Regional efforts needed to stabilise Afghanistan: Asif

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif has underlined the need of a regional approach to lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Leading the Pakistani delegation to the Tashkent Conference he appreciated Uzbekistan’s leadership on its initiative for peace in Afghanistan, cooperation on counter-terrorism and connectivity.

Khwaja Asif said Pakistan had consistently stressed for the resolution of Afghan conflict through a political settlement. He said bringing Taliban to the table and establishing peace and stability in Afghanistan was a shared responsibility of the international community.

A statement from the Foreign Office quoted him as reiterating Pakistan’s support for President Ashraf Ghani’s national peace and reconciliation plan unveiled during the Kabul Process meeting on February 28.

He said there was need of a collective pressure on Taliban to avail this opportunity to shun violence and join the peace process. He expressed concern over the proliferation of Daesh and increase in drug production in Afghanistan.

He also stressed the need for cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours on preventingthe cross-border movement of terrorists and criminal networks.

Pakistan’s proposal “Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity” was aimed at developing mechanisms for bilateral cooperation in security, counter-terrorism, border controls and smooth return of Afghan refugees to their homeland, he added.