Heart of Asia Conference: Nawaz demands giving final shape to border laws

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ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday has demanded giving final shape to border security laws with neighbouring Afghanistan.

The demand was made during the Heart of Asia Conference in Islamabad. Nawaz said that movement of Afghan immigrants on border is causing security issues. He called for a joint policy to curb terrorism in the region.

Earlier today, Prime Minister and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani jointly inaugurated the fifth Heart of Asia Conference. The conference is being attended by representatives and high ranking delegations including foreign ministers from 14 participating states, 17 supporting countries and 12 international and regional organisations.

Nawaz received Ghani at Nur Khan Airbase. Ghani received a 21-gun-salute on his arrival in Pakistan. Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Zakaullah and Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman were also present at the airbase to welcome Ghani.In his opening address at the conference Nawaz said that peace in Afghanistan is crucial for peace in the region. Pakistan would continue to offer services to establish peace in the neighbouring country, he added.

The PM said that Pakistan and Afghanistan have religious and cultural affinities. Afghanistan is more than a neighbour for Pakistan, he added. Nawaz said that the government wants safe return of Afghan nationals residing in Pakistan. Pakistan among international community respects Afghanistan s sovereignty.

On the other hand, Ghani said that he thanks Pakistan for hosting Afghan citizens. Soon Tapi Pipeline would be inaugurated in Turkmenistan, he added. Ghani said that people of both the countries are very close to one another.

The Afghan President said that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and International Security Assistant Force (ISAF) ended coercive activities in Afghanistan in December 2014. The country is facing issues including economy, employment and security, he added. Ghani said that Afghanistan has been directly or indirectly involved in seven different wars in the past.

He said that the Afghan nation failed enemies’ conspiracy to divide them on basis of culture and language. Ghani said that Afghanistan first issue in order is international banned outfits. The Afghan President held Pakistan’s Operation Zarb-e-Azb responsible for militants’ entrance in Afghanistan.

The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was established in 2011 at the initiative of Afghanistan and Turkey. The main objective of the Process is to foster efforts for regional cooperation and connectivity with a view to promoting long-term peace and stability as well as progress and development in Afghanistan, and the region.

Also Read: Sartaj Aziz hosts dinner to welcome Heart of Asia Conference participants

The Fifth Ministerial Conference is expected to adopt a forward looking Islamabad Declaration entitled “Enhanced Cooperation for Countering Security Threats and Promoting Connectivity in the Heart of Asia Region”.

The Declaration would underline commitments from the Heart of Asia countries and partners for sustained efforts towards promoting peace and security, economic development and connectivity in the region.

Earlier on December 8, Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj reached the federal capital. She will be leading Indian delegation in the fifth installment of the conference.

2015-12-09

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