Roots of hatred, division, extremism give rise to Islamophobia: Bilawal

Roots of hatred, division, extremism give rise to Islamophobia: Bilawal


Roots of hatred, division, extremism give rise to Islamophobia, says Bilawal

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday stressed upon enhanced bilateral economic cooperation between Pakistan and Indonesia in diverse fields.

During an interview with an Indonesian Tv channel, the foreign minister opined that there existed a large scope of cooperation between Pakistan and Indonesia.

He said that they had signed an MoU for setting up a joint ministerial commission between the two countries, adding the economic and bilateral ties between the two countries had more potential which required to be unlocked.

Bilawal said the first and the second largest Muslim countries working together on any issues had big scope.

“I believe the sky is the limit and a lot can be changed,” he said, adding that they were very keen to enhance the bilateral economic cooperation and people-to-people contacts between the two countries.

The foreign minister observed that both the countries had already been cooperating at multilateral fora including OIC, ASEAN, UN, G77 and other global bodies.

To a question, the foreign minister said that Pakistan had gained experience in combating terrorism and both the countries could learn from each other’s experiences.

He further mentioned that roots of hatred, division, extremism and terrorism which also gave rise to Islamophobia internationally, were the other issues over which Indonesia and Pakistan should work together.

To a query about Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Bilawal said that Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar had recently visited Afghanistan with a delegation.

She held ‘productive and meaningful engagements’ with the Afghan interim government authorities over a host of issues and the most important issue of terrorism.

The foreign minister reiterated that they all wanted to see a peaceful, prosperous and progressive Afghanistan.

“No one wants Afghanistan to become a hotbed or launching pad of terrorists’ attacks in the region or anywhere else. We are hopeful the one-year-old Afghan interim government will not only address the issue of terrorism, but also provide security because that’s a fundamental prerequisite for peace and prosperity,” he added.

He said Pakistan and Afghan were neighbours and would remain as neighbours.

Foreign Minister Bilawal said it was in Pakistan’s interests that there should be peace in Afghanistan. When there would be a stable country; a prosperous country, they would not have to be worried about the massive exodus of refugees, terrorism and the associated threats.

It would also create economic opportunities for the people of Pakistan as well as for the Afghans, he added.

The foreign minister underlined that the world should engage with the Afghan people in a meaningful way because they were all tired of wars and conflicts as the Afghan generations one after another went through these conflicts.

He expressed the hope that there would be a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, adding Afghanistan required global support and engagement as the fate and future of the country was in the hands of the people of Afghanistan.

The foreign minister, responding to another question, said that they were very confident that people of Pakistan would overcome the political and economic challenges and strengthen the democratic system.

He said Pakistan was committed to women’s empowerment and education opportunities and would continue advocating such cause internationally. Pakistan had been the first Muslim country where a woman served as a prime minister, he added.