Minister: (Regional stability depends on peace in Afghanistan: Kh Asif)


ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif has said that a stable and peaceful Afghanistan is a guarantee for peace and stability of Pakistan and the entire region.

Addressing Xiangshan Forum in Beijing, he said the real benefits from projects like China-Pakistan Economic Corridor can be accrued only through peace and stability. He called for addressing basic concerns of the people and denying space to extremist elements who take advantage of the fault lines.

The Minister said Pakistan has suffered a loss of sixty thousand lives and billions of dollars in economy. He said Pakistan’s armed forces have conducted various operations in tribal areas since 2003.

He said the latest operation Zarb-e-Azb has vastly outnumbered achievements compared to international forces’ achievements in Afghanistan for thirteen years. He said world needs to recognize the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan over the past three decades.

Referring to South Asian security and stability, Khawaja Asif said all disputes need to be resolved amicably to offset chances of escalation. He said Pakistan has been forcefully advocating early resumption of dialogue process with India. There is a need to reduce tension at the Line of Control and the Working Boundary.