Terrorism continued flowing from Afghanistan for last two decades: NSA
Says Pakistan suffered most from Afghan war | Urges world to engage with Taliban to avoid human, economic crisis
National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf has said that it was Pakistan which was affected most from the Afghanistan war reiterating that many bad things were uttered against it that proved wrong after some time, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Addressing a function in Islamabad on Monday, Dr Yusuf said that Pakistan helped to restore peace and stability in Afghanistan. He was of the view that mistakes were made by the international community while neglecting the ground realities in Afghanistan.
The NSA said that Pakistan started hosting Afghan immigrants since the decade of 1980. The Taliban movement started from Afghanistan’s southern city of Kandahar.
Dr Yusuf held that Pakistan became the most reliable partner among the US allies in 2001.
The Afghan refugees migrated to Pakistan in order to avoid the American (drone) attacks in their country.
He stated that India created an artificial crisis on the frontier to keep us engaged on the eastern border. He said that after 2001, Pakistan had to face terrorism incidents every day. He said Pakistan had to go through this war which ‘we have nothing to do with it when it started.’ This was the kind of effort our military was making for almost a decade, he added.
Dr Yusuf questioned the goal of the war when he stated that in 2013 the allies started realizing the need to hold a dialogue with the Taliban and they opened an office in Doha, Qatar for this purpose. For two years, the allies tried to bring the Taliban to the table but the hardliners among Taliban opposed talks. So in 2015, Pakistan was asked again and again to try to facilitate a dialogue. And Pakistan facilitated a meeting between Taliban, US officials and Afghan government representatives in Bhurban.
Dr Yusuf lamented that instead of appreciating Pakistan’s efforts which used its leverage to bring Taliban to table, the very next day the international press reported that since Pakistan brought Taliban to table it proved that Pakistan was controlling the Taliban and it was lying. He said through this episode, Pakistan had leant a lesson ‘to stay out of this’.
The NSA revealed that Pakistan had made a sacrifice of 80,000 lives of its citizens in the war against terrorism. He stated that Pakistan made efforts to encourage Taliban to engage in talks.
He said when our Prime Minister Imran Khan vouched for talks instead of military solution to the Afghan problem, our PM was dubbed as ‘Taliban Khan’.
He said Pakistan wanted to fence the border while the US and Afghan government were not interested. He held that even the Afghan government opposed the idea of fencing the Pak-Afghan border. He informed that Pakistan completed 97% fencing of the border and the work on it was still going on. He said Pakistan always wanted a formal visa regime but its demand was being resisted from the Afghan side.
“What Pakistan problem is: terrorism has been flowing from the other side for the last 20 years,” he added.
He said India was perpetrating terrorism from there, the Baloch militant organization was active there, and US was telling the world that they had killed a number of TTP Taliban in Afghanistan. He questioned whose sincerity should be questioned at this point in time.
The NSA stated that if Pakistan was asked to take more Afghan refugees how could it know that the ISIS people were coming in the garb of refugees or its TTP or Daesh men or they were simply real Afghan refugees.
He abhorred the idea of leaving Afghanistan on its own by the international community urging it to ‘engage with Afghanistan for your own ‘self-ish’ national interest, not as a favour to Afghanistan’. The NSA vouched for an inclusive government in Afghanistan, respect for human rights (keeping in mind the Afghanistan context) and economic and governance support to avoid its collapse.
On recognition of the Taliban government by Pakistan, Dr Yusuf said we were not going to do it on our own, we would coordinate with others and figure out about it. He said there was a window of opportunity to engage with Taliban.
He was of the view that international engagement with the Taliban leaders could avert the humanitarian (refugee) crisis there.
He warned the world community if it again abandoned Afghanistan, it would create a security vacuum and international terrorists could find a safe haven there.