Unchecked presence of Daesh in Afghanistan concerning, Asif says during Russia visit

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MOSCOW : Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday said that the unchecked and increasing presence of Daesh is a cause of concern for Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Asif said Pakistan and Russia share common concerns regarding “threats posed by prevailing situation in Afghanistan…[which include] terrorism, exponential increase in drug production, [and] use of drug money for terror finance”.

The foreign minister said that the concerns also include security of regional countries, increasing presence of Daesh, location of the organisation’s camps close to border with Pakistan and central Asian states.

“An Afghan-led reconciliation process…is the only viable option for lasting peace in Afghanistan,” he added.

He also praised Russia’s role for its efforts in establishing global peace and said it is playing an instrumental role against Daesh.

Asif repeated Pakistan’s stance that it is blamed for foreign forces’ failure to bring peace in Afghanistan and said it has rejected allegations aimed at “scapegoating” Pakistan for the West’s “monumental failure in Afghanistan”.

“Pakistan has sustained a lot of damage in the fight against terrorism,” he added.

Commenting on relations with India, the foreign minister said that Pakistan wishes to hold talks with India to resolve Kashmir and other issues.

Asif left for a four-day official visit to Russia on Monday, the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.

Asif is visiting Russia at the invitation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Office said.

During the visit, Asif will hold bilateral negotiations with his Russian counterpart. The two dignitaries will discuss the current state of affairs and prospects for bilateral relations, as well as exchange views on important issues facing the region and the world, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing.

Orignally published by INP

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