Pak will continue to support J&K people: Gilani

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Pakistan is a peace-loving country.

Updated: Dec 04, 2010, 09:00 AM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan will continue to extend "full moral, diplomatic and political support" to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Friday.

Gilani made the remarks while chairing a meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet that was attended by senior federal ministers and military officials, including Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Addressing the meeting, Gilani said: "Despite our best efforts, our quest for a just and durable peace in South Asia has so far proved elusive.”

"Pakistan will continue to extend full moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiri brothers and sisters," he said.

The committee "expressed full solidarity and support of the government and people of Pakistan for the just struggle of the Kashmiri people for their inalienable right of self-determination as prescribed in relevant UN resolutions," an official statement said.

The committee "underscored the importance of establishing good neighbourly and cooperative relations with India on the basis of equality, mutual interest and mutual respect."

The meeting of the committee was convened to review the security situation in the wake of current developments, Gilani said.

Media reports said the meeting was held to review the fallout of disclosures in secret US diplomatic cables released by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

Gilani said Pakistan is a peace-loving country that has "consistently endeavoured to promote regional peace and stability”.

“However, Pakistan cannot be complacent about its national defence as it is being directly impacted by turbulence in our near and far neighbourhoods," he said.

The conflict and strife in Afghanistan has adversely affected Pakistan in multiple ways for 30 years, he said.

"Pakistan`s domestic and external policies need to be crafted skilfully with a view to ensuring the protection and promotion of Pakistan`s national interests and the aggregation of Pakistan`s national strength," he said.

The "multiplicity and the size of challenges" to Pakistan`s national security demand that "we may have to make a departure from our traditional thinking and look for out of the box solutions and alternate strategies," he added.

The cabinet committee reviewed security challenges and expressed satisfaction at defence preparedness.

It also took stock of challenges caused by terrorism and expressed satisfaction at anti-terrorism and law enforcement actions undertaken by security forces.

It "reaffirmed that Pakistan`s defence forces and its strategic and conventional capabilities will continue to be strengthened," the official statement said.

The committee reaffirmed Pakistan`s desire to promote strategic stability in South Asia and the importance of maintaining a regional balance and "just resolution of all outstanding issues”.

PTI