Militants on Afghan Soil: Samarkand Conference Endorses Pakistan’s Stance

Fri Apr 14 2023
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ISLAMABAD: The 4th Ministerial Conference of Afghanistan’s Neighboring Countries held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Thursday highlighted that the presence of terrorist organizations in Afghanistan continued to threaten the regional peace – a stance Islamabad has long been advocating.

According to the declaration of the meeting, the parties underlined that all terrorist organizations, namely the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Al-Qaeda, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the Balochistan Liberation Army, Jundallah, Jaish al-Adl, Jamaat Ansarullah, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and other terrorist groups based in Afghanistan continue to pose a grave threat to regional and global peace and security.

Radio Free Europe also said in its recent report that after the US pulled out its forces from Afghanistan, it left behind military equipment and weapons worth 7 billion dollars which later strengthened the military capabilities of the banned Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Baloch separatist organizations.

The report added that the US left behind weapons and military tools, including firearms, armoured vehicles, and communications gear.

Participants of Conference

Attended by the foreign ministers and key officials of Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, China, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the neighbouring nations’ meeting highlighted that the terrorism-related security situation in Afghanistan was still very serious.

They reaffirmed their commitment to increase cooperation on security and counter-terrorism as well as develop a united front against the scourge of terrorism.

Since the Taliban takeover of Kabul, Pakistan has also stressed the establishment of an inclusive political system, the adoption of moderate policies, and the safeguarding of fundamental rights of all Afghans, including women, children, and ethnic groups.

Pakistan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar, who also addressed the moot, said Pakistan believed that more work needs to be done to eradicate terrorist organizations from Afghanistan in an indiscriminate, concerted and uniform manner. Greater coordination and cooperation with the interim Afghan Government remain vital.

She added that Pakistan was looking forward to working closely with the neighbouring nations and the international community to this end.

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