ISLAMABAD: Lt. Gen (Retd) Nasir Khan Janjua, National Security Adviser said, war can never be a road to peace and Pakistan was the only country which had always stood next to Afghanistan and its people for peace and stability.
He expressed these views at the closing ceremony of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) and German organisation Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF’s) joint two-day international conference on ‘Evolving Situation in Afghanistan: Role of Major powers and Regional Countries.
He said that Pakistan always stood with the right. Even now, when the world is saying that Pakistan is not doing enough, even now when our efforts are undermined, this country, its people, its government remain strongly and unequivocally committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Addressing in the presence of delegates from Kabul, Washington, Tehran, Beijing, Ankara and Moscow, Janjua said that the notions of victory are not visible from any side especially not to the Afghan people, and certainly not to its children.
Initially aimed at driving out Al-Qaida and Taliban from Afghanistan based purely on the desire for vengeance, the post 9/11 US intervention has had the most far-reaching consequences for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Earlier, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Foreign Secretary, while chairing the session on ‘Role of States Assisting Peace in Afghanistan, emphasised that for effective counter-terrorism, strengthening border controls to regulate the movements across the border was vital.
He stressed the need for a positive response from the Afghan government regarding effective border management. He further pointed out that vested interests had often tried to create a perception that Pakistan controls Taliban. Such an impression breeds unrealistic expectations from Pakistan.
While, discussing the reasons behind the US launching a war in Afghanistan, Dr. Vanda Felbab-Brown from the Foreign Policy Programme at Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, stated that countering terrorism and disempowering terrorist groups in the country and making Afghanistan stable and peaceful had been the core objectives behind the US war on terror.
Peter Topychkanov from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Moscow Center said that Russia’s primary concern in Afghanistan was maintaining security in the Afghan–Central Asian region. Moscow seeks to prevent instability in Central Asian countries, some of which — Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan — are its allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).
Dr. Wang Xu, Executive Deputy Director, Center for South Asian Studies, Peking University said that China and Pakistan should strengthen their cooperation, play constructive roles and support the principle of Afghan-led and Afghan-owned to ensure the comprehensiveness, legitimacy and continuity of Afghan peace and reconciliation to achieve substantive stability and prosperity of the whole region at the earliest.
In the session on ‘Transnational Security Problems & Neighbouring Regions’, Dr. Zubair Iqbal, Adjunct Scholar, Middle East Institute, Washington, DC, discussed the stakes and role of Saudi Arabia in Afghanistan.
Mir Mahmood Mousavi, former Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan analysed Niches of Iranian Engagement in Afghanistan and shared the situation with a 900km border with Afghanistan. Iran had strong stakes in seeing a stable neighbour and hence wanted to play a constructive role like it did during the Bonn conference in late 2001, when the country broke a stalemate over the composition of Afghanistan’s first post-Taliban government.
Orkhan Gafarov from Ankara Policy Center evaluated the multi-faceted linkages between Afghanistan and Central Asian States. He gave an in-depth overview of bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Central Asian Countries.
He warned that since more and more young people from Afghanistan and Central Asian countries were going to Daesh camps in Syria, NATO’s withdrawal plan from Afghanistan should be examined more closely. The session was chaired by the former Secretary Defence and Lt General (R) Asif Yasin Malik.