(AGI) Rome, Nov 24 – Italy and Pakistan have a long-standing relationship based on mutual trust. However, said Ashtar Ausaf Ali, Minister of State and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Law on Tuesday, this alliance must not only concern trade and investments but should be extended to the fight against terrorism, the migration emergency, which are dramas that Islamabad has been witnessing for years and on which it is ready to share its experience.
Ashtar Ausaf Ali was one of the leaders of the political movement that drove former President Pervez Musharaf to resign in 2007. “We’ve long known ‘Paris-style attacks’. We’ve seen Paris in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. We’ve seen children slaughtered and continuous piecemeal attacks. However, we don’t only want to share our despair and angst but also our experience,” Ashtar Ausaf Ali told AGI, the Italian news agency, on Tuesday. An eminent lawyer and one of Sharif’s most loyal allies, Ashtar Ausaf Ali told Italian authorities that there are two possible lines of action to follow in the fight against terrorism:
“Directly, through the use of force, going straight to the source by cutting funding, arresting these people and bringing them to justice.
Then there is an indirect way: combating evil, although we must first understand what evil is. It is despair and social inequality.” He went
on: “We therefore must improve living standards, teach values, share our common values and those of Islam and Christianity, which are the same. This is where the answer lies…Combating terrorism also means sharing information and intelligence”. Mr Ali continued: “When you have a common enemy, it is necessary to identify him and, once he is identified, negotiate with him. If we have information on a fake company established in a given country, we must share this information. All this happened because we have stopped talking and visiting each other. Emails and telephone calls are not enough. We need bilateral dialogue; this is the answer. In Rome I met with several representatives of ministries and of Confindustria (the Italian employers’ association). I was impressed by the transparency of the dialogue and the common will to go forward from traditional trade to a higher level. So, not only trade but mostly bilateral relations.” Pakistan can also offer its experience on the issue of migration. Referring to negotiations with the EU on the repatriation of Pakistani citizens, an issue that is still being negotiated by Islamabad and Brussels, Mr Ali said: “We have been the destination of two million Afghans over at least 25 years. We didn’t ask for help from anybody. We didn’t talk about it; we just acted. We welcomed people in distress and this is now becoming a global phenomenon.” .
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