ISLAMABAD, Feb 17 (APP):President Dr Arif Alvi Monday said India had put itself into a quagmire after introduction of controversial legislation in the shape of citizenship law, which also turned its future bleak.
Speaking at a dinner hosted in the honour of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his delegation, he said India had not learnt any lesson from the past and again fell into pits.
Federal Cabinet members, foreign delegates, UN officials and a large number of ambassadors in Pakistan were also present on the occasion.
The president called for implementation of over dozen resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council over the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K).
He said the United Nations Military Observer Group should be allowed to report on what was happening on the borders, besides India should open up the occupied territory, and allow the people and media to visit the IOJ&K.
He urged the global community for exerting pressure on India to realize its seriousness.
The president regretted that soon after coming into power, Prime Minister Imran Khan had extended a peace gesture to the eastern neighbour, but with the Pulwama attack they realized that India had not learnt nothing from the past.
The prime minister had been consistent that both the countries had to handle poverty and illiteracy etc, but it did not happen as there were elections in India, he added.
He said the Pakistani nation and its leadership not only talked about the peace but also wanted it. On the other hand in the neighbouring country, the political leadership, its people and the media had been creating a hype over war, he regretted.
President Alvi thanked the UN secretary general for showing solidarity with Pakistan on the completion of 40 years of hosting the Afghan refugees. Pakistan had been hosting the Afghan refugees for decades, which was consistent with the basic human rights. It was contrary to the situation across the globe where the borders were being raised high and the countries were not willing to accept even 100 migrants, who had been drowning in the Mediterranean Sea.
Pakistan, he said, had learnt a lot in the last decades and was still hosting a huge number of refugees on its soil despite being not a rich country. “We open up our hearts and hosted them because they were our neighbours and anyone in misery should be hosted.”
Pakistan had hosted about five million Afghan refugees in the past and still it had about 2.5 million on its soil, he added.
He said they were proud that during the period, not a single voice inside the country was heard for sending the Afghan refugees back.
The president expressed the optimism that the Afghan peace process was moving on, which would be helpful for creation of a situation for the return of the Afghan refugees.
He said the polarization of the world, in which the people were taking extreme positions, was a very dangerous trend.
The Pakistani nation, he said, had been the most experienced one on earth with respect to hosting the refugees on humanitarian basis and also had fought the menace of terrorism.
“We won the war on terrorism on our land. The nation has been able to clear itself of terrorism and fought back,” he added.
President Alvi also noted that global warming and human footprints on nature were creating alarms, which required cooperation among the world community to tackle the challenges.
He, however, regretted that immature leadership created issues like Islamophobia, xenophobia etc; which took charge instead of the major challenges faced by the mankind.
Reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment to the UN Charter and objectives, he said Pakistan and the United Nations believed in each other.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, in his remarks, expressed his gratitude to the people and the Government of Pakistan for extending the generous hospitality by hosting about five million Afghan refugees.
He said contrary to the global situation in which the borders had been closed and refugees were turned back, he always found Pakistan opening its borders and welcoming the refugees on its soil.
The UN secretary general said he had been expressing gratitude to Pakistan and Iran for hosting the refugees at a time when the international community’s support was a drop in the ocean.
He urged the international community to come forward and make the Afghan peace process a success and lend support in the reconstruction efforts as the Afghan people required it and the world needed it.
The UN chief noted that with the international cooperation, the whole region would take benefits from an enduring peace in the war-torn country.
He also appreciated Pakistan for showing a strong commitment and resolve to the UN Charter by actively participating in the UN peacekeeping missions.
Guterres said Pakistan had been in the front line to fight issues like global warming though it was among the most affected countries.
About the IOJ&K, he reiterated that the UN had called for implementation of its Security Council resolutions on the issue and he had also offered his good offices for its peaceful resolution.
He said the UN’s stance had been consistent that the fundamental rights of the people of IOJ&K should be protected.
The visiting chief of the global body also expressed his well wishes for the peace, prosperity and progress of the people of Pakistan.