Countering threats of terrorism: FM urges capacity building of Afghan authorities

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday urged the international community to help in capacity building of the Afghan interim authorities to take on threats of terrorism.

The foreign minister was taking part in a panel discussion in Munich Security Conference. He said the international community wanted the Afghan interim government to live up to its obligations and commitments in areas like women education, all-inclusive government and tackling of potential threats from terrorism, emanating from terrorist groups of Daesh, TTP and Al Qaeda.

The foreign minister said that if this issue was not taken seriously, the terrorist groups could conduct terrorist activities from Afghanistan as had been witnessed recently from incidents in Pakistan. The interim government neither had a standing army, a counter-terrorism force and even a border force, nor have the capacity, he opined.

Bilawal said the global community should convince the Afghan interim government to take on the threat of terrorism and demonstrate its will. Terrorism not only posed threat to immediate neighbours of Afghanistan but also to the West, he cautioned. Pakistan had helped Afghanistan in the past and would continue to do so as it had hosted the largest number of Afghan refugees on its soil, he said, adding that the international community could not wash their hands and turn away from Afghanistan.

He stressed that the world should continue its humanitarian support, unfreeze Afghan’s assets, open up banking channels and engage with the Taliban, society and the women. The foreign minister reiterated that a peaceful Afghanistan was vital for the stability of the region and the international community must play its role in this regard.

The Afghan interim government had assured to eradicate terrorism from its soil, he added. The foreign minister also elaborated that the continuation of economic activities and progress in the war-weary Afghanistan was must for peace and stability and would help the interim Afghan authorities to run affairs of the country. (APP)