Govt, army chief deplore Afghan attack

Updated October 19, 2018

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Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Faisal. — Photo/File
Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Faisal. — Photo/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday condemned the shooting incident in Kandahar in which top security and intelligence leadership of the Afghan province was eliminated and hoped for peaceful conduct of upcoming parliamentary polls in the war-ravaged country.

“Pakistan strongly condemns the terrorist attack, resulting in the sad demise of senior Kandahar security officials and causing injuries to many others,” a statement issued by the Foreign Office on the insider attack said.

The statement, besides expressing solidarity with Afghan people, underlined Pakistan’s support for the democratic process in Afghanistan.

“We hope that the parliamentary elections due to take place the day after tomorrow will be held peacefully. Strengthening of democracy is key to long-term peace and security in Afghanis­tan,” the statement said.

Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also condemned the attack.

“Wish to see Afghan and other security forces succeeding to bring an end to this prolonged violence in Afghanistan. Peace in Afghanistan is essential for peace in the region. Support all initiatives towards this end,” the army chief said.

Earlier, speaking at a weekly media briefing, Foreign Office spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal reiterated Pakistan’s position on the Afghan conflict, saying there was no military solution to the conflict and that the most viable way forward lay in an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned political process.

Responding to questions about newly appointed US special envoy for Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad’s meeting with Taliban in Qatar, the spokesman said: “We welcome efforts for a negotiated settlement of the Afghan conflict and will extend all possible support for any such efforts. Pakistan wishes to see peace and stability returning to Afghanistan which is an important neighbour and a brotherly country.”

He recalled the steps taken by Pakistan to prevent illegal cross-border movement and noted that those efforts had been successful.

“We will continue this endeavour and complete our border management project in the stipulated time period,” he said and urged the Afghans to take similar steps on their side of the border so that the issue of unauthorised cross-border movement could be effectively addressed.

Dr Faisal said Pakistan was ready to extend technical and material support to Afghanistan in this regard.

Chemical weapons

Rejecting Indian denial on the use of chemical weapons in India-held Kashmir, the spokesman renewed the call for international investigation into the matter.

“It is also a fact that reports of use of weapons with chemical agents by Indian security forces in IoK have appeared before as well. We had earlier also called for thorough and independent investigations into such reports. We reiterate our call. The UN Commission of Inquiry as envisaged in the OHCHR report may also look into it provided India is not shy of permitting their visit,” the spokesman said.

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2018