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.”
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.