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Pakistan cannot bring Afghan war into Pakistan: Qamar Bajwa

28 August, 2017

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DUSHANBE: Assuring cooperation to Afghanistan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa said that Pakistan cannot bring Afghan war into Pakistan.

Addressing Quadrilateral Counter Terrorism Coordination Mechanism (QCCM) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on Sunday, the army chief said terrorism is a multinational threat. He said Pakistan has indiscriminately eliminated all safe havens of terrorists on its soil.

The meeting was attended by senior military leadership of member countries, including Gen Bajwa, Gen Li Zuocheng (China), General Sobirzoda Imomali Abdurrahim (Tajikistan) and General Sharif Yaftali (Afghanistan), the ISPR said.

All four leaders welcomed the QCCM initiative and expressed hope that an inclusive and cooperative regional approach will prove best for eradication of terrorism.

Bajwa highlighted achievements of Pakistan in fight against terrorism for eliminating terrorists' safe havens from its soil. He said that terrorism being a transnational threat can only be defeated through intelligence sharing and coordinated effective border management.

The participants also signed an outline cooperative mechanism which will come into force after its endorsement by respective governments.

On sidelines of the event, COAS met Afghan CGS Gen Sharif Yaftali. Afghan situation was discussed candidly sharing concerns.

He said that Pakistan has already cleared all its areas indiscriminately and has started unilateral border security measures including fencing. Besides border security management other key factor for enduring peace is dignified repatriation of Afghan refugees.

The army chief reassured Afghan side that Pakistan is open to any suggestion that facilitate peace in Afghanistan. In this spirit, he offered to form a Pak-Afghan army working group to jointly work and formulate security recommendations for government level discussion aimed at addressing mutual concerns. Afghan CGS agreed to the proposal and thanked COAS for his relentless efforts towards peace.

Defence Ministry officials and military leadership of all four countries have had held several staff level consultations over the last few months to formulate agenda points for conduct of this event, said the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army's media wing.

Upon arrival, the COAS called on the Tajik Defence Minister Sherdil Mirzo and Chinese Chief of Joint Staff General Li Zuocheng.

The participants also signed an outline cooperative mechanism which will come into force after its endorsement by respective governments.

During the next two days the forum will discuss regional security environment and way forward in relation to situation in Afghanistan and Counter Terrorism efforts.

Last week, Gen Bajwa reacted strongly to President Donald Trump's accusations that Islamabad takes billions of dollars in aid from Washington and helps militants plotting deadly attacks against American troops in Afghanistan.

"We are not looking for any material or financial assistance from USA, but trust, understanding and acknowledgement of our contributions," General Qamar Javed Bajwa told the US ambassador in a meeting at Pakistan army's headquarters in Rawalpindi.

While announcing his long-awaited Afghan policy, Trump harshly criticized Pakistan, asserting Washington is paying Islamabad "billions and billions of dollars", but the South Asian nation is sheltering the terrorists US forces are fighting on the other side of the border. Bajwa in his meeting with Ambassador David Hale reiterated that peace in Afghanistan is as important for Pakistan as for any other country. "We have done a lot towards that end and shall keep on doing our best, not to appease anyone, but in line with our national interest and national policy," noted the top general.

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