Dipl: (Indonesian President calls for firm commitment to democracy)

ISLAMABAD: Indonesian President Joko Widodo has called for a firm commitment to democracy as it is the only way to serve interests of the people.

He was addressing the joint session of the Parliament here on Friday. He said democracy provides space for people in decision-making process, helps maintain political stability and achieve growth.

He said economy of a country or a region can grow if there is political stability and security. He said economic activities will never take place if there is conflict or war. He said conflicts and wars benefit no one and people mainly women and children become most impacted in such situations.

Referring to the challenges of terrorism, he said no country of the world is immune to it. He said incidents of terrorism are taking place in almost all countries including Indonesia and Pakistan.

He said Muslims are in largest number the victim of terrorism. He pointed out that 76% of terrorist attacks took place in Muslim countries, 60% of armed conflicts happened in Muslim countries and 67% refugees come from Muslim countries.

The Indonesian President said weapons and military power will never conflicts in the world and arms race would continue to create tension. He emphasized the need to resolve conflict through dialogue.

Earlier, welcoming Indonesian President Joko Widodo in the joint session of Parliament, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said Pakistan and Indonesia cherish deep bonds of history, religion and culture.

He said an everlasting peace in South Asia requires a just and peaceful solution of this unresolved issue in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and in light of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions. He said Pakistan hopes that friends like Indonesia will continue helping Pakistan in this regard.

He said the historical association of our two people has diversified over the period of time and has helped our two governments to build a strong network of cooperation on all fronts.

The Speaker said as members of the United Nations, the OIC, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Parliamentary Union of OIC Member States and other international and regional forums, we have been supporting each other on all issues of common concern and interest.

He said the recent years have seen enhanced people-to-people contacts between our two countries, which have opened new avenues of cooperation in higher education, cultural exchanges, bilateral trade and investment opportunities on both sides. He said Pakistan has paid the heaviest price by rendering over sixty-five thousand lives and bearing a loss of over 120 billion dollars to its economy.