September 2005 News

President calls for early Kashmir, Palestine solution

13 September 2005
The News International

New York: In order to promote peace, tranquility and creating interfaith harmony among the religions President General Pervez Musharraf Tuesday unveiled his four points strategy urging international community to take immediate actions for fair resolution of Palestine, Kashmir and other international issues. Addressing at the Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace, hosted by Philippines President Arraoyo, he underscored 'we also need to take a number of actions at the international level: firstly, it is imperative to promote an early resolution of political injustice to which so many people are being subjected to their faith or belief. Secondly, he noted it is necessary to urgently resolve conflicts and disputes, especially where these involve friction between different religions and faiths eg in palatine and Kashmir. Thirdly, he said, conscious decisions must be taken to extend development support to those societies, which have been challenged by the problems of interfaith friction or extremism. Such developments support should be aimed at poverty eradication and generation of socio-economic growth and human development, he added. Lastly, interfaith dialogue should include religious leaders and scholars from across faiths and cultures, even some of those who hold extremist views and are not enlightened about the virtues of other faiths, cultures and civilizations, he said. 'In this context, we welcome the secretary general's forthcoming establishment of a commission of Eminent Persons to promote 'an alliance of civilizations. I suggest that secretary general should also create a UN office for interfaith cooperation,' he urged. He said it was not surprising that there are differences within and between societies, cultures, civilizations and religions. These differences and diversity are not the cause for confrontation. 'I am honored to address this important gathering on interfaith dialogue and cooperation for peace and I facilitate you, President Arraoyo, and the government of Philippines for hosting this meeting, which Pakistan has honor to co-sponsor, together with fifteen other states', he added Musharraf said that it is unfortunate that great religions, which should be a source of hope, tolerance and peace are today seen to be pitted against each other. He underscored that the need to promote cooperation and understanding among religions and cultures is no longer an option in our globalize world. It is political and moral imperative, he added. In the Muslim world, there is general belief that the West is deliberately suppressing or allowing the suppression of Muslim tolerance in Palestine, Kashmir and elsewhere, he said adding that in the West, all Muslim are, often collectively associated with what is so freely described as 'Islamic terrorism'. In the West, some go so far as to project Islam itself as the source of terrorism and extremism. Indeed, a large section of Muslim opinion believes that their eternal faith is being defamed and demoralized, he said. 'It is important to emphasize that vast majority of the adherents of any faith are peaceful, tolerant, honest, just and caring people. Those who have militant views are small minority and those who act on these militant views are even fewer,' he assured. For several years, he maintained Pakistan had actively promoted religious and cultural understanding, harmony and cooperation in its last two session, the General Assembly adopted also two important resolutions, co-sponsored by Pakistan on the issue. 'We support the several proposals which have been advanced to promote religious and civilization understanding; the dialogue among civilizations, proposed by Iran; the Alliance of Civilizations, proposed by Spain and Turkey; this interfaith cooperation for peace, initiated by the Philippines; and the strategy for Enlightened Moderation, proposed by Pakistan,' he added.


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