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Pak, US need to work as partners in Afghanistan: Khar

Pakistan and the US need to work as "responsible partners" in Afghanistan's peace process and the three nations should not question each other's intention, Foreign Minister Hina Rabani Khar has said.

world Updated: Sep 30, 2011 12:47 IST

Pakistan and the US need to work as "responsible partners" in Afghanistan's peace process and the three nations should not question each other's intention, Foreign Minister Hina Rabani Khar has said.

Khar, who today addressed the 66th session of the UN General Assembly, said Pakistan is firmly committed to promoting stability and peace in Afghanistan while noting that the road ahead for peace in the country and the region 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," she said. "Given the volatility of the situation, it is perhaps understandable that there is a high level of anxiety and emotions. But 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 judgments or question each other's intentions," Khar said. Khar's comments comes in the backdrop of escalating war of words between the US and Pakistan over ISI and its links with the deadly Haqqani network.

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan fully supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned inclusive process of reconciliation and peace for Afghanistan and wants to see a united, independent and sovereign country. She noted that a cooperative endeavour, in full solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, is the only way of ensuring peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Urging all concerned to join the reconciliation process, Pakistan also calls for a de-escalation and cessation of violence. Khar said Pakistan also condemns the recent terror attacks in Kabul and the tragic assassination of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani. "Such cowardly attacks will never succeed in deterring our proud Afghan brothers and sisters from realizing the noble goal of reconciliation and peace." She said necessary operational policy coordination between the three countries can be achieved by charting a clear roadmap to achieve shared goals and objectives.

"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."

Extending support to the Palestinian cause, Khar said Pakistan has always upheld the realisation of the "inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to an independent homeland" with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital.

"I would like to reaffirm our principled position." "We stand by him and the Palestinian people. We stand by our brothers and sisters. And we agree: This really is not, sustainable, anymore.

We support the quest of the State of Palestine for membership in the United Nations." On the situation in North Africa and the Middle East, Khar said aspirations of the people must be accommodated peacefully, without external interference and in a manner consistent with the principle of sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of states. Referring to the Security Council reforms, khar said these must be worked in a manner that reinforce confidence of the people in the body and enhance its credibility and effectiveness. "The reforms must enjoy full consensus of the international community and accord with the fundamental principle of sovereign equality."

She said Pakistan also attaches importance to the UN work in the field of disarmament and non proliferation. "Our collective endeavours in these fields could best be effective if we could enhance security, for all, and pursue approaches that are not selective or discriminatory. Normative work must be premised on principles." Affirming Pakistan's belief in multilateralism, Khar said it has been one of the abiding central tenets of its foreign policy. "Multilateral cooperation can help us deal with the spectrum of global challenges, old and new, in our interdependent world.

As we grow more and more dependent on each other, the space for unilateralism and uni-dimensional answers to the most difficult questions shrinks. "Those who are skeptical of the future of multilateralism are living in the past. The future, our collective global future, is bright.

It is the UN and multilateralism that will safeguard this future." Khar however added that multilateralism does not mean uniformity or conformity. "It does not mean falling in line. Instead, it means harmony, tolerance, respect for diversity and a pragmatic cognitive realization that no one system, no single prescription, no one raah, or path works for all." "Preconceived assumptions about the superiority of one way or the other must not be allowed to contaminate the spirit of the UN."

She said during this session of the General Assembly, Pakistan is seeking election to a seat on the Security Council. Khar assured the world body that Pakistan would discharge its responsibilities with utmost dedication to the "high ideals and principles of the United Nations."

First Published: Sep 28, 2011 12:22 IST