Islamic State's rise in Afghanistan a concern for Pakistan, says Aziz

Published December 30, 2015
Aziz said a quadrilateral meeting is scheduled in January to discuss Afghan peace.─ AP/File
Aziz said a quadrilateral meeting is scheduled in January to discuss Afghan peace.─ AP/File

ISLAMABAD: The adviser to prime minister on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, said that rise of Islamic State (IS) group in Afghanistan is a point of concern for Pakistan.

Talking to media after an event in Islamabad on Wednesday, Aziz said certain elements trying to associate with IS were arrested from Sialkot, however, "it is the rise of IS in Afghanistan which is the cause of concern for Pakistan".

The premier's adviser went on to say that Afghan Taliban will have to shut down their subversive activities if they want the peace talks to happen and succeed. "It's also the condition set by Afghan government," he added.

Aziz further announced that a meeting of the quadrilateral committee comprising the senior diplomatic representatives from US, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan is called on January 10 in Islamabad to discuss the Afghan reconciliation process.

Hotline established between Pak, Afghan DGMOs

Pakistan and Afghanistan's Director General Military Operations (DGMO) discussed security issues through a hotline established on Wednesday through a mutual agreement between the two countries.

"Pursuing decision in General Raheel Sharif's visit to Afghanistan, a hot line is established between the DGMOs of both countries." said Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Asim Bajwa on Twitter.

Bajwa further said that the first contact was made on Wednesday and the two DGMOs discussed defence related issues, modalities, dates of meetings between the Corps Commanders of the two sides and measures to enhance coordination along the border.

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif had visited Afghanistan and met Afghan President and Chief Executive on December 27.

The COAS and Afghan dignitaries agreed to jointly counter the terrorism threat and vowed not to allow use of their respective soil against each other through active intelligence sharing and Intelligence Based Operations (IBOs).

Emphasising the need to improve bilateral relations it was decided to establish a hot line contact between the DGMOs of both countries.

The high point of the visit was that the two sides agreed to resume the peace process with a mutually agreed quadrilateral framework including China and United States (US).

During his visit to Pakistan to participate in Heart of Asia conference, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also attended a tripartite meeting including US representatives, where all the participants agreed to resume the peace process.

Related: Afghanistan, Pakistan and US agree on resumption of peace process

Pakistan had hosted a meeting between the Afghan Government and Afghan Taliban representatives in Murree on July 7, 2015, along with the representatives from China and USA.

The participants were duly mandated by their respective leadership and expressed their collective desire to bring peace to Afghanistan and the region.

The second round of the talks, which was scheduled to be held in Pakistan on 31 July 2015 was postponed in view of the reports regarding the death of Mulla Omar and the leadership crisis among Taliban.

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