Pakistan asks Afghanistan to cease allegations and work to manage border

Islamabad, September 15, 2016 (PPI-OT):Pakistan called on the Afghan government to cease unwarranted accusations and instead join Pakistan in implementing strict border controls to check cross border terrorism, says a press release received here today from New York. Speaking in the Security Council’s quarterly debate on Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi also called on Kabul to ensure its territory is not used by anyone to foment terrorism in Pakistan.

She said that her country was ready to work with the Afghan government through the recently constituted High Level Mechanism, to address border concerns but no one “should expect Pakistan to fight Afghanistan’s war on its soil.”

To prevent cross border attacks, Ambassador Lodhi said, Pakistan will fence extended parts of the border. “If the Afghan government seeks an end to cross border terrorism, it should support such fencing and strict controls at the international border”, she added.

Voicing the international community’s unanimous view that sustainable peace was only achievable through a negotiated end to the war, Ambassador Lodhi said, “Fifteen years of war, waged by the world’s most powerful forces, could not yield a military solution.” A military solution, she said, was even more unlikely now.

Underscoring that a dialogue between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban remains the only way to end Afghanistan’s suffering, Dr. Lodhi noted that the Afghan parties themselves appear to have moved away from the international consensus that peace can only be achieved through negotiations. “Neither side appears willing to talk, except on their own terms. Meanwhile new actors are being introduced into the conflict”, she added.

Ambassador Lodhi told the 15 member Council that Pakistan was willing to help in reviving this dialogue, as it did in June 2015, at President Ashraf Ghani’s request. “But this requires efforts by all four members of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group – Afghanistan, the US, China and Pakistan – which remains an important vehicle to assist an Afghan-led peace process”, she added.

Elaborating on the threat posed by the rise of Daesh in Afghanistan, Ambassador Lodhi said that several elements of the so-called Pakistani Taliban – the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan – have declared their allegiance or integration with Daesh.

“It is thus strange that some of these TTP elements, allied with Daesh, continue to enjoy the backing of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency”, she said and warned that unless peace is restored in Afghanistan, it risks emerging again as a central source of global terrorism.

The Pakistani envoy said that her country had paid an onerous price for almost four decades of strife and conflict in Afghanistan. Pakistan, she said continues to play host to the world’s largest protracted presence of refugees. Apart from Afghanistan itself, it is Pakistan that stands to gain the most from the restoration of peace across our western frontier”, she stressed.

Ambassador Lodhi concluded by committing to work with the Afghan government for improvement of the bilateral relationship, on the basis of shared values and interests, and emphasised that the people of the two countries enjoyed age old bonds of kinship, faith and shared history.

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