Aziz defends Pak, says wrong to blame 'one country' for terrorism - watsupptoday.com
Aziz defends Pak, says wrong to blame 'one country' for terrorism
Posted 05 Dec 2016 01:15 PM

It is too simplistic to blame one country for the recent upsurge in violence, said Sartaj Aziz, the foreign affairs advisor of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during the sixth Heart of Asia conference on Sunday.

There is a need to have a “holistic and objective view of terrorism”, he said, dismissing allegations that “Pakistan is promoting and sheltering terrorism”. His response came after both India and Afghanistan hit out at Pakistan for waging an “undeclared war” and called for “resolute action” against terrorists on the ground and those coordinating them.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Taliban insurgents battling his government would not last a month without sanctuary in the neighbouring state. He also urged Pakistan to spend around $500 million pledged in aid for Afghanistan to tackle extremism instead.

“Despite our intense engagement with Pakistan on bilateral and multilateral basis, the undeclared war... not only has not abated but also intensified during 2016 with special intensity,” Ghani said.
On cancelled Saarc summit

Aziz also emphasised that his presence at the meet, despite the escalation of tension along the Line of Control was testimony to Pakistan’s “unflinching” commitment for lasting peace in Afghanistan. He also expressed unhappiness over the cancellation of the Saarc Summit in Islamabad in November, terming it as a “setback” and that it “undermined the spirit of regional cooperation”.

Applauding the leadership of Ghani and Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah for making progress in achieving peace and stability in the region, Aziz said the Pakistan government stands in solidarity with the Afghan government.On cancelled Saarc summit

Aziz also emphasised that his presence at the meet, despite the escalation of tension along the Line of Control was testimony to Pakistan’s “unflinching” commitment for lasting peace in Afghanistan. He also expressed unhappiness over the cancellation of the Saarc Summit in Islamabad in November, terming it as a “setback” and that it “undermined the spirit of regional cooperation”.

Applauding the leadership of Ghani and Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah for making progress in achieving peace and stability in the region, Aziz said the Pakistan government stands in solidarity with the Afghan government.
“Afghan security forces have firmly and bravely stood their ground in repulsing militant and terrorist attacks. The international community has reiterated its commitment of support to Afghanistan in the areas of security and economic development up to 2020. The government and people of Pakistan stand in complete solidarity with the elected government and people of Afghanistan in furthering the objective of peace, stability and development in Afghanistan. We would do whatever we can to help achieve this objective,” he said.

QCG framework

Aziz also pointed out that the peace process for talks between the Afghan government and Taliban has not yet produced positive results through the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) framework.

“Pakistan has been making serious efforts for facilitating the peace talks through the QCG. We believe that all members of the QCG should continue their respective efforts for talks between Afghan Government and Taliban. In our view, there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and all our efforts should be to achieve a politically negotiated settlement through an Afghan-led Afghan-owned process,” he said.
Aziz said that Pakistan is committed to enhancing facilitation for transit of Afghan goods through Pakistan under the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA).

“We believe the two sides need to work together for extension of and improvements in the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA). In this context, let me emphasize that peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes will further improve prospects of regional cooperation and connectivity,” he said.

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