WASHINGTON: Federal Minister of Interior Ahsan Iqbal said on Wednesday that blaming Pakistan for the security failures in Afghanistan was unhelpful as well as offensive to the people of Pakistan, ARY News reported.
Ahsan Iqbal was addressing a gathering of students, academicians, think tank analysts, and media persons at an exclusive event organized by the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.
Speaking on “Pakistan’s Efforts in Internal and Regional Security”, the Minister said Pakistan shared the international community’s concerns about the instability in Afghanistan, which continued to spill over into Pakistan.
According to our correspondent Jahanzaib Ali, the interior minister maintained that Pakistan desired peace in Afghanistan and would thus support any effort for political reconciliation in Afghanistan, which was the only viable path towards obtaining lasting peace in the region.
“Pakistan desires a broader and comprehensive partnership with the US, beyond security and particularly in the education sector,” Iqbal said.
The Interior Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s readiness to work with the United States as a partner for achieving peace and security in the region and urged that seeing the region from the prism of third country will compound the situation for anyone.
Improved security situation in Pakistan
Minister Iqbal briefed the audience about the National Action Plan, the 20-point program developed by the Government of Pakistan to counter terrorism and extremism.
“The implementation of the Plan, in conjunction with the sweeping counter-terrorism operations undertaken by the country’s security forces, had been critical to improving the security situation in Pakistan,” said Ahsan Iqbal.
The security situation in Pakistan has improved as result of the countrywide counter-terrorism operations and sacrifices rendered by the security forces and people, Iqbal added.
— Ahsan Iqbal (@betterpakistan) October 12, 2017
Turning briefly to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Minister Iqbal, who is also the Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, said CPEC was envisioned as a regional connectivity project by Pakistan and China.
“CPEC would not only radically overhaul Pakistan’s transport and energy infrastructure, but it would act as a catalyst for regional integration. It should thus be welcomed by all countries that desire to see stability and prosperity in South Asia,” said the minister.
US should not weigh up CPEC from Indian perspective
Earlier on Tuesday, Ahsan Iqbal had urged the United States not to weigh up the CPEC from ‘Indian perspective’ as it was an economic plan for bringing peace and stability to South Asia rather than a security plan.
CPEC is not a conspiracy against any state, neither a security plan, he said in a meeting with US officials.