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NSA will not attend Afghanistan moot hosted by 'spoiler' India

02 Nov, 2021
Pakistan and Uzbekistan sign a protocol on the establishment of Joint Security Commission. Wire photo
Pakistan and Uzbekistan sign a protocol on the establishment of Joint Security Commission. Wire photo

National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf has said that he will not travel to India to attend a conference of regional national security advisers on Afghanistan being hosted by New Delhi on November 10.

Responding to a question during a press conference in Islamabad earlier today, Yusuf said that a "spoiler" could not take on the role of a "peacemaker" while referring to India's role in Afghanistan.

India had extended the invitation to Yusuf to attend the regional conference. Russia, China, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan will reportedly attend the moot hosted by the Indian national security adviser.

The NSA, who was addressing a news conference in Islamabad after Pakistan and Uzbekistan signed a protocol on the establishment of Joint Security Commission, also responded to criticism directed at Pakistan for being 'proactive' in promoting engagement with Afghanistan.

He pointed out that geographical proximity meant that Pakistan had a different set of considerations when it came to Afghanistan as opposed to Western countries.

"It may be a luxury for the Western world sitting 10,000 miles away but we do not have any option to disengage from Afghanistan."

He also highlighted the humanitarian challenges facing the war-torn nation while warning that the situation would worsen without consturctive engagement from stakeholders and reigonal players.

"This is not a matter of the Taliban or some other government but of the ordinary people of Afghanistan," he said, reiterating that the neighboring country was more than just a political matter for Pakistan.

Joint Security Commission

Speakin about the setting up of the commission and its inaugural session, Yusuf said that it encompassed a wide array of matters ranging from transnational crime, drug trafficking, cooperation against terrorism and mutual capacity building in areas such as disaster management.

Emphasisng the importance of connectivity, he pointed out Pakistan needs to reap greater benefit from its geographical position in light of the the government's geo-economic paradigm.

He also highlighted the role of Uzbekistan and the four other Central Asian states in the achievement of Pakistan's geo-economic vision.

A press release issued by the National Security Division said that Yusuf met with Secretary of the Uzbekistan's Security Council Lieutenant General Victor Makhmudov who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan.

Regarding the signed protocol, the press release said that it "covered wide-ranging security related matters of mutual interest and established coordination mechanism between Pakistan's National Security Division and the Security Council of Uzbekistan.

"During the inaugural session, both sides discussed various aspects of the newly formed joint commission and the way forward for making the commission effective and mutually beneficial," the press release added.