NATO wants Pakistan to facilitate Afghan stability
CHICAGO (PAN): NATO on Sunday said countries in the region, particularly Pakistan, had important roles in ensuring enduring peace, stability and security in Afghanistan and in facilitating the completion of the transition process.
While hailing the progress on transit arrangements with Central Asian partners and Russia, the alliance said it continued to work with Pakistan to reopen the ground lines of communication for foreign troops in Afghanistan as soon as possible.
At the end of the first day of the summit in Chicago, the alliance said irreversible transition of security responsibility to Afghan forces was on track for completion by the end of 2014, as agreed at the Lisbon summit.
In a declaration, NATO heads of state and government said: “We also recognise the importance of a comprehensive approach and continued improvements in governance and development…”
Supporting a political process involving reconciliation and reintegration, the leaders welcomed President Karzai’s announcement on the third tranche of provinces that would start transition.
By mid-2013, when the fifth and final tranche of provinces starts transition, ISAF’s role will shift from combat operations to the provision of training, advice and assistance to the Afghan forces.
“We are gradually and responsibly drawing down our forces to complete the ISAF mission by December 31, 2014,” the declaration added.
Even after the end of its combat mission, NATO pledged it would continue to provide long-term political and practical support through its Enduring Partnership with Afghanistan. It will establish a new post-2014 mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces.
Effective funding mechanisms and expenditure arrangements for Afghan forces will be guided by the principles of flexibility, transparency, accountability and cost-effectiveness, including measures against corruption.
It asked the Karzai administration for tangible progress on its commitments to a democratic society, based on the rule of law and good governance, including progress in the fight against corruption.
“The forthcoming elections must be conducted with full respect for Afghan sovereignty and in accordance with the Afghan Constitution. Their transparency, inclusivity and credibility will also be of paramount importance…
“We also underscore the importance of our shared understanding … regarding the full participation of all Afghan women in the reconstruction, political, peace and reconciliation processes and the need to respect the institutional arrangements protecting their rights…”
Regarding the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution No 1612 on the protection of children affected by armed conflict, the declaration note with concern the growing range of threats to children and condemn that they were increasingly subject to recruitment, sexual violence and targeted attacks.
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