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November 16, 2017

Armed confrontation in Afghanistan is main destabilising factor in South Asia


November 16, 2017


Islamabad :The armed confrontation in Afghanistan which despite the efforts of the country’s central government and external forces supporting it including SCO members remains the main destabilising factor in South Asia.

This was stated by Vladimir Potapenko, deputy secretary-general, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at the second day of the international conference ‘Regional Dynamics and Strategic Concerns in South Asia’ organised by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) and the Hanns Seidel Foundation here.

Addressing the session on ‘Strategic Situation in Afghanistan and its Regional implications’ Vladimir Potapenko said that the SCO member’s states are interested in Afghanistan, as a peaceful and neutral country that respects and observes human rights and freedoms, and maintaining friendly relation with its neighbours.

He said that Astana declaration resolutely supported the efforts of terrorism, extremism and illegal drug trafficking based in United National central coordinating role in international efforts to stabilize the country and ensure its development.

He said SCO members take an active part in a number of important international and regional projects that that also involves Afghanistan. However the presence of Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Afghanistan many of whom are originally rooted from SECO member states causes additional concern.

“The return of militants who fought on the side of international terrorist’s organizations to their home countries can add to regional instability,” he warned. Ambassador (r) Rustam Shah Mohmand former ambassador to Afghanistan said that the ongoing conflict has multidimensional implications from the former from a stabilized border to acts of terrorism, decrease in the volume of bilateral trade to the plight of both refugees and returnees.

He said that ignoring the cost of not inviting attention to the root cause of the insurgency and the continuance of conflict that has robbed the region of huge economic opportunities, Islamabad has instead remained preoccupied with India’s role in the West Asian country, and not formulated a robust approach for peace-making in Afghanistan. 

Senior Adviser from Ministry of Education, Kabul Dr Attaullah Wahidyar said that Daesh, Islamic State or ISIS are all part of the same terrorism industry. Asia in general and central Asia specifically seems to be a more generous where ISIS has over 8000 recruits. “IS is focusing on conquering weak states and weakening strong states and to address this challenges a two dimensional approach is needed- reform in social architecture of societies and popular Muslim scholarships needs to come forward and reinforce the true message of Islam by calcifying the true meaning of Jihad.

He said we as nation states need to recognise that shared security is more secure than ensured security. “Investment in violent non-state actors for achieving state objectives has historically failed and any state which pursues such policies will suffer sooner or later,” he added.

Ambassador (r) Mohammad Sadiq, former National Security Secretary and Ambassador of Pakistan to Afghanistan said that while the stalemate in Afghanistan is not going to end soon, there are clear ethnic fault-lines which the Taliban cannot cross.

“No one knows what the US policy in Afghanistan will be under the Trump administration but there is no likelihood of permanent pullout of America from the region,” he added.  Dean Faculty of Contemporary Sciences, National Defence University Professor Dr Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema provided comprehensive overview of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. 




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