Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism and extremism.
“Using terrorism and extremism as a political tool is in no country’s interest. Afghanistan and Pakistan must join hands to fight terrorism and extremism – or [else] our coming generations will face the consequences,” Karzai said in a statement issued from the presidential palace on Saturday.
President Karzai congratulated Pakistani teenage education activist Malala Yousafzai on her 16th birthday and said that the pursuit of education in both Afghanistan and Pakistan was impeded by terrorists. He added that students, teachers and education workers have been frequently targeted by terrorists on either side of the Durand Line.
Describing the attacks on students and educational institutes as an ‘act by the enemies of Islam’, the Afghan leader said: “The elements who oppose peoples’ progress and development commit such crimes.” While addressing the Youth Assembly at the United Nations on Friday to mark her 16th birthday, Malala said that terrorism and war had deterred children both in Afghanistan and Pakistan from going to school.
She said: “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world” and extremists are afraid of this change that education could bring in society.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2013.