UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan’s new UN Ambassador Dr Maleeha Lodhi has urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to play a role in promoting peace and stability in South Asia , saying “peace needs a fast, not a slow track.”
In a meeting with the UN chief after her presentation of credentials, she also informed him that Pakistan did not want to be distracted from its efforts on its Western border and its law enforcement campaign to combat militancy by the fraught situation on the Line of Control in Kashmir and the Working Boundary with India, according to official sources.
Ambassador Lodhi underscored the need for the role and mandate of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to be strengthened and expanded. It was necessary to do this to prevent ceasefire violations at the LoC and the Working Boundary. The secretary-general said he wanted to see a resumption of dialogue between Pakistan and India, while also appreciating Islamabad’s law enforcement efforts aimed at countering militancy, the sources said.
He said the UN valued Pakistan’s contribution to UN peacekeeping operations.
The secretary-general also told the Pakistani envoy that 2015 will be an important year for the United Nations. The year, he pointed out, was going to be significant for the major summits that will take place on the post-2015 development agenda and climate change. Decisions and deliberations on these and other issues will have an enduring impact on future generations, he added.
The secretary-general recalled his three visits to Pakistan and his meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and appreciated the prime minister’s leadership and role on important issues.
Ambassador Lodhi assured the secretary-general that Pakistan will continue to play a constructive role at the UN and extend its support to him on addressing the challenges being faced in the security, economic and humanitarian fields, as well as on UN reforms. Pakistan, she said, had a key role in peacekeeping, wanted to contribute to the success of the climate change summit, was actively participating on the post-2015 development agenda, and was in favour of effective and democratic UN reform.
The Pakistani envoy apprised the secretary-general about Pakistan’s national priorities, which were to establish internal stability by defeating terrorism, promote inclusive economic development, help to stabilise Afghanistan and normalise relations with India on the basis of equality and mutual respect, as well as resolution of outstanding disputes including Kashmir.
She urged the secretary-general to help counter the ‘deliberate misperceptions’ being spread about Pakistan’s role in combating terrorism.
She also asked the secretary-general to help in promoting peace and stability in South Asia by advocating the resumption of a broad-based dialogue between Pakistan and India aimed at resolving the disputes between them.