Pakistan has positive engagement policy with Afghanistan: FO
22 March, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has a positive engagement policy with Afghanistan and would help all efforts for success of reconciliation process in the neighbouring country, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani said on Thursday.
Briefing the media after attending a meeting of Senate Defence Committee, Jalil said that all activities, including the Doha peace talks, for restoring peace in the war-torn country are welcomed by Pakistan and it would help all such initiatives. He disclosed that some progress has been made on reconciliation initiatives, as Pakistan being a member of Core Group, which includes US and Afghanistan, is well aware of the developments in this regard.
Replying to a query whether civilians have any say in the policies related to Afghanistan, the foreign secretary said that political leadership is on board and all the decisions are being taken in consultation with all the institutions. On drone attacks by the US on Pakistan's territory, Jilani said that the country has a clear policy from day one that these drone strikes are illegal and are counter-productive.
Senate Defence Standing Committee Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed told the media that a delegation of the committee would visit Afghanistan to have interaction with the state functionaries. "A wide range of issues would be discussed with the officials in Afghanistan to strength the bilateral relations", he said. Mushahid called the dialogue between defence committees of parliaments of both countries the need of the hour, particularly in view of the situation in the region.
He added that as the withdrawal of US forces draws nearer, this interaction would be quite helpful to understand each other's points of view on defence-related issues. He told the media that the delegation would visit Afghanistan on March 25 and the areas related to security, terrorism and related issues would be centre of focus. Earlier, during the briefing, Jilani briefed the participants about the political, military and intelligence sharing with regard to Afghanistan.
The Foreign Office and Defence Ministry officials also briefed on existing and emerging challenges in Pak-Afghan relations, especially problems of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, narcotics smuggling and border management issues.