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Political will needed to banish terror: Wardak

Political will needed to banish terror: Wardak

May 17, 2017 - 10:01

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Shared interest could guide the reconciliation and ultimate peace and stability in the region if there is a strong political for it, says the minister of parliamentary affairs.

Farooq Wardak said this in his inaugural speech at a 2-day seminar on Af-Pak reconciliation opportunities and challenges. The event was jointly organised by the Royal Danish Defence College (RDDC) and Regional Peace Institute (RPI).

Wardak called for the neighbours to move beyond pious statements to result-oriented discussions on key issues bedeviling Kabul-Islamabad ties.

“We have repeatedly heard that peace in Afghanistaninfo-icon means peace in Pakistaninfo-icon and the enemy of Afghanistan is the enemy of Pakistan and vice versa. But in practice this has never been demonstrated,” the minister said. 

He added the Afghan leadership stood firm in battling terrorists who were intent upon destabilising the region. President Ashraf Ghani had taken concrete steps over the past two years and a half for the restoration of peace and stability, he said.

A strong political will is needed to eradicate terrorism and restore peace, the minister said, highlighting what a stable and prosperous Afghanistan could offer to the region.

Afghanistan’s geographical location could provide the region the best connectivity. Now this is up to the people and decision-makers how best they can use this strategic opportunity.

He said: “33% of Afghanistan’s natural resources have been mapped, the estimated worth of which is in trillions of dollars. In the next 15 years, Afghanistan will become the worldinfo-icon’s largest producer of copper and iron and one of the big players in the gold market.

“We have 14 of the 17 rare earth material. Our marble resources are enough to last for the coming 400 years,” Wardak said,, believing Afghanistan’s water asset can be transformed into a powerhouse and \surplus power could meet the demand of neighbours as well.

To him, another most important opportunity for bringing sustainable peace is the millions of Afghans who have lived in Pakistan for decades, studied there and gained a variety of skills. 

Wardak said the Afghans and Pakistanis enjoyed many cultural similarities ranging from colour, race, language and culture, which could be used as strategic asset to foster brotherhood between the two nations.

He made clear Afghanistan did not want to become a battlefield for proxy wars; it desired to be a buffer. The country would like to become a model for cooperation, a platform for coming together and living in prosperity and dignity.

“Yes, it is doable. Nationally there may be limitations, but regionally there are opportunities which can be utilised to our mutual benefit…Let’s commit to serving our people in need through sincere cooperation,” he concluded.


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