Enhance intelligence cooperation

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IN recent weeks, Islamabad received series of foreign delegates to discuss the evolving situation in Afghanistan after Taliban takeover of Kabul.

This once again manifests Pakistan as an important stakeholder for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

On Saturday, Islamabad hosted a meeting of spymasters of regional countries including Russia, China, Iran and some Central Asian States.

Undoubtedly the fluid situation in Afghanistan is a matter of worry for regional countries, as any instability there will have a direct impact on them.

We understand that the meeting of spymasters was held in the context of security concerns as terrorist outfits such as ISIS-Khorasan pose threat not only to the people of Afghanistan but also to neighbouring countries.

Russian Security Council’s deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev of late has warned that tens of thousands of members of ISIS group are based in Afghanistan’s provinces close to borders with Central Asian countries.

Medvedev said the leadership of the terrorist outfit has announced plans to spread its influence to the entire region.

This situation warrants that regional countries develop a common strategy to deal with challenges emanating from Afghanistan.

Better intelligence coordination, cooperation and sharing of information amongst them will help them ward off this threat.

While the meeting of spymasters is a welcome step yet for the success of any policy, these countries will also have to take on board the new political dispensation in Afghanistan. The focus must be on averting humanitarian and refugee crisis in the country.

Doing so will greatly help foil the sordid designs of terrorist outfits to penetrate in neighbouring countries.

The new dispensation should be encouraged and supported in every possible manner to take on these terrorist outfits. The world cannot absolve itself from its responsibility towards Afghanistan.

As also stated by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi while addressing the ministering meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbours the other day, the international community needed to discard the old lens and move forward with a realistic view.

Abandoning Afghanistan will be disastrous. Engagement is the only way forward to correct the mistakes of the past.

 

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