Islamabad, Kabul look inwards as Tehran blames US

Published: June 26, 2011

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai pose for a picture during the “International Conference on Global Fight Against Terrorism” in Tehran. PHOTO: AFP

TEHRAN: 

Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran agreed to jointly fight militancy as their presidents spoke at a counter-terrorism summit that opened on Saturday in the Iranian capital.

“All sides stressed their commitment to reinforce their efforts to eradicate terrorism and militancy and reject foreign interference, all of which are in opposition to the spirit of Islam, the peaceful cultural traditions of the region and its people,” said a joint statement issued after the summit.

They also agreed to continue meeting at the ministerial level ahead of the next summit in Islamabad before the end of 2011, added the statement carried by Iran’s official IRNA news agency.

In their individual speeches at the opening session of the two-day summit, the three presidents highlighted their countries’ divergent views on a common problem.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that despite his government’s efforts, regional militancy was rising. “Unfortunately, despite all the achievements in the fields of education, infrastructure and reconstruction, not only has Afghanistan not yet achieved peace and security, but terrorism is expanding and threatening Afghanistan and the region more than ever,” he admitted, around the same time that a brazen suicide attack at a hospital in Afghan capital Kabul killed dozens.

President Asif Ali Zardari vowed to continue Pakistan’s fight against militancy while Taliban attackers laid siege to a police station in Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. “Terrorists violate both human and divine values by inflicting death and destruction on fellow human beings. They have no religion,” he said.

Zardari said that militant attacks had killed 35,000 people in Pakistan, 5,000 of them law enforcement personnel, and caused material damage totalling $67 billion.

He also thanked Tehran for conferring on his wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto who was allegedly assassinated by Taliban militants, an award for her leading role against militancy.

But while Pakistan and Afghanistan chose to concentrate on their efforts against terrorism, Iran continued to pass the buck to the US for regional insecurity.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the US of using the September 11, 2001 attacks as a “pretext” to send troops to the region.

“In light of the way it was approached and exploited, September 11 is very much like the Holocaust,” he said. “The American government used the attacks as a pretext to occupy two countries, and kill, injure and displace people in the region.”

Meanwhile, in a message read to the conference, also attended by leaders of Iraq, Sudan and Tajikistan, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke out against what he called Western abuse of the terrorist threat. In a meeting with Karzai later, Khamenei said there will be no security if US troops remain in the region.

“The Americans seek permanent bases in Afghanistan. This is a dangerous issue because as long as American troops are present in Afghanistan, real security will not prevail,”he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Ravi
    Jun 26, 2011 - 11:59AM

    Its good to hear sweet voices of fighting terror.

    We in India wondered, why does Pakistan still love all those people who are criminals in other countries.

    Why cant Pak start cleaning its own house and thereby help improve peace environment.Recommend

  • Amer K
    Jun 26, 2011 - 2:34PM

    @Ravi
    DOnt know why you guys hate Pakistan so much when we see your extremists killing our people on Samjhota express, inflicting wrongly ISI in the Mumbai attack, attacking and killing Muslims in Gujrat. Why has India not hanged all those guys responsible.

    Dont know why this comment of always blaming PK for all the ills in SEA region. Recommend

  • G. Din
    Jun 26, 2011 - 3:24PM

    @Amer K: to Ravi
    “…killing our people on Samjhota express, inflicting wrongly ISI in the Mumbai attack, attacking and killing Muslims in Gujrat”
    “inflicting wrongly ISI in the Mumbai attack”? Think again! Role of ISI in that attack is coming out in the deposition of Hadeley Coleman and Rana to Americans slowly but surely!
    The rest of cases are in reaction to atrocities committed by Muslims, Indians and Pakistanis, on Hindus.
    When the likes of Afzal Guru are hanged, turn of others shall come. Recommend

  • Rock
    Jun 26, 2011 - 4:09PM

    @Amer K:
    Oh dear, you can just talk about samjhota issue and not any other issue. The samjhota issue is in the court and there is no reason to comment on it. Regarding Gujrat who gave you rights to talk about gujrat they are our brothers and we will take care of them from extremist. If you care so much about indian muslims why don’t save indian muslims in karachi. Do you know more than 10,000 indian muslims (Mohajirs) killed in just one operation in 1992. This figure given to me by my friend whose half of the family lives in karachi. And from 1992 till today how many Indian muslims killed in karachi? First save indian muslims in karachi.. Is it ok? Forget about ISI and pak army that’s a close issue for entire world just like taliban. World has more jobs to do than the terrorism in your country. Recommend

  • iam
    Jun 26, 2011 - 8:01PM

    @Amer K
    *

    attacking and killing Muslims in Gujrat

    *many of these guys don’t know what is GODHRA incident!!
    and also im not whitewashing gujrat incident, but you must know that.Recommend

  • Reality
    Jun 27, 2011 - 12:48AM

    @Ravi: You are right Ravi…Pakistan should start clean all inhouse people who are trained and sent from India…Recommend

  • Reality
    Jun 27, 2011 - 12:52AM

    @ Ravi and all Indian puppets…..You need to correct you own order of house….Most of instability in pakistan is due to India….India trains militants and send into pakistan…Balochistan is a great case for you…

    As for as Pakistan’s stability is concern…India never remained sincere with it…Check with ur recent Indian defense review…..Says’ Stability in Pakistan is not in Indian Interest”

    http://www.indiandefencereview.com/geopolitics/Stable-Pakistan-not-in-Indias-interest.htmlRecommend

  • Someone
    Jun 27, 2011 - 5:30AM

    @Rock: “Oh dear, you can just talk about samjhota issue and not any other issue”
    Any reason why should we NOT? You guys always go on about Mumbai; similiarly, we will go on about Samjhota Express. India must stop having double face and bring all Indian/Hindu terrorists within the the Indian Army (including Lieutinant Shrikant Purohit) responsible for Samjhauta blast to account. Justice must be served. Pak Govt should also tell India to hand over the terrorists and hang them here, if India is not keen to hang terrorists like its army officer Purohit. But then, we cant expect too much from Pak govt; they are too busy making swiss accounts.Recommend

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