Posted by: Administrator | 16 September, 2006

President at Institute for Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS), Seoul

6 November 2003, Seoul

Mr. Chancellor, Distinguished Panelists, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored to address this prestigious institution, it is indeed a unique privilege to pioneer this tradition. I wish to thank Chancellor Mr. Choi Young-jin for the opportunity to share with you our perspective on regional situations and bilateral relations with Republic of Korea. Pakistan’s location in region on crossroads to Central, South and West Asia, with its seaports on Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, its friendly climate, glamour of its enormous natural and human resources had historically been envied by all contemporary empires. From Alexander the Great in 336 B.C. to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in last century, this region has seen the rise and fall of many empires with each leaving its distinct imprints. The archeological monuments of glorious Gandhara, Harappa and Moenjodaro civilizations are not only our invaluable assets but testify its past as cradle of civilization. The confluence and assimilation of distinct civilizations and diverse cultures in various eras in the history of this region leaves behind a colorful mosaic of customs and traditions which cut across religions and cultures without undermining the intrinsic beauty and identity of each. This region has seen remarkable period of social harmony and economic affluence. It has also seen bloody wars and unfinished quest for hegemony that is source of perennial acrimony and hostility. The horrific consequences of British colonial rule, especially its divide and rule policy continue to fester tension in the region till this day.

Islam, which heralded emancipation of millions, shackled in human caste system in South Asia, is unfortunately under assault at present. The cultural and political space required for an expression of distinct identity of the Muslims of sub continent was realized with creation of Pakistan. However, the old animosity of extremist Hindu movements such as RSS, and its fellow militant affiliates, who were bent to Hinduize India and force every Muslim to either revoke his religion or be expelled, has not vanquished even to this day.

Pakistan inherited rudimentary infrastructure, zero resource base and millions of refugees. With such an un-ceremonial start and being gird locked with seven times larger and hostile neighbor, very few nations

in the world have achieved so much over last fifty years.

Pakistan’s deep commitment to ideals of democracy and free market economy guided our close relations

with the Western camp through the Cold War at the cost of great perils to our security. We fought against

the Soviet invasion as a frontline state with terrible consequences on our society and polity. We are

recovering from the maladies of Afghan jihad even to this day.

In my view, Pakistan has suffered on two fronts. Internally, we have not been fortunate with democratic

governments and externally we have not been able to make any headway in relations with India. Four

successive democratically elected governments from 1988 to 1997 miserably failed to oliver the promised

goods in the absence of adequate and effective checks and balances. The abuse of highest elected offices

for self-aggrandizement, building personal empires and epic

with Pakistan. We thus lost a decade at critical juncture in our history.

When I took over in October 1999, the country was faced with deep demoralization, economic

mismanagement, institutional collapse, preponderance of corruption, staggering external debts.

There was no social or economic justice for ordinary Pakistanis. The law and order had lost their

writ in the country. Poverty rapidly engulfed millions of Pakistanis leaving them with little

optimism.

I assigned an ambitious agenda to my government. The creation of stable, balanced, moderate

internal environment and execution of focused national development strategy were accorded

priority. Over the last four years, the government has established its writ, and supremacy of law

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in Pakistan. The religious extremism and fundamentalism have been shunned through a number

of measures such as a ban on extremist organizations, regulation of the activity of religious

schools and the mosques.

Another main issue that remained under sharp focus has been the national development strategy.

It has been predicated on alleviation of poverty, illiteracy, corruption, exploitation, hunger and

disease through economic revival, good governance and political restructuring with focus on

modernization of agriculture and vibrant information technology, small and medium enterprises

and energy sectors.

The restoration of genuine democracy, economic reforms, social development, restoration of law

and order, accountability of the corrupt elements belonging to all walks of life, eradication of

extremism, security of our frontiers and bringing Pakistan back as a respectable member of

international community have been successfully accomplished over the last four years.

for social development, however, have seriously been hindered in the face of our security concerns

emanating from the unresolved core dispute over Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan’s principled position on

Kashmir is based on the just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute on the basis of United Nations

Security Council resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people. This is central to the promotion of

normal relations between Pakistan and India. The Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination, sanctified

in the UN Security Council resolutions and in the Partition Plan of sub-continent, contrary to the Indian

leadership’s pledges both to Kashmiri people and Pakistan, has been blatantly defied by India. The

Kashmiri people are arbitrarily divided and brutalized by 700,000 Indian security and military forces for

the last 50 years. Over 800,000 Kashmiri youth have offered the flower of their youth to their valiant

freedom movement which, unfortunately, has been denigrated by India as cross border terrorism.

