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Pakistan wants stable Afghanistan: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

09 October, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Afghanistan enjoy fraternal ties and Pakistan wants a stable Afghanistan, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Sunday.

Talking to a private TV channel, the PM expressed his intention to visit Kabul. “Both countries have sacrificed for each other. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa extended an invitation to the Afghan president to visit Islamabad on behalf of the government of Pakistan,” he said.

The prime minister said that Pakistan wanted a stable Afghanistan and had offered sacrifices in this regard. “We have reminded the Afghan government that certain allegations are not acceptable as the issues could be resolved on the table,” he said.

Prime Minister Abbasi further said the Afghan government had been told that Pakistan would continue pursuing the border fencing initiative aggressively as attacks on its soil had taken place from across the Afghan border. “We have also offered them joint patrols for effective border control,” he said.

To a question, the prime minister said that the COAS would also visit Iran on the government’s behalf, adding that operational issues required to be addressed through talks. He said Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif had also held meetings with the Iranian leadership.

The prime minister said that he was functioning under the Constitution. “We have to steer the government according to the Constitution and complete tasks by adhering to the pro-developmental policies and look forward for the next elections. It’s my mandate,” he said.

He said that no country could function with dual policies and rejected the impression that the government’s policies were directed from somewhere else.

“People give mandate under which a government functions. We have to progress with this public mandate,” he said, adding that change should be only through the ballot paper and not through courts or on streets. “Only people have the right to decide such things,” he said.

The PM said that elections would be held on time.

“On July 28, an unprecedented incident had occurred, the judiciary handed over a verdict which was fully implemented. However, the people of the country have not accepted it,” he said.

He said that it was his opinion that history would not accept it. “Within three days, a new set-up was established. It was the stability of the democratic system,” he said. He said that conspiracies against the government would be dealt with full force.

He said the National Security Committee meetings were being held frequently and regularly.

To a question about the deployment of Rangers at the accountability court, he said that as prime minister, he had directed the interior minister to investigate the issue. “If restrictions are imposed on the movement of people inside courts, it does not give a good impression of the country,” he said.

To another question, the prime minister said the Interior Ministry was compiling data about the people who have automatic arms licenses. “They will be asked to surrender their arms. Private people should not have access to such weapons,” he said.

About broadening the tax net, he said that the issue could not be resolved overnight. “About Rs 102 billion tax is being paid by the salaried class. The tax paid by the non-salaried people stands at around Rs 45 billion only,” he said.

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