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Pakistan and Afghanistan should agree on a ‘ceasefire of blame-game’, Yusufzai

ISLAMABAD: Senior journalist Mr Rahimullah Yusufzai underscored the negativity generated by leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan and urged senior leadership of both countries to agree on a what he called “a ceasefire of blame-game.” He was speaking at a webinar titled ‘Prospects of Security and Stability in Afghanistan’ organized by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) here on Monday.

Referring to the recent negative statements by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Afghan National Security Adviser HamdullahMohib, which were strongly rebutted by the Government of Pakistan, Mr Yusufzai said that such statements did not serve any purpose for Afghanistan. He further highlighted that non-withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan would amount to a violation of their agreement with the US for the Taliban. He shared that the Taliban had ceased their attacks on foreign troops since their agreement with the US government last year but had intensified their attacks on Afghan security forces and civilians. He further stated that Doha would remain the preferred venue of talks for the Taliban even if they attend the Istanbul talks.

Speaking on the occasion, Member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement Dr Sima Samar called for greater understanding between Afghanistan and Pakistan on the future of Afghanistan. She highlighted the commonalities between the two countries to emphasize the need for greater cooperation. “If a neighbour’s house is on fire, the flames will reach you,” she said. Elaborating further, she said that terrorism and drug trafficking were not the problems of Afghanistan alone but could seriously affect other neighbouring countries as well. She also called for not shying away from acknowledging the problems between the two governments. “Denial would not help,” she said. She urged the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan to honestly come together to find a solution to the common problems and stop the blame-game. She emphasized the need for a human rights-based approach to countering extremist groups. 

Senior Lecturer at the National Intelligence Academy of Romania Lt Gen (Retd) Florian Coldea shared the contributions of Romanian troops to the NATO mission in Afghanistan. He said that all NATO allies needed to continue supporting the peace process in Afghanistan. He also emphasized the need for the neighbours of Afghanistan to support the Kabul government.

Managing Director of the Afghan Human Rights and Democracy Organization Mr Jawad Zawulistaniemphasized the importance of dialogue between Pakistani and Afghan researchers and activists. He blamed a lack of accountability through participatory and democratic governancefor the past failures in Afghanistan. He urged leadership and vision in Afghanistan and Pakistan for ensuring stability and security in Afghanistan. “Common threats need to be addressed with a common vision,” he said.

Earlier, President IRS Ambassador Nadeem Riyaz expressed his hope for security and stability in Afghanistan and stated that Pakistan was always ready to support Afghanistan in securing a peaceful future.

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