UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan held out an olive branch to India on Tuesday for the resolution of all disputes, including Jammu and Kashmir, through a “dialogue process”, hoping it will be “uninterrupted and uninterruptible”.
“We certainly intend to make this engagement fruitful and premise it on the promise of a mutually rewarding enterprise that would enable us to optimally avail the complementarities that exist,” Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar underscored in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.
She noted that resolution of the Kashmir dispute, “which is among the oldest on the agenda of the United Nations”, according to wishes of Kashmiri people “is a sine qua non for durable peace” in the Sub-continent.
In her first address to the world body, Ms Khar noted “the reality of a nuclearised South Asia imposes on both Pakistan and India the onerous responsibility to work together for creating mutual confidence, avoiding an arms race, and enhancing strategic stability.
Ms Khar reiterated Islamabad’s desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan. “Pakistan is also firmly committed to promoting stability and peace in Afghanistan. We respect and support the efforts of the government of Afghanistan under the leadership of President Karzai for reconciliation and peace.
“We strongly condemn the recent terror attacks in Kabul in which many precious lives were lost. We also express our sympathy with our brothers and sisters and the leadership of Afghanistan on the tragic assassination of Prof Burhanuddin Rabbani, former president and chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council. Such cowardly attacks will never succeed in deterring our proud Afghan brothers and sisters from realizing the noble goal of reconciliation and peace.”
The foreign minister said Pakistan wanted an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned “inclusive process of reconciliation and peace” in Afghanistan. “We want to see Afghanistan as a united, independent and sovereign state. We urge all concerned to join the reconciliation process. We also call for a de-escalation and cessation of violence.”
Ms Khar warned that Afghanistan still had a long way to go before normality was restored. “The road ahead for peace in Afghanistan and our region as a whole is full of challenges. The complexity of the situation and the ground dynamics need to be analysed objectively and carefully.
“Clarity and strategic coherence, especially among Afghanistan, United States and Pakistan, is of utmost importance. It is for this reason that we attach importance to the work of the Trilateral Core Group. We also attach considerable importance to the Afghanistan-Pakistan joint commission for peace and reconciliation.”
It is only by charting a clear roadmap that we would be able to bring about necessary operational policy coordination to achieve shared goals and objectives.
The foreign minister said although the situation in Afghanistan was uncertain, the world must not leave the country in the lurch. “We must not lose sight of the goals. We must work closely and as responsible partners together in a cooperative manner and not rush to judgment or question each other’s intentions.
“A cooperative endeavour, in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, is the only sure way of ensuring peace, stability and prosperity in the region.”
Ms Khar said Islamabad was ready to work with Washington and Kabul for the betterment of the Afghan people. “Pakistan is willing to do its best with the international partners and, most notably, the governments of Afghanistan and the United States, to acquit itself of this high responsibility, at this defining moment in one of the most important struggles of our times.”