Pakistan for effective border management with Afghanistan: Asif

ISLAMABAD: Defense Minister Khawaja Asif today said that Pakistan is determined for effective border management with Afghanistan for peace and security in the region.

Making a policy statement in the Senate on the recent tension in Pak-Afghan relations, he said the government has been in talks with the Afghan government over one year to ensure better management of the border in order to stop infiltration of militants from both sides. He said this is in the interest of both the countries.

Defence Minister said TTP is responsible for all the acts of terrorism in Pakistan. He said the TTP is being provided safe havens on Afghan soil and Afghan Intelligence agencies are supporting it.

He said Pakistan has no dispute with Afghanistan. If three million Afghan refugees, who are being provided refugee for three decades, go back, Pakistan would neither be blamed for hosting Quetta Shoora nor to the Haqqani network.

He made it categorically clear that Pakistan would not take a step back in connection with border management.

He said that there are 78 crossing points on Pak-Afghan border. He said Afghan refugees have put negative impact on our economy. He said while Pakistanis are not provided any preferential treatment in Afghanistan, we are providing education, health and other basic facilities to Afghan refugees.

Referring to the recent tension caused by clashes at Torkham border, the Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment for brotherly relations with the neighboring country.

He said both the countries share common history, culture and religion and their destinies are interlinked.  He said we have no animosity with Afghanistan; rather interests of both the countries are interconnected.

He said peace in Pakistan is linked with peace in Afghanistan. It was in this context that the QCG involving Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and the United States was established to expedite the peace efforts. However, the death of Taliban Chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in recent drone strike has made the peace prospects uncertain.

The Minister pointed out that there are certain elements that do not want peace and development in Pakistan and do not want good neighborly relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He, however, said that our government will continue to tread the path of peace so that the people of both the countries could reap fruit of it.

He said the current issue on Pak-Afghan crossing points could be resolved in a spirit of accommodation and adjustment from both sides. He said Pakistan gave Angoor Ada post in a gesture of good will.

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