have leverage with Syria. The President also appealed to all sides in Syria to declare ceasefire during Eid-ul-Fitr.