ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi on Tuesday stressed that Pakistan is against genocide, not against Jews or Christians.
“We are against genocide. We are not against Jews or Christians, but against all oppressors of humanity,” he said, in an address to the Second Conference of Parliamentary Assembly of the Economic Cooperation Organization (PAECO) countries.
Pakistan’s stance on Israel’s violations of human rights was “not anti-Semitic, but anti-Zionist”, he added.
“We will raise our voices against anyone who resorts to oppression,” the president said.
Alvi stressed greater trade and connectivity among the countries of Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) to attain the goals of cohesive regional development and prosperity.
The president said economic integration among regional states could act as an effective driver to foster sustainable peace and security.
The conference gathered speakers and representatives of the national parliaments of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The president emphasised the need for ECO countries to effectively tap into the region’s immense resources to nurture alliances for win-win economic stability.
“Your voices will be only heard at the global platform if you are economically strong and stable,” he said.
For this to be achieved, he said the states will require a viable regional integration through an open trade market which will lead to sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
Dr Alvi said the ECO region, with its eight million square kilometre land mass and 500 million people, comprised six percent of the world population and had the potential to become an economic power through institutionalised trade policy reforms.
In today’s world where morality is becoming irrelevant next to the oppressor’s own whims and wishes, a strong leadership and approach promoting the ethos of humanity was direly needed, he said.
He spoke of the West’s double standards and hypocrisy in the name of “freedom of expression” where the incidents of blasphemy of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) were on rise in stark contrast to the intolerance against the mere mention of Holocaust.
He also said that labelling the freedom movement of Palestinians and Kashmiris as “terrorism” by Israel and India was an act of viewing the countries through the “prism of prejudice”.
The president expressed confidence that the Muslim world would join hands in giving the world a strong message on Islamophobia.