Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, delivered a keynote address on Pakistan’s Role and Contribution towards Peace and Security in South Asia at Asia Society Texas Center, Houston on February 01, 2016. A sizable audience consisting of various segments of society attended the event.
In his speech, the Foreign Secretary discussed the challenges facing South Asian region in the context of key issues affecting Pakistan and its neighbors, such as the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Pakistan-India relations and emerging opportunities for partnership among the democratic governments in Pakistan Afghanistan and India.
Regarding Afghanistan, the Foreign Secretary stated that stability and peace in that country was of vital significance for Pakistan. He said that no other country has suffered as much as Pakistan due to the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan. Besides hosting millions of refugees, Pakistan witnessed gun culture, drug culture, extremism and terrorism. Accordingly, peace and stability in Afghanistan was of paramount importance. The Foreign Secretary also stated that for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan, a Quadrilateral Framework comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan, US and China was currently engaged in efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
On Pakistan- India relations, the Foreign Secretary stated that the two neighbours had made efforts recently to revive the dialogue process. He further stated that neither country could achieve its economic potential without resolving disputes and addressing each other’s concerns. He underlined the need to adopt a problem-solving approach and engage meaningfully to find a negotiated resolution of their disputes while identifying and building on areas of convergence in an effort to achieve lasting peace in South Asia.
Regarding security challenges in the region, the Foreign Secretary highlighted the efforts of the Government of Pakistan to counter and eliminate terrorism, extremism and militancy. He recalled the notable success Pakistan has achieved for which the people of Pakistan, especially its law enforcement authorities had made huge sacrifices. These sacrifices, he said, had further steeled the resolve of Pakistani nation to completely eliminate the menace of terrorism from Pakistan’s soil.
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