BEIJING, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said that there is a need to engage all the regional countries for establishing peace and stability in Afghanistan as they have the biggest stake in its stability.
“All countries have to work together to promote stability and peace in the region,” Ahsan Iqbal said during an interview with the Chinese newspaper Global Times published on Friday.
“If one part of the region is insecure, it has the potential to destabilise the whole region.
No one can dare term Pakistan a dangerous country now” he said.
“Our region paid a heavy price for terrorism after 9/11 with the US invasion in Afghanistan, and the whole region became unstable,” he said.
He noted after the Pakistani government launched major operations against those who attacked the Peshawar school and the Red Mosque, Pakistan has almost broken the back of the terrorist groups.
Ahsan Iqbal also called for a political solution to the situation in Afghanistan, as the US-led military solution has not worked in more than a decade.
“Afghanistan isn’t more stable than before 2001. We are still facing the threat from infiltration from Afghanistan to Pakistan through the western border.
“Pakistan has suffered heavily due to terrorism, which has caused the deaths of some 70,000 people in Pakistan, and more than $100 billion in economic losses,” Ahsan Iqbal said.
Under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative, thousands of Chinese workers are living in Pakistan, said Iqbal, and labelled them as “national heroes”.
He said that Pakistan has raised the numbers of special forces to about 15,000 personnel now working full-time to provide security to CPEC projects, and to the Chinese who are working in Pakistan.
In another interview with China Radio International(Urdu Service) Ahsan Iqbal said CPEC has become a project of strong economic relations between Pakistan and China. He said in addition to the federal security force3s, provinces have also formed their anti terrorism courts to provide security to CPEC projects.
Ahsan Iqbal said Pakistan want to play its role with the cooperation of Eurasian countries for peace and development in the region. He said Gwadar Port is CPEC gateway. He said different projects under CPEC including Gwadar Airport, educatin, energy, drinking water were progressing satisfactory.
He said steps are being taken to improve security situation through the Safe City project and and other measures.
In reply to a question, the Interior Minister said Islamabad Police and Beijing Police would sign a bilateral cooperation MoU to improve the capacity of Islamabad police.