Prime Minister said Afghanistan today presents a unique challenge as 30 million Afghans are left without a functional economy and banking system that allows ordinary Afghans to make a living to be able to build a better future.
Addressing the UNGA Session he said Pakistan would also like to see an Afghanistan which is at peace with itself and the world, and which respects and nurtures all its citizens, without regard to gender, ethnicity and religion.
He said Pakistan is working to encourage respect for the rights of Afghan girls and women to education and work. Yet, at this point, isolating the Afghan Interim Government could aggravate the suffering of the Afghan people, who are already destitute.
The Prime Minister said constructive engagement and economic support are more likely to secure a positive response. He said a peaceful, prosperous and connected Afghanistan is in our collective interest. As a neighbor, Pakistan has a vital stake in peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The Prime Minister said we must avoid another civil war, rising terrorism, drug trafficking or new refugees which none of Afghanistan’s neighbors are in a position to accommodate.
He also urged the international community to respond in a positive way to the UN Secretary-General’s appeal for 4.2 billion dollars in humanitarian and economic assistance to Afghanistan, release Afghanistan’s financial reserves, essential to revive its banking system.
About Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism, the Prime Minister said Pakistan strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Terrorism does not have a religion. It is based on dogma, fuelled by poverty, deprivation, injustice and ignorance, and fanned by vested interests.
He said Pakistan is the principal victim of terrorism as over the last two decades, we have suffered more than 80,000 casualties and over 150 billion dollars in economic losses due to terrorist attacks.
The Prime Minister said our armed forces, with the support of our people, have broken the back of terrorism within Pakistan. Yet, we continue to suffer terrorist attacks from across our borders, sponsored and financed by our regional adversary. We are determined to defeat such cross-border terrorism.