Friday, 26 September 2014

Nawaz condemns all forms of terrorism at UNGA

NEW YORK: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday addressed the United Nations General Assembly during which he condemned all forms of terrorism and sought better relations between Pakistan and its immediate neighbours.

At the beginning of his address, Prime Minister Sharif drew attention towards climatic change and its affects in Pakistan especially the recent heavy rains and floods.
The prime minister said Pakistan was facing the grave danger of terrorism and added that the country’s military had rendered great sacrifices during the past 13 years and continues to make efforts to eliminate terrorism.
Sharif said he condemned terrorism of all forms including the ‘genocide of Palestinians in Gaza’.
“Pakistan wants to improve relations with its neighbours,” Sharif said adding that Pakistan and Afghanistan face similar challenges.
He also expressed disappointment over India’s cancellation of secretary-level talks between the two countries.
“People of the sub-continent are losing out opportunities of progress and development due to regional conflicts,” the premier added.
He said Pakistan will pursue a policy of nuclear restraint and credible minimum deterrence.
Sharif also said that “As a responsible nuclear weapon state, we will continue to support the objectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation; and pursue a policy of nuclear restraint and credible minimum deterrence.”
“Pakistan is not participating in any arms race in the region. Yet we cannot be oblivious to the emerging security scenarios and build up of armaments. We too, have the obligation to maintain a robust and reliable deterrence,” he added.
He reiterated the need for an “inter-linked mechanism for pursuing nuclear restraint, conventional equilibrium and conflict resolution. To promote stability, we are prepared to explore new Confidence Building Measures.”
Pakistan, he said, has maintained the highest standards of nuclear safety and security. “At the last Summit at The Hague that I attended, Pakistan's recent nuclear measures, especially the establishment of a Centre of Excellence, were appreciated.”
He said, “Pakistan is a State with advanced nuclear technology, with an experience of more than 40 years. We are a mainstream partner in the international non-proliferation regime.
Pakistan also has a stringent national export control system that is fully harmonised with international export control regimes. Though a non-member, we are abiding by their guidelines.”
He said: “Pakistan ought to be a part of these export control regimes, especially the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Pakistan also qualifies for full access to civil nuclear technology, to overcome its energy shortages and spur economic growth.”
Prime Minister Sharif earlier addressed the United Nations peacekeeping summit during which he said Pakistan was playing a key role in the organisation's peacekeeping missions and expressed the country's resolve to continue with the efforts.
Sharif also paid tribute to those who had sacrificed their lives in the fight against terrorism and said Pakistan was willing to provide training for the UN peacekeeping missions.
He also called for the expansion of the domain of talks between members of the peacekeeping mission.
The premier said that 140 military personnel of the country had lost their lives while serving with the UN peace corps, adding that Pakistan had also sent its troops to the Central African Republic on the call of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
He further said that Pakistan had been serving the United Nations peacekeeping missions since 1960.
Earlier, Nawaz Sharif met with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday.
According to a statement released by Ban's office, the UN Secretary-General offered his condolences to Sharif for the victims of the recent floods in Pakistan.
Ban also spoke about the security situation in the country and Pakistan's relationship with neighbours Afghanistan and India.
Prime Minister Sharif urged the United Nations Secretary General to take steps for the peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of UN Security Council.
The prime minister also met with World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Global Education and former British prime minister, Gordon Brown and other global leaders.
Speaking to the Pakistani community in New York, Prime Minister Sharif defended his mandate and downplayed the anti-government protests being held in the country's federal capital. He pledged to pull Pakistan out of difficulties.
The prime minister was accompanied by Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi, Ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani and Consul General in New York Raja Ali Ejaz.

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