UN Under Secretary General calls on President Zardari

Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the United Nations has a critical role in not only promoting sustainable peace and equitable socioeconomic development across the world but also to safeguard those pristine values of tolerance and interfaith harmony that were fast eroding during the present times in view of rising wave of intolerance and threats from the militant mindset.

This he said during his meeting with Mr. Jeffrey D. Feltman, UN Under Secretary General, who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Monday.

Those who were present during the meeting included among others Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President, Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar, Ms. Nasreen Haque, Secretary to the President, Mr. Jalil Abbas Jilani, Foreign Secretary Ambassador Masood Khan, Pakistan’s PR to UN, New York and other senior officials.

Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that during the meeting the President said that Pakistan attaches great value to the efforts of UN and highlighted the contributions made by Pakistan towards the Security Council’s work, in promoting international peacekeeping efforts and pursuing a comprehensive approach towards counterterrorism efforts during its presidency of the Council.

The President noted that as a leading troop contributing country to UN peacekeeping missions, Pakistan todate had contributed scores of thousands of peacekeepers in 23 different countries and 41 peacekeeping missions at different times. He said that over eight thousand personnel were contributing towards UN peace keeping efforts at present.

The President said that despite being the major victim of the war on terror, Pakistanis were determined to pursue their struggle till its logical conclusion. In this regard the President highlighted huge sacrifices made by the people and security forces of Pakistan.

He said that the war against militant mindset was a long drawn battle that needed concerted efforts and comprehensive approach in addressing those issues that bred militant mindset.

The President said that Pakistan desires peace and would continue to support every effort of the international community that is aimed at promoting peace in the region and across.

He said that Pakistan believes that through dialogue and cooperation, longstanding issues can be amicably resolved in order to ensure long-term and sustainable peace. He said that the Government of Pakistan undertook policy decisions for the improving its relations with India and has also been in the front lines in lending support to peace, stability and socioeconomic development of the neighbouring Afghanistan.

On Afghanistan, the President reiterated that Pakistan was committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan and fully supports Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process. The President said that Pakistan believes that the UN also has an important role in shaping the present and future of Afghanistan.

Appreciating the leadership of UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon, the President lauded his contributions towards further strengthening the UN system of maintaining peace and promoting socioeconomic development in the world.

The President lauded the Secretary General’s role to help Pakistan during floods and natural disasters. He also extended invitation to UN Secretary General to visit Pakistan at his convenience.