ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Monday said that Afghan refugee camps within Pakistan turned into safe havens for terrorists after the country's armed forces destroyed the militants' infrastructure in tribal areas.

In an interview with SAMAA TV, he said the issue of Afghan refugees has become a security issue for Pakistan as these refugee camps have become "safe havens for terrorists" due to unregulated movement.

"We have re-established our writ over FATA but if Afghan border remains unregulated, our tribal areas can't stay safe."

Calling for repatriation of Afghan refugees, he said that the repatriation will be a gradual movement and Pakistan will need a plan of action for the process.

Related: Afghan govt seeks extension in stay of refugees in Pakistan

Answering a question, he said the Monday meeting between Afghan delegation and Pakistan's diplomatic staff was conducted in a friendly environment and both sides agreed upon developing a mechanism for border management.

About the recent tensions with Afghanistan, Aziz claimed that Pakistan is paying for the policies it adopted during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, "5million refugees came here, along with drugs, guns bringing instability to Pakistan".

"Then occured 9/11 and then the Mujahideen that we, US and other countries jointly created were thrown out (from Afghanistan) into our tribal areas and then started a wave of suicide attacks and terrorism which killed more than 7000 Pakistanis," said Aziz.

He added that when the current government came into power, it decided to pursue the policy of non-interference which means Pakistan will not fight someone else's wars.

'Pakistan only hurdle to Indian hegemony in region'

Answering a question about Pakistan, India relations, he said that India has always tried to maintain its hegemony in the South Asian region.

"But Pakistan rejected this hegemony and has effectively protected its interests and its stance over Kashmir, nuclear deterrence and conventional balance," said Aziz.

He maintained that "protecting Pakistan's sovereignty and vital interests is a great achievement as a nation".

Related: India never opened window of opportunity for talks: Aziz

Opinion

Editorial

Worsening hunger
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Worsening hunger

THAT the dollar liquidity crunch has started hurting the import of essential items such as vegetables and raw...
Bannu beheading
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Bannu beheading

The state must take up the cudgels and neutralise barbarism before it spreads.
Smog misery
08 Dec, 2022

Smog misery

IF 2022 has taught us anything, it is that generations of reckless disregard for Mother Nature has accrued very ...
Disquiet on the western front
Updated 07 Dec, 2022

Disquiet on the western front

IT is very difficult for Pakistan to be delinked from Afghanistan, because of reasons of geography and history.
Fuel from Russia
07 Dec, 2022

Fuel from Russia

THE apparent headway made with Russia for the purchase of its crude oil, petrol and diesel at discounted prices is a...
More women SHOs
07 Dec, 2022

More women SHOs

IT is encouraging to see more employment avenues opening up for women in Pakistan, with an increasing number of...