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ISLAMABAD: National security adviser Nasser Khan Janjua on Sunday said US and the West should play a positive role in maintaining security of the region that has become quite fragile.

He was speaking at an international conference, ‘Media opportunities and challenges’ organised by the Associated Press of Pakistan at a local hotel.

“Afghanistan is a story of pains. It is a story of injuries. It is a wound of the world and also of region which should be healed as quickly as possible. Every investment has been made to win Afghan war but, unfortunately, we have not invested in winning peace.”

Fighting the Taliban: The US and Pakistan's failed strategies

Every investment has been made to win Afghan war but, unfortunately, we have not invested in winning peace, says national security adviser

He said innocent people in both Afghanistan and Pakistan had been suffering since the Soviet occupation of Kabul in 1979. But now, he said, peace was the only way forward.

Mr Janjua said the post-9/11 Pakistan stood with the international community, not with those who inflicted an atrocious attack on the US. On the prevalent blame game, he said: “It is a strange moment in our history that the US and all others are blaming us that we are supporting the militants.”

He added: “The Taliban accuse us of supporting the US and vice versa. So both are blaming us, who’s right?”

He also discussed the role of Pakistan in recent history and the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in ongoing war against terrorism, saying Pakistan had lost over 60,000 lives and billions of dollars in the war.

The security adviser said Pakistan’s location made it a strategic asset in Central and South Asia, having the ability to connect the markets of Europe, Africa and other parts of Asia.

He said CPEC was only half of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) dream with Afghanistan being the other half as it would connect whole Central Asia and Europe.

Mr Janjua said Pakistan was totally different compared to the perception about it.

“Let us face the biggest question how Pakistan is seen from abroad. What are our security challenges and what are preventions. We are a poor country and are suffering of terrorism. We are nuclear country and there is fear that our nuclear weapons can go in the hands of terrorists. We are also blamed for double game with Afghanistan,” he said.

“But there is also another picture of Pakistan that it is a beautiful country. Our northern areas mesmerise people. Your countries are beautiful but ours is no less.”

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said the government had done legislation on the right to information (RTI) and access to information and now there was a need for legislation on cyber security.

Cyber security comprises technologies, processes and controls that are designed to protect systems, networks and data from cyber attacks. Effective cyber security reduces the risk of cyber attacks, and protects organisations and individuals from the unauthorised exploitation of systems, networks and technologies.

Ms Maryam said Pakistan’s 60pc population was youth that had been actively using social media.

Since 2005, along with electronic media, social media also become popular and dependence on it is increasing. She said during the last 70 years the media had become free and vibrant. Moreover, for the first time there have been 10 years of uninterrupted democracy in the country.

“We are also fighting a war of perception. On the other hand, the race for breaking news has created the issue of ‘fake news’. However, the media is also passing through the process of evolution so things will improve with the passage of time.”

She said the media should highlight the benefits of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it would change the fate of the region.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2018