ISLAMABAD, Jan 26 (APP): President of Indonesia Joko Widodo Friday said the conflicts and wars would benefit no one as people become its major victims and called for unity to maintain peace and stability in the region.
“Conflicts and wars will benefit no one. I repeat conflicts and wars will benefit no one. The people, mainly women and children always become the most impacted ones in conflicts and wars,” President Widodo said addressing the joint sitting of the Parliament here soon after his arrival.
President Widodo is on his first visit to Pakistan along with a delegation comprising ministers and the businessmen.
The session was chaired by National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and attended by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani, three services chiefs, besides the parliamentarians.
President Widodo is the second President of Indonesia to address the joint sitting as First Indonesian President Dr Ahmed Soekarno had addressed the National Assembly of Pakistan on June 26, 1963.
President Widodo is the 17th foreign dignitary to address the National Assembly and Senate’s joint-sitting. The others who addressed the sitting included leaders from Iran, Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Palestine, France, China, Britain, Turkey.
The Indonesian president said besides impacting the people, the conflicts and wars also destroyed the values of humanity.
Widodo, who started his speech with the slogan of Pakistan Zindabad (Long Live Pakistan), also strongly advocated for democracy believing that “Democracy is the best way serving our peoples’ interests. Democracy provides the space for the people in decision-making process.”
President Widodo said in 1963, President Soekarno ignited the spirit to fight against colonialism as well as the spirit of cooperation between newly independent countries.
“Fifty-five years later, the President of the Republic of Indonesia is honoured once again to speak before the Parliament of Pakistan. I would like to use this opportunity to ignite cooperation for the world’s peace and prosperity,” he remarked.
He said the friendship between Indonesia and Pakistan was not a newly forged friendship as his country would always remember the support of the people of Pakistan towards Indonesia’s struggles for independence.
He told the joint-sitting that as a token of appreciation, on August 17, 1995, coinciding with the 50th Anniversary of the Indonesian Independence, Indonesia had conferred First Class Adipurna Star to Pakistan’s Father of the Nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah for his contributions in supporting Indonesia’s independence.
Besides having a decades-old friendship, the two countries had much in common with both being the biggest Muslim populations, members of D-8, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement besides being the initiators of Asia-Africa Conference and “most importantly, we are both democratic countries.”
He said both Pakistan and Palestine consistently supported the independence of Palestine.
“At this forum, I would like to call once again for us to continue supporting our brothers and sisters in Palestine. Let us continue supporting Palestine in their struggles,” he said.
He said Indonesia was the largest Muslim populated country in the world as around 87% from 260 million people in Indonesia equals to 2,262 million populations were Muslim.
He said just like Pakistan, apart from being home to Muslims, Indonesia was also home to Hindu, Catholic, Protestants, Buddhist as well as the others making it a pluralistic country.
He said despite being very plural with a large number of population and more than 17,000 islands and with 1,340 ethnicities, Indonesia was able to preserve its unity.
He said Indonesian people lived their lives as a nation in a democratic manner.
He said most people understand that managing diversity was not an easy thing, neither managing democracy.
“What we need is commitment…commitment to tolerate in order to maintain plurality; commitment for mutual respects so that democracy could function well,” he remarked.
He said with democracy political stability in Indonesia could be maintained, economic growth was strong enough reaching 5% per year and becoming one of the 20 largest in the world.
He said without political stability and security, the growth of the national or regional economy was not possible as economic activities would never take place amid conflict or war.
The Indonesian president reiterated his country’s commitment to maintaining world’s peace as together with ASEAN, Indonesia had been striving to create the ecosystem of stability and prosperity in the South East Asia region.
Besides, he said Indonesia would also like to have an ecosystem of peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region to make it a “region of growth for the world.”
He said at the global level, just like Pakistan, Indonesia was one of the biggest contributors of the world peacekeeping troops. “Indonesia is determined to be True Partner for World Peace,” he maintained.
He told the parliament that during past two years, Indonesia had collaborated and provided contributions to resolve differences among countries; provide humanitarian assistance including in conflict areas and help the preservation of security in the region.
He said the country had also collaborated to overcome various trans-border crimes including the illicit trafficking of drugs and psychotropic substances, human trafficking and terrorism.
President Widodo said not even a single country was immune to terrorism including Indonesia and Pakistan. However, Muslims were the largest in the number of victims of conflicts, wars and terrorism.
He said 76% of terrorist attacks took place in Muslim countries; 60% of armed conflict happened in Muslim countries; 67% refugees come from Muslim countries; millions of young generation lost their hope for the future.
He said both the internal and external factors were contributing to this alarming condition.
Calling for an end to conflicts in the countries as well as the world, the Indonesia president said: “respect for humanity should be our guide in our lives as nations.”
He said history had taught that weapons and military power would neither be able to resolve conflicts nor create and maintain world’s peace.
Emphasizing the importance of dialogue, Widodo said the conflict in Indonesian area of Aceh continued for more than 30 years which was resolved through negotiations.
He said it was also the habit of dialogue that makes ASEAN, the association of ten countries in South East Asia, able to be the engine of stability and prosperity in South East Asia,” he said.
“We must be a part of the solution and not part of the problem. Let us work together for the creation of peaceful and prosperous world in the name of all mankind living in this world,” he concluded.
Earlier, on his arrival at the Parliament House, the Indonesian president was received by the prime minister, National Assembly speaker and Senate chairman.
President Widodo also laid the wreath at the Monument of Unsung Heroes of Democracy at the Parliament House.