National Security Advisor Dr Moeed Yusuf on Wednesday said that peace in Afghanistan is the most immediate challenge facing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Dr Yusuf’s remarks came during the 16th meeting of the National Security Advisers of the SCO held from June 22-23 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, a statement from the Office of the National Security Adviser said. Member states, which include Pakistan and India, issued a joint protocol signed by all the NSAs at the end of the meeting, said the statement. In his formal statement at the summit, Dr Yusuf said that Pakistan — which he said is a country historically most affected by developments within Afghanistan — is fully committed to supporting a stable, peaceful, sovereign, and united Afghanistan at peace with itself and with the neighbours. “It is our firm view that a negotiated political settlement that is Afghan led and Afghan owned is the only way to achieve this desired outcome”, he added. The national security advisor cautioned against spoilers, both within and outside Afghanistan, adding that unfortunately, not everyone in the region who professes to prefer peace in Afghanistan does so in reality. He said that Pakistan cannot allow Afghan soil to be used against it. Dr Yusuf lay great stress on the fact that Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including state terrorism against people under illegal occupation. The advisor said that Pakistan has been a victim of “terrorism planned, supported and sponsored from across our borders”. He said this is an unfortunately reality which remains even today and “has at its roots actors who may present themselves as advocates of global cooperation against terrorism but in reality perpetuate it to create instability in our country and the region”. “Terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any race, religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group”, he further said.