Pakistan reiterates support to international efforts for peace in Afghanistan

Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry
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WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Aizaz Chaudhry has reiterated country’s support to the international efforts to restore peace in Afghanistan, saying there was no military solution to the long-running conflict.
He made these remarks while delivering a talk on “Security and Stability in South Asia” at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. The event was attended by students from Washington based Universities, faculty and other distinguished guests. Former Pakistani Ambassador and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Mr. Touqir Hussain moderated the talk.
Ambassador Chaudhry said that peace in Afghanistan was vital for peace and stability in Pakistan and reiterated that it would continue to support international efforts for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
He also reiterated Pakistan’s position on the issue saying that there was no military solution to the conflict and that peace in Afghanistan was vital for peace and stability in Pakistan.
President Donald Trump in August announced a new strategy for South Asia, particularly focusing on Afghanistan that has also led to increase in number of American troops on the ground. A top military general told a briefing at the Pentagon on Thursday that with the new enforcement, the number of American troops in Afghanistan now stood at around 14,000.
In his wide-ranging perspective on the regional issues, the Ambassador presented a broad overview of the changing international political climate defined by major powers rivalry and its effects on the security and stability of South Asia.
He highlighted the laudable efforts and sacrifices of Pakistani people and security forces to defeat the forces of terrorism. These successes have contributed to the uptick in the economic indicators of the country and has given the people of Pakistan ever more confidence in their march towards peace, progress and prosperity.
However, the Ambassador stated that Pakistan could not fully reap the benefits of improving security situation as long as situation in Afghanistan remained volatile.
On the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, the Ambassador said that it was a regional economic project which would improve the lives of millions of people, not only in Pakistan but in the whole South Asia region and beyond.
He said that Pakistan wished to maintain good-neighborly relations with India. Resumption of dialogue with India to discuss all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir was the only way forward for peace and stability in the region, he added.
The event was arranged by Prof. Irfan Nooruddin of Walsh School of Foreign Service. He thanked the Ambassador for his time and discussion with the audience. …APP

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