ISLAMABAD – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has called for a firm commitment to democracy which is “the only way to serve interests of the people”, during his first visit to Pakistan.
Addressing the Parliament’s joint session in Islamabad on Friday, Widodo said democracy provides space for people in decision-making process, helps maintain political stability and achieve growth.
He said the economy of a country or a region can grow if there is political stability and security. He added economic activities will never take place if there is conflict or war.
According to Radio Pakistan, the president 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 in the world is immune to it. “Incidents of terrorism are taking place in almost all countries including Indonesia and Pakistan,” he said, adding that 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.
Welcoming President 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.
The Speaker said Pakistan hopes that friends like Indonesia will continue helping Pakistan in this regard.
Earlier on Friday, President Mamnoon Hussain received his Indonesian counterpart and First Lady Madam Iriana Widodo, who were accompanied by ministers and a large business delegation.
President Mamnoon was accompanied by First Lady Begum Mehmooda Mamnoon Hussain, minister-in-waiting Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari, Senator Ayesha Raza and Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.
A 21-gun salute heralded the arrival of President Widodo as he landed at Nur Khan Airbase.
According to Foreign Office, President Widodo’s visit will contribute towards strengthening existing fraternal ties between the two countries.
In 2012, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited Pakistan to attend D-8 Summit.