Time for conflict resolution has come, says Musharraf - 2003-06-20
President Gen Pervez Musharraf said on Friday it was not time for crisis management but conflict resolution for a lasting peace in South Asia.'The time for conflict management is over because another conflict is unthinkable. It is time for conflict resolution,' he told a distinguished gathering here on Friday.
He was speaking as guest of honour at 50th annual dinner hosted in his honour by the Pakistan Society at the Great Hall of Lincoln Inn here on Thursday.
Prince of Wales Prince Charles, Prince Karim Aga Khan, Princess Sarwat and Principal Secretary of the Queen specially attended the dinner.Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Jinnah is the only Asian leader whose picture with Jinnah-cap, decorates the walls of the Lincoln Inn - a rare distinction indeed.
President Musharraf said Kashmir should be resolved in line with UN resolutions as it had bedevilled peace and progress in the region. He said Pakistan was ready to take four steps if India took one towards establishing a lasting peace in the region.
'Pakistan will make its full and honest contribution to and will not be found wanting in arriving at a just and honourable settlement of the Kashmir dispute,' he said.
'Kashmir has to be resolved through peaceful dialogue in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, which is necessary for peace in South Asia,' he said.
Referring to peace within, the president said that the country was on the path of democratic and economic development while pursuingparameters of a progressive and enlightened Islamic state.'
He said there would be no deviation from this path and no bigot, extremist or obscurantist would be able 'to derail us from our march towards our destiny.'On the 9/11 destruction of the US landmarks and their aftermath the president said: 'We overcame the challenges and grasped the opportunities' hence the country was ready to propel itself into dynamism of the 21th century.
Mr Musharraf dismissed chances of clash of cultures or what Samuel Huntington described 'The Clash of Civilizations' but called for caution to avoid 'collisions of misunderstandings.'
'There are those who seek to equate terrorism with Islam. A dangerous gap thus seems to be appearing between us. Together we must urgently bridge this gap which was a great challenge of the day.'
The president proposed a two-point strategy to avoid clash of cultures.The Islamic world must decide whether the future was in taking a confrontationist or extremist posture or work for the emancipation of the Ummat by banishing poverty through human development.
The second, he said, was an obligation on the international community to engage itself for solution of all international disputes, unfortunately involving Muslims, with justice and fairplay.
British Pakistanis, he said, were making great contribution to Britain and had earned elevation by their hard work. He said Lord Nazir Ahmed, MP Muhammad Sarwar, MP Khalid Mahmood are parliamentarians while Sir Anwar Pervez had excelled in business. Sir Michael Nazir Ali is the bishop of Rochester and Prof Haroon Ahmed was a Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. The countless other men and women had made their mark in British society, he said.
Pakistanis here, he said, were loyal and hardworking British citizens but also valued their link with their motherland.Paying tribute to the Father of the Nation, he said it was from here that Jinnah imbibed values of justice, fairplay and determination that was to mould his character and destined him to attain nationhood.'
'Our founding fathers' achievements were not only great, they were truly unique,' he said.President Musharraf, who is also patron in-chief of the society, acknowledged contribution made by members of the society for the promotion of the society's ideals.
He specially expressed thanks to the Duke of Edinburgh for his continuing patronage of the Pakistan Society. Mr Musharraf praised Prince Charles for building bridges of harmony and understanding between the three great monotheistic faiths - Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Abdul Kader Jaffar in his welcome address said President Musharraf had pulled the country out of a bankrupt state to a position where its foreign exchange reserves had crossed $10 billion mark. He said the president got the elections held as ordered by the Supreme Court, and he was now endeavouring to make the country a democratic, enlightened and moderate Islamic state.
He praised Prince Charles charity which was helping the people not in UK alone but across the world.The gathering observed a moment's silence for late Sir Frederick.-APP