Role of youth critical in Pak-Afghan ties

Former envoy says west should be held accountable for creating Da’ish

Our Correspondent August 23, 2019
Afghan lawmaker lauds initiative and urges need to remove misunderstanding between the two brotherly nations. PHOTO: DNA

ISLAMABAD: There is an urgent need for the young people of Pakistan and Afghanistan to play a role in promoting peace, stability and progress in the two neighbouring countries, said participants of a seminar on Friday.

The seminar – Pak-Afghan Youth Summit – was organised by the Afghan Studies Centre of the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) in Islamabad and a 13-member Afghan Peace Council delegation led by Afghan parliamentarian Khalid Pashtoon participated in it.

Speaking at the seminar in which students, political analysts, civil society members and journalists also took part, MNA Mehnaz Akbar Aziz said it was a great job to bring students and young people of the two countries under one roof.

“Such events can help a lot in improving ties between the two nations,” she said. The Afghan lawmaker also lauded the initiative and said there was a great need to remove misunderstanding between the two brotherly nations through interaction among their young people.

Separately, former ambassador Riaz Khokhar on Friday said ultra-orthodox terror outfit Islamic State or Da’ish is a threat to the entire region and the west should be held answerable for its presence in Afghanistan

“Who created them [Da’ish] in Iraq and Syria? Who helped them sell oil in Iraq and how have they reached Afghanistan?” asked the expert while speaking with reference to future of Pakistan-US ties at Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI).

He, however, said there is no organised presence of Da’ish in Pakistan. The former foreign secretary said people are suspicious about how Da’ish made its way to Afghanistan.  He noted that former Afghan president Hamid Karzai had once stated that Da’ish has been brought to Afghanistan by the west.

“Da’ish is not a threat to the US. They know how the group got to Afghanistan,” he added.

The former ambassador said despite Pakistan being a close US ally, President Donald Trump has at times used harsh words and an ambivalent approach towards Pakistan.  “My take is that we should not be emotional about our relationship with the US. Pakistan needs to have a working alliance,” he said.

He said Pakistan’s relationship with the US cannot be analysed in isolation as the international order is in flux, with China rising phenomenally, Russia re-asserting itself, and the Middle East in extreme turmoil.

He said the US’s main interest in the Middle East is its very special relationship with the Zionist regime.  He said every US security document over the past few years identifies China as a major threat for the US, followed by Russia, North Korea and Iran.

“Pakistan has historic relations with China since 1950s. This is a solid, iron-clad strategic relationship which neither side should allow anyone to undermine,” he said.



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