Pak wants global support to usher in stability in South Asia

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Rezaul H Laskar

Islamabad, Feb 20 (PTI) Pakistan today said it was"imperative" for the world community to support its efforts toreach out to Afghanistan and India to create an environmentthat will usher in stability and development in the region.

Reacting to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton''srecent remarks, Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjuasaid: "Pakistan has reached out to both Afghanistan and Indiato promote an environment conducive to stability anddevelopment. It is imperative that the international communitysupport this endeavour."

She added that it was "Pakistan''s considered view thatstability, peace and development in the South Asian region isnot only important for Pakistan but has global ramifications".

Pakistan "values its relations with the US" and is"cognizant of the need for greater strategic coherence,especially when a large number of NATO-ISAF troops and theinternational community�are engaged on issues germane toAfghanistan", Janjua said in a statement.

The spokesperson, who was reacting to Clinton''sremarks at the launch of the Asia Society''s series of RichardHolbrooke memorial addresses on Friday, lauded the Secretaryof State''s call to respect the principles of non-interferenceand non-intervention in Afghanistan.

"The sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity ofAfghanistan must also be fully respected," she said.

Janjua also said Pakistan welcomed Clinton''sannouncement on the appointment of Marc Grossman as the new USSpecial Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

During her speech, Clinton said the tribal areas alongthe Afghanistan-Pakistan border "remain the epicentre ofviolent extremism that threatens Americans and peace-lovingpeople everywhere".

She said the "historic distrust between Pakistan andAfghanistan remains a major cause of regional instability".

While calling on Pakistan to take "decisive steps toensure that the Afghan Taliban cannot continue to conduct theinsurgency from Pakistani territory", Clinton said pressurefrom Pakistan "will help push the Taliban toward thenegotiating table and away from Al Qaida".

Pakistan will have to be part of the process forreconciliation in Afghanistan to succeed, Clinton said.

"(Pakistan) will have to respect Afghan sovereigntyand work with Afghanistan to improve regional stability," shesaid.

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