Pakistan wishes peace and good neighborly relations with India in accordance with the purposes and

principles of the UN charter and pacific settlement of disputes. India has rejected every sincere initiative

of Pakistan towards peace and good neighborly relations. As a demonstration of my commitment to India,

I accepted the Indian Prime Minister’s invitation to visit India. My talks with him in Agra in August 2001

could have broken the ice had the hard-line Hindu nationalists like Mr. L.K. Advani not sabotaged the

final declaration. I was disappointed but I continue to believe that our two countries have a lot to achieve

from peace dividend.

In South Asia, the security situation between India and Pakistan remains fragile. While some small steps

have been taken, bilateral relations have not even reached the status prior to India’s military mobilization

in December 2001 in the exercise of its foiled experiment of “coercive diplomacy”.

India has been evading dialogue with Pakistan by accusing Pakistan of fomenting militancy in Kashmir.

India has used the tragic events of September to intensify its repression in Kashmir and to mount military

pressure on Pakistan. Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including State

terrorism perpetrated by India in Kashmir. Pakistan is not only in the vanguard of international coalition

against terrorism but has repeatedly asked India to agree to deployment of neutral international military or

political observers and to strengthen the existing UN military observer group. India has rejected these

proposals. Indian propaganda is merely a ploy to hoodwink international community, which has often

stressed dialogue and normalization of relations.

To resolve this dispute at the UN General Assembly on 24 September, I proposed an action plan for peace

between India and Pakistan, including opening of bilateral dialogue, reciprocal cease-fire along the LOC,

cessation of violence within Indian occupied Kashmir by Indian forces and Kashmiri freedom fighters,

enhanced monitoring of the LOC, on both sides, and the maintenance of arms balance both conventional

and unconventional between the two countries. Unfortunately, India has rejected the action plan.

In the aftermath of the tragic events of September 11, I took the decision to join the international coalition

against terrorism. Through Pakistan’s commitment to eradicate this scourge,

been apprehended while the hunt for the remaining continues. Pakistan maintains close brotherly relations

with the new government in Afghanistan. Pakistan is hosting over two million Afghan refugees for the

last two decades. Pakistan would contribute US$100 million to Afghanistan for its reconstruction. In

 

economic mismanagement played havocOur efforts500 Al-Qaeda activists have4

Afghanistan, the international community has an obligation to ensure the successful implementation of

the Bonn process. The recent UN Security Council resolution on enlargement of International

Stabilization Force, to ensure security and control over all parts of Afghanistan by President Karzai’s

government, is welcomed by Pakistan.

Iraq remains an open wound on the body politic of the Muslim world. The international approach must be

guided by the objective of restoring Iraq’s sovereignty and political independence, ensuring its unity and

territorial integrity, upholding the right of the Iraqi people to determine their own future and control over

their natural resources, and respect of their religious and cultural traditions and sanctity of the holy places.

The political and stabilization processes in Iraq should involve and be owned by the Iraqi people, led by

the United Nations and supported by the regional states. It is in this context that Pakistan would be

prepared to help in restoring stability and sovereignty in Iraq.

I have been deeply worried over the gulf between Islam and the West. At the 10th Islamic Heads of State

Meeting in Kuala Lumpur from 16-18 October, I proposed the strategy of enlightened moderation

involving socio-economic and human development in the Islamic world which should be complimented

by simultaneous action of international community and the United Nations. I have suggested a twopronged

approach

The first prong of this strategy would be designed to address and overcome the international weaknesses

and vulnerabilities in the Islamic world. These are visible. Poverty and illiteracy breed extremism and

orthodoxy. To promote dynamic development, prosperity and peace within Islamic nations and societies,

the deficits in social and economic standards must be addressed. We must focus on poverty reduction,

employment generation, expansion of production, science and technology, higher education, health and

human resource development. Socioeconomic progress and growing prosperity will also provide the best

antidote to extremism and violent proclivities, which accompany it.

It is in the wider interest of the international community to deliver the second pincer in the Strategy of

Enlightened Moderation. It can do so by helping secure just solutions for the political disputes where

Muslim peoples are being unjustly oppressed, rejecting attempts to equate Islam with terrorism and

refusing to subscribe to the thesis of an imminent clash between Islam and the West; and by assisting the

Muslim world in its internal strategy of socio-economic development within the Strategy of Enlightened

Moderation.

Coming to the Korean Peninsula, we are extremely concerned over the precarious situation that surrounds

this important region. It involves our close friends on all sides. We are well aware of its grave

implications and are ready to contribute positively to resolve the current standoff in any fashion.

We fully share and support President Roh’s idealism of a regional community of peace and cooperation in

Northeast Asia. This policy, predicated on peace and prosperity on the peninsula, resolution of all pending

issues through dialogue, building mutual trust, active international cooperation, transparency and

expansion of citizen participation, represents the most rational response to the current situation.

