Saturday, 29 September 2012 20:45:52
President highlights Pakistan's priorities during New York visit
By Fayyaz Chaudhry
NEW YORK, Sept 29 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari, who led
Pakistan's delegation to 67th General Assembly session of the United
Nations, urged the international community to join hands in fighting
extremism and terrorism, promoting religious harmony, ensuring peace
and security and making the world polio free.
President Zardari, while highlighting some of the challenges
being faced by Pakistan, informed the world that the country was taking
serious steps to fight terrorism and extremism, alleviate poverty and
eradicate polio, besides extending cooperation to the countries through developing strong ties based on equality and mutual trust.
The President, who arrived here last Sunday and was scheduled to leave
on Saturday, in his address to the UN General Assembly, told the international community that Pakistan had taken a number of steps for ensuring peace and security both at regional and international levels.
He very effectively and successfully conveyed the message to the world that Pakistan had been fighting extremism and terrorism, and extending full support to the international community in this regard.
The President, in his meetings with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and other leaders emphasized the need for more cooperation and coordination in the efforts to fight
extremism and terrorism.
Another important engagement of the President was to attend an
important discussion by the donors countries and organizations, where
the international community expressed their commitment to eradicate polio from Pakistan, which is among the three countries having polio cases.
Participation of President's daughter Aseefa Bhutto Zardari in the conference on polio eradication from Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan
was another segment of the visit. In her address, she expressed her
commitment that she as a Goodwill Ambassador would make her country
President Zardari also touched upon the sensitive issue of
expansion in the Security Council, saying that Pakistan did not want
new centers of privileges, no more permanent members to the Council
and make it more democratic.
As Pakistan is an important player in the international
community, President Asif Ali Zardari explained to the world that in
maintaining peace and security in the region, his country had rendered
tremendous sacrifices. It has lost over 7,000 soldiers and policemen,
and over 37,000 civilians, he added.
The President urged the world community to take practical
steps to punish elements involved in disgracing the Holy Prophet
Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and annoying the Muslims through
making a sacrilegious film.
The President said, "We must not become silent observers
and should criminalize acts of incitement of hate against the Muslims
faith and Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
President Zardari also mentioned the drone strikes issue
in his speech and said that the civilian casualties due to the
drone attacks were adding to the complexity of the ballet for winning
the hearts and minds of the people.
Another important segment of the visit was a trilateral meeting with
the United Kingdom and Afghan leaders.
The three countries leadership reaffirmed their commitment to continue working for the goals of regional peace, stability and development and for the elimination of the scourge of terrorism from the region.
President Zardari, while highlighting the importance of
durable peace and stability in Afghanistan, underscored the need for
an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process in that country.