16 years Afghan war yielded nothing: Lodhi

Staff Report
Sunday, 24 December 2017
ISLAMABAD: Speaking in the united nations (UN) security council debate on Afghanistan, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi said that 16 years of war, waged by the world’s most powerful forces against an insurgency of irregulars, has not yielded a military solution; an official statement said on Saturday.

According to detail, Lodhi told the 15-members council that neither Kabul, coalition nor Afghan Taliban can impose a military solution upon each other.

She pointed out that the international community is unanimous in its view, and so is the UN secretary general, that sustainable peace is only achievable through a negotiated end to the war.

Pakistan, she asserted, has long proposed this as the most viable course, to end decades of conflict and sufferings in Afghanistan.

She stressed that search for peace through negotiations must be the priority objective for Afghan government, for Taliban, Afghanistan’s neighbours and for the UN.

In her statement to the council, she warned of a new and vicious threat which has emerged in Afghanistan with the presence of terrorists’ conglomerate from various parts of the world, the tehreek-e-taliban Pakistan (TTP), east Turkistan Islamic movement (ETIM), Islamic movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and other similar groups.

These have now all adopted the umbrella of Daesh, Lodhi stressed.

“It appears that Daesh’s ‘core’, under pressure in Iraq and Syria, may be relocating to these ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan”, she educated.

Expressing deep concern at Daesh’s presence in the Afghan provinces bordering Pakistan, Iran and Central Asia, ambassador Lodhi said that this poses a threat not only to Afghanistan but also to all its neighbours.

“It is the responsibility of Afghan government and international coalition to root out Daesh and associated terrorists from Afghan territory and prevent them from launching attacks against Afghanistan’s neighbours (Pakistan)”, she demanded.

She also told the council about “Afghanistan-Pakistan action plan for solidarity”, proposed by Pakistan last month to strengthen relations with Afghanistan in all spheres – political, economic, defence, education and culture.

Highlighting the need to secure Pakistan-Afghanistan border and prevent cross border terrorism, Lodhi said that this can be achieved only through constant vigilance, effective management and real-time communication.

“Terrorists should not be allowed to provoke clashes between our border security forces”, she remarked.

Voicing concern over the alarming rise in drug cultivation in Afghanistan, Lodhi called upon the Afghan government and the international coalition to energetically eradicate drug production and its links with terrorism as this growing nexus has added to the security threat to the Afghans and their neighbours (especially Pakistan).

Pakistanis and Afghans, she said, were bound by the unbreakable ties of history, faith, blood and language, as well as mutual interdependence. “When people of Afghanistan needed refuge, Pakistani people opened their homes and their hearts to them. Close to three million Afghans still reside in Pakistan,” she concluded.