Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sartaj Aziz: Pakistan, is desirous of peace.


Advisor to the Pakistani Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Sunday concerted action is needed for peaceful resolution of regional conflicts and “blame games” will not help toward achieving peace.
Addressing the Heart of Asia Conference underway in Amritsar, India, Aziz said peaceful resolution of unresolved conflicts would boost regional cooperation and communication.
Eluding to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s allegations that Pakistan was giving “sanctuary” to terrorists, Aziz said concerted policy and action, not blame games, are needed to establish peace in Afghanistan. Such blame games will not bring peace to Afghanistan, he said.
Aziz said that Pakistan’s attendance at the Conference, despite escalating tensions with India, shows Pakistan’s resolve to establish peace in Afghanistan and the overall region.
The foreign policy advisor said a serious review of peace efforts in Afghanistan is needed. Despite Ashraf Ghani’s comments about Pakistan, Aziz praised the efforts of the Afghan President and Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in development of Afghanistan.
“Afghan forces have combated terrorism bravely,” Aziz said.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani earlier on Sunday accused Pakistan of providing ‘sanctuary’ to terrorists and mocked the neighbouring country over its promised aid to Afghanistan.
Addressing the Heart of Asia Conference underway in Amritsar, Ghani said the $500 million promised by Pakistan for Afghan reconstruction would be better utilised in ‘fighting terrorism’.Sartaj Aziz said earlier Pakistan is ready to hold talks with India and discuss the issue of terrorism within the framework of a comprehensive dialogue agreed upon on the sidelines of last year s Heart of Asia.
Sartaj Aziz told the Indian newspaper The Sunday Express on Saturday that he was in Amritsar to show his commitment to Afghanistan’s peace and security.
“I am here to attend the Heart of Asia meeting and by coming here we are showing our commitment to first of all to the importance of Heart of Asia for Afghanistan s peace and security. I am also here to show our commitment to peace and security of the region and commitment to promote multilateral peace for this purpose,” Aziz said.
He said that his presence in India was an indication that Pakistan was ready for bilateral talks.
“If India shows any interest I would certainly like to meet. I do not think we need to request for a meeting. We are here so we will see how it goes,” Aziz said.
Pakistan, he said, is desirous of peace. Peace requires dialogue and any issues can be discussed across the table than through the media, he said.
“If we do not have structured dialogue then the dialogue through media increases hostility and increases negative perceptions,” Aziz said. “Whenever India is ready we will be ready. Terrorism is a subject under the comprehensive dialogue when we meet we can discuss that also.”
Sartaj Aziz met Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani during the Conference earlier today (Sunday) where the two leaders held talks on peace and progress in the region and security situation in Afghanistan in particular.
Sartaj Aziz arrived in Amritsar on Saturday to participate in the Heart of Asia Conference, where he also attended a banquet hosted in honour of representatives from different states and international observers.
The dinner was hosted for the visiting dignitaries at a heritage village named ‘Sadda Pind (our village)’ located on the outskirts of Amritsar. Indian Premier Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also attended the banquet hosted by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Sartaj Aziz shook hands with PM Narendra Modi, where the latter inquired with him about Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Aziz conveyed PM Sharif’s best wishes to Narendra Modi, which the Indian premier reciprocated with his well wishes for his Pakistani counterpart.
Earlier upon his arrival, he was received by Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit and joint secretary of Indian Ministry of External Affairs.
Sartaj Aziz also sent a bouquet to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at her residence extending his sincere wishes for her speedy recovery.
The advisor is representing Pakistan in the Heart of Asia Conference with focus on regional cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours, and the efforts for durable peace in the war-ravaged country.
Geo News

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