Afghanistan must not allow use of its territory for attacks: Lodhi
Speaking at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Ambassador Lodhi asked Afghanistan to halt its “belligerent rhetoric” in the long-term interest of its country, people and the region.
“We stand committed to working with the Afghan government for the improvement of our relationship, on the basis of shared values,” the Pakistani envoy said in a debate on in Afghanistan in the UN Security Council.
At the start, Ambassador Lodhi joined UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call on the Afghan leadership to show a spirit of cooperation to achieve a meaningful peace agreement for the benefit of the Afghan people.
“Fifteen years of war, waged by the world’s most powerful forces, could not yield a military solution,” she said.
“Nor should anyone expect that Pakistan would fight Afghanistan’s war on its soil.”
She emphasised Afghanistan must ensure that its territory was not used by terrorists or others.
Ambassador Lodhi noted that some TTP elements, who have allied themselves with Islamic State (IS), continue to enjoy the support of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency.
“Unless peace is restored in Afghanistan, it risks emerging again as a central source of global terrorism,” she told the 15-member council.
“The unity of the Afghan government is imperative in order for it to effectively address the multiple challenges the country faces.”
To overcome current challenges, Ambassador Lodhi said the upcoming conference in Brussels, which will be attended 70 countries and 30 international organisations, would be an opportunity to bring peace and security to Afghanistan.
Pakistan, she said, was willing to help in reviving dialogue, but it requires efforts by all four members of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group – Afghanistan, the US, China and Pakistan.
“Apart from Afghanistan itself,” she added, “it is Pakistan that stands to gain the most from the restoration of peace across our western border.” Pakistan’s counter terrorism campaign, the largest and most effective in the world, deploying an 180,000 strong force, has turned the tide of terrorism in the country.