Text of President Pervez Musharraf's
The following is the text of the speech made by President Pervez Musharraf at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICA) attended by Heads of State or Government of 16 Asian countries in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
"I congratulate you, Mr President on the fruition of your vision embodied in the initiative for the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)."
"We admire your sustained guidance that helped to identify the principles for cooperation among our countries for peace and a better future. The culmination, your initiative at this summit meeting in the beautiful city of Almaty, located at the very centre of Asia is needed auspicious for the Asian continent."
"Mr Chairman, you had initiated this noble venture nearly 10 years ago at a time of great hope and promise arising from a momentous upsurge for freedom witnessed around the globe."
"The end of the Cold War and the elimination of the danger of global annihilation, heightened prospects for global peace. Ten years later, that optimism has been tempered by unfortunate events and trends. New threats and new prejudices darken the horizon. In these circumstances, interaction, dialogue and confidence building have assumed greater urgency for the revival of a fading promise."
"We must ask ourselves whether the present situation has been brought about because of a sudden eruption of violence and terrorism by misguided individuals and desperate groups that threaten to destabilise the international community. Or is there a deeper malaise and terrorism is a symptom of that malaise."
"September 11 brought home to the world the horror of terrorism and galvanised international resolve to fight and eliminate this modern day scourge. Targeting of innocent people cannot be justified under any circumstances. We do and we must reject terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. However, as we wage war on terrorism, there is also the need for introspection. Violence in the world is not because of terrorism alone. The international community had identified the root causes of violence more than five decades ago and had enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the principles and the framework for global peace."
"Disregard of these principles constitutes the main source of violence and suffering in the world and lies many a time at the door of member states themselves."
"We cannot condone individual or group terrorism on any pretext. Similarly, we cannot condone for any reason the rapacious policies of certain states that forcibly occupy territories and deny freedom to peoples for decade on end, with total disdain for Charter principles and decisions of the United Nations."
"Global peace has remained hostage to the expansionist ambitions of such states and their ruthless campaigns to suppress, through brutal use of force, the legitimate struggles of peoples' to gain their internationally recognised right to freedom and self-determination. Terrorism by states, apart from inflicting massive suffering on occupied people, spawns a spiral of violence and terrorism."
"Denial of freedom and the resulting desperation and humiliation are the breeding grounds for extremism. To eradicate terrorism, we must address the root causes by eliminating injustice and honouring the commitments consecrated in the Charter principles."
"Mr chairman, we note with satisfaction that the Almaty Act to be adopted by the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia has reaffirmed the core principles of the UN Charter namely:
- respect for sovereign equality and territorial integrity of states,
- respect for the right of self-determination of peoples' under occupation and colonial domination,
- peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue and international intercession and mediation, and
- mutually beneficial cooperation.
"Our faith in the validity of these principles has been reinforced by the unfortunate history of South Asia. The people of South Asia continue to pay a heavy price for the refusal by India to resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant U.N. resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people."
"I travelled to Agra (India) nearly a year ago in the hope of setting into motion a dialogue process to address Kashmir and all other outstanding issues with India. Regrettably, the summit remained inconclusive."
"For the past several months, tension along our borders with India and the Line of Control is high, stirring deep fears in South Asia and around the world over the real possibility of a conflict. We do not want war."
"We will not initiate a war. But if war is imposed on us, we will defend ourselves with the utmost resolution and determination."
"We have stated repeatedly that instead of accusations, threats and dangerous escalation, India should return to the path of dialogue and negotiations, which is the only sane option, especially in the dangerous environment of South Asia."
"Mr chairman, the continent of Asia is a cradle of diverse civilisations, cultures, religions and traditions. Confidence-building, understanding and peace in Asia can transform the world."
"Imagine the change in global environment, if all the participants of this conference were to resolve their differences and conflicts on the basis of equity, justice, international law and the principles of the U.N. Charter. Imagine the creative energy that would be released and the development and progress that would result in the new scenario for the deprived people of Asia and the blessings it can bring to the entire world."
"This objective should define the CICA undertaking and our common efforts to promote it. We, therefore, welcome the principles and the mechanism elaborated in the Almaty Act. We believe that this mechanism supplements and reinforces the commitment of the member states to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter."
"In this age of information, when we can instantaneously share the pain and joy of our fellow beings anywhere in the world, it is vital to promote understanding among peoples and cultures through a sustained effort."
"We, therefore, fully endorse the positive elements of the "Declaration on Eliminating Terrorism and Promoting Dialogue among Civilisations", which are inspired by the idea of greater interaction and cooperation among civilisations."
"We reject the flawed and dangerous postulate of an unavoidable clash of civilisations, which can only resurrect medieval prejudices and fears and lead the world on a dark and dangerous path of confrontation and conflict."
"I conclude, by expressing sincere gratitude and appreciation for the warm hospitality and courtesies extended to me and my delegation since our arrival in this beautiful city of Almaty."
"I Thank you Mr Chairman."
Source: Dawn (Karachi), June 5, 2002