About Us Pakistan

Statement by H.E. Mr. Irfan-ur-Rehman Raja,
Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Pakistan
in the Republic of Kazakhstan

Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished Foreign Ministers
Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is my privilege to represent Pakistan at this august gathering of Foreign Ministers of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia. I wish to thank the Government of Kazakhstan for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to the Pakistan delegation.

Since its foundation in l992, CICA has made considerable headway towards the achievement of its objectives. As demonstrated by the two successful Summit Conferences of 2002 and 2006 and the previous two meetings of the Foreign Ministers, CICA provides a valuable forum for dialogue, consultations and confidence building amongst its members.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Almaty Act very rightly underscores the interdependence of political, military, economic and socio-cultural aspects of relationships between member states and endeavours to promote a comprehensive vision of security in Asia. Likewise, the CICA Special Working Group has made commendable progress in elaborating ideas for cooperation and confidence-building in diverse areas.
The social, economic, political and cultural diversity that CICA members bring to this forum offers great opportunities for cooperation. Many CICA member states are richly endowed with natural resources. Others, like Pakistan, can facilitate trade and communications and provide access to markets. Pakistan's strategic location offers it an opportunity to act as an energy and trade corridor linking Central Asia, South Asia and West Asia. We have completed work on a deep sea port at Gwadar and intend to develop it as a trans-shipment port. At the same time we have improved road and rail transportation networks to complement air links with these three vital regions. We also plan to up-grade the existing road link with Western China.

Pakistan welcomes the establishment of the CICA Secretariat and has seconded a career diplomat to it. I am pleased to inform that the Cabinet has ratified the statute of the CICA Secretariat. Our Instrument of Ratification would soon be deposited. This ratification, along with our modest voluntary contribution to CICA, signifies the importance that we attach to this forum.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In die contemporary global landscape, peace, security and development are more intrinsically linked than ever before. An environment of peace and security is indispensable for human growth and development. Conversely, the foundations of stability and durable peace within societies and between nations rest on socio-economic prosperity, justice and existence of equal opportunities for progress.

Pakistan fully recognizes the imperative of approaching issues of peace, security and development in a holistic manner. As a strong, dynamic, democratic and progressive Muslim country, we have always sought to promote regional and global harmony. Our historical and active role in international and regional organizations signifies our contribution to global efforts for peace and prosperity.

The greatest challenge in Asia today is to accelerate economic development in order to eradicate poverty, illiteracy and disease. We have a responsibility to channel all our energies and resources for the welfare of our people.

Our foremost priority to promote peace and security in and around Pakistan stems from our conviction that a peaceful and secure environment, regionally as well as globally, would substantial!} contribute towards sustainable economic growth and development, reduction in poverty and enhance the welfare of our people.

With these objectives, our approach toward peace and development in South Asia includes: First, a meaningful dialogue for settlement of all disputes, particularly Kashmir: Second. Restraint and Security Balance in South Asia: and Third, cooperation for regional economic development.

Since 2004, both Pakistan and India have embarked on the Composite Dialogue Process under which a number of nuclear and conventional CBMs have been agreed upon between the two countries. Pakistan is against any arms race in the region, whether conventional or nuclear. In this context. Pakistan has proposed a Strategic Restraint Regime to India, with three inter-locking elements of (a) conflict resolution (b) nuclear and missile restraint; and. (c) conventional balance.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Energy security is emerging as one of the defining issues of this century. The ability of states to forge partnerships in this area can serve as a strong factor for mutually beneficial relationships and efforts for peace. We seek to actively promote projects that are vital to the economic development of the region. The Iran-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline is one such project that is of utmost importance to the growing energy needs of both Pakistan and India. We are committed to taking this project forward.

Pakistan has direct stakes in Afghanistan's peace, progress and stability not only because two million Afghan refugees continue to live on our soil but also due to the fact that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is a pre-requisite to achieve Pakistan's vision of itself as a future hub of trade, communication and economic activity between South Asia. West Asia.

To facilitate the successful completion of the Bonn process, Pakistan has extended its fullest cooperation to the Afghan government. Despite our constrained resources, we have committed I'SS 320 million for reconstruction in Afghanistan. Several projects worth CSS 120 million have already been completed. We are also working on the TAP Pipeline project for import of gas from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan. We are building closer communication linkages with Afghanistan.

Pakistan continues to take firm action against terrorist elements and has deployed nearly 112,000 troops to prevent Taliban and Al Qaeda remnants to carry out any activity from our territory. We have established over 822 check posts on our side to prevent any terrorist movements. We will continue to exert every effort to prevent terrorist movement across die Рак-Afghan border as we remain a target for terrorist elements including Taliban and have suffered from a spate of suicide bombings in our territory. At the same time we expect the ISAF NATO and Afghan forces to live up to their responsibilities in this regard".

For nearly three decades, failure of national reconciliation in Afghanistan has been at the heart of violence in that country with regional and global fall outs. The current situation is further complicated by warlords, gun running, corruption and drug trafficking. In order to deal with these problems, a comprehensive strategy is required which combines military action with political and administrative measures as well as sustained programmes for economic development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Terrorism has indiscriminately threatened peace across the world and has affected people of all nations, irrespective of their religion, creed or nationality. From the loss of innocent lives to the creation of an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty and rising prejudice and Islamophobia, the negative effects of terrorism can be catastrophic if left unchecked. It is extremely important for the international community to unite to address comprehensively the root causes of terrorism.

Pakistan remains in the forefront of the international campaign against terrorism. Our role is well known and has been widely appreciated. We are determined to root out this evil from our region. We are dealing with this menace at various levels, including military, social, intellectual and economic planes.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate Pakistan's firm commitment to global and regional peace and stability, and its commitment to the socio-economic welfare of its people through partnerships at the regional and sub-regional level and cordial relations with all states on the basis of sovereign equality. Peace, security and development will continue to be the central and overriding themes of Pakistan's foreign policy.

СIСA membership represents the diversity and richness of Asia that also faces a range of daunting challenges. We are optimistic about Asia's future as we enter the 2Tst century. However, much will depend on our success in building confidence and trust for cooperative endeavours to ensure peace and prosperity in our regions and" our continent. Pakistan remains ready to play its part for the realization of this vision that has motivated the CICA process.

Thank you.