Afghanistan Remains Source of Terror: Nazarbayev
KABUL – Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Friday called Afghanistan a continuing source of terrorist and extremist activities in the region, urging collective efforts to ward off the threat. Addressing the third ministerial meeting of the ‘Istanbul Process’ on Afghanistan in Almaty, Nazarbayev said: “The threat of international terrorism and religious extremism is still an important regional challenge.”
The Novosti-Kazakhstan news agency quoted the president as saying: “Unfortunately, Afghanistan remains a source of terrorist and extremist activities, including those in neighboring countries. Describing drug trafficking as one of Afghanistan’s serious problems, Nazarbayev said the production and trafficking of narcotics posed a major challenge to regional development.
While stressing enhanced regional cooperation with Afghanistan, he called for the expansion of railways networks in and around the conflict-devastated country. India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said his country did not consider Afghanistan a zone of competitive influence and wanted it to be an opportunity of regional cooperation.
Afghanistan would see lasting peace only if short-sighted perceptions of competition and strategic depth were replaced by collaboration and economic investment by countries of the region and the rest of the world, he remarked. Khurshid said an honest commitment to the principles enshrined in the Almaty Declaration would have to begin with an “acknowledgment of the rising dangers posed by these forces of extremism and terrorism to the future of Afghanistan”. (PAN)