Afghanistan, Pakistan vow joint war on terror
KABUL (Pajhwok): Visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said sanctuaries of Taliban insurgents would be eliminated by direct action, when found, and would be monitored by the existing mechanism.
Speaking at a joint press conference with President Ashraf Ghani here, the prime minister said any effort by any militant or group to destabilise Afghanistan would be dealt with severely and such elements would be outlawed and hunted down.
In case of terrorist activity, he remarked, both Pakistan and Afghanistan retained the right of counteractions in conjunction. He said that capacity building of Afghan police would be done as already offered including training.
Coordinated operations would be planned and conducted on mutually agreed basis to target militant hideouts along the border, he continued.
“We agreed that our bilateral relationship will continue to be guided by the policy of non-interference. We will not allow our respective territories to be used against the other.”
Nawaz said Afghanistan’s enemies will be treated as Pakistan’s enemies and Pakistan’s enemies will be treated as Afghanistan’s enemies.”
Pakistan and Afghanistan would succeed in rooting out the menace of terrorism through their firm determination and by adopting a comprehensive and coordinated strategy, he said.
The prime minister said they strongly condemned the recent spike in violence in Afghanistan by Afghan Taliban through launching their Operation Azm.
“Continuation of such offensive and attacks will be construed as terrorist acts and we condemn such attacks in strongest terms,” Sharif, who arrived on a day-long visit to Kabul, said.
About his talks with President Ghani, Nawaz said: “We had wide-ranging consultations on issues relating to the common challenges we face and the significant opportunities before us.”
He said peace and stability in the region would remain elusive until the menace of terrorism afflicting the region was comprehensively addressed.
“Pakistan has the highest stake in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. We stand in strong solidarity with Afghanistan. I assure you that the enemies of Afghanistan cannot be friends of Pakistan,” Sharif reiterated.
He said that an enduring peace in Afghanistan would be a distant dream, without an inclusive intra-Afghan reconciliation.
He went on to say that “I reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process and assured the president of making all possible efforts in this regard.”
For his part, Ghani said Asia was changing into a major economic powerhouse in the world and without two countries joint economic vision stability could not come to the continent.
He said that both the sides agreed to realise the full potential of well endowed reservoir of human and material resources, including through expanding trade, increasing investments, improving infrastructure, building road and rail links, and enhancing energy collaboration.
President Ghani said war was imposed on Afghanistan and he would fight the menace with might to defend Afghans.
“As a legitimate and elected government, we take pride in our responsibility of defending and securing our people. As the supreme commander, I’m also proud of our national security and defence forces,” Ghani added.
He added insurgents all over the country had announced war against Afghanistan, but the security forces were defending the country with offering matchless sacrifices.
“This war is not just for us. Regional and international terrorism have imposed this war on us and on Pakistan. Pakistan will suffer more in this war and it is necessary to work for peace and tranquility in both the countries.”
“There is no good or bad in terrorism and joint efforts are needed to fight the menace,” he said, adding that children in Peshawar and Paktika had the same blood and worth.
“What we insisted on was that as two friends and two governments we should create an atmosphere for peace in the region and clearly stand against common threats.”
He said they should announce that Afghanistan’s enemy was Pakistan’s enemy and Pakistan’s enemy was Afghanistan’s enemy.
He noted the two neighboring countries’ joint enemy was poverty and instability could be expected if poverty was prevalent.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.