Peace cannot be achieved without Border Management with Afghanistan: SASSI Seminar

Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: Pakistan wants peace and stability with Afghanistan and it can not be achieved until border managements with Afghanistan are not settled. Afghans are our brothers  but terrorists are the real beneficiaries of illegal moments across the Pak afghan boarders. There was consensus among the speakers that that peace zones should be established near Pak-Afghan border to stop the smuggling and terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The two days seminar having title “Refugee Crisis and its Ramifications for Global and National Security,” was organized by the SASSI University in collaboration with the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), National Security Division and German NGO Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

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The Defence Minister Khawja Asif, National Security Adviser (NSA) Lieutenant General (Retd) Nasir Janjua, Minister for SAFRON Lt. Gen. (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch and Dr. Maria Sultan, chairperson and director-general of South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) University, H.E. Mr. Dimitrios Zoitos Ambassador of Greece, H.E. Dr. Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal Ambassador of Afghanistan, Dr Imran Zeb Khan, Major General Khawar Haneef, Mr Rahim Ullah Yusufzai, Lt Gen (R) Hamid Khan, Mr Rustam Shah Mohamnd, Mr Atif Saeed Channa, Lt. Gen. (R) Asif Yasin Malik, Mr. Ihsan Ghani, Mr Amir Zulfiqar, Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini, addressed on the occasion.

The Defence Minister Khawja Asif, addressing the seminar requested the international community to come up with new efforts and proposals to stabilize Afghanistan, support existing measures, leading to repatriation of its citizens. He said that Minister said Pakistan shares 2,560-kilometre porous border with Afghanistan with over 200 unfrequented routes, which serve as points for illicit trafficking of weapons, drugs and humans. “24,000 people from Afghanistan are crossing from Khyber Agency alone per day majority without any legal travel documentation. And that is why we say both Pakistan and Afghanistan will have to chart out a joint mechanism to control this illegal moment across the shared borders.

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Talking on peace process in Afghanistan defense minister said the prevailing security situation in Afghanistan remains challenging with the Afghan government facing a number of problems, including an increase in opium production that helps finance the insurgency. “On our part, Pakistan is making sincere efforts in bringing the Taliban to the negotiations table and supporting the quadrilateral Afghan peace talks but in the end it will be the Afghan government which will lead the process as it must be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led,” he stressed “This is being done to help the Afghan government achieve lasting peace in the country,” he added.

Earlier National Security Adviser (NSA) Lieutenant General (Retd) Nasir khan Janjua on Tuesday said that Pakistan wants peace and stability to prevail in Afghanistan. Pakistanis have shared their homes and hospitality with migrants coming from Afghanistan. “Our hearts beat for Afghanistan. We are a peace loving nation and wish for prevalence of peace and stability in Afghanistan,” janjua said.

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On the issue of proliferation of terrorists from across the border, NSA Janjua said that Taliban militants often find refuge through displaced Afghans and those making their way to Pakistan. Border management with Afghanistan is a crucial issue, he said. He also said that refugees are at times used for purposes such as smuggling and terrorism.

Minister for Information Senator Pervaiz Rashid speaking at the concluding ceremony of a two-day conference on “Refugee Crisis and its Ramifications for Global and National Security,” organized by South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) University here Said peace zones should be established in Afghanistan near Pak-Afghan border so that the people are not forced to migrate to Pakistan.

Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that Pakistan’s fundamental priority is the early return of Afghan refugees and their reintegration in Afghan society, “for which we need to work closely with the Government of Afghanistan, UNHCR and other relevant players”.

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