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Terrorism is common enemy of both Pakistan and Afghanistan: FO

24 February, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Spokesperson for the Foreign Office, Nafees Zakaria, has said that terrorism is the common enemy of both Pakistan and Afghanistan and effective border management is vital for preventing the cross-border movement of terrorists.

He expressed these views while responding to a question in a weekly media briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.

Zakaria stated that the enemies of Pakistan and Afghanistan are taking advantage of the turmoil in Afghanistan and using its soil to orchestrate terrorist attacks in Pakistan. Pakistan is ready to work with Afghanistan on those issues in the spirit of mutual respect, trust, and cooperation. He underlined the need for working together by the two countries in order to combat terrorism.

Responding a question, he said that Pakistan is committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan and supports the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) and other roadmaps aimed at bringing peace in Afghanistan.

On the Afghan government's complaints regarding refugees in Pakistan, Zakaria affirmed that Pakistan is providing all possible support to the refugees here. He assured the gathering that the Pak-Afghan border will be opened in due course.

Regarding suspected Indian involvement in the recent wave of terrorism, he said that law enforcement agencies were investigating the matter. Pakistan does not want to give a knee-jerk reaction, "We do not believe in rhetoric, though Indian involvement in terrorism and terror financing in Pakistan to destabilise the country is a well-proven fact," he added.

He believed that the enemy was taking advantage of the turmoil in Afghanistan and using its soil to launch terrorist attacks against Pakistan. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has issued instructions to deal with the terrorists with absolute resolve, while the armed forces and other law enforcement agencies' personnel are pursuing their aims to eradicate the threat from the country.

He shared that almost all Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) member countries have confirmed participation at a high political level - the ECO Summit will be held next week in Pakistan.

Zakaria asserted that India desired to malign Pakistan by their suggestion that the house arrest of Hafiz Saeed was not enough. However, Pakistan was clearly the biggest victim of terrorism and has suffered and paid a heavy price in terms of lives and economic losses while fighting the war on terror. Indian involvement in terrorism in Pakistan is well known as the confessions of Kulbhushan Yadav and Swami Aseemanand are a manifestation of that fact. India also must realise that peace in the region is in India's own interest as well.

He stated that defenseless Kashmiris in Indian-held Kashmir continue to suffer from atrocities at the hands of Indian occupation forces who have already martyred 22 innocent Kashmiris in the first two months of 2017; a condemnable act. He affirmed Pakistan's support of the indigenous Kashmiris' movement for self-determination and will continue to extend its moral, political, and diplomatic support to them until the resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

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