Pakistan-Afghanistan counter terrorism dialogues in London makes headway

Pakistan-Afghanistan counter terrorism dialogues in London makes headway

LONDON: Pakistan-Afghanistan counter terrorism and trust deficit dialogues in London brokered by the British authorities seems to reap fruits as both neighbours have decided to move forward  

Pakistan and Afghanistan on Thursday agreed to form a joint mechanism to counter the common threat of terrorism. 

Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told Britain and Afghanistan that his country wants to see a stable and peaceful Afghanistan and remains keen to resolve all the outstanding issues in the interest of regional peace and stability. 

Sartaj Aziz met Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar twice in two days to discuss the latest round of issues, mainly Pakistan’s concern that the Afghan soil is being used to launch terrorist attacks inside Pakistan.

Sartaj Aziz made these remarks during a high-level meeting here at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which was arranged by Britain between Pakistan and Afghanistan following the rise of tensions between the two countries after a spate of terror attacks in Pakistan. 

An FCO spokesman confirmed that the meetings took place but didn’t release details. “We can confirm the meetings took place but we don’t comment on the nature of NSA meetings.”

Sartaj Aziz, Britain’s National Security Adviser Sir Mark Lyall Grant and Hanif Atmar met in two sessions for talks. The first meeting was held on the evening on Wednesday and the second meeting took place on Thursday. 

Mark Lyall Grant asked both countries to ease tensions and work together to defeat the common challenges of security and terrorism. He told both the countries that future of both countries was linked, therefore, it was important to cooperate.

Sartaj Aziz told the meeting that Pakistan has suffered as a result of terrorism originating from Afghanistan. 

He said that Pakistan has always rendered sacrifices for Afghanistan and will continue to help Afghanistan in any way possible but he complained that the recent attacks inside Pakistan showed that the Afghan government was not taking action against militant groups operating against Pakistan’s sovereignty using the Afghan soil. 

He said it was Pakistan’s long-held belief that a stable and strong Afghanistan suited Pakistan’s regional goals of achieving peace and stability. 

He said that Pakistan wants to cooperate with Afghanistan on all matters and wants the same in return. He appealed to Afghan govt to take action against terrorists on its side and be responsible.