Pak-Afghan accord exists against use of soil for terror
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Sunday categorically stated that Pakistan and Afghanistan had an agreement against use of their soils by any terrorist group.
Talking to mediamen here after arrival from Geneva, the Prime Minister said that certain terrorist elements inside Afghanistan were involved in attacks against Pakistan, including Army Public School and the most recent Charsadda University.
"Pakistan is strictly abiding the agreement and neither the Afghan government is violating it," he maintained. He stressed that Afghanistan had an elected government, armed forces and intelligence agencies and it was their responsibility to act. "There is a need that such activities should be curbed," he added. Responding to a query, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan strongly supported the Afghan-led and Afghanowned peace process as the stability in the region was interlinked with the stability in Afghanistan.
He said that the latest quadrilateral meeting of coordinated group comprising Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China, in Kabul was very encouraging. "The three countries in the group wanted a peaceful settlement to the Afghan issue," he said and stressed that it was not the lone responsibility of Pakistan. The Prime Minister expressed the hope that there would be progress on the nascent initiative. About the Pathankot attack, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan had not levelled any blame but there should be no interference into each other's affairs. "Pakistan has a very firm stance over it," he added. He said that Pakistan was investigating the matter and the facts would be brought forward whenever investigations were over.
He said a special team had been constituted to thoroughly probe the issue and it would also visit India to further collect evidences.
The Indian Prime Minister had also assured of further assistance in the investigation process, he said, adding that they were working on the right lines.
To a question, the Prime Minister said that it was Pakistan's desire to ease tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran and bridge the chasm in their bilateral ties.
"We have taken the initiative on our own. Nobody called us to initiate it," he made it clear.
He said that they had talked to both sides and waiting for a response after which the things would move forward.
About the National Action Plan, the Prime Minister said that it was being implemented vigorously and a plan was on the anvil to tackle the militant elements.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan was facing certain issues, which could not be tackled single handedly and required consultations with all the stakeholders. The government, the army and other institutions used to hold close consultations over certain important issues which also helped them a lot, he added.
He said whether it was a decision regarding war on terrorism, bringing about a constitutional amendment, setting up military courts or formulating the National Action Plan, these were achieved after consultations. The Prime Minister said, "Our religion Islam also advises us to sort out issues and differences through consultations." "It is frequently done through which I also get input, enabling the government to reach a decision," he added.