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No one desires peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan: Abbasi

No one desires peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan: Abbasi

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Sep 22, 2017 - 11:56

UNITED NATIONS (Pajhwok): Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday alleged Talibaninfo-icon safe havens were in Afghanistaninfo-icon and not in his country, saying ‘no one desires peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistaninfo-icon.’

“Having suffered and sacrificed so much due to our role in the global counter terrorism campaign, it is especially galling for Pakistan to be blamed for the military or political stalemate in Afghanistan,” Abbasi said in his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

 “We are not prepared to be anyone’s scapegoat. Taliban “safe havens” are located not in Pakistan but in the large tracts of territory controlled by the Taliban in Afghanistan,” he said.

The Pakistani leader said the wars in Afghanistan had blighted his country with the flow of extremists and terrorists, guns and drugs as well as an influx of millions of refugees.

“They have set back our economic development by decades. Even today, Pakistan is host to over three million Afghan refugees.”

Abbasi acknowledged that cross border attacks took place but they were mostly conducted by anti-Pakistan terrorists from “safe havens” across the border.

“To end all cross border attacks, we ask the Afghan government and the coalition to support and complement Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to strengthen border controls and monitor all movement across it,” Abbasi said.

“​What Pakistan is not prepared to do is to fight the Afghan war on Pakistan’s soil, he said. “Nor can we endorse any failed strategy that will prolong and intensify the suffering of the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan and other regional countries,” he added.

​Pakistan, he said, believed urgent and realistic goals in Afghanistan could be achieved by eliminating Daesh, Al Qaeda and their affiliates including the TTP and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.

He stressed promoting negotiations between Kabulinfo-icon and the Afghan Taliban in the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) or any trilateral format to evolve a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan.

“”These two steps offer the most realistic prospect of restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan and our region,” he said.

He said it was clear from the 16 years of the ongoing war in Afghanistan that peace would not be restored by the continuing resort to military force.

 “Neither Kabul and the coalition, nor the Afghan Taliban, can impose a military solution on each other.”

He said the international community – as expressed in several United Nations resolutions – had concluded that peace could be restored in Afghanistan only through a negotiated settlement.

At the UNGA, Afghanistan accused Pakistan of a deliberate attempt to divert the attention of the international community from its longstanding failure to take effective action against various terrorist groups and sanctuaries.

The diplomat representing Afghanistan at the UN assembly said it was now time for Pakistan to opt for a constructive approach in combating terrorism.

“Even though not necessary we wish to categorically reject any claim of any support provided to terrorist groups in Afghanistan, the facts speak for themselves,” the Afghan representative told the UN General Assembly.

He said Pakistan has another opportunity to engage in a comprehensive dialogue to resolve outstanding issues that have prevented it from adopting a clear and decisive stance in combating terrorism and constructive approach for peace and security in Afghanistan and the wider region

Responding to Afghanistan’s statement, Pakistan said instead of blaming others for its problems and failures Afghanistan “should focus” on eradicating safe havens for terrorists in its ungoverned spaces and deal with its war economy and narcostate.  “That is a major threat to regional peace and stability,” Pakistan said.

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