UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has told the UN Security Council that the Afghan Taliban’s “safe havens” are inside, not outside, Afghanistan, given the large areas they control in that war-torn country.
Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN said during a debate on Afghanistan that the resilience of the insurgency led by the Taliban cannot be explained away by convenient references to external ‘safe havens’ or ‘support centers’.
Pakistan, she asserted, was committed not to allow its territory to be used for terrorism against other countries. Pakistan’s Zarb-e-Azb and the subsequent Raddul Fassad military operations had succeeded in eliminating all terrorist and militant groups from its tribal territory bordering Afghanistan.
She told the 15-member Council that Pakistan is “implementing border controls, including the fencing and monitoring of vulnerable sections of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.”
In response to some provocative remarks made by her Afghan counterpart during the debate, she said that “As a country that continues to host over two million Afghan refugees, Pakistan expects the gratitude and not hostility from the Afghan government.”
She said “today there is every reason for the Afghan parties, and their friends, to pursue the path of a negotiated peace. All of them face a common threat from Daesh and the terrorist groups affiliated with it.”
“Among them, the TTP and the Jamat-ul-Ahrar target Pakistan from their bases in Afghanistan.”
“There is no other country, which will gain more from peace in Afghanistan,” Ambassador Lodhi said.