NCA Chairman Dr. Abdullah Abdullah Meets With Head of Pakistan Senate Defense Committee
On September 10, 2013, a visiting Pakistani delegation, including the Chairman of the Senate Defense Committee of Pakistan, Mr. Mushahid Hussain, along with an accompanying 18 member delegation, met with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the National Coalition of Afghanistan at his residence.
The current state of affairs in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as a wide range of issues of mutual interest were discussed during the meeting. Both sides held detailed discussions on the political and security situation in both countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan’s future relationship, upcoming Afghan Presidential elections in 2014, ongoing efforts in the war on terrorism and extremism as well as trust and confidence building measures between both countries.
At the outset, Mr. Mushahid Hussain thanked Dr. Abdullah for providing the opportunity to meet and indicated that the goal of his trip to Kabul was to meet with Afghanistan’s political leaders in an effort to discuss current situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as ways and means of improving the security situation in both countries. He further added that he was keen on learning about Dr. Abdullah’s future plans for Afghanistan, considering the important and influential role he was playing as a national political figure in the country and the NCA being a major movement in Afghanistan’s political arena.
While discussing ongoing security challenges and the scheduled complete transfer of security responsibilities from NATO to Afghan National Security Forces, Dr. Abdullah indicated that although Afghan security insitutions have seen a significant improvement in their capability, some parts of the country still remain insecure, witnessing frequent security incidents aimed at Afghan and International forces, as well as innocent civilians. However, Dr. Abdullah stressed that current security conditions in certain parts of the country should not be allowed to disrupt the holding of timely and transparent Presidential elections next year. He further added if a peaceful political transition is challenged due to security or other reasons, Afghanistan would fail and the armed insurgents would find their path to expand their illegal and violent presence. The holding of credible elections next year will be crucially important for Afghanistan’s future stability.
Referring to peace and reconciliation talks with the armed opposition, Dr. Abdullah stated, ”While peace negotiations is an important necessity for maintenance of long-term stability in the country, peace talks with armed groups is possibly only if and when they officially announce they are ready to engage in meaningful and sincere peace talks”. Dr. Abdullah also highlighted that the most effective way to combat extremism and terrorism in both countries and the region, was by maintaining a genuine and determined commitment in rooting out its main sources. He conveyed that the people of Afghanistan hoped that the newly elected government of Pakistan will take necessary steps to contribute to stability, which will benefit strengthened and fruitful relations between both countries, based on mutual trust and tranquility.
In his own remarks, Mr. Mushahid Hussain also alluded that Pakistan would benefit from a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and stressed that it was recognized how the miscalculated policies of the past have created significant problems for both countries. He further added that traditional and past perceptions regarding Pakistan’s strategic depth in Afghanistan had changed and that the new government in Pakistan looks forward to better mutual relationships with its neighbors, including Afghanistan. Both countries must honestly cooperate together to find an end to the common problems they face, and they must work on strengthening mutual trust.
The Ambassador of Pakistan to Kabul, Mr. Mohammad Sadiq along with Mr. Mahmoud Saikal, Chairman of the NCA Foreign Relations Committee and Mr. Fazel Sangcharaki, NCA Spokesperson, also attended the meeting.
September 11, 2013 - Kabul- Afghanistan