ISLAMABAD: National Security Adviser to Prime Minister Moeed Yousaf has said Pakistan has always been supportive to the concerns and legitimate demands of the international community regarding an inclusive government in Afghanistan, protection of rights of all and no support to international terrorist groups.
He was addressing a two-day consultative workshop held at the National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) Islamabad on security challenges post-US and Nato forces withdrawal from Afghanistan at global and regional level in general and for Pakistan in particular. He highlighted Pakistan’s dilemma and sufferings during the last four decades of Afghan war.
He said the Taliban government is maintaining law and order in the country but the miseries of common people in Afghanistan are gradually cumulating due to emerging economic and logistic crises.
He said Pakistan being the immediate neighbour has no option but to remain engaged with Afghanistan. He said Pakistan supported the Doha process to see its successful implementation and hoped that the world at large would join hands to support the existing Afghan government to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
A selected group of senior serving PN officers and retired army officers, former ambassadors, defense analysts and academicians participated in the workshop. Speaking on the occasion, Ali Zaidi, minister for Maritime Affairs, appreciated the efforts of the NIMA for organizing the workshop. He said the government is watching the emerging scenario in Afghanistan.
A peaceful Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan as well as the entire world. “The same will help us enhance our regional connectivity with landlocked Central Asian states,” he said, adding that increasing trade with the regional countries and boosting economic opportunities in the maritime domain should be capitalized.
He emphasized that to effectively counter the evolving maritime security challenges, there is a dire need to enhance the capacity and capability of the Pakistan Navy as well as the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency to effectively deal with traditional and non-traditional security threats.
Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Faisal Rasool Lodhi underscored that the evolving situation poses opportunities as well as challenges for Pakistan, which demands an in-depth analysis and articulation of policy options to safeguard Pakistan’s interests in the fragile situation.
He observed India has already unleashed propaganda to discredit Pakistan, which needs to be carefully monitored and countered. He said the economic crisis in Afghanistan, if not averted, will result in a large influx of refugees subsequently becoming an economic and security challenge for Pakistan. He said that in a strategic plane, Pakistan has to strike a balance among expectations of “our own public, international community and Taliban while ensuring that our own interests are preserved”.
Earlier, in his welcome address, vice admiral (retd) Abdul Aleem, director general NIMA, said the consultative workshop has been organized to deliberate threadbare on the post-US and Nato withdrawal scenarios to further “our national interests by overcoming political, security, social and economic challenges that may emerge due the evolving situation”.
Other speakers included former ambassador Asif Durrani, former National Security advisor Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Hussain Janjua, vice admiral (retd) Khan Hasham Bin Saddique and air vice marshal (retd) Faaiz Amir.
The speakers emphasized the need to intensify diplomatic and political efforts to keep the Taliban government engaged and convince the world to support stability and peace in Afghanistan.
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