Full text of the APC resolution – ISLAMABAD, September 29, 2011
In an apparent paradigm shift in the country’s security policy, the nation’s top political and military leadership has decided to hold peace talks with all militant groups, apparently including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The decision to initiate a dialogue process with `all stakeholders’ was approved on Thursday at an All Parties Conference, a nine-hour-long marathon meeting which had been convened by the government to demonstrate national unity in the face of what were perceived as threats by the United States (which has since sought to soften its criticism of Pakistan).
“Pakistan must initiate dialogue with a view to negotiate peace with our own people in the tribal areas and a proper mechanism for this be put in place,“ said a 13-point joint declaration issued after the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.
While the statement did not clarify, some of the participants of the meeting told The Express Tribune that the phrase “own people“ was a reference to militant groups, including the TTP.
“Personally, I am against talking to terrorists but had to endorse it for the sake of national unity,“ said Sahibzada Fazl Karim, the head of the Sunni Ittehad Council, an umbrella organisation for Pakistan’s Barelvi groups which are opposed to the Taliban, who are from the rival Deobandi sect.
A Pakhtun nationalist leader said the proposed dialogue would not be spearheaded either by the government or the military alone but a `national institutionalised mechanism’ might be developed for that.
He said the new mechanism might be on the pattern of the High Peace Council Afghan Following is the full text of the APC resolution:
1. On the invitation of Prime Minister Syed Yusaf Raza Gilani, the leaders of Pakistan’s political parties met in Islamabad on September 29, 2011 to consider issues relating to national security
2. The conference was briefed by Foreign Minister Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar and Director General ISI, Lt. Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha on the security environment of the country and the regional situation.
3. After in-depth deliberations, leaders of all political parties unanimously resolved, as follows.
i. As a peace-loving country,
Pakistan desires to establish and maintain friendly and cordial relations with all countries of the world on the basis of sovereign equality, mutual interest and respect.
ii. All Parties Conference recognized that there has to be a new direction and policy with a focus on peace and reconciliation. “Give peace a chance” must be the guiding central principle henceforth.
iii. Pakistan must initiate dialogue with a view to negotiating peace with our own
people in the tribal areas and a proper mechanism for this be put in place.
iv. We need to further enhance our brotherly bilateral relations with Afghanistan at three levels on priority basis: government to government, institution to institution and people to people.
v. The APC recognized the sacrifices of the people and the Security Forces of Pakistan, especially the people of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and tribal areas. The international community needs to recognize these tremendous sacrifices as well as the colossal magnitude of destruction in Pakistan.
vi. Pakistan can enhance its self-reliance comprehensively.
Trade, not aid, should clearly
be the way forward. We should also focus on internal economic and tax reforms as well as resource mobilization and the curbing of corruption.
vii. Defence of Pakistan’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity is a sacred duty which shall never be compromised.
viii. National interests are supreme and shall guide Pakistan’s policy and response to all challenges at all times.
ix. Pakistan shall continue to endeavor to promote stability and peace at the regional and global planes, in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law.
x. All earlier unanimous resolutions of the
Parliament, the recommendation of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on National Security must be implemented.
xi. APC rejected the recent assertions and baseless allegations made against Pakistan.
Such assertions are without substance and derogatory to a partnership approach.
xii. The Pakistani nation affirms its full solidarity and support for the armed forces of Pakistan in defeating any threat to national security.
xiii. A Parliamentar y Committee be formed to oversee the implementation of earlier resolutions as well as this Resolution and progress on the same be made public on monthly basis.
`Give peace a chance’ must be the guiding central principle henceforth