Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Negotiations only way to peace in Afghanistan: Tehmina

Negotiations only way to peace in Afghanistan: Tehmina

ISLAMABAD, DEC 11 (DNA) -‘Pakistan’s view on Afghanistan has been vindicated with the United States finally understanding that the road to peace is through negotiations with all stakeholders and not hard power.’This was stated by Tehmina Janjua, Foreign Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in her inaugural address at the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI)’s international conference titled ‘Conflict and Cooperation in South Asia: Role of Major Powers ’here in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Ms Janjua stressed that India has held South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) hostage, and become a hurdle in the way of hosting SAARC summit in Pakistan.

While highlighting the strength of Pakistan’s ties with all global powers, she said that Pak-Sino relations are exemplary which received a boost by the recent high-level visit to China.

Reiterating the policy towards India, Ms Janjua said that Pakistan is willing to resolve all issues, including Kashmir on the negotiation table.

She further said a solution to the Afghan conflict is highly imperative and Pakistan is in favour of dialogue between the Afghan government and the Taliban.‘

Pakistan has always been there and ready to help Afghanistan in its struggle for peace, but the ultimate responsibility for that rests with the people and government of Afghanistan’, she said.

Negotiations only way to peace in Afghanistan: Tehmina

‘However, the increasing violence, expanding influence of Daesh, growing ungoverned spaces, all result in an unstable environment which is alarming for Pakistan and other neighbours. It also raises concerns at regional and international levels.

Pakistan strives to maintain friendly ties with its neighbours and strengthen our connectivity with the region in line with the vision of our leadership. Our efforts are, therefore, geared towards ensuring positive engagement with all our neighbours with the aim of developing a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan and the region,’ she concluded.

Delivering his Keynote Address on ‘Role of BRI in the Development of South Asian Region’, Ambassador Yao Jing, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, said that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) had reached its fifth anniversary since its announcement in 2013.

 ‘Since then, China has concluded more than 100 agreements, created a quarter million jobs, with rate of return on investment at 20%.’

He outlined that ‘under Pakistan’s new leadership, both China and Pakistan have agreed to further enlarge and broaden the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and improve social sector development and trade cooperation. CPEC could become an example for future community building and more resources for development,’he said.

Ambassador Jing lamented that South Asia is still facing numerous security challenges like the conflict in Afghanistan.

However, he was hopeful that with China as the biggest trade partner and largest foreign direct investor, South Asia has entered an era of opportunity where all countries are now aspiring for peace, development and cooperation. Ambassador Yao Jing concluded that given the historical ties between South Asia and China dating back 2000 years, ‘China is a natural partner for the region.’=DNA