Presence of terrorists groups in Afghanistan challenges regional stability

New York, 20 December, 2016

At the UN, Pakistan raised concern over presence of large number of terrorist and extremist groups in the ungoverned areas of Afghanistan terming it as a “continuing challenge to the long-term stability of Afghanistan and its neighbours”.

Speaking in the Security Council debate on Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Acting Permanent Representative said that the security situation in Afghanistan was complex and continues to deteriorate.

While calling for an objective evaluation of the efforts to address the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, Mr. Nabeel Munir said that the drivers of the recent upsurge in violence “lie within Afghanistan” and not outside.

Reaffirming Pakistan’s unflinching commitment to lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region, Mr. Munir cited Pakistan’s participation in the Heart of Asia meeting in Amritsar, despite escalation on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary with India, as the testimony to Pakistan’s commitment.

Pakistan expressed its continued support to regional and international efforts to achieve security and economic development in Afghanistan. Mr. Munir said, “Our commitment of US $500 million in Brussels was an expression of our firm resolve to never abandon Afghanistan”.

Pakistan appreciated the resolve of the Afghan leadership to work together to address their differences in a spirit of cooperation and agreed with the UN Secretary General that a united Afghan Government was imperative to effectively address the multiple challenges the country faces.

Speaking about boarder management, Mr. Munir said Pakistan has always stressed the need for robust border management as it is critical to control cross border movement. “We are unable to understand the logic behind resistance towards operationalization of this much-needed mechanism. It is rather disingenuous to propose a regional mechanism when Kabul is unwilling even to work on this bilaterally”, he added.

Pakistan also called for directing all efforts towards achieving a politically negotiated settlement through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. Pakistan, Mr. Munir said believes that all members of the QCG need to redouble their efforts for this objective. “Faithful implementation of agreed approaches and maintaining trust among the partners remains fundamental for furthering peace and reconciliation”, he added.

He told the 15 member Council that implementation the peace agreement with the Hizb-i-Islami signed by the Afghan Government can serve as a model for talks with other groups as well.

Pakistani envoy concluded by reassuring Afghanistan of Pakistan’s readiness to support them in “every way” in their struggle for a better future - a future that brings prosperity, health, education and above all peace and stability for the whole region.