| GEO Pakistan|
| FM seeks balanced approach towards Pakistan|
| Updated at: 1934 PST, Tuesday, March 31, 2009|
THE HAGUE: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday called upon the international community for a multi-faceted and balanced approach towards Pakistan and Afghanistan, based on the principles of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference.
He was addressing at the ‘International Conference on Afghanistan’ held here, which was also attended by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Afghan Foreign Minister Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta and Netherlands Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen.
The foreign minister stressed the need for a regional approach towards the two neighboring countries and said it must had the whole-hearted support of all stakeholders.
He said time had come to initiate the healing process through an Afghan-led process of reconciliation, based on genuine dialogue and an inclusive political process.
“The process must be culturally nuanced and tailored to local customs, traditions, values and religious beliefs,” he said.
Foreign Minister Qureshi said to rectify misperceptions, the international forces had to clearly and unambiguously signal that they had no hidden agenda.
“They must win confidence of the common folk through an extensive sensitization campaign aimed at winning hearts and minds,” he added.
Qureshi proposed for a major development surge, placing generous focus on reconstruction and social welfare and the Afghan authorities given a lead and defining role.
He also called for the capacity building of Afghan national security forces and institution building at priority.