Wednesday September 22, 2021

Work needed to avert security vacuum in Afghanistan: Moeed

August 02, 2021

WASHINGTON: National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf has said Pakistan and the United States have agreed to continue with the Afghan peace process to ensure lasting stability in Afghanistan and there is a need to work jointly to avert any security vacuum in the war-torn country.

Interacting with Pakistani media here on Saturday, he said any instability in Afghanistan will lead to rebirth of various terrorist groups there, which can create problems for the world and Pakistan, state-run Radio Pakistan reported on Sunday.

“We have repeatedly said that Afghan soil is being used against Pakistan, which needs to be stopped,” Yusuf told the reporters. He added that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has established sanctuaries in Afghanistan, which is a threat to Pakistan.

“Besides, there may be some groups which can target other countries as well, which is a matter of concern for the United States too,” he said.

Regarding his engagements with US officials, Yusuf said: “Both Pakistan and the United States are unanimous that there should be peace in Afghanistan and we are discussing technicalities to achieve this objective.”

He said Pakistan has played its due role and will continue to do so for peace in Afghanistan. He said that the United States is an important player and will remain relevant for stability in Afghanistan.

Answering a question, Yusuf said: “We will react if any country attempts to use Afghan soil to destabilise Pakistan like any sovereign country. He said use of Afghan soil to undermine Pakistan is not acceptable. He said it is a “well-known fact” that who is involved in carrying out subversive acts against Pakistan from Afghanistan.

He urged all the stakeholders to make sincere efforts to avert any protracted conflict or civil war in Afghanistan. He said any decision should be taken in view of the ground realities. He said the region agreed that there should be a joint decision and there is also a general consensus that any military takeover in Afghanistan is unacceptable. He said military takeover is against the democratic norms and human rights and no country, especially Pakistan, can afford a civil war on its doorstep.

Answering a question, Yusuf said under the current arrangements, Afghanistan’s exports through Pakistan are continuing without any bar. He said Indian goods bound for Afghanistan are also being allowed through Karachi Port.

He, however, said transit of goods from India to Afghanistan via land route through Pakistan is not allowed due to security concerns. He said Pakistan has the right under international law to stop movement of goods through its territory if it feels any threat to its national security “as it is a known fact that India does not let any chance go to create instability in Pakistan”.

Yusuf said, despite all this, Pakistan, especially Prime Minister Imran Khan, has tried its best to improve bilateral relations with India and both the countries can live like a civilised neighbours. “But, unfortunately, India, at present, is being ruled by an ideologically motivated government that actively pursues Hindutva ideology,” he said. To another question, the national security adviser said Islamabad desires peace in Afghanistan as it is not only in the best interest of Pakistan, but it also serves the interests of other countries.

He said Pakistan wants sustainability in Afghanistan’s economy and will welcome any country to invest in the economic development of Afghanistan.

Regarding repatriation of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, the adviser said: “We want dignified return of these refugees to their homeland.” He said no country has extended generous hospitality toward Afghan refugees more than Pakistan.