Beijing:(APS)Oct 18,2015-Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Defense Khawaja Muhammad Asif while welcoming the proactive role and positive efforts of China in finding a peaceful resolution of the Afghan problem has said that a stable and peaceful Afghanistan is a guarantee for peace and stability of Pakistan and the region. It is only through peace and stability that the real benefits from projects like China-Pakistan Economic Corridor could be accrued ushering in a new era of development and prosperity, said the Minister.
Khawaja Asif made these remarks today during his speech while addressing the Xiangshan Forum’s plenary session on the topic ‘regional terrorism: roots and solutions.’ in Beijing.
Speaking on the occasion, Khawaja Asif emphasized the need for addressing basic concerns of the people of the region and to deny space to extremist elements who take advantage of the fault lines existing in their respective societies. In order to bring peace and stability he called for “a need to introduce a counter narrative along with a comprehensive social, economic and political reforms package in line with the culture, traditions and aspirations of the populace.”
The Minister condemned all acts of terrorism and called on the world community to recognize the basic reasons responsible for the fissures and fault lines existing within terrorism affected regions. He also mentioned the hitherto unresolved conflicts of Palestine and Kashmir, the unending events of gross human rights violations and unfulfilled promises by the world community failing to address the root causes of these conflicts.
He said that Pakistan gave refuge to over three million Afghani brothers during the Afghan war. The continued instability in that country had severe impacts, he said. Pakistan has suffered a loss of 60 thousand lives and billions of dollars in economic loss, in addition. He said that Pakistan’s armed forces have conducted various operations in tribal areas since 2003 and the latest operation Zarb-e-Azb vastly outnumbered achievements compared to other international forces’ achievements in Afghanistan since 13 years. The world needs to recognize the sacrifices by Pakistan over the past three decades, he stressed.
Referring to south Asian security and stability he said that all disputes needed to be resolved amicably to offset chances of escalation. While Pakistan has been forcefully advocating early resumption of dialogue process with India, there was a need to reduce tension by avoiding escalation of hostilities at the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, the Minister underscored.
Participants from Pakistan also included several scholars and intellectuals including the Chairman Institute of Strategic Studies Mr. Khalid Mehmood, President Institute of Regional Studies Mr. Arif Ayub, , Director south Asian Strategic Stability Institute Maria Sultan.
In addition to Defense ministers, the forum was also attended by senior military officials from participating countries, as well as noted scholars and academics.
Topics of the forum focused on security cooperation in Asia and the Asia-Pacific and other major regional and international security issues.
The Xiangshan Forum is a platform established by the China Military Science Society (CMSS) in 2006. The first four forums were positioned as a track-2 communication platform between international defense personnel and academics and the forum was held every two years.
In order to meet the new demands of changes in the security environment in Asia Pacific and needs for security cooperation, the biennial forum has been upgraded to the track-1.5 high level dialogue platform of security and defense in Asian and is held once a year since the 5th Xiangshan Forum in 2014.
The sixth Xiangshan Forum, cosponsored by China Military Science Society (CMSS) and China Institute for International Strategic Studies (CIISS), and being held at the China National Convention Center in Beijing from 16-18 October, concluded today.