NAM summit: Khar fears Iran conflict may fuel instability

Published: August 29, 2012
Hina Rabbani Khar taking part in the ministerial meeting’s interactive debate. PHOTO: APP

Hina Rabbani Khar taking part in the ministerial meeting’s interactive debate. PHOTO: APP


Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Tuesday that the growing confrontation over Iran’s nuclear programme was threatening further instability in the broader region.

Speaking at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) ministerial meeting’s interactive debate on ‘Lasting Peace through Joint Global Governance’ in Tehran, Khar said that “In our view, dialogue and diplomacy should be the only instruments to resolve outstanding issues.” She added that “We believe that a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible on the basis of reciprocal confidence-building measures and security assurances against external threats.”

Khar said that disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and material was an important area to enhance global peace and security. Urging NAM to take a more constructive role in the issue, she said that it was vital to evolve a new consensus in this area through early convening of the Special Sessions devoted to Disarmament-IV (SSOD-IV). “We believe that the new consensus should be based on equity and objective criteria, rather than selectivity and discrimination. Equal and undiminished security for all states must be the norm to ensure global peace and security,” Khar reiterated.

Afghanistan beyond 2014

She also voiced her opinion on the impending withdrawal of US-led Nato troops from Afghanistan in 2014, saying that “In our own region, Afghanistan will need support of the NAM fraternity as it moves towards the transition phase in 2014 – and through the transformation decade.”

Respecting sovereignty

The foreign minister stated that Pakistan believes that the founding principles of NAM, including peaceful co-existence, respect for human rights, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states and non-interference and non-intervention in internal affairs of other countries provide a firm basis for enduring peace, stability and development in the world.

At the debate, Khar also added that as a vibrant democracy, Pakistan held the “promotion and protection of human rights and democratic ideals very dear to our hearts. We are deeply committed to the nurturing and strengthening of these values. We believe every country and nation is entitled to nurture and promote these values in accordance with their own historical experience, cultural and religious values.”

Palestine, Syria flashpoints

Elaborating further on global peace and security, she said the major challenge facing the world at present was how to achieve the two issues on the basis of equity and the UN Charter principles. “We all know peace and development are mutually reinforcing and without peace we cannot even think of development and prosperity.” Khar said that “We therefore believe that for peace, security and prosperity a just solution of the Palestine issue on the basis of Palestinian people’s right to self-determination is essential. We also call for an immediate end to the ongoing bloodshed by all sides in Syria in the interest of regional peace and stability.”

UN — the best bet

Khar concluded by saying it was the tendency that when various challenges begin to assume crisis proportions, the major powers sought to go “small” and “selective” by opting for decision-making in self-selected mechanisms. “This is a mistake and that must be avoided. The United Nations may not be the most efficient but it is still the best available for decision-making. Small may be easy to manage but the shelf life of decisions taken through these mechanisms do not enjoy the desired legitimacy.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Mohammad
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:52AM

    In TEHRAN, right ! what will be our instance in New York ? or even in Saudi Arabia ? you know who did the biggest ever arm deal with USA last year ? yes Arab fearing Iran. they think Iran will nuke them for being on American side. so they are buying missiles defense systems , because obviously Iranian missiles will have fly in their air space on their way to Israel :-) Muslim UMaa ! does it exists ?


  • Aug 29, 2012 - 12:37PM

    And also instability of fuel


  • amir
    Aug 29, 2012 - 1:58PM

    iran will be the biggest and closest allie of us and israil in future….Recommend

  • Polpot
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:45PM

    The foreign minister stated that Pakistan believes that the founding principles of NAM””
    The principles specifically permit using a neighbor as strategic depth! :)


  • A.Khan
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:46PM

    I think her debate was justified and in favor of region’s peace


  • Polpot
    Aug 29, 2012 - 7:47PM

    “promotion and protection of human rights and democratic ideals very dear to our hearts”
    Except that Ahamadiyas, Shias, Christians and Hindus dont count as humans.


  • S K Afridi
    Aug 29, 2012 - 7:50PM

    I support her observation.


  • S K Afridi
    Aug 29, 2012 - 8:02PM

    Yes neighbours with good relations provide strategic depth to each other in their difficult times. There is nothing wrong with this concept. If I may say, there is definitely some thing wrong with your understanding of the term “Strategic Depth” During Pakistan’s wars with India, Iran provided strategic depth to Pakistan and allowed us to relocate our strategic assets on the Iranian soil. During the Afghan Jehad against Soviet Union, Pakistan provided strategic depth to Afghanistan by accommodating a huge number of Afghan refugees and their war material supplies on Pakistani soil. With a friendly set up in Kabul, tomorrow Pakistan may keep its strategic resources in Afghanistan in the event of a war with our eastern neighbour. Strategic depth does not mean the physical possession of any place.


  • Manoj Joshi
    Aug 29, 2012 - 8:28PM

    The concerns voiced by Hina Rabbani Khar, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan with regard to Iran, Syria, Palestine as well as Afghanistan; the most serious of all issues related to Pakistan as the nation shares the common border with this nation; are quite genuine and indeed the Non-Align Movement has a major role to play in these matters. Democracy is growing in Pakistan; although still at a budding stage in Pakistan; and so is the political thought of that Islamic Republic that is showing a change towards a more progressive and liberal approach towards most of the international issues. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has a relevant role to play especially within South Asia along with their neighbour Republic of India. The time has come for the world to try an understand the identity of Pakistan as a nation from a new perspective shedding the old prejudices and perceptions that the world has been holding about Pakistan. There is still a lot of work to be done by Pakistan to prove their identity as a nation but the beginnings have have been made as is evident from the statements of the Foreign Minister of Pakistan. There is a change and a change for the positive which should be appreciated.


  • S K Afridi
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:51PM

    Pakistan is a country of approximately 200 million people. In our neighborhood, Afghanistan is destabilized country where various criminal and terrorist groups have safe heavens and are used by various intelligence agencies for creating trouble in Pakistan. There was no such problem in Pakistan before the US invasion of Afghanistan. Shias, Ahmadis, Christians and Hindus living in Pakistan are all Pakistanis and a vast majority of Pakistanis have respect and affection for their brothers from other sects and other faiths. Terrorists want to destroy the inter faith harmony. They have not only been targeting the minorities but have also been attacking Sunni mosques and holy shrines. They have no faith or religion. They are criminals and foreign agents who are just complying with the orders of their foreign intelligence handlers. People of Pakistan with the help of their security forces will ultimately be able to thwart the nefarious designs of Pakistan’s enemies.


  • Manoj Joshi
    Aug 30, 2012 - 7:42AM

    @S K Afridi:
    Let Afghanistan be a mutual friend of India and Pakistan. as Asian nations now the model of alliances should change with the changing geo-political scenario.


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