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We Have no Favorites in the Neighboring Country: Sharif

We Have no Favorites in the Neighboring Country

Islamabad – Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, addressing the 68th United Nations General Assembly on Friday, said he “We have no favorites” in the neighboring country (Afghanistan). He added that Pakistan had lost 40,000 lives to terrorism in the past 12 years and would use “all means at our disposal” to fight it.

Nawaz Sharif’s ambitions to improve relations with India and Afghanistan are driven by the need to fight militancy at home and revive Pakistan’s stricken economy. But an increase in violence in Kashmir threatens his peace efforts with India.

“Pakistan encourages United Nations’ efforts for the stabilization of Afghanistan. We will work together with Afghanistan for regional and economic cooperation that would establish and reinforce regional trade, energy and communication corridors. A manifestation of our solidarity with the Afghan people has been our willingness to host millions of Afghan refugees in Pakistan for many decades. International support for their repatriation, as well as reintegration in Afghanistan is indispensable. And, we also look forward to the UN’s support in addressing other trans-regional challenges, including the flow of narcotics,” said Sharif.

Mr. Sharif stressed that the people of Afghanistan were and should remain master of their own destiny. “We support an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, leading to national reconciliation,” he added.

Sharif once again assured President Hamid Karzai saying that Pakistan did not wish to interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs; nor did it have any favorites in that country. He had previously said this during President Karzai’s visit to Islamabad last month, “We reaffirmed our shared goal of a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan,” said Sharif.

He encouraged the UN’s efforts for the stabilization of Afghanistan. Sharif said that Pakistan would work together with Afghanistan for regional and economic cooperation that would establish and reinforce regional trade, energy and communications corridors. “A manifestation of our solidarity with the Afghan people has been our willingness to host millions of Afghan refugees in Pakistan for many decades.” International support for their repatriation as well as reintegration in Afghanistan was indispensable, he said. (Tolonews)

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