Posted by: Administrator | 3 February, 2005

President at Banquet held in honor of Saudi King Abdullah

1 February 2006

Your Majesty, Khadimul Harmainul Sharifain King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Your Highnesses, Excellencies and distinguished guests, it is indeed a special privilege and honour for me to welcome Your Majesty and the distinguished members of your delegation to Pakistan.

Your majesty’s presence in Pakistan is a source of joy for our people and it provides us an opportunity to demonstrate and reaffirm our profound respect and deep affection for Your Majesty and for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Your Majesty, veneration for Saudi Arabia and esteem for the custodian of the two Holy Mosques run deep in our blood and is part of the Pakistani persona. Sentiments of brotherhood between our two countries are rooted in our national ethos, shared values and common faith. Our friendship is constant and transcends the changing international environment and expediency of international politics. We maintain and consolidate our cooperation with Saudi Arabia as a cherish value for our foreign relations and international outlook. I am proud to say that our two countries have always stood by each other.

 For Pakistan you have been a true friend and indeed a brother who has come to our help whenever we have faced difficulties. We can never forget your prompt and very generous support when Pakistan was hit by the earthquake catastrophe last October.

Your Majesty, we believe that your strength is our strength and I am confident that this feeling is very mutual. We deeply appreciate the contribution that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been making towards our economic development especially through investment. It will remain our endeavor to promote our multi-faceted cooperation.

Your Majesty’s visit will provide new imputations and raise our comprehensive and strategic partnership to new and higher levels. We deeply admire and respect Your Majesty’s sagacity and vision and your commitment to the Islamic Ummah. Your abiding concern for the welfare of the Islamic World was reflected in your important initiative to convene the extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Conference last December in the Holy precincts of Makkah. The Makkah Summit can indeed become a defining moment in our efforts to bring unity and harmony in the Muslim World and to transform and revitalize the Organization of Islamic Conference.

Your Majesty, distinguish guests, we are living in uncertain and very difficult times. If we look around every major international crisis and conflict is linked to the Islamic World. The old conflicts of Palestine in the Middle East and Kashmir in South Asia continue to fester. The turmoil in Iraq persists unabated while the situation in Afghanistan is yet to settle down. There are omenist fore-boardings of new dangers on the horizon, alongside the pervasive threat of terrorism are disturbing trends of rising prejudice against Islamic societies. The Makkah Summit had clearly pronounced on these issues and agreed on a collective approach outline in the Makkah declaration.

We reaffirm our common commitment to fight terrorism that poses a danger to all faiths and all societies. Nothing can justify the destruction of stability, progress and development in a society and destruction of innocent lives. It is also painful to see that wanton acts of terrorism committed by few misguided individuals have maligned our noble faith of peace, tolerance and compassion. More than ever before, we need to work for harmony amongst diverse faiths and cultures at the global level and to counter prejudice against Islam and Muslim society.

At the same time we need to look within and root out the bane of extremism from our societies through education and reforms. There is an urgent need to heal the festering wounds of Palestine and Kashmir that have caused so much pain and suffering among the Muslims. Durable peace and tranquility in the Middle East demands a just and honorable solution of the Palestinian issue that has been the objective of many international endeavors.

Your Majesty’s initiative in Beirut more than three years ago defined the essentials for peace based on realism and justice. Nothing should be allowed to derail efforts for vacation of Palestinian territories and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. The evolving 2 political situation in the area must be turned into an opportunity to realize the objectives of the two states of Palestine and Israel living side by side with secure borders.

Your Majesty, the turmoil in Iraq and the sufferings of its people are a source of deep concern and anguish for all of us. We attach great importance to Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. There is need for a new initiative to help the political process in Iraq for early return to normalcy. Our neighborhood has remained disturbed for decades because of the conflict in Afghanistan and the longstanding Kashmir dispute.

Pakistan supports the government of President Karzai and is contributing to international efforts for rehabilitation and reconstruction in Afghanistan. We are also working for an environment of peace in South Asia and are engaged in a sincere effort to resolve the Kashmir dispute that has been at the heart of conflict and tension between Pakistan and India. We believe that improved relations between the two countries and a conducive international environment provides a unique opportunity to address this longstanding issue in a manner acceptable to all parties, especially the people of Kashmir. We have no doubts that Your Majesty’s recent visit to India would encourage the peace process.

Your strong and constant commitment towards the resolution of the Kashmir dispute reflects your abiding support for just causes and your deep concern and compassion for Muslims in distress and struggling for their inalienable rights.

Your Majesty, in the challenging circumstances of our times the strong bonds of friendship and brotherhood between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are a great blessing of Allah Almighty. Our mutual trust, understanding, friendship and cooperation are not just a source of abiding strength and inspiration for us but a vital factor contributing to peace, stability and development in our region. Inshallah!

Together we will continue our endeavors for promoting the collective interests of the Islamic Ummah and for the fulfillment of the shared aspirations of our people.

Praying for your health and good life and a long life. I thank you Your Majesty.

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