Pak hails China’s ‘constructive role’ for settlement of Afghan conflict
Beijing [China], Sept 8: Pakistan has lauded China's "constructive role" in the process for a politically negotiated settlement of the Afghan conflict. Addressing a joint press conference after his meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said that the two countries are in favour of a political solution for the Afghan conflict and not military. Asif, who arrived in China on Friday, appreciated China's "constructive role" in the process for a politically negotiated settlement of the Afghan conflict, saying that Pakistan and China can together contribute to a political solution to the conflict. He is in China as a part of his regional outreach for consultations on the new US policy on Afghanistan and South Asia "Pakistan strongly adheres to one-China policy: We support Beijing on its core issues of Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang and South China Sea," the Dawn quoted Asif as saying. He said Operations Zarb-i-Azb and Raddul Fasaad have yielded positive results against terrorist groups including East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). He added that ETIM is a threat not only for China but also to Pakistan. China had repeatedly blamed ETIM for carrying out attacks in its far western region of Xinjiang. Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Minister reaffirmed Beijing's continuous and firm support for Pakistan in war against terrorism, saying that both the countries stand together in the changing regional and global scenario. "China supports Pakistan in safeguarding its national sovereignty and dignity," he said. Emphasising on trilateral cooperation between Afghanistan, Pakistan and China, Wang said his country wants improved relations between Islamabad and Kabul and is also ready to support both the sides. He said peace in Afghanistan remains in the interest of both countries. Wang further said that China, Pakistan and Afghanistan will hold new high-level talks this year to push forward for settlement negotiations to resolve Afghan issue. Wang said that Pakistan's efforts to eliminate terrorism should be recognised by the international community. "When it comes to the issue of counterterrorism, Pakistan has done its best with a clear conscience. In comparison, some countries need to give Pakistan the full credit that it deserves," he said. Wang's statement in favour of Pakistan come days after the BRICS declaration that named militant groups allegedly based in Pakistan as a regional security concern. BRICS leaders had recently unveiled the Xiamen Declaration in which member countries unequivocally condemned terrorism in all of its forms and manifestations and called upon all states to adopt a comprehensive approach in combating the menace, including countering radicalisation, recruitment, and movement of terrorists, including foreign terrorist fighters. The Xiamen BRICS Declaration signed by the BRICS members specifically stated, "BRICS express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir." "BRICS deplore all terrorist attacks worldwide, including attacks in BRICS countries, and condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever and stress that there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism. We reaffirm that those responsible for committing, organising, or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable," it added. Asif will travel to Iran after completing his China visit. He is also expected to meet Russian and Turkish leaders in coming days.
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