New security structure for Afghanistan not needed

Pakistan Tuesday said the world community should focus on implementing existing mechanisms for regional peace and security instead of floating proposals for creating a new security structure for Afghanistan.

Islamabad: On the eve of a key conference on
Afghanistan in Istanbul tomorrow, Pakistan Tuesday said the world community should focus on implementing existing mechanisms for regional peace and security instead of floating
proposals for creating a new security structure for the
war-torn country.

Reacting to proposals being floated by some countries to
create a new security structure for Afghanistan as the US
prepares to pull out its troops from there, Foreign Minister
Hina Rabbani Khar said there was no dearth of mechanisms in
the region.

"We have so many mechanisms, including the Shanghai
Cooperation Organisation in which Pakistan has an observer`s
status, SAARC and Economic Cooperation Organisation," Khar,
who will represent Pakistan in the Conference on Afghanistan
tomorrow, told state-run APP news agency in Istanbul.

Instead of proposing new mechanisms, efforts should be
made to implement the existing mechanisms for peace, security
and development in the region, she said.

Any new structure would not benefit Afghanistan and any
process for solving the Afghan problem should be Afghan-led
and Afghan-owned, she said.

Neighbouring countries should have only a supportive
role in ensuring the peace, security and territorial integrity
of Afghanistan and the Istanbul Conference would help further
this objective, she contended.

Khar said the meeting will lead to various peace
processes, including the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan next
month and the Chicago Conference.
She expressed confidence that the meeting in Istanbul
will give confidence to Afghanistan that all important players
are supporting its initiatives for peace and stability.

The meeting is being attended by the immediate and
extended neighbours of Afghanistan and important world
players, including India.

Khar said Pakistan will support all initiatives aimed
at protecting and promoting the sovereignty of Afghanistan.

She said the Afghans themselves should decide their
future.

"Being an important neighbour, Pakistan would support
efforts in this regard," she added.

Responding to a question about India`s inclusion in the
Istanbul Conference, Khar said all countries that can help
promote peace in Afghanistan are welcome and Pakistan has no
problem with any country.

"Pakistan is an important and responsible state
committed to peace and security in Afghanistan," she said.

Asked about the inclusion of "Afghan resistance
forces" in the peace process, she said it was for Afghanistan,
the Afghan people and the government to decide this issue.

PTI

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