Pakistan making efforts towards ensuring peace in Afghanistan: Dr Arif Alvi

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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi while addressing the military officers, who are attending the National Security Workshop being held at National Defence University,officers that Pakistan was making serious efforts towards ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan, as the country would be a major beneficiary of stability in its neighbouring state.

He reiterated the government’s principled stance that it could not allow the United States to use its bases against Afghanistan, according to a press release issued by the President’s Media Office.

He elaborated that Pakistan was the biggest sufferer of the prolonged conflict in Afghanistan that adversely affected its economy as well as security. Pakistan, from the very beginning, had advocated for a negotiated settlement of the Afghan imbroglio, as war was no solution to any dispute that increased human sufferings and miseries, he added.

He urged the international community to take serious note of the recent illegal uranium sale in Indian black market, raising the concern that such radioactive material can fall into wrong hands endangering human lives and security of the nations.

President Alvi deplored that the international media ignored the incident that can have serious consequences. He expressed these views during an interactive session with military officers from 12 countries held at the Presidency on Friday.

President Alvi highlighted Pakistan’s success story in the war on terror, explaining that the armed forces and law enforcement agencies had successfully conducted operations against terrorists. However, he said Pakistan also had to pay heavy cost to win the war on terror, as it lost over 70,000 people, besides suffering over $150 billion losses.

He informed the participants about the achievements of Pakistan in different sectors, beginning from the fight against Covid-19. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan took a compassionate decision by enforcing smart lockdown instead of a complete lockdown during the pandemic and provided emergency cash relief under the Ehsaas Programme to over 15 million families to save the daily-wage earners from poverty and hunger.

He went on to say that the government was successful in handling the pandemic as the entire nation showed exemplary discipline. He particularly praised the role of religious scholars and media in the fight against coronavirus.

President Alvi apprised that Pakistan’s economy was moving in the right direction as the country was poised to become a geo-economic hub of the region by utilising its location to boost regional trade and encourage economic integration. He said the country was closely working with China to promote regional connectivity and economic cooperation.

He said that Pakistan was focusing on development of the IT sector and taking practical measures such as training its youth to enhance IT exports.

Responding to questions by the military officers, the president made it clear that Pakistan would not permit the US to use its bases against the brotherly country (Afghanistan). He reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to further expand and consolidate economic, political and cultural relations with all friendly countries, particularly those in the region.

The officers appreciated Pakistan’s socioeconomic achievements, particularly the successful handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. They also lauded the hospitality extended by the government during their stay in Pakistan.

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