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Path to regional peace-stability pass through Afghanistan: Qamar Bajwa

14 February, 2018

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KABUL: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday reiterated that path to regional peace and stability passed through Afghanistan, according to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

“Regions develop as a whole, not individual countries,” the army chief said while addressing the Chiefs of Defence (CHOD) Conference in Kabul. He said that collaborative approach and persistence is the answer to all challenges for which Pakistan is ready to play its part.

Gen Bajwa told the conference that Pakistan had eliminated all terrorist sanctuaries from its soil, according to the ISPR statement. The residual signatures of terrorists who take advantage of presence of 2.7 million Afghan refugees and absence of effective border security coordination are also being traced and targeted through ongoing operation Radd ul Fasaad, he added.

The army chief assured the meeting that Pakistani territory will never be allowed to be used against any other country and that Pakistan expected the same in reciprocity.

CENTCOM commander, Resolute Support Mission (RSM) commander and army chiefs of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan also attended the conference, which concluded on a consensus to continue cooperation for peace and stability in the region.

Earlier this month, Pakistan and Afghanistan had ‘good discussions’ during the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) talks.

APAPPS is a joint action plan for cooperation in the key areas of counter-terrorism and reduction of violence, peace and reconciliation, repatriation of refugees and joint economic development.

This was the second round of APAPPS in a week that reflected determination of both sides to pursue policy of engagement despite differences over certain issues. The first round was held in Kabul on Feb 3, following the deadliest Taliban-claimed attacks in Kabul on Jan 20 and Jan 27 which killed nearly 125 people and injured over 250.
 
“Pak-Afghanistan talks. Two days of good discussions. Some agreements. Further work required,” Faisal had written on Twitter after the meeting. “While some progress was made on the mechanism of cooperation, no progress was achieved on specific result-oriented, time-bound measures in the APAPPS, particularly in the areas of counter-terrorism, reduction of violence and peace and reconciliation to meet the priorities of Afghanistan,” a statement issued by Afghan Foreign Ministry at the conclusion of the talks had, however, claimed.

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