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Musharraf calls for addressing root cause of terrorism

Written by: Staff

Almaty (Kazakhstan), June 17: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf today underlined the need for ''resolution of conflicts including Kashmir and Palestine,'' adding the root causes of terrorism must be addressed for ensuring peace, security and economic development in Asia.

Addressing the second summit of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), he said ''talking of peace and confidence building in the Asia, we cannot escape the responsibility to find just solution to the Kashmir issue and of Palestine and the need to help Iraq and Afghanistan gain stability and normalcy.'' Gen Musharraf said the CICA can serve as a forum for encouraging confidence building measures to help manage conflict.

Leaders from Russia, China and Central Asian states attended the meet.

He called terrorism as threat to international peace.

''Pakistan has long been its victim. We have been consistently opposing terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and have been in the forefront of the global campaign to combat and counter terrorism and extremism,'' he added.

The Pakistani President said in addition to local action to eliminate terrorist groups and individuals, it is also important to address the root causes of terrorism.

Referring to the India-Pakistan peace process, he said the implementation of a number of CBMs in diverse sectors has improved relations and security environment in South Asia.

''This offers a unique opportunity that must be seized to resolve the Kashmir issue and usher in a new era of peace and cooperation in South Asia. This is possible by leadership, sincerity courage and flexibility,'' he said.

Gen Musharraf welcomed renewed diplomatic efforts for a negotiated settlement with Iran as well as the US' decision to directly engage with the West Asian country.

He said the establishment of an independent Palestinian state is essential to achieve peace in West Asia.

Pakistan supports the Bonn Proces and will continue to support reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, he said.

''We believe that stable, strong and prosperous Afghanistan is vital for regional peace and development,'' Gen Musharraf added.

He condemned the phenomenon that tends to associate terrorism with religion, particularly Islam.

''We must firmly reject and counter campaigns to malign Islam, which is a religion of peace, tolerance and compassion. Terrorism has no religion,'' he added.


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