Kabul hosts army chiefs for anti-terror talks

Agencies/ Islamabad
February 15, 2018 INTERNATIONAL 41 Views

Military chiefs from Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries, along with US and NATO commanders, met Tuesday in Kabul to discuss cooperation to fight terrorism and narcotics trading.
Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said the conference intended to find ways to jointly deal with both security challenges.
Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa made it clear to the stakeholders that the path to regional peace and stability only passes through Afghanistan.
The army chief restated Pakistan’s position while speaking at the Chiefs of Defence (CHOD) conference held at Kabul .
According to a statement issued here by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the COAS said that regions were developed as a whole, not as individual countries.
Gen Bajwa said Pakistan had eliminated all terrorist sanctuaries from its soil; however, residual signatures of terrorists, who take advantage of the presence of 2.7 million Afghan refugees and absence of effective border security coordination, were also being traced and targeted through ongoing operation Radd-ul Fasaad.
He assured the participants that Pakistani territory would not be allowed to be used against any other country and Pakistan expected the same in reciprocity.
He said that collaborative approach and persistence was the answer to all challenges, for which Pakistan was ready to play its part.
The conference agreed to continue cooperation for peace and stability in the region.
US CENTCOM chief General Joseph Votel and General John Nicholson, who commands the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and army chiefsof Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan also attended the conference.
Tuesday’s meeting came amid escalating terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, some claimed by loyalists of Islamic State. It also comes as Afghan poppy production has hit record levels. US officials estimate income from the illegal narcotics made from poppies funds 65 percent of Taliban-led insurgent activities.
Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Waziri said his government hopes a joint regional security strategy through conferences like the one Kabul hosted Tuesday would also help counter IS terrorists and address complaints by Iran and Russia that terrorism in Afghanistan threatens their sovereignty and regional security interests.
“Regional countries, including Iran and Russia repeatedly raise alarms that Daesh could spill over their borders and discussions [in Kabul] are exploring ways to fight terrorism and counter narcotics through a common strategy or platform,” Waziri noted.

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