Pakistan determined on border-management with Afghanistan: Tariq Fatemi

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ISLAMABAD, Jun 17 (APP): Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi on Friday said that Pakistan was determined to construct gates at all major exit and crossing points along the border with Afghanistan to check illegal cross-border movement.

Effective border management with Afghanistan was also essential to achieve the positive results of the two years of successful counter-terrorism campaign carried out in the form of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb, Tariq Fatemi said while speaking in a PTV programme.

Terming the reaction of Afghanistan on this issue as “unfortunate”, he said, the matter of border management was discussed with Afghanistan at the highest levels.

He said Pakistan would construct gates with all required facilities on major seven entry and crossing points along the border with Afghanistan, adding, the construction would be done well inside the Pakistani territory.

Tariq Fatemi said no international law bars Pakistan from such construction as most of the countries in the world including US and Canada despite enjoying close and friendly relations have the border control systems.

To a question he said there was no need of any third-party intervention as Pakistan and Afghanistan being the neighbours and close friends were in contact and could resolve their issues bilaterally.

In response to another question, Tariq Fatemi was confident that Afghanistan will never allow its soil to be used against Pakistan.

To a question, he said, Pakistan was hosting over 3 million Afghan refugees for the last over 35 years, adding, but now it has been decided that they will have to go to their home country, adding, Pakistan had urged the international community to help create enabling environment in Afghanistan.

Special Assistant to PM on Foreign Affairs, in response to a question, said the May 21 drone strike, in which Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansoor was killed, had put a “big question mark” on Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

To another question he said the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the United States was created to push and promote peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, adding, but now after the killing of Mullah Mansoor and with the new Taliban leadership in Afghanistan, some time will be required to restart the Afghan peace process.

Tariq Fatemi said Pakistan as earlier was still convinced that Taliban leadership will have to talk to the Afghanistan government by accepting the country’s constitution and Pakistan alongwith the QCG can help push the peace process.

To a question about Pak-US relations, he said, with the fast changing global political environment and emerging alliances, it was not necessary to have convergence in each other’s policy objectives.

He, however, emphatically stated that Pakistan was not oblivious of its interests and it was taking necessary measures.

Tariq Fatemi referred to the recent visit of US delegation and said Pakistani side made it clear that it will not tolerate the repeat of drone strike.

To a question he said with the launching of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the relations between Pakistan and China had reached the peak and the corridor would benefit the whole region.

Tariq Fatemi rejected the view about the government’s weak foreign policy and said the enhanced and strengthened ties with Central Asian States, progress on regional projects like TAPI and CASA-1000, growing relations with Russia and other world capitals were evident of the successful foreign policy.

About Pak-India ties, he said, the two countries need to engage in a meaningful, sustained, constructive and result-oriented dialogue to address all issues of concern.