WEEKEND visit by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Kabul and Islamabad, being seen as a start of efforts on the part of China to normalise relations between the two sides came at a very critical when the country is reeling from state of mourning over the loss of scores of lives in Friday’s terrorist attacks which undoubtedly manifest linkages with terrorist sanctuaries in Afghanistan operating under the patronage of NDS and RAW. During talks, we expect the evidence and concerns in this regard would have been shared with the Chinese FM in order to help him better understand the actual situation and Pakistan’s position on it which remains that the Afghan side needs to take action against terrorist groups posing threat to peace and security across the border.
Whilst China is an important global player and also has excellent relations with regional countries, its effort for mediation, indeed, is a welcome step and we pray for its success as well in the context of regional peace and security. We expect the mediation effort taken by China on its shoulders will be pursued with utmost urgency and both the sides will also avail this offer to ensure peaceful relationship which is necessary to fighting the curse of terrorism plaguing both the countries for well over a decade now. Similarly the US has also an important role to play in ending the mistrust between the countries. The emphasis of both China and the US must be preparing the two countries to fully coordinate on security issues, for which Pakistan has always shown willingness but the other side never reciprocated in the same manner rather created hurdles in the way of steps such as a robust border management. We believe the revival of QCG process involving both the powers has become all the more imperative in the present circumstances in order to steer the matters towards improvement. All the stakeholders in Afghan peace, however, will also have to understand Pakistan’s genuine concerns about the terrorists and their financiers operating on Afghan soil against our interests. As also pointed out by COAS Qamar Bajwa on Friday, it is now time for the other side to overcome its internal weaknesses and take action against terrorist sanctuaries being used for rendering blood in Pakistan. To dent a blow to terrorist elements, both Pakistan and Afghanistan will have to tightly join hands and fulfil their responsibilities with utmost seriousness and commitment. We understand the QCG can serve the purpose of monitoring and verifying the anti-terror actions by both sides which will go a long way in offsetting the environment of mistrust and blame game.