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Peace in Afghanistan essential for development in region: Aizaz

WASHINGTON, JUL 27 (DNA) – Pakistan ambassador to the United States, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, has said that Pakistan s growth indicators were positive and pointing in the right direction because of the Government of Pakistan s focus on economic stability and outward looking policies.

Aizaz Chaudhry stated this while addressing members of the Washington-based think tank community, local and international press, and academia, at an event organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in Washington on Wednesday.

He said that Pakistan Government s emphasis on building economic connectivity, best symbolized by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, had generated interest among international investors, including those from corporate America.

Aizaz Chaudhry said that this economic revival had taken place at the same time that the country had successfully turned the corner in its fight against terrorism and extremism.

Referring to the great human and material cost entailed in reversing the tide of terrorism when it was ascendant elsewhere in the region, Ambassador Chaudhry said that, “No nation has done more in the fight against terrorism.”

Turning towards regional developments, Aizaz Chaudhry said Pakistan continued to support an inclusive political reconciliation process in Afghanistan as the only viable path towards obtaining lasting peace in the region and added that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

Aizaz Chaudhry also identified key steps for restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan, including intra-Afghan reconciliation, robust border management, repatriation of Afghan refugees and close cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Aizaz Chaudhry stated that the tendency of blaming Pakistan for security incidents inside Afghanistan was unhelpful. There was evidence that militant groups, having fled from Pakistan s border areas as a result of Pakistan s operations, had found sanctuaries in Afghanistan s ungoverned spaces from where they planned and coordinated attacks against both countries.

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