Regional cooperation rising against terror: Atmar
TEHRAN (Pajhwok): Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar on Wednesday said regional countries had increased joint efforts at countering terrorism after realising the menace equally threatened them.
Atmar, who arrived in Tehran on a two-day official visit, held exclusive talks with Afghan journalists and said his visit was aimed at discussing with Iranian officials increase in the level of strategic partnership, joint anti-narcotics efforts and problems facing Afghan refugees in Iran.
Atmar said regional countries had now realised that terrorism was not a problem of Afghanistan alone, but it posed great threat to them.
He said fears had increased that besides new terror groups, Al Qaeda, Pakistani, Afghan Taliban and the Islamic State threatened stability of the entire region, not only of Afghanistan.
Due to these fears, Atmar said regional countries had increased mutual cooperation to counter terrorism and had launched efforts on their own.
To a question by this reporter about Iran’s role in fighting terror, Atmar said: “I am sure Iran has realised terrorism can approach them in view of the ongoing conflict in Iraq and Syria.”
About Pakistan, the advisor said the country’s political and military leaders had considerably increased cooperation with Afghanistan in fighting terrorists.
“I can say with confidence that recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan have led to some changes in the country’s policies.” Atmar said he hoped regional cooperation in the ongoing fight on terrorism would further increase.
He said the increase in regional cooperation against terrorism and military pressures had suppressed the Taliban, who had in return increased their attacks. “The more Taliban increase their attacks, the newest government strategies unfold,” he said.
“I don’t say attacks from militants would sharply decline in the near future, but I can say Afghan forces can defend their people and soil.”
Atmar said besides discussing other issues of mutual interest with Iranian officials, they would pave the ground for the presidents of the two countries to visit each other’s countries and open a new chapter in their relations.
He said Iran had agreed to conclude a strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan and teams of the two countries were working on it.
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