India ready to extend cooperation for Afghan peace: Sushma Swaraj

South AsiaIndia ready to extend cooperation for Afghan peace: Sushma Swaraj

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that India is ready to extend cooperation for the restoration of peace in Afghanistan.

In her address at the fifth Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Ministerial conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, Sushma Swaraj said that the regional connectivity and promotion of trade was essential for peace and security.


Sushma Swaraj said that elimination of terrorism from Afghanistan was a collective responsibility. She said that regional countries should demonstrate political wisdom and sagacity.

The Indian minister stated that her country is committed to peace, stability and development of Afghanistan.

The Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj used the platform to highlight India’s aspiration to have an overland trade access through Pakistan to Afghanistan and Central Asia. She also reiterated India’s desire to become a party to the Transit Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Moreover, she said that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will Pakistan next year to attend the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Conference.

Afghan president lauds Zarb-e-Azb

In his remarks on the occasion, the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani appreciated Pakistan for launching operation Zarb-e-Azb against the terrorists.

The Afghan president said that his country desires strong people-to-people contacts with Pakistan for further strengthening of relations and mutual trust.

Ashraf Ghani thanked Pakistan for hosting millions of Afghan refugees on its territory over the last many decades.

The president pointed out that Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) is a very important regional energy project which will soon be inaugurated in Turkmenistan. He said that Central Asia South Asia (CASA-1000) project will also bring the people of the region closer together.

In addition, he said that terrorism is a common problem of Pakistan and Afghanistan as both the countries have suffered immensely in the war against this menace.

Afghanistan is more than neighbor for Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif

In his remarks, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for collective approach to combat the menace of extremism and terrorism.

Sharif said that Afghanistan is more than a neighbor for Pakistan, as both the countries have historic cultural and religious affinities.

The prime minister said that Pakistan will always stand by Afghanistan. He said the international community respects the sovereignty and integrity of Afghanistan.

Nawaz Sharif said that the democratically elected government in Afghanistan is the legitimate authority in the country. He said that the enemies of Afghanistan are the enemies of Pakistan and the government will continue to support an Afghan led and Afghan owned peace process that remains the most viable option to promote stability and end violence.

Sharif called upon the international community to extend full support to Afghan peace efforts.

The prime minister said that Pakistan is pursuing the policy of peaceful neighborhood as peace is vital for development and peace. He further said that Pakistan remains committed to strengthening its relations with all neighbors and regional countries as well as promoting regional cooperation and connectivity.

In the Conference, Foreign Ministers and heads of delegations from other participating countries also reaffirmed their commitment to respect independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan. They also supported reconciliation process in Afghanistan and strengthening of regional connectivity.

The Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi called upon all sides in Afghanistan to resume peace talks at an early date in the larger interest of the country where the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that his country will continue to work to create better understanding between Pakistan and Afghanistan for durable peace in the region.

The Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Jawad Zarif said that terrorism, extremism and narcotics continue to threaten Afghanistan, the region and the whole world while the Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani said that Pakistan and Afghanistan are vital to each other for peace, stability and prosperity.

Likewise, the Foreign Minister of Kyrgystan Abdyldaev Erlan Bekeshovs stressed the need to work together under the auspices of United Nations and other international organizations to defeat terrorism and extremism.

The Tajik Foreign Minister Aslov Sirojidin Muhridinovich said that lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan requires assistance in tackling economic and social problems. He proposed that the Conference should identify concrete projects for economic development of Afghanistan and regional connectivity.

The Latvian Foreign Minister urged the international community to increase economic and financial assistance for Afghanistan.

In his address, US Deputy Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said that the whole world stand by Afghanistan against terrorists whereas the Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister said that Saudi Arabia was among the first countries to have launched a campaign to fight terrorism and protect its people.

Earlier, the fifth Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference was jointly inaugurated by Pakistan and Afghanistan with its main purpose to foster efforts for regional cooperation and connectivity with a view to promoting long-term peace and stability as well as progress and development in Afghanistan, and the region.

The Heart of Asia Conference is expected to adopt a forward-looking Islamabad Declaration titled – ‘Enhanced Cooperation for Countering Security Threats and Promoting Connectivity in the Heart of Asia Region.’

The Declaration would underline commitments from the Heart of Asia countries and partners for sustained efforts towards promoting peace and security, economic development and connectivity in the region.

Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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