“Pakistan position is in support of the legal Syrian government , the president and the army. We want a political settlement in Syria to be made as soon as possible , taking into account the aspirations of all Syrians who should decide their future, without intervention from foreign sides,” said Pakistan ambassador in Damascus H.E. Syed Athar Hussain Bukhari , on Sunday, March 12 Mr. during a meeting with a delegation representing Mother Syria Assembly MSA, chaired by MSA President Dr. Mahmud al-Irk.
In an introductory statement Dr al-Irk expressed happiness of the MSA delegation to meet the ambassador, noting that the visit has two ends: to introduce Mother Syria Assembly and to benefit from Pakistan experience and its reading of the political scene in Syria.
Detailing MSA assigned tasks , Dr. al-Irk said that MSA comprises a group of Syrian elites and intellectuals from all over the country, who have come together with the aim to work for the elevation of Syria, to restore the political, social and cultural scene that befits the Syrian society, and ancient history, and to build the new Syria, after the end of the current crisis.
He added that as a result of the crisis Syria has gone through many things that had come up , not existed before the crisis, creating painful circumstances, adding that many parties have been trying to find solutions to the crisis, and attempts to contribute to solving the crisis are underway, while others could not.
Explaining the role played by MSA, Dr. al-Irk said :” we are contacting the political opposition not the military”, expressing his belief that that each militia group is supported by a certain country, ultimately they have internal or foreign connections.
“We are dragged to a war of attrition that led to the destruction of the country, and bloodshed , that claimed lives and heavy economic losses,” Dr. al-Irk said, adding that Syria is a land of interest to many countries, and Syria’s geo-political position and geography had encouraged others interests.
He continued that given the complexity of the situation, there are different political orientations against our country and, “we are depending on the contributions and good offices of friendly countries, and our focuses is on Pakistan who has a political weight on the world” .
He continued that there is a clash of interest, as countries are just fighting over the Syrian land.
Dr. al- Irk said that Syria Faces Big Conspiracy, and Countries have the right to use their friends to thwart the aggression against them , as approved by the United Nations and international law
Citing Syria’s experience in introducing reforms before the eruption of the crisis, MSA President said that in terms of area , Syria is 1/5 of Pakistan ‘s general area, and 1/9 of its population , and that presidential decrees were issued in 2011 concerning local administration , giving provinces greater authority in terms of budget, but , under the crisis, we come to a stage, where the problem is big and that things became so complicated that the government could not react.
The ambassador thanked Dr. al-Irk for his important briefing about MSA , expressing hope that ” the initiative you have , in the MSA, will make more people look at it”, he said, adding that people in such assemblies can reconcile the two sides and that no one , but only the Syrians , are effective in that the initiative come from the Syrian people, through constructive assemblies, like MSA.
” Your image in MSA is very encouraging, You have big hearts. It is a big work, with its great aims,” said the ambassador, commending MSA founding statement .
The ambassador highly appreciated relations between Syria and Pakistan, noting the deeply rooted fraternal cultural and religious relations between the two countries, adding that Pakistan will be happy and is willing to facilitate any initiative to solve the problem , and this is” why I am still here in Damascus.”
About his reading of the situation in Syria, he noted: “my understanding of the situation in Syria is that that is not a sectarian conflict, but there are sides that want to have it as a sectarian, while it is political.
For finding a solution, he cited Pakistan experience to that every one can talk to the media, and has the chance of speaking,” you have to listen to people.
He recommended Pakistan sound experience in delegation of power and decentralizations , noting that central power should be less and powers to go to provinces and that these two things reduced many of the problems incidentally . He noted that there are many languages in Pakistan and Urdu is the main language, and that apart from defense and foreign policy and other areas concerned , authorities were delegated, besides Pakistan does not only have Urdu as a main language but have other 17 languages and 50 accents.
With all introduced facilitations, ” we still have problems”, the ambassador continued, and we have to sit together to solve differences . We are in the age of social media and connectivity. You can ‘t control the media, but you can regulate or manage it.
He went on that Pakistan have 5 provinces and one federal area, they have their own independent assemblies, education and health systems, which are left for the people.
The ambassador expressed dissatisfaction over the situation in Syria, where “children did not go to school for 6 years in certain areas and the society is in a state of tension right now”, and voiced appreciation for the resistance mounted by the Syrian people who continued to fight terrorism by all means , a situation which he described as is rare.
He said that in Geneva talks , extreme positions are taken by all Syrian parties, both the government and the opposition.
He called for national reconciliation in Syria and cited Pakistan ‘s example and its experience when Taliban was very active, and the United States was sending terrorists to Pakistan. “We started talking to them and stopped calling them terrorists, and the government should take the initial step, for the talks to start, as the government is the mother of all.
He expressed the belief that what happened in the Middle East since 9/11 , 2001 indicated that the ME will not rest in peace.
On the role Pakistan can play in finding a solution to the crisis in Syria, by virtue of having good relations with key countries who are involved in the Syrian question , he noted that Pakistan has good relations with key players involved in the Syrian crisis, taking Saudi Arabia as an example, , noting that Pakistan had good traditional relations and that Saudi Arabia ” helped us politically and economically and many Pakistani workers ( 2 million) are in Saudi Arabia.
He insisted that the solution in Syria should come from the Syrians,” you have to talk to each other and low your maximum positions.”
” If the two sides are assisted militarily, the struggle will continue, unless one of the military group gets help from other sides , so that political solution should be a must.”
” I encourage your imitative, and what I have said is based on real politics”, he indicated , adding that the war should stop as soon as possible The solution is in the Syrian hands , foreign forces interfere when the Syrians leave their place for others to come. My presence here during the crisis indicates that Pakistan sides with the Syrian people, government and army.”