Pakistan keen to pursue policy of partnerships for peace: FM

Pakistan keen to pursue policy of partnerships for peace: FM

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says Pakistan is keen to pursue a policy of partnerships for peace, security and prosperity in its immediate neighborhood and beyond, but not at the cost of its interests and sovereignty.

Addressing the 73rd meeting of United Nations General Assembly in New York, he said Pakistan will engage with its neighbors and the world on the basis of equality and respect as per wishes of its people.

He said we seek a peaceful environment to promote our development agenda both at the national level and in our region. 

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute hinders the realization of the goal of durable peace between Pakistan and India.

He said there can be no lasting peace in South Asia without a just settlement of the Kashmir dispute based on the UN Security Council resolutions and the will of the Kashmiri people.

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan has welcomed the recently released report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which lifts the veil from decades of obfuscation and chronicles the massive ongoing violations of human rights in  Occupied Kashmir. The report has vindicated Pakistan's position.

  The Foreign Minister said introduction of destabilizing weapon systems, pursuit of discriminatory approaches by certain states to supply advanced military hardware and sensitive technologies, and adoption of offensive  doctrines has disturbed the regional strategic balance.

He said Pakistan has no option but to maintain a minimum credible deterrence. 

Referring to regional cooperation, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the regional body for South Asia, SAARC has been rendered in effective due to the intransigence of one country. 

Elaborating the sacrifices of Pakistan in war against terrorism, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said by the determined operations of our armed forces, and the full support of our people, Pakistan has turned the tide against terrorism.

With the deployment of 200,000 troops, Pakistan has conducted the largest and most effective counter terrorism campaign in the world. 

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan continues to face terrorism that is financed, facilitated and orchestrated by our eastern neighbour.

He said a serving Indian Naval officer, Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, was arrested by Pakistani forces who confessed that he, on the instructions of his government, financed, planned and executed acts of terrorism and violence in Pakistan.

He said many more such attacks are launched inside Pakistan to create terror and mayhem by our eastern neighbour.

On Afghanistan, he said Afghanistan and Pakistan both have suffered heavily at the hands of global power play, strategic miscalculations and cognitive dissonance. He said there is no military solution to the war in Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan will continue to lend its support to an Afghan owned and Afghan led process of peace and reconciliation. 

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan has hosted the longest protracted refugee presence of modern times.

Because of this situation, Afghanistan's security has a direct spill over impact on our own security and stability.

He said we look forward to the safe, dignified and voluntary return of Afghan refugees to their homeland.

Turning to UN, he said alongside like-minded states, Pakistan will continue to be a leading voice for comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, to make it more democratic, representative, transparent and effective. 

Raising the issue of blasphemy, the Foreign Minister said a right balance should be struck between freedom of expression and sentiments of a people.

He said recently a planned competition of caricatures of our Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) deeply hurt Muslim sentiments and sensibilities.

Giving reference of domestic situation, the Foreign Minister said new government in Pakistan has at its heart, the welfare of its people.