The historic South-North Joint Declaration of June 15, 2000 provides a road map for a fresh order based

on cooperation and unity. Republic of Korea’s steadfast support and follow up of its provisions in letter

and spirit is indeed appreciable.

Pakistan is heartened at the initiation of six nation’s multilateral dialogue process to resolve the North

Korean nuclear issue. The process is in slow lane but probably offers the best possibility for peaceful

resolution of a long-standing fratricidal conflict. I believe that North Korea should not miss this

opportunity. The presence of all major players around one table offers best hope for peaceful resolution of

the nuclear standoff The recent statements from the U.S. are very positive and strengthen prospects of

ongoing dialogue. I am confident that the lofty dream of reunification of two Koreas and lasting peace

and prosperity would be achieved with statesmanship and popular support.

Pakistan is a nuclear power. Pakistan is committed to nuclear nonproliferation, our record in this respect

has been impeccable and in consonance with international requirement and standards. All reports

allegedly linking Pakistan to North Korean nuclear programme are totally incorrect and malicious in

nature. Nuclear non-proliferation is central pillar of our nuclear policy and we have the strictest standards

in this regards. As a responsible nuclear power Pakistan is aware of the great perils of nuclear technology

 

 

a double pincer to advance the internal and external aspirations of the Islamic world.5

falling into wrong hands. I had issued public denial of any linkage whatsoever, between Pakistan and

North Korea in conventional or non-conventional fields. This is a part of a smear campaign against

Pakistan emanating from the lobbies and forces that have and probably would never reconcile to

Pakistan’s nuclear capability meant to salvage Pakistan’s national security and has no other objectives

whatsoever. I want to assure my Korean friends that it is unthinkable for Pakistan to engage in any

activity that can be detrimental to the security of South Korea. I am here to personally assure you of

untruthfulness of all such allegations emanating from any source. We should lay these apprehensions to

rest once and for all.

Pakistan treasures its relations with Republic of Korea. Our relations are

mutual concerns and respect of our position on all national and international issues. There are

close similarities in our approaches to resolve regional disputes through dialogue and

engagement. Our two countries believe in strengthening the role of multilateral diplomacy for

conflict prevention and resolution. We also wish to see the globalization and economic

cooperation to follow a rule-based system that safeguards everyone’s interests.

The miraculous Korean development and progress speak about resilience and determination of

the Korean people. The Korean achievements in information technology are recognized world

over. Your democracy deserves international acclaim. All developing countries can learn a lot

from Korea in all fields.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 20 years ago, we have achieved great progress in

our cooperation in all fields. The existing relations provide a solid foundation for further

deepening and broadening of mutually beneficial cooperation at the strategic, political, economic

and cultural planes. Our mutual coordination and concerted efforts can promote peace and

stability at regional and international levels. On political plane, we can work out appropriate

agreements to contribute towards the international campaign to counter terrorism.

Our bilateral trade has reached close to US$ 700 million. Korean products are household names

in Pakistan. Major Korean firms are engaged in many areas. Given the enormous potential, there

is a lot more that can be achieved. I had useful discussion with President Roh MO Hyun this

morning. I proposed a road map for future cooperation during these talks. I believe both

countries can enhance their bilateral trade to US$

preferential /zero tariff arrangement, free trade agreements, Pakistan-Korea export zones,

enhanced access for our finished cotton, textile and leather products, sports ware, surgical

instruments, fish, naphtha, sea food, agricultural products and fruits and greater indulgence of

Korean ship building, electronics, automobile, oil and gas companies in our economy, can all

contribute towards this target.

Pakistan with skilled labor, low overhead costs and attractive incentives, such as an exclusive

Pakistan-Korea industrial export zone for Korean firms, tax exemption and preferential

treatment, can be an ideal destination for future Korean investment and relocation of the Korean

industry. Through Pakistan, the Korean firms can re-export products to central Asian and Middle

East markets conveniently. I had useful exchange with leading Korean business associations last

night. I have invited the Korean firms to come and invest in Pakistan. I have assured them of my

personal patronage to their endeavors to strengthen our economic relations.

Our two countries have achieved considerable progress in the field of defense and defense

production, which needs to be formalized through an appropriate mechanism. We are confident

of a breakthrough in near future.

We have a common cultural heritage rooted in glorious Gandhara civilization. The collaboration

and joint research for preservation, development, rediscovering and projecting the rich Gandhara

civilization and Buddhist heritage, can be of immense value in furthering the cultural

6

collaboration. Cultural contacts, exchange of students and collaboration among academic

institutions and television and radio programms can further contribute towards greater cultural

harmony.

The situation in South Asia and Korean peninsula are among the most dangerous in the world

today. With positive cooperation from our adversaries and continued indulgence of great powers,

we can achieve the long awaited breakthrough for lasting peace and stability. As an optimist, I

am sanguine about a bright future for our two countries.

Thank you.